Saturday, February 21, 2009

Email Blasting

How much is too much? (I'll share with you another side of the coin Sunday at 9am Eastern time)

Enough, Already!

In a post at the ExactTarget blog, Nate Romance recounts a visit with his tech-savvy mother, a woman who makes frequent online purchases through sites like Craigslist and Amazon. While scanning her email, she became annoyed with a particular message. "If they send me one more stupid email this week," she said in exasperation, "I'm never going to buy anything from them again."

According to Romance, his mother shops at this specialty retailer exactly once a year—to buy a birthday gift for his sister. But despite her regular-as-clockwork shopping pattern, she still receives between three and five email messages each week.

The problem, says Romance, is when companies like this place more importance on omnipresence than relevance. "One marketer actually told me that they considered an unopened, unclicked email to be a net positive for their brand," he says. "Instead of looking at what they are gaining by sending so frequently, this company should probably be looking at what they are losing from this practice."

He suggests a better practice: "Adjusting frequency based on previous purchase behavior shows that you understand your customers, you respect them, and you'll be there for them when they're ready."

The Po!nt: Cool it. Pay close attention to customer preferences. No one benefits from bombarding subscribers with a scattershot email strategy.

Source: ExactTarget. Read the full post here.

Sphere: Related Content

How Branding Works

An interesting case study:

Brand 'Em, and Let 'Em Roam Free

We are exposed to people interacting with their favorite brands every day—for instance, commuters drinking bottled water. Might these glimpses of others using common brands influence our own brand choices? This new research says yes.

These researchers asked consumers to focus on the faces of people in a "study" of a series of photographs. The photos showed people engaged in everyday activities like waiting for a bus. In some photos, however, the "focal person" was holding a bottle of a familiar brand of water. At the end of the "test," participants were offered a free bottle of water as a thank-you, and were given the choice of four popular brands.

Turns out, the participants who saw a high number of photos with a person holding a branded water bottle chose that brand from the four offered. But these researchers also pointed up some interesting additional facts:

  • The branding effect worked only when participants were not aware of having seen the branded bottles in the photos.
  • The branding effect failed when participants were shown too many photos with the branded bottles.
  • Conclusion: brand exposure works, but too much of it can backfire.

Randomness played an important role here, too: Exposure to others' brand choices influenced a consumer's choice when those others were "not associated with any particular group," the researchers said.

The Po!nt: Brand away! Let a wide range of consumers interact with your well-labeled products. This may be your best form of brand marketing.

Source: "The Power of Strangers: The Effect of Incidental Consumer Brand Encounters on Brand Choice," by Rosellina Ferraro, James R. Bettman and Tanya L. Chartrand. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009.

Sphere: Related Content

Who are the Twitters?

and why should you care?

Take a look at this explanation I wrote of Social Media by clicking here.

And check out this from (Click on the charts to make them BIGGER)

One in 10 American Adults is a ‘Tweeter’

More than one in ten (11%) online adults in the US say they have used Twitter - or a similar service – to share updates about themselves or view updates about others, and those who use Twitter have a greater affinity for mobile devices, according to new research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The most recent Pew study on the topic found that the number of tweeters, which was gauged in December 2008, appears to be growing quickly. In contrast to December’s 11%, only 9% said they had used Twitter in November 2008, and 6% of internet users responded yes to a similar question in May 2008.

Younger Users Tweet More

The research also found that, not surprisingly, younger internet users lead the way in using Twitter and similar services. Nearly one in five (19%) online adults ages 18-24 have used Twitter and similar services, as have 20% of online adults age 25-34.

Use of these services drops off steadily after age 35 with 10% of 35 to 44 year olds and 5% of 45 to 54 year olds using Twitter, Pew said. The decline is even more stark among older internet users; 4% of 55-64 year olds and 2% of those 65 and older use Twitter.

Given the youth of most Twitter users, it is not surprising to find that online Americans who live in lower-income households are more likely to use Twitter than more affluent Americans, said Pew. Some 17% of internet users in households earning less than $30K annually tweet and update their status, compared with 10% of those earning more than $75K.

Wireless Users More Likely to Tweet

Wireless internet users also are more likely to be users of Twitter and other status updating services; 14% of users who access the internet wirelessly via a laptop, handheld or cell phone have used Twitter or the like, compared with 6% of users who go online but do not do so wirelessly.

Twitter Entwined with Social Media

The use of Twitter is highly intertwined with the use of other social media; both blogging and social network use increase the likelihood that an individual also uses Twitter, according to the study. Adults who use online social networks are much more likely to say that they have used Twitter or some other service to update their status and read the status updates of others. Nearly one quarter (23%) of social network users say they have ever Twittered or used a similar service.

In comparison, just 4% of those who do not use social networks have ever used Twitter or updated their status online. The correlation between status updates and social network use is less surprising given that many social network sites offer opportunities to post status updates and read the updates of others, Pew said.

