Put Your Message on Repeat, not Shuffle

Most of us try to say too many things into our marketplace. It’s like an iPod on shuffle – too many songs, in random order. People won’t remember the lyrics of any one song when they’ve just heard 30 of them. After almost 30 years in business, I can tell you this: the vast majority […]

Fish With a Net, Not a Hook

Intriguing phrase, yes? But what does it mean? Well, I came across this phrase in an article* today, and immediately fell in love with it, because it’s a stellar example of how to use an analogy in business communication. Here’s the paragraph from which it is extracted: Vhoto uses computer vision technology to scan your […]

5 Tips to Making a Great Software Demo

I just got off a webinar, where a mobile software platform was being demo’d to me. I have seen – and done – a gazillion software demonstrations. And, like everyone else, I’ve learned – the hard way – many lessons about what works, and what doesn’t. Here are 5 tips to help you give me an […]

How To Waste Thousands of Marketing Dollars with One Simple Trick

A huge percentage of companies in your marketplace do it. They’ve discovered the negative-ROI secret of flushing a vast amount conference dollars down the toilet – and you can, too! It’s quite simple, really. Just neglect to make your booth personnel attendee-ready. What does that mean? Well, consider what Mark Schaefer wrote in a recent blog post […]

Not All Information is Equal. Check Out This Example!

This morning, my wife asked me in frustration about some hard-to-find information on a local website – the Williamson County (TN) Library. This rang a bell for me – I seemed to recall that I had a similar problem at that site a week or so back. Here’s a picture of part (above-the-fold) of the […]

OJD (Obscure Jargon Disorder) – Please Don’t Spread It!

The few moments that you have to get a message across are precious – and yet, the opportunity is often wasted because of a prevalent marketing sickness called OJD – Obscure Jargon Disorder. This is when the words you use bring obscurity, instead of clarity. You open your mouth (or someone clicks on your website), and a fogbank […]

Anatomy of a Referral

I make a lot of referrals as part of my business. I made one last week that, in retrospect, has some instructive lessons in it. So I thought I’d dissect it here on the blog so we can see what goes into being “referrable.” My long-time on-line connection Christine Perkett announced the launch of her […]

“Works Like a Depth Charge”

I can hardly express how much I love this little video: Actor: Brian Cox. This is for a less-well-known (but very wonderful) Scotch whiskey, Lagavulin. Wait – how do you pronunce that? And – what’s it like to drink? 15 seconds. 10 words. 2 analogies. Boom! The power of analogies to make a message memorable. […]

Your Language is Obfuscating Me

  This blog post title is a bit difficult to understand, right? That’s because I used at least one word – obfuscate – that is quite uncommon. Obfuscate (verb): to make [something] more difficult to understand. I used the unclear to make a point about clarity. When people don’t understand your words, they don’t process […]

Going for a Walk in the Jargon

I have, in front of me, a marketing piece from a real estate agent. And, like about 90% of all marketing pieces (including websites) that I see, it doesn’t speak directly to me in my language. It is full of industry insider language. Jargoneering. Maybe your marketing materials are similarly afflicted. It happens so easily, […]