Saturday, February 02, 2008

Wendy's is Better than Fast Food?

5 days ago, Anthony Juliano wrote about the demise of the Wendy's Red Wig Campaign on his SoundBite Back Blog (say that 3 times fast). In case you have no idea what the Red Wig was all about, click here and read and watch a red wig TV commercial.

The new campaign has been revealed and here's a sample:

And here's another one:

Okay, here's the problem. If Wendy's is not fast food, what is it? Here in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the 2nd largest city in the state, Wendy's IS fast food. They always have the fastest drive thru window, no matter which location I go to. If I recall correctly, they were the first in town to have a drive thru window, and that is part of why I would go there. Tasty food too.

Please make sure your advertising reflects why people choose you over your competition. It's not where the fish comes from, or the never frozen cows.... It's the food and experience.

Remember this?

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Entertainment Mindset: Movies & Radio

From my email , this story from Mediapost:

Report: Moviegoers Consume More Media
by Mark Walsh
When it comes to teens and twenty-somethings, media consumption appears to be an all-or-nothing proposition, according to new research. A report by Integrated Media Measure shows that the 13-to-24 age group splits into two distinct camps: moviegoers and non-moviegoers. Moviegoers watched television and listened to radio twice as much as non-movie lovers. - Read the whole story...

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What if the Internet Stopped?

We've all had some type of computer malfunction, even if it was our own fat fingers hitting the wrong key and losing something we were working on.

What if the Internet Stopped? Would you have a way to survive? Do you have a back up plan for doing business? Do you have back-ups of your important files?

Take a look at this story from Mediaweek, and then spend time backing up your stuff, like yesterday:

Internet Outages Hit India, Middle East
India's lucrative outsourcing industry struggled Thursday to overcome Internet slowdowns and outages after cuts in two undersea cables sliced the country's bandwidth in half. The disruption — which has hit a swath of users from Egypt to Bangladesh — began to affect much of the Middle East on Wednesday, when outages caused a slowdown in traffic on Dubai's stock exchange. AP's Matthew Rosenberg reports via Yahoo. more »

And here's another story:

AT&T Wireless Networks Disrupted

Email this Story

Jan 31, 5:27 PM (ET)

DALLAS (AP) - AT&T Inc. (ATT) said service for customers with Web-enabled wireless phones in the Midwest and Southeast was restored to normal Thursday.

For most of the day, customers could make voice calls but experienced trouble getting e-mail or connecting to the Internet with their smart phones or laptop computer connection cards, said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel.

The outage on the nation's largest telecommunications company's 3G and Edge networks began about 5:30 a.m. CST and was repaired by midafternoon, he said.

The company didn't know Thursday what caused the problem.

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Will the boys at Microsoft be yelling, "Yahoo!" in the near future?

Wednesday I speculated about the fate of Google creating a monopoly the way Microsoft has when it come to computer operating systems (Note: Alleged monopoly. Let the lawyers and courts decide that one.) My take was on the public perception of Google.

As I was searching for the logo for that posting, I read about the battle that is going on between those two companies.

Now there is news from Adweek that Bill Gates baby is trying to take advantage of the soft and struggling Yahoo! and raise the stakes in their battle with Google.

Question for you... What would Microsoft have to do if they acquire Yahoo! to compete with Google?

Here's the Adweek story:

Microsoft Bids $44.6 Bil. for Yahoo!
REDMOND, Wash. Microsoft is making an unsolicited $44.6 billion offer for Yahoo!, the Internet icon and one the best known Web portals, in a move to boost its competitive edge against Google in the online services market. The unexpected announcement Friday comes as Yahoo! and Microsoft have fallen behind Google in the race to capture online advertising dollars. The deal could also give lift to the entire technology market. The announcement sent Yahoo!'s share price up 54 percent in premarket trading, while Google fell 8 percent more »

Now, here's more #'s from

In the wake of the announcement that Microsoft has made an unsolicited bid to buy Yahoo, Hitwise’s Bill Tancer takes a look at the top web properties of the two companies, as well as rival Google’s, breaking down their respective share of US visits.

The combined market share of visits for Microsoft and Yahoo would be 15.6% of all internet visits, with Google at 7.7%, for the week ended January 26, Hitwise found.

The combined content of Yahoo and MSN properties would result in an impressive list of top sites by industry category, according to the analysis; Yahoo accounted for the most-visited sites in six categories for the week ended Jan. 26:


However, in terms of US search volume, Google accounts for 66%, whereas combined Yahoo and MSN Search volume would total 28%, according to December’s search share data from Hitwise:


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A way to pump employee morale and improve your marketing

From my email this week from the folks at Maple Creative:

Chili's Dog Tags - Clever Recognition Tactic

These "dog tags" were spotted yesterday worn proudly by our lunchtime server at Chili's in Charleston, West Virginia.

