Saturday, April 17, 2010

Expanded Opportunities

When I was 8 years old, my family moved and our new next door neighbor retired about 6 months later.

He put his time in at the Post Office and for the next 35+ years spent nearly every afternoon sunning himself in the back yard. (I'd include pictures, but who want's to see an 85 year old bronzed wrinkly retired mailman in Speedos?)

For many of us, retirement is always going to be something to do right before we die, because we either love what we do, or we need the money!

This means businesses need to rethink their stereotypes of the 50+ or 65+ generation. With retirement being delayed, the opportunities to sell older folks stuff has expanded. Check out this report from and if you need a way to reach the 50+ generation, I have a radio station in Fort Wayne, Indiana that does EXACTLY that. Contact me at Scott @

It’s not just the recent history of the US and global economy that are driving many US citizens to stay in the workforce – a new survey says many are concerned with maintaining their lifestyle.

In a study of financial advisors from MainStay Investments, it was found that 46% are delaying retirement in order to recoup losses during the market upheavals of late 2008 and 2009, and another 40% are delaying due to concerns about health costs.

But another interesting trend emerged from the study. Mainstay wrote, “A majority of advisors surveyed (61 percent) indicated that their clients are not concerned with covering basic needs in retirement, but with having to give up luxuries such as traveling and dining out.”

“While the market upheaval shook both investor portfolios and confidence levels, advisors in our survey reveal that their clients have not pared down their expectations for their golden years, choosing to delay retirement rather than scale back their lifestyle plans," said Matthew Leung, director and head of practice management programs at MainStay Investments. "We believe this signals a need for close advisor-client communications, so that together they agree on the asset allocation strategy and investment product mix that is best suited for both their risk tolerance levels and lifestyle expectations.”

According to the survey, financial advisors are being asked to help figure out exactly how much money clients will need over and above Social Security to continue to be able to do things they enjoy. Further, they are helping them figure out just how much they can withdraw from accounts, and when, without damaging the nest egg.

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Font Facts

So this is for those of you who use email as part of your marketing.

From this week:

It's the Same, but Different

If you want customers or members to fill out a form or volunteer their time, writes Roger Dooley at the Neuromarketing blog, "you will be more successful if you describe the task in a simple, easy to read typeface." The reason? When something can be completed in a shorter period of time, people are more likely to comply with the request—and less complex fonts create the impression that it will go more quickly.

Dooley cites research by Hyunjin Song and Norbert Schwarz, who asked two groups to estimate the amount of time required for identical exercise regimens.

The first group read instructions in Arial—a simple, streamlined font:


For the second group, Song and Schwarz used the much-fussier Brush font:


"The results were astounding," notes Dooley. "[T]he subjects who read the same instructions in the hard to read font estimated that the regimen would take nearly twice as long, 15.1 minutes vs. 8.2 minutes."

The Po!nt: When you're asking customers to do you a favor, increase participation levels by using a simple font that reduces their perceived time commitment.

Source: Neuromarketing. Click here for the full post.

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Relive It

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Plan a Debriefing Session

Always debrief your sales calls. This is the only way you can get better. Ask yourself:

-- What went well?

-- Where did I run into problems?

-- And what could I do next time to get even better results?

This is absolutely the only way you will improve. Sales is a grand experiment -- customers change, markets change, your offerings change, and so does your knowledge base. Unless you're continually learning, you're losing ground.

