Saturday, May 09, 2009

Sears & Kmart jump in

From MarketingVox:

Sears and Kmart Try the Social Media 'My'


Hoping to ingratiate themselves to today's social media-savvy shoppers, Kmart and parent company Sears are test-driving two new community sites: MySears and MyKmart.

Built with help from consumer review socnet Viewpoints, the site enables users to write reviews, view polls and blogs, and follow either retailer on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Videos, a "featured reviewer" section and how-tos also feature prominently on each landing page.

VP-Community Rob Harles of Sears Holdings Corp. said the goal of the sites is not to become two more social networks in the fray. Instead, he hopes they'll be incorporated into existing social network experiences with help from APIs, such as Facebook Connect.

And while the sites were originally limited to older house moms, their breadth has broadened over the past few months, Harles added (via TechCrunch). Younger users are visiting the sites to learn more about products; Harles expressed his hope that the destinations will become a stepping-stone for younger parents to explore the social graph.

Netpop research reveals the typical social network user addresses 110 people per week and spends $101 online per month.

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An Email Primer

For marketing. From Drew:

The Marketing Minute

A cost effective and powerful marketing tool

Posted: 04 May 2009 09:21 PM PDT

19374261 Marketing your company during good times is hard enough. But marketing your company while trying to manage expenses can really be tough. So what’s a marketer with one hand tied behind their back to do?

One powerful and cost-effective strategy that generates consistent results is strategic email marketing. When done right, it can generate huge ROI percentages within a reasonable budget.

The following are just some of the strategies to keep in mind when developing email campaigns:

  • Get to the point—You only have 2–3 seconds to catch their attention. Always provide relevant information that your target wants and avoid the “fluff.”
  • Keep it short—No more than 15–20 percent of the copy you would include in a traditional printed direct mail letter.
  • Be conversational—Your email should be an extension of your brand. If your brand is formal, write in a formal style. If your brand is casual, make it casual.
  • Use bullets and lists—Emails are unique in that the reader wants the info fast. Instead of long sentences, try bullets or lists to convey your points. This is a vehicle of “sound bytes.”
  • Choose your topics carefully—Always make the information timely and culturally relevant to your target.
  • Use proven layout strategies—Typically, email readers like to scan first and then go back and read. So make sure that you break up your copy with bullet points, illustrations, photos, or graphs. And make sure to have plenty of “white” space.
  • It’s not about you—Be sure to spend less time selling your products/services and more time providing useful information to your readers. The more useful your information, the more response you will generate.

If you haven’t done so already, consider adding a strategic email campaign to your arsenal of marketing weapons. It can be a very powerful and cost-efficient strategy that generates impressive returns.

Thanks to my friends at Gumas Advertising for these tips!

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Traditional Newspaper Fishwrap

Yesterday I was listening to the Morning Joe show on MSNBC and this was one of the topics of conversation.

Newspaper Circulation Skids
According to a new report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, for the six months ended March 31, 2009, the largest daily newspapers are losing subscribers at a record pace, with circulation down 7% compared with the same period in March 2008. For Sunday newspapers, circulation was down 5.3%.

In addition to sinking circulation, newspaper ad revenue is plunging. McClatchy ad revenue plummeted 29.5% in Q1 2009 compared to the same quarter last year, while The New York Times Co. saw ad revenue plunge 27%. Zenith Optimedia predicts that ad spending for newspapers will sink 12% in 2009.

During this 6 month period ending Mar. 31, 2009:

  • Circulation at the New York Times slipped 3.5% during the week and 1.7% on Sundays
  • The Washington Post fell 1.6% daily and 2.3% on Sundays
  • USA Today fell 7.4% during the week on a decline in copies ordered from hotels The Chicago Tribune fell 7.4% daily and 4.5% on Sunday
  • The Los Angeles Times slipped 6.5% and 7.5%
  • The Boston Globe plunged 13.6% during the week and 11.2% on Sundays
  • The New York Daily News was down 14% during the week
  • New York Post, down 20%
  • The Miami Herald (-15.8%)
  • The San Francisco Chronicle (-15.7%)
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer (-13.7%)
  • The Houston Chronicle (-14%)

And, from the Newspaper and Audience FAS-FAX for March 2009:

Newspapers with less than 50,000 total average paid circulation are no longer required to report circulation for each day of the week. Previously, these newspapers would have reported circulation for Monday through Sunday plus a Monday-Friday combined average. In most cases, these newspapers will now only report a six-day Monday-Saturday average and a Sunday average.

Comparable year-over-year weekday average data will not be available for these newspapers until March 2010, and direct comparison of 2009 to 2008 averages for these individual newspapers is not advised, says the ABC.

A roundup of how developments at certain U.S. newspapers may be reflected in the March 2009 FAS-FAX report shows:

  • The Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post will report separate data through Feb. 27, 2009. After that date, the Denver Post will report data that reflects its absorption of the Rocky Mountain News' subscriber file and will not have comparable year-over-year data
  • The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times will report separate data through March 17, 2009. After that date, the Seattle Times will report data that reflects its absorption of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's subscriber file and will not have comparable year-over-year data
  • On March 27, 2009, the Christian Science Monitor published its last print edition as a newspaper. It is now publishing online only on weekdays and producing a weekend magazine supplement. Beginning with the June 2009-ending period it will report as a consumer magazine
  • The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press implemented a new distribution model that ended print home-delivery on Mondays, Tuesdays Wednesdays and Saturdays. Subscribers can receive an electronic edition instead or pick up a newsstand copy of the newspaper
  • The Philadelphia Daily News became a print edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer

To learn more and to access the PDF report, please visit the Audit Bureau of Circulations here.

