Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sweet News For Smuckers

Olympics are wrapping up this weekend, and here's some sweet news from the WSJ:

Mars's Snickers Gets Olympic Lift

Accord to Become
Official Chocolate
Aids Sales in China
August 22, 2008; Page B6

BEIJING -- Among the meager edible offerings at Olympics venues -- lukewarm sausages on sticks and packets of dry noodles -- is an all-American snack that is hard to miss: Shilijia, or Snickers. Fifteen years after Mars Inc. introduced the Snickers brand to China, the world's biggest-selling candy bar is finally taking off in the most-populous country.

[Advert photo]
Geoffrey Fowler/The Wall Street Journal
Snickers' Olympics sponsorship is helping propel the chocolate bar in China.

Mars has been steadily increasing advertising on its flagship candy in China, building on the success of Dove, another Mars brand, which enjoys top share here. But it wasn't until the company sealed a deal to make Snickers the Beijing Games' official chocolate that it gained traction.

Earlier this year, Mars hosted a Snickers Street Olympics tournament in Beijing of "hybrid sports" events like Basoccer, a mix of basketball and soccer with trash cans for goals, and Streetminton, a combination of badminton and break dancing.

Also offered was Snickers Jump Satisfaction, an event in which participants jumped over as many Snickers bars as possible to win them. Mars offered tickets to the real Olympic Games as prizes.

Young Chinese "flocked to the event like seagulls," says Peter Grose, chief executive of the Sydney-based advertising company ABT, a unit of Photon Group, who helped plan Snickers's marketing strategy in China.

Mars marketers say they worked months in advance with its target age group -- teenage boys -- to create a buzz around the event. It offered online games linked to the Street Olympics on a special Web site in sets of four so that they'd invite each other. Mars's sponsorship and advertising spending in China have increased fivefold since 2004, according to a Bain & Co. report published earlier this year.

Getty Images

"It's all about creating a buzz," said Paulette Velasco, vice president at Helios Partners' Helios Partners China, who spearheaded the marketing initiative. Mars also approached over a hundred magazines and news outlets geared toward younger age groups to invite them to cover the street event.

The blitz is paying off. In the first quarter of 2008, Snickers sales rose 75% over the same period last year. It's now the No. 2 brand in China's three-billion yuan ($438 million) chocolate market, beating out rivals such as Nestlé's Milk Chocolate, according to Bain.

Penetrating markets like India and China is one rationale behind Mars's proposed acquisition of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. for about $23 billion. When approaching Wrigley earlier this year, Mars executives argued that together, they could reach these markets more effectively.

Already, about 70% of Mars's $22 billion in annual revenue is generated outside the U.S. The company, which is 100% owned by the Mars family, also sells pet-food brands such as Whiskas and Pedigree in China.

But Snickers had been slow to take off in China. One early challenge: getting the Chinese to warm to the idea of grabbing a chocolate bar on-the-go when hunger pangs struck. "Right now, people would just go have some noodles if they got hungry during the day," Mr. Grose says. "But we want to suggest that Snickers is a little more convenient."

Mars's strategy has been to focus on the target audience, rather than trying to sell to everybody, says Ms. Velasco at Helios Partners. Realizing that older Chinese might find Snickers too sweet, the company decided to first target teenagers despite their small spending power.

It's a tough battle for their pennies: Research shows many Chinese teenagers in the city spend just 10 yuan ($1.46) a day, Ms. Velasco says. So at 4.5 yuan for a bar, Snickers are a substantial purchase. And keeping costs steady amid rising commodity prices is one challenge facing the company, according to Zhang Jiantao, a Mars spokesman in Beijing.

Supplying the Olympics has been a boost, amid complaints of scarce food at many of the venues. As the exclusive supplier of chocolate to the Games, Mars's Chinese subsidiary provides Snickers to kiosks at main events, where the Snickers logo is prominently displayed.

The Olympics deal has been "an excellent opportunity" to communicate with consumers in China, Mr. Zhang said in an email.

Snickers is still a tough sell among older Chinese. "It contains too many calories. I dare not eat it," says Liu Jinghui, 30, an IT company worker.

But some teenage fans are emerging. "Snickers are great. They're my only choice when I want to eat chocolate," says Li Ying, a 17-year-old high-school girl. "But I often do not eat it, as it is a bit expensive."

--Kersten Zhang contributed to this article.

Write to Hiroko Tabuchi at

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It's all in your Mind

Great advice on how to be a better performer:

Olympics of the Mind

Colleen Coyne, a former member of the U.S. women's ice hockey team, earned a gold medal at the 1998 Winter Games. And in a post at the HubSpot blog, she outlines how the keys to Olympic success apply to your work in marketing. Here are some highlights:

Be in position to be in position. In the parlance of hockey, explains Coyne, a garbage goal is one scored almost by mistake, the result of being in the right place at the right time. In that spirit, she recommends strong calls to action at your Web site's most popular pages—regardless of their function. "You never know who might visit your site," she says. "It is wise to be prepared to capitalize on all opportunities."

