Saturday, July 25, 2009

Free E-book

This is a series that I highly recommend.

Click here to get the pdf.

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Getting Real

Here's an interesting checklist from the Church of the Customer Blog:

Hype vs. excitement: expanded

Posted: 14 Jul 2009 10:52 AM PDT

We had nifty comments to the original hype vs. excitement post, so here's an enhanced version of the chart featuring them.

Hype is: Excitement is:
An impossible promise A realistic promise
Sales-driven Value-driven
Exclamation points Passion
Obnoxious Contagious
Cause for mistrust Cause for belief
Overuse of adverbs Adverb-free
Narcissistic Optimistic
Segway Bike Friday
Contrived Authentic
Unsustainable Fuel for the future
From COTC readers:
Bound to burn out quickly Bound to improve ROI (Zoltan Devai)
Overpromising Overdelivering (Dan Limbach)
"Some restrictions apply" Free (Bob Poole)
Mob mentality Individual thrill (Jeannie Walters)
Artificially colored cornstarch Top sirloin steak, medium-well (Jon Nichols)
Showing off Showing up (Maria Reyes-McDavis)
Focused on yourself Focused on your customer (Bruce Kaechele)

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Don't Forget this...

From my email:

Daily Sales Tip: The Number One Factor

Customers rely on their emotional experiences with salespeople more than any of the traditional factors, according to research by the Peppers & Rogers Group.

The research showed that:

* 60 percent of all customers stop dealing with a company because of indifference on the part of salespeople.

* 70 percent of customers leave a company because of poor service, which is usually attributed to a salesperson.

* 80 percent of defecting customers describe themselves as "satisfied" or "very satisfied" just before they leave.

* Customers who feel their salespeople are exceptional are 10 to 15 times more likely to remain loyal.

Source: Don Peppers, founding partner of the Peppers & Rogers Group (from The Selling Advantage, 07/28/09)

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News

From the fine folks at Mediapost:

by Karl Greenberg
The effort is being supported by a national TV, print, radio and interactive campaign, via BBDO, launching Friday. The television buy is both national and local, with creative discussing the combined benefits of the government's offer and Chrysler's additional incentive. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The effort, which also includes a print advertisement and trade materials, targets both architects and office designers as well as the typical worker who may want to use the chair. "From our knowledge of the marketplace, people buy chairs for a lot of different reasons," Fathom's Peter Groome says. "If you get people excited about it -- as they were with the Aeron -- they'll demand it." ... Read the whole story > >
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
A spokesperson for Swiffer says the event gives the brand access to blogger loyalists. Beth Feldman, co-founder of and one of the bloggers who helped develop the SocialLuxe Lounge program says the SocialLuxe Lounge is not technically part of the conference but is, like pre-Oscar parties, meant to heighten the experience for attendees. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
In conjunction with the unveiling of the new OpenForum, American Express will launch a TV spot featuring actual entrepreneurs. The spot highlights the role business owners play in their communities, society and the economy. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
CSPI said Denny's was chosen for the class action suit because, "as far as we can tell, Denny's is public enemy #1" as far as chain restaurant sodium levels are concerned, although the center has also stressed that too-high levels of sodium are common in chain restaurant fare. For its part, Denny's plans to fight the suit, saying it has recently altered its menus to include healthier choices. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
At this point in the summer, the "staycation" may be as dull as another Sunday of backyard whiffle ball. So Target Corp. says it is sponsoring a long list of local art events, offering 2,200 free days at more than 100 museums, theaters and cultural institutions throughout the country. ... Read the whole story > >

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It's not the Advertising

... that's broken.

And it's not the vehicles that are lousy either.

Perhaps it is the sales and support staff that has killed off the auto industry.

No matter what your business sells, see if this applies to your company. This is from and was written to radio advertising reps:

Satisfied car shoppers become car buyers


Just as sales force quality varies from station to station in broadcasting, the quality of the staff on the showroom floor plays a big role in the success of a car dealer. So, if you want to help a client sell cars, it also helps to know whether their sales team is up to the task of taking people you move through the door and turning them into buyers.

Pied Piper Management Company, LLC is a six year old Monterey, California company that develops and runs sales and marketing programs to maximize the performance of dealer networks. It also sends anonymous “mystery shoppers” into auto dealers nationwide to produce its Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) U.S. Auto Industry Study. It used 3,531 mystery shoppers to produce its 2009 report, just out, which found that, as a group, Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in how they treat car shoppers. Following Mercedes-Benz were Lexus, Jaguar, Saturn and Land Rover.

More importantly, the 2009 study showed that a brand or dealership's treatment of shoppers paralleled their retail sales success. Eight of the top ten brands when ranked by PSI also gained market share from 2008 to 2009, while eight of the bottom ten brands when ranked by PSI lost market share from 2008 to 2009. Overall auto industry performance improved notably from 2008 to 2009, with 30 of the 37 major auto brands achieving higher PSI scores.

