Saturday, July 11, 2009

3 plus 1=

Well, actually more than 4. From yesterday:

Forrester: Interactive Marketing to Hit $55B by 2014

The latest forecast from Forrester Research predicts that interactive marketing in the US will hit nearly $55 billion by 2014 and will grow - at a compound annual growth rate of 17% - from 12% of overall ad spend in 2009 to 21% over the...

Face-to-Face Still Tops for Purchase Decisions

Neutral, informal communication on behalf of a preferred brand or vendor can have significant and far-reaching impact on purchase decisions, and in-person word-of-mouth still carries more weight - among all adult age groups - than recommendations via social networking, according to (pdf) a recent Harris...

Marketing Execs’ Most Embarrassing Email Mistakes

Nearly eight in 10 (78%) US advertising and marketing executives confess to having made at least one mistake when sending out email at work, including emailing a message to someone it wasn’t intended for or copying someone on a message they weren’t meant...

Behind the Curve: Week Ended July 10, 2009

Below are some links to recent research news and studies from the collection of items that MarketingCharts didn’t get to writing up this week, but still may be worth a peek: Social Media Magnifies Social Divisions; Migration from MySpace to Facebook Mirrors “White Flight” King...

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Social Network Users

AdAge released this info this week. Do you agree?

What Your Favorite Social Network Says About You

Anderson Analytics Survey Reveals Consumers' Likely Interests, Buying Habits, Media Consumption

YORK, Pa. ( -- Do you Twitter? Then you are more interested in sex than the average Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn user. Like LinkedIn? You're more likely to watch soap operas. Favor MySpace? You're probably not into exercise.

Social networking
Photo: AP

Which social network you favor says a lot about you -- and you might be surprised just what it says. A new study by Anderson Analytics is helping identify users' likely interests, buying habits, media consumption and more for marketers. The survey studied the demographics and psychographics of both social networkers and non-users and found that "there are definite data-driven segments in the social-networking-site market, both for non-users and users," said Tom Anderson, founder and managing partner.

Today 110 million Americans, or 60% of the online population, use social networks, and that number is fairly conservative, because instead of counting unique users or everyone who has an account, as many estimates do, the Anderson study counted only people who have used a social network at least once in the past month.

Users tend to spend a lot of time on social networks. The average social networker goes to social sites five days a week and checks in about four times a day for a total of an hour each day. A super-connected 9% stay logged in all day and are "constantly checking out what's new."

Social networkers' feelings about brands online in general are more positive than the researchers thought they would be. Some 52% of social networkers had friended or become a fan of at least one brand. When asked if seeing a brand on a social network makes them feel positive or negative about that brand, an almost-equal 17% said positive and 19% said negative. The other 64% were neutral or didn't care. When asked if they would like more communications from brands, 45% were neutral, while 20% said yes and 35% said no.

Anderson conducted the study online in June with 5,000 demographically representative respondents, and then went in-depth with 1,250 of them. With the help of Mr. Anderson and his team, Ad Age dug into the reams of stats to create the mini profiles below.

Social-network users overall
Social networkers get a bad rap for using social media to pump up their egos and reputations with "fake" friends. But the truth is, in general, they're not super-aggressive about building networks. Almost half (45%) said they will link only to family and friends, and another 18% will link only to people they've met in person. That means almost two-thirds associate only with people they know offline. The fake-frienders are still out perpetuating the myth, though -- 10% of those surveyed said they will connect with anyone who's willing to connect with them.

And another myth blown: Most users are not wasting company time. Only 15% said they go on social networks at work.

Their top three interests are music, movies and hanging out with friends, and they use social media most to stay in touch with friends, family and classmates. Not surprisingly, they do more online than non-users of social media, from watching videos to reading blogs to making purchases. They are four times more vocal than non-users when it comes to commenting on discussion boards, posting blog entries and uploading videos.

Anderson's research breaks down general social-media users into four categories: business users, fun seekers, social-media mavens and late followers. Of those, social-media mavens are the key group, not only because of their high incomes and decision-making power at companies but also because their large social-media footprints can make them brand allies and evangelists, Mr. Anderson said. Fun seekers are also an important group because they are the up-and-coming mavens as they transition from students to employees.

Non-users of social networks
Contrary to what some might think, people who spurn social media aren't tech haters. In fact, they spend as much time as social-media fans surfing the web. But they say they don't use social media for three basic reasons: They don't have the time, they don't think it's secure or they think it's stupid. While the first two groups -- which Anderson labels "time-starved" and "concerned" -- may be swayed to join eventually, don't hold out much hope for the last group: 94% said they will never use social media.