Hang out with the pros, and watch what they do. When she wasn't in residency at Lake Placid, Coyne trained in Boston with NHL players and coaches. "What I learned was invaluable," she says. "Internet marketing is no different. You have to find the folks in your industry who are the most successful. Read their blogs, study their websites and find out who is linking to them."

If you're not getting better, you're getting worse. You never hear about Olympic athletes who become satisfied with a certain level of performance and decide to implement a maintenance program. If they did, their competition would leave them in the dust. It's precisely the same deal in business—if you level off, and your rivals don't, you will wind up losing ground.

The Po!nt: If you think like an Olympic athlete, it might actually make you a better marketer.

Source: HubSpot. Click here for the full post.

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Roy Williams on Advertising Messages that Work

On the right side of this page is the Collective Wisdom Bookstore. Each of these books are hand picked by me as books that you should read if you want to have a better understanding of Advertising, Marketing and the Creative Process along with sales.

I have read each of these books multiple times. One author that I discovered 5 years ago is Roy Williams.

Along with his books he also writes a weekly Monday Morning Memo that you can get free.

Here's an excerpt from this weeks issue:

Dealing with Rejection

Advertising salespeople are highly paid because rejection hurts. They told me to rub Zig Ziglar on it, but the sting and the ache stayed with me. I was 20 years old.

The smiley seminar speaker said, “Look in the mirror each morning and repeat these affirmations.”

Sorry, I’ve already got a religion and it makes me very uncomfortable with self-worship. I know there’s a God and it isn’t me.

My manager tried to teach me how to overcome objections but that only made me feel worse. People were rejecting me because they assumed I was a professional liar and now I was becoming one.

Everywhere I went I heard, “I tried advertising and it didn’t work.”

“Yeah, I know,” whispered the little voice inside me, “I see it not work every day.”

You would have fired me by now, right? I would have fired me, too. But Dennis Worden saw a spark in me that he believed he could fan into a flame. Lucky for both of us, he was right.

My career found wings the day I encountered an advertiser who had a message worth hearing. I delivered his message to my little audience and his business exploded. No question about it, my tiny audience was making him rich. Now I had a success story to tell my prospects. But a success story is a doubled-edged sword. Filled with names and dates and details and numbers, success stories cut through the doubt and make prospects say yes. But the second edge – the one that cuts the seller – is the implied promise, “The same thing will happen to you.”

But if that advertiser’s message is weak, you’ll soon be hearing, “I bought what you said and it didn’t work.” I had been groping blindly in a pitch-dark room when I flicked the light switch on the wall. Suddenly everything was clear: Message and copy are two different things.

"The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you've gotten the fish you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you've gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words." – Chuang-tzu, 350 BC

If Chuang-tzu had been in advertising, he would have said, “Copy exists because of message. Once you’ve gotten the message, you can forget the copy.”

That first successful client owned an auto body shop. He had an invisible location but a powerful message that had never been told. I was merely the guy who uncovered his shiny message and held it up in the light. That was 30 years ago, but I can still tell you the essence of Danny’s message:

1. No one ever plans to have a traffic accident.
2. You don’t really have to get 3 estimates from 3 different body shops.
3. You don’t even have to pay your $250 or $500 deductible.
4. Your insurance company will happily pay whatever their adjustor says is the right amount.
5. When you’ve been involved in a traffic accident, call me.
6. I’ll send out a wrecker to pick up you and your car.
7. I’ll give you a free loaner car to drive while I’m repairing your car.
8. I’ll notify your insurance company and meet with the adjustor.
9. I’ll fix your car for whatever amount the insurance adjustor agrees to pay.
10. You don’t even have to pay your deductible.
11. And since we’ve already got the paint in the gun, we’ll fix those little door dings and scratches on the other side of the car that were there before the accident. No extra charge.
12. You’ll get back a car that’s better than it was before the accident.

You don’t have to be a good copywriter to create a great ad from that message. You just have to make sure the advertiser understands:

1. They need to stay on the air long enough for people to hear them and remember their message. That’s when they’ll begin to see results.
2. Then they have to wait for the listener to need them.
3. The longer they stay on the air, the deeper the message goes into memory and the better it works.

I’ve never seen an advertiser fail because they were reaching the wrong people but I’ve seen thousands fail because they had a weak message. We create failure when we assume creative copy will compensate for the fact that an advertiser has nothing to say.

Are there exceptions to what I’ve told you? Of course.

1. The advertiser with a weak message, often repeated, will prevail over a competitor with an equally weak message less often heard. When weak vs. weak, frequency is a tiebreaker.
2. The advertiser with a weak message wrapped in cleverness and humor will prevail over a competitor with an equally weak message wrapped in a brown paper bag.
3. The advertiser with a weak message and a big ad budget will prevail over a competitor with a strong message that never gets heard.

I made my fortune searching out little businesses with strong messages that had never been heard. Everyone thought I was a great copywriter, but they were wrong. I was a great message-finder.

When I finally wrapped my head around the fact that success wasn’t determined by the "rightness” of my audience, the loyalty of my audience, the size of my audience or the cleverness of my copy, I began to sell everyone I met. I knew all I had to do was dig until I found a message worth sharing. And if the advertiser didn’t have a message worth telling, I had to convince them to create one or prepare them for a life of mediocrity.

