Thursday, May 22, 2008

Breadcrumb promotion through social media -- go for individual birds and get the entire flock...

And I work to be the first to admit (blog) when I've been doing something wrong.

Well, wrong is probably too harsh a term. Let's say - inefficiently.

I've gone over how I'd spent all this time in article marketing and all these various things until I figured out that you had to go to where the buyers are - not the viewers or browsers. And that's my current study of eBay.

Also, you may have noticed that I said blog readers like to keep up to date, meaning they only read two or three posts back. As well, they like their blog posts short and sweet. This is as they are part of the social media bunch - people who are primarily there for the experience.

And I said that you don't market to social media - can't be done, in fact.

Once again - social media followers aren't particularly buyers. But -- they can be converted to such...

OK, what was I doing wrong?

Long blog posts.

Where should these go?

On your website - all keyword optimized to promote your product.

Is using a free blog service wrong - why don't you just host your own blog? Free blog services are great because they have unlimited bandwidth (well, let's say Google's Blogspot does...). So you can upload videos and such (oh - that's the workaround for MP3's: turn them into videos) and then play them on that blog's dime.

Hosting your own blog means you cover that bandwidth. Sure, like WordPress, you can install all sorts of custom plug-ins to make your life and the viewers' experience better -- but let's look over blogs for what they are: Promotion and potential lead generation.

That's the use of all social media from a marketing view - promotion and potential lead generation.


You don't "market" to the social media. You promote (which is only a third of marketing, if that) through social media buy giving out interesting tidbits which excite people to come visit your blog, which is where you host more interesting tidbits. (We're talking breadcrumb promotion here, so stay tuned...)
  • Breadcrumb 1 - various postings on YouTube, Squidoo, etc. which point to your blog.
  • Breadcrumb 2 - additional social media givings on your blog, which only contains a short post and links to a single page on your website.
  • Breadcrumb 3 - that page is written in the language (short paragraphs and lots of engaging pictures and bulleted explanations) for social media people - expressing benefits from a certain product or affiliate link -- and
  • Breadcrumb 4 - your sales page or affiliate program
Now, when you get them to buy once, then the whole system of upselling and cross-selling and subscriber issues come into play. Then you convert them into life-time buyers of your products.

But you drop little interesting tidbits along the way to get your social media birds to come and visit all your various breadcrumbs - they then tell their flock about it and all their friends arrive... and you get a lot of buyers.

Why do you have so many breadcrumbs?
  1. To build interest and pre-sell your buyers.
  2. To qualify your buyers and strip out the mere viewers and lookie-loo's.
  3. To save your personally paid-for bandwidth for the buyers and subscribers - where they return the favor.
It's taken me some time to sort all this out, since the hype is incredible, even from the professional hype-sters (who I've been twittering recently).

My mistake was using a blog to distill my research points - when it's best use blogs as social media, meaning that it should be designed for viewer experience, not hard-core and long-winded data.

So this is probably the last longish post you'll see from me.

What does this do for your writing?

Keep a private blog, or post via NVU to a subscriber-only section of your website. Then collect up those blog posts and make ebooks out of them, for giveaway or sales in return for email opt-in. Collect up those ebooks and you have an Amazon book (via Lulu) for additional sales.

Example - dust off some old (and still best-selling item like Haanel's Master Key System)
  1. Do some videos, slideshares, press releases, podcasts on how interesting this book is - and how mysterious its author and the secrets you reveal, etc. etc.
  2. These then link to your blog post which summarizes all these and links to your single page (and all of the above have the same keywords and cross-link to each other)
  3. That single page gives a media-rich explanation, or review, or some sort of neat data - but, again, is just a thriller intro: sizzle, not steak. But enough so they get the flavor of where you're going...
  4. Then they click on the link to your sales page or affiliate link for the rest of the data - which is where you turn them into buyers.
With freebie (other peoples' bandwidth) you don't really get analytics out of them (unless you integrate something like Google Analytics on those pages, which is extra work).

BUT - when you get them onto your site, you can tell where they came from and where they go to exactly, so you'll know what social media promotion is working and what your conversion rate is, etc.

All from a few breadcrumbs off that loaf of bread which was supposed to be your lunch... but instead can be leveraged into others buying you several full-course meals.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Some notes on "Emotional Marketing"

Actually, all marketing is emotional. Period. That's how (and the only way) you are reaching your customers.

