Saturday, August 22, 2009

New Ideas

I get a weekly email from these folks, here's this weeks:

Our latest issue is now online. Here's a quick run-down of the new business ideas that
caught our attention this week:

upmygame Coaches provide athletes with frame-by-frame tips
Education / Lifestyle & leisure

Critiquing takes place via short videos uploaded by athletes: frame-
by-frame playback allows for precise commentary in the form of
diagrams and text.

soakmedia Free water for London commuters with on-bottle ads
Marketing & advertising / Non-profit, social cause

Summertime is filled with opportunities for brands to show they care,
whether by helping consumers find a place to change at the beach
or by giving them a little cooling refreshment during a heat wave.

culturelabel Online catalogue for museum & gallery products
Retail / Style & design

Long gone are the days of boring mugs and faded postcards, as
museums and other cultural institutions have become increasingly
savvy retailers.

designyourdorm 3-D tool helps students decorate dorm rooms
Homes & housing / Retail

DesignYourDorm is a web-based interior design tool that allows
college students to customize their dorm room interiors and
purchase what they need online.

autolib In Paris, a citywide scheme to share electric cars
Transportation / Government

Buoyed by the success of its bike-sharing effort, the city is now
apparently planning another ambitious initiative -- this time
involving electric cars.

wokai Donation-microloan hybrid helps rural Chinese
Non-profit, social cause

Wokai aims to do for China what Kiva has been doing for other parts
of the world. It developed a hybrid model that combines traditional
donations with the benefits of microloans.

burneycards Greeting cards designed for sharing burned CDs
Style & design

Created by Dutch firm Schmeitz+Freitag, the Burney CD Card
provides content-sharing consumers with a giftable alternative
to download links and plastic jewel cases.

icecreamists Absinthe-laced ice cream cocktail for men
Food & beverage

The Icecreamists' concoction is deemed so potent that sales are
limited to one per customer, although at GBP 11.99 customers
might prefer to split one with a special friend.

myfashionplate Online wardrobe management for fashionistas
Fashion & beauty / Life hacks

For truly dedicated fashionistas with more clothes than their
closets can handle, keeping track of individual items and
accessories can be a challenge.

allyoucanjet On JetBlue, a month of unlimited travel for $599
Tourism & travel / Marketing & advertising

Much akin to an all-you-can-eat buffet or an all-you-can-read digital
magazine subscription, New York-based airline JetBlue now offers
customers a month of unlimited travel for USD 599.

uowines Spanish wine for gay men
Food & beverage

We've already seen a banking service, a wedding boutique and a
travel website aimed at gay consumers; now there are wine brands
targeting gays as well.

pocketsmith Financial calendar predicts next month's bank balance
Financial services / Life hacks

Diving right into the ugly details, users can pick any given date and
receive a predicted bank balance for that day. So there's no more
wondering what will be left one week before (or after) Christmas.

Our next issue will arrive in your inbox on 26 August 2009. In the meantime, please
check out our daily posts, subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

Warm regards,

Liesbeth den Toom
Senior Editor

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The Benefits of Being Small

I work for a company that has assets worth millions.

I also own my own business that doesn't have millions in assets...yet.

Do I want to become big? Do you? Read this wisdom from Seth before you answer:

Lessons from very tiny businesses

1. Go where your customers are.

Jacquelyne runs a tiny juice company called Chakwave. I met her in Los Angeles, standing next to an organic lunch truck. Like the little birds that clean the teeth of the hippo, there's synergy here. The kind of person that visits the truck for lunch is the sort of person that would happily pay for something as wonderfully weird as her juice. And the truck owners benefit from the rolling festival farmer's market feel that comes from having a synergistic partner set up on a bridge table right next door.

2. Be micro-focused and the search engines will find you.

My friend Patti Jo is an extraordinary teacher and tutor. Her new business, The Scarsdale Tutor doesn't need many clients in order to be successful. This permits her to focus obsessively and that gets rewarded with front page results on Google. Not because she's tried to manipulate the seo (she hasn't) but because this is exactly the page you'd hope to find if you typed "scarsdale tutor" into a search engine. Could she do this nationwide? Of course not. But she doesn't want to or need to. Living on the long tail can be profitable.

3. Outlast the competition.

I was amazed at all the empty storefronts I saw in LA on my last visit. On one particular block, three or four of the ten lunch places were shut down. And the others? Doing great. That's because the remaining office workers who used to eat lunch at the shuttered places had to eat somewhere, and so the survivors watched their business grow. A war of attrition is never pretty, but if you're smart about overhead and scale, you'll win it.

4. Leverage.

Rick Toone runs a tiny guitar-making operation. His lack of scale makes it easy for him to share. When others start using his designs, he doesn't suffer (he can't make any more guitars than he already is) he benefits, because as the originator of the design, his originals become more coveted, not less valuable. He leverages his insight and shares it as a free marketing device.

5. Respond.

This is the single biggest advantage you have over the big guys. Not only are you in charge, you also answer the phone and read your email and man the desk and set the prices.

So, don't pretend you have a policy. Just be human

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Define: Selling

Sales is a profession that should provide you with an unlimited income. And even more:

Daily Sales Tip: A Definition of Selling

How do you define selling? Is your definition based on probing, presenting features, establishing rapport, closing, or commissions?

