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Are you unrealistically optimistic? Most marketers are, and it is not particularly healthy. Think about it: a marketer’s job is usually focused on generating leads. About great design. Attracting attention. Building. It’s other people who have to worry about delivering the product or service, headcount, logistics, and the vagaries of technology. The marketer merely needs to communicate a message of we’re great to the right audience at the right time.

Unfortunately, this optimism can get in the way of an honest appraisal of marketing disqualifiers: the factors that hinder – or reverse – the development of a positive relationships. Some examples:

  • A bad first experience
  • Spammy emails
  • Overly aggressive business development/sales processes
  • Poor service or product quality
  • Missed deadlines
  • Inaccurate (or surprise) invoices

When even one of these occur, the relationship becomes weaker, imposing a costly impact on the organization:

  • Reduced engagement
  • Poorer retention
  • Negative Social Media “buzz”
  • Diminished brand
  • Fewer referrals
  • Negative impact on internal culture

These factors are all dead weight that any future marketing initiative must fight against.  No matter the brand promise, if a prospect is thinking “Yes but”, marketing effectiveness is diminished. This is the powerful law of unattraction.

This week’s action plan: Effective marketing requires marketers to temporarily suspend their optimism, and ask one simple question: What is unattracting us from our target? And then work just as hard to address these blemishes as they do on “traditional” marketing activities. Only when this is done, can the marketing investment fully pay off.   This week, identify your organization’s most unattractive feature, and begin the work  to fix it.

Marketing Insight:  With so much effort spent on attracting the “new”, existing relationships are sometimes taken for granted.  Relationships, however, never stay the same: an ignored relationship grows weaker over time, not stronger.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders


Domain names – how many is too many?

by Randall Craig on February 13, 2015

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Marketing, Web

Tagged as: , ,

In the olden days, domain names were easy.  Take your brand, add dot com (as in and you’re done.  Those of us who didn’t want to fight the squatters also registered the dot net and dot org versions:,  And of course, you might want to register your brand under a national domain:,  And then there are a bunch of interesting country domains that might prove interesting beyond the geography:  RandallCraig.TV comes to mind.  And how about registering domains with deliberate misspellings, just in case? perhaps?

Finally, there are now hundreds of other specialized domains that are available.  Here is the question: when are there too many?  Or perhaps a more useful question: what criteria should you use to determine whether to register your brands with their own domain?  Consider these five criteria:

  1. Squatters: Is it likely that someone else will “squat” on the name?  The annual cost of a domain name is far cheaper than the hassle of wresting control from someone else – even if you are in the right.
  2. Competition:  Are you competing with someone else who has the same (or very similar) name?  If so, it might make sense to register as many possible domains with your name – if you don’t, they will.
  3. Reach: Is it possible that someone in your target audience might try to use the domain to reach you?
  4. Special Content:  Might the domain be used to house (or redirect to) a special purpose page or microsite?  For example, a .TV domain that redirects to your YouTube channel?
  5. Cost.  Registration on every domain that exists can easily reach into the thousands of dollars annually.  Is there a better use of the funds?

This week’s action plan:  Create an inventory of your brands and the domains that are registered against them.  If you just have .com/.net/.org registered, then it may be prudent to register a number of others – but test each against the criteria first.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

 Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders


Exceeding Expectations

by Randall Craig July 18, 2014
Thumbnail image for Exceeding Expectations

Two people walk into the campground office. The park ranger warns that there are bears – and that it is dangerous. The first camper quickly replies – “that won’t be a problem”. The ranger says, “I hope you can run fast – very fast”.  “Not really,” the camper replied. “But I am faster than the […]

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The Social Benchmark

by Randall Craig April 12, 2011

In your professional field, who is the best at what they do? Chances are, you didn’t name yourself. This is not surprising – between personal modesty, and our competitive instinct to look over our shoulders, we will usually make the comparison to others. Management experts will tell you this is wrong; that the correct approach […]

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