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Read this NOW, or the Puppy Gets It!

Years ago, I think it was National Lampoon sent out a mail campaign trying to get subscribers… or maybe it was renewals… with a picture of a man holding an adorable puppy draped over his left arm. In his right hand, he held what looked like Dirty Harry’s revolver. The headline read (I’m paraphrasing): “Subscribe now or the puppy gets it!” Depending on how you feel about puppies, that qualifies as an “urgency” pitch. Of course, there are other ways to create urgency. Continue Reading

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The Positioning Myth

In the classic marketing book, “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind,” authors Trout and Ries made it clear. In any marketing challenge, you often get one shot at staking out your territory inside your customer’s cranium… Either you’ll get it right and have loyal customers lined up at your back door, ad infinitum… or you’ll blow it and spend a fortune trying to re-invent their perception of you, possibly for years to come…
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How “Free” Really Works

Colleagues of mine call it the “Krishna Principle.” I’ve also heard it called the “Rule of Reciprocity.” The idea is that, by giving something or offering to give something, you open up the customer to give you something in return. Does it work? All the time. Take these examples from Robert Cialdini’s famous must-read marketing book… Continue Reading

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The Transubstantiation of a Cheeseburger

Sometime back, I read the book “Fast Food Nation.” In many places, the book is the anti-junk diatribe I expected. And it also takes pain to reveal secret histories of two American icons, McDonald’s and Disney, that are none too flattering.

However, the part where we learn how both Walt Disney and Ray Kroc found their footing in the American mindset actually left me a little more impressed than it did disgusted… Continue Reading