Archive for August, 2014

Sometimes “no” means “yes.” Don’t give up too soon!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

There’s often a big difference between siblings, even those close in age growing up in exactly the same environment. That was certainly the case between my brother and I. He was the kind of kid that would ask for something and not take “no” for an answer–even when threatened with punishment. I, on the other hand, would take rejection or refusal at face value and move on. I have that same tendency today and I know it’s not the right way to approach life–or building business.

The point was driven home to me recently when catching up on some reading. (more…)

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The Power – and Importance of – Verisimilitude

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

When I first learned the skill of copywriting several years ago I was fortunate enough to learn from one of the masters – Herschell Gordon Lewis. He had a concept that has stuck with me since then, partly because I like the word and partly because I like what the word means from a marketing standpoint. Verisimilitude. (more…)

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Do You Know Who Your Customers Are? You May Be Surprised!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

I worked in a healthcare organization for about 10 years from 1996-2007. Back at that time the transition between referring to patients as “customers” was just emerging and it was fairly controversial. Marketing and administration favored the approach and logically it seemed to make some sense. But I can recall the debates, conflicts and consternation from clinical staff — physicians and nurses — about the use of this terminology.

At the time, I was firmly on the side of using the term “customer.” After all, I had come from the marketing world with a background in the investor-owned utility industry and a private educational firm, in addition to experience growing up in a family-owned business, so the concept of “customer” was one I firmly identified with.

In hindsight, though, (more…)

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Contextualized Advertising: Just “Preaching to the Choir”?

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

The older I get, the more I recognize the inevitable cycles that occur all around  me, from fashion trends to areas of marketing focus. It’s the yin and yang of life I suppose; we naturally shift back and forth between preferences for one thing or another. And, it is likely true that there is nothing really “new” under the sun, just recycled or updated twists on things that have gone before.

Except, perhaps, in the world of online marketing. One of the latest trends–contextualized advertising–offers marketers the ability to almost “get inside the heads” of potential consumers to deliver messages to them based not only on places they’ve visited online, but for things that might be geographically or contextually relevant to them.

For instance. You’re walking down the street on a hot summer day and you get a text message telling you about a great deal on ice cream at a shop that is now literally 10 steps away from you. Or, you’re driving to a vacation destination and a special deal on a hotel at the next exit pops up. That’s contextual advertising and it’s all the rage right now. Although, of course, nobody quite knows yet (more…)

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