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Cialdinism Digital Marketing Food for thought Uncategorized

Cialdinism #2 – The Rule of Reciprocation

This rule comes from Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence. The Rule of Reciprocation says that we should try to repay those who have provided us with something. This can be utilized to persuade someone into doing an act by giving them an item or gift. If someone sends us a birthday present, we should be sure to send them one back. If someone offers you tickets to the game, you should repay them somehow – buy them some beers will ya!

When someone gives you something, that is actually worth value to you (weather monetarily or emotionally), and you don’t pay them back you get this weird feeling in your gut. This feeling is caused by the Rule of Reciprocation. I first hand felt this feeling last week when I was down in Cabo. My wife and I were walking around the Marina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico when we stopped to check out the sea lions and seagulls that were by the boat ramp. After standing there for a few seconds one of the fisherman called us over and offered to us a few fish to feed the wild sea lion that was begging at the edge of the water, of course my wife jumped at the opportunity! She was able to feed him and pet him a couple times. We even got to witness the sea lion chase off a seagull that was trying to snatch the fish from my wives hand before she could give it to the sea lion. It was great!

Right after she got done feeding the sea lion we left… and I got this weird feeling in my stomach. It felt like I owed that guy something, he was probably expecting money, but I didn’t have any cash with me. I thought for the next several days on my trip about going back to the marina to pay him, but I never pulled myself to doing so because around that same time I read about this rule. It caused me to realize what that guy had done, he had created a highly profitable niche business in the harbors of Cabo. He was also utilizing a highly effective psychological tool to get people to willingly and happily give him money. A fish for him can’t cost much at all, he is a fisherman after all. It may have cost him $.20 for the 2 little fish he gave my wife, if I had cash I would have easily have given him $10 for the wonderful experience- those are damn good margins mi amigo!

Pay every debt, as if God wrote the bill. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

So anyways, the idea is to give your customers something for free so that they can return the favor to you in a way that makes sense for your business. I didn’t know about this rule when we did it, but we used it for one of our apparel brands a few months ago by giving away free shirts to our top 50 customers over the past year and the experiment has worked stunningly. Many of the customers we sent free shirts too ordered new shirts soon after.

Takeaway: Find a way for your business to use the Rule of Reciprocation to your advantage, weather it be sending your customers something for free unexpectedly or giving someone at the harbor a fun experience that costs you pretty much nothing. It will be worth it.

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Cialdinism Digital Marketing Uncategorized

Cialdinism #1

Recently I’ve really been getting into Robert Cialdini thanks to Andrew, over at Mixergy. So I’ve decided to start doing “Cialdini-isms” because I’ve really come to enjoy his insights. You can learn more about Mr. Cialdini here if you’re interested.

Cialdinism #1 – Fixed-Action Patterns

So a fixed-action pattern is an automatic response to a certain stimuli causing an instinctual/automatic action/response. He gives the example of a mother turkey based on ethology, the study of animals in their natural settings. Mother turkeys are good mother’s, they take good care of their young chicks but it is when they take care of their chicks which shows their fixed-action pattern. The mother does notice their young’s’ smell, touch, and appearance, but the biggest thing that gets the mothers to care for their young is the “cheep-cheep” noise that they make. This is the main thing these mothers focus on. If their chicks aren’t making that noise they don’t take care of them.

A group of scientists decided to conduct a study to see if the mother turkeys would take to other animals  if that same “cheep-cheep” noise was present. So ,they decided to test this with a stuffed polecat, a  natural enemy to all turkeys, naturally you would think a turkey would be pissed about a polecat near its nest… and they were. If no “cheep-cheep” noise was present it was a war zone! But when they had the “cheep-cheep” noise playing from a speaker within the stuffed polecat the mother turkey invited it to dinner, for tea and biscuits. The mother actually treated the polecat like it was one of its young if the “cheep-cheep” sound was playing! Yea… I know turkeys are known for being stupid, but still that automatic response is intriguing.