Blogging shows a similar pattern to social media: 27% of bloggers tweet, compared with just 10% of those who do not keep a blog. Overall, 13% of internet users have created a blog.

Characteristics of “Tweeters”

The demographic profile of Twitter users as a whole reveals some additional details about who uses Twitter and how they communicate and consume information, the study found.

Key findings about Twitter users:

  • Though Twitter users are young, their median age is 31. In comparison, the median age of a MySpace user is 27, a Facebook user is 26 and a LinkedIn user is 40.7.
  • Twitter users are slightly more racially and ethnically diverse than is the full US population, most likely because they are younger. Younger Americans are a more ethnically and racially diverse group than is the full population.
  • Twitter users are slightly more likely to live in urban areas, with 35% of Twitter users living in urban areas (compared with 29% of all internet users) and just 9% of tweeters and status updaters living in rural areas, compared with 17% of internet users.
  • Twitter users and status updaters are much more likely to be using wireless technologies - laptops, handhelds and cell phones - for internet access, or cell phones for text messaging, the research found. More than three-quarters (76%) of Twitter users use the internet wirelessly - either on a laptop with a wireless connection, or via PDA, handheld or cell phone. In comparison, 57% of those who go online but do not use Twitter, and 59% of internet users as a whole connect to the internet wirelessly.
  • Cell phone ownership among Twitter users is comparable to the online population as a whole, but Twitter users are more likely to use their cell phone to text and go online. More than four in five (82%) Twitter users have a cell phone and use it to send text messages, while 59% of those who go online but do not use Twitter (and 61% of the internet-using population at large) own a cell phone and use it to send text messages.
  • Twitter users are more likely to use their cell phones to connect to the internet; fully two in five (40%) Twitterers with cell phones use the device to connect to the internet, while one quarter (24%) of those who go online but do not use Twitter do the same.

Twitter Users Consume News on Mobile Devices

Along with communicating extensively via untethered mobile devices, Twitter users are more likely to consume news and information on these devices as well, Pew found. For many Twitter users, learning about and sharing relevant and recent nuggets of information is a primary utility of the service. While Twitter users are just as likely as others to consume news on any given day, they are more likely to consume it on mobile devices and less likely to engage with news via more traditional outlets. Tweeters are less likely to read a printed copy of a newspaper, but more likely to read a newspaper online (76% vs. 60% of non-Twitter users), and more likely to read a news story on a cell phone (14% vs. 6%) or on a smart phone (17% vs. 7%).


A similar pattern holds for video news consumption. On any given day, Twitter users are just as likely as others to watch news on a TV, and just as likely to watch video news on a computer, but more likely to watch a news video on a cell phone (6% vs. 1%) or on a smart phone (8% vs. 1%).

Tweeters Read Blogs

Regardless of the platform, Pew also found that Twitter users are also significant consumers of blog content. Some 21% read someone else’s blog ‘yesterday’ and 57% of Twitterers have ever read a blog. By comparison, 9% of those who go online but do not Twitter read someone else’s blog yesterday, and 29% have ever read a blog.

Twitter users also keep blogs at a greater rate than the overall online population; 29% of Twitter users have ever created a blog, and 8% worked on a blog ‘yesterday.’ In contrast, 11% of internet users have created a blog and 3% are working on their blog on any given day.

Sphere: Related Content

Most Visited Websites

Here's some non-surprising news from

(Click on the charts to make them BIGGER)

Top 50 Web Properties for January: The Tax Site Cometh

The start of the US tax season fueled large traffic increases to tax-related websites, while unemployment drove Americans to job-search and government sites, and Facebook cracked the top-10 list for the first time in January, according to data from comScore MediaMetrix.

The Tax Site Cometh

January marked the beginning of tax season, propelling millions of Americans to the Tax website category in preparation for filing their 2008 returns. The category witnessed a 176% gain to 24.7 million visitors, making it the top-gaining category for the month.


Career and Job Search Sites Gain as Job Losses Mount

January has historically been a strong month for career sites as the beginning of the New Year causes many Americans to reconsider their current employment situations and future goals, comScore said. However, the surge in visitors this January also reflects the millions of lost jobs across the nation, resulting in significant increases to both the Job Search category (up 42% to 26.7 million visitors) and Career Resources category (up 26 % to 48.9 million visitors).

The Job Search category was led by Job Search with 12.2 million visitors (up 34% vs. December), Job Search with 9.5 million visitors (up 42%), and Yahoo! HotJobs Job Search with 7.7 million visitors (up 38%).

Travel Sites Gain in January as Americans Plan Spring Travel

Several travel subcategories witnessed strong gains in January as Americans looked for late-season winter travel deals and began planning their spring travel. Travel - Ground/Cruise sites jumped 46% to 13 million visitors, led by Sites with 3.6 million visitors, while Travel - Hotels/Resorts grew 12 percent to 30 million visitors, led by Disney Travel with 4.8 million visitors. Travel - Online Travel Agents climbed 10% to nearly 40 million visitors, with Expedia Inc. ranking atop the category with 22.7 million visitors.