Luxury brands captured nine of the top ten positions, with GM's Saturn dealerships representing the only non-luxury brand, as well as one of the two - along with Cadillac - top ten brands owned by a U.S. company. Overall industry gain was led by improvement from all five of the top five sales volume brands: Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, Honda and Nissan. Other brands recording the most improvement from 2008 to 2009 included Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Smart and Chrysler. Among the "orphan" brands slated for sale or closure, Saturn finished well above the industry average, Volvo scored at the industry average, Hummer scored below the industry average, while Saab and Pontiac scored well below the industry average.

"Nine out of ten car shoppers walk back out a dealership's door without buying," said Fran O'Hagan, CEO of Pied Piper Management Co. "The tough economic climate of the past year has clearly encouraged salespeople to be more helpful to the majority of shoppers who aren't yet ready to buy, but still need help narrowing-down their selection," she noted.

Auto industry salespeople were 14% more likely this year to ask about obstacles preventing purchase; 13% more likely to mention the availability of Certified Pre-Owned vehicles; 13% more likely to provide compelling reasons why it would be in the shopper's best interest to purchase now; 9% more likely to ask shoppers what attracted them to this particular brand; and 9% more likely to mention the availability of different financing options. In contrast, auto industry salespeople were less likely this year to offer a brochure, and were less likely to make the process of special ordering an out-of-stock vehicle seem simple and easy.

As many as one-third of a brand's car shoppers report that their salesperson suggested that they consider an alternative brand carried by the dealership or dealer group instead of the brand requested by the shopper. Shoppers asking for vehicles from Dodge, GMC, Chrysler, Kia and Pontiac were most likely to encounter salespeople who suggested that shoppers consider a different brand instead, while salespeople from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volvo, Lexus and Honda dealerships were the least likely to suggest an alternative brand instead.

The 2009 Pied Piper PSI U.S. Auto Industry Study was conducted between July 2008 and June 2009 using 3,531 hired anonymous "mystery shoppers" at dealerships located throughout the U.S.

For more information about the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, and the patent-pending PSI process, go to

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Stop doing this

Last night I was reading emails and really like this one from Craig Garber:

Hi Scott,

I'm walking around New York City yesterday afternoon with
more sights to see than I could ever possibly take in, in
one day alone. See, we're up here making some videos for
the launch of my book and a having some laughs while we're
at it, and gosh, this place is packed with people!

So anyway, there were a few kids trying to give away some
audio CD's they made -- presumably, trying to let people
know who they are, and to expose their music to more

Want to guess what happened every single time these guys
went up to someone and tried to hand them a free CD?

Yup, you got it. No one wanted them. In fact, most people
were irritated that someone was trying to place something
they didn't want, into their hands. They treated these
ambitious young kids no differently than they treated all
the other people standing on the street corners trying to
shove restaurant and retail store flyers into their hands.

And there's a big lesson you need to take away from this.

And that is, NOT everyone is your prospect. When I work
with consulting clients (see ) one of the first
things I ask them to do, is tell me who buyers are, and who
their prospects are. Then I ask them to define their ideal
prospects... and then, to tell me who's NOT buying from
them, but they wish they were.

Next, of course, we spend time coming up with ways of
getting rid of the bad prospects and getting more of the
good ones and making more money from them.

See, the truth is, you can be making the most incredibly
compelling offers in the history of your industry even, but
when you're making these offers to the wrong people (people
who have no interest in buying what you're selling), you
are simply wasting your time and energy.

So, before you do anything else... before you try and sell
something... you have to find people who want to buy your
stuff, first. This way there's no "convincing" going on.
Because like I always say, the convincing business sucks.

So sometime today, go and review your marketing and make
sure you're not wasting time and money putting all the
right messages in front of the all the wrong people.

Got it?


Just two more quick things. One, if you want to eat some
tasty Mexican food and you're in the city, check out Rosa
Mexicano on 18th street just west of Broadway. Good food,
great atmosphere and cool location.

And two, since my wife usually reads these I just want her
to know "I miss you, too, babe."

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S. Uncover the 7 Secrets to writing compelling bullets
that sell VERY effectively -- and get a TRUCKLOAD of free
gifts -- in fact, now it's ALL free at - and then start using one
or two of these strategies to make immediate improvements
to your sales copy.

