Saturday, January 09, 2010

Baby Butt Covers


Fascinating story from BNET.com:

How P&G Brought the Diaper Revolution to China

by Mya Frazier

When Procter & Gamble set out to sell Pampers in China more than a decade ago, it faced a daunting marketing challenge: P&G didn’t just have to persuade parents that its diapers were the best. It had to persuade many of them that they needed diapers at all. The disposable diaper — a throwaway commodity in the West — just wasn’t part of the cultural norm in the Chinese nursery. Babies wore cloth diapers, or in many cases, no diaper at all. And that, says Bruce Brown, who’s in charge of P&G’s $2 billion R&D budget, is why China presented — and still presents — such a huge opportunity.

Today, after years of exhaustive research and plenty of missteps, Pampers is the No. 1-selling diaper in China and the company, in many ways, is just getting started there. The diaper market in China is booming. It stands at $1.4 billion — roughly a quarter the size of the U.S. market — and is projected to grow 40 percent over the next few years, according to research firm Datamonitor.

P&G’s success in China has helped CEO Bob McDonald set some bold goals. Last October, he laid out a plan to add one billion customers over the next five years by promoting P&G brands throughout some of the poorest corners of the world. How will P&G go about doing that? To get a sense, just look at the way it cracked — and to a large degree created — the market for disposable diapers in China.

Learning From Failure

When P&G first launched Pampers in China in 1998, the effort flopped. Instead of developing a unique product for the market, P&G made a lower-quality version of U.S. and European diapers, wrongly assuming that parents would buy them if they were cheap enough. “It just didn’t work,” Brown says.

A child wearing Chinese diapers, or split pants called kaidangku

Chinese split-pants, or kaidangku. Photo by The Wu's Photo Land on Flickr

It didn’t help that Chinese families had always gotten along just fine without disposable diapers. There, potty training often begins as early as six months, and children wear what’s called kaidangku — colorful open-crotch pants that let them squat and relieve themselves in open areas.

Pampers’ pitch wasn’t compelling people to try something new — and neither was the product itself. “We scrimped on the softness in the earlier versions,” says Kelly Anchrum, director of global baby care, external relations, and sustainability. “It had a more plasticky feel. It took us awhile to figure out that softness was just as important to moms in a developing market.”

P&G had tried a similarly watered-down approach earlier in the decade, when it launched laundry and hair-care brands in several emerging markets. Those products also failed, Brown says. After these experiences, the company in 2001 came up with a new approach to product development: “Delight, don’t dilute.” In other words, the diaper needed to be cheap, but it also had to do what other cheap diapers didn’t — keep a baby dry for 10 hours and be as comfortable as cloth.

So P&G added softness, dialed down the plastic feel, and increased the absorption capability of the diaper. To bring down the cost, the company developed more efficient technology platforms and moved manufacturing operations to China to eliminate shipping costs.

The revamped diaper, Pampers Cloth Like & Dry, hit retail shelves in China’s largest cities in 2006, selling for the equivalent of 10 cents in local currency, less than half the cost of a Pampers diaper in the United States.

The Universal Pitch

P&G had the right diaper and the right price point. Now it faced the bigger challenge. “You have to convince someone that they need this thing,” says Ali Dibadj, an analyst who covers P&G at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

For Frances Roberts, global brand franchise leader for Pampers, every trip to China was (and still is) an opportunity to learn more about Chinese nursery habits. It’s part of the P&G ethos that brand leaders visit consumers in their own homes — something Roberts has done in dozens of countries, including Germany, Russia, and Jakarta. The goal is to uncover the nuances of each market, and early on in its diaper research P&G discovered a universal need. “Moms say the same things over and over,” Roberts says. Their cry: We want more sleep.

With the help of the Beijing Children’s Hospital’s Sleep Research Center, P&G researchers conducted two exhaustive studies between 2005 and 2006, involving 6,800 home visits, and more than 1,000 babies throughout eight cities in China. Instead of cloth, the research subjects were tucked into bed with Pampers. The results: P&G reported that the babies who wore the disposables fell asleep 30 percent faster and slept an extra 30 minutes every night. The study even linked the extra sleep to improved cognitive development, a compelling point in a society obsessed with academic achievement.

P&G then put its marketing machine into motion. Pampers launched the “Golden Sleep” campaign in 2007, which included mass carnivals and in-store campaigns in China’s biggest urban areas. A viral campaign on the Pampers Chinese web site asked parents to upload photos of their sleeping babies to drive home the study’s sleep message. The response was impressive: 200,000 photos, which P&G used to create a 660-square-meter photomontage at a retail store in Shanghai. The ad campaign boasted “scientific” results, such as “Baby Sleeps with 50% Less Disruption” and “Baby Falls Asleep 30% Faster.”

No diaper brand, not even rival Kimberly-Clark, maker of Huggies, has come close to spending as much on advertising in China, according to CTR Market Research, the China-based division of American media researcher TNS Media Intelligence. Since 2006, Pampers’ measured media spend topped 3.2 billion yuan, or about $476 million — more than three times as much as any other brand. In 2009 alone, P&G spent $69 million, compared to Kimberly-Clark’s $12 million spend for Huggies.

