Saturday, September 19, 2009

Who's spending $$

From Click on the charts to make them BIGGER:

Amex: Young Professionals Most Optimistic About Economy

A majority of US consumers are likely to maintain or increase current spending levels - especially on basics - in the next 30 days, while young professionals and the affluent will up their spending in a broader number of discretionary categories, according to results from the newly introduced American Express Spending and Saving Tracker (pdf) study.

The survey, which asked consumers to compare spending priorities now vs. a year ago, revealed that 60% of overall respondents are willing to spend the same or more in the next 30 days (compared with the past 30 days), while 40% plan to spend less. However, the general population is increasingly willing to spend more on essentials such as groceries and car maintenance, while young professionals and the affluent also put a high priority on non-essentials such as travel and dining out.

Young Professionals, Affluents Open Wallets Wider

Young professionals are most optimistic about the current state of the economy and most likely to increase spending during the next 30 days, with 24% indicating they will do so, writes Retailer Daily. Those who plan to spend more intend to increase spending on clothing (65%), dining out (54%) and travel (53%).

Similarly, 14% of the affluent plan to increase spending during the next 30 days, compared with 10% of the general population, Amex said. The affluent who expect to spend more say their increased spending will be on travel (56%), dining out (47%) and clothing (43%).

General Population Focuses Mostly on Needs

Among the general population, about one-half of consumers who expect to spend more said they are putting priority on groceries and clothes (49% each).

Additional findings:

  • Of the general population, 42% named car maintenance as a high priority this year, compared with 5% last year.
  • Interestingly, one luxury expense, salon hairstyling and grooming (as opposed to a more basic haircut), was a high priority for 46% of the general population this year, compared with 18% last year.


  • Among the general population, the greatest number of consumers said their top priority expenses one year ago were vacations (25%) and dining out (24%). Today, only 7% named vacations as a high priority and dining was named as a high priority for only 8%.
  • Pet care, sports activities and home cleaning are also areas consumers said they are putting less spending priority on this year:


  • Health and home expenses - such as buying organic food and home maintenance - are on the rise even as consumers trade down or out on other items.

Young Professionals Make Large Purchases

Young professionals are most willing to make large purchases of more than $500, with 38% saying they plan a large purchase in the next 30 days, compared with 24% of the affluent and 15% of the general population.

Young professionals also plan to spend more on large purchases ($2,460) than the affluent ($2,170), the study revealed.

Holidays Won’t Come Early

Consumers also appear to be showing restraint when it comes to early holiday shopping. When asked what discount level would motivate them to begin their holiday shopping at retail stores in the next 30 days, the overwhelming majority (69%) say they would not be motivated by a department store discount. Of that group, 44% feel it is too early to start holiday shopping, including 52% of affluent and 48% of young professionals.

From Spenders to Savers

Mirroring the fact that US personal savings rates have moved from negative territory to 4% in July, the survey found that consumers’ intend to strengthen their household balance sheet. When asked what they would do with $500 of found money, one-third of consumers said they would pay off their regular monthly bills. One-in-four said they would apply it to pay off credit card debt or save it (26% each).


When comparing responses of the affluent with the young professionals:

  • 33% of young professionals would put found money toward their credit card debt, compared with 26% of the affluent.
  • More young professionals than affluents would use the money to go on a shopping spree (16% vs. 6%).

Among the 40% of respondents who said they would spend less in the next 30 days, the top three reasons were “trying to save money,” “reducing debt,” and that they “have the money but feel now is not the time to spend.”

Empathy Breeds Frugality

When asked what has been the most significant impact of the economic downturn, the overwhelming majority of the general population (74%) cited “seeing family and friends affected by the recession.” More people cited this reason than “losing their job” (30%), “losses in the stock market” (54%), and “losses in retirement or 401K savings” (56%), said Amex.

Other consumer spending and expectations indices mirror the findings from Amex’s spending tracker. September results from the RBC CASH Index reveal that consumers remain cautious about spending and pessimistic about employment. The majority (63%) have themselves, or have had someone in their inner circle, affected by job loss.

Another private consumer index, the Deloitte Consumer Spending Index, also gives an optimistic view of consumer spending trends. The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rose 23% in August 2009, climbing from 2.39% to 2.94%. This is the highest mark the Index, which attempts to track consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, has hit since reaching 3.07% in October 2007.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased from 47.4 in July 2009 to 54.1 in August 2009, driven in large part by the performance of the Expectations Index, which measures consumer expectations for the next six months. The Expectations Index rose from 63.4 in July to 73.5 in August, with more consumers taking a positive view of short-term business conditions and employment prospects.

