Monday, July 31, 2017

A Clear and Present Danger

Latinos. Germans. Same difference.

President Trump warned last week he's cracking down on MS-13. In his first 100 days in office, he has arrested nearly 42,000 immigrants. Sounds good, except for the fact that 11,000 of those people have no criminal records.

A century ago, Germans were the targets of our government.

When the US declared war on Germany in April 1917, German immigrants came under suspicion—a sentiment that soon spread to all resident foreigners. All German immigrants were labeled "alien enemies" and—among 19 other things—prohibited by executive order from criticizing the federal government.

Within two months, the label “alien enemy” was applied to anyone who dissented.

Prime targets included "Wobblies"—workers enrolled in the union known as the Industrial Workers of the World. Labeled as enemies, rank-and-file union members were rounded up willy-nilly and deported, or taken in cattle cars to remote spots in the Southwestern desert and left to die. The union's leaders, 101 of them, were all arrested, tried en masse, and sentenced to 20 years.

A year later, in May 1918, Congress passed a law imposing a 20-year sentence on anyone tempted to “utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States

And in October, it passed a law allowing deportation of “any alien who, at any time after entering the United States, is found to have been at the time of entry, or to have become thereafter, a member of any anarchist organization."

The war with Germany ended in an armistice a month later.

But the laws stayed in force, and all hell broke loose when the Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer and his assistant, J. Edgar Hoover, launched their infamous crusade against the left.

Over a two-year period known as the "Red Scare," Palmer and Hoover arrested 10,000 alien residents without warrants, many of whom were “denaturalized” and deported to the newly formed Soviet Union.

The Supreme Court justified their actions by deciding, when free speech constituted a “clear and present danger” the government could suspend the First Amendment.

All I can say is, it's great to be Irish.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

It's a Gift

This is the main question, with what activity one's leisure is filled.

— Aristotle

Judging from friends' Facebook posts, we're amusing ourselves to death.

But that's an illusion.

The fact is, we're working—if we're working—more than ever. Not always by choice, but often.

In Leisure, the Basis of Culture, the philosopher Josef Pieper blamed careerism on our "refusal to accept a gift, no matter where it comes from.”

We've been brainwashed by advertisers to believe everything worth anything you earn, like some goddamn badge. We even treat leisure as something to earn, sharing selfies from our exotic travels like they were medals of achievement.

It's a sign of pride, the worst of the seven deadly sins.

But you don't earn leisure. It's a gift. And it isn't time off to "recharge the battery." As Pieper believed, it is the battery.

"Leisure lives on affirmation," Pieper said.

To be “at leisure” is one of humanity's defining abilities.

You can't really give at work until you're willing to receive the gift of leisure.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

6 Last-Ditch Ways to Sell Out Your Event

If you're not gonna go all the way, why go at all?

― Joe Namath
When events fail to sell out, resourceful producers pull out all the stops.

EventMB recommends these six last-ditch efforts:

Social media buy. Take out ads on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook that target locals (drive-ins) with an interest in your topics. Cull your database for locals to help you target the buy, and be sure to keep using free social media to chat up your event. Take advantage of past attendees' testimonials. You'll motivate fence-sitters.

Personalized email. Cull from your database locals who haven’t registered and conduct a drip-marketing campaign. Focus on locals who click through and send them additional emails that concentrate on justifying the cost of the event.

Special offer. Email registrants an offer of a referral incentive, such as "Buy two, get one free." Registrants will feel appreciated and help you. Send sponsors and exhibitors the same offer, to pass along to their customers. Sister organizations may also help you spread the word. You can also promote a contest on social media with free tickets as the prizes. Create a hashtag and ask people to vote on line. Contests, well done, are buzz-worthy.

Streamlined registration. Identify any causes of friction in your registration process and eliminate them―even if it means slaying sacred cows. Last-minute registrations are impulsive, and you don't want to deter prospects in any way. And add prominent copy like "Last chance to pre-register and save" or "Only a few seats left."

Telemarketing. The best way to spur last-minute registrations is to call locals, particularly alumni of past events who haven't registered. They know the value you deliver. (If yours is a first-time event, concentrate on locals who have some relationship with you.)

