Monday, April 16, 2018

Fiverr’s Awesome Ad Campaign


Fantastic ad campaign by Fiverr, a platform for freelancers.

They have covered an entire subway station with ads. Even the floor.

Every ad has a very clear message: We are a group of doers, motivated by results. 

We see a diverse group of action-oriented twentysomethings who don’t have time to waste and who don’t plan on spending their lives waiting to make money for someone else.

Taken together, the pictures and the accompanying lines tell a story of a mindset — they introduce us to a community of like-minded people. We are one of them just by identifying with these photos.

We are physically, not just mentally, surrounded by this idea and this message.

The target is clearly identified. You know who you are, and you want to be one of them.

This guy is telling you what you need to hear: Join the community. As a customer or as a freelance services provider.

The future is here, says Fiverr, and it’s not going to be safe.

Are you ready?
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Copyright 2018 by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. Photos by the author. All opinions are the author’s own. No compensation was provided in exchange for this post. Not an endorsement.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

UX Without Biz Dev CX Sucks Eggs.

Here are some common mistakes business development professionals make.
  • Not taking the time to understand the user's business.
  • Impersonal, random, canned approach lines.
  • Too many "follow up" emails without value to the reader.
But the worst mistake of all is one I rarely see talked about: failing to talk UX in the user's language.

If technology marketers do a shitty job talking in the user's language, it's not because they're stupid. Arguably these are some of the smarter people in the room, generally speaking.

So what is the problem? I would argue that the issue has to do with a dysfunctional organizational culture, one that implicitly conveys a kind of classism: We are better than our customers.

Of course, nobody is actually going to say that they think the customer is stupid. But if you listen closely, you can hear this type of thinking in phrases like this:
  • "Their system is in the DARK AGES."
  • "Yeah, they REALLY could use some help."
  • "Talking to those folks was SCARY."
Don't get me wrong: I'm not judging people who develop and sell technology solutions. Just the opposite: I have a pretty low opinion of organizations that fail to take advantage of the latest and greatest technology, especially when it comes to customer service.

But this is just common sense: If you're selling to people who aren't literate at all in the type of product you're offering, and you fail to pay attention to what matters to them, then you are a poor salesperson.

Again, common sense: The only reason I can think of that people would leave money on the table is a psychological flaw that has morphed into a socially acceptable norm. And unfortunately, many technology experts do have that flaw of insecurity, because they're not good at a lot of other things in life but they are extraordinary with a computer.

As a result, when technology experts get together and create a workplace culture, they tend to hold pissing matches about who has the latest and greatest stuff, and who knows more than who, and so on and so forth the one-upmanship goes. All fine and good, maybe -- until they're sitting in front of a prospective customer, who has no idea what any of this is, or why it should matter to them, because at the end of the day they are sitting in front of a pile of problems and they don't have enough people to address them manually.

All fine and good until the technology experts not only fail to land the client, but they also fail to appreciate the kind of employee who can round out their offering and correct their dysfunctional group mentality. Specifically, tech marketers need:
  • Empathic, low-tech salespeople who appreciate the pain that prospective customers feel.
  • Networkers, who can find out what the social scene looks like in terms of who is adopting what technology and where.
  • Researchers, who can develop files on actual and potential competitors, and can assess the effectiveness of the organization itself.
  • Open source intelligence gatherers, who can put their noses to the ground and find out, online and off, who exactly is talking to who.
The most successful organizations, including technology service providers, are those which stay in close touch with the "human factor" while maintaining an unimpeachable edge in proactive, cross-spectrum automation with an equally unimpeachable hard-shell cybersecurity defense line.

Being in touch with people is far from a weakness for these companies.

But prizing their own superiority?

That's a chocolate cake that will never bake up good, no matter how much butter and sugar you mix into it.

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Copyright 2018 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. This post is hereby released into the public domain. All opinions are the author's own. CC0 Creative Commons photo via Pixabay.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Why Is The Truth So Hard To Come By?

In a free country like ours, why is the truth so hard to come by?

We've already talked about one common tactic used by the state, which is to infiltrate and influence media reporting. 
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the public believes is false." - William Casey, former director of the CIA
Another problem is the incompetent use of psychological operations abroad. Put simply, we don't know how to use propaganda well. And to make matters worse, Obama made it possible to boomerang that same garbage information back to the United States.

That last point needs some elaboration, so let's break it into two parts. "We don't know how to use propaganda well." What does that mean?

Propaganda is the deliberate use of true, or partially true, or out-of-context true, information for the purpose of advancing one's agenda.

(Fun fact: Propaganda = Advertising.)