However, some recent data released by the federal government is less rosy in its outlook on consumer spending. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. consumers showed little change in their personal spending or earning habits, although personal saving dropped 5.6%, indicating possible increased willingness to spend.

Recent consumer credit and borrowing figures indicate that consumers are having a harder time obtaining lines of credit to finance purchases. Total US consumer, revolving and non-revolving credit rates all fell dramatically in July 2009, while consumer borrowing fell about 20% in June 2009.

About the index: The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online among a random sample of consumers aged 18 and older. The research sample of 2,032 adults surveyed the general U.S. population, as well as two sub-groups—the affluent and young professionals. Interviewing was conducted by Echo Research between August 28- 30, 2009. Affluent respondents are defined as having a minimum annual household income of $100K. Young professional respondents are defined as those less than 30 years old with a college degree and a minimum annual household income of $50K.

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An Animal Story

from Chuck McKay:

Does a Successful Zebra Need Its Stripes?

Imagine you’re a lion. It’s dawn on the Serengeti, and you’re hungry.

Off in the distance is a herd of zebra. You’re down wind. You can smell the herd but they can’t smell you. You crouch closely to the earth, stealthily move closer, your padded feet not making a sound.

The zebra slowly mingle in the herd. Your only hope of catching one is to single it out from the rest, but which? The stripes of one blend seamlessly into the stripes of the next, creating a vermiculite tapestry of white and black. How do you focus on any individual when you can’t determine where one begins and the other ends?

Wait. What’s that? One zebra is grazing apart from the others. You can see every detail. It’s nostrils contract with each inhale and expand as each breath leaves its body. You watch its tail idly swatting at flies as it slowly steps forward to reach the next succulent blade of grass.

You are now focused on the one, rather than being confused by the many.

And the many? They have taken advantage of the safety of the herd. Herd animals like zebra, or sheep, or even people protect themselves by looking and acting like every other herd animal.

Taking risks is… risky.

Taking a risk gets you noticed. It exposes your vulnerabilities. And what’s the upside? Is there an upside?

No banker has ever been fired for refusing to make a loan. No investment broker was ever fired for buying IBM. Not taking risks is instinctive.

So we do the things we’ve seen other businesses do. We recite the same messages, replicate the same images, and deliver them through the same media. We stick with what works. We choose the tried and true and smugly congratulate ourselves on not taking any risks.

What passes for most business strategy is simply a “me too” game of “We do what they do, but you should buy from us instead.”

Unfortunately, “we do what they do” makes your business blend back into the herd. You’ve made the very things that make you the best solution to your customers problems impossible for the lions (uh… the customers) to single out.

Brace yourself.

“Me too” as a strategy fails because you’ve hidden your strengths.

Successful marketing of your business requires behavior that’s not only risky, it runs counter to instinct.

Successful marketing requires you to step apart from the herd, and draw attention to yourself.

Successful marketing requires you to shed your stripes.


Chuck McKay is a marketing consultant who helps customers discover, and choose your business. Questions about business differentiation may be directed to

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Powerful Lines

From Craig Garber:

"The rain was coming down like no one's business. You could
hardly see three feet in front of your car window, in spite
of the wipers sloshing water back and forth, on high

We were just turning the corner about a quarter-mile from
home when it happened.

I never saw it coming and yet, I'll never forget it as long
as I live.

The right side of my car was completely crushed, and while I
managed to survive because I was tucked safely inside by my
seatbelt, my son wasn't so lucky.

It was literally every parent's worst nightmare -- his car
seat came loose because the seat belt wasn't secured
properly. And my life has been a living hell ever since."

Most people don't understand what a powerful emotional
buy-button "fear" is, when it comes to marketing. They
think saying things like "Why suffer through another night
without air conditioning?" is how you use fear.

But they are completely wrong. If you are going to use fear
-- and Lord knows it's effective in the right situations --
then you want to use it in such a way that you're scaring
the crap out of your prospects.

When someone "feels" the fear you're trying to impart, then
they're very likely to be compelled into taking action.
When someone "laughs" at what you're trying to say, or when
someone says, "yeah, that's a shame," all you're doing is
wasting their (and your) time.

Don't overlook using fear as a compelling emotional
buy-button when you're selling. It's a very powerful
weapon that works, as long as you truly work it.

And if you use it in a way that's believable and accurate,
it will work magic for you in your marketing. But you
can't be afraid of using it the right way -- it's all or
nothing with this one.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S. Discover how to use "fear" and 46 other emotional
buy-buttons at - get 3
marketing campaigns and 3 swipe file copywriting samples
for each one of these buy-buttons, right now.


