Stephen King, Radio Plays, and Online Marketing


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Stephen King, Radio Plays and Online Marketing

What do these 3 things have in common? It might seem a bit of a jump right now, but there is a link between the writer Stephen King, Radio plays of the fifties and internet marketing. . . . Words Let me start from the beginning, I was reading “Danse Macabre" by Stephen King, a book in which he gives his take on horror fiction. In one section he is writing about the radio plays of the early 1950's, and how they gripped the listener by not giving you all the details.

The plays would have a background sound of a plane and the voice actors would set the scene they were in. The listener would build his own image of the plane and the problems the actors had, building his own sense of fear, and place himself there, that made it all the more scary, and built the drama for the listener. The main thing was, as radio is an aural only medium, the listener filled in the visual side for his or herself. The result was that they got a great thrill ride, just from words and sounds.

So that's Stephen King linked to the radio plays, so how do we get to internet marketing?

As I was reading about how successful the plays were on radio, because of the listeners imagination filling in the detail, I realised how we are trying to do the same as online marketers. When we try to sell a product, we are using words to try to entice the website viewer into our little world, just like the radio plays did. We have to get the potential customer on our website to fill in the blanks, and visualise how our product will help him.

In the same way the best radio plays left out the complete description of what was happening and the listener filled in the blanks, we need to leave out some details, and let the viewer fill his own mind with the picture of how his problem will look from his particular perspective and how he'll feel when it's solved by our product.

Our sales pages need to draw the customer inside our world, but fill in the blanks from his own one. We need to pique his imagination just like those radio plays, and just like Stephen King does in his books, the most scary of which are the ones where the reader is left to make the monster real. In our case that monster is the perceived problem, and the hero, is you coming in the nick of time to fell the monster and save the day with your world beating product.

Douglas Titchmarsh is the owner of several websites including and He also publishes the DEWDigest e-zine which you can subscribe to by sending an email to


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