One reads: "Give Back." The other says: "Get Ready."
[Pardon the blurry, lo-res photo.]
Why was our cheerful, charming waitress wearing dog tags .. and wearing them with such pride? These dog tags, she explained, were earned. It's all part of a new employee recognition program underway at Chili's. She can earn a dog tag by completing a learning module or receiving a praiseworthy comment card (or survey) from a customer.
I've seen some really bland, ordinary employee recognition programs. Think paper certificate. Think blurb in the internal company newsletter.
Bland this is not! These dog tags are cool. Unique. Visible. Hip. I think Chili's has really struck a chord with these trendy badges of honor!
What does this have to do with marketing? It's part of "living your brand." We're going to be engaging with you in many conversations about "living the brand" over the weeks ahead. Sound good? Interested?

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This morning as I was traveling to work, the radio stations are doing non-stop coverage of the school closings, weather and road conditions, and I needed a break. I pushed the button for my local public radio station and heard the word Authenticity being used. (READ MORE)

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sales Training on the RIGHT PRICE

Jim Meisenheimer addressed this subject in his latest newsletter. You can read about his personal experience and then I'll give you some basic ways to get the RIGHT PRICE. Here's Jim:

Value Statements - Learn How To Create Value
To Avoid The Fatal Flaw in Selling

How would you like to win every sales opportunity that you work on? It would be nice work if you could arrange it. How would you like to lose every sales opportunity that you work on? No doubt, you’d like to take a pass on that one.

While neither scenario is likely, there is one quality that separates the two extremes. It’s the quality of preparation. Let me give you an example.

Eight years ago I stayed at the Vancouver Hyatt for four days. I was there for a Canadian Management Seminar on sales management. Most of my trips are shorter ones and when I’m scheduled to be away that long I’ll often try to buy a small gift for Bernadette, my wife.

There was an underground mall beneath the Hyatt. On the evening of the second day of the seminar, I decided to go for a walk and while stretching my legs, see if I could find an appropriate gift for Bernadette.

One small shop caught my eye. It was a specialty shop that sold jewelry made from a variety of gems and minerals. Naturally I was more interested in the minerals.

I walked into the store and did my ninety second browse and search tour. The shop seemed to have a number of nice and reasonably priced pieces that I was looking for. The shopkeeper saw me and said, “hello.” I returned the greeting and left soon after.

The next night I returned. I had a plan. I had identified two pieces of jewelry that I thought Bernadette would like. Before entering the store, I thought about my approach and the amount of money I wanted to spend. I also thought about the specific words I'd use.

I walked directly over to the shopkeeper. I said, “I need to get my wife a gift tonight.”

He told me to look around and call him if I needed assistance. I spotted the necklace and earrings I wanted. They were malachite, a green marble like mineral. The price was $125 Canadian. I waved for the shopkeeper. He came right over.

I asked him, “How much better can you do on the price?”

He reached for his calculator, punched in a few numbers and said he could give me a 14% discount.

Looking straight down at the jewelry, I sighed, “That's more than I wanted to spend.” I remained silent, and once again he punched more numbers into his calculator.

Finally he looked up and said, “I'll give you 20% off.” I bought the necklace and earrings and got the discount as a bonus.

I was ready to pay list price. He didn't ask, so he didn’t know.

His strategy was to talk price. It should have been to show me the value.

I was prepared and he wasn't - the fatal flaw in selling.

It pays to be prepared - in fact it pays very well!

Me again. Okay, if you are the shop owner, you need to know, before your customers ask, about what extra value, price discounts, or incentives you will give customers.

You want to create a win-win feeling. Reward your customer instead of lowering your price. In the case mentioned above, gift wrapping could have earned the shop owner 20% more.

Listen to what your customer is saying and what they mean.

What Jim wanted was the best deal. Not a cheap price. You can add value, or you can subtract dollars (and profit).

Most coffee shops I visit have high prices compared to a non-coffee shop cup of joe, but the added value is their punch card. After 10 or 12 full price purchases, I get a free drink.

How can you apply this to your business?

By the way, here's more information from Jim:

FYI - This is chapter 29 in my book titled - How To Double Your Sales Without Quadrupling Your Effort. If you like this chapter - you'll love the rest of the book.

Go here for more information:

Words of Wisdom . . .

Stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of ignorance.
William Gaddis

Learning teaches more in one year than experience in twenty.
Roger Ascham

You write a hit play the same way you write a flop. William Saroyan

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Is it Google-soft yet?

Is Google going to become the next Microsoft? I'm referring to the domination of Google and how the public, (or at the the "geeks"), reacted when Microsoft became dominate in software development and computer operating systems.

Google is on a winning streak and there are lessons to learn when it comes to marketing and advertising. First of all, most Google services are free to the user and paid for by advertisers. Gee, that's how traditional radio works too!

They even have ways for me and you to customize our web pages with search tools like the one on this page at the top right.