"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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Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Don't forget, over the weekend, there will be at least 6 updates on this website...

by Karlene Lukovitz
Wanting to promote the September birthday of Jack Daniel's creator Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel (born in September 1850, though no one knows the exact day), the Brown Forman brand charged Dallas-based agency Slingshot with creating online experiences. One of the challenges: virtually no media support. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
The print, online, TV, out-of-home and radio ads are intended to show that Siemens has a major role in the U.S. energy, industry and healthcare infrastructure. They also work to portray the company as American by showcasing some of its 69,000 U.S. employees and U.S. projects. The campaign features the first Siemens U.S. TV ads in several years. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"It's very well when the tide is coming in and all brand values go up, but when the tide goes out and there's a reset, what we see is that, first, trust is the number one driver of any brand at the most fundamental level," says Interbrand CEO Andy Bateman. "We buy what we trust and keep buying; familiarity and trust are big, big drivers of loyalty and brand value." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
According to Yankee Group, 31% of phone-owning customers are using their phones to access the Web at least once a month. However, in its second evaluation of 27 popular mobile sites, the average score (on a scale of 100) was 52, still not passing, says Carl Howe, director of Yankee Group and author of the company's "Best of the Anywhere Web 2009" report. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
"IFC was appealing to us from the get-go in relation to this Bollywood sponsorship," Esurance's Melissa Chapman tells Marketing Daily. "Since IFC does not run traditional advertising, this was a great opportunity for us to engage with Bollywood viewers by associating our brand with bringing Bollywood films to the U.S. for the first time." ... Read the whole story > >
by David Goetzl
AT&T has said it expects availability of its telco TV offering to reach 30 million homes over the next several years. CEO Randall Stephenson suggests growth won't stop there. ... Read the whole story > >

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Before you spend money on advertising

ask yourself the questions that Drew asks:

Do you know what you need?

Know Every business wants to generate new business. That’s the commonality. But that’s just about all that’s the same.

Some sell high-ticket or very specialized items and services. They only need a handful of new clients to meet their goals.

Others are all about volume. They have a large ability to deliver quantities of their offerings and they want the pipeline full.

This is where the “one size fits all” marketing theories fall apart.

The high-ticket/specialty client can and should spend more money per client acquisition. Their efforts need to be about honing in on exactly the right prospects. They are likely to spend more money on profiling prospects to make sure they don’t waste a lot of time talking to buyers who have no interest or no ability to buy their wares.

Once they’ve identified “the who,” they can get down to telling their story. Because the numbers are small, the marketing tactics that most often make sense for them are ones that allow them to speak directly to those potential buyers and no one else. Direct mail, opt-in e-zines, topic specific blogs, niche newspapers or TV shows and peer-to-peer referrals are all effective options.

On the flip side, the volume-focused client’s goal is to reach a much wider audience.

They’re willing to catch a few undesirables in their net, as long as they can harvest a lot of prospects all at once. Because a wider group of people fit their target parameters, they don’t need to invest in a lot of prospect profiling. They’re looking for a wide reach and frequency to encourage that initial trial. Tactics that might fit the bill for these marketers include couponing, mass media (newspaper, radio, TV, outdoor) advertising, product placement and sampling.

Which set of tactics fits what you really need?

Photo courtesy of

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The Hispanic Marketplace

Time to look at some stats and become aware of a segment of the population that can have a huge positive impact on your business, the economy, and our country.

And if you want help reaching the Hispanic community in Indiana, contact me at:

From Mediapost:

A Deeper Drill-Down Into the US Hispanic Market
This summary is a collection of observations and data gleaned from available research that helps to position the Hispanic marketing opportunities in a more introspective tone. It should help marketers view the culture from the heart.

According to a blog from Ethnic Technologies, prepared by Candace M. Kennedy, Sales and Marketing Director, describing the booming US Hispanic market, Hispanics love to buy and almost always buy in cash. The writer quotes the Wells Fargo Bank as reporting that their (Hispanic) clients feel that " ... being in debt is not honorable, and no one wants to have a bad name."

Hispanic households across the United States will sharply increase their economic clout over the next ten years. The demographic explosion has continued since 1990 and there is no let up. At Wal-Mart, Sears and K-Mart, to name a few stores, many Hispanic families are loaded with consumer goods.

Hispanics send money to the families they left behind in their country of origin.According to the National Immigration Forum, in addition to consumer spending, "immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion dollars in tax revenue to federal, state and local governments." They work in key sectors, start their own businesses and in general contribute to a thriving economy.

The U.S. Hispanic market is not homogeneous, says the writer. It is a market "comprised of subcultures from over 20 countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Spain, with the majority (63%) of Mexican heritage." Each group has its own set of values, traditions, beliefs, foods, festivals, and consumer patterns. The U.S. Hispanics are not identical. There are many differences in their countries' geographies, their indigenous ancestries and their colonial histories.

