The Power of Persuasion… and a little humor!

Ok, time for a little levity. If you’ve ever watched Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, you may have caught one of Trevor Moore’s “Winnovations” segments. I give Moore credit for creating humorous moments on the streets of LA and convincing people that he’s come up with a new invention. The “invention” is usually totally worthless but people buy into it. The results are pretty funny and a parody of sorts on advertising, infomercials, and the like.

Watch this video and have a little fun…

Ready for a whole new web?

arketing .com alternativesFor a long time now, when asked what domain should I purchase for my business, we have advised trying to find a .com version of your company name or keyword because of the automatic response of adding .com to the domain when inputting the name directly into a browser to go directly to the website. The .net, .biz, etc. variations were recommended only when you wished to “protect” your primary .com variation of your domain name from your competitors potentially hijacking your clients using your domain with the variant extension; or the .com extension was simply already taken.

Soon, however the .com appendage will be lost in a sea of domain appendages that may more closely represent the type of business or industry that you are in.

It will be really confusing for a while. Just as we were trained to put the www in front of the domain, (that is no longer required with today’s browsers), we will need to relearn and rethink how we get to website’s of the near future.

So where might this all lead us? Consider that new domain extensions might be industry specific or service descriptive or something completely new altogether.

Some examples might be:

  • .restaurant for a restaurant. It would then be much easier to search on local restaurants by searching for local .restaurant domains.
  • .vet or veterinarian for pet and farm doctors
  • .md for medical doctors
  • .dentist for dentists
  • .pharmacy for pharmacies
  • .shoes or .running for shoe or specialty stores
  • .ski for ski shops
  • .llc or .inc to designate a business type.
  • .accountant
  • .law, .attorney, or .lawyer
  • … you get the picture

But let your imagination run a little wild and these new domain extensions may not just describe your business type, but emotions, geography, philosophy, and more.  Consider the domain CatamountMarketing.com. New accepted variations could become:

  • CatamountMarketing.sucks – for complaints
  • CatamountMarketing.rocks – for testimonials
  • CatamountMarketing.givesback – our charity
  • CatamountMarketing.works – dedicated to our employees
  • CatamountMarketing.VT for our Vermont branch
  • CatamountMarketing.ny for our New York office

And consider that really short domain name that you have always wanted for your domain. These may now be available in a very descriptive version soon. Soon I may be able to acquire CM.MKT to replace the longer variations we now use for CatamountMarketing.com. It’s way easier to type tom@cm.mkt for an email address.
Short domain names are tough to acquire today. But with the proliferation of domain extensions, these will become much easier and less expensive to acquire than “purchasing” a domain name that someone has purchased purely to make a profit selling a high demand domain – often referred to as a squatter. And you squatter’s know who you are.

With more domain extensions come more potential to help direct your customers to website specific information. If you are a business owner or in charge of marketing your company, now is the time to begin considering the possibilities; and how you might put these to work for your benefit by securing these additional domains for your company to use.

The .com will not go away anytime soon. It will take some time for the new domains to reach a tipping point and be widely adopted; at least as far as someone actually typing the domain with the new extensions, because people can be slow to change and many people use a search engine rather than typing the domain directly. But too will evolve.

You probably do not need to rethink your entire web strategy today, but a word to the wise… there are many who are already considering how to best dominate the new tidal wave of domain extensions for profit. It might be wise to think about what and how you might be able to use these new domain names as part of your future marketing strategy. Opportunities come to those who are prepared.

Marketing Back to Basics for Success: The Rule of 7

catamount marketing rule of 7
Brushing up on the basics, in any endeavor, is one key to success that the people who excel understand and apply. Much of marketing is molded from fundamental human nature and it’s easy to lose sight of these fundamentals in the fast-paced information world we live in. So I’m taking a timeout here to get back to basics.

One of the most common pieces of advice that I offer or formally propose is a marketing practice that’s been around since before the beginning of Madison Avenue time. The rule of seven is one of the oldest and consistent marketing truisms. You could easily expect the passage of time and today’s digital world to overshadow a concept this dated, but it’s as true today as it ever was – and worth getting reacquainted with.

Simply put, the rule of seven states that a prospective buyer likely won’t see or hear a marketing message, or seriously consider buying, until they’ve been exposed to the message at least seven times. Why not the rule of five, six or eight instead? The number seven is considered magical and consistently regarded in lore and mysticism. Seven is a number of great power, a lucky number, a number of psychic and mystical powers, of secrecy and the search for inner truth. The origin of seven’s power lies in the lunar cycle. Each of the moon’s four phases lasts about seven days. The Sumerians, who based their calendar on the moon, gave the week seven days and declared the seventh and last day of each week to be uncanny.