Taxes, Unemployment, Salmonella and Obama Drive Growth at Government Sites

Government sites grew 11% in January to nearly 90 million visitors, with tax preparation, unemployment benefits, the new presidential administration, and the peanut butter salmonella warning all contributing to the category’s gains. led the Government category with 14.7 million visitors, an increase of 240% from the previous month. Government sites also saw significant traffic from millions of Americans affected by the economy, who sought information on unemployment benefits and other government assistance. This phenomenon also fueled gains at several of the larger state government sites, including (up 10% to 7.6 million visitors), State.TX.US (up 14% to 4.4 million visitors), and State.NY.US (up 17% to 3.5 million visitors).


Other gainers in the Government category included, the website for the Food & Drug Administration, which grew 277% to 3.8 million visitors as news broke of a salmonella outbreak involving peanut butter products, and, the official online home of the new Presidential administration, which jumped 197% to 3.7 million visitors as President Barack Obama was sworn into office on January 20.

The Top 50: Facebook Breaks into Top 10

Google Sites continued to lead as the most visited property in January with 151 million visitors, followed by Yahoo Sites with 146.1 million visitors and Microsoft Sites with 125.6 million visitors. Facebook climbed one spot to capture the #10 position with 57.2 million visitors, marking the first time in its history that Facebook has reached the top 10.


Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking

Platform-A led the January Ad Focus ranking, reaching 91% of the nearly 192 million Americans online. Yahoo Network ranked second, reaching 86%, while ValueClick Networks captured the third position with an 84% reach. Traffic Marketplace moved up one position in the ranking to #5 reaching 7 7%, while Tribal Fusion jumped three spots to #8 with a 75% reach.


“January has once again seen seasonal gains in the tax, career and travel categories, reflecting the typical American’s tendency to plan for the New Year,” said Jack Flanagan, EVP of comScore Media Metrix. “This month also saw Facebook break into the Top 10 Properties ranking for the first time, reminding us that 2009 will likely continue to see growth in the adoption and usage of social media.”

Sphere: Related Content

It's officially official

Did you notice a few months ago when they said we were "officially" in a recession? And that our economy had been in a recession for the past 12 months!?!?!

Well, check out this proclamation I received in an email this week:

Internet Is a Mainstream Medium
Growth in Internet penetration is maturing in the U.S., where nearly 65% of the total population is now online regularly, according to eMarketer. By 2013, close to 70% will be Internet users. The Internet is now a mainstream medium, both in reach and demographics. In 2009, the U.S. Internet population will grow to nearly 200 million users. By 2013, 221 million people will be online. Use and frequency have risen steadily in the past decade, but 2009 is the year when daily Internet use will become the norm.

To find out more about digital marketing and eMarketer's report "U.S. Internet Users" click here.

Sphere: Related Content

Change what's Broken

Great advice for all of us:

Welcome to this week's business insight by Shep Hyken. This
week's insight is titled:

Brainstorm About Policies That Get In the Way

Some policies are good and others get in the way of people taking care of their customers. This is your opportunity to find out what is keeping
your people from doing a great job for your customers.

It is simple. Ask people what they perceive the rules or
policies to be that keep them from effectively doing their job.
When they tell you, you had better be listening and taking notes.

Part of your job in customer service is to know what works, what
doesn't work and what needs improvement. Most companies put
systems into place. Once there, it is assumed, by most
employees, that they will always be there. The great companies
are always looking for ways to improve. They listen to what
their employees say is working and not working.

The systems and policies we put in place need to be flexible.
Change them or eliminate them as needed.

Copyright © 2009- Shep Hyken, Shepard Presentations

Shep Hyken, CSP is a professional speaker and author who works
with organizations who want to build loyal relationships with
their customers and employees. For more information on Shep's
speaking programs, books and tapes contact (314)692-2200 or (

Shepard Presentations, LLC
711 Old Ballas Road, Suite 215
St. Louis, MO 63141

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News

From Mediapost:

by Aaron Baar
The marketing effort will also include radio and in-store graphics. The company is also trying its hand at social media and grassroots marketing, having started a Twitter feed and a Facebook fan page. "We still aren't sure that it works for quick-service restaurants, because so much of the buying is impulse," VP Chris Contino says. "But we're hoping to hit on something that makes sense." ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Les Luchter
Membership reward members were alerted to the addition of large home appliances through a recent mailing, while the other new program choices were incorporated into the new 2009 program guide, also mailed to members. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
While acknowledging that "this might seem a rather strange time to innovate," Skyy Vodka Senior Brand Manager Jason Daniel says that the brand's "rather dramatic" step of replacing its existing flavored vodka line with Infusions is proving very much on the money precisely because of consumers' proclivity to indulge in relatively inexpensive "mini-vacations" in lieu of the real thing. ... Read the whole story > >
by Mark Walsh
"One has to wonder whether we're at a tipping point for distribution vehicles for coupons as newspaper readers decline and they shift attention to the Internet," says chairman Gian Fulgoni. In that vein, surfing the Internet was the activity the highest proportion of respondents said they were spending more time doing to relieve stress from the economic downturn, just ahead of watching TV. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"Despite heavy discounting during the holiday season, the bulk of the improvement in ACSI was actually due to better customer service," writes a professor at the University of Michigan. "It is likely that sales staff tried harder to please customers because of the economic situation and fear of unemployment. It is also possible that store traffic decreased to the point that there were more personnel per customer than usual." ... Read the whole story > >