About 22% of time-starved people said they'll be using social media within three months, and another 27% said they probably will within a year -- when they get the time that is; they're more interested than all others in pursuits such as exercise, entertaining, music and movies.

The concerned non-users are an older demographic (one-third are retired) who don't use social networks because they're worried about their privacy. However, they do recognize value in social media and may join as they become more comfortable with it.

Non-users in general don't shop online as much as social networkers, but they are much more likely to visit online retailers Amazon and eBay. They also named IAC's IWon and HGTV as favored web destinations.

There are 77 million Facebook users, according to the study, and Facebook users were almost completely average in their level of interest in most areas when compared with users of Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn. Out of 45 categories, only national news, sports, exercise, travel, and home and garden skewed even slightly higher than average, and then by only one or two percentage points.

"Facebook is average because it has the most users. When stat testing, anything near the average is less likely to be significant," Mr. Anderson said. "They are also capturing a wider range of users for various reasons, from high-school and college fun, leisure user to business and parents and grandparents."

They are more likely to be married (40%), white (80%) and retired (6%) than users of the other social networks. They have the second-highest average income, at $61,000, and an average of 121 connections.

Facebook users skew a bit older and are more likely to be late adopters of social media. But they are also extremely loyal to the site -- 75% claim Facebook is their favorite site, and another 59% say they have increased their use of the site in the past six months.

This is the super-user group. Twitterers are more interested than the others in many subjects but skew particularly high in all news categories, restaurants, sports, politics, personal finance and religion. They also especially like pop culture, with music, movies, TV and reading, ranking higher than average. And their buying habits mirror that. They're more likely to buy books, movies, shoes and cosmetics online than the other groups.

Twitterers are also entrepreneurial. They are more likely than others to use the service to promote their blogs or businesses. How do they keep going? Coffee, apparently. Some 31% buy coffee online, far above the average 21% of other social networkers.

They're more likely to be employed part-time (16% vs. 11% average), have an average income of $58,000, and average 28 followers and 32 other Twitterers they're following. They're not particularly attached to the site, though -- 43% said they could live without Twitter.

They are the young, the fun and the fleeing. While MySpace users skew younger, they also said they'd used the site much less in the past six months.

The 67 million who are still there are into having a good time. They're more likely to have joined MySpace for fun and more likely to be interested in entertaining friends, humor and comedy, and video games. They're less into exercise than any other social group but seek out parenting information more than any other.

The content MySpace users put up is most often about specific hobbies, or pictures of family and friends. Their average income is the lowest, at $44,000, and they have an average of 131 connections. They're more likely to be black (9%) or Hispanic (7%) than users of the other social sites. They are also more likely to be single (60%) and students (23%).

LinkedIn users
It's probably no surprise these guys are all about business. We say guys because LinkedIn has the only user group with more males than females (57% to 43%). They have the highest average income, at $89,000, and are more likely to have joined the site for business or work, citing keeping in touch with business networks, job searching, business development and recruiting as top reasons.

Their interests reflect that as well. They like all kinds of news, employment information, sports and politics. They also more likely to be into the gym, spas, yoga, golf and tennis.

Excluding video-game systems, they own more electronic gadgets than the other social networkers, including digital cameras, high-definition TVs, DVRs and Blu-ray players.

How do they unwind? Here were two surprises among the things they're more interested in than the others: gambling and soap operas. Some 12% seek gambling information online (vs. an average of 7%), while 10% go online for soap-opera content (vs. an average of 5%).

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Your Comfort Zone

From Drew:

Creature comfort?

Posted: 06 Jul 2009 08:30 AM PDT

Shutterstock_31835329 Recently, we looked at how fear can paralyze. As promised, let's now take a peek at fear’s evil counterpart, comfort.

While fear paralyzes, comfort just makes us lazy. When things are going okay and business is good are you out there working it? Are you staying in touch with existing clients? Reaching out to former ones? Looking for that new business prospect? Probably not.

That’s why marketing efforts cannot be effective without being a part of a schedule. It’s just too easy when things are going well to just let things slide. But, if part of your week’s schedule, week in and week out, is to make 5 cold calls or schedule lunch with a former client – then it will get done. It’s habit. And if it isn't habit -- it is scheduled.

