Saturday, November 21, 2009

Drew Day Continues...

with this posting from earlier this week:

You can put a dash of brand just about anywhere

Posted: 15 Nov 2009 02:51 PM PST

There's nothing less interesting or more standard than a bar code, right? Not according to the people at Design Barcode, where the status quo is anything but!

Check out these jazzed up bar codes. (click on the images to see a full-size image in a pop up window)

Picture 4

Picture 5
Picture 6

Lest you think this is a new idea, apparently Rick Tharp was doing it (see his version) way back in 1986.

(Hat tips to Beverly Koehn and Beth Wampler for sharing this Fast Company article on the bar code designs)

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Creativity...Getting it back

It doesn't matter what line of work you are in, or if you are required to be creative, all of us have the need to use creativity for something in our lives. Check out this from Drew:

How do you get the creative juices flowing?

Posted: 17 Oct 2009 10:21 AM PDT

Shutterstock_30251488 There are many ways to spark creativity. Most of them involve a shift in perspective and a willingness to be playful, even though the work is "serious." Here are some of the ways we go at it for our clients at MMG.

View the problem/product/desired result from a different seat on the bus.

In other words, how would a six-year old child view it? A librarian? Truck driver? College student? Someone who is wheelchair bound? By putting yourself in many different people’s shoes – you can begin to see the situation differently. A great technique is to literally speak their voice out loud. Like improv...see where it takes you.

Personify it.

If your product or service was a person, who would it be? A man? A young girl? How would they behave? What would their personality be like? What would be their favorite book? Movie? What are they afraid of? What would they be most proud of?

Get out.

Most people brainstorm and try to spark their creativity in the same work environment that they’re in every day. One of the best ways to inspire some new thinking is to be in a new place. Go to a park and take a walk. Go play at a toy store. Visit a museum. Play a kind of music you’d normally never listen to.

Stimulate your senses. I think this is why the shower is such a hot spot of creativity!

Ask why.

If you have children, you will remember their "why" stage. A simple question could take 30 minutes to answer by the time they asked why 12 times. Adopt that attitude. Make an assumption about what you’re working on. Then ask why. And answer it. Then ask why. And answer that. Then ask why. And so on. See where it takes you. Then, when you can’t go any further, make another assumption and do it all over again.


Have a paper airplane contest. Create a putt-putt course in the office. Play charades. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to be creative and being playful is a great way to bring that part of you to the surface.

How about you? How do you get the creative juices flowing?

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Eye Contact


Eye Contact at Closing
by Mark Hunter

When you're ready to close the sale, your eye contact should only go in two places. Either looking at the item you're selling, which may include the contract, or directly into the eyes of your customer. Looking at anything else shows a sign of weakness and your customer will notice. When you are verbally delivering your close and the price, you need to make sure your eyes are squarely fixed on the eyes of your customer.

If you can't give your customer eye contact when you're closing, how do you expect your customer to believe in what you're selling? How do you even expect you to believe in what you're selling? If you're not confident enough to deliver eye contact at the moment of closing, there is no way you'll ever achieve a high degree of success.

To overcome this problem, I recommend something that many people laugh at, but at the same time, admit is extremely effective. Each morning, look into a mirror and verbally state your price point 20 times while looking at yourself. Again, it seems silly, I know. However, I have had more salespeople over the years send me a note or call me and tell me how, after they began doing this strange activity on a daily basis, they've been able to dramatically increase their closing ratio.

Mark Hunter, "The Sales Hunter", is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability. For more information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Food, Phones & Fun:

by Karlene Lukovitz
The joint strategic development initiative will enable the chains to bundle and leverage their brands and key personnel to efficiently expand into these locations, which are estimated to attract three to five times the traffic seen in traditional locations such as shopping malls, shopping centers and strip malls. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
A recent Luxury Institute survey shows a rethinking, says founder/CEO Milton Pedraza. "Yes, they lost money, but they're still wealthy. Even those who worried about losing a lot of wealth at once seem to have realized, 'I am better off than most people.' There seems to be a level of gratitude and recognition that as bad as things have been, they have much to be happy about." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The camera focuses on a young man sitting in a woman's boutique as his presumed girlfriend chats on the phone behind him. Before she goes into the dressing room, the woman puts her phone and her mouth -- which comes off of her face -- next to her boyfriend as she continues her conversation. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"If you think about the tone of the message, it was so different from everyone else's," says Subaru's Kevin Mayer. "People could participate with the brand in a way that helped us stand out and gave us much greater ROI than normal. We spent probably 30% less last December [on marketing] than in the previous year." ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The Chase Community Giving Facebook application encourages Facebook users to choose from more than 500,000 small and local charities to decide which community organizations they want to receive donations from Chase's corporate philanthropy fund. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
NYC & Company, the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization of the City of New York, is going local with a new campaign launching this week that focuses on getting holiday shoppers to go exploring in 15 Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods. ... Read the whole story > >
Forrester: Google Still Tops With Consumers

