Your disposable lenses will cost you a lot more than £5.99.

Is the pricing on this advert misleading?

The headline price of £5.99 is shouted loud and clear. In reality, the minimum transaction cost is £13.38.

£5.99 gets you a box of 32 disposable contact lenses. But you cannot buy one box, the minimum order is, in small print, 2 boxes.

Then you have to pay £0.70 shipping per box. As stated though, you cannot buy one box. So the minimum shipping is £1.40.

This feels like a slightly more overt version of drip pricing, as some ticketing websites are accused of.

Drip pricing is a technique used by online retailers of goods and services whereby a headline price is advertised at the beginning of the purchase process, following which additional fees, taxes or charges, which may be unavoidable, are then incrementally disclosed or “dripped”. Source: Wikipedia

Daysoft advert on London Underground, 19 June 2108
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Event management clipboard and stopwatchI will soon be talking to some students about events and event management. If you have a moment, please could you help me?

#events #eventmanagement #conferences #sportingevents #musicpromotion #eventscareer

What I would like is brief comments from you about the good and the bad of events. If you work in event management, feel free to join in. My core content is mapped out, but I would love to bring it alive with your words.


Testing 1212, glossary of terms for live sound engineersOne of the best ways to get to learn the dynamics of a medium and how things work is to get involved and try it. YouTube videos, books and seminars are all very helpful but they cannot replace practical experience.

I have been running a media experiment for nearly a decade now using a glossary of terms as the content. It is titled Testing 1212 and is an online dictionary of audio terms for live sound engineers. This part of the experiment was to see how much traffic could be delivered to a site with reasonably good static content. Today Testing 1212 receives thousands of visitors a month…with no maintenance.

My second fun learning exercise was to reversion the content on Testing 1212 to create an eBook. That was pretty straightforward. The learning exercise was taking the content from Testing 1212 creating eBooks on Apple and Kindle. A few swear words later, a bit of effort and the task was complete, the content uploaded to the platforms and the eBook put on sale.

To be honest, I’d forgotten about the eBook until an email arrived telling me about royalties earned. So not only am I now a published author, I’ve got income! We’re counting this in the low pounds at the moment, so it’s not life-changing.

The reason I’m really pleased is that I’ve learned a lot through the process. The pinch points and the successes can never really be discovered from other people. I recommend you consider giving this a go with a project of your own.

I’m not thrilled with the quality of the book, it’s okay but could be better presented. That will be my next exercise, creating a 2nd edition.

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SWAG, estimating sweets in the jarI love tripping over fun acronyms I’ve not heard before.

Scientific Wild Arsed Guess, SWAG, this is ideal for those situations when someone can’t bring themselves to come up with an opening estimate, even though they’re the best-placed person to do so. Great for encouraging technical/detailed/finisher people who might be uncomfortable with the vagueness of the start of the creative process.

Also, WAG = shortened less scientific form.

And then I rediscovered this Dilbert cartoon, I think we’ve all been there!


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Ages ago someone asked me if I knew what this meant:

football in the new era… Fans drive loyalty and loyalty is rewarded on the pitch. Success drives growth and growth drives ambition . Unfortunately Fans are customers and most of us in marketing understands these values as modern day football has evolved with commercial partners looking to subconsciously connect with loyal fans or the ‘brand’.

It was a post online. I have to say that it’s double Dutch to me. Do you want to have a stab at unravelling the message? Yes? Just click on comments.

Kevin Harrington's business rules
  1. Don’t deal with tossers – there are enough great people about to work with
  2. You’ll always overestimate what can be achieved in 3 months. You’ll always dramatically underestimate what can be achieved in 3 years
  3. Create the story – people buy stories, they yawn at lists of features
  4. Ask questions – someone else has the information you need…just ask
  5. Keep talking to people – 1:1 and 1:many, face to face
  6. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you need to find some different people (or a different room or both)
  7. Remember number 1

Nothing sells like a sell-out

Years ago, I said, “Nothing sells like a sell-out.” This was an observation that demand for stock items was always lower than for out of stock products. There is some compelling logic behind this; if all vendors are out of stock, one customer might phone six different companies making the enquiry…and that was a demand of only one. If everyone was in stock of the item, only one phone call will be made (assuming all other things are equal e.g. price).

So does my statement, nothing sells like a sell-out, have any real value? I think it does. And this is where businesses can take a different position with their marketing.

If you have loads of availability, i.e. piles of stock, some customers will take the view that either a) there is no rush to buy as there are lots of them, or perhaps b) they’re not very popular.

My experience in music promotion supports this. Promoters and venues want to put on bands and performers that sell-out venues. If you are in a band that sold-out your last three shows, a promoter wants you, you are hot property. Which promoter wants a band that will only pull an audience of three?

Sandi Thom, back in 2006, pulled a blinder when she started gigging from her basement flat in London. The article in The Independent – Sandi Thom: bedroom superstar talks about her success. They haven’t mentioned a key element of her plan that really made it work…her basement gigs were a sell-out; you couldn’t get tickets. The venue capacity was only six people. In my opinion, that was the thing that made people start to watch the gigs online.

People want what others have got that they cannot get hold of. Nothing sells like a sell-out.

I’m not advocating that you should ever deceive your customers, that is wrong and a recipe for disaster. What I am saying is that highlighting shortages will help sell things. Pointing out how others have benefitted from buying has helped, oh, and we only have one left (if that is true).

This thinking edges into the area of selling exclusivity, “Only available to xxxx.”

Faced so often with abundance, those things that I might not be able to get are very seductive.

At the same time, managing availability is a big part of product management. How can you ensure you always satisfy 95% of demand? No overstocks. No expensive liquidation of end of line items.

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