Scott Aughtmon
February 11, 2015

4 Ways to Make Your Marketing More Effective

How a Boy Got Stuck in a Chimney

In 2011, Richard and Sandy Draper came home to a surprising situation that would end up leaving their house partially destroyed. What happened? You’ll never believe it, but follow along anyway.

They returned to their Utah home from dinner one Friday evening around 7:30pm and when they got into the house they heard someone yelling.

At first they thought it was the sounds of kids playing in the backyard. But as they continued listening they realized the sound was coming from their chimney!

Sandy Draper could hear the sound of a voice in the chimney, so she yelled up the chimney, “Are you in the chimney?” And to her surprise 8-year-old Stephen Hopkins, who was stuck in their chimney, answered back.

They called the authorities and after an hour, and after the removal of one of their walls, the young boy was rescued. He was black from being covered in soot, but he was ok.

What would cause a little boy to climb down someone’s chimney?

West Valley City police later discovered that Hopkins had been reported missing by his mother earlier in the day after he left his home and didn’t return.

DesireLargeWhen the young boy was later asked why he had gone down the chimney, he said he was looking for food and water. (It appears that he had run away and had been wandering the neighborhood.)

When a person has a strong enough desire for something, they’ll do almost anything to get it.

When a person has no desire for something, there’s almost nothing you can do to get them to act.

Keep those last two thoughts in mind, because you’ll discover why they’re so important in a second.

Marketers Keep Attempting the Impossible

Eugene Schwartz was a master of copywriting. It’s been said that his copy and letters generated more than $150 million in sales. 

Not only that, but he was one of the world’s highest paid consultants (Rodale Press once reportedly paid him $54,000 for four hours of work.). He also took Martin “Marty” Edelston (writer & publisher) from $3,500 to being worth over $100 million.

Schwartz’s book Breakthrough Advertising is considered a mail order classic. In this book Schwartz reveals something very important to business owners, copywriters, and content marketers.

In a section called Mass Desire: The Force That Makes Advertising Work Schwartz says something pretty powerful about desire.

He says, “This is the copy writer’s task: not to create this mass desire—but to channel and direct it. Actually, it would be impossible for any one advertiser to spend enough money to actually create this mass desire. He can only exploit it. And he dies when he tries to run against it. 

“Let me repeat. This mass desire must already be there. It must already exist. You cannot create it. and vou cannot fight it. But you can—and must—direct it, channel it. Focus it onto your particular product.”

The greatest error that content marketers, marketers or copywriters make is in believing that they can create desire for their product or service.

That’s impossible to do – even for a legend like Eugene Schwartz!

It doesn’t matter if you love your product. It doesn’t matter if your momma loves it. The only thing that matters is if your prospects desire it.

Stop Attempting the Impossible and You’ll Finally Accomplish All That’s Possible

When you face the fact that you can’t create desire, you’ll be freed to use marketing, content marketing and impossiblecopywriting to accomplish the powerful things that they can actually do.

Here are four things that will enable you to do more of all that’s possible:

  1. Know your market

In a lecture that Schwartz gave to Phillips Publishing in 1993 called The ‘Lost’ Secrets of Breakthrough Advertising he said, “You cannot lose touch with the people of this country, no matter how successful or how potent you are. If you don’t spend at least two hours a week finding out where the market is today, you are finished! You will have a career of three blazing years and be finished.”

That means your first step is the same as any effective communicator. You must know your audience. You must know their desires, their dreams, their goals, and their fears. Until you accomplish this step, you marketing, your content marketing, or copy will remain powerless and anemic.

  1. Channel desire

In that same speech, Schwartz said, “Channel desire, never sell.

Once you know your market, your job is to figure out how your product or service fits the desires that your market already has. Then your job is just to show your market how your product or service satisfies that desire.

When they realize how much your product or service fulfills their desire, they’ll be like that little boy in the story I started with: they’ll be willing to do anything to get your product or service.

But you’re probably wondering: “How do you actually channel their desire?” Keep reading and you’ll find out…

  1. Focus on what your product or service does

In that speech to Phillips Publishing, Schwartz went on to say, “Focus on what your product does, not is…”

The best way to channel your market’s desire towards your product or service is to focus on the end results that your product or service produces in a customer’s life. Why? Because those end results are the things that actually fulfill that desire that you’re channeling.

The common mistake most ineffective marketers, content marketers, and copywriters make is to focus on what a product or service does and not what it does for the prospect they are trying to woo. When you begin applying these three steps you’ll leap ahead of your competition. But there’s one last key to help you channel desires effectively. It’s my last tip.

  1. Demonstrate what your product does

The final thing I want to share with you that Schwartz said in that speech is this, “Focus on what your product does, not is… and demonstrate this.”

In my book 51 Content Marketing Hacks, I share the story of how Honda did this with a new vehicle they have come out with called a UNI-CUB. Instead of just describing what the UNI-CUB is, Honda did something unconventional.

They approached the band OK Go (a band that is famous for their creative music videos) and asked them to create a music video using UNI-CUBS. The resulting video is such an awesome demonstration of what the UNI-CUB can do that when I first saw the video my response was “I want one!” You can see the video for yourself here:

Honda didn’t try to create a desire in me to suddenly want something I had never heard of, or desired, before.

No, instead, they had content that was created to channeled desires I already have towards their product. What desires did they tap into? Here are a few: the desire to own something that people will talk about, the desire to have something new, to have something  fun and cool, the desire to have a grow-up “toy”.

If you want your marketing, content marketing, or copy to gain more traction than you’ve ever had before, then remember the little boy in the chimney, remember Eugene Schwartz, and remember to stop trying to create desire.

That’s when you’ll start accomplishing all that really is possible with marketing, content marketing, and copywriting.


Image attribution: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo


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Scott Aughtmon

Scott Aughtmon is the author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. He is a regular contributor to and he is the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. He is a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. He’s been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. He has a unique perspective and ability to communicate ideas and concepts in a way that can help you climb to new heights. Read more of Scott's insights on his blog. Follow Scott on Twitter at @rampbusinesses.