For a more analytical perspective, consider the following buying cycle data and where the number seven resides:

  • 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
  • 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
  • 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
  • 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
  • 80% of sales are made on the 5th – 12th contact

The important thing in the rule of seven is not the number, but the message. This simply tells you that you need to let the prospect hear and see your marketing message at least so many times before they buy it. There are many reasons for the need of repetition. Generally buyers just can’t trust you and make the buying decision the first time they see your message.

So, this simply means that your marketing message should be repetitive and consistent. You cannot just run a couple of advertisements one time and expect the customers to buy the product. The hidden message of rule of seven is the continuous and repetitive effort that should be put in for marketing. Better results and ROI will occur if you play your lucky seven.

Another Reason Why I Drink Guinness

I’ll disclose up front that I like to drink beer. Especially living here in Vermont, there’s no lack of remarkable microbrews on store shelves to choose from; but of them all, Guinness would be my flavor of choice if I were marooned on a desert island or Antarctic iceberg.Watching this video ad only heightens my Guinness brand awareness, appreciation, and desire.

The best and most remarkable brands are about more than just the product… it’s how one feels about or experiences the brand.

The Best Marketing is Life in Motion


GoPro is arguably one of the best examples of a success story born from doing what one loves. GoPro is the personal video camera people who have captured the market on capturing life. In the techno-driven and media-rich world we live in, Nick Woodman and his [still] young company has created one of the finest tools for capturing life in all its movement, candor, and glory. In an otherwise consumer-driven world where 3-D printers are creating things out of virtually nothing, one would think that consumerism is only beginning to hit its stride. But consider experiences over things and one begins to appreciate how the meteoric growth of GoPro, the company, has prospered due to millions of GoPro… the moments. Watch the video and enjoy the moment, then tell me you don’t remember the brand.

Graphic Design Roots – Proper Typography

When I started my printing business way back in 1990, typography was still a commonly used graphic arts term that denoted one of the fundamental components of good to great graphic design. This also marked the early years of desktop publishing when typography and typesetting was now accomplished on a personal computer instead of relying solely on very big and expensive typesetting devices. As time and technology move on, classic typesetting practices and the professionals who truly know, understand, and apply proper typesetting fundamentals are fewer and far between. A questionable sign of progress I suppose.

But all is not lost. As the magic of technology and communications often provides, clever and creative presentations and expressions of virtually everything in the universe appear at our fingertips; which is how this video arrived in my inbox today.
I invite you to view and enjoy this short video on the History of Typography. Whether you could care less about this topic is almost a moot point… this 5 minute presentation is fun, super creative, and educational too!

By the way, this describes our creative and production services at Catamount Marketing and Paw Print & Mail. You might contact us to discuss your next print, direct mail, graphic design, content writing, and website development need.

Direct Mail and The Value of the Printed Piece

Catamount Marketing Direct MailEverything old becomes new again. There’s a revival happening with printing. What was left for dead or dying over the past six or seven years has risen back to reclaim its worthy place amongst digital forms of communication and creativity that we are enveloped in. Print, though different in some ways, has come back around full circle.

Within my own printing business, and in discussions with clients, prospects, and peer marketing discussions, the printed piece, as a marketing communications tool, has patiently regained its place alongside other digital media as an integral component of a multichannel marketing strategy. People consume content in a variety of ways, often all at once, and effective marketing is delivering good content in the most relevant manner, that gets someone with a need to know, like and trust you. Making the printed piece one of those touch points is steadily being employed alongside internet marketing tactics and starts to look attractive in comparison to the bloated volume of interruption email.

But here’s the deal, whether by inbox or mailbox interruption marketing is interruption marketing. If there’s no relevance to me, or my lifestyle, my interests or background, then you’re interrupting me. But deliver a message that speaks to me because you know something about me, what I like, or my connections, and I’ll at least take a look.

The compelling aspect of the printed piece, and in particular direct mail, is holding a tangible piece in my hand that I’m employing more of my five senses to as I consider its message. An attractively designed and creatively worded piece of paper has shelf life potential that email simply doesn’t. If I decide to toss it away, I have to physically hold it and look at it before I decide to do so. While email is more measurable and has the HUGE advantage of connecting me to the power and depth of the Internet, it’s also very easy to delete en mass along with the dozens or hundreds of other messages that I’m flushing daily.  When done right, with a measurable call-to-action and/or directing the reader to a landing page, direct mail is equally as measurable.

Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us enjoy getting mail as part of a daily routine of connection and receiving; except the bills of course. The physical piece in my mailbox stands out and grabs my attention; and if it speaks to me and my interests and needs, I read it, I hold onto it, and I act on it when the time is right.

To make the most of your marketing, including direct mail, contact me at tom@catamountmarketing.com.

 

Storytelling is Content Marketing and it’s Good For Business

Catamount-Marketing-StorytellingFor me, the word “storytelling” conjures up visions of reading bedtime stories; something I fondly remember doing each evening with my daughter in the early years. Early on it was about goodnight moon and how much I loved her, meatballs coming from the sky, a lady who spread lupine seeds and then the adventures of Harry Potter.  But there is so much more…my parents are good storytellers; my Dad’s remembrances’ of his summers at his uncle’s farm in Canada and later his years in the Army, and my Mom’s stories growing up with seven brother and sisters on a rustic Vermont farm. A tad more famous storytellers that come to mind are Andy Rooney, Walt Disney, Yogi Berra, and one of the best of them all, Bill Cosby and his stories about growing up with Fat Albert and the gang. Musically, Bruce Springsteen applies high-energy notes and a heavy beat to his Jersey life stories.

Today, there’s an explosion of storytelling thanks to the Internet and social media. Blogging has become the stage of story tellers everywhere due the ease of both acquiring and spreading information. For years I’ve told many a story in my [printed] Printips newsletter column. With over 2 billion YouTube videos viewed every day, video storytelling is huge and only growing. If you’ll recall, with my trusty iPhone, using the camera, the video recorder, and internet access at my fingertips, I was able to compose and share my unfolding story of the Paul McCartney concert “live” from Fenway back in July.

What’s fueling this growth and popularity? Storytelling is a cornerstone of human existence, and it’s what enables people to communicate and connect with anyone. It’s also what has personalized a somewhat increasingly depersonalized means of communication because of all the different types of technology. I’ve been writing my Printips column for many years and people tell me how much they enjoyed reading stories about my daughter growing up, my wife’s artistic endeavors, and our travel experiences. Stories make a connection between people with shared interests and desires.

In business and work life, storytelling can have many purposes…to teach lessons, spread knowledge, share empathy, offer hope, or add humor when it’s most needed. The traditional Four P’s of marketing (product, place, price, promotion) are being replaced with the Four C’s – content, context, community connection. Seth Godin, arguably the world’s most prolific blogger and content advocate, is a current favorite storyteller of mine and speaks to these values daily on his blog at www.sethgodin.com.

Whatever business you’re in and whatever you goals might be… to initiate social change, make a sale, or make a friend, the people who are best at it are the ones who can tell a story that makes you sit up, listen, and understand. The best storytellers are becoming the best business leaders. Contact Tom at Catamount Marketing to learn how to leverage your stories.

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Content Marketing Using 80,000 Green Bay Packer Fans

Catamount-Marketing-content-marketingAnyone who knows me knows that I’m a big Green Bay Packer fan. Born and raised in Vermont, I’ve been a Packer fan since the mid 1960’s when, as kids in the neighborhood who played a lot of backyard football (we even strung up spot lights on 2×4’s with extension cords running to several neighborhood homes to play night games!), each of us adopted a pro team to represent.

The Packers were in the process of winning the first two Super Bowls so why not adopt the best! Vince Lombardi was King, and players like Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke, Paul Hornung, and Bart Starr were the best in the league. I’ve remained a loyal Green Bay Packer fan ever since.

Though old news today, this image is news to me. My Dad, a proud veteran himself, passed these images to me in an email yesterday, images at a game at Lambeau Field that I was not aware of.

Content marketing can, and does, come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s the management of the Packers and Lambeau Field involving a community of 80,000 fans in a display of lights, color, patriotism, and unity paying homage to our veterans. This extravagant Monday Night Football PR campaign (patriotic yes, and marketing too) completely nailed the 4 C’s of marketing – content, context, community, and connection. Good-to-great marketing today is all about “content”. It’s about sharing content that gets someone, with a need, to know, like, and trust you. You don’t have to be a Green Bay fan like me to see something like this and come away feeling better about the Packer brand. You might even feel good enough to dump the Cowboys and become a Packer fan!

This makes me even prouder to be a Packer fan, and an American, than I already was.