What kind of marketing is the most effective?

sneezr.ca Have you ever asked yourself that question? I did. In fact, many years ago I spent countless hours trying to figure it out.
The answer turned out to be quite simple: word of mouth marketing. Or as I call it: the art of cultivating recommendations.

Surprised? Probably not. With recommendations, there is no sales pressure and no credibility issues. When your friends, family members or trusted co-workers recommend something or someone to you, they are genuinely trying to help you. That means a lot, which is why you usually remember it for a long time. But here is the catch: recommendations must be earned. How do you do that? Where do you start? How do you give people a reason to talk about your products/services? How do you nudge your story into every day conversations? I launched sneezr.ca to help you answer those questions.

Stop storytelling like it’s 1999.

Will people engage with your product/service in 2015 if they aren’t excited by it visually? If you had to use a version of Google that looked like this today, would you?


Jan 16, 2015


Malcolm’s “secret weapon,” episode II

A few years ago, I wrote a story about Malcolm’s “secret weapon.” You can read it here. (A quick reminder: Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer with The New Yorker and a best-selling author based in New York City.)

In the above story, I suggested that Malcolm’s secret is that he thinks and writes like an authentic copywriter. This means that while he doesn’t overlook the mind, he understands that the heart is the bullseye: “Malcolm also understands that the icing is not the cake, and the icing does not make the cake. Said differently, his writing is just the icing. The cake: true, interesting stories. And when the two come together, he’s got a beautiful package that’s hard to ignore.”

That’s what I said. And here’s what Malcolm said about what he does in a recent interview with the British Esquire: “Remember,” he goes on, “in most cases, I’m writing about pre-existing ideas. There’s often an intellectual movement, so I’m maybe pouring some accelerant on it, but I’m rarely inventing a cause. I’m a publicist for a lot of this stuff and a packager. That’s not humble; it’s fact. I’d be lying if I told you otherwise.” (For the full interview, see ‘Malcolm Gladwell explains himself.’)

I chuckled when I saw that he used the word ‘packager’ to qualify what he does. Please don’t forget, as Malcolm is fond of saying, this story is not an attempt to persuade you to do anything. It’s just a glimpse into my head. :)


Are you trying to boil the ocean?

It’s often those who narrow their focus right off the bat – way more than an average person would want to — that end up being the brands that people love. Case in point: Pricify – sales alerts for items you love from any online store. (Notice the lack of big words.)


Is this the best you can do?


Are the experts you’re working with experts on this world, or an earlier version of the world?

Jan 3, 2015


A word on your currency

Facebook, Instagram, etc. — sure, pictures are part of the appeal of those services. But you can only say so much without words, no? Words are still how feelings come across and how connections are made.

We’re writing to one another more than ever (text, email, you-name-it). Your words are your currency; they tell people who you are. Your words are the new top of the sales funnel. They can make you seem fun, warm, competent, and trustworthy. But they can also make you seem uninteresting, or, God forbid, flat-out tiresome. In 2015, we all have to put a new value on an often overlooked skill in business: how to write, and how to tell a true story well.

Dec 20, 2014