If you don’t get into the habit, that comfy place you’re in now is going to shift sooner or later. And then you’re going to gear up a marketing effort – and be frustrated when it doesn’t work instantaneously.

Marketing isn’t something you start when the ship is leaking. Effective marketing is consistently and regularly talking to your key audiences. Just like the ground absorbs the rain water better when it comes in a light, all-day rain, your potential customers will hear you much better if you talk to them regularly, rather than shouting at them when you need their business right away.

Don’t let fear or comfort control your marketing. You take control. Put a simple written plan in place. Build it into your workweek, your planner and your habits. Feeling a little less comfy? Good.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News

A little early:

by Karl Greenberg
"Sports are the foundation of our media investment; we have been incredibly pleased with our relationship with Major League Baseball, of which we are official QSR. When we started 'dating' the NBA, we saw that as a perfect in terms of fan base," says Yum Brands' Deborah Myers in a chat with Marketing Daily. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
The "Big City Crunch" has been promoted since May 18 via New York-area print, outdoor and radio advertising featuring Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, plus promotional messaging on the Mets TV network, ad wraps on buses and street ambassadors handing out chip samples and promotional pieces. PR has resulted in additional media exposure. ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
The launch of, created by BETC 4D, is also a big component to this new platform, says spokesperson Cameryn Mercurio. On this site consumers can find the two viral "Live young" films and other digital teasers such as: the audio remix, "making-of" clips, and "interviews" with select babies from the film sharing anecdotes from the set. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
With the exception of Target Corp., which posted a worse-than-expected 6.2% decline, value-conscious chains offered the month's bright spots. For example, teen retailer Aeropostale posted an admirable same-store increase of 12%, while Abercrombie & Fitch turned in another enormous loss, with sales falling 32% in June. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
According to Marketing Evaluations (a.k.a., The Q Scores Company), the likability factor of celebrities who struggled with some perception problems in life, such as Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, increased greatly after their deaths. The same will likely hold true for Michael Jackson, says Henry Schafer, executive vice president of Marketing Evaluations. ... Read the whole story > >
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
Duracell says the effort also includes a 60-second radio ad highlighting an amateur radio station located at the National Hurricane Center operated by volunteer ham radio operators who talk to first responders in South Florida. The first new TV spot shows an Air Life Denver pilot in night-vision goggles saving tornado victims waving from their totaled home. ... Read the whole story > >

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Choosy Shoppers Choose...


But with brand extensions going out the wazoo, it's a different world. Drew wrote this:

Too many choices paralyze buyers

Posted: 08 Jul 2009 11:58 AM PDT

Shutterstock_32991415 When television was first introduced, there were 3 black and white channels. Today, 500+. Many in my baby boomer (I would like to point out that I am on the very tail end of that demographic!) demo grew up reveling in the idea of many choices because it was new territory.

But fast forward to today and you see those same baby boomers being overwhelmed at the array of decisions (based on choices) they have to make every day.

Walk into any mobile phone store and just count the number of phones available. It's staggering. Then, you have to figure out what each one does...and why it matters to you.

No wonder it is often easier for us to check out, than to check all the options.

Consumer research shows that the American consumer is suffering from choice fatigue. A study (by Sheena S. Iyengar from Columbia University and Mark R. Lepper from Stanford called "When Choice is Demotivating") found too many choices actually frustrated shoppers. People were offered either 30 choices or 6 choices of jam and then given coupons to purchase what they sampled.

Of those that had the opportunity to sample 30 only 3% made a purchase, while of those given 6 choices ten times as many or 30% made a purchase. That's a huge difference.

To better understand how we all react when faced with too many choices watch this brilliant TED talk by Barry Schwartz - author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. In this talk, he explains how and why the too many choices are paralyzing us.

So what does that mean for you and me?

It means that there is power in simple. Our customers are time-starved and information-saturated. Make it easy. If you have to give your customers a lot of choices -- group or organize them in a way that allows their brain to sift through the options more logically and quicker.

It also means that we need to recognize that having more choices doesn't necessarily give us an edge over the competition.

If you are going to offer lots of variety -- be sure you have a good reason for doing so, and be sure you help your consumers navigate through those choices.

Or they might not choose you at all.

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The answer is below:

Daily Sales Tip: Why People Buy

A fundamental question in selling is not why people sell, but why people buy.

