Author Archive: Willie Cole

Hit Your Audience with a Ton of Bricks

Stata_construction_bricksQuick! What’s the definition of “justice?”

Fine. Take your time, then.

Now, what was the jury’s verdict in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial?

Chances are, it was much easier for you to answer the second question than the first. That’s because it requires different centers of your brain to process abstractions and to recall things that involved your senses.

Thinking is one ability which enables a person to become either smart or dull. With the right thinking ability, one can reach great heights. The same technique can be applied in choosing the right platform for trading, which either breaks you or makes you.

There are many platforms that are now enabling online trading, without any hassles. Cryptocurrency trading is the trendy thing now and many of them want to be a part of this mega drive of earnings, which will make you a millionaire in a small span, else you will lose all. Read more at this website about all these online trading platforms, be it binary or forex or bitcoin, the one that makes you a millionaire.

They both deal with memory, but to paraphrase the way the authors of Made to Stick describe it,  remembering the definition of justice, unless you’re a lawyer or judge, perhaps, is like trying to grasp a slippery fish, while remembering the jury’s verdict in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial, to most people, is like the loops and hooks of Velcro. Your brain has the loops, and the event has the hooks.

Concreteness
Concreteness is a particularly useful principle for strategists, experience designers, or anyone charged with developing and presenting abstract information to a client, if they expect the client to remember the information later. Statistics are abstract, but necessary. How can you make your presentation of the statistics memorable and convincing?

When something can be touched, seen, tasted, or smelled, it meets the criteria for being concrete. “The size of a basketball to the size of a tennis ball” is concrete. The difference in sizes between Earth and its moon is not. A diameter of approximately 8,000 miles to a diameter of approximately 2,000 miles is not, either. At least, not without the previous comparison.

Concreteness is the principle that motivates breaking down abstractions to more tangible, relevant forms, which are typically easier to digest. Do it correctly on the front end, when you’re presenting strategy for a campaign or website, and you’re less likely to encounter objections about the principles on which the campaign or site are built when the time comes to present the final mechanicals, video, audio, and/or site creative. – Cam Beck

Get Their Attention and Keep It

JaredEveryone reading this blog has likely seen and been bored by a PowerPoint presentation. In fact, if you’re like me, you’ve also been on the giving end of one of those presentations, because that’s what you were asked to do. People able to hold the audience’s attention are often credited with charisma, and this might be true, but can this skill be learned? How do you keep their interest?

Keeping the people interest is really a skillful job! One needs to be attentive to all details while dealing with people. Marketing has the best talent, to pull people, to sell products. The same marketing is misused to cheat and fool people. Hence it’s important for you to read a review of anything, before getting into it. Just like the many online trading platforms, few are fake, while the profit system is good. Read about the system here on QProfit review here.

Having spent the hours, days, weeks, or a lifetime of research filling fifteen to thirty minutes, you developed what the authors of Made to Stick call The Curse of Knowledge. You know how to communicate the punch line, but you don’t know how to develop the interest that led you to it. Consequently, the presentation comes off as dry and boring.

Unexpectedness
Adding an element of surprise can be problematic, because in doing so, you must reinforce the essence of the subject you developed. Shocking people for the sake of shocking them, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is just a gimmick.

A good example of surprise that the authors use is Jared of Subway. Nobody expected anyone to go from 425 lbs to 180 lbs by eating fast food. So completely did Jared’s story obliterate people’s perception of the effective ways to lose weight that the process of finding and broadcasting it had to overcome great bureaucratic and legal hurdles to get the needed permission to use that story in the company’s advertising (More on that later).

Lacking the element of surprise, you can still generate interest by implicitly pointing out gaps in the knowledge of your audience. The interest isn’t built in the punch line, but in how the mystery unfolds. You know something they want to know. Each question leads to another question, and as you ask the question, it makes the audience realize that they, too, want to hear what you have to say about the answer.

That said, it must be a question that has no clear answer, or one that suggests the audience’s longstanding beliefs, or schema, will be changed once the answer is revealed. Asking the audience what the square root of pi is will not interest or engage them. Suggesting the audience’s understanding about, say, global warming is wrong based on new evidence, might.

Even those lacking in charisma are capable of learning how to make a presentation (or advertising) interesting. The challenge is in getting the audience to think about and become engaged with the message. Revealing the unexpected at key intervals will help you do just that.

