Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?
Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing
The Eisenberg brothers (Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results) dub the guiding principles behind their marketing consultancy "Persuasion Architecture," but their methods have more in common with Hollywood screenwriting. Observing that one message no longer fits every audience, they create "personas" representing broad consumer patterns, based on the types identified in the Keirsey personality tests, renamed here as "methodical," "spontaneous," "humanistic" and "competitive" shoppers. Then the authors "storyboard" marketing scenarios guiding each type to the point of sale. Although 20th-century advertising was based on the Pavlovian model of instilling a desired reaction to stimuli, like the dog that expected dinner whenever a bell rang, the Eisenbergs say that increasing media fragmentation prevents advertisers from creating that sort of conditioned response. Anyway, they add, people have always been more like cats, occasionally distractable but for the most part independent-minded. Their solution—developing interactive relationships—is fairly standard in contemporary marketing circles, but by keeping the message simple, with short chapters low on jargon and high on real-world examples, the Eisenbergs just may push themselves to the front of the crowd. (June 13)