Ruling the Nursery — in China and Around the World

Today, Pampers is the top-selling brand in China, a country where about a decade ago the disposable diaper category hardly existed. P&G does not release sales figures for specific countries, but Datamonitor estimates that the company has captured more than 30 percent of the $1.4 billion market.

Karl Gerth, an Oxford professor who researches the spread of consumerism in China, says P&G’s marketing campaigns strike the right tone. “You don’t want to come off as paternalistic,” says Gerth, who wrote the book “China Made: Consumer Culture and the Creation of the Nation.” “The idea that Pampers brings a scientific backing and gives children an edge in their environment — that’s a brilliant way to stand out from the competition.”

You could argue that it’s easy being No. 1 when the market is still small. But P&G still has a lot of work to do. The company faces challenges from private-label and domestic brands, including the No. 2 market leader, Hengan International Group, which has steadily grown its market share to 20 percent. Local brands, meantime, are catching up with better products, marketing, and distribution. “Chinese consumers are going to want to root for the home team,” Gerth says.

And there’s still the challenge of making disposables a habit. On average, diaper use still amounts to less than one a day. “We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface [in China],” Dimitri Panayotopoulos, vice chairman of global household care, told investors in a 2008 analyst meeting.

There’s even bigger potential in India, where the birth rate is almost double that of China but the diaper market remains tiny at about $43.4 million. (Pampers is the top-selling brand there, too.) So now, P&G plans to take the sleep argument throughout rural and poor areas in India and elsewhere. The company also makes its case by positioning itself as a baby-care educator. Pampers sponsors healthcare-outreach programs such as a rural immunization program in China and mobile medical-care vans in Pakistan and Morocco. In India, there’s a door-to-door program that offers baby-care tips and diaper samples for moms.

Of course, P&G tweaks the sales pitch to fit different markets; that’s what the company is known for. In India, for instance, the convenience of disposable diapers doesn’t resonate with parents. The company’s consumer research found that many Indian mothers think that only lazy moms put their babies in disposable diapers that last a full night. As Pampers brand manager Vidya Ramachandran reported in an internal video shown to employees, “We really had to change that mindset and educate [mothers] that using a diaper is not about convenience for you — it’s about your baby’s development.”

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Loyalty in the Grocery Biz


Are you one of their MVP's?


Study Confirms Importance of the Most Loyal Grocery Shoppers An analysis of over 2 million grocery shoppers by Lisle, Ill.-based marketing firm Concept Shopping, Inc. found that the top 10 percent of a store's customers visit over twice a week, spend over $39 per visit and represent almost 40 percent of the store's total sales.

The study additionally discovered that these most valuable shoppers tend to be extremely loyal to the retailer, with 95 percent continuing to shop there year-round. By contrast, just 34 percent of the store's worst shoppers -- those who visit the store less than once a month and spend only $9 per visit -- stay customers.

"Shopper churn is a fact of life for every marketer," said Concept Marketing VP of sales and marketing William Young. "Shopper loyalty continuously ebbs and flows through retail banners and store types, but sorting shoppers by their value helps identify which ones should be courted and which ones can be ignored."

Research carried out by Concept Marketing showed that only 11 percent of the dollars spent by the best shoppers were on markdowns, making these heaviest shoppers the most profitable, too, while more than 35 percent of the worst shoppers' dollars went toward sales items, making them unprofitable assuming a 33 percent profit margin.

In terms of shopper retention rates, one retailer kept 70 percent of its customers overall, while 30 percent defected to other retailers. Of the defectors, only 5 percent were from the highest-spending group.

"Retailers should spend the lion's share of their time, effort and promotional dollars on their top-spending, loyal customers," noted Young. "Moreover, other studies have shown that it costs about five times as much to win a new customer as to keep a current one."

(Source: Progressive Grocer, 12/17/09)

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Follow up with Email


I'm using some of these tips from SalesMarks.com:




You’ve presented your case to the prospect and the offer is on the table. Now comes the hard part—the tough negotiations that will largely determine whether you get the order.

You can greatly improve your odds of completing the deal by employing an art often neglected by sales pros: writing. Before and after every phone call or in-person meeting during the negotiating process, hit the keyboard and send a brief, informative e-mail that clarifies and advances the discussion.

E-mail is, of course, no substitute for face-to-face interaction at this or any stage of the sales process, as it doesn’t help you gauge the critical nuances of verbal inflection and body language.

But a series of smartly written messages during negotiations can serve as markers for what’s been agreed to and what’s still on the table. More important, it can solidify your bargaining position in a number of subtle yet effective ways.

