The Clean & Green Club, July 2012

The Clean & Green Club      July 2012
Brilliant Library Marketing
Hear & Meet Shel
JV Teleseminar
Friends Who Help
Book Review
Connect with Shel on Social Media: 

twitter birdFollow on Twitter

FBFacebook Profile



fbGreen & Ethical Marketing Facebook



About Shel & This Newsletter
As a marketing consultant and copywriter… award-winning author of eight books… international speaker, blogger, syndicated columnist — Shel Horowitz shows how green and ethical businesses can actually be *more* profitable than your less-green competitors.

His most recent book is category bestseller Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet.

Shel also helps authors/publishers, small businesses, and organizations to market effectively, and turns unpublished writers into well-published authors.

He was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011.

Shel Horowitz’s consulting firm, Green And Profitable, is the first business ever to earn Green America’s rigorous Gold Certification as a leading green company

He began publishing his monthly newsletter all the way back in 1997, making it one of the oldest marketing e-zines (it‘s changed names a few times along the way).

“As always, some of the links in this newsletter earn commissions—because I believe in the products and services enough to promote them (I get asked to endorse lots of other programs I don’t share with you, because I don’t find them worthy).”

  Since When Are Libraries Known for Brilliant Marketing?  
This month’s marketing lesson comes from one of the best examples of marketing ju-jitsu I’ve ever seen.

In ju-jitsu (a/k/a jiu-jitsu), like many martial arts, you use the strength of your opponent, rather than your own strength, and deflect it back on him or her. You get to still be nonviolent and righteous, while your opponent is lying in a heap on the floor.

Similarly, in marketing ju-jitsu (a term that may have been coined by Max Lenderman in 2001), you can overcome an opponent with far greater resources who can afford to hire wildly talent advertising agencies and saturate the airwaves with the result.

In the business world, the classic examples are car rental giant Avis’s “we’re only #2 so we try harder” campaign, Volkswagen’s Small Wonder ads from the 1960s, and of course, the legendary Smash Big Brother ad that debuted the Apple Macintosh in 1984.

In the anti-business world, the day in 1967 Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies threw dollar bills on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange comes to mind, as do many of the Adbusters campaigns, such as Buy Nothing Day.

LibrarySo what does this kind of guerrilla marketing have to do with libraries? Librarians are thought of as a quiet bunch who rarely make any kind of public stink (though this is actually not true—just ask progressive author and filmmaker Michael Moore, whose book Stupid White Men was saved by a national campaign by librarians).

Well, here’s a video (less than three minutes long) outlining a particularly intense use of marketing ju-jitsu: threatened by a Tea Party campaign to defund the library, supporters created a fake campaign in favor of book burning, even saying the event would include live music and refreshments generating massive backlash.

They then revealed their true agenda: to raise consciousness that “closing a library is like burning books.” This in turn resulted in a massive outpouring of library supporters on Election Day that easily defeated the defunding initiative. And both the book burning announcement and the later clarification got lots of social media buzz and the attention of the press nationally.

Go watch it now. I’ll wait.
Back? Good.

I’d love you to share the takeaways you got in the comments. Here are some of mine:

  • Memes have a lot of power. Revulsion against book burning is a deep-seated response to centuries of oppression. Whether in 15th-century Spain, 18th-century America, Nazi-era Germany, or the late Ray Bradbury’s fictional dystopia Fahrenheit 451, book burning is seen as an attempt to suppress and control thought.
  • Reductio ad absurdum arguments—taking a line of thinking past its logical conclusion into the realm of the ridiculous—still work.
  • Even without funding, an organized populace can defeat injustice, especially when we make it a mom-and-apple-pie issue. (This was the approach we used when we saved our local mountain.)
  • Please share yours in the comments.
  Hear & Meet Shel                       

Monday, August 6, 11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT and indefinite replay, Marsha Dean Walker interviews me on Minding Your Own Business radio

Thursday, September 6, 1 pm ET/10 a.m. PT, Barbara Saunders interviews me on Solo Pro Radio

October 24-27, Association for Business Communication 77th Annual International Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii. I’m deeply honored to share the opening plenary panel with Jonas Haertle, head of the United Nations PRME initiative, widely published CSR author Nick Tolhurst, and a sustainability official from the Hawaiian government official. My wife, Dina Friedman, and I will be attending the entire conference. To register online:

Earn a Commission: Get Me a Speech in Hawaii in October


If your lead gets me a speech at my standard $5000 rate, you’d earn $1250 in commission. Drop me a note: shel, subject line Hawaii Speech Possibility. NOTE: You can also earn commissions for getting me speaking other times and places–but for Hawaii, you can offer a big savings in airfare, since I’ll already be there. Email me at the same address, subject line Have Shel Speak. If your subject line is something like “Hi,” I’ll probably dump it unopened because I will think it’s spam. Processing hundreds of emails per day, I have to be kind of ruthless.

Planning Waaay Ahead

4th annual Amherst Sustainability Festival will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2013.

Book Expo America, June 4-6, 2013, NYC.

  DATE CHANGE: JV Teleseminar with Robert Smith    

Thursday, August 2, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Click for details on call-in information 

Reminder: if you registered before July 15 (for the original June date), the computers ate it. Please take a moment to register again.

I had a good chat with Robert over the phone, and I think this no-charge call will be well-worth your while.

I’m a long-time fan of joint ventures (JVs), because they let you dollar signgo to new markets and audiences on the arm of someone they already know and trust I used JVs to reach 5 million people for the launch of my most recent book Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green-versus the roughly 25,000 I can reach on my own.

