Stupid Marketing, aka Not Suffering Fools Gladly
Stupid Marketing, aka Not Suffering Fools Gladly

Sweat and Good Luck: FASTsigns, hard work, and not so Stupid Marketing

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to encounter a gentleman by the name of Ed Yang, a small-business owner here in the Sunnyvale CA / Silicon Valley area. Ed is a bit of an anomaly -- owner of a local FASTsigns franchise, he's -not- about Web 2.0, iPhones, Chatroulette, or the latest fads. Ed sells signs. Very well. To marketers, construction, business owners, and people who need signs (and banners, and other things -- check him out here: ) And Ed has done this very well for decades. Which is why there was some hot debate on a business email list when Ed reported he'd experienced some unusually positive business results, and credited marketing for the growth<< MORE >>

Employees = Marketers: American Airlines, Customer Service, and Not So Stupid Marketing

If every company could teach their customer-facing employees to be like Peggy Daniels, they (and we) would all be a lot happier. Ms. Daniels is an increasingly rare breed: someone who appears to take pride in their job, and believes in doing the right thing for company and customer alike – and because of her, American Airlines is getting at –least- her annual wages in free marketing and PR. But as usual, I’ve skipped to the punchline. Let me tell you all a story...<< MORE >>

10 Ways to Make Your Email Marketing Fail: Kutenda and Stupid Marketing

I recently received the attached email -- not intended as an example of stupid marketing, but serving as a great one nonetheless. Enjoy. << MORE >>

Leverage versus Spam: the New York Times, me, and not so Stupid Marketing

As a marketer I am constantly barraged with offers to feature my information for money. Most offers are based on a trade-off between volume, cost, and accuracy in targeting. It is therefore startling to occasionally be surprised when a vehicle doesn't fit the pattern. I'm speaking, of course, of the New York Times. I was recently fortunate (?) enough to appear in the pages of the Times...<< MORE >>

Mistakes and Marketing opportunities: Target Stores, Toyota, Tylenol, Tiger Woods, and not so stupid Marketing.

Everyone makes mistakes. And by everyone, I mean people, countries, institutions, organizations, and companies. Mistakes are a great opportunity to learn. Moreover, especially when mistakes cast the public eye on your situation, they are a great opportunity for marketing. Now, I'm not talking about the traditional marketing response to mistakes, which is to back off prevaricate, and obfuscate. I'm talking about the opportunity to make the most of the moment; to seize that moment in the public eye, which so many marketers work so hard to get for positive reasons, and turn a negative into a positive. This can be done at any level from the small to large. At the small end of the spectrum, consider this next line...<< MORE >>

Why do they call it the BETTER Business Bureau? Target stores, the BBB, and stupid Marketing

Since lately there have been enough articles in this blog about poor customer service and its impact on marketing, we’ll forgo any comments about Target Stores, and their laughably named “customer service”*… *(where a letter to the CEO produced a phone call from a rep who refused to provide their name, and explicitly stated the point of their call was to better explain store policy on returns; they’d not be assisting with a return in any way) … But as I said, forgoing any commentary on Target's stupidity, let's talk about the Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau is a wonderful triumph of marketing over reality. << MORE >>

Customers Brilliant, Ignorant, Lazy… Human? Geico, Dyson, Kelloggs, and flavors of smart and Stupid Marketing

At one point in a conversation with the Blonde Bombshell the other day, she asked whether I’d really heard what she was saying. (Yes, love, I did – and do). Lovers past, present, and future aside, the question is also an excellent one to apply to marketing. Specifically, most marketing messages I’ve seen seem to make one of four assumptions about the intended audience – only one of which, in my opinion, works.<< MORE >>

Braille Band-Aid Boxes: J&J, Apple, Details, and not-so-stupid marketing.

Shopping the other day with the Blonde Bombshell, she pointed out something interesting: the Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid boxes were marked in Braille. Really. << MORE >>

The Fine Line Between Persistent and Annoying: LeadSpark, Kyle B, and Stupid Marketing.

I respect – nay, even appreciate – persistent salespeople. I’ll be the first to admit that there’s too much to do, and I forget about projects, and (for example) I have huge respect for Vinny at Tippit because he’s been able to persuade me over a course of weeks and short, respectful emails and phone calls that he has a product of value. Conversely, let’s consider Kyle B of LeadSpark.<< MORE >>

An Unexpected Gift: Needham MA and not-so-stupid marketing

One of my favorite authors of all time, Robert Cialdini, in his book “Influence”, talks about the hardwired psychological reactions we humans have to certain behaviors. One of the strongest is Reciprocity – if someone gives something to you, you feel compelled to give something back. Combine this with variable rewarding (eg, don’t establish a pattern; reward people –sometimes- for doing something) and you have a very powerful motivator indeed. Which is why I was so happily surprised when I was in downtown Needham MA over the New Year’s holidays, and saw red bags over the parking meters.<< MORE >>