Friday, January 11, 2008

Marketing Non-profits

Yesterday the Advertising Federation of Fort Wayne had our monthly meeting and the topic was Marketing Not-For-Profit Organizations. Thanks to all who came, (nearly 80) and here is the link to our guest speaker, Chris Houchens.

Seth Godin blogged about the subject this week too:

I gave at the office

Mark Rovner has an insightful post about the current state of fundraising and non-profits.

The short version: most big charities are based on direct mail fundraising, and as you're read here before, direct mail is dying. What to do?

I'll start with the bad news: I despair for most of the top 50 non-profits in the US. These are the big guys, and they're stuck. Unlike the Fortune 100, not known for being cutting edge in themselves, the top charities rarely change... if you're big, you're used to being big and you expect to stay big. That means that generation after generation of staff has been hired to keep doing what's working. Big risks and crazy schemes are certainly frowned upon.

The good news is this: the Internet is not a replacement for direct mail fundraising. It is, in fact, something much bigger than that for just about every non-profit.

As soon as commerce started online, many non-profits discovered lots of income from their websites. This was mistakenly chalked up to brilliant conversion and smart marketing. In fact, it was just technologically advanced donors using a more convenient method to send in money they would have sent in anyway.

The big win is in changing the very nature of what it means to support a charity. The idea of "I gave at the office" and of giving money in the last week in December speaks to obligation. Many people donate to satisfy a guilty feeling, or to please a friend. This doesn't scale. Not one bit. It's super easy to ignore a direct mail solicitation when all you have to do is hit delete and no one notices.

The big win is in turning donors into patrons and activists and participants. The biggest donors are the ones who not only give, but do the work. The ones who make the soup or feed the hungry or hang the art. My mom was a volunteer for years at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, and there's no doubt at all that we gave more money to the museum than we would have if they'd sent us a flyer once a month.

The internet allows some organizations to embrace long-distance involvement. It lets charities flip the funnel, not through some simple hand waving, but by reorganizing around the idea of engagement online. It means opening yourself up to volunteers, encouraging them to network, to connect with each other, and yes, even to mutiny. It means giving every one of your professionals a blog and the freedom to use it. It means mixing it up with volunteers, so they have something truly at stake. This is understandably scary for many non-profits, but I'm not so sure you have a choice.

Do you have to abandon the old ways today? Of course not. But responsible stewardship requires that you find and empower the mavericks and give them the flexibility to build something new, not to try to force the internet to act like direct mail with free stamps.

Sphere: Related Content

More on using the web 2.0

Check out this article from Talent Zoo:

marketing moxie

Not a Fad, a Way of Life
David Parmet
Founder, Marketing Begins At Home, LLC.

You've probably heard a lot about social media. You're wondering if this blogging thing is a fad. And you should be wondering if this has any impact on your career.

Read the rest here.

Sphere: Related Content

They said I needed a website...

Well, they were partially correct. What you need is what the Internet can do. And that is provide connections. Interactive, updates, information people want and value, the ability to communicate back and forth, these are things that people want in real life when dealing with a company, and your presence on the web is just a tool to provide another way for people to connect, or an extension of your business.

A static website, is like a lonely ad in the phone book. The folks that run a website called The Church of the Customer have an example of how this can work:

Attraction method #1

The other week, my friend Christine stopped in to HomeMade Pizza. It's a 20-store Chicago pizzeria that makes gourmet pizzas but you bake them at home.

While paying, Christine filled out the store's (optional) customer contact card. The next day, this email arrived in Christine's inbox:


My name's Mike and I'm the Manager at HomeMade Pizza Company in Evanston. I just wanted to thank you for choosing HomeMade. The way we figure it, there are a whole lot of places you could've tried for dinner, so we really appreciate the fact that you went with us.

And if you get a chance, we want to hear what you thought. Do you have any questions or comments about your HomeMade experience? Any rants or raves? Whatever it is, let me know. Feel free to give me a call here at the store, or e-mail us at [note: I'll save them from the spambots].

Thanks a lot for trying HomeMade. I hope to see you again soon!

Unlike most emails from companies to customers, Mike wasn't selling or promoting. He was attracting. He was following the first tenet of evangelism: customer plus-delta. Gather customer feedback. It's anti-selling, which makes it magnetic.

Christine sent a quick note back to Mike, saying she loved the pizza and the store experience. The next day, another email arrived, this time from a HomeMade vice president.