Here's a story from Adweek about Google:

Google Continues Search Dominance

January 29, 2008 By Brian Morrissey NEW YORK

It appears Google's competitors in Internet search have an uphill climb. New research shows how the company is putting even more distance between itself and its rivals. Efficient Frontier, a search-marketing tech provider, examined more than 17 billion impressions and 270 million clicks on search ads running through its system during the fourth quarter of 2007 and the same period a year earlier. The results show the yawning gap Google has opened with its rivals, Microsoft and Yahoo!, because it continues to attract a growing majority of Internet searches. (READ MORE)

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Chamber of Commerce jumps on the Blog-wagon!

The Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce is undergoing a metamorphosis and working on being more relevant to their members and potential members. Phil Laux, who served as the President of the Chamber for a dozen years retired at the end of 2007 and they are in the final stages of seeking his replacement.

Currently the Chamber is being run by the various department heads and moving forward. At a recent meeting (November) they unveiled their new logo and as the weeks pass they continue to do more and more to get up to speed in the fast moving business environment.

Now they have a blog. Here's their announcement from my email today:

Business Community Gets 'Daily Dose' with Chamber Blog

2007 Chamber Day photo

The Chamber announces the launch of 'The Daily Dose,' a blog focused on the Chamber, Chamber members and the Northeast Indiana business community.

The mission statement reads: "The Daily Dose is the Chamber's answer to timely, member-focused business news and content. Get your 'daily dose' of the latest Chamber happenings and information relevant to you, your business and the greater Northeast Indiana community."

The blog, currently available at will be housed on the Chamber's new web site when it is launched in spring 2008. Interested readers may sign up to receive information posted on the blog by email or RSS feed. Members are invited to post comments and create a meaningful two-way dialogue.

"The Daily Dose is exactly the right communication tool we need to help strengthen our relationship with our members," said Shannon McNett-Silcox, Vice President of Member Relations. "We are pleased to be opening the door to mutual dialogue and look forward to keeping our membership informed and up-to-date. This blog is yet another step in our Chamber revitalization process - and a cutting-edge step at that."

The term blog is a shortened form of "web log." The modern blog evolved in the early 1990s from the online diary, where people kept running account of their lives. Blogs are now widely regarded as important, interactive corporate communication tools to provide information, resources and to post thoughts and comments.

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Being a midwesterner, it has been sad seeing the demise of Sears, based in Chicagoland, and K-mart, which was headquartered in Metro Detroit where I lived 8 years.

Laura Ries has posted a commentary on her blog regarding the direction Sears and K-mart are going and why:

The Sad Saga of Sears


With the Kmart marriage going bad, employees jumping ship and a patriarch who doesn’t appear to know what he is doing, Sears is falling apart. Sears’ shares, which reached a high of $195.18 in April, fell to $98.49 on Monday as news broke that Aylwin Lewis, its president and chief executive, would step down.

With 3,800 Sears and Kmart stores, the company is still the fourth largest retailer in the U.S., but its future looks gloomy with many analysts suggesting they sell off the remaining assets for scrap.

How did it all go wrong? It is not such a mystery. A quick look at history explains the downfall of this American icon.

During the last century, Sears, Roebuck and Co. was the gold standard in the industry. Sears was the biggest, most profitable retailer in America. Hard to believe now, especially if you were born after 1985, but it is true. Sears was the “it” company of its day. The public, investors and Wall Street thought it could do no wrong.

The beginning of the end usually starts with that kind of thinking. When you think you can do anything with your brand, it all starts to fall apart.


Sears began as a mail-order catalog business back in the late 1800’s targeting primarily farmers. In 1925, the first retail store was opened and success came quickly. In particular, the Sears store-branded merchandise was a hit. After WW II things really took off. Sales hit $1 billion dollars in 1945 and doubled just a year later.

As the early explosive growth of a category slows (and it always does), a company usually tries expansion to compensate. This is the fatal flaw.

As sales of its core durable goods started to fall off, Sears started stocking more clothing to compensate. And so began the beginning of the end.

In the 1980s with sales continuing to slide, Sears sought expansion through diversification. Sears bought real estate company Coldwell Banker and stock brokerage firm Dean Witter Reynolds. Sears also launched the Discover credit card.

The purchases culminated in the now infamous “stocks to socks strategy.” Brilliant! You can buy your socks, your stocks, your real estate, your daughter’s prom dress all at Sears. Did it work? Of course not.

Expansion might help in the short term, but in the long term expansion a company unfocused. And an unfocused company stuck in the mushy middle of its category is ripe picking for competition. As an industry matures, competitors come in and steal market share from above you as well as below you. This is exactly what happened to Sears.

While Sears stayed in the middle of the department-store market, the department-store industry was diverging into two separate industries, one at the low end and one at the high end.