What I said to them made sense. My prospects were sold on me long before I was sold on them.

I knew I could grow the business if the business owner would only let me. When prospects didn’t want to meet with me, I no longer felt rejection. I felt pity for them. And if they were so unfortunate as to hurt my feelings I would track down their smallest competitor and make that competitor their worst nightmare.

People say I have a big ego. But in truth I’m shy and easily wounded. I learned how to make advertising work because I was unable to face my clients when it didn’t.

And now you know.

Roy H. Williams

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Free Book Offer

This arrived in my email this week after I downloaded my copy of the book:


I wanted to follow-up with you to see if you had a chance to review the information that I sent to you regarding our new report, “The One Piece of Advice You Need to Get the Fees You Deserve.” In this complimentary special report, 12 experts on pricing professional services answer the question, “What is the one piece of advice you’d give a professional service provider to maximize their fees for services?”

With contributions from Alan Weiss, Jeff Thull, Andrew Sobel, and Bruce Marcus among others, you’ll learn what is really important and what you really need to know about pricing your services. The link to download the report is here:

I thought that your readers might be interested in downloading this complimentary report.

Best regards,



Laurie Stafinski

Marketing Associate

600 Worcester Road, Suite 301

Framingham, MA 01702

508-405-0438 ext. 207

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More Marketing and Sales Blog Links

This is the latest Junta 42 List. Happy Clicking!

1 Copyblogger
2 Buzz Marketing for Technology
3 Post Advertising
4 web ink now
5 No man is an iland
6 PR 2.0
7 Online Marketing Blog
8 ContentMarketingToday
9 Hard Knox Life
10 The Daily Flip
11 Conversation Agent
12 Marketing Interactions
13 Find and Convert
14 Conversational Media Marketing
15 Bernaise Source
16 Techno//Marketer
17 Pandemic Blog
18 What’s Next
19 Writing on the Web
20 The Toadstool
21 Conversation Marketing
22 Emerson Direct Marketing Observations
23 Todd And Marketing & Media
24 The Retail Email Blog
25 Marketing 2.0
26 The Content Wrangler
27 The Viral Garden
28 Emergence Marketing
29 Writing White Papers
30 SG Stephen Gates Blog
31 Greg Verdino’s Marketing Blog
32 Nigel Hollis
33 Web Strategy by Jeremiah
34 Campaign Monitor
35 FASTforward Blog
36 Drew’s Marketing Minute
37 SEO Copywriting
38 Eat Media Blog
39 Marketing with Meaning
40 Servant of Chaos
41 THINKing
42 Chaos Scenario

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Finals

From Mediapost:

by Sarah Mahoney
A new survey finds that 53% of major marketers expect their ad budgets will be reduced within the next six months because of the spiraling economy. And 87% say they have already made cutbacks in their marketing and ad plans. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Kellogg Company's decision to at least temporarily revive the Hydrox brand--the 100th anniversary, limited-edition cookies started hitting shelves this week--raises a number of oft-analyzed life-or-death brand issues. For one, how many brands are currently breathing, but on deathwatch, and how did they get there? ... Read the whole story > >
by Laurie Sullivan
The Electronics TakeBack Coalition has launched a marketing campaign attacking Samsung for what it considers a weak stance on environmental protection and electronics recycling. The "Take Back My TV" campaign aims to make consumers aware of toxic metals used to manufacture TVs and other electronic devices prior to 2005. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
The J.M. Smucker Company, which had previously indicated that it would be shifting top management responsibilities as part of the imminent integration of the Folgers brands being acquired from Procter & Gamble, has now announced the new team structure. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Callaway Golf has tapped San Francisco-based independent Eleven as AOR for creative and strategy on brand and products. Eleven won the business from Y&R in a review that launched in February. The Carlsbad, CA company chose the agency as part of a growth strategy to create a more unified identity as it vies for share against the likes of Nike Golf, Adidas' Taylor Made, and Fortune Brand's Titleist. ... Read the whole story > >

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New Ad Campaigns

Check these out:

Out to Launch

What would Visa do without Michael Phelps? Yahoo! Brazil rebrands. Let's launch!

AT&T launched two amusing TV ads that are quasi-Olympic themed, at best. A husband and wife throw a house party in the first ad. The Olympics are playing in the background while food is served on a dustpan, and cocktail weenies are offered to guests on nails, not toothpicks. Watch the ad here. A man is swimming in what is presumably a pool in the next ad, seen here. Unfortunately, the man is swimming in a manmade pond at a golf course. Both ads use the same theme of someone needing something and end with a voiceover that says, "Proud to connect fans of Team USA." GSD&M Idea City created the campaign and Mediaedge:cia handled the media buy. launched three consecutive one-page ads in the politics section of Newsweek magazine under its "A Fuller Spectrum of News" umbrella that describes the Web site's unbiased political coverage compared to its competitors. The first ad features boxes in all shades of blue and the URL, Ad number two is full of red hues and drives readers to The final ad contains all the colors of the rainbow and's tagline. See the ads here, here and here. And yes, MSNBC did buy the two URLs featured in the ads. You know I had to check. SS+K New York created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.

