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Preview: Barry Feig's Hot Button Marketing

Barry Feig's Hot Button Marketing Blog

How to Market Straight to the Heart. Click on our new Hot Button Marketing Book for a free preview. Visit for our services.

Updated: 2015-11-12T12:10:08-07:00


Getting around twisty curves and making money.


The path to engineering a successful product or advertising campaign is rarely a linear affair. Like a movie, it is a series of evolving, sequential events that build upon each other. It is a winding road, full of twists, sharp...

Supersales Me! What you may not see can create major business.


The most important part of sales and new product development is something you can't see, you can't feel and you can't taste. You can't even factor it in a spread sheet -- buyer perception of your product. It's about how...

Checkpoints for success


Creating a successful product takes a lot more than creating a better product.

How One Buyer and One Store Used Intertwining Hot Buttons


For this addition to my blog, I was going to mention the first five Hot Buttons in my book, "Hot Button Marketing" but I received an e-mail about how Hot Button Marketing can help both buyer and seller. The note...

Stupid Marketing Trick for the Weekend


Actual Subject Line of of an e-mail I received: "Save thousands with unnecessary auto repairs." Yeah, I guess that's much better than paying for repairs you really need.

STUPID MARKETING TRICKS (and some smart ones too).


Please submit your stupid marketing tricks to me for publication. Okay, we're going to change the direction of this blog. Here I am waiting for my plane which is now delayed for the fifth time. Perfect time to write a...

Please submit your stupid marketing tricks to me for publication.

Okay, we're going to change the direction of this blog. Here I am waiting for my plane which is now delayed for the fifth time.

Perfect time to write a blog.

It is now 10 hours since my flight was supposed to leave. I just got back from giving a speech in China. The entire flight took 11 hours. But this is from Newark to New Mexico. Four hours, but really 10. Anyway, I'm reading the papers. looking for an available outlet for my computer and I realize that marketers do some really stupid things. For instance, the lady across from me has a Cingular phone. Only Cingular used to be AT&T before AT&T became Lucent and changed back to AT&T. So now Cingular is AT&T. Again. Bestill my beating heart, especially since my Dad has no idea who he has a contract with.

And then, of course, Sprint made the front pages by firing its customers. Really... if they complained too much, Sprint sent their noisiest customers notes saying. "we don't want your business" But did they get penalized for breaking the contracts too early,  like us commoners? Of course not. I gave up my first- born to sever my contract with a cellular "provider."  I gave up on Sprint a long ago, when I wanted a new phone. They said, "No you're too good a customer, you don't get one." Oh.

As I have often stated, The emotional appeal is where the money is. Hot button marketing is marketing to an emotional need. Let’s take water. People are going to bars and ordering Evian on the rocks. The rocks of course are made with tapwater. And did you know that Evian spelled backwards is Naïve.  One of the more popular waters is Aquafina. Do you know where it is bottled? At your local reservoir. So is Dasani, from the people who bottle the sugar water known as Coca Cola. Both speak about their amazing filtering processes that leach out bad tasting, (implied) bad for-you-minerals. But Dasani brags that they add minerals to make water taste to taste something like ... well...water.

Haagen Dazs is made in Hoboken, NJ. Do you know why it is called Haagen Dazs. Because it sounds nice. That's a good marketing trick. If they called their ice cream Hoboken's Best, that would be bad.

Just one more marketing trick. We have love affairs with our sports teams. We wear their jerseys and root for transient millionaires who don't give a damn about us. But we spend big money to wear their tee shirts. We don't root for a team as much as we root for a logo.

As Seinfield said...we're cheering laundry.

Please submit your favorite Stupid Marketing Tricks.

Next piece: American Airlines.

Hear Barry in One of His Nationwide Radio Interviews


I thought it would be helpful and sort of fun if you could hear me instead of just reading. Let me know what you think. (Click the triangle on the player below.)

Become a Hot Button Marketer


If you are an advertising agency or marketing consultant, please e-mail me for what you need to be a "Hot Button Marketing Firm" with a "Certified Endorsement." Companies will pay you for your agency pitch. Otherwise, please enjoy this blog.

