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Do You Have Too Many Employees?

When a young man asked Margaret Thatcher if she had any advice that might help him rise to his full potential, she fixed him deep in her steady gaze and said, “Stay a little bit hungry and a little bit cold.” I believe she gave him wise advice. Have you ever visited a company whose […]

You Want Them to Buy? Sell Benefits

So you’re the biggest, the best, the fastest, the first? So what. Big deal. How do you know if any of that answers the question your customer is asking, “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM). “Features versus Benefits” is Marketing 101. But as I look around the Web, I wonder if anybody heard that through […]

Demise of the Yellow Pages

New York City, 1886: As dock workers uncrated the Statue of Liberty, Richard Sears was busy launching the company that would create catalog shopping in America, John Pemberton was mixing his first batch of Coca-Cola, and Gottlieb Daimler was tightening the last bolt on the world’s first automobile. But according to Manufacturer and Builder, the […]

What Is Bubblegum Marketing?

Several years ago, a Fortune 100 financial firm launched a technology-savvy division of its company, intending this division to host its online business units and create a Web presence for the company’s brick-and-mortar locations — which carried a very well-known brand name. Company execs conducted extensive traditional marketing research and determined that by spending millions […]

Accidental Marketing

No, no, that’s not the title of Seth Godin’s next book. “Accidental marketing” refers to a pervasive Web-based trend that is focused on the “how” of marketing but not on the “what” or the “why.” It’s frightening to watch people get all excited about new technology that allows them to perform miracles and then track […]

How to Get Free Press

Heads look down and hands begin to write every time I say it in a public seminar, so I always give people time to write it down. It’s one of those things that’s so obviously true that people are surprised they never thought of it on their own. “Bad advertising is about you, your company, […]

Bloodletting and Why Testing Can Be Unscientific

Zach, my good friend’s son, answers the phone. He is in the middle of trying to solve one of those verbal math problems that go like this: “Bob is walking at 3 miles per hour, and Jim is walking at 1.5 miles per hour. They have to walk 30 miles. What kind of head start […]

KISS Your Customers If You Want Them Back

KISS—It stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” You’ve probably heard it before, but from where I stand, the message needs some SHOUTING. The key to successful Web site design isn’t sophistication, it’s simplicity. Designing for simplicity is anything but simple (as if I needed to tell you that). But well-thought-out simplicity is what makes the […]

The Way Customers Want to Buy

You’ll never increase your website conversion rate by pushing what you want to do, the way you want to do it. Lots of individuals out there don’t think, act, or feel the same way you do. Online efforts that don’t make allowances for different ways in which people approach decision making leave lots of money […]

Business Books

“The business of America is business’’, said President Calvin Coolidge back in 1925. Not much has changed since then. Last year, according to Bowker, more than 9,000 new business books were published in the U.S. Simba Information’s annual report, Business of Consumer Publishing, estimated that business books generated a whopping $877 million dollars in 2006, […]