Archive for August, 2006

The Price of Bottled Tap Water

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

In 2005, Ryanair, a low-cost European airline, started charging nearly £4 per
bottle of tap water. They just bottled local London tap water, which costs them
£0.06p per litre.

Did you know that Dasani and Aquafina are the same? Read the labels. They are
filtered and purified water, which is what your tap water is. They’re not
mineral water or spring water. They didn’t roll down off a mountain. Dasani used
to be bottled in Brooklyn, and now it’s bottled in Atlanta. I guess Atlanta tap
water is cheaper!

What are you paying for bottled tap water? Why not bring an empty bottle and
fill it up at a water fountain at the airport? Save £4. And don’t buy Dasani or
Aquafina if you want something better than tap water. Fill a bottle up at your
own tap, put it in the fridge, and you’re good to go for much less money!


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Prop 204 is Hogwash?

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

Here in AZ, we get commercials about "What is Hogwash?" It then gives a bunch of synonyms in alphabetical order. You’d think you were watching Hee-Haw with the speaker’s accent. The screen is yellow with the words he’s saying just appearing on the screen. Balderdash. Hooey. Poppycock.

And Proposition 204. That’s right, the commerical tells you. Proposition 204 is another synonym for hogwash. The fine print says that the AZ Cattle and AZ Pork Councils (and some other guys) paid for this ad. So what is Prop 204 that it’s so awful?

This ballot measure for 2006 would prohibit the cruel confinement of pigs during pregnancy and young veal calves in small crates on factory farms. The measure requires that the animals have enough room to turn around, lie down, and extend their limbs.

If you believe this commercial, the councils are against this and want you to vote it down. How extremely odd. Remember when our ancestors had respect for their animals and land? What happened?


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My Capital One Card

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Capital One are geniuses. If you read any Seth Godin books, and you should, then you know about the concepts of buzz and "free prize inside." Capital One had really done it this time.

For no extra charge, they offered me the credit card I already have with them, but printed with the photo of my choice (that they approve or reject). Through an interactive website, I could upload my photo, size and move it, and preview my card. I ended up with a giant dog head, as seen in a smaller version at http://www.aswas.com. That’s my dog!

I got my card today. OK, it’s not the best print quality I’ve seen in my life, but this is genius. Every time I pull out my card, I’m advertising Capital One. Every time someone is tickled by my card and my dog being on it. I might even pull it out just to show people, and that is buzz for Capital One.

This is a great free prize, costs Capital One very very little to undertake, and gets people talking about their products. I love it!


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Another Flimsy Guarantee

Monday, August 14th, 2006

A week or so, we talked about Internet Marketing. One of the hallmarks of these things, which tend to range from valuless to scams, is the oddly-worded guarantee. You’re usually promised nothing.

I found another one. OK class, what does this promise?

Your Own Internet Business, Running and Ready to Make Money… GUARANTEED!

Time’s up! You were just guaranteed an internet business that is running and READY to make money. That’s the operative word. You were guaranteed that something is ready to make money, but you were NOT promised that it makes money or will make money. You were promised that it’s ready to make money.

Read these things really carefully. Don’t read more into it than it says. They word these things very deliberately.

That would be like my company guaranteeing a huge change in your business! Well, we’re not saying up or down! We’re just promising lots of change! :)


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You Know I’m A Doctor Because

Friday, August 11th, 2006

For a zillion years, doctors in TV commercials are portrayed as wearing a white lab coat, wearing a stethescope around their necks, or both.

I have never had a doctor who has done either, yet this is what’s been in commercials forever. It says to us, "These are actors, but you know they’re supposed to be doctors by the presence of one of these two telling things."

Are we so dumb that we can’t tell someone playing a doctor without the white lab coat, the stethescope, or both? Or is it that the commercial is so badly written that if the doctor character didn’t have DOCTOR written on him, we would have no idea what character it is?


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Continental’s Website

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

I am trying to book flights on Continental Airlines’ website. Trying for like
2 hours now, and it can’t be done. I’m told to call a phone number, and when I
called, I was on hold so long I gave up.

The site showed me the flights I wanted, flights I had previously planned
out. I said I wanted to purchase those, and it started asking me for screen
after screen of information. Each screen had one or two questions. Why this
couldn’t be on one screen, I have no idea. I answered all the questions, and
kept getting the dead end.

I tried again. I started a fresh flight search. This time, the flights I had
picked before were gone. Evidently, they’ve fallen off the planet. Don’t exist.
Can’t sell them to me. I picked different flights. Answered all the questions.
And still hit the dead end.

I went to Orbitz.com to see what it would cost to book my flights there.
Every time I tried to select a Continental flight, the system errored out. So
neither Continental nor Orbitz will sell me these flights right now. The system
is THAT messed up. I tried all of these from Internet Explorer and Firefox, and
after restarting my computer, just in case it was me. It’s not me.

Bad marketing. Now I want to fly with another carrier so I can book my
tickets and know it’s DONE!


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Mr. Marketing is Here for Me

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

This was fun! Yesterday, I was dealing with a marketing guy from a company in
my industry. He doesn’t seem to know what my company does, and I’m always trying
to improve our relations. I feel like he’s against me even though he keeps
telling me that he’s my main contact, I should contact him, don’t write to
anybody else there, I can come to him anytime, I should call him.