Sphere: Related Content

Branding Thoughts

From Drew's Marketing Minute:

Knitting a brand in 3 steps (Peter Korchnak)

Posted: 20 Feb 2009 05:55 AM PST

Pretty socks that rock at twisted by cafemama Drew's Note: As I try to do every Friday, I'm pleased to bring you a guest post. Meet another thought leader who shares his insights via the blogosphere. So without further ado...Peter Korchnak. Again. Enjoy!

How can small businesses build strong brands?

If brand is the sum of expectations and experiences, designing customer experiences is central to branding.

For three essential steps toward a successful and sustainable small business brand, consider Twisted, a yarn store in Portland, Oregon.

I toured the store with soon-to-be customer "Wonks R Us" Eva Schweber. Emily Williams, who co-owns Twisted with Shannon Squire, greeted us, offered to help, and eventually found a moment to chat.

Step One: Plan, plan, plan

In Emily's words, “We are both willing to work like the dickens and we share a common vision for the company. Although neither of us had business experience, careful, even obsessive, planning has served us well in avoiding many pitfalls. We're doing great.” Enough said.

Step Two: Understand your customers

“Our customers are people like us,” Emily said. “The new wave of knitters, people who are connected, blog, tweet, network online, download projects from Knitting Daily, and generally keep track of what's hot in yarns. We love serious knitters - people who call themselves knitters, rather than just people who knit.”

Step Three: Design a consistent individual and community experience

Brick-and-mortar Twisted

The front of the store hosts a living room space where customers sat in couches around a coffee table, knitting and chatting. Some sipped on one of the many teas, including custom blends like Battlestar Galactica and Dr. Horrible, available from the tea bar. Others took advantage of free wi-fi.

Yarn here is a means, not an end. Twisted communicates benefits, not features: while most yarn stores stock wares by color, fiber or weight, the organizing principle here is purpose: socks (The Great Wall of Sock Yarn), baby clothes, and scarves/sweaters/hats. Twisted prefers natural and local products, and carries a limited yarn assortment. Accessories, kits, supplies and literature have dedicated racks and shelves.

Around the store, fliers announce Twisted classes (“Basic hat class”, “Continental knitting”), and events (“Open Knitting”, “Queer Knitting Night”). As Emily confirmed, “We love to interact with our customers.”

Twisted online

According to Eva, “Twisted has an amazing online word-of-mouth.” A simple, clean, and informative website anchors Twisted's online presence, with add-ons like an e-newsletter and a blog. Twisted is also on Twitter. Most importantly, Twisted has its own lively 392-strong group on, a closed social networking site for knitters, where members share projects, exchange advice and photos, and discuss updates on products or patterns. The Twisted website proclaims, “[Ravelry] is the best thing ever!”

Twisted visual identity

Emily and Shannon decided early on that their company's look should reflect their brand, not define it. “People shouldn't notice the logo,” Emily said. “Our visuals should be organic to the entire experience with our brand.”

The store's interior exudes a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, feeling welcoming and warm on this January evening. As I was leaving, mere 94 minutes after I, a non-knitter, first arrived, Eva and Emily were still conversing about knitters and projects they both knew, and a couple pulled up chairs to join the knitting circle.

Peter Korchnak is the principal of Semiosis Communications, a sustainable marketing company based in Portland, Oregon. As the writer of Sustainable Marketing Blog, he champions branding through customer experiences and community building as a marketing strategy. He's one of the 100 co-authors of "Connect! Marketing in the social media era” out on on April 6, 2009.

Every Friday is "grab the mic" day. Want to grab the mic and be a guest blogger on Drew's Marketing Minute? Shoot me an e-mail.

Image credit: “pretty socks that rock at twisted” by cafemama

Sphere: Related Content

Social Media Marketing Preferences

Saw a link to this via Twitter a few days ago:

Twitter or Facebook? Which do you Prefer?

When Abrams Research asked more than 200 social media leaders which social media site they would pay to use and which ones they would recommend businesses pay to use, they got some interesting answers.

Yesterday, Abrams Research announced that 40 percent of businesses picked Twitter as the number one social media site for businesses. LinkedIn came in second with 21.3 percent. YouTube followed with 18.8 percent, and Facebook came in last with 15.3 percent.