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Deceptive Numbers

Yesterday when this appeared in my email, I thought to myself, "there they go, playing with the numbers again".

The headline seems to say that newspaper readership is 74%, which if were true, would be great news for those in the print business.

Problem is, if you only read the headline, you'll miss the truth. And the truth is that mainstream printed newspapers are dying. They won't die completely, because enough of them are smart enough to redesign their business models to be profitable.

Here's the story from

74% of Americans Still Read Newspapers

Despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges facing today’s newspapers, nearly three-fourths of American adults still admit to reading either a print or online edition, according to (pdf) the latest Integrated Newspaper Audience study from Scarborough Research.

In addition to the 74% of the general population of US adults who read the the newspaper, readership is even higher among more affluent and educated adults:

  • 79% of adults in white-collar jobs read a newspaper in print or online.
  • 82% of adults with household incomes of $100K+ per year read printed or online newspaper content.
  • 84% of college graduates or those with advanced degrees read content from either the print or online version of a newspaper each week.

MediaBuyerPlanner reports that the study also found newspaper readership is still slowly declining but that newspapers are holding onto their audiences reasonably well, given the increasing fragmentation of media choices, according to Gary Meo, Scarborough VP of print and digital media services.The report is noteworthy, Scarborough points out, in the wake of the recent data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations which reported significant declines in weekday and Sunday printed newspaper circulation.

“While Scarborough shows declines in printed newspaper readership, these have not been as severe as those reported in circulation,” said Meo. “This is because circulation and audience do not always march in lockstep as they are two different measurements.”

Circulation refers to the number of newspaper copies sold, while audience refers to the percentage or number of adults who actually read the newspaper, he added.

Good News for Online Newspapers

In more positive news for newspapers in the online space, a separate study from Nielsen Online for the Newspaper Association of America recently showed that, between 2005 and 2009, unique visitors to newspaper websites grew from a monthly average of 41.1 million to an average of 71.8 million. During the same period, print revenues plummeted from $22.2 billion in 2005 to $12.2 billion in the first half of this year, down 45%.

A report issued this week by the Boston Consulting Group also found that US consumers express a willingness to pay modest fees for online news content - from national and local newspapers in particular - especially if the content is unique and/or specialized.

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Social Media: The Mobile Future


Mobile Social Networking Grows; Top 10 SocNets

By the year 2013, 43% of global mobile internet users (607.5 million people worldwide) will be accessing social networks from their mobile devices, according to a new report from eMarketer, which characterizes mobile and social as still-emerging channels that are each helping drive the adoption of the other.

In the US, mobile social networkers will total 56.2 million by 2013, and will account for nearly half (45%) of the mobile internet user population, eMarketer said.

The report, “Mobile Social networks: Marketing by Location Shows Potential also revealed that social networking is one of the primary ways mobile users communicate with each other, and is one of the most significant drivers of internet usage on mobile devices.

Top 10 Mobile Social Networks

Not surprisingly, the top destinations for mobile social networkers mirror those for computer users and include Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

The full top-10 list:

  1. Facebook
  2. MySpace
  3. YouTube
  4. Twitter
  5. Yahoo
  6. MSN/Windows Live/Bing
  7. Flickr
  8. LinkedIn
  9. Blogger
  10. MocoSpace

The Advertising Picture

Because both the mobile and social networking channels are still emerging, eMarketer said that estimating the market for mobile social advertising and marketing is premature.

However, the firm expects overall mobile advertising to generate $416 million in US ad spending this year, writes MediaBuyerPlanner. In a similarly optimistic projection, the Mobile Marketing Association expects mobile ad spending to grow 27% to $2.1 billion in 2010.

