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Vol. 4 , No. 9     March 1, 2005


In this Newsletter:

  1. How to Segment Markets
  2. The Psychology of Advertising Failure (Part 1 of 2)
  3. Book Reviews: Free Prizes, a Playbook, Touchpoints and Thinking Pink (Not!)
  4. Logos: What Makes Them Work (Part 2 of 2)
  5. How to Write Compelling Blog Posts
  6. How to Create Reader Personas
  7. Driving Forces of Commoditization


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Premium Content

Allen Weiss
How to Segment Markets

Perhaps the most important analytical process of marketing is segmentation.

By segmenting the market, organizations obtain a very clear understanding of customers. Segmentation ultimately provides a solid basis for clear and precise targeting and positioning.

But segmenting is also very difficult and confusing, if you rely on instruction offered in the popular press and some marketing textbooks.

The reality is this: segmentation is more art than science.

Get the full story.

Please note: This article is available to paid subscribers only. Get more information or sign up here.


If every ad were seen by someone who was interested in your product or service?
Find out what Claria can do for you.

Matthew Syrett
The Psychology of Advertising Failure (Part 1 of 2)

Advertisers spend much effort psychoanalyzing consumers, trying to understand why consumers make the decision they do.

It is rare that they turn those same analytical tools on themselves—to understand why they make their own decisions, especially when those decisions have led to trouble.

Get the full story.

Jack Covert
Book Reviews: Free Prizes, a Playbook, Touchpoints and Thinking Pink (Not!)

You want to keep up with your marketing reading. But there's so much out there that you don't where to start.

Here are four of our favorites from '04. And these recommended titles are as good a place to start as any.

Get the full story.


A Note to Readers

Raise Your Hand If You Are Hypomanic

I should be in a better mood. I just returned from a skiing and snowboarding vacation in Maine during which I was (mostly) unplugged and more active than usual. But, unfortunately, I came back to the news that another snowstorm is tracking toward New England, prompting me to wonder about that old mantra: If February is the shortest month, why does it seem so long?

Then, yesterday, I read an article in the Boston Sunday Globe that lead me to believe my sour mood has less to do with winter than with a condition called hypomania.

According to the piece, "The Hypomanic American," psychologists contend that a mild form of mania—called hypomania—turns us into achievers, risk-takers and, in a business setting, entrepreneurs.

Hypomanics are restless and excitable, throwing themselves with abandon into work or other pleasures for a week or more, during which they feel like "masters of the universe." If this sounds like the initial stages of manic depression... well, it is, writes author Annie Murphy Paul.

"But instead of spiraling into debilitating manias and then into paralyzing depression, hypomanics generally experience only the invigorating effects of the onset of the mania and usually emerge from it without professional help (though sometimes a period of mild depression follows)."

Psychologist John Gartner argues that Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford were all hypomanics.

The Globe piece focuses on American entrepreneurs and leaders, and the condition's role in the nation's power and prosperity. But, in my view, hypomania is less exclusively American than it is entrepreneurial.

How many of business leaders, company CEOs and entrepreneurs do you know who seem hypomanic? Based on my own experience, I would guess quite a few.

The good news is that by next week I should be characteristically ebullient and exuberant. Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by. As always, your feedback is both welcome and encouraged.

Until next week,

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer

p.s. The SWOT column will return next week in its usual spot.


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. How to Raise Prices: Three Key Questions to Guide Decision Making
  2. Logos: What Makes Them Work (Part 1 of 2)
  3. Rules for Rainmakers
  4. An Old Lesson on Target Audience... the iPod Way
  5. SEO: The True Cost of Doing It Wrong
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Recent Know-How Exchange Questions/Answers

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  4. Email Newsletter Box - Is It Enough?
  5. Marketing Software As a Service


Jared McCarthy
Logos: What Makes Them Work (Part 2 of 2)

Developing a great logo is a strange mix of art, science, psychology and (in most cases) a good amount of luck.

Last week, in part one of this two-part series, we discussed some fundamentals of logo development and design.

Here, in this final installment, we delve deeper into the nitty-gritty: How to choose the right logo, the pitfalls of a too-literal logo, and, yes: size does matter.

Get the full story.

B.L. Ochman
How to Write Compelling Blog Posts

Writing blog posts (and comments on blogs) is actually very simple. Keep your copy lively, factual, tight, clear, short and search engine optimized.

Here are basic blog style guidelines to follow.

Get the full story.


Webcast | Ensuring Brand Consistency Across All Channels

Join Jack Aaronson, CEO The Aaronson Group in this Free Webcast on 3/8/2005. Learn to orchestrate a consistent, powerful brand message across all channels.
Click Here to Learn More and Register

Gerry McGovern
How to Create Reader Personas

You must make very difficult choices if you want your Web site to work. You can't serve everybody. If you try to, you will serve nobody.

The first step in developing successful reader personas is to decide which readers you are *not* going to focus on.

Get the full story.

Jeff Thull
Driving Forces of Commoditization

Rapid commoditization of products and services is exasperating even the most skilled professionals.

The solution provider is struggling to differentiate its unique products and services. Simultaneously, customers are putting the squeeze on margins and driving unique value to the lowest common denominator—price.

How is this happening? Why is the trend increasing at an alarming rate? And how can you hold your price and get paid for the value you deliver?

Get the full story.


Publisher:Allen Weiss

Content: Ann Handley

Strategy and Development:
Roy Young

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Val Frazee

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