But, when the social media leaders were asked what social media service they would advise a business pay for, Facebook came out on top with 32.2 percent of respondents in agreement. LinkedIn came in second with 29.7 percent, and Twitter was third with 21.8 percent.

The experts recommended Twitter because it offers "instantaneous feedback from and interaction with customers/users" and because of its "the ability to give a business a 'voice' is powerful marketing." However, they would pay for Facebook because "it is the most comprehensive social media forum."

Which social media sites would you recommend? Which would you pay to use?

Sphere: Related Content

More on Testing Your Advertising

Another great piece from Chuck:
The only Chevrolet dealer in Smallburg, Texas, augments his local newspaper ads with a schedule on a regional radio station licensed to the adjacent community, Midville. He's been selling an average of 18-20 cars per month. At the end of his first month with the new radio station he has sold a total of 27.

In his next newsletter the station manger writes, “When you see Ned Vanderslice of Vanderslice Auto, ask him why he's grinning. He'll tell you sales are up 30 percent.

The newsletter hits the mail. Within hours the manager receives an angry phone call from Vanderslice. “How DARE you claim my success?

Ned,” asks the manager, “other than advertising on my radio station, what other changes did you make last month in your advertising? Did you run any additional newspaper? Any additional television? Any additional direct mail?

No,” says Ned, “but you had nothing to do with my sales increase. Nobody drove from Midville to buy cars from me.”

Ned thinks advertising cause and effect is common sense.

Is it? Yeah. Most of the time it is.

In this case, I'd bet that Midville's regional radio station has listeners in Smallburg. How many? At least seven. At least seven that were ready to buy new cars. Since no other part of the advertising mix has changed, we can pretty well determine what drove the increase.

The key is to test only one change at a time.

Then watch the outcome. Sometimes it's not what anyone might expect, but it's usually still common sense.

An apartment complex which does a very credible job of tracking the source of each lead has just added radio ads to their marketing mix. I advised them to watch for an increase in ALL of their lead sources.

1.Realtors, hearing the ad, will naturally think of this complex more often. We can expect them to recommend it more than they might have without the reminder.

2.People hearing the ad are likely to look up the phone number of the complex in the Yellow Pages. We can expect Yellow Pages referrals to increase.

3.People keying the name of the complex into Google will, of course, drive up the on line referrals. But common sense will tell you there was only one change in the marketing mix.

My favorite advertisers intuitively know this. They change headlines, and record the response. They change insertion days, and record the response. They add the weekend edition, and record the response.

Roger de la Paz of Richie's Real American Diner in Victorville, California knows that this particular ad delivers a consistently predictable 118 percent increase in gross sales every day it runs.

How? Because he's already tested everything from ad size, to offer, to headline, to graphics, to the day of the week to run this ad in the Victorville, Ca. Daily Press. Roger systematically changed only one element at a time, and kept careful records of each outcome. He compares the demand for specific food items before the ad runs, and again afterward. He is then able to calculate the increased demand for specific menu items against the cost of the ads.

There are no quick answers. Each test helped Roger to make each successive ad more profitable. It took him three years to learn what he now knows about advertising his restaurant in the Daily Press.

But by carefully tracking the specifics of size, placement, and frequency of his newspaper ads, Roger can now predict to within a few dollars the ROI for each newspaper ad he runs for Richie's Real American Diner.

Persistence, it appears, is also a key element in testing your advertising.


Chuck McKay is a marketing consultant who helps customers discover, and choose your business. Questions about testing your advertising may be directed to

Sphere: Related Content

Conversational Selling

Every once in awhile, I'll get a phone call from someone that is trying to sell me something. Sometimes I simply hang up the phone in the middle of their sales pitch!

Unless I'm standing at home plate with a bat on my shoulder, I don't want to be pitched to.

So how do you avoid this?

Read this excellent email from Craig Garber:

Hi Scott,

If you've been in direct-response marketing for any length
of time, then no doubt you are aware of the power of

Telling your prospect a story is an incredibly effective way
of lulling them into a trance, so that they don't realize
you're trying to sell them something.

It's also a nice way for you to communicate what you want,
without being pushy, offensive, or salesy. So everyone
benefits here.

But how do you tell a story?

How do you introduce a story to your prospect?

After all, you can't open up a sales letter with, "Once upon
a time...", now can you?

So let's take a look at a few ways you can do this:

First, one easy way is to just be direct, like this:

"Six months ago, I received a letter in the mail just like
this. Here's what happened..."

You can also just sort of like, "interrupt" your prospect,
like this:

"When I heard gunshots right outside my daughter's window...
I knew I had to do something drastic, and I knew I had to
take care of it right NOW."

Making a bold, dramatic statement like this gets anyone's
attention. (Of course you want to make the statement
relevant to who you're speaking to, right? You wouldn't
want to make that last statement if you're talking to a
bunch of teenagers who are interested in video games!)

