In 1904, Canadian adman John E. Kennedy coined the term “salesmanship in print” to describe advertising.
Over a century later, people plying the trade resist calling what we do as advertising, let alone salesmanship.
And print? Well, everyone knows that print’s dead, right?
Over the years, our industry has done its best to distance itself from the idea of selling–– it seems so pushy, so blatant, so crass.
At its worst, advertising and marketing is just that. We interrupt and hump the legs of innocents until they’re black and blue.
But if we’re smart, if we’ve done a good job of analyzing who may have a genuine need for our product or service, and if we craft a compelling case that’s rooted in empathy and understanding presented in ways that are educational, entertaining, enriching, interesting and potentially beneficial to our audience, well aren’t we doing good?
I think so. Which is why it’s so aggravating to see so much work today that has no reason for being, no message, no benefit. It’s just marketers talking to themselves in public channels.
What an incredible waste of the public’s time and the marketer’s money.
Let’s bring dignity back to our craft. Sell well.