Here are a few tips on how to use e-mail to your advantage during negotiations:

  • Stay on topic. Don’t rehash your entire pitch at every stage of negotiations—the prospect doesn’t have time for this. Start the message with a focused point, and back it up with one or two specific supporting points (e.g., “We can offer an additional 10% discount for a commitment of 300 units per month. This would result in a savings of $9,000 per month and give you access to 24-hour on-site service…”).
  • Keep it moving. Avoid giving the prospect an opportunity to shut down the conversation. Ask open-ended questions designed to draw out a meaningful response, not a simple yes or no (e.g., “Based on the widget needs you’ve outlined in our discussions, how does this latest proposal fit in with your expectations?).
  • Stay calm. If negotiations start to get heated, don’t use e-mail as the medium in which to vent your frustrations. Remember that once you’ve hit Send, anything you’ve written can and will be used against you. Because e-mail is a “flat” medium in which the recipient often has no idea whether you’re joking or fuming, you’re better off sticking to a positive message (e.g., “I can appreciate your concern about pricing. With XYZ widgets, you’ll be getting a durable product that actually reduces overall operating costs…”).
  • Stick to the benefits. You can disarm the other party by always presenting your case in the context of the prospect’s needs. It’s not about what you’re offering—it’s about the prospect and the benefits he or she can achieve. This is particularly effective when you bring out the core emotional benefit (e.g., “We can certainly look at extending the added value program if you’re willing to upgrade to our highly efficient D5000 model. With the D5000 you’ll be working smarter and spending less time at the office—freeing up time for that big family vacation you said you’d like to take.”).
  • Be flexible. If you’ve hit a dead end in your discussions, use your e-mail messages to bring up alternative solutions that better fit the prospect’s needs (e.g., “I understand that the new model is beyond your budget range. If we went with the certified, refurbished model at $2,000 per unit, how might that affect your pricing concerns?”).

When you communicate your negotiating position clearly in writing, you establish the framework of the discussion, and you set the stage for more productive phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Each e-mail message should serve as a guiding document on the way towards a successful deal.

Ralph Allora is the principal owner of Allora Communications, a consultancy specializing in marketing communication strategy, promotions, and creative services for clients in the media and service industries. He is the author of Winning Sales Letters From Prospect to Close, published in 2009 by McGraw-Hill. For more information, visit Ralph's website.

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Mr. Godin & Mr. Marx


When I first reading this, my head was nodding.

By the way, if you don't know who Groucho was, go here.

What every mass marketer needs to learn from Groucho Marx

Perhaps the most plaintive complaint I hear from organizations goes something like this, "We worked really hard to get very good at xyz. We're well regarded, we're talented and now, all the market cares about is price. How can we get large groups of people to value our craft and buy from us again?"

Apparently, the bulk of your market no longer wants to buy your top of the line furniture, lawn care services, accounting services, tailoring services, consulting... all they want is the cheapest. The masses don't want a better PC laptop. They just want the one with the right specs at the right price. It's not because people are selfish (though they are) or shortsighted (though they are). It's because in this market, right now, they're not listening. They've been seduced into believing that all options are the same, and they're only seeing price. In terms of educating the masses to differentiate yourself, the market is broken.

Fixing this is almost always a losing battle. Just because you're good at something doesn't mean the market cares any longer.

The Marx Brothers were great at vaudeville. Live comedy in a theatre. And then the market for vaudeville was killed by the movies. Groucho didn't complain about this or argue that people should respect the hard work he and his brothers had put in. No, they went into the movies.

Then the market for movies like the Marx Brothers were making dried up. Groucho didn't start trying to fix the market. Instead, he saw a new medium and went there. His TV work was among his best (and certainly most lucrative).

It's extremely difficult to repair the market.

It's a lot easier to find a market that will respect and pay for the work you can do. Technology companies have been running this race for years. Now, all of us must.

If Wal-Mart or some cultural shift has turned what you do into a commodity, don't argue. Find a new place before the competition does. It's not easy or fair, but it's true. You bet your life.

[Please note that nothing I wrote above applies to niche businesses. In fact, exactly the opposite does. You can make a good living selling bespoke PC laptops or doing vaudeville today, even though the mass of the market couldn't care a bit. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know...]

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Retail Recap


For 2009:

Year Finishes on a High Note for Some Retailers

E-Commerce, Electronics, Jewelry Fared Well in December

U.S. retailers largely experienced a strong finish to the 2009 holiday season even though sales fell at apparel chains and department stores in December, according to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse.

Online retailers, jewelers and consumer electronics retailers all saw sales gains last month, SpendingPulse said on Wednesday.

The findings back up Wall Street's view that retailers were able to sell more merchandise without resorting to drastic discounts as many had to in late 2008 during the global financial crisis.

"In general what we had was a pretty decent holiday season; I think you saw sort of a cautious return to spending. It wasn't an amazing holiday season," said Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research at SpendingPulse.

The weakness in 2008, when holiday season sales fell for the first time on record, made year-over-year comparisons look better. Compared with December 2007, sales in December 2009 in most sectors SpendingPulse tracks likely fell about 2 percent to 3 percent, with online showing the only rise, Rao said.

SpendingPulse findings reflect activity the group tracks in the MasterCard payments networks as well as estimates for other payment forms such as cash and checks.

Investors will get a closer look at spending today when many top retailers report their December sales at stores open at least a year.

Analysts expect a 2 percent increase in December same-store sales at 30 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters Data. The International Council of Shopping Centers said on Tuesday it expects December same-store sales to rise about 2.5 percent, up from its earlier forecast for a 2 percent rise.

