Utterly Useless Marketing Terms

Marketing is a strange industry. It's both an art and a science. When a marketing campaign is done right, it can be downright electrifying. And when it's done wrong, it can be obnoxious, unappealing or just plain ridiculous. Instead of just taking great stuff to market, some companies exaggerate or lie to try to sell their products. Oftentimes, the biggest way they do this is by spouting out hyperbolic (and often groundless) claims, speaking of products in overblown and undeserving terms. I hate Read More

What is “Dogfooding”?

So there's an important concept in the tech world that has a very strange name... I tell clients about the concept frequently, and usually get laughter when I mention the term: dogfooding. Say what? What is dogfooding, anyway? Yes, it's an awfully strange term, but it makes perfect sense. Here's the idea: if you work at a dog food company, and you have a dog, at the end of the day, you'd better be bringing home your company's dog food to feed your dog. Why? Because if your product is as good as your Read More

Don’t Buy the Cheap Pens!

I have nothing against promotional products. I like promotional products. I like the people that sell them, and I like the amazing kinds of products that are available today. But there's one promotional product I absolutely can't stand. Cheap pens. You know the kind... they're small, thin, ugly, made of plastic, break in about a week and cost companies a grand total of 45 cents. When I go to a trade show of any kind, I cringe at the unbelievable amount of cheap pens that vendors shovel into the Read More

What Marketing Is NOT

Every once in a while I'll hear somebody make comments about how the essence of marketing is to "throw stuff out there and see what sticks." Normally I don't say much in response to this, but sometimes I just want to tell people "Um, that's not correct." This is very, very bad advice, and it's not what marketing is. Marketing is, in fact, very methodical and draws heavily on statistics, demographic research and analytical data. In English: we use numbers, not gut feelings. Good marketing is all Read More

My Best (and Worst) Marketing Story Ever

Here's a true story about a little company that had one of the most brilliant campaigns I've ever personally responded to. Background: I used to work in the building industry. We were a small company that was capable of some amazing work, but we were not very sophisticated as a company. When I first started there, I helped assist in the payroll duties (i.e. collecting timesheets, keeping track of the hours each employee worked and reporting that to the accountant, delivering paychecks on payday, Read More

The Burn In Listerine – A Brilliant Marketing Ploy

Are you a mouthwash person? If so, you’re like millions of others who value their oral hygiene. And like millions of others, you probably don’t know which mouthwash is the best for you. But if you’re like me, you use Listerine. And if your like me, you use it for only one reason:IT BURNS.You can actually feel it working. You know—fighting plaque, preventing tooth decay and gum disease, things that will keep you out of the dentist's chair. Or, that’s what you assume anyway. Whether its Read More