Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday night Late Ones

These are from (CLICK ON THE HEADLINES):

Boomers More Traditional Online - Not into Blogs, Social Networking

People over age 40 participate heavily in word-of-mouth and value personal recommendations and expert opinions, but they have not embraced social networking or blogs despite being heavy users of other online services, according to a ThirdAge/JWT Boom study. Below, some findings from the study, which surveyed 1,800...

UK Social Network Ad Spend to Grow 148% 2008-2012

Social networking sites are on the rise in the UK and ad spending on such sites is expected to reach £285 million ($533 million) by 2012, according to eMarketer’s recently released “UK Social Network Marketing: Ad Spending and Usage” report. Some 11 million people, or...

Faster Radio Revenue Rebound in Small and Midsize Markets

While large radio markets across the country continue to struggle, small and midsize markets are showing slight gains in revenue and the promise of faster growth than the top 10 markets, according to the estimates of BIA Financial Network. The following chart shows BIAfn’s expectations...

Newspapers Mull Future amid Digital Media Boom

Newspaper companies’ digital platforms - including online and mobile - are growing at dizzying rates worldwide (in usage and revenue growth) and outperforming the traditional medium, according to the second annual World Digital Media Trends report. The report was released at the World Newspaper Congress, by...

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The Coke Story

The Biggest, Oldest, Most Recognized consumer brand on Earth.

Here's Craig Garber with the story from my email recently:

Back in the late 1800's in Jacob's Pharmacy in downtown Atlanta, Dr. John S. Pemberton used to sell a mix of sweet syrup, for 5 cents a glass, from his soda fountain counter.

(Did you grow up in a neighborhood with a soda fountain
when you were a kid? I vaguely remember my local shop, where I used to drink egg creams and read the newest Marvel Comic Books. The place was called Dave's Candy Shop and it was on Grand Avenue and 182nd street in the Bronx, across the street from my building.)

Anyway, Pemberton's business partner, Frank Robinson was
the one who came up with the name Coca-Cola and sketched the logo out in flowing script writing.

Here's something funny: Right after they came up with the
name, for the next 8 months, only 13 drinks a day were sold, on average.

Perhaps because of this, when Pemberton
was in need of cash because of some health problems he was having, he sold a two-thirds interest in the recipe for his syrup, for $1,220, along with the sole right to manufacture the syrup. Then, when he died, his son accepted an additional $500 for the family's remaining interest.

The buyer, Asa G.
Candler, was a man who'd come to Atlanta fifteen years earlier, with only $1.75 in his pockets.

Candler was a big believer in advertising, and registered
the Coca-Cola trademark in 1893... and subsequently began giving away thousands of complimentary coupons for fre.e glasses of Coke. He also had big promotional giveaways, awarding souvenir fans, calendars, clocks and other novelties. And this is what started the big machine. Giving away samples -- the age-old "try before you buy."

A few years
later, Howard Candler, Asa's son, took a jug of the syrup on vacation, when he was visiting London, and he received the first international order for five gallons of syrup.

Last year, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company alone (there are
literally dozens of publicly traded related companies) did over $1.5 Billyun in gross sales.

Some other Coke trivia: In 1926, the company president,
Robert Winship, created the first six-pack bottle carton. Packaging Coke in cans then began in 1955.

Coke's such a
well-known brand, that when the first Apollo astronauts came back from their flight, the signs in Times Square flashed "Welcome back to Earth. Home of Coca-Cola."

What's your story?

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S. You know how Coke got started -- here's how I got started:

If you enjoyed this, pass it on to a few of your friends and business associates, and if you have any comments about this message, it's important you leave them right here on my blog:

(c) Copyright, Craig Garber & 2008 Craig Garber (R)
3959 Van Dyke Road #253 Lutz, Florida 33558 USA
813-909-2214 Phone
954-337-2369 Fax

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Using Demographics

Wisdom from the folks at Small Fuel:

SmallFuel Marketing Blog

Marketing by Numbers: How Demographics Can Help (and Hurt) Your Marketing

marketing by the numbers
When you’re making the decision of how to spend your marketing budget, you don’t want to pour money into a campaign you haven’t planned out carefully.

Advertising in the wrong place, at the wrong time, or to the wrong people could cost you more than you realize – not only in lost sales but in lost time and market share. In order to keep risk low when it comes to spending, many businesses use demographic information to craft a highly targeted campaign in hopes of getting the highest return from their marketing dollars.

On the surface, demographic marketing seems like a perfect fit for the savvy marketer; simply segment the population by defining characteristics such as age, race, gender, income, or geographic location and you’ll get a better feel for how to design a message that resonates with that group and converts more effectively.

But as with anything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to every strategy. Understanding both sides of demographic marketing will help you become a better marketer.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.

