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.

It is by dreaming first that we get to new realities

Today’s story began yesterday. A friend of mine invited me for coffee at a local Starbucks. During our conversation, he mentioned that one of his kids is considering entrepreneurship as a career. This was music to my ears. Why? How much time do you have? Not much? OK, then here are the top two reasons:

1. Being an entrepreneur is hard, and that’s a good thing. Why? It’s simple: because in the long run, humans find doing easy things to be deeply unsatisfying. Millions are unhappy in their careers simply because they are not really being challenged in their day-to-day work.

2. Chances are, almost everything that makes your life more enjoyable or more productive was created by an entrepreneur. In fact, the energy and ideas of entrepreneurs have been fueling civilization all along. Think about it for a moment: your smartphone, your car, your running shoes, your favorite pizza place, your computer, the ‘no-flip’ mattress you likely sleep on, your you-name-it — who created them? The banks? The government? It was the entrepreneurs. And who will be doing it in the future? The entrepreneurs. To move our economy to where we need it to be in the future, we need more people to take up entrepreneurship.

You may return to your regularly scheduled programming.
Sep 19, 2014


What’s poetry?

What’s poetry if not simplification of thought, which, when done right, is both beautiful and extremly powerful.


How progress begins

If you’re trying to help someone, you can’t be thinking like them.
If they want to see different results, your thinking better be different than theirs.

Sep 12, 2014


Is shout finally out?

Facts can almost be irrelevant. What matters is how they are presented.

So what do I do if I need to present some facts?” One thing that people tend to rally around nowadays is questions. Case in point: the “What does your heart beat for?” campaign to market “MegaRed,” a premium alternative to fish oil pills. The brand’s ad agency connected a single question to a web of simple yet reflective ideas with poignant emotional charge:

A son/daughter’s wedding.
Playing tennis/golf every week.
Caring for a Harley.
Going to a jazz festival.
Helping a grandchild learn how to ride a bike.

The response? See the image below (via Facebook) for a little taste.


My 2¢: a. Lead with questions. b. Be where the consumer is. c. Emotion is the mother of action.


Ads that change lives

A few days ago, a New York couple took out an ad in the Palo Alto Weekly asking Tesla Motors‘ CEO Elon Musk to make some improvements to the all-electric Model S sedan (see below).


And Elon Musk responded.

Ad taken out in Palo Alto Daily by two Model S owners is right. Many of the suggestions will be implemented soon. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 23, 2014

My 2¢: When done right, ads don’t just attract us — they change us. 
Aug 26, 2014

p.s. I test drove a Tesla Model S in Seattle back in 2013. “How was it?” In a word: breathtaking.