At the low end, Wal-Mart and Target have become big money-makers. Target has almost twice the revenues of Sears and Wal-Mart has more than 10 times the revenues. In 2006, Sears did $30.0 billion in sales while Target did $59.5 billion and Wal-Mart did an incredible $348.7 billion.

At the high end, retailers like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue are doing well as are a host of high-end boutiques.

What should Sears have done? Management-school logic would suggest that Sears, Roebuck and Co. should have either moved upscale or downscale in the department-store industry. But that’s not sound marketing logic.

Marketing logic states that once you have a strong position in the mind, you can’t change it. Therefore, the marketing answer to every problem is always the same.


When faced with a broadening of its category, Sears should have narrowed its focus and become a specialist. Instead of shifting to the softer side of Sears, the retailer should have further embraced its harder side.

The harder side is where Sears was the strongest and had the most credibility anyway. Sears was once America’s leading seller of major appliances with 41 percent of the market. That share is steadily eroding as Lowe’s, Home Depot and Best Buy take appliance business away from Sears.

The mistakes of Sears have been compounding for decades. The company kept expanding into softer goods when they should have been focusing on harder goods.

Instead of advancing into its weakness (clothing and soft goods) by buying Lands End for $1.9 billion, Sears should have been retreating to its strength in hard goods and bought Black & Decker.

And let’s not forget, Sears has some of the strongest hard-good brands in the industry like Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard. These brands could have crowned Sears as the hard goods king and blocked much of the progress Home Depot has been able to make.


But I think the final straw for Sears was Eddie Lampert’s unwise take-over. High-flying hedge-fund legend, Eddie Lampert acquired Kmart in 2003 and Sears in 2005. Combining the two struggling retailers was suppose to deliver synergy but instead brought misery.

Combining two losers doesn’t make a winner. It just doubles your problems. Sears and its owner Eddie Lampert whose fund holds 48% of the company are in deep trouble.

Eddie Lampert, a man who was once called the Warren Buffet of his generation, may have ruled out that comparison for good.

Lampert’s rise and current fall are emblematic of the recent trend of having money managers buy and run companies. The implication is that great value can be created by simply managing assets better. But nothing could be further from the truth. Managing assets usually translates into going over expenses and looking for ways to cut costs. And while saving money and cutting waste are good, those steps alone don’t make a company powerful.

What makes a company powerful? Size, strength, stock price? None of these.

What makes a company powerful is owning powerful brands. Powerful brands are brands that are singular, dominant and in growing categories.

Today, neither Sears nor Kmart are powerful brands. Bad news for Lampert and his legacy.

Warren Buffet is famous for buying the right brands on their way up. Lampert will unfortunately be known for buying the wrong brands on their way down.

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More good news for radio advertisiers

From my email from Mediapost:

Nielsen: Radio Key To Reaching African-Americans
by Erik Sass
A recent analysis of ad spending by Nielsen Monitor-Plus shows that advertisers use radio more than any other medium to reach African-American audiences. From October 2006-September 2007, they spent about $805 million on African-American radio formats, representing roughly 35% of a total $2.3 billion spent targeting the demographic. - Read the whole story..

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Phone numbers

An interesting study regarding phone numbers was released. Especially note the rise in recall when using radio.

Significantly Higher Ad Recall for Vanity vs. Numeric 800 Numbers

Advertisers can expect an 84% improvement in recall rates for vanity 800 numbers vs. numeric phone numbers shown in visual media (TV, billboard, print) - and a much more significant 9-times higher recall rate in the case of audio (radio) ads, according to a recent study.

The study, conducted by Infosurv, e-Rewards and 800response, sought to determine the consumer recall rates of vanity 800 numbers compared with recall rates of numeric toll-free phone numbers that are used in visual and audio advertisements.

Among other findings of the study:

  • Some 65% of survey respondents were able to correctly recall the vanity 800 number that was featured in a visual advertisement.
  • Over 72% of consumers correctly recalled the vanity 800 number after hearing one 30-second radio advertisement, compared with just 5% of consumers who correctly recalled the numeric toll-free number:


  • 58% of consumers prefer to dial a vanity 800 number vs. a numeric toll-free to reach a local business.


  • 94% of consumers surveyed could identify 800 as toll-free, vs. 70%, 56% & 55% recognizing 888, 877, and 866 as toll-free, respectively.


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Re inventing the Wall Street Journal

Is the WSJ a publication dealing with business and financial issues?

Or should the WSJ become less specialized on their content, and instead become a lifestyle publication?

Your answer and mine don't matter at this point, because it appears that option 2 is in play. It has been announced that the WSJ will cover sports. The New York Times reports:

Mr. Murdoch says he wants The Journal to expand nonbusiness coverage, especially in areas like politics, government and entertainment, while also making it more inviting and easier to read. Adding sports reporting would seem to fit into that strategy.

The Journal regularly covers the business of sports, but does not cover the sports themselves extensively. But in recent years, seeking more ads aimed at consumers rather than businesses, it has greatly expanded its lifestyle and consumer reporting, adding “softer” sections like Personal Journal and Weekend Journal, and a Saturday newspaper.