Source: Sales consultant/author Jill Konrath

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
Andy Coccari, CMO of Dorel's Cycling Sports Group division, tells Marketing Daily that the ad push is focused on women 25 to 54 because, "while purchase decision and ability to really connect with family aren't feelings exclusive to women, women are the chief purchasing officer of the family." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The promotion encourages Facebook users to go to and click on the button, triggering a $1 donation (up to $100,000) from Walmart's pet suppliers. All the proceeds go to help homeless pets, Elysia Howard, VP/marketing and licensing for the ASPCA, tells Marketing Daily. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The national campaign, which will run through the spring on Telemundo and Univision, comes after two years of test market campaigns in Denver, Chicago and Sacramento, Calif. While those campaigns, which simply translated general market commercials into Spanish, were successful, the agency and company found Ace needed to do more in the way of introducing itself to the community at large. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
While signs point to gradual improvement, NPD's forecasting model projects continued weakness for restaurants for at least another seven months. "Once losses moderate, it will likely take more than a year to recover lost visits," points out NPD's Bonnie Riggs. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The Los Angeles-based drink company is presenting "the ultimate Slash experience" to give fans exclusive content and prizes. Fans can log onto Monster Energy's Web site now through June 30 to enter. Also included on the site is exclusive behind-the-scenes video content featuring Slash. There are links to Slash's Web site and MySpace page on the Monster Energy microsite. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
"From a campaign perspective the thing we want to have come through is we are targeting people who value close relationships in life and personal achievement. So the men's spot is really a family campaign showing close relationships. The female spot is about professional achievements." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Between April 14 and April 27, a "Tweet to Eat" promotion is focusing each day on a famous Subway fan, encouraging people to tweet @subwayfreshbuzz to weigh in on why the "famous fan of the day" "is a great fit" for the Subway brand. Tweeting qualifies consumers to be entered for a chance to win $10 Subway gift cards (five cards will be awarded per day). ...Read the whole story >>

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Social Subs

from Mediapost today:

Subway Taps Celebs for Twitter Promo, TV Spots
Karlene Lukovitz, Apr 15, 2010 11:19 AM


Subway's latest marketing thrust combines a celebrity-focused advertising campaign with a Twitter engagement effort offering chances to win the chain's gift cards.

Between April 14 and April 27, a "Tweet to Eat" promotion will focus each day on a famous Subway fan, encouraging people to tweet @subwayfreshbuzz to weigh in on why the "famous fan of the day" "is a great fit" for the Subway brand. Tweeting qualifies consumers to be entered for a chance to win $10 Subway gift cards (five cards will be awarded per day).

The celebrities, mostly sports figures, will also be tweeting to Subway fans from their own Twitter handles, a Subway spokesperson tells Marketing Daily.

Also during April, two new 30-second broadcast/cable television spots are featuring montages of the same famous Subway fans touting the chain's $5 Footlongs. Both spots emphasize the "everyday value" of the Footlongs, although one version overtly uses the theme, while another uses the premise of celebs sharing their "secrets" related to their favorite Footlong varieties/makings.

Featured celebrities include the NBA's (Los Angeles Clippers) Blake Griffin, the MLB's Ryan Howard (Philadelphia Phillies) and CC Sabathia (N.Y. Yankees), Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and Nastia Liukin, Fox sports commentators Jay Glazer and Michael Strahan, professional boxer Laila Ali, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, and Subway spokesperson/weight management speaker Jared Fogle.

While timed to create synergy for the Twitter promotion, the TV spots do not actually allude to the social media contest.

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Eating Out Increases

Is it because we are lazy, busy, or just have money to blow?

Report: Consumers Ready to Dine Out Again

Study Also Shows Same-Store Sales Trends for QSR and Family-Style Chains Most Positive in 11 Months

Consumer behavior patterns are shifting for the better for restaurants, according to a new study conducted by market research firm The NPD Group, with fewer consumers cutting back on dining out, and fewer customers searching for deals.

Data collected for a recent study, "Light at the End of the Tunnel...What Can We Expect," found that respondents were less focused on controlled spending and price points or deals at restaurants during a March study, compared with responses in a June 2009 survey. Fewer respondents also said they were trading down in restaurant selections or sacrificing visits to restaurants.

"It's clear from our research and other indicators that consumers are feeling more positive about the economy," Bonnie Riggs, NPD's restaurant industry analyst said in a statement. "Our survey findings, combined with other publicly reported information on restaurants' improving status, suggest a move toward recovery may be starting soon if it is not already underway."

About 27 percent of NPD respondents said in March that they chose less expensive restaurants more often, down from the 32 percent of respondents that said they were changing their restaurant habits a year ago. The number of respondents that said they were looking for good restaurant deals also fell, from 29 percent a year ago to 22 percent in the latest survey. The number of respondents that said they visited restaurants less often also fell, from 18 percent a year ago to 14 percent in March.