Life is already one big roller coaster, but throw a Jeep into the mix and you're bound to have an enjoyable adrenaline ride. The 30-second TV spot features a group of friends driving up and down hills, and sideways across sand dunes while the clanking noise from a roller coaster resonates in the background. The spot concludes with the friends readying for round two and the copy: "Have fun out there. Jeep." Watch the ad here, created by CUTWATER.

Yahoo! Brazil revamped its homepage and launched a brand campaign that coincided with a partial lunar eclipse that took place on Aug.16 and was visible over South America. TV, online, radio and print ads revealed a new tagline: "Do Not Underestimate the Purple," which will be utilized in future campaigns. The company also promoted the eclipse as its very own, working with a faux company called Celestial Marketing that specialized in marketing services like advertising on the moon, spaceship brand takeover, and creating global experiences such as branded eclipses. See the ads here, here and here, created by LiveAd and Night Agency.

Immediately following Michael Phelps' feat of winning eight gold medals in one Olympics, Visa ran an ad created in advance, just in case Phelps achieved the impossible. Voiceover Morgan Freeman congratulates Phelps and describes his accomplishment as one that needs a new adjective to describe it. That word had already been coined: Phelpsian. Watch the ad here. TBWA/Chiat/Day created the campaign and OMD handled the media buy.

Volkswagen launched an online and print campaign in China promoting its redesigned Beetle. The first ad shows a young Chinese woman dressed in a classic Qi Pao dress from the 1930s, next to a present-day young woman dressed in a contemporary Qi Pao dress; the second ad shows a traditional Chinese chair aside a contemporary chair; and the final ad shows the original Beetle opposite the 2008 model. A Beetle stamp of approval can be found on each ad, seen here, here and here and the tagline's translation is, "The New Beetle: A Timeless Classic." There's also a Chinese language Web site featuring images from the campaign, the history of the Beetle and car specs. DMG China created the campaign.

Farmers Insurance launched a Spanish-language television spot on Telemundo during the Olympics, starring Edward James Olmos the company's action-hero spokesman. The ad has an Indiana Jones vibe to it, except it's in Spanish. Since the ad has no subtitles and I took French in school, here's my take on the plot: no matter where you seek refuge (your car, or house) Farmers Insurance will save the day and protect what's important. I tried! Watch the ad here, created by Accentmarketing.

Levi's jeans double as a Slinky in a viral video created by CUTWATER. A guy whips off his jeans and throws them on the ground while his friend conveniently records the jeans rolling down a hilly street, in a manner similar to a Slinky. A car stops to watch the event and is rear-ended by another vehicle, prompting the two guys to run for the hills and hide from those involved in the fender-bender. Watch the video here.

Islands Restaurants launched its first major branding campaign, "Mainlanders Welcome," in California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and Colorado. Radio, online, and outdoor ads celebrate the Mainlander using parables of "islands wisdom." "Mainlander drops guac on tie. Licks tie in front of co-worker. Some register disgust, others admiration," reads one ad. I would render admiration. See the ad here. "Mainlander shares Mai Tai with girlfriend. Girlfriend wants to share a little more with Mainlander. Check please for Mainlander," says another ad. Voyage created the campaign and handled the media buy.
Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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Good News for Starbucks

Yesterday this arrived in my email:


Link to THINKing

Starbucks - And Now For The Good News

Posted: 20 Aug 2008 11:44 AM CDT

Tim Manners of Reveries has completed a survey about Starbucks that contains much food for thought. Before we get to the results, let’s explore the brand known as Starbucks.

Here’s what I think is wrong with Starbucks. It expanded too quickly, lost its sense of community, and was no longer an experience, but became just another place to get coffee. Because the brand decided it wanted to become a chain, it lost its focus on what made it special. Coffee was key to the experience, but Starbucks decided to focus on music and other add-ons. What’s that all about? Employees became retail clerks, selling commodities, not experiences. Lose the employees, lose the war.

But there is good news for Starbucks in the survey. People feel passionately about it. Many love it. Many hate it. Says Manners,

That the brand elicits such passionate reactions perhaps bodes well for its potential to mount a comeback. Indeed, many of the survey respondents sounded almost desperate for the Starbucks they say they loved and lost. The encouraging news for Starbucks is that roughly the same percentage of respondents said that they “liked” Starbucks about as much today as they did five years ago. However, the percentage saying they “loved” Starbucks has dropped precipitously, from 33 percent who said they loved it five years ago to just 10 percent today. In addition, the percentage saying they are “neutral” about Starbucks has increased to 39 percent, up from 23 percent who said they were “neutral” toward Starbucks five years ago.

Here’s a clue for Starbucks’ success: focus on the ones who love you.

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Proctor & Gamble using New & Old Media

This story came out of Advertising Age:

P&G Taps Bloggers, Moms for Unconventional Product Launch

Word-of-Mouth, Buzz Push for Crest Weekly

BATAVIA, Ohio ( -- Procter & Gamble Co. is trying something decidedly new with toothpaste: launching a product designed to be used once a week.
Crest Weekly Clean Intensive Cleaning Paste is meant to be a weekly addition to daily tooth brushing, giving a 'just-from-the-dentist,' smooth, clean feeling.
Crest Weekly Clean Intensive Cleaning Paste is meant to be a weekly addition to daily tooth brushing, giving a 'just-from-the-dentist,' smooth, clean feeling.

The idea, of course, isn't to get people to brush less often. Rather, Crest Weekly Clean Intensive Cleaning Paste, which is set to hit stores by mid-September, is billed as a weekly addition to people's daily tooth brushing. The goal is to provide that "just-from-the-dentist," smooth, clean feeling, as P&G and some bloggers who've gotten sneak previews of the product have put it.

Little mass-media spending
Crest, long one of P&G's biggest-spending media brands, with $236.8 million in measured media spending last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence, is also taking a fairly nontraditional marketing approach for the unconventional product, relying heavily on word-of-mouth and buzz marketing and relatively little on mass media.

P&G began sending the product to bloggers earlier this month, some of whom also have Twittered their interest in Weekly Clean. And Crest is using P&G's Vocalpoint buzz-marketing program for moms to spread the word too. It sent a survey about the product's marketing to the more than 600,000 moms in the program last week.

But the product's TV advertising will be relatively light, said spokeswoman Allison Yang, consisting mainly of five-second tags on ads for other Crest products.

The product "is not necessarily intuitive," making TV ads relatively less effective at explaining Weekly Clean, she said.

Talked-about product
"What we've seen with research with consumers is that once they've seen it, they tell everybody," Ms. Yang said, another reason for the emphasis on buzz marketing vs. conventional media.

"The feeling you get is so unique, and women especially love it," she said. "A lot of times you come out with a new toothpaste flavor, and it's not something people talk about."

The product uses silica-based crystals similar to those found in Crest Pro-Health but in higher concentrations, leaving "that incredibly smooth feeling you get when you take your tongue and slide it along the front of your teeth after visiting the dentist," Ms. Yang said.

Weekly Clean is used like regular toothpaste, though it comes in smaller tubes. Ms. Yang said P&G isn't concerned any consumers will believe they can now get away with only brushing once a week. "We're emphasizing that the product doesn't have any fluoride in it," she said. "This should not substitute for brushing in any sense."

Expanding the category
Since it's designed to be an addition to what people are doing now, Weekly Clean stands to expand the toothpaste category, but Ms. Yang declined to disclose how much P&G is expecting in year-one sales.

Interpublic Group of Cos.' Devries, New York, handles public relations for Crest, and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, Digitas and Starcom MediaVest Group, all New York, handle advertising, digital, and media planning and buying, respectively.

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What about Radio?

I earn most of my income from the radio industry. It's the form of advertising that I have had the most first hand experience.

I also know that there are multiple ways to advertise and you should be aware of what each advertising mediums strengths and weakness are and do an "appropriate" campaign based on:

  1. Your Business Now and in the Future
  2. Your Business History
  3. Your marketplace including competition for your customers money.
  4. What you are wanting to accomplish.
  5. And finally, how the advertising medium can produce the results.
So, when I saw this story in my email from Mediaweek, I look at what the real story is.

The headline is that Radio revenues are down 7%. Digging further you may see the line about "at least we're not as bad as the newspapers."

Those words are being spoken by the big conglomerates. When you have a company like Clear Channel that was allowed to take over station after station and try and cut costs, and simply use local media as a cog in a big money making machine and strip the local content out of the product, then you are not playing to the strength of any local media.

Local Newspapers, Local Television, Local Radio can all survive and thrive if they are relevant to their local community.

It is no different than the local, hometown restaurant vs. the chain. Or Walmart vs. all the local businesses.

You have to give the local people an honest to goodness, real reason to do business with you, that is based on the customers needs and wants and you can survive and thrive.

Okay, enough of my Friday Lunch time rant. Here's the story that kicked it off:

Radio Dips 7% for First Half of '08

Even factoring in a robust 12 percent growth in off-air advertising and a 3 percent climb for network radio, radio advertising is still down 5 percent to $9.9 billion at mid-year

Aug 21, 2008

-By Katy Bachman

No matter how you spin it, radio's revenue story is still bleak. Combined local and national spot radio advertising dropped 8 percent in second quarter to $4.6 billion for a 7 percent drop in the first half of the year to $8.4 billion, according to figures released Thursday (Aug. 21) by the Radio Advertising Bureau.

Even factoring in a robust 12 percent growth in off-air advertising to $889 million and a healthy 3 percent climb for network radio to $567 million, radio advertising is still down 5 percent to $9.9 billion at mid-year.

Radio continues to be hit by a very soft national ad market with national spot dropping 11 percent in second quarter and staying there. For the first half of the year, national spot is down 11 percent to $1.4 billion.

Local advertising was only slightly better, down 7 percent in second quarter to $3.8 billion, and down 6 percent to nearly $7 billion for the first half of the year.

While off-air advertising can't make up the difference, it's additional revenue the industry is clinging to in this tough ad market. According to the RAB, radio off-air revenue is "exceeding expectations," increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 12.3 percent over the past two years. The RAB has forecast off-air revenue, made up primarily of online activity, to pass $2 billion in 2009.