This is because the majority of this planet's inhabitants (at least the human-kind ones) do not control their mental processes and let their "subconscious" (for lack of a better term) run their lives. The Subconscious is directly connect to the emotions. And any salesperson worth their salt knows that you appeal to the emotions first, get the sale, and then that action is justified to the Analytical in all of us.

And that applies to some 97% of us (more or less). The good news is that reciprocal of this is that percentage which will buy just about anything - they are on automatic emotion - just about 3-5%. This tells you why spam works. You can fool part of the people all the time.

The term "Emotional Marketing" is just another ploy to show how smart someone is - and get sales of their books and services. What I've read from people using this term is that they really don't know the whole background to this subject, but have hit on something which is popular and are milking it for all they can get. They really tell nothing new in what they say and pretty much repeat what has been found out by others.

(Read the "old" texts like "Scientific Advertising" and Collier's letters to see how this is done - as well as Joe Vitale and the crowd he hangs with. Anything with a Vitale testimonial is basically pretty good stuff, from what I've seen...)

Now, lets tear apart how people think and how it applies to marketing.

This started in realizing that the bulk of what I had been following was leading me down an uncertain path. Modern SEO types have been going down the "social media" path, which gives you mainly poor traffic, since it is so flighty. A recent reference to Cutts on blogging says that blogs don't bring quality (read: buyer) traffic, since the people who follow blogs are only interested in the current data. They go two or three posts deep and then leave.

There have been other comments on social media about those points as well. Not "serious" traffic. Comes and leaves quickly - OK for "traffic" but not for subscribers (while I guess you would get about 3-5%...)

That's why I've gone into eBay research. A community full of buyers, or at least shoppers - not just viewers (aka "lookie-loo's"). If you're trying to make money, you want buyers coming to your store. Period. Even a booth at a festival or trade show is there not just to give away stuff, but to get leads - you're always and consistently looking for leads you can turn into sales, and then continue to sell that client.

How does emotion fit into that?

Well, we pretty much think FROM our emotions, even though we repress the hell out of ourselves all the time in this category. Repress? Well, yes. You see, if you don't control something by understanding it and training with it, pretty much the common tool to use is brute force. I didn't say it was right or best or anything, just that most of us simply try to push our emotions down all the time, instead of working to understand why we are having that particular emotion at that particular time.

And, since we do that (I'll spare you the metaphysical reasons and scientific studies that prove it for now) pretty much all the time, someone (nearly anyone who knows one or two tools) can come around and "trigger" any particular response they want. Because these powerful emotions are just sitting there, primed and ready...

Here's where most of the sales gimmicks come in, and also explains why a formulaic sales page tends to work much better than just 3-5%. If people were basically analytical, then they'd start seeing the patterns and become immune to them. (Which has happened with most commercials - one phrase, "the louder they are, the stupider they think you are" explains more than you think and they know.) So when you see "limited time offer" and "P.S. Satisfaction Guaranteed", you are looking at working gimmicks.

OK, why do these marketing gimmicks work, then?

Short answer, repeated from above: There is the conscious and the subconscious - and basically, the subconscious is more powerful in most people, because we aren't trained to deal with it. The subconscious thinks in terms of emotions, while the conscious is far more (but not completely) logical and analytical. If the subconscious is in control, then any emotional appeal will ultimately win out.

With me so far?

Now, I've earlier gone over Maslow and Cialdini. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (or Pyramid) states and defines what the actual needs and wants of humankind are. Cialdini approaches this from hard look at what persuades people - and defines the key emotional arguments which tend to work nearly every single time.

Where these cross is: People think emotionally pretty much all the way up Maslow's pyramid - right up to the tip - almost. When people have all their actual physical needs taken care of, then they start looking at Why they are acting the way they do. Which explains why most of our philosophical progress has been done by the rich and retired (or those on secure government pensions in universities) they no longer have to work for a living to have everything they need provided. And so they can sit and think.

Now "thinking" has earned some derision because most people think from their emotions. And the sum of this is often circular thought, due to all the various feedback loops which exist in the emotional habits we carry around. These various mental habits are as myriad as we have people on this planet, since no two are the same.