Hispanic market research has discovered that of the Hispanics surveyed, they prefer ads to be in Spanish over English, even though the younger group is more comfortable in English. Research also shows that Hispanics like any type of media, but prefer television and radio. Univision (one of the Spanish language networks) ranks 5th in the U.S., behind ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, and won the #1 Network rating in the country in overall prime time viewer share on three nights of the week among all adults ages 18-34 in June this year.

Radio is a very effective medium to reach Hispanics because it has been found that they tend to listen all day. Print, with minority newspapers that cover news targeting directly to the community, specifically addresses the needs and concerns of the Hispanic community.

Direct response marketing has historically obtained little interest from the Hispanic population. However, the recent immigrants welcome the mail if for no other reason than to become informed. If most of this direct mail is in English and reaches a large percentage of households that speak and read only Spanish a great opportunity is missed.

Unlike its U.S. counterpart, the Hispanic household is younger, with the head of household anywhere between 25 and 44 years old. The Conference Board's Research Center states that the under 44 Hispanic market is going to grow from a purchasing power of $295 billion in 2008 to $397 billion by 2010.

To read the original blog, please visit Ethnic Technologies here.

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Price Wars?

From a recent Jill Konrath newsletter:

How to Overcome Last Minute Price Objections
by Jeanette Nyden, J.D.

Have you gotten a call like this before? "Hi, Susan. I sent over the contract. Did you get it? My boss wants a couple more people trained on your system that weren't included in the original proposal. That won't be a problem, will it? Call me."

Susan was startled and angry. She'd already given her client her BEST deal. It was not okay.

Today it's common for companies to repeatedly ask for price reductions. After all, we've given them all the discounts they asked for when the money was flowing and times were plentiful.

For years, I've warned companies that this day would come. It had to. It was inevitable. Prices were going up. Eventually they'd have to be reflected in the price of goods and services.

During the same time, customers got into the habit of demanding price concessions. That worked when volumes were high enough keep the boat afloat. But in a tough economy, that's not happening.

As sellers, you're tasked with bringing in more business. But how can you do that when your customers demand a better deal from you?

Susan was caught off guard by her client's call. She admitted that she didn't know what to say.

I immediately knew what I would have said - "Let's make a deal!"

The name of today's game is making tradeoffs. I give a little and you give a little. It is that simple. To make effective tradeoffs, follow these three guidelines.

1. Know what you are willing to give.

When Susan called me, she didn't know what ELSE she could give to her client. Since what the customer suggested was unacceptable, she needed to come up with something else to keep the client engaged.

Would it be a report? An assessment? What else could you offer a client that demands another price reduction?

This step requires you to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your sales leadership. It's not enough to say that you cannot offer anything else and to hold the line on price. That's not realistic in this economy. Customers want vendors who are willing to work with them or they'll look elsewhere.

2. Know what you want from them.

Again, it sounds easy enough, but Susan drew a blank. At first she couldn't think of one thing to ask for in exchange for allowing more people to be trained on her system at no additional cost. This is deadly.

Knowing what you want in these kinds of situations must be part of your sales preparation process. You can expect customers to sandbag you with price concessions, even after they signed on the dotted line.

There's no excuse for not knowing what to ask for in exchange. After 10 minutes of brainstorming, Susan decided she wanted an executive briefing with the C-Suite. She asked for it and got it!

3. Use if-then language.

When making a tradeoff, don't be vague and round-about. That just gives your customer an excuse to take advantage of you. Many people will respond in kind to your generosity, until their pocket books are threatened. Then, it's every person for himself!

By using if-then language you signal that you are open, flexible and willing to have a back-and-forth conversation. This is an essential step in your customer to agree to the tradeoff.
Susan was caught off guard by her client's call because she hadn't given any thought to tradeoffs. Once she got over being mad, she realized that she didn't have a good answer. That's why it is as important to prepare the tradeoff question as carefully as you prepare to handle objections.

Tradeoffs encourage a genuine back-and-forth conversation. Those conversations, when handled professionally, foster trust and respect. And, we've all heard that people do business with people who we like and trust.

Selling is not going to get any easier, but it will get a whole lot more creative. Making tradeoffs simply means that you and your customer get the maximum benefit from the transaction. What could be better than that?

Negotiation_RulesJeanette Nyden, author of Negotiation Rules! A Practical Approach to Big Deal Negotiations, is the president of J. Nyden & Co., Inc, a negotiation skills training company.