Strength In Numbers: Protecting The Bottom Line

Marketers all over the world have relied on demographic information for a number of reasons, but possibly the strongest one of those reasons comes down to cost savings. Since marketing budgets heavily depend on their return on investment, demographic data allows you to get more for your money by spending only on the specific group of people who buy your product. You can benefit from even the simplest information, like that from free services such as the MSN AdLab Predictor.

For example, if you are selling a high-end luxury sedan, your primary target market is likely to be affluent professionals between the ages of 35 and 55. Accordingly, this allows you to filter out any media outlet that does not cater to that age group and helps you focus your funds on the outlets that your target market is more likely to be paying attention too. Keeping your market segment tightly defined can help you use your budget to advertise in multiple outlets so your brand gains more credibility simply by being seen in multiple places.

Tailoring Your Message: Talking To My Generation

Another advantage to factoring demographic data into your marketing campaigns is that it helps you define the voice and tone of the messages you send to your target market. Let’s say that you discover that your age 35-to-55 luxury sedan buyers are actually composed of two subgroups – one set of people who came into money fast via high-tech jobs and another which earned it slowly over time, the old fashioned way. It’s probable that both groups, even though they fall into the same age window, will respond very differently to your message.

The fast-track affluent may resonate with edgier, faster-paced advertising that emphasizes “having it all,” while the slow-and-steady earners may appreciate a more subdued message that focuses on enjoying luxury because “they earned it.” For this reason, it is important that you take the time to break down your market segments into their relevant subgroups, and be aware of which media outlets serve which audience by using services such as Quantcast. By using that demographic data to tailor the target-appropriate message to each audience, you can increase the conversion rate for both campaigns.

These two examples highlight the power of using demographic data to build targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to capture your potential customers’ attention.

However, relying on the raw numbers makes it easy to miss another critical aspect of marketing: understanding the behavior and triggers that caused your prospects to buy in the first place.

Missing The Forest For The Trees: Behavioral Marketing

As powerful as demographic data can be, it doesn’t tell the whole story – it gives the “who,” but not the “why.” That “why” is a critical factor that has the potential to take your marketing ROI through the roof, but it can easily be missed by focusing strictly on the numbers that your demographic data gives you. The reason for this is a common misconception that demographic information is predictive – that is to say that matching the demographic is a good indicator that a sale will take place. In other words, it is like saying “60% of our buyers are 35 to 55, so if we just target that age group, we’ll get a lot of sales.”

But in reality, demographic information is not predictive – it is suggestive. What this means is that all you can infer from this data is that it suggests a potential for action based on a data-driven profile – in other words, “We notice that a lot of our buyers are age 35 to 55,” and that’s all. You may get your luxury sedan’s ads in front of thousands of 35-to-55s and be left scratching your head as to why you didn’t get the buy-in you expected, all because you were dealing with data that suggested possible behavior rather than predicted likely behavior.

So if demographic data is not predictive, than what is? The answer to that question is so simple that many people miss it: past behavior is the ultimate predictor of future behavior. You already know this in other arenas of marketing – for example, you know that existing buyers are easier to sell to than unsold prospects. Why? Because behavior itself is predictive by nature. What someone has done in the past, they are likely to do again.

Given that, you may be surprised at the results you get if you move past demographic marketing – that is, marketing that luxury sedan to 35 to 55-year olds – and focus more on finding outlets that broadcast to existing owners of those sedans and market to them. You may even find that the answer transcends the demographic itself. Imagine discovering that age isn’t actually the predictive factor that boosts your sales at all, and that it turns out to be something behavior based, such as finding out that people who buy and sell stock are more likely to buy luxury sedans. Now the power of behavior-based information becomes clear.

Finding The Balance: Combining Both Approaches

There is nothing wrong with using demographic data as the basis of a marketing campaign – in fact, it is a time-tested strategy for narrowing the scope of where you spend your marketing dollars. But once you have that general level of information, it is time use it to generate the kinds of behavior-based questions that help you understand why people in a particular demographic spend their money.

Use the power of suggestive data to lead you to predictive patterns. If you do this properly, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to connect with people who will become your powerful repeat customers in the future.

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Ads for Inspiration

Weekend Clickable Advertising Fun!

by Amy Corr

AMP drinkers walk without shame. Té Casan shoes come and go. Would you pay $65,000 for a bed? Let's launch!

The Wizard of Oz works for the government? Explains so much. Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion seek knowledge from the all-knowing Wizard, who gets his information online at The Wizard helps each character find what they're looking for in the PSA: Dorothy wants to go home (passport information), the Tin Man needs a heart (Medicare tips), the Scarecrow wants a brain (student loan information) and lastly the Wizard finds himself a new government job once his charade is revealed. Watch the ad here. "There's no place like," reads a print ad featuring the Wizard inside his control room standing beside his secret weapon. See the ad here. Campbell-Ewald created the campaign.

