Marketing Mind Spring Cleaning

Made to Stick bookThis week was spring cleaning for the marketing mind. In just three days I’ve attended a webinar on how to perfect your message, another on the steps to position your brand for success and I completed my second reading of Chip and Dan Heath’s brilliant marketing book, Made to Stick.


So what can I pass on to my fellow marketers after this whirlwind of learning? Three things.


1. Make it compact & core.

2. Prepare in Order to Save.

3. People are Irrational.


Make it Compact & Core

Whether it was Bev Bachel talking about finding your key points and cutting out superfluous words, or the Heath brothers driving home the importance of finding the “lead” in every story, it was abundantly clear brevity is best. But meaningless sound bites won’t win you fans. As Heath explains, you must make your message compact (short) and core (meaningful). It’s similar to what a proverb does – “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”


Prepare in Order to Save.

In his webinar, Keys to Successful website (re)Design, Alan Wallner laid out the steps to building a strong brand. If all companies prepared for their web site redesign or new build by following  his process, hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars could be saved over the lifetime of the project. Although many of us know either by experience, or instinct that preparation leads to better results and cost/time savings, too many of us rush in when a project is upon us and find excuses as to why we don’t have the time, money or need for proper preparation.


People are Irrational.

One of my favorite stories of the week came from the book Made to Stick. Heath and Heath demonstrated how people can act irrationally when presented with too many choices. I’m going to summarize…

Researchers presented a group of students with this scenario, they had an opportunity to buy a cheap ticket to Hawaii before knowing the results of an important exam. The majority of the students chose to buy the ticket stating:

  • If I fail the exam, it’s a good pick-me-up.
  • If I pass the exam, it’s a good reward.

When a third option was presented, “pay $5 to hold the price until exam results,” a good percentage of the students chose option three. As Heath and Heath state, your reasons for buying before the third option was presented told us you would buy regardless if you passed the exam or not, but when you were given the option to wait, you decided pay $5 more? People are irrational.


What have you learned this week?



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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.