(Paid Advertising)

Liquid Paper – One Secretary’s Secret

Steve Semple
Steve Semple
October 30, 2023
Liquid Paper – One Secretary’s Secret

It was never intended to be an empire, she just wanted to make her work easier. Next thing you know, Gillette comes a knocking with a truck load of cash.

Dave Young:
Dave Young, alongside Stephen Semple here for the Empire Builders Podcast. And Stephen just whispered in my ear what our topic is for today’s podcast and for the life of me it’s gone now. I can’t, oh wait, it’s been corrected. And then he’s retyped over it. We’re going to talk about Liquid Paper today. See what I did there with that little joke about he typed it into my head and then-

Stephen Semple:
Wiped it out?

Dave Young:
Yeah. It was a very small-

Stephen Semple:
Except not wiped out, liquid paper.

Dave Young:
It was a very small joke. Yeah. So I did get asked the clarifying question. Are we talking about Liquid Paper or White Out? It’s not white. It’s the other brand. The other guys.

Stephen Semple:
Yeah. No, we’re talking about liquid paper.

Dave Young:
So I have to admit that I have read about this invention. I think it’s a fabulous story. I think it’s so cool.

Stephen Semple:
It was invented by a woman whose name is Betty Nesmith Graham. Bette Nesmith, later known as Bette Nesmith Graham. She was born in Dallas, Texas and she was not a chemist or an engineer. She was a single mom who was a secretary. She started the business in 1956 and in 1979, the business was sold for $47.5 million.

Dave Young:
47.5 In 1979.

Stephen Semple:
’79, 1979.

Dave Young:
That’s not a bad retirement. Are you going to dig into who her son is? Was?

Stephen Semple:
Absolutely. There’s a neat tie in there.

Dave Young:
Yeah. Her middle name is the key there, right? Tell us her name.

Stephen Semple:
Yeah, it is. Yeah. Bette Nesmith Graham.

Dave Young:
Nesmith Graham. Yeah.

Stephen Semple:
Yeah, Bette Nesmith. So Bette’s mother owned a knitting store and had taught her to paint along with doing other crafts. And her father was a manager in auto parts company. So she grew up in this very middle class family. And at 17 she dropped out of high school. She married a soldier, Warren and had a baby boy. And when Warren returned from World War II, they got divorced and Bette was left single to raise a child, which let’s face it, back in the fifties. That’s a tough gig.

So to make ends meet, she worked as a secretary at Texas Bank and Trust. And money was tight for her and her son, but she worked hard and she started as a typist and eventually she rose to being the executive secretary at the bank, which at the time, that was the highest job available to women at the bank. So she did very, very well. So while she was doing this job, IBM came out with a new line of electric typewriter. So remember the one that had the ball on it and it was faster and it used a carbon film ribbon.

Dave Young:
The Selectric, I actually have, oh my gosh, this is going to take me just a second, but bear with me, Stephen, because this is going to be worth it. It may not even be on my phone. If I choose an alarm, turn it on, go to the settings and choose the sound. You ready? You ready?

Stephen Semple:
Ready.

Dave Young:
This is part of their advertisement too. I have this one too.

There’s a better way to put words on paper.

Dave Young:
There’s a better way to put words on paper. And she figured out a better way to take them off.

Stephen Semple:
What she found was, so this electric typewriter was faster used carbon film ribbon, but there was some drawbacks. First of all, the keypad was a lot more sensitive, so more mistakes were happening.

Dave Young:
Oh yeah.

Stephen Semple:
And they were hard to correct because carbon could not be erased without smudges.

Dave Young:
Yeah. Did you ever type with one of those?

Stephen Semple:
Oh, I did actually. I learned how to type on one of those. Yeah.

Dave Young:
Those keys were so sensitive. Right. I would have-

Stephen Semple:
You’d breathe on it and it would-

Dave Young:
Just as I would get my hands down to the keys.

Stephen Semple:
So to make extra money, Bette had the side hustle where she painted window displays at the bank and she realized, and here’s the realization that she ha as an artist, you don’t correct mistakes by erasing, you paint over it.