However, mobile marketing will not truly hit its stride until it overcomes four challenges, MediaBuyerPlanner said:

  • Mobile opportunities must grow. Currently, fewer than one in five Americans has a smartphone, meaning that the most advanced marketing opportunities, like applications, reach only a small percentage of the population.
  • Marketers are still hunting for the “killer app.” Current mobile formats still treat mobile devices like small computer screens - rather than as opportunities to create highly personalized campaigns that reach users as they go through their day.
  • Marketers that spend money on innovative apps often don’t follow through with ad campaigns. VW, for example, created a GTI application for the iPhone, which has been downloaded more than two million times in just three weeks. But the automaker did not buy mobile ads for the launch and instead put its marketing dollars into the development of the app.
  • The mobile web still lacks standardized methods and an easy way to run campaigns that reach scale. There are also no uniform methods of measurement, and it is a challenge to track mobile campaigns across web campaigns in third-party media planning tools.

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Are you doing it Wrong?

You have to understand this (from Seth Godin) if you are going to be above average:

Can't top this

Getting someone to switch is really difficult.

Getting someone to switch because you offer more of what they were looking for when they choose the one they have now is essentially impossible. For starters, they're probably not looking for more. And beyond that, they'd need to admit that they were wrong for not choosing you in the first place.

So, you don't get someone to switch because you're cheaper than Walmart. You don't get someone to switch because you serve bigger portions than the big-portion steakhouse down the street. You don't get someone to switch because your hospital is more famous than the Mayo Clinic.

The chances that you can top a trusted provider on the very thing the provider is trusted for are slim indeed.

Instead, you gain converts by winning at something the existing provider didn't think was so important.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read... It's that simple:

by Karl Greenberg
If rumors of the demise of the electric car are exaggerated, so, perhaps, are market opportunities for such cars -- at least in the short term. Still, several automakers from top-tier brands to start-ups are preparing to roll them quietly into showrooms in the coming months. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
A new survey from Sears shows that even as consumers are quickly starting new traditions to address the altered economy, they're also pumping up the ones they feel are most important, from baking cookies to singing Christmas carols. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
The "Turn the Tub Around" campaign, starring "Will & Grace" actress Megan Mullally looks to capitalize on the TV talent show craze via song and dance videos featuring a playfully reworked version of the disco tune "Turn the Beat Around." ("Turn the tub around ... talking 'bout nutrition ...") ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is backing a hometown boy, champion speed skater Apolo Ohno, in a promotional campaign, "Follow Apolo." While the carrier is not a sponsor of the Olympics, the relationship leads up to and follows the Olympic Games this February in nearby Vancouver. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
"Many consumers assume that all salts are the same," Grete Lavrenz, a representative of Cargill, tells Marketing Daily via e-mail. "Diamond Crystal salt has a unique pyramid-/multifaceted-shaped crystal. The goal was to tell a compelling story about how Diamond Crystal kosher and sea salts are different from the competition." ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
A new online television series titled "Uneven Terrain" is part of the "Exploration" ad campaign for Palladium Boots, which is repositioning itself as a "hipster" boot for cool kids. VBS created the "Exploration" campaign which is ongoing and also includes TV, print and radio. ... Read the whole story > >
by David Goetzl
Coca-Cola's top stateside marketing executive delivered some auspicious words for Univision and BET this week, saying targeting "multicultural" Americans will be paramount for the company over the next decade. ... Read the whole story > >
JCPenney Bids Adieu To Big Books

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New Ad Campaigns

Here's this weeks latest from Amy:

Do you have the sexiest mouth in America? Vampires prefer Volvos. Mobile phone wars. Let's launch!