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Great advice from

Seven steps to being a better listener


Listening is as far from a passive activity as anything I can imagine. By being a passive hearer, you may take in some words but give nothing back. Listening requires thought and effort. It means you must work at listening with you head and heart and not just your ears. And it means learning how to respond to what is being said so that you’re listening communicates things your relationship partner needs to hear.

Here are seven steps to take in order to gain listening wisdom:

1. Practice silence.

As the previous section’s sins suggested, remaining quiet can be a challenge. You’re going to feel compelled to interrupt, to finish sentences and to add your two cents. It takes discipline to remain silent. Make a conscious effort to say nothing until you’re sure your relationship partner has finished his thought. This is easier written than done. Therefore, try practicing it at home before you do it at work. With a spouse or a friend, force yourself to stay silent during a conversation until they’re done speaking. In many ways, it’s more difficult to do this with someone you know well, since conversations are often filled with frequent interruptions by both parties. By practicing silence in a personal relationship, though, you learn the discipline of knowing when to be silent in a professional one.

2. Eliminate distractions.

Shut the door, turn off your cell phone, don’t glance at the computer for email. If appropriate—if your relationship partner has communicated that he feels this meeting is important—clear your schedule and tell him that he has all time he needs to make his points. Similarly, don’t bring up tangential or unrelated topics. You want the other person to feel you’ve done everything possible to make 100% listening possible.

3. Focus your attention.

This means you can’t daydream, dwell on how you’re going to respond or tune out the other person. Giving your boss or customer your undivided attention is just that—a gift. Reflect on what she’s trying to tell you—consider the literal meaning and also read between the lines. Don’t allow a ringing phone, a conversation going on outside the office or anything else distract you. People are remarkably sensitive to another individual’s attention—or lack thereof. They can somehow tell if you’re only listening at 50%. Give them 100% if you value the relationship and the results it can produce.

4. Show non-verbal attentiveness.

We communicate most of our messages without opening our mouths. It’s not enough just to listen attentively; you need to demonstrate this attentiveness. Three easy ways to do so are: nod; make eye contact; smile. Shifting uneasily in your seat or glancing around as if you’re waiting for the police to arrest you are not ways to communicate your attentiveness. Impassive, immobile listeners seem bored. Use your eyes and body language to convey that you’re anything but bored.

5. Use the “repeat principle”.

Paraphrase what you thought the other person said. For instance: “If I’m hearing correctly, you’re telling me that” By asking your relationship partner to repeat what you believe is an important point, you’re demonstrating that you want to listen better. Requesting clarification communicates your desire to know exactly what is meant. Now, you can’t over-use this technique. If you do, you’ll come off as inattentive or hard-of-hearing. Wait until you really aren’t clear on what he’s saying. Or wait until the other person says something where he’s placed a lot of emphasis—either through his tone of voice or because he tells you, “This is important”. This gives you the opening you need to apply the repeat principle.

6. Empathize.

Empathy is essential for results-producing relationships, and it’s especially crucial in listening. You have 101 ways to communicate your empathy, not all of them verbal. A knowing look, a nod of your head, a sigh—these gestures can communicate you “get it” faster and more empathically than a long-winded speech. Don’t try to over-empathize—you don’t have to make a melodramatic show of how you’re relating to what a client or manager is telling you. Sometimes, empathy can be expressed by relating your own experience relative to what your relationship partner has described. Sometimes, a simple, “Believe me, I know what you’re going through with Jim”, will get the job done. Empathy really is nothing more than showing you have listened with your heart as well as your head.

7. Ask good questions.

Have you ever been in an audience when the speaker asks, “Does anyone have any questions?” and no one responds? It’s as if he never spoke at all—or no one paid any attention to what he said. If you don’t ask any questions during a conversation—or if you just ask perfunctory questions—you’re going to create the same effect. So don’t be shy about asking a few good questions. Even one good question may be enough to show that you’ve listened intently. If you’ve ever listened to a press conference, you know what I mean. Typically, a politician or pro sports coach is asked a bunch of inane questions, and then one member of the media asks the question that really sheds light on a situation. You want to ask that good question. Maybe your boss has just told you that he can’t stand his own boss and doesn’t know how to deal with his unreasonable requests; that he can’t sleep nights, that he’s spending too much work time trying to placate his boss then get real work done. So your good question might be: “Can you talk to the CEO or someone in management and ask them to intervene?” A good question demonstrates you’ve followed the logic of the conversation and are thinking about possible solutions/actions. That’s the mark of a perceptive listener.


To be a superior listener, you must temporarily forsake ego. To reap the full relationship benefits of being a good listener, you’re going to have to forget about YOU. Obviously, you do have an ego and you can’t disappear entirely—nor should you. But being able to do so at key times in a conversation will increase your value to this other person.

