Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stats and Real Life

I like to put a human perspective on statistics. We can get bogged down in all our numbers and figures and forget that each person, is a person.

An individual.

So when marketing to the masses, even if the masses is a tight little niche, remember the individuals.

Seth wrote about this:

Listening to the loud people

Of course you should listen to your customers.

But which ones?

Should you listen to the loud ones, the ones who call the sports radio stations to complain about the pitching, the ones who post websites about your lousy service, the ones who organize nationwide boycotts? Should you listen to the angry ones, the ones with a limited vocabulary (heavy on profanity, short on spelling) who know how to use email and aren't afraid to use it?

Or, should you listen to the customers that are the most profitable, the most loyal or the most likely to spread word of mouth among the people you want to become your customers?

Here are three common listening mistakes:

  1. Believing that your customers are monolithic, that they all want the same thing.
  2. Believing that loud customers speak for all customers.
  3. Worrying that if you don't satisfy short-term, loudly articulated needs, you will fail.

There's an art here, it's not a science. I'd focus on a few tactics:

  • When someone is in pain, recognize it and address it if you can.
  • You decide, not your customers, where you want to go. Lead, don't follow.
  • Amplify the voices of the people you care about, those with the most value to you in the long run. Give them a platform and make it easier for them to speak to you and the rest of the market.

And here's one thing I'd do on a regular basis: Get a video camera or perhaps a copy machine and collect comments and feedback from the people who matter most to your business. Then show those comments to the boss and to your staff and to other customers. Do it regularly. The feedback you expose is the feedback you'll take to heart.

Sphere: Related Content


From Small Fuel:

SmallFuel Marketing Blog

5 Tips for Successful Long-Term Marketing

long term marketing success

We all try to convince people to buy on first contact, but the reality is that this situation rarely occurs. Some report that it takes about seven or eight points of contact before you convince someone to buy

This is why taking a long-term view, and marketing consistently, matters so much. The more a person sees your logo, your name or your product, the more likely that person is to move from prospect to buyer. Exposure counts and you need to do everything you can to make that exposure happen.

Most people make half-hearted attempts at marketing. They skimp on expenses and advertise only every now and then. It's true that it can get expensive to continually buy ad space or maintain marketing campaigns.

But if you don't have the consistent exposure, you're losing out on sales.

Focusing on the short-term immediate costs isn't the way to go;. Marketing is a long-term affair. Its goal is to increase your sales over time and grow your business from a clientless entity to one with a solid base of customers.

Here are five tips to help with your long-term marketing ventures:

  1. Have a long-term plan.

    It's not enough to know where you want to be in six months or a year. Know where you want to be in two years, five years and even in ten years with your business. By knowing what you want to attain over time, you can create a strategic marketing plan to help you achieve growth milestones along the way.
  2. Follow through with every contact that occurs.

    If you receive someone's email address, send a note a week or two after they contact you to follow up and ask if they have questions. You could even call them – a voice has greater impact than a text message.
  3. Find ways to achieve long-term exposure.

    Short marketing bursts are nice, but maintaining advertising in a location that many consumers can notice over time produces better results. Posters are a good idea; banner ads on websites are another. Visual impact counts.
  4. Focus on one marketing strategy at a time

    When you create three separate means of exposure, for example, it's tough to know which one made clients noticed you more and which method was the most effective for the cost involved.
  5. Examine immediate costs of versus long-term income.

    In many cases, investing $500 sounds like a lot of money to a new business owner, but if the expense offers the potential to bring in $10,000 worth of sales over one year, the immediate cost becomes negligible.

Always try to plan the goals you want to achieve from your marketing campaign. Analyze the related expenditures and the potential gains before making a decision. With a clear milestone in sight, you have a better opportunity to choose the method or strategy that works best with the budget you have.

And when you do make your choice for the tactic you think will work best? Measure, measure and measure again. By doing so, you'll make more informed decisions later on down the line.

