WOLFBITES - Issue 25

Has a certain Toronto SEO company been reading our web pages on internet marketing and website copywriting?

how to advertise on the internet with breakthrough digital online ads featuring best graphic design and copywriting
Driving traffic to a web site with poor web copy writing and website content strategies is like inviting someone to visit a semi-finished office. What's the point?

I have been shouting for a long time that search engine optimization is meaningless if it drives a visitor to a website with poor copywriting.

I have also pointed out that the average SEO copywriter is not really a writer. He or she is expert at finding the keywords that will seduce search engines, not customers.

And finally I have said, again and again, that the goal of website marketing is not to increase website traffic and ranking, the goal is to generate leads and sales. (Remember that last point).

The average SEO content writer is not trained in a writing discipline and most have little or no marketing experience or journalism training because that is not included in the typical package of SEO services. This matters because the real goal of a website is to generate leads and/or sales – and that can only happen when you have writing and marketing skills and hence know how to seduce a customer with text that addresses consumer needs and wants.

Now it appears that one of the major internet marketing companies in Toronto has gotten the message. Let's call them The Search Engine Folk. They are running a major radio campaign that started out with the usual promise – our SEO services are the best in Canada and we will improve your website ranking and increase your web traffic. Blah, blah, blah.

Then suddenly the message changes. And guess what? Two words that were never mentioned in any radio commercial suddenly become prominent. And what are those words? Leads and sales. Coincidence? Me thinks not. But imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. So I guess I am flattered.

Introducing the radio advertising campaign that did everything wrong and was still wildly successful

example of successful retail radio campaign despite multiple advertising errors and mistakes and no professional script copywriting
Despite being limited to a single location on the Danforth in downtown Toronto, Korry's is a regular advertiser on multiple Toronto radio stations.

Over the years, I have been amazed and appalled by the radio advertising of Korry's Clothiers, an upscale men's clothing shop in "the heart of Greek town, 569 Danforth."

I have been amazed because this campaign, including regular ads on multiple radio stations, seems to be far too expensive for a business with a single outlet. Ten years ago I had people tell me that the owner of this business (Saul Korman) must be crazy and that he would be out of business in a year. Well, Korry's is still going strong and it is still advertising big time on radio.

Yet I am often appalled by the campaign because the ads break just about every rule of radio advertising. Think you need clever writing by a professional copywriter? Forget about it. Need to provide clear differentiation with competing stores? Not necessary. Expect studio quality production values, professional actors, sound effects? A waste of money.

Saul voices and scripts his own commercials – and it shows. He comes across like your slightly nutty, but very loveable, favorite uncle. Early versions of his ads wandered from one topic to another – and often the topic had nothing to do with the store. In fact, Saul often seemed more interested in talking about (bragging?) about his extravagant lifestyle.

The ads themselves often made no sense, often because he was the master of going off on a tangent. If he talked himself into a corner – something that happened often – he would default to a catch phrase. His favorite for many years was "and in the mean time…" Any professional radio copywriter would be fired instantly for delivering anything like what Saul put on the airways week after week.

Many years went by before he even mentioned the internet and he seemingly was always looking for help, likely because by his own admission he was a very tough boss.

He didn't bother much with details and he was never shy about saying his store was the best in town with the best deals, the best clothing and best staff. By any measure, Korry's was not one of many. It was one of a kind. There is a lesson there.

"Korry's. In the heart of
Greektown, 569 Danforth"

So what's the bottom line? The campaign is a success, mainly for two reasons:

  • Saul is the rare business owner who is a natural for radio
  • He bought a lot of radio advertising, and in good times or bad he continues to advertise.

I should also point out that Saul was among the very first in the Toronto market to recognize the power of consistent radio advertising and he had the courage and guts to make the big upfront investment that scares off the typical advertiser.

He has his very own space on the radio
air waves and not many can say that

Saul also followed a simple, but tried and true business model:

  • get the customer in with a Groupon like loss leader ("Up to 50% off")
  • up sell existing customers to a much higher price (and higher margin) designer label
  • provide the best service in town

Saul's radio advertising continues. It's a little better than in the early days, but it is still unmistakably Saul Korman radio advertising. He had his very own space on the radio air waves and not many can say that.

Yes, Saul is a Mad Man of a different sort. He did it his way. And it worked.

PS: The next time I buy a suit, I'm buying it from Saul.

Read Wolfgang's latest marketing blog.

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Wolfgang Franke is President & Creative Director of Words at Work Advertising & Marketing, a full service communications company established in 1988. Our growing list of valued clients are found throughout our local market, Markham and the Greater Toronto area, across Canada in cities such as London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, and an expanding list of international locations ranging from The Big Apple in New York to Kanturk, Ireland.




Mini WolfBites 5

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