What you need to change is your paradigm of the selling model. Think about what selling accomplishes for a customer. First, they either have a change in the cost to do business and/or the service they receive. Second, a sale fills a void as perceived or defined by the customer. What is the textbook definition of selling? If you look up the word "selling" in a dictionary what would you find? One definition is "To give up in return for something else"; another, "To exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent." If selling is neither of these, then what is it? I submit to you this definition of selling: "Selling is the process of helping someone discover something of value."

First, selling is a process with defined steps that build on each other. Like exercise, every time you skip a step it reduces the possibility of a positive outcome. A weightlifter can only bench press the big weight so long without practice before they are lifting less and less weight. Selling is the act of proactively engaging in the process. Selling involves methodically executing each step in a methodical way for every sales process. Taking short cuts or eliminating steps only sets the salesperson up for future failure.

Next, selling is a process of discovery. If the prospects don't discover "it" for themselves then they typically don't have personal ownership. When a salesperson "tells," the probability of a buying decision is greatly diminished. Parents quickly learn this with their children. If a child doesn't have a "skin in the game," they will not manage and take care of whatever the parent has provided. Prospects are no different. They need to have ownership in the sales process.

Helping a prospect requires asking questions (probing) that reveal their needs. Most prospects didn't go to school for sales so it is highly unlikely they will be able to tell you their needs. In fact, most prospects will ask the last question first, "How many dollars will this cost me?" In most cases, you can help them by asking questions that cause them to think through their process and identify their needs. That's when real buy-in occurs.

Finally, selling is revealing something of value. Listen to your presentation and objection-handling words and sentences. Do you know the difference between a feature statement and a value statement? People don't buy features, they buy value. They must define the value for themselves and not have you define it for them. Your responsibility is to guide them along the path of discovery.

Source: Sales consultant Tony Horwath, President/Founder of Sales Focus, Inc. (

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Friday, August 21, 2009

The Hispanic Value

Insight into the Hispanic Consumer from Brandweek:

Why Bounty Is a Hit With U.S. Hispanics

Consumers are cutting back on just about everything right now, but some items—paper towels and diapers, for instance—will always be musts. That said, recession-conscious shoppers won’t part with their money unless there’s a promise of value. It’s a dynamic that David Miller Gomez-Giron, Procter & Gamble’s associate marketing director, sees in action every day. Gomez-Giron—who oversees multicultural marketing for Bounty, Charmin and Pampers—has his sights trained on the Hispanic shopper. And for good reason. Not only is the demo huge (46.9 million), but it also responds especially well to quality/value messages. U.S. Hispanics, Gomez-Giron says, understand that “they get what they pay for,” which is why brands such as Bounty and Charmin continue to gain market share with this ethnic group. Below, Gomez-Giron discusses his ethno-targeting strategy, plus his overall plans to help P&G wipe up the competition.

Brandweek: Colleagues summarize your marketing approach as “turning the tortilla over.” Would you care to translate that for us?
David Miller Gomez-Giron: We are in a time where the importance of Hispanic consumers has turned the tables. [In Spanish, the equivalent saying is se volteo la tortilla, which translates as “turned the tortilla over.”] In 1995, when I was a summer intern at P&G, I was given the Hispanic community as one of my projects. It was not really a priority at the time. Today, in many cases, Hispanics are driving strategic priorities. Hispanics are often the design target, meaning that an initiative is designed to delight this consumer first. Category growth rates are higher for Hispanics in 21 of the 22 categories where we compete, so while it’s still possible for a brand to deliver its goals without [marketing to] Hispanics, they’re becoming a must. The Hispanic market is almost like a developing country inside the U.S.

BW: How is marketing your brands to Hispanic consumers different from reaching out to the general populace?
G-G: It all starts with knowing your consumer better than anyone else. That part is no different with Hispanics. The most important skill is to be able to determine when a simple adaptation of the general market plan will work, and when you need to do something completely different. While you can follow a more basic formula—such as always translating the general market copy or doing something unique for Hispanics—you’ll find that the former can miss the target by a lot in some cases, and the latter is resource-intensive and not always necessary. There are, however, some Hispanic nuances that are very consistent. For example, we were doing value-oriented communications before it was trendy. That’s because Hispanics are very price sensitive and value-oriented consumers. As such, we have had to be more overt to demonstrate the value that our products offer them. Many of the ideas and insights that our teams and agencies have around value are now being leveraged by general market brands in their recent plans given the current economic conditions.

BW: Private label has been capturing serious market share of late. Does that trend worry you?
G-G: Private label remains overdeveloped with Hispanic consumers and is growing at a faster pace than in previous years. Interestingly, our fastest growing brand is Bounty, which carries a significant premium versus private label. It is also the brand where we have been running value-oriented communication for the longest time, and consumers recognize its performance advantages. On Bounty, we are growing both share on the value tier (Bounty Basic) and also on the premium tier behind Bounty Extra Soft which was designed to [appeal primarily to] Hispanics. In fact we reached an all-time dollar-share high of 44.6 percent in January 2009, and on Charmin, we are also growing share this year.

