Cliff's Notes

Some observations on the world from a marketer's perspective.

When Reality Messes With Your Marketing

If you read all the junk out there on marketing (including my own) you'll conclude that your situation is messed up. Your logo doesn't really tell your story, but it is too expensive to change. Your name doesn't address your brand, and that is too late too. There is...

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Reverse Marketing

To really reach a prospect or customer, take what you have learned about sales technique, and do it backward. The traditional method stresses the concept of being different. Specifically, find the category in which you lead, and stress those differences to the right...

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Brain Marketing

The tough part of visiting a prospect is that no matter how well it goes, the minute you leave, they become surrounded by the realities they postponed during your visit. Your equipment list, or quality processes are quickly forgotten. It is because you didn't reach...

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The Genius in Creative is What You Don’t See

"Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan". It is true of great creative. Great creative starts with a daring client who understands that as long as the marketing and branding goals are met, be as outrageous as you dare. It takes a marketing plan that...

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Put an End to Logos

Widget Maker: We are a new company. We have a great location, a recognizable name, a solid market that will love us, and now we need a logo. Marketer: No you don’t. Widget Maker: That is silly. Of course we do. We need something to put on our building, business cards...

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Robin Williams on Golf: How to Launch a Brand

The classic Robin Williams bit on the invention of golf is really a lesson on launching a unique brand. At the time there was no demand for the new sport of golf. As a marketer, and not a comedian, I’d have argued that the world was in need of a frustrating five-hour...

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The Seven Deadly Sins Are Your Friends

The new year has arrived, and we celebrated the most hedonistic of holidays. Celebrate to excess on New Year’s Eve, while counting down the inevitable.Then, lounge about on New Years Day, watching parades and bowl games. The only honoree is Father Time, who...

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Four Steps to a Profitable Brand

Developing your brand results in a brand that is more valuable to your customer base. That additional value allows you to charge more while growing a larger and more loyal following. Build your brand through this four step process which can be incorporated into your...

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This TV Icon Should Create Icons

It is the last season of Mad Men. Of course, I enjoy the show. How could I not? I live it here, right down to smoking in the office (don’t tell the city please). We even have a retro martini bar that is our favorite stop after work. But there is one thing about the...

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Form Follows Function

"Form follows function - that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union." - Frank Lloyd Wright. It is true of design, architecture, and branding as well. Your brand is not a function of clever design. It is not a more clever...

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OK, Go Viral: If You Think You Can

How do you “go viral?” Dollar for dollar, a successful viral video will do more for your bottom line than any other single marketing activity you can think of. It is like hitting it big in Vegas. However, like hitting it big in Vegas, it comes only rarely. Viral...

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Don’t Ignore the 99%

Most direct mail programs are considered successful with a response rate around 2% 99% of those seeing your display ads in newspapers, out of home ads on billboards or bus stations, and 99.9% of your e-mail list don’t respond to your ad. Add in the ignored impressions...

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Nobody Cares About You

That may be the most important statement any marketer can learn. Sure, it took your whole career to develop that method, product, or perfect service that you provide. Behind what people buy from you is years of work, a huge infrastructure to assure quality and...

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Steve Jobs – Marketing iCon

Peter Drucker, one of the world’s most brilliant business management experts said “Innovation and marketing produce results. All the rest are costs.” If the head of your company respects that, you are most likely very successful. But what if the head of your company...

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Instant Branding?

Brands can't be created instantly. They have to be developed over time. You put a consistent thought into the audience's mind, and repeat it until that thought becomes synonymous with your brand. That is unless you have the budget to create one immediately. Throw in a...

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The Better Mouse Trap Myth

The saying goes “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door”. It may be the worst advice ever to be passed as common knowledge. The fact is, mousetraps currently work just fine. More importantly, everyone knows how to set one, and despite...

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A Strong Brand Lets You Win with Even Minor Features

This Honda ad promotes the fact that their mini-van has a vacuum cleaner. I will admit that my immediate reaction when I first saw it was "who would want to make a big deal out of a vacuum cleaner in a car? Of all the meaningful differentiating features an automobile...

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