Monthly Archives: March 2009

Emotional Adwords Marketing – Comment

Sarah left an interesting comment about our list of 37 Emotional Benefits , and one which is almost always mentioned in one form or another when we consult with large companies about their branding … essentially  “I don’t see _____ emotion on the list”.

Here’s how the list was developed.

We started with hundreds of our own consumer studies and in-depth emotional interview transcripts to find any reference to emotional states related to purchase.

In total, we had over 600 possible emotions to start with.

We then presented these to an expert panel of 16 psychologists and marketing executives, who were instructed to eliminate redundancies and group the emotions into similar piles.  They were able to reduce the list to a little under 100.

We then designed a study to reduce this list even further to a more manageable number.  Our goal was to have the shortest list of human emotions which could motivate purchase … so that marketers could use them in advertising research, and agencies/copywriters could use them in actually developing their messaging.

In the study, we presented over 1,000 consumers FACIAL PICTURES of two dozen different people with a variety of different facial expressions, clothing, … and of different demographic constitution (age, ethnicity, etc)

We asked them ONE question …

“How important might it be to THIS person (picture shown) to feel THIS (emotion exposed) in their life?”  (To avoid fatigue, not every consumer rated all the emotions, nor saw every facial picture)

A kind of sophisitcated mathematical analysis (“factor analysis”) showed fairly decisively that the list could be clustered into no more than 37 emotions, which are represented in the 37 Emotional Benefits chart.  (There’s actually an even smaller, more workable list of 21 if you’re willing to sacrifice a certain degree of statistical accuracy)

Every time we work with a client, they see one of the other 563 emotions we started with which would be more relevant to their work.  But this study showed that what they’re really seeing is just a nuance of one of the emotions in the “magic 37”.   (A lot of clients used to make us prove it to them by testing and then running regressions to show the mathematical relationship … trust me, it always works and it’s not worth the effort!)

Bottom line?

You can really count on this free list of 37 emotional benefits in marketing … whatever you sell, whomever you sell it to, they’re buying it for one of these reasons.

Adwords Copywriting Headaches

Every adwords marketer eventually reaches a point of diminishing returns.  They just can’t think of any more keywords, ad copy, or landing page changes to improve click thru and conversion.

Here’s a different way to break through your wall … try to do the OPPOSITE.

Seriously … spend an hour writing the WORST POSSIBLE ADWORDS ADS you can think of for your market in each ad group.   Ask yourself “if I really wanted to totally destroy my business and/or immediately tank my click through and conversion, how would I write these ads?”

Of course, you won’t publish them.  But giving yourself the freedom to do this will dramatically open your thinking to new avenues and benefits you hadn’t thought of.

The worst possible ads you write will contain, of necessity, the primary objections in the market … once you’ve identified these, it’s EASY to turn them around into positives.

But again, the key is to totally give yourself to the mindset.  When you’re writing BAD ppc ads, write REALLY REALLY REALLY BAD ppc ads!  And enjoy the process.

Here’s an example of an ad I’d like to beat, for my classic old “guinea pig” book:

All About Guinea Pigs
Everything You Must Know About
Pet Guinea Pigs In One Place!

Now, to really beat this I’d give myself permission to do the opposite.
And I REALLY have to go to the extreme … write things which guinea pig  lovers would hate me for indefinitely, things which no self respecting parent would ever click on, things which would get me banned from Google and get PETA to organize a protest on my front lawn.  (For legal reasons, let me be very clear that I am NOT recommending anyone DO anything in these ads, publish them anywhere, or even necessarily read them!  They’re for illustration of the exercise only)

Delicious Guinea Pigs
101 Ways To Cook Your Child’s
Pet While They Sleep (Free)

Guinea Pig Baseball
Amazing New Game Builds
Child’s Confidence – No Balls!

Piggy Poo Machine
Get Your Guinea Pig To
Poo In Your Mom’s Room

Do you see the direction I’m going in?   If I were doing the full exercise, I wouldn’t stop here … I’d force myself to write AT LEAST 10 REALLY, REALLY BAD PPC ADS.  But since I want to illustrate how these can be turned around to GOOD ideas, let me stop here and show you.

Take the first ad … did you experience a kind of “evil smile” when you read it?  That’s because you’re tapping into what every parent feels, but none are willing to admit to themselves.  I’ve spoken to parents who’ve gotten their children guinea pigs without educating their kids about care … then wondered what they got THEMSELVES into.  (Smelly, messy rooms, forgotten feedings, etc).  Many parents secretly want to get rid of their children’s piggies.

How could we leverage that?  How about something like …

Keep Your Guinea Pig
7 Secrets To  Raising Lovable,
Sweet Smelling Piggies Now!

Now, let’s look at the next one:

Guinea Pig Baseball
Amazing New Game Builds
Child’s Confidence – No Balls!

Here we’ve tapped into the same socially undesirable emotion (parents
wanting to UNDO the guinea pig at home) , but combined it with something the parents actually wanted for their children … a nurturing experience to help their child build confidence.  Let’s write an ad that appeals to the second:

Confident Kids Love Pigs
Your Child Will Learn Loving
Responsibility (Guinea Pig Info)

OK, … get the point?  Let’s do the last one:

Piggy Poo Machine
Get Your Guinea Pig To
Poo In Your Mom’s Room

Becomes …

No More Poo Machine
Perfect Guinea Pig Potty
Training In 7 Days or Less

(Note: you can’t really get them to be perfect, but you CAN get’m very clean and they’re easy to care for when you know the facts)

The point is, when you want great ideas, you sometimes have to really give yourself permission to generate the WORST.