Joe Takash is the author of the newly released Results Through Relationships: Building Trust, Performance and Profit Through People, as well as a sought-after media resource and keynote speaker. As the founder of performance management firm Victory Consulting, Joe has worked with clients like American Express, Prudential, Century 21 and General Motors. Takash has also been featured in Investors Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Selling Power, Crain's New York The Chicago Tribune, Career Builder, and Website:

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News

from my email to the Collective Wisdom blog to your eyeballs:

by Aaron Baar
The crux of the new program, announced Thursday, will be a renewed focus on bringing technology and healthcare together in a way that, according to the company, lowers cost, increases access and improves quality for people all over the world. General Electric has committed $6 billion to the effort. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
The coupons were suggested by numerous Starbucks customers on its site, according to a spokesperson, who described the book as "a great way for us to reach existing customers and extend their Starbucks experience to grocery." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"Our goal was to have the content and the subject areas be front and center; with AOL Latino's help we found a nice balance where we could allow content to be central and have branding that is much more organic, part of the fabric of the site," says David Rodriguez, director of multicultural marketing at Ford. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
"This is part of our overall new campaign strategy called Wingspan," says a spokesman. "Our brand ID is more than 93%, but the Wingspan campaign is designed to take the ID to the next level and help educate consumers about what it is Aflac does, because we believe that when people understand Aflac, they will know the value of Aflac." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
"With competitors in the category stuck in sameness ... we needed to change the category conversation," says Chris Jacobs, SVP/executive creative director for Cramer-Krasselt/Milwaukee. "We did so by capturing the simple pleasures people savor and making it about their experience and emotional connection to this iconic brand." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"One very good sign is that a number of stores, including Wal-Mart, are noting an increase in store traffic - people are shopping again," says Frank Badillo, senior economist for Retail Forward. "But whether this is pent-up demand, and they're just buying to replace things, or increased spending, it's hard to say." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"The reason we did it this way is that IHC ... is the largest hotel company in the world and most people don't know that," says the VP of corporate communications. "No one can measure up to what we can do because of richness of it, because of the offer itself that includes everything from Holiday Inn Express to InterContinental at the top of the scale." ... Read the whole story > >

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From websites to business cards:

The Second Life of Marketing Copy

Getting your Web site's marketing copy just right takes time, effort and money. "But before you amortize your investment," says Rick Sloboda of Webcopyplus, "consider how those carefully crafted words can work for your business in other places." By repurposing your content, he argues, you can:

  • Reinforce your brand identity
  • Establish consistent messaging
  • Increase customer recognition

He recommends various channels for repurposed copy. Here are a few:

  • Press releases. Your "about us" page should have a concise, well-written description of your company; why not borrow or adapt this paragraph for the "about us" section of a press release?
  • Professional networks. There's no need to write a new bio every time you join an online network like Facebook or LinkedIn if you have a polished backgrounder at your site.
  • Business cards. "On the back," advises Sloboda, "feature your 'mission' or 'services.' This will set you apart from the many business people whose cards say nothing about what they do."

The Po!nt: According to Sloboda, you have compelling reasons "to repurpose your website marketing copy so it works overtime for your company, online and offline."

Source: Article submitted by Rick Sloboda of Webcopyplus.

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Teen Spending

Here's what's happening:

Teens Are Also Tightening Their Budgets

In a recession, one group can usually be counted on to keep spending: teens. Their parents often pick up the tab for necessities, leaving them free to spend the income they earn from part-time jobs and birthday money from grandma on themselves. But in this downturn, a rather surprising phenomenon is emerging: tight-fisted teens.

According to research from Piper Jaffray, teens are becoming more attuned to the pinch on household budgets from the economy, which is having a "dramatic impact" on the $125 billion the demographic spends each year. Teens generally have about $5,000 a year burning a hole in their pockets, but they are spending about 14 percent less this spring than in spring '08.

A study from Euro RSCG Discovery found that 92 percent of females ages 13 to 21 said they are at least somewhat worried about the economy, while 87 percent of males are. Teens are now asking themselves, "Do I need that?" and "Can I wait to have that?" Those are questions that historically have been of little concern to an age group that spent money as fast as they made it.

A grim unemployment picture for those ages 16 to 19 years old is also hampering spending. Unemployment rates in that age group have been rising, hitting nearly 22 percent in March, the highest rate seen in more than a decade. The national average was 8.5 percent last month. "Teens, like their parents, are coming up against a tough job market. The standbys of restaurant and retail are trimming their ranks, not hiring," said Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, a consulting group. "It's going to be a tough summer for teens."

So what are they scrimping on? According to Piper Jaffray, they are cutting back on apparel, beauty and food, and excursions to movies, concerts and sporting events. Of course, there are limits: Teens are not willing to live without things such as music, DVDs, video games and video-game systems, and spending in those areas has been less affected.

Apple, Xbox and Electronic Arts can rest easy -- as can Nike and Starbucks.

Beauty takes hit
Though apparel has seen one of the most dramatic declines in spending, slumping 22 percent year over year, teen spending on accessories is flat, and outlays on shoes have increased 4 percent, according to Piper Jaffray. The beauty category has seen a 12 percent decrease year over year.

Ellen Davis, VP at the National Retail Federation, said the recession has coincided with a sea change in teens' spending habits. The latest gadgets have replaced trendy jeans and designer duds as must-haves. "Today's teens are so focused on communication that iPhones are becoming the new jean," she said.

