How to Legally Steal From Your Competitors!

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Marketing a business, any business, is not a perfect science – although there are rules to be followed. What works for one, doesn’t always work for all. In that way, what works for you and your business won’t be guaranteed to work for your competition. And vice-versa.

Now this is where you have to open your mind and keep it open at all times: every time you see an advertisement in a paper or magazine, a leaflet, a brochure, a flyer, poster, even a menu – or maybe a cheap Biro or a keyring that gets your attention – SWIPE IT and stick it in a cardboard folder! A ‘Swipe File’ is an advertising industry standard that the Big Boys, the Saatchi and Saatchis don’t want you to know about. It’s their ‘dirty little secret’.

Everybody copies everybody else in the advertising and marketing world. Orange copies Telefonica. Sky copies the BBC. Nationwide copies the Halifax. Ford copies Toyota. (Apart from the brakes…) And so the most successful ad-men and women keep a Swipe File and it’s as sacred to them as a Holy Book of scriptures. Some have Swipe Files going back to the fifties and before – and some of the top ad execs actually sell copies of their Swipe Files for serious money.

But you’re thinking What about copyright? Am I going to get sued? The answer is No. Not unless you copy someone’s ad word for word, that is. Using other people’s ideas is an industry standard, it’s ethical and it’s practised worldwide.

The great thing about keeping your Swipe File is that you will, at some point, see a great ad or you’ll pick up a great flyer that has nothing at all to do with your business. But it gets a message across that has caught your eye, that’s demanded your attention and forced you to effectively ‘sit up and pay attention’ to it.

You may not even be contemplating doing any advertising at that specific moment; by keeping a Swipe File, when you do decide it’s time to invest in some exposure, you’ll have a host of great ideas that are proven to work – why? Because you noticed them! Go on, start swiping right now – you’ve got the Euro Weekly in your hands, all you need are scissors…

Adios the noo!

PS Next week: The thing that most business owners DON‘T do that costs NOTHING and doubles your turnover…

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