Saturday, February 06, 2010

An Old Fashioned Marketing Plan

From the Basic Marketing Blog:

How One Billboard Can Change Your Life

A Billboard Still Beats A Web Banner For Local Business

A few years back I was in Nashville, TN, working with a realty company. The hot topic with the reps around the water cooler of the company that I was working with centered on a recent addition to the team (let's call him "Joe"). Joe was a new retiree, who like many, found that he had too much time on his hands and not enough money. The work options are limited in that age range, so he decided to become a real estate agent.

Nothing surprising here, realty is often the job of last resort for many older workers. This is not a slam against the real estate profession, but most offices will take on any reasonable candidate who is willing to work in this commission only environment. Sometimes these retirees, with their supplemental income, can last long enough without sales income to eventually build a business. That is not how Joe did it.

Joe was different. He took an incredible gamble his first month on the job, the ink barely dry on his liscense. He bought a huge billboard that could be seen easily from the Interstate. It cost him a great deal of money to get this prime location. It was an insane move for the first month of the job.

However, this was before the housing bust, and the Nashville housing market was hot. Almost immediately Joe's phone began to ring. He was new, and didn't know a lot, so he asked other agents to partner with him for a split-commission. Of course they agreed, it was "free" business. Soon, it seemed every agent in the office was partnering with Joe - the guy who didn't know a lot.

Although the other agents were glad to split the commissions with Joe, it didn't prevent them from talking behind his back. "Don't people realize that he doesn't know what he is doing?" They complained. "People can be so gullible."

What was interesting for me is that no one in that office was considering getting a billboard for themselves. Let me repeat that, NO ONE. This is from a group that considered themselves to be savvy marketers. Yes, a billboard along an Interstate in the middle of Nashville is very expensive, but the results made it worth it.

Maybe Joe got a lucky break, but I saw the billboard, and he did a couple of things right. First, the billboard had a huge photo of his face. There was nothing to distract from the simple image of the "Joe brand". It was not the typical full length photo of him planting a sign in a yard, or jumping in the air, or anything clever. It was his face - front and center. Second, his message was simple: "Let Me Help You Find A House" with a large phone number and company logo. The message was easy to read at 70 MPH (or at a slow crawl during rush hour).

Also, his office and the billboard were adjacent to one of the best-selling areas. He became associated with that area by the proximity of the billboard to a desirable location of homes. A billboard across town would not have been effective.

Nothing beats the power of the human face to draw viewer interest

For Joe, his face was his story. It was the core of his offer. As people sped down Interstate 40, they looked up, saw his smiling face, and made some quick decisions: He looked likable and appeared trustworthy. Because of his age, he also looked like he had been selling houses for years. Maybe they were wrong about his real estate knowledge, but he sure knew what he was doing. Thousands of impressions each day turned him into the sales leader for that office. This was the guy who didn't know what he was doing.

For the local market, online marketing still doesn't hold a candle to on-the-road marketing. I not saying that everyone should rush out and buy a billboard, but sometimes the only "social media" that you need is proper signage.

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Superbowl Advertising

All week Amy at Mediapost has been previewing the commercials that we will see in Sunday's football game.

Here are the links to her previous previews:





By Amy Corr

It's the final batch of Super Bowl ads before the big game. Pass the guacamole. Let's launch!

Boost Mobile is launching its first Super Bowl spot during the first quarter, reuniting original members from the 1985 Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew to recreate their memorable music video. "Shufflin': The Boost Mobile ReDo" features Mike Singletary, Jim McMahon, Willie Gault, Otis Wilson, Richard Dent, Steve Fuller and Maury Buford, 25 years after their original performances. Mike Ditka also makes a brief cameo. Teaser ads leading up to Sunday's game observe players readying for their big performance. Ditka beautifies his face; Singletary decides what pair of glasses to wear; and McMahon at first dons a black wig, then opts for his shaved head look. In another teaser ad, McMahon is shown strutting his stuff behind a green screen. See it here. 180LA created the campaign.

Kia Sorento is also launching its first-ever Super Bowl ad during the third quarter. "Joyride Dream" promotes the 2011 Sorento and stars a motley crew of characters, from "Muno," the red Cyclops from "YO GABBA GABBA," Sock Monkey, a robot and teddy bear. The gang takes a roadtrip to Vegas with pit stops that involve bowling, riding a mechanical bull and jet-skiing. Teaser ads can be seen here and here, and the ending brings viewers back to reality. David&Goliath created the ad.