BW: Pampers and Bounty are your premium brands. How can you market them at a time when so many shoppers—including Hispanics—just want a low price?
G-G: First, we are leveraging our strong portfolio that allows us to meet consumers’ needs across price tiers. But Hispanic consumers know that “lo barato sale caro” [“cheap can be expensive” or, the English equivalent, “you get what you pay for”]. We must ensure that our consumers continue to understand the superior value that our brands deliver. For instance, in our most recent Charmin copy, we show consumers how, with Charmin, it is possible to use four times fewer sheets than with the leading competitor.

BW: P&G has made a big push for social media across all of its brands lately, but how receptive has the Hispanic community been to Twitter, Facebook and the like?

G-G: We are more than doubling our investment on digital given the growing importance of these vehicles. [On the brands I oversee, however,] we haven’t yet done large campaigns on Twitter and Facebook. TV continues to be extremely effective for Hispanics, and in some cases it is bringing in higher ROIs than the general market.

BW: Name one key insight about Hispanic shoppers that might surprise people.
G-G: These consumers are so value oriented that they will do their own tests at home to see if a product is worth the premium. A consumer recently told us she was running a test with Charmin and a competitive brand—one in the bathroom downstairs, one upstairs—and ended up being loyal to Charmin.

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Marketing is more than a Department

I've been preaching this message for years. EVERYTHING contributes or subtracts from your "marketing".

From Kyle Lacy's blog:

We Don’t DO Marketing. We ARE Marketing.

Posted by KyleLacy

Everyone is searching for that idea… that shiny object that pushes their company to the spotlight and drives a huge amount of sales.

Is it a postcard? Is it a marketing campaign using billboards and radio advertising? It could be but it is so much deeper than that.

I have seen hundreds of thousands of campaigns just being done… just being manufactured. Many marketing directors or owners of small businesses are just doing marketing. There isn’t a strategy involved… There isn’t a goal in mind… It is just being done because well..

Marketing needs to be done in order to grow your business. At least that is what they say.

I am going to encourage you to think differently when envisioning the marketing of your company. Marketing is not another item on your to-do list. It is not another SOMETHING that needs to be done at the end of every month.

You ARE the marketing of your company. Marketing is involved in every facet from the employees to the brochures being sent on to potential clients.

We are no longer in a world where you can just DO marketing and get away with it. People are craving and buying from companies that believe and ARE their marketing material. They believe in the marketing message with every fiber of their being… They are the mission statement.. They live the vision statement.

Next time you are discussing a marketing campaign with your company… your employees.. ask them:

“How can we stop just “doing” marketing and become the marketing. We all love this company and we want to see it succeed. Let’s do it together.”

I think you will be pleasantly surprised what happens next.

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After Hours Watchdog

One of the reasons Walter Cronkite was so popular when he was hosting the CBS evening news in my youth, was the Evening News was the only way to find out what happened.

In the 1980, CNN debuted the first 24/7 news coverage.

These days with Social Media including Twitter, anyone with a connection to the internet can report what is going on.

Take a look at what 24/7 could mean to you:

The New Downside of 24/7

Who's that bleary-eyed chap in the corner? Why, he's the CMO who stayed up all weekend conducting WOM (word-of-mouth) damage-control—after one bad Saturday-morning customer tweet.

Welcome to the new downside of 24/7.

"Buzz isn't scheduled, especially bad buzz," says Jackie Huba in a Church of the Customer blog post. "Thanks to Twitter, it can snowball into an avalanche of angry buzz after-hours or during a weekend, just in time for the Monday-morning news, as Amazon and Motrin recently learned."

So, what's a trendy company to do? Huba put out a call to her loyal readers to find out. "Who's monitoring your brand Friday night to Monday morning?" she asked. As you might have guessed, the responses covered a range of perspectives.

Some questioned the need for weekend WOM-monitoring. "[T]he hot-spot of buzz is a small percentage of people." "[A] well-thought-out response is better than a lightning-quick response."

Others felt it was imperative. "When sites like YouTube can rack up a million views in a matter of hours, monitoring is a must." "Bloggers and Twitterers measure response in minutes and hours, not days and weeks."

Huba sums it all up: "I don't think every company in the world needs 24/7 monitoring," she notes. "But the bigger the brand, the more [it's] needed. Just ask Domino's."

The Po!nt: Go ahead and check. It's probably best to have someone, whether the summer intern or the CMO, checking your weekend customer WOM—just in case.

Source: Church of the Customer. Read the full post here.

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When I scheduled today's sales tip on Sunday, I was watching Tiger trying to win the last Major of the season. Jeff Garrison wrote this:

Sales and Commitment to Improve

Posted: 12 Aug 2009 07:51 AM PDT

Tiger WoodsEntering the sales profession is a lot like being a kid who has reached the age where they begin playing competitive sports. Virtually all kids have the ability to be great at one sport at least. Unfortunately, a variety of factors will cause many kids to put away the bats, balls, rackets, skateboards, etc.

Fortunately, many will try a variety of sports and find at least one in which they develop a level of competence to enjoy playing. Most of these kids will perform at an average level and are likely to end their competitive careers during their high school years.