Hey Christine -- I just wanted to thank you for your nice email to Mike! Bottom line is, we're really glad you finally had a chance to stop in and, of course, I'm even happier your guys enjoyed everything -- fantastic! Glad you're planning on coming in again, too -- we'll be looking for you soon.

And keep in touch -- if you ever have any questions/comments/suggestions, we'd love to hear them -- we want to make sure we're keeping you happy.

Thanks again for the great feedback Christine, we really appreciate it!

Best -- Shane

Two emails from busy company people with a lot of responsibility who didn't hide behind a cloak of corporate invisibility.

Nor did they sell. Not one offer. Or one promotion. Or one tout of greatness.

Total attraction.

Posted by Ben McConnell on January 10, 2008

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Changes in the Advertising World

A friend of mine sent me to this website that has some old print ads. Take a look of you want to see where we have come from in the advertising business.

Here's a couple samples:

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's really this simple

John Potter of the Radio Advertising Bureau has come to town a few times and done some training for some of our new sales staff over the years. John wrote this in an email that R.A.B. members can receive and it is excellent advice no matter what you are selling:

Sales Tip from the RAB Training Academy: Why Prospects Buy

By John Potter, VP/Director, RAB Radio Training Academy

Do not expect prospects to buy because you want them to. Think about why prospects say yes to you. Here's a short list:

1. They like you (relationships are important).

2. They believe you understand their needs.

3. They trust your recommendations.

4. The price is within reason.

5. They think you can help them make more money than they spend.

It's all about focusing on the prospect.

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Top 10 List For You For 2008

Just when I thought I was done with the "new year resolution" type of list on how to "be better in 2008", comes this email from Jim Meisenheimer, with his list. I appreciate his down to earth, real and practical approach. I've downloaded his free stuff, bought some of other stuff and used it in real life. So here you go, even if you pick 1/2 of the ten, you'll be better off:

Fast Start Selling Tips For 2008

Here are 10 selling tips you can use throughout 2008 to win more business and have more fun.

1. Create a Target 25 list of your your top supporters and champions. These people love you! These supporters can be friends, family, business contacts etc. Be sure to contact them every month. You can call them, send them a note, send them a post card - just stay in touch at least once a month.

2. Establish specific written goals with specific timelines for your 10 biggest customers and your 10 biggest sales prospects. This is what the best of the best do - shouldn't you?

3. Develop a creative follow-up plan. For example every time you meet a potential customer for the first time send them an e-mail within 24 hours. Three days later send them a hand written note confirming your next meeting. You can also send them another handwritten note clipped to an article they might enjoy reading. This simply says you care.

4. If you don't already have one, prepare and practice a new elevator speech. Remember - your elevator speech answers the question, "What do you do?" You are a walking billboard and you must look good and also sound good.

5. Make a copy of a blank check. Date this check December 31, 2008. Make it payable to yourself and write how much money you want to earn this year on the check. Then sign it. Then get three copies laminated - one for your briefcase, one for your car, and one for your home office desk. Be sure to give yourself a big raise - you deserve it.

6. Plan at least three family vacations ASAP. Schedule them now so you can lock in good prices. It also gets the dates on your calendar. Don't forget to send your manager an e-mail with your scheduled vacation dates.

7. Visit these ezine directories monthly to see the latest sales tips and selling techniques. These are two fabulous resources for entrepreneurs and professional salespeople. and

8. Set a specific goal, in writing, to be the top sales representative in your company. Why settle for mediocrity when superiority is within your grasp? Just go for it!

9. Most people don't get serious about retirement planning until they're about to retire. That's just stupid. Save 20% of what you make, it only hurts when you start. One of the best ways to build wealth, certainly not the only way, is to give the dynamic duo - savings and compounding a chance to work over an extended period of time.

10. And finally, enjoy the journey. When the train stops - you'll be dead and buried. So you may as well enjoy the ride. I know that's easy to say and hard to do.

You have my best wishes for a healthy, happy, and of course prosperous 2008.

Enjoy the journey!

Sphere: Related Content

I thought this was weight loss season...

Typically after the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts come the New Year resolution to shed some poundage. This week however comes word that Starbucks and Krispy Kreme are doing their darnedest to keep us chubby despite their healthier menu items (it's still a donut, not a carrot) by revamping their game plans as mentioned in the articles below from MediaPost.