Sphere: Related Content

Best of the Week

According to AdForum:

View these FREE until September 19th:

So Cute
for AXE

Acassuso, Argentina
Scent of a woman.

Shoe Circus
for Microsoft Windows

Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Miami, United States
United States
Fitting the Bill.

Tony Romo
for Pepsi

BBDO New York
New York, United States
United States
Big playmaker.

for Geico

The Martin Agency
Richmond, United States
United States
Beach bummer.

for Powerade

Sra. Rushmore United
Madrid, Spain
Moving man.

Sphere: Related Content

Still Cold Calling?

Here's some advice from Sales Guru Jill Konrath:

Selling to Big Companies Blog

Don't Be a Promiscuous Prospector

Posted: 03 Sep 2008 09:40 PM CDT

Jill_konrath_078_2 If you're trying to get into big companies, but still "dialing for dollars," you're missing the boat.

Corporate decision makers won't have anything to do with you if you're giving them the same old spiel that you give everyone else. Want to find out what works today?

Then check out my most recent podcast, Promiscuous Prospecting, on Salesopedia. It's only 10-minutes long and you'll pick up a few tips - guaranteed!

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Finals

Wrapping up the day with this from Mediapost:

Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The campaign will include digital advertising, public relations, unique, targeted print and in-store displays. "We wanted to let the design of the toothbrush really stand out, and are relying on influencers such as magazine editors, bloggers, interior fashion designers and unique fashion and design sponsorships to reach this consumer," says a spokesperson. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"Bloomingdale's has put a lot of work into making sure they know who their target market is, and now, they're refining that even further," says analyst Kelly Tackett. "I think we'll find these stores selling a finely edited selection that's more approachable than the competition." ... Read the whole story > >
by Laurie Sullivan
Texas Instruments is testing cashless payments with credit card companies wherein consumers affix a branded one-square-inch sticker to their cell phones. Says Julie England, VP/GM for TI's radio frequency identification (RFID) business. "This is a step toward electronic payments without having to install anything in the phone." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
One research analysts says: "Campbell's is a strong food company that's ahead of the curve compared to its counterparts. They have a very diverse product line, and solid growth strategies for both U.S. and international." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"We are worried about dependence on foreign oil. But if you fast-forward 15 years, where will [fuel-cell] batteries come from? Right now, the major source of batteries is from other countries. We need to stimulate that development here in Michigan. This money will allow us to do that," Chrysler LLC Chairman Jim Press said. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
The promotion, linking it to one of the most lucrative tween marketing franchises ever, is the latest effort in Penney's ongoing campaign to win over more sales in children's, tween, and teen clothing as it limps its way through America's enduring retail funk. ... Read the whole story > >

Sphere: Related Content

Creative stuff and Music Listening

Okay, it's 4:30 Friday afternoon and I'm lumping together 2 topics because that's the way they were sent to me in an email this morning from Adweek.

Look for Friday Finals around 6 this evening and then more Saturday & Sunday.

Time to take my daughter out for her quarter century birthday!

Picture with first story Weight Watchers' Tales of the Tape
A translucent sculpture of a woman glistens in the afternoon sunlight in a downtown park. The public exhibition is part of McCann Erickson's new work for Weight Watchers.more >

Picture with second story Pafenbach Joins Hello Viking
Alan Pafenbach, the former Arnold managing partner and executive creative director who helped shape Volkswagen's lauded "Drivers wanted" campaign, has joined virtual agency Hello Viking as partner and chief creative officer. more >

Picture with third story Analysis: Feminism's Next Wavehere
Adweek's ad critic Barbara Lippert takes an in-depth look at Sarah Palin, and asks if the GOP vice presidential contender is the ultimate modern woman -- or her polar opposite. more >

Picture with third story Profile: Jennifer Parke
Boombang's Jennifer Parke saw the true potential for marrying advertising and product design early on. more >

Mark Dolliver's Data Dose
The rise of newer technologies for accessing music hasn’t extinguished the appeal of radio, finds a Rasmussen Reports poll. Asked to cite the device they use most often for listening to music, 42 percent of respondents said it’s radio (with another 9 percent picking satellite radio). Twenty-five percent mentioned a CD player, 14 percent an MP3 player and 5 percent a computer. Sixty-nine percent “rarely or never” download music; 5 percent do so at least once a week.