For more information and free negotiation articles visit Jeanette can be reached at 206-723-3472 or

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Nearly every weekday, Mediapost sends me a collection of Marketing News Headlines. Here's today's edition:

by Sarah Mahoney
This latest move solidifies Wal-Mart's position as an industry game-changer. "Until 2006, pharmacies didn't compete on price. Now, it's making these prescriptions available beyond its geographical boundaries, which is important -- Walmarts are not very conveniently located for many shoppers, especially in urban areas," says Pembroke Consulting's Adam J. Fein. "This gives them a very significant competitive advantage." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The company is promoting the new global effort with events in New York, London and Japan. "We created a physical version of what people can't see, but Norton can," Leo Burnett's Mark Renshaw says of the display. "It's eye-opening for anyone going through that to see how we can make a credit card on the spot." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
To promote the site, the company has launched a "Nation of GO" road show that will travel the country and upload content along the way. Nation of GO members can follow the tour by visiting the site, a blog at, the program's Twitter site at and on YouTube at ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
The General Mills company is also sponsoring a new featured trails guide with 10 suggested hikes around the state and useful information, such as difficulty, length of hike, elevation and seasonal suggestions. In the guide, visitors will find coupons for Cascadian Farm and LÄRABAR foods. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
The event is designed to tie in with a Gomez record launch. Consumers who purchase specially marked gallons of Borden Milk through Sept. 18 will receive a code on the cap for a free pre-release download of Gomez's new single, "Kiss & Tell" (to be officially released to the public on Sept. 29). Two additional songs will also be available through the promotion in the following weeks. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
The Kia brand will be part of the formal award presentations and will also figure prominently in the awards coverage on The recipients of the awards will be announced during the 2009 WNBA Playoffs presented by Adidas, which began Thursday. ... Read the whole story > >

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New Ad Campaigns

From Amy:

Football season begins. HBO has quite the imagination. IKEA is fluent in many languages. Let's launch!

FirstBank launched a "Where's Waldo"-themed print campaign informing customers about its offer of free checking accounts for anyone, under one condition: find a designated object hidden in creative. They had me at bacon cheeseburger, one of the four oversized not-so "hidden" objects. See if you can find a submarine, Komodo dragon and sousaphone in the crowded ads, shown here, here, here and here. TDA Advertising & Design created the campaign and handled the media buy.

WCJTD: What can't Justin Timberlake do? He sings, acts, dances, and in an ad for Sony, he plays ping-pong and speaks Mandarin. A family goes shopping for a flat-screen TV but is unable to tell the difference between the multitude of brands offered. The store wall separates to reveal a heated ping-pong match between Timberlake and Peyton Manning, with Sony color commentary provided by ESPN reporter Erin Andrews. Manning and Timberlake discuss watching sports on Sony products one minute and break into Mandarin the next, with Timberlake besting his opponent in both challenges. See the ad here, created by 180 Los Angeles. There's also a Web site where consumers can ask a panel of "experts" questions about Sony products.

HBO launched a branding campaign entitled, "It's more than you imagined. It's HBO." Judging by a handful of videos and a comprehensive Web site, it's going to be an interesting TV season. My interest was piqued when I received a teddy bear in the mail with its stomach unstitched. After watching " Teddy Bear Chase," I'm closer to finding out what's hidden inside the bear. My questions were answered in another teddy bear film. Now that I know what's inside, I'll be sure to take a closer look at my bear. A Mime is bound by an imaginary and existent boundary in another video, shown here. The next video, seen here, ends with a bang. "Sometimes a change in perspective changes everything," says the final video, seen here. Simply put, and spot-on. BBDO New York created the films and The Barbarian Group created the Web site.

Apple's latest TV spot in its "Get a Mac" campaign unveils PC's "Innovation's Lab." PC is protecting his computers with bubble wrap and offering a long extension cord to charge batteries. Not exactly making life easier for PC owners, says Mac, but the coffee mug holders do put a smile on PC's face. Watch the ad here. TBWA/Media Arts Lab created the campaign and handled the media buy.

IKEA launched two amusing TV ads promoting mattresses that offer support without breaking your wallet. A couple's mattress is subjected to a "Performance Review" in one ad, seen here. Morning grogginess is down, drooling is up, and expectations are high for the couple's impending anniversary. A woman happily falls face down onto her mattress, following a return from vacation in "Subtitles." She talks into the mattress, complaining how her hotel bed lacked support and comfort. See the ad here. Deutsch New York created the campaign.

Gillette Stadium is celebrating 50 years of New England Patriots football with a video that launched Monday during the Patriots/Bills game. The video will air throughout the season during every Patriots home game. Fans, players, cheerleaders and John Ratzenberger sing the theme song from "Cheers" as footage of cheerleaders primping, fans on a Duck Tour and players in the locker room are shown. The cameo of Cliff Clavin, and the man exiting the porta-potty are memorable. The Gillette branding is present, but kept in the background. Watch the video here, created by BBDO. Additional versions of the video can be found here.