I gave into temptation and finally watched "Twilight." It's given me a better perspective on the hype surrounding the main characters. It doesn't explain to me why a teenaged-looking Vampire drives a Volvo. The car manufacturer launched a 30-second spot that's more of a preview for Twilight's sequel, "New Moon" than a car ad. There are shots of Robert Pattinson, talk about safety and understated beauty, two things Pattinson's character, Edward aren't. This must be why he owns a Volvo. The spot drives fans to, a microsite where Twihards can win a Volvo if they successfully complete a 6-phase puzzle. See the ad here. Arnold created the ad and MPG and Media Contacts handled the media buy.
There are a lot of words beginning with "Re" in a TV spot promoting the Boston Celtics and its new season. I didn't see the word "refurbished," but, then again, you could get a headache trying to read all the flashing words. Words change to the rhythmic sounds of a dribbled basketball in "Reloaded." Snippets of players are shown and the ad ends with a team chant led by Paul Pierce. Watch the ad here, created by Allen & Gerritsen. Media buying was handled in-house.
'Tis the season to take shots at your mobile phone competition. Verizon Wireless takes aim at AT&T by banishing the iPhone to the island of misfit toys. A spotted elephant wonders why the iPhone resides alongside other unwanted toys. The iPhone shows his AT&T 3G coverage, which pales in comparison to that of Verizon's. It's red state vs. blue state, 3G-style. See it here. The next spot, "Blue Christmas," uses the voice of Elvis Presley while illustrating the difference between a blue Christmas and one with an abundance of 3G coverage. Watch it here. "Naughty/Nice" is great. Elves are packaging Christmas gifts -- those who were good all year receive Verizon Wireless coverage, and those who are bad get an iPhone, equipped with AT&T coverage. See it here. McCann Erickson, NY created the ads.
Virgin Mobile launched a TV campaign to promote its $49.99 unlimited calling plan. File the first ad under TMI. A woman is talking to her mother in the locker room of a gym. As she's about to go shower, she puts her phone down, and her mouth follows and continues the conversation. An unpleasant, unknown medical condition is described in tremendous detail, much to the horror of the woman sitting on the same bench. Watch it here. The next ad takes place in a store, where a woman enters a changing room and her boyfriend hears her conversation about a secret crush on her hot boss. See it here. Beginning Nov. 23 on Facebook, Virgin Mobile is launching a contest looking for the "Sexiest Mouth in America." BBH New York created the campaign.
Visa launched a pair of TV spots highlighting its relationship with the NFL. The first ad describes a promotion that enters Visa cardholders into a contest to win Super Bowl and NFL playoff tickets. See it here. The next ad follows passionate Patriots fans en route to an unconventional game of football. "Go Football," concludes the ad, seen here, and created by TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.
Pyrex launched a TV, print and online campaign showcasing its latest line of smarter kitchen tools, bakeware and glassware. Creative is simple and clean. I like it. The kitchenware is sketched in pencil, and ads conclude with a look at the finished product. The first ad, shown here, features a cheese grater that lets users measure while grating. Glass storageware that's stain-free and also used for baking? Hold me back. See it here. Pyrex created a whisk that scrapes the bottom of the bowl. I guess my index finger is out of a job. Watch it here. The final ad, seen here, is a combination of all new products available. TV spots launched this week on ABC Family, Bravo, Lifetime, Food Network, Style and Oxygen. Print ads, running in Everyday with Rachael Ray, Real Simple, Elle and Redbook, are similar to TV ads, resembling mock-ups of an unfinished product. See the ads here, here and here. Cramer-Krasselt Milwauke created the campaign and handled the media buy.
The Gap launched a holiday campaign that's cheery and catchy, but not over-the top. Dancers and models, clad in Gap apparel, sing cheery, timely lyrics such as, "go classic tree, go plastic tree, go plant a tree, go without a tree." See it here. There's also a microsite for users to send any of 10 customizable holiday cheers, via email, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Crispin Porter + Bogusky created the campaign and PHD handled the media buy.
Let your index finger do the work in an ad for Samsung's Beat DJ, a phone that offers users a wealth of DJ-mixing capabilities to use on their music collection. A giant finger literally inserts itself into the music-making process, playing drums and high-fiving indie band Chester French. See the ad here. Blacintosh receives similar treatment from an index finger that takes control of the drum set and DJ turntable. Watch it here. Beattie McGuinness Bungay created the ads, edited by Cut+Run.
Random iPhone App of the week: The uber-popular Web site has become an app. Did you have '80s hair? Do you miss the smell of Aqua Net? This app can do nothing about your fascination for Aqua Net, but it can give you the '80s hair you once had and loved. The app offers hairdos and vintage outfits spanning five decades, including "Mad Men" hair from the '60s and dreadlocks from the '90s. The app also offers users discounts at Taubman malls and lets you post photos to Facebook. The app costs 99 cents and is available at the App Store. Colle+McVoy created the app.
Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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Social Media Perspective

Another Perspective:

The 7 Harsh Realities of Social Media Marketing

image of boxer taking a punch

Last Friday I was in Atlanta, where I gave a talk on social media marketing at Dan Kennedy’s InfoSUMMIT conference.