Example: Pizza Hut vs. Papa John's. Dispute over ad line: "Better Ingredients. Better Pizza." The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that most people know propaganda when they see it. Propaganda doesn't make you buy things, they said.

Another example of propaganda is the constant disputation about what's going on between Israel and the Palestinians. Each side wants you to believe that they are right. Each side uses propaganda to some extent. They tell you the story they want you to see.

The underlying assumption behind most propaganda is...guess what? Mind control. These tactics are fundamentally abusive to the human mind. They are immoral, unethical, and depraved. And they're all over the place. Plus they have only limited effectiveness.

Mind control type thinking is supported by the "one way model of communication." Which is the military model: "I tell you what to think and then you do."

Better propaganda, as opposed to primitive propaganda, is two-way. I still give you misleading information, but I allow you the opportunity to ask questions It's a mock "dialogue." We often find this in religious outreach settings. Answers are predetermined, "but ask."

Excellent propaganda is two-way dialogue, and the communicator:
  • States what their agenda is. 
  • Tells the absolute truth. 
  • Says: "There are some things I'm not gonna tell you." 
President Trump is an amazing propagandist.

So to bring this conversation back up to where we started, why is the truth so hard to come by? 

Well, partly because when the state uses propaganda, it doesn't adhere to the rule of excellence. Nobody is convinced.

And because nobody is convinced by propaganda, when the decision is made that by default anything available overseas is going to be available here, and we're okay with that, the decision becomes controversial because we can't bear to look at our own steaming pile of B.S.

Let's leave the state alone at this point, and talk about some other reasons why the truth is very hard to come by nowadays. It may be out there, but we certainly have a hard time discerning what's real and what's not.

A huge problem is the existence of evil people, like George Soros, who are very brilliant, very good at propaganda, very tormented, and who are animated by the quest for power and a financial conflict of interest. 

What a mouthful.

If you have a moment, I really urge you to watch the 60 Minutes interview that Soros did. Because he tells the absolute truth, and I'll translate: "I believe in regulating the world at a higher level than Nation, but none of those world regulations should ever apply to me."

This man is so intelligent, and so good at propaganda, he actually tells you that he is a mental case:
“I fancied myself as some kind of god …It is a sort of disease." 
By George, I think we've got it!

I happen to believe that people can feel, on a cellular level, when something is not right. But it can take a very long time before seemingly reliable people....well, they simply aren't.

We also have trouble getting the truth because every single thing nowadays is for sale. Advertisers buy space in our minds when they buy into media.

And although the Public Relations Society of America clearly tells you to tell the truth (within its code of ethics), the reality is that PR experts get hired to make their masters look good.

At an even higher level, the college-educated person is deeply confused, and more confused the more educated they are, because they're told that all knowledge is relative. 

And of course they hear that God is dead. (Kevin Sorbo's movie, God's Not Dead, is a must-see.)

I don't mean to discount all the good work that's been done to remedy all these problems - really I do not. This is only to point out how challenging it is today, to break through all the propagandistic clutter.

Here's hoping that God will grant us a miracle, that we will see the light through this tunnel of darkness, and join together in unity, as one great indivisible nation again.

Have an amazing day.
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Copyright 2018 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. All rights reserved. This blog is hereby released into the public domain. Cover photo by James de Mers via Pixabay. Interior photos are screenshots.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Modesty's Niche Market


Brand strategy on steroids: Create a clothing line for a niche market -- the stylish, modern, Muslim woman--  and make it available via mass market (Macy's). 

Watch ALL women interested in stylish, modest clothes grab it. 

Voila! World peace. - here, the new Verona collection.

I would venture to say that many married Jewish women who cover their hair would love the headscarf, too, as a "tichel."

Not sure the makers of this line intended to work the brand this way, but what a lesson for others. 

H/T Rebecca Blumenthal. 
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Copyright 2017 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. This post is hereby released into the public domain. Photo source: Business Wire (press release)Press release

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The 10 Rules of Information Warfare

Rule 1: Always play offense.

Rule 2: Never get emotional except to feign appropriate outrage. (You can feel real anger, of course, but when you speak you must be cool.)
Rule 3: Stick to the facts.
Rule 4: Social networks are an abundant source of facts.
Rule 5: It’s not about money.
Rule 6: Content is king.
Rule 7: Wit is queen.
Rule 8: Anticipate the enemy’s moves.
Rule 9: Don’t brag.
Rule 10: "Where we go one, we go all."
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Copyright 2017 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. All rights reserved. Photo by The Pixelman via Pixabay (CC0 Creative Commons).

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