Vol. 2 , No. 33     December 3, 2002


In this Newsletter:

  1. The Dignity of Discount
  2. Top Tips for Taglines That Engage First-Time Visitors
  3. Re-Positioning Positioning
  4. The Soccer Marketing Syndrome
  5. Tell Them What’s In the Can
  6. 10 Profit Boosting Holiday Tips
  7. Dear Tig: The Difference Between Marketing and Branding, Product Managers Vs. Product Marketing Managers, and Grouping Brands


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Mitch McCasland
The Dignity of Discount

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Retailers should provide consumers with the opportunity to practice frugality in a way that doesn’t seem frugal, while lifting the perception of their quality of life.

There are some retailers out there providing consumers with a dignified shopping experience at a time when it is hard to be a consumer.

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Debbie Weil
Top Tips for Taglines That Engage First-Time Visitors

A Web tagline is a tiny but key piece of site usability. A good tag captures a visitor's attention and interest long enough for her to decide if she is in the right place. This makes it a first step in the sales process.

An ineffective tag leaves your visitor guessing what you do. It makes work for him or her--not a good way to introduce how your product or service solves a problem.

What makes for an effective and engaging tag?

Michael Fischler
Re-Positioning Positioning

The act of positioning is a core element of a successful marketing strategy.

This is a change—a healthy one—from the days when it was considered simply a tactic: A means of deriving a slogan and providing some kind of fabricated difference between a product and its competitor.

Today, handled correctly by smart strategic marketers, it informs, identifies and lays the foundation for the relationships with the multiple marketplaces a company serves.

Get the full story.


A Note to Readers

Plain and Simple

Greetings Discerning Readers!

My college professor, Charlie Ball, had a saying he was fond of using on us first-year journalism students: “Never use a dollar word when a 10-cent word will do.”

What he taught was to write in the simplest language we could muster — to state facts plainly, without dressing them up in clever or pretty prose.

For a bunch of journalism students full of themselves, that was no small task.

This week, two of my favorite online marketing writers — Nick Usborne and Debbie Weil — underscore and update Prof. Ball’s classroom rule. Each has a distinctive take on why clear and simple win out over clever and cute. And each talks about why those clever copywriters down the hall might actually do your product or site a disservice.

So after you read Debbie and Nick, drop me a line to let me know if you agree with Professor Ball: In most situations, 10-cent words really do give you more bang for your buck.

Or as I put it to my own kids these days, it’s better to write simply than carry a big shtick.

Until next week,

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer



Last Issue's Top 5

  1. How to Set a Price
  2. Ten Fundamentals That Matter More Than a Big Budget, Part 2
  3. Top 6 Tips to Understand Customer Evangelism
  4. Less is More Marketing
  5. Are You Trying Too Hard To Measure Ad Effectiveness?

Email Strategy Top 5

  1. How to Grow Your E-Mail List
  2. The Next Shiny Thing
  3. It’s 8 AM: Do You Know Where Your Email Is?
  4. The New Rul es for Direct Marketing
  5. The Formula For A Compelling Email
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David Klein
The Soccer Marketing Syndrome

Have you ever seen little kids playing organized youth soccer? Without fail, they swarm like bees to wherever the ball is--sideline to sideline, end to end. Then the ball gets kicked or squirts out and the swarm buzzes in a new direction.

Some companies market this way--and not just young companies who don't know any better. Companies that aren't sure of their position in the market, or are constantly changing it, or believe their position is everywhere.

Companies desperate to make a play. Companies that believe opportunism is the best strategy.

The alternative is to play your position. Here's how.

Nick Usborne
Tell Them What’s In the Can

If your Web site were up on a shelf among tens of thousands of others (it is!), do you tell people what’s in the can? How quickly can a first-time visitor find out exactly what’s in your ‘can’?

Nick thinks most Web sites do a horrible job in this regard.

Here's how to pen clear copy that helps -- not hinders -- site visitors.


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Corey Rudl
10 Profit Boosting Holiday Tips

The clock is ticking: Now IS NOT the time to start trying to do things like setting up an affiliate program or optimizing your search engine rankings.

Instead, what many online businesses need right now are some quick and easy ways to get their sites ready for the holidays.

Here are tips and techniques that will take you only a few hours to implement.

Tig Tillinghast
Dear Tig: The Difference Between Marketing and Branding, Product Managers Vs. Product Marketing Managers, and Grouping Brands

This week, Tig describes the difference between marketing and branding, as well as the finer qualities of Product Managers vs. Product Marketing Managers.

Read Tig's take.


Publisher:Allen Weiss

Content: Ann Handley


Ad/Sponsor Information:
click here or contact jim@MarketingProfs.com

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