Use the Nurturing Hot Button to Nurture Sales


The Hot Button of Nurturing Have you thought about your product or store as a nurturing environment? If not, than thinking about it may open up a whole new marketing venue for you. It was some time ago when I... The Hot Button of Nurturing      Have you thought about your product or store as a nurturing environment? If not, than thinking about it may open up a whole new marketing venue for you.         It was some time ago when I learned how important the nurturing need is to marketers in even the most common of product categories. I was speaking to a young woman when I developed a new kid's toothpaste for Colgate-Palmolive. Actually we weren't even trying to develop a new kid's toothpaste. We were trying to develop any kind of toothpaste that could make money for Colgate and that their salespeople could sell without a great deal of resistance from retailers or buyers. They were tired of getting beat up by Crest.      The young woman was a receptionist in our office.  We had literally hundreds of ideas and concepts pinned to the wall, focusing on taste, therapeutic appeal or anything we could add to the product.  She looked at them and said they were cute, but meaningless and insignificant, at least to her.  I asked why.      The woman said many of her friends were unwed mothers or first-time mothers. They wanted assurance and reassurance that they were providing the best of care for their children. They wanted a toothpaste that spoke to their needs and to their children's needs in a non-condescending way. So while we were exploring the world of tastes and textures, there was an unmet psychological need just waiting to be fulfilled. There was a whole segment of consumers who wanted to feel good knowing they were doing their job well. We extended the concept and found that most mothers had the same concern. Out of this project came Colgate Jr. (originally named First Brush) and a whole line of oral care products positioned to moms - for their children      Nurturing is about physical growth and emotional growth. Who doesn't smile when the commercial for a child's disposable underpants comes on and the child proudly says, "I did it myself?"   It's easy to relate to.      A supermarket can be a nurturing environment also. It's stocked with colors and shapes and forms. A magical place for kids.  It's also a space where children learn about the buying experience. Kids have product categories neatly folded in their own area and mom's area -- in the kids minds anyway. Children own the breakfast food category, and in the freezer, the ice cream and frozen novelty category. It's important to know this because by thinking of your store or product in the nurturing sense can lead you to new marketing and advertising opportunities.      But nurturing is not just for kids.      The nurturing response is one of the great pulls in life. Lucky Dog dog food, Band Aids, even Miracle-Gro plant food are sold on the basis of nurturing. Whole industries have sprung up by pushing the nurturing hot button. A big growth sector exists for high-priced dog foods that, for some reason, consumers perceive as better for their pets than massed produced dog foods with funny names.  The ads always point out the caring relationship owners have with their pets. Myself as hero       Relationships are a key component of the nurturing hot button. Seeing mom or dad as hero for choosing the product pushes the hot button. In terms of communications and selling, we can't use a deployment of the classic product-as-hero strategy.  Seeing your product as the hero -- just the way most consumer products are promoted -- can actually be a big mist[...]

The "Inner" Hot Button Marketer


There are a great many marketers out there. That's because everyone is a marketer in one form or another. The training starts young. Very young -- at birth actually when you learn to get attention by crying. It continues as...             There are a great many marketers out there. That's because everyone is a marketer in one form or another. The training starts young.  Very young -- at birth actually when you learn to get attention by crying.  It continues as you "sell yourself' to your teachers, friends and mates.  You've learned what to say and what happens when you say it.  This is a primary function of marketing.             To start with, successful marketers have different sense organs than other people in an organization. Marketers listen, keep people excited and generate ideas. Successful marketers have the ability to sniff out an opportunity that could be half a world away.  They do this by being be part of everyone's world -- even when they're not particularly wanted.  They know the pulse of their market and the heartbeat of the company the work for. Marketing Starts with the Inner Self             Marketing is a way of thinking -- not about yourself --but about the potential of the product you are marketing.  If successful marketers have one thing in common, it is the ability to become missionaries for their product. They extoll the virtues of a product or strategy to anyone who might be interested.  You're in the enthusiasm business. It's your job to create and generate excitement.  Now, you may say "I'm marketing toilet paper, who is going to be interested in that?" Ask a person who needs toilet paper in a hurry, if he's interested.  Successful marketers know that there is no stronger interest as self interest. Successful marketer think of their product in terms of their customer's self interest.             It's winning the inner game that can make a marketer stand out. Sine I've worked with hundreds of marketers, here are the traits of the best ones. Successful marketers...             1. Never see themselves as victims.  It's an easy mindset to get into, for we are a nation of blamers. When something doesn't work, we look for someone to blame. A product may not be ideal, the competition is too strong. Your salary is lousy.  These are all temporary conditions. Moses had hundreds of thousands of followers hanging on to his every word. But many people don't know that Moses had a speech defect.  There always will be negatives but smart marketers overcome almost any negative with solid marketing that puts a spin on the product and turns a negative into a selling point.             2. Think proactively 100% of the time. They locate problems before they occur, along with potential solutions. There are always going to be problems that you didn't think of when you started a strategy. Smart marketers preempt disasters by finding remedies for potential dysfunctional situations before they occur.             3. Solve problems. They think in terms of benefits rather than features. Successful marketing propositions don't start with a product, but with the answer to a customer problem.  Smart marketers know what customers want to buy and WHY they're buying them. If they don't know the driving forces, they learn them. That way there are no misdirections and expensive false starts.             4. Manage chaos and manage in chaos.  Things don't happen in order, even [...]