Pay Attention Damn it!

Tonight is the 3rd and last presidential debate for the 2012 election.

When I was in college one of my room mates was a national competitor in debating.  I want to say he was a national champion but not sure that was true (hell why let facts get in the way of a good story)…  So anyway my room mate, who was a national champion at debating would ask the rest of us to practice with him.  On occasion,  as I remember it,  I gave him a good run for his money.  But you would have to ask him.

I really enjoyed it and looked forward to it.  The experience of doing that is something I feel still helps me today. Not just in general but also marketing:

Check it:

Preparation – Write down 5 bullet points of messages you want to get across to make your argument.

Diversion – When you are asked a question,  greet the person, tell them what a awesome and important question it is, then move on to make your point.

When you watch the debate tonight:

Write down each question when its asked.

Pay attention to the greeting,  the diversion,  and the stump speech.

When they are called out on not answering the question what do they say? –  “Well I will answer your question if you will let me talk”.

When they are done look at your paper.  Did they definitively answer the question ?

Have you ever seen Matt Cutt’s speak?  He is VERY good at this.  Try to find some sessions where he is asked direct questions about a website.  He will talk about what a good question it is,  how important,  then talk about a remote example of exactly what the person brought up….   and when all is done the audience walks away feeling they got a great amount of “inside info”.   LOL.

Ok so how does this apply to marketing or specifically internet marketing… or better yet YOUR PRODUCT?


You can do exactly the same thing on your FAQ page.  Have a difficult question that most people ask…


Q-  How much carbon dioxide is there in your ACME Widgets and can they kill me?  – Betty Johnson  Moline Illinois

A-  First of all thank you for asking Betty.  That  is a very important question.  Its actually the same question that we require each of our inspectors to ask themselves as our ACME Widgets come off the line.  Our competitors like to say that they have the highest safety standards but the truth is we are the only american made Widget.   There is no other Widget that is 100% made in America.

There you go.  Did I answer the question?  NO!  Did I get my up on a podium and give you a great reason to buy my product? YES.

So watch the magic tonight.  Or the next time you see Matt Cutts speak ;).