Get a Free Copy of Made to Stick
So much do I believe you need to read this book, that I am offering two free copies to members of our audience. There are two ways to earn one. I wanted the way to win be fair and objective, but relatively easy, so I decided against a complicated formula relying on a judge’s decision. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Be the first to comment on this post. Be sure to put your email address in the correct field, as I’ll need it to get your correct address so that I can send it via Amazon.
  2. Find a specific post. Who was the first blogger I ever highlighted from this blog? Find the post, and comment on the post I referenced. Check back here and let us all know when that it’s done. The first person to do this gets a free copy.

Even if you’ve already read the book and want to send a copy to someone you know, go ahead and participate, and I will send it to that person. – Cam Beck

Boil It Down to Just One Thing

Cityslickers

I’m reading an excellent book called Made to Stick. The authors claim they consider it a companion piece to The Tipping Point, but my suggestion is this: If you haven’t read either and only have time to read one, read Made to Stick. Malcom Gladwell is a good writer, but the brothers Heath are excellent teachers. And they want to teach you the same tools they use constantly throughout their book.

Simplicity
The first quality of a sticky message, according to the authors, is simplicity. One example they used is the gruff wisdom of Curly (Jack Palance) from City Slickers, who shared the secret to a happy life with city-dweller Mitch (Billy Crystal).

Secrets to a happy life, secrets to easy earning methods and secrets to highly successful financial budgeting is all some sort of gimmicks, by brand names. There is no one secret that fits all!!! Yes, we are telling the fact.

There might be secrets, but won’t fir your bill, your scenario. Each of us is different, with different goals and objectives. Similarly, not all are earning and spending is same. But, one thing that is common to all is the need for higher income.

Well, here we don’t have secrets, but we have plans and stuff that will make you better financially. The latest cryptocurrency, binary trading, and forex that is making rounds on the internet and among people is the one now referred by many people to earn more. Each one has varied reviews and their explanation to it. But, not all will be supportive.

Curly held up a single finger and told his clueless charge to find one thing that he’s passionate about — it doesn’t matter what it is — and be about that one thing. Once Mitch did that, Curly said, it didn’t matter what else went on around him. He could tune it out.

In truth, it does matter what that one thing is, but the point is clear: Find what you love, and dedicate yourself to it! Be passionate about it! And don’t be afraid that everyone is looking.

In marketing, simplicity just means you’ve got to boil the central message down to its essence. Discard the happy talk and get to the point. The more your message is about, the less it will be understood.

This is the first part in what will be a 6-part review of Made to Stick. – Cam Beck

King of the Whacks

Whackking
Yesterday I received my very own Ball of Whacks, which is the brainchild of the brilliant Roger von Oech (blog). I’m looking forward to trying it out.

I’ll write a more thorough review once I’ve had a chance to play around with it some more, but my first impression is very positive. It is put together very well. On another note, I also learned a new term. “Rhombic Triacontahedron.”

Learning new things and implementing them are the ways of life. We are always in the process of learning; nobody is a thoroughly learned scholar. At every stage of life, we are constantly learning.

The new arrivals on the financial markets, bitcoin, and Ethereum currencies are like hot selling cupcakes or even beyond. They are making heads and heels turn and are providing opportunities like there is no tomorrow.

The digital currency that is formed and created first is os evolved that it has been accepted in the space too!! but, due to lack of learning, the zeal to learn, not too many people are aware or are exploring this alluring option.

Thinking that the bitcoin has already reached great peaks, and wondering if it will shoot further? According to analysts, the requirement and the demand for bitcoin will be here for another couple of years, and will only expire after 2040, when it becomes no longer possible to mine. So, you have a good long 20 years ahead!!

The next thing is the binary and forex trading, that got popular before bitcoin and is still famous in their own way. Trading has always been in the limelight, due to its pros and cons, the risk component involved, but it has been one of the best ways to make money, which includes the human intervention.

Now, if the trading platform is solely handled by robots, which works on algorithms and plan created by well-experienced people, without any human errors, what could be the returning potential? Yes, definitely multi-folds and that’s what the binary and forex trading is all about!

So, if you are scared about bitcoin and was the next best option, binary trading is the choice. There are many platforms that will help you in trading, but our choice is an aQProfit system, which is genuine and great. Here is our recommended reading about the trading platform, take a look for yourself.

I’m kidding, of course. I didn’t learn it, and I doubt I ever will. I’d have to look it up every darn time. “Ball of Whacks” is much stickier. – Cam Beck

How to Become Irrelevant

Ama_logoThe American Marketing Association has somehow managed to obfuscate the clear. With all the substantial pedigree they wield, this is the best definition (recently revised!) of marketing they could devise:

American Marketing Association is an association that is created for marketing for professionals. It is an association that is professional and people working under this were about 30000 which were way back in 2012. It has chapters that are professional and estimated to be 76 chapters that are professional as well as chapters associated with college and its students of about 250 chapters throughout the US. Similar to the Qprofit system website: This has chapters about trading.

