Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing [NOOK Book]


Evolving from the premise that customers have always behaved more like cats than Pavlov's dogs, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? examines how emerging media have undermined the effectiveness of prevailing mass marketing models. At the same time, emerging media have created an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to redefine how they communicate with customers by leveraging the power of increasingly interconnected media channels.

Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg don't simply explain ...

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Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing

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Evolving from the premise that customers have always behaved more like cats than Pavlov's dogs, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? examines how emerging media have undermined the effectiveness of prevailing mass marketing models. At the same time, emerging media have created an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to redefine how they communicate with customers by leveraging the power of increasingly interconnected media channels.

Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg don't simply explain this shift in paradigm; Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? introduces Persuasion ArchitectureÖ as the synthetic model that provides business with a proven context for rethinking customers and retooling marketers in a rewired market.

Readers will learn:

  • Why many marketers are unprepared for today's increasingly fragmented, in-control, always-on audience that makes pin-point relevance mandatory
  • How interactivity has changed the nature of marketing by extending its reach into the world of sales, design, merchandizing, and customer relations
  • How Persuasion ArchitectureÖ allows businesses to create powerful, multi-channel persuasive systems that anticipate customer needs
  • How Persuasion ArchitectureÖ allows businesses to measure and optimize the return on investment for every discreet piece of that persuasive system

"There's some big thinking going on here-thinking you will need if you want to take your work to the next level. 'Typical, not average' is just one of the ideas inside that will change the way you think about marketing." ?Seth Godin, Author, All Marketers Are Liars

"Are your clients coming to you armed with more product information than you or your sales team know? You need to read Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? to learn how people are buying in the post-Internet age so you can learn how to sell to them." ?Tom Hopkins, Master Sales Trainer and Author, How to Master the Art of Selling

"These guys really 'get it.' In a world of know-it-all marketing hypesters, these guys realize that it takes work to persuade people who aren't listening. They've connected a lot of the pieces that we all already know-plus a lot that we don't. It's a rare approach that recognizes that the customer is in charge and must be encouraged and engaged on his/her own terms, not the sellers. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? takes apart the persuasion process, breaks down the steps and gives practical ways to tailor your approaches to your varying real customers in the real world. This book is at a high level that marketers better hope their competitors will be too lazy to implement." ?George Silverman, Author, The Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing: How to Trigger Exponential Sales Through Runaway Word of Mouth

"We often hear that the current marketing model is broken-meaning the changes in customers, media, distribution, and even the flatness of the world make current practices no longer relevant. Yet few have offered a solution. This book recognizes the new reality in which we operate and provides a path for moving forward. The authors do an outstanding job of using metaphors to help make Persuasion Architecture clear and real-life examples to make it come alive. Finally, someone has offered direction for how to market in this new era where the customer is in control." ?David J. Reibstein, William Stewart Woodside Professor, Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania and former Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute

"If you want to learn persistence, get a cat. If you want to learn marketing, get this book. It's purrfect." ?Jeffrey Gitomer, Author, The Little Red Book of Selling

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
A Matter Of Dogs vs. Cats
Most everyone remembers Pavlov and his salivating dogs from their Psych 101 class. Pavlov trained dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell or various other cues not usually associated with salivation, thereby bestowing on marketing departments the gift of conditioned response. For decades, marketers have been "ringing bells" in the form of advertisements and waiting for customers to salivate.

Conditioned response and mass marketing worked fine when media outlets were limited and so were a customer's choice of retailers; but as far back as the emergence of FM radio, the system has begun to deteriorate and become fragmented. What happens today, ask authors Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, when emerging technologies, such as the Internet and TiVo, have caused a paradigm shift that undermines the mass-marketing model? In short, what happens when modern marketers find they're no longer ringing bells for dogs, but are faced with a bunch of savvy, independent cats?

In Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? the Eisenbergs lay out strategies for marketers to redefine themselves and their approaches in a fragmented market populated by consumers who demand more transparency than ever.

Confidence, Relevance and Overall Experience
Technologies such as cell phones, text messaging, e-mail and the Internet have given consumers access to a wide variety, depth and immediacy of information. The Internet also gives customers access to "niche" businesses that are able to build large customer bases through an online presence that gives them global reach. As a result, marketers are faced with a new landscape where potential customers are not just exposed to the marketing itself and the opinions of a small, geographically-limited circle of family and friends, but now have access to chat rooms, blogs and Web sites containing "word of mouth" testimonials about their products from thousands of customers around the world. In addition, media has become so fragmented that consumers can now essentially customize their own individual media experiences — everyone watches different television channels, listens to different radio stations and visits different Web sites; it's impossible to create one blanket marketing experience anymore.