It is well known that people buy for their own reasons -- not for the seller's. In fact, their motivation to buy may have very little to do with the reasons why the seller thinks they should buy. When it comes down to it, people buy something to meet their needs, or resolve the problems they are facing.

According to Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling, people decide to buy when, "the pain of the problem and desire for a solution have been built to the point where they are greater than the cost of the solution."

A good sales professional can help clients come to that realization. But it doesn't happen as easily as you might think. Most people learn the basics of conducting needs analysis, customizing solutions and linking benefits to pain in their Sales 101 class. However, once they are out in the real world, they forget to bring these classroom lessons to life, and somehow their competence, composure, and confidence suddenly evaporate. Faced with self-induced, pressure-filled selling situations, they confuse telling with selling.

As dairy farmers are apt to say, "Cows don't give milk. You have to take it from them." The same is true with selling. Nobody just gives you a sale. You have to take it. But how you "take it" is very counterintuitive. A natural tendency of most sellers is to rush in. And as the Newtonian principle outlines, the equal and opposite reaction on the part of the buyers is to shut them out.

Like milking a cow, selling can be a delicate operation. While a client probably won't threaten you with a hoof, you're still faced with the fact that the harder you push, the more pushback you get. Why? As Harry Truman once said, "The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it."

Nobody likes to be told what to do -- not even children. Imagine going to a doctor who gives you the same prescription she gave the previous patient because it worked. By not listening, by not being inquisitive, by not clarifying assumptions, sellers come across as not caring -- or caring more about themselves -- and perpetuate the stereotype of the arrogant, pushy "salesman" we all love to hate.

Source: Abhay Padgaonkar, President of Innovative Solutions Consulting, LLC (

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News

Check out the last story from Lifesavers:

by Karlene Lukovitz
The Non-GMO Project is a nonprofit collaboration of North American organic and natural product manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers and seed breeders, plus consumers. Its stated missions are to enable consumers to make informed choices and help ensure the sustained availability of non-GMO food options. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Within each country, the campaign has a set of regional broadcast spots that start with a drop of fuel falling onto a piece of paper, through which one sees a range of vehicles driving down different streets. The ads also drive consumers to The first of a juggernaut of 11 such ads started in targeted countries this spring, with the latest raft of six TV spots launching this week. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
"We are focusing in on our footprint by taking the 'Values' campaign and bringing it home to New York and letting real people own it," HSBC's Johanna Breman tells Marketing Daily. "We as a bank are really interested in learning what drives people's life decisions and how might we best get at what really matters so we can develop the best products that meet their needs." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
In the 21 countries covered in the survey, women were generally more concerned about the environment than men. Seventy-one percent of women said they felt guilty disposing of an electronic device rather than repairing it, compared with 63% of men. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"We think advertising should always be branded and have a price position. It isn't easy to unite value and brand; we acknowledge that. But in this marketplace it is imperative we incorporate both messages into everything we do," says Erich Marx, director of Nissan marketing. ... Read the whole story > >

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Yes, No, or Maybe

Seth Godin recently wrote on how you can use Maybe and make more money:

What to do with special requests

The bike shop is busy in June. If you bring your bike in for a tune up, it will cost $39 and take a week.

A week!

What if someone says, "I have a bike trip coming up in three days, can you do it by then?"

At most bike shops, the answer is a shrug, followed by, "I'm sorry, we're swamped."

The problem with telling people to go away is that they go away. And the problem with treating all customers the same is that customers aren't the same. They're different and they demand to be treated (and are often willing to pay) differently.

So, why not smile and say, "Oh, wow, that's a rush. We can do it, but it's expensive. It'll cost you $90. I know that's a lot, but there you go."

Outcome: Maybe they'll still leave. But maybe they'll happily pay you for the privilege of doing business with you. Why should this be your choice, not theirs?

If you do tax accounting for mid-size businesses, why not offer a special last-minute service? A service in which you process shoeboxes filled with unsorted papers? A service that costs less but happens during your slow season?

There are two really good reasons to turn down special requests:

1. because you're marketing yourself as extremely busy and perfectly willing to turn down good work.

2. because you want to market yourself as someone who is a rigid artist, a stick in the mud or a crotchety perfectionist. This works great for pizza places.

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New Ad Campaigns

From Amy:

Roller babies. Name Hardees' biscuit holes. An hourglass of Skittles + hungry friend = prematurely aging man. Let's launch!