Online shines
SpendingPulse previously said retail sales rose 3.6 percent from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24. While Rao did not update that figure to include the final days of December, he suggested that early signs of a recovery in the retail sector emerged in late 2009.

"We entered into either a period of sort of modest or moderate growth, maybe a tentative recovery," Rao said.

Online sales rose 17.7 percent in December and were likely aided by bad weather in the week before Christmas, which led some shoppers to buy from home, SpendingPulse said.

Electronics sales rose 7.3 percent and were up for the fourth consecutive month, but were down about 4 percent from December 2007.

Rao said electronics were "surprisingly strong," which may say "something about the appetite for discretionary spending."

Jewelry sales rose 6.9 percent, and were also up for the fourth month in a row. Within jewelry, mid-tier mall-based chains suffered, while lower and higher-end retailers remained strong, according to SpendingPulse. Excluding jewelry, luxury sales rose 5.5 percent.

Sales at specialty apparel retailers fell 1.8 percent, after dropping 5.7 percent in November, and 8.9 percent in December 2008. Specialty apparel sales were down almost 11 percent from December 2007, Rao said.

Sales at department stores fell 2.3 percent from a year earlier.

(Source: Reuters, 01/06/10)

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Moms in 2010


I'm almost done with my posting about what's coming in 2010. But first, read this from Mediapost:

New Year, New Trends
With every New Year come waves of change. We make resolutions to do things differently, whether it's changing our eating habits or the manner in which we manage our money. For marketers, January presents the opportunity to evaluate the goals of the year past, test new initiatives in the coming year and re-evaluate insights of their target market. When it comes to mothers, I've tracked consumer behaviors that the team at BSM Media feels will lead to the "Mom Marketing Trends of 2010."

Marketing to Moms becomes Marketing WITH Moms: Resolve in 2010 to market "WITH" rather than "to" moms. Gone are the days when brands can push out marketing messages to moms and expect that they will regurgitate it to their peers. Social media have given rise to a new generation of mothers who customize and personalize everything from coffee to your product information. These empowered women want to share in spreading the word about your products; however, they want to be partners in this relationship.

Video Puts a Face to Bloggers and Mom Mavens: Skype, VID and Vlogging have opened the door to a whole new dimension to the relationships mom bloggers and podcasters have developed with other mothers many miles away. With webcams and Flips in hand, moms can now communicate face-to-face with other friends, family members and companies. For marketers this means that it's time to come out from behind your brand and put a face to your product. You can do this by engaging moms to be online "spokesmoms" or by uploading product videos to mom video portals such as Newbaby.com or Facebook fan pages. More ambitious companies such as Logitech have found success in hosting shows on MomTV.com and doing product placement in mom produced shows as well.

The Mom Frugalista is the New Chic of 2010: During 2009, the economy forced moms to explore coupons and discounts like never before. In fact, 60% of moms who claim to have never used coupons prior to the down economy admitted to now using them while compiling their grocery list. Saving money has become chic and cool among moms, even those with disposable income. It's a game and, in some circles of moms, a badge of honor. Stockpiling, insert previews and blog posts highlighting sales will continue to be a growing trend. Companies launching new products or attempting to increase sales will have to entice moms to try their products with coupons, samples and special offers. Moms have felt the excitement of saving money at the grocery store and few intend to give it up regardless of the economy.

Taking Online Mom Mavens Offline: Moms have enjoyed making friends online, in what I call the virtual playground, for several years; however, they are now looking to bring these friendships to life in the physical world as well. This means great new opportunities for marketers because, as these online influencers expand offline, their networks and influence will expand as well.

A recent example of this were the 300 Mommy Parties BSM Media orchestrated for Zhu Zhu Pets. Moms across the U.S. invited moms and kids into their home to play with Zhu Zhu hamsters making it the No. 1 toy of this holiday season. Attendance of mom bloggers has also spiked at local Mom Mixers. Companies can capitalize on mom's desire to interact face-to-face with other moms while creating a platform for them to experience products and brands in an intimate and fun manner by sponsoring Mommy parties, Mom Mixers and local meet-ups.

It's a new year and, as a marketer, it's up to you to stay up with the times. Push aside your old CPM models and online impressions benchmarks and explore what can happen when you engage moms as your marketing partner.

Maria Bailey is CEO of BSM Media, www.bsmmedia.com 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 Newbaby.com, MomTv.com and BlueSuitMom.com. For more than a decade, Maria and BSM Media have connected brands around the globe with the mom market. Contact her at Maria@bsmmedia.com or follower her on Twitter @momtalkradio. Follow her on Twitter @ MariaBailey or reach her here.

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Reality Check


Time for some soul searching?

Weaknesses? Me? Can't Think of Any

Those of you who believe they are without weaknesses can stop reading now, because there's little hope for you to be anything more than average. Other than you, the last person who was sure that you were perfect was your NaNa. I know that neither you nor I are without weaknesses and so does every prospective boss. Down deep, maybe not so deep, you know it, too. So never tell an interviewer you are weakness-free!