Example might be: a person fears women, loves the color red, adores fresh brownies, but hates anything thats dark and wet. So a female cook giving him brownies hot out of the oven, with red M&M's on top - but still doughy in the middle - that person doesn't know what to thing of what's being handed over. Trust her, no - but are those brownies laced with something good or bad? This just stirs around and around.

If the fear wins out, our subject might refuse the brownies - but wanting to be polite, might taste them. And then put them on the side of their plate, saying they were too full from the meal to enjoy them fully - and looking at that gooey center suspiciously. There's nothing wrong with the brownies or the cook, but the emotional thinking involved casts a shadow over everything - because that dessert was dark, wet, and served by a female.

It's called "being irrational," but when we look at most of what goes for "rational" thought in our modern society, we find that label really strained.

For instance, given a complete layout of how government operates best, how economics works, the success and failure of various government programs - you'd think we could have more consensus in this country. Why does there continue to be this constant (news-driven) controversy between the two major (and several minor) political parties?

For instance, Dems have recently gotten elected several candidates who "stole a page from the Republican play book" - meaning those who favored gun rights, lower taxes, and fiscal responsibility. Now, I could see that people would logically favor more and better government where you live in cities and depend on central control of power, water, sewage, garbage collection, and other services.

In suburban and rural areas, things are more independent and people tend to want their own choice about things. People in cities might want to give up a larger chunk of their income in return for a more efficient system, particularly to handle crime. In the country, perhaps you recycle your own waste with a compactor and can burn the rest or take it to the dump once a month far more cheaply. You get your water from a well and like to hunt in season. While you certainly don't mind paying for roads, you want to see how they are spending what you give them.

The differences are that in the metropolitan areas, people tend to want systems maintained which deal with the larger numbers of people in smaller areas. In rural areas, people are more independent and are used to figuring things out for themselves.

In both cases, they tend to elect people just like them and so preserve their quality of life. "Tax and spend" Democrats vs. "Less taxes, less government" Republicans. (Of course this changed in the last few years, as we had both sides spending money without seeming restraint - the only difference was that one side increased revenue by lowering taxes, obviously not enough.)

And you can tell I live in a rural area...

Now, back to emotional thinking.

You'd think that any party, in order to get a majority, would have to reflect the wishes of its electorate. And the Democratic party has a unity problem right now, just as the Republicans did. There were "liberal" Republicans elected and in the fold, as the "Blue-Dog" (conservative) Democrats have recently been elected into Congress. Liberal ideas of more government (which requires more taxes to pay for more social programs) conflicts with ideas of less government and so less taxes required and people can make up their own mind about what to do with what they earn.

If you disagree with me above, you can check your own feelings out as you read the above. See if you can take a completely "analytical" approach to anything regarding these four subjects: Death, Taxes, Politics, Religion. Most people are afraid of Death and hate Taxes. Few people can agree on Politics and will argue (or have snide comments in private) with anyone in opposition. Religion has been historically and modernly the cause of more wars than any other "cause". (And the first point where people first discovered it was a small, interconnected world, was when you saw during World War II that God was on both sides at once - or at least each side thought so...)

Our use of this in Marketing is very simple: appeal to people's emotions and then they will figure out how it "makes logical sense" to them. That's why you push benefits instead of features. People want to know how your product will make them feel good, not anything else.

Price is emotional.

People will pay what they think it's worth to them. Meaning: how will it make them feel. If they get something cheap, they know it's cheap. If you sell an exclusive seminar with a top-notch guru who will help them get financial security or independence - or help them find their "mojo" or keep their health longer, etc. All the italicized words are emotional in context.

I could go on and on with examples. They are simply too easy to find.

But there's a secret to this - and it's been known for ages...

OK, now outside of a few self help authors, most people don't want you to find out that you can think for yourself and bring your emotions under your own control. One reason is to control you, but probably more that they don't want their own emotional world rattled. People expect people to act like them. Meaning, repress your emotions and try to act "sane" like the rest of us.