Dave Young:
Ah, yeah.

Stephen Semple:
So she decided to take this approach to typing. And after work one day she went to the library to look up a recipe for tempera, which is an age-old water-based paint. And she whipped it up in the blender because it uses like egg whites and things like that. And she whipped it up in the blender and she poured it into an empty nail polish bottle and started to use it at work.

Dave Young:
Nice.

Stephen Semple:
For correcting mistakes. And she actually tried to keep it a secret. But word got out and other typists wanted to use it, so she started to sell it. So by 1957, she’s selling a hundred bottles a month, four or five bottles a day. And she ended up turning her garage into a little mini packing plant. She paid her son and friends a buck an hour to fill little glass bottles and put on a label. The first name she had for the product was Mistake Out.

Dave Young:
Mistake Out.

Stephen Semple:
That was the original name Mistake Out. And she realized at this point she had a business, but she needed to make the product more consistent. So she got help from her son’s chemistry teacher and an employee at a paint shop, and they kept tweaking the formula. And on weekends she started traveling around Texas pitching it to wholesalers. And she had almost no success with that.

They could not see the potential. And how often have we seen that with new products?

Dave Young:
When was the last time a wholesaler had to type up a memo?

Stephen Semple:
Well, there you go. Absolutely. And how often have we seen this with new products that they just can’t get their head around it? She decided she need to market it herself. And so she took out an advertisement in a national supply magazine, and she sold all 500 bottles that she had in stock. Sold all over the United States, including 400 bottles to GE. But here’s where things get interesting. So one day she’s busy at work at the bank, and she accidentally signs off a letter, the Mistake Out company.

Dave Young:
From the bank?

Stephen Semple:
From the bank. She was fired. They found out she had this gig and she was fired. But it turned out to be a great thing. Turned out to be a great thing. And I don’t know where the origin of the name change happened, but in 1958, she realized Mistake Out was the wrong name, and she changed the name to Liquid Paper and filed for a patent.

And I really wish I could have found where the origin of the Liquid Paper name was, but I was unable to come across that. She continued to get help. She enlisted Bill Mero to further refine the product. And Bill Mero was credited with not only perfecting Liquid Paper, but he also invented things like clumping cat litter. And he worked on space shuttle heat tiles and developed a way to artificially age scotch. That’s where you might have come across his name.

Dave Young:
Really? A Renaissance man, a modern day Da Vinci kind of guy.

Stephen Semple:
Yeah. Improved the rubber skin on robots at Disney World. Did a bunch of things. So he worked with Bette to improve the formula, and by 1964, they’re selling 5,000 bottles a week. And by 1967, they’re doing a million bucks in sales. And she worked hard to promote the product. She advertised on Tonight Show in Glamour Magazines Fortune Magazine. By 1975, she’s has to move to a bigger facility. She moved into a 35,000 square foot automated facility that was making 25 million bottles a year. 1979, guess who came along the buy them in 1979 for 47.5 Million? Gillette.

Dave Young:
Gillette. That’s not who I was thinking it would probably have been.

Stephen Semple:
Gillette. And sadly, six months after selling the business, she died of a stroke. But the company was very progressive. It had onsite daycare facilities. So think about this, in the sixties and seventies, onsite daycare facilities, an employee-owned credit union, there was wheelchair access, there was tuition reimbursements. They had a racially integrated staff and in Texas recognized affirmative action policies.

Dave Young:
This is a business started by a single mom.

Stephen Semple:
Right.

Dave Young:
Right. No venture capitalist tech bro is going to do those things.

Stephen Semple:
No.

Dave Young:
Especially in the sixties, seventies.

Stephen Semple:
Exactly.

Dave Young:
Yeah. I mean, that’s man, groundbreaking.

Stephen Semple:
And one of the things that she did is she made sure her son was taken care of because not only was there the wealth that she had built in the business, but he also got an ongoing royalty for the sale of Liquid Paper. And you know what? He went on to become a pretty well known little dude himself.

Dave Young:
Now, she might have helped give him a leg up, but he ended up doing okay for himself, right?

