Saturday, December 12, 2009

What's Next for Tiger?

Earlier today I posted an article from Al Ries, now here's his daughter Laura:

It's what Tiger does next that counts


Tiger Woods was a rare breed. A phenomenal athlete who delivered consistent record-shattering victories on and off the course with style, grace and integrity.

In an intense game like golf, Tiger built his reputation by performing under pressure. And like his idol Jack Nicklaus, Tiger transcended from being one of the best athletes ever to being one of the best celebrity brands ever.

The latest Forbes Celebrity 100 list put Tiger at number five just behind Angelina, Oprah, Madonna and Beyonce. And ahead of Springsteen. Not bad company.

In sports, Tiger reigns supreme. For the eighth straight year, Tiger was the highest paid athlete in the world and last year was one in which he rarely played golf after being sidelined following knee surgery. In fact, nobody even comes close to the Tiger Megabrand. Tiger out-earns the number two athlete by more than two to one.

That was then, this is now. The world’s good boy has suddenly gone bad. The guy who seemed to be perfect in every way has been discovered to be a mere mortal like the rest of us. Even worse, he seems to be flawed in some very disagreeable ways.

No one was as proud of Tiger Woods as his Dad, Earl Woods. In an 1996 Sports Illustrated article, Earl famously referred to his son as the “chosen one” and predicted he would have “the power to impact nations.” Tiger certainly has enormous power but poor Earl must be rolling over in his grave over the news of the past few days.

Tiger’s fall from grace is a catastrophe we have never seen before because Tiger was a brand we have never seen before. Tiger’s image was so pure, so squeaky clean and so universally appealing that his God-like status, his walking-on-water video and the founding of the First Church of Tiger Woods all seemed so well-deserved.

Tiger’s universal appeal and lack of negatives made him the perfect pitchman. The big blue-chip brands that were lucky enough to sign Tiger knew he was worth every million they spent because of the trust and image Tiger brought to the table. Brands like Nike, Accenture, Gatorade, Gillette, American Express and Tag Heuer banked on Tiger and that unflappable image. Each of these brands played off Tiger’s image of integrity and performance under pressure.

Slogans like “Just Do It” for Nike and “Go on a be a Tiger” for Accenture resonated with people in powerful ways. Today they taken on whole new meanings.

My favorite Accenture headline says “It’s what you do next that counts” and shows Tiger with his ball on the rocks, focused on how to get back on the green. For anybody else, the shot would be impossible.

Tiger accenture

This is the perfect metaphor for Tiger today. What done is done. You can’t change the past or your last shot; you can only focus on what to do next.

The world is waiting to see exactly what Tiger does next. What he does next is what counts and what will determine his future.

Keeping his endorsements isn’t really a concern. Companies like Nike, Gatorade and Accenture are so tightly tied up with Tiger they are unlikely to cut him loose unless he goes out and kills somebody. In addition, Tiger’s sponsors are heavily male-oriented brands, so Tiger’s new ladies’ man image isn’t likely to hurt him much. Married, middle age women were never the target market when it came to Tiger’s sponsors anyway. Tiger is unlikely to gain any new sponsors, but he is making so much money now he doesn’t need more sponsors.

Keeping his wife is definitely a concern. Tiger could buy a “Kobe Special” (in reference to the $4 million ring Kobe Bryant gave his wife) and refocus and rededicate himself to her. Or Tiger could do an A-Rod and divorce his wife and start hitting the Hollywood scene. (A-Rod has been linked to stars such as Madonna and Kate Hudson.) What will not work well for Tiger and his brand is an uncertain situation and the continued tabloid storylines of ups and downs with his wife. He is better off deciding right now to stay or go right now. Or maybe his wife and her nine-iron will make the decision for him.

Keeping his fans is a big concern. Tiger used to be a universally likeable entity. Things everybody loves? Puppies, apple pie and Tiger.

Today, Tiger has become extremely polarizing. Topics to avoid at your next cocktail party? Religion, politics and Tiger.

Oddly enough, the business of golf stands to benefit from all this hoopla. The next tournament and the next PGA championship Tiger plays in will likely garner very high ratings. Everyone wants to see exactly how Tiger will perform under the extreme pressure.