Hope that helps,

Dr. G 🙂

PS – As you may know by now, on January 1st, 2016 I’m going to open my business coaching practice to NEW clients for the first time in almost three years.  As this very well may be the LAST time I ever open for new clients, if you’ve got any interest, please click here, read the letter, and get on the priority notifications list.  Spots will go FAST so watch your in box on New Year’s Day.

Adwords Delusions

Here’s a fascinating observation about Adwords you’ll only hear from a shrink raised in a family of 17 psychologists, psychotherapists, and social workers.

You see, while your Dad was telling you ghost stories and taking you to baseball games, MY Dad was telling me a fascinating story about a study completed in a “mental institution” (I hate the term) the year I was born.

In 1964, at the Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, Milton Rokeach wanted to see if it was possible to treat delusions by forcing them to “auction for space” against one another.  He noticed it wasn’t uncommon for men to present at the hospital claiming to be Jesus Christ. Rokeach reasoned if he put’m all together, they’d have to realize it was impossible for ALL of them to be Jesus, so the delusions would collapse.

He arranged to have 3 of them in the same therapy group.  But it didn’t work.

Or at least, it didn’t work the way he thought it would … the delusions persisted. (As an interesting and totally tangential aside, you can never REASON someone out of a delusion … delusions are dealt with and resolved in FORM, not substance … what you see in the movies is total prairie poop)

Anyway, instead of giving up their delusions when confronted with the truth of each other’s presence, these men molded themselves to allow for the existence of each other … they decided to form a “Society of Christs”. There personal identities were too precious to sacrifice.

Instead, they paradoxically found they could reinforce each other as friends.

Now … if you think this was just a psychology lesson you’re missing the point. (Also, I hope this doesn’t have to be said, but I’m not making any religious arguments or statement here)

Many of my students come to me at first very, very concerned about the intense competition in the Adwords auction.

They believe it will be next to impossible to carve out a unique space for themselves in a market which is “already sewn up”. But this reasoning follows the same logic Rokeach was convinced of at the outset of his study … and fails to recognize the propensity of humans to make room for a multitude of individuals offering fairly similar stories and presentations, and the innate tendency to artfully adjust one’s “plumage” to attract attention in a competitive environment.

Now I’m not saying it’s easy, or there’s not a process involved which takes some time (e.g. getting into the traffic stream, adjusting your bid, split testing a dozen or so ads, etc), but I am saying what Rokeach observed is the same thing we see in Adwords all the time …

There’s usually room for 3 vendors to tell the same story in just slightly different ways …

Which makes the whole thing just a little less frightening, don’t you think?

For what it’s worth,

Dr. G 🙂

PS – I just have to say, I really LOVE being able to finish my day like this. (I had a very hard day today). I love that you read this far, and seriously considered what I had to say. I love that you continue to give me a chance to be significant in your life. I love that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, at this moment my thoughts are connecting to yours, and maybe, just maybe, changing your emotional state. Thank you. (Really… thank you).

PPS – Rokeach’s odd book (a detailed account of the study) is still in print if you’re so inclined to look it up. 

Adwords Marketing Success – The Naked Truth

Listen, we’re all chasing the same dream … “escape the dollars for hours trap by moving some electrons around the internet using auto-piloted systems while our bankers scratch their butts and look at us curiously wondering  how it all works”

Am I right?

Now there are a lot of people out there telling you it’s easy.   In fact, some are telling you it’s VERY easy.

Which leads a lot of people to have broken hearts, shattered dreams, and to dig very large holes for themselves 🙁

And worse yet, it prevents people from following through with focus and determination … which in my estimation is the ONLY way to conquer a market (even WITH my particular skills, background, and research protocols)

Let me ask you this … HOW COULD IT POSSIBLY BE EASY?

According to the latest stats I’ve seen, 88% of searchers NEVER go beyond page one of the search results, and the vast, vast majority of those click on one of the first five links (both paid and organic).

Which means there’s room for only about 10 players in any given market.   Which means you’ve got to figure out how to be amongst the TOP TEN VENDORS IN THE WORLD for your market to get ANY significant traction.

So let me ask you, is there ANY other endeavor where people would so easily believe it is EASY to become one of the top ten in the world?

When you put it like that, all the internet hype kind of melts away, doesn’t it!

Now, before I leave you too depressed, the counter-claim to all this is that there are tens of thousands of markets … and the vast majority of marketers have NO idea how to …

– Focus on relationship building with prospects
– Do their research appropriately
– Understand the “keyword conversation” behind each search phrase
– Gather free competitive intelligence
– Fully optimize their sites for organic traffic
– Please the Adwords Quality Score Monster
– Use audio, video, and graphic design effectively
– Emotionally connect with their prospects and customers
– Relentlessly build value with back end products and continuity
– Test, track, and continually beat their conversion rate
– Write compelling copy
– Actually talk to their customers and prospects
– Estimate the necessary resources to deliver value better than
their competitors
– Determine which competitors to copy and which to avoid
– Identify market gaps, etc.

Which is WHY I say it IS entirely possible, but it takes SERIOUS focus and determination, usually over a period of at least 4 to 6 months for a new market, and sometimes more than a year if it’s very competitive.


My intention was to paint a picture of reality for you in hopes you’d be able to be kinder to yourself when assessing exactly how far you’ve come, what you know, what you don’t, and what lies ahead.

How’d I do?

Let me know,

Glenn 🙂