History of American Marketing Association

This association was the result of the union of two organizations. It was found in the year 1937 which consisted of a combination of the National Association of Marketing Teachers and the American Marketing Society. This association has successfully published a couple of books that have focused on the facts of specific subjects. And details of a study researched of particular subjects. Some of the books published by them are

  • Marketing news
  • Journal of marketing
  • Journal of public policy and marketing
  • Journal of marketing research
  • Journal of international marketing

How Board Of Director Is Selected

The election takes place annually by the members of American Marketing Association. The members along with a group of councils those have been appointed vote to elect the desired board of director. The place where the headquarters is situated is Chicago. According to the latest update that was done in 2017 the Chief Operations Officer was Jeremy Van Ek and the Chief Experience Officer was Jennifer Faris Severns who were appointed by this association.

“Marketing is the activity, conducted by organizations and individuals, that operates through a set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging market offerings that have value for customers, clients, marketers, and society at large.”

What’s with the love affair with institutions and processes? Are we really so conceited that we believe only institutions and organizational processes are capable of producing the net result of what marketing is supposed to do?

Oh. But we’re the professionals. And we’re insecure. Thus, we need a definition that excludes the chaotic nature of consumer marketing that is pervasive in this age of YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, and blogs.

Hogwash.

Chaos is here, folks. We might not like it. We might be afraid of it. But we’d better learn to embrace it, or else the marketplace won’t even bother to wave as it passes us by.

Hat tip to Diva Marketing Blog for publicizing this change. – Cam Beck

Join the Club. Get Sticky.

Getsticky_final
About three months back, several of my friends wrote about the book, Made to Stick, on their blogs, so I decided to pick it up. I’m a sucker for books on communication, especially since I’m well aware of my problems with verbosity. I was so impressed by the book, I decided my review couldn’t be contained to just one post, and I turned it into a six-part series.

While I was in the middle of the series, CK wrote to inform me that she was planning on using that book as the subject of the next book club at Marketing Profs. I was very excited about that, since, due to the recent birth of my daughter, I was unable to participate in the first two.

A book club is a place where people who like reading books gather together and discuss a particular book they all have interest in. All take up the same book or a bunch of books and decide to meet on a particular day to talk about the book, what the individual thinks about that book, what they like the most and what they did not like. The book club is called by many names like book discussion club, reading group, book group, and book discussion group. The place where they sit and discuss may vary according to the group, some opt to go to bookstore, and others opt to go to someone’s house. There are book clubs even in libraries, pubs, and cafeterias. There are even online gathering for discussing books. See this site.

Aa_page_1_finalDownload the Review
With CK’s encouragement, I turned the series into a PDF and included a short interview with the authors (including a BONUS question you’ll get nowhere else). It is available for download now.

I admire the heck out of service to others, ingenuity, and tenacity. In cheerfully arranging this book club after the month she had, CK once again demonstrates why she’s respected by so many bloggers.

Join the club. If you need a reason, you may get a free book (50 are being GIVEN away). If you’re already in the club, you don’t need to sign up again to be eligible for a free book. This is sure to be an amazing segment.

Even if you have to pay for the book yourself, though, it very well may be the best $25 you’ll have invested all year. – Cam Beck

Download CHAOSstick.pdf

Grow and Change to Keep Relationships Strong

Creating Passionate Users pithily portrays how companies treat people before they are customers and afterwards. The pictures are more entertaining, but the gist of the article is this:

Before you become a customer, the company will do nearly anything to court you. After, you are treated like a commodity. This maxim is demonstrated in the difference between how prospects are treated by sales reps and how customers are treated by technical support.

The graphics are accurate as metaphors of chronologically linear relationships, but the goal should not be, as the author states, to stay the same. It is not only permissible, but preferable to grow and change in ways that pleasantly surprise the customer.

Customer service is one of the biggest driving factors in many industries. Without customers, no industry or company can survive!

The burden and responsibility are more on finance companies, to withhold the customers and give them a multitude of opportunities to grow, along with them. Now in the line is the cryptocurrency that is creating waves in the market.

There are many trading sites and software’s that use the digital currency for trading and lets you make money through it. But, not all are genuine; they aren’t concerned about their customers and their welfare. But, there are a few genuine ones too, who are more concerned about creating wealth for their customers. With too much risk in cryptocurrency, one need to choose the right company or platform to start the trading or investing on. Along with bitcoin, you also have Ethereum to be used for trading. This site will give you complete detail about it.