"How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers" - get
three free chapters of my newest book at

Hottest offline marketing newsletter gets you more leads,
higher conversions... proven marketing strategies, no
nonsense. Now get two issues free at

Copywriting and emotional direct response marketing "how to"
products at

Marketing videos that answer your toughest questions at

Craig Garber on Facebook - friend me now at

If you enjoyed this, forward it on to a few of your friends
and business associates. And if you have any comments,
just leave them here on my blog:

If this message was forwarded to you and you'd like to start
getting this in your Inbox, just sign up on my home page at


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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News

Each night I post this summary from Mediapost. Click on the stories you want more info on:

by Aaron Baar
"From a brand perspective, it shows that we remain relevant," says Deidra Mize, a Hallmark rep. "We consider ourselves a communications company, and we're going to be wherever people are doing that." The mobile cards are meant to go beyond what might be considered traditional text messaging. "It's taking the words and adding an emotion to them," she says. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"We have seen more numbers of consumers ready to pull the trigger than we have in the past and that's a combination of two factors," says Edmunds' Jesse Toprak. "First, a general pent-up demand due to the decline in the economy and consumers postponing purchase, and, second, [driven by] the 'Cash for Clunkers' program." ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
Butterfinger has created the user-generated video contest as a way for fans to respond to its new national TV ad campaign, which reintroduces a variation of the tagline made famous by Bart Simpson from 1990 to 2001: "Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
The firm's inaugural Vehicle Launch Index, which quantified how well new and redesigned vehicles do in the first eight month's post-launch looks at things like vehicle revenue, dealer gross profit, incentives, residual value and the credit quality of buyers to rank automakers. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
During the quarterly call on Wednesday, PepsiCo chairman/CEO Indra Nooyi said that during the years prior to 2007 when Gatorade was growing at a clip of 12% to 18% per year, it had attracted many "casual" drinkers. These casual drinkers have been attracted away by less expensive alternatives, including tap and bottled water. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
We asked Larry Samuel, author of Rich: The Rise and Fall of American Wealth Culture (Amacom) and founder of Culture Planning, a marketing firm, to weigh in what's happened to the old families, and the upstarts that are replacing them in America's status hierarchy. ... Read the whole story > >

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New Ad Campaigns

From Amy:

Dexter. Mr. Met. The most interesting man in the world. Let's launch!

HBO launched a great in-house ad July 12 encouraging subscribers to "Stay Home" Sunday nights. The spot places characters from Sunday night shows like "Entourage," "True Blood," "Big Love," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Flight of the Conchords" into average households. In one scene, a man bites his tongue while eating a slice of pizza. He asks Bill Compton, a vampire from "True Blood," if he's ever done that. "Unfortunately, no, but I understand it's delicious," replies Compton. "You stay home. We come to you," ends the ad, seen here. Viewpoint Creative made the ad.

Sept. 27. That's the premiere date of the fourth season of "Dexter." Until then, let's have a look at a TV spot promoting the series in Amsterdam. Voiced by Dexter himself, the ad drips with questions and reflective moments plaguing the serial killer. Dexter's words appear on-screen, in blood, alongside bloodstained microscope slides, latex gloves, a scalpel and knife. "Am I evil? Am I good? I'm done asking those questions. I don't have the answers," he says. Watch the ad here, created by 60 Layers of Cake.

Mr. Met has a starring role in the latest ESPN "This Is SportsCenter" ad. I'm so happy, unlike Mr. Met. The mascot is conversing with Stuart Scott in ESPN's lunchroom when Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers comes in to microwave his lunch. Hamilton receives an angry look from Mr. Met, who throws down his cup and storms off. Hamilton wonders what he did to anger Mr. Met and Scott informs him: "A couple of those homerun derby balls you hit? They were his cousins." See the ad here, created by Wieden + Kennedy New York.

The Most Interesting Man in the World is back as the spokesman for Dos Equis beer. Copy is almost as smooth as him. In one ad, seen here, we learn he lives vicariously... through himself. In the next spot, we find that "people hang on his every word. Even the prepositions." Love it. See it here. The remaining three ads feature advice on pick-up lines (never use them), self-defense (master a look) and the two-party system (attend the after party). See the ads here, here and here. Euro RSCG New York created the campaign and Mediavest New York handled the media buy.

Mobile phone provider 2Degrees is making its debut next month in New Zealand. Supporting the brand launch are two TV spots starring comedian Rhys Darby, known for his role as Murray in "Flight of the Conchords." Darby acts out scenarios such as being locked into a cell phone contract or choosing which group of friends to add to a savings plan. The comedian sits in prison with his cellmate, who's clad in a pink dress, wondering how to get porridge in one setting, and shooing away a friend not good enough for his calling plan in another. I bet he saved the pal sporting an "I love Rhys" shirt. Watch it here. Darby encourages New Zealanders to have a "good-old fashioned chinwag" rather than spend time on MySpace, Facebook or Twitter. It's a step closer to having people conversing face-to-face. See the ad here. TBWA/Whybin created both ads.

Google launched a global campaign for Google Maps that promotes both Google Maps and local businesses in 13 cities worldwide. Participating cities include New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Moscow, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Madrid and Prague. The most interesting part of the campaign is various celebrities sharing their favorite restaurants, stores or exhibits. In New York, for example, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa recommends his favorite restaurants; Diane Von Furstenberg and Isaac Mizrahi share their favorite places to shop; and Moby tells us his favorite dog park. Restaurateur Danny Meyer loves to people watch in Grand Central Terminal. So do I! Stars: they're just like us. Ads can be found on bus top shelters and street pole banners throughout the city. Each celeb participant has his or her own custom interactive display. Yo-Yo Ma's is a cello; Tony Hawk's bears a skateboard. See ads here and here. Ads were created in-house, with New York media supplied by NYC & Company.

LendingTree encourages people to become superheroes of their financial destiny in a set of TV ads running nationally during cable and network news and entertainment and sports programs. Who better to voiceover the ads than Adam West, who once played a superhero on TV? A depressing financial world is described in one ad, as seen here. "It's time to rise and take control of your own financial destiny," says West, as a man's reflection in his car window is that of a superhero. In the second ad, we meet Scott, who's in a pickle. An inner pep talk changes him from Scott, to great Scott. See the ad here. Mullen created the campaign and mediaHUB handled the media buy.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation launched a nationwide campaign honoring Mandela with the first-ever "Mandela Day" which took place in New York City on his birthday, July 18th. "It is in your hands to make a difference," begins Mandela in the first ad, seen here. It shows moments of achievement from Mandela's life and encourages people to make an imprint by volunteering 67 minutes of their time, a number representing the years Mandela has spent fighting social injustice. Another spot features sets of helping hands delivering food, planting seeds and giving a vaccination, once again driving the message to "make an imprint." Watch it here. Images of celebrities' hands were placed throughout the city, alongside quotes pledging 67 minutes of volunteer work. See them here, here and here. Gotham created the campaign.

Random iPhone App of the week: The Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions launched an App that allows vacationers to explore Amsterdam from their mobile device. The free App features images of Amsterdam's museums, restaurants, bars and hotels, with information updated regularly. Features such as Google Maps and the GPS "Near Me" function can navigate travelers in real-time through historic canals and shopping districts. The App was created in-house.

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

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Prospecting & Marketing

When I read this last Saturday from Seth Godin, you could see my head bobbing up and down in agreement.

Then I was scratching my head wondering how to classify this.

See, these words of advice are appropriate if you are prospecting for new clients.

But they are just as important when you are planning your advertising.

Contact me at Scott if you need clarification.

The law of the little shovel

If you want to dig a big hole, you need to stay in one place.

If you walk around town with a little shovel, you'll just end up digging thousands of little holes, not one big one.

Call on one person ten times and you might make the sale. Call on ten people once each and you will likely get ten rejections.

The important thing to remember is that separate events are often separate. If you use the same ineffective approach on one thousand people, it's not going to start working better just because you use it more often.

Connected events, on the other hand, often benefit from frequency and trust.

Which leads to two viable strategies:
1. If you can stay still, stay still. Earn the trust, earn the sale by repeatedly demonstrating value and authority.

2. If you can't stay still, get a bigger shovel. Your marketing and your sales pitch has to be so refined and focused that it works the first time, because you don't get a second time.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News

Goodies from Mediapost:

Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The campaign combines advertising, community programming and public relations efforts. The bank has had previous Hispanic-aimed marketing "but this campaign is a more comprehensive and concentrated effort than in years past," says a spokesperson. "Partnering with The Vox Collective has helped raise our visibility in this area." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"Dealing, value menus, and attractive price points seem to be supporting some operators who are holding on," the report says. "It is going to take continued innovation, creativity, and perseverance to capture share in a market where the pie may not be growing in the near term." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
The effort is supported by an out-of-home campaign on New York City bus stop shelters and street pole banners; window decals of the Google Maps "My Map" pin appear in stores, restaurants, galleries and other venues. The favored locations are also on, and the site links to Google Maps as well. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The biggest revenue driver for the industry remains digital displays and televisions, comprising 15% of all industry sales. While shipments are expected to increase 8% in 2009, declining price and increased demand for smaller size will cause revenues to decline 6% during the year to $24 billion. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
In the Web video, "Fierce Speed," via New York and L.A. production company Shilo, the shoe coalesces as it flies, comet-like, through space. The spot is part of Under Armour's sponsorship of ESPN's new YouTube channel at The company is joined by LG Electronics as the first to advertise on all-things-sports Web channel. ... Read the whole story > >

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Teens & Media

From a recent email:
How Teenagers Consume Media: The Report That Shook the City Matthew Robson (aged 15 years), an intern at Morgan Stanley in London, England, wrote a research note on teens' media habits that he personally researched and observed. It caused a stir after it was published by the bank because it so easily explained what teens want from media.

Teen habits in the UK may be different than in the U.S. But then again, they may not be different at all. See if your observations of teenager media usage are different from what Matthew found. His complete report:

Most teenagers nowadays are not regular listeners to Radio. They may occasionally tune in, but they do not try to listen to a program specifically. The main reason teenagers listen to the Radio is for music, but now with online sites streaming music for free they do not bother, as services such as do this advert (advertisement) free, and users can choose the songs they want instead of listening to what the Radio presenter/DJ chooses.

Most teenagers watch television, but usually there are points in the year where they watch more than average. This is due to programs coming on in seasons, so they will watch a particular show at a certain time for a number of weeks (as long as it lasts) but then they may watch no television for weeks after the program has ended.

Teenage boys (generally) watch more TV when it is the football (soccer) season, often watching two games and related shows a week (totaling about 5 hours of viewing). A portion of teenagers watch programs that are regular (such as soap operas) at least five times a week for half an hour or so but this portion is shrinking, as it is hard to find the time each day.

Teenagers are also watching less television because of services such as BBC iPlayer, which allows them to watch shows when they want. Whilst watching TV, adverts come on quite regularly (18 minutes of every hour) and teenagers do not want to watch these, so they switch to another channel, or do something else whilst the adverts run.

The majority of teenagers I speak to have Virgin Media as their (cable or satellite TV) provider, citing lower costs but similar content of Sky. A fraction of teenagers have Freeview but these people are light users of TV (they watch about one-and-one-half hours per week) so they do not require the hundreds of channels that other providers offer.

No teenager that I know of regularly reads a newspaper, as most do not have the time and cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text while they could watch the news summarized on the Internet or on TV.

The only newspapers that are read are tabloids and freesheets (The Metro, London Lite...) mainly because of cost; teenagers are very reluctant to pay for a newspaper (hence the popularity of freesheets such as the Metro). Over the last few weeks, the Sun has decreased in cost to 20p (about 32 cents), so I have seen more and more copies read by teenagers. Another reason why mainly tabloids are read is that their compact size allows them to be read easily, on a bus or train. This is especially true for The Metro, as it is distributed on buses and trains.

Whilst the stereotypical view of gamers is teenage boys, the emergence of the Wii onto the market has created a plethora of girl gamers and younger (6+) gamers. The most common console is the Wii, then the Xbox 360 followed by the PS3. Most teenagers with a games console tend to game not in short bursts, but in long stints (upwards of an hour).

As consoles are now able to connect to the Internet, voice chat is possible between users, which has had an impact on phone usage; one can speak for free over the console and so a teenager would be unwilling to pay to use a phone.

PC gaming has little or no place in the teenage market. This may be because usually games are released across all platforms, and whilst one can be sure a game will play on a console PC games require expensive set-ups to ensure a game will play smoothly. In addition, PC games are relatively easy to pirate and download for free, so many teenagers would do this rather than buy a game. In contrast, it is nearly impossible to obtain a console game for free.

Every teenager has some access to the Internet, be it at school or home. Home use is mainly used for fun (such as social networking) whilst school (or library) use is for work. Most teenagers are heavily active on a combination of social networking sites. Facebook is the most common, with nearly everyone with an Internet connection registered and visiting more than 4 times a week. Facebook is popular as one can interact with friends on a wide scale. On the other hand, teenagers do not use Twitter. Most have signed up to the service, but then just leave it as they realize that they are not going to update it (mostly because texting twitter uses up credit, and they would rather text friends with that credit). In addition, they realize that no one is viewing their profile, so their 'tweets' are pointless.

Outside of social networking, the Internet is used primarily as a source of information for a variety of topics. For searching the web, Google is the dominant figure, simply because it is well-known and easy to use. Some teenagers make purchases on the Internet (on sites like eBay) but this is only used by a small percentage, as a credit card is required and most teenagers do not have credit cards. Many teenagers use YouTube to watch videos (usually anime which cannot be watched anywhere else) and some use it as a music player by having a video with the music they want to listen to playing in the background.

Teenagers never use real directories (hard copy catalogues such as Yellow Pages). This is because real directories contain listings for builders and florists, which are services that teenagers do not require. They also do not use services such as 118118 (UK telephone directory service) because it is quite expensive and they can get the information for free on the Internet, simply by typing it into Google.

Viral/Outdoor Marketing
Most teenagers enjoy and support viral marketing, as often it creates humorous and interesting content. Teenagers see adverts on websites (pop ups, banner ads) as extremely annoying and pointless, as they have never paid any attention to them and they are portrayed in such a negative light that no one follows them.

Outdoor advertising usually does not trigger a reaction in teenagers, but sometimes they will oppose it (the Benetton baby adverts). Most teenagers ignore conventional outside advertising (billboards, etc.) because they have seen outside adverts since they first stepped outside and usually it is not targeted at them (unless it's for a film). However, campaigns such as the GTA: IV (Grand Theft Auto video game) characters painted on the side of buildings generate interest because they are different and cause people to stop and think about the advert, maybe leading to further research.

Teenagers listen to a lot of music, mostly whilst doing something else (like travelling or using a computer). This makes it hard to get an idea of the proportion of their time that is spent listening to music.

They are very reluctant to pay for it (most never having bought a CD) and a large majority (8/10) downloading it illegally from file sharing sites. Legal ways to get free music that teenagers use are to listen to the Radio, watch music TV channels (not very popular, as these usually play music at certain times, which is not always when teenagers are watching) and use music streaming websites (as I mentioned previously).

Almost all teenagers like to have a 'hard copy' of the song (a file of the song that they can keep on their computer and use at will) so that they can transfer it to portable music players and share it with friends.

How teenagers play their music while on-the-go varies, and is usually dependent on wealth -- with teenagers from higher income families using iPods and those from lower income families using mobile phones. Some teenagers use both to listen to music, and there are always exceptions to the rule.

A number of people use the music service iTunes (usually in conjunction with iPods) to acquire their music (legally) but again this is unpopular with many teenagers because of the 'high price' (79p per song). Some teenagers use a combination of sources to obtain music, because sometimes the sound quality is better on streaming sites but they cannot use these sites whilst offline, so they would download a song then listen to it on music streaming sites (separate from the file).

Teenagers visit the cinema quite often, regardless of what is on. Usually they will target a film first, and set out to see that, but sometimes they will just go and choose when they get there. This is because going to the cinema is not usually about the film, but the experience –- and getting together with friends. Teenagers visit the cinema more often when they are in the lower end of teendom (13 and 14) but as they approach 15 they go to the cinema a lot less. This is due to the pricing; at 15 they have to pay the adult price, which is often double the child price. Also, it is possible to buy a pirated DVD of the film at the time of release, and these cost much less than a cinema ticket so teenagers often choose this instead of going to the cinema. Some teenagers choose to download the films off the Internet, but this is not favourable as the films are usually bad quality, have to be watched on a small computer screen and there is a chance that they will be malicious files and install a virus.

Mobile Phones
99 percent of teenagers have a mobile phone and most are quite capable phones. The general view is that Sony Ericsson phones are superior, due to their long list of features, built in walkman capability and value (£100 or $161 will buy a mid-high range model). Due to the risk of it getting lost, teenagers do not own mobile phones over the £200 ($322) mark. As a rule, teenagers have phones on pay-as-you-go. This is because they cannot afford the monthly payments, and cannot commit to an 18-month contract. Usually, teenagers only use their phone for texting, calling.

Features such as video messaging or video calling are not used –- because they are expensive (you can get four regular texts for the price of one video message). Services such as instant messaging are used, but not by everyone. It usually depends whether the phone is Wi-Fi compatible, because otherwise it is very expensive to get Internet off the phone network. As most teenagers' phones have Bluetooth support, and Bluetooth is free, they utilize this feature often. It is used to send songs and videos (even though it is illegal) and is another way teenagers gain songs for free. Teenagers never use the ringtone and picture selling services, which gained popularity in the early 00s. This is because of the negative press that these services have attracted (where the charge £20, or $32, a week with no easy way to cancel the service) and the fact that they can get pictures and music on a computer –- then transfer it to their phones at no cost.

Mobile email is not used as teenagers have no need; they do not need to be connected to their inbox all the time as they don't receive important emails. Teenagers do not use the Internet features on their mobiles as it costs too much, and generally, if they waited an hour they could use their home Internet and they are willing to wait as they don't usually have anything urgent to do.

Teenagers do not upgrade their phone very often, with most upgrading every two years. They usually upgrade on their birthday when their parents will buy them a new phone, as they do not normally have enough money to do it themselves.

Most teenagers own a TV, with more and more upgrading to HD-ready flat screens. However, many are not utilizing this HD functionality, as HD channels are expensive extras which many families cannot justify the added expenditure. Many of them don't want to sign up to HD broadcasting services, as adverts are shown on standard definition broadcasts, so they can't see the difference. Most people have Virgin Media as a TV provider. Some have Sky and some have Freeview but very few only have the first five channels (BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five).

Every teenager has access to a basic computer with Internet, but most teenagers' computers are systems capable of only everyday tasks. Nearly all teenagers' computers have Microsoft office installed, as it allows them to do school work at home. Most (9 out of 10) computers owned by teenagers are PCs, because they are much cheaper than Macs and school computers run Windows, so if a Mac is used at home compatibility issues arise.

Games Consoles
Close to a third of teenagers have a new (less than two-and-a-half years old) games console, 50 percent having a Wii, 40 percent with an Xbox 360 and 10 percent with a PS3. The PS3 has such a low figure because of its high price (£300) ($483) and similar features and games to an Xbox 360, which costs less (£160) ($258). The Wii's dominance is due to younger brothers and sisters; they have a Wii and parents are not willing to pay for another console.

What is hot?
• Anything with a touch screen is desirable
• Mobile phones with large capacities for music
• Portable devices that can connect to the Internet (iPhones)
• Really big tellies (televisions)

What is not?
• Anything with wires
• Phones with black and white screens
• Clunky 'brick' phones
• Devices with less than ten-hour battery life

(Source: Morgan Stanley and various media sources, 07/14/09)

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Passion Builds Trust

I've discovered this in my business. Jeff Garrison wrote this recently on his blog:

Passionate Expression and Credibility in Sales

Posted: 16 Jul 2009 04:17 PM PDT

Pete I have a friend from high school that lives in Colorado. He has been selling materials such as webbing and buckles to outdoor clothing and equipment manufacturers for years. If I was ever in the market for materials like that, I would call Pete. Not because he is one of my oldest friends, but because I doubt that there is anyone more passionate about that particular business and those particular products than him.

Because of his passion, I have no doubt that Pete has pursued the knowledge and gained the experience that he needs to make expert recommendations to his clients.

If you are passionate about your company and the products and services that you sell, don't hide it. Let it come across in your voice, your facial expression, and your body language. Your energy will impact those to whom you are speaking and they will perceive you to me more credible. They will be more open to your recommendations and they will recommend you to others.

If you are not passionate about your company and the products and services that you sell, you are missing out on the fun that comes from talking about what should be some of your favorite things.

How has your passion enhanced your credibility? How has your passion increased your sales?

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Night Marketing News

From Mediapost:

by Karl Greenberg
"We were trying to figure out how to link a branded message with a message about our sales event," says Infiniti's Ben Poore. "We find we get better awareness when we run fifteens, so we thought we could improve brand perception but at same time have a call to action." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
"This holiday season will be an experimental and watershed moment," says ABI industry analyst Michael Inouye. "At first, you only had one or two companies [producing them] but this year a lot of the big boys are going to have them. Right now, there hasn't been that much marketing going into it. That may change during the holiday season." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
Grocery and mass are the channels where most shoppers expect to purchase green products, which means there's plenty of room for other types of stores -- especially department, electronic and specialty retailers -- to differentiate themselves with environmentally inspired offerings. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
The trio of new ads has the actor admonishing viewers not to auction fellow passengers' belongings and making sure photos in one's online gallery are suitable for public viewing. Graves stands at the cockpit door while explaining various Internet do's and don'ts. In the online auction spot, he actually references a line from "Airplane." ... Read the whole story > >
by Erik Sass
HBO and W Hotels are teaming up for an innovative promotion for HBO's "Entourage," created by Civic Entertainment Group, which combines co-branding, brand extension and experiential marketing. The national campaign runs July 27-Sept. 27. ... Read the whole story > >

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The Social Media Landscape

Interesting stats from (Click on the charts to make them BIGGER).

Top Social Media Sites: Twitter Leaps 1,989%

A June 2009 analysis of the top-10 social media properties by Nielsen reveals (pdf) that was again the fastest growing site for the month, increasing 1,928% year-over-year, from one million unique visitors in June 2008 to 21 million unique visitors in June 2009.

This increase, Nielsen said, puts Twitter at #4 on the list of most visited member communities in June:


By Nielsen’s calculations, Facebook continued to lead as the #1 social networking site for the sixth month in a row, with 87.3 million unique visitors in June 2009.

Data from Nielsen competitor comScore - which uses a different methodology to calculate unique visitors - put Facebook’s June unique visitor count at 77 million for June, the first month comScore said that Facebook overtook MySpace.

Facebook #1 for Time Spent

Nielsen also reported that Facebook also is the #1 social networking site in the top 10 when ranked by average time per person, with visitors spending an average of 4 hours and 33 minutes on the site in June. This is a 240% year-over-year increase.


Visitors typically spend a much smaller amount of time on Twitter, though the average time per person on that site increased 522% year-over-year, from 5 minutes and 2 seconds in June 2008 to 31 minutes and 17 seconds in June 2009, making it the fastest growing by time per person among the top 10.

MySpace Tops in Video Streams

In addition to a significant presence on the online music scene, MySpace continues to have a strong presence in the video streaming business, though Facebook is growing quickly. With 120.1 million total video streams, is the #1 social media site when ranked by streams for June 2009. It was also the #1 social networking site when ranked by unique viewers of video content, with 12.9 million viewers for the month.

Facebook was the fastest growing social media site by both total video streams and unique viewers of video. Total streams increased 434% year-over-year, from 10.1 million streams to 54 million streams. Unique viewers of video increased 397%, from 2.4 million in June 2008 to 12 million in June 2009.