Sphere: Related Content

Are You Sleazy?

I don't mean like Britney or Paris. We're talking about integrity here. Read more from C.J. Hayden:

Eliminating the Sleaze Factor in Marketing

In the 15-plus years that I've been teaching entrepreneurs about
sales and marketing, the most significant barrier to success
named by my clients and students is that they simply don't like
to market and sell.

The roots of this dislike are varied. Sometimes what gets in the
way is fear of rejection, or self-doubt of one's abilities.
Other times it's lack of knowledge or inexperience; most of us
don't like to do things when we feel we can't do them well. But
a theme that rears its ugly head over and over again is this: a
belief that sales and marketing is dishonest, manipulative, and

You might expect me to argue that these negative portrayals of
marketing are not true. But in reality, they often are. Most of
us experience on a daily basis inauthentic marketing,
manipulative selling, and attempts at persuasion that rub us the
wrong way. When we note our distaste for these tactics,
consciously or unconsciously, we allow them to color our
attitude about marketing in general, and our own marketing in

Of course we don't want others to think of us as untruthful,
manipulative, or pushy. So once we characterize sales and
marketing as deserving of those adjectives, a natural outgrowth
is that we begin to avoid doing it.

I'm not suggesting that you, the person reading this article,
are a sleazy marketer. In fact, I suspect it's much more likely
that you aren't. But it just may be that you need to convince
yourself of that truth in order to raise your comfort level
about sales and marketing. To that end, I offer the following

You are NOT a sleazy marketer, if:

~ You only promise what you know you can deliver. You don't make
unrealistic promises and overblown claims, because you know they
backfire in the long run. Even when exaggerations like these
convince customers to buy, when their purchase doesn't live up
to the hype, they feel misled and dissatisfied. Unhappy
customers don't make repeat purchases or refer others.

~ You always represent your abilities and experience accurately.
You're not afraid to let customers know how good you are at what
you do, but you don't feel the need to fabricate a background
that doesn't exist. Instead, you play up your strengths, tell
stories about past successes, and rely on positive references.

~ You explain why you are good rather than why the competition
is bad. You know that running down the competition only makes
you look jealous or defensive. Your competitors are also your
colleagues, and can often become some of your best referral
sources. You don't hesitate to stress your unique competitive
advantages and emphasize the benefits of your products and
services, but you do so without disparaging others.

~ You never trick people into taking or returning your calls.
You wouldn't think of asking someone's receptionist to put
through your call by giving misleading information. Nor do you
leave voice mail messages implying that your call is for a
purpose other than the real one. The most productive sales
conversations are always with people who are open to having

~ You ask for permission to follow up or to add prospects to
your list. When you ask a prospect "may I call you again next
quarter?" you are both agreeing that a follow-up conversation is
worth having. You'll feel more confident making future contacts
when you know they are welcome. You also know that subscribing
people to your email list without permission only annoys them,
so you always ask first.

~ You stop selling when it's clear the customer doesn't need
what you're offering. In a sales conversation, of course you
respond to objections with counterpoints, but you do so
respectfully, and never push customers past their own comfort
zone. When prospects make it clear that they don't have a
current need for your products and services and don't wish to
continue hearing about them, you thank them for their time and
move on.

Post this list by your computer and your telephone. Read it over
before writing marketing copy or making sales calls. Do whatever
it takes to reassure yourself that your own sales and marketing
is honest, ethical, and authentic. Once you are confident that
any hint of the sleaze factor has been eliminated from your
marketing, it's my bet that you will want to engage in sales and
marketing more enthusiastically, with more pride, and more

Copyright © 2008, C.J. Hayden C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now!™ Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income. Get a free copy of "Five Secrets to Finding All the Clients You'll Ever Need" at

Sphere: Related Content

Wizard Wisdom

A few days earlier than usual, from my email:


Dear Scott,

Your potential customers are drowning in ads.