I’m something of a fish out of water at a Glazer-Kennedy event. For example, unlike at Blogworld, I’m the only person in a room of 800 who has pink hair.

I wasn’t sure they’d be too receptive to what I had to say, but they surprised me.

They were warm, welcoming, and extremely interested in my no-shortcuts, no-magic-beans answers to their questions about how to use social media for marketing and business.

So in honor of Dan Kennedy, who sometimes styles himself as the “Professor of Harsh Reality,” I thought I’d talk today about some of the not-so-kumbaya aspects of social media marketing.

Harsh Reality #1: No one is reading your blog

As far as anyone can figure, there are about 200 million blogs around the world. Technorati tells us there are about 900,000 blog posts made every 24 hours.

The world is not waiting breathlessly to hear what you have to say about losing weight with acai berries, making big money as an affiliate marketer, or how to join your Secrets of the Breakthrough Millionaire Insider Guru Mastermind Platinum Club.

Me-too content gets ignored. Scraped and remixed junk won’t cut it. There’s too much good content that you need to compete with. And there’s no magic system that can replace sitting in front of your keyboard and producing something that somebody wants to read. (Or partnering with someone who can.)

If you don’t have a great answer to the question “Why should anyone read your blog?” you’re going to be pretty unhappy with your results. That’s why we spend so much time teaching you how to produce better, smarter, more effective content.

Harsh Reality #2: You’ve got to give (some of) your best stuff away

It’s very natural to expect to get paid for what you do. And you should have a business model that leads to exactly that.

But first, you’ve got some dues to pay.

Commenter Corree Silvera mentioned her favorite Brian Clark quote from this year’s Blogworld Expo:

Don’t sacrifice a lot of money later for a little money now.

The answer to the question in Harsh Reality #1, “why should anyone read your blog?” is that you’re going to give away some of your best, most valuable, most life-improving material away for free, within a well-defined content marketing plan.

Just remember Sean d’Souza’s bikini concept. You can give 90% of it away, but there will always be people who will happily pay to see that last 10%.

Harsh Reality #3: It will eat your life (if you let it)

Social media marketing would be pretty easy if we never had to eat, sleep, shower, or hang out with our kids.

But if doing those things is important to you, you’re going to have to set some boundaries.

Know what you want to do with social media, keep yourself focused, and set a timer if you have to. The tools are amazing, but so is their power to distract you from what you’re trying to accomplish.

Harsh Reality #4: Social media hates selling

Is there anything more pitiful than that guy who gets on Twitter and won’t shut up about how he can put you in a condo today with no money down despite your lousy credit rating? Even the spammers are blocking this dude.

It’s really hard to sell products and services in social media, mostly because this audience hates salespeople worse than they hate Microsoft. You may be able to get some limited success out of it, but more likely you’ll be banned, blocked, shunned, and abused.

Instead of promoting a product or service, promote fantastic content. Promote a great special report or an amazingly valuable email course. Promote wonderful stuff that you’re giving away.

Use excellent free stuff to build authority and trust. Then you have the right to make an offer and possibly do some business. Not before.

Harsh Reality #5: What they say is a million times more important than what you say

Your marketing might be beautifully executed. You might have a special report that goes more viral than H1N1, a great-looking blog that hits Digg twice a day, and an email marketing sequence that copywriting genius Gene Schwartz would have been proud to write.

If your reputation sucks, none of it matters.

People with lousy products, crummy business practices, and shady backgrounds get found out. And word spreads with frightening speed.

Treat people right, because if you don’t, you will be exposed. And it will not be pretty.

Harsh Reality #6: A blog is not a marketing plan

Blogs are cool, but a single useful tool isn’t the same thing as a solid business and marketing plan.

Blogs are just one way to get your best content out there, and they work best when you pair them up with email autoresponders, special reports, Twitter, and any of a dozen other powerful tools.

Just hanging out and being cool isn’t enough. If you’re in social media to do business, you have to develop a strategy for taking mildly interested strangers and turning them into raving fans . . . and customers.

Harsh Reality #7: You don’t get to opt out

Businesses that think they can ignore all this “Twitter stupidity” tend to get painfully rude awakenings.

The conversation will happen with or without you. You definitely don’t need to respond to every chucklehead with a Facebook account (and you shouldn’t), but you need to keep your ear to the ground, and you need a clue.