Many years ago, as a rookie sales manager and blessed with as good a mentor as could be found, I learned the following with respect to evaluating sales candidates: "If a person is uncomfortable telling you his weaknesses," Charlie said, "it's because he is really unsure about his strengths." Hundreds of interviews later have proved Charlie right as rain. The candidate insecure about his strengths likely has good reasons, so a sensible executive takes his word for it, and says, "Thanks for coming in, we'll get back to you."

Conversely, the candidate who might say, "I am disastrously disorganized and always have thirty balls I'm juggling at once, so, how good are the assistants here?", is halfway home to an offer, at least from me. If that concludes his weakness list, he's already set the credibility table for the next conversation which will be about his strengths.

A serious business person, who rationally identifies his weaknesses, will also take the trouble to protect himself and all with whom he deals from the potential effects of them. So for example, Jeanne, the latest in a series of brave executive assistants, emails me every evening the next day's schedule (even after meticulously noting every task and appointment in my online calendar). She follows that with a cell call or IM five minutes before any scheduled event. By 'fessing up to my assistants, and making their protection of me, from me, a requisite part of their job, I've neutered the weakness and can focus on the strengths -- juggling for instance.

Now here's the really important news. Every client and prospective client for the rest of your career will also have weaknesses. Because your role is to help them grow their businesses and you are singularly focused on that --you owe it to them to help them both identify their shortfalls that are holding growth back, and partnering to devise ways to corral them, as well as to encourage them to give free rein to their strengths.

The truth is that people with towering strengths may also have towering weaknesses. Rather than kill them off for their weaknesses, great executives assist these folks with creative containment techniques, freeing them to change the world with their towering strengths. Great sellers do the same for their clients.

Your meetings with your clients should always involve discussions meant to identify weaker areas in their business -- target market, sales structure, corporate culture, management systems, strategic initiatives, which competitors pose the greatest threats, why -- oh yes, marketing and advertising experiences, results and future plans, are all necessary, and fair game. These are discussions great sellers provoke, so as to be indispensable assets to their customers, present and future. How do you get permission to engage like that? By making it clear from the first contact on that you are there for them alone, and believe you can be of real assistance in helping them grow. And then your behavior from that moment on must support that pledge.

Source: Media consultant Bob Sherman (from his blog, Great Sellers Go To Heaven. To access his archives, click here)

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Planning for 2050


No, that's not a typo. 20-50. 40 years from today. Of course I'll be 90 or dead. My oldest daughter will be 66.

This article was "tweeted" this afternoon, which is how it got my attention.

And while some of us will not be around in 40 or 50 years, there is a road that we are currently on that is taking us to the desitnation that is presented here.

So, why plan today for 2050?

You're not.

You are planning for 2010, 2015, 2020, etc. But this shows you the path that we are all taking so you can be a leader instead of a follower.

Or an innovator instead of playing catch-up.

This is from the Hispanic-Marketing.com blog:

What will the U.S. look like in 2050?

By Target Latino

U.S. Population Projections: 2005–2050 - What will the U.S. look like in 2050?

U.S. Population Projections: 2005–2050

Population and Immigration

Between 2005 and 2050, the nation’s population will increase to 438 million from 296 million, a rise of 142 million people that represents growth of 48%.

Immigrants who arrive after 2005, and their U.S.-born descendants, account for 82% of the projected national population increase during the 2005–2050 period.

Of the 117 additional people attributable to the effect of new immigration, 67 million will be the immigrants themselves and 50 million will be their U.S.-born children and grandchildren

The nation’s foreign-born population, 36 million in 2005, is projected to rise to 81 million in 2050, growth of 129%.

In 2050, nearly one in five Americans (19%) will be an immigrant, compared with one in eight now (12% in 2005).

The foreign-born share of the nation’s population will exceed historic highs sometime between 2020 and 2025, when it reaches 15%. The historic peak share was 14.7% in 1910 and 14.8% in 1890.

Births in the United States will play a growing role in Hispanic and Asian population growth, so a diminishing proportion of both groups will be foreign-born.

Racial and Ethnic Groups

The Hispanic population, 42 million in 2005, will rise to 128 million in 2050, tripling in size. Latinos will be 29% of the population, compared with 14% in 2005. Latinos will account for 60% of the nation’s population growth from 2005 to 2050.

The black population, 38 million in 2005, will grow to 59 million in 2050, a rise of 56%. In 2050, the nation’s population will be 13.4% black, compared with 12.8% in 2005.

The Asian population, 14 million in 2005, will grow to 41 million in 2050, nearly tripling in size. In 2050, the nation’s population will be 9% Asian, compared with 5% in 2005. Most Asians in the United States were foreign born in 2005 (58%), but by 2050, fewer than half (47%) will be.

The white, non-Hispanic population, 199 million in 2005, will grow to 207 million in 2050, a 4% increase. In 2050, 47% of the U.S. population will be non-Hispanic white, compared with 67% in 2005.

Age Groups

The working-age population—adults ages 18 to 64—will reach 255 million in 2050, up from 186 million in 2005. This segment will grow more slowly over the projection period (37%) than the overall population. Future immigrants and their descendants will account for all growth in this group.

Among working-age adults, the foreign-born share, 15% in 2005, will rise to 23% in 2050. The Hispanic share, 14% in 2005, will increase to 31% in 2050. The non-Hispanic white share, 68% in 2005, will decline to 45% in 2050.