Rock climbers are revered as famous athletes in a print campaign for Petzl, a manufacturer of climbing gear. Three print ads ponder how Petzl-sponsored rock climbers could be honored like more-mainstream athletes. Climber Sonnie Trotter gets his own trading card, Dave Graham is immortalized as a bobblehead and Chris Sharma's climbing harness is encased in glass. See the ads here, here and here, running in Climbing, Rock & Ice, Urban Climber and Alpinist. Petzl even went so far as to produce bobbleheads and climber trading cards for promotional use. TDA Advertising & Design created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.

Would you pay $65,000 for a bed? Then this is the campaign for you. Hästens launched an international print campaign promoting its luxury beds, which run anywhere from $5,000 to $65,000. "Transcendence" features a naked woman levitating over her bed, along with the tagline: "The bed of your dreams." And I have to pay how much to look that good and dream that well? And I still have to shell out additional moolah if I want to wear pajamas? See the ad here. The company also relaunched its Web site, complete with a slideshow from the campaign's photoshoot and a video if the slideshow doesn't whet your whistle. Barker/DZP created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Té Casan shoes are here one day, gone the next, because the company only produces a select number of each shoe created by assorted designers. The resulting print campaign showcases shoes constructed from materials with a limited shelf life. A shoe is made of sand in one ad, but it's dangerously close to the rising tide. A straw shoe is waiting to catch fire in another ad, but my favorite shows a shoe made of sugar with a family of ants marching towards it. See the ads here, here and here. BBDO New York created the campaign and PHD handled the media buy.

National Grid launched a TV, online and outdoor campaign dedicated to changing behaviors that impact the environment and climate change. A polar bear is the star of the TV ad, which ponders what life would be like if people had polar bears, the animal first affected by climate change, for pets. Kids do everything with their polar bears, from walking through a library, crossing a street and swimming. The spot drives traffic to a Web site where kids can adopt a virtual polar bear and adults can educate themselves on actions to positively affect the environment. See the ad here. Mullen created the campaign, Firstborn created the site and mediaHUB handled media the media buy.

How best to describe Michael Bay shilling for Verizon FiOS while blowing things up and poking fun at himself? "Awesome." The director blows things up on- and off-screen in a 30-second spot promoting Verizon's high-speed fiber optic Internet access. Stay away from the pool and grill. Bay's next project? Adding plot lines to his movies. Watch the ad here. McCann Erickson New York created the campaign.

AMP energy drink launched a hysterical ad called "Walk of No Shame," depicting a group of men and women walking home in the same clothes they wore the previous night, and feeling good about it. Individuals awake to find they did not in fact hook up with a 10. There are mentions of cankles, men dressed thematically and women wearing oversized men's T-shirts. The end result is a large chorus walking home, sans shame, readying to do it all over again. See the ad here. BBDO New York created the campaign and OMD handled the media buy.

Independence Blue Cross, Philadelphia, launched a TV, interactive, print and radio campaign promoting age-specific healthcare programs. Three TV ads age children to adults who are visiting the doctor, doing chin-ups and looking into a mirror. "As you grow, your needs change from fitness reimbursements to colon cancer screenings. We're here for you every step of the way," says one ad. The campaign was created through the point of view of Independence Blue Cross CEO Joseph A. Frick following his diagnosis of colon cancer. See the ads here, here and here. A print ad denotes age-specific health screenings using a child's height chart with numbers written on a doorframe. See it here. Tierney Communications created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at
Out to Launch for Wednesday, June 4, 2008:

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Seth's What Every Good Marketer Knows-7

Seth Godin:

What do you know?

Three years ago, I published this list, which was very much a riff, not a carefully planned manifesto. It has held up pretty well. Feel free to reprint or otherwise use, as long as you include a credit line. I've added a few at the bottom...

What Every Good Marketer Knows:

  • Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk.
  • Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.
  • Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers.
  • Share of wallet is easier, more profitable and ultimately more effective a measure than share of market.
  • Marketing begins before the product is created.
  • Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.
  • Low price is a great way to sell a commodity. That’s not marketing, though, that’s efficiency.

Obviously, knowing what to do is very, very different than actually doing it.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday night wrap up

Clickable stories from Mediapost today:

Verizon Deal Could Send Alltel Loyalists Into Mourning
by Laurie Sullivan
[Telecom] "There are certain characters you grow to love; that's what marketers want you to do," says John Zhang, professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. "They have to handle the situation with a lot of tender loving care. Verizon must be sensitive to the people who hold the Alltel brand dear to their heart." - Read the whole story...

W Hotels, MasterCard, Sony Team For 'WonderLust Live'
by Karl Greenberg
[Entertainment] Live Nation Studios will record select performances and stream them at The music will also be on a W Hotels CD, "WonderLust, The Worldwide Tour" produced by Sony BMG. Also, Starwood Preferred Guest members will be able to bid "Starpoints" through SPG loyalty program's online auction at - Read the whole story...