A handful of kids will go on to have college careers and a handful will go on to play professionally. These college athletes represent a small percentage of those who began playing sports as kids.

Many people enter the sales profession, but only a small percentage reach a level of peak performance like many collegiate and professional athletes.

What are some of the elements that have contributed to their success?

  • They are with a company selling a product that suits them (i.e., they enjoy it and are able to develop basic competence in their niche)
  • They find themselves in a supportive environment
  • They receive good training and coaching
  • They are Committed to Improve

Commitment to improve is the most important factor.

Those who study their industry, read books about sales, attend workshops and seminars, network with other sales professionals, and deliberately practice their skills will wind up performing at an elite level.

Here is a deliberate practice suggestion.

Ben Franklin has a list of thirteen virtues that he strove to improve upon. His strategy was to focus on one per week. He carried a chart with him to track his progress daily.

Like Ben Franklin, identify the key ares to your sales success and document what they are. Focus on one per week to make at least a little improvement. In less time than you think, you will find that by increasing your competence, your confidence, the amount of fun you have, and your sales results will also increase.

Please share what you think the key areas of weekly focus should be for sales professionals.

Photo on flickr by Keith Allison

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News

From Mediapost:

Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The "Shine A Light" campaign will include on-air and online promotion, in-show integrations on NBC Local Media's "First Look" as well as series of custom videos that will air on multiple NBCU networks and online properties. The videos will feature NBCU personalities such as chef, restaurateur, and entrepreneur Tom Colicchio and "Law & Order"'s S. Epatha Merkerson. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
In short, industry leaders are upbeat about their business outlook, while recognizing that they must stay on top of the "potentially disruptive" changes still underway, including cost volatility, declining consumer spending and constraints on working capital. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The effort, "Puma Employees Only," features photographs of employees and their random thoughts, including their love for chicken nuggets, desire for cupcakes and rants about unnamed ex-girlfriends. One, for the company's store in Boston, features a poster of store employee Adam F., who is "Looking for people to join the Midnight Runners Club. Bring shoes, protection, electrolytes." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
Teens -- a major force in clothing sales -- are also bargain-hunting. "There are still must-have products, and I don't think that's going away," says Doug Akin, managing partner at Mr Youth, an agency specializing in social marketing. "But even younger shoppers are responding more to great value this year, so things like coupons are more relevant." ... Read the whole story > >

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Who's Buying Where Update

As we wrap up summer, here's an update on where we are spending our money:

Recession Forcing Consumers to Change Where They Shop; Who's Winning?

The recession has significantly changed the shopper mix in virtually all retail channels, according to a new report from WSL Strategic Retail. Supermarkets have regained the No. 1 share of shoppers for the first time in 10 years, ahead of supercenters. And dollar stores are in the right place at the right time with the right brands.

Meanwhile, convenience stores and drug stores are increasing their share of shoppers because they're quick, easy, less tempting and save gas, according to the report. Mass merchandisers, including Wal-Mart and the Internet, are picking up more affluent shoppers. And, with unemployment reaching 10 percent, more men are doing more of the family shopping.

Smart retailers will heed the warnings of the retail-channel shift and adapt their businesses to realize the new opportunities, the report states.

The channel shifting in the recession has had some obvious moves:

* Wal-Mart has been a winner; Target has not.

* Supermarkets and dollar stores are doing well; mall stores are not.

However, beyond the obvious, WSL said many of the shopper shifts open some immediate opportunities for retailers.

Beyond that, the WSL "How America Shops PULSE" report, which compares the demographic shift in shoppers by retail channel from the second quarter 2009 vs. the same period 2008, offered these other observations:

* If your retail strategy has been very Wal-Mart-focused, it might be time to take another look at the supermarket channel.

* The obvious reason for the growth of supermarkets is the spending cuts shoppers have made in take-out food and eating out, which means more cooking at home with food purchased at the supermarket.

* 46 percent of shoppers stay out of stores where they are tempted to overspend. When you only need to buy food, the mass merchandiser has too much temptation.

* Dollar stores are in the right place at the right time --with more of the right brands. Over the last five years, dollar stores have moved well beyond their rural Southern roots to open stores in middle class neighborhoods around the country. More manufacturers are realizing the dollar-channel opportunity and selling them more national brands.

* Convenience stores and drug stores are increasing their share of shoppers, which may seem contrary to the frugal shopper mindset, but it makes sense. When shoppers don't stock up, they run out, the report states.

* C-store growth may seem like a contradiction in an era of price-conscious shoppers, but remember how shoppers are cutting back on groceries and not stocking up on sale items. That leads to running out. C-store prices may be higher, but if it's nearby and you save on gas and time, then the trade may be worth it.

* Drug stores are seeing their strongest lift among middle-aged, middle-income shoppers, who, as with c-stores, may need the drug store when they run out of something, or find it a better choice, where a trip to a mass merchandiser to save a few cents turns into overspending on so much more than what was on the list. (It's that temptation again.)

* Internet Shopping is up among the affluent, who are certain they find the best price online. From our last "Online Shopping PULSE" report in April 2008, we know that half of affluent shoppers feel they save money shopping online, and saving money is what they are looking to do more of now.