He calls it ‘click’ and ‘whirr.’ Click and the appropriate tape is activated(cheep-cheep); whirr and out rolls the automatic sequence of behavior. (taking care of the polecat)

Does it work on us? After all we’re superior beings… “that microscopic turkey brain doesn’t compare to us… not a chance.”

Well… humans do have fixed action patterns –  

One example of this is shown in a Harvard Study where someone was trying to get to the front of the line. If one simply asked “Hey, can I go before you to make copies?” 60% of the time people would let the person go ahead of them. But if you were to ask “Hey, can I go in front of you because I need to make copies?” 93% of the time people would let the person go ahead of them. That’s a 33% better chance for simply giving a regular reason. That’s like being in line at Disney Land and snaking your way to the front of the line by asking “Hey, can I go in front of you because I want to ride the ride?” So – give reasons for why you’re doing things, or give people a logical reason to do something.

The second example is our association of “expensive = good” and the fallacy that comes with it. Robert gives the example of a small boutique owner who is trying to sell some turquoise jewelry that she has had for months on end that never sold. The store owner is about to leave for a vacation and leaves a poorly worded note for one of her employees. She meant for the note to read “cut the price of the turquoise that doesn’t sell for shit in half.” The employee read the note as “double the price of the turquoise jewelry because I (the store owner) am a fearless bastard.” So the employee doubled the price of the jewelry and made a new sign reflecting the updated price. The store owner came back after her vacation and all of the turquoise jewelry was sold! But not only was it sold, it sold at double the price she originally asked for it! (Wahhhh, I know right!)

The fact that the new price for the jewelry read as “expensive” due to its new price allowed people to have the fixed-action pattern of “expensive = good” allowing them to justify buying it. It gave them a shortcut, because it’s impossible to know everything about everything, especially in our current 24/7 world where we’re constantly bombarded with stimulus. Our minds need shortcuts.

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Digital Marketing Food for thought Uncategorized

Year in Review

So every year on my birthday I like to do a little year in review, ya know… what happened in the past year type of thing to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. (doing it on New Years Day is way too cliché)

 

The past year has been pretty incredible to say the least. Some times life resembles a roller coaster of ups and downs but this past year was just up. I got married. Moved back to Wisconsin. Successfully launched a new company. Fell in love with Indian food. Looking back on it, I can’t think of anything negative that happened. (Revision: I did gain a few lbs., but who cares… I blame the Indian food.)

 

We really hit a homerun with our newest LSA company, Korked Baseball. (pun intended) Korked went from 0 – 100 real quick, as the kids would say. It started out with the entire Chicago Cubs team wearing our Try Not to Suck shirt then only grew from there. We ended up getting into 35+ stores, including every Lids in the Chicago area. (Kind of a dream for the HS me that wore hats all of the time) The best part was that we raised over $700,000 for charity over the past year, if you would have told me a year ago that we would have been able to do that I would’ve said you were full of shit. Seriously, I wouldn’t have believed you.

 

Marketing wise for Korked we learned a lot over the past year, eventually getting to the point where for every $15 we spent on digital ads we were making $100, that’s just the direct conversions not including the word-of-mouth sales. So with that we thought, well why don’t we start a new company to do marketing for other clients… and that’s what we did.

 

Last month we started a new marketing agency (still needs a name) doing marketing for a professional indoor soccer team, a marathon, semi-pro baseball teams, and more running events. So far so good. Over the next year we plan on growing it into something special.

 

With LSA over the next year we plan on adding a few more sports related brands and continue to grow Korked with an eye on exit. So far this year has been good, we have really been able to optimize our site and ads in a scalable way… I hope to be giving you another “I would’ve said you were full of shit.” stories again next year about the success of Korked and the other brands we build.

 

I’m really thankful for: my wife, for all of the support over the past year letting me work 80-90 hour weeks when needed. All of our customers. Our LSA partners Mike, Joe, John, Joe, and Joe. As well as the Cubs for winning the World Series, because if they didn’t last year could’ve been a different story.

 

Till next year,

Jacob

Picture of the year – Never forget