Nope. Doesn't work that way. Those few who do actually figure out how to work with their emotions instead of for their emotions are the ones who actually control the vast majority (several authors have this as high as 97%) of the world's wealth. Now, before you go off onto some emotional rant about how this is obviously a great and hidden conspiracy, let me tell you that the secrets of how to work with your emotions and how to develop and control wealth have been written up over and over and over, by author after author after author - all through our history and through probably all the religions on this planet (probably, only because I haven't had time yet to study them all, nor has anyone else).

The Bible tells you how to do this in both the Old and New Testaments. Older than that, these "secrets" were printed in the Vedas and told in oral tradition for thousands of years before that. Our oldest philosophical legacy - Huna - is very exact in what has finally been published about this ancient belief-system.

Modernly, it's been published through "The Secret" DVD and earlier, by Earl Nightingale and his "Strangest Secret." Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, Stephen Covey, all these authors have studied, written, and published time and again about how to get this data and get a grip on your own emotional world - and become a roaring success in everything you do.

There is a caveat here - and probably the kicker to the whole subject: you can't exploit this data, even if you figure it all out. Because the universe is set up with one very exact rule of reciprocity. It's called the Golden Rule, but it's also known as the Law of Attraction, among other things. Simply - if you try to cheat someone else, to profit at their expense, YOU are the one who is going to wind up cheated and have an expensive lesson.

How are all these people, these few, getting insanely rich? By helping others to improve their lives, by giving a great service or product and requiring that people pay what they feel it's worth. They are constantly working to improve the world's condition - and are paid very highly to do so. Those people who know this secret and aren't rich are living very nice, quiet, peaceful lives and have everything they want - but this is by their own choice.

More marketing notes - how to use this emotional stuff...

Back to marketing - lets go over some of the rest of these notes I worked out during my day job session this weekend:

  • All demand (all needs and wants) are predicted by Maslow's Pyramid.
  • People associate objects with their feelings. This is all there is to "positioning" and "association" and "hot buttons."
  • Marketing is simply finding what objects people want (and buy), then supplying that demand.
  • Emotions are "hard-wired" through social training, partially stemming from genetics, but more due to family, schools, and pop culture pressures throughout our lives.
  • Any emotional training you have had, any mental habit, can be undone and retrained.
  • Emotions are a limited band, however, which don't apply to the pinnacle of Maslow's Pyramid - you simply have "out-grown" them up there.
  • Drugs bring back the physical response that emotions cause on the body - and so act in reverse; addicts are those who can't control or repress their emotions enough to live responsible lives.
Now for some practical applications -

In keyword research, look for emotions and objects represented as emotions. Do theme research for keywords used in the text surrounding top-selling items to see what emotions are being called for in the sales copy. HammerTap for eBay is a great tool to discover these words - since you have a very defined approach to what is actually selling out there, what their keywords are and what these are selling for.

Avoid getting traffic for traffic's sake. You have to get an exchange for your bandwidth. Attract buyers, not viewers. Minimally, you want shoppers - who can be converted to buyers and then to lifelong clients. Social media (including blogs) is what started this off. Most of the social media are utterly devoted to servicing peoples' feelings and sensations. This is why they are poor shoppers and worse buyers. These viewers are simply there for the moment.

When Google and other search engines are following social media so closely - they are simply following the money. Advertisers (another addiction) buy so that people will visit their site - and all advertising is based on emotional content. Google is in search of great content - which translates to INFOTAINMENT.

Not so bad, since our recording and movie (and most of the publishing) industries are devoted to satiating people and their emotional "requirements." This is a prime way to capitalize on this problem - give people easier ways to get their emotional lifts. Make them feel safer, better, healthier, more popular, etc. (Like in the cars and trucks we buy. Wouldn't you like electric windows with that CD changer?)

This predicts/explains why information products are such a hit. Instant downloads are perfect, particularly where they are video or audio products. Of course you have to charge for this - but hey, they're valuable aren't they? (eBay currently has the problem of outlawing digital downloads, only because spammers were cutting into their profit margins and diluting their product base. But other solutions are being found...)

Of course your product has to actually help people (or minimally, do no harm...).

