Hairlessness, Tips and N__e Photos

Friends and colleagues,

I recently shaved my eyebrows off.  I also cut arrow-shaped patterns into my hair.  Google told me to do it.  Now I am sleek and easy to find in a crowd.

As you’ve likely guessed, this ridiculous prevarication is in service to a message.  Marketers are being forced to become shorter, leaner, louder – more “responsive” in their digital communication. Rapidly evolving technologies are changing the speed and nature of communication.  We use our voices less, our fingers more.  We search while on the move.  We watch rather than read.  We let AutoCorrect “correct” us in hilarious and sometimes disturbing ways.   It all begs this question:  As we accommodate new forms and functions, are we still communicating to and with one another in compelling, unique and yes, human ways?  Is something being lost forever in translation?

Ok, while you ponder that parable, let me drop a six-pack of chilled observations on you:


  1. Take the “Should I Test?” Test.  A lot of time and energy is wasted on deciding what to test in marketing campaigns.  So how do you determine which ones are worth the investment?  Allow me to suggest this “three strikes, you’re out” approach:  1) Can the test variable realistically increase response by at least 20%?  2) Could the cost of the test – at roll-out – exceed a 10% revenue gain?  3) Do you have systems and expertise in place to properly evaluate the impact of the test?  If you answer “no” to any of these questions, send your test back to the dugout and have the next batter step up.
  2. Test Your Voice.  This does not mean scream at your iPhone when it turns “mother-in-law” into “mud in my claw.”  It means establishing a tone, cadence, style and manner that are uniquely yours. So when a block of copy is written for a customer communication, is read by said customer, they know it’s you, the voice of your brand.  Think you’ve already got this nailed?  Try pulling several paragraphs of copy off your site and do the same for a few competitors.  Then ask five to 10 customers to match the copy to the company.  I bet you a kazoo the match rate will be less than 50%.
  3. Try the Mobilegeddon Readiness Test.  This one is stupid easy.  Pull up your site in any browser and then change the size of your viewing window.  As the aspect ratio changes is your site dynamically adjusting what content is presented based on the size of the viewing screen?  If so, give your web team the day off; Google will rank you higher for optimizing your site for mobile users.  If not, Google will almost immediately lower your ranking.  If search position isn’t important to your business, you don’t need to act immediately, but eventually you’ll need to adjust to the fact that we live in an increasingly mobile world.
  4. Use traffic sign colors for your calls to action.  Here’s another simple one that often sets off heated battles between the brand and digital marketers.  The brand marketers want to use brand-approved colors on every communication for every purpose.  The digital marketers know that loud, disruptive colors draw attention, much like the traffic signs DOTs around the country use to get drivers to act a certain way.   The solution:  Add an “energized” color to your brand palette so you can keep your marketing team from throwing down Anchorman style.
  5. How’s your Form Factor?  Getting online prospects to complete forms to get free goodies from you or complete a purchase has become more science than art.  We know, for example, that every additional field you add to a form will lower the completion rate by 5-10% and that asking for income will lower form completion rates by 25%+.  We also know that that forms in the upper right of desktop browsers and vertical forms in mobile environments are 5-15% more productive.  So next time you need to collect data make sure you balance what you get with what you lose.
  6. Work the “Internet of things” in cocktail party conversation.  The wonderful thing about the expression is that uttering it makes you sound smart and informed. But here’s the rub: almost no one really knows what it means so you can let your creativity off the leash and just come up with whatever explanation suits the moment.  Try it today on your favorite Luddite.

N__e photos

Hey, what are you doing here!?  Answer:  checking out what more than half of you will.  Fascinating from an anthropological standpoint, no?

Thanks again for patiently indulging me.  Let me know what’s made sense, what didn’t, what your best practices and worst mistakes are.


P.S.:  If, for whatever reason, you’d rather not receive these occasional notes, please let me know.
P.S. #2:  Want to know why I don’t mass customize these notes through an email service provider like Constant Contact, MailChimp, Responsys or CRM system?  Ask me.

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