Welcome to Marketing Mondays.

Over the weekend, I've been subject to someone using my photo as a Google ad for a phishing scam. It's still going on. More on this later.

Here's the scoop this week!

  • 'Conditioning' your customers – How to be there during the moments when they need your product.
  • Someone used my photo for a scam – And what to do if that happens to you.
  • New course on redefining work – By the Seth Godin.

🧠 Successful brands conditions their customers

In 2021, I rescued a dog from SPCA. When I first brought him home, he pooped everywhere at home. Ugh.

I bought dog treats to train him. Every time he did what I wanted (e.g. poop outdoors), I would reinforce his behavior by feeding him treats. Today, he no longer poops indoors. Yay!

Say hello to Rufus. The day I brought him back from SPCA.

Now, dog treats usually come packed in plastic. Here's the usual treat process: I rustle the bag, ask him to sit, and give him a treat.

Over time, something happened. My dog became conditioned to the sound of plastic.

Plastic rustling = treat.

All I have to do today is rustle a plastic bag – and he comes running to me, salivating all over. Rufus became conditioned to the sound of plastic.

Classical conditioning or Pavlovian conditioning – teaches us that consistency is a powerful tool to create associations with a brand. We can condition our customers by consistently associating our brand with positive emotions – leading to more sales and loyalty.

A great example of this? Coca-cola

All of Coke's ads are about celebration. Essentially what they are doing is associating their drink with celebrations. So whenever you have a celebration – you bet someone will buy a bottle of Coke.

See video below: Why does Coca-Cola spend millions on ads like this? To create associations!

All brands take advantage of Pavlovian conditioning to market their products. They associate themselves with what they would like us to associate them with.

Just like how I accidentally associated the sound of plastic with treats for my dog.

What are you associating your product/service with?

📹 Video takeaway of the week:

The best marketing does not feel like marketing. And the best way to promote your brand in a community is first be part of the community. Never hard sell in a community.

I chatted with Daniel Cerventus last year about the need to build communities, and how to market your products in one.

As the owner of one the largest entrepreneur Facebook communities in Southeast Asia, Daniel shared some serious insights during our chat.

Watch: How to build a successful community
Join: The Daily CMO community

🏴‍☠️ Someone plagiarized my photo for an ad.

Over the weekend, I received a load of messages from friends:

Hey bro, are you working with Randstad?

Apparently, an ad has been popping up all over YouTube with my face in it. Nice!

Only that I'm not the one running the ad. I don't work with Randstad. Plus, the ad was actually impersonating Randstad – tricking people into providing their sensitive information.

Here's the phishing Google Ad:

Thank you friends, for notifying me.

You think these things won't happen to you – until it does.

Well, there's no real damage done... at least to me. But of course, I wouldn't want to be associated with a scam ad. (Read Pavlovian Conditioning above).

Here's what to do if your photo was misused as an ad.  

  1. Check the ad using Google Ads Transparency Centre or Facebook Ads Library.
  2. Report the ad to Google. On Facebook, you can find the ad in Ads Library and report it from there.
  3. Contact the company and insist they remove your photo.
  4. Want to go further? Get legal help and sue them for privacy violations.

What a week. Life is so colorful.

⭐️ Nuggets.

  • Out of ideas for your ad creatives? Sign up for free on MagicBrief to get instant inspiration from the best ads.
  • Last week, I helped a client move his WordPress site to WPX hosting. In my opinion, they're the best-managed WordPress hosting for one big reason. Their support chat (sales & technical) is literally instant. Go try it here.
  • Wanna see some of the highest-valued websites in the world currently? Check out this list on Flippa.
  • Check out Google AI which could potentially change the way we advertise on Google Ads below:

📝 [Free Course] Choosing to do our best work

Seth Godin, a marketing strategist and thought leader, just dropped a new course on Linkedin.

The course will provoke your thought process as Seth goes through 5 principles to re-envision what work and leadership can be. The course isn't long  (just 30 minutes).

Access: Get a 1-month free access on Linkedin Learning

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