Rapid Summary

  1. For the vast majority of us, your emotions play no small part in how you think and what you buy. Your reactions practically govern your life. Something advertising has played off for years - ineffectually at best.
  2. While you can find authors who will tell you exactly how to get control over your emotional scene, you can still get your marketing accomplished if you know to utilize emotions in your sales copy.
  3. And if you want to make fist-loads of money, you'll be looking for products which are emotionally popular as well as high demand/low supply.
  4. But your biggest resource will be in finding products which help people to move out from under the cloud of their emotions and start to live life under their own control.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Running Your Own Business - An Entrepreneur - means having a naturally different way of thinking

Basically, business owners (not people who manage it) think differently from 95 percent of the rest of the population of planet earth.


Keep looking down this line and you'll see that the statistics keep repeating:

  • 1 percent actually get rich
  • 4 percent become financially independent
  • 95 percent either continue working for someone else for the rest of their lives, or go into a fixed-income retirement plan - or die broke (or all three).
It was true when Earl Nightingale published his "Strangest Secret" recording.

Recent figures from the Social Security Administration gives the same numbers.

A study of graduating students found that only 5% had definite financial goals. And of that graduating class, only 5% became financially independent - the rest got jobs and debt.

Also, when you check out the Pareto Principle (80% of your income comes from 20% of your customers) - this then equates to 96% of the bulk of your income comes from roughly 4% of your customers (20% of 20%).

Everyone else is an also-ran, a wage-slave.

But there's hope. Especially for baby-boomers now finding that they have been relegated to trying to live off a tentative 401K, which varies with the economic climate.

You just have to change your mind.

  • Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich"
  • Earl Nightingales's "Strangest Secret" recording
  • Charles F. Haanel's "Master Key System"
  • additional books by Robert Allen and Robert Kiyosaki on real estate and investing
  • good training programs on starting and running an eBay business
  • keeping motivational recordings running all the time, like Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Jay Abraham, and others.
1st step is to read and follow the 13 steps of Napoleon Hill TO THE LETTER.
2nd step is to do the 30 Day program of Earl Nightingale
3rd step is to complete the 24 lessons of Haanel

Then start over.

In between times, other than getting audio copies of Hill and Haanel, re-listen to Nightingale's recording, plus Allens, Kiyosaki, Dyer, Ziglar, Robbins, Abraham, etc. These keep you on track and able to continue reprogramming yourself.

Now, the how of it is in those training programs on starting/running an eBay business and then leveraging this into completely financial independence.

It's really that simple.

Do it and get your freedom back.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What's the best product to sell?

(from my friend Socrates Socratous...)

"What is the Best product to Sell?"

People have been asking me this question over and over and over again. Ironically the answer is hidden within the question itself.

Let me explain...

People DON'T buy products.

No matter what your product is or how well known you are, the fact is, people will NOT buy your product.

They will buy what your product REPRESENTS for THEM.

People will buy the RESULT or the OUTCOME your product delivers.

If you are selling a pill to stop smoking, John will NOT buy the pill, but the fact that after he takes it he will no longer be a smoker.

He will buy the RESULT the pill will give him after he takes it.

Now, lets get back to your question:

"What is the Best product to Sell?"

If you look carefully over this question you are not asking about the Product itself but the OUTCOME. you want to know of a product that will sell well and will be successful.

Mainsteam media (and politics, officials, etc) use drama to keep you hooked.

I've covered the situation with stories before - people think in stories. We all do.

But what keeps us rolling is the drama in it - how well the story is told, and how it touches us (how we relate to it emotionally.)

Seth's Blog: The Media markets:
"The Media markets -The product they sell is drama."
"Most of us are inclined to believe that government officials, doctors and the media are making an effort to tell us the truth. Actually, just like all marketers, they tell us a story."

Needs more study. I'd start with Collier, Yanik Silver, Joe Vitale (the latter two having studied the former extensively, but provide modern examples) - but also get the classic works on how to tell stories. There are several in the public domain, and (as I can make the time) I'll work these up and provide them - probably as an online course.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A new business idea for importers and manufacturers - get the public to tell you what sells...

Forbes defined u-boomers: "financially unprepared yet undaunted and uncompromising baby boomers--'u-boomers' for short--will account for almost 25% of total U.S. consumption by 2015."

Make Way For The U-Boomers - "Companies also need to think about repositioning their brands so they help u-boomers feel smart, innovative and proud--not cheap or old--as they reconcile their financial limitations and lifestyle aspirations. For example, some discount airlines such as JetBlue (nasdaq: JBLU - news - people ) are helping passengers feel smart and special by combining low prices with comfort--individual television sets, leather upholstery, extra legroom--and a cool brand.

