When I started on this arduous trek, I said to
myself, "Aha!, self, you have more knowledge about advertising and public
relations in your pinkie finger than some of these thankless whelps here, and certainly as much savvy at persuasion
(or more) than the old guard, their specialties being more on
the technical side of things than something as slick and unscientific as
I've tried extortion*, I've tried "bait and
(you can join the contest but you think you've a better chance of winning if you
buy the product) direct marketing advertising**, but after perusing the other blatant
attempts at nodevertising by my competition I found that I'd
only two ways to go: a) sell my soul to the Devil and
win the contest with hellfire and brimstone to endure for an eternity or
maybe longer; or, b) go back to my roots - go back to the tips
my father, my marketing professors and mentors gave me.
*August 12, 2007
**August 15, 2007
My Marketing Mentors
Now, my dad was in industrial advertising (electrical parts,
water and gas metering devices) for nearly his entire career, until in his old
age he switched to "the other side of the desk," and instead of creating the
ads, commenced to sell the space for others' ads in trade magazines. He'd spent
75 per cent of his working years observing business publications and their
staffers try every fancy trick in the book to convince him that an ad in
their magazine would cause more engineers to specify his product than any
other. Even though dad occasionally suffered from ageism, he went out, made
his calls, and sold up a storm. And that made him happy when he retired. He'd
done something that he'd always wanted to do and the glory of his success in the
last 15 years of his career, he said, eclipsed the entirety of the satisfaction
he'd derived in the first forty-odd years he'd worked.
I went to a good school and although I didn't major in it, I took a heavy
course-load in Marketing and related subjects. My professors were grand. My
marketing professor was old-school. He thought that the new advertising, whether
in print, on radio or on television failed to adhere to the all-important basics
of selling to people. Now, please remember that this "new" advertising he was
talking about was the advertising in the mid-1970s. If he were alive now and
saw, for instance, one of the sneaker commercials that doesn't even mention
the product's name (but, admittedly, shows the logo), he'd have blown a gasket.
Finally, I had the honor of interning at an IBM division headed by a man
named John F. Akers, who recently enjoyed a stint as Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of that estimable organization. Akers, and his underlings,
"sold" their pet projects and ideas about the business to the higher-ups in a
fashion that was a thrill to watch. On more than one occasion I had a chance to
sit with him, in a car, at a restaurant, or at various functions held by IBM's
lawyers at private clubs. These were the days of United States of America vs.
IBM anti-trust action. Of course, years after my short stint as a what amounted to a glorified
file-clerk ended, Big Blue prevailed. The United States Department of Justice, having nothing better to do at the time, tried
its best to prove that IBM was a monopoly, despite myriad thriving competitors.
It was nothing at all like the government's recent action against Microsoft,
in which the government actually may prevail in the same fashion it did when it
broke up the Telephone Company. But I digress. Akers had started as a
salesman, selling IBM tabulating equipment to businesses, as so many of his
What Did I Learn?
The three men mentioned above adhered, basically, to the basic, unvarnished
rules of sales:
- Tell the customer a little about your product and make sure they know what it's
called and what it looks like.
- Tell the customer why they need your product; how it will fulfill a need for
- If you're in a field of hot competition, point out clearly what sets your
product apart from the competition.
- Don't ever sell a product you don't believe in, because if you try, the
customer will know you're lying to them. Customers are smarter than you think,
and they don't buy products at any
price from liars.
- If you expect to sell anything, don't pussyfoot around and get the
customer to make you an offer. Ask for the order! If necessary, place
a reasonable limit of time within which for the customer to act (to deter
So therefore, instead of giving you gimmicks, I'll try a different tack to
get your attention:
1. Love Your Enemies by Inflatable_Monk
Love Your Enemies is worthy of your attention because it cures myriad ills:
headaches, stomach upset, insomnia among them. I'd hazard a guess dipsomania
would be among them, as well. You see, it's more about the cleanliness of the
soul one enjoys when one hates nobody. Hatred for one's enemies merely means
they're occupying space in your head free, without paying rent. Now why would
you want to give something as precious as your peace of mind away to one who
would do you harm? This dissertation parallels my own views about what to do
with one's enemies; and believe me, I've got plenty of enemies. I'll admit that
my actions have made enemies out of some of them, but more often than not
jealousy is at the core.
How taken aback could a person be who despises you, who wastes countless
minutes of his/her day devising ways to reap revenge upon you; when you see them
on the street, approach them and offer an outstretched hand, and ask (with
genuine concern) about their family and their own well being? How shocking
to them when you patronize their place of business and they'd never dream of
being seen in yours?
In the case of those who may have been angered or damaged by my actions, a
sincere apology given at the right time, along with a tangible (money or
otherwise) token of my sincere regret over the situation has not failed me yet.
I even count an ex-enemy among my friends, because he respects me for having the
integrity to admit my wrongs and demonstrate my apology with action, not
Here, I'll give you a little practice in this concept. (You might want to
read the writeup first before you try). When Richard M. Nixon made his farewell
speech to his White House staff, the
second-to last paragraph was a tidbit of advice that I carry with me every day
with regard to this topic. On August 9th, 1974 he said:
Always give your best, never get discouraged, never
be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you
don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.
2. Normal is Just a Setting on a Washing Machine by borgo
The credit for the title actually goes to the lovely, intelligent and
vivacious borgette, whom long-time noders have been "watching" blossom from a
little girl into a delightful young woman through her father's eyes (and via her
own enjoyable writings to all of us on occasion).
What better concept for a place like this? Some of us are just naturally
"eccentric," and others strive vigorously to avoid the label "normal" with all
This writeup could use your kindness and support; and because borgette will
no doubt be informed by her father of its rise in XP and chings, you'll be
getting "more bang for the buck," or in this case, delighting not only yourself
but two noders instead of one.
3. Boris Karloff by Jet-Poop
Why Boris Karloff? Well, I wonder how many young people realize that the
man behind all of that makeup was a delightful person. This writeup epitomizes a
quality, objective, factual writeup. It's written in a compact yet informative
style and a great voice. And it's linked. And linked. And linked
There's a lot of contemporary factual material at E2, but a dearth of good
writing about, for example, the entertainers of yore. (Thankfully, recently, kanoodle
has been rectifying this situation by writing comprehensive, enjoyable pieces
about the people he and I grew up watching on the television and listening to on
the radio.) But it's unfair of me to single him out. Plenty of noders have
contributed information about artists, musicians, actors and others that I'd
hazard a guess a majority of E2's demographic is too young to know about.
The author's research was so thorough I learned something; well, corrected my
information about the subject. I'd always thought he'd actually sung in a
particular movie that's very, very popular. It wasn't him. It was a singer.
I herewith beseech you to visit the above nodes. I am certain that your
decision to vote for them will come to you upon reading them. A Ching is
deserving from all who have Chings to spend. So follow the links and go now to
Boris Karloff, Normal is Just a Setting on a Washing Machine and Love Your
— Crafted in the spirit of crass commercialism for Lost Gems of Yesteryear