What radio can do to turn around its fortunes is a popular topic among Wall Street and other observers. In a report released earlier this week, Jim Boyle, an analyst with CL King & Associates accused radio of doing little to reverse the negative trends.

"The industry's larger groups do not appear ready to institute revolutionary changes yet in sales, programming, promotion or station clusters. There is a notable sense of denial of how harsh the prospects have been and continue to be for radio. The classic CEO reply is radio is not bleeding as badly as newspapers," Boyle wrote.

The RAB's figures are based on pool of more than 100 markets as reported by the accounting firm of Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co.

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Sweet Talkin'

There's a carpet store in my city that has a billboard that simply has their name and a phone number.

If they were well known, that might be all they need. But they are not. And they need more:

You Woo Me, But Can You Win Me?

The attributes and benefits of your brand can vary in how tangible they are to consumers. And that can affect buying decisions.

A product's intangible attributes are abstract—like quality, prestige, sentiment—and can't be experienced directly. For example, a new wine's ads can speak of romance; its label can evoke a feeling of exotic adventure.

Its tangible attributes are concrete—those that can be seen, tasted, touched, and smelled. The wine's taste and color fall into this category—and so does its price.

Research shows that each attribute plays a different role in customers' evaluations (what they like) and decisions (what they choose). Specifically:

  • Customers tend to place more weight on a product's intangible attributes when deciding what they like.
  • But they place more weight on its tangible attributes when they're choosing what to buy.

So, what's a marketer to do? Well, it seems the right formula might come down to this: Woo them, then win them over. Set the mood with the product's intangible attributes; then, when it comes down to making that sale, clearly state its tangible benefits.

The Po!nt: Consumers want to be woo'ed and won. Their preferences may not always predict their choices. To make sure you close that sale, stress the product's concrete, tangible attributes.

Source: "Stating Preference for the Ethereal but Choosing the Concrete: How the Tangibility of Attributes Affects Attribute Weighting in Value Elicitation and Choice." by Horsky, Dan; Nelson, Paul; Posavac, Steven S. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2004.

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Well it turns out that this website has been selected by the folks at as a featured site at their website.

Here's how it all began.

A few days ago, I wrote to Jill Konrath via our LinkedIn connection about wanting to promote her Sales SheBang. (There is a web button on the right side of this page, you can click on to get all the details).

Jill and I wrote back and forth about our daughters and she told me about her daughter Katie.
Click here to read more about this part of the story.

The next day I wrote about which I discovered by reading Katie Konrath's Blog.
Click here to read more about this part of the story.

So last night I received an email from informing me that Collective Wisdom was now being featured as one of their hand-picked top marketing Blogs. Click here to go to the marketing section of

Anytime you want to see what the top bloggers are talking about on virtually any subject, just click on the right side of this page on the AllTop Logo.

And thank you to my fellow writers, thinkers, and friends that have allowed me to republish their material that has allowed me to publish between 30 and 50 articles each week right here!

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I Hate Phone Prospecting

Ever said that? Very few people like to make sales calls over the phone. But with the price of gas, it is often a necessary tool to get your sales up.

Now, I don't sell stuff over the phone in most circumstances, I use it to set up meetings. Earlier this week I found this article on the site:

5 Ways to Make Money with Voice Mail

by Larry Baltz

The telephone can be a powerful tool for generating leads and selling products and services. Unfortunately most business owners are so ineffective using the telephone their only accomplishments are frustrating prospects and removing them from the sales channel.

Voice mail presents another challenge altogether. Some business owners even refuse to leave messages. While this may be an appropriate response in some cases, voice mail can also be a valuable sales tool if you follow a few basic guidelines. After making and supervising over 9,000 telephone calls in a twelve-month period in one of my businesses, our calls went into the voice mail system over 81% of the time. Failing to leave a voice message and missing this many opportunities was not an option for us.

Based on statistics and results from over 15,000 outbound telephone calls, here are the critical issues to consider if you want voice mail to work for you:

1.Work from a script
Assume that you will get voice mail and be prepared. You can not "wing it" and stumble aimlessly through a call. After practicing it a few times, your presentation will sound natural.

2.Your message must be brief
30 seconds is an absolute maximum. In our initial campaign, our messages were about 60 seconds in length and our call-backs were less than 10%. Once we shortened the call to 30 seconds, our call-backs increased significantly.

3.Your message must be focused
When you prepare your script, focus on the single most important benefit you offer your prospects. If time permits, you can mention one or two more key points as you close the call, but don't exceed your 30 second time limit.

4.Be professional, enthusiastic and confident
A professional approach will help get your prospect's attention, and your enthusiasm and confidence will move him along in the sales cycle. Seems like common sense doesn't it? But common sense isn't always common practice.

5.Leave a call-to-action
If you're not prepared to leave a call-to-action, then don't make the call. Leaving a generic message or calling to "say hi" is simply a social visit and not part of the lead generation or sales process. Ask for a return call, a visit to your web site, preview a brochure mailed to them, whatever it is you called for in the first place. But ask them to "do something".

Voice mail can be an integral part of your sales process. Use it wisely and you will get great results.