News Brief
Krispy Kreme CEO Replaced By Board Chair
Tuesday, Jan 8, 2008 5:00 AM ET
KRISPY KREME DOUGHNUTS CEO DARYL Brewster has resigned and is being replaced by board of directors chair James Morgan.

Brewster came on board in March 2006, assigned to turn the company around. But allegations of mismanagement, healthier food trends and tougher competition have caused the company to struggle. Quarterly sales were down in December.

Also on Monday, Krispy Kreme said all of its products sold in the United States now have zero grams of trans fat.

--Nina M. Lentini

Starbucks Slows Ship, Begins Return To Safer Harbor
by Nina M. Lentini, Tuesday, Jan 8, 2008 5:00 AM ET
AS HE TOOK BACK THE reins as Starbucks CEO on Monday, chairman Howard Schultz admitted that much of the company's problems have been self-induced, and promised Wall Street that it will "revitalize the romance, theater and warmth of experience" that made the company famous and successful. Out as CEO was Jim Donald, who the company said is leaving.

In a conference call with analysts on Monday, Schultz noted that the Starbucks brand has been eroded by rivals that have been able to copy a lower-profile experience that Starbucks has settled for over the past several years.

In fact, it was last Valentine's Day that Schultz issued an internal memo to Donald, which was leaked, that criticized the "watering down of the Starbucks experience and what some might call the commoditization of our brand."

Monday's news comes hours after rival McDonald's announced that it will launch Italian-style coffee bars serving the very fare that will allow it to directly compete with Starbucks.

Schultz said the switch in focus and the replacement of Donald as CEO is not a response to McDonald's recent announcement or to the rising costs of commodities. "The roots of this change precede the holidays," he said. "These steps don't address current trends, but position us to stay ahead in the future by remaining unique."

Schultz and other company executive declined to answer some specific questions, referring analysts to the company's planned quarterly conference call on Jan. 30.

Schultz served as CEO from 1987--when he bought the company after serving as director of operations and marketing for five years--to 2000. During that period, the company went public in 1992 and enjoyed exceptional U.S. and international growth. From 2000 onward, in his role as chairman, Schultz focused on the company's global strategies and expansion, which now include a growing presence in 43 countries.

"We have gotten a little soft," he told analysts on Monday, promising to bring "courage, curiosity and commitment to do things that haven't been done before."

Some industry observers could see this coming. Gerry Khermouch, executive editor of Beverage Marketer's Insights, wrote in the newsletter's Jan. 4 issue that one trend to watch in 2008 is "fast-feeders trying to edge further upscale vs. Starbucks and fast-casual chains. In that sense, paranoia is a healthy thing."

Nina M. Lentini edits Marketing Daily. Email her at

(By the way, I knew about the upcoming McDonalds Coffee competition due to them being one of my clients, but I know how to keep my mouth shut.)

Sphere: Related Content

Another local marketing blog that makes sense.

While I was catching up on my reading during lunch today, I found this blog by Anthony Juliano, who is a part of the Asher Agency here in Fort Wayne. I've spoken with Anthony on a couple of occasions pertaining to us doing business together (His Clients, My Radio Stations), and I want to promote his blog as a resource for ideas and insight. After all, this is all about Collective Wisdom.

Click here to go there.

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, January 07, 2008

Online shopping numbers for 2007

Now that Christmas is over, I have some numbers regarding the growth of on line shopping.

Yes, it is growing due to the savings of time and money (usually no sales tax). Take a look:

Monday, January 7, 2008

Online Holiday Sales Up 20%, Total Retail Almost 5% Over Last Year

According to an update from comScore, Inc. for the 57 days of the 2007 holiday season (November 1 - December 27, nearly $28 billion has been spent online during the season-to-date, marking a 19-percent gain versus the corresponding days last year.

2007 Holiday Season To Date vs. Corresponding Shopping Days in 2006 Non-Travel Retail Spending (Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations (Billion $)

Holiday Season to Date



Pct Change

November 1 - December 27




Thanksgiving Day (November 22)




"Black Friday" (November 23)




"Cyber Monday" (November 26)




"Green Monday" (December 10)




Source: comScore, Inc.

comScore Chairman, Gian Fulgoni, said "...we continue to see some relatively strong online spending days... the day after Christmas saw online sales of $545 million, more than double the sales on the same day last year... indicat(ing) that consumers were... able, to take advantage of... late-season promotions and price discounts offered by retailers this year."

