5 Lessons in the Core Materials of Eugene Schwartz’ “Breakthrough Advertising”
A public meeting about Disasters brought this book to life.
This meeting was simply to help people get organized so they could help each other when the worst happened. Saving lives, property, everything of real value. So human life could get going again after Nature got through with its extreme weather.
What the person was talking about had solutions to anyone who was caught in a real emergency situation could use – with only your neighbors and your own two hands to do something about anything.
It’s the first 60 minutes where you can save lives around you – your own, your family, any neighbors you can reach.
What makes a “disaster” is any time the local and higher levels of government get too busy to answer everyone’s personal emergencies. People need to personally act at those times, and they need to know what to do – before that next disaster happens.
And the worst part of any disaster happens when people don’t know what to do. That’s when most deaths can be prevented.
The biggest problem at that meeting was their paltry turnout. Something like only around a dozen people attending for a small city of over 11,000 and a surrounding county containing at least as many more. Rural. But rural areas get hit more often than large cities – even though they are seldom covered in the press other than maybe a picture or a few lines of text.
It doesn’t mean that the lives saved or lost are any less valuable.
In a disaster, you need at least one person well-trained in emergency procedures to save lives on every city block. That was the core message. One that only the dozen people attending actually heard.
The poor turnout was because this meeting wasn’t effectively marketed – the needs and wants, the emotional connection – all missing. Even though this city sat near the U. S. “Tornado Alley” and had weathered two traffic-stopping blizzards and multiple ice-storms in the last 5 years, as well as a couple of bad droughts in summer that strained their water and electricity supplies..
The cheerful-but-boring presentation also tended to keep people from acting rather than inspire them. A Power-point with no emotional heart-tugging. Video’s that didn’t work – well, not on a screen you could see.
Vital information which actually saved lives had been communicated in such a fashion that only a few were interested in finding out about it or doing anything with it.
And those few were lulled into complacency.
Marketing (and copywriting) is a form of communication.
It sits at the point where emotion and logic meet to cause action.
Poor or missing marketing results in inaction.
Marketing and copywriting isn’t just another mind-control game to make money for shysters and scammers.
It’s your way to help people find services and products which can improve or even save lives. The more profit you make, the more people you can help. Sales income is a measurement of value you’ve delivered.
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It was a find of one of Gary Halbert’s old columns which led me to find this book and bring it to you.
As someone wise beyond his years, Halbert pointed out that humankind hasn’t noticeably changed as to their reactions and motivations – it was the old classics, tested over years and modernly, which still give the core data you need to study.
You have to study successful advertising and marketing to get your own marketing and advertising success. You don’t need to invest a lifetime in discovering them for yourself, when other successful marketers have already done that discovery and written them up.
“Breakthrough Advertising” was listed right up there with “Tested Advertising Methods” by John Caples, “How to Write a Good Advertisement” by Victor Schwab, and “Scientific Advertising” by Claude Hopkins.
At the end of that list, he said to burn anything else. Really. (And it wasn’t his advice, but Hopkins’.)
Because you only need the basics. You can work everything else from that.
In my other studies of current “legendary” copywriters (and self-proclaimed experts) I’ve found that they are all standing on the shoulders of these giants – and every thing they say has already been said before. The newer books just have modern words, in the way we talk now. Marketing on the Internet still utilize the same precise principles as printed magazines and road-side billboards have since they were the latest craze.
(The worst among those modern “guru’s” don’t even credit those who’ve gone before – or put some other special “spin” on rules, laws, and principles these earlier authors found by intensive and lengthy testing. Then marketing becomes even harder to learn…)
But even worse for Schwartz’ masterwork, it’s only available as an expensive hardback.
This is the reason I brought this guide to you in this form. His breakthroughs need to be available to copywriters everywhere.
This short review is simply an assist to your study of his original work. And for that, you’ll need to get your own copy by buying used or visiting breakthroughadvertisingbook.com.
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This revised edition is to streamline the original research and organize it for improved flow after seven years of regular sales and use.
The other books Schwartz, Halbert, and others recommended are also being dusted off and updated as part of a complete series of study guides – even self-paced courses as well as both hardcopy and ebook versions of each.
The point is to help others as I’ve been helped – and continue to pay it all forward.
Good luck to all of us.
Dr. Robert C. Worstell
Dec 14, 2013 / Jan 4, 2020