Marketing is not a dirty word

I’ve been thinking about why marketing and salesmanship seems to have such a poor reputation among so many people. It tends to conjure up images of Bryl-cream-haired, shiny-suited arseholes trying to sell you a crappy used car. (And, granted, there are a few of those types around.)  Perhaps it’s because what we’re trying to do, [...]

Back to psychology: reciprocity. You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours then ask you for another favour. This is why the Hare Krishnas are so bloody annoying. Have you ever seen them around, doing their thing with the orange robes and the dancing and the tambourines? Now, I don’t have patience with any religious [...]

Please read this blog because kittens

A social psychologist at Harvard, Ellen Langer, neatly demonstrated a form of human automatic action with a library-based experiment. It’s well-known that when we ask someone for a favour, we’ll be more successful if we give a reason. What’s less well-known is that reason can be anything: from the perfectly reasonable to the utterly ridiculous. [...]

Are you putting people to sleep?

Is there someone in your group of acquaintances who makes your heart sink whenever he gets you in his tractor beam? I bet there is.  We all know someone like that. Someone who may well be lovely, but they’re just so bloody dull, all you can think about is that big pile of laundry you’ve [...]

What business owners don’t know about price would fill a shelf-full of books. Me too, at first. It’s a steep learning curve, this running a business, isn’t it? This is a long blog post, so get yourself a cuppa and read it carefully. I reckon the ideas in here are among the most valuable in [...]

Why most adverts fail

I remember a great piece of video from back in the days when I used to watch TV. Well, actually it was an advert and it reminded me of one of my favourite cartoons when I was a kid.  Do you remember the Transformers (I mean the original cartoons, not the dreadful Hollywood action movies)? [...]

Is this the worst advert ever?

I subscribe to the brilliant Drayton Bird’s daily emails, and some time ago now he sent me his nomination for the world’s worst advert. Now, in a world filled with terrible adverts, that’s quite an achievement. Here it is in all its, ahem, glory: Honestly, this ad does so many things wrong I barely know where [...]

Once upon a time, there was a talented, yet frustrated business owner… Nah, I’m just kidding. You don’t need to start your stories like that. You could start them like I did in the subject line though: I bet you couldn’t resist clicking, huh? Because you know there’s a story in there and we’re all [...]

Pictures. Are they really worth 1,000 words?

A picture is worth a thousand words. Everyone says so. But is that really true in all cases everywhere? I’d say not in all cases. Not in advertising, anyway. Here’s why. Ads are expensive. Pictures in ads are very expensive because they take up a lot of space, space that could be used for selling [...]

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