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  • Writer's pictureFrancis Nayan

Marketing Incest

It sounds disgusting, but it's an actual epidemic plaguing the business world today...

Seriously, every time I see this happening I feel like going through under 2 weeks of quarantine. 

And that's no exaggeration, either. 

Actually, I'd much rather go in quarantine and see NO ONE for 14 days again then have to deal with this incestuous, uncreative, and terribly boring kind of marketing...

Okay, maybe I've taken it too far now haha

Anyway, let me start with a story: 

So not too long ago, I had a string of e-commerce business clients who approached me to fix their email deliverability and consult their email copy...

Strangely enough, all three were selling similar product, if not, exactly the same. 

I thought it'd be fun because all three were in a niche that I actually had very little experience in - art and painting. 

I thought it was a worthy risk, but I'm also terribly impulsive and I love a good challenge. Plus, I liked what they were selling...

Diamond painting canvases. Pretty cool, right?

I went ahead and audited their copy before I dove into their flow sequences and segmentation. 

Well, what I found actually came to no surprise with me...

And probably no surprise to you, either. 

There's a good chance you do the same in your marketing. Which isn't terribly bad since a lot of other businesses do this too. 

What'd I find? 

Well, I saw that their messaging and overall copy was pretty much templated, swiped, and stolen from each other. 

Headlines, subject lines, body copy and everything were all nearly identical. 

I asked one of the clients, who was a younger guy and seemed really chill why he chose this copy. All he said was: 

"I just know this stuff works. It's a template, I know. But, from what I understand, this shit sells."

I said, of course, it does. 

But it sells just like everyone else. 

Same numbers. Same results. Any tweak to other parts of the strategy will make it slightly higher or lower. 

Basically, what he and the other stores were doing is what the legendary copywriter, Dan Kennedy, calls "marketing incest."

Marketing incest is defined as doing what every other marketer is doing instead of thinking for yourself. 

Swiping, using templates, and mimicking competitors may work for a little awhile, but eventually, it dies down - like every control does - and you're forced to change your message and strategy up. 

Then what?

Wait until you know what others are saying and doing so you can copy it? 

Hell no. 

Imitating what other people do will only not make you a diamond in the rough...just another rough thing in the rough. 

Another white sheep in a sea of white sheep. 

So what's the solution? 

Be more human. Showcase your personality. And think about what makes you different from others. Craft your voice around that and your loyal tribe of ravenous fans will follow. 

If you want a shortcut, check out this mini-quiz from one of my favorite copywriters in the world, Nicola Moors. 

Nic is a former investigative journalist turned copywriter who specializes in writing in your brand voice...

And if you're unsure what your voice is...

Then, she's your girl. 

She's already worked with incredible marketers such as Belinda Weaver and Haley Burkhead...and she's probably gonna be speaking on stages and taking over the world soon - super charming North English accent and all. 

If you have a few minutes, try this quiz out and have some fun this Friday. ( know you need it)

I hope you had a great week and an even better weekend. 

Cheerio, lads


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