OK, enough about harsh reality already! If you want our best advice about what to do to create a great online business, subscribe to Internet Marketing for Smart People, the Copyblogger email newsletter. It’s some of our best stuff, no junk, no fluff. And of course we will never, ever spam you or share your information with anyone.

About the Author: Sonia Simone is Senior Editor of Copyblogger and the founder of Remarkable Communication

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The Black Hole

From Jill Konrath last week:

True Story: I May Have Misjudged Your Interest

A true story, but the names have been changed to maintain privacy.

BLACK HOLE 2 Recently I received an email from a marketing/advertising sales professional who read my blog post on how to deal with prospects who disappear into the proverbial black hole.

She decided to try my "let them off the hook" strategy. Here's what transpired.

Subject Line: I may have misjudged your intentions

My apologies if I’ve crossed a line to become your dreaded professional stalker. It’s apparent that I’ve misjudged Generic System's interest and/or situation.

If and when the opportunity arises, please know I’ve tracked down the insider’s connection to the huge success being experienced by a business very similar to yours. Additionally, the short and affordable jingle we discussed is working its magic for

Please call or e-mail if there's any thing I can do for you or your organization.


60 Minutes Later She Got This Response

You haven't crossed any lines. We've had several issues here unrelated to marketing/advertising. And now we have examiners here, so we're spread pretty thin at this time.

We appreciated you coming to us and still have all of your information here. Hopefully things will settle down so Cindy & I can talk and make some type of decision.

My apologies for not communicating that to you sooner. We will be in touch, I promise!


The Lesson to Be Learned

  • Even if your prospects like your ideas or products, you're not their #1 priority.
  • Don't be afraid to contact your prospects to let them off the hook. If they're still interested, their guilt about not returning your calls causes them to update you on their status.
What do you do when prospects disappear into the black hole?

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click to read:

Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
"The Pyrex brand has dabbled in the kitchen tools and gadgets and metal bakeware categories but not with the degree of innovation, breadth of offering or marketing support that is a part of this launch," World Kitchen's Pam McMeen tells Marketing Daily. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
The estimate comes from BDO Seidman's "Retail Compass Survey," based on a poll of 100 CMOs at leading retailers. The biggest surprise in the results, says Ted Vaughan, a partner in the retail and consumer product practice, is just how widespread markdowns will be, "with 96% of the CMOs saying they are going to be discounting. ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
In addition to being able to remix the new single, 50 Cent is giving one aspiring fan a chance to show off their skills with him in the recording studio. Once all of the Vitaminwater remixes have been uploaded, 50 Cent will scout out the best remix of his latest single and invite that person to meet up with him. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
"With all that noise around circle plans, we launched one-year service contracts," Alltel's Lynette Jurgens says. "So our holiday campaign is focusing on those contracts. And we've expanded My Circle to include unlimited texting to those friends, and we'll be focusing on that." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
The new partnership is the first that ConAgra has developed "with an eye toward multiple brand exposure and experiences slotted in throughout a longer time period," as opposed to brand-by-brand initiatives, ConAgra manager of media services Jonathan Shen tells Marketing Daily. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"The original thought was nobody would buy cars from someone in bankruptcy," says's Jeremy Anwyl. "But what we saw with Chrysler and GM was that people don't really make a connection between, say Jeep and Chrysler, or Chevrolet and GM." ... Read the whole story > >

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1 out of 20 will...

Buy a house in the next 12 months...

Survey Shows 5 Percent of Americans Plan to Buy a Home in the Next Year

One in 20 Americans say they plan to buy a home within the next year, and they're most likely to be 34 years old or younger and living in the South or West, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Roughly a quarter of potential buyers said the No. 1 reason they would buy now is because prices appear to have bottomed out. That reason topped bargain-priced foreclosures, worries about rising interest rates and a wide selection of homes.

The survey also shows that among those consumers planning to purchase a home in the near future, nearly half (48%) are first-time buyers, with women slightly more interested in entering the housing market than men.

The survey, conducted for, a real estate listings site, reveals how Americans are responding to a nascent and fragile housing recovery after three years of staggering price declines. The percentage of buyers thinking of jumping into the market was down slightly from a March survey, but up about 1 point from a poll in June.