"The average urban dwelling American sees up to 5,000 advertising 'messages' -- from T-shirts to billboards -- every day. That compares with 2,000 thirty years ago." - CBS Sunday Morning, March 30, 2008. Source: Yankelovich, Inc.

This means your message on an average day, is competing with 4,999 others.
How can your message cut through in that ever deepening sea of advertising?

Your options.
1. Increase the frequency of your ads
(This costs money and adds to the noise)
2. Increase the impact quotient of your ads.
(This takes great strategy and persuasive writing)
3. Do both.

Which will you do?

PS. Doing none of the above will result in declining sales.

In this issue:

From the Editor: Wizard Partner Chuck McKay recently finished a 7 part series titled 'Surviving The Recession'. In true Chuck sytle this is detailed and well thought out series. You may agree with all points raised. You may shake your head at some. It doesn't matter. What's important is to take the time to read and then start implementing.

Under each topic heading I selected a random a piece of advice from that particular article. Make sure you click the link to read the full story.

Now it's over to Chuck...

1. Focus on Revenue and Customer Service
With fewer customers you'll be tempted to reduce the number of customer service personnel. Many of your competitors will. Don't do it. Of course now is the time to cut expenses, but not in ways that touch the customer.
Read the full story

2. Cherish Your Existing Customers

Do you treat every customer as if they were your best customer? Maybe it's time. Some of these basics should be automatic. Respect your customer's time. Keep your promises. Keep your customer in the information loop. Deliver the same day your customer purchases. Show genuine interest in your customer's satisfaction and success.
Read the full story...

3. Accelerate Your Advertising and PR
Study after study has delivered the same results: companies who pull in their resources and hunker down to ride out the economic uncertainties fall way behind when things get better.

Those same studies show that companies who aggressively pursue revenue in good times and bad leapfrog over their competitors in the following years.

Conclusion: Do not interrupt your advertising during tough economic times.
Read the full story...

4. Adjust Your Staffing
Sort your people into four groups – A, B, C, and D. This sort has nothing to do with rank. A great cashier may be more valuable than a so-so executive.

Your A group are the excellent employees that you couldn't get along without. Tell them how important they are.

The B's are good, consistent performers. Tell them, too, that they're important to your company's future.

The C group are average. Determine which of them can grow into the B list, and make sure they understand that their jobs are secure as long as they stay focused on helping your company through the rough times.

The D's are under-performers. They, along with the C's you can't grow, should be cut immediately.
Read the full story...

5. Lower Your Profit Margins
Reduce your margins by enough to stop the bleeding. Ten percent? Fifteen? You'll have to keep close tabs on your costs, your volume, and your margins, but there is a number that will spur sales enough to keep you profitable.

But don't just drop prices. Make it part of a promotion so that shoppers take action NOW, and so that you'll have less resistance to raising those prices again in a few months when the economy improves.
Read the full story...

6. Speed Up Cash Flow
Have you checked your customer's credit history, recently? You should. All of them, including those who have (so far) paid on time.

Those with questionable payment history can be expected to delay their payments again during a cash crunch. Be prepared to cut back on their credit lines, and keep a close eye on potential defaults.

As soon as you detect a problem, get them on the phone. It's much harder to ignore a phone call than a collection letter. Besides, your diplomacy will be even more appreciated in a one-to-one conversation.
Read the full story...

7. Cut Overhead
Its not likely you'll find one big cut.

What's very likely is that you'll find several smaller cuts that will add up to significant amounts, and every dollar you save can be the equivalent of ten dollars in before tax earnings. You can't save your way to prosperity, but this exercise will help you find ways to free up operational cash.

Question every single expense. Look everywhere for savings. Do you need six incoming telephone lines? Do you need company box seats at the stadium? Do you need a company membership to the country club?
Read the full story...