And just like the Accenture ad says, it is what you do next that counts. If Tiger can win, keep his cool and reconnect with the public everything is likely to be OK. Winning changes everything.

In 2003, Kobe Bryant was charged by a hotel employee with sexual assault. The case when on for over a year when the changes were dropped after the accuser became unwilling to testify. The accuser eventually settled a civil suit with Kobe out of court. With his wife at his side, Kobe admitted in a press conference to an adulterous encounter with the young lady. Sponsors like McDonald’s quickly dumped Kobe and others like Nike and Sprite put him on the back burner.

Today, Kobe is a leading sports and celebrity superstar. He ranks as #3 in the world in athlete earnings with $45 million a year in earnings, a rank he shares with Michael Jordan. Kobe has come out with the fourth edition of his signature sneaker line with Nike the Zoom Kobe IV. And he continues his relationship with Cola-Cola however Kobe has been moved from the Sprite brand to the hipper VitaminWater brand.

What won over his fans and corporate sponsors? The $4 million ring he gave his wife? Forget it. It was his success on the court that turned it around for Kobe. After Shaq left the Lakers in 2004, Kobe became the cornerstone of the team franchise. He led the NBA in scoring in the 2005-06, and the 2006-07 seasons. In 2008 he won a gold medal at the summer Olympics. He won his fourth NBA championship in 2009 as well as the finals MVP award.

Alex Rodriguez was tabloid fodder plagued by steroid rumors, a nasty divorce and poor playoff performances. But all the negatives seemed to be old news after the Yankees finally won a World Series with A-Rod this Fall.

A lot of damage, ill will and misdoings can be corrected by excellence on the playing field. If Tiger takes a championship or two in grand style in 2010, we might look back on all this as a minor blip. An incident that brought depth, grit and humility to Tiger.

If Tiger takes another wrong turn and underperforms on the greens, we might look back at him with the same disbelief and disgust as one views Lindsey Lohan.

It is what you do next that counts Tiger. Go on be a Tiger. Believe it or not, people want you to win.

Sphere: Related Content

The Value of a Name

Over the last few years, I've noticed a transformation from people who know me online.

This transformation was one that I launched, developed and nurtured.

My birth name is Scott Howard. If you Google that name, you'll find doctors, athletes and the Michael J Fox movie TeenWolf. There's between 140,000 and 8 million results that pop up.

If I were to add my middle name, Louis, it narrows the field but there are two ways to spell it.

So about 10 years ago, I decided to rename myself, first as an email address. That name has become a replacement for my birthname in some circles in recent years.

Even my wife has started calling me ScLoHo. And my son is adopting the name JoRyHo as an alternative identity.

Al Ries recently wrote a piece on the importance of a name for AdAge:

If You Don't Think Names Matter, Yours May Be Forgotten

Marketers Obsess Over Everything Else but Overlook One Important Factor

On my first real job (at General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y.) I noticed a consistent advertiser in the electrical publications with an unusual name.

A company selling wire and cable was called "Crapo." Presumably pronounced Cray-po and not Crap-o.

That's terrible, I thought. Oh no, my more experienced colleagues said, one of the first things you need to learn in this business is that names don't matter. What matters is the quality of the product.

That's been a common refrain in my years of marketing work. Whenever I objected to a brand name, I would hear the same thing: Names don't matter.

For example, a recent column about DDB's new Budweiser campaign on drew 26 comments. Mostly negative. Commentators were critical of the music, the superficiality of the idea, the absence of storytelling and the lack of authenticity, among other things.

Nobody bothered to mention the one thing that seems to be driving Budweiser into the ground.

Bud Light.

How can anyone position a brand called "Budweiser" when the entire industry is moving to light beer? Especially when the brand itself has validated the concept by introducing a light version of its regular beer.

Then there's the fact that the Budweiser regular brand has lost volume every year in a row for the last 20 years.

If you're going to re-position the Budweiser brand, you're going to have to figure out how to get Joe Six-Pack to drink regular beer instead of light beer.

But then, names don't matter to most marketing people. What matters to most marketing people is the casting, the story line, the emotional involvement, the big idea.

Names are important. Too many marketing campaigns start off with high hopes and an impossible name. That's like drawing to an inside straight.

