“How can I influence others without moral compromise?” There are a number of easy cheats to convince people to follow your leadership (carrots and sticks) or to buy your product or join your cause (incentives), but eventually those things always fail. Why? Because they’re disingenuous. They don’t tap into people’s passions. They don’t move the heart. And without that happening, whatever impact you have is fleeting at best.Continue Reading...
Archives For marketing
For a little over two years, I’ve been a “professional” writer.
For about a year, I’ve actually been good at it.
I’m always curious what other people are doing, because it gives me an opportunity to learn. As I’ve been learning to do my job better, one thing has become shockingly clear:
Marketers have a hard time getting to the point.
Think about this. Pick a corporation. Pick a charity. Pick a person. Read a couple pages of their websites.
Have they said anything at all? If they have, do you understand it?
Last week, Seth Godin made a great point on his blog about this very issue. He writes, “Most people work hard to find artful ways to say very little. Instead of polishing that turd, why not work harder to think of something remarkable or important to say in the first place?”
His advice to marketers is simple: “Write nothing instead. It’s shorter.”
It’s good advice.
Brevity isn’t merely important, it’s essential.
If we can’t get to the point, and can’t do so in a way that everyone will quickly understand, then we’re doing a terrible job in our marketing.
So how do we uncomplicate things? How do we get to the point?
Probably the best advice on this I’ve read is found in Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath. This is what they refer to as the SUCCESs model, particularly the principle of simplicity. They write:
Simplicity isn’t about dumbing down, it’s about prioritizing. (Southwest will be THE low-fare airline.) What’s the core of your message? Can you communicate it with an analogy or high-concept pitch?
We need to, in whatever field we work, get to the core of our message. To figure out what’s most important and talk about that in a way that makes sense.
For those of us in the church, it means maybe we need to take a look at our published mission statements.
What’s our purpose?
Why do we exist?
Do they make sense to anyone except the person who wrote it?
Do they make us sound more like a life-coaching organizations rather than messengers of the gospel of Christ?
Are we getting to the point?
Toyota hired some great people to work on the new campaign for the Sienna. The concept is actually pretty clever and executed quite well. Check out the video for the “swagger wagon:”
There’s an important lesson:
Good marketing doesn’t take itself—or its audience—too seriously.
Sometimes you need to have a little bit of fun with your audience.
What are some examples of “fun” marketing that you’ve seen recently?
I love books, and this year I’ve probably read more of them than I ever have in years past. Out of 60+ books, some have been good, others not-so-good. Others still have been excellent—and I want to share ten of these that I’ve found to be the most helpful, meaningful and enjoyable.
Here are the first five in no particular order (probably):
Just Do Something
by Kevin DeYoung
The question of discovering God’s will for our lives is one that plagues the majority of us. But, pastor and author Kevin DeYoung argues, that’s in large part because we make following God’s will far harder than it needs to be, because we’re looking for the wrong thing. Instead of looking at God’s revealed will of decree (meaning that what He ordains will come to pass) and His will of desire (what He desires from His creatures), we seek to divine His will of direction.
by Martin Lindstrom
Martin Lindstrom spent 3 years and 7 million dollars in an experiment known as neuromarketing–trying to understand how the brain responds to the stimuli provided by advertisements, what works and what doesn’t. What he found absolutely destroys much of what we’ve believed about what attracts and repels us to products and brands.
Buy•ology a game-changer for marketers and one of the most worthwhile marketing books I’ve ever read.
Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl
by N.D. Wilson
Perhaps the most delightfully peculiar book I’ve ever read. Author N.D. Wilson invites readers to join him as he attempts to describe the indescribable: God speaking Creation into being, ex nihilo (out of nothing). With a quick wit and sharp tongue, Wilson engages and entertains readers while reminding us that we live in a world filled with wonder and beauty—and none of it is by accident.
Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion
by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck
Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck follow up their first book, Why We’re Not Emergent, with Why We Love the Church, a passionate, biblically centered, God-honoring look at the Church—and why, for all her warts, we need to love her as much as Christ does.
Famed evangelical scholar J.I. Packer’s endorsement brought a smile to my face: “Bible-centered, God Centered, and demonstrably mature… As I read, I wanted to stand and cheer.”
Fake Work: Why People Are Working Harder than Ever but Accomplishing Less, and How to Fix the Problem
by Brent D. Peterson & Gaylan W. Nielson
Fake Work is what you think it is…and so much more. With this book, authors Brent D. Peterson and Gaylan W. Nielson are drawing a line in the sand. The working world is broken and needs to be fixed. What we don’t need to do is create cool, hip workplaces, to make going to the job more comfortable.
What we need to do is focus on transforming how we work and the work we do. Because real work is about results.
Join me for the second half of the list tomorrow.
Monday night, I read a very interesting article on edrants.com, an interview with the FTC’s Richard Cleland. The interview follows Monday’s announcement that effective December 1, 2009, bloggers are expected to disclose any tangible connections. Basically, if I read the FTC’s policy correctly, the big idea is that if you review a book from a publisher’s blogger program and keep it (particularly if that review is positive), the book could be considered compensation. Essentially, you’re being paid with a book to give them a good review.
I’m sure the gang at Thomas Nelson would be disappointed with my last couple reviews then [insert canned laughter for unfunny joke].
Here’s a particularly interesting bit from the article:
“The primary situation is where there’s a link to the sponsoring seller and the blogger,” said Cleland. And if a blogger repeatedly reviewed similar products (say, books or smartphones), then the FTC would raise an eyebrow if the blogger either held onto the product or there was any link to an advertisement.
What was the best way to dispense with products (including books)?
“You can return it,” said Cleland. “You review it and return it. I’m not sure that type of situation would be compensation.”
If, however, you held onto the unit, then Cleland insisted that it could serve as “compensation.” You could after all sell the product on the streets.
In the article, Cleland goes on to say, “If there’s an expectation that you’re going to write a positive review…then there should be a disclosure.”
Now, I have no problem with adding a disclosure to any review I write on a book received through a blogger program or at the request of a publisher, but I do find the idea of returning a book to the publisher a bit… silly. Continue Reading…
I’m sure you’ve seen lots of these commercials just like this one over the last few years. And laughed. And possibly laughed some more.
Then, when you were done laughing, you maybe cried a little bit (but only on the inside so your coworkers wouldn’t laugh at you) as you went back to work on your PC.
Apple’s been, quite honestly, doing a terrific job making enjoyable, entertaining ads for their computers. Apple computers, after all, are hip and cool, and if you buy one, you too can be saved from the functional hell of using a Windows-based machine (like the—ugh—Dell I’m writing on at this moment; my wife’s on our Mac).
Now, I’ve heard more than one pastor make a clever remark about how the whole Mac vs. PC thing is a form of idolatry. But did you know…
[Insert ominous music here] Continue Reading…