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.

You have magic in your fingers.

Don’t believe me? :) Here’s one example: you can make a paper plane, no? If yes, isn’t there something magical about the experience of taking a blank sheet of paper and being able to make it take flight with just a few simple folds?

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What can our grandmas teach you about business


The best products, services, websites, you-name-it create little or no friction for their end users. Twitter is not one of those products/services/websites. Facebook is.

What gives us the right to say that? Our grandmas. Yours, too. You see, almost all of our grandams are on Facebook. Daily. Twitter? For most of them, tweeting sounds like a synonym for twerking.

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How to make a $900,000 shot

If you don’t have time to watch the video that explains how one photo has, to-date, earned its makers $900,000, here’s the whole story in two paragraphs. This now-famous shot of an iceberg has earned its creators $900,000 since it was first made in 1998. The money shot, pun intended, is not a pure, single image, but rather the resulting composite of a number of shots that were taken at different locations around the world. Here’s what one of the creators had to say about the shot:

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The most important job of an advertisement.

I spread stories of my fellow storytellers simply because I’m in awe of their art and the only way I can repay them is to share their art with others. Case in point:

“The most important  job of an advertisement is to centre all the attention on the merchandise and none on the technique of presenting it.” – Roy Sarles Dustin, in his 1929 book This Advertising Business

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Do your ads look like park benches?

Why are park benches usually painted green? Because the colour (green) blends in with surroundings.
Do you want your ads to blend in with their surroundings?

The real Apple Store.

My 2¢: Almost everything can be made interesting. You just need to present it properly.

In my experience, one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face in growing their businesses is this: they fail to appreciate the importance of telling their story well. And if storytelling is not your strong suit, why wouldn’t you hire a professional to help you articulate your story?

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Ads that change lives

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To reduce cigarette-butt litter on the streets of London, one charity hired an ad agency to help them put a dent in the problem. The solution: motivate smokers to dispose their cigarette butts in an interactive, fun, and smart fashion. :)

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When was the last time you focused on improving your email skills?

Your email inbox, virtually all of your new business opportunities are born and live there, no? Whether it’s a new client, referral work, or past clients, most of them will approach you via email. It’s easy to forget that.

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Is marketing what your office manager does best?

There was an interesting story in the Globe and Mail’s business section three weeks ago (or so) about a failed, golf course-themed, real estate community in Muskoka, ON. (The article was called ‘Boomers and the bust in Muskoka’s vacation land,’ and you can read it here http://bit.ly/1KrUaRj.

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