Home prices rebounded this summer at an annualized pace of almost 7 percent, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index. But with high unemployment and foreclosures clouding the picture, economists debate whether prices will dip again.

Recent housing figures and homebuilder earnings support a stabilizing housing market, and concerns about the expiration of federal homebuyer tax credit are moot after Congress last week extended and expanded the credit.

Potential buyers who have owned their current homes for at least five years are eligible for tax credits of up to $6,500, while first-time homebuyers -- or anyone who hasn't owned a home in the last three years -- would still get up to $8,000. To qualify, buyers have to sign a purchase agreement by April 30, 2010, and close by June 30.

The survey was conducted before the credit extension.

Those surveyed widely favored federal policies that kept interest rates low and helped troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure over those that helped first-time homebuyers purchase a home. And, overall, 48 percent of those polled didn't think the government was doing enough to stabilize the housing market, whereas 42 percent thought it was.

Forty-five percent of Americans worry that they or someone they know will face foreclosure in the next year. And almost 30 percent of those with a mortgage have contacted their lender in the past year to reduce their payments.

One of the survey participants, Joe Handley of Harrington, Del., called his lender last December to consolidate a second mortgage and cut his interest rate from 6.75 percent to 5.25 percent.

"We wanted to build up our savings for emergencies," the 37-year-old said.

His timing was prescient. In July, Handley, who works in the information technology department for the State of Delaware, took a pay cut and the $400 monthly savings from the new loan has helped cushion the blow.

Almost a quarter of Americans who refinanced their mortgages have used the savings for living expenses or paying down debt, the survey found. Less than 9 percent are putting the savings toward investment or retirement.

The telephone poll, which included about two-thirds homeowners and one-third renters, was conducted in October by market research firm GfK. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

(Source: Associated Press, 11/11/09)

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Social Media: Connecting with Moms

From Mediapost:

Product Recommendations Come From Friends, Not Networks

According to recent findings from MomConnection, The Parenting Group's research panel of 5,000 moms, 60% of moms report having used a social network in the past 24 hours, turning to online communities and social networks for advice, support and connection.

The most surprising finding, however, despite all of the attention being given to the relationships that moms form online through social media, is that they do not use social networks as a resource when it comes to product decision-making. Moms are four times more likely to turn to their personal offline network of friends and family than online social networks for product recommendations and buying advice.

The study found that the role of social networks in moms' lives is not a channel where most moms are receptive to gathering product information, but rather is largely for entertainment and personal communication. Only 24% of respondents have used Facebook for product information and buying advice, while 5% have used Myspace for product info, and 3% have used Twitter.

Facebook Is Moms' Social Network Of Choice

Social Network

% of Moms Who Are Members














Source: MomConnection, November 2009

Moms' Sources Of Product Research And Buying Advice

Get Advice All The Time

% of Respondents

Mom-focused web sites


User reviews on shopping web sites


Magazine articles


Source: MomConnection, November 2009

The survey also found that moms interact with brands on a surprisingly high level, actively requesting information and resources from the companies whose products they use. One-on-one interaction with brands is their preferred way to receive info:

  • 81% have visited a brand's web site for more information
  • 65% have signed up to receive a newsletter from a brand
  • 36% have posted a link or joined a fan group on Facebook

The research found that nearly all moms are "influencers" in some way, spreading the word once they've formulated an opinion about a product:

  • 94% of moms give advice to other moms in at least one product category
  • The average mom gives and gets advice in more than 8 product categories
  • 69% recommend specific brands by name to other moms
  • 54% have rated or reviewed a brand online
  • 37% have posted their opinions about a product in an online forum or blog

Popular Subject Areas For Mom-To-Mom Discussion Of Product Choices

Give Advice On:

Percentage Of Moms Who Give And Get Advice In Category

Children's toys and games




Cooking and baking tools


Online/offline shopping


Drugs and remedies


Source: MomConnection, November 2009

Moms are more likely to seek advice, rather than share advice, on product decisions in the following categories:

  • Financial services
  • Home renovation, repairs and appliances
  • Cars and automotive products
  • Electronics and home entertainment equipment
  • Computers and cell phones

The research also identified six key characteristics that draw moms to one brand over another. Moms are most likely to talk about brands that they feel are:

  • A good value
  • Trustworthy
  • Responsive to moms' needs
  • High-quality
  • A money-saver
  • A time-saver

The Mom Network survey was conducted by MomConnection among 583 moms with children under 12 between September 10 and September 24, 2009.

