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How To Spot The Wrong Customer Perspective

by · May 12, 2014

In the checkout line at a national arts and crafts chain last week, I noticed a large red sign encouraging customers to sign up for the store’s email marketing program. Point-of-sale executions to encourage a deeper connection with the brand online are smart and help you reach the customer at multiple touch points, driving repeat business and loyalty.

But as I read the sign, my delight turned to despair for the brand. It was immediately clear to me the brand had the wrong customer perspective.


(How to) Write a Headline and Become a Media Star

by · May 9, 2013

This ain’t Back to the Future. It’s Top Gun. We’re going time traveling—backwards. You with me? Here we go…

Is that Whitney Houston on the radio? Great song. Crank it. Oh, and did you hear? Mike Tyson’s the youngest heavyweight champ ever and the USSR doesn’t want to fight.

Aviator glasses? Right on. You don’t look quite as slick as “Maverick”  (Tom Cruise in “Top Gun”), but those screaming neon-colored parachute pants and your big hair are just perfect.


Coke’s sugar-coated ‘commitment’

by · March 7, 2013

Sometimes I’m ashamed to be a marketer. Most days, I believe in what I do and I’m proud of it.

Marketing helps businesses grow. And it helps great businesses – ones that provide real value to their customers – grow even faster. Social media is a powerful new tool for this kind of marketing.

But then there’s the other side of marketing. And social media is helping that side spread its messages, too. Today, I turned the page of my daily Guardian and saw a full-page ad from Coke.

Here’s the unedited copy:


All Positive All the Time is Positively Boring

by · December 12, 2012


Disclaimer #1: I love The Beatles. I’ve worn out every album.
Disclaimer #2: I love the Stones too. I’ve worn out the first 75 albums or so.

If you sent me to a desert island with only one of these bands’ platters, I’d pack The Beatles discography (and my luggage fees would surely be lower).

Love is all you need

The Beatles: Good Day Sunshine… Sun King… Here Comes the Sun… “Take a sad song and make it better.” Peace. Love. The Beatles may have alluded to darker themes every now and then, but you have to admit they had a fairly sunny disposition.


Does Compelling Art Sell?

by · August 27, 2012

Watching the promotional video for a friend’s new product recently, I found myself really engaged. It was a beautiful piece with vibrant imagery. Whomever produced the video worked hard and the finished product was well worth watching. It was compelling, visually. It was a piece of art.

Great art alone never sold anything

But nothing in the piece told me what the product was, why I might use it or how I can even buy it.

Great art serves a purpose. But great art alone never sold anything. For that, you need great copy.


9 Ways Your Business Needs To Change To Become Social

by · August 16, 2011

Social media has changed the way we do almost everything.  We make buying decisions, find jobs, play games, listen to music and learn socially.   But for business it’s clearly been a more challenging shift.  Engaging in social media requires a fundamental change to the way businesses function and think. No wonder so many are slow to embrace social media and devote budgets to it.

The challenge is that most businesses are stuck in traditional thinking and marketing that doesn’t translate well to a social atmosphere, on- or off-line. While many people are advocating the evolution of businesses to becoming, “social businesses,” few people are outlining specific changes that will help them.


Why Your Corporate Message Isn’t Being Heard

by · June 22, 2009

Jason Falls

Jason Falls

After a recent presentation, an audience member approached to compliment my talk. “You did a good job of taking what was a very complex subject to me and refining it into something I could understand.” I was flattered and satisfied that I had helped this woman grasp a topic that intimidated her.

As I thought about her statement, it occurred to me this is what professional communicators are charged with – refining complexities into meaningful data. It’s a shame that many of us lose sight of that.