(Marketing Strategy)

Predictability: The Silent Assassin of Storytelling?

Looking to enhance your marketing campaigns through storytelling? Check out this article by Wizard of Ads® for tips on avoiding predictability in advertising.

Ryan Chute
Ryan Chute
February 8, 2023
Predictability: The Silent Assassin of Storytelling?

Have you ever watched a movie or read a book to discover that you already knew what would happen? That you could guess the plot before it even started unfolding?

Ironically, predictability is far too common in storytelling and even worse in advertising.

A story that has no intrigue or excitement leaves the audience with an unfulfilling experience. It’s a story that is quickly forgotten.

So why do so many stories fall victim to predictability?

The answer may lie in the writer’s desire to craft a ‘safe’ narrative. After all, we all love stories where the guy gets the girl, or the hero defeats the villain.

These stories, however, need more depth and complexity, with unexpected twists and nuanced characters. They need the courage to take the risks necessary to create something truly memorable.

Maybe the guy doesn’t get the girl because she ends up with someone else, or they both end up alone. 

Maybe the hero turns into the villain.

People love a mystery, a twist, an unexpected surprise. But they also want the story to reconcile by the end. 

Let's break down the four basic steps in every good story.

The Good, the Bad, and Brilliant Story Tellers

When it comes to crafting a good story, there are a few key elements that must be present:

1. Create a character people like, believe in and can relate to.

2. Launch that character on a journey.

3. Do terrible things to that character.

4. Surprise your reader/listener/viewer with what happens next.

Unfortunately, many authors can execute steps one and two but falter at steps three and four. To become a good, or even brilliant, storyteller, you must complete all four steps.

The key to succeeding at steps three and four is to be creative, imaginative, and unpredictable. As a storyteller, you must think of ways to shock and awe your audience. You must surprise people with your story, or they will lose interest.

This unexpectedness can come from plot twists, unexpected character interactions, unusual scenes, and even surprising story endings.

While crafting these components, however, it must make sense. A brand story must be more realistic and logical for your audience to remain engaged. Instead, you must find the perfect balance between unexpected and plausible to keep people hooked.

If you can create a story that is both unexpected and logical, your audience will eagerly await the next chapter.

At Wizard of Ads®, we understand the power of surprise and the importance of making sure that it remains believable. That’s why we use story-based marketing techniques to keep your target audience enthralled to the very end.

From creative copywriting to engaging visuals, we ensure that every element is carefully crafted to deliver the maximum impact.

Story-based marketing can provide a robust foundation for long-term customer loyalty. Creating an ongoing narrative and engaging your customers in a story can keep them coming back for more.

So, are you ready to take your marketing to the next level?

Book a call with us to learn more about our story-based marketing approach. 

Predictability Is the Silent Assassin of Storytelling

Every good story begins with a statement that triggers more questions than answers.

This unexpected element—this twist and that turn—keeps readers, listeners, and viewers entranced. Our authenticity is compromised when we provide too much information upfront or tell a predictable story.

Ocean's Eleven, one of the most famous heist films, is an excellent example of how to avoid predictability in storytelling. Here is a swift line of dialogue from the movie:

“I’d say you’re looking at a Boesky, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros, and a Leon Spinks. Not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever.”

While this may seem like an unrelated and strange string of references, I was intrigued. This line alone sums up the entire plot.

Let's break it down, shall we?

A Boesky is a reference to the stock trader Ivan Boesky, convicted in 1986 of insider trading.

Jim Brown is a reference to the NFL running back.

Miss Daisy refers to a character from Driving Miss Daisy who uses a chauffeur to drive her around.

Two Jethros is a reference to Jethro Bodine from The Beverly Hillbillies.

Leon Spinks refers to the Olympic gold medal boxer who unexpectedly beat Muhammad Ali in a Las Vegas prize fight.

Finally, Ella Fitzgerald is a reference to the iconic jazz singer who shatters a wine glass in a television ad.

Using these references together, Ocean's Eleven successfully provokes the audience to consider the film's implications.

And while we may not all be as talented as writers Steven Soderbergh and Ted Griffin, their storytelling can inspire us.

“Once Upon a Time…”

So, how do we use this technique to tell our own stories?

For example, think about a few of the most remarkable jobs you’ve done if you own a home service business. How did you help them? Who did you serve? What did you do?

Now that you have the details, make it fiction.

That's right, even if it happened in real life, change the names, locations, whatever you need to.

Why?

Once upon a time, 87-year-old author William Lederer said, "The public is more willing to believe fiction than non-fiction."

The Ugly American, the famous 1958 novel he wrote alongside Eugene Burdick, was based on real events. It wasn't until James Michener, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, told Lederer to fictionalize the story that it became a hit.

The Ugly American stayed on the New York Times list for 78 weeks. It also inspired what we know today at the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Service Institute.

So what can we learn from Lederer's success?

  1. Fiction allows us to introduce characters and tell stories that can be more engaging than facts. When we create stories—whether for marketing or teaching—we give our audience something to connect emotionally. And when our content evokes an emotional response, it sticks in the minds of those who experience it.
  1. Just because it's "fiction" doesn't mean it can't inspire real-life action.

How Microsoft Tells Their Story? -  according to Steve Clayton

Unlike Lederer, Microsoft doesn't use fiction to tell its story. Instead, it focuses on creating content that tells an inspiring story of progress and growth.

An example is Microsoft's “Microsoft by the Numbers” and the story of 88 Acres.

88 Acres, written by Jennifer Warnick, describes the evolution of Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Washington. It tells the story of Microsoft’s journey from its start in 1975 to becoming an innovative global leader.