In addition to the consumer behaviors beginning to favor restaurants, NPD found that same-store sales trends at quick-service and family-dining chains are at their most positive levels in the last 11 months. Based on the firm's SalesTrac Weekly research, NPD said that of the 47 quick-service and family chains it follows, same-store sales have increased during four of the last six weeks.

Still, Riggs said the industry has a tough road ahead, as restaurant industry traffic fell 3 percent for the latest year ended in February, marking 14 consecutive months of declines.

"Our forecasting model shows that the industry will remain weak for at least another seven months," Riggs said. "Additionally, once losses moderate, it will likely take more than a year to recover lost visits, but there are strong indications that the industry is now moving in the right direction."

(Source: Nation's Restaurant News, 04/13/10)

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Select the Best

and leave the rest...

Words from Seth Godin last year:

Choose your customers, choose your future

Marketers rarely think about choosing customers... like a sailor on shore leave, we're not so picky. Huge mistake.

Your customers define what you make, how you make it, where you sell it, what you charge, who you hire and even how you fund your business. If your customer base changes over time but you fail to make changes in the rest of your organization, stress and failure will follow.

Sell to angry cheapskates and your business will reflect that. On the other hand, when you find great customers, they will eagerly co-create with you. They will engage and invent and spread the word.

It takes vision and guts to turn someone down and focus on a different segment, on people who might be more difficult to sell at first, but will lead you where you want to go over time.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and read (after you've filled your taxes):

by Karl Greenberg
ESPN's "One Game Changes Everything" platform for promoting its coverage of the FIFA World Cup includes a raft of specials, films on soccer and South Africa, and ads featuring the likes of U2 (featured in a TV spot with lead singer Bono), actor Djimon Hounsou and jazz legend South African Hugh Masekela and his son, an American. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The contest is the first in a series of initiatives for 2010 that seek to build on the brand's "The American Cheese" campaign, launched last September. That campaign portrays the roles that the cheese brand plays as depicted amid various scenes from American life, positioning Kraft Singles as "the quintessential, one and only American cheese." ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The effort involving the Kardashians, developed with Web network BuzzMedia, includes a video series featuring Kris (the mother) and sisters Kim and Khloe. The five-video series is intended to express the idea that menstruation isn't something that one should be ashamed of or avoid talking about. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Liberty CMO Martha O'Gorman says, "Many people have difficulty finding a preparer who can do their return in the final days, which is stressful. Our goal is to be accessible to as many people as possible right up to the filing deadline. We want to be the tax preparer of choice and being open extended hours helps us to create that reputation." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
In a series of new television commercials, energy-hogging "ogres" -- old appliances, windows and light bulbs -- are turned into cartoonish creatures lurking in the house. Says the agency behind the creative: "They're doing what they should be doing, but they're also draining your wallet and your energy use." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The importance of a brand of an item of clothing jumped 14% in the survey, with 28% now saying that brands are "more" or "much more" important to them. "That's a record high," Robert Passikoff, founder and president, Brand Keys, tells Marketing Daily. ...Read the whole story >>

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Is Facebook your Friend?

If you are using it for marketing, you better do it right. Drew shares with us an idea he found this week:

How to get more Facebook fans

Posted: 13 Apr 2010 12:06 PM PDT

I saw this promotion late last night as I logged onto Facebook and I thought it was worthy of sharing it with you.

Everyone seems to want more Facebook fans...but really you actually want Facebook fans who know a little bit about you or are willing to try what you've got to offer.

That's what makes this Kraft Macaroni and Cheese promotion so smart.

Screen shot 2010-04-12  at 11.39.31 PM

On my NewsFeed page, I noticed this ad to the right. It offered me a free box of Mac and Cheese (hello...cheesy explosion to boot!) if I'd become their fan.

Now I will confess two things. 1) I really love Kraft's Mac and Cheese. 2) I would have never even thought to fan their page without this free offer. If the ad had simply said..please be our fan, I would have ignored it.

Lesson: If there's not a very apparent "something in it for me" we don't go around fanning pages.

Screen shot 2010-04-12  at 11.40.55 PM So, I clicked on the become a fan button and was taken to their fan page.

