HOW COCO-COLA PULLED OFF HISTORY’S GREATEST MARKETING COUP

How many of you remember “New Coke?”

IMHO this was one of the most brilliant marketing campaigns ever created.

In case you’re too young to know about this here’s what happened:

All the way back in in 1985, Coco-Cola was gradually losing market share. To counter this they launched a top secret project known as “Project Kansas.” What this discovered – after a great deal of surveys and focus groups – was that Coke wasn’t “sweet enough.”

With this information a bold new plan was decided upon…

The Coco-Cola company would change their decades old formula and introduce “New Coke.”

As it turned this was a wild success and dramatically boosted sales.

But that wasn’t the end of the story…

You see, what eventually happened was that New Coke caused a massive consumer backlash. In fact, the company received more than 40,000 complaints and at one stage over 1,500 calls per day to their consumer hotline. This resulted in them returning to the original formula in only 77 days.

Now, to the untrained observer this may seem like failure but…

…I guarantee you this was all done by design.

You see, the introduction of New Coke performed several important marketing functions.

First of all, it provided massive publicity for the company.

Second, it resulted in a huge sales bump.

(Think about it, this is a no brainer: who wouldn’t try New Coke?).

Third, what you have to understand is that of course this was going to cause a backlash.

Coca-Cola is a deeply rooted piece of Americana.

This is why people got so upset and wanted the old formula back.

It’s also why the public returned in droves when “old” Coke came back.

(Causing another nice sales bump).

Ultimately, what this did was root Coke even more firmly in the minds of the public.

This is best expressed by Coke’s marketing vice president Sergio Zyman…

…the guy who came up with New Coke.

“Yes, it infuriated the public, cost us a ton of money and lasted for only 77 days before we reintroduced Coca-Cola classic. Still, New Coke was a success because it revitalized the brand and reattached the public to Coke.”

Enough said.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

P.S. How can you create your own New Coke? Basically by experimenting with your product. If sales are dwindling then try reworking things. BTW, this is why copywriters are always describing products as “New and improved.”

THE STUNNING RISE OF ONLY FANS

Over the last year Only Fans has grown into one of the world’s biggest websites.

Thousands of people have signed up and are said to be making millions of dollars per month. With all this success, it’s safe to say that Only Fans is now etched into the public consciousness. In fact, unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably also noticed their stunning rise in popularity.

But how did this happen so quickly?

Well, there are a few reasons.

(COVID-19 obviously helped).

But once again it’s all about marketing.

You see, when it comes to marketing Only Fans has a brilliant strategy.

The way they’ve done this is by advertising their success stories.

More specifically, by using paid articles to do this.

You may already know what I’m talking about.

Over the last year I’ve seen dozens and dozens of articles splashed all over the web.

These mostly take the form of the following:

“19 year old makes $100,000 per month on Only Fans…”

“Only Fans model buys a house at 21…”

“How I made a million dollars on Only Fans…”

Etc. etc.

The point of these articles is to basically generate greed, envy and curiosity. You’re supposed to read the article and then imagine yourself making the same kind of money. For example, if you were a young women and saw one of these articles…well…there’s a good chance you’d consider opening up an Only Fans account.

(BTW, people actually believe these articles, but I can guarantee you that most are fake).

So what can we learn from this?

A few things actually.

First, never underestimate the power of success stories.

Make your audience believe that others like them are enjoying success and the sky is the limit.

Paint a picture of how great life could be and people will trip over themselves trying to give you their money.

Second, never underestimate the power of paid advertising.

Don’t waste your time with stuff like SEO.

Instead, invest in advertising and putting the right copy in front of the right audience.

Do this and you can generate millions in no time at all.

Off to start my Only Fans account…

Just kidding!

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

P.S. One more thing before I go: This week Only Fans announced that they would soon ban explicit material. After a massive outcry this was reversed…but…I can pretty much guarantee you that this was simply another publicity stunt (and considering the amount of press this move received it’s fairly certain that I’m right).

WHY MOST PEOPLE GET IT WRONG WHEN IT COMES TO PRICING THEIR PRODUCTS

How you price your products is highly important.

This is also something which stumps a lot of business owners.

So how expensive should your products be?

Many people choose their price seemingly at random.

Otherwise they copy their competition…

…or go for the lowest price possible (thinking it will increase sales).

Both of these choices are boneheaded and a really bad idea.

Instead, you should raise your prices as high as possible.

Now, many people shun this advice.

They worry about being more expensive than their competition.

But this is really the wrong way to think about this.

You see, the same product sold at a different price will pretty much convert at the same level.

(And therefore bring in the same amount of revenue).

What this basically means is that you’ll either get one sale at $100, or 10 at $10.

That being said, there are other things to consider.

