October 24, 2018

Copywriters vs Systems People

I’ve been arguing for a few years that there needs to be a better division of labour between systems people and creative people.

This is true in email marketing. It’s true in Facebook, and in Google AdWords. (Sorry, now called ‘Google Ads’. What a pointless and stupid name change. Thanks Google.)

In all of these tools you’re best working with a ‘systems person’ who knows the tool inside out, and a separate ‘content person’ who can supply the systems person with a constant stream of creative. It’s also best if those two people work closely with each other, and understand at a high level what each other is doing.

Otherwise you end up in a situation where systems people are trying to write ads (always a terrible idea), and where copywriters are trying to build campaigns. Which is risky, because the cost of getting it wrong is tremendous.

I’m unusual because I have a foot in both the systems camp and the copywriting camp. But ultimately the best use of my time is writing. There are more people in the world who can implement the systems than there are that can create compelling ads or emails.

Having said that, it’s useful to know enough of the basics so you can test a concept yourself, and avoid being taken for an expensive joy ride by a marketing agency. I know enough about Facebook ads to test my own ideas. But if I wanted to really scale a campaign I’d be better off finding someone to do it for me.

The problem is that if you go to a Facebook expert before you’ve validated your idea, the Facebook expert will always sell you a complete campaign. You’re in an exposed position because you have no data to work from.

If you’ve already run a few ads and proven you can generate some conversions, that gives you a strong basis to approach a Facebook expert and say “look, I’ve got this campaign working. Can you scale it within these parameters?”

You might even be able to pay them fully or partially on results, because you have a baseline to work from.

It’s more work on your part to do it that way, because you can’t just let go of the steering wheel and outsource everything. But do you really want to do that anyway?

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.