Stephen Semple:
He sure did. Because if anyone has listened to episode 88, we talk about Michael Nesmith. He was a member of The Monkeys and the guy who came up with the idea for MTV.

Dave Young:
Okay. Yeah. I’m a huge fan of Michael Nesmith and his mother as well. What a cool story. To me. One of the lessons here, we talk about this a lot with clients and in our Wizard of Ads world, it’s a technique called business problem topology mapping, problem topology. And so basically, you look at the problem at hand and you look for ways that same problem has been solved in other industries, in other categories. And the fact that she was an artist doing signs on windows and painting over mistakes is the only thing that led her to coming up with paint to paint over mistakes in typing. Because that problem had been solved by window artists, right? We don’t scrape it off and start over. We paint over.

Stephen Semple:
And even the first iteration was an old style of paint that she went and researched, and that’s where she started.

Dave Young:
You could even say that using nail polish bottles, right? Because it easily could have been, oh, well, you have a little jar sitting on your desk and a paintbrush. This stuff dries just like nail polish, so you’ve got to keep the lid on and you got to keep it tight. And it’s actually the same size bottle. So the same problem that was solved in nail polish.

Stephen Semple:
And I had not even thought about that. The lesson I had down here was she knew from painting and being an artist, she took that idea and applied it, which was don’t erase the mistake, paint over it. But man, I did not even think about who else has learned how to apply this type of thing in a small manner, which actually her customer would be used to, which was the nail polish bottles. That’s brilliant. I did not even connect that. It’s the thing she had around and had handy.

Dave Young:
Yeah, no doubt had nail polish bottles sitting around. I hate making not a sexist comparison here, but the fact that all of the people doing all of the typing in the 1950s and sixties were women and expected to maintain their femininity and have good-looking nails, and all of the things that led up to this are things that made not only this product perfect for her, but perfect for her intended audience. They’re just naturally going to love it because it’s going to save them time. They already understand how to use it.

Stephen Semple:
No instructions required. Now, the other part that I also really admired is that when she went to wholesalers and they resisted, she realized, well, what I’ve got to do is just go straight to the customer. And so she advertised straight to the customer. And we’ve seen that on lots of other of these podcasts where a new product comes out and the existing industry doesn’t understand it doesn’t get behind it. And all of a sudden when you go straight to the consumer, straight to the end user, they’re like, oh my God, this is amazing.

And often when I meet with businesses that are fairly new businesses or startups, they’re hoping their whole distribution strategy is, I’m going to get it in the Walmart, or I’m getting it into Costco. And really, a lot of the times your best strategy is, especially if it’s a new, innovative product, you got to go around all those things and go straight to the customer,

Dave Young:
Get it into the hands of consumers, and they’re going to walk into a store. These women are going to walk into a office supply store and say, I want some of that Liquid Paper. And the guy’s going to be like, what? Liquid Paper you paint it on the page after you make a typo. That store owner’s going to contact the distributor and go, why don’t we have this?

Stephen Semple:
Exactly. Exactly.

Dave Young:
Oh, well, she was in here six months ago, tried to hawk it to us. No. So you get it in the hands of the consumer, they’re going to demand it from their suppliers, and if they don’t, you can sell around them.

Stephen Semple:
Exactly right. So there was a number of things that I really admire in terms of what she did, and it was a great story. And she raised a pretty amazing son as well.

Dave Young:
Thanks Stephen. That was a fun one. Thanks for listening to the podcast. Please share us, subscribe on your favorite podcast app and leave us a big fat juicy five star rating and review. And if you have any questions about this or any other podcast episode,

To learn more about how we can help you, book a call with Ryan Chute of Wizard of Ads™ today.

(Brand Storytelling)
(Commercial Ads)
(Online)
Steve Semple
Steve Semple

Stephen always sees the world through the eyes of your customers. His Four Strategic Marketing Decisions give you a lens to filter all marketing opportunities. Stephen's articles highlight the impact of marketing on your Home Service business.

Share this:
subscribe for free stuff

Secret Formulas Periodical.

Rare, bizarre, and unexpected tools, tactics, and techniques for profitable persuasion beamed directly to your pocket periodically, without warning.