PS. Need help implementing some of Chuck's advice. Give him a call (304) 523-0163 or send an email.

Previous issue, just in case you missed it:

5 Ways to Attract People to Your Store and Increase Sales...

The Extraordinary People Myth

A Closing Thought.

"Procrastination is the passive assassin of opportunity."- Most probably penned by the Wizard.

Now go an implement something!

See you next week.

Craig Arthur
Wizard of Ads

PS. Need help to attract more customers and grow your business?

Australia Call (07) 4728 4866 or send an email.

North America

Call 308-254-2732 or send an email.

Call 440-610-9746 or send an email

We will never try and sell you. You may punch us in the arm really, really hard if we do.

Call or email to book a FREE alignment meeting. No obligation. No pressure. It is at this meeting we both decide if there is a fit between our 2 companies. It is only then can we explore your options. We will never try to sell you. Call (07) 4728 4866.

Wizard Partners Australia. Call Us: (07) 4728 4866

Sphere: Related Content

The Cost of Free

Sometimes, the best price is free.

From the site:

Give to Receive

"There's still something to be said for a free sample of a product," says Mike Essex, who has made a sport of seeing how many he can receive in return for promising an online review at his blog. While the premise of his activities fall outside the marketing mainstream, his experience has produced four key takeaways that don't.

Here's why the Blagman (a term Essex uses to defines himself and which he glosses as "someone who attempts to get products for free") believes a gratis sample is far from a something-for-nothing proposition:

  • You build brand loyalty by engaging customers in a way that makes them feel valued and gives them the prospect of delving deeper in to your product range. They're also more likely to reward you with a larger purchase than they might have made in the first place.
  • You demonstrate the worth of your product or service by letting potential customers give it a spin without obligation.
  • You earn additional word of mouth from satisfied customers who are doubly impressed by a no-cost trial.
  • You one-up the competition by grabbing the attention of decision-makers—and even those who influence their decisions—with an offer almost no one will turn down.

The Po!nt: "Whether giving away old stock to encourage new purchases or simply giving a core product away and selling add-ons there's no reason any company can't reap the benefits of a simple effective drop of free products," says Essex.

Source: Article submitted by Mike Essex.

Sphere: Related Content

What happens when a customer is pissed

I hope the title of this article caught your attention.

This is a true story, first person account of what happened to Skip Lineberg at Maple Creative.

He wrote it on his blog for the world to see.

Fortunately he did not name names.

Actually I think he should have.

Read and learn the lessons.

Your customers are constantly deciding if they want to keep giving you their money. And they are talking about you to anyone that will listen.

Are you listening?

The Way We Leave

I quit my dry cleaner this month. Bolted ... dropped the deuce. Peace out.

Quietly, without drama or fanfare, I switched from Drycleaner P to Drycleaner G. I never told the folks at P that I was leaving. I seriously doubt if they have noticed. Once I had made the switch, I told three friends about my experience.

Why did I leave? And more importantly, why should you care? My behavior as a consumer was wholly typical and representative ... it's a mini case study. I left my drycleaner for the same reasons--and in the same manner--that all customer leave all service businesses.

Reason #1 - Quality.
Drycleaner P stopped being careful with my clothing. I don't have time to replace buttons, and I don't like to spend more money to buy new pants that have been nuked at 1000 deg Kelvin with old press pads. So, their quality of service plummeted.

Reason #2 - Service Personnel.
At Drycleaner P, the long-time service rep (the clerk who greets you and takes care of your pick-ups and drop-offs was friendly, polite and helpful. The person who was hired to replace her was zombie-like in her glazed over, cold, distant manner. It comes down to the leadership (in this case the owners). I want--and I deserve--friendly service from nice people. (Hey- this is West Virginia, after all.)