Retargeting. Retargeted ads can influence sales-resistant locals by making your event top of mind. By becoming ubiquitous, you'll sell out.

Last-ditch don'ts. EventMB warns:
  • Don't offer last-minute discounts rashly; you only signal panic, cheapen your event, and train registrants to wait for deep discounts the next time round. ("Loyal attendee" discounts are okay.)

  • Don't go all-serious. Play up the entertainment value of your event (remember, last-minute registrations are impulse buys).

  • Don't go into hard-sell mode across all marketing channels. Concentrate on the ones above.
  • Don't bury your calls to action in your last-ditch promotions. Big, colorful buttons work.

  • Don't refrain from giving free registrations away, if the recipients are influencers who'll add to the prestige of your event.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Magazines against the Wall?

A near-impenetrable wall once separated editorial from advertising.

But with ad-income in decline—and without hope of turnaround—magazine publishers are capitalizing on their editorial prestige to create new revenue streams, says Ryan Derousseau in Folio:
  • Readers of New York trust its writers' recommendations about what's worth buying. So the publisher has started to rake in dough from affiliates via outbound links in the articles on its website. Whenever readers click to a partner's website, money changes hands. The publisher's policy: to plug only products "the editors or writers stand behind.” Affiliate revenue is growing 40% a month, and has inspired the publisher to open pop-up shops at festivals.
  • The Atlantic has become advertisers' digital agency, exploiting its advantage in measuring readers' clicks. Besides audits, the publisher creates and runs entire content-focused, multichannel campaigns for advertisers. The campaigns can include sponsored pieces of original journalism. The in-house agency is the fastest growing division of the company. It expects its revenue to rise 32% this year.
  • Time is licensing its portfolio of brands to retail outlets. Readers can find kitchenware, bed linens, rugs and other merchandise in stores that are branded Real Simple, People, Food & Wine, and Southern Living. Licensed products sold in Dillard's have grown to 110 in two years.
Does monetizing readers' trust in these ways endanger that very thing?
Probably not.

Audiences are so used to paid sponsorships, they give them no thought.

Nobody turned off the last NCAA Tournament because every other player's jersey has a Nike swoosh. James Bond's Omega watch didn't prevent Skyfall from becoming a box-office smash. Mentions of the Peninsular and Oriental Company in Around the World in Eighty Days didn't stop Jules Verne's novel from becoming a classic. And Esquire readers ate up David Ogilvy's take on oysters for Guinness.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Demand Gen Demands Focus

Lead gen (scattered) differs from demand gen (focused).

Demand gen identifies your best prospects, hooks them with content, and converts them into buyers.

It takes focus to pull it off, says Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group.

Here's Brenner's formula:

Step 1. Target your prospects and offer them premium content and giveaways through a variety of channels. Test e-books, white papers, infographics, videos, podcasts, free trials, and free apps. Test influencer marketing at this stage, as well. "With every download, sign-up or other customer action, you’ll gain insight and have a better idea of which segments are interested in what and why," Brenner says.

Step 2. Help prospects form an intimate connection with your brand. For this, try Webinars, contests, and events. "This tactic serves to invite the customer into a more committed brand-customer relationship."

Step 3. Now that you’ve identified your best quality leads, customize your marketing communications. "Hopefully, you’ve managed to collect some extra customer info along the way with survey questions and feedback requests to help firmly establish your buyer personas and clearly understand each segment’s pain points," Brenner says.

Step 4. Keep the customized content flowing. "It is the tailored, worthwhile content that will convince your vetted leads to follow you along until a purchase is made." Don't forget the continue testing different offers.

Step 5. Engage and delight your new customers through social media and email. Make sure they know about your new products, promotions, and content. "Meanwhile, your inbound marketing is working on gathering your next pool of prospects, ready to be identified, evaluated, thinned, and segmented."

Concentration is key.

"This approach does require a concentrated, ongoing effort to stay focused on your quality leads and customer retention," Brenner says. "But, as the nurturing process continues, relationships build, bonds thicken, and your pool of the highly qualified swells."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How to Refine Your Retargeting

Retargeting yields B2B marketers stronger results when linked to precise goals, says Demand Gen Report.

