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Video: Channeling your inner (or outer) alchemist

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There are two aspects to marketing:

1) The Mechanics. Things like knowing how to build a pay-per-click campaign or a web page; knowing how to write copy; knowing how to research a market; knowing a market itself.

2) Alchemy. It’s the creativity, the thing that makes customers’ heads turn in joyful surprise, the ability to conjure up compelling offers, to take undervalued and seemingly unrelated things and combine them together.

People who understood “the mechanics” gave the world MP3 players.

People who understood “Alchemy” gave the world the iPod and the iPhone.

Notice how those products skillfully blend hardware, software, user experience, and even completely new services like iTunes (where you can pay three bucks and instantly watch a movie on your PC) to create something that’s irresistible.

I recorded a video where I talk about two of my most successful promotions and where they actually came from. Both of these had that alchemy element which is why they worked so beautifully.

The video is here on my blog:

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Feeding your Inner Alchemist

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Long ago alchemy was the bold, if naïve attempt to turn lead into gold.

Every day you and I do something that’s much, much more valuable than that. We transform things that are worth less than lead and make them MORE valuable than gold.

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A pint of vodka and a trip around the merry-go-round

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Fraternities are well known for “hazing” – forcing new recruits to endure grueling punishments and all manner of shameful behaviors before being accepted as members of the tribe.

“OK, you guys have to drink a pint of Vodka, spend 10 minutes on the merry-go-round, then run nekked from the park to the Frat House without getting arrested….”

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Raul’s initiation into the “Unlimited Traffic Club”

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Now, after a few months of work, he’d whittled down his cost per click, his margins were much fatter, and he was sittin’ pretty nice.

But he was still afraid of the throttle. Afraid to pour on the gas.

Finally after much urging, prodding and cajoling from us he did something SCARY. Something he’d never done before:

He doubled his bids.

His ad moved up from position 7 to position 3.

SUDDENLY: An AVALANCHE of traffic.

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Most businesses retreating –> Time to take new ground

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Most businesses are in retreat right now. When General Motors is wheezing like a dying animal, the natural instinct for all of us is to draw the shades and huddle around our kitchen table and be thankful for our one bowl of thin cold porridge.

But…. not everyone is in retreat. We just had our Roundtable meetings two weeks ago and at least four members achieved record sales during the last three months.

This is a GREAT time to press forward. The breadlines are longer but the competitive lineup is shorter. The competition is thinner, less adept, less alert. Click prices in some markets have gone down by half.

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