Another means of gauging the strength of online holiday spending, says the study, is to examine the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which represents the core of the holiday shopping season. This year, there were 32-days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, compared to 31-days last year. During this period in 2007, online sales grew by 21 percent versus year ago, a full 2 percentage points higher than the overall holiday season-to-date growth rate.

2007 Holiday Season Retail Spending vs. Same Period in 2006 (Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations Billion $)



Pct Change

Black Friday - Christmas Eve




Source: comScore, Inc.

Mr. Fulgoni added "Warm weather during the early part of November took its toll on online retail sales, and played a role in holding down the growth in spending over the entire holiday season to a 19-percent rate, which is below last year's level of 26 percent."

2007 Retail Online Retail Consumer Spending (E-Commerce Forecast Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations Billion $)



Pct Change

January - October




Holiday Season (Nov-Dec)




Source: comScore, Inc. (*comScore forecast)

And, a follow-up report by Internet Retailer through December 29th, puts retail sales for the week ended Dec. 29 up 14% over the comparable week a year ago, according to the National Retail Sales Estimate compiled by ShopperTrak RCT Corp. Foot traffic to stores was up 6.9% over last year.

The late shopping push puts retail sales on track to reach the 3.6% gain in overall retail sales for the holiday season. By contrast, web measurement firm comScore Networks has projected a 20% increase in holiday online sales.

Total retail sales for the week that ended Saturday were down an anticipated 17.7% from the week ended Dec. 22, which included the busy final Saturday before Christmas, and foot traffic to stores was down 7.9%, ShopperTrak reports.

Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak, said "... on Sunday and Monday, retailers experienced the expected boost provided by procrastinating shoppers... in the days immediately following Christmas consumers flocked to stores to take advantage of post-Christmas sales and to begin redeeming gift cards... "

For Online Holiday spending from comScore, please visit here, and for the National retail estimate from Internet Retailer, go here.

Sphere: Related Content

Monday poll numbers not connected to any election

From the Fun Facts files in my email came the following:

Volume 3 Issue 1 - January 7, 2008


Champagne sales reached 900 million glasses in 2007, up 4% from a year earlier, says Impact.


Women (91%) are more likely than men (77%) to keep a paper calendar, while men (38%) are more likely than women (24%) to keep an electronic calendar, according to Whomi.


Ice cream accounts for 59.2% of frozen dessert sales, frozen novelties for 30.4%, frozen yogurt for 7.0%, and sherbet, sorbet, and water ice for 3.4%, reports Packaged Facts.


Americans eat more shrimp than any other seafood, consuming 4.4 pounds per capita annually, finds H.M. Johnson & Associates.


Adults aged 20-29 are more willing to date someone with different religious views (73%) than different political views (60%), reports AOL.

Personally, I think I drank zero Champagne in 2007, but had more than my share of shrimp to make up for it.

EPM Datafile Info:
Publisher: Ira Mayer

The EPM Datafile is an EPM Communications, Inc. service.
(c)Copyright 2007 EPM Communications, Inc.

160 Mercer Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012 | P: (212) 941-0099 | F: (212) 941-1622

Sphere: Related Content

1st Impressions, lasting consequences

From the website/blog which is where I went to get links to some freeware I needed, was this article:

How to Gain/Lose a customer in 10 seconds

Source: Doha Shawki

Customer service is extremely critical and requires attention to the smallest details. A customer service manager must realize that his job is more difficult than any other manager because he has to monitor his team very closely every day. He also has to know how to motivate his team and create a spirit that helps them delight your customers.

He also has to make sure he wins back any angry customer because of any mistake done by his team. The smallest actions can either help you gain customer loyalty or on the other hand drive your customers away. And as we all know, one angry customer can make you loose from 8 to 10 other potential customers. With a simple calculation make two customers only angry and you will automatically lose around 20 customers! That is a risk no one is ready to take.
Below I will mention some real life examples of how the smallest actions can make you Gain / Lose your customer and practically in a matter of seconds.