While this new world may have made the old model obsolete, the Eisenbergs see the current situation as an exciting opportunity for businesses to "rewire" their marketing efforts. They believe marketers must learn to navigate the new landscape by keeping in mind a few key principles, such as the fact that they can no longer condition a response in consumers, but instead must refocus their efforts on creating consumer confidence by demonstrating the relevance of the product or service to their lives. According to the Eisenbergs, when it comes to choosing which seller to do business with, consumers are searching for the most satisfying experience, not just a specific product. If marketing cannot convince them of the relevance the product holds for their lives and if the consumer's subsequent interaction with the seller, either online, on the phone, or at a brick-and-mortar outlet is not friction-less and satisfying to their specific needs, then consumers will go back to the drawing board and find another seller who can offer them a better overall experience.

How Do You Satisfy a Cat?
If the modern consumer is more like a cat — independent, fickle and discerning — than a loyal dog, how does a business attract and satisfy them? In Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? the Eisenbergs outline "Persuasion Architecture," their system for retooling marketing in an Internet-driven and global marketplace. They kiss the old model goodbye and advocate that the seller strive to meet the customer on her terms, through use of techniques like going beyond the demographic data to build a stable of "personas" so that the business can respond to each type of customer in the ways most effective for them. Advising marketers to pull their heads out of the "corporate bottle" and to develop empathy for their customers, the Eisenbergs present a dynamic approach to addressing marketing in the Internet-age that will result in a competitive advantage.

Why We Like This Book
Supporting their points with information from a variety of fields, ranging from psychology to mythology to even haiku, the Eisenbergs present a quirky and engaging look at marketing in a style that mimics the individualistic media smorgasbord with which today's consumers engage. They illustrate their method of Persuasion Architecture with real-life examples that show the dangers of ignoring the changing marketing landscape and the rewards of embracing these changes head on. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418525590
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/9/2007
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • File size: 657 KB

Meet the Author

Bryan Eisenberg is an inventor of Persuasion Architecture (patent pending) and cofounder of Future Now, Inc., based in New York City.

Jeffrey Eisenberg is an inventor of Persuasion Architecture (patent pending) and cofounder of Future Now, a consulting firm focused on helping clients persuade and convert their Web site's traffic into leads, customers, and sales.

Lisa T. Davis is a partner and Director of Content for Future Now.

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Read an Excerpt


Waiting for your cat to bark?

This question is really our way of asking, "Are you waiting for your customers to respond the way they used to?"

Many marketers are, and that's a problem.

Cats don't bark—and consumers today don't "salivate on command" like they seemed to a couple of decades ago. Consumers today behave more like cats than Pavlov's pooch. Times have changed—and so must we.

Nobody could have foreseen the challenges today's marketers would face. Twenty years ago, getting through to "over-messaged" customers was like filling a thimble with a fire hose. Imagine what we would have thought then of the multi-tasking, instant-messaging, e-mailing, cell phoning, emoticoning ;-), always on, Web-searching, blogging, TiVowatching, eBaying customers we now need to reach.

Then, we would have been horrified. Today we're scrambling just to get the job done.

Acquire new customers, deepen relationships with existing customers, reach decision-makers, measure marketing results, generate more leads, improve lead quality, reconcile selling channels, increase product awareness, close more business, develop the brand—these are our goals as marketers. We understand this language. But the equation has become so complex that we often lack a framework to describe how one marketing solution affects the others.

Technology has changed; emerging media are subdividing the masses into specialized audiences. But the biggest challenge we face is the customer's ability to assert control over the entire process. While emerging media and technology undermine the effectiveness of traditional mass-marketing models, they also create unprecedented opportunity for us to redefine and profit from how we communicate with customers.

WIIFM: "What's in it for me?"

This book isn't filled with business-school theory. In these pages, we explain the principles and framework behind the things we do every day. We give you a framework for modeling interactivity across all your touch points and for tying all the communications your company creates into a coherent persuasive system.

In the chapters ahead, we tell a marketing story that has a happy ending. It's not a small story with a simple plot; as marketers, we are not facing a small problem. Through Chapter Thirteen, we lay the groundwork, examining the interconnected issues in today's marketing landscape. The balance of the narrative weaves together the elements of our solution.