Almost every day, a large company jumps into the market with a major product launch and an impossible name. Take Dell's recent announcement that it is developing smartphone products for sale in China and Brazil.

No mention of a new name, of course, and why should anyone expect a new name for the company's smartphone line? Dell didn't use a new name for its television sets, its MP3 players and its online music-downloading store, products and services it apparently no longer sells.

Names don't matter, of course. What matters is how the new product stacks up against competitive products. That's the conventional wisdom.

A number of years ago, I was working on advertising for Babcock & Wilcox, a company that received the first license from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission for a nuclear power plant.

That should have been a sure thing, but the company never built a single nuclear power plant. One problem was the name. While General Electric was promoting its Boiling Water Reactor and Westinghouse was promoting its Pressurized Water Reactor, Babcock & Wilcox was promoting its Spectral Shift Control Reactor.

Spectral Shift Control Reactor? I spent the better part of a day arguing about the name with the engineers involved in the project. "Spectral Shift Control Reactor" is going to frighten electric-utility executives who were already concerned about the dangers of nuclear power. Why can't we give the Babcock & Wilcox design a different name? Nobody wants his spectrals shifted.

It was a lost cause. Once a name gets circulated in internal memos for a couple of months, the name gets set in concrete and is almost impossible to change.

Category names like "spectral shift control reactor" are a particular problem when dealing with people who consider themselves "inventors." Quite often, an inventor wants a complicated category name to demonstrate how important his or her invention is.

The first match was called a "sulphuretted peroxide strikable."

The first lie detector was called a "cardio-pneumo psychograph."

The first computer was called an "electronic numerical integrator and computer."

Have you ever heard of the "Il Giornale" brand? That was a chain of coffee shops started by entrepreneur Howard Schultz in 1985. Two years later, he bought the Starbucks chain from Peet's Coffee & Tea.

Starbucks or Il Giornale? Names don't matter; it's the quality of the coffee, of course.

Fortunately, names did matter to Howard Schultz, who had the good sense to rebrand his Il Giornale outlets as Starbucks, and the rest is history.

Have you heard of the "College of New Jersey?" Probably not, since 113 years ago it changed its name to Princeton University.

College of New Jersey or Princeton University? Names don't matter, of course; it's the quality of the faculty and the students.

For some reason, many educational institutions are locked into the idea that their names have to indicate their geographical locations. (It was a lucky break the College of New Jersey was located in the town of Princeton. It could have been located in Hoboken.)

Thirteen years ago, Trenton State College became the College of New Jersey, a second reincarnation of the name. After spending the money for a name change, you might have thought that Trenton State would have picked a more euphonious name.

Then there's SUNY, the State University of New York, with 64 campuses and more than 400,000 students. The largest university in the SUNY system is the State University of New York at Buffalo. As The New York Times reported, "even its national reputation, buzz and research dollars put it nowhere near the ranks of the University of California, Berkeley."

Buffalo or Berkeley? Names don't matter of course; it's the quality of the faculty and the students.

To have any power at all, a name must be linked to a positive idea in the prospect's mind. Just because a name is well known doesn't mean that it has any marketing value.

One place where names really matter is Hollywood. Many movie stars have replaced their birth names with more euphonious names. Alphonso D'Abruzzo became Alan Alda. Tomas Mapother IV became Tom Cruise. Bernard Schwartz became Tony Curtis. Doris von Kappelhoff became Doris Day. Issur Danielovitch became Kirk Douglas. And the list goes on.

Over the past few decades, there has been a strong trend from analog to digital. This is the trend that has created a number of incredibly successful high-tech brands: Microsoft, Nokia, Google, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Apple, Oracle, SAP, Dell, Nintendo, Amazon, eBay, BlackBerry and Adobe.

Together these 15 brands are worth, according to Interbrand, $284.5 billion.

But missing from Interbrand's list of the "100 best global brands" is Kodak, the inventor of the digital camera.

It was 23 years ago that Kodak introduced the DC4800, the world's first digital camera. Now do you suppose that anyone at Kodak bothered to ask, "Why are we using a film-photography name on a digital-photography camera?"

Probably not. Logical left-brain thinkers might assume that the move into the digital world would have enhanced the value of the Kodak brand. That's usually the excuse for hanging onto an obsolete name.