Teens have also been trimming expenditures on eating out, spending some 20 percent less compared with fall 2007. Nicole Miller Regan, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, said one of the most interesting findings of the survey is the increasing importance of value to the group. Chipotle and McDonald's are gaining market share, though Starbucks remains the teen favorite.

"Key influencers have always been taste and convenience, but now value is trumping that," she said. "They're eating more at (quick-service restaurants) than they are at casual dining. It's all about value, value menus, dollar menus and a lower average ticket."

There are a few bright spots, however. As a percentage of teen spending, video games have increased to 8 percent from 7 percent last spring. The Piper Jaffray study also found that teen gamers are far from price-sensitive, with 54 percent of all purchases ringing in at $50 or more. Music and DVDs also saw an increase to 11 percent of teens' budgets from 8 percent last spring, despite the rise of music and media downloading.

Keeping up appearances
"Peer pressure is still peer pressure. When they're with their friends, they're not willing to cut back on things that give them a badge," said Zain Raj, CEO-Euro RSCG Discovery. "And spending on things that allow them to connect with their peer set are not as affected."

But, increasingly, teens are tuning in their parents, as opposed to tuning them out. Experts say teens are taking cues from parents who, even if they haven't been directly affected by the recession, are at least stressed. Many parents are also bringing the recession to the dinner table. A survey from CoolSavings, a division of Q Interactive, found that 84 percent of heads of household are discussing saving and budgeting with kids. And 81 percent say kids are aware of the recession and the impact it is having on household budgets. Kids are even beginning to pitch in, using coupons for things such as movies, music, museums and theme park trips, the survey found.

That's in keeping with data WSL has cultivated showing teens are being more empathetic than apathetic. "It's startling. At the risk of stereotyping, we did see teens as sort of self-absorbed," said Ms. Corlett. "But teens are sensitive to what their parents are going through."

Today's teens are also more plugged in than their predecessors, a key differentiation from the recessions of the early 1980s, 1990s and, even, 2001. The rise of social networking has enabled teens to have hundreds of "friends" through services such as Facebook and Bebo. And that has made this recession much more personal for them.

"Teens have hundreds of friends on Facebook, so they're hearing about someone's dad losing his job or someone who has to move because their parent's company is downsizing," said Ms. Davis. "They're seeing the impact of the recession first-hand, even if it's someone they barely know."

(Source:, 04/27/09)

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The Shoemakers Children have no Shoes

Are you so busy marketing your clients business, that you don't market your own?

From Drew:

The Marketing Minute

Your customers have no clue what you do

Posted: 07 May 2009 09:54 AM PDT

26254610 Painful Fact: Your customers know much less about you than you think. Until they need it, they don’t bother to find out if you do it. And sometimes, they don’t think to ask – even then.

For example, many an agency bemoans the fact that their clients went elsewhere to have a website built or to have a speech written, simply because the client didn’t know the agency did that sort of thing. (For our clients out there…yes, we do both.)

You have to tell them. Tell them in an engaging way. Tell them in a useful way – give them something to “steal” or adapt to make their own life a little easier. Use the dialogue to establish your expertise and your commitment to their success/well being.

  1. Are you sharing case studies with "here's what we learned" tips that your other clients can use?
  2. Are you hosting events where your customers can come together and talk about the thing they have in common - you?
  3. Do you bring samples or photos of work you've done for others to your client meetings? Start off the conversation with a..."hey, I thought you might find some value in what we learned when we did XYZ for You Know Who." So bring something relevant.

If they don’t know that you do it – they’ll find someone who does. And it often times, might not be you. And – don’t even think about doing it just once. You have to tell them over and over…and be on-target and on-time each and every time. Don't make them search -- tell them again and again.

If not, you send a message you don’t want them to get -- call somebody else.

How do you let your customers know the depth and variety of things you are capable of doing for them?

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Are you Really a Sales Pro?

A great email I received a few days ago:

Start Selling More Newsletter
Issue 407

May 5, 2009

StartSelling more

Consummate Sales Person

Most salespeople, if given a choice, would not want
to sell life insurance. The usual jokes, the reputation
of the industry, and the fact that it’s been around so
long, would not encourage salespeople to think they
could really make it big in that business.

Plus it's an awful lot of hard work riddled with
daily rejection.

You couldn’t tell that to Ben Feldman though. Ben
was eighty-one when he died November 7, 1993. He
started selling life insurance just before World
War II. The rest as they say is history. He almost
single-handedly changed the insurance industry.

And he was just a sales person - but what an incredible
and extraordinary sales person he was.

It's been said that he didn't look like a salesman,
didn’t sound like a salesman, and didn’t act like a

Ben was different in every imaginable way. You should
be too!

If you want to succeed in sales you have to be different,
keep reading.

Here’s some background on Ben Feldman. He was born to
Russian, Jewish immigrants that settled in eastern Ohio.
At his father’s insistence he dropped out of school to
sell eggs for $10 a week. He met Fritzie Zaremburg, a
teacher, who later became his wife.

After selling insurance to all his friends and relatives,
he then targeted businesses in eastern Ohio and western
Pennsylvania. Without going beyond a sixty mile radius,
he often sold more insurance in a day than most agents
would sell in a year.

In the 1970’s it was reported that he personally sold
more insurance than 1,500 of the largest 1,800 life
insurance companies.

