Carey "Trip" Giudici

St. George and the Monitor

In Beyond the Mantra on October 4, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Wise old-timers used to say, “Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see.”

But it’s hard to believe anyone actually lived by those words.

More and more Americans get their information from monitors, rather than from direct experience.

And non-technical information on our monitors is mostly hearsay or opinion.

So presentation becomes everything.

The more convincingly you say something, the more loyal followers and influence you can generate.

Almost nobody has time to carefully compare various expert opinions before making a choice or decision.

We’re buried under thousands of small instant choices that need to be made.

So we leave our biggest choices to unseen leaders of our status quo.

Almost nothing of what we see affects what we believe.

Many beliefs are defined by what we “hear” online, from the people we choose to believe.

Fifty years ago, playwright Clifford Odets wrote: “All of us should have the values of a St. George. But there is no St. George without a dragon. And we don’t have a dragon.”

That’s more true than ever today, when the only dragons are the beliefs we disagree with.

And in our Photoshopped, overly-engineered world, we can no longer believe what we see.

So we’re 180 degrees from the old-timers’ advice:

We now believe nothing of what we see, and only half of what we hear–the half we happen to agree with.


A Dozen Benefits of Brand-Driven Content

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2010 at 5:39 am

The hottest 20 Google search topics of September 23, 2010 included three related to a leading baby formula.

Number one was “similac recall,” number 10 “similac formula” and number fourteen “similac formula recall 2010.”

So if you sell Similac, you’re getting a lot of attention (in this case unwanted).

But if your business is rain gutters or golf shoes and you’re writing the site content, should you pepper your content with “similac” just to attract millions of eyes? Of course not.

1. Manipulating keyword searches is self-defeating, because people aren’t stupid enough to enjoy being manipulated.

2. Many emails that fly into my email account from SEO or content experts are obviously trying to manipulate me into buying something; they never even get opened.

3. They’re throwbacks to a simpler time (like 2006), when traditional direct marketing content attracted sales by using cute or slightly edgy subject lines.

“I blew it, Carey!” “Last minute surprise.” Such ploys remain popular with email marketing hotshots out there. But even if the sender is a legendary sales trainer, I don’t open his email, much less buy anything from him.

4. Thoughtful people don’t respond to manipulative content, even if it’s cleverly disguised by the copywriter as brand-driven. Don’t expect anyone to open manipulative content just because it was thought up by clever ol’ you.

5. Good brand-driven content doesn’t stray far from a unique brand: your values, core message . . . your “Mantra.”

6. It’s more difficult to attract online prospects into your sales “funnel” than it is to drive thousands to your site through a SEO “heating duct.” That explains why most marketers don’t do it.

7. But you aren’t that lazy; your content is driven by a strong brand. That’s how you attract the right customers. Try to “drive” disengaged prospects with digital smoke and mirrors, and your conversion rate will suffer every time.

8 – 10. Value is first, last and everything. Good content driven by your personal brand has plenty of value.

11. So nourish online business the way a nursing mother nourishes her newborn. Share something of real value–your brand–with people you really want to engage with. Don’t offer a million strangers a prepackaged substitute using quick-and-dirty SEO tactics.

12. In other words . . . recall the Similac.


In Uncategorized on September 30, 2010 at 5:31 am

Like Tom Peters, I’m a Certified Word Fanatic. You should be, too.

* A Word Fanatic is also a master of persuasion
* He or she knows that words are at the root of most business success and failure
* Social media and internet technology have transformed the art of wordsmithing
* How you “turn a phrase” can determine your business’ chances of survival
* Our business choices and decisions are based on less and less information
* So create an initial message that fits onto the screen of a smart phone
* Give each word extra muscle, personal value and credibility
* Like a good project manager or engineer, focus on efficient design–but of words
* Use them to consistently engage, inform and enlighten
* It isn’t easy; but it’s much more productive than just attracting faux “friends.”

Design better words. Say less about more. And succeed.