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Vol. 4 , No. 18     May 3, 2005


In this Newsletter:

  1. Causality: Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?
  2. Succeeding With Straight Talk: Five Ways to Slay the Bull
  3. From Spam to Viral Web Video With John Cleese
  4. How to Formulate Marketing Messages
  5. Five Ways to Energize Your Newsletter
  6. How to Keep Any Project on Track
  7. SWOT Team: Bulk Shopping Online

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Wendy Comeau
Causality: Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

Marketers everywhere are tasked with finding out about causation: "Is this advertising causing people to buy more of our lemonade?" "Is our new viral marketing effort causing our brand awareness to increase?" "Would having blonde hair cause me to have more fun?"

It's virtually impossible to answer questions about causality with absolute certainty. But we can use techniques grounded in science to help us gather strong evidence of causation. Let's talk about designing an experiment to test whether blondes do, indeed, have more fun.

Get the full story.

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


Premier event on content syndication trends for marketers
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Jonathan Kranz
Succeeding With Straight Talk: Five Ways to Slay the Bull

The columnist, author of "Writing Copy for Dummies," recently joined forces with Jon Warshawsky, coauthor of the newly published "Why Business People Speak Like Idiots."

Together, the "dummy" and the "idiot" attacked their archenemy, Corporate Bull.

What follows are five practical suggestions for shoveling your way out of the doublespeak and successfully into the embrace of colleagues and customers.

Get the full story.

Ted Page
From Spam to Viral Web Video With John Cleese

Here is a behind-the scenes story that reveals how one B2B marketer used a lot of silliness to increase its Web traffic tenfold and generate thousands of sales leads.

How did this viral phenomenon go from wacky idea to revenue-generating success?

Get the full story.


A Note to Readers

Q&A: The Inside Scoop on PowerPoint

Cliff Atkinson has been writing for MarketingProfs about PowerPoint (and other graphical presentation tools) for more than three years now. I admit, when I first ran Cliff's stuff, I tended to view it as a bit limited: How much, really, is there to say about PowerPoint?

Well, plenty, as it turns out. Almost a dozen articles later, Cliff continues to evolve his pet subject. It's not about PowerPoint, he says. It's about communicating your sales message (or any message, really) in a graphically compelling manner.

In addition to his articles, he's recently authored a book and lectures worldwide. This month, on May 12, he leads a free online seminar, sponsored in part by us here at MProfs: "Transform Your PowerPoint Beyond Bullet Points!" (Get more information or sign up here.

Ann: You've built a career countering "Death by PowerPoint." What do the Microsoft people have to say about that?

Cliff: Microsoft is as eager as the rest of us to figure out better ways to use PowerPoint. Take a seat in any conference room in Redmond, and you'll experience the same bullet point boredom and frustration that occurs anywhere else. Microsoft's contribution toward a solution is that they invited an outside expert to offer a completely fresh way to use the tool, which became my new book — Beyond Bullet Points — published last month by Microsoft Press.

Ann: So I guess they like you.

Cliff: [Next month] I'm giving my first workshop at Microsoft in June to a group of product managers, and am looking forward to sowing some bullet-free seeds of change.

Ann: PowerPoint fires people up that much? Isn't the whole topic a little on the margins, if not marginal?

Cliff: Not at all. We all normally think of PowerPoint as a fluffy and non-serious topic, but boards of directors and business schools are beginning to understand it as a serious culture issue that has huge ramifications through everything they do. HP, GE and the Wharton school of business are some of the groups that are developing an organizational consciousness about PowerPoint.

Ann: Why is that?

You can read the rest of this interview online, by going here.

Until next time,

Ann Handley


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. Attention Basics: How to Get Your Messages to Stand Out (Part 2 of 2)
  2. The Myth of Rankings: Beyond Search Optimization
  3. Eleven Search Engine Optimization Tips
  4. The Product Called PR
  5. Exploring Blogs for Brand Insights
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Recent Know-How Exchange Questions/Answers

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  4. I Need To Be Educated On a Walgreen Expired Domain
  5. How Do I Start a Personal Real Estate Website?



Roger L. Cauvin
How to Formulate Marketing Messages

Don't choose marketing messages based on whim or personal preference. Educate the product team about the three approaches to formulating messages. Work to identify and hone the messages.

You'll find that consistently communicating these messages will help brand your product—and, if your product actually delivers its promised benefits, will increase sales over time.

Get the full story.

Chris Scott
Five Ways to Energize Your Newsletter

Whether distributed via email or printed and snail-mailed, newsletters are a cost-effective way for businesses or organizations to keep in touch with employees, customers, prospects or association members.

The trick, however, is to come up with a strategy to keep readers engaged and the publication's production and editorial adjustments in line with current budgets.

Here are five tactics that you can use to make your newsletter more engaging for your intended recipients.

Get the full story.


Oracle Business Integration

Oracle Business Integration fuses your existing systems to deliver accurate, complete customer information.
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Customer Data Hub: 4 Steps to Customer Insight.

Michael W. McLaughlin
How to Keep Any Project on Track

You might call it the project from hell, the death march or the one that ended up in the ditch. Most of us have at least one project horror story, though some of us have seen more than our share. If you haven't experienced a project that's gone sideways, consider yourself in the lucky minority.

When a project runs aground, it's almost always avoidable—at least in hindsight.

Get the full story.

Meryl K. Evans and Hank Stroll
SWOT Team: Bulk Shopping Online

This week, add your thoughts to the following dilemma:
If you work in a business that sells in bulk, how do customers responsible for purchases go about finding you and ordering online?

Also this week, read your answers to the last problem: How do you determine whether or not a webinar makes a good addition to the marketing pool?

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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