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Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing Hardcover – June 13, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Har/Com edition (June 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785218971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785218975
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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Customer Reviews

"Waiting for Your Cat to Bark" is a fitting title for this book.
Meryl K. Evans
As I write this, I have 20 copies of this book waiting to go out to colleagues and friends.
Michele Miller
In Call to Action the Eisenbergs introduced us to Persuasion Architecture.
Stoney deGeyter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 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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32 of 37 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. In 243 pages Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, and Lisa Davis will take you step by step through the Persuasion Architecture process, and help you convert more web site visitors into web site purchasers.

If you're marketing on the web, or if you intend to, you need this book.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Gill E. Wagner on October 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Waiting For Your Cat To Bark" wins this year's "The book I couldn't wait to put down" award.

Honestly, the only reason I bought the book was because I absolutely adore the writing of Roy Williams, and he recommend it for about six-months pre-publish -- the Eisenberg boys are his prize students. (Turns out, Roy's brilliance as a writer is equaled by the rose of his glasses.)

My experience with "Cat," however, did confirm several things:

1. Robert B. Cialdini's theory that people generally remain consistent with previous choices despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. (I can't imagine any other reason so many people are giving this book 5 stars.) In truth, I was so pre-sold by Williams that even as I found myself falling asleep reading Cat, I was telling others how great it was. (Then somewhere around page 50 I realized what an idiot I was being and shut up about it.)

2. Great marketing can get people to buy anything, and Roy Williams is one of the best there is. The fact that Cat hit the bestseller list is more a testimony to his marketing genius than to Cat authors' writing ability.

3. My theory that it's the quality of one's sales pitch that gets a book professionally published, not the quality of one's writing. (Anyone else noticed how many crappy books are getting published these days? When are publishers going to go back to reading a full manuscript before committing to putting a book on the shelves?)

4. That the Eisenberg brothers over-learned and over-applied William's advice to invent your own words and jargon. Thank God other reviewers quoted all their superfluff terms -- it saved me from having to retrieve them from the depths of my purposeful forgetfulness.

This book is a marketing brochure for two guys who, seemingly, do understand internet marketing. It's just a shame they don't know how to, or didn't want to, write about it so others could actually learn from their experiences.
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