Along the way, we answer several questions:

  • How and why has marketing permanently changed? (Chapters One–Six)
  • Why do customers respond differently than they used to? (Chapters Seven–Thirteen)
  • How can you anticipate what customers require? (Chapters Fourteen–Twenty-Two)
  • How does Persuasion Architecture bridge the new marketer/customer gap? (Chapters Twenty-Three–Twenty-Eight)
  • How can you start implementing Persuasion Architecture in your business? (Chapter Twenty-Nine)
We tell this story primarily from a marketing perspective, for marketers and for business owners who are involved in marketing and sales as well as for general students of business and followers of media developments. Our story provides a necessary framework for preparing both marketers and sales staff to manage and respond to the demands emerging media place on them.

Success by multiples!

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? provides a proven context for rethinking and retooling your customers in a rewired world.We've worked with and helped some of the best and brightest marketers who face the same challenges you face. Persuasion Architecture is enormously practical. It's simple. But it isn't easy. We guarantee, however, that if you start applying these principles to your business, you will get better results—not just by percentages but by multiples.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Murray Gaylord, Yahoo! Inc. ¦ 1
Introduction ¦ 4
1 Dogs, Cats, and Marketing ¦ 7
2 Experiencing the Brand ¦ 13
3 Friction and Customer Experience ¦ 20
4 Why Marketing Is Simple But Hard ¦ 28
5 Marketers Out of Control ¦ 36
6 Customers in Control ¦ 42
7 How Customers Buy ¦ 45
8 Maintaining Persuasive Momentum ¦ 54
9 Marketing and Sales Collide ¦ 60
10 The Design of Persuasive Systems ¦ 65
11 A Web of Interactivity ¦ 69
12 Brands Cross Channels ¦ 82
13 Insights and Customer Data ¦ 87
14 Personalization or "Persona-lization" ¦ 99
15 Introducing Personas ¦ 105
16 Uncovering the Knowable ¦ 117
17 Disclosing the Necessary ¦ 121
18 Mapping Business Topology ¦ 130
19 The Topology of a Sale ¦ 135
20 The Human Operating System ¦ 144
21 Choosing Personas ¦ 157
22 Bringing Personas to Life ¦ 165
23 The Architecture Metaphor ¦ 179
24 Wireframing as an Interactivity Map ¦ 182
25 Architecting a Persuasion Scenario ¦ 189
26 Storyboarding and Prototyping the Scenarios ¦ 200
27 Accountable Marketing ¦ 204
28 Persuasion Architecture: A Six-Step Process ¦ 211
29 Celebrating Your Cats' Meows ¦ 215
Notes ¦ 219
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Look around. It seems you can't pick up a newspaper or business magazine today without seeing headlines such as
  • "Is Advertising Dead?"
  • "The Death of Mass Media"
  • "GM Turns Cool to Mass Marketing Advertising"
  • "P&G Launches Major Change in Media Spending"
Not since the emergence of television fifty years ago have we seen such a metamorphosis in consumer behavior.

We are witnessing a change in the way media is consumed and the way the entire consumer shopping experience has changed. What's driving this? To paraphrase the former Clinton administration, "It's the Internet, stupid!"

We learned from the dot-com implosion in 2001 that the Internet is neither the "Holy Grail" nor a panacea for marketers. Television, radio, newspapers and other media are far from being dead. Each remains an important tool in the advertiser's toolkit. Yet, as Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg explain in this book, the Internet is the glue that binds customers' experiences in our emerging experience economy.

For marketers, the challenges—and the opportunities—are huge. Advertisers know the old model is broken, and that the old rules do not apply. As broadband has proliferated, the promise of interactivity and creativity on the Web has come to fruition. Consumers are finally in control, and they have become the programmers, consuming media when they want, where they want and how they want. Video-on-demand, Podcast, TiVo, Yahoo!Go, Google Video, blogs, and more.

We also have a generation of young adults, now in their twenties and early thirties, who have grown up with interactive technology and are not set in their media-usage habits. With the advent of popular sites like MySpace, Flickr, Facebook, and sixdegrees.com, this group is redefining the roles of traditional media and demand media on their terms.

Search marketing is becoming an extremely powerful new way to engage customers, and it makes the Web experience more important than ever. Pay-per-click, a model that did not exist at the end of the last decade, is the fastest growing segment of all advertising.

Clearly we are moving through a time of irrevocable change that has profound implications for businesses large and small. A.G. Lafley, Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble, recently said, "We need to reinvent the way we market to consumers. We need a new model. It does not exist."

