Magazine article Marketing

Forget Awards: It's Only Results That Really Count

Magazine article Marketing

Forget Awards: It's Only Results That Really Count

Article excerpt

"Whenever three or more Americans get together they elect a president, a vice-president and a treasurer and start selling things to each other," is an amusing comment on national character. A good parallel is that in our business whenever more than three people get together, after much the same electoral process all concerned start dishing out awards to each other.

About ten years ago, I was always being invited to judge creative awards. Despite the limitless free drinks and exotic locations, I had to give up the filthy practice because it was driving me crazy. Nearly all the other judges a) had no creative experience, and b) didn't agree with my choices. The former, I decided, had a lot to do with the latter.

The silliest awards I know of are in the direct marketing industry. They're called The Caples Awards. To understand why they are so silly, you have to reflect upon one fact about direct marketing and know (a little about the man the awards are named after.

What distinguishes direct marketing communications from most other promotional messages is the emphasis on counting the results. And what distinguished the late John Caples was that apart from being a brilliant copy-writer for over 50 years he did more than anyone else to measure what works and what doesn't. He wrote excellent books on this, which I recommend to any poor souls who share my neurotic, even bizarre view that learning about what you are doing can help you succeed. …

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