Yesterday, I had a good call with that company’s sales team. I think we can
put ideas into place that will improve relations AND make us both more money.
That felt very exciting. Finally, I’m getting somewhere with these people!

I decided to write a follow-up email to the marketing guy. Keep in mind, he’s
the marketing guy. :) I tell him about the great call and our plans. I tell him
some of my concerns, and I tell him about some information I’m missing since I
haven’t had a contact at his company in many months. He’s my guy, right?

I get back a one line email that says this:

FYI I never
read emails more than 2 paragraphs long.

Well! I think I hear you! I think I’ve got the message, and I don’t think the
message is that I should come to you, you’re my contact, and I should call you
first.

Bad marketing, biz dev, and not good for our strategic relationship!


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I Don’t Promise to Not Lie

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

I don’t know why, but a few days ago, I was thinking about what traditional marriage vows have been.

Yes, the idea that obey was in there (often only for the bride to say) is beyond awful and antiquated! Shame on anybody vowing to obey another person.

I noticed something was missing from traditional vows. Evidently, people promise to stay together and love each other through poverty, abundance, sickness, and health. Many promise to forsake all others. Nice move considering you’re getting married.

But there’s nothing in there about being honest or not lying. You promise to deal with someone even if they’re sick, but you’re not promising what I think is the basis of any relationship: honesty. If you feel like you don’t have to tell the truth because you didn’t promise to, then what do you really have?


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Real Marketing

Monday, August 7th, 2006

Last Friday, we looked at "internet marketing." Sometimes, my company, As Was, is mistaken as internet marketers. Hey, we’ve been in online sales and marketing for over 11 years… we must be internet marketers.

We’re not.

We are into more traditional marketing. :) We’re about making your business a memorable brand name, making shoppers turn into buyers, making buyers want to come back and tell a friend about you. Making customers see why you’re different and better than your competitor.

When it comes to eBay, we’re focused in improving your listings’ and company’s presentation. Look more professional, organized, and unique. We want to help with your listing and sales strategies, on and off eBay. If you’re looking to use the internet more to market and advertise your company, we do some of that. :)

When it comes to "internet marketers," just remember that if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably either a lie or a really odd twist of something kinda true.


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Internet Marketing

Friday, August 4th, 2006

Some people think that because we specialise in marketing and online sales,
we must be "internet marketers." Today and Monday, I’d like to teach you the
difference.

From what I can tell, the #1 goal of the internet marketer seems to be to
grow his mailing list. How can you tell? Because you often can’t get past the
home page of his website without giving your name and email address. You’re
signing up for something, and he now gets to boast that he has a zillion people
on his mailing list.

You may be fooled by something like this:

Privacy Policy: We will
NEVER share, rent or sell your information.

Do you know what ARE in for, even if the above is true? You’re in for getting emails about all of this
guy’s pals, colleagues, and cohorts. He doesn’t have to sell his list. He’ll USE
his list for his friends to plug what they’re up to. Why would he do that?
Because his friends use their lists to plug him.

An internet marketer has a specifically-crafted vocabulary that contains
terms like, "unlimited cash," "money-making machine," and might say things like
"put your income on auto pilot." They’ll tell you that you are a VIP or promise
you more if you sign up for VIP services. They’re trying to make you think/feel
luxury and power. He promises you all kinds of wealth through online selling,
real estate, And he promises that he has something nobody else has.

He might be right! I just saw another of these sites where they are plugging
a seminar co-taught by an "eBay fortune maker," who is actually a permanently
suspended eBay seller. That seminar is certainly different from ones you’d get
from eBay University or eBay Education Specialists. It’s being delivered by
someone who was kicked off eBay in 2004. Special! A speaker you’re rarely going to hear anywhere where seminar companies run checks on what those speakers actually do and have done.

A third way to recognise an internet marketer is something else on their
website. The home page or second page is usually 12 miles long, and makes all
kinds of promises. Someone who used this system made $10,000 their first month!
Everybody is making money EXCEPT you! Hurry up! Reserve your seat NOW.

Another way is to look at the bottom line guarantee. I’ve seen one interenet
marketer guarantee that you would find his seminar interesting. Hey, there’s
interesting, as in these facts are wonderful, and there’s interesting, like is
any of this true or legal. :) The one I’m reading now promises that the event
will be "life-changing and wallet exploding."

So how do you ask for your money back? Did your life change? Yes, you were
here today instead of somewhere else. Did your wallet explode? Yes, you paid way
to much to attend this seminar. Imagine if I guaranteed my eBay seller clients that their experience with my company would be wallet-exploding. :)

Another hallmark of the internet marketer seems to be VERY spun truth or near-truth. Someone labelled as an "eBay Millionaire" may have had $1M of revenue at some point from eBay, but what does he do now? When you go and hear his speak, will he tell you his eBay user name, or will he tell you that’s a private piece of information (as in he’s not going to prove it)? When they say someone is an expert, how will they qualify or quantify that? And why would a millionaire need your $97 fee to hear his secrets? Why is he telling you his secrets? And why is he telling them for only $97?!?!?!?!

I can confidently suggest that you stay away from these people and websites. I have been in online sales and marketing for over 11 years, and I have NEVER met anybody who made money through one of these seminars or systems, nor have I met anybody who knew anybody who made money from these seminars or systems. Know the hallmarks of the "internet marketer," and stay away.

Want real marketing? Read on Monday about that!


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