Larry Baltz runs a company called More Sales - More Profits. He works with small business owners who want to get more clients and sell more products and services. Larry is a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and small business marketing expert. Visit his web site at

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Night Marketing News

From Mediapost:

by Sarah Mahoney
BJ's Wholesale Club says its net income for the second quarter edged up a bit, to $36.5 million, whiles sales jumped 17.9% to $2.65 billion. But the Natick, Mass.-based BJ's isn't the only warehouse club enjoying increased traffic, as shoppers intensify their efforts to get better deals wherever they can. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The Olympics aren't even over, but that doesn't mean it's not time to begin thinking about the next sports marketing event. American Express, which has backed the U.S. Open tennis tournament for the past 15 years, is once again prepped to help promote this year's event with several different efforts, including a print, outdoor and online advertising campaign and personalized programming at the event itself. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Dairy Queen is getting into the panini scene with a new product line called Iron Grilled Sandwiches. The new sandwiches launch nationwide this fall, backed by an integrated campaign via Grey NY launching Monday. Spend wasn't divulged for the TV, radio, print and outdoor push. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
BMW's Mini division will extend its international "Creative Use of Space" campaign, touting the brand and the latest addition to the portfolio--the Clubman--with a series of events on a New York City rooftop. The happening will take place on a roof space in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood that combines a club atmosphere with performance studio, health spa and art space. ... Read the whole story > >
by Laurie Sullivan
Retailers have gone beyond experimenting with Web 2.0 technologies to using them for full-scale marketing campaigns this back-to-school season in hopes of increasing foot traffic in stores and clicks on Web sites, according to a JupiterResearch analyst. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
When it comes to spokespeople, you can't do much better than lassoing a hot recording star who appeals to both men and women, has a healthy image that meshes with your brand positioning, and believes in the product enough to actually want to be a part owner.Those stars aligned for Stampede Light Plus when the three-year-old brand approached Jessica Simpson. ... Read the whole story > >
by Gavin O'Malley
Like bees to honey, Häagen-Dazs has successfully attracted a swarm of caring consumers to an online public service announcement highlighting the plight of the disappearing honey bee. For its "Häagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees" campaign, the ice cream maker's agency of record Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created a video showing costumed bees performing a unique bee dance set to hip-hop music, only to then slowly disappear from view. ... Read the whole story > >

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One More Olympic Story

Last night I watched the Finals in Women's Beach Volleyball. USA won again. There are plenty of stories and applications to our lives that we can learn from these games and the stories behind the athletes.

Art Sobczak offers us this perspective:

This Week's Tip:
Michael Phelps And You


You're not going to get any opening statement ideas,
questioning tips, voice mail suggestions, or closing
lines in this email today.

But you could get something that can have a
tremendous impact on your performance, life, and
income, far beyond any technique I could present.

If you're open to some inspiration and an attitude
adjustment, read on.

I am constantly amazed by, and have tremendous
respect for people who excel at things I could not, or
would not want to do. (Which is really, most things,
now that I think about it. Especially anything involving

Architects who design massive structures. The people
who build them. Nurses. School teachers. Most of the
workers on "Dirty Jobs." And certainly, as I have the
TV on in my office while I write this, Olympic athletes.

As I watch the gymnasts glide, bounce, tumble and flip,
I just shake my head.

And Michael Phelps. Are you kidding me? Get this:
He was interviewed the morning after his record-breaking
eighth gold medal and was asked, "So what next?"

He said,

"I don't know...probably try another event, one that I
really haven't worked on."

Here's the most decorated Olympic swimmer ever, owning
more medals than most
countries, able to cash in hugely
on his success, and he says he needs to find a
challenge he can master!

THAT, fellow sales pro, is the kind of attitude rarely found
among most people. Then again, it's not surprising,
since it what makes extraordinarily successful people-
the top 2%-who they are.

The attitude drives the work, which drives the continued
work, which produces the results.

The reason I say that excellence attitude is rare is because
I see the opposite of it so often.

You would think that in sales, a profession that can provide
a lifestyle beyond the reach of most employees performing
regular jobs, you'd have more people going for their own Gold.

Yet, I regularly see and hear about sales reps who are "veterans,"
and have been in sales for x number of years. So does that mean
they are performing at high levels. Quite often, not. Many times
they are coasting. Downhill.

Longevity does not mean excellence. Hey, I have known how
to swim for 40 years. That does not mean I could race in a
competition. In fact, my arms would turn to bungee cords and
I'd probably choke up a lung 50 yards into it.

Many sales reps are not motivated to attend training, invest
in themselves, listen to audios, read books, newsletters or
other online information, practice, or God forbid, put in the
little bit extra time after-hours and weekends to go to the next
level. But it's there for the taking. So few squeeze out every
drop of potential. Or squeeze at all.

Sure, many people would
like to make more money. That's
why gambling, the lottery, and get-rich-quick schemes are
so popular. But they are not willing to do the real work that
it takes to actually succeed.

I'm often amused that after training programs I've presented,
and this usually happens at a large national convention with
several hundred people in the audience, someone will come
up to me and say, "You know, I've been in sales a while.
I could do what you do."