Imagine that he single-handedly outsold 1,500 entire

During his lifetime, he sold insurance policies with a
face value over $1.5 billion. One-third of it was sold
after he turned sixty-five.

According to many, Ben wasn’t ordinary - he was
exceptional. Harry Hohn, Chairman of New York Life at
the time said, "Ben really felt everyone in the world
was underinsured."

He believed passionately in his product and how it
could help and benefit his customers.

You see, he was genuinely excited about his products
which in turn got his sales prospects and customers
fired-up about his products too.

Ben knew how to really WOW his customers. His words
were his craft. According to Rick Hampson, an AP
writer, "He’d sit up late, crafting the pithy sayings
that he called power phrases and rehearse them with a
tape recorder."

He knew perfection came from practice, not improvisation.
And boy did he ever practice.

He achieved one goal after another. In 1975 he was
the first salesperson to sell $2 million in a single

He was extremely focused on his goals.

"He sold life insurance by talking about life, not
death. People didn’t die, they walked out, as in,
when you walk out, the money walks in - the insurance
money," according to Rick Hampson. Taped inside the
front cover of his presentation binder were a $1,000
bill and several pennies. He would tell his customers,
"For these," pointing to the pennies, "you can get
this" - the bill.

He was creative, very creative!

In 1992, New York Life created an insurance selling
contest they called "Feldman’s February." The program
was to commemorate his fifty years of selling life
insurance. The national contest was of course in
honor of Ben’s history with the company.

Obviously no one told that to Ben. He viewed it as a
challenge and won the contest himself. He was eighty
years old and in a hospital recovering from a cerebral
hemorrhage during the month of February.

That February, he sold $15,150,000 worth of insurance
from his hospital bed.

Ben had an incredible selling attitude.

He never gave up.

He never, never, never, never gave up.

Listen to some of Ben’s phrases and how his words worked
magic. Imagine hearing them as you consider making a
decision to buy insurance.

"No one ever died with too much money."

"Do you know anyone who has a lease on life? It isn’t
a question of if; it’s a question of when."

"Put me on your payroll. The day you walk out, I’ll
walk in and pay your bills."

"The key to a sale is an interview, and the key to an
interview is a disturbing question."

"Most people buy not because they believe, but because
the sales person believes."

A little side-bar here: Unfortunately most of today's
salespeople have this twisted belief that the customer
gets excited first. Well - that's not how it works.
Never has and never will.

For Ben, success wasn't fleeting, it was consistent.
He loved his product. He loved his customers. He loved
his company. He loved his work.

Here’s something for you to think about. If Ben Feldman
sold for your company, how would he do it?

How well would he do it?

Ben’s gone now. His legacy, however, should serve as
an inspiration to all that call sales a profession.

Ben Feldman gave new meaning to an old profession.

Ben was the consummate sales person because he blended
hard work with a passion for his work and his products.

Nothing hard about that - right?


A couple of years ago I wrote a special report titled
"The 12 Dumbest Things Salespeople Do!"

I also recorded it and it's also available as a CD.

A couple of weeks later I'm on a flight to Chicago.
Got lucky and was upgraded to First Class.

I thought for a minute about "The 12 Dumbest Things"
report and CD and turned the concept upside down.

Why not write about all the little things salespeople
are doing to grow their business.

Well along story made short, I had a one-day layover
in Chicago between speaking engagements so I started

When I thought I was finished, I just kept on writing.

When I emptied my alphabet pipeline and was completely
drained of words, I ended up with - "75 Little Things
You Can Do To Grow Your Business."

You can use these 75 little nuggets to grow your
business and maybe even neutralize some of your
competitors - because you know they're just doing
the same old things over and over.

You can order the CD here - it's only $29.95. You'll
also get a link to download my Special Report titled,
"25 Ways To Get Motivated For A Sensational Year:

Here's your link:

Favorite Quotes

Creativity involves taking what you have, where you are,
and getting the most out of it.
Carl Mays

Be like a postage stamp. Stick to something until you
get it.
Josh Billings

Attitudes are caught, not taught.
Elwood Chapman

Follow my Twitters here:

Keep up with Jim's Twitters, rants and raves
plus a whole lot more . . .

Start selling more today and everyday . . .

Jim Meisenheimer

20.5 years . . .

520 customers . . .

72.7% repeat business . . .

P.S. - If you're not doing 75 little things to grow
your business, maybe your business will dry up and
move over to the competition. You just never know.

The only thing certain about our future is that it's

Listen to this CD if you'd like to have more
ideas on how to grow your business.

Screw The Recession| Sell More Blog | More sales articles | Time Management book

To subscribe:

It's easy to subscribe to my newsletter. To join send a blank email to:

Jim Meisenheimer | 13506 Blythefield Terrace | Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 | 941-907-0415

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News

Clickables from Mediapost...

