Scott’s Blog

Marketing is a lot like dieting

Want to know the biggest single misconception about advertising and marketing? It has a lot to do with our obsession with weight loss. Every few months, a new diet appears. Suddenly, people are binging on grapefruits, drinking 24 glasses of water a day, living solely on turnips, or eating yellow foods today and red ones … Read more

Want to see real creativity? Stay inside the box

creativity is inside the box

We’ve heard it more times than we care to remember: what we need is some out-of-the-box thinking. We could solve this chronic problem if only we could step out of the box. Golly, J.P., that’s a really out-of-the-box idea! Apparently, if we’re brave enough to step out of that bad, bad box, we can accomplish … Read more

Keeping white papers and other materials up-to-date is critical

Companies often develop materials such as white papers to target marketing and communications objectives, but forget to go back and make edits as their marketplace or products and services change. When developing a white paper, new web copy, or other communications tool, most marketers start with some sort of objective and develop an outline covering … Read more

My most frustrating meeting

bad words upset her

We’ve all sat in our share of frustrating meetings, but I can still remember the meeting that very nearly did me in. It took place in 1987 in a Chicago boardroom. A group of automotive industry CEOs (you’d recognize most of the company names) was meeting with a pair of representatives from a social services … Read more

Messages that unwittingly unravel your marketing efforts


Businesses invest quite a bit of time and money into sending messages to their customers. Unfortunately, most don’t realize that many of their actions result in other messages that may be inadvertent, but are also pretty dangerous. Financial institutions are particularly adept at delivering the wrong messages. After going through the semiannual ritual of gathering … Read more

Here’s exactly how long marketing copy needs to be

long marketing copy measurement

What’s the ideal length of copy for websites and other marketing materials? I’ve noticed a lot of people seem to view themselves as experts on the subject — although what most don’t realize is their answers are based on personal preference or learned prejudice. The simple answer is that the correct amount of copy is … Read more

Better ways to choose freelance writers and other creative suppliers

talk to a writer first

Freelance writers and other creative suppliers are accustomed to taking calls about the services we deliver. While the calls I receive focus on learning more about what I do, they also give me great insight into the sophistication of the callers and whether I really want to do business with them. Prospects often lack experience … Read more

Just because it’s important to you doesn’t mean it deserves a place in your communications materials

One of the most common mistakes companies make when developing websites, blog posts, and other communications materials may surprise you. They completely lose sight of the audience. Confused? It’s absolutely true. I’ve seen it happen again and again. Companies invest huge amounts of money to develop websites, advertising, social media campaigns, and other materials, and … Read more