Retargeting experts insist the technique should not be considered a marketing channel unto itself, but a tactic that can reinforce other channels such as social, email, direct mail, telemarketing, and face-to-face.

An account-based approach to retargeting (limiting your ad targets to a list of prospects at specific companies) also boosts results.

"With an account-based approach, companies can identify the accounts that can have the biggest impact on their business and focus retargeting on those companies," says Peter Isaacson, CMO, Demandbase. 

That approach lets marketers personalize retargeted ads based demographics like industry and company size, and on product interests.

Retargeting should also be linked to speedy follow-up by salespeople.

"Too often, marketers focus on ads only," Isaacson says. "But to drive business metrics, you want to make sure there is triggering sales activity. This includes triggers to bring in sales development reps and account development reps to get involved and tie these initiatives to potential bottom line revenue."

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The 3-Minute Machiavelli

Master these techniques and rule the world.

Ad hominem. Attacking your opponent, as opposed to his position.

Ad nauseam. Attempting to persuade by endlessly repeating an idea.

Appeal to authority. Citing prominent people to support your position.

Appeal to fear. Creating unwarranted anxieties to support your position.

Appeal to prejudice. Using emotive terms to associate moral goodness with your position.

Bandwagon. Attempting to persuade by arguing "everybody shares my position."

Beautiful people. Attempting to persuade by claiming attractive people share your position.

Big Lie. Attempting to persuade by repeating a fiction. 

Black-and-white fallacy. Attempting to persuade by oversimplifying possibilities.

Cherry picking. Attempting to persuade by selectively telling the truth.

Common man. Attempting to persuade by claiming "plain folks" agree with your position.

Cult of personality. Attempting to persuade by flattering yourself.

Demonizing. Attempting to persuade by painting your opponent as a monster.

Disinformation. Attempting to persuade by forgery or by deleting official records.

Euphemism. Attempting to persuade by disguising unpleasantries with innocuous words.

Euphoria. Leveraging morale-boosting spectacles, holidays or handouts to persuade.

Exaggeration. Attempting to persuade through hyperboles.

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). Attempting to persuade by disseminating mis- or disinformation that undermines your opponent.

Flag-waving. Attempting to persuade by proclaiming your patriotism.

Framing. Attempting to persuade by artfully controlling public narrative.

Gaslighting. Attempting to persuade by sowing doubt, denying facts, or misdirecting your audience.

Gallopbombing. Attempting to persuade by asking an opponent difficult questions in rapid fire, making them look uninformed.

Glittering generalities. Attempting to persuade by using emotionally appealing words without substance.

Guilt by association (reductio ad Hitlerum). Attempting to persuade by suggesting an opponent's position resembles that of someone we despise.

Intentional vagueness. Attempting to persuade by remaining fuzzy.

Labeling. Attempting to diminish your opponent by using a single word or phrase.

Loaded language. Attempting to persuade by using strongly emotional words.

Lying. Attempting to persuade through deceptions.

Managing the news. Attempting to persuade by "staying on message."

Minimization. Attempting to persuade by denying the implications of a fact.

Name calling. Attempting to persuade through bad names.

Non sequitur. Attempting to persuade with illogical arguments.

Obfuscation. Attempting to persuade with confusing generalities and undefined words and phrases.

Oversimplification. Attempting to persuade with simple answers to complex questions.

Pensée unique. Attempting to persuade with a single overly simplistic phrase.

Quotes out of context. Attempting to persuade by editing your opponent's statements.

Rationalization. Attempting to persuade by sugar-coating your own questionable acts and beliefs.

Red herring. Attempting to persuade by citing a compelling, but irrelevant, fact, and claiming it validates your position.

Repetition. Attempting to persuade by repeating a slogan.

Scapegoating. Attempting to persuade by assigning blame to an individual or group.

Slogan. Attempting to persuade with a striking phrase.

Stereotyping. Attempting to persuade by labeling an opponent and her followers in ways that arouse prejudice.

Straw man. Attempting to persuade by misrepresenting, and refuting, your opponent's position.