May Sales A Little Better, Giving Stores Some Breathing Room
by Sarah Mahoney
[Retail] "Shoppers are counting on those tax rebates for everyday spending and even a few big-ticket purchases," it notes. "The retail numbers suggest those dollars are starting to have an impact that should last for several months as more shoppers get their rebates." - Read the whole story...

Green Consumers Do More Shopping In Warehouse Clubs
by Karlene Lukovitz
[Research] The research shows that LOHAS consumers are not only early adopters, but spend more than non-green consumers in nearly every store department. The exception is the meat department-"perhaps as a reflection of their vegetarian lifestyles," noted Todd Hale, senior VP, consumer and shopper insights for Nielsen. - Read the whole story...

Mattress Firm Seeks Sleepless In America

Nielsen, Coke Ink International Deal

BSH North America Promotes Franz Joseph Bosshard

Brookstone Offers 10% Off With Tie Donation

Marketing Daily for Friday, Jun 6, 2008:

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It's the end of the day, end of the week, and while there is some good information in the following article, it's the headline that gets our attention.

If you want someone to listen or read, you better have a good opening line, or Headline:

Do You Have a Wienie?

In a post at the Hear 2.0 blog, Mark Ramsey tells a story about the "Carousel of Progress" built by Walt Disney and his imagineers for the 1964 World's Fair. After giving a sneak preview to executives from General Electric—the attraction's sponsor—Disney decided something wasn't right. "It doesn't have a wienie!" he said." Come back in a couple weeks and I'll show you."

When the executives returned a week later, Disney had added an audio-animatronic dog, complete with a wagging tail, to each tableau.

"It was the 'wienie,'" writes Ramsey. "The 'finishing touch.' The delightful, magnetic bonus. Wienies are extra. Wienies are what you give the audience after they think they're already satisfied."

In product terms, Ramsey cites the glowing Apple logo on a MacBook Pro and the solid thud of a Mercedes-Benz's door as prime examples of a wienie. Both the computer and the automobile would work just as well without their wienies—in fact, customers wouldn't notice their absence had they never been a part of the product. But those special touches are what they often mention first when describing the brand.

Your Marketing Inspiration: If you don't have a wienie, it's time to get one. Just remember this:"The wienie isn't what you must do. It's what you want to do. Its delightful impact arises from the sheer joy of its creation and the desire of its creator to share that joy with others."

More Inspiration:
Ted Mininni: Manhattan Milk: What Was Old Is New Again
Alan Wolk (Tangerine Toad): The Terrorist In The Kitchen
Mack Collier: Online, Ideas Can Spread at the Speed of... Plurk

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Zoom Zoom

More Car news today:

Initial Quality of Autos Improves Considerably

Initial quality in the automotive industry has improved significantly in 2008, with substantial gains demonstrated by nearly three-fourths of the 36 ranked nameplates, according to the JD Power and Associates 2008 Initial Quality Study (IQS).

Overall quality has improved to 118 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2008, down from 125 PP100 in 2007 - a 6% improvement.

“This gain is driven not only by strong advances from many of the high-volume brands such as Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, but also by very significant improvements by many other automakers,” said David Sargent, vice-president of automotive research at JD Power and Associates.

The Initial Quality Study serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership. Initial quality has been shown to be an excellent predictor of long-term durability. The study captures problems experienced by owners in two distinct categories: quality of design, and defects and malfunctions.

The study finds that 86% of the overall improvement is due to advances in eliminating defects and malfunctions.

2008 IQS Ranking Highlights


For a third consecutive year, Porsche tops the overall nameplate rankings, averaging 87 PP100.

Following in the rankings are Infiniti (which improves from ninth position in 2007), Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, respectively. Audi posts the largest improvement in ranking, moving from 26th place in 2007 to 10th in 2008.

“Porsche continues its steady improvement and has succeeded in distancing itself from the second-ranked nameplate to a greater degree in 2008 - by a gap of 11 PP100 -compared with 3 PP100 in 2007,” said Sargent.

Car Segment Awards


  • Honda models capture three segment awards - more than any other nameplate in the 2008 study - for the Civic, CR-V and Fit.
  • Garnering two segment awards each are Chevrolet (Malibu and Silverado LD); Dodge (Dakota and Durango); Infiniti (EX-Series and M-Series); Lexus (LS and RX); and Mercedes-Benz (CLK-Class and E-Class).
  • The Porsche 911 has the fewest quality problems in the industry, with just 67 problems per 100 vehicles.
  • Also receiving segment awards are the Ford E-Series, Lincoln Navigator, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Pontiac Grand Prix Sedan and Toyota Sequoia.

About the study: The 2008 Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 81,500 purchasers and lessees of new 2008 model-year cars and trucks surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 228-question battery designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate problem determination and drive product improvement. The study was fielded between February and April 2008.