The nation’s population of children ages 17 and younger will rise to 102 million in 2050, up from 73 million in 2005. The child population will grow more slowly in future decades (39%) than will the overall population. Future immigrants and their descendants will account for all growth in this population segment.

Among children, the share who are immigrants or who have an immigrant parent will rise to 34% in 2050 from 23% in 2005. The share of children who are Hispanic, 20% in 2005, will rise to 35% in 2050. Non-Hispanic whites, who make up 59% of today’s children, will be 40% of children in 2050.

The nation’s elderly population— people ages 65 and older—will grow to 81 million in 2050, up from 37 million in 2005. This group will grow more rapidly than the overall population, so its share will increase to 19% in 2050, from 12% in 2005. Immigration will account for only a small part of that growth.

The dependency ratio—the number of people of working age, compared with the number of young and elderly—will rise sharply, mainly because of growth in the elderly population. There were 59 children and elderly people per 100 adults of working age in 2005. That will rise to 72 dependents per 100 adults of working age in 2050.

Alternative Projection Scenarios

Under a lower-immigration scenario, the total population would rise to 384 million, the foreign-born share would stabilize at 13% and the Hispanic share would go up to 26% in 2050.

Under a higher-immigration scenario, the total population would rise to 496 million, the foreign-born share would rise to 23% and the Hispanic share would go up to 32% in 2050.

Under a lower- or higher-immigration scenario, the dependency ratio would range from 75 dependents per 100 people of working age to 69 dependents per 100 people of working age. Both of these ratios are well above the current value of 59 dependents per 100 people of working age.

Source: Pew Research Center – 2008

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Focus or Scatter?


Harry Hoover and his team wrote on the THINKing blog about a problem I see businesses doing all the time.

Before we get to Harry, I'll give you an example from a few years ago, when I discussed helping my insurance agent get new clients by using our radio stations.

Problem was her hands were tied by her supervisor at Farmers Insurance who said she needed to have 6 different marketing plans at once. Yeah, SIX!

The 6 she did included direct mail, small shopper news flier ads, telemarketing, a networking group, participating in the local Farmers Insurance Agent Co-op, and she was looking for one more.

Problem was she was spreading her limited funds way too thin and nothing was working to the degree that it would support her business growth. I could have helped if we consolidated and invested enough funds but her hands were tied. Today she is out of the business because of this.

Take a look at what Harry and his team say about this:

Marketing’s Magic Bullet

Posted: 06 Jan 2010 03:24 PM PST

Do you believe there is a marketing magic bullet? A lot of people do.

Hundreds of “consultants” make millions of dollars each year teaching seminars and boot camps, and selling newsletters about marketing’s magic bullet - that one simple thing you can do to fill up your register with virtually no effort on your part.

People buy this tripe because they want “simple” and “no effort” ways to move their business forward.

All those magic bullet consultants are wrong. I have the secret and I am going to share it, but you won’t be happy about it.

My marketing magic bullet: focus, discipline and consistency. Yes, my magic bullet involves some work on your part.

Focus requires you to define your audiences, learn about their behavior, and then provide relevant and believable information, communicated in an original, impactful fashion.

Discipline necessitates developing a marketing plan and implementing it aggressively. Your plan must also include a sales element. I know businesses that market and then just expect clients to flock to them with wallets in hand. Unfortunately for these businesses, it requires some effort on their part. Sorry, no passive income.

Finally, we come to consistency. This means implementing your program even after you are tired of it. And don’t change your message and marketing tactics on a whim. The race goes to the marathon man, not the sprinter.

Some other smart people agree with me. Business Coach Brent Dees says, “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. If you focus, you can accomplish your goals.” Friend Bill Loeffler used to tell clients, “We can’t do everything. Let’s pick three marketing tactics and do them right.”

Remember: focus, discipline and consistency. Unlike those other consultants, I won’t bill you for that magic bullet. Lock and load.

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy:

Arnold Palmer drinks an Arnold Palmer. There are better things to eat than lipstick. Happy 2010. Let's launch!


Don't let your dryers see this ad. Reebok launched a great TV and online campaign promoting its Speedwick training apparel. The ad stars NHL phenom Sidney Crosby, his teammate Maxime Talbot and a dryer that's seen better days. Crosby takes Talbot to his hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, showing off the basement where he practiced shooting pucks into a net. The pucks that missed usually hit the dryer, evident from the countless dings left behind. But it still works! Find out the brand and cross-promote. The teammates take turns shooting pucks into the dryer. The first to get 9 wins. The ad closes with Talbot leading 3-1 and directing viewers to Reebok's NHL Facebook fan page to see who wins. The long-form version of the ad contains snippets from Crosby's parents, his childhood coach and the game winner. Watch the teaser ad here and the long-form ad here. Gotham created the campaign.

