12/21–The Interview: One-on-One with Kim Jong-un
8/3–VIDEO: Has time run out for Laskin?
3/16–VIDEO: G-rated list of 5 reasons to hire older workers
1/30–VIDEO: I'm Scheduled to Die August 1, 2014
11/19–VIDEO: In which Mr. Laskin takes on Mr. Lincoln
11/2–VIDEO: Rapp Story redux -- an explanation of sorts
10/21–VIDEO: The Rapp Story
9/12–VIDEO: The scariest profession in the world. Really?
7/4–VIDEO: Finally, a movie review without ever seeing the movie
4/18–VIDEO: The 7 words George Carlin would never have used
2/28–VIDEO: Sequester that credit card!
1/16–VIDEO: Don gets the word
10/31–The day social media died
8/6–VIDEO: The secret to viral videos
5/31–We all agree on this, right?
4/5–What's stealing? Really? Me? Shirley, you jest
1/19–VIDEO: The other Goldilocks story
12/11–VIDEO: Accomplishments? Or credentials?
11/7–VIDEO: A few minutes with Don Laskin on Andy Rooney
9/11–VIDEO: The hidden meaning of printer ink expiration dates
8/3–VIDEO: I am a Negro
5/24–VIDEO: It’s the end of the world as we know it
4/11–VIDEO: Return of the Avatar – with handy tips for finding a job
2/28–VIDEO: Laskin names names
2/10–VIDEO: Return of blower man
2/8–VIDEO: The threat of hippos -- and leaf blowers
1/11–VIDEO: Don as you've never seen him before
11/8–AUDIO: Hating the rich. Well, some of them, at least
10/17–VIDEO: He's not sleeping, he's making an important decision
10/1–What Amelia Earhart has to do with marketing management
8/25–AUDIO: The Mosque Ox
8/23–AUDIO: Why Meg Whitman needs to talk with Don en espanol
7/12–VIDEO: Don Laskin gets a spokes-thing
6/21–VIDEO: Why webinars are a waste of time
6/1–VIDEO: Has Don sold his soul to the Devil?
5/23–VIDEO: A message to, well, you know who you are
5/14–VIDEO: Twit, Tweet, Twitter?
5/5–Don unloads on Google
2/24–The sweatsuit answer to Kaiser, or Medicare Part The Deux
2/16–What's wrong with Kaiser?
12/4–What’s as rare as a Raiders touchdown? Laskin knows
10/19–Why Dave prefers vanilla
10/1–God's will -- and other reasons
8/17–AUDIO: Hierarchy of stupid
5/25–AUDIO: Some calm words about a world in PANIC!!
4/28–AUDIO: Why CEOs can ignore everything – except Facebook
4/6–With friends like these…
1/19–When perception is reality -- except when it isn't
12/9–AUDIO: Chased by the devil
10/29–AUDIO: Sine qua non a rant it would not be Don
10/20–AUDIO: Joe the writer, er, Don
10/2–AUDIO: Perp Walk Inc.
2/25–AUDIO: Why people put up with crummy jobs
2/10–AUDIO: Making clients money with advertising
1/2–Tiny weiners on toothpicks
12/19–AUDIO: Don improves with age, he says
12/6–AUDIO: Why telecommuting gardeners are needed
10/1–Don Laskin – Almost human?
7/8–Counting, if not connecting, the dots
5/3–Is your advertising stuck in a silo? So is Don
2/5–It's deja vu all over again for Don
9/10–Observations: Laskin faced end with courage
7/14–Observations Why Don Laskin’s ex-boss hiked up her skirt
6/16–Observations They're baaaack! And don't say you weren't warned
4/28–Be careful what you wish for
4/17–Did somebody just say something?
3/8–Laskin makes his first annual “Moron of the Month” Award*
2/15–Our man Laskin reports from a UFO
1/30–Laskin pioneers podcast idea
1/11–Veteran podcaster Don Laskin offers advice
1/3–The Logic of Illogic (Part 2)
11/15–An easy death
7/14–Making a Better Than Human Human
7/4–A tool of capitalism
6/26–Position Heal thyself. -- Plus: Useful information. For real. No kidding
6/25–Life is Like a box of chocolates with no “i” in team
5/15–A $1,000 fine and five days in jail
4/23–Is spending money on advertising a waste?
LETTERS FROM LASKIN
Is spending money on advertising a waste?
by Don Laskin
April 23, 2005
The choice between doing advertising or making a payroll is the same as between paying the electric/phone bill or making payroll. A company can survive for a few days, maybe a week or more without phones or electricity. Without advertising, it can go for months, perhaps years. But, the result is the same. It ain't gonna make it in the long run -- Krispy Kreme being the exception. In reality Krispy Kreme has (forgive the play on words) spent a ton of bread on promotion of one sort or another.
Advertising is NOT and NEVER HAS BEEN a cost of doing business. It's an investment or gamble. And, like investing/gambling on an employee or a technology or a stock, you can lose. But, the whole point of advertising is getting customers. If an ad campaign doesn't generate business, it's not advertising, it's somebody's (expletive deleted) ego trip.
Now, this is hardly a scientific measure. It's just based on my personal empirical data, which I readily admit is flawed. However, I'd guess upwards of 95% of hi-tech VP Marketing and Marcom Directors haven't the remotest clue about doing advertising, PR, etc.
One example: About a year ago, a lady, a genuinely warm, nice person who'd been a Marcom Director with HP for 25 years hired me to work on the freelance Marcom project she was doing for a small software company.
Now, the company desperately needed a leave-behind brochure. Nothing elaborate or expensive. Just something an AE could drop off or mail to begin to generate business. [X had] already been working on platforms for two months before [X] hired me to write the brochure. I was met with the third or fourth [platform] iteration. There were marketing platforms, creative platforms, copy platforms. In just two weeks I got [5 or 6] 8-12 page platforms chock full of completely useless information. I had to step in, write the brochure and put an end to the endless back-and-forth.
The idea is to take on the economy and get new customers. If you can't get new customers, carve out a bigger share of the market -- take the competitions' customers [away from the competition].
So, are the VP Marketing and Manager/Director of Marcom planning for when things turn around (a notion I don't happen to agree with), probably not. Chances are they're creating platforms.
Advertising is not going to turn the economy around by itself. But, sitting on one's hands (I don't feel awfully vulgar today) and fretting about the future as the bank account dwindles doesn't seem like a very intelligent approach.
Don Laskin is a veteran of the advertising and public relations jungle. Reach him at email@example.com. Or give him a call at (408) 406-3574.