Most customers, when they leave ... when they decide to quit you ... do not leave in a bombastic, confrontational way. In fact, most never even tell you that they are about to leave. They just leave. And it's because of the fact that 96% of humans prefer to avoid conflict or confrontation. We simply do not like to address the unpleasant stuff, like complaining about something. Ironically, they won't tell you that they are leaving, but they will tell others (4 to 5 people on average) why they left.

What does this mean for you and your business?

From a basic business perspective, it provides a very meaningful reminder that you can never quit striving to provide the best service at a very high quality level. It is an absolute must to have the best, most capable, friendly people interacting with your customers.

Where does marketing fit in this?

Now from a marketing perspective, this story demonstrates that you have to ask your customers if they are satisfied. They will not initiate such conversations. Ask them: "How are we doing?" "What could we do better?" "Have we done anything to irritate you or anything that has inconvenienced you lately?" Marketing geniuses understand that marketing is a conversation and also a feedback loop. They know that marketing serves two masters: 1- finding customers and 2- keeping them happy.

Sphere: Related Content

Staying in touch

Doesn't matter what your title, occupation, or role, if you don't stay in touch, you may be forgotten. But how often should you reach out and touch someone?

Staying Top of Mind (Without Being a Pain In The Neck)

"And if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with, love the one you're with, love the one you're with, love the one you're with..."
- Stephen Stills

Why does it seem that our clients (and prospects) too often take the advice of seventies rock stars when selecting their professional services providers? Perhaps the following story will shed some light.

I recently conducted research for a client on how often their past clients wish to be contacted by their professional service providers. Like most professionals, my client's hypothesis was that his past clients will simply call when they have more work. Like many professional service providers, his assumption was that to contact past clients too often would be an intrusion, an imposition, and, worst of all, unprofessional.

As a result, he was following the once a year (or less) approach to "staying in touch."

My research findings, in keeping with what we have witnessed time and time again, were:

Almost no service providers contact their current and past clients too often. In fact, it is difficult to do.

A typical conversation with past clients of my client would go something like this:

  • John Doerr: I am calling for Smith & Jones. Bill Smith did some work for you in the past and I am looking to find out the best ways for him to keep in touch with you in order to stay top of mind.
  • Client of my Client: How is Bill? I remember the work he did for us. Oh gee, it's been over a year now. How time flies. His approach was so unlike anything we usually get. He was thoughtful, asked great questions, and actually changed what we were looking for. In the end, his suggestions made a huge difference for us.
  • John Doerr: Bill is doing great.
  • Client of my Client: Good to hear that. You know, I had forgotten about how good his work was. Too bad you didn't call last week. I just awarded a major assignment that was right up Bill's alley. I am so busy right now. I have trouble remembering things from last week, let alone last year. The assignment came up and I called who I met with most recently. They were in two weeks ago. Too bad for both of us, Bill probably would have been a great choice. Tell him to give me a call soon.

This was not Bill's only client who said this. Bill missed that potential assignment from his client (and now maybe future assignments with them as well, if the new provider is good, too). So what could Bill have done better to stay in touch with his clients; staying top of mind, without being a pain in the neck?

Five Guidelines For Keeping Top of Mind

  1. Assess the Potential: Staying top of mind takes time--something we all seem to have too little of. Before you launch into a six times or more per year contact plan, make sure you want to keep in touch. Ask yourself, "How much work will this client potentially have over the next 12 months? Over the next 2 years? Is it worth my time to make sure we are the first ones they think of for new assignments?"

    As much as we can grow to like our clients on a personal level, not all are worth a continuing business relationship. In addition, freeing ourselves from those with limited potential provides us with the time needed to focus our efforts on those with the greatest potential.
  2. Provide Value: The fear of bothering or annoying their clients keeps many service providers from contacting them. In some cases, that may actually be the truth, especially if your conversations consist of you asking, "So, what have you got for me this week?" If, in each contact you make with your clients, you provide some sort of value they will look forward to hearing from you and ultimately remember you by the extra value you provide.