For example, let’s say you have an upsell or follow up product for $50.

Let’s also say around 20% of buyers purchase this additional product.

In this case your ten $10 orders will boost your revenues by an extra $200.

Not only that, you’ll also have 10 more customers who are twice are likely to buy in the future.

On the other hand, if you sell at $100…well…you’ll still have $100.

What’s more, you won’t have additional customers who may purchase additional products.

This is why many marketers sell their initial products dirt cheap.

(A good example of this are so called, “tripwire” offers).

Something else to consider is the quality of your customers.

In most cases, a higher price point should result in higher quality customers…

…while cheaper price points result in lower quality customers.

Depending on what you’re selling this can be extremely important.

Low quality customers are often a massive pain in the butt to deal with.

These are the people who complain, demand refunds, and make your life a living nightmare.

Many of these people are also price shoppers, who should generally be avoided.

Yes, they might convert easier, but this is often offset by the issues they cause.

What this all boils down to is that product pricing is entirely up to you.

Do you want less (higher quality customers) and more money per sale…

…or more (lower quality customers) and less money per sale?

Ultimately you need to consider the following:

  • Do you have upsells and follow up products?
  • How many and what type of customers do you want?
  • How is your product is converting?

(With a lower conversion rate you may want more money per sale).

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

P.S. Everything I’ve mentioned also applies to people who sell services (except for a few key differences). For example, with services the question of quality clients is even more important. Speaking from personal experience, dealing with problem clients is absolute hell, and something you’ll want to avoid. Also, most service providers don’t have upsells or follow up products. For this reason service providers are advised to sell their services for as much money as possible.

HOW POLITICIANS CAN PERSUADE PEOPLE TO TAKE THE COVID-19 VACCINE

Why are people so resistant to taking the COVID-19 vaccine?

There are a number of reasons for this…

…but the biggest is the inconsistent messages put out by authorities.

You see, I recently read an extremely interesting thread on Twitter.

The person who wrote this thread claims to be involved in high level political messaging.

According to them * this * is what politicians need to do:

1. Stop using guilt

Understand that guilt will never makeanyone take the vaccine. This is because guilt only works when people buy into your premises and moral frameworks. In fact, if people think you’re using guilt as a persuasion tool their views will only harden.

2. Respect people

Normal people are concerned that power will be used against them. If there’s no respect they will expect these abuses of power and they will naturally distrust you. At this point they become impossible to persuade.

3. Understand your audience

The powers that be seem to believe that it’s enough to announce their credentials and expertise. Instead you need to understand your audience and validate their concerns.

4. Build trust

Remember, if people don’t trust you nothing matters. Without trust they see you the same way they see a used car salesman. In this case all of your persuasion attempts will only serve to increase their skepticism of vaccines.

5. Avoid contradictions

The governments messaging has been contradictory, inconsistent, and cynical. A good example of this is politicians who go to restaurants and hair salons without masks…while ordinary people stayed inside and had their businesses shut down.

6. Admit to mistakes

These contradictions are the biggest reason why people are so skeptical. Politicians need to admit this skepticism is somewhat justified. They also need to admit that many mistakes were made.  

These points can be combined into a message which reads something like this.   

“We are sorry. We blew it at the start when we said masks don’t help. It turns out they do. We blew it when we said closing the border was racist. It was actually a good idea. We blew it with the vaccine roll out. We didn’t explain it well…”

Once this is done we move onto the meat of the message…

“We have earned your scorn and distrust. That is our fault. As a gesture of good will, we will not force you to take it…”

Doing this takes abuse of power off the table.

It also opens people up to hearing you out.

Then…

“The vaccines work. They do have side effects, and sometimes they can be severe. I want to say that first, so that you know and can make an informed decision. It is important that you have all the information. Even the downsides…”

This section is powerful because you’re not “fact checking” them.

You’re not treating their concerns as trivial, or acting pretentious, or as if you are a holier-than-thou smarty pants. Nor are you placing yourself above them or condemning them. You’re telling them that they do have concerns that must be addressed.

Next…

“The severe side effects are rare. They exist, but no more than with the flu shot or the malaria vaccine. The vaccine makes most people immune to Covid. About 95% of people who get vaccinated never get Covid. Most vaccines are like this…”

“There is always a small group of vaccinated people who get sick anyway. However, it still means that once you take it you really lower your risk for Covid. There are exceptions, again 95% is not 100%, and there will still be people who get it and pass it on, but it really lowers your risk of getting sick.”

What’s great about this section is that you’re not overselling the vaccine’s effectiveness.

What’s more, you’re not threatening people with another lockdown.