The National Football League has a 60-second and 30-second spot running in the Super Bowl. In "Greatest Fans on the Planet," New Orleans Saints' running back Reggie Bush goes airborne to make an incredible touchdown; his feat is combined with a NASA-like countdown to a rocket lift-off. It's very cool. The ad also features fans of all ages showing team support. "To the best fans on the planet, thank you," closes the ad, running at the end of the third quarter. "All Four Seasons," promotes the NFL Network and Clips of Brett Favre, Drew Brees and Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans are interspersed with footage of changing seasons. Who doesn't love a good fall foliage shot? "The seasons may change, but there's always football," ends the ad, airing at half-time. Grey New York created the campaign.

Fast Breaks: Yes, I am using a basketball term in my football round-up. It's the quirky in me. I wish I could talk more about the Snickers ad starring Betty White and Abe Vigoda. I laughed long and hard at the spot, for reasons other than the fact that I'm a huge "Golden Girls" fan. "Game" will run in the first quarter and emphasizes that "you're not you when you're hungry," while a spirited game of football is underway. BBDO New York created the ad.

Taco Bell is running "It Rocks" in the first quarter. The ad features Charles Barkley, a cameo by Lamar Odom, and bad rhyming. Created by Draft/FCB, the spot promotes the Five Buck Box. See a teaser ad here.

Teleflora is back with another Super Bowl spot called "Mr. Warmth," promoting the brand's Valentine's Day "Red Hot Bouquet." The animated flowers-in-a-box are back; Don Rickles provides the voice for the abrasive flowers who remain mean and insulting. Negativity doesn't need to be used when selling a product. This ad will be received the same way last year's ad was: poorly. Fire Station created the ad.

Dockers is bringing khakis back in "Men Without Pants," a 30-second spot running in the second quarter. You can determine the gist of the ad by its title. There are lots of men walking around without pants. Draft/FCB San Francisco created the ad.

This concludes our countdown to the Super Bowl. See you next week for more shop talk.

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

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Beat The Clock?

There are times when I've got a presentation that will take 20 minutes, but my client only has 15.

Do I rush through it or reschedule?

Or do I adapt?

What should you do? (Please don't do the first option!)

Daily Sales Tip: Allow Enough Time for a Decision

Have you ever had a key decision-maker leave in the middle of your presentation because he or she was out of time? You aren't holding the attention of a prospect who is looking at the clock!

At the beginning of the call, ask how much time the prospect has set aside. Then adjust your presentation to take no more than 60 percent of the allotted time.

Why only 60 percent? Because your prospect's decision to act typically occurs at the end of a meeting, so you want to allow enough time to resolve any remaining issues and reach an agreement.

Source: Sales trainer/author Kevin Davis, president of TopLine Leadership Inc.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Today in Indiana, it seems like everyone was wearing Colts Royal Blue... must be a big game this weekend.

(By the way, at noon Saturday, I'll have the last installment of Superbowl Preview Ads, right here).

by Karl Greenberg
"We want people to check out our ad, to build the momentum," says Michael Sprague. "When we were looking at our Super Bowl strategy, we were having lots of discussion about holding the ad or getting it out there and connecting with those who like to be the first to know -- our brand advocates and enthusiasts. Also, some of the [toy] characters we are using in the ads have their own following." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
People are tiptoeing back into stores, giving January sales at some major retailers a better-than-expected jump. For Kohl's and Macy's, the results even promoted an upward revision of sales and earnings estimates. Within those results were some decidedly peppy numbers. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Super Bowl Sunday means two things for most Americans: Snacks and Football. EA Sports is hoping to capitalize on the conversation by partnering with Doritos to give fans the chance to choose the cover athlete for the upcoming version of its popular gaming franchise, "Madden NFL 11." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"When someone like Hilton raises the point price by 20% in one fell swoop, it's like raising the price of milk and bread in a grocery store," says IHG's Don Berg. "We started listening to blogs and online comments and, since there is overlap, they told us how angry they were. Many said they wouldn't stay there any more. We saw that as an opportunity." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Passersby will be able to view Ritz's recently launched TV spot, dubbed "Tailgate," on a jumbotron on nearby Broad Street. The spot features a Ritz marching band playing a rendition of Earth, Wind & Fire's song "Let's Groove," arranged by musician Wyclef Jean. It also shows NFL star Tiki Barber joining in on the fun during a football game tailgate. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The integrated marketing campaign focuses on Wade's Air Jordan 2010. The spot takes viewers to another world view of a basketball player's "nightmares" when dealing with the unstoppable -- Wade on-court during an intense basketball game. Wade will be the first Team Jordan athlete to debut the Air Jordan on-court during this year's All-Star weekend. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Looking more closely at unit count trends, the fall '09 ReCount data confirm a slowdown in chain expansion, as well as the economy weeding out the poorest-performing restaurants and being hardest on independents and smaller regional chains that "don't have the same financial resources as national chains," says NPD's Greg Starzynski. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While a company spokesperson declined to give details of how it will be marketed, the company says the new rollout follows strong consumer response to Crawford's home line for JCPenney, first announced last April, with products appearing in stores in September. That line includes bedding, window treatments, and tabletop items, as well as accent and outdoor furniture. ...Read the whole story >>
Ford Turns On Radio With New Offer