Or, you can simply ask a relevant and provocative question,
like these:

"Do you dread Monday mornings?"

"If you could shave three strokes off your golf game in the
next 30 days... how much do you think that would be worth
to you?"

Or... "How many times have you said to yourself, 'I have
just GOT to get more sleep at night!'"

Notice, all these are very natural. Nothing phony or
uncomfortable here, right?

Remember, good copywriting is all about being human, And
compelling conversation doesn't vary much, whether it's in
person or in print.

Write like you speak and you're on your way.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S. How come some real estate investors can't even get
started... while others are out there right now making an
absolute killing? What separates these two investors? Find
out at

Questions? Just ask me, baby!

Check out ALL the King's products at

Friend me on Facebook at:

Comments? Leave them here on my blog -- let me know what
you're thinking: (TM) 3959 Van Dyke Road #253 Lutz, FL 33558 United States (813) 909-2214save

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News

Food, Tech & Money in today's headlines:

by Karlene Lukovitz
Jack in the Box sales were driven by the introduction of Teriyaki Bowls in the Western U.S. in October and a full-system $2.99 Jumbo Deal (a hamburger, two tacos and a small fries) during the last three weeks of the quarter. However, operating costs were nearly 8% higher than in Q1 fiscal 2008, primarily due to food and packaging costs (beef costs were nearly 20% higher). ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"Convenient access to the basic supplies and services that most people need is the name of the game with 'Ink Paper Scissors'," the company says. "It's about getting in and getting out fast when you need to pick up a ream of paper, get an ink cartridge, make a few copies or pick up some school supplies for the kids." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The products--which will use infrared, motion and equilibrium sensors--will serve as a virtual coach, instructing kids on form, technique, speed and power. Some will also utilize electronics to "reward" kids with cheers when they use the proper techniques. EA and Toy Island will develop toys aimed at different ages ranging from 3 to 12, focusing on sports such as baseball, football, soccer, basketball and hockey. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Les Luchter
Only 31 financial firms increased in brand value during the year, with many of them based in China, India, South Korea and Turkey. "Banks from emerging markets," the study said, "seem less exposed to the global financial crisis than established markets. ... Read the whole story > >
by Mark Walsh
Has a new wireless price war already begun? According to a blog that tracks T-Mobile, the carrier plans to introduce an unlimited $50 calling plan that would deeply undercut similar $100 plans from its major wireless competitors. TmoNews, which describes itself as the "unofficial T-Mobile blog" and is unaffiliated with the company, reports that T-Mobile USA will offer new and current customers unlimited "anytime" minutes for $49.99 monthly on March 1, with a test launch kicking off today for customers in the San Francisco area. ... Read the whole story > >

Sphere: Related Content

Fresh Ideas

The latest from

Chain Thriller promoAuthor's next thriller will be cowritten by the crowds
Media & publishing

Crime author James Patterson will write the first and last chapters of
AirBorne. For those in between, a contest found 28 writers to each
create a fast-paced and thrilling chapter in less than 750 words.

Guy singing in front of large Coachella crowdA layaway option for buying festival tickets
Entertainment / Financial services

Back in 2007 we noted the return of layaway payment plans. Given
today's economic climate, it's not surprising that several upcoming
music festivals are offering a layaway option for purchasing tickets.

Little Bay menuLondon diners pay what they want at Little Bay
Food & beverage / Marketing & advertising

Like the Ibis Singapore hotel we featured last week, London
restaurant Little Bay is taking a leaf out of Radiohead’s book, letting
diners set their own prices.

Google Power Meter graphicHome energy monitoring, delivered by Google
Eco & sustainability / Homes & housing

Targeting the 40 million "smart meters" now in use worldwide, Google
is testing a new gadget that will take the information such devices
collect and make it more easily accessible to consumers.

Detail of SongMap interfaceMusic mapping tool lets users rearrange songs
Entertainment / Media & publishing

SongMap is a new web application that allows users to create
custom arrangements of songs and then download the
corresponding audio files and sheet music.

Illustration from myGengo websiteTranslation service taps the native-speaking crowds
Life hacks

Focusing on short, nonspecialized texts, myGengo uses a global
team of pretested translators to offer super-speedy translations at
low prices.

Boy playing cricketOnline coaching for cricket players
Lifestyle & leisure / Education

Just a few weeks ago we wrote about Links Lessons, which offers
personalized golfing instruction online, and since then one of our
spotters alerted us to a similar coaching site for cricket players.

Indian schoolchildren enjoying teh internetsGoogle roams India in internet demo bus
Non-profit / Social cause

Recognizing that not every global citizen has easy access to the world
wide web, Google has launched an effort to demonstrate the internet
to citizens of India's Tamil Nadu region.

Tweetminster logoTweets from parliament seats
Government / Media & publishing

Tapping into the communication platform du jour, Tweetminister
has created a 'place where real life and politics tweet'. The website
collects and presents real-time updates of life in British politics.

