Why This Marketing Legend Never Bought a Blimp

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I heard Dan Kennedy say this yesterday…


“I believe in brand. I have brands of my own that I relied on my entire career – starting with ‘No BS…’ But I’ve never spent a nickel trying to BUY awareness for that brand…Instead of spending money, figure out ways to get paid to build a valuable brand…Build it by direct response instead of by capital.”


Holy mind-blower, Batman! That’s some powerful wisdom from a marketing legend.


Build your brand
by direct response
instead of by capital…


What the heck does that mean?


Imagine you have a pile of cash under your mattress. 


You hear a knock on the door. It’s the door-to-door blimp salesman. And he has a deal for you. 


Invest some of that capital in his blimp. Paint your logo on the sides. Hire some pilots. Pay a television network and a sports league to allow you to fly your blimp above the stadium during the big game.


All those fans packed into the stadium will glance skyward and see the blimp with YOUR LOGO. 


And once or twice during the game, the television network will point a camera at the blimp and millions of viewers will see it – YOUR LOGO. 


75,000 fans in the stadium. 17 million television viewers. All…saw…your…logo. 

The ultimate in paid brand awareness. 


So riddle me this…


What are you going to say to those 17,075,000 people in the follow-up email you send them? 


Answer: Ummmmmmmmmmmm… You’re not going to email them. You didn’t get their email addresses. 

Will your website be able to handle all the traffic when 17,075,000 football fans flock to your landing page to download the free report you offered? 


Answer: No one is headed to your website. You didn’t offer them a reason to visit. 


How will you fulfill all those orders that come from the fans who rush from the stadium and buy your products and services? 


Answer: What orders? No one is going to rush out after the game and order your products and services…

…Just as no one rushes to the Goodyear store to buy new tires after seeing their blimp. 


You and Goodyear spend big bucks on blimps to build brand awareness…


…and then you wait and hope. 


You hope 17,075,000 football fans will be aware of your brand. You hope they will remember your logo and your brand when it’s time for them to purchase whatever it is you sell. 

I know. The blimp salesman never knocked on your door. None of you spends piles of capital on blimps or Super Bowl ads. 


But many business owners spend a nickel here and a dime there to buy awareness for their brands. 


They pay to put display advertisements in newspapers. They pay to run radio ads with catchy slogans and jingles. They pay to elevate social posts with inspiring quotes and amusing memes…

…all without a single call-to-action. No way for people to respond directly. 

So they wait and hope. 

When Dan Kennedy says, “…build it by direct response,” he’s saying: 


You don’t have to wait and hope.


Direct response marketers call on people to act.


Their marketing solicits – get this – direct response. 


Sign up for my email list. 

Download the free report. 


Attend a training. 


Buy something. 

Instead of waiting and hoping, you acquire leads. You move prospects through your sales funnel. You generate sales. All while building your brand. 

That’s what Dan Kennedy means when he says, “…figure out ways to get paid to build a valuable brand.” 

Figure out ways to get prospects to raise their hand, to opt-in, to buy. 


Include direct calls-to-action. 

And measure results. 

You’ll get further quicker — and you won’t need to build a giant hangar for your blimp.

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.