Curator: Marketing Placebos, Dishonest Business, and Press Release Pro Tips

Here’s our weekly roundup of business musings and muchness–curated articles of interest from around the web.

Here’s our weekly roundup of business musings and muchness–curated articles of interest from around the web.


Why All Great Marketing Contains the Power of the Placebo Effect

A placebo is, by definition, a substance that doesn’t actually provide the promised benefit — it’s not real. The placebo effect, however, is very real. Research spanning decades demonstrates that placebos (sham treatments) have resulted in true beneficial results.

According to Scientific American: “Placebos have helped alleviate pain, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory disorders, and even cancer.” The placebo effect works in very real ways because people consciously believe the treatment will work. Not only that, but the experience of being treated, even with a “fake” medication, creates subconscious associations that lead to recovery.

Belief and experience are two vital ingredients of effective marketing as well. The things we buy fulfill our expectations if belief and experience remain consistent, regardless of “reality.” (Copyblogger)


4 Ways Lying Becomes the Norm at a Company

Many of the corporate scandals in the past several years — think Volkswagen or Wells Fargo — have been cases of wide-scale dishonesty. It’s hard to fathom how lying and deceit permeated these organizations.

Some researchers point to group decision-making processes or psychological traps that snare leaders into justification of unethical choices. Certainly those factors are at play, but they largely explain dishonest behavior at an individual level and I wondered about systemic factors that might influence whether or not people in organizations distort or withhold the truth from one another. (Harvard Business Review)


Streamline Your Workflow by Assigning Tasks to Days of the Week

Switching between a number of different tasks during the day can make it hard to focus, and can make completing those tasks harder than they need to be. Instead of shifting your focus back and forth during the day, try and dedicate specific days to specific tasks. It’s an idea called context switching.

I’ve been doing it for a while now, but Fast Company called out the practice earlier this week. The idea is pretty simple: Rather than shift your focus throughout the day, group together similar tasks so that you can streaming completing them. In Fast Company’s example, a business owner used the first two weeks of the month to meet with new clients and the last two to work with VIPs. (Lifehacker)


Our Digital Lives Don’t Need to Make Us Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unwise

Fifty five years ago this month, America reached a hazardous milestone: “peak tobacco.” Men and women that year smoked more cigarettes than ever before recorded—523 billion of them. Only after four decades of slow decline – and millions of smoking-related deaths – did American culture reluctantly jettison tobacco as a symbol of social status.

Today we see another precipice on the horizon, with potentially catastrophic effects on human health. Historians and clinicians may someday call this moment “peak content.” American adults now spend over 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media—sometimes longer. That’s more time than we spend eating and sleeping. From YouTube videos to viral tweets, we are ingesting a huge volume of media, and it has consequences. (Harvard Business Review)


How to Spend the Right Resources on the Best Customers

In today’s competitive landscape, attracting — and retaining — customers is more challenging than ever. You’ve probably had a fantastic customer before and thought, wow, if only every customer could be like her. Or perhaps you’ve even considered how the differences in customer lifetime value affect your marketing strategy.

That said, analyzing customer lifetime value (CLV) can be quite complex, especially given how long converting a lead to a customer can take for many smaller or mid-market businesses. But don’t let this complexity deter you. Here’s how you can ensure your offerings enable loyal customers to add more value for your business. (Think With Google)


What It’s Like Dating as an Ambitious Woman

Because of my high aspirations (I used to tell everyone I’d be the Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue one day), my mom always said that boys were intimidated by me. I didn’t have my first kiss until I was a senior in high school, and to this day, I’ve never had a real serious relationship. (I’m 22, so I’m not exactly pushing for it just yet!)

I always brushed off my mom’s comments. At the time, I didn’t really comprehend what exactly it meant to be intimidated by someone, so I thought my mom was saying I was some scary beast terrifying men away. I also thought that I was normal. A lot of women are ambitious and career-driven. (The Everygirl)


How to “Marie Kondo” your Digital Marketing Strategy

It’s easy to say at this time of the year that we need to review and update our digital marketing strategies. It’s harder than we think though to get started. That’s why we should apply the KonMari method to our digital marketing strategy.

Marie Kondo and her tidying techniques have been popular for years but she’s recently gained an even bigger audience through Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. All of a sudden, many of us got obsessed with the art of tidying up.

We’ve realized that tidying up can be easier if you follow a structure. It can even become therapeutic by showing your appreciation to your belongings while sorting out what you really need in your life. Once you try to follow this method even in just one drawer, you want more of this in your life. And that’s why it’s time to apply her techniques to our digital marketing strategies. (ClickZ)


9 Expert Tips for Writing Press Release Headlines

When writing a press release, even experienced PR pros can get tripped up. Crafting a good headline can be a real struggle. Creating a world-class headline can feel impossible. We reached out to some of the industry’s top experts in PR, marketing and social media and asked them this one simple question: What is your No.1 proven tip for writing a press release headline? (PR Daily)



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