As one Kodak executive said recently, "It's probably one of the most iconic companies in the world ... to be able to work with a brand name like Kodak is a dream come true."

The numbers tell a different story. In the eight years before the turn of the millennium, Kodak had sales of $119.7 billion, net profits of $7.9 billion and a net profit margin of 6.6%.

But in the eight years since the turn of the millennium, Kodak had sales of $100.2 billion and net profits ... well, they didn't make any money. They actually lost $5 million.

I've been on the losing side of "name" arguments with companies such as IBM, Xerox, Western Union, Eastern Airlines, Miller Brewing, Coors, General Electric, Tambrands, Continental Airlines, Scott Kay, Motorola and others.

But, of course, names don't matter. It's the quality of the product that counts.

Al Ries is chairman of Ries & Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing strategy firm he runs with his daughter and partner Laura.

Sphere: Related Content

Voicemail Tips


Do's and Don'ts of Voice Mail Messaging

by Trish Bertuzzi

Whether we like it or not, voice mail has become the first step in the sales process. There is quite a bit of debate surrounding whether to leave voice mail messages or to just keep dialing in the hope that the prospect will answer. We vote for leaving voice messages. Why miss an opportunity to create an impression?
On average, only 5% of the voice mail messages you leave will result in a return call. Depressed about that? Well, don't be. Your voice mail message can and does serve more than one purpose. Of course it is fantastic when a prospect returns your call but even if they don't, you still have laid the groundwork for effective communication of your value proposition.

When leaving a voice mail message, don't:
Refer to your company as the industry leader
Spew your company history or name drop more than 2 relevant customers
Reference the fact that they recently attended a trade show or downloaded a white paper
Ask for a commitment of their time before you have established credibility
Leave your email or web address in your voice mail message

In your voice mail messages, do:
Be concise; outline what you want to say before you make the call
Limit yourself to 90 words or less - it will force you to focus on the message and not the fluff
Provide a compelling reason for them to call you back
Use vocal variety, people will hear the passion in your voice much more than they will hear the actual words
Ask them to call you back "today" to convey a sense of urgency

If you view each voice mail message as a mini commercial and invest some time in developing these sound bites, when you do get in touch with your prospect, they will have a basic understanding of your value proposition and you will be that much more ahead of the curve.

Trish Bertuzzi founded The Bridge Group with a mission to help technology companies build highly successful inside sales teams. Since founding The Bridge Group in 1998, Trish has helped over 130 technology clients build, evolve, and validate their inside sales strategies. Trish writes about Inside Sales metrics, tips and trends at the Inside Sales Experts blog.

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

I've got 7 more updates planned for Saturday & Sunday...

Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The campaign's TV component, "Pursuits," includes two 30-second spots, one showcasing individuals, the other small business owners, in pursuit of their personal or financial goals. The vignette-style commercials feature situations where the main characters make critical decisions in their lives with The Hartford supporting them. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
McDonald's is taking consumers to the planet of Pandora via advertising, in-store displays and an extensive digital component in advance of the film's release later this month. "We are all about relevance and innovation for our customers," CMO Mary Dillon said. "Social media and gaming is hot right now, and you can expect more from us in this area in the future." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"It's a washing machine now. There's tremendous turmoil with an interim CEO [Whitacre] who wants results and he is gong to put people in he thinks will bring them," says Edmunds' Michelle Krebs. "Certainly Dewar was close with Fritz Henderson, and I'm sure he was in competition with Docherty for the top marketing job. I think if you ask any of the top executives and managers at GM right now they know nobody's job is safe." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
"While it's theoretically possible that those people who are buying organics -- who are definitely an upscale demographic -- are buying more of these products, we see organics as a whole selling poorly in our analyses for specific food, drug and mass retailers," says TABS Group's Kurt Jetta. "Retailers are stocking these products, but by and large, they're not selling through to the consumer." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
The owner of Happy perfume has named Dec. 11 Happy Day in order to generate awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the national youth mentoring organization. Clinique asked participants in the program to create six designs evoking happy holidays. The greeting cards will be given away free all day at Clinique counters, along with Happy-To-Go Fragrance Pencils. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"Mercedes-Benz has steadily improved its customer retention rates during the past five years, and in 2009, has achieved the highest rate ever attained by a manufacturer since the inception of the study," said J.D. Power's Raffi Festekjian. "In particular, customers cite the resale value and appearance and styling of Mercedes-Benz models as primary reasons to remain loyal to the brand." ... Read the whole story > >
Honda Back At The Rose Bowl

