When E.F. Hutton Talks…
January 2, 2015
If you can finish the title of today’s post with “People Listen,” then two things you’re likely in your late 30’s or older and can recognize the importance of a great company tagline.
E.F. Hutton was a brokerage house started in San Francisco in 1906 and ran these memorable ads in 1970’s-1980’s when I was maybe around 12-years old. The proceeds from selling my toys to neighbor kids (albeit for profit) probably wasn’t E.F. Hutton’s target market for investing, yet those ads clearly had an impact.
Today I was reminded about the memorable E.F. Hutton tagline when I was researching who was researching me on LinkedIn*. Amazing as my eyes darted over the company website’s news section and hit upon E.F. Hutton I couldn’t stop my mind from completing their tagline from start to finish.
That’s pretty impressive for a company that no longer operates to have that kind of impact and reach so many years later to someone who wasn’t their target audience. It could be said that I was perhaps easily impressionable or that I watched a lot of television as a kid; and, both could be true but it’s more likely that the internet has weakened marketing.
We had three major stations when I was a kid, CBS, NBC and ABC and no internet-so there was more or less a captive audience with very controlled content. Today people are deluged with ads from the minute they wake up until the minute they go to bed and that’s not changing and will likely only get worse (Hello? Ads on the back of public restrooms stalls?) I’m not against innovation in the slightest but do recognize that any information is good information it’s what we choose do with it that counts.
The moral of this story is that marketers today have to work twice as hard to gain any kind of foot-hood in an overly crowded market. I’m not sure it’s even possible to duplicate the same impact the E.F. Hutton ads had in today’s market; but, it does demonstrate the importance of working with someone skilled in marketing to help advance a company’s business (not brand). A mistake many companies make (especially startups) is that they hire Director’s of Marketing without knowing what their company really needs.
Usually a company only needs a qualified, proven marketing consultant (for a few months) to provide the tools to get them back on the right track for a fraction of the cost of what they’re paying in-house staff.
*Side note tangent: LinkedIn is supposed to be a professional social media network and as such the ability to look at someone’s account anonymously is inconsistent & contradictory to the actual goals of the site and in part why the site will never be what it wants to be-taken seriously. It’s also in part why it’s laughable when consultants advise clients to “focus” on their LinkedIn page. Outside of the basics it’s an absolute waste of time; and why I’d suggest getting your own website where you can control the content and highlight your talents.