* Mass merchandisers have an increase in affluent shoppers. For the first time, the share of affluent shoppers in mass merchandisers equals that of lower- and middle-income groups.

* Warehouse Clubs have had a significant decline in younger shoppers who may have discovered that their smaller households were wasting much of what they thought they were saving by buying big club sizes.

* The mall has lost across the board -- men, women, young and old -- but with the biggest losses among middle-income families who just don't need all that temptation.

A final note about male shoppers: Unemployment has taken a larger share of adult men than adult women out of the workforce, so it is not surprising that stay-at-home men are taking on more of the family shopping errands.

(Source: Convenience Store/Petroleum News, 08/10/09)

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy at Mediapost:

Out to Launch

Bose launched a trio of silent print ads promoting its QuietComfort Acoustic Noise-Cancelling headphones. Slap these headphones on, and you won't hear a couple fighting, three babies exercising their lungs or a man feeling the after-effects of a home waxing session. It's as if they're mimes. And that waxing mime should have known better: Always remove the strip against the direction of hair growth! See the ads here, here and here, created by Euro RSCG Singapore.

Foster's Beer is reviving its "How to Speak Australian" campaign, originally created in 1994 by Agnotti, Thomas, Hedge. The ads are short, snippy and give me the urge to say silly things in a faux-Australian accent. A man and woman are involved in a long-distance relationship in one ad, seen here. He's sitting at one end of the bar and she's at the other. Who needs GPS technology when a fast-talking local can be your guide? Watch the ad here. A bailout in Australia means the bartender gave you a free drink. See the ad here. Digitas Chicago created the campaign.

Heineken is livin' large like a rock star in a TV spot created by McCann Erickson Dublin and produced by Psyop Los Angeles. A bottle of Heineken is uncapped backstage, releasing an array of club, electronic and rock music. The spot, seen here, ends with an audience member's hand grabbing the bottle. "Live like every last drop," says the ad, promoting Heineken Music.

NBC launched a set of TV and print ads supporting its NBC New York Web site. Quirky characters are introduced, each sharing the passion for local knowledge at Liz is a shut-in with a highly advanced palate, if you consider TV dinners and éclairs highbrow. She visits the site for foodie knowledge, on the off chance she ventures outdoors. See the ads here and here. Ron went from CFO to onion chopper at a Mexican restaurant. When he's back in the saddle, he'll know where to find Diddy's favorite late-night hangout. See the ads here and here. Our last character, Ted, is a real-estate agent under house arrest. He sits in an empty tub, using his laptop to find where divorcées congregate. Find the ads here and here. Mother New York created the campaign.

The Paw Project, an animal advocacy organization, launched a billboard illustrating the harmful consequences of de-clawing cats. The billboard, located on the southeast corner of Sunset and San Vicente Boulevards in West Hollywood, uses a human hand to deliver its point. "If you're for de-clawing cats, raise your hand," reads copy adjacent to a human hand missing its fingertips. West Hollywood prohibits de-clawing of all animals, including domestic cats. See the ad here, created pro bono by McCann Erickson, Los Angeles.

Knorr Sidekicks contain 25% less sodium. Great for everyone, except NaCl. Table salt feels the pinch in this ad for the lower-sodium dishes. Salt is driven over the edge, leaving the house, walking in the rain to the voice of Michael Bolton singing, "How am I supposed to live without you," no less. When he hangs his head to cry, tears of salt emerge. And what about pepper? He got shafted, too. Watch the ad here. DDB Toronto created the ad, with visual effects supplied by AXYZ Toronto. David Hicks of Sons and Daughters directed the spot.

Love is a battlefield and allergies are war on sinuses. Benadryl launched a TV spot that captures the oft-unseen enemies faced by allergy sufferers. Set to the sound of helicopters landing, machine guns shooting and bombs exploding, innocent flowers, bees and pollen become enemies innocently spreading allergens. Watch the ad here. JWT London created the ad, edited by Cut+Run and produced by Rattling Stick.

When it comes to ads for urinary incontinence, this might be the classiest one I've ever seen. TENA, the brand formerly known as Serenity, launched a TV spot this week dubbed, "The Evolution of Bladder Protection." The ad parallels changes in women's fashion with those of bladder protection products. Large, figure-hiding dresses morph into form-fitting, curve-accentuating attire. "Fashion has evolved. Shouldn't bladder protection," concludes the ad, as pictures of bladder protection products, past and present, are shown. See the ad here. Zig created the campaign and Carat handled the media buy.

Random iPhone App of the week: Keeping with the bathroom theme, AvatarLabs launched the "Poo Log," based on the book "What's Your Poo Telling You?" by Josh Richman and Anish Sheth, M.D. File this under App I never expected to see in existence. "Poo Log" is a combination of bathroom humor and legit medical information. There are quizzes, a digital timer and a journal for recording and tracking one's digestive workings. The App costs $1.99 and can be purchased at the App store.

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Get Rid of those Prospects

I work in the advertising and marketing business.

Prospects are easy to find.

There are more than I could ever handle. So I need to get rid of a few. This is from Bnet:

Get That Prospect Off Your List!