For more information about the study and the MomConnection, please visit here.

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Sales is about Relationships- REVISED

Due to a request by the author of the article I originally posted here, I have removed it and replaced it with this excellent story from Craig Garber:

Like most business owners, when I first went into business
for myself in the 1990's, back when I was a financial
planner and knew nothing about marketing -- let alone
effective marketing -- I was obsessed with acquiring loads
of technical knowledge.

I got every certification known to man, and I subscribed to
every industry journal out there. I prided myself on the
fact that I knew how to analyze and explain, in layman's
terms, things like beta risk factors and the mechanics of a
universal versus a whole life insurance policy.

But there was only one problem. I had virtually no
prospects or clients to talk about this stuff with.

See, I was under the false impression that people cared how
much I knew. That my knowledge base was so powerful,
clients would be compelled to work with me.

I quickly (and painfully) learned, this was far from the

See, no one cares how much you know, until they know how
much you care.

And the best way to let someone know you care, is to educate
them on whatever it is you do. You almost want to think of
yourself as sort of like a "consumer advocate," if this
makes sense.

And the best way of doing this, is to offer your prospects
some kind of free information they can learn from.

So for instance, if you're an investment advisor, like I
used to be, you can offer a Special Report called, "7
Biggest Mistakes Retirees Make That Cost Them A Small
Fortune: Which One Of Them Are You Making Right Now?"

If you're a limousine service, a DVD taking someone on a
tour of your all your vehicles and explaining how you
qualify your drivers, called "How To Ride Like A King,
Without Spending A Small Fortune" would be pretty

And if you own a martial arts studio, perhaps a Free Booklet
like, "Why Children Fail," along with a DVD where you're
interviewing a number of your students, would definitely
make a very credible impression on your prospects.

And the nice thing is, each one of these information
packages not only positions you as an expert, it lets your
prospects know "how much you care," which is your goal

Also keep in mind, a concurrent goal of this "education
process" is to differentiate yourselves from your
competition. And sharing information like this, in and of
itself, is actually one of the things that's going to
differentiate you. So it's kind of like a self-propelling
system you're actually creating.

On pages 37 and 38 inside "How To Make Maximum Money With
Minimum Customers
," I give you 8 different examples of
creating these types of reports that give you the
positioning and leverage you need, to show your prospects
YOU are the one they should be working with. And I show
you how to do this in all kinds of industries -- even in
incredibly boring and mundane ones.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click to read more:

by Karlene Lukovitz
The TV commercial's Poland Spring, Arrowhead and Deer Park versions rolled out earlier this month. The other brands' versions will begin airing next year. In addition, regional-brand "Born Better" radio spots ran from August through mid-November, and print -- likely to focus on ads in major magazines -- will debut next year. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
A spokesperson for the Volkswagen brand says the White Frame concept, which was developed for Volkswagen by Novi, Mich.-based CityScape Architects, Inc., "is easier to adapt to building retrofits and multi-story buildings." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
So, does all this "app-iness" prove that Americans are increasingly in love with grocery lists, as so much of the "new frugalism" research indicates? No," says Phil Lempert, the consumer trends expert known as the Supermarket Guru. "It proves we are in love with apps." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
"There's been a whole lot of discussion that people would cut cable and satellite services, and substitute with free content," Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD, tells Marketing Daily. "But [subscription television] is one of those worthwhile addictions that you have. I think most people would rather do without ice cream than the latest episode of 'Mad Men'." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
7-Eleven is launching a series of in-store branding campaigns around films and other entertainment properties this year in a cross-promotion with the Warner Bros. picture "Sherlock Holmes," which premieres Dec. 25, that includes in-store elements and a social-media campaign tying Facebook to a co-branded microsite. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The Priceless Gift Finder displays appropriate gift selections, along with ratings and reviews from Purchases can be made at directly through the Gift Finder. Shoppers have access to a budget calculator to track the cost of gift selections and can build shopping lists from their lists of Facebook friends. ... Read the whole story > >
by David Goetzl
Twitter may be booming, Facebook stratospheric, but leading chief marketing officers are apparently yet to send the dollars wildly chasing the traffic, according to Hill & Knowlton/CMO Club study. ... Read the whole story > >
MasterCard Launches Mobile Payments Gateway

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