Nike Pro Combat leaves an impression on you and your opponents. Adrian Peterson, Troy Polamalu, Justin Tuck and Brian Urlacher star in the TV, print and outdoor campaign for the base layer of protective gear. In the TV spot, we see Peterson effortlessly bypass his opponents, take a few knocks and score a winning touchdown. When Peterson removes his helmet and football jersey, viewers see that his face and arms are marked with the pattern from Pro Combat gear. See it here. "Victory won't come find you. You must seize it," says a print ad. See creative here, here, here and here. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

If you thought people were obsessed with NFL football, wait until you get a load of college football fans. CBS College Sports launched four print ads promoting its college football coverage. Each ad shows the lengths hard-core fans go to in an effort to support their favorite team. My favorite ad shows a young boy sporting a Marshall sweatshirt. "Your father. Your grandfather. And apparently your great grandfather. So regardless of the fact that you're seven, and you can't stay up past nine or pick out your own clothes, it looks like you're going to Marshall. Go Herd. Football first," reads the ad. Check out the ads here, here, here and here, created by Mother New York.

Random iPhone App of the week: launched an application for apartment hunters to scope out locations by city, state or Zip code. Users can take walkthrough video tours, view floorplans, get directions via Google Maps and create customized searches based on number of bedrooms or bathrooms, rent, pet policies and parking. Interactive Mediums created the App, which is available for free in the Apple App store.

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

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Staying Busy

This morning I am sharing a personal story about making a name for yourself. Some call it Personal Branding, others Self-Promotion, I just call it hard work.

But I also describe it as following a passion, and that makes the work, less "workish" if you know what I mean.

This summer within a two week time frame was asked to:

  1. Do a presentation on my new marketing business for a group of 40 business owners.
  2. Be interviewed by our local business newspaper for a behind the scenes look at what I do.
  3. Write a 1000 word article on advertising and marketing for the Chamber of Commerce newsletter.
  4. Host a local seminar on Social Media & Marketing.

Fortunately, the timing of each of these events has worked out. The first presentation was done in May, the interview was done in June, the article was published last month, and the seminar is next month.

Of course, it was a combination of what I do in person and online that has created this momentum. A couple days ago, someone asked me when I have time to work! Well, I continue to do advertising sales for a group of radio stations that I have been with for nearly seven years,
along with assisting in various other duties with the stations.

I also recently added advertising sales for a couple of local specialty publications to the portfolio I can offer my current and future clients, do marketing/advertising consulting and personal sales training.

Lunch time today will be with our local Advertising Federation, of which I'm on the Board of Directors and this afternoon I have a meeting with others from the marketing committee of our local Boy Scouts.

This blog has between 21 and 30 updates a week, I write another one on Marketing that is updated once or twice a week. There is a personal, local blog that is updated twice a day and a couple more that get regular updates.

I am active with friends, family, church and enjoying life. When I started writing this post, I thought it was simply to share with you the article I wrote for the Chamber, but it turned out to be more of a background piece!

A Dozen Plus 1 Tips

Recently I was asked by the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce to write an article for their newsletter, Emphasis, which is sent to 5000 local business people as a special supplement in the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly. See if you can find all 12 tips (plus 1):

The answer to all your advertising and marketing questions:


Whether you are selling burgers, automobiles, health care or clothing; what really matters is the relationship between your business and your customers. This relationship lives in the hearts and minds of your current, previous and potential customers. And the first reality that you need to accept is that your customer doesn’t care about you and your business unless you truly show in a demonstrable way that you care about them, their needs and wants.

Instead of bragging about how good you are, focus on how you can meet their needs. That is the heart of a successful marketing campaign.

So, what goes into a marketing campaign? For starters, here's a quick check list of 12 things that you can use as you examine how to improve the marketing of your business and improve relationships:

Click here to read more!


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from Steve Clark:

"Establishing Rapport: The Key to Sales Success"
by Steve Clark

No trust - no sale. The ability to create trust is one of the most crucial skills in a salesperson's arsenal. The dictionary defines rapport as a relationship of trust or emotional affinity. The salesperson that is unable to establish trust with be severely handicapped and ineffective in a selling career.

Establishing rapport in selling is critical for several reasons. First, it allows you to get in sync with your audience - to get on the same page with them and establish a common pattern of communication. Second, proper rapport breaks down the defensive walls that exist between buyer and seller. Third, proper bonding promotes open and honest communication between buyer and seller. And last, it allows the seller to gain compliance from the audience or the buyer. Compliance cannot be gained until trust and common ground established.