Congratulations! You’ve got a real live prospect on the line. Your first task is to start selling, right? WRONG! At the very beginning of the sales cycle, your most important task is to find out if you can eliminate the prospect completely from your to-do list.

Yes, you heard me correctly.

Many sales pros (particularly novices) are so thrilled simply to be talking to a real live prospect that they don’t want to burst the happy bubble. So they pretend that the mere fact that a prospect has shown a little interest (by not hanging up) means that they’re a potential customer.

Nothing could be further from the truth. There are at least half-a-dozen reasons a prospect might show interest but never buy. For instance, the prospect may:

  1. feel bored or lonely and just want to talk to somebody.
  2. hope to have the offering…someday in the far future.
  3. be looking for a catspaw to play against your competitor.
  4. be confused about their firm’s real needs.
  5. think your pricey offering fits within their teeny budget.
  6. be looking for new contacts for a future job hunt.

Look, the last thing that you want to do with your valuable time is to waste it on somebody who’s NOT going to buy.

So it’s a BIG WIN for you whenever you eliminate a prospect from your to-do list. And it’s an even BIGGER WIN if you can do this within the first five minutes of talking to the prospect. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Do they really need your offering?
  • Is the financial impact big enough to justify a purchase?
  • How do they buy this kind of product?
  • Do they have a budget or can one be secured?
  • What’s their time frame for addressing this issue?
  • Who says “Yes” and who can say “No”?

If you can’t get a decent answer — or a process to get an answer — to any of these questions, then you’re WASTING YOUR TIME.

On the other hand, if you can get answers — or a process in place to get those answers, you’ve got a real opportunity.

But let’s be clear: if that prospect ain’t gonna buy, you wanna exit ASAP.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News

from Mediapost:

by Sarah Mahoney
"We are working with a number of our customer partners to deliver digital coupons, to ensure that Unilever delivers coupons where consumers are looking for them -- via print or online," says a Unilever spokesperson. "We are currently partnering with Kroger on a digital coupon program in which consumers can go online, register their Kroger loyalty cards and add Unilever coupons to them." ... Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Lincoln, R.I.-based Amica Mutual ranks highest in customer satisfaction with auto insurance companies for a 10th consecutive year, followed by State Farm, Shelter, Auto-Owners, Erie Insurance and Country, respectively. The bottom five finishers are Travelers, Commerce, 21st Century, GMAC and AIG. ... Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The core elements of the creative for the out-of-home-focused campaign are the tagline, "The Legendary Rum of St. Croix," and photographs by Nadav Kander of real St. Croix locals (Crucians) going about their daily routines on the U.S. Virgin Island. One of the six executions from Fallon Worldwide, for example, shows a local bartender with a bottle of Cruzan on the bar, the headline "Still Served in Bars Where Hemingway Drank," and the "legendary" tagline below. ... Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
With consumers more empowered than ever to find and call out companies on how their business practices don't live up to their cause-marketing initiative, companies have to put a lot of time and effort into their chosen programs, IEG's Dan Kowitz says. The good news is, many marketers have caught on and are living up to their promises. ... Read the whole story >>

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The Bud Brand

From Laura Ries:

Bud Light: What goes around finally comes around

BudLight-General Wallpaper

At last month’s beer summit it was the brew of choice for the leader of the free world, Barack Obama. It is the best-selling beer in the United States and a close relative of the world’s best-selling beer.

Yet, the headlines this week have been decidedly negative.

“How Bud Light lost its sense of humor-and, subsequently, sales. Wary of 3% drop for its biggest brand, A-B dials down ‘drinkability’” reported Advertising Age.

“Anheuser refreshes Bud Light campaign. Taking on weaker sales, brewer seeks buzz by pouring more humor into new round of TV ads” said The Wall Street Journal.

Bud sales001 copy

First of all, was it really humor that built the Bud Light brand? No.

Second of all, have Bud Light sales really fallen? No.

Lastly, should Bud Light switch its strategy away from drinkability? No.


What is a Bud Light?

Bud Light is just a watered down version of Budweiser. That is what the average consumer thinks.

That is why line extensions are always intrinsically cannibalistic. The best prospective customer of Bud Light is a Budweiser drinker who wants to avoid the calories and bloat of regular Budweiser.


By drinking Bud Light, Joe Six-Pack gets to keep his Budweiser & Clydesdales and just loses some calories. Same applies to Jane Six-Pack.

Since all major beer brands used line-extensions to move into the emerging light-beer category, the leader of the light category is obviously a line-extension.

And because no pure light-beer brands were launched, the consumer sees light beers as a flavor variation rather than a different brand. Much like what has happened in cola with Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.

Being first is usually best, but not always. Even though Bud Light was one of the last line-extensions launched, it has become by far the most successful. Which is exactly the same as what happened with Diet Coke. The last of the diet-cola line extensions became the leader.

But is the success of Bud Light driven by its advertising? I say no. The success of Bud Light is a direct reflection of the power and leadership of Budweiser, the world’s best-selling beer brand.

The formula is easy. Take the best-selling brand, line extend it into a hot new emerging category with no competition except for other line extensions and voila! A winner is born.


Let’s be real. It was not Spuds Mackenzie that built Bud Light, it was Budweiser.