Until now.

In Waiting for Your Cat Bark? Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg dig deeply into the marketing changes we are seeing. They integrate a variety of perspectives and tie together lots of dangling threads, all of which marketers are now called upon to weave into their efforts.

The Eisenbergs speak to the concerns of all marketers who want to navigate intelligently through this emerging media landscape and make a difference on behalf of their companies, within and across channels. They identify why we need to rethink the interconnectedness of marketing and sales, and they offer a smart—and simple—model for looking at customer behavior. Persuasion Architecture is a great framework for becoming an effective marketer in this new world.

Given the changes we are seeing, marketing professionals as well as students of marketing are clearly in need of a playbook to thrive in this new environment. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? is that playbook.

This is an important book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am sure you will as well.

Murray Gaylord
Vice President, Brand Marketing
Yahoo! Inc.
January 23, 2006

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2006

    A How-To Marketing Book That Really Thinks About the Customer

    Finally! A book that addresses marketing to a consumer's internal needs rather than basic demographics. The Eisenbergs and Lisa Davis have done an outstanding job of waking readers up to the fact that 'We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto...' that we have entered the era of total customer empowerment and marketers better start realizing it. The book is a comprehensive but easy to understand breakdown of how to get to know who your customer really is and then applying it across the many channels of today's marketing. As I write this, I have a case of 20 copies of this book waiting to go out to colleagues and friends. Everyone will benefit greatly from this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2006

    Pad your cushion!

    This truly is the blueprint to match your selling process to your customers buying process... and measure its effectiveness! Applying the concepts in this book helped boost one of our client's bank account to an all time high. Read the book and take action on the book and you'll pad your cushion. The Eisenbergs and Lisa Davis share a powerful way to create a left-brain selling process while greasing the gears for your emotional buying, right-brained consumer all while giving you the means to measure your persuasive and selling systems effectiveness! I'm not sure what business would not want to create a system that speaks to their customers and allows them to measure its effectiveness?! The methodology in this book, which is written in plain and simple English, can be used on your website, in your marketing material, in your store, with your staff, and across the board. If you use them, you will have stronger and better relationships with your current customers and with your future customers. To put it another way, your customers will thank you with their money. They will thank you because you will no longer be speaking to them but with them... to them vs. with them.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2006

    How Business Is Done

    One of the most gratifying things about Waiting For Your Cat To Bark: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing by Bryan Eisenberg and Jeffrey Eisenberg with and Lisa T. Davis is that their observations of the buying process are equally applicable both on and off-line. In fact, this book isn¿t a marketing book at all¿ it's much more than that. This book is a guide to how business will be done in the age of the consumer. If you¿re not taking your customer¿s personality into account, if you¿re not salient, of you¿re not letting the customer take charge and tell you how she wants to do business with you, you¿re about to be left behind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2006

    Waiting For Your Cat To Bark

    When I was a kid, the Reader¿s Digest published an article that described how to build a mechanical computer and ¿teach¿ it to play hexipawn, a really watered down version of chess in which each player¿s pieces consisted of three pawns on a nine square board. The mechanical computer had to be told every possible move to make. One programmed it by removing the bad choices that led to losing the game. The remaining good choices let the computer become exceptionally good a winning. I hadn¿t thought of that Reader¿s Digest article in at least four decades, until I opened Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg and Lisa Davis¿ Waiting for Your Cat to Bark to Chapter 10, The Design of Persuasive Systems. The authors describe a customer clicking on to a web site, and then not finding the next click to help her buy what she¿s trying to buy. Why does this happen? Because the web designer isn¿t thinking like a customer. Because the web designer built a logical, linear, sequential model of the selling experience, and the customer needed an intuitive, non-linear, non-sequential buying experience. And just as the Reader¿s Digest mechanical computer proved, it¿s not enough to eliminate the bad moves one must provide the good moves to ¿win.¿ The authors have described the good moves. They¿ve told exactly how to determine who your customers are, what influences their decisions, and the way they negotiate the buying process. They call the process Persuasion Architecture (Chapter 16). It¿s a discipline which integrates the buying with the selling processes and ties it all together with communications flow. The focus is always on persuading the customer to take action. In 243 pages Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, and Lisa Davis will take you step by step through the Persuasion Architecture process, and help you convert more web site visitors into web site purchasers. If you¿re marketing on the web, or if you intend to, you need this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    Waiting for Your Cat to Bark by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg is

