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on October 17, 2015
It's solid and actionable advice on how to really focus on your customers. 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.

Do I believe advertising is dead? Absolutely not so this book has it's motives which many may agree or disagree.
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on June 12, 2011
What an amzing read! Not being able to speak web made this book a godsend. Its full of great insight, easy to apply and most importantly really easy to read. Highly recommended to anyone in the online space. Bryan & Jefferey Eisenberg are up there with my other favourites Seth Godin and Avinash Kaushik.
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on April 28, 2013
This book was recommended by a good friend, I'm still reading & it has really opened my eyes to what's happening now.
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on November 13, 2012
The Book has really an intriguing catchy Title, however it doesn't deliver on the Promises. There are a lot of very-complex-examples, and many well known ideas, but there are no Practical suggestions that you can implement after reading the book.

When I buy a Book, I like to learn new things and possibly to implement them back at the Office. The cover is visually seductive, and I found the Headline, really Appealing. But nothing more! Sorry!
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on June 2, 2006
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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on July 4, 2006
Anyone who knows the Eisenboy's work knows that they are insightful, specific and ahead of the curve. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? continues this prescient look into the world of marketing and not only do I recommend that you read it, I recommend that you buy copies for everyone you know who is in business and still wants to be ten years from now.
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on June 11, 2006
Finally! A book that addresses marketing to a consumer's internal needs rather than basic demographics. The Eisenbergs and Lisa Davis have done an outstanding job of waking readers up to the fact that "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto..." that we have entered the era of total customer empowerment and marketers better start realizing it. The book is a comprehensive but easy to understand breakdown of how to get to know who your customer really is and then applying it across the many channels of today's marketing.

As I write this, I have 20 copies of this book waiting to go out to colleagues and friends. Everyone will benefit greatly from this book!
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on October 24, 2006
"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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on July 28, 2007
Nearly every business book has at least one or two good ideas. However, every so often you get a book that's really just a piece of what's often called Spiral Marketing. Sprial Marketing is a technique in which you use a book, pamphlet, website or other low-cost entry point to capture an initial group of customers. Although you make some profit on the initial entry point, the main goal of that entry is to get you to purchase the next level, usually a set of videos or seminar. There is profit built into this second level as well, but even that's just a front to capture the big fish into longer term consulting. This book contains a smattering of theories, concepts and ideas (most of which are lifted from other sources such as Maslow, MBTI and general advertisting), accompanied by some professional looking illustrations. You have to admire the way it is able to continually flirt with the answers while never quite giving them away - you'll have to commit to the $150 consulting fees for that. And if you are interested in the consulting, I'll save you some money on that as well. Judging from the almost immediate mentions of Yahoo keywords, the foreward from a Yahoo executive and the $50 credit towards the service I'm guessing Yahoo keywords is pretty much the heart of what they call "Persuasion Architecture."
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on July 30, 2006
"We tripled our online marketing budget and it is not yielding the returns anticipated"

"We have $250,000 to spend on marketing, what advertising programs should we spend it on?"

"We need you to "optimize" our marketing campaigns and make us more money with the same budget!"

If you've worked in online marketing at an agency, in-house you've probably had internal or external clients make these declarations or requests. You may succeed in delivering the desired outcome once in a while but simply spending more money and expecting to keep generating an ever increasing (or sometimes even the same) ROI doesn't often work now and will simply not work in the future.

"Waiting For Your Cat to Bark" addresses these issues and many more. Bryan & Jeff have been getting cats to bark since the late 90's while lots of marketers looked at them with amusement. Many marketers still seem to think they can broadcast their messages to consumers who "should" listen to them. Financial folks may be used to simply spending more money to make more and wondering why this doesn't always work online. (Yet companies still have fixed budgets that run out mid-day, mid-month or before the end of the fiscal quarter or year for campaigns that are clearly profitable!)

E-commerce is a strange game because it requires a global perspective; frequently a change in communication strategy and design, tech, copywriting, strategy (both online and off), budgeting, pricing and targeting must all converge to focus on selling products & services to consumers they way they want to purchase them.

Have you even thought about who your consumers are beyond general demographics? What are their concerns? What do they need to know to feel comfortable making a purchase or providing personal information? Does a massive branding, media or SEM campaign do any good if your website doesn't close sales? Do you know what the conversion rate of your site is? Have you thought about the intermediate steps (micro conversions) consumers may take on your site before they purchase?

When you start to wonder why you are seeing decreasing returns on your online marketing campaigns, start asking yourself these questions. Stand there, think, address these issues and then watch your conversion rates start to tick up, and your ROI start to increase. Imagine how much more money you could make and how much more competitive you could be if your conversion rate increased from 1% to 2% - an increase of 100%.

You've probably also noticed that the battle for search placements (organic & paid) is heating up. Think of the search arena as a decorative vase that will eventually be filled. First you "fill" the vase with some rather large precious stones. Since they are all different sizes and shapes, there is a lot of space between them and still more room in the vase. You proceed to put in smaller and smaller decorative stones until finally you fill out the vase with sand and maybe even water to completely fill it.

As first you started targeting very general keywords in your SEM campaigns and didn't bother with the ones that only got a few hundred searches per month. Marketing was about mass advertising, why waste time on something that relatively few people search for? Now that everyone and their grandmother knows there is gold in the search results, you need to start pouring in the sand, get more granular and focus on the specific keywords that represent exactly what consumers are looking for and present them with the products, service, or information on your site that match what they are looking for. Before you can do this and generate the highest ROI, you need to understand who your consumers are, what needs they express through search and how they want to buy.

Read this book. Stop, think, brainstorm, and plan. Upfront. It may take a while. You'll be glad you did when you see the returns start coming in. YOU'LL probably FEEL better when you start to do it right, reduce your stress level and feel you're doing something that will actually have a positive affect on your business instead of just going along with the herd.

Ironically, though the focus of this book is in large part about delivering on the expectations of your customers, Amazon shipped one with ripped pages. The jacket says there is a CD and $50 credit for Yahoo! Search marketing. Neither was included.

But then the authors sent out a comped new mint copy. Thanks guys!
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