But success has come at a great cost to Budweiser. After the 1981 launch of Bud Light, initially both Budweiser and Bud Light grew in sales. But the party didn’t last. In 1988, seven years later, Budweiser hit its high-water mark of 50.6 million barrels in the U.S. Every year since, for the past 21 years in a row, Budweiser sales have declined.

People don’t change quickly; it took twenty years for light beer to fully catch on. In 2001, Bud Light overtook Budweiser and since then hasn’t looked back.

Every year since its launch, Bud Light has posted sales increases. And currently Bud Light is coming close to being twice as big as its namesake. In 2008, Budweiser sold 23.5 million barrels and Bud Light sold 44.6 million barrels.


Bud Light is still King.

Bud Light has been on fire since its launch. The decline of Budweiser has been overshadowed by the raging success of Bud Light. In 2008, Bud Light sold 44.6 million barrels up from 42.7 million barrels in 2007, a gain of 4.4 percent.

What the recent articles citing Bud Light’s so-called decline fail to mention is the raging success of Bud Light’s own line-extension brand, Bud Light Lime.

Bud light lime(3)

Bud Light Lime has been growing rapidly. In 2008, it sold 3.3 million barrels. If you add the 3.3 million to the 44.6 million accounted for by Bud Light you get 47.9 million. So the two brands together would have grown 12.2 percent last year, an astounding rate.

Given that Bud Light Lime has been a blockbuster, it’s no wonder that Bud Light went down in 2009.

After all, who is the best prospective customer for Bud Light Lime? A Bud Light drinker that wants a twist of lime for a change.

That’s the classic pattern of a successful line extension. The line extension kills the base brand.

So perhaps we are seeing the same thing with Bud Light and Bud Light Lime.

What all this proves is that Bud Light (with all its variations counted) is still the King of Beers and far ahead of the other beer brands.


But it also proves that line-extension is dangerous and hurts the base brand. What Bud Light did to Budweiser, Bud Light Lime is doing to Bud Light. What goes around finally comes around.

(And Select is doing nothing to nobody since nobody is drinking it. )


Dumping Drinkability is Dumb.

With “drinkability,” Bud Light finally found a word to own in the mind. “Drinkability” is not exciting or funny or creative but it is a powerful strategy.

Drinkability communicated the brand’s core benefit. It connects the Budweiser brand with the drinkability of a light beer.

Why do people choose Bud Light anyway? Because it is funny? No. Just ask Obama why he choose it. Obama picked Bud Light because it is a light beer and the leading brand.

Powerful strategies are usually not very exciting. Driving for BMW. Reliability for Toyota. Cowboys for Marlboro.

What makes a strategy powerful is a narrow focus over an extended period of time.

A-B InBev has claimed it’s not dropping drinkability altogether, they say they are just dialing down the word drinkability. CEO Dave Peacock says they “going back to that familiar Bud Light voice and that the work will reference drinkability, but it won’t be as drinkability heavy.”

Sounds pretty watered down and weak to me.

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Customer Contact

From an email I get from the RAB:

Daily Sales Tip: The Power of Customer Service

I used an insurance man for years. He took me to breakfast for a review of my insurance needs every six months. At the conclusion of reviews more often than not, he said he thought my insurance matched my needs and he will call me again in six months. I liked him. I believed him. I trusted him.

Now I have a new insurance man. He calls me often. But every time he tries to sell me something. I don't like him. I don't think he has my best interests at heart.

Call on your clients often. Do not try to sell them something every call. Take them marketing information, ideas beyond advertising, information about their competitors. They'll like you. They'll believe you. They'll trust you.

Source: John Potter, Radio Advertising Bureau VP/Training

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Night Marketing News

from Mediapost:

by Aaron Baar
The text-messaging program is only one of several marketing elements AT&T has unveiled in its sixth year of sponsorship, however. The company has also set up its own microsite,, which includes information and fan pages for many of the participating acts, as well as downloadable games, and social networking applications that make it easier for people to find each other at the festival. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Increasing awareness of sodium-associated health risks, as well as growing pressure from government and consumer advocacy groups, are turning sodium into "the new trans fat" for food and beverage manufacturers and restaurants, concludes Mintel, based on its latest consumer data and trends analysis. ...Read the whole story >>
by Laurie Sullivan
The Coca-Cola Company has launched a Twitter and Facebook page to bring awareness to a new soft drink dispenser that relies on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology it has begun to test in the southern California market at a variety of restaurants, such as Carl's Jr., El Pollo Loco, Jack in the Box, and Subway. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The good news is that evidence is mounting that the real estate outlook may really be brightening up. The National Association of Home Builders says its builder confidence index for newly built, single-family homes rose one point in August, reaching its highest level in 18 months. (That comes on top of July's two-point gain.) ...Read the whole story >>
by Erik Sass
After an initial successful collaboration for ad campaigns for AT&T and VH1 by Zoom and LocaModa, the latter two have signed a deal to have the latter equip the former's displays with interactive content and advertising, including mobile and social media features. Zoom Media & Marketing operates a network of digital out-of-home video displays in bars, restaurants and nightclubs. ...Read the whole story >>

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Social Media Demographics

First off, you are reading this on a blog, which means YOU are using Social Media!

