Even Big Bird makes mistakes

Any thoughts about this email?

—Rose Simmons

The email you forwarded was well-designed, had a cohesive message, and was obviously targeted to a house mailing list. It appears to be part of a multi-segment campaign, with messaging that probably includes direct mail, events and other communications outlets.

However, I was troubled by the greeking. Greeking — also known as Lorem Ipsum — is dummy text mimicking everyday language patterns. It’s used by graphic designers to fill space until actual text can be written.

And as you probably noticed, the entire right hand column of the email was Lorem Ipsum. Somebody obviously goofed.

Developing successful marketing materials requires several integrated steps, including:

•Budgeting

•Strategy

•Design

•Layout

•Copywriting

•Production

•Distribution

•Fulfillment

•Results Analysis

Each stage involves multiple specialized skills. For instance, copywriting incorporates understanding strategy, audience and competing messages; conceptualizing; writing; editing; and proofreading. Ignore any segment and your overall efforts may fail.

And there’s the wrinkle. As marketing budgets tighten, there’s a temptation to have one person do what a team should be handling, potentially leading to insufficient results.

Even if the right person is on the job (but overworked or fatigued), mistakes may happen.

When my daughter was little she’d beat herself up for making mistakes. It took Big Bird’s observation that “Big people, small people, matter of fact, ALL people make mistakes” to help her relax.

In your own business efforts, consider adopting these philosophies:

1. Recognize that mistakes happen and somehow the world doesn’t blow up. The mighty Wall Street Journal has published errors, then later corrected them. Even I have sent out the occasional email with a goof in it. Somehow life goes on.

2. You’ll improve your chances of catching mistakes by having an extra set of eyes review your work before final production. Proofing your own work is probably inadequate; if you made the mistake once, you’ll probably make it again.

Finally, remember: Thomas Edison, asked if he felt like a failure for not getting light bulbs to work, replied, “I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.”

Like all smart people, he learned from his mistakes.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Let Mr. Marketing provide an extra set of eyes proofing your marketing materials. Reach him at www.askmrmarketing.com.

Related posts:

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  3. Ask Mr. Marketing: The devil is in the details
  4. Ask Mr. Marketing: Making video marketing work for you
  5. Ask Mr. Marketing: Why Coke still markets

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Apr 25 2014. Filed under Columnists, Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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