Predictably Irrational

Irrational is probably not what you would care to be labelled as, and yet that is exactly what you are. Dan Ariely shows not only are you irrational, but you are predictably irrational.

How can this be so?

Well, many of the illogical decisions you make can be predicted in advance. For example, one of the illustrations in the book involves two samples of chocolate. One is a world famous exotic chocolate and the other is the recycled waste sold as chocolate in convenience stores.

The experiment began by selling the two chocolates side by side in small one bite sized samples. The price of the authentic chocolate experience was 15 cents and the price of the imitation chocolate was only 1 cent. An overwhelming majority of people confronted with this decision concluded that the exotic chocolate was a better buy.

However, once the price of both chocolate samples was dropped by 1 cent something strange happened. You could say it was entirely irrational. The price difference between the chocolates was exactly the same, but now the majority of people took the low quality chocolate.

What caused this switch when the price differential was exactly the same?

The low end chocolate had dropped from 1 cent to free. That magic word free had altered the equation, tipping the value balance away from the quality chocolate.

This is just one of the many cases where our irrational behaviour can be totally predictable. Advertisers are taking advantage of this knowledge all the time. Even when you think you know what the advertiser is doing, you may be surprised to find that he is doing something entirely different on your subconscious level.

This is a great book for anyone who markets anything, or even sets prices on supermarket stock. It is also a must have for anyone considering making a shopping excursion.

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Telecom Advertising Campaign Fail

A quick look at the latest television commercial from Telecom advertising their XT Network.

This is an interesting marketing exercise. For those that don’t know, Telecom the once Government owned monopoly in phone services here in NZ launched a new network system recently. Since the phone networks have been opened up to competition (to some extent) Telecom has struggled to get ahead of the technology curve and the XT network was supposed to be the answer.

After spending a lot of money promoting the launch and signing up many customers with the launch specials the new network crashed. Not once, not twice, but numerous times (I lost count). Much of the country suddenly and without notice found they had no cellphone coverage for days at a time in some cases.

This leaves a lot of very unhappy customers and one Paul Reynolds CEO with egg on his face – especially when you consider the advertising that heralded his appointment to the company.

Originally I had an image here of the CEO Paul Reynolds on his appointment boasting a promise Telecom could not keep. Telecom have since decided that it is too embarrassing to have their archives online and no doubt hope that by removing them we will forget they used misleading (at best, I would assert false) advertising.

In an effort to regain the trust of a country Telecom runs another marketing campaign to announce the XT network is in fact now working. They chose none other than the CEO to front the marketing campaign.

The new ad shows Paul Reynolds, the charming Scotsman, trout fishing in a remote location. He praises New Zealanders for their “pick yourself up by the bootstrap” attitude, and suggest we should give Telecom another go. His phone then rings and he tries to answer it when “Buggar …” it appears to have dropped out again .. “only kiddin [cheeky grin].”

What they did right.

The used the CEO to front the campaign. He is after all a well known figure now.

What they got wrong.

It is all very well to admire our resilient attitude as Kiwis, but just because you kicked us in the guts with your swanky sales pitch and faulty system (not once, not twice, but several times) don’t expect us to give you another chance. Even if your handsome CEO smiles into the camera dressed in the latest in trout fishing attire.

As for the funny joke about the phone not working… now that was a serious flaw. They say good advertising should be controversial, but the person who scripted that ad should be looking for a new job.

There are many Kiwis who suffered direct hardship (custom lost, emergency calls unable to be connected) because Telecom’s state of the art network let them down. Now the CEO is on TV making a joke of the situation??!!

Ok.. one can see their intent. To appear personable and admit they screwed up “ha ha jokes on us.” But now they want to be taken serious again.

The perspective of one jaded Kiwi is that here is one overpaid Scotsman (making more just in bonuses than most people make in a lifetime) telling us he admires how he can kick us in the guts repeatedly and we keep getting up. Then he makes light of a situation caused a lot of stress and frustration in many people’s lives (and may even have cost the life of some) trying to be cute. The apology ends up being an insult.

Not the best marketing decision I have seen.

What do you think? Does it work for you?

Long Copy Kings – What Are You Selling?

Have you noticed a lot of crap gets sold on the internet?

The less value there is in the product the more flashing shiny things are used to promote it – generally to keep your attention away from the product itself.

Michel Fortin makes the following comment:

But today, I have come to the conclusion that most (not all, but most) Internet marketers who still use long copy, especially long copy that screams like a Monster Truck Rally announcer, is for a product that sucks. Period.

He goes on to suggest that you shouldn’t be proud that you can sell useless junk to anyone. Where is the honor in that? What kind of legacy is that to leave knowing that you sold more junk than anyone before you?

Just a short message today, as there is little more to add.

Attraction Marketing In Action AIT-PRO

Recently I had good pleasure of meeting someone over internet who turned out to be very genuine (a rare commodity these days) and a great help.

This person understands the principles of attraction marketing very well.

In the first instance they have created an extremely good plugin for WordPress Blogs. The plugin makes it very simple to secure your blog from hackers. A problem that I was needing to solve at the time. So immediately they are giving value to people upfront – no strings attached.

In the second instance they provide support for their software. Remember this software costs nothing to install and now they are charging nothing to advise you on how to make sure it is working properly on your system.

If you have spent much time online you will know that service of this kind is very rare indeed. I was so appreciative of the value I had received that I sent a virtual cup of coffee (or a beer depending your drink of choice) by way of saying thank you.

It would seem that either I am the only person who has ever had a problem (which given my track record with computers is not unlikely) or I am the only person who has ever thought to say thank you. Because my actions stood out enough that the man behind the product took the time to contact me and offer an extra bonus.

So here I am once again in the debt of Edward Alexander the man behind Bullet Proof Website Security

I highly recommend the product, the person behind the product, and the business model that Edward exemplifies. If you think you are generous I challenge you to try and out-give this man!