Perhaps you found this via Twitter, which is another Social Media Platform!

Read on:

BIGresearch Profiles Social Media Users; Not all Created Equal

New Analysis Provides Roadmap for Digital Marketing

COLUMBUS, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) – 8/13/2009 – Marketers continue to grapple with effectively allocating media in a changing consumer-controlled marketplace in which social media is a growing force. According to a new analysis of BIGresearch’s Simultaneous Media Usage Survey (SIMM 14-Jun 09) of over 22,000 consumers, social media impacts consumers, which in turn directly impacts marketers, but not all options are the same. Social media users are likely to use more than one platform, some at a higher rate than others. For example, 60.2% of MySpace Users (those who regularly use the application) regularly use Facebook. On the other hand only 24% of Facebook Users utilize MySpace.

Demographically, social media users tend to be younger than the overall population, more are female and they have a slightly higher income. Additionally, marketers planning on moving products should focus on this consumer set as they are more likely to be making a big dollar purchase over the next six months than adults 18+.

When looking specifically at the user of each platform, Facebook users average 37 years old and MySpace users are the youngest at an average age of 33 of those profiled. LinkedIn users have the highest incomes. Social media usage for ethnic groups indexes high across most social medias.

For additional complimentary data:

About BIGresearch
BIGresearch is a consumer intelligence firm providing analysis of behavior in areas of products and services, retail, financial services, automotive and media. BIGresearch conducts the monthly Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey (CIA) of 8,000+ respondents and the semi-annual Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM) of 15,000+ respondents. More information is available at

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Listen & Learn

Face it. Your Prospects don't care about you. They care about how you can help THEM. And the key is to LISTEN.

From the DLM Blog:

How to Become a Better Listener

Posted: 15 Aug 2009 04:56 AM PDT

Listening to people is a fine art that needs to practiced. If you are like most people, then chances are you often interrupt others while they are still talking. In your defense, you could say that a long-winded, one-sided conversation is the quickest turn off ever, and while this might be true, it just shows basic respect for the other person when we are prepared to listen to them without consistently interrupting their speech.

A typical example is Larry King. I've been watching a lot of Larry lately after the Michael Jackson fiasco and noticed he always interrupts his guests. I find this very rude. I do realize that he probably has to stick to some fast-paced schedule, but still, his abrupt interruptions are not really cool, nor are they professional.

As it stands though, none of us ever likes to be interrupted anyway. If it does happen, we tend to feel ignored, overlooked and unappreciated. So how can we still get our message across while becoming a better listener in the process? If you like to try this yourself, then please read on:
  • Take turns
    Failed discussions are almost always interpersonal related. It is during the process of screaming at the kids or arguing with our partner when we fail to listen to what the other party has to say.

    To help navigate the mental minefield in such a situation it helps to give each person/party its own turn where they can speak for a minute or two, telling what's on their minds while you listen. After their time is up, it's your turn to speak. It works!

    With a bit of training and a willingness from both sides to give this a fair go you will actually resolve matters a lot faster because instead of trying to out-shout one another to get heard, everyone can have their say in relative peace, allowing easier conflict solving.

  • Remove your prejudice
    How often do we shut off to another person's message just because we don't agree with them? We do it all the time. Since we are human, we all have our own opinion on things. That's perfectly fine. But you know as well as I do that everything has two sides. Remember, yin and yang, good and bad, right and wrong!

    By removing our prejudice to actually listen to what the other person has to say we remove self-imposed brain blockages and open ourselves up for proper communication with the other party. You should try it, because you might be surprised what you learn during the process.

  • Practice eye contact
    A discussion without eye contact is like a body without a soul. Something lacks - a personal touch. If you are guilty of shutting off to other people's talk, could it be because you don't make eye contact with them while talking to one another?

    Granted, this is hard to do when speaking on the phone, but the next tip might help you in those situations.

    Practice eye contact when you speak with someone the next time. Initially it might be hard because many people are actually uncomfortable looking into each other's eyes. However, it will be worth your while because in doing so you establish a new intimacy between the people involved and I'm almost willing to guarantee that this will help to form a better bond between you.

  • Show courtesy
    To me, courtesy is a life essential. I was brought up to show courtesy to others. This helps when we speak with people on the phone. However, there are situations when you just can't listen to someones rambling any longer. The worst real life situations are call center calls. In that case, firmly tell them you are not interested to hear what else they have to say and if they ignore your plea, then hang up the phone.

  • Silence is key
    Sometimes, saying nothing says so much more. The messages you tell when you are silent can be read in your body language, so be careful how you hold yourself at the next staff meeting.

    By being silent and observing what the other person has to say we learn to pick up on their energies and the messages they DON'T speak. This is a great tool if you work with people, because you can gain a deeper insight into their personalities by being a better observer.
What are your favorite listening tips? Feel free to share, it's your turn to speak.

Written on 8/15/2009 by Monika Mundell. Monika Mundell is a passionate freelance writer and pro-blogger. Her blog Freelance Writing helps new freelance writers to get started in this exciting industry. If you like to work with Monika, feel free to visit her Portfolio site.Photo Credit: sflaw

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