Vol. 3 , No. 27     July 13, 2004


In this Newsletter:

  1. Building Profitable Customer-Centric Strategies: Focus Innovation and Creativity (Part 2 of 4)
  2. Scoring Points (How Tesco is Winning Customer Loyalty)
  3. Back to Basics in Direct Marketing
  4. The Content-Free Buzzword-Compliant Vocabulary List
  5. SWOT Team: Fighting for the Right to Train
  6. Time to Get Serious About Metadata
  7. The Curse of Choice



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Jeff Mauzy
Building Profitable Customer-Centric Strategies: Focus Innovation and Creativity (Part 2 of 4)

Structured innovation and creativity processes are commonly used to develop new products and corporate strategies. The same principles and techniques can also help companies become more customer-centric.

This second article in the four-part series describes how your organization can use innovation and creativity processes to capture, manage and apply customer insight to achieve strategic goals.

(Please note: This article is available only to Premium or Preferred subscription members. Read more information or sign up here.)

Get the full story.


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Nick Wreden
Scoring Points (How Tesco is Winning Customer Loyalty)

Companies launch loyalty programs to encourage additional purchases. But a new book by the brains behind one of the world’s most successful loyalty programs argues that that premise is the first step toward failure.

What companies really need to do is establish loyalty programs that thank customers for previous purchases rather than encourage them to buy more. That's precisely how Tesco used its Clubcard loyalty card to become the largest supermarket chain in the UK, and the largest grocery e-tailer in the world.

Get the full story.

Lee Marc Stein
Back to Basics in Direct Marketing

Marketers can get so convoluted in our embrace of techniques and technology that we forget about the basics.

Let’s all refresh and recharge, focusing on these five keys to direct marketing success.

Get the full story.


A Note to Readers

Style and Insight

Greetings, discerning readers!

There’s little that bothers me more than a certain style of writing practiced too often in our industry. Rather than creativity and effort—and in place of good, clear writing—it relies on jargon and hackneyed phrases to describe products or companies.

In short, it’s a lazy style of writing. (I use “style” for lack of a better word—it is that in much the same way speech liberally sprinkled with cusswords is a “style” of speech.)

Which is why I like Peter Cohan’s article in this week’s issue, “The Content-Free Buzzword-Compliant Vocabulary List.” In it, Peter lists 14 words and phrases that should be permanently banned from presentations, demos, Web sites, collateral… and pretty much anything that represents your company.

Think of it as a marketing version of George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television.” In this case, use them at the risk of offending your customers.

Also, be sure to check out this issue’s meaty Premium piece by Jeff Mauzy. In part 2 of this four-part series on profitable customer-centric strategies, Jeff takes over from Michael Lowenstein. He describes how your organization can use innovation and creativity to capture, manage and apply customer insight to achieve strategic goals.

If your creative juices have turned to frozen concentrate, Jeff provides the necessary thaw to get them flowing again.

Thanks for stopping by. And let me know what you think. As always, your feedback is both welcome and appreciated.

Until next time,

Ann Handley


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. Building Profitable Customer-Centric Strategies: Identify Strategic Opportunities and Challenges (Part 1 of 4)
  2. How to Write a Smooth Sales Letter for Results
  3. What Could Your Company Do With a Blog?
  4. Q&A With Brad Hill of Building Your Business with Google For Dummies
  5. Managing Content Is a Process, Not a Project
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Peter Cohan
The Content-Free Buzzword-Compliant Vocabulary List

How many times have you read jargon in software marketing material? Does it provide you with any real information—or is it simply a string of meaningless buzzwords?

When you or your team uses jargon words and phrases in a presentation, you risk losing credibility. Here’s a list of words that can get you into trouble.

Get the full story.

Meryl K. Evans and Hank Stroll
SWOT Team: Fighting for the Right to Train

With budgets slipping away, training is often one of the first line items to go. This week, voice your opinion on the value of training: What's the best way to convince management of its value?

Also this week, read your answers to: What's the best way to network for better and more frequent PR coverage?

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Gerry McGovern
Time to Get Serious About Metadata

When it comes to the Web, there is nothing more misunderstood than metadata. Technical people search vainly for a way to automate its creation. Many editors and writers want nothing to do with it.

And yet without quality metadata, a Web site cannot properly achieve its objectives. It’s time to get serious about metadata.

Get the full story.

Sean D’Souza
The Curse of Choice

Contrary to what you may believe, the brain doesn’t think by choosing what it wants. In truth, the brain eliminates what it doesn't want.

So how do you harness this fact and make it work to your business advantage?

Get the full story.


Publisher:Allen Weiss

Content: Ann Handley


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