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Females with Flash

This is a market that has changed over the years. It was my Dad who had the expensive 35 mm camera. Now it's the females that are snapping all those shots. Can you say, "Strike a Pose!?!"

Women Take the Lead in Photography

Women are in the driver's seat when it comes to digital photography and camera ownership, according to PMA.

In 2007, women overtook men in digital camera purchases for the first time, according to the association's 2008 Digital Imaging Survey.

Women accounted for 58 percent of all digital camera purchases in 2007, PMA said. Females "are even more likely than males to own digital cameras and they tend to take control of picture taking, printing and sharing," PMA reported.

Digital SLRs, on the other hand, appear to be the last redoubt of male dominance. Males purchased 50 percent of all d-SLR models in 2007, PMA said, although "with models aimed at all types of consumers more widely available at affordable prices, more females may be inclined to replace point-and-shoot digital cameras with DSLR models in the near future."

Household penetration of digital cameras grew 20 percent from 2006 to 2007, reaching 66 percent of U.S. homes, PMA noted.

(Source: TWICE, 05/29/08)

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Another Look at Social Marketing

From my email recently:

Trial, No Error

Posted: 05 Jun 2008 07:51 AM CDT

In the new age of social everything, I believe we’ll be seeing more “social” advertising. I’m not talking about ads showing up in social media. I’m talking about advertisers having more of a dialogue with prospects and customers. They will introduce themselves through product samples, for instance. We’re already seeing this happen in a phenomenon called “tryvertising” by Trendwatching, which says,

Tryvertising is a development of product placement where timing plays a critical role in getting the products in to the hands of consumers and encouraging them to try them out.

This trend, which appears to have started in Japan, is a way for people to try before they buy and then they help spread the word about the product. Directing this method at high end consumers while they are on vacation seems to be popular. The theory is that you can form new habits over 7 - 10 days while out of your usual environment. Mercedes Benz has offered complimentary use of its cars through Ritz Carlton Hotels, for instance.

A company in the UK, Matter, is carrying the idea ahead this year with boxes of products direct mailed to key consumers.

Matter is a new and unique idea in communications that brings companies and people together around real, physical stuff–things you can hold in your hands, keep in your drawer, or give to your friends. It’s a new way for companies to introduce themselves by giving you something you might like. Matter is being tested early in 2008 and the first real Matter box will be created later in the year.

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What your customers Really want

I don't care if you customer is another business, or a consumer, these simple words from Seth Godin summarize what your marketing should focus on:

The cure

That's what everyone wants.

Not a process or an approach. Not a treatment or an attempt. Not a best effort or a thoughtful response.

They want their problems cured.

Doctors, of course, can rarely provide a cure. Neither can accountants or marketing consultants. But that's what gets sold, cause that's what people want to buy.

We fool ourselves constantly. We know, deep down (or not even so deep) that there's no real cure out there, but that's what we pay for anyway.

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Auto Ads

In case you haven't noticed:

Auto Advertisers Are Touting MPG Angle

The pain at the pump has auto advertisers retooling their messages. Fuel economy is the new refrain. Hard-charging V-8s and big, bold SUVs are out of fashion.

"The mpg message is resonating more with consumers," Mark Felice, general marketing manager for Ford division, said last week at the Automotive News Marketing Seminar.

At Hyundai, executives are enthusiastic about this summer's launch of the Genesis, the brand's first rear-drive sedan powered by a V-8. But Hyundai's marketers are toning down talk about the car's performance.

"We've made a slight adjustment with Genesis ads to focus on fuel economy," says Joel Ewanick, vice president of marketing at Hyundai Motor America. "It was a secondary matter at first, but now we've created a separate ad for that. We have a story to tell."

General Motors has shifted 15 to 20 percent of its spending out of light trucks and into cars and crossovers, said Mark LaNeve, GM's North American marketing chief.

"People now know what they're spending on gas and adding it to their monthly budgets," LaNeve said, "so we have to address that. For example, we can tell them that the Chevy HHR can do a lot of what bigger sport-utilities do in terms of space, but you can get it for under $20,000 and with good mpg."

Other marketers are talking the same game. Said Ford's Felice: "Our primary brand campaign involves Focus, Fusion, Edge, Escape and Escape Hybrid. We're not calling out fuel economy, but those vehicles have it."

Chrysler LLC has built a campaign around its incentive offer: Buy a new Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle and get a guaranteed gasoline price of $2.99 a gallon for three years. Deborah Meyer, Chrysler's chief marketing officer, says the $2.99 promotion will run through July 7 and could be extended.

Despite the myriad messages about fuel economy, trucks and powerful V-8s are not being ignored.

"Still one of our highest Web site responses is for the (Dodge) Challenger," Meyer says of the new muscle car. "There still is a lot of desire for dreams, and we need to talk to these people."

