Archives for July 2013

Does our marketing content inspire love?

Loveworks: How the world's top marketers make emotional connections to win in the marketplaceI just found this useful guest post written by Brian Sheehan, author of Loveworks. Please head over to skim the article for yourself, but here are the headlines from the article, “How the World’s Top Marketers Make Emotional Connections to win in the Marketplace.”

A loved company:

  • Is driven by purpose
  • Inspires people
  • Is emotional
  • Uncovers truth
  • Is a creative leader
  • Has a rallying cry
  • Has people power
  • Has mystery
  • Has sensuality
  • Has intimacy

Are these objectives intentionally part of our marketing strategy? Should they be?

I believe Logos is loved in the marketplace, though I suspect the love may be driven more by our our product value and customer service than our marketing communication. (But I’m fairly new here, and I may well be wrong.)



No-Meeting Tuesdays

From: Phil Gons
To: Marketing Dept

We’re going to try as a department to keep Tuesdays free of scheduled meetings. Meetings can be great, but large blocks of time are essential for productivity. More and more of us are in meetings a large portion of the week. When those meetings are peppered throughout the week, we’re often not able to get much done before the next meeting begins.

Please do your best to clear your calendars on Tuesdays of any regularly recurring meetings. Try not to schedule meetings with others on Tuesdays, and hopefully they’ll return the favor. Collaboration and informal conversations are certainly fine. Let’s just try to keep our calendars as clear as possible on Tuesdays.



Hashtags are becoming even more important.

If you craft content for social media channels, check out this brief analysis on the increased importance of hashtags in light of Twitter’s recent API changes. (Note, also, that Facebook has finally implemented some form of hashtag conversation aggregation as well.)

BundlePost » Hashtags Become Even MORE Important On Twitter

In short, because Twitter is tightening the restrictions against bulk-following and enforcing strict follower-ratios, you cannot rely on auto-follows, bulk-follows, or online follower-management tools to gain attention and grow your follower-count. Create quality content and make it more easily discoverable by using relevant hashtags.

Bottom line: I believe Twitter made a good move: quality content and conversational engagement build a better audience than automated following.


5 Factors that Motivate Impulse

I’m sure that most of us have seen this list before, but I re-encountered it last week and thought it might be something we could all benefit from reviewing.

There are 5 factors of impulse that most often lead to a purchase:

 Value Factor

“This is worth more than you will be paying for it.”

 A transaction is a value exchange, and all customers want more for less. Establish a high product value in the customer’s mind, preferably a price at which they might contemplate purchasing. When they encounter the actual price tag they will be pleasantly surprised. This can help to mitigate some of the sticker shock that we encounter on base packages. Pre-Pub and Community Pricing also do a good job utilizing this factor. How can we leverage it on our other channels?

 Sense of Urgency

“If you don’t buy this, you might not be able to later.”

 We do this very well. Almost every flight plan has a series of “don’t miss out” messaging. Not much to say here, I thinks we’ve mastered this.

 Fear of Loss

“You need to act now, or you’ll run out of time.”

 Fear of loss is more powerful than the hope of gain. “Fear of loss” is subtly different than the “sense of urgency.” It implies an uncertain deadline. It demands an instant action. Best used in places where the customer CAN take instant action. Avoid “fear of loss” messaging anywhere that’s more than 2 clicks from a purchase.

 Jones Effect

“You need this if you’re going to keep up with the times.”

 Nobody wants to be the first person to buy. Whenever possible, highlight someone who has already become a satisfied customer of our product. Celebrity endorsements are great, but sometimes pointing out a regular joe who has bought and benefited from the product can accomplish everything that you need. And the average joe is almost always more relatable than a celebrity.


“Its okay if you don’t buy this, someone else will.”

 Never act desperate. We have a great product, and everybody knows it. Make an offer, but don’t beg. Be careful though, too much indifference can make you sound snobby.

 We use some of these factors really often– value and urgency– but others less often. How can we hit more of these triggers with our messaging?

Pitching makes a huge difference

The intern hack-a-thon taught me a lot about the importance of constantly growing the skill of pitching.

Learning how to pitch can make a huge difference in your career.

You can use pitching skills to:

  • Drive customers to open emails, click on buttons and place orders
  • Get approval for, and excitement about, your ideas
  • Persuade others that your project or request deserves more focus or a higher priority (or that it should be canceled)
  • Recruit awesome people to join our team
  • Convince a publisher to let us put their books into our format
  • Ask for  a promotion and/or a raise

The intern hack-a-thon: pitching skills can make or break it

As a marketing mentor for the intern hack-a-thon I had the opportunity to to hear three versions of almost every team’s pitches:

1. Friday at lunch they gave pitches to recruit team members

  • As I watched groups formed I realized that convincing the right team member to join a team could make or break the team’s success.
  • The max team size was five members. There was a team that started with two members and didn’t recruit anyone else through their initial pitch. They ended up being the only team that was not able to demonstrate a working prototype.