How do you establish rapport?

There are a number of techniques to establish rapport:

#1 Focus on the buyer or the audience's interest by paying attention to them, listening intently to them and giving them your full attention.

#2 Look for common interests, experiences or backgrounds that will allow you to appear to be more like them.

#3 Synchronize both verbal and non-verbal communication patterns with the buyer. Doing so will make you appear to be more like them. And people like and trust people who are like them.

#4 Synchronize your breathing patterns with your buyer. This is a very powerful technique and creates trust at the unconscious level.

#5 Synchronize your posture and physiology. Assume similar body positions, gestures and body movements that mirror but do not mimic those of your audience or buyers.

#6 Introduce reciprocity by giving the audience or buyer something of significant value early in the conversation and relationship. Doing so creates an unconscious psychological IOU and creates a more favorable environment for their compliance later on.

#7 Make a damaging admission about yourself, your company, or your product or service. Doing so makes you appear to be more human and creates trust especially if the buyer is aware of the damaging admission. Another important aspect of making a damaging admission is to defuse any concern or objection the buyer may have and neutralizes the objection because you brought it up first.

#8 Use self disclosure in selling by sharing a bit of your personal story with your buyer or your audience. All buyers want to know that there is a human being inside of that salespersons body. Sharing part of yourself creates a very favorable acceptance of you by your buyer.

#9 When two people can agree on a common enemy and focus their attention on that common enemy, the bond between those two people becomes stronger. The common enemy may be the IRS, a political party, the government,competitors or any other common enemy that is shared between buyer and seller.

#10 Use third party stories to give examples of situations that are similar to the one your prospect or buyer is experiencing. When you tell a potential buyer a third-party story they unconsciously project himself into the starring role and emotionally experience the event as if they were there. This allows you to control the experience and get them to experience the emotions you desire in order to sell them.

#11 Give your buyers and your audience genuine respect by looking for something genuine to compliment and psychologically stroke them on. All human beings are stroke deprived and it is impossible for humans to unconsciously reject a sincere or genuine compliment or stroke. Doing this makes emotional deposits in the buyer's bank account from which you can draw later to gain compliance from them.

One of the benefits of competent professional sales training is the practice, development and implementation of these rapport building skills and techniques. Proper sales training builds upon the seller's ability to learn, understand and use these powerful techniques.

Learning these powerful techniques will give you a competitive advantage and will allow you to close more sales with less resistance in less time

"Entrepreneur and Executive Sales Coach, Steve Clark publishes the highly acclaimed "Tips for Profitable Persuasion" weekly ezine. If you're ready to explode your sales and skyrocket your income while working less get your FREE copy at"

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click on the headlines:

by Aaron Baar
The key for marketers looking to exploit the mobile Internet space, says Chitika's Daniel Ruby, will be timing. "Going forward, you have to have that down, so that you're hitting consumers at the right time, not happening to catch them at any time. [Marketers] have got to find ways that are less intrusive and received at the right time." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
The $15 million campaign, being aired on ESPN, Comedy Central and other cable channels, is the latest aggressive marketing volley from Proximo Spirits, Inc. as it seeks to reclaim 1800's position as the #1 super premium tequila. The ads, from Agent16, directly take on Patrón. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
American Express is offering cardmembers exclusive experiences during New York's Fashion Week, including an exclusive showing by designer Phillip Lim on Sept. 17. The exclusive cardmember-only consumer show by Lim will be hosted by André Leon Talley, editor at large for Vogue magazine, and Linda Fargo, senior vice president, fashion office and store presentation for Bergdorf Goodman. ... Read the whole story > >
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
A spokesperson for The Home Depot says this is the first time the company has partnered with Martha Stewart, and that, while it is developing marketing plans around the Martha Stewart branded product lines, specifics are still being hashed out. Also, per the spokesperson, there will be brand extensions next year. "There will be additional products in different categories rolled out in 2010," she tells Marketing Daily. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
For marketers, following your nose during recessions isn't easy. Sure, there are all kinds of action in the celebrity-scent business, with Beyonce Knowles and Coty just announcing a new fragrance set to go on sale this spring. But overall, fragrance sales are smarting. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
An inaugural study by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) suggests that a successful marriage between marketer and agency has at least one thing in common with a successful marriage of the domestic kind -- regular communication, sometimes with an objective third party in the room, should things get to the rolling-pin stage. ... Read the whole story > >

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A twist on the Obvious

From Marketing

Have You Ever Noticed…?