Testimonial. Attempting to persuade with others' glowing statements about you.

Third-party technique. Attempting to persuade by asking your followers to accept as authoritative the opinions of others, such as celebrities, soldiers, preachers, journalists, and scientists.

Thought-terminating cliché. Attempting to persuade with an over-used folk wisdom.

Transfer. Attempting to persuade by superimposing one or more images on others.

Unstated assumption. Attempting to persuade by avoiding disclosure of your ridiculously incredible assumption.

Virtue words. Attempting to persuade with high-minded, flowery words.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Windfall for Event Organizers

Event organizers can expect a windfall as companies boost their spending on face-to-face, according to Reuters.

The windfall comes at the expense of publishers reliant for revenues on companies' ad dollars.

"Organizers of conferences and trade shows are benefiting from a shift in the way marketing budgets are allocated, with companies spending less on advertising and more on events," write reporters Esha Vaish and Noor Zainab Hussain.

Research firm
Outsell pegs the spend for B2B events by US companies this year at $28 billion, a 4% increase over 2016. US companies will spend $35 billion on ads this year, a 6% decrease.

"While the battle between traditional and online media outlets has grabbed headlines, companies are often skeptical that advertising with either translates into sales," write Vaish and Hussain. "Hence the shift towards events."

While conferences' and trade shows' prospects are closely linked to the economic health of the industries they serve, the shift of marketers' dollars to events offsets revenue losses due to other factors, such as government-imposed travel bans.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Kettle Logic

President Trump this week told The New York Times he made no money from business dealings with Russians, but would fire special counsel Robert Mueller were he to try to confirm that.

"I mean, it’s possible there’s a condo or something," Trump said. "So, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? I don’t make money from Russia. In fact, I put out a letter saying that I don’t make—from one of the most highly respected law firms, accounting firms. I don’t have buildings in Russia. They said I own buildings in Russia. I don’t. They said I made money from Russia. I don’t. It’s not my thing. I don’t, I don’t do that. Over the years, I’ve looked at maybe doing a deal in Russia, but I never did one. Other than I held the Miss Universe pageant there eight, nine years."

Translation: I never make money from Russians, except when I do.

"Look, this [investigation] is about Russia," Trump continued. "So I think if he wants to go, my finances are extremely good, my company is an unbelievably successful company. And actually, when I do my filings, peoples say, 'Man!' People have no idea how successful this is. It’s a great company. But I don’t even think about the company anymore. I think about this, because one thing, when you do this, companies seem very trivial. O.K.? I really mean that. They seem very trivial. But I have no income from Russia. I don’t do business with Russia. The gentleman that you mentioned, with his son, two nice people. But basically, they brought the Miss Universe pageant to Russia to open up, you know, one of their jobs. Perhaps the convention center where it was held. It was a nice evening, and I left. I left, you know, I left Moscow. It wasn’t Moscow, it was outside of Moscow."

Translation: Were he to examine my finances, Mueller would discover I make tons of money from Russians, despite what I say. But I never think about the money, so the whole matter is actually unimportant.

A masterful display of kettle logic.

Kettle logic is a form of rhetoric through which you use several arguments to defend yourself with no concern for inconsistencies. Using kettle logic, you string together contradictory statements to make your case, presenting them as if the contradictions don't exist.

French philosopher Jacques Derrida named the form of argument after a story told by Sigmund Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams:

A man is accused by his neighbor of damaging a borrowed kettle. The man defends himself by claiming that he returned the kettle undamaged; that it was already damaged when he borrowed it; and that he never borrowed it in the first place.

The inconsistencies between and among the different arguments, Freud said, aren't apparent to the dreamer, because the logic of dreams allows contradictory things to be admitted simultaneously.

Wake up, Mr. President.

Friday, July 21, 2017

This Ain't Customer Service!

Today's post was contributed by Michael J. Hatch. He is a sales, marketing and business development consultant with over 20 years' experience working with Fortune 500 companies, associations and government agencies.

Say what you will about Gen X, Y and Z, but one thing is certain: the generation of companies they run and that we all buy from don't understand customer service.