I almost left because I could not see how to get my free coupon.

Lesson: Be blatantly obvious and then some. We are only going to look for about 5 seconds.

Fortunately, others had either been smarter or more persistent, so as I scanned the messages, someone had said - go to the third tab (wall, info and cheesy)

So I stuck with it long enough to click on the Get The Coupon button.

Screen shot 2010-04-12  at 11.41.43 PM From there, I was taken to this capture screen where Kraft got the goods on me... my name, address (so they could mail me the coupon) and the holy grail -- my e-mail address.

They also snagged a bit of demographics in the check boxes below.

Lesson: If you're offering something of value, don't be afraid to ask for something of value in return.

I'm betting they scored a huge number of new fans. And now for about the cost of a click, they are actually putting product in the new fan's hands. Think of what most businesses pay to get a consumer to give their product a try.

Compare and contrast this effort -- where Kraft not only gets you to sample their product but also gets your contact information and some demographics to the lady standing in the grocery store, handing you a little cup of the mac and cheese.

How would you rate the relative value?

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy at Mediapost:

Do you suffer from "Mapathy?" Are you offline friends with your online friends? Let's launch!

Say hello to Kin, Microsoft's soon-to-be-launched line of smartphones. Kin's campaign begins online, with two documentary-style videos launching weekly until May 3. Rosa, a "socialologist," travels cross-country to meet her Facebook friends and Twitter followers face-to-face. All 824 of them, who range from an ex-boyfriend, an unwanted Internet flirt and celeb Andy Samberg. Since most people use social networks to keep in touch with acquaintances they don't necessarily want to interact with in person, this should be fun to watch. "Some of these friends are awesome, some of them really hate my guts and some of them I don't even know," says Rosa in an introductory video, seen here. Well-said. In another video, we meet "Matty Goldberg," a quirky, flirty guy who's friends with Rosa on Facebook. He's aggressive online, but will he act the same way in person? Doubtful. See it here. TV and cinema ads will launch in May. agencytwofifteen, the agency formerly known as T.A.G. San Francisco, created the campaign. Universal McCann handled the media buy.

MINI launched a trio of ads in Canada that bring audiences into the realm of MINI. Looks like a fun place. A guy takes his friend for a drive through a parking garage, showing him how well the MINI maneuvers. The friend loved it, as did his "Man-Boobs" that wouldn't stop shaking. See it here. A woman riding a Vespa receives an unexpected surprise: a moustache and thick eyebrows, ripped from a man riding in a MINi with his head out the window. Watch "Moustache" here. A grown child, strapped into a "Car Seat," gets snarky with his father, who's stopped at a traffic light. See it here. Taxi 2 Toronto, created the campaign, directed by Woods + Low from OPC, Toronto.

ESPN launched two great TV spots promoting "Sunday Night Baseball": "Everybody Watches on Sunday Night." Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz and actor Adam Scott sing "Sweet Caroline" while watching "ESPN Sunday Night Baseball." Guess who won't sing along? Nick Swisher from the Yankees. See it here. In "Fantasy Trade," Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler talk about making a fantasy trade. Adam Scott chimes in, telling the men he wouldn't trade them for anything. Awkwardness ensues. Watch it here. Wieden+Kennedy New York created the ads.

"Grapevinia" is the latest faux holiday concocted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to encourage travelers to spend a long weekend in Vegas. A woman blows off another grueling session with her trainer, using the legend of "Grapevinia" as her excuse. After a King nearly chokes to death on a grape, he orders all grapes be destroyed. Once the King tastes the grape juices, he has a change of heart, resulting in an annual celebration of wine. See the ad here, launched in time for the Vegas Uncork'd culinary festival, taking place in May. R&R Partners created the ad.

Activision launched a great campaign called "Mapathy," promoting the Modern Warfare 2 stimulus package, downloadable on Xbox live. Once a video game is released, new levels, or "maps" are unlocked. Hardcore gamers, however, grow tired of playing the same maps while waiting for new ones to be distributed. A fake medical condition, mapathy, was created to describe how gamers felt. A Web site was launched, offering gamers a 20-question, self-diagnosis quiz to determine their level of mapathy. A viral was created starring a doctor who treats mapathetics. He shows gamers before and after their condition was treated. I personally love the shot of the woman talking to her goldfish, telling it that she "feels trapped, too." See the viral here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.