A recent ad from Carnival Cruise Lines shows an average-looking guy in a red, white and blue track suit as he wanders around a ship, sniffing everything in sight: the carpeting, the rails, the Jacuzzi, the drapes and—even—various members of the staff. It's a little weird. Finally, though, he breaks into a satisfied smile and says, "Mmm, new ship smell."

In a post at the Influential Marketing Blog, Rohit Bhargava praises the spot as an embodiment of Jerry Seinfeld's ability to create an entire story line by putting a spin on a commonplace observation. "Seinfeld stood out," he says, "because every episode expanded on some quirky truth about life we already knew but never thought about."

According to Bhargava, Carnival successfully takes the unremarkable concept of new-car smell, but makes it fresh and interesting in the context of a cruise ship. The phrase conveys a visceral sense of boarding a clean boat unsullied by years—or even months—of use. "And if you're going cruising," he says, "of course you want a new ship."

Bhargava offers this Marketing Inspiration: "[T]hink about what quirky truth your customers all know that you could focus your marketing on. Sometimes you might find your best marketing idea inspired by a show about nothing."

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More than a Numbers Game

It's a follow up and follow through game.

The following numbers come from various sources.

Study and then change your habits:

48% of sales people never follow up with their prospects.
• 25% of sales people make a second contact with their prospect and then they stop.
• 12% of sales people make three contacts with their prospect and then they stop.
• Only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts with their prospects.
• 2% of sales are made on the first contact with a prospect.
• 3% of sales are made on the second contact with a prospect.
• 5% of sales are made on the third contact with a prospect.
• 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact with a prospect.
• 80% of sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contact with a prospect.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Christmas Shopping 2009

Important stuff to know if you are in retail, advertising or marketing. This is from

Holidays: They’re making a list!


That’s the good news, according to a new study from researcher Information Resources Inc. IRI refers, of course, to consumers, who are beginning to emerge from their bad economy bunkers and are making plans to enjoy the upcoming holiday season.

The bad news is this: The lessons of the last year are not going to just shrivel up and drift away – this holiday season consumers will be practical, thrifty and very budget-conscious – hence all the list-making.

IRI Consulting & Innovation President Thom Blischok explained, “While consumers are beginning to awaken from the economic sea change just in time for the beginning of the holidays, they are taking very thoughtful and strategic approaches to their purchasing and are sifting hard through such questions as ‘What do I really need?’, ‘What does my family need?’, and ‘What can we still live without?’ Despite what appears to be a permanence of ‘strategic selection,’ last year’s dismal holiday retail results are being left behind as consumers are slightly more optimistic about the economy and are much more savvy about how they attack their holiday gift and meal list.”

IRI based its findings on a survey of about a thousand households.

Consumers are more optimistic about most economic indicators
Consumers have an improved outlook on many general economic issues, which is contributing to an improved outlook for the upcoming holiday season. Concerns about rapidly rising food, fuel and utility prices are still there, but they are diminishing significantly.

In particular, concerns about a rapid rise in food costs have diminished considerably, although they remain high. But in 2008, 98% of the household surveyed listed this as a concern, compared to only 77% this time, an impressive 21% decrease.

Of the major economic worries consumers have been grappling with all year, only concern about employment stability remains at a high level consistent with previous months. And that will be more than enough to put a damper on spending, particularly of the plastic variety. It is another factor that will drive the list-making urge this year.

Entertaining on a budget
Among the simplest ways to save money involves food, and the most basic strategy is to eat in rather than out. IRI finds that the vast majority will be getting together with friends and family for meals, but they will be in a private residence, not a restaurant.

And budgeting will be a factor for home consumption. 94% plan on spending $500 or less on food and $200 or less for beer, wine and spirits. Shopping will be done with an eye on price, and private labels will certainly hold their own against nationally advertised brands – in fact, IRI estimates that 90% of consumers will make use of private labels this holiday season.

When going out to purchase food and drink, consumers will be armed with a list – 2009 is not the year for large amounts of impulse buying.

Consumers want to maintain traditions of holiday gift-giving, but again the frugal habits developed over the course of the year will be evident. IRI says only 23% plan on spending more than $799, down 13% from 2008.

The key words are budget and list – consumers will tend to plan their purchasing strategy before entering a store or going online, and will be hunting for bargains to stretch their purchasing power.

IRI suspects that electronic gifts will be on the lower end of the scale – it suggests that items like iPods and Blue-ray disc players in the $100 range will be popular.

There is also expected to be an emphasis on practical gift-giving. The question “what would so-and-so like” will give way to the question “what does so-and-so need.”

That said, IRI notes that many consumers have learned over the course of the year to find inexpensive splurges, and items fall into that category one way or another may have a very successful holiday season.

In 2008, IRI says 41% of consumers did some of their shopping online. That number is expected to increase by 18% this year.

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