Go to most corporate websites these days and try to find a phone number to call. And if you're lucky enough to find a number, you're most likely to get an automated answering system. Good luck trying to get through that! It literally is not possible.

Tech companies in particular do not want you to talk with them.

They hide the staff and, more often than not, offer no phone numbers for reaching their so-called "customer service" reps. You must communicate through email or—worse—live chat.

Live chat, in fact, seems to be the default communication solution for most companies these days. It really shouldn't be called "live," because it's deadly:
  • First, you prompt the chat feature and wait for a reply. You get a friendly "We'll be right with you" reply, but then... nothing... ever... happens...
  • While you are waiting, if you get up to grab coffee or answer the doorbell, you inevitably miss the reply and are promptly disconnected... and must start all over again.

  • The next time round, you wait at their pleasure for a response, finally get one, and type in a description of your situation. Then you wait... and wait... and wait...

  • Every round is a repeat-sequence of send-and-wait, send-and-wait. Of course, while you are waiting, the rep is servicing two other customers in the background.
This ain't good customer service. It ain't even mediocre customer service. It ain't customer service at all.

God bless the few companies that do actually give you a customer service phone number and a live person to talk with—perhaps even someone who actually knows something about the company's product.

Those are the companies that recognize that, in today's crowded markets, customer service is a strategic differentiator and a crucial piece of the whole customer experience—and those are companies that will win in the battle for high-spending customers.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Collateral Damage

Until the autopsy results come in, we can only guess why Steve the Security Robot drowned this week in Washington, DC.

May he Rust in Peace.

Automation—including marketing automation—is only as good as the weakest link in the process.

The weak link in marketing automation is content.

Marketers go to all lengths to create pretty logos, websites, blogs, banner ads, brochures and tradeshow booths, but allow marketing automation to sully their brands.

They program Mark the Marketing Robot to:

Annoy prospects. They program Mark to assume a form-fill means the prospect welcomes one or two cloying emails every single day for 20 days. Trust me, she doesn't.

Confuse prospects. They program him to send long-winded, self-absorbed emails that spew largely irrelevant product features. They never bother to communicate a core—or convincing—value proposition; only a lot of sales-talk.

Offend prospects. They program Mark to send emails with click-bait Subject lines, unproven or exaggerated claims, typos, grammatical errors, and pointless and presumptive closes.

It's the content, stupid.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Digital Damage

Digital ads could be alienating B2B buyers, says Julie Ogilvie, senior research director at Sirius.

Because the ad units are tiny and compete in cluttered environments, B2B marketers are resorting to intrusive techniques that may be damaging their brands.

Ogilvie cites three:

Retargeting. "The idea behind retargeting is solid," she says. "However, in execution it can become annoying if the ads are popping up for months on end or are appearing in inappropriate environments."

Digital ads sporting sensational headlines "almost always disappoint in terms of what is delivered." The disappointment is reinforced when retargeting is used.

Native ads. Digital ads dressed as editorial content can also annoy and disappoint. Although buyers will respond, "many people still end up feeling deceived by messages that appear to be one thing but turn out to be another."

"In all these examples, people have come to feel that they are being tricked or harassed by advertisers," Ogilvie says.

Techniques like retargeting, clickbait and native advertising generate impressive response rates, she admits.

"But response rates do not always equal conversion rates—or revenue. And there is still the question of short-term vs. long-term gain. Brands are about building relationships and trust with our audiences."

You need not worry overmuch you're alienating your whole audience.

While you may be angering Boomer and Gen X buyers, the majority of Millennial buyers have installed ad blockers.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

When You're 64

My wife and I frequent a farmers market Sundays in Dupont Circle, and often buy from a local pickler named Number 1 Sons.

The pickler's stand is run by 20-somethings who inevitably ignore me until I go all geezer on them and crabbily insist on making my purchase.

I'm not alone in taking it personally.

According to a survey by AARP of 61- to 69-year old Americans, 21% say they feel invisible around Millennials, and 10% say they receive slower service at stores and restaurants.

Fifty years ago, Sir Paul McCartney's lyrics to "When I'm 64" seemed so sweet.

