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Scalpels vs Sledgehammers in Positioning

In my last post I talked about choosing words carefully. Now I’ll cover a case where I advocate (almost) reckless abandon. Consistency, after all, is less important than results. Many years ago there was a blues duo called Scalpel and the Sledgehammer. Two talented musicians with different positioning. Scalpel: highly precise, cutting guitar skill and […]

The Authoritative Yet Irrelevant Sales Pitch

Marketers and sales guys love a sales pitch that sounds authoritative, yet is irrelevant. Too bad customers don’t.

Example: the Big Green Egg. It’s a BBQ grill. Living in Texas, I am an authority on BBQ grills. In fact, I have my own set of grilling tools in a monogrammed case. Seems pretty authoritative. I grill with propane, which some people think makes me a grilling dilettante (grilletante?), but Hank Hill uses propane. That makes it legitimate in my eyes. Also, I’m enough of a grilling expert that I understand that it’s mostly about drinking Modelo Especial while playing with fire anyway.

By Any Other Product Name

We went through a small naming exercise at the new gig last week and it went smoothly. I was slightly surprised. Naming products ought to be fun and easy. Sometimes it is. But why is it sometimes like a root canal? If you’re like most marketers, you’re tempted to say “because everyone gets involved instead […]

Quality is a Light Switch to a Customer

That’s so important I’ll say it again. Quality is a light switch to a customer. On or off. It’s a binary condition, a coin flip. Heads or tails. Quality is a probability to a marketer. Even six sigma – the apex of manufacturing quality – is based on the idea of managing down the number […]

Not Your Customer

The Sales team is not your customer. Customer Support is not your customer. Finance and Accounting aren’t your customer, either. The other Marketing teams? Nope, not your customer. The Enablement teams, the developers, other business units, the senior executives…not your customer. The only way you have an “internal customer” is if you have a tapeworm […]

Inertia Marketing vs Loyalty Marketing

Once a customer is acquired, subscription businesses make a choice between inertia marketing and loyalty marketing. Inertia marketers make it easy to forget you even have the product. They don’t remind you that you have the high-end cable package; their billing is designed to avoid calling attention to that fact. They reach out when they […]

An Email Subject Line is Not a Fine Wine

I’m reading mailchimp’s study of best and worst subject lines. Most of the high open rate lines are straightforward and give a clear idea of what’s inside. Low open rate lines tend to be less clear about the content. The lesson: email marketing is not dead. It’s just becoming more honest. My guess is the […]

Very Important Customer Contradiction

Anytime you hear the phrase “you are a very important customer to us”…you are not. The most common variant is “your call is very important to us, please continue to hold.” I don’t know about you, I rarely feel important when I hear that line. Customers hear actions. What is your business saying? Your customers […]

SEO Rapper 'Design Coding'

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0qMe7Z3EYg&rel=0&hl=en] I am nearly as speechless as when John D turned me on to aristocrunk. My favorite quote: “When you use CSS your page will load quicker, client satisfied like they eating on a Snicker”. When pop culture and marketing collide it’s simultaneously beautiful and horrifying. Thanks to iJustine, she who is the Internet, for […]

Marketing Mimics Memes

Rickrolling hit a tipping point on April Fool’s Day. I tried to explain my fascination with it to coworkers (click here for a full explanation, I told them!) but couldn’t. Today I took in a seminar on guerilla marketing and realized that marketers envy memes. If I could craft a message that got passed on […]