Finally…

“The vaccine isn’t perfect, and will not make Covid go extinct. What it will do is lower the odds of people getting Covid, and if enough people do that we can make most of the Covid go away, and we can lower the risks of Covid for people…”

“Given how prevalent Covid is and that the severe vaccine side effects are no more common that with other vaccines, this is the best and safest way to protect yourself from Covid…”

Again, notice that you’re not talking down to people, threatening them, or shaming them.

This type of messaging can be effective, but only if it’s done consistently…

…and even then it will take time to work.

Feeling convinced?

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

THE SECRET TO WRITING “BULLET PROOF” COPY

In recent years Bullet Proof Coffee has grown into one of the most successful online brands.

A while back it was all you heard about.

In case you don’t know “Bullet Proof” coffee is basically regular coffee that contains added ingredients such as butter, coconut oil and other things. Supposedly, drinking this coffee gives you all sorts of wondrous benefits. These include rapid weight loss, increased stamina, and improved mental functioning.

Whether or not this is true who knows.

Some people swear by this drink while others think it’s a sham.

The point I’m trying to make is that there’s a lot you can learn from this company.

You see, many years ago I worked for a guy in the self-help business.

This person was mostly a snake oil salesman but one thing he told me made a huge impact.

(Actually this was taken from one of his seminars).

What this guy mentioned was that, “people want to be enhanced.”

This is an extremely good point when it comes to writing copy.

Most people want to upgrade their lives as if they’re playing a video game.

They want “cool” futuristic techniques for doing things.

Little known insider secrets that can be implemented with no extra effort…

…but which accelerate their progress at light speed.

You need to convey this feeling in your copy…especially in your bullet points.

Do this wherever you can.

Make it sound as if what you’re selling is the equivalent to rocket boots, a jet pack, or life extension technology.

Basically make it sound as cool and futuristic as possible.

In fact, you want to make it seem as if your product is almost magical…

This is the secret to writing bullet proof copy.

More tomorrow:

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

WHAT I LEARNT FROM GAME OF THRONES ABOUT GETTING MORE JOBS

Sean Bean is known for his work in historical dramas and fantasy films.

His most famous role was playing Lord Eddard Stark in the Game of Thrones series.

But here’s the thing:

If you followed his career you’ll know this wasn’t Sean’s first time playing this type of character.

Before that he was Odysseus in the movie Troy…

…and before that he was Boromir in the Lord of the Rings.

The point I’m trying to make is that in Hollywood one thing often leads to another.

Maybe you’ve also noticed this.

An actor will play a certain type of character and then pop up in similar movies or roles.

Copywriting is almost the same.

Clients often choose you based on previous work completed. For example, if the person is looking for copy for a yoga studio…and you provide similar work…well…you’re almost guaranteed to get the job.

This also relates to specializing.

Ultimately you want to specialize in a niche or industry and then get known for that.

If you can do this then your chances of getting those jobs are greatly increased.

In this way you can almost think of yourself as a type of character actor…

See you later.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

P.S. BTW, if you want to start writing for a certain niche or industry…and you don’t have samples…then realize there’s nothing stopping you from creating your own.

Let’s say you want to specialize in writing articles for the fitness niche. Don’t wait for people to give you work. Instead write 5-10 articles and then use these as samples when applying for jobs.

GOING DEEPER WITH MARKET RESEARCH

Want to generate a constant flow of new customers?

In order to do this you need to go deeper with market research.

You see, the starting point when acquiring new customers is to understand exactly who they are. When you do this it’s easy to tailor your marketing messages directly to them. The problem is that most business only do this on a surface level. They make the mistake of focusing on demographic data like gender, age, and location.

This is a huge mistake.

After all, just because you know someone’s age, doesn’t mean you actually know them.

You also have to realize that your competition has this exact same information.

So in order to stand out from the crowd you have to go deeper.

You have to understand your customers desires, fears, hopes, wishes, and dreams…

…and also how your audience thinks, feels, and acts.

The first step to doing this is to think about the keywords people are using to find your products.

Search for these keywords in forums, comment sections, reviews, and social media.

Look at the language your audience is using.

How do they describe their problems as well as your products and services?

Another great place to look is LinkedIn forums, Amazon reviews, and YouTube comments.

Go wherever your audience is hanging out and look at what they are saying and feeling.

What are they happy with?

What are they unhappy with?

Once you’ve done this organize your findings into what feelings are most dominant.

By doing this you’ll find the gaps or shortcomings in the products already out there.

This will also teach you how to tap into the hearts and minds of your audience and write winning copy.

You’ll be able to directly address your audiences wants, needs, and deepest desires…

Speak to them in the exact same language they use…

And enter the conversation they are having in their head…

Do this and your brand becomes highly influential.

Not only that, you’ll find a constant stream of new customers entering into your business.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton