Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Free E-Book on... to write a Free E-Book! From Content Marketing:

How to Create an E-Book That Will Benefit Your Customers and Your Company

Posted: 04 Aug 2009 03:51 PM PDT

ebook ebook kranz The E-Book E-Book Is the Perfect Example of Content Marketing That Helps You Be a Much More Effective Content Marketer

You have to love it when a great marketing guy completes the content marketing circle. That’s exactly what Jonathan Kranz has done in his new E-Book E-Book which teaches its readers exactly how to create an effective e-book that will, in turn, serve as an effective content marketing vehicle for their organizations.

Jonathan is true to the content marketing credo. He provides relevant and compelling content for free. He proves that he understands how to create a great e-book by creating a great e-book. In so doing, he makes himself a trusted source of information whom we would be comfortable hiring to help us with our content marketing. It just doesn’t get any better.

Here are my top 10 takeaways from this terrific e-book:

  1. Make sure you have something worth saying. If you don’t, your e-book will flop.
  2. When searching for ideas, think about how you can solve a problem, help your customers succeed or both.
  3. It is okay and even important to frame the debate in your favor. That is, if your company is particularly good at solving certain sets of problems, focus on how important it is to solve those very problems.
  4. You do not have to be positive throughout. In fact, building up the potential danger of failing to solve a problem builds dramatic tension that will keep your readers engaged from beginning to end. This is akin to the old sales technique of scaring the heck out of your customer before you show him how you can get him out of the frying pan.
  5. Organize your e-book in short, easily digestible sections. This makes your content much more appealing to time-starved, short attention span business executives.
  6. Although organizing by lists may seem old hat, it works. Lists make for a simple and understandable way of organizing almost any kind of content.
  7. Real life case studies add meat to your e-book bones as you take your case study protagonists from challenge to solution to results.
  8. Be generous with sidebars, callouts, and graphics. These will make your written content even more easily digestible and understandable.
  9. A compelling introduction is vital because it sets the stage for the content to come and lets your reader know that you understand his problems and will be providing solutions that are relevant to him.
  10. When you wrap up your e-book, make sure that you lead your reader to the all important next steps that he must take in order to achieve the positive results you have shown to be possible in your e-book.

If you’re trying to figure out how to use e-books as a core component of your content marketing strategy, this is absolute must reading. Of course, since this is a perfect example of content marketing, it’s also free. Click here to get Jonathan’s E-Book E-Book.

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Small Business Focus


Small business needed to drive recovery


One of the keys to getting through tough economic times is putting people to work so that they are free to spend money and do their part to enrich the economy. That is certainly the case this time around, as unemployment approaches double digits (and has been there for awhile already in some states). And since the unemployed drain resources rather than contribute them, the positive effect on the economy is doubled when a citizen goes back to work.

According to the Small Business Administration, the companies it caters to were the engine which led America out of the recession of the 1990s. Companies with fewer than 200 employees put 3.8M people to work compared to only 500K for big businesses.

The bad news right now is that small businesses are getting hit especially hard by the current economic woes.

"We're struggling,” says National Small Business Association Chair Keith Ashmus. “Despite several economic stimulus packages and lots of talk, only three percent of small businesses reported a positive impact of the stimulus bills on their business."

With all due respect, all businesses will benefit from stimulus, but only after it has started producing a significant number of jobs. The newly employed will be in charge of spreading the cash around, and theoretically, it should eventually help float all boats. But its greatest impact is yet to be felt.

But trouble in the small business community is double trouble for broadcasters. Not only do small businesses make up much of the broadcast client base, many – in fact most – broadcasters are also operating a small business in their own right.

The polls say ouch!
NSBA has put out a poll of its membership, including results from December 2008 and July 2009. The number depict a shifting view of the future, some of it good (remember how utterly bleak the economic news was back in December?), but there is little to suggest that small business is ready to throw a rope to the ailing economy and haul it into prosperity.

Only 7% of small biz owners are looking for expansion in the next 12 months. That’s up from 3% in December (woohoo!). On the flip side, 42% expect further recession. In dark December, that number was much worse, though, at 64%. At least in July, 51% see a flat year ahead.

NSBA asked how the current economy is perceived compared to five years ago, kind of a silly question. We’ll get to what’s interesting about it in a moment. First, though, 75% said it is much worse in the July poll, up from 64% in December. 19% say it’s somewhat worse. 3% say the same, and 3% -- we’d guess members of the rose-colored glasses and glasses half full industries – say the economy is somewhat better! Here’s what’s interesting, or at least a relief and tribute to the general level of sanity in the small business community: Nobody said the economy is much better in either month.

Taking a brief look backwards, 62% saw sales performance decreases compared to 22% enjoying an increase; and 41% shed employees compared to only 9% who increased staffing levels.

Finally, here are snapshots of the same categories for the next 12 months: 50% expect gross sales to decrease against 30% expecting an increase; and 26% expect further staff cuts against only 13% expecting to hire.

Tips on surviving the downturn
A group of finance professionals recently offered suggestions to help small businesses weather the storm. "With revenues down, small business owners must adjust their cash flow and growth plans and adapt to the new normal," says Clyde Wyatt of the Navigation Financial Group. They suggest focusing on three areas.

Number one involves reworking loans and agreements with vendors. Credit lines and mortgages are a good place to start. Arthur Cooper of Cooper McManus noted, "It's possible to reduce a small business loan at 6 to 7% down to 2 to 3. There are no negative credit report repercussions for requesting better terms. In fact, a lot of the lenders would rather secure their portfolio by adjusting terms instead of looking at possible future defaults."

Added Don Patrick, Integrated Financial Group, "Times are tight all over, so try to re-negotiate contracts with vendors, too. In that battle to stay afloat, some providers voluntarily reduce their costs rather than lose business."

The second area involves controlling costs. Everything should be on the table for consideration -- salaries, bonuses, office space, vehicles, and technology included. New paths should be considered to meet existing goals. They suggest the examining employee health care as an example – considering more cost-effective plans, or plans that shift a bit more financial responsibility toward co-pays, etc. "There's a substantial cost differential between the top traditional health plans and high deductible/HSA plans, so I encourage small business owners to evaluate their options," says Wyatt. "Investigate professional organizations that may offer members the benefit of purchasing health insurance at a discounted group rate."

The third area is focusing on your most valuable resource: employees, especially if they are bearing the brunt of some of the necessary changes coming under area two above. "Talk to your staff about your efforts to reduce operating costs," says Patrick. "Often the best ideas for making a company lean and mean come from the folks working in the trenches. You may find you have employees who would prefer to work part-time, thereby enabling you to avoid layoffs. To encourage cooperation, offer rewards for effective suggestions."

Downtimes are also said to be a good time to deepen relationships with existing clients, reach out to new clients, and experiment with new products and other tweaks to the business which may pay off when things improve.

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Can you be like Disney?

Here's an email I received from Craig Garber Wednesday:

Hey Scott,

Having three kids and living just an hour and fifteen
minutes southwest of Disneyworld, rest assured I've made
many pilgrimages to see the house that mouse built.

In fact, I've been to at least one theme park a year since
1989 when I moved to Florida. And I don't think there's
ever been a time I went there, that the thought of how
pricey the trip was, didn't cross my mind.

And now, here we are smack dab in the middle of the worst
economic recession the country's ever seen since the Great
Depression, and what happens?

Does Disney offer a price cut on weekends in August for
families of four or more? Do they let kids under twelve in
for half price on Fridays? Do they give away free
cholesterol-filled artery-clogging deep fried chicken
nuggets outside Cinderella's castle?

Nope, not even close. They INCREASE their prices by around
5%. Now it costs $72 for an adult to get in, up from $69.

And what do you think is going to happen as a result of
this? Because if you do an online search about this,
people are outraged! And I don't mean mildly pissed off, I
mean Al Sharpton "Day of Outrage" kind of angry!

Questionnaires show that people are now going to rethink
their plans about Disney moving forward.

Know what I think? I think they're going to rethink their
plans for about 45 seconds and then book their flights to
Orlando International Airport, that's what I think.

Know why?

I'll tell you why: Disney is the ultimate in "unique"
places. There is literally not a single other place on
earth where you're going to get the same experience.

In fact, Disney is so cool I love going there with Anne
alone, even without the kids. It's that much fun and that

No one's changing plans because of the old adage about
paying high prices that says, "Price is only an issue in
the absence of value."

And one thing Disney delivers is value. They are one of the
singularly most unique experiences you can have, period.

Often, consulting clients will ask me, "How can I raise my
prices?" And the answer is to "just raise your prices."
Same way Disney did. In fact, they raised their prices
without any fanfare at all -- they didn't call a press
conference to announce it, they just "raised their

Their other entertainment divisions aren't doing so well, so
they went to the one place that won't be impacted by a
price increase - their theme parks.

And here are three ways you can provide enough value to your
buyers so that a price increase shouldn't matter.


O.K., here goes:

1. Guarantees - liberal promises that ensure there's less
(or even better, no) risk to your clients go a long way to
making people feel comfortable spending money. Lowering
risk is one of the most enticing things you can do to
encourage ANY relationship, especially a business

2. Give more value - one of the things most people do,
especially during a recession, is to reduce prices. But
for starters, if most people are doing something, there's
an outstanding chance doing something opposite to that is
going to be better for you, especially since most people
are mediocre, at best.

So start thinking opposite to what the crowd is doing. In
my new book (September release), "How To Make Maximum Money
WIth Minimum Customers," (see
to get on the pre-release giveaway list) I devote an entire
chapter to showing you how to easily increase the value of
what you sell, by creating low-priced and high perceived
value informational products.

But my point is, when you're offering more you're usually be
to get more, rather than offering the same for less. Think
"forward" not backwards, up not down... you get my drift.

(A lot of this also depends on who you're trying to attract
as customers or clients.)

3. And lastly, be the Disney of your industry, if you know
what I mean. I don't mean to walk around with mouse ears
or find a mascot in a big goofy costume (unless you have an
amenable ex-wife, of course). What I mean is, make
yourself different in enough ways that people notice.
Share your story, communicate often, and communicate

People don't mind paying more when they know more about you.
Remember, the more people know about you, the more they
usually care about you. Especially when... they like...
what... they know.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S. In this month's Audio Success CD interview, my SEO
Secret Weapon spills the beans on many of the most
effective, most practical, and EASY ways of upping your
rankings in your industry -- and locally. Listen to it
free, at -- AND make sure
you watch the video to see all the other freebies you get!


"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:

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getting this in your Inbox, just sign up on my home page at


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Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News

from Mediapost:

by Karl Greenberg
"Americans spend, on average, 101 minutes per day on the road," says Ford's Jim Buczkowksi. "We want to make it their second home on wheels." The automaker's strategy is to focus consumers on entertainment, communication with others and using time wisely and safely, while staying informed and alleviating stress. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"Good news just isn't showing up in the numbers," says Frank Badillo, senior economist at Retail Forward. "Various factors continue to pressure results - the tax stimulus increased last year's numbers, for example, and even the cash-for-clunkers program is diverting dollars away from store purchases. But once we get past August, we'll see some improvements." ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
"It boils down to our customers. They told us that we outshine everyone and the one thing we were falling short on was TrueBlue," Dave Canty, JetBlue's director of loyalty marketing, tells Marketing Daily. "One thing we were hearing loud and clear is 'Your program doesn't meet our needs, but none of the other existing programs do either."' ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Responded the company: "We realize that we underestimated the kind of response we would receive for the Free Burrito Coupon. We have learned a lot and are excited to apply the lessons to future promotions. We invite all of you to join our Facebook fan page and follow @boldbajafresh on Twitter." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Central to the installation is a video projection exhibit, wherein imagery of the car is projected onto a foam model mimicking the vehicle's physical presence, meaning that the vehicle is completely computer-generated with no physical vehicle presented at all. Infiniti says it is the first automobile company to unveil a vehicle using this type of technology. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The contest, called "Doing More for Pets," asks consumers to pick among 10 stories of pets rescued from shelters. Among the stories are a Dalmatian rescued after being hit by a car, an abandoned puppy in St. Louis, a chronically ill Lhasa Apso given up because the family couldn't afford medical bills, and seven cats given a new home after being abandoned in New York City. ... Read the whole story > >

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A Primer on "Hispanic"

Last year I began doing research for the local Hispanic newspaper that's been around for 15 years and growing. One question that sometimes comes up due to ignorance, prejudice or the media is not even asked.

The question is: who are/what is Hispanic? Here's an answer from Mediapost:

What Race Are Hispanics?
"What race are Hispanics?" This, along with "Mexican stereotypes" is one of the phrases that generate a more-than-decent amount of traffic to my blog. Looking at it from the inside out, it is a somewhat nonsensical question, but if I put myself in the shoes of the average non-Hispanic American, I can somewhat understand where they are coming from. It is a somewhat intricate, not a black or white (pun intended) matter.

So what race are Hispanics? They can be Asian, Black, Pacific Islander, White, Native American, or any combination of two or more of these. The Latino community is nothing short of a genetic kaleidoscope. The answer to the question is, "Any of the above." Even the Census Bureau has stated that "Hispanics can be of any race, any ancestry, any country of origin."

Each one of the racial categories mentioned above "shares certain distinctive physical traits." When you begin to look closely at the Latino community as a whole, you begin to notice that you simply can't organize it by race; there's just too many of us who don't fit the finite number of races. Most of us fit in the last category, "a combination of two or more races." Yes, many of us are "mestizos" or of mixed racial ancestry. Still, there are some pure bred White, Black or Asian individuals who identify themselves as Latinos.

So the question now is, what are Hispanics? The best way to categorize them is as an ethnic group. An ethnic group is defined as "a group of those who hold in common a set of traditions that distinguish them from others ... such as a sense of historical continuity, a common ancestry, place of origin, religious beliefs and practices, and language." Please note that when defining an ethnic group, it is done not by a rigidly defined set of characteristics that you can't move away from, but as a combination of several traditions, which at the end of the day define a particular outlook in life, a state of mind, a way to interpret and respond to outside situations and stimuli.

Let's see how some of the characteristics of the Latino ethnicity intertwine.

  • Most Latinos can trace back in time an ancestor who came from México, Central or South America (I always include Brazil here), or the Spanish-speaking Caribbean; in many cases they came from there themselves.
  • Some who perfectly fit within the "Hispanic ethnicity," genealogically descend from Spain or Portugal as well. It all goes back to the conquering and colonization of the New World by the Spanish and Portuguese empires. They settled in America (yes, North America as well), bringing their culture, customs, religion, language, etc., and through cultural and racial cross-pollinating, started a brand new ethnicity and a distinct culture.
  • People from elsewhere migrated -- by free will or not -- to Latin America from all corners of the world as well; we can clearly identify people with Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and German heritage, as well as those from different parts of Africa, just to name a few. Through time, all the latter, although some still maintain most of their genealogical traits, have assimilated/acculturated into their host nations.
  • Individuals from Latin America who migrate to the United States have a shared connection to the history of their country of heritage, which in turn has many similarities with the history of the other Latin American countries. Then they share all these with their American-born offspring.
  • Without going into a religious debate, and looking only at the customs as well as the interpretation of outside stimuli, we can observe that Latin Americans through centuries of Spaniard/Portuguese colonization have a well-ingrained Catholic outlook, independently of the faith they profess.

With all this in mind, I'm sure you are now asking, "Who is Hispanic?" A recent Pew Hispanic Center report that emerged around the commotion about whether or not Sonia Sotomayor was the nation's first Hispanic nominated to the Supreme Court put it quite clearly: "You are if you say so."

Through my years living in the U.S. I've met and befriended many persons who neither physically or through heritage fit the "Latino stereotype," yet their state of mind, their outlook in life is much more Hispanic than that others I've met who "genetically" look Latino. The former, to me, are Hispanics.

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Justify your Prices

From MarketingProfs:

Here's Why I'm Worth It

If you charge a bit more for your product or service, it's more important than ever to tell your customers why you offer a better value than competition that seems less expensive.

In a post at his blog, Jim Connolly presents a hypothetical scenario that offers a choice between two consultants—Bob, who charges £50 an hour, and Sue, whose hourly rate is £75. "Sue is well organised and very experienced in her field," he says. "Something that takes Bob 5 hours to do, can be done to a higher standard by Sue, in half the time."

In other words, when working on an identical project, Sue will actually deliver better results and undercut Bob's bill by more than £60. But she can't expect anyone to assume that is the case: She has to let them know why she's probably cheaper than competitors like Bob.

"Once prospective clients or customers are aware that your higher than average price or fee could save them money and give them a better quality service," says Connolly, "it’s a lot more likely they will hire you."

The Po!nt: Don't charge a higher-than-average price for your product or service without explaining the to your prospective customer why it offers good value.

Source: Jim's Marketing Blog. Click here for the full post.

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Are they REALLY a Prospect?

From Art:

This Week's Tip:
Ask the Cleansing Question to Clean
Up Your Follow-Up File


A question I received through email asked,

"I've got a lot of prospects pending, but not a lot
closing. What should I do?"

Like many questions I get, that's extremely vague
and requires a lot more information before I could
give a specific detailed answer. But it did get me
thinking about a possible reason, and remedy.

I call it the Cleansing Question. Let me set it up

What percent of the people in your follow-up file at
this very second do you feel will ever do business
with you?

Sixty percent?

More? Less?!

You're fairly typical if you answered 50% or less. It's
not a good percentage, but typical.

Why? Oh, there are several reasons. Reps like to hang
on to prospects, thinking that shred of interest might
eventually turn into something. They're right:
Disappointment, and a waste of time, usually.

Others stake their claim to prospects, tattooing their
name on the prospect's record in the "system," just in
case divine intervention comes into play and the person
decides to call up and order on their own. These reps
then usually pounce upon the order and say, "It's mine.
See, has my name on it."

Ask the Cleansing Question
But, the main reason reps have too many "leads working" is
that they don't ask the tough questions early enough. You
need to find out if the person you're talking to is really
a "player." It's always better to get a "no" early, than
to waste time, effort, paper, and postage chasing shadows
that never will materialize.

Here is what you need to do starting today.
Begin cleaning up your "non-prospect" prospects now. Ask
this Cleansing Question,

"Mr./Ms. Prospect, we've been talking for awhile now, and
have agreed that we'd be able to help you (fill in with
how they would benefit.) I want to be sure I'm not bothering
you, or wasting your time or mine. Tell me, what is the
probability we'll be able to work together in the next month?"

Think of the possible results here.

1. They say, "Zero probability." Great, now at least you can
find out the real problem, or move them out. Movement, forward
or out, is progress.

2. They give some other probability. Good, but not great. You
want to ask what you both need to do to move forward now.
Get specifics. Commitments. Ask them to attach time
frames to the commitments. Don't allow them to continue
putting you off. Again, movement here is success.

3. You just might get the business right now. Perfect.
Sometimes all it takes is the nudge to get the boulder
rolling down the mountain.

Do some late-summer cleaning. Examine your follow-up files.
Prepare you own strategy and ask the Cleansing Question.

Go and Have Your Best Week Ever!


"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they
are far less than the long range risks and costs of
comfortable inaction."
John F. Kennedy


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

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News

I'm not to sure about the last item regarding my beloved Diet Mt. Dew:

by Sarah Mahoney
The good news is that Whole Foods Markets seems to have slowed its sales decline, posting a 2.5% decrease in comparable-store sales for the third quarter, versus a 4.5% dip in the second, and 4% slide in the first. But the interesting news is that the company admits that it has lost its way and is trumpeting a return to its organic roots. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Carlos Boughton, brand director of Tecate, tells Marketing Daily that the new packaging is already featured in the current Tecate and Tecate Light ads, which launched in April. "We are finalizing with the POS update and incorporating the new look into all communication," he says. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Messaging highlights specific suggestions for delicious, easy meals that can be made for under $2 per serving with Bumble Bee albacore or chunk light tuna, and drives listeners to for the recipes and a coupon. One spot focuses on dinner; the other on lunch. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
"We are seeing mailed credit card offers bottoming out and anticipate that there will be an uptick next year," says Synovate's Anuj Shahani. "... we are seeing almost all issuers either mail somewhat less or somewhat higher, albeit from extremely depressed levels. This is giving credence to the now universal mantra: Less bad is the new good." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
"Hispanic consumers know all too well that things in life are painfully unfair, yet they don't often do anything about it," Peiti Feng, manager of advertising and Media for Boost Mobile, tells Marketing Daily. "They accept the abuses as part of life and being Latino." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"For the first time, we are integrating direct sales into promotions and marketing, so our ad campaigns include promotional packages," says Mario Gonzalez de Lafuente. The June promotion, "Big Thrill, Small Bill," included national and regional TV and print ads, and interactive elements. He says the program has brought 36,000 hotel room bookings to the island. ... Read the whole story > >

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With all the recent attention to their Coffee beverages, you may have forgotten that McDonald's is in the burger business.

But they remembered.

Locally, they opened a brand new store on the north side of town where I first sampled their new sandwich last month.

This Saturday, one of my radio stations is doing a live broadcast from another brand new store in town and it'll be fun to see how many of these new burgers they sell:

McDonald's Launches Angus Deluxe Campaign With Instructions
Ad Age
Creative breaking today for McDonald's new, 1/3-pound Angus burger attempts to create an "edgy" personality for the product, Emily Bryson York reports. The burger, which comes with a sweet-tasting bun and a choice of toppings including bacon and cheese; mushroom and Swiss (or the familiar lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and mayo), presents a challenge as to how to attack it, according to Bill Cimino, group creative director, DDB Chicago.

"You look for the best point of entry, how to start this thing," Cimino says. Hence, a custom-made helmet camera shows commercial viewers how other consumers have successfully navigated the dilemma. As for the edgy part, there are "rules to live by" such as "your sleeve is not a napkin."

McDonald's president-COO Ralph Alvarez admits it's not the best time to launch a premium product, Bryson-York reports, but says that "customers love the product" and it reportedly has been selling briskly in the Chicago market despite -- or maybe because of -- 750 calories and 39 grams of fat. -
Read the whole story...

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Her Priorities

An interesting study from Click on the charts to make them BIGGER:

Women Ditch Mothers-in-Law for SocNets, but Won’t Pay Fees

More than one-third (36%) of online US and Canadian women would give up chocolate, their Pradas, or their mother-in-law before they gave up their social networks, but only half would be willing to pay subscription fees to continue using such networks, according to a research study and report by ShesConnected Multimedia.

The study, “The Power of Social Networking for Women,” asked women in the US and Canada how they are using social networks and found that 53% of online women use social networks at least weekly, and that social-networking women - most of whom are highly engaged and comfortable with technology - are one of the fastest growing segments on social networking sites.

However, though social networking continues to grow in popularity and presents an increasing array of benefits, the research also found that women place paramount importance on protecting their privacy online. More than nine in 10 women say controlling their privacy settings on social networks is “very important,” and only slightly fewer (86%) say that blocking other users is of utmost importance. This compares with 72% of online women who say that posting comments is very important and 71% who say it’s very important to be able to invite a friend.


Ad Supported Models Most Favored

Women are also most comfortable with ad-supported revenue models for social networking sites, the survey found. While 92% have some degree of comfort with seeing ads on social networking sites, only 22% say the same about selling data to advertisers and 28% have comfort with a subscription-based model. Nearly half (49%) say they would not use a social networking site if It charged them a subscription fee.


Reasons for Belonging

Though it is not big news that Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the most popular social networks for women, ShesConnected was surprised by the fact that a large number of women are using such sites to network, market and otherwise promote their businesses.

Top sites joined:


The top five reasons women belong to social networks:

  • To network professionally
  • To stay up-to-date with friends
  • To stay up-to-date with groups they belong to
  • To promote their business.
  • To research products or services

Most Popular Activities

The study also found that a growing number of women are viewing video and reading blogs. According to the study, the most popular social networking activities for women:

  • Viewing video
  • Reading blogs
  • Posting photos
  • Writing in blogs
  • Posting comments

Additional survey findings about social-networking women:

  • More than two-thirds (67%) of survey respondents belong to three social networks, while 48% belong to four or more.
  • The adoption of social networks by older women is especially strong. Women ages 50+ comprised the largest age group in the core user survey.
  • Women using social networks are highly educated, with 23% of respondents having a masters, PhD, or other advanced degree (vs. 8% nationally).
  • More than one-third report they are in business for themselves.
  • Respondents spend a significant amount of time online each day, with 49% reporting they spend 1 - 2 hours per day for personal use and 48% reporting they spend five or more hours per day online for work.
  • 83% of respondents have 50 or more connections or friends.
  • 56% have started at least one group and have joined an average of two to five groups. Nearly one in three (29%) belong to 10 or more groups.

ShesConnected notes that these study findings have potentially profound implications for advertisers. “Women using Social Networks are finding such high utility in these sites that they are becoming a central component of their lives online,” the firm said in a press release, adding that “marketers need to focus on how best to provide value to the community.”

About the study: The study was conducted online using a viral approach to recruitment, including email invitations to ShesConnected registered members, links on Facebook and LinkedIn groups, and Twitter. There were 711 respondents to the study, which took place in April and May of 2009. No incentive was offered. Additional data from the US Census Bureau, Forrester Research and other published third-party studies was used to compile the final report.

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New Ad Campaigns

This weeks update from Amy:

Knob Creek has nothing to imbibe until November. Michael Jordan made from bottles. Let's launch!

This song has legs. Citizens of South Africa unite and dance to Beyoncé's hit song "Single Ladies" in an ad for Vodacom. The ad's main character tours the country, makes friends and forms a dance troupe. Dance montages take place at the beach, on a train platform, construction site, trailer park and convenience store. Our man gets an A for effort. The spot ends with the dance scenes viewed from a cell phone. "Connect more. Live more," urges the tag, illustrating the Internet as easy to use. Watch the ad here, created by Draftfcb Johannesburg.

Old Spice created four online videos to promote its "Swaggerize Your Wallet" contest. The creator of the winning ad wins $10,000. One video shows the difference between using soap and Old Spice Swagger. One arm gets tan and muscular; the other becomes scrawny and turns to dust. See it here. Chainsaws perform better when their owner uses Sawgger deodorant. Watch it here. An arm-wrestling match goes bone-breakingly wrong for a Swagger-less man. See it here. Karate chopping cement blocks proves difficult for a man using regular deodorant. Post-Swagger, he grows a new, stronger arm that completes the job. Watch it here. Videos, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland, are running on YouTube,,, and bowed its first ever TV ad campaign using the tagline: "There's a better way to save." "Free Samples" follows a mom pushing her baby through a grocery store. She rolls past cheese-and-cracker samples and devours the tray. Even her baby is bothered by her voracious ways. Her case was extreme, but haven't we all gone crazy for free food? See it here. The ad was created in-house and directed by Jason Zada from Tool of North America.

Gatorade launched a great TV spot Sunday to promote its limited-edition Michael Jordan bottles, in stores throughout the month. A mosaic of Jordan, slam-dunking a basketball, was erected in Chicago from 14,641 bottles of Gatorade and 16 hours of hard work. The bottles pay tribute to Jordan, who will be inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in September. The time-lapse ad begins with a crew of workers and bottles of Gatorade and ends at night with the finished product aglow. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.

We go from the ridiculous to the sublime. Knob Creek Bourbon placed ads in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal thanking its consumers "for nothing." The latest batch of Knob Creek hasn't fully aged yet, leaving the brand sans product until November. Each batch is aged for nine years and creative informs consumers that the aging process won't be compromised for a quick buck. See the ads here and here. I like the print ads much better than a package I received in the mail a month ago. It was an empty bottle and a press release. Doe Anderson created the ads.

Georgia Power launched an adorable TV spot starring trained dogs that sniff out energy savings for homeowners. The ad stars Ryder Hamilton, a fictitious dog trainer Georgia Power hired to teach canines to help homeowners save money and energy. George the Basset Hound is tasked with finding the more efficient lightbulb: compact fluorescent or incandescent. George whines, and Ryder interprets it as an answer for compact fluorescent. A voice off-camera says, "I didn't see him pick one specifically," which doesn't sit well with Ryder. See the ad here, created by The Richards Group.

It didn't take long for a brand to create an ad poking fun at the recent New Jersey corruption headlines. Virgin Mobile launched a timely print ad in Metro, complete with a teaser box on the front page, directing readers to the full-page ad. "Kickbacks without the handcuffs" read the teaser ad, shown here. Readers who turned to page three found an ad for Virgin Mobile "announcing kickbacks that'll make New Jersey proud." If a consumer and their friend each sign up for a Virgin Mobile plan, they receive free minutes. See the ad here. Toy New York created the campaign.

This ad launched a couple of months ago, and never fails to make me smile. Visa launched "Music," a feel-good commercial promoting the use of Visa Debit as a secure way to make online purchases. Athletes, businessmen, bikers, prom-goers and cowboys sing a line from Rick James' "Superfreak." The spot ends with a woman using her Visa Debit card to purchase the song online. "Who isn't a little freaky," asks voiceover actor Morgan Freeman. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day.

Random iPhone App of the week: Publishers Clearing House launched PCH Trivia, a game created by Triviatown that gives gamers a series of trivia questions to answer and allows users to enter the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes once a day. In addition to the free trivia App, PCH also offers a free gaming app. All this technology makes me miss Ed McMahon even more.

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

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Angry Customers

Doesn't matter why they are upset as much as what you do next:

Dealing with an Angry Client
Prospects who react strongly to what you present, even with anger, are going to be more involved and passionate about your offerings.

Sometimes the best strategy is to let them vent. Anger is emotional, not logical. Often as prospects vent anger they will not give a logical reason for it.

If you listen carefully for the feeling behind the behavior, the reason may become clear. Responding to the feeling that drives the anger may get you to the heart of the matter.

Source: Adapted from Presentations That Change Minds, by Josh Gordon, president of New York-based Gordon Communication Strategies

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News

Mediapost writes 'em, I post 'em:

by Tanya Irwin
"Strategically, this effort is about quality of interaction, not broad reach -- that's what TV and portal ads are for," Dave Schoonover, Kia Motors America national manager, CRM and affiliate marketing, tells Marketing Daily. "Facebook is recognized as a quality service where many of our target audience congregate. We felt it would be a natural fit." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The program, which launched this week, capitalizes on times when a PC is not using the full extent of its processor power to run complex calculations for one of the research projects and sends the information back to the project's home servers. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Jenny Howell, Manager of Interactive Marketing, American Honda Motor Co., tells Marketing Daily. "Honda appreciates that there is a world of Honda lovers out there. Everyone knows someone who loves a Honda. Facebook seemed like the best place to create those connections since it's the place where people already go to connect." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"This has been a big year for do-it-yourself, not just because of the economy but because people want to express themselves by personalizing and creating their own décor, jewelry, clothing, and of course school-related items," Philo Pappas, EVP/category management for the Irving, Texas-based chain, tells Marketing Daily. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
The advertising campaign features four 30-second spots in which radio personalities DJ Bernhard and MC Wonder Full broadcast music to the world from the "Radio Maliboom Boom studio" on a beach in Barbados. The spots also invite consumers to continue the party by tuning in to Radio Maliboom Boom at http://radiomaliboomboom .com/. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Traditional media companies need to work with advertisers and agencies to develop sustainable, relevant business models, says The Boston Consulting Group. Advertisers need better support from agencies to leverage opportunities, and large advertisers should be considering developing select in-house capabilities to fill the gaps in their needs. ... Read the whole story > >

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My wife and I took a weeks vacation in June. We were planning on going no matter what since it was a trip from Indiana to Maine for my sons graduation! However lot's of others have been staying closer to home:

County Fairs' Cheap Tickets Lure Big Crowds

Families who want cheap, close-to-home fun this summer are heading in record numbers to a pastime that dates to the 1800s: the county fair.

"The economy worked in our favor, because so many people were staying home and looking for a lot of bang for their buck," says Linda Zweig, spokeswoman for the San Diego County Fair in California. Attendance for its 22-day run was a record 1,274,442. Previous record: 1,265,997 in 2007.

To attract budget-conscious visitors, the fair offered new discounts, including a $22 pass good for 22 days.

California's Alameda County Fair drew a record 432,000 visitors, 87,000 more than in 2008. "I think everybody has a 'stay-cation' attitude this year," says spokeswoman April Mitchell. For the first time, the fair offered a $30 pass for all 17 days.

The Alameda fair added horse races and promoted a balloon ride that had been at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch.

As fair season nears its halfway point, the trend is likely to continue, says Marla Calico, spokeswoman for the International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions.

"In this type of economy, fairs really shine," she says. "There may be pent-up demand because people have not taken vacations...and fairs are a good value."

Other fairs with upticks:

• A record 158,357 people paid $5 each to visit Missouri's Boone County Fair -- a 47 percent increase in gate receipts compared with 2008. "I saw lots of smiles," fair manager George Harris says.

Because of this year's success, the 2010 fair will be extended from seven days to 10.

• The four-day East Otter Tail County Fair in Minnesota, which had charged $6, was free this year. Organizers didn't track attendance, but office manager Jessie Steeke says "foot traffic was way up."

• The Ottawa County Fair in Ohio, which ended Sunday, doesn't have final numbers, but treasurer Jon Overmyer says attendance was up 10-12 percent from 2008 despite rainy weather. The fair's $5 ticket was good for expanded entertainment.

• Attendance was 132,087, up 30 percent from 2008, at Wisconsin's five-day Waukesha County Fair, says executive director Shari Black. Opening-day attendance, when admission was $1 instead of $9, was the highest in the fair's 167-year history.

"People were definitely taking advantage of deals," Black says.

(Source: USA Today, 08/03/09)

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Back to School

Now that August is here, parents will have to fork over the money...

Coupons and Sales Up Front For Back-to-School Buying

According to the National Retail Federation's 2009 Back to School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, by BIGresearch, back-to-school shoppers buy only what you need, check for coupons and sales, and grab perfect computer at the right price. The average family with students in grades Kindergarten through 12 is expected to spend $548.72 on school merchandise, down 7.7% from 2008. Total spending on back to school is expected to reach $17.42 billion. 2009 back-to-college and back-to-school spending combined will total $47.50 billion, says the study.

85% of Americans have made some changes to back-to-school plans this year, impacting spending, with 56.2% of back-to-school shoppers hunting for sales more often, 49.6% planning to spend less overall, 41.7% purchasing more store brand/generic products and 40.0% are planning to increase their use of coupons.

Others say the economy has impacted lifestyle decisions, with 11.4% saying children will cut back on extracurricular activities or sports and 5.7% saying that the economy is impacting whether their children will attend a private or public school.

Tracy Mullin, President and CEO of NRF, says "... As people focus primarily on price, strong promotions and deep discounts will ultimately win over back-to-school shoppers this year."

Spending in most back-to-school categories is expected to decrease, except for electronics, which is expected to increase 11% as personal laptops and desktop computers become increasingly more affordable. The average family plans to spend $167.84 on those purchases, compared to $151.61 last year. Families will also spend an average of:

  • $204.67 on clothing and accessories
  • $93.59 on shoes
  • $82.62 on school supplies

Discount stores will be the most popular destination for 74.5% of back-to-school shoppers, while 21.5% of families will shop at drug stores for back-to-school, an 18% increase over last year. In addition:

  • 54.4% of back-to-school shoppers will head to department stores
  • 48.4% will shop at a clothing store and
  • 41.2% will visit office supply stores. Additionally,
  • 22.2% will shop online,
  • 20.8% will shop at electronics stores and
  • 18.2% will shop at a thrift store.

Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch, says "Americans will be... using newspaper ads, online promotion codes, and... comparison shopping before making decisions... parents hope to begin back-to-school shopping early to spread the spending out... "

According to the survey, 44.4% of Americans will begin their shopping three weeks to one month before school starts to take advantage of retailers' early promotions. And:

  • 31.8% will shop one to two weeks before school starts
  • 2.5% will shop after school starts to take advantage of clearance sales

College students and their parents will spend an average of $618.12 this year, up only 3%. Total college spending is expected to decrease to $30.08 billion.

Tracy Mullin, President and CEO of NRF, observes that "This year, college students are just as focused as their parents on finding good deals and making smart choices with their money."

According to the survey, back-to-college buyers say the economy will cause them to spend less overall (48.0%), shop for sales more often (46.1%), and comparative shop with ad circulars/newspapers (30.8%). The economy will also cause some students to make do with last year's school items (33.6%), share or borrow textbooks instead of buying new ones (17.4%), and will impact students' choice of college (15.0%).

12.8% of survey respondents say the economy will impact where a student lives, with many choosing to save money by living at home. 58.5% of college students will be living at home this year, compared to 54.1% last year and 49.1% in 2007. Families of freshmen will spend $820.77 on back-to-college purchases.

  • Sophomores will spend $496.16
  • Juniors $470.56
  • Seniors $442.00

College students and their families will spend an average of

  • $118.56 on apparel
  • $57.85 on shoes
  • $34.52 on collegiate gear
  • $61.05 on school supplies
  • $80.06 on dorm or apartment furniture
  • $266.08 on electronics or computer-related items

Please visit the NRF here to view complete back-to-school and back-to-college survey results.

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