by Karl Greenberg
Robert Brown, senior manager, Nissan Marketing Communications, says the Cube Mobile Hub aligns with the campaign's positioning of the car as its own mobile hub. "It's a mobile destination for all things Cube. It really is part of our consumer insight that social media and mobile devices are a big part of [younger consumers'] culture." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
"We're seeing the impact of cost-reduction and increase in available content, as well as the penetration of high-definition televisions driving the increase," says Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at NPD Group. "Even as options expand for accessing movies digitally, Blu-ray is carrying forward the widespread appeal of DVD into the high-definition marketplace." ... Read the whole story > >
by Mark Green
Ford is also working with an agency called House Party to organize 1,000 private house parties for the night of the finale. Local Ford dealers will loan new 2010 Ford Fusions to party hosts for the evening. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Overall, about half of WOM is tied to marketing communications efforts, and more than 80% relates to the experiences that consumers have with brands, says Keller Fay COO Brad Fay. Whatever media or channels are used, "today, the test of effective marketing is whether it drives conversation," he says. ... Read the whole story > >
by David Goetzl
The NHL has two people on its email team and an email list of some 1 million fans. Besides "Ticket on Sale" messages, it sends out 62 versions of weekly emails -- along with ones promoting the likes of NHL online programming under the e-commerce umbrella and tune-in messages for telecasts such as the Winter Classic on NBC. ... Read the whole story > >
by David Goetzl
Marketers place a lifetime value on customers with addresses on its email list based on their purchasing activity. But how do you place a similar value on a person active on a company's Facebook or MySpace page? With social networking booming, marketers are now in hot pursuit of the metric. ... Read the whole story > >

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Less Annoying

20 years ago, I lived in Metro Detroit.

It was a bit of culture shock for this kid from Indiana at first, mostly the way the clerks at convenience stores were barricaded behind bullet proof glass.

That wasn't the way it was where I was from. They would talk to you from a little microphone and you'd put your money in the drawer.

This morning I came across a blog post from Perry Belcher about how Target has become less annoying. I wonder if they have this policy in Detroit?

I went into my local Target last night to buy summer clothes for my sons Sam & Ben. I spent more than $500 and paid with a credit card, the cool part is… They never asked for my I.D. For $500 bucks.

I had noticed this seem to be a new policy at Target on smaller purchases.

Kudos to you Target. The first retailer to realize when you don’t treat your customers like criminals the tend to like that.

I’m sure Target will get hit with some fraud but the upside in sales will far outweigh the peanuts this new policy will cost.

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New Ad Campaigns

From Amy at Mediapost:

Get cultured and fed, all in the same building. The Stadsschouwburg theatre in Amsterdam recently opened Stanislavski, a restaurant named after theatre director Constantin Stanislavski. Print ads combine vintage and stock photography with items found on the menu. Salmon, boiled eggs and cocktails are offered: being a tortured soul is optional. See creative here, here and here, created by THEY.

Cricket Wireless launched "Dinnertable," a TV spot promoting its $45 a month unlimited wireless plan. The ad shows a teen texting at dinner. Nothing out of the ordinary happens, until she jumps atop the table and sings "Respect," as in respect from her wireless carrier. First off, Mom and Dad most likely pay the girl's cell phone bill and second, the song is outdated for a teenager to spontaneously belt out. See the ad here. Element 79 created the ad and PHD handled the media buy.

JetBlue launched two animated TV spots, "Seat Monster" and "DVD" that showcase why the airline is better than its competitors. Leg room is important for most people; since I'm vertically challenged, I always have leg room. The first spot features a tall man who's confined to cramped quarters while he vigorously works on his laptop. The man seated in front of him moves his seat back, swallowing the man, digesting him, and spitting him out into a JetBlue aircraft, where leg room runs wild. See the ad here. A woman brings a portable DVD player on a flight, which draws attention -- and attempts at friendship -- from her fellow flight mates. This wouldn't be a problem on JetBlue, where passengers have can watch TV on their own individual screens. Watch the ad here. JWT New York created the campaign and MediaCom handled the media buy. Blacklist produced the ads.

Pepsi launched a baseball-themed TV spot to promote itself as the official soft drink of Major League Baseball. The ad is part of the brand's "Refresh Everything" campaign and is reminiscent of a Super Bowl spot from earlier this year. The same song and split screen concept is used, but this time, shots of memorable baseball moments are highlighted. It was great to see Mr. Met from yesteryear make an appearance. Be on the lookout for Ken Griffey, Jr., Jose Reyes and a Yankee love fest that includes Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter and Yankee Stadium, old and new. Watch the ad here. TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles created the campaign and OMD handled the media buy.

ESPN launched a great SportsCenter spot starring St. Louis Cardinal's first baseman Albert Pujols that plays off one of his many nicknames, "The Machine." Anchormen Steve Levy and John Anderson spot Pujols in the ESPN copy room, making copies. They refer to Pujols by his nickname "The Machine," a moniker he strictly denies. "I'm not a machine, I'm just Albert," Pujols says, through his Terminator-esque point of view. The spot ends with the copy machine asking Pujols, "why didn't you eliminate them, Albert?" Good stuff. See the ad here, created by Wieden + Kennedy New York.

Another strange online video debuted from Ray-Ban and its "Never Hide" campaign. An oversized ball of yarn is offloaded onto the hilly streets of San Francisco. Two friends hold one end, while the ball takes the hills of San Fran surprisingly well, even when its path is re-routed when hit by a truck. The more it unravels, the dirtier it begins to look. Oh, and the yarn's surprise center happens to be a Ray-Ban-wearing guy, whose yarn matches his sunglasses. See the video here and a poster here. Cutwater created the video.