Sphere: Related Content

Lessons from Mr. Apple

from Drew's blog a week ago:

Present like Steve Jobs (Carmine Gallo)

Posted: 04 Dec 2009 03:48 AM PST

Stevejobs Drew's Note: As I try to do on many a Friday, I'm pleased to bring you a guest post. Meet a thought leader who shares his insights every day. So without further ado...Carmine Gallo.

Again, enjoy!

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is considered one of the greatest marketers in corporate history. For more than three decades, he has delivered legendary keynote presentations, raised product launches to an art form and successfully communicated the benefits of Apple products to millions of customers. Whether you're in sales, marketing, advertising or public relations, Steve Jobs has something to teach you about telling your brand story.

Plan in analog. Steve Jobs may have made a name for himself in the digital world, but he prepares presentations in the old world of pen and paper. He brainstorms, sketches and draws on whiteboards. Before a new iPhone, iPod or MacBook is introduced, the Apple team decides on the exact messages (aka, benefits) to communicate.

Those messages are consistent across all marketing platforms: presentations, Web sites, advertisements, press releases, and even the banners than are unfurled after Jobs' keynote.

Create Twitter-friendly headlines. Can you describe your product or service in 140 characters? Steve Jobs offers a headline, or description, for every product. Each headline can easily fit in a Twitter post.

For example, when he introduced the MacBook Air in January, 2008, he said that it is simply, "The world's thinnest notebook." You could visit the Apple Web site for more information, but if that's all you knew, it would tell you a lot. If your product description cannot fit in a Twitter post, keep refining.

Introduce the antagonist. In every classic story, the hero fights the villain. The same holds true for a Steve Jobs presentation. In 1984, the villain was IBM, "Big Blue." Before he introduced the famous 1984 ad to a group of Apple salespeople, he created a dramatic story around it. "IBM wants it all," he said. Apple would be the only company to stand in its way. It was very dramatic and the crowd went nuts.

Branding expert, Martin Lindstrom, has said that great brands and religions have something in common: the idea of vanquishing a shared enemy. Creating a villain allows the audience to rally around the hero -- you, your ideas and your product.

Stick to the rule of three. The human brain can only absorb three or four "chunks" of information at any one time. Neuroscientists are finding that if you give your listeners too many pieces of information to retain, they won't remember a thing. It's uncanny, but every Steve Jobs presentation is divided into three parts.

On September 9, 2009, when Jobs returned to the world stage after a medical leave of absence, he told the audience that he had three things to discuss: iPhone, iTunes and iPods. Jobs even has fun with the rule of three. In January, 2007, he told the audience he had "three revolutionary" products to introduce -- an iPod, a phone and an Internet communicator. After repeating the list several times he said, "Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. They are one device and we are calling it iPhone!"

Strive for simplicity. Apple chief design architect, Jonathan Ive, said Apple's products are easy to use because of the elimination of clutter. The same philosophy applies to Apple's marketing and sales material.

For example, there are forty words on the average PowerPoint slide. It's difficult to find ten words in one dozen Apple slides. Most of Steve Jobs' slides are visuals -- photographs or images. When are there words, they are astonishingly sparse. For example, in January, 2008, Jobs was delivering his Macworld keynote and began the presentation by thanking his customers for making 2007 a successful year for Apple. The slide behind Jobs simply read "Thank you." Steve Jobs tells the Apple story. The slides compliment the story.

Reveal a "Holy Smokes" moment. People will forget what you said, what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. There's always one moment in a Steve Jobs presentation that is the water cooler moment, the one part of the presentation that everyone will be talking about. These show stoppers are completely scripted ahead of time.

For example, when Jobs unveiled the MacBook Air, what do people remember? They recall that he removed the computer from an inter-office envelope. It's the one moment from Macworld 2008 that everyone who watched it -- and those who read about -- seem to recall. The image of a computer sliding in an envelope was immediately unveiled in Apple ads and on the Apple website. The water cooler moment had run according to plan.