Bad Examples

I will start with the bad examples “How to lose a customer in ten seconds”

  1. chilis.jpgOnce I went to eat at Chili’s and my husband called for the waiter to come and take our order. As he was on his way to our table, the customer in the table next to us called for him, so he shifted to his table and got what he asked for first and then came back to us. When my husband commented that we called for him first so he was supposed to serve us first, his answer was ridiculous, he said:”he is already eating and he just wants something to complete his meal”. He did not even bother to apologize. Not only that, but in the same day they brought me the glass of juice I ordered in a glass with part of its tip broken. I took a picture of it to show it in the post!
  2. Starbucks again! I went there once and asked about the brewed coffee of the day. They wrote that it has ginger and orange flavor. I asked if it can be served without the orange and ginger flavor, and I took the most sarcastic look I ever saw in my life from the waiter and he laughed sarcastically and said: ”No, we do not add the flavor, the flavor is in the coffee beans itself” I felt he wanted to tell me: you are so ignorant. My husband asked for the shift manager and we told him what happened. He said we are sorry and gave me a paper to write my comments on the service and said that it will reach the cafĂ© management. I am not sure if it will really reach them or not but I filled it anyway!
  3. I went once to Trianon in City Center. I can’t remember exactly the name of the platter, but it was a chocolate cake with Ice cream. Both I and my husband ordered the same thing and we asked for the ice cream scoop on it to be chocolate. They brought us the two plates with Vanilla ice cream!! And when we said we asked for chocolate ice cream, the waiter did not even bother to apologize and he did not even listen well, as he took one plate only and changed it and left the other!. Not only that but he brought me an unclean fork to eat with. And again when I asked him to change it, he did not apologize, he just took it and brought me another one. And I am sure he will not report the incident to the shift manager to make sure the responsible person gets punished.

Many examples and all boil down to one thing, it is very difficult to gain a customer but extremely easy to lose one!

Good Examples

Below on the other hand are a couple of good examples where employees served their customer very well.

  1. My husband was buying some things from a nearby pharmacy. He asked for a certain type of Cerelac for our child but they told him they ran out of it. The man in the pharmacy took our phone number and told my husband that he will call once he has it. Later at night, he called and said that he has it, but it was late so I asked him to bring it in the morning. I was sure they will not send it and I will have to call to ask for it. But the next day I was surprised to receive a phone call from the pharmacy asking if I still want it and whether to send it! I was so happy to find that there is someone in Egypt who understands the true meaning of customer service.
  2. badr_ayad.jpgI went to Starbucks once and wanted to understand the difference between the different types of coffee beans they sell to buy a packet for my mother. The waiter who served me was extremely helpful; he explained all types in details. He explained also the difference between the different ways of grinding. I told him I wanted it to be closest to the Turkish coffee people drink, so he recommended one type to me. Then he explained how he can grind it for me, the Turkish way to make it suitable for a Turkish cup of coffee. Even after I made up my mind and bought the coffee pack and he grinded it for me, he explained to me that it has to be kept in its pack to stay fresh. He showed me something like a button in the pack that works on sucking away the carbon dioxide from the pack to keep the coffee fresh. That was an extra step on his side, as I already bought the pack so he was not doing it to make me buy but he was serving me right. He was very helpful and answered all my questions without making me feel that I am asking too much. He made me feel that he loves his job and wants to make his customer happy so he does his best to please him. I was satisfied enough that I was interested to know his name and take his picture to put it here in the post.

It is really a matter of seconds and you can win or lose your customer. Even if you make a mistake and make your customer angry, if you start with an apology before saying anything else it will make a lot of difference. But if you start justifying your actions or act as if your customer is asking for too much, you will lose him.

If you want to delight your customers and win their loyalty you have to do not only your best but go the extra mile.

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Are you fooling yourself with excuses?

Now that 2008 is in full swing, no more excuses, just do it. And here's advice on one of the basics from Rain Today.

Cold Calling: Why It Works And Why You Just Do It Wrong

"Cold calling; it doesn't work," you say? Well, in one sense I agree with you: there are a million ways to do it wrong and fail. Fail at something enough, and it's easy to dismiss the whole tactic. Meanwhile, case study after case study confirms that cold calling can work. And here's how it can work for you. Read More
And here's another one to get you moving in 2008:

The 'I'm Too Busy To Sell' Excuse: What It Really Means

When I hear that professionals are too busy to get out there and sell their services, I never take it at face value. The "I'm too busy" excuse translates into a number of different meanings, from feeling overwhelmed and overextended to not knowing how to close the deal. Identify the real reason, address it, and you have paved the way for more productive selling. Read More

Sphere: Related Content