Robert, a JV expert, approached me recently about doing a program for you. I listened to one of his earlier programs and thought you would benefit by having me bring him in. You’ll learn:

• How to set up Joint Ventures to make fast revenue-sometimes in just a few hours using your phone book 

• Secret method for mailing 10,000 sales letters per month…at no cost…not even postage 

• An amazing strategy for telling 200 million people about your business for FREE 

• How to dominate your local market as a JV Dealmaker 

• How to use publicity to get potential joint venture partners to call you 

• Sneaky way to get $5000 a month in free radio promotions 

• From zero to $1.5 MM using joint venture strategies

Robert Smith is president of Champion Media Worldwide, a public relations and marketing firm in Loves Park, IL. He has mastered the art of joint venture deals and teaches others how to spot hidden opportunities to help their businesses.

  Friends/Colleagues Who Want to Help  

Up close and personal with my celebrated co-author, Jay Conrad Levinson, Father of Guerrilla Marketing

Jay is offering his famous intimate 21-hour intensives at his lovely Florida home, July 23rd-25th and again August 20-23rd.. Only 10 people will be allowed in. . Jay describes it as “a three-day face-to-face training personally conducted by me in our home here on a lake just northeast of Orlando, Florida. It’s intense because it’s from noon till 7 pm three days in a row – 21 hours with lots of hands-on, devoted to making you a true guerrilla marketer.”

  Another Recommended Book: Marketing Without Advertising  
Marketing without AdvertisingMarketing Without Advertising: Eight Ways to Build a Business Your Customers Will Love & Recommend, by Michael Phillips and Salli Raspberry (Nolo Press, 2008)

This book offers some very good out-of-the-box thinking related to two central concepts:

1. Every aspect of the way you operate your business is part of your marketing. I’ve been saying for years that your brand has a lot more to do with customers’ and prospects’ perceptions of dealing with your company than with your slogan, logo, colors, etc., and this book is very much rooted in that idea.

2. If you take steps to grow your business, first make sure you can handle the growth. If your sales outpace your ability to provide service, your growth plan will backfire badly, and your business will be deeply hurt—maybe even fatally wounded.

But before I go farther, I have to point out two deep and disturbing flaws.

First, the title is misleading, and I have a big problem with that. Really, the book should be titled “Marketing Without Intrusive Advertising.” The big difference is that the authors have irrationally chosen to exclude all listings from their definition. Thus, they don’t consider such purchases as Yellow Pages ads, paid directory listings, or Internet search engine keywords as advertising.

Sorry, but by my definition and in the eyes of most people, if you’re paying to be included in a book or website, you’re advertising. You’ve chosen a “pull” medium, where people who are actively looking for you discover and contact you, rather than the more common (and less effectual) “push” style, where you jam your message in front of people and hope they are annoyed enough to notice you and buy, but not so annoyed that they refuse to do business with you. I agree with the authors that push advertising is usually a poor strategy, but I emphatically disagree with the idea that paid pull listings are not advertising.

The promise in the title is that you will be able to bring in customers without buying ads. And while many of the recommended marketing approaches do meet that standard, plenty do not. The book breaks its own brand promise, in other words. In a book that’s all about building a consistently high-quality customer experience, and which uses words like “honesty” and “integrity” dozens of times, this is unforgivable.

And second, despite its 2008 copyright (still the most recent version on Amazon), the book really seems stuck around 1998. I don’t know what kind of update they did for this 6th edition, but they missed an awful lot. Whether telling people a fax machine is essential…feeling a need to define and explain what a website is…ignoring the potential to connect with known resources on LinkedIn and similar sites…or listing website creation tools such as Microsoft Expression and Adobe Contribute, but not WordPress (except as a blogging vehicle), Joomla, or Drupal, the information frequently feels old and stale.

Yet there’s much of value here, if you can get past those two inexcusables. And therefore, I do recommend this book. Here’s why:

It starts with great examples of major companies that have succeeded without traditional advertising, noting, for instance, that Costco (a company I’ve respected for many years) outperformed Walmart (a company with which I have many issues) even though it spends nothing on advertising while Walmart advertises hugely, and that the well-respected Anchor brewery (one of the first to return to the idea of craft beer) does quite well without advertising.

Later in the book, you’ll find numerous creative examples of ways to get in front of prospects and make a positive impression, as well as ways to increase customer/prospect awareness and desire both within your own business and through complementary firms—like the department store where purchases result in a same-day 20% off coupon good at a specified different department, or the Japanese restaurant that gives out cards with 5-yen coins redeemable for free saki on a future visit. Since it’s always far cheaper to bring back an existing customer than to recruit a new one from scratch, these types of marketing can be quite effective.

To get those new customers—recognize that people come to you not only from different fields, but at different levels of expertise; websites are great tools to steer people to the content they need at their own level, and this can be automated easily—and the same triage that annoys the heck out of people in a voicemail tree actually creates a positive user experience on the web.

On the web, you’re competing in a global marketplace, and your points of differentiation (Unique Selling Propositions) must be clear enough to establish your value compared to an underpriced competitor on the other side of the world.

And another important piece is ensuring customer happiness, including follow-up even when it’s not expected. Chapter after chapter reinforces the idea that every point of interaction is a potential windfall or nightmare of publicity, depending on how the customer feels about it. Whether it’s store/shop appearance, quality of service, ease of interaction (especially when there’s a complaint), or a hundred other factors, these are all areas that a business owner can strongly influence. You may not be able to control the interaction entirely, but you can assure, for instance, that:

• If customers come to your location, every employee can give directions over the phone
• People feel they get more value in their purchase than they paid for
• Your interactions focus on creating educated consumers who understand why doing business with you serves their needs (which may lead to such marketing activities as teaching continuing education classes)
• You are right there after the purchase, making sure everything is OK, and earning the chance to fix anything that isn’t (this turns disgruntled customers into loyal evangelists for you)

Leave a Comment

Name: (Required)

E-mail: (Required)