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The Longest Mile

Ever wonder why the technology-fueled productivity gains of the 1990’s that transformed the U.S. economy seems to have bypassed book publishing? Doesn’t it feel like it takes longer than ever for your book to get to market? Rachel Donadio tries to explain this paradox in an essay that appeared in the New York Times Book […]

The Future of Advertising

Google tells me it was the often-quoted Greek orator, Anonymous, who first said, “The only thing constant is change.” Though I agree that change is ever with us, it cannot be said that it’s truly “constant,” for such a word would imply that change happens at an unchanging speed. Change within a society accelerates and […]

Shoestring Marketing for the One-Man Band

A wonderful tribe of strange visionaries who threw caution to the wind, flinging themselves into an economic unknown, created our American economy. I speak of the brave individuals who started their own businesses on a shoestring and a prayer. Although their ideas were often untested and they rarely had enough money to advertise – somehow, […]

Power of Weakness

Features and benefits, features and benefits, features and benefits. We’ve polished our pitches to such a degree that we’ve dimmed our abilities to persuade. The customer is only half listening because the inner self is asking, “What are they not telling me?” Those who have heard my 90-minute presentation about the ongoing evolution of Western […]

Not Enough Customers?

Low store traffic is only a symptom, not the disease. And if advertising could always cure the disease, then advertising would always increase traffic. But advertising doesn’t always work. The traditional excuse is, “We must be reaching the wrong people.” But I’ve never met any wrong people, have you? Which brings us to that terrifying […]

Name Recognition Isn’t Branding

“Getting your name out” isn’t worth much when there’s no mental image attached to your name. Unaided recall and top-of-mind awareness are excellent ways to measure name recognition, but they don’t tell you anything about the strength of a brand. York, Lennox, Rheem, RUUD, Carrier, Bryant, Trane, Armstrong, Friedrich and Fedders are leading brands of […]

Before You Begin Writing Those Ads…

Which do you think would work better, the brilliant execution of a flawed strategy, or the flawed execution of a brilliant one? In business, it’s the flawed execution of a brilliant strategy that usually wins the day. Most advertising professionals are unwilling to question a client’s strategy because they’re afraid of losing the account. So […]

What Can Business Do About Giving Back?

community, nonprofit, giving back

While spending a week on Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson last summer, I had the opportunity to discuss in depth with him his B Team concept. The B Team is a group of internationally renowned business and thought leaders such as Paul Polman of Unilever, Dr. Mo Ibrahim of Celtel, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of […]

Give It Away to Gain Readers

To get the attention of potential readers, give away what you write. If you’re writing a book, share parts of it as you go. A chapter, a few chapters, the whole thing. People want to see what you’re like (or what your writing is like) before they commit to you. And even if you’ve given […]

A Kickstarter How-To for Book Funding

Apparently, writers have decided to forego the Sisyphean task of trying to get advances from publishers, and have been turning in earnest to crowdfunding. Many creative people have been doing this since the start of the modern crowd-funding model began, with films, recordings, videos and research projects being underwritten by people eager to help artists […]