(No spam. No strings.
Let's grow your business.)
Frequently asked questions

Questions? We’ve got answers.

Who does the Wizard of Ads® for Services work with?

Wizard of Ads® for Services work with healthy and growing businesses hungry to grow by multiples, like you.

You are ready, willing, and able to grow your business. You are open to change and are seeking a distinctive angle of approach to gain the time and attention of a too-busy public.

You know that lasting relationships take time, patience, and good energy to nurture and cultivate. We carefully enter into every arrangement with the intention of working with you for as long as you own your business. You prefer lasting partnerships.

You are already a solid operator. You have successfully grown your business and appreciate the impact the right brand story will have to get to the next level in your operation. You know a strong relational message takes time to gain momentum, but it’s worth the one-time short-term discomfort for the long-term gains.

Marketing cannot fix a failing business.

We accelerate what’s already happening in a business. If your business is on the rocks, marketing will only speed up the inevitable.  

You’re focused on lasting change that leads to exponential, profitable growth, not just sales at any cost. Intuitively, you know that communication that enhances every element of your customer's experience and your employee's culture is the key to your success.

Our advertising model works best for services who have a long purchase cycle and sell a more expensive product like jewelry, furniture, luxury products, and automotive.

How does the Wizard of Ads® for Services charge?

Traditional full service marketing agencies are designed to capture the greatest amount of revenue from a client, regardless of results. Every last item is billed and expensed to the client. Typical agency fees can represent a whopping 55% of the entire advertising budget. That means a $5 million dollar advertising budget, you would spend $2.75 million on agency fees.

Think of Wizard of Ads® for Services as the Anti-Agency.

Our income is not tied to your advertising budget. Our income is exclusively tied to your growth. Our goal is to maximize your advertising impact with the lowest reasonable spend. This allows you to spend only what is necessary or to put extra horsepower into aggressively growing in your market.

The genius of this model is that it perfectly aligns our motivations as true partners for exponential profitable growth without the pain of being unaffordable. Ultimately, we are confident in taking the risk of being underpaid in the first few years because we know the results always speak for themselves.

Next, we do not accept commissions, referral fees, kickbacks, or other compensation from any service providers we recommend or engage for production work. Most agencies do. This includes the 15% agency commission for media buying. This approach is considerably different from the compensation plan employed by most advertising agencies, as it eliminates any potential conflicts of interest and allows us to focus our entire attention on helping you grow your business profitably as a true partner. For example, a $500,000 annual media buy would involve a $75,000 commission that we would have removed directly from your media providers' invoices.

This is the perfect pricing model for services who sell goods with a long purchase cycle.

By tying ourselves to gross revenue, we only have one motivation. Your motivation. We have no motivation to convince you to spend more money on marketing than what is necessary, and since we are a variable expense to sales, we NEVER become too expensive to have us on your team.

In almost every case, we end up lowering the amount of money you spend. We will stay within your planned marketing budget, including your media spend, production, and our Annual Fee. Add on the fact that you get any and all commissions back for media buys and various services provided by outside providers, and you will actually save money having us on your team.

Don’t forget, we have the largest buying power in North America for media buying, meaning for every dollar you spend buying media, we only spend 27 cents on average. This stretches your reach, impact, and frequency in a way no other agency (or yourself) can achieve on your own, saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars, eventually millions, every single year.

Clients who heed our advice and embrace our Marketing Strategy quickly add $1 million in incremental revenue to their business, making your investment a smart bet and a bit of a no-brainer.  

There is no longer any guesswork, hope, or fear that our marketing strategies are going to work. If our client’s are able to abandon any limiting beliefs about marketing, deliver operational excellence, and play the long game, our marketing strategy will accelerate their profitable growth.

Wizard of Ads® for Services pricing model is based solely on the top line revenue of your company. It consists of an Upfront Fee and an Annual Fee. These fees are inclusive of scheduled travel, services, and all other expenditures as outlined in the Consulting Agreement.