The flip side of the opportunity is a looming threat to companies who get their positioning wrong. Our research shows that the over-50 population, led by u-boomers, will over the next few years increase by 6% to 10% its share of spending in categories ranging from consumer electronics and clothing to furniture and restaurants. For executives, understanding the needs and preferences of u-boomers could be the difference between strong growth and no growth."

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How press releases still don't get respect

Press releases are still considered by "the pro's" to be a way to get reporters to write articles about you - not. I've gotten a recent blog post (by a Publicity Professional) and an ebook (by another Publishing Professional) who both say the same thing - they limit press releases to being "breaking news".

Here's the modern concept of press releases:
  • They can be submitted for free - you don't have to pay someone to distribute for you.
  • They have a high Google attention and frequently show up "above the fold" within days, if not minutes.
  • Real People look for these press releases, not just "journalists".
  • They search by keywords.
  • Anyone can write one about anything.
Essentially, they rank up with social media for impact on the search engines.

Now, whether some reporter will pick it up - no reporter worth his salt will pick up and write a story based on a single press release. They really research into it. So you are going to need to write a bunch of stuff and get it on the Web (where reporters do all their work these days). And you are going to have to write regular press releases.

What do you write then? Whatever your niche is interested in. Yes, your niche, not reporters.

Look, I'm biased about the news. I think it stinks to high heaven and you should detox from any addiction you have with it. Look at Google Trends and see how they think (and report) differently for the same keywords. Reporters live in that environment where catastrophe and complete anarchy "sells" newspapers, magazines, TV shows, etc.

But your niche is looking for useful data about what you have to say. So fill your title with your keywords and then people looking for information about your stuff will find it. And if a reporter is looking for those keywords, they'll get your data.

It's keywords, niches, and search engines, not reporters, news editors, and press deadlines. Get the difference? The old days of the press release are dead - all we really have left is the format.

Get your news out by regular press releases. Regular.

PS. My most effective press releases have been when I've used the same keywords for a slideshare, a video, a podcast, a press release, and a blog post about all four. Means you have four social media, plus a press release which all say the same thing. And this has gotten me nearly all the "above the fold" real estate for that search term.

You can check out my results here:

Seth's Blog: Four words

Seth is constantly trying to boil down and re-explore marketing - which is what a professional marketer should be doing.

In this post, he missed the achille's heel of many niche leaders and especially those who make a living from speaking and presentations: self-importance/vanity/lack of humility. (All the same concept.)

The first point is to actually communicate with those you are trying to reach. You have to deliver your story within their worldview - not to it or on top of it. You have to communicate to that person.

A speaker has to get outside himself and watch through the eyes of his audience - a bit of a trick, but easy once you learn to get empathy and real understanding of your audience (and easier in smaller groups than larger ones).

His four words, revisited: Really connect, overdeliver value.

Seth's Blog: Four words:
Make big promises; overdeliver."

Marketers often make big promises that appear to be unrealistic or are delivered in ways that don't match the worldview of the prospect. Marketers get carried away with themselves and focused on their greatness and forget to tell a story that people enjoy believing.

And sometimes, they make promises that are too small to get our attention. Boring promises are hardly worth making."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Still trying to boil down internet marketing to its simplicities...

Internet Marketing Simplicities

(Sounds like a great short video/slideshare...)

  • People are evolving. Constant situation - like change itself.
  • Emotions are shortcuts - people can use them, marketers use them.
  • (All attitudes and emotions can be controlled, but most people don't. Those 5 percent which do make 95 percent more.)
  • People associate things with emotions.
  • And they build their world-view with these things - surround themselves with them.
  • Worldviews are patterns, thought patterns. Habits. And so can be changed.
  • Their actual world is composed of/from the thoughts they create.
  • Knowing which emotions are tagged to what things is what drives sales and marketing.
  • Cheap shots.
  • Kicker is that people leave those exploitations when they see how they are false.
    Fads vs. trends.
  • Enter Web 2.0 - marketing is changed to a ClueTrain conversation.
  • Enter information products. (Thanks to darpanet...)
  • Stage is set for a true visionary - provided she/he's actually transparent.
  • Hasn't happened yet. (There's no politician alive who could fit that bill - nor most modern religious "leaders".)
  • Meanwhile, make all the money you want - it's only temporary anyway. The real thrill is the ride...