    You can provide value in the form of new information about trends in their industry, an article you thought would be of interest to them, or simply a perspective on a recent news item about the client's company. Depending upon how well you have connected with this client, simply calling or taking them to lunch can be of value. (But don't rely on your own good company as the value proposition every time.)
  3. Expand Their Knowledge Of You: If you only call your clients once a year, do not be surprised when a client says, "I didn't know you did that, too." It is okay to let clients know about new services or other services you provide that they may not have sampled. If they are happy clients, they will certainly be open to hearing about the other work you do.

    They will be even more receptive to hearing about your services if you provide value in the telling-- case studies, non-proprietary data from the work, similarities of problems and solutions, etc.
  4. Change The Communication Texture: We all like variety in our lives. Do not let your communication plan get stuck in the world of electronics. Letters, especially because they are so rare these days, stand out and get through. Hand-written cards, newsletters, brochures, and phone calls all provide a different feel and impression to your clients.

    By mixing up the vehicles, you stand a better chance of your clients actually seeing and reading what you have sent. In addition, old-fashioned hard copy materials will stay on the client's desk and become more than just top of mind, but maybe even closest at hand.
  5. Build The Relationship: In the end, professional services are all about relationships. True relationships are honest, sincere, and of value to both parties. As you work to stay top of mind, also be true of heart in developing a relationship that is meaningful and desired by the client as much as it is desired by you.
  6. The client relationship built on a strong foundation of constant, varied, and sincere communication has less of a chance of being pushed aside when someone new comes along or happens to be the last one in the door. Follow these five guidelines and the chances of your phone ringing the next time your client needs a service will be much greater.

    John Doerr is President of the Wellesley Hills Group, a consulting and marketing services firm that helps service companies to grow. John can be reached at

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday Night Marketing News

A few extra stories tonight:

New Convertibles Take Aim At The Middle-Aged Blues
USA Today
Nissan's Infiniti has announced a new drop-top version of its G37 sports coupe. General Motors will deliver the Camaro convertible by June 2010. And Toyota's Lexus will unveil an open-air version of its sporty IS. All of them are targeted to empty nesters hitting their peak buying-power years and craving a little reward.

"It's one of those urban myths that's not a myth," says Jack Nerad, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "There's a romance associated with them." The median buyer's age of one of the most popular convertibles, the Ford Mustang, is 44.

About 2% of car buyers will buy a convertible, says Tom Libby of Power Information Network. "It's small, but it's stable," he says of the market. And affluent. That's one reason some of the most prominent convertibles these days come from luxury brands, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac. Most convertibles are variants of performance or specialty models. - Read the whole story...

Ocean Spray Sponsors Cranberry Recipe Competition
Food Navigator USA
Ocean Spray, the cranberry agricultural cooperative, is forking out $50,000, as well as a year's supply of cranberry products, to the winners of a competition to find the most innovative cranberry recipe at both the foodservice and consumer level.

Marketing efforts such as this have resulted in a growing consumer awareness and interest in cranberries, especially for its benefits for urinary tract health. Although the berries hold no health claims in the U.S., Ocean Spray has in large part carried the message through to consumers via awareness campaigns that do not form part of its direct product or juice ads.

As well as promoting awareness of the berry's benefits, Ocean Spray's efforts also aim to promote awareness of the product's versatility in different applications. The current contest has already drawn up a list of finalists that have used the berry in dishes such as Zesty Sweet Potato Gratin with Cranberry Crisp, Cranberry-Thai Glazed Flame-Roasted Pork Loin, and Warm Chevre Crostini with Cranberry Basil Tapenade. - Read the whole story...