Every Boomer would relish aging, he implied, just as long as "you still need me."

Things aren't quite working out that way.

But there's more than sour grapes in my tale.

There's a business lesson.

The late novelist Pat Conroy once told C-SPAN, "Every industry is going to be affected by the aging population. This creates tremendous opportunities and tremendous challenges."

He was rightespecially about the opportunities.

The GI Generation didn't put up with crap service. Why would Boomers? We ended an unjust war; elevated women, blacks and gays; invented heavy metal and punk rock; and created the Internet.

Hey, Sonny: If you want to disrupt, try disrupting discourtesy.

NOTE: July 19th marks my 64th birthday.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Hidden Presuaders

Vance Packard's 1957 best-seller The Hidden Persuaders convinced Americans that midcentury admen were gobbling up CIA-sponsored research studies and using the results to prey on consumers' frail and listless minds.

The title's "hidden persuaders" referred to
subliminal messages, which Packard insisted made midcentury ads irresistible.

Cynical admen were embedding lurid words and racy images in ads for things like laundry detergents, cars, whiskies and cigarettes, in order to trigger customers' Freudian desires for pleasure, he claimed.

Ad agencies, Congress and the FCC scoffed at the idea, but the reading public embraced it.

Everybody loves a conspiracy, as Freud would say.

Flash forward 70 years and Robert Cialdini's best-seller Pre-Suasion provides a new generation of marketers the ammo they need to prey on customers.

Pre-suasion is a technique for gaining agreement with a message before it’s sent. 

Drawing on hundreds of social science studies, Cialdini makes two principal arguments:
  1. To persuade a customer to make a certain choice, the marketer must first trigger a mental association that implies "change is good;" and

  2. The factor most likely to determine the customer's choice is the one a marketer elevates in attention moments before the decision.
According to Cialdini:
  • To get a customer to like you, first hand her a warm drink.

  • To get a customer to help you, first ask her if she considers herself a helpful person.

  • To get a customer to try your untested product, first ask if she loves adventure.

  • To get a customer to buy a popular product, first show her a scary movie.

  • To get a customer to buy an expensive product, first ask her to write down a number higher than the product's price.

  • To get a customer to think about your proposal, first show her a photo of Rodin's The Thinker.

  • To get a customer to buy French wine, play French music as she enters the store.
"The key moment is the one that allows a communicator to create a state of mind in recipients that is consistent with the forthcoming message," Cialdini says. It’s the moment in which we can arrange for others to be attuned to our message before they encounter it."

DO YOU KNOW? Movie-goers were traumatized when The Exorcist premiered in 1973. Many fainted, vomited, and fled from theaters in the middle of the picture. That's because William Friedkin laced the film with horrific subliminal images.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tradeshow Malcontents

Thou art the Mars of malcontents.

— William Shakespeare

UK exhibit builder Display Wizard recently asked 100 marketers whether tradeshows have a bright future.

Their answers might disturb you: 75 said yes; 25, no.

The 25 nay-sayers cited the rising digital tide as the reason—and their nagging disappointment with organizers, who are molasses-slow to adopt new technologies.

You might, as a hard-working organizer, respond, "Sure, we're not perfect, but attendees love our event!"

Maybe, maybe not.

Late last year, the event research firm
Explori found, worldwide, tradeshows earn abysmally low Net Promoter Scores from attendees (from a high of 20 in the US to a low of -6 in Asia).

To put that in context,
an "average" company's Net Promoter Score ranges from 31 to 50. (The worldwide Net Promoter Score exhibitors gave tradeshows was worse: -18.)

Explori's analysts noted that attendees' low scores can't be attributed to "so-called 'hygiene factors' such as venue layout, signage or catering, but highlight far more fundamental problems." T

radeshow exhibitors aren't displaying the innovations attendees crave.

Again, as a hard-working organizer, you might say: "So what? Many thriving industries have low Net Promoter Scores."

And you'd be right: duopolistic industries (where customers have little choice) all have negative scores. (Think cable TV, for example; Comcast and Time Warner Cable both have negative Net Promoter Scores—more unhappy than happy customers.)

But the tradeshow industry isn't a duopoly.

