Issue 3: Cloning Success

Did you miss Issue 2? Titled: The Great Set-Up…3 steps for making all your marketing more effective
Click here to read.

One of the greatest marketing lessons you can learn is that it isn’t always necessary to create your own success from scratch. Often, you can simply model an effective strategy or technique someone else is using and reproduce their success.

I’m going to show you a powerful lesson on how to do this in a minute, but first I want to make one thing perfectly clear. Please notice that I said “model an effective strategy or technique”. This does not mean that you can steal something outright and use it for your own. But you can certainly take a great idea, customize it for your business, and use it to produce excellent results.

How to ethically clone success

If you’ve been a student of direct marketing or copywriting for even a short time, you’ve probably heard that you should keep a “swipe file” of great ads, sales letters, web sites, and emails you can model for your business. This is good advice, but when working with clients I take this much further.

I have a proprietary process called Opportunity Gap Marketing that looks for hidden gaps you and your competitors are missing. Filling these gaps gives you a tremendous way to make more sales.

There are many ways to discover these opportunity gaps — a short list includes looking at what your competitors are doing that you can approve onÂ… talking to your customer service and order departments to find out what customers say they would like to see added to your product… researching upcoming trends, both technical and culturalÂ… examining your past successes to see if you can reinvigorate something that previously workedÂ… and looking at what other industries are doing that you might imitate.

One of my favorite techniques is what I call “Concept Teleportation”. This involves looking beyond the conventional way you do things to discover successful concepts and techniques you can use to make new sales.

You see, one of the major opportunity gaps that exists in every industry is that nearly everyone in that industry markets almost exactly the same way. So if you can find a new and different way to market — a way that has proven successful in another area of your industry or in a totally unrelated industry — you can substantially increase your sales in short order.

Let me give you a couple of real life examples to help you understand how easy, and how effective, Concept Teleportation can be for your business.

Example 1: Internal teleportation

The first example shows how to take a concept from within your industry that’s normally used for one purpose, and clone it to successfully achieve a different goal.

A couple of years ago, I had a client who offers emergency web site development for high-level government agencies. When they first contacted me, they told me they needed help in improving their marketing message and a copy rewrite.

However, after reviewing their copy, I found that it was actually quite good. So there had to be some other problem that was preventing them from making as many sales as they really wanted. Again, whenever I work with a client, I look for gaps in their marketing that can be used to produce better results.

A little research showed that they were attempting to contact the right person, which is always your most important consideration — because if you’re sending the right message but it’s going to the wrong person, you’re marketing is doomed. Also, as I mentioned, their message was right on target. The next point to consider was whether or not that message was actually getting delivered to their targeted prospects.

Our research discovered that their message was not getting delivered much of the time. Instead, it was getting discarded in the mail room or by a gate keeper. In order to overcome this, we had to find a way that guaranteed my client’s message would be delivered to high-level staff members of government agencies. Further research determined that each agency used approved courier services to deliver time-sensitive documents for projects that had already been approved.

Can you see where I’m going with this? Take a minute and try to figure out the solution I came up with before reading on to find out the answer.

Cloning delivery success

I asked my client if they could use the courier service to deliver their marketing piece — not just to deliver documents for projects that were already in progress. Their answer was, “I don’t see why not”.

So we gave it a try. The first time they tried this new delivery method, they landed an agreement in principle for the largest contract in the history of the business. And they continued to use this technique successfully until they eventually sold the business.

This was the first “clone” of the technique. Instead of using conventional delivery methods, we “cloned” a delivery system intended for a different type of document and found that it worked exceptionally well.

Next, let’s take a look at how I cloned this method for another client. We’ll do that in just a moment, but first…

A brief commercial…

Would you like to match or even beat these results?

    • A lead generation letter I created for a client increased his response from 5% or so to a perfect 100%
    • A letter I wrote for Book Marketing Update was so profitable, nothing tested against it could beat it for over 9 years
  • A simple copy change I made for a client immediately increased his profits by 38%

I can help you get similar or better results with all your marketing. I offer consulting and copy services to fit just about any budget. To get all the details, just click the “Services” tab above.

Example 2: External teleportation

Just recently, I ran into a similar situation with a client in a totally different industry. This client realized that the source of his problem was the inability to get his marketing message directly into the hands of production managers at manufacturing plants. These managers are usually on the floor all day, making sure production is running smoothly and meeting quotas. Because they are rarely in their offices, it’s extremely difficult to get in touch with them.

Thinking back to my experience with the courier service for my other client, I asked this client whether there was a courier service that was used to deliver documents or replacement parts when there was an emergency on the production floor. He said there was and we decided to test delivering his message by using the courier.

I didn’t reinvent the wheel here. There was no need to. Instead, I cloned a technique that had been used successfully in one industry and tested it in a completely different industry. This is what I call “external teleportation” of a concept — taking a technique from outside your industry and using it to reproduce success in your industry.

The results were everything we had hoped for. Instead of having to wonder if their message would ever get delivered into the hands of the production manager, they were now guaranteed it would reach its destination every time. Now that didn’t mean that every production manager would respond to their message, but the results were striking. The response they produced using this new delivery method outperformed everything else they had tested by more than 400%.


Effective marketing doesn’t require that you outspend your competition. In most cases, out-thinking them pays far greater dividends. And this is really quite easy to do. Start looking for opportunity gaps that you’re currently overlooking. Research the areas I mentioned above to uncover a wealth of new marketing opportunities.

When you find these gaps, you’ll gain a tremendous competitive advantage. By marketing in new and different ways, you set yourself apart from all competitors. And this unique way of differentiating your business can take your sales and profits to unprecedented levels.

Note: If you’d like to get more information on Opportunity Gap Marketing and how it can help you discover hidden opportunities you and your competition are missing, you can find the details on the home page of my other web site

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Serling All rights reserved