The Upfront Fee covers the intensive Uncovery Process, the first year’s Media Buy, the Creative Process, and the Market Research while the Annual Fee goes toward implementation, ongoing creative and consulting, and next year's media buy. You get a team of 3.5 people, with direct access to a top tier Creative Lead and Media Buyer, and on-demand access to me as your Master Strategist. You will also have a full-time Account Manager keeping everything on track.

While the upfront does have an initial pinch, it is easy to amortize the investment over the many years we will be working together to grow your business. Wizard of Ads® retain clients for 10 years, on average. The sale of the business is the number one reason for termination. We actively terminate the bottom 1% of clients who are unwilling or unable to follow our strategies.

Wizard of Ads® for Services believes that all rewards should be directly correlated to the success of our clients. This means that the Wizard of Ads® for Services only receives a raise when the company achieves growth. For example, if your gross sales for the year have increased by 25%, the Annual Fee you pay us in the following year will also be increased by 25%. Likewise, if your gross sales decrease, our Annual Fee will decrease by the same percentage during the following year.

This is an exceptionally easy and fair way to track and reward success. This model was developed by Wizard of Ads® over 35 years ago and has served us well because it serves our clients well.

As a rule of thumb, we take the risk of working for considerably less than our actual value in the first few years as we help accelerate growth. This means you need to be willing to pay us exceptionally well when you start doing even better.

When should I engage The Wizard of Ads® for Services?

There are four key revenue stages for engagement with the Wizard of Ads® for Services.

  1. Under $3.6 million in revenue
  2. Between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue
  3. Between $10 and $20 million in revenue
  4. Over $20 million in revenue

Under $3.6 million in revenue is an investment in your brand. This will serve you well in establishing your brand story early on and help you with your name, logo, and truck wrap design. It's easier to create pictures from a story than it is to make a story based on pre-drawn pictures. You'll be glad you did. Everyone on a fast path to growth is.

Most clients start with Wizard of Ads® for Services between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue. They have often seen a natural ceiling with their leads for demand service and are looking for ways to push past the ceiling. This can only be done with a properly executed brand strategy, specifically in mass media with a sticky story.

Between $10 and $20 million in revenue, Wizard of Ads® for Services has some natural economies of scale. This is a sweet spot where Wizard of Ads® for Services can offer some added value in getting the ball rolling.

Over $20 million in revenue is actually the lowest cost point of entry as a percentage of revenue, but not the cheapest time to start with the Wizard of Ads® for Services. Leveraging all economies of scale aside, we have been left out of the upside along the way, so engaging when over $20 million in revenue means we have to mend a lot of fences damaged along the way. This is also where clients see significant savings in their media buys and production costs.

There are also three market sizes to consider.

  • Primary Markets are the top 50 cities in America.
  • Secondary Markets are the smaller cities in America.
  • Tertiary Markets are the more rural trade areas in America.

When considering an engagement with The Wizard of Ads® for Services, consider what size market you are in. For example, a $3.6 million company in a Primary Market will struggle to get the necessary reach needed to make a splash. You either have to be more patient than a larger company or spend more money to accelerate your reach.

Alternatively, a $5 million company in a Secondary Market will look like a pretty darn big fish in a medium-sized pond.

A $20 Million company in a Primary Market will feel like a $50 million company using our strategies to potential customers.

The key to remember is that the earlier you start with the Wizard of Ads® for Services, the lower the investment to get started. As they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

Are production costs included in your fees?

Offline, the Wizard of Ads® for Services Creative Lead will create the ad copy, cast the voice actors, source the production house, direct the performance, pick the music bed, manage all the edits, and provide you with the completed ad for final approval before sending to air on your behalf. This is included in our fees.

You pay for the production house, actors, royalty-free music, and jingles directly to avoid any potential for markups, commissions, or management fees.

We have many friends in the industry that give our clients good deals due to the large volume of work we provide them. We will introduce you to them.

Online, the Wizard of Ads® for Services Digital Lead will either coordinate production in-house or work with your preferred digital vendors. The scope of work will be determined and fees will reflect the scope of work to be done.

How long before a brand-forward strategy starts working?