Sell dreams, not products. Great leaders cultivate a sense of mission among their employees and customers. Steve Jobs' mission is to change the world, to put a "dent in the universe." According to Jobs, "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to do great work is to love what you do."

True evangelists are driven by a messianic zeal to create new experiences. When he launched the iPod in 2001, Jobs said, "In our own small way we're going to make the world a better place." Where most people see the iPod as a music player, Jobs sees it as tool to enrich people's lives. It's important to have great products, of course, but passion, enthusiasm and emotion will set you apart.

Carmine Gallo is the author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience, (click here to buy the book) is a presentation, media-training, and communication-skills coach for the world's most admired brands. He is an author and columnist for and and a keynote speaker and seminar leader who has appeared on CNBC, NBC, CBS,, BNET, RedBook,, and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily, as well as many other media outlets.

Every Friday is "grab the mic" day. Want to grab the mic and be a guest blogger on Drew's Marketing Minute? Shoot me an e-mail.

Sphere: Related Content

Twitter Moms

Lessons to learn about how you should tweet:

I Love Twitter.
You Should, Too
As the mother of four, I use Twitter much in the same way I used to use Google or Yahoo. When I need a recipe for a quick kid-friendly snack, I tweet. Looking for a great gift idea? I tweet. Once I even tweeted my search for canned pumpkin and found it, thanks to Twitter.

For many moms, Twitter has become a search engine on steroids because of its ability to return recommendations from a peer group you trust and who knows your preferences, lifestyle and life stage. This personalized delivery of relevant content is a dream come true for both consumers and companies trying to connect with them.

Unfortunately, companies have entered the Twittersphere haphazardly and without any real thought to how best utilize this powerful marketing channel. It's not enough to just set up a Twitter account and tweet out the promotion of the week or newest press release. In fact, there's been much tweeting about this lately among moms on Twitter.

"Why do companies flood my Twitter account with garbage I can't use?," tweeted one mom last week. Another tweeted, "I spent 4 hours blocking companies who send me only marketing messages." A marketer can do a very effective job in connecting with moms in 140 characters or less as long as they follow a couple of key strategies.

So to support these points, I did what I do most when I want to gain the prospective of moms, I tweeted this question out to my 13,000 followers: "What would you tell marketers about using Twitter when marketing to moms?"

1)It's called social media because it's social. For a woman, this means speaking back. Moms will quit following you if the dialogue is not a two-way conversation. @Gomominc tweeted: "Companies shouldn't ask your opinion and then just go off ..."

2)Twitter shouldn't be a platform to only broadcast promotions and sales. @ameladramaticmommy tweeted: "Be a person first and a company second. I would follow more companies if they tweeted out something interesting about them first." If you want to see how a company representative can support a brand and allow their personality to shine through, follow @comcastcares or @babycenterPR.

3)Take part in Twitter events. If you are surprised that there are "events" on Twitter, you probably aren't using Twitter to its greatest potential. There are lots of events in this virtual space ranging from #FF (Follow Friday) and Twitter Parties. @Resourcefulmom created the former which have proven successful in gathering thousands of moms. Just last week BSM Media and @Resourceful hosted a Twitter Party for Zhu Zhu Pets. The event attracted over 1,000 moms and generated almost 9,000 tweets with the hash tag #ZhuZhuPets.

4)Don't wait for moms to find you. Timing is important in delivering relevant content. Pick a few key words that fit your brand and search for twitter conversations on, In maintaining a Twitter account for one of my toy clients, we search daily for tweets that contain the word, "birthday," "gift" and "toy." Often we will find tweets that say "Need a birthday gift idea for 5 yr old boy," to which we reply, "Have you seen the new (insert appropriate toy) which is on sale at (insert retailer)" Relevant content delivered when a mom needs it.

5)Fear not! The conversation will happen with or without you, so you might as well join in. Many companies tell me they fear setting up a Twitter account. "What if moms have something negative to say and say it to me on Twitter?" Well, guess what? They are going to say it whether you are there or not, but at least if you are Twitter, you have the chance to engage in the conversation. Think back to the '80s before social media existed and moms used to talk about products on the physical playground. Marketers were often blindsided by guerilla consumer chatter and only had the opportunity to react after it had reached the masses. With Twitter, if you see a mom complain about your product, you have 140 strokes of the keyboard to rectify the situation almost immediately. Customer service at its best.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter. I'm @momtalkradio. You can DM me or List me and if you don't know what I'm describing, it's time to learn. Today's moms are doing more than just talking about brands, they are tweeting them, too.