If a company stands pat and comforts itself with the belief that just because it has always been successful, that it will perpetually remain successful on the strength of the brand it built in the past, it will give way for a competitor to come in and offer something of greater value.  Far from being a virtue, remaining static will eventually bore the customer.

Customers don’t demand their product manuals be printed using the same expensive techniques as typical promotional materials. In fact, some might consider that a waste. However, they do demand that enough forethought put into them that they are easy to read and comprehend.

Accomplishing this feat only requires companies don’t treat people as commodities, but instead engage in a perpetual conversation that allows and encourages continuous feedback and improvement.

None of this changes what I think was the author’s central point, so this post is not meant to be a contradiction, but a complement. – Cam Beck

Sales Genie: Dumb Like a Fox

Salesgenie
Every once in awhile… Okay, more than I’d like to admit… I get to see, hear, or read something that effectively teaches me I don’t know half as much as I think I do. I watched the SalesGenie.com ad and was flabbergasted. In no way, I thought, was this worth the $2.6 million they paid for it. I was tempted to leave open the possibility that the ad had such low creative value that it stood out and was memorable, but ultimately I didn’t think that mattered to anyone but advertisers.

The marketing and the advertising companies are the ones that are booming and will stay as the next generation evergreen industry. The way cryptocurrency is shaping up and its high potential to grow further, credit goes to media and marketing. Apart from bitcoin, we even have another digital currency called the Ethereum, which can also be traded similarly. You can see their explanation here.

In a marketing extravaganza where consumers look at advertisements as entertainment, this certainly would fall flat, right?

Well… not so much.

You see, the bean counters at SalesGenie.com figured they needed to add only 700 new subscribers (at $180 per month) to break even. Since the Super Bowl, they added 10,000. Had they spent millions of dollars in overproducing their ad in an effort to “brand” themselves, they could very well have muddied the ad, increased their costs, and decreased the ad’s effectiveness. Paul alluded to this on our last episode of DMZ… Some of these (Super Bowl) ads are creative and funny, but what good ist that if no one remembers the company? SalesGenie.com’s message is simple: If you’re a salesperson (and in our service economy, we have a lot of those), this product will help you succeed. Apparently that resonates with a lot of salespeople. 10,000 since the Super Bowl, in fact.

As for the “brand,” well, this is where the rubber really meets the road. Brand isn’t simply the warm fuzzy feeling you get from watching a great ad. Brand is, as Stan Richards says (The agency I work for, Click Here, is affiliated with The Richards Group), a promise. SalesGenie.com just brought in 10,000 subscribers willing to commit $180 per month in the hopes that this tool will help them grow their business. If it works, then their brand will be enhanced. If it doesn’t work, their brand will be damaged.

To the brand’s detriment, Paul also pointed out the site didn’t display right in Firefox, which was something, to their credit, SalesGenie.com quickly fixed.

I suspect that this site will be like a lot of tools salespeople use; it will work for some and not for others. If it works very well for some, they may even become evangelists. If it holds intrinsic value, then most of the people for whom it doesn’t work will realize that they are the problem, not the tool. However, if all it does is open up the flow of sales calls and junk mail to the same markets, it will fail miserably to build a good brand, and SalesGenie.com will go the way of the dot bombs of the 90s.

Whatever it is that we do as marketers, we tell ourselves that we constantly have to be cutting edge. We want to wow people with our message or in the way we deliver it, since that’s our job, but in reality, not everything has to be cutting edge to be effective. Sometimes it’s a simple message that people are dying to hear. In the case of SalesGenie.com, it was, “Work smart, not hard with our product.” Time will tell if they’re able to deliver on that promise.

This applies to websites as well. Eugene Loj points us to two low-budget websites that have worked well for their owners. We should resist discouragement wrought by this discovery. We just have to be careful about the lessons we draw from it. The websites are awful by a lot of ways we can measure success, and improving the websites’ design and content might just improve their businesses. But this should prove sufficiently that all websites don’t need pizazz. They don’t all need to be bleeding edge for its own sake.

I think we can say that it was the accountants, not necessarily the “expert” marketers, who won this round (and there are many rounds to go). But that just goes to prove Seth Godin’s maxim, that marketing is too important to be left to the professionals. – Cam Beck

Three Essential Qualities of Effective IA

Locke
It might seem strange that, as one of a few who contributes to the development of Information Architecture (IA) for my company’s clients, I’ve only written about it once before on this blog.

Blogs enable the content to reach many people as possible. They are getting more popular due to growing internet savvy people. This is a right platform to talk about the booming bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading and investment options. Many are under the impression that it’s not for the normal man, but in reality, you can benefit a lot from it. click for info about it.