2. Saturday morning I met with most of the teams about their product pitches

  • Two of the teams sent me stuff to review ahead of time. One team sent me an email the night before asking for data to quantify the potential revenue their product could produce. Another team sent me a written pitch that showed they had really thought through the business and marketing implications of their product.
  • Both of the teams that prepared in advance ended up winning.
  • One team I met with had “something” missing from their product. As we talked we realized it was that the presenter wasn’t passionate about the product.
  • During my meetings it was interesting to see that some teams joined together in crafting their pitches while others delegated it to a single member.

3. Saturday after lunch the interns presented their pitches and demos for the judges

  • It was stressful! The main conference room was filled with tension and excitement.
  • The pitches/demos were timed (4 minutes) with a 1-minute warning. No additional time was given for technical malfunctions.
  • The judges asked questions for 5-6 minutes. The questions were intense and topics included: revenue implications, how revenue estimates were determined, why a specific coding language was used, why an app wasn’t integrated into Faithlife, how long it would take to get the code ready to ship, etc.

Some take aways

  • If others don’t buy-in or join in, you probably need to refine your pitch or come up with a different idea.
  • If you don’t feel passionately about your idea or products others probably won’t either.
  • You can give an excellent pitch and still not win.
  • Pitches don’t have to be perfect to be successful.
  • Presenting pitches with a team is useful because they can answer questions that you can’t.
  • Planning the “go-to-market” pitch with the entire team led to greater insights and better presentations then when the marketers worked on their pitches separately from their teams.

Here’s a few articles I thought were interesting on this subject:

You may also want to check out this video that Jim shared with the interns:

I’m currently reading Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In and getting ready to start Spin Selling. If anyone wants to do a book discussion group on either one, let me know.

Do you have any other articles (or books) you would recommend?

Are You Sending Pain Killers or Vitamins?

Marketo has a neat article on email copy that addresses two approaches to email marketing:

  • Pain killer emails address problems a customer is experiencing and offer ways to overcome them.
  • Vitamin emails set customers up to avoid future problems and offer added benefits.

It makes you wonder:

  • Which approach should we take in Logos 5 upgrade messaging? 
  • Is the Faithlife Study Bible a pain killer or a vitamin? Both?
  • How about Noet? It’s a pain killer to those outside our current audience, but a vitamin to Logos users who just love the classics.

Next time you put together a marketing email, ask: does this audience need a pain killer or a vitamin?


Do I need to be here?

The purpose of this post is to answer the most important questions when managing your calendar in the workplace, especially at Logos, “do I need to be here?”

With every calendar request you get you need to be asking yourself this question. It can be a difficult question to answer, but an important one to master.

Thoughts on your time and calendar:

  • You are responsible for your own time at work and are trusted to use it wisely. Do not let your calendar control you, control your calendar.
  • “Tentative” and “decline” are perfectly acceptable responses to any calendar request. The key to using them well is to give reasonable and rational reasons of why you will not attend (more on this later).
  • If you need contiguous time during the day to be productive, then mark that off as time unavailable on your calendar. This helps avoid being scheduled for meetings during times that are disruptive to you.
  • Do unto others as… you get it, be respectful of others’ time and calendars and they will be respectful of yours.

So in answering the “do I need to be here” question I offer this handy checklist:

  1. From the meeting title is it something that you KNOW you should attend?
  2. From the meeting description is it something that you THINK you should attend?
  3. From the meeting title or description is it something that you would LIKE to attend?
  4. Is it a mandatory meeting being held by your project lead/team lead/supervisor/manager/vp/ceo?

If you cannot say yes to any of the above, then in reality you probably don’t need to be there. That does not mean you CANNOT attend, that just means you do not NEED to be there. If you answer no or maybe to any or all of the above then use your discretion. Go if you have time and it will not kill your productivity. Otherwise, it is a matter of realizing that you DO NOT need to attend every meeting you are invited to.

Other thoughts and tips:

  • If you get to a meeting and realize you are not useful there, politely excuse yourself. No need to further waste your time.
  • Check to see if you are listed as an optional attendee, if so then even the organizer thinks you may not attend.
  • Triage your calendar everyday (I do it the previous day before I leave). I look through my meetings one last time and decide if I am going to go or not go (see my note below about declining a meeting).
  • Do unto others…It is hard to decide on a meeting if you do not know what it is about. Save everyone’s time and energy. Put a great description of what you will be talking about in the meeting. Sometimes you will realize that a meeting is unnecessary. I often can offer all of the feedback necessary quickly in a response that makes a meeting superfluous (yeah that just happened).

On declining well:

Nothing sucks worse than setting up a meeting, showing up, and no one coming. Why does this happen? Because people don’t offer explanations or mentions that they will not attend. They silently decline (without sending remarks) a meeting and HOPE the organizer notices. Bad form. If you decline or set yourself tentative for a meeting, it helps to tell the organizer why. That way if you are really needed, it gives them a chance to adjust.

Be kind, politely decline.