Just another day in the "Birdhouse." A TV spot for Robinsons' Be Natural soft drink give a bird's-eye view inside a bird's humble abode. Our feathered friend comes home from work, puts away toys, watches news delivered by a pigeon broadcaster, has a human cuckoo clock and keeps packaged worms in the fridge, next to the Robinsons. The bird curls up with a beverage and a nice tabloid. "Squash made from naturally sourced ingredients" ends the ad, seen here. BBH created the ad, edited by Cut+Run.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority launched "What Happens in Blank," a TV spot that drives home the fact that inserting your town's name into the popular "What happens here, stays here," tagline doesn't magically transport you to Vegas. The debauchery found in "The Hangover" cannot be replicated at the Caribou lodge. A man puts the moves on a woman while riding a Ferris wheel... in Billips County. She's unimpressed. A man hopes his rectal exam stays between him and his doctor -- and Caribou lodge members love to let loose and dance. See the craziness here, created by R&R Partners.

Starburst feels connected to a Scot-Korean father and son in "Kilt." Both are contradictions; Starbursts are solid, but juicy, and meeting a kilt-wearing Scot-Korean doesn't happen every day. Once the father explains to his son that Starbursts, along with their family tree, don't make sense, he points out another oxymoron: Timmy, the albino lifeguard. Watch the ad here. TBWA/Chiat/Day New York created the ad and MediaVest handled the media buy.

Evian is making roller skates popular for the diaper-wearing demographic. Roller Babies is airing on broadcast TV in Europe, and on YouTube in the United States, Japan and Canada. "Let's observe the effect of Evian on your body," begins the ad. Viewers are shown a boombox with a "Rapper's Delight" tape, and a baby clad in a white onesie and roller skates. The song begins and a group of onesie-wearing skaters convene at a park to show off their skills. Halfway through the spot, action is halted for Evian copy that touts the water as a supporter of a body's youth. More shots of laughing, happy, skating babies complete the ad. "Evian. Live young," says the voiceover. Ninety-six babies were filmed to create the ad, seen here. There's also a Web site containing teasers, making of the ad footage and links to babies' Facebook pages. BETC Euro RSCG created the ad and BETC 4D created the site.

Like Skittles through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. Well, at least one man's life depends on where in the hourglass the Skittles lie. A guy nonchalantly grabs a handful of Skittles from an active hourglass, only to have his roommate arrive home with clumps of hair falling out. "I told you not to eat the Skittles from my hourglass. You're speeding up time. How many did you eat?" the roommate asks while his friend continues to eat. The roommate grows older, balder and wrinkled by the second, until he falls asleep mid-conversation. Watch the ad here. TBWA/Chiat/Day New York created the spot and MediaVest handled the media buy.

Hardee's added Biscuit Holes to its menu but wants a catchier name than biscuit holes. Man-on-the-street taste-tests bring out more double entendres than you can stuff your hole with. The first ad pits Hardee's "b" holes against donut "a" holes. "The a-hole seems kind of small" and "the a-hole tastes funny" are just some of the feedback given by passersby. See it here. Consumers attempt to name the biscuit holes and come up with some gems: goody balls, sweet balls, puffy nuts and frosty dippers are only a few possibilities. See them all here. It's crass, but hard not to laugh at some people's reactions. One woman gets an entire ad dedicated to her hearty appetite and name suggestions. Watch it here. Remaining ads show a woman being fed, an eating contest and a challenge: how many holes can one fit in their mouth at once? After watching these ads, did anyone else think of an old "South Park" episode where Chef shared a recipe for his chocolate salty balls? See a clip here. Don't forget to visit the biscuit holes microsite where the witty can upload idea names. Mendelsohn Zien created the campaign.

A national cinema spot for Axe Instinct: Leather is strange. You have no idea what the spot even advertises until the closing credits. What we have is a seductive song and something moving underneath black leather. Halfway through the ad, an outline of a leg is revealed and the camera moves up the leg and over a woman's chest until we see the outline of her face. The spot ends with the woman wrapped in an embrace and the copy: "Axe Instinct. The Power of Leather." See the ad here, produced by Blacklist New York.