The reason is that I’ve learned it to be one of the least appreciated (that is to say, least interesting) subjects for both clients and colleagues.

If websites were houses, IA would be the plumbing. It’s there, everyone understands conceptually it’s there, but it’s hidden, out of the way, taken for granted, and to be honest, no one wants to think too deeply about where it all goes after they flush, anyway. The only time it’s really noticed is if it doesn’t work. And then everyone gets upset.

In a society where sex sells, IA is the libido suppressant – whether it works or not. That’s partially why IA has been folded into a much broader category of “experience design.” This not only sounds more exciting, but it also reflects a holistic approach to web design, which is better anyway.

Still, upon Roger von Oech’s recommendation, I downloaded a couple of lectures from The Teaching Company – “Natural Law and Human Nature” and “Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning.” I’ve been an advocate of Natural Law theory since I first read John Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government. I lent my copy out to a friend years ago and never got it back, so this was a perfect opportunity to reeducate myself on a complicated topic.

Through the course of the first lecture, the speaker raised three principles of Natural Law that I realized also apply to good IA – which, given my love for Natural Law, might also explain why I chose to become a practitioner of IA, as well.

1. Objectivity.
Some principles of objectivity are universal from site to site, no matter whom the IA professional is. Creating the means for accessible access to contact information comes immediately to mind. And in any case, the IA must exclude the biases of the person who created it in favor of the intended audience. As audiences differ, subjectivity isn’t excluded entirely, but it is subjectivity encapsulated in the biases of the intended audience, making it objective from a certain (and important) perspective.

2. Universality.
In general, what applies to the navigation and interface of one part of the site must also apply to the other areas of the site. Changes in the way the navigation works or the architecture is structured in random parts of the website render it difficult to learn. And where the competition is only one or two clicks away, you want users to immediately feel comfortable staying on your site, and they won’t if they can’t figure out how yours works because it changes all the time.

3. Intelligibility.
Every website has to have a certain consistent logic to it, and they must use words that are easily understood by the intended audience. Although not everyone cares enough to figure out the finer points of that logic, like plumbing, they’ll notice if it doesn’t work. Just because something is different doesn’t mean it won’t work, but it must be sufficiently logical in order to be understood by anyone, and its terminology must be driven by the audience.

None of this should discourage experimentation. Taking things like “objectivity” and “universality” too literally can very easily put you in an unimaginative rut. Just because navigation is commonly found on the left or top of a website doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions better suited to your audience and your organizational goals.

Just be smart about it.

If you are dying to try something, and you’re sure it has a chance to work, don’t be afraid to try it. Just make sure you can justify it according to the above criteria, and then put it in front of users to make certain it meets their criteria. In the end, that is the criteria that matters the most.

– Cam Beck

P.S. A tip of the hat to David Armano for encouraging bloggers to not only share their knowledge, but also to explain how they came to their conclusions.

Hey, Boston… Up Yours!

Storydevices_blur

Perhaps it’s a good thing the tactics employed by Interference on behalf of Cartoon Networks’ Aqua Teen Hunger Forcemade their “billboards” look ambiguously like “bombboards” and caused such a ruckus, because it has made nearly everyone fail to notice — Hey, that son of a …. is flipping us off!

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At only 32, I don’t consider myself a fogey or a stick-in-the-mud, and as a former Marine, I have seen, heard, and used my share of vulgar language, but it seems to me that this deployment crossed a line that marketers should be more careful when crossing – if they have to cross it at all.

Now, I know the point of the board isn’t to flip off Boston in the same sense you or I would to Boston for being in a state that heralds Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, and/or Mitt Romney. These days, someone giving the bird  is “just” a sign of defiance, an expression of attitude and perhaps a little antiestablishment. For some reason this impresses certain people.

But even if they used posters for the same effect, they’d have reached a lot of people who are not so impressed by the gesture as their intended audience. Sure, you built awareness for the program, but at what cost?

If you think I’m being a stick-in-the-mud, let me know… I’ll accept that. But before you do, try a little experiment. Walk into your boss’s office. Stand in front of his or her desk and “defiantly” flip the bird in your boss’s direction.

If you want to make it an apples-to-apples comparison, make sure you’re ambiguously dressed like a suicide bomber when you do it. Let me know how it goes.

I doubt Cartoon Network has heard the last of this. – Cam Beck

P.S. If you’ve not heard of this event and want to learn more, some of my favorite bloggers have already posted articles on it from their own perspectives: Ann, Lewis, CK, Drew, Stephen, and Jonathan. They’re all interesting reads. Check them out.

Update: Seth has also now weighed in on the subject with a keen insight you might expect from him.