The story was published off-the-radar without any amplification from within the company. That was until Jennifer's story received correspondence from multiple corporations the following morning. A variety of organizations and storytellers alike has since recognized 88 Acres. In fact, many corporations offered to purchase the technology, or some variation of the 88 acres, for their own use.

But what was their secret to storytelling success?

Microsoft’s Chief Storyteller, Steve Clayton, may have an answer.

The 5Ps of Storytelling

Over time, Microsoft has developed a framework for successful storytelling.

Derived from their company values, they identified the 5Ps of storytelling: People, place, pictures, platform, and personal.

1. “People”

People are the heart and soul of any story, and Microsoft’s audience is no exception. When telling a story, Microsoft always starts with the people they have helped. This is beautifully showcased in Project Emma, where Microsoft's Haiyan Zhang creates a watch to assist people with Parkinson's Disease.

Clayton emphasizes that every story should start and end with the people who benefit from Microsoft’s work. The campaign should focus on how the product will help people and make their lives easier.

Discuss why you are telling the story; who will be impacted and how?

The story can be truly compelling by understanding the impact of the product/service and how it helps people.

2. “Place”

Like any good story, you must create a deep connection between the reader and the environment.

What is the setting? What are the locations? Where did you bring people together?

By describing the setting, the reader can imagine themselves in the story. As a result, it helps your audience understand why the product/service is important to people.

Take Microsoft's story on empowering Kenya and the world with high-speed, low-cost Internet, for example. In the story, Microsoft virtually transported readers to Nanyuki, Kenya, and explained how they bridged a significant gap.

By connecting people, culture, nature, and technology, Microsoft's solution contributed to a thriving community by making information more accessible.

Microsoft also used powerful imagery to illustrate technology's impact on people's lives, such as empowered entrepreneurs and students.

Microsoft's story was an inspiring, powerful example of what setting and language can do for a story.

3. “Pictures”

According to Microsoft's very own Satya Nadella, "great assets will travel." In other words, if you have a great visual asset, it can be used to tell many different stories.

Microsoft has had great success with this approach. For instance, when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was announced, they released a single intro video and interview.

What was the reason for this?

External platforms had no choice but to use Microsoft's content, which gave them more control over their narrative.

The result?

Millions of people saw and shared the content, reinforcing Microsoft's narrative.

Nadella's announcement, however, was one of many assets that were controlled. If you Google image search "Satya Nadella," you'll see mostly branded assets from Microsoft.

Again, this is an example of how a company can control the narrative and ensure that its message resonates seamlessly. Not to mention, many people saw Microsoft— which is critical for any business.

4. “Platforms”

Platforms are fantastic tools for amplifying a message and ensuring it reaches the broadest possible audience. There’s only so much an individual can do to promote a message before they run out of steam.

Businesses need to look beyond their channels when promoting their brand or messaging. By leveraging the power of various platforms, companies can ensure their message reaches the right people at the right time.

Microsoft’s 2019 Super Bowl ad is an excellent example of how powerful platforms can be. Microsoft spread its message to millions in just one night by using broadcast and digital channels.

Their beautiful story, however, didn’t begin and end with the Super Bowl.

Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller ad continues to live on today, inspiring viewers to make gaming accessible to everyone.

Using different media outlets, Microsoft continues to share its message and make a lasting impact beyond the Super Bowl stage.

The takeaway?

Refrain from counting out the power of utilizing various platforms to make your mark. It is the way to reach millions of people around the globe and make a lasting impact.

5. “Personal”

If you're a business owner, you understand that your business was built on a foundation of love, passion, and care. You put your heart and soul into creating something you can be proud of. 

The same principle should apply to how you promote your business.

Personalizing your marketing efforts is key to connecting with customers on a deeper level. Show them that there is a natural person behind what they are buying. Tell them about your business, your story, and why they should support you. This will make customers feel more connected to your brand, create trust and ultimately increase sales.

In 2014, Microsoft showcased this idea with its Skype Translator demo. The demo shows the audience how technology can remove language barriers and help create a more human connection.

This example demonstrates how technology can create a more personal connection between people and businesses. During the demo, Steve Clayton speaks in English to a German-speaking woman, Melanie Schoebel, who resides in Germany. Through the Skype Translator, the two can communicate effortlessly. 

The same concept applies to your personas as well. Your personas should represent your target audience in a way that makes them feel connected to your business.

So, during your next campaign, foster a humanized connection.

Be genuine in your communication.

Show some excitement in your content.

Go the extra mile to make your audience feel special.

Creating an authentic connection will establish a stronger relationship with your target audience. 

How Predictable is Your Story?

Following our discussion of predictability, take a moment to think about the elements that make up your story. 

Think about the good, the bad, and even the ugly.

Now, ask yourself, "Is my story predictable?" Are the love, devotion, and determination behind your business apparent?

If not, it's time to create a more consistent narrative that accurately conveys your core message.

  • Bring the depth, complexity, and emotion behind your story to life.
  • Elevate your story beyond facts and figures, and create an impactful narrative.
  • Showcase the unique experiences and moments that led you to your current success.

You'll create an emotionally charged story that resonates with your customers by creating an engaging narrative. Your account may inspire others along the way.

At Wizard of Ads®, we believe everyone has a story. And it is our mission to help you bring your account to life.

We specialize in helping brands create powerful, meaningful stories that help them connect with their customers on a deeper level.

So let us help you craft a fantastic narrative that inspires and captivates your audience. Together, we can ensure that your message is clear, engaging, and effective.

To get started, book a call with Wizard of Ads® today!

Your story can make a difference - so let’s get to work.

(Predictability)
(Storytelling)
Ryan Chute
Ryan Chute

Helping small businesses become BIG brands with a holistic marketing strategy that speaks the same language across all sales and marketing channels.

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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.

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