People at the paper who have been briefed on the plan say it is very likely that a sports page, possibly tucked into Personal Journal, will be created in the next few months. But they cautioned that it was not yet clear how often the page would appear or what kinds of articles it would contain. (READ MORE)

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Man's best friends

For your viewing pleasure, from the advertising world:

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American Heart Association's Go Red for Women

Another company has signed on. Here's the news from Mediapost that came in my email today:

News Brief
Jiffy Lube Bows Cause-Related Campaign
Tuesday, Jan 29, 2008 5:00 AM ET
JIFFY LUBE IS LAUNCHING A nationwide cause-related campaign to support the American Heart Association's "Go Red For Women" campaign.

The "Maintenance Partners for Life," running through March at 1,823 Jiffy Lube retail centers, asks customers to donate $3 to the American Heart Association. In return, they receive a Maintenance Partners for Life savings book offering $100 in savings on Jiffy Lube preventive maintenance services as well as recipes and lifestyle tips.

Customers can also receive a Maintenance Partners for Life sweepstakes scratch ticket for a chance to win prizes, including a luxury SUV filled with giveaways.

--Karl Greenberg

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Your Location is part of your Marketing too!

I had a conversation over the weekend with a friend and we were discussing the subject of location for a business. Is it better to go with low rent, and less visablity, or higher rent, and more exposure to the public.

It used to be an easy equation but now there are many, many extra factors to consider. In my town and many others, Walgreen's decided to build big stand alone stores positioned near traffic lights and include LED signage that would allow them to advertise there specials to folks who were waiting for the light to turn green.

And it worked. A survey we commissioned a few years ago showed Walgreen's was #1 in Top of Mind Awareness, and since nearly every adult will need to go to a drug store sometime in their life, this mass appeal marketing works.

I worked with a restaurant that moved to three different locations within 4 years. They are now gone. If they would have stayed put, and then expanded instead of moved, they may have grown.

So what alternatives do you have? How about expanding in a different way? Like using the tool you are using right now to read these words. Yup, the internet can allow you to expand to new customers and super serve your existing ones too.

Many Pizza Hut locations have on-line ordering available.
I can order my movie tickets on line and avoid the lines. (Too bad, I can't do the same with popcorn, yet).

What kicked off this topic was a research report in my email today that states that 41% of retailers DO NOT HAVE A STOREFRONT.

Here's the report:

Two Out of Five Retailers Don't Have a Store

According to a recent report by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), entitled "Channel Integration and Benchmarks in the Retail Industry," to be successful, retailers need to merge and synchronize all channels in terms of consistent brand message, timing, creativity of promotions, loyalty programs, and fulfillment. Quite a few retail businesses are still apprentices when it comes to cross-channel integration, concludes the study.

In 2007, notes the report, commercial and nonprofit marketers spent $173.2 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $2.025 trillion in incremental sales. In 2007, direct marketing accounted for 10.2 percent of total US gross domestic product. Also in 2007, there were 1.6 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly supported nearly 9.0 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 10.6 million US jobs.

The DMA report provides data on steps that retailers may take toward channel integration, the challenges that they meet, and strategies that they can use to address the challenges. Key findings include:

  • The absence of a brick-and-mortar store is becoming prevalent among retailers, since 41 percent of survey respondents don't have a physical store.
  • The website is the most consistently used direct marketing channel, followed by email and direct mail.
  • Mobile is the direct marketing channel retailers are least likely to use.
  • Among the survey respondents, 66 percent gather customer information from direct mail, and 65 percent gather it from the Internet.
  • About 83 percent of respondents segment their customers based on demographics, 77 percent do so based on purchasing frequency, and 76 percent on products purchased.
  • Only 33 percent of respondents provide cross-channel order fulfillment.
  • Discounts remain the most popular loyalty program, with 80 percent of respondents using them.
  • Brick-and-mortar stores (20 percent) and websites (22 percent) produced the highest level of revenue in 2007.

Eugenia Steingold, Ph.D., DMA senior research manager and the report's chief author, concludes that "To be successful, retailers need to merge and synchronize all channels in terms of consistent brand message, timing, creativity of promotions, loyalty programs, and fulfillment. To achieve such a level of integration, organizational support and restructuring might be necessary."

For additional information from the DMA, please visit here.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Fort Wayne Radio News

Just a quick note of changes on the local radio landscape as reported by the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly and delivered to my email:

Lee Tobin, current operations manager for Sarkes Tarzian radio stations WAJI and WLDE, will become general manager for the two stations later this year.

Tobin will replace Candace Wendling, current president and general manager. Wendling was with Sarkes Tarzian from 1965 to 1971, returning in 1983. She has been general manager since 1988. Tobin will assume the GM duties July 1 upon Wendling's retirement.