    Waiting for Your Cat to Bark by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg is an excellent novel that challenges the reader to apply certain marketing skills. Cats tend to see the world revolve around them while dogs are eager to please their masters by doing whatever they want. Customers are in charge much like cats and drive marketing. No longer do customers accept products as designed; they expect and demand products to be molded to their needs. "Consumers are finally in control, and they have become the programmers, consuming media when they want, where they want, and how they want" (Eisenberg 2). The novel presented an interesting take on new ways to market a product. Eisenberg's main objective is to put aside old marketing techniques and makes it clear that they no longer work and many marketers are unaware of the new ways to market their products. With that said, Eisenberg's main audience seems to be those interested in marketing, as well as marketers and business owners. The authors guide the reader in reaching the audience, persuading them to take the right action and feeling confident about that action, and giving the audience results that match their demanding expectations. Eisenberg argues that current technologies are not working and claims that he has discovered another method that ultimately surpasses the rest. He attempts to implement a new marketing technique called Persuasion Architecture. Building effective persuasion architecture requires not just knowing who your audience is, but who they represent; Eisenberg shows how to create audience personas and weave the persuasion architecture to satisfy the different personas' needs. 
    To get his argument across, he breaks his novel into various parts. The first chapters dig into the changes in the marketing world and speaks about how and why the market is changing; the middle chapters uncovers the minds of customers and touches upon why they've changed as they respond differently to products and services, and the last chapter enlightens the reader on persuasion architecture and how to use it to influence customers. Eisenberg presented his argument in a straightforward manner, leaving little room for confusion. Along with this impressive organization, Eisenberg supported each of his points and compared them to other topics such as psychology. However, a good portion of his target audience would not be extremely familiar with these topics. 
    For example, Eisenberg makes many references to psychological concepts such as the Johari Window, a model for self-disclosure and Pavlov's classical conditioning, a goal to instill an association between stimuli so that encountering one will bring the other to mind. "Maslow identified self-actualization, the desire to become everything you are capable of becoming, as the overarching human need; Maslow acknowledged that even when our deficit needs are met, the need to be true to our own definition of ourselves influences our attempts to satisfy every category of need on the pyramid" (14). Eisenberg states, "Marketing and advertising folks have used Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a formula for motivating customers to buy" (14). 
    This novel offers accurate and excellent advice. Another concern of mine is the excessive use of marketing terms and explanations; it became a bit of an errand to read. The book provides very little in return for advanced marketers because the audience would already be familiar with most of the terms, concepts, and ideas mentioned. Many of these concepts and explanations weaken the author's argument as well as the purpose of the novel. However, Eisenberg did a great job explaining the needs of consumers; the authors mention that "name recognition and associations alone are insufficient; increasingly, customers are associating brand not with a message but with their entire experiences surrounding the product or service" (13). 
    Eisenberg eventually presents and explains his concept of Persuasion Architecture in great detail. "Persuasion Architecture is, in essence, a discipline that integrates the buying with the selling processes and marries that two-sided process to the marketing communications flow. Its focus, always, is persuading the customer to take action" (117). Persuasion Architecture draws on many fields such as psychology, marketing, sales, creativity and graphic design, linguistics, analytics, and several others. "Personas are the centerpiece of Persuasion Architecture. Creating them is part of the most important work you can do in the entire process" (118). 
    Overall, Eisenberg did an excellent job providing the reader with information and examples. The novel was organized and there were no erroneous or grammatical mistakes found. In addition, this novel can be really helpful for someone that wanted to develop better online marketing skills and for those marketers who can't understand what consumer's are really thinking. So if you're new to the online marketing world or want to figure out what needs to be done in order to make your business inviting to your general audience, I would totally recommend this book. 

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Straightforward, detailed guide to new media marketing

    You live in a new multimedia world. Customers call the tune, and marketers need to know how to make them dance. Techno-savvy, web-savvy and advertising-savvy consumers know all about your marketing methods and consider themselves immune. You must cajole, persuade and seduce them into hearing your message and wanting your product. Marketing experts Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, writing with Lisa T. Davis, have learned to understand and translate this new marketing paradigm, calling it "Persuasion Architecture." In their straightforward and anecdotal, if jargony, book - a standard that is slightly showing its age - they provide the overview, principles, strategy and techniques you need to find, attract and keep the right customers. getAbstract recommends this informative guide to marketers and salespeople seeking solid backgrounding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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