Influence people

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wizard of Ahhs

In 1893, L. Frank Baum was working as a salesman in Chicago.

A world's fair was taking place that year in the South Side, and its luminous exhibits lured the big-thinking Baum repeatedly (fellow Chicagoans nicknamed the fair "The White City" because it gleamed all night under Edison's new electric lights).

The White City, like its 1851 London forebear "The Crystal Palace," was a showcase for corporations' new products. More than 250,000 exhibitors participated, displaying everything from kitchen appliances to printing presses.

The fair's exhibitors gave Baum a big idea. If corporations could display new products in their booths, why couldn't department stores do the same thing in their windows?

Baum held onto his idea for four years, then quit his sales job and launched a trade magazine, Show Window. The monthly offered lavishly illustrated case studies of store displays throughout Chicago and New York that gave legs to Baum's notion "every window can tell a story."

To further legitimize his big idea, the following year Baum formed a trade association, the National Association of Window Trimmers of America, and organized the group's first annual convention at the Palmer House, Chicago's fanciest hotel.

The restless Baum had another big idea, spurred in part by the spectacles he'd seen at the world's fair.

Just two years later, in 1900, Baum published the children's fantasy we remember him by, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How to Win Friends and Influence Prospects

"Attention is something that can't be refunded or recalled," 
Seth Godin says. "Once it's gone, it's gone."

Most salespeople fail to realize how fleeting and fragile attention is.

If a prospect won't reply to emails, return calls, accept appointments or keep them, it means you haven't created enough interest to earn her attention.

Here are five sure-fire ways to correct that:
  • Get referred. Leverage your network. Ask an influencer to smooth your way.
  • Call early. Cold call before the morning madness starts (or late in the evening, when it's past). Be ready to stimulate thoughts. 
  • Send a letter. Provoke thoughts the old-fashioned way. Close by asking for an appointment.
  • Send a gift.The right one will earn more attention than it deserves. Try a new dollar bill.
  • Go where the prospect goes. Use common sense and a little detective work to learn which events the prospect attends. Button-hole her there. Again, be ready to provoke thoughts.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Storytelling: Born in a Bathtub

As a marketing strategy, storytelling was born in a bathtub.

The year was 1951. Stories couldn't move merchandise, the Madison Avenue experts agreed.

Then an obscure shirtmaker from Maine, Hathaway, approached an equally obscure ad man, David Ogilvy, with only $30,000 to spend.

To win him over, the company's president pledged never to fire Ogilvy or change one of his ads.

Ogilvy had been mulling the notion that "story appeal" could sell products, and decided to test the theory with his new client's ads. 

He was sitting in his bathtub when the image of the Hathaway Man came to him.

Ogilvy appeared in the office the next day and instructed his art director to find a model who resembled novelist William Faulkner, who'd recently won a Nobel Prize, for the photo shoot. 

En route to the shoot, Ogilvy bought a 50-cent eyepatch at a Manhattan drugstore. He handed the eyepatch to the photographer and said, "Humor me."

Ogilvy's copy assured readers Hathaway shirts—like the men who wore them—were "in a class by themselves." 

"You will get a great deal of quiet satisfaction out of wearing shirts which are in such impeccable taste."

Ogilvy's first ad in the series ran in The New YorkerWithin a week, every Hathaway shirt in Manhattan was sold. "We have never seen anything just like it," said the magazine's ad manager.

The Hathaway Man soon catapulted the company to the top-ranking shirtmaker in the world—and storytelling to the top drawer in every marketers' toolchest.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Brevents Face Tight Marketing Budgets

Event producers in the UK on average spend only $10,697 to market a B2B event, according to a new survey by Eventbrite.

That amount is paltry compared to a US producer's average marketing spend, which is 28 times greater.

Brits spend the majority of their marketing money on outbound email. 

They also rely heavily on word-of-mouth to draw attendees, the survey finds.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Newshounds' Loyalty on the Rise

Consumers' loyalty to specific news outlets is on the rise, according to a recent poll by Gallup. 

Among consumers, 48% identify a specific medium (TV, Internet, radio, newspaper) as their main news sourcedown 10 points from three years ago; while 42% identify a specific outlet (Fox, Huffington, NPR, The New York Times, etc.) as their main sourceup 12 points from three years ago.

"The shift in thinking on the subject is partly powered by Americans' increasing ability to gather news from a single organization on multiple platforms," says pollster Jim Norman. 

Loyalty to social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as news outlets is also on the rise—particularly among Millennials.

According to the poll, 15% of Millennials identify a social media site as their main news source, up from 3% three years ago.

While the shift in media habits will affect news outlets in their battle for customers, it also could spill into politics and social behaviors, Norman says.

Consumers may shut out viewpoints not presented by their favorite news outlet, and be more apt to mistake entertainment for news.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

SMS: A Fantastic Way to Engage Customers

Sophorn Chhay contributed today's post. He is the inbound marketer at Trumpia, a mobile content delivery service that lets users customize their one-to-one marketing.

Marketers are jumping into SMS because texting keeps growing. Consider:

  • 23 billion text messages are sent every (a Millennial sends 67 a day)
  • 97% of text messages are opened
  • 75% of people prefer receiving offers via text messages
  • 80% of people use text messaging for business
Before you jump into SMS, check out our beginner’s guide below. Learn what SMS marketing is, how to set up a campaign, and how to test a campaign.

The Beginner's Guide to SMS Marketing

Monday, July 11, 2016

Past Lives Matter

The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.

— William Faulkner

My Irish heritage has always been a source of pride, as it is for 33.3 million other Americans. (For what it's worth, my genome shows I descend from an Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages, a lordly lineage that makes me all the more proud.)

But being a "mick" ain't all glory.

It wasn't sixty years ago micks, like other groups, were considered untrustworthy outsiders, a distaste that vanished from our society only with the election—and killingof John F. Kennedy. 

I still remember offhand remarks made by adults that made the distaste clear to me.

When I conjure up the past lives of Irish-Americans, I picture tin miners and tunnel diggers; road workers and factory stiffs; Civil War soldiers and civil servants.

These people are part of me; I stand on their shoulders.

There are past lives that are a part of me which I haven't thought about.

My alma mater, Georgetown University, sold 272 of its slaves "down the river" in 1838. The slaves, who built the school, were sold out of necessity. The income$3.3 million in today's money—retired a debt that, if unpaid, would have meant the end to the institution.

I stand on their shoulders, too.
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