Randy Pflughaupt, vice president of marketing at Toyota Division, says the brand is constantly reminding consumers that Toyota is in the pickup business.

Said Pflughaupt: "There are less pickup buyers today, but messages are still relevant for people in the market who need those vehicles."

(Source: Automotive News, 06/02/08)

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How More is Less

When Cable TV first launched some 20 plus years ago, we had new channels such as CNN and HBO. Ted Turner took his regular broadcast station WTBS in Atlanta and redubbed it a Super Station.

Cubs Fans around the country could now watch Chicago baseball on WGN via Cable.

As the number of cable subscribers grew, so did the number of channels, and eventually it all leveled out.

However the Internet has become the new competition to many media outlets. And as a consumer, we simply get more choices and options as to where we get our news and entertainment.

But more choices, if they are good choices also means smaller shares of the pie for everyone.

Check out this report from Mediapost:

TV Channels Viewed Falls To Lowest Percentage Ever
by Joe Mandese, Friday, Jun 6, 2008 8:30 AM ET
In a development that has implications for the greater world of media fragmentation, a new study find that percentage of TV channels actually watched has fallen to its lowest point ever since Nielsen began tracking the phenomenon in the 1980s. While the average number of channels received by American households hit an all time high in 2007 - 118.6 - the number actually viewed was only 16, only a fraction more than the 15.7 channels tuned to in 2006, the 15.4 channels tuned to in 2005, or the 15.0 channels tuned to in 2004. The finding suggests that while the supply of media options is expanding, consumer attention may have reached its limits.

The finding, which comes from Nielsen's annual "Television Audience" report, a compendium of statistics revealing how people watch the medium, shows that the number of channels tuned to by the average American household fell to just 13.5% in 2007, down from 15.1% in 2006, 16.0% in 2005 and 16.2% in 2004, the last year for which such trend data is available.

The finding is significant, because Nielsen's definition of the supply of channels "receivable" and "tuned" have served as a benchmark for understanding how fragmentation impacts consumer behavior as the number of media options expands. The reality is that the number of channel options has actually expanded exponentially if you factor in the supply of micro channels available online, from video-on-demand and pay-per-view services, and a variety of non-linear video platforms. The Nielsen report does not look at those phenomenon, but as Nielsen moves increasingly toward its so-called A2/M2 (Anytime/Anywhere) TV measurement model, it will likely have to grapple with those definitions soon.

TV Channels Receivable Vs. Tuned



% Tuned

































Source: Nielsen's "Television Audience 2007"
Joe Mandese is Editor of MediaPost.

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Seth's What Every Good Marketer Knows-6

Day 6:

What do you know?

Three years ago, I published this list, which was very much a riff, not a carefully planned manifesto. It has held up pretty well. Feel free to reprint or otherwise use, as long as you include a credit line. I've added a few at the bottom...

What Every Good Marketer Knows:

  • Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk.
  • Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.
  • Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers.
  • Share of wallet is easier, more profitable and ultimately more effective a measure than share of market.
  • Marketing begins before the product is created.
  • Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.

Obviously, knowing what to do is very, very different than actually doing it.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Starbucks STILL Doesn't get it

If Starbucks would offer free wireless internet with no strings attached, they would get more of my coffee money.

But, I'm a multi-tasker that rely's on his laptop for work. When I can be out of the office and on line with a cup of coffee, I am. But not at Starbucks.

I'll go to Higher Grounds, the Firefly, or Dragons Keep, all local coffee shops that want me and my money.

Every single day, 7 days a week, I buy a coffee and depending on what time of day, or how close it is to mealtime, I spend more.

But while Starbucks thinks they are offering more, they're not. And it wouldn't cost them as much as they are losing from me and other coffee-shop laptop workers.

Here's the latest:

Lattes and laptops continue to mingle at Starbucks coffee shops, and computer users now can get two hours of free Wi-Fi Internet service at Starbucks stores across the country, thanks to a deal between the coffee retailer and AT&T.

Under the program, which began Tuesday, customers must buy a Starbucks rewards card with at least $5 value on it and sign up for the free Wi-Fi through Then, to keep the offer active, customers must use the card at least once a month.

The free Wi-Fi service is good for up to two hours a day, which must be used in a single session.

The Starbucks-AT&T deal, originally announced in February, is part of AT&T's expansion of its broadband and wireless services.

Subscribers to AT&T's wireless service get free Wi-Fi at any of AT&T's 17,000 hot spots across the country, with no time limit. And they can use the hot spots at Starbucks locations with no limit, without the need for a Starbucks card.

Starbucks and AT&T are working on a roll-out of AT&T Wi-Fi and will take the service to every Wi-Fi-enabled Starbucks location by the end of the year, according to a Starbucks statement.

Read More

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2008 Consumer Spending Part 5

How has inflation affected our ability to spend?