Tobin joined the radio group in 1985 as program director and morning-show host for WAJI. In 1993, when Sarkes Tarzian acquired WJLT, now WLDE, Tobin became operations manager of the two stations and program director of WLDE.

Also effective, July 1, Chris Didier will become program director for WLDE. Didier worked for the company between 1983 and 1986 and returned in 2000 as WLDE assistant program director, music director and midday air personality.

Congratulations to all. I worked on the air at WAJI a few years ago and every once in awhile run into Lee. I also have friends and former co-workers who work over there including Dr. Dave whom I have known since 1979!

While we compete for listeners and advertisers, we also need to stand united as radio still reaches a greater % of the population than nearly any other advertising medium, every week.

And this week, we will get the results of the fall Arbitron rating survey which is used by advertising agency to help them spend their clients money wisely.

Radio's Weekly Reach History

Year Average Weekly Reach Total Weekly Audience

2006 93% 230,417,000
2005 93% 228,910,000
2004 94% 228,211,000
2003 94% 224,649,000
2002 94% 223,253,000
2001 96% 225,568,000
2000 96% 217,491,000
1999 95% 213,478,000
1998 95% 212,520,000
1997 96% 210,320,000
1996 96% 209,288,000
1995 96% 208,123,000
1994 96% 202,351,000

Source: RADAR, Fall Survey Reports, Copyright Arbitron (Monday-Sunday, 24 Hours, based on Weekly Cume, 12+)

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Give to Get explained

I have read a couple of postings on the blog Small Fuel Marketing that discuss giving away stuff to get stuff. You can read them for yourself here.

This morning, a former co-worker of mine called me up with a referal for advertsing for a new client of his, which I appreciate. Chris is a quality individual and the company he is with has an incredible offer and as long as he sticks with it, it should pay off for him and the clients he serves.

Give of yourself:

Look around and see how you can help others. I have been asked to (and have said yes) to serving on a marketing advisory board for a local financial planning firm; serve on the board of directors and as a Vice-President of the Central Lions club in my community; serve on the board of directors for the Advertising Federation of Fort Wayne and the program committee; serve on the marketing advisory board for the area Boy Scout Council.

Previously I served for a few years as the Education Director of a local Business Networking International chapter, and before that, I chaired a safety board for a local manufacturer.

The reason for giving of my time was to help the people, or the cause that the organization was supporting.

The result has been doors opened, referals, and hopefully a good reputation for being striaght forward and honest. And when I do make a mistake, I usually get a second chance do to treating people right.

What do you give away?

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Media Multi-tasking

Gone are the days when the entire family would gather round the Television and all watch one show. I am old enough to remember those days, in the 1970's when "All in the Family" and "M.A.S.H." and "The Waltons" were on. However there were only three of us and we had three t.v.'s by 1975 in our house.

As I watch my wife watch T.V. with the remote ready to check what else is on as soon as boredom hits, I realize that there are very few T.V. shows that can claim to capture and retain their audience, and this behavior crosses all generations.

It's not just my observations but research from others that illustrate this and other media trends that are going on right now.
So, a boring commercial is more likely to be ignored, and the stakes are higher... Is your advertising breaking thru?

Here's more from my email:

Three Fourths of Consumers Channel Surf or Chat During TV Commercials

According to the BIGresearch latest Simultaneous Media Survey, the only way for people to keep up with the deluge of media options is to multitask with other media. Specifically, says Gary Drenik, President of BIGresearch, "TV's influence on consumers to purchase products declined, whereas new media options such as web radio, satellite radio, instant messaging and blogging all increased. Consumers seem to be seeking information from digital platforms while TV has traditionally been viewed as a brand building medium, which isn't providing the requisite information."

Media that can target, be timely, and deliver value to consumers, such as coupons/direct mail, radio, yellow pages, newspapers and newspaper inserts all increased in influence to purchase as consumers are looking to stretch budgets in a slowing economy.?More key findings from the study include:?

1. Regular simultaneous media consumption for online, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and direct mail is up from 1% to 35%, depending on the medium.

2. Channel surfing remains the number one regular activity engaged in during TV commercials with 41.2% doing so followed by:

  • 33.5% talk with others in the room or by phone
  • 30.2% mentally tune out
  • 5.5% regularly fully attend to commercials

3. Eating continues to be the number one activity people engage in while using media followed by doing housework, doing laundry, cooking and talking on phone.

4. Top simultaneous media used when reading a newspaper are:

  • Watch TV
  • Listen to the radio
  • Go online

5. For people listening to radio, the top three other media simultaneously used are:

  • Engage in other activities
  • Go online
  • Read the newspaper

6. Web radio usage is up in all dayparts.

7. Cable is where most TV viewing takes place.

8. The top three In-Store Promotions for influence of purchasing a product are:

  • Product Samples
  • Shelf Coupons
  • Special Displays

9. The top three Media for triggering an online search are:

  • Magazines
  • Reading an article on the product
  • TV

"Unfortunately for marketers faced with the challenges of an uncertain economy and the need to increase marketing ROI, new media options are impacting how consumers use traditional media, " concludes Drenik

More information is available from BIGresearch here.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

First Impressions and Lasting Impressions

Seth Godin wrote recently about this subject.