I have found my new favorite ESPN "This is SportsCenter" ad. This one is up there with my 2005 fave starring Lance Armstrong as the energy supplier to ESPN Headquarters. When Armstrong stops pedaling, electricity goes off. I can't believe this 15-second nugget wasn't made sooner. The ad stars Arnold Palmer making himself an Arnold Palmer. It's that simple. Watch it here. Another SportsCenter ad stars the University of Oregon's duck mascot stuck working at his desk, while other ducks (the real kind) are floating in the water. See the ad here. Wieden + Kennedy New York created the ads.

The Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a TV spot where the world pays homage to an everyday woman who didn't get behind the wheel following a night of drinking. The Pope and Dalai Lama congratulate Rachel, and the family whose lives she saved by not driving buzzed, emerges to honor her. More than extreme to drive home this action, but maybe it's what it takes to keep buzzed drivers off the road. "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving," concludes the ad, seen here and created by Mullen.

Burt's Bees Canada created a series of traveling installations throughout Toronto and Vancouver that demonstrate how products put on the body are absorbed into the body. One display does not bode well for ladies who lick their lipstick-covered lips. A transparent "Torso" is filled with body lotion, posing the question, "How many litres of body lotion will be absorbed into your system in a lifetime?" The torso promotes Burt's Bees Body Lotions. See it here. A dinner plate contains a large block of lipstick in another installation asking passersby, "Are you hungry? How much lipstick will you eat in your lifetime?" "Baby Bottle" is an eight-foot bottle made from bottles of lotions, ointments and powders. "How much of what you put on your baby ends up in your baby," reads copy, shown here. Zig created the installation.

Breckenridge Brewery launched a quirky TV spot that takes a swipe at its larger competitor, Coors beer. A Breckenridge brewer, standing near a stream in the snow-capped Rockies, states that its Lucky U IPA beer is "brewed with real Colorado water." That's a well-placed swipe against Coors, whose packaging says it's "brewed with 100%Rocky Mountain water for a legendary taste." Our brewer then points to the stream and says: "Well, not this water. Do you know what bears do in here?" See the ad here. Cultivator Advertising & Design created the campaign and KDVR, Denver handled the media buy.

DDB Auckland created an ad that brings viewers up-close and personal news coverage from the West Bank in a spot promoting SKY TV's 5 channels of news coverage. Shootouts erupt and Molotov cocktails are thrown as those participating in the warfare read news reports. "Violence erupted in the West Bank Tuesday as Palestinians protested Israel's latest offensive," says a man before he throws a Molotov cocktail. The spot ends with: "Let the news speak for itself. Five channels of unbiased news." Watch it here. Über Content directed the spot, edited by Arcade Edit.

If you get too heated, you just might pop. The Kernel Family learned this lesson the hard way in an animated spot for Pop Secret, the brand's first ad featuring the Kernel Family. A trip to Grandma's house, which is shaped like a Pop Secret box, unearths a secret: Grandma's favorite movie is "The Dark Knight." Grandma showcases her dead-on impression of Batman, only to be challenged by her grandson. The two trade Batman quotes until Grandma pops... into a nice fluffy piece of popcorn. See the ad here, created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Nathan Love, an animation studio, created the Kernel Family

Adidas Basketball launched a Web spot that pairs NBA players Derrick Rose and Kevin Garnett for a "Lesson In Style." Both players school the other on how to wear adidas. A trip down memory lane takes place for both, showing different styles of the sneaker to be worn on or off-court. There's even some good-natured trash talk, but that's expected between rivals. Watch the ad here, created by 180 Los Angeles.

Random iPhone App of the week: Electronic Arts launched Tee Shot Live, an app that allows users to track their real-life golf performance, attain round-changing golf course info and share said info with fellow golf enthusiasts around the world. Users can upload data from more than 9,000 community-maintained golf courses, track their scores and calculate handicaps. Off the golf course, users can access the EA SPORTS Tee Shot Live Web site to store stats and scorecards, organize custom groups and events and upload, review and compare golf equipment. The app costs $9.99 in the App Store.

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

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Elevator Speeches


From RBR.com:

In this economy, there is something you absolutely must have…

… a fresh elevator pitch – you know, the statement that describes to someone who you are and what you do in 30 seconds or less. In today’s business climate, getting people interested in what you do and who you are is essential. You had better have an elevator pitch that grabs attention and makes you and your company, stand out.

A good elevator pitch will peak curiosity and entice a potential client to learn more about what you have to offer. In other words, it often changes the dynamic in the networking and selling process, so you can get in the door more quickly. A well-targeted elevator pitch will position you as someone who can help fulfill a need and the relationship goes right into how you can make that prospective client happy. A bland elevator pitch may not get you past hello.