Mitsubishi Electric launched two TV spots promoting its ductless HVAC comfort systems. The first spot compares the quality of fresh air found in the middle of nowhere to that achieved with Mitsubishi Electric's cooling and heating systems. Watch it here. The second ad, "Footprints," uses most of the same footage found in the first ad, but focuses on saving money on home energy bills and reducing one's carbon footprint. See it here. Ames Scullin O'Haire created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Random iPhone App of the week: MasterCard launched ATM Hunter, an App to find ATM locations anywhere in the world. The free App can locate ATMs based on a person's current coordinates and inform him/her where an ATM is located, whether it's in a bank, store or gas station. ATM locations can be shared with others via SMS. MRM Worldwide created the App.

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

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Buyers Remorse

Today's sales tip is from Craig Garber:

Most of the people who buy from you will go away and never
return again, and then a smaller percentage will love you
and what you've sold them and return many many times over.

There is an even smaller percentage of your buyers, however,
who will experience some kind of regret or what's commonly
called "buyer's remorse," after making their purchase. And
some of these people will give you a hard time and make
their problems your problems.

Buyers remorse is typically the result of three different

One, people spent more money than they should have -- and...
they don't see the benefits of what they're getting.
Meaning, they bought on impulse and didn't think things

The best way to make sure this doesn't happen is to always
give the end result benefits of what you're selling
(meaning, sell the comfort and pride the living room set
gives you, not just "a couch and two chairs"). Make sure
you give people test-drives of your product, to the extent
this is possible -- this helps a lot.

Two, spending money they can't afford to spend.

This isn't a big deal on a "want" purchase like a television
or a bottle of booze. But on a "desperation" purchase, but
it is where someone is desperate for relief or for
something else, and they think your product or service is
the magic bullet they've been looking for... that's going
to make everything they've screwed up over the last ten
years, better overnight.

Although you may be able to mitigate the problems these
folks might give you (I'll tell you how in a minute), for
the most part, don't worry about them. They are immature
and aren't likely to be successful or happy, anytime soon,
until they're ready to take full responsibility for

These are the pains in the ass who make their problems your
problems, and everyone else's problems they come into
contact with throughout their pretty unhappy lives.

Trying to "control" them is like trying to control your
ex-wife when she's amped up on meth. Ain't gonna happen
any time soon, trust me.

Then there are those other buyers who are in Customer Limbo,
for lack of a better description. They most likely bought
your product because they had some kind of a good "feeling"
about it, or about you, but... they probably didn't do
enough research to justify their own purchase, logically.

Meaning, you whet their appetite by pushing their correct
emotional buy-buttons, but they didn't spend the time
digesting everything you had to offer or everything you had
to say before making their decision.

These are the folks you can do something with, when it comes
to eliminating buyers remorse.

And that best thing you can do is offer them some kind of
post-purchase reassurance. You use the same tone of voice,
or the same gifts of kindness you used to persuade them to
buy in the first place, and you give them thanks and
reassurance, all at the same time.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S. 7 Steps To Writing Powerful Eye-Opening Bullets:
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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News

Clickables from Mediapost:

Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The effort includes, in-bank and college campus signage, t-shirts, cinema advertising, online ads and a scholarship sweepstakes. In August, to coincide with the new school year, the campaign will further expand to include TV, print, online and guerrilla marketing. The campaign runs through mid-September. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
Besides buying more frozen food, other fast-growing cost-cutting techniques include making a list (82% now do this, up from 70% in January), comparing store circulars (64% vs. 52%), and shopping in a variety of stores based on prices (46% vs. 37%), according to ... Read the whole story > >
by Nina M. Lentini
Paolo Timoni, President and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas, tells Marketing Daily that he finds it odd that, although scooter usage around the world has risen, "somehow only in North America is the usage of two wheels very limited. For the past three, four years, we have tried to encourage the [TTI] to learn about scooters, to consider them as a solution." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Organic foods will show the most significant growth in the decade ahead, with instances of Americans eating these foods jumping by 41%, forecasts NPD. Population aging is a major driver. "People eat more fruits and vegetables as they age, and fruits and vegetables dominate the organic sector," sums up NPD's Ann Hanson. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
Says the Natural Marketing Institute's Steve French, "If you're never targeting them, you're never going to get the purchase. ... They are more connected to a national brand, than with the wider selections that women may be aware of. Men may also associate a house brand back to the days when it was an inferior product." ... Read the whole story > >
by Mark Walsh
The Ace campaign handled by Horizon Media was aimed at driving people to Ace Hardware stores for Memorial Day sales on items including Adirondack chairs, Round-Up Weed & Grass Killer and Ace Royal Paint. ... Read the whole story > >

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Twitter Twatter

I found this report via Twitter. Imagine that! Click here to go to the site, or just read below:

Last month a social media analytics provider named Sysomos released a comprehensive report on Twitter usage. The problem with most analysis on Twitter, though, is that it is limited by the minimal amount of data that Twitter collects. So, to fill the gaps, most reports do things like guessing gender based on real names or pulling data from keywords in people's biographic information. This often yields some questionable results - and the Sysomos report is not immune to this (for example, they find that 65% of Twitter users are under the age of 25, but base this on only the 0.7% of users who actually disclose their age).