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Radio & The Web

From my email:

Web + Radio = Good Brand Strategy

By Wizard Partner, Dave Young

For a local business, optimizing a web site to compete against your local, regional, national and international competitors can seem a bit daunting, to say the least.

Wouldn't it be great if your most valuable web traffic arrived at your site because they were looking for YOU and not your category? Trust me, it's great.

In your town, your name is your brand. It is built on only two variables:

Your reputation in the marketplace (built up by direct customer experience), and to a far lesser extent the anticipation of that experience that you PROMISED by your advertising.

Those who think that a brand is built solely on advertising and marketing are fools. In fact, the quickest way to go out of business is to promise a lot and then deliver a lousy experience. Your reputation will tank and your advertising will accelerate this process by getting even more people to try you. All of these people will be happy to tell others how bad you are.

If your advertising does a good job of creating enough interest, people will seek you out when they need or want your product or service. They are no longer doing this in a dead-tree phone book. They are doing it on line.

A new study released by the Radio Advertising Bureau has confirmed what I've been telling my clients for years; your best prospects will be those who search for you by name.

Simon Redican, managing director at the Radio Advertising Bureau, said: "The internet has become an incredibly important interface for customer marketing but the problem is that it also allows access to all your rival's brands which means the key challenge is to ensure that customers seek out your brand specifically - marketers are increasingly turning to offline media to direct consumers to their brands online."

The radio ads drove on average 34% of the total brand browsing for an average of 10% of the media budget which the research said means the radio spend was on average four times more effective.

Barber said the findings are highly significant for brands where the internet "provides the crucial final stage" of customer buying and radio advertising offers these brands the chance to "turbo charge" the marketing process.

Most of the Search Engine Optimization strategies have you believing that the only way to win is to dominate the keyword phrases of your industry or category. This is amazingly expensive for a small local business. And, the fight is never over because everyone is going after the same phrases.

On the other hand, moving your money out of print and yellow pages and into local radio, coupled with a convincing web site that is easily found on a search for your name offers a more lasting solution in the quest to establish your local brand.

How does this work out in real life? I just got off the phone with a retail client of mine who has been using this strategy for about 6 years. In his informal check of his competitors, most of their December sales were down as much as 20% over 2008. Anyone who did as well in 2009 as 2008 is very pleased. My client had an 11% increase in his December gross sales along with an 18% gain in gross profit, meaning he didn't give away the store to make the sales numbers. We are very pleased.

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Superbowl Advertising

Every day Amy at Mediapost has been previewing Superbowl ads.

That way, if you have to go to the bathroom during the game, you can go during the breaks.

Hell is hot. A beaver looks for additional work. Punch Buggy has been updated to Punch Dub. Let's launch!

EA is running its first Super Bowl ad during the fourth quarter, promoting the upcoming release of "Dante's Inferno." "Hell Awaits" is based on the first part of Dante Alighieri's "The Divine Comedy." Gamers assume the role of Dante, a crusader who travels through the nine circles of Hell -- limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery -- to rescue his beloved Beatrice, stolen by Satan to be his bride. The ad begins with Beatrice slipping into the fires of hell as Dante feverishly jumps after her into a land with fire-breathing dragons and other enemies to battle. The ad's original tag line of "Go to Hell" was rejected by CBS and replaced with "Hell Awaits." See the ad with the rejected tag line here and the updated tagline here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the ad.