Gamers are a passionate target audience. Xbox debuted a trailer for its Gears of War 3 video game, launching in April 2011. That's right, next year. The trailer begins with ash flying through the air, and human remains trapped in ash, reminiscent of those found following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Warriors run through these ashen bodies, destroying them on impact. A heavy gun battle ensues, leaving soldiers surrounded by fire and ash. "Brothers to the end," closes the ad, seen here. agencytwofifteen created the trailer and Digital Domain handled the CG effects.

Here's another Xbox ad, running in England, Ireland and France, hyping its ability to stream HD movies from Xbox 360 to TV. Footage is so crisp, you almost feel like you're fighting, submerged underwater and kissing passionately as a speeding subway passes by. The opening scene looks like it was plucked from the 2004 movie "House of Flying Daggers." Watch it here. McCann Erickson London created the ad, edited by Cut + Run.

We almost got through an entire edition of "Out to Launch" without discussing the 800-pound advertisement in the room. Almost. Nike Golf ran "Earl and Tiger" for one day, right before the Masters began. We have Tiger looking stoic while the voice of his deceased father asks questions, like "did you learn anything?" That's putting it mildly. This ad serves a purpose for no one. Nike was never going to drop Tiger as a spokesman; this ad only brings Nike into the fray Woods is dealing with in his personal life. Fans that stood by him will love him no more and those rallying against him will like him no less. Now that we've addressed it, will it just go away? See the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy Portland.

Random iPhone App of the week: Dogs take part in social networking, too. Well, at least their owners do on their behalf. Dogbook launched a free iPhone app that's similar to Facebook, but for dogs! Users can upload pictures, locate nearby dog parks and see status updates of dog friends. Anyone who's lost her dog can use the app's "Arf Alert" to send a message to all Dogbook users within a 15-kilometer radius with a photo and owner contact information. Poolhouse developed app in conjunction with Five Mobile. Download it here.

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

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Face the Facts

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Making a List

From a customer's standpoint, how does your service stack up compared with that of competitive sales reps?

You could invite customers outright to make the comparison. Or better still, work up an item-by-item checklist for buyers to fill out. It can be revealing on the one hand and show customers you care on the other -- plus it can suggest areas for potential improvement.

Source: Business author Ray Dreyfack

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
"It's a bold decision to step up to electric vehicles coming out of this recession. It's incredible that they would make that kind of decision. I want to be part of that. I think the Leaf can change the way people look at Nissan, and the kinds of cars they drive. They will look at Leaf like they look at cell phones and laptops." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Key principle #1 is developing a deep understanding of the lifestyles and primary motivators of the Hispanic consumer prospect segments or universes for specific product categories/brands. Both Tecate and Kraft of course engage in extensive, in-house consumer research, as well as sharing knowledge with other major marketer companies who participate in the Latinum Hispanic marketing business network. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Sarah Mahoney
For smart companies, user comments like these can work "as one big focus group," says Jackie Huba, co-author of Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message. "This kind of feedback tells a company that if they want to focus on being more green, they could be more aligned with their customers, and take these ideas back to the design team." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The more personalized creative approach represents a "natural evolution" of the "con carácter" positioning launched in 2008, including Tecate's award-winning 2009 radio "Disclaimer" ad, the brand's executives note. That ad used a tongue-in-cheek "disclaimer" message to define which men should not be Tecate drinkers. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
A survey of 3,000 people between 15 and 34 used an 11-point scale to rank consumers' emotional attachment (defined as something they care deeply about and were not willing to give up) to both brands and media. Across several categories, consumers who were emotionally attached to certain brands felt the same way about movies. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The "Your Ideas" site, a pilot program, is meant to be a community where members can rate others' ideas, and also follow responses to their own suggestions. Ford says its Advanced Product Marketing and Planning teams will sift through the most popular ideas, i.e., those that get the best responses. ...Read the whole story >>

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Radio is not Dead

And unless they stop making those radios you can drive (cars), I predict people will keep listening...