Dollar By Dollar, Economy Eating Away At Consumer Spending
by Aaron Baar, Thursday, Jun 5, 2008 5:00 AM ET
The rising cost of basic household expenses--particularly gas and food--is cutting drastically into household budgets, affecting discretionary spending on all levels--from small things like movies and dining out to larger purchases like vacations and home improvements. And things don't look to be improving anytime soon.

According to Discover Financial's "U.S. Spending Monitor," 56% of American consumers said they spent more in May than in April, and 46% said they expected to spend more in June than May. Much of that increase can be attributed to higher gas and food prices. According to the Monitor, nearly 36% of American consumers said they spent more than $200 a month on gas in May, compared with only 23% a year ago.

And consumers are not confident that high prices will abate any time soon. According to the Monitor, 65% of consumers said their expenses on basic necessities would rise in the next month, compared with a 40% response in February.

As a result consumers are cutting back. According to the Monitor, 54% of the country is cutting back on living expenses as a result of higher gas prices, compared with 45% in February. In addition, some 48% said they planned to spend less on major purchases, including summer vacations. Nearly 50% said they would put off home improvement projects, and 42% said they would have to put less into savings and investment.

"It seems clear that U.S. consumers are no longer choosing to spend more, but are being pressured to spend more due to record-high oil and food prices," said Margo Georgiadis, Discover Financial Services' chief marketing officer, in a statement. "But the cutbacks do not help a struggling economy and as gas prices continue to break records, consumers are showing signs that their budgets may be stretched a little too thin."

Not surprisingly, only 15% of consumers rated the economy good or excellent, compared with 35% a year ago. But confidence may be on the rise. While only 12% said they felt the economy was getting better, that's the first time the measure has been in double digits since February. (Yet, 72% said they felt things were getting worse.)

The brightest spot in the Riverwoods, Ill., company's monthly survey is that consumers are still managing to have money left over after paying monthly bills. According to the Spending Monitor, 51% of consumers said they still had money left over at the end of the month, compared with 55% a year ago. However, the amount left over is dropping. Of those who have money left over, only 68% said they have the same or more left over compared with the previous month, compared with 81% last September.

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How to only Hire the Best

File this under Internal Marketing.

Finding and keeping not just good employees, but the best employees is a challenge for nearly every company.

It's not the ones that you don't hire that hurt you as much as the ones that you do have under your roof that can poison the water and sink the ship with a bad attitude.

I've been on all sides of the desk.

Been Hired.

Been Fired.

Quit because of a better offer.

Quit because of terrible work conditions. (only once or twice)

And I've hired people and then had to let them go.

It's the last part that is the hardest. Because it is a reflection on not just the employee being fired, but the folks that hired and trained them too.

Recently we dismissed someone that we worked with for a number of years due to many factors, but before the firing occured, months went by, trying to salvage this employee that had many good traits. In the end though, the company will be stronger because we have the right replacement.

This article came in my email the other day about a way to double check and see if you have the right people working for you and with you. It's not any more fool proof than any other system, but you might want to try it yourself:

Would You Give an Employee $1,000 to Quit?

"Every so often," writes Bill Taylor in an article at Harvard Business Online, "I spend time with a company that is so original in its strategy, so determined in its execution, and so transparent in its thinking, that it makes my head spin. Zappos is one of those companies." The online retailer, which expects $1 billion in sales this year, has made stellar customer service—the type marketing bloggers rave about—a cornerstone of its business.

Zappos has an unorthodox way of making sure its employees share the corporate ethos. At the end of a four-week training period, during which new hires receive a full salary, they are presented with The Offer. They may stay on at the company, or they can take a $1,000 payout to walk away, no strings attached.

"Zappos actually bribes its new employees to quit!" exclaims Taylor.

Around ten percent take the cash, but Zappos considers it money well spent; the employees who stay are far more likely to share the company's values, and to uphold the vaunted standards of its customer service.

Bill Taylor sums up your Marketing Inspiration like this: "Companies don't engage emotionally with their customers—people do. If you want to create a memorable company, you have to fill your company with memorable people."

More Inspiration:
Mack Collier: Worried About Bloggers Dissing Your Company?
Ted Mininni: Jumping on the Healthy Food Bandwagon
Tim Jackson: Viral Sickness

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Mc Kung Fu Marketing

Everything you wanted to know about McDonalds and that movie, from Mediapost:

McDonald's Kicks Off Latest Round Of Kung Fu Marketing
by Karlene Lukovitz, Thursday, Jun 5, 2008 5:00 AM ET
Kung Fu Panda McD's Happy Meal ToysIn another example of impressively integrated worldwide marketing and timing, McDonald's latest massive movie tie-in, with DreamWorks Animation SKG's "Kung Fu Panda," is breaking just two months before the kickoff of the Olympics in Beijing--for which, of course, McDonald's is the official restaurant/food service sponsor. From June 6 through July 3 in McDonald's restaurants in North America, and then rolling out across the world, McDonald's "Kung Fu Panda" Happy Meal program will treat kids with a toy of one of eight animal characters from the film each time they purchase a Happy Meal.