Volkswagen is launching "Punch Dub," an update on its well-known "Punch Buggy" game, during the third quarter. If this catches on, prepare for sore arms. The object now is to hit your closest companion whenever you see any VW. The ad shows people of all ages slugging one another in the arm when a VW passes by. Tracey Morgan makes a cameo in the ad as a Punch Dub victim. The man who hits him is also a famous face, but an unlikely Punch Dub player. That's all I can say. Not Andrea Bocelli. It's a cute interaction between the two celebs. Watch the teaser ad here. Deutsch Los Angeles created the campaign.

Are times so bad that even beavers need to find side work? That's the possible gist of's Super Bowl teaser ad. Beavers are hard at work building dams, except for one beaver playing the fiddle. His counterparts seem none too pleased that the fiddling beaver isn't contributing to the workload. The teaser closes with the beaver fiddling and checking his laptop. My guess is he's looking for a new career. How about you? Watch the teaser here, created by BBDO New York.

Dr Pepper is launching its first Super Bowl ad during the second quarter of the big game. Back for a second time is "Dr. Love" played by Gene Simmons from KISS. The ad promotes Dr Pepper Cherry and falls under the brand's "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor" umbrella. Joining Simmons in full KISS regalia is band mate Paul Stanley in the teaser; the entire band appears in the full ad. Simmons take a sip of Dr Pepper Cherry, a beverage with a "little kiss" of cherry flavor, as he and Stanley walk backstage before a concert. "This isn't gonna work," says Stanley, as a trio of shadows can be seen behind a curtain. Hint: think of the term "little kiss" literally, and you'll be closer to an answer. Watch the teaser ad here. Deutsch Los Angeles created the spot.

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

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Can You Repeat That?

Art Sobczak:

A Simple Way to Answer Objections


The simplest techniques can be so effective.

I heard a call where a prospect voiced an objection, but
seemed a bit shaky in his conviction regarding what he
said. The sales rep responded, "What was that again?"

The prospect then hemmed and hawwed a bit, continued
talking, and actually admitted that he probably could go
with the caller's proposal.

Brilliant. So what happened here?

If you have a strong belief about something, chances
are you're able to explain why, with conviction.

On the other hand, if someone says something that is
not completely truthful, or something they don't believe
strongly in, they will hesitate, hem and haw or exhibit
other nervous behavior when questioned. The same is true
if they don't have reasons for their beliefs.

Likewise, some prospects may not be clear in their
expression of objections, or they might throw out some
objections as stalling techniques. To clarify the
situation, ask them to repeat, or explain their statement.

For example,

"Mr. Davis, I'm not sure I fully understood what you
just said. Will you please repeat that for me?"

"Or, "Pat, I heard what you said, but I'm not following
the reasoning. Would you mind explaining it for me?"

"I'm not following. Could you explain?"

If their objection is truly a legitimate one, their
explanation will provide you with information which will
help you address it.

If, on the other hand, they are just stalling, your
question will help to smoke out the real objection.

Either way, you win!

Continue Having Your Best Week Ever!


Contact: Art Sobczak, President, Business By Phone Inc. 13254 Stevens St.,
Omaha, NE 68137,
(402) 895-9399. Or,


"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again,
this time more intelligently."
-Henry Ford

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Read, Click, and read some more:

by Karlene Lukovitz
"Our brands are obviously among our strongest assets, so we support them with significant marketing resources" while hewing to the brewer's hip, offbeat identity, says Bryan Simpson. Cases in point include brewery tours featuring storytelling and the hotly contested "Skinny Dip for a Cause" contest. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
In part, said President/CEO Roger Farah, the strong results are due to the company's ongoing investment in advertising, marketing, and public relations, adding that "our long-standing association with premiere sporting events, such as the Olympics, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, accentuate our global visibility and allure." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The ad, reaching for young parents who probably aren't quite ready to give up the raiment of youth for a minivan, has backseat passengers fantasizing about a joy ride in which they have control of the vehicle. Except that in this case the passengers are the little character toys owned by a child who keeps them in the backseat for company. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Audi is using its media buy in the fourth quarter to run an ad that introduces a fictive Green Police who have little patience for anything but Audi's A3 TDI, which gets around 43 miles per gallon, and which won Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year. ...Read the whole story >>
by David Goetzl
Verizon will offer real-time news and information in an interactive television venture during the coming Winter Olympics. Its FiOS service will allow subscribers to pull up athlete bios and medal counts, while watching the Games on USA, MSNBC and CNBC. ...Read the whole story >>
Wal-Mart Lays Off 300 Corporate Workers

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Newspaper Numbers

I admit I was ready to start writing a euolgy for my daily newspaper. In my city, we have two, and that is the only way they can survive. They don't compete for dollars, they have a joint operating agreement that has been in place for decades.