Looking past these small points, the report does share some fairly interesting observations and stats as well if you dig a bit deeper. Here's my read on the 10 standout conclusions that the report offers to help you (and your brand) better understand the potential uses of Twitter:

  1. 21% (One Fifth) of Twitter accounts are empty placeholders. These are the percentage of Twitter accounts that have never posted a single tweet. They may either be registered simply to hold a username for later use, or be experimental accounts started up but never used.
  2. Nearly 94% of all Twitter accounts have less than 100 followers. In a finding perhaps consistent with the newness of the tool as well as the fact that many people may currently have an account simply to start experimenting with the tool, Sysomos found the vast majority of Twitter users have an extremely low followership.
  3. March and April of 2009 were the tipping point for Twitter. During these months, Ashton Kutcher launched his quest to get to 1 million followers faster than CNN, Oprah started using Twitter, and the steady flow of new users to the site continued. For many, it offered a safer and easier way to get their feet wet with social media, 140 characters at a time.
  4. 150 followers is the magic number. In a particularly interesting data point from the survey, Sysomos found that Twitter users tended to "follow back" all their followers up until about 150 connections. Then the reciprocation rate fell off dramatically, which seems to indicate that this number may be the crossover point where people shift from using Twitter for more personal use to using it more for "lifecasting" their thoughts and actions to a community of people who they feel varying levels of connection to.
  5. A small minority creates most of the activity. A steep curve of a small minority of actively engaged content creators generating most of the activity on a site is common among social networks, but it is steeper and more pronounced on Twitter. 5% of users account for 75% of all activity, and 10% of users account for 86%. This seems to suggest that the site has managed to engage a mass audience beyond those who typically engage with social media.
  6. Half of all Twitter users are not "active." If you take a general description of being "active" on Twitter to mean that you have posted a tweet at some point in the last 7 days (1 week), then the survey learned that 50.4% of all Twitter users fit this category. If you remove the 21% from point #1, this leaves about 30% of users who have an account and have tweeted before, but happen to be inactive now.
  7. Tuesday is the most active Twitter day. One of the most useful data points from the report is that it clears up the common question of which day of the week is the best day to tweet something. Sysomos found that Tuesday stood out as the most popular day for tweets and retweets, followed by Wednesday and then Friday.
  8. APIs have been the key to Twitter's growth & utility. In terms of tools that people are using for Twitter, Sysomos found that more than half (55%) of all Twitter users use something other than to tweet, search and connect with others. This may, in part, be due to Twitter's notorious reputation of failing/crashing, but also is a credit to all the third party applications that have been built on top of Twitter and do their fair share to bring new users to the service.
  9. English still dominates Twitter. When exploring Russia as part of a class that I am teaching this summer at Georgetown, one of the barriers we learned about was the difficulty of fitting some Russian language words into just 140 characters. Twitter is, however, extremely English-friendly. As the Sysomos report found, the top four countries on Twitter are all English speaking (US, UK, Canada, Australia). Of these, US makes up 62% of all Twitter users, followed by UK with nearly 8% and Canada and Australia with 5.7% and 2.8% respectively. The largest non-English speaking country on Twitter? Brazil with 2%.IMB_TwitterSysomos2
  10. Twitter is being led by the social media geeks. This particular finding should likely come as no surprise, but 15% of Twitter users who follow more than 2000 people identify themselves as social media marketers. These individuals are more likely to post updates every day (sometimes more than once per day) and also use Twitter more actively for direct communication.

Bonus Geographical Stat/Quote: "The cities with the biggest Twitter populations are New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco, and Boston. Los Angeles is the fastest growing city on the list."

Download the full report from Sysomos at

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Bold or Bashful

Some very good points from Drew:

Fear Factor

Posted: 01 Jul 2009 06:44 PM PDT

Fear Want to know what sabotages most marketing efforts? It’s not the competition, the small budget or too much work, so you can’t be proactive. So what is?