Attendees and exhibitors have choices. They can participate only in segment-leading shows. Or only in niche shows. Or they can meet elsewhere; at virtual events or—more likely—proprietary ones.

And, as a hard-working organizer, you might say: "I'm not worried. We're used to exhibitor churn. There'll always a few malcontents."

But you should worry.

Malcontents don't just represent the portion of customers who aren't satisfied.

They represent a potential mob that can become radicalized—that can pick up the weapons of social media and declare jihad on your plush bottom line.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gamification Supercharges Tradeshow Exhibits

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon.
— E.M. Forster

Seven of 10 Americans believe attending events connects them to others, according to a recent survey by Eventbrite.

Among Millennials, that proportion's even higher—8 of 10.

Seven of 10 Millennials also believe events expand knowledge better than online content does, the survey reveals. And 1 of 2 attend events to have experiences they can share on social media.

For Millennials, attending events "is all about projecting to your social media network, and painting a picture of a phenomenal lifestyle," event planner Aubri Nowowiejski told
Skift. "They chase experiences over things to get those likes and comments and interactions, and that dopamine fix."

If you accept Eventbrite's findings, exhibit marketers who help Millennials polish their personal brands will come out winners at tomorrow's B2B events.

Gamification is the secret sauce.

By offering them high-yield opportunities to enrich their personal brands, gamification counteracts Millennials’ unfortunate reluctance to engage in the "real world" of sales conversation.

Gamification makes networking fun and unintimidating—and delivers the all-important dopamine fix that comes when a Millennial wallflower can update his social media feeds.

One ready solution for exhibitors is
PLAYBOOK, a lead-gen system that marries pre-show marketing with gamification.

PLAYBOOK, exhibitors can not only attract large crowds of fun-seeking prospects to their booths, but get them to look up from their phones long enough to engage in conversation.

DISCLAIMER: I'm a bit biased in favor of
PLAYBOOK, because it's the creation of Bob & David James. Learn more here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Snake on a Plane

The stunning lies and Orwellian distortions that dribble from our president's mouth bother me less than his illogic.

The former are signs of a scheming mind; the latter, of an idiotic one.

This week, aboard Air Force One, a reporter asked Trump to recall the way in which
he questioned Putin about Russian meddling in our November election during last week's G20 Summit.Trump replied, "Somebody said later to me, which was interesting. Said, let me tell you, if they were involved, you wouldn't have found out about it. Okay, which is a very interesting point."

More clearly said, "The Russians are so effective at clandestine interference, you cannot detect them. We have detected interference. Therefore, they could not have interfered in our election."

Philosophers call this kind of argument 
"proof against disproof."

Because Russian interference can never be detected, there is no possible basis for determining whether Trump's conjecture is either true or false.

Sigmund Freud drove philosophers nuts in the last century by using similar reasoning to defend his famous
theory of the unconscious.

Your choice of a spouse, Freud said, shows you secretly wish to marry your mother or father. That is a fact you can neither confirm nor dispute. Why? Because any confirmation or dispute would be conscious, while the choice is unconscious.

The Russians didn't interfere in our election. That is a fact you can neither confirm nor dispute. Why? Because we have detected interference, and you cannot detect Russian interference.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thoughts We Hate

Washington, DC's Metro this week removed transit ads placed by Milo Yiannopoulos for his new book, Dangerous.

Riders complained via Twitter the ads from the former editor of Breitbart News had no place in public.

The transit agency defended its action by claiming the ads violated its advertising guidelines.

“Advertisements that are intended to influence public policy are prohibited,” Metro said, although it decorates trains and stations endlessly with public-policy ads.

In a statement, Yiannopoulos asked Metro officials, "Is my face a hate crime?"

Until last month, a Constitutional lawyer (I'm not one) might argue, "Yes."

But the Supreme Court says differently.

In June, it unanimously ruled disparagement of minorities Yiannopoulos' stock in tradeis protected under the First Amendment.

Justice Samuel Alito, in Matal v. Tam, wrote that government restrictions on speech expressing offensive ideas "strikes at the heart of the First Amendment.

"Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express 'the thought that we hate.'”
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