In approximately three months of activation, we’ll just be getting live on air. In six months (3 months on air), you’ll be getting anecdotal feedback from people that you are being heard, but there will be no direct line to revenue.

After 6 months on the air, you’ll think you made the biggest mistake of your life signing up for this branding nonsense. After 9 months on the air (12 months in) you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

At 12 full months on the air, you’ll know why you did this branding thing. Two years from now, we'll be clinking champagne flutes as you wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

How long before we’re live?

The general guideline is 70-120 days, depending on the level of production needed and if there is a name change to your business.

This includes an onsite visit, a deep dive into research, and getting things created, negotiated, approved, produced, and live on the air.

  • Uncovery - 15-30 days based on travel. 1-2 days onsite.
  • Research - 30-60 days based on the scope of work.
  • Creative and Media Buy Process - 45 to 60 days
  • Offline Production - 15 days for radio. 30 - 60 days for television.
  • Online Production (if switching) - 60 days

This means planning for roughly 90 to 120 days in the proper development and production of a completely unique Marketing Strategy before anything hits the airwaves.

Are you exclusive?

Creatively, yes. During the term of this Agreement, all Creative Partners assigned to your Account shall not engage, directly or indirectly, as an employee, officer, manager, partner, consultant, agent, owner, or in any other capacity, in any competition of the client, including any company engaged in marketing consulting.

For clarity, the Creative Partner is defined as the individual Wizard of Ads® Partners who is responsible for creating your creative strategy and ongoing creative copy. Competition is defined as companies that engage in the same industry and business units (e.g., Furniture, Automotive, etc.) as you. The market area is defined as the area where the marketing message naturally reaches through DMA or 60 miles from the city center of the client's service area(s).

Naturally, we exclude any potential future competition in markets where you are not currently active at the date of signing.

We do not limit Media Buyers in any market. Media Buyers get better deals for larger volumes, making it beneficial for the client to have the Media Buyer available to do as many buys as possible to secure the best deals on the client’s behalf.

Do you do digital marketing?

Wizard of Ads® for Services can provide a host of digital marketing solutions for services. Wizard of Ads® has specialized Partners that provide digital services that serve services effectively. Under no circumstances will digital marketing services be offered without Wizard of Ads® for Services core solution.

It is most likely that Wizard of Ads® for Services will work with your existing digital partners and suppliers. If you do not have a reliable digital provider, we would be happy to introduce you to a number of great providers that play nice with Wizards.

Do you do jingles?

Wizard of Ads® for Services can assist you in getting a jingle for your business. Like any other tactical element of a marketing strategy, we do not produce a jingle for the sake of a jingle.

If you do not have a story or a strategic reason to have a jingle...or an ad campaign to tie it to, do not waste your hard-earned money on a jingle. You are wasting your time and money.

When you do build a single unified marketing strategy that incorporates a jingle for a specific (often scientific) reason, we have a Jingle Wizard who has studied the art and science of jingle design.

He will score you an original, royalty-free jingle, including professional singers, musicians, and producers. He will not knock off a generic jingle from a publicly available music bed that sounds like everyone else's jingle.

Your jingle will serve a very specific reason and produce a very specific result. Have you guessed how much we love jingles yet?

Who owns the copyrights?

Wizard of Ads® for Services owns copyrights for two very specific reasons. We also provide a fair use clause in all contracts to ensure you are in no way limited to the access of your creative works, whether you are working with us or not.

The first reason we own your copyright is to ensure that we do not have to go up against our own creative works in other markets we serve. This means you are not allowed to lend, give, borrow, tweak, rent, lease, or sell your creative works to any other company at any time.

The second reason we own your copyright is that we can establish a one-time value for your creative works in the event that someone steals the content. Upon selling you the copyrights, you can go after the perpetrator for theft and make a considerable bounty in a slam dunk case.

Here is how Wizard of Ads® word the fair use of your copyright for as long as your business is in operation:

All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. Wizard of Ads® for Services hereby irrevocably grants you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
How do I measure brand results?

There are a number of interesting ways to measure results. Some people like to get unique identifying telephone numbers, or create branded URLs that redirect to landing pages or the website. However, much of this is a waste of time and energy as it never tells the true story of the brand journey and how it affected the decision-making process.