Harman Kardon roadmap Harman Kardon's trip planner suggests travelling music
Entertainment / Tourism & travel / Marketing & advertising

A new site from UK-based sound system manufacturer Harman
Kardon creates playlists of location-inspired music for travellers to
listen to on their next road trip.

Sphere: Related Content

Why do I doThis?

Too many folks are not taking advantage of the tools that are available to them to promote what they care about.

A few years ago, I decided not to be part of that crowd and branch out.

It used to be an 80/20 rule, but for what I do, it's more like a 98/2 rule. The 80/20 rule was that the top 20% out produces the rest. But in marketing and self promotion, the ratio is more like 98/2.

And as I've talked to people in all walks of life including the advertising/marketing world, I realize that only 1 out of 50, or less are using the internet to promote what they care about.

So, if you are just coming across this site, here's a little background.

ScLoHo was created originally as an email address based on my initials. That evolved into a marketing and advertising business and online presence.

The Purpose of ScLoHo's Collective Wisdom is to share important articles, stories, research and training that is related to Advertising, Marketing, Sales and the Creative Process, all of which are the areas that I have an interest and experience. I keep it updated 7 days a week with 6 new articles every day including a sales training piece that starts each day at 6am Eastern time. It only takes a few minutes a day, and a couple hours a week in my spare time.

I do not write these articles, just some comments with each one. That's why this is COLLECTIVE Wisdom. I also started another site that is updated weekly with strictly my own writings on the subject which you can access here.

I have been contacted by others that want to contribute, but I get to decide what appears each day.

We get between 50 and 150 visitors a day, largely thanks to Google searches. But back to the question, Why?

Instead of my answer, take a look at this:

Do You Have A Marketing Plan For Yourself?

Today’s post is directed to communications professionals specifically, but can potentially benefit anyone who is able to share their work/ideas in a digital format.

image credit: todd ehlers (modified under cc 2.0)

You spend all day marketing (in some form or another):

a) In-house for a large or small business

b) At a firm or external marketing agency with various clients.

Either way you spend all day marketing, and you’re obviously passionate about it as that is what you devote a majority of your conscious hours to.

So this brings us to what I want to call you out on. You have developed these wonderful skills to help others get the word out about their products, businesses and executives - which is great. But do you use those same skills for yourself? If not, here is your wake up call.

I know you are busy, but honestly it makes little sense to work so hard for others and not bother to do the same things for yourself. As Jeremiah Owyang sagely advises, you are a company of one. If you are in any type of marketing, your best case study and perhaps most valuable use of your skills is figuring out a way to successfully market yourself.

Some think marketing yourself is what you do when you need a new job, but in fact that’s not the case at all - it’s actually about having a voice in our industry, creating a name and reputation for yourself, and shaping the future. Also, there is a symbiotic relationship between any company you work for and your personal brand. Smart companies embrace this behavior because they understand the value in nurturing talent. Ideally, all parties win.

Take on marketing yourself as your personal challenge and an ongoing project with no end date. If you were an interior designer, would you hire someone else to furnish your house? I doubt it, what would that say about your skills as a designer? An interior designer’s proudest work should be their own interior, just as you should be your own personal case study of success.

Not convinced yet? Think about the following:

No one else is going to do this for you

If you don’t take control of your own image, you essentially yield that to the world to decide for you - for better or for worse. And they’ll never portray you as accurately as you can represent yourself.

The future isn’t tell me, it’s show me

I have written before your resume is meaningless (and building career security, not job security). We are building a semantic world, and not directly tying yourself to your accomplishments and putting them in a public, linkable format for the world to see is a mistake.

A google-juiced blog along with a following is powerful for dedicated professionals in all fields

I’ve previously written that every marketing and PR pro should be blogging. You can re-read that post on the reasons why, but it’s 2009 - if you aren’t sold by now, you might not ever be. If you do decide to jump in here’s some advice for how to successfully integrate blogging into your life.

There is no power in remaining silent

By not blogging, by not making yourself available for quotes in industry trade publications, by not talking shop with your peers, by not writing by-lined articles for influential publications and blogs, by not being in charge of your personal PR, you are essentially invisible. If you see the power in what you are doing for others, how can ignore doing it for yourself? Remember Robert Greene’s 48 laws of power? Law 6, once again:

Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost.

Got ideas? Share them with the industry

I know a lot of people are hesitant about giving out their ideas or providing direction to others - but guess what - if you don’t, you just succeed in letting others establish themselves as the go-to person and you are left as the unknown. Plus it is enjoyable to mentor others and contribute what you know to your industry. Something perhaps even more fulfilling than seeing your own campaigns succeed is seeing the campaigns of someone you inspired succeed. I believe heavily in giving back and have no problem sharing ideas with peers or letting others bounce ideas off me, and am always open for discussion.