    What are you going to spend it on when you arrive?

Getting traffic to your blog

How to Get Piles of Links, Subscribers and Comments

The above blog post is pretty good on giving a shopping list of ways to get more traffic to your blog.

A note: "meme" is a nonsense word which means essentially a viral idea or concept - essentially you are creating a fad thought which floats around. Useless really, unless you are always credited with being its author.

"Tipping Point" is associated with Malcolm Gladwell, though he didn't invent the concept.

"Purple Cow" is Seth Godin (but I always remember the poem:
I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you one thing now:
I'd rather see that be one.
And so for me, this is Godin's albatross.)

"Mission Accomplished" is George Bush's (among many others)

And you can have your name or a moniker associated such. Advertising is always searching for these:

"Bubba" - Bill Clinton's legacy

"Lewinsky" - a family name tarnished by one person's screw-up - much like "Bin Laden"

"Just do it" - Nike

"Supercalifragilisticexpialidosus" - Mary Poppins

But "meme" as a concept itself is one of these made-up, feel-good, nonsense words which mean nothing and won't get you anywhere - unless you are using them to sound impressive at a cocktail party (but don't try this in a beer hall - they'd think you had a speech impediment and take pity on you...)

Pew Social & Demographic Trends: Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life

Study this up. It tells you who you are marketing to and what they want. It also tells you what marketing has been successful - by how people have been borrowing themselves into a hole in order to pay for things to improve their quality of life.

Our needs for "instant gratification" are swamping the consumers among us.

This excerpt below tells how our marketers have helped us get into the current media-hyped "recession" - that housing bubble is built on a credit bubble.

As you read the report, you can see the bias in it. But they still have good data.

Pay particular attention to anytime the word "feel" is used. That is the emotional context people are putting into their lives. (And what defines the slant of this report.) And emotions are how you market anything - they are the short cut to action.

Pew Social & Demographic Trends: Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life:

"For the past two decades middle income Americans have been spending more and borrowing more. Housing has been the key driver of both trends.

* A new single family house is about 50% larger and existing houses are nearly 60% more expensive (in inflation adjusted dollars) now than in the mid 1980s. Goods and services that didn't exist a few decades ago -- such as high definition television, high speed internet, and cable or satellite subscriptions -- have become commonplace consumer items. And the costs of many of the anchors of a middle class lifestyle -- not just housing, but medical care and college education -- have risen more sharply than inflation.
* As expenses have risen, middle income Americans have taken on more debt, often borrowing against homes that, at least until recently, had been rising rapidly in value. The median debt-to-income ratio for middle income adults increased from 0.45 in 1983 to 1.19 in 2004. Ratios have also increased for upper and lower income adults, but not by as much."

How to Market "Getting Rich"

People still want the same things - Money, Time, Health, Sex (and probably in that order, regardless of how "Madison Avenue" tells us).

This study below tells us that we aren't going to market getting rich to those who already have wealth. But getting more free (read: under your own control) time is a concern to everyone.

Unless you are marketing something that won't make the viewer more rich, more time, better health, or better sex - including these benefits in your copy would be smart.

Now, if you are selling luxury items, you are going to probably sell them on how other people will think of them - security of emotional state. But buying an expensive car won't make you rich or improve your health. It might be a "chick/stud magnet" and give you more enjoyable time off from the job that pays for it.

Pew Research Center: Who Wants To Be Rich?:
"Being wealthy tends to be highly valued by many whose current circumstances suggest they face long odds of ever becoming well-off including unemployed men as well as the least well-educated. About a quarter of each group say being rich is very important to them. For many of these Americans, this expressed desire for wealth may reflect little more than the desire to be financially more secure."

Thursday, May 1, 2008

eBay playing hard-ball

Ok, here's a new one. Told you about buying cheap ebooks to get my own feedback up on eBay. Had it up to about 52 or so. Turns out they have been de-listing people and then removing any feedback they've given out. So now I'm down to 46.

Interesting. Lucky I've been with eBay for years. Otherwise, I'd be a suspect - since obviously, they were using this to scam eBay for high feedback scores.