Make sure ALL your Impressions are positively remarkable.

It's ALL a part of your marketing.

Here's what Seth said:

The last interaction

Marketers (and high school kids) focus a lot on the first date. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

I recently had some waterproofing done in the basement. The first date was great. The company was professional and had every single element down, from their AdWords to the web site to the way they interacted on the phone and in person.

I think that stuff is pretty important, but I'm way more interested in the last interaction than I am in the first (and if you care about word of mouth, you should be too).

After they finished the job, they left my basement a mess.

Forever, my only memory of the job is going to be the mess. Forever, the only thing I'll talk about is the mess. The last interaction, in my experience, is responsible for virtually all of the word of mouth you're going to get, positive or negative.

That free muffin at the restaurant or the lollipop at the barber or the call from the Realtor a week after the house is sold and contracts are signed and the movers have left... believe it or not, it matters.

PS The waterproofing guys took the time to call me before I did this post, and that call led to a new last interaction... my bad feelings are already fading, because they stepped up and took action. More proof that it matters.

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More restaurants opening in Fort Wayne

Granite City and Chipotle are opening in a matter of days. We as Fort Wayner's are bound to check out their grub.

Every time a franchise comes to town, it makes Fort Wayne seem like a legitimate town.
At least that's the way it appears to the naysayers.

Yet, to the masses, it is the hometown originals that we want to visit and brag about, not how many Starbucks we have.

Don't just take my word for it. Read this:

Survey Finds Support for 'Buy Local' Boosted Holiday Spending at Independent Stores

As major chains report weak holiday sales, a nationwide survey of 1,382 independent retailers has found that a desire to support locally owned businesses is emerging as a factor in people's shopping choices.

The survey, which included retailers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., found that, even in a difficult economic climate, many independent retailers are holding their own and even seeing sales gains by emphasizing their local ownership and community roots.

The survey found that independent retailers in cities with active "Buy Local" campaigns reported much larger increases in holiday sales on average than those in cities without such campaigns. In the last few years, "Buy Local" campaigns have been launched by local business alliances in more than three dozen communities. Independent retailers in these cities reported an average gain in sales of about 2% over the 2006 holiday season, while those in cities without "Buy Local" campaigns saw an increase of less than 0.5%.

"People made a special effort to shop locally and were vocal about their support," one retailer commented. Another reported: "Our customers are responding to hearing this message both locally and nationally."

Eighty-two percent of the retailers surveyed said that the fact that their business is locally owned and independent matters to their customers.

The survey was undertaken by the Independent Business Forum, a newly formed network of trade associations and other organizations that represent independent businesses. Participants in the forum are working together on issues of common concern to their members.

"It's heartening to see that so many consumers understand the important role independent retailers play in their communities -- and that they are increasingly choosing to 'shop local.' Study after study has made clear that locally owned businesses have a far greater positive economic impact on their communities, contribute more to local charities, and are largely responsible for our towns and cities retaining their unique characteristics," said Oren J. Teicher, chief operating officer of the American Booksellers Association.

"Independent retailers are especially susceptible to a sluggish economy, so it is gratifying to learn that consumers are conscious that where they shop matters a great deal to their community," said Kathleen McHugh, executive director of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association.

"We're seeing the beginnings of a shift in people's shopping choices, particularly in places where 'buy local' campaigns have brought this to the forefront of public consciousness. 'Locally owned' is following in the footsteps of 'organic' as people look for ways to support a more sustainable economy and revitalize their communities," said Stacy Mitchell, author of Big-Box Swindle and senior researcher for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which administered the survey.

The Independent Business Forum plans to repeat the survey next year. The group is also collaborating on initiatives to increase public awareness of the value of locally owned businesses and to address public policy issues that affect independent businesses.

"We continue to see the power independent businesses and communities gain through local Independent Business Alliances, so it makes sense for advocates of independent businesses to organize and build on that success nationally," said Jennifer Rockne, executive director of the American Independent Business Alliance, which helped to convene the Independent Business Forum.

"NARDA is looking forward to being able to help our members as a result of information exchange with other associations that serve independent retailers. This survey is very timely in light of what we see as a challenging economic environment in 2008," said Tom Drake, president and CEO of the North American Retailer Dealers Association.

(Source: Retail Merchandiser, 1/24/08)

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Tv, Ipod, Internet and other numbers

From my email came the following:

Volume 2 Issue 1
January 24, 2008

Three in ten kids ages 6-10 (31%) use digital music players, with more than half of them (54%) owning an iPod, according to NPD.