There is a sweeping attitude (although many who have it won’t even see that they’ve been infected.) that it’s better to be safe, bland and expected when marketing. Many marketing execs and even some agencies are just not willing to stick their proverbial neck out and risk being bold or different.

What is there to be afraid of? You might get noticed? You might inspire reaction from your consumers? You might get someone’s attention?

You don’t have to do it the way you’ve always done it or how your industry does it. I’m not advocating being wild just for the sake of it. Do it in your voice. Have a good strategy. Just deliver the message in a way that is a surprise.

Take a look at your recent marketing efforts. Are they staid? Expected? Would you notice them if you were the audience? Do you make a bold statement? A startling promise? Do you say something that you haven’t seen someone else say this month?

If not, the fear bug might have bitten you. Want the antidote?

Resolve to stick your toe in the waters of bold. Come on in, the water’s fine! You’ll love being heard for a change.

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3rd person

This is about having someone else speak on your behalf. On my revamped home page, I listed some of the quotes from folks who know me and my work and included links to their Linked In profiles so you could see that these are REAL PEOPLE. ( is also where most of the quotes came from too)

Art Sobczak wrote about this concept recently:

How to Sound More Credible and Persuasive


It was finally my turn in line at the Department of
Motor Vehicles. I was hoping the simple transaction
wouldn't take too long. The computer had other ideas.

While a clerk, a manager, and a person who, I guess,
is paid to simply observe such things and smirk tried
to sort things out, I figured I'd entertain myself by
watching what was going on at the other windows.

Next to me a slight confrontation was unfolding.
A woman trying to register her car apparently didn't
have the appropriate proof of insurance. Spread out
on the counter I saw an ad ripped from the Yellow
Pages, a piece of notebook paper with numbers
scribbled on it, and a refrigerator magnet with
an insurance agent's name. "Well, this is the
company I'm getting the insurance from," she insisted,
pointing to the magnet, " ... and here's what I'm getting,"
she said as she shoved the paper in the clerk's

"Sorry, maam, I need actual proof of insurance."

Still not backing down, she was more insistent.
"Oh, come on. Look at this stuff. I have the
insurance. I just don't have the stupid piece of
paper with me that you want."

The guy behind the counter looked at her with
steely eyes, squinted them slightly, leaned
forward, and matter-of-factly said, "Lady, the
STATE OF NEBRASKA will not allow me to give you
a registration without actual proof of insurance."

She finally bought that one, and muttered something
about his, and his mother's genealogy as she stomped

I guess she figured she could argue with this guy,
but fighting the entire state was over her head.

This illustrates a sales and influence point
we can and do use:

Absent third parties of authority usually carry
more weight than what we say, or can substantiate
what we say.

We use this in different ways.

TESTIMONIALS: You can say that your system can
increase productivity by 20%. But it's more impressive
to state that "Jan Halston at Allied Engineering
saw a 22% increase in production output which he
said was directly attributable to the system."

Action Step: Think of actual testimonials, case
studies, and success stories. Get permission to
use company and individual names. But even without
names this still carries weight by saying, "I had a
customer the other day who said ..."


roll my eyes when I hear, "We're the most
respected in the business," or, "We're the
leaders in ..." The skeptic in me is thinking,
"According to whom?" What really carries clout,
though, is something like, "According to
a study done by Widget News Magazine, we are
rated number one in customer satisfaction."

Action Step: Collect all the studies, news articles,
and other information mentioning your company and
products. Compile according to the categories and
situations you can use.


THIRD PARTIES OR ENTITIES: If a savvy customer
detects you can give him a lower price, he
will keep grinding, trying to extract it from you.
However, it's more difficult when the price is
set by the Corporate Pricing Committee, and is
based on a complex algorithm, market prices for
raw materials, and the phases of the moon. Of
course, your hands are tied in this case. You
get the picture.

Action Step: Think of the situations you encounter
where you are challenged. Prices, benefits ...
then determine if there are other people or
entities you can use to substantiate--not make
excuses for--the way things are.

Go and Have Your Best Week Ever!


Quote of the Week

"The cure for grief is motion."
Elbert Hubbard

Contact: Art Sobczak, President, Business By Phone Inc. 13254 Stevens St.,
Omaha, NE 68137,
(402) 895-9399. Or,

Follow Art's Tips on Twitter
I'm now Tweeting You can follow more of my very brief
posts, tips, musings, and sometimes nonsense at

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