This is a great piece of old marketing advice from a new media seminar. But this is also a stupid way to organise lunch.

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I attended a really useful marketing seminar the other week. It was held at The Grand Connaught Rooms in London.

The seminar was about how to use email effectively in your marketing mix. I got lots of interesting insights from an impressive group of marketing professionals. This included people such as Jurian Van Der Meer, MD of Endemol Games and Alan Bray, Head of Sales and Marketing at National Express c2c.

But the presenter I enjoyed hearing from the most was Simone Vincent, Digital Campaign Manager at British Gas. She was honest, interesting and pretty funny too. And Simone made one comment that really resonated with me. It was when she was comparing the ROI from one of her campaigns against another. By all accounts one was a spectacular flop whilst the other was a great success.

Her comment was this “When creating headlines and marketing messages remember that, even though you might be using new tools, always apply the old rules”

I think this is fantastic advice. Because humans don’t change. We are all looking for things that benefit us at a time which is most convenient. And of course that ‘benefit’ could be almost anything. From getting more time in our busy lives, less hassle, more money or just a feeling that we belong.

Most of the people that email me regularly don’t seem to apply this theory.

Because not only are most of the emails I receive irrelevant to me, the subject lines, or newspaper headlines if you’re thinking about it the ‘old way’, are terrible.

I always try to apply these ‘old rules’ in my copywriting. Don’t get me wrong I certainly don’t get it right all the time – in fact far from it. But at least I put thought and effort into my copywriting. And of course monitor my results. This is why I can state with total accuracy that my last three emails campaigns had open rates of 26.7%, 22% and 25.7%

Moving away from what I actually learnt from the event and onto my experience – things weren’t so good.

Don’t get me wrong, one of the event administrators was very helpful before, during and after the event. In fact she kindly drafted me a bespoke confirmation of attendance letter for my Chartered Institute of Marketing CPD hours. For which I am very grateful.

However I thought the lunch arrangements were awful. Picture this scene. Around 100 marketing people all eating their lunch from plates that were too small. But that wasn’t the main problem. The main problem was that there were no tables to put our plates on. So all of us had to stand, small plate in one hand, cutlery in the other, trying to eat, drink, talk and at the same time cut up moussaka!

I think the old rules should apply here too. And by old rules, I mean sitting at a table to eat.


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