Other indicators of brand effectiveness include tracking new customers, reactivated customers, or running a brand equity survey to get a sense of your share of mind. Digitally you will see direct search increase, which cannot be affected by anything digital, as well as branded keyword inquiries increase. You’ll, of course, need to get your digital people to add these to your campaigns if you hope to see an increase in conversions.

Wizard of Ads® for Services racks the simplest of indicators. Top line revenue. When your branding takes effect, and the company responds in kind from the phone call or form fill-on, top-line revenue will increase. Efficacy is plotted on a T12, and total lead volume from all sources is tracked.

12 things you should know before signing up.
  1. Quality relationships take time. Branding is a long-term strategy. That’s why most services do it wrong, or not at all. There is always a lag between the start of the new campaign and the time it takes your customers to connect the dots. You MUST BE READY, WILLING, AND ABLE to endure this lag period. In our experience, the lag is typically 6 to 9 months, depending on how competitive the marketplace is, your company’s reputation, your budget in relation to reach, and the eight uncontrollable environmental factors. During this time, we will be helping you implement a transition plan to ease the pain. The good news is that this lag only happens once.
  2. Decisions by Committee. We completely reject the notion of decisions by committee. We work with a single, courageous decision-maker. We welcome decision influencers, but we only look to the Owner for the final decision. All decision-makers and influencers must be involved in the Uncovery and Marketing Strategy Presentation if they want to offer input in the future. It is critical that we have a 100% fully approved plan that can be defended and championed by all leaders in the organization.  
  3. Proven Strategy. That means we are not the low-cost provider. With hundreds of service clients and a playbook of strategic devices, tools, and tactics, this isn’t a guessing game for us. We know what to do to make your goods and services appealing to potential buyers. If you can deliver the goods, we can  build the relationships. If you are uncomfortable with the idea that you are paying us less now so that you can pay us considerably more once revenues allow, please do not commit. We intend to be your true partners, in sickness and in health...so long as you own your business.
  4. Automatic Payments. Everything is on automatic payments. If you struggle with managing cash flow, figure that out in your business first. We accept all major credit cards and ACH payments.
  5. We Cause Problems. If you don’t have a capacity issue now, I promise you will in about 9 months. Let’s deal with recruitment out of the gate as part of your comprehensive marketing strategy.
  6. We Own the Copyrights. All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. We irrevocably grant you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
  7. Brand Building. We will be steering you to limit the use of discounts, rebates, coupons, and sales to attract clients. We know this feels counterintuitive to many, and we will clarify our reasoning. Rest assured, we have considerable experience in creating similar offers that are not damaging to your profitability, your brand’s integrity, and your preferable long-term client relations.
  8. Creative Authority. We must have creative authority over the words. You can accept copy as written or reject it outright, but you cannot modify the words yourself. If you do not like something as written, we are happy to discuss it and make the necessary change to maintain the integrity and intention of the words chosen. Alternatively, we will scrap the concept and create new copy that you are happy to get behind 100%.
  9. Proprietary Algorithm. The media buy must be structured in a very specific way, including running a full 52-week schedule. It is based on brain chemistry, not P&Ls. Once we have committed to the buy, it’s important to avoid adjustments unless they are calculated additions.
  10. Knucklehead Factor. You should expect knuckleheads. For example, when you start running ads that are certain to get attention, you need the courage to continue running those ads, even when you receive complaints. We celebrate complaints. It means we’ve made people feel.
  11. Digital Weasels. In about three months from the time your advertising campaign hits the airways, your digital marketers will show you a marked increase in direct and organic traffic. Some Digital Marketers will mistakenly claim this success as their own. Done properly, you can continue to spend less and less on digital lead generation by increasing your branded keyword online presence.
  12. Annual Marketing Meetings. Travel permitting, we prefer to hold Annual Marketing Meetings (AMMs) outside your city. Years of experience have taught us that we get better results when decision-makers are outside their sphere of influence, away from the day-to-day distractions of the office.

Ready to transform your world?

(do it - you
deserve this)