Monday, November 28, 2011

The Deceptive Power of Contrast

Giant, midgit George Torok
This photo surprised me.

The two men on my right were the greeters at this restaurant in Yazd, Iran. It was an Iranian restaurant. The food was terrific.

What surprised me?

When I entered the restaurant I was first greeted by the smaller man, then the larger man.
My memory recorded the second man as a giant.

But looking at this photo you can see that I'm noticeably taller than the giant. Curious how our brain plays tricks on us. I would have sworn that the giant was at least 7 feet tall and 300 pounds.

I'm about 6 feet tall and weight (still) less than 200 pounds.

Why did my brain record the facts differently than the camera?


The brain records new information in relation to existing information. When we learn something new our brain first searches for a way to relate that new information to the existing database within our brain cells.

Upon entering the restaurant, I first saw the smaller man, then I saw the larger man. The larger man was ordinary by himself. But the smaller man was so unusually small that my perspective was changed so much that the second man appeared massive in comparision.

George Torok

Keynote Marketing Speaker


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are You Curious? So Are Your Prospects

P T Barnum, marketer, showman

How might you harness curiousity to attract attention?

Tell someone they can't have something and suddenly they want it.

Here's an example from P T Barnum of using both curiousity and umbrage in marketing to grab attention.

This is an excerpt from the book "The Art of Money-Getting" by P T Barnum, published in 1888.


Some men have a peculiar genius for writing a striking advertisement, one that will arrest the attention of the reader at first sight. This fact, of course, gives the advertiser a great advantage. Sometimes a man makes himself popular by an unique sign or a curious display in his window, recently I observed a swing sign extending over the sidewalk in front of a store, on which was the inscription in plain letters,


Of course I did, and so did everybody else, and I learned that the man had made all independence by first attracting the public to his business in that way and then using his customers well afterwards.


Excerpt from "The Art of Money-Getting" by P T Barnum, 1888

How could you use this idea and principle in your marketing?

Tell people to do something that you know they will rebel against.

Make them pass the qualifications before they can continue to the next stage.

Tease them with the hint of what is to come.

Whisper instead of shouting.

Make them wait. (But not too long)

50 Power Marketing Tips - free - if you qualify


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why do People Need to See Your Ad Seven Times?

P T Barnum, showman, promoter, marketer

You might have heard that prospects need to see your advertisements seven times before they buy. That phrase is often repeated by advertising sales reps when they are selling you advertisements. "You can't expect results from only one ad" they'll scold you.

Teachers and trainers agree that new information is best remembered after repetition.

But who said that seven times is the magic number for effective advertisement - and more importantly how did they discover that magic number? What research was conducted to draw that conclusion?

Where did that wisdom originate?

Perhaps it was P T Barnum, the famous American showman, businessman, entertainer, promoter and sometimes scam artist.

Or perhaps was a real or fictitious French journalist.

Read this excerpt from P T Barnum's book, "The Art of Money-Getting" published in 1888 and you decide. Enjoy the amusing analogy that P T Barnum uses to make his point. This curious type of analogy appears several times in his book.


A French writer says that "The reader of a newspaper does not see the first mention of an ordinary advertisement; the second insertion he sees, but does not read; the third insertion he reads; the fourth insertion, he looks at the price; the fifth insertion, he speaks of it to his wife; the sixth insertion, he is ready to purchase, and the seventh insertion, he purchases."

Your object in advertising is to make the public understand what you have got to sell, and if you have not the pluck to keep advertising, until you have imparted that information, all the money you have spent is lost.
You are like the fellow who told the gentleman if he would give him ten cents it would save him a dollar. "How can I help you so much with so small a sum?" asked the gentleman in surprise. "I started out this morning (hiccuped the fellow) with the full determination to get drunk, and I have spent my only dollar to accomplish the object, and it has not quite done it. Ten cents worth more of whiskey would just do it, and in this manner I should save the dollar already expended."

Excerpt from "The Art of Money-Getting" by P T Barnum 1888

Can you picture P T Barnum smoking his cigar, swirling another glass of whiskey and chuckling as he wrote these words. Do you think he dreamed that his anecdote would become advertising dogma one hundreds later?

So how many times does an advertisement really need to appear?

Marketing Speaker

Co-Author of Secrets of Power Marketing