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4--Fixed expenses can only be reduced by increasing the volume of sales.
5--Good will can only be created through publicity.
Advertising is breeding new giants every year and making them more powerful every hour. Publicity is the sustaining food of a _powerful_ store and the only strengthening nourishment for a _weak_ one. The retailer who delays his entry into advertising must pay the penalty of his procrastination by facing more giant compet.i.tors as each month of opportunity slips by.
Personal ability as a close purchaser and as a clever seller, doesn't count for a hang, so long as other men are equally well posted and wear the sword of publicity to boot. They are able to tie your business into constantly closer knots, while you cannot retaliate, because there is no knot which their advertising cannot cut for them.
Yesterday you lost a customer--today they took one--tomorrow they'll get another. You cannot cope with their compet.i.tion because you haven't the weapon with which to oppose it. You can't untie your Gordian knot because it can't be _untied_--you've got to _cut_ it.
You must become an advertiser or you must pay the penalty of incompetence.
You not only require the newspaper to fight for a more _hopeful tomorrow_, but to keep _today's_ situation from becoming _hopeless_.
If It Fits You, Wear this Cap
Advertising isn't a crucible with which lazy, bigoted and incapable merchants can turn incompetency into success--but one into which brains and tenacity and courage _can_ be poured and changed into dollars. It is only a short cut across the fields--_not_ a moving platform. You can't "get there" without "going some."
It's a game in which the _worker_--not the _shirker_--gets rich.
By its measurement every man stands for what he _is_ and for what he _does_, _not_ for what he _was_ and what he _did_.
Every day in the advertising world is _another_ day and has to be taken care of with the same energy as its _yesterday_.
The quitter _can't survive_ where the _plugger_ has the ghost of a chance.
Advertising doesn't take the place of business talent or business management. It simply tells what a business _is_ and _how_ it is managed. The sn.o.b whose father _created_ and who is content to live on what was _handed_ to him, can't stand up against the man who knows he _must build for himself_.
What makes _you_ think that _you_ are ent.i.tled to prosper as well as a compet.i.tor who _works twice as hard_ for his prosperity?
Why should as many people deal at _your_ store, as patronize a shop that makes an endeavor to _get_ their trade and shows them that it is _worth while_ to come to its doors?
Why should a newspaper send as many customers to _you_, in _half_ the time it took to fill an establishment which advertised _twice_ as long and _paid twice as much_ for its publicity?
This is the day when the _best_ man wins--after he _proves_ that he _is_ the best man--when the _best_ store wins, when it has shown that it _is_ the best store--when the best _goods_ win, after they've been _demonstrated to be_ the best goods.
If you want the _plum_ you can't get it by lying under the _tree_ with your mouth open waiting for it to drop--too many other men are willing to climb out on the limb and risk their necks in their eagerness to get it away from you.
It is a _man's_ game--this advertising--just hanging on and tugging and straining all the time to _get_ and _keep_ ahead. It is the finite expression of the law of Compet.i.tion, which sits in blind-folded justice over the markets of the world.
You Must Irrigate Your Neighborhood
Half a century ago there were ten million acres of land, within a thousand miles of Chicago, upon which not even a blade of gra.s.s would grow. Today upon these very deserts are wonderful orchards and tremendous wheatfields. _The soil itself was full of possibilities. What the land needed was water._ In time there came farmers who knew that they could not expect the streams _to come to them_, and so they dug ditches and _led the water to their properties_ from the surrounding rivers and lakes; they tilled the earth with their _brains_ as well as their _plows_--they became rich through _irrigation_.
Advertising has made thousands of men rich, just because they recognized the possibilities of utilizing the newspapers to bring streams of buyers into neighborhoods that could be made busy locations by irrigation--_by drawing people from other sections_.
The successful retailer is the man who keeps the stream of purchasers coming his way. It isn't the _spot itself_ that makes the _store_ pay--it's the _man_ who makes the _spot_ pay. Centers of trade are not selected by the public--they are created by the force which _controls_ the public--the newspapers.
New neighborhoods for business are being constantly built up by men who have located themselves in streets which they have changed from deserted by-ways into teeming, jostling thoroughfares, through advertising irrigation.
The storekeeper who whines that his neighborhood holds him back is squinting at the truth--_he is hurting the neighborhood_.
If it lacks streams of buyers, he can easily enough secure them by reaching out through the columns of the daily and inducing people from _other_ sections to come to him. Every time he influences a customer of a compet.i.tor he is not only irrigating his _own_ field but is diverting the streams upon which a _non-advertising_ merchant depends for existence. Men and women who live next door to a shop that does not plead for their custom will eventually be drawn to an establishment _miles_ away because they have been made to believe in some advantage to be gained thereby.
The circulation of _every_ daily is nothing less than a _reservoir_ of buyers, from which shoppers stream in the direction that promises the _most value_ for the _least money_.
The magic development of the desert lands, has its parallel in merchandising of men who consider the newspaper an irrigating power which can make _two_ customers grow where _one_ grew before.
Cato's Follow-up System
If a man lambasted you on the eye and walked away and waited a week before he repeated the performance, he wouldn't hurt you very badly.
Between attacks you would have an opportunity to recover from the effect of the first blow.
But if he smashed you and _kept mauling_, each impact of his fist would find you less able to stand the hammering, and a half-dozen jabs would probably _knock you down_.
Now advertising is, after all, a matter of _hitting the eye of the public_. If you allow too great an interval to elapse between insertions of copy the effect of the first advertis.e.m.e.nt will have worn _away_ by the time you hit again. You may continue your scattered talks over a stretch of years, but you will not derive the same benefit that would result from a greater concentration. In other words, by appearing in print _every_ day, you are able to get the benefit of the impression created _the day before_, and as each piece of copy makes its appearance, the result of your publicity on the reader's mind is more p.r.o.nounced--you mustn't stop short of a _knock-down impression_.
_Persistence is_ the foundation of advertising success. Regularity of insertion is _just as important_ as clever phrasing. The man who _hangs on_ is the man who _wins out_. Cato the Elder is an example to every merchant who _uses_ the newspapers and should be an inspiration to every storekeeper who does _not_. For twenty years he arose daily in the Roman senate and cried out for the destruction of Carthage. In the beginning he found his conferees very unresponsive. But he _kept on_ every day, month after month and year after year, sinking into the minds of all the necessity of destroying Carthage, until he set all the senate thinking upon the subject and _in the end_ Rome sent an army across the Mediterranean and ended the reign of the Hannibals and Hamilcars over northern Africa. _The persistent utterances of a single man did it._
The history of every mercantile success is _parallel_. The advertiser who does not let a day slip by without having his say, is bound to be heard and have his influence felt. Every insertion of copy brings stronger returns, because it has the benefit of what has been said _before_, until the public's attention is like an eye that has been so repeatedly struck, that the _least touch_ of suggestion will feel like a blow.
How to Write Retail Advertising Copy
A skilled layer of mosaics works with small fragments of stone--they fit into more places than the _larger_ chunks.
The skilled advertiser works with small words--they fit into _more_ minds than _big_ phrases.
The simpler the language the greater certainty that it will be understood by the _least intelligent reader_.
The construction engineer plans his road-bed where there is a _minimum of grade_--he works along the lines of _least resistance_.
The advertis.e.m.e.nt which runs into mountainous style is badly surveyed--_all minds are not built for high grade thinking_.