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Hot Shots - Firey Little Rants On Marketing

Big brands and marketing experts make mistakes constantly. Millions are spent on lousy advertising ideas. Experts tell you branding isn’t for you. Hot Shots is here to have a few laughs at their expense, and reveal profitable marketing secrets in the process.
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Now displaying: Category: business
Aug 15, 2017

Without an open and coherent line of communication between the people running a business, and between them and the employees, much is lost--and it can end up making people look silly. It can also cost money. 

Aug 7, 2017

When your brand is authentic and you're committed, you will win--despite occasionally being confronted by other, disagreeable, personal brands. Stick to your guns--and to your beverages--and you will win. 

Jul 31, 2017

All across the heartland of this great nation are hilarious examples of bad advertising--and one in particular has not only hit us on the funny bone, but serves as an object lesson in how to write better, more profitable (one hopes) ad copy. 

Jul 25, 2017

There are plenty of folks who will argue that to be competitive requires having merely a better product and an intellectual justification for the benefits. They are wrong, and this particular business category illustrates the power of emotional branding run amok--and making money. 

Jul 17, 2017

A recent solicitation by an internet radio provider was supposed to tell me four essential truths about advertising with internet audio. What it actually revealed was partial truth combined with possible ignorance. Technology changes. People remain the same. And to ignore the truths of history that continue to rule, you are making it harder to reach your customer and easier to waste money.

Jul 10, 2017

Can you really become big enough as a small brand to inspire an attack from the big brands in your category? This object lesson in how a small brand looks and feels answers the question definitively: yes you can. 

Jul 3, 2017

Rebellion, dissension and non-conformity. Is it hard to imagine these qualities coming to the US from a British invader in a three-piece suit? On this Independence Day, we celebrate an independent-thinking British iconoclast who changed American advertising for the better--and influenced the way we all do business and make money. 

Jun 26, 2017

The advertising awards handed out at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity do not represent what small businesses can do with their miniscule advertising budgets--or do they? Can you really learn something from a big advertising case study for a small country that generated millions of dollars in free advertising with zero media budget?

Jun 19, 2017

The Most Interesting Man In The World is an example of an advertising campaign that has been made more successful without being made as interesting--and also serves as a decent study for the small business owner who needs to understand: profit isn't about pleasing a mass of people, but a single-well-defined core customer. 

Jun 12, 2017

Whether you're writing your own copy or someone's writing it for you, it's possible the copy is costing you money--by being incomplete. What are the words? What are they saying? What do they mean? And can you make them better--and more profitable? 

Jun 6, 2017

What works better and is more profitable for your business? No brand, or the wrong brand? Interestingly, there's an example of the different ways this can go out on the interstate highways of the Western United States...

May 28, 2017

A brand always has internal problems. It's how they deal with those problems in relation to the customer that determines success. And if that problem is made the customer's problem, there's a good chance that it will lose a potentially longterm customer. 

May 22, 2017

Advertising existentialism? Really? Isn't that equal parts highbrow and stupid? No. Because if you understand the need for meaning, it prevents you from creating meaningless advertising. Understanding the need for a message helps your advertising matter--and helps you bring customers to your business. 

May 15, 2017

What will happen when Slow Burn marketing appears live and presents a new brand to 45 employees--changing the business's name and giving it a newly defined mission after 38 years? The results might surprise you. 

May 8, 2017

There may be no better category whose branding and advertising better shows us how to NOT brand and advertise than this one. Blather and ad-speak abound. But it's really not that hard for a small business to do it well--and we see an easy-to-understand example of how it can be done easily and simply with little effort. 

May 2, 2017

The Pepsi Cola and Kendall Jenner fiasco has been dramatically upstaged by Heineken's "Worlds Apart" video, where strangers with opposing world views are forced to cooperate and have a conversation. So, what does this big-brand throw-down have to offer the small-business marketer? Quite a lot actually--especially when it comes to cashing in on emotional content. 

Apr 24, 2017

Huge amounts of time, money and hot air are wasted on the notion of being a disruptive brand. Here now, we explain  how that makes no sense. Disruption is really just a repackaging of an old-fashioned, easy-to-understand quality that can make a smart business owner enormously wealthy. 

Apr 17, 2017

What is the deal with a brand that is unapproachable, that subjects the customer to mockery, that causes pain both physical and psychic, bleeding and blisters, and is intensely sought after and highly selective? Here you are: this is the Barkley...

Apr 9, 2017

We continue with the idea of overnight success as a sexy, internationally known cult brand. Is that even possible? Yes it is--if you're prepared to spend several years working your butt off. But this couple is following a dream, making stuff happen--and has climbed to #1 in their niche out of more than 200 similar businesses rated on a major social media site. Big-brand thinking for small-business marketing, indeed. 

Apr 4, 2017

Overnight success as a sexy, internationally known cult brand? is that even possible? Yes it is--if you're prepared to spend several years working your butt off. But this couple is following a dream, making stuff happen--and has climbed to #1 in their niche out of more than 200 similar businesses rated on a major social media site. Big-brand thinking for small-business marketing, indeed. 

Mar 20, 2017

Ask the internet. They'll tell ya, right? Crowd sourcing, focus grouping, asking ANYONE'S opinion without judiciously picking your subjects, and you will find a special kind of hellacious mayhem penetrates your branding and marketing. 

Mar 13, 2017

Accidentally tuning into a Hot AC station left me listening to some whole new advertising--and providing a profitable lesson in branding and advertising for the small-business owner, especially if you're a dentist or oral surgeon. It also provides a valuable lesson in how your branding and subsequent Google ads might not be stacking up against the competition. 

Mar 7, 2017

Is it really possible for a multi-billion-dollar business's multi-million-dollar TV sponsorship to serve as an object lesson for the small-business marketer? Why, yes. Yes it is. And here's how Hollywood helps us see the limelight. 

Feb 27, 2017

Shorter, longer, better, worser, richer...what the heck? Mayhem! An authority is saying it's time to make audio advertisements shorter. We propose something much more radical: make them better. But will that ever happen? Is the market even capable of making that happen? 

Feb 19, 2017

In a vast field of high-priced, one-time, 5-million-dollar stunt spots, the Super Bowl commercials handed to us by one particular, multi-billion-dollar advertiser serve as a shining example of how to create a campaign that is relevant, cost-effective, and scalable for even the smallest small-business owner. 

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