Improving your pitch should be an indispensable exercise to ensure everyone at your company is on board with the right message. Here are some easy tips for doing a little elevator pitch spring-cleaning:

1. Be yourself – your pitch should accurately describe who you are and what you offer. It must fit you. It must come from your heart. Otherwise, it won’t be credible. If you’re an accountant, you might be able to tell someone you meet, “I’m the guy who can keep your business running like a fine tuned engine.” But, if you’re not the kind of guy who talks like that, it may sound phony. You may feel more comfortable saying something like, “I’m an accountant who specializes in helping small businesses run smoothly.”
2. Be brief – Everybody has a complicated job. But your elevator pitch is not the place to be complicated. Remember, you’re trying to make an impression that will lead to a more substantive conversation where you can get into the intricacies of what you do. Break your job down to the essentials. For example, “I package mortgages and sell them to investors.” Instead of getting into the intricacies of securitizing loans.
3. Be creative – your elevator pitch should not only peak curiosity it should be a little provocative. When you meet someone, you want to be remembered. Don’t be afraid to think creatively. Do you think people want to meet “a transactional attorney” or someone who “closes deals?”
4. Be prepared – you must be able to adapt your elevator pitch for any situation. If you offer your pitch and the person doesn’t appear interested, you must find another way of peaking their interest. If your pitch is geared towards attorneys and you’re speaking with someone who is not an attorney, you need to figure out what kinds of things would interest him.
5. Be curious – this is all about being a good interviewer and employing good listening skills. If you’re so interested in telling someone about yourself, but you’re not listening to what he or she has to say, how can you possibly come across as a person whose services they would want to consider? It’s absolutely essential to know how to ask questions that may help you understand what their needs are and then learn to listen effectively. So, you’ll be able to tell someone about what you have to offer in a way that will relate specifically to his or her business. It will send a signal to that person that you heard what they were saying and could respond to it. You certainly don’t want to come across as an interrogator, but as someone who is interested in learning more about the person with whom you’re speaking. Simple statements like, “Tell me about your business,” can often be the most effective. You’re trying to get the person with whom you’re speaking to open up a bit about what they do.

Get entire team on board
These rules apply to virtually anyone who has to sell or pitch business, which, of course, is everyone. But, it’s also an important element for companies. How does your firm sell its services to potential clients? Every member of the team needs to have the right message when going out into the marketplace. Take my company for example. At Silverman Media Group, our message is clear. We’re all about improving communication in every aspect of your business from the executive suite to marketing from sales to the mailroom.

Making the elevator pitch part of the training process is a good way to arm your team with the best way to sell your company. It will give your employees a fresh perspective on presenting themselves and the firm. That will telescope the networking process and lead to increased sales. In this economy, it’s essential that everyone is on message.

Role Play
One of the best ways to practice your pitch is to role play with the other people in your department. You could, of course, actually go out and meet new people to practice your pitch. But, it’s safer to practice with another member of your team until you’re confident about what you have to say. Although, practicing within your team can be dangerous. Especially, if you come up with a pitch that sounds good inside your bubble, but doesn’t work on the outside.

Here are a couple of examples of how you might conduct a conversation. Of course, nothing works better than actually doing it. I am condensing the conversation to make the point more quickly.

Pitch #1: Cocktail party Goal: Strike up a conversation and learn something about another person you’ve never met before. In return, give that person your elevator pitch. Be friendly, yet don’t go overboard.
Bob says: “Hi, I’m Bob. What’s your name?”
Ted says: “My name is Ted.”
Bob says: “Glad to meet you, Ted. What’s your connection to this event?”
Ted says: “Well, I never turn down an invitation for free drinks.”
Bob says: “I’ll drink to that…a man who knows how to take advantage of a situation.
What do you do for a living?”
Ted says: “I own an insurance agency.”
Bob says: “What kind of products do you offer?” (Be curious.)
Ted says: “Well, we’re a full service agency. So, we handle auto, property, life and financial products, as well.”
Bob says: “Has your business been effected by the downturn?”
Ted says: “Who hasn’t been hurt.” (Be prepared. This is an opening.)
Bob says: “Well, I’ve been able to keep many of my clients from the worst of it.” (Be a little provocative.)

Ted says: “Oh, really. What do you do?”
Bob says: “I’m no miracle worker, but I am an accountant who was able to prepare my clients early on. I helped them plan for the downturn. If you’re interested, we could set up a meeting where I can show you what I mean.” (Be creative, but not too salesy.)

Pitch #2: You see someone you’ve been trying to meet in the elevator. The goal is to get his business card.

You’re on the elevator in your building and the door opens. A real estate developer you’ve been trying to meet gets on. Elevator etiquette usually dictates no one talks or looks at other people. But, this is a golden opportunity.

Bill says: “Excuse me, Mr. Smith. I want to introduce myself. I’m Bill Barnes. I work in the building and I’ve wanted to meet you for some time now.” (Careful. You don’t want to come across as a stalker.)

Mr. Smith says: “Oh, hi.”
Bill says: “I don’t want to take up your time. I wanted to tell you what I do. I’m a real estate attorney who gets deals done. Look at the skyline. Half the cranes you see, we’re involved in those deals.” (Be brief.)
Mr. Smith says: “Hmm.”
Bill says: “Here’s my card. If you give me one of yours, I can send you something that shows our capabilities.”
(9 out of 10 times, the developer will give Bill his contact info. After all, who doesn’t want to hire an attorney who gets the deals done and can back it up?)

Fred Silverman is CEO of Silverman Media Group and honed his elevator pitch skills by selling ideas for episodic TV shows. If you’d like to improve your elevator pitch, he can be reached at (305) 302-4642, fred@silvermanmediagroup.com or take a look at www.silvermanmediagroup.com. He works with individuals, practice groups and entire firms.

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