In addition to offering Kung Fu master games and related offline activities for kids (like a new hip-hop panda dance), online promotions tying in with the "Kung Fu Panda Party" promotional theme will encourage kids to learn about pandas and their environment. For instance, the site ( will offer a "panda-cam" enabling kids to view real pandas in their natural habitat.

All of this ties in with McDonald's support of Conservation International, and specifically its support of CI projects in China aimed at protecting panda habitats.

The Happy Meal campaign is being supported by a Leo Burnett-created TV commercial (available in 23 languages) featuring two child Kung Fu experts vying for the last Chicken McNugget left from a Happy Meal.

With all of the focus on children's nutrition and bad press about fast food these days, McDonald's is also making a point of emphasizing healthful elements in the promotional Happy Meals, including fresh, peeled apple slices served with low-fat caramel dipping sauce and low-fat white and chocolate milk jugs served in child-friendly, themed containers.

"You can talk all you want about the health issue, but one thing you can't say about McDonald's is that they're not extremely savvy marketers," comments Robert Passikoff, president of the Brand Keys branding consultancy. "This kind of multifaceted campaign, including a philanthropic tie-in, doesn't just happen. They're masters at integrated, coordinated marketing."

Interestingly, however, while some of the real-life inspirations for the movie's characters (snow leopard, tigress) are carnivores, the characters themselves are not portrayed eating other animals ... even in the form of Chicken McNuggets. "Everybody is vegetarian, even our predatory characters--otherwise, it got too weird," movie co-director John Stevenson told

Apparently, product placement does have its limits.

Karlene Lukovitz can be reached at

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Ideas from my InBox

From My Email:

Springwise newsletter | New business ideas for entrepreneurial minds

Hi Scott,

It's time for your weekly fix of entrepreneurial ideas! The latest Springwise newsletter
is now online
. Here's a quick run-down of the business concepts featured in this edition:

People browsing content at a Duo Guo kioskBrick-and-mortar kiosks sell mobile content
Telecom & mobile / Retail

Although mobile content is something consumers can buy and down-
load virtually anywhere, Chinese Duo Guo is banking on a different
approach by selling content through kiosks in brick-and-mortar stores.

Toyota Corolla against a green grass / blue sky backgroundConverting standard Corollas into electric cars
Automotive / Eco & sustainability

Sähköautot–Nyt! is taking an innovative approach to getting more
electric-powered vehicles on the road. Instead of building a new model
from scratch, they'll retro-fit existing Toyota Corollas.

Mascara in a boxMore cosmetics tryvertising by mail
Marketing & advertising / Fashion & beauty

Last year we wrote about a program through which women can sign
up to receive beauty product samples to test out at home each month.
A new, similar concept gives consumers even more choice.

Woman planting seedsBoosting suburban farming
Eco & sustainability / Homes & housing / Food & beverage

Australian Permablitz is a group that focuses on bringing sustainable,
edible gardens to the suburban neighbourhoods around Melbourne,
using team effort to speed up the process.

Two pages of a child-authored  bookBook publisher for kids
Media & publishing

We've already written about companies that serve as book publishers
for the masses, and now Tikatok has launched into beta a new
service that brings the same opportunity to kids.

Shipping containers en routeImport/export intelligence service
Marketing & advertising

Importers, manufacturers and retailers can benefit from an easy way to
keep tabs on the shipping and receiving activities of their competitors
and suppliers. Two new services offer instant access in real time.

Girl looking down over New YorkPlatform for healthcare 2.0
Lifestyle & leisure

Jay Parkinson MD has teamed up with Myca, a Canadian provider of
health technology, to develop Hello Health, a technology platform that's
designed to open intelligent channels between patients and doctors.

Eco mattress topperMore eco-friendly bedding
Homes & housing / Eco & sustainability

Sleep Limited's line of eco sleep products features pure, unbleached
cotton and 100 percent recycled polyester fiberfill made largely from
recycled drink bottles.

Happy family holding signs: "Lower Taxes" and "Done"Property tax advocates
Life hacks / Homes & housing / Financial services

Helping California property owners file for a reduction in property taxes,
Prop8 targets consumers who are legally entitled to compensation
but are unaware or too busy to claim it.

Woman in pale yellow dress and red tightsAdopt-a-designer program for crowdfunded fashion
Fashion & beauty

More crowdfunding! Supporters of participating fashion designers can
buy shares in their work for EUR 14 in the hope of sharing in future

It's time for the newsletter to take a short summer break, so our next issue will arrive in
your inbox on June 18th instead of next week. But don't fear—we'll be posting new business
ideas daily
as usual!

Warm regards,

Liesbeth den Toom
Senior Editor

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