There's no free ride, free beer, or cheap feedback. Back to the drawing board.

Lesson? Buy only actual products through eBay - don't try to get around their (ahem) policies. Obviously, they are on a line of eradicating certain influences in their community.

Hey, just discovered some old McGovern/Shriver buttons....

"News" is only marketing, actually. Big surprise, huh?

What goes for "News" is and has always been Marketing - just very, very bad marketing.

Let's be transparent from the outset. Statistically, people trust the news just above lawyers and used car salesmen, and less than Congress. True - look it up. (Pew had these studies, I believe...)

Why does news exist - what keeps it going? Selling advertising.

The news is built on addicting viewers to their brand. The tactics are similar to any bad marketing - appeal the the basest motives and keep people emotionally involved.

The news (despite the twist "Journalism" studies give it in Academia) is there to get viewers and to sell advertising. That's it.

Why do movie stars make such "good press"? Because in different movies, they emotionally involved the viewer - so that viewer now wants the salient details about their private lives, to compare with their own. See if life for them in reality is as bad as some of us have it.

Could we live without all the negative comments for that half-hour every evening (and for 5 minutes every half-hour on the radio? Sure.

Since when has any (that's ANY) broadcast news anchor ever been actually 100% factual and impartial?

Let's see... never. Why do Academia hype their Journalistic Code and whatnot? To sell students on being a journalist (and paying hefty fees in books, courses, athletic fees, and whatnot - like student parking). Colleges (and universities) are in a for-profit business. Sure, it's rife with government handouts - which means they get to do really poor work with guaranteed job security... (Ok, we'll leave our rant on governments out of this for the moment.)

Look, most all Marketing - good or bad - is based on an emotional appeal. News only continues with subscribers because they are emotionally involved with the subjects these "news" anchors dredge up. And if they can show that they have more viewers in a given period, they can attract more and higher-paying advertisers.

But people know they are full of it. They know newscasters slant everything they touch. Most of it is left-leaning so far they need crutches to walk with and seat belts on their chairs.

OK, enough of the rant.

The reason for this note is to simply tell you what to watch/read/listen to if you want to see examples of really, truly bad marketing at work. The result is a failure of trust. All marketing is built on mutual trust. When Congress, the President, all media, lawyers, and used-car salesmen have less than 30% trust - maybe you don't want to buy their products anymore.

What do I tell people? TURN OFF THE TV. Get your news from the Internet - like Digg or Newsvine or Google News. At least there you can cross-compare the actual facts and not have to be interrupted by innuendo and asides.

Over to you.

Evil Internet Marketing Tactics and how to defeat them

Michael Campbell gives us this great insight below.

"Modern" Marketing (based in cold-war 1950's psychology) also doesn't particularly work on trained marketers. Long sales pages don't work in general - though a lot of people seem to think they do.

Actually, that psychology above is a numbers racket - all current sales and marketing (at least prior to Web 2.0) is based on the statistical fact that 3-5% will buy anything you offer them. And hence, spam.

You know what the real solution is - exactly what he says below: be transparent. I'd put some dynamic stuff on my website (if browsers would interpret it the same) which gave drop-down testamonials - if the viewer wanted them. Drop-down bonuses - if the viewer asked for them. Even drop-down PS's - if the viewer wanted another reason to justify her purchase.

Otherwise: give the basic and terse emotional value and reason they should buy and then a link to do so. (Yes, then you get a drop-down of "why so expensive" or "why so cheap".)

My chief annoyance is having to scroll around to find what they want for what they are offering. Makes me go elsewhere.

But I'm trained in marketing and pretty much hype-proof.

Expect your buyers and clients to be, as well.

Beware of Evil Internet Marketing Tactics:
"Many info sellers are highly trained in direct response marketing techniques, basic psychology, and prey on weak willed people through manipulating human emotions. Just say NO! Stop being their personal ATMs and giving them cash every time they ask for it.

(BTW, direct marketing doesn't work on people under the age of 30. Blasted with media since birth, their hype meters are on full alert and they can spot it in 10 words or less.)

When it comes to internet marketing, your worth is your reputation. You need to be transparent. Free of hype. Give value first (not added). And most important of all, be a good listener so you can give people what they want."