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

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

4.5 7
by Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg, Lisa T. Davis

View All Available Formats & Editions

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… See more details below


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.

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

Read More

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
File size:
1 MB

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.

Read More

What People are saying about this

"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

"A rare approach that recognizes that the customer is in charge and must be encouraged and engaged on his/her own terms, not the seller's.... 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

"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

"In 1999, the Wachowski brothers revolutionized moviemaking with stunning new angles and special effects revealed in The Matrix. Now the 'Eisenbrothers' have done the same for business in Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? Stunning new angles! Techniques that will be copied for decades. Cat is sure to be remembered as the genesis of an important new direction in marketing."
—Roy H. Williams, New York Times Bestselling Author, The Wizard of Ads Trilogy

"Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? is the marketing manifesto of our generation. Read it, weep, and then go do something about it."
—Brett Hurt, Founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice, Founder of Coremetrics, and Shop.org Board Director

"Traffic cost inflation is a real problem, and this book not only tells you how to allow customers to buy the way they want to buy but makes the entire process accountable. I'll be encouraging the companies I invest in to read it."
—Tod Francis, Managing Partner, Shasta Ventures

"The Eisenbergs have developed a proven methodology for selling in this new environment where the old marketing rules no longer apply. This book will change how you think about marketing. It may even change how you think."
—Rebecca Lieb, Executive Editor, The ClickZ Network

"A powerful and fresh way of thinking about personas, persuasion, and marketing in today's increasingly fragmented media environment… a must-read."
—Mark Kingdon, CEO, Organic, Inc.

"Systematically covers every aspect of critical thinking about customers and prospects a marketer could need in today's complex business world. This is a book you'll reach for every time you begin your strategic planning."
—Susan Bratton, CEO, Cendara, Inc., and Executive Chair ad:tech Conferences

"With Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?, the Eisenbergs have shown us the power of persuasion for marketing. They back up their positions with compelling case studies and great firsthand experience that is priceless."
—Rand Schulman, Chief Active Marketing Officer, WebSideStory

"The Brothers Eisenberg … show us step-by-step how to leave behind the diminished returns and false expectations of quantity, and how to replace them instead with the more universal appeal and profitability of quality."
—Jeff Einstein, Media Pioneer and Social Critic

"Will force readers to reconsider all of their marketing efforts. Chock full of "big picture" thinking and great strategic advice... Jeffery and Bryan force us to rehumanize our audience in a way that drives measurement and forces accountability."
—Eric Peterson, Author, Web Analytics Demystified and Web Site Measurement Hacks

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >