Unconventional Thinking

What Makes People Tick?

04/21/14 Posted in Unconventional Thinking

839248_58527818This week I was interviewed by NPR’s Marketplace program on the reason men would buy a fancy new Gillette razor for $15 or so when they could easily get a damned good shave for less than a buck.

Although the question appears to be sound, it is–to my thinking–rather naïve. In the vast majority of cases, we pay more than we need to for virtually everything precisely because we rarely need any of the stuff we buy.

It all boils down to what makes people tick. As a businessperson, a marketer, it’s the most important question we must grapple with. And as far as I’m concerned, the the most powerful force that makes people tick comes in the form of dreams.

Which brings us to the $15 razor, the $9,000 Gucci purse and the $500 “age defying” skin cream/youth serum. Widely disparate items all, they are however fused together by the fact, the epiphany, that led to their creation: people buy goods and services that they believe will perform magic for them. Provide them with youth, success, attractiveness, sexuality, stature, status and the like.

No one buys a $15 razor: the marketers create an image that serves as a Rorschach test of sorts: people see in it what they want to see. The razor, the subconscious thinking goes, leads to a shave that is much smoother, that will make women swoon, confidence soars, handsome turns irresistible.

The idea that we can read a self-help book, gain entry into a prestigious college, win an executive office, drive a car that adds immeasurably to our personalities and our stature–these are the dreams behind the purchases that propel the economy. And that give validation to the business of marketing.

Is it manipulative? Who has the right to answer? And who should deny others the pleasure of their dreams?

Because it is those dreams that make people tick.

Mark Stevens Talks Digital Advertising Trends

04/17/14 Posted in Advertising, Appearances, Business, MSCO News, Mark Stevens, Marketing, Public Relations, Small Business, TV Commercials

Have you heard? Digital advertising now has more dollars flowing into it than traditional media. Is this the beginning of a sea change for advertisers like our clients? Here’s our CEO Mark Stevens on Fox Business with his take on this breaking marketing news from 4/16/14.

Behind the Scenes at the Heatwave Commercial Shoot

04/11/14 Posted in Advertising, Branding, Heatwave, MSCO News, Marketing, Marvelous Marketing, TV Commercials, Tommy Jay

Commercial Shoot for Heatwave Pest Control

Coming to a cable TV channel near you, HeatWave Pest Control! Yesterday, MSCO had the privilege of working with them to shoot their first TV commercial. The spot expounds on the benefits of their heat treatment for removing bedbugs from your home, said to be a safer alternative to harsh chemicals. Heatwave also makes use of canine detection to sniff out bedbugs where they live, something also highlighted in the spot.

In producing the spot, MSCO worked with Lisa Marie Latino of the venerable Long Shot Productions. We’re looking forward to seeing the end result of her direction and vision, and 5 hours of footage condensed into a :30 second spot. Continue Reading »

Mark Stevens Honored to Judge “Stevie” Awards

04/07/14 Posted in Advertising, Branding, Business, Entrepreneur, MSCO News, Management, Mark Stevens, Marketing, Public Relations, Small Business

What better authority on what makes a business great? MSCO founder and CEO Mark Stevens will be on hand to judge the 12th annual American Business Awards, also known as the “Stevies.”

Coincidentally not named after Mark, the Stevie Awards recognize the best in business from around the country. Entrants are judged in many categories, including customer service, human resources, marketing and management. Awards are presented at the annual banquet in June. Past winners include Apple, Heineken, Rodan + Fields and Northwestern Mutual

Mark’s selection as a judge in this year’s awards comes as Your Marketing Sucks prepares to turn 10. In fact, an updated version of this bestseller will be available later in the year. Additionally, Mark is taking his unique brand of business advice to the airwaves with a weekly podcast soon. Details on both of these new YMS channels will be coming as they develop.

To learn more about the Stevies, visit their website. And if you think you had a magnificent business this year and have what it takes to win, enter your own company here. Deadline is April 23, so time’s running out on your submission!

Opus Group Pension Resource for US News

04/04/14 Posted in Branding, Business, MSCO News, Marketing, News, Opus Group, Public Relations

More press hits for MSCO clients! Greg Gallo, founder of New Jersey wealth management firm The Opus Group, has been cited as an authority on pensions by US News & World Report. This comes on the heels of the launch of Opus Group’s “Virtual Pension” campaign.

In the article, Gallo laments the current retirement funding system, exposure to market risk and potential for millions of Americans to lose their entire savings in another market crash. This actually makes a great case for Opus Group new Virtual Pension product, which takes much of the guess work out of retirement planning. Gallo and his associates’ goal is to get every one of their investors into the “Retirement Green Zone.” MSCO anticipates securing even more press for this new package as we roll it out across the country.

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