I always enthusiastically respond, "You should!", knowing full
well that most would never try. Not ashamedly, I can say that
I can make talking before 1000 people look easy, and deliver
solid content in an entertaining, engaging way. What people
do not see is the thousands of hours of work that preceded
that presentation. What drives it is an insatiable desire to get
better and smarter, and the work ethic to make it continue
to happen.

The great news about personal performance is that it is
100% our choice, and responsibility. At any time, anyone
can make the choice to begin going for their own Gold.
Or resuming the quest.

And as the financial guys say, "Past performance is no
guarantee of future results." Meaning that if someone has
been a total screw-up to this point in their life, that has
nothing to do with the positive choices they make moving

Over the past 25 years in my business, and a few before
that in corporate life, I've learned one thing to especially
hold true and I see it validated every day: your
about sales, and your subsequent
actions are a greater
contributor to your success than any other factor.

What are you doing, right now, to in pursuit of
your own Gold?

Have your best week ever!

Contact: Art Sobczak, President, Business By Phone Inc. 13254 Stevens St.,

Omaha, NE 68137, (402) 895-9399. Or,

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Olympic Endorsements

Laura Ries wrote this:

Olympic Glory and Shame


There is one thing for sure, nothing is for sure when it comes to the Olympics. The Olympics is a place where even the best laid plans can collapse in under a tenth of a second, by the whim of a judge or by a nagging injury.

Like its sporting counterpart, Olympic marketing is an expensive gamble that sometimes pays off big but many times doesn???t at all. For all the happy faces going home with gold around their necks there are many more heads hanging low. The Olympics are a winner takes all competition, where second place is no place because winning silver really means losing gold.

But as the old saying goes, you can???t win it if you aren???t in it. For mass marketing giants like Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonalds and Visa the opportunity to be an Olympic sponsor is too valuable not to take a chance on and too important to let a competitor get a hold of. So who won marketing gold? And was it smarts, money or luck that made the difference? Read on to see.

Phelps medals

After Michael Phelps stunning sports perfection of 8 gold medals in 8 events, it would seem so easy to plan an Olympic marketing success. Find an athlete destined for gold medal glory and then pay them handsomely to endorse your product. Launch a massive marketing campaign tying the athlete, your brand and the host country to a powerful message to increase brand awareness and loyalty.

But just like competing in an Olympic event, it is easier said than done. I always thought badminton was a nice leisurely sport but after watching the women???s final where two Chinese athletes swatted the birdie to near extinction, you realize the Olympics takes everything to the extreme and that includes marketing.

Michael Phelps became at sensation at the 2004 Athens games winning six gold medals but there was nothing to guarantee that he could even duplicate that in Beijing let alone break the Spitz record. In fact, after a 2005 drinking and driving guilty plea you might have assumed sponsoring him could be rather risky.


Liu Xiang also became a sensation at the 2004 Athens games where he became the first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold medal in track and field. Liu quickly became the most celebrated and sponsored athlete in China. And Lui???s event, the 110-meter hurdles, was the most highly anticipated event at the Beijing games. Some fanatic fans even believed the Bird???s Nest stadium was built with Lui in mind as the place where he would defend his title and win gold in front of the home crowd.

For China, Liu is like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan wrapped up into one pretty package. A young, handsome, charismatic athlete who overnight won the heart of a nation and gained the interest of sponsors worldwide. No Chinese athlete has been marketed more aggressively or more successfully than Lui. Nike, Coca-Cola and Visa are all major sponsors of Lui and have invested millions in endorsement contracts and promotions centering on him. His face is plastered everywhere in China currently. And had Lui won gold at the birds nest, it would have been high fives all around.

Liu down

But while team Phelps experienced the extreme high of Olympic glory. Team Lui experienced the extreme low of Olympic shame. Sadly Lui limped off the field Monday unable to even compete in his qualifying heat ending the dream for him, his fans, his country and his sponsors.


The games aren???t over yet, but the biggest win certainly goes to Michael Phelps and Speedo. The combination of Phelps???s record breaking medal count along with Speedo???s revolutionary new suit the ???LZR??? racer which dominated in the pool (nearly every gold medal swimmer wore one) meant a one-two knockout punch for the brand. Speedo???s $1 million dollar bonus paid to Phelps for winning 7 gold medals was money well spent for all the extra favorable PR Phelps, the LZR and swimming received.


In fact, Speedo originally had planned on a major advertising campaign last fall to introduce its new LZR suits, but wisely held off betting on major buzz coming off the Olympics. With Phelps and his 8 gold medals as the spokesperson now is the time to spend heavily on marketing. (It is just too bad summer and swim season is over. Maybe Speedo can ask to have the Olympics moved to May?)

Speedo first signed Phelps when he was 16 years old. In 2003, they signed him to his current deal which included the million dollar bonus and runs through 2009. Signing with an athlete before they are famous and staying with them along the ride is the key to long-term endorsement success. Jumping on the Phelps bandwagon now looks disingenuous on Phelps part and the companies.

Phelps and his agent need to resist the temptation to cash in quick on his fame. Too many endorsements for too many products will undermine his most valuable asset his honesty. Phelps promoting Rayovac batteries, for example, would be just as horrible for him as it was for Michael Jordan.

I actually cringe at the possible endorsement deals he might do? Can you think of any funny ones he should avoid?

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