The One Club launched a pair of print ads in trade publications to promote a new award that will be distributed tonight at the One Show awards. The "Green Pencil" honors "the one piece or campaign that best represents the highest standards of excellence in the field of environmental advertising." Ad copy is tongue-in-cheek, stating that the award is "only self-serving if you're a planet" and marks "the only time creatives will be rewarded for recycling ideas." And the award itself is crafted from recycled glass! See the ads here and here. BooneOakley created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.

VERSUS launched two additional TV spots promoting its coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. "One Second" is all it takes to dramatically change the course of a game. This spot intersperses game highlights with copy describing the amount of time it takes to make the playoffs (six months) and how long it takes to make history (one second.) Watch the ad here. I really like "Sudden Life." The ad begins with varying shots of players for the Pittsburgh Penguins; they're clearly angry, frustrated and readying to accept an overtime defeat. Then the magic moment arrives: the Penguins score the winning goal and the bench erupts with excitement. "One second can turn sudden death into sudden life," ends the ad, seen here. The Brooklyn Brothers created the campaign.

Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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Are you a Sales Animal?

From Jill Konrath:

Were Salespeople Ever Really This Bad?

On the Trust Scale, salespeople typically rate near the bottom. It's too bad that stereotypical sales behavior from years ago still haunts us in this profession.

This Badger Car Salesman video manages to show us at our worst. Enjoy!

Many thanks to John Beesley from Eagle Creek Software Services for sharing this with me!

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News

A little later than usual as I was out of town the past 30 hours..

by Karl Greenberg
Coca-Cola, Kia, T-Mobile and Haier America are backing the National Basketball Association's "NBA Nation" grassroots effort. The spring and summer program -- in its third year, with T-Mobile USA and Kia Motors as presenting sponsors -- centers on a mobile, 20,000 square-foot basketball playground holding co-branded consumer activities and competitions visiting eight markets. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
In a new advertising campaign, Consol Energy, a company that supplies coal and natural gas resources to pipelines, tries to make the case that the country cannot -- for the near future anyway -- survive on wind, solar or other alternative power alone. "We're making the point that we're essential to our way of life," says Thomas Hoffman, senior vice president of external affairs. ... Read the whole story > >
Brand Marketing
by Tanya Irwin
A diverse set of marketers have signed on as participants in the Mofilm User-Generated Content "You to the Power of 12 - U12" competition. The brands are more than just sponsors. Contestants will be creating short films based on guidelines from each of the companies, which include Renaissance Hotels and Resorts, Visa, AT&T N.A., Best Buy, PepsiCo (Doritos), Hewlett Packard, Kodak, Renaissance Hotels and Resorts, Nokia, Philips, Telstra Australia, Unilever (Omo) and Vodafone. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Kraft reported profits up 10% for first-quarter 2009 to $660 million, for earnings per share of 45 cents, versus $559 million and a 39-cent EPS in last year's first quarter. The results exceeded analysts' projections by five cents. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
A new survey shows that the tougher economy has online retailers sharpening up their marketing programs as never before, and that most believe this is an ideal time to steal customers from weakened competition. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
The new line, starting Tuesday, includes lattes, cappuccinos and mochas. To launch the line, McDonald's is doing ads and giving consumers a chance to win a $50,000 Visa Gift card and other prizes through an online contest and sweepstakes at ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
Avon Products says it has been hit hard by fluctuating world currencies, with revenue falling 13% to $2.2 billion. But in local currency, it's reporting a revenue gain of 3% -- and thanks to product launches at the lower end of the price spectrum, a 2% increase in overall beauty sales. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
A new survey of teens commissioned by Seventeen magazine finds that fifty-three percent of respondents of the online survey, via Survey Monkey, a Web-based platform, said their parents give them spending money regularly, and 25% said the parents are giving them less money than last year. Seventy-five percent are getting more or the same amount as last year. And over half are working. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Papa John's has launched an ad campaign featuring real footage of founder John Schnatter delivering pizzas to real customers. ... Read the whole story > >

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Do you reward your loyal customers?

I'm Worth My Weight in Gold

We all know it: your best customers love it when they are made to feel special. New research that demonstrates just how important status tiers are in loyalty programs. The researchers ran a variety of tests to determine what resonated best with customers in terms of loyalty-status designations. For instance, one test asked potential frequent travelers to pick a preferred hotel among three choices. The only difference among the three "chains" was their loyalty programs:

  • Chain A offered no elite status.
  • Chain B offered one elite tier for frequent guests (Gold status).
  • Chain C offered two elite tiers, one for guests who stayed at least 30 nights (Gold), and one for guests who stayed at least 20 nights (Silver).

The results? All opted for the hotels with rewards programs, and Chain C won big:

  • Those who knew they'd qualify for Gold status vastly preferred Chain C, which included the Silver tier.
  • Even the "non-elites" preferred Chain C with its two elite tiers.
  • The actual benefits offered to the top tiers in Chain C seemed to resonate less than the Gold and Silver status designations.

The lesson for loyalty marketers here? Build in a gold-and-silver-plated snob factor. "A three-tier [loyalty] program [Gold, Silver and no status] is more satisfying to all involved," the authors say, even for customers who don't qualify for rewards—yet.

The Po!nt: Go heavy-metal. Consider using Gold, Silver and no-status designations in your loyalty program: it could boost enrollment.

Source: "Feeling Superior: The Impact of Loyalty Program Structure on Consumers' Perceptions of Status," by Xavier Dr├Ęze and Joseph C. Nunes. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009.