If they can focus on their strengths, they might make it another decade or more.

But their business model is broken. And unless they (or their parent companies), find a way to create positive cash flow, they are doomed.

Mediapost last week shared this latest update on who reads the paper and also who would be willing to pay for online content.

Daily Newspaper Reading (Print or Online) Down to Two in Five

According to the findings of a new Adweek Media/Harris Poll, of 2,136 U.S. adults surveyed online between December 14 and 16, 2009 by Harris Interactive, the era of Americans reading a daily newspaper each and every day is coming to an end.

Just two in five U.S. adults (43%) say they read a daily newspaper, either online or in print almost every day. Just over seven in ten Americans (72%) say they read one at least once a week while 81% read a daily newspaper at least once a month. One in ten adults (10%) say they never read a daily newspaper.

Frequency of Reading Daily Newspaper (% of Age Groups; Base: All U.S. adults)

Age Group







At Least Once a Month (Net)






At Least Once a Week (Subnet)






Almost every day






A few times a week






Once a week






A few times a month






A few times a year












Source: The Harris Poll, January 2009

One reason for the dying of the daily newspaper, says the report, is the graying of the daily readership. Almost two-thirds of those aged 55 and older say they still read a daily newspaper almost every day. The younger one is, however, the less often they read newspapers. But less than one quarter of those aged 18-34 say they read a newspaper almost every day while 17% in this age group say they never read a daily newspaper.

One potential business model that newspapers are exploring is charging a monthly fee to read a daily newspaper's content online. This model, however, seems unlikely to work, as 77% of online adults say they would not be willing to pay anything to read a newspaper's content online. While some are willing to pay, one in five online adults would only pay between $1 and $10 a month for this online content and only 5% would pay more than $10 a month.

There is a slight regional difference in who would pay for online content. Over four in five online adults in the Northeast say they would not be willing to pay anything to read a daily newspaper's content online. Those across the country, however, are more willing. While seven in ten Westerners still say they would not pay, almost one-quarter of Westerners would pay between $1 and $10 a month to read a paper's content online.

Amount Willing to Pay (per month) For Daily Newspaper Content Online (% of Category Respondents; Base: All online adults)














Willing to pay (Net)






$1 - $10






$11 - $20






Source: The Harris Poll, January 2009

The report concludes that the struggles of the daily newspaper will continue as Americans have more and more ways to find the news content they need and want. The challenge for newspapers will be discovering a way to get their content to people and make money doing so. One area they were intently exploring was charging for online content, though it appears they need to find another way.

For more information, please visit Harris here.

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Superbowl Advertising

Here's today's update from Amy at Mediapost:

Today, it's the battle of Academy-Award nominated actors, pulling double duty as car advertisement voiceovers. My money's on the "Crazy Heart" star.

Hyundai has two distinctly different ads running in the first quarter of the Super Bowl, both promoting the Sonata. The first ad is "Paint." Unlike most Super Bowl ads, it's very quiet and mellow, set to classical music. Cars parts are being dipped in paint (and you thought it was boring to watch paint dry) as a recognizable voiceover names famous Sonatas: Mozart's, Schubert's and Hyundai's. "Because beautiful works of art are meant to last," concludes voiceover guy Jeff Bridges. The spot touts the paint quality of Sonata as better than Mercedes CLS550. Watch the ad here. The company's second ad features Brett Favre, and it's awesome. I think the ad is better because Favre and the Vikings didn't make it to the Super Bowl. Plus, Favre makes fun of his notorious indecisiveness that football fans have grown accustomed to. The location: a locker room. The year: 2020, and an aged Brett Favre is speaking to the press following a championship victory and MVP win. Love the hologram trophy of Favre himself holding a football. Favre describes being 50 and older than most fans and team owners. He contemplates retirement, then reneges. Sound familiar? "We don't know what things will be like 10 years from now, but we can assure you that your Hyundai will still be covered," says the voiceover promoting Hyundai Sonata's 10-year/ 100,000-mile warranty. See the ad here. Innocean Worldwide created the ads.