About the data: Effective with June 2009 data reporting, Nielsen has made several enhancements to the NetView and VideoCensus services, including a panel that is eight times larger, more granular reporting and improved accuracy and representativeness. Nielsen noted that for some sites, trending of previously-reported data with current results may show percentage differences attributable to these product enhancements and should only be compared directionally.

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Building and Destroying a Brand

Laura Ries picks on Dell:

The Demise of Dell


The personal computer is one of the most important developments of the 20th century. Its importance as a product, category and industry continue today.

Hindsight is always 20/20. But try to imagine going back in time.

Back in 1980 if I asked a multiple choice question about the emerging personal computer industry, what would your answer be?

What company is most likely to dominate the personal computer market?

(a) IBM, the company that invented the mainframe computer?

(b) Apple, the leading home computer?

(c) Sony, the leading electronics brand?

(d) Digital Equipment, the inventor of the minicomputer?

(e) Dell, a company started by a sophomore at the University of Texas?

Most people would probably answer IBM. With the rest answering Apple, Sony or Digital Equipment. I doubt anyone would have said Dell.

It isn’t logical, rational or reasonable to believe that a nerdy student from the University of Texas could take on some of the biggest companies and brands in the world and win.

Michael dell

But of course he did. He took them all on and won. Michael Dell built Dell Computer into the world’s largest computer company leaving IBM, Apple, Sony and Digital Equipment in the dust.

Marketing isn’t logical and marketing doesn’t follow the rules of common sense. Which is why the best way to understand marketing and to predict the future is by studying the past.

How did Dell come out of nowhere to dominate the computer market? It wasn’t an accident that Dell succeeded. They succeeded because unlike IBM, Apple, Sony, Digital Equipment or any of the other computer makers, Dell was totally focused.


Dell focused on one product: the personal computer.

Dell focused on one distribution system: direct.

Dell focused on one market: business.

And as a result, Dell became the largest selling brand of personal computers in the world and had the best stock-market performance of the 500 companies in the Standard & Poor’s Index in the decade of the 1990’s.

But success can go to your head. And a great stock performance can lead to intense pressure. And that (perhaps unreasonable) pressure to keep up the growth leads to expansion which can undermine a company and a brand. This is exactly what happened at Dell.

In 1997, Dell announced it would begin taking aim at consumers.

Dell consumers

In 2003, it announced it would be diving into the consumer electronics marketing.

Dell electronics

Also in 2003, it announced it would be selling computers in Sears and other large chains. In 2007, Dell announced it would be selling computers in Wal-Mart. In 2009 Dell announced it would start to sell smartphones.

All of this has diluted Dell’s focus and eroded the strength of Dell’s brand. No longer does Dell stand for “direct” in the mind. Dell is just another computer company. The expansion of the brand hasn’t helped it gain market share either, quite the opposite, Dell lost its PC leadership HP.

Today Hewlett-Packard is the world leader.

HP 19 %

Dell 15 %

Lenovo 7 %

Acer 7 %

Toshiba 4 %

Michael dell now

In 2007, Michael Dell returned as CEO in an attempt to right the ship. And while his personality and presence has helped the company. Michael has not made the tough calls necessary to refocus the company and brand.

Why is Dell still relentlessly chasing consumers. Dell’s consumer division accounts for 20% percent of sales and it operates at a dismal profit margin of 2.4% (far lower than Dell’s other divisions.)

Why isn’t Dell making money on consumers? Because the brand doesn’t have power with consumers.

The low-cost, no-frills, personalized, direct model isn’t appealing to consumers. Consumers like cool, consumers don’t know enough to personalize their computers, consumers like to touch before they buy and consumers are turning to laptops which are harder to customize.

Dell dude

Consumers have distracted Dell. Dell spends so much time trying to make itself more appealing to consumers that they become less appealing to businesses. “Dude you’re getting a Dell!” was the kind of advertising that doesn’t win over company procurement departments.

The Wall Street Journal blames Dell’s demise on the “faltering” of its direct sales model. I think it is just the opposite. I blame Dell’s demise on its drifting away from its direct sales model. Dell should have stuck to its focus on selling direct to businesses.

The Dell brand will never work with consumers. Dell will never be cool. The more it tries, the worse the results. And when a brand isn’t cool, a company is forces to sell on price which is why Dell will never make any money selling to consumers.

Expansion is what got that got IBM, Sony, Motorola and many other companies into trouble. You can’t put your name on everything and sell to everyone.

That’s not the way to build a leader brand. Nor is it the way to make decent profits.

In the business world today there are dozens of Dells, all trying to expand their way to success when the only thing that really works is exactly the opposite.

Narrow your focus. Build your brand. Rake in the dough.

Enough said?

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