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Is it the end? No..

Despite the news about the demise of the auto industry, nobody has seen a trend in reverting to horse-drawn wagons. From

Americans still planning to buy cars


Despite the recession, most American consumers are still planning to buy a car within the next two years. However, a recent consumer sentiment survey by R.L. Polk & Co. also found that car buying plans varied considerably by region of the country. There was also regional disparity on whether the potential car buyers were considering a US auto nameplate.

“With all the doom and gloom in the US auto industry, it’s encouraging that consumers are indicating that they plan to buy a vehicle in the relative near term,” said Lonnie Miller, Polk’s director of industry analysis. The automotive information and marketing solutions firm surveyed approximately 1,400 US auto owners online to gauge consumer sentiment for car buying.

“In fact, more than a quarter of consumers we talked to as of the end of March plan to buy a new car or truck within the next year, even better news for automakers struggling to move excess inventory from dealer showrooms,” noted Miller.

In the Plains states (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota), 62% of consumers plan to purchase a new or used vehicle within the next two years, with 32% planning to buy in the next 12 months. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the March unemployment rate in six of the seven states in this region was below the national average of 8.5%, with Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota reporting March unemployment numbers below 5%.

In the Great Lakes region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin), just 51% of consumers say they’ll buy a car or truck within the next two years, the lowest percentage in the country. An inverse link between unemployment and vehicle purchase intention can also be seen in this region. All of the Great Lakes states had March unemployment rates at or above the national average, with Michigan topping the US rate by more than four percentage points.

Polk’s consumer sentiment study contains some positive news for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors: Half of US consumers said they were very or extremely likely to consider a domestic vehicle for their next purchase to support the national economy. 62% of drivers in the Rocky Mountain region (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming) would consider a domestic vehicle, the highest percentage in the country. Consumers in the Great Lakes region and the Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas) also indicate above-average willingness to “buy American.” On the other end of the spectrum, only 44% of consumers in the West (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) say they’d consider a domestic vehicle.

“The domestic manufacturers have long struggled to change the mindset of consumers in California and other western states regarding American vehicles. Now that the US automakers are facing so many challenges, getting these consumers to consider an American vehicle is even more of an uphill battle,” said Miller.

Likelihood to Purchase Next Vehicle within Next Two Years


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Put down the Shovel

You'll understand as you read these words from Jim:

Start, Stop and Change

You have all the potential in the world -- use it!

Prepare a list of your key selling activities. Things like prospecting, cold calling, asking questions, sales presentations, sales proposals, handling the price objection, closing the sale, time management etc.

For every item on your list, ask this question. Starting today what can you start doing, stop doing, or change how you're doing it?

Let your imagination run wild.

Imagine your weakest selling link is prospecting. What can you start doing to fix that? Well, you can start setting a goal to call on one new sales prospect every day. This will have a huge impact on your business.

What can you stop doing? You can stop thinking you will call on sales prospects at the end of the day -- when you usually run out of time.

What can you change? You can change the order of things. For example, you can begin every day by calling on one new sales prospect.

A lot of salespeople and entrepreneurs today feel like they're in a hole. Someone much wiser than me said, "The best way out of a hole is to stop digging." Stop digging and create a plan to get out of the hole you're in.

Source: Sales strategist/author Jim Meisenheimer (

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tuesday Night Marketing News

From Mediapost:

by Karl Greenberg
The new ad campaign from Volkswagen of America includes three elements the U.S. sales arm of the German automaker hasn't yet tried. The company's new TV campaign that pairs its talking vintage VW Beetle, Max, with a newcomer -- a talking vintage VW van -- directs consumers not to the company's consumer Web site, but to Volkswagen's Facebook page, a first. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Piaggio Group Americas, Inc. is launching a new Web campaign for its Vespa scooter brand. The effort, which runs through June, comprises marketing elements on 120 music, electronics, art, conservation and auto-enthusiast sites. Part of Vespa's "Vespanomics" campaign, the ads use twin theme/tag-lines: "Turns on a Dime, Runs on a Nickel" and "Smart Looks, Smarter Purchase." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
In the gamer world, video games tied-in to movies have a certain reputation, and it isn't good. Overcoming the hurdle of low expectations was a key strategic point for Activision when it came time to promote its latest movie tie-in game, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
In an effort to convince recession-walloped women that they can afford to shop, TJX says it is launching its first-ever joint marketing effort for T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. The integrated campaign, in a mockumentary style, follows well-dressed women as they chase down overspending friends -- catching them in the act of paying full price. The ads, created by GSD&M, started running this week on network TV in major markets. ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
Sales of organic products grew during 2008, despite a weakening economy, according to the Organic Trade Association. The OTA's findings concur with a similar study by Cone Inc. earlier this year. Cone reported that 34% of U.S. consumers indicate they are more likely to buy environmentally responsible products. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Although hardly signaling a recovery, some of the most recent monthly indicators from the National Restaurant Association offer glimmers of improvement amid the discouraging trends of the past year and a half. ... Read the whole story > >
by David Goetzl
Lyris is upgrading its Lyris HQ system to allow marketers to gauge the effectiveness of communications on Twitter. It also lets advertisers monitor various aspects of their interactive marketing campaigns. ... Read the whole story > >

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