Studios and producers typically spend $54 million in TV, radio, print and outdoor advertising to compete for Oscar trophies, says the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.


Nearly half of television viewers say they are spending more time online as a result of show repeats caused by the writers' strike, according to research firm MindShare.


Mobile entertainment company Limbo says that 78 million U.S. consumers recalled advertising messages on their cell phones in the fourth quarter of 2007.


Fans of MTV Games' Rock Band have purchased 2.5 million additional songs to play along to since the PlayStation/Xbox 360 game's Nov. 20 release, according to the publisher. The track downloads fetch between $.99 and $2.99 each.

Entertainment Marketing Letter (EML) brings entertainment/media companies together with brands. Download a free sample issue and discover how EML's twice-monthly news, reports on new marketing technologies, contacts, research and case studies can help you build exciting new promotional partnerships

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Internet Number Crunching

Beware, they have been keeping track of your instant message content!

The following came in my email this week:

Hot Topics in the NFL plus Top Web Brands, Blogs and Advertisers for 2007In anticipation of the Super Bowl, Nielsen Online provides the Top 10 Most-Discussed NFL Teams in 2007, ranked according to online messages.

Nielsen Online also provides the top U.S. online Parent companies, Web brands and online advertisers for December 2007, along with December Web traffic for popular blogs and social networking sites.

Top 10 Most-Discussed NFL Teams in 2007


Top Discussion Drivers of 2007

New England Patriots

Spying scandal, undefeated regular season

Dallas Cowboys

NFL Network coverage of Dallas Cowboys vs.Green Bay Packers game on 11/29/2007, Terrell Owens blaming QB Tony Romo's girlfriend Jessica Simpson for loss

Chicago Bears

Defeated in Super Bowl XLI by the Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

1-15 record in 2007, played in Wembley Stadium in the UK on 10/28/2007

Indianapolis Colts

Champions of Super Bowl XLI, lost to the New England Patriots in Week 9

Washington Redskins

Murder of player Sean Taylor

Green Bay Packers

NFL Network coverage of Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers game on 11/29/2007

Pittsburgh Steelers

Player Anthony Smith guarantees a win against |the New England Patriots

Atlanta Falcons

Michael Vick's legal problems with dog fighting, coach Bobby Petrino leaving

Cleveland Brown

A surprisingly successful season for the Browns

Source: Nielsen Online

Rank determined by total number of online messages for each NFL team occurring between January 1 and December 31, 2007. Nielsen Online Top 10 Web Sites by Parent Company and Top 10 Web Sites by Brand, December 2007

50.5 million home and work Internet users visited at least one of the Wikimedia Foundation-owned sites or launched a Wikimedia Foundation-owned application during the month, and each person spent, on average, a total of 15 minutes and 39 seconds at one or more of their sites or applications.

Online Viewers of Parent Companies, December 2007 (US, Home and Work)


Unique Audience (000)

Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss)










Time Warner



News Corp. Online












Apple Computer



Wikimedia Foundation



Source: Nielsen Online

A parent company is defined as a consolidation of multiple domains and URLs owned by a single entity.

Top 10 Web Brands, December 2007 (US, Home and Work)


Unique Audience(000)

Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss)










MSN/Windows Live



AOL Media Network






Fox Interactive Media












Source: Nielsen Online

A brand is defined as a consolidation of multiple domains and URLs that has a consistent collection of branded content

Top Advertisers, ranked by estimated spending, are based on data from AdRelevance, Nielsen Online's advertising research service. An impression is counted as the number of times an ad is rendered for viewing.

Top 10 Online Advertisers, by Estimated Spending, December 2007 (US)


Total Estimated Spending

Impressions (000)

NexTag, Inc.



Countrywide Financial Corporation



Sprint Corporation



AT&T Corp






Experian Group Limited



Netflix, Inc.



Low Rate Source



HSBC Holdings plc



Ford Motor Company



Source: Nielsen Online, AdRelevance

Estimated spending reflects CPM-based advertising online. Example: An estimated 3.1 billion Ford Motor Company ads were rendered for viewing at the cost of approximately $21.9 million during the surfing perio

Top 10 Blogs ranked by Unique Audience, December 2007 (US, Home and Work)


Dec-06 Unique Audience (000)

Dec-07 Unique Audience (000)

% Growth








Six Apart TypePad






























Source: Nielsen Online

Top 10 Social Networking Sites ranked by Unique Audience, December 2007 (US, Home and Work)


Dec-06 Unique Audience (000)

Dec-07 Unique Audience (000)

% Growth








Classmates Online




Windows Live Spaces




AOL Hometown




Club Penguin











AOL Community








Source: Nielsen Online

Note: Blogs and social networking sites are custom lists compiled by the Nielsen Online PR team with the help of our media analysts. While these lists are not meant to be exhaustive, they should provide a good idea of the significant players in each space.

For more information, please visit Nielsen here.

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