Maria Bailey is CEO of BSM Media, and author of "Marketing to Moms," "Trillion Dollar Moms" and "Mom 3.0: Marketing With Today's Mothers." She is also Host of MomTalkRadio, www.momtalkradio, co-Founder of, and For more than a decade, Maria and BSM Media have connected brands around the globe with the mom market. Contact her at or follower her on Twitter @momtalkradio. Follow her on Twitter @ MariaBailey or reach her here.

Sphere: Related Content

The Next Step

I work with a lot of advertising agencies that are looking for proposals for their clients. Usually all they want is an email and then they plug in the numbers and away we go!

Other times we don't go anywhere. Here are some tips from on how to follow up:

Getting Past the Emailed Quote
by Joe Guertin

"My customers are busy and can't take time to meet face-to-face. They want prices e-mailed. But then nothing happens. What can I do?"

This is a chronic problem. Busy buyers just want quotes, and then make their decisions on their own criteria.

I don't like e-mailed quotes. Unless it's going to a current customer with whom you have an on-going relationship, e-mailed quotes take the selling out of sales. But, in those cases where you absolutely have no choice, add these two steps and you'll see a better closing ratio.

1. Call Ahead. "I'm about to send that quote and just wanted to confirm one thing." Ask a question about one of the specifications or their timetable. Thank them again for the opportunity. Tell them you'll "follow up shortly," and let 'er rip.

2. Follow Up. Did they say it'll take a week or two to get an answer? Did they say they'd let you know? Did I say stop there? Especially if this is a new customer, follow up! The key is to have a specific reason for following up. You don't want to sound like a lap dog who says, "didja getit...didja getit...didja getit?" (Of course, they got it.)

Instead, make a strategic call that includes these elements:

"I know it'll be a week before you make a decision" (set aside that debate) "but I just wanted to make sure we've got everything covered." This could elicit responses from "I haven't looked yet" to "looks good."

Now, reconfirm their next step and thank them for the opportunity. Be sure to fire out a brief thank you letter, too.

Remember, personal visits should be proportionate to dollar amounts. Larger, more detailed quotations have "I need face time" written all over them!!

Joe Guertin is an advertising sales trainer, speaker and coach. His programs have informed and entertained sales professionals nationwide. Visit his Sales Resource Center at

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

I may have a new (old) place to go for brunch Sunday...

by Sarah Mahoney
Called "Don't tell us it can't be done!," the bootmakers' global campaign and online petition asks for "fair and binding climate legislation," with a limit to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to in-store advertising, it's also using Twitter and Facebook to get the word out, and says it plans to keep the effort going after the conference ends -- no matter what the results. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
For Calvin Klein, out-of-home has been central to advertising for years, as anyone who has been on New York's Houston Street in the past decade knows. But Michael Delellis, VP advertising for CK Americas, said the company goes for big ads in low-competition spaces. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
The new spokesperson deal with Shay Sorrells commences officially in 2010, but the ample opportunities for in-show integration and marketing around the popular series are already being tapped. Promotion elements will include in-show and online integration throughout 2010's Season 9. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
According to a Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA) survey conducted by BIGresearch, word of mouth is the biggest influence when it comes to consumer electronics purchases: nearly 44% of consumers over 18 rely on world of mouth to help make their buying decisions. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Those on the panel also generally agreed that next year will see a return to a greater or lesser degree of the automotive sector; as well as a stronger presence of entertainment industry ads. Jason Kiefer, EVP at Posterscope USA, predicted pharma, financial and telecommunications will be big out-of-home advertisers in coming months. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
"[Mortgage companies] should look at the best practices of some of the more sophisticated credit card companies," says Auriemma Consulting Group's Nancy Stahl. "Credit card companies have a lot more experience in collections [as they are unsecured loans] than mortgage companies, which have historically been the most important to pay." ... Read the whole story > >
Yahoo Encourages Random Acts Of Kindness

Sphere: Related Content