There's an animated "Squirrel" foraging for unlikely materials in a spot for Honda Accord Crosstour, running in the fourth quarter. The ad, set to Kool & The Gang's "Funky Stuff," continues with the brand's use of polygonal animation and follows a squirrel gathering stock for winter. A pineapple, bowling trophy, barbell and furniture barely make it into a tree. The furry critter stops in awe of the room the Crosstour provides. "Just what we all need. Another brilliant idea from Honda," says voiceover Kevin Spacey. Watch the ad here, created by RPA.

Is getting a Super Bowl ad banned the new black? If so, kgb has joined the ever-growing list of brands with a banned Super Bowl ad under their belt. I still can't comprehend how the company makes a profit. You text them your questions and pay for answers. I use Google when I'm stumped, and it's free. Back to the banned ad. The kgb team is summoned to a country club to find two golfers with their heads up their asses. Their wives look unsurprised at their husbands' achieved feat. They could have avoided this situation by getting accurate answers from kgb. If you're used to seeing burp and fart jokes in Super Bowl ads, then "In the Hole" seems like a perfect fit for the big game. What's more offensive to Super Bowl audiences: seeing a visual of a man with his head up his ass, or assuming that men's heads are frequently found there? Watch the ad here, created by The Brooklyn Brothers.

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

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Silence Kills

Our Sales Tip is from Drew:

Relentless follow through

Posted: 26 Jan 2010 08:34 AM PST

Shutterstock_17486284 One of the biggest relationship killers is silence.

Do you know that most businesses lose the opportunity to get a new client simply because they don't respond to an inquiry? That's right...return a phone call, answer an e-mail and voila -- you get a client. The percentage of businesses that fail to respond to a new business inquiry is staggering.

If you have a problem that the client is counting on you to solve...regular phone calls to provide updates will help you keep a client. Even if the solution is a sticky one.

The final deliverable of a big project is finally in your client's hands. Do you check in to make sure they're delighted?

When was the last time you just jotted a note or picked up the phone to say "thank you" for your business and your trust?

Chasing a perfect prospect who just isn't ready to buy? How long do you keep reaching out before you give up and just assume they're not worth the effort?

I can hear you now...I'm just so busy...I mean to call. I'm just not good at following up. Some people are just naturally better at that.

Horse Pucky. (I told you I was working on ramping up my vocabulary!)

Relentless follow through happens when it is planned. When it's part of your sales cycle. That's the head part of the equation. But it also has to be part of your culture. That's the heart part. It's about caring enough.

After all -- we know that most buying decisions (and client retention decisions) come down to that. Caring. A buyer (and your current customers) really wants to look you in the eye and ask -- do you care enough?

That's the differentiator. And that's what relentless follow through demonstrates.

Do you have a call to make?

Photo courtesy of

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Uh oh.

Mediapost has a correction to make. (Think Fruit and read and click below)

by Tanya Irwin
Coke Zero is challenging NCAA Basketball devotees to brainstorm ways to enhance the fan experience. The 64 most-innovative concepts will compete during NCAA March Madness for a chance to win $10,000. The promotion will be supported with ads on CBS during the network's coverage of men's NCAA basketball. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Advertising on the Super Bowl and other big events isn't about Bridgestone and sibling Firestone's individual products or sub-brands. "It's more about making consumers aware of the Bridgestone brand," says Michael Fluck, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire advertising and Internet manager. "We really are spending to build the brand and that allows you to introduce or change products and product names." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The strategy of booking appointment television (such as live sporting events and highly anticipated programming) is intended to broaden EA's ability to reach the "hit buyers" of games, who tend to only buy three or four titles a year, says EA's Phil Marineau. "By no means will this define the campaign, but it definitely changes things in terms of this game being able to break through into the mass market." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Chrysler Group is rethinking its licensed-merchandise program and how it sells things like branded shirts and gear online, as well as which products make sense for which brands. The automaker, which has one of the larger licensed-merchandise programs in the business, is also expanding the program by inking licensing deals with companies like American Apparel. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
As for Jim Beam's overall marketing focus, the brand has been consciously shifting to a strategy in which social media are the "heroes" and traditional media are the "supporting cast," says Beam Global's Kelly Doss. That shift began a year ago and kicked into high gear last June, with the brand's launch of a user-generated social media contest dubbed "The Remake." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While they're cutting back on sweethearts and family members, shoppers are actually increasing the budget for other Valentines, with consumers planning to spend $5.37 on friends (up from $4.74 last year), $4.29 on classmates and teachers (up from $3.59 last year), and $3.27 on pets (up from $2.17 last year.) ...Read the whole story >>
3 Musketeers Intros Truffle Crisp Bar

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Why the Superbowl Ads matter

from Mediapost:

Anybody's Game: The Future of Super Bowl Advertising
Super Bowl commercials are the pinnacle of television advertising, the only spots that entice the audience as much as the main event.