Personal branding gives you an edge over your competition

Let’s be honest - the marketing/PR world is cutthroat. You really need to stand out from your peers if you want to go far in your career. And as I wrote previously in the rise of personal branding, the web let’s us see in black and white who is dedicated, talented and serious about their craft.

The real trick isn’t to make it about you

Here’s a hint: market others, share their content, put them in the spotlight - don’t even worry about directly promoting yourself. The smartest way to market yourself is actually to make it not about you.


Okay, you’re the communications professional - I’ll let you create your own strategy and path you plan to follow. Hopefully you’ll also join the dialogue of our industry if you have not already.

Sphere: Related Content

New Ad Campaigns

Amy at Mediapost writes:

Escalators can be scary. Hug it out. Assume a "Coucha Sutra" position. Let's launch!

An oversized ad made its way onto the exterior of the Bank of America Tower in downtown Phoenix last week, just in time for the NBA All-Star Game. Was this included in the stimulus package? The T-Mobile campaign features Yao Ming, Dwayne Wade and Dwight Howard in two ads; one measuring 190' tall by 188' wide, and the other 190' tall by 94'6" wide. More than 1,400 individual, weather-resistant, see-through panels were used to create the images. It took more than two weeks to install the ads. See the pics here, here and here. Elite Media installed the ad, which was created by Hornall Anderson. Optimedia and OOH Pitch handled the media buy.

Brand Jordan launched "Field Generals," starring NBA stars and Brand Jordan athletes, Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks, Rip Hamilton of the Detroit Pistons, Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets and Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets. The spot follows these team leaders on court, during a game. It's very primal, more so when Hamilton dons his facemask. The ad gives this non-basketball fan a newfound respect for the game. "Lead the charge," concludes the ad, seen here. Wieden+Kennedy New York created the ad.

MetroPCS offers unlimited talking and texting for $40 a month, sans contract. Sound crazy? Even unicorns are skeptical. The company launched two TV spots starring unconventional characters, such as unicorns, mermaids and Medusa. The first ad stars Medusa and a newspaper-reading dragon. Medusa is excited about MetroPCS while the dragon thinks the plan sounds good, "if you're gullible." Watch the ad here. A mermaid and unicorn talk cell phone plans while relaxing in a hot tub. The unicorn describes MetroPCS as "a little far-fetched to me." Some creatures. See the ad here. The Richards Group created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Escalators can be frightening, especially for gawky teenage boys who don't use Swagger from Old Spice. The awkward boy turned into NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, who also drives the Old Spice car. Now Stewart can slam the hood of a car down with one fist, is surrounded by beautiful women and wins races. Watch the ad here. Previous Swagger ads starred NFL player Brian Urlacher and LL Cool J. The campaign includes two print ads, seen here and here; the first has pictures of Stewart before and after he used Swagger, while the other celebrates Stewart's partnership with Old Spice. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

In an ABSOLUT world, the theme song to everyone's life would be Louis Armstrong's "A kiss to build a dream on." I see nothing wrong with that. I can't help but smile after watching the ad -- and it has more to do with the music than the ad itself. The latest ad for ABSOLUT vodka launched during the Grammy Awards and begins in a grocery store where cashiers and customers embrace. Movie tickets are purchased with kisses given through glass panes, and the number of kisses signifies how many tickets you need. Across the globe, taxi rides are paid with hand-to-pane-glass-to-hand contact (how very "Pushing Daisies"), while hugs and kisses are the currency for bus rides. See the 30- and 60-second spots here and here. TBWA/Chiat/Day New York created the ad and Carat handled the media buy.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort has partnered with Horizon Air to offer 1-hour flight service to Los Angeles. Talk about a fast change of seasons. A supporting TV ad takes place at the beach and follows a man looking for treasure with his metal detector. We then see a man in winter gear cross-country skiing on the sand. The two men glare at one another and return to their activities, until another skier clobbers the treasure hunter. "Mammoth Mountain just got closer" says the ad, seen here. David&Goliath created the campaign and Initiative handled the media buy.

DIRECTV bowed a print ad in the Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition called "Coucha Sutra." As in how many different positions can one maneuver into while on the couch? This includes solo acts, pairs, small groups and large groups. My favorite positions were Mr.Peepers, The Bat Cave, The Red Sea and The Manwich. See the ad here. SI was an ideal venue to showcase the ad, created by Deutsch Los Angeles.

Craftsman launched a print campaign and revamped its Web site, now aptly named the Garage of Knowledge. Print ads feature close-ups of new Craftsman products being used by their owners. "When a man misses a nail, the only thing bruised more than his thumb is his ego," reads copy in one ad for a hammer that you don't swing. See the ads here, here and here. The Web site is easy to navigate and features information on products, along with additional links to purchase items directly from There's a leftover pumpkin on the site that allows you to create a skeleton crafted from Craftsman tools. I know it's February, but I still made one. Y&R created the campaign.

Sphere: Related Content