By k | September 30, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I received an email invitation
from a professional body
for a relaxation seminar.

In bolded letters
was
“Dress Code In Effect.”

What dress code?
The business suits regularly worn
to these events
or the yoga pants
regularly worn to relaxation seminars?

Books such as The 4-Hour Workweek
stress supplying answers
before questions have to be asked.

These answers, however,
have to be clear.

Look at your FAQ’s.
Are the answers open to interpretation?
If so, consider re-writing them.

By k | September 29, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

According To titanium ebay,
the average best time to end
an auction
is 11pm EST on Sunday.

But Skip McGrath cautions
this is not a hard and fast rule.
It depends on holidays, football games,
and most importantly, the target market.
School kids would be in bed by then
and
Seniors are also more likely to surf earlier.

“You need to make sure
you end your auction during a time
when your target market is online.”

This hold true for marketing also.
No sense marketing if no one is watching.

By k | September 28, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

We often forget
that corporations consist of people
and
people are not rational.

They prefer buying from friends,
regardless of costs.
They like to earn bonuses
and will manipulate numbers to do that.
They only put the company first
when they personally gain from it
(that gain can be pride, financial, etc).

As business leaders,
one of our jobs is
not to fight it,
but
to align employees’ personal agendas
with the company’s.
Make the irrational choice
the rational one for the company.

By k | September 27, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I recently told
a gloom and doom person that
THIS
is the time to start a new business,
invest in a growing business,
launch a new product line.
THIS
is the time fortunes will be made.

There are a number of reasons why.
Seth Godin explains
about the pull back in competition.
A fearful competition means
they won’t try anything new
(so they won’t respond quickly
to your new launch),
they won’t advertise as much
(causing rates to fall,
perfect for cash strapped start ups),
they’ll order less from suppliers
(suppliers will be more open to working
with smaller businesses)
and the list goes on.

THIS is the time to start.

By k | September 26, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I’m currently designing some financial reports
for a security company.
I’m replacing another
very competent contract employee.

Why was his contract not renewed?

Because the internal I.T. department
wanted to do the task.
One employee told me
as he was setting up my log in’s
that there was big money in
learning that skill.

When an internal person
wants an external person’s job,
it is very likely he’ll get it.
The external person may have the skills
but
the internal person has the connections.

Will I fare better?
Perhaps
because I’m working for the finance department.
As far as I know
no one there wants my job.

By k | September 25, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I have a buddy whose idea
of enthusiasm in web copy
is using BOLD and multiple exclamation marks.

I suggested she read
Stop, Ask, and Listen
by Kelley Robertson.

Instead of offering a dismissive
“Oh, we’re out of stock,”
say
“We’re completely sold out!”

“We can’t get any until next month”
becomes
“They’re selling so fast
we can’t keep them in stock!”

“You can try getting it at
one of our other stores”
morphs into the stronger
“Let me contact one of our other stores
and see if they can help.”

Are you using enthusiasm in your copy?

By k | September 24, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

David Wolfe and Robert Snyder
in Ageless Marketing
advise companies to
“Market to values, not to age.”

The top 3 values held
by Americans 62 and older are
self-respect, family ties, and faith and religion.
The top 3 values held
by Americans 45 to 61 are
altruism, family ties, and intellectual curiosity.

Yes, feature older actors and actresses
in marketing
but actually mentioning age is not needed.
Focus on values.

By k | September 23, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

In August’s PM Network,
Colin Powell says
“In the military,
there is a lot of discussion
about where a leader should be
on the battlefield.
Should the leader be up front
where it’s possible to
become a quick casualty
or
should the person be
at the rear?
The correct answer is
that you should be at
the point of decision.
You should be where
you can make the most difference.”

It is the same in business.
Are you in the place/position
where you can make the most difference?

By k | September 22, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

When I worked for a certain beverage company
and Pepsi, the competition,
tested a new product,
we would buy pallets full of
product
before it even hit the store floor.

We’d then tear the product
apart in labs
and ship it
to co-workers across the world.

Pepsi’s sales would spike
in these locations
but they weren’t real sales.
They were,
as Robert McMath calls them in
What Were They Thinking?
(a must read for any product developer)
Falsies.

The more shelf stable a product is,
the bigger the magnitude of the falsies.

If you’re using test markets
to judge sales potential,
make sure they are real sales.

By k | September 21, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

According to the John Tesh Radio Show,
movie goers consume
30% more popcorn
while watching scary or dramatic movies
than while watching comedies.

I often get asked
which is the better emotion to use
in marketing -
fear or love.

It depends on what you’re selling.
Fear sells more popcorn.
Love sells more greeting cards.