The best become pop-culture milestones. Apple's shattered Orwellian computer screen from 1984 still resonates. So does Nissan's turbocharged 300ZX, inflamed with its gleeful encouragement of street racing. Coca-Cola's 1980 ad with Mean Joe Green is so vital that Coke Zero spoofed it in 2009.

Anyone's Game

Last year was a turning point, though -- a climax in the story of television advertising. Marketing has been absorbing advertising for years. Consumer engagement is now a hybrid of methodologies distributed across integrated channels, like the Internet and mobile devices.

The confluence is mostly Google's doing. Google's two finest executions are when long-tail optimization improves organic search results for websites and when quality scores improve bid management for pay-per-click advertisers. Both have eaten traditional interruption advertising alive. Now, the absorption continues with Google TV Ads.

Google TV Ads has incredible potential for small- and mid-sized businesses. It applies search and PPC models to television in order to broadcast relevant commercials at auction prices.

NBC earned a record $206 million selling Super Bowl airtime last year, but the ads weren't very impressive. DreamWorks' 3-D ads frustrated viewers. CareerBuilder irritated the unemployed by yammering about job dissatisfaction.

The highlight of Super Bowl XLIII was a clever Doritos commercial by two Indiana brothers who won a contest at and then beat the pros on USA Today's Ad Meter to win $1 million. The brothers' creative budget was under $2,000.

In other words, the only real stars of Super Bowl 2009's commercials were two unemployed guys with no advertising experience who worked on speculation as brand ambassadors through a social-media website.

Super Bowl advertising is now anyone's game.

Find the Guys in Indiana

For the first time in 23 years, Pepsi isn't airing a Super Bowl commercial.

Instead, it dedicated $20 million to the new, a social-media project that grants money to positive causes across America.

The reallocation is both cataclysmic and catalytic for advertising. Most small- and mid-sized businesses skip television because the money is better spent online anyway, but Pepsi's move says the bottom might drop out of the Super Bowl, too, now -- if it hasn't already, considering 30 seconds cost $3 million last year, and newbie HomeAway paid under $2.5 million for 2010.

The decision also says that the best way to engage an audience is to actually engage the audience. Brands need to find the Bronx woman who cleans up power plants or the Detroit students who need school supplies -- like Pepsi has -- and give them something to talk about.

Television advertising finds its future by including social media and a cost-effective model like Google's auctions. It's time to find the guys in Indiana and give them a million dollars.

Fantasy Football

Creating cheap ads isn't a new idea.

The obstacle is that, sometimes, if you go cheap, you get cheap. Networks won't air cheap. That's why pricing that supports social media's new creative opportunities is so important -- fluctuating creative costs only let in new advertisers that can afford airtime, too.

With Google TV Ads, advertisers can target segments and broadcast on national networks via auction pricing. An Ad Creation Marketplace lets advertisers customize a mix of user-generated ideas and professional creatives. The marketplace's insularity keeps prices low.

It's an all-or-nothing venture, though. Advertisers need to upload an ad before bidding on airtime, but the ad only airs if the bid wins.

The thresholds are daunting, but real opportunity exists for businesses that couldn't afford television before. Auction pricing reflects the true demand for airtime, and the marketplace opens the economy to include the Madison Avenue firms -- or two imaginative brothers in the Midwest.

Essentially, in a few years, anyone could be a Super Bowl advertiser, complete with all the glory and the cash return.

A continued devaluation of Super Bowl airtime plus the increased opportunity to broadcast make the old 1984 Apple ad seem more salient than ever. Websites, social media, and television are all on the same team now, but this is no Big Brother paradigm. The possibilities are wide open. The game is about to change.

Rachel Moran is a copywriter and editor at Flightpath in New York City. Some of her current clients include Goya and AOL. Her creative work has appeared on-air at HSN, on numerous high-traffic websites, and in several national magazines. Her fiction appears in national literary journals. She is the sole recipient of the University of Tampa's Portfolio Award 2003. Reach her here.

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