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Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing Hardcover – June 11, 2006

66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Eisenberg brothers (Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results) dub the guiding principles behind their marketing consultancy "Persuasion Architecture," but their methods have more in common with Hollywood screenwriting. Observing that one message no longer fits every audience, they create "personas" representing broad consumer patterns, based on the types identified in the Keirsey personality tests, renamed here as "methodical," "spontaneous," "humanistic" and "competitive" shoppers. Then the authors "storyboard" marketing scenarios guiding each type to the point of sale. Although 20th-century advertising was based on the Pavlovian model of instilling a desired reaction to stimuli, like the dog that expected dinner whenever a bell rang, the Eisenbergs say that increasing media fragmentation prevents advertisers from creating that sort of conditioned response. Anyway, they add, people have always been more like cats, occasionally distractable but for the most part independent-minded. Their solution—developing interactive relationships—is fairly standard in contemporary marketing circles, but by keeping the message simple, with short chapters low on jargon and high on real-world examples, the Eisenbergs just may push themselves to the front of the crowd. (June 13)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Bryan Eisenberg is an inventor of Persuasion Architecture (patent pending) and cofounder of Future Now, Inc., based in New York City.

Jeffrey Eisenberg is an inventor of Persuasion Architecture (patent pending) and cofounder of Future Now, a consulting firm focused on helping clients persuade and convert their Web site's traffic into leads, customers, and sales.

Lisa T. Davis is a partner and Director of Content for Future Now. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Har/Com edition (June 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785218971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785218975
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #948,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By T. Schmitt on September 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book basically brings forth two strong notions. The first one is, Become your own customer and go through your own company's buy process. Pretend that you're a prospect just at the beginning of a purchase, searching for information and solutions. You don't enough know enough to fully articulate the problem; you know only that you have a need. What search terms would you use? What stores would you visit? What questions would you ask the salesperson? Then, how does your business line up to this?

Next, the most innovative portion of the book, the authors demonstrate how to attract the customers you want by creating personas. Essentially, this breaks down customer types into classes, such as the ever popular soccer moms. Then, it asks, what do you need to do to attract this persona? What questions are they asking? Why are they interested in making this purchase at all? How would they use your companies website?

So, all-in-all, it's solid and actionable advice on how to really focus on your customers and figure out what needs to be done to make your business inviting to them.

Why I take off one star: While this is a great book, its strength doesn't translate into other categories. The sweat spot for this book are businesses engaged in mass consumer marketing, with both a strong online and physical presence. Also, the target purchase has some emotional component, such as a BMW making the driver feel successful and powerful. However, if you're in the business-to-business space, then the book's lessons are harder to apply. For instance, if an engineer is searching to purchase a resistor, and is only concerned about performance characteristics, then the book's philosophy starts to become a stretch.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By I. Vasilkov on May 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever seen a movie, when you see & wait that something gonna happen and it never happens till the end? That's the "Waiting for you cat to bark?" is about.

There are lots of the background information - ideas and developments of Hippocrates, Myers-Briggs, Freeman, Frank Lloyd Wright and Sir Tim Berners-Lee; BMW ,Best Buy and other big companies marketing experiences; left brain and right brain responsibilities, etc. etc.

There are lots of well known ideas, like think about your customers, see your business from your customers point of view, provide good service, provide relevant information, measure a campaign effect etc. etc.

There are lots of marketing complexity examples, that make you feel like "oh my God, who can get all this"?

I tried my best to follow the line and split potential clients into smaller groups I may treat in a very special way, according to the book advices. The only point is the book does not give any practical idea about all those ideas implementation. Not a single one! There is nothing you can do coming back to your office after reading this book.

What it has? Plenty of "we do this" and "persuasion architecture". This book is one big advertisement you paid for. We developed, we understand, we compared, according to our experience, persuasion architecture we've invented, etc. etc and it's endless!

The only conclusion a reader is suppose to do according to authors is to admire persuasion architecture, realize that just genius can deal with this and apply to Future Now to let those sophisticated guys to do their job!
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was a kid, the Reader's Digest published an article that described how to build a mechanical computer and "teach" it to play hexipawn, a really watered down version of chess in which each player's pieces consisted of three pawns on a nine square board. The mechanical computer had to be told every possible move to make. One programmed it by removing the bad choices that led to losing the game. The remaining good choices let the computer become exceptionally good a winning.

I hadn't thought of that Reader's Digest article in at least four decades, until I opened Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg and Lisa Davis' Waiting for Your Cat to Bark to Chapter 10, The Design of Persuasive Systems. The authors describe a customer clicking on to a web site, and then not finding the next click to help her buy what she's trying to buy. Why does this happen? Because the web designer isn't thinking like a customer. Because the web designer built a logical, linear, sequential model of the selling experience, and the customer needed an intuitive, non-linear, non-sequential buying experience.

And just as the Reader's Digest mechanical computer proved, it's not enough to eliminate the bad moves; one must provide the good moves to "win." The authors have described the good moves. They've told exactly how to determine who your customers are, what influences their decisions, and the way they negotiate the buying process.

They call the process Persuasion Architecture (Chapter 16). It's a discipline which integrates the buying with the selling processes and ties it all together with communications flow. The focus is always on persuading the customer to take action.
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