Nike: 'Here I Am' New Slogan For Young European Women
The Wall Street Journal

The New Card On Campus: Prepaid Debit
The Wall Street Journal

Almond Growers Sue USDA Over Pasteurization Rule
The Los Angeles Times

by Aaron Baar
"James Bond and the Bond franchise is the longest-running franchise in movie history, and it has global appeal," says Coke representative Petro Kacur. "Coke Zero, which is a growing global brand, shares an edgy, masculine positioning with that franchise. It's a great partnership." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"We've made our message be about price," said CEO Neal Goldberg. "But marketing leads with emotions, and what business talks more about emotions than this one? I don't care if it's a birthday or christening or an engagement gift--there are very few products that should be so emotional, and let the product be the hero." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"Our members are telling us they want us to find partners that make their lives easier," says a hotel spokesperson. "This is one we thought we would try. We are continually looking for new earning and redemption partners, whether they are in the travel industry or outside, like Energy Plus." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Packaged Fact's analysts stress that "being organic or all-natural isn't enough ... successful manufacturers are creating emotional ties through use of compelling narratives about their brands, along with producing consistently high-quality products." ... Read the whole story > >
by Mark Walsh
The carriers' new applications give users a single source for accessing multiple social networks including MySpace. While both use the same platform, Verizon's "SocialLife" costs $1.49 a month, and AT&T's "My Communities" is priced at $2.99 monthly. ... Read the whole story > >

Sphere: Related Content

Fresh Ideas


It's time for your weekly fix of entrepreneurial ideas! Our latest issue is now online. Here's
a quick run-down of the promising new businesses featured on Springwise this week:

Obama pendantPonoko ID lets shoppers and designers collaborate
Style & design / Retail

Shoppers who have a great idea for a product but lack the skills to
design it, can now put in a request on Ponoko ID and have expert
designers bid to create it for them.

"Pitch me" on AuthonomyHarperCollins hopes crowds will spot next bestseller
Media & publishing

Publisher HarperCollins aims to unleash the wisdom of the crowds
on mountains of unpublished manuscripts. Writers can upload (part
of) their work to be judged by amateur talent spotters.

Handsome ram in profileA million sheep, a million stories
Fashion & beauty / Eco & sustainability

New Zealand merino wool clothing company Icebreaker now allows
customers to trace each garment they buy back to the sheep stations
where the merino fibre was grown.

Man sticking adhesive art on a carSticky car art with a crowdsourcing twist
Automotive / Style & design

San Francisco-based Infectious offers a range of car stickers
designed by artists from around the world, but it also lets consumers
submit their own designs.

Hand controlling an iPod on a black fridgeBranded brands in the kitchen: a made-for-iPod fridge
Homes & housing / Entertainment

Following in the tracks of cars that have added iPod integration,
Slovenian appliance maker Gorenje has unveiled a "Made for iPod"
refrigerator that is specially designed around iPod Touch technology.

Shu Qi in Hong KongLouis Vuitton's walking tours of Beijing, HK & Shanghai
Travel & tourism / Marketing & advertising

Louis Vuitton Soundwalk MP3 audio guides are designed to give
users a vibrant portrayal of three Chinese cities -- Beijing, Hong Kong
and Shanghai -- each led by an icon of Chinese cinema.

Woman demonstrating Laundry LockerLaundry service by the locker
Life hacks / Homes & housing

Catering to those who are frustrated with the inconvenience of
traditional laundry and dry-cleaning services, Laundry Locker offers
on-site service through lockers located in apartment buildings.

Row of sneakers decorated with SneakartCustomizing sneakers with removable stickers
Fashion & beauty / Style & design

UK-based Sneakart offers users the opportunity to customize their
sneakers via Sneakskin, a super-thin, flexible, durable and waterproof
graphic film that can be applied to white and light-coloured shoes.

Exercise equipment adapted to generate electricityGenerating electricity by working up a sweat -- update
Eco & sustainability / Lifestyle & leisure

The Green Microgym, which just opened last week, is a 2,800-sq-ft
neighbourhood gym that generates a significant portion of its own
electricity through the sweat-producing efforts of its members.

Stylish man on Stitsh Fashion blog is a street version of shopping mags
Fashion & beauty / Media & publishing

Most street-style fashion blogs serve their readers primarily as
sources of inspiration, but a new London-based blog has added an
e-commerce twist to let readers click and buy the looks they like.

Sphere: Related Content