From my email:

Americans Continue to Hold Radio in High Regard

The new national survey from Arbitron and Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2010: Digital Platforms and the Future of Radio, proves once again the dominance of Radio in the audio listening environment.

  • 92% of Americans 12+ Use/Own Local AM/FM Radio.
  • 8 out of 10 Persons 12+ would be "very/somewhat disappointed" if their local AM/FM Radio station were no longer on the air.
  • About 7 in 10 Persons 12+ who use new media options say they'll continue to listen to AM/FM Radio as much as they do now, despite increasing advancements in technology.
Radio ads have stronger influence amongst Blacks and Hispanics -- increasingly important consumer segments for many marketers.

"How often seek more info about products/services hear advertised on Radio."
Total 12+: 10%
African-American 12+: 16%
Hispanic 12+: 14%

"How often purchase product/service hear advertised on Radio."
Total 12+: 06%
African-American 12+: 11%
Hispanic 12+: 11%

It's important to remember that the growth of the Internet as a cited listener preference does not negate the reach and influence of a valued Radio brand. These brands are all over the Web.
  • 31% of Persons 12+ have ever visited a Local Radio Station Web Site -- up from 28% in 2002.
  • About half of those who have visited a Local Radio Station Web Site say they are "More Interesting" than they were a few years ago.
  • 57% of Local Radio Station site visitors go to find titles and artists of songs played.
  • 55% go to Local Radio Station sites to listen to that Radio station.
  • Approximately 40% of Persons 12+ say Local AM/FM Radio Stations are their primary source of learning about new music; among those who cite the Internet, there is no way to determine what percent learn about new music from a Local Radio Station's Web site (online).
The consumer call for FM on cell phones has risen from a murmur to an all-out roar. The industry needs to find ways to serve this important market more rapidly.
  • 18% of current Online Radio Listeners would be "Very Interested" in listening to Internet Radio through a cell phone, smart phone, or MP3 player.
  • The percent interested in accessing Internet Radio through a cell phone, smart phone, or MP3 player rises to 28% among 12-24 year-olds.
  • 41% of 12-24s who own mobile phones say they'd listen to more FM Radio if a tuner were built into those phones.
For access to the complete study, click here.

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Boomer Bucks

Depending on how you define it, I'm either a Boomer or Generation Jones.

But, I do agree with this from Mediapost:

Marketer, Heal Thyself
During a recent meeting with fellow marketers who help companies target Boomers, the conversation inevitably turned to a common frustration about agency creatives and media planners: they just don't get it. They're too young to understand or appreciate the value of Boomers' for their clients; they think Boomers are past their purchasing cycles.

It's not a new lament; it's certainly been written about here and acknowledged by advertising industry watchers. But, as I left the meeting, it occurred to me that perhaps the problem was not the young agency creatives or the media planners but the Boomer experts themselves: perhaps, our own marketing practices contradict the very advice we dole out, serving only to reinforce rather than dispel stereotypes of what it means to market to Boomers.

Perhaps, if we want to convince the youthful decision makers, we should start with ourselves. We should look at our own sites, blogs and advice to see if we are "walking" the talk. Are we following our own advice?

Not consistently. Here's what my unscientific sampling of Boomer expert sites found:

  • Copy and creatives that equate a Boomer with a senior -- even though studies show that Boomers hate being labeled "senior." And, they hate it because they don't think of themselves as "seniors." Our society equates being a "senior" with being "retired," sitting on the sidelines of life. With a life expectancy of 78-80 years for Boomers, it's no wonder that Boomers believe there is still much more of life to live. Furthermore, Boomers are planning on working longer -- yes, some because they need to -- but many because they want to. They are definitely not looking to be retired. So, don't call a Boomer a senior.
  • Advice that highlights fear, not aspiration, to motivate Boomers. The most effective advertising is aspirational in nature -- it speaks to what we desire to be -- productive, physical and valued; it doesn't scare us with fears of what we might become -- old, infirmed, obsolescent. Yet, so many experts forget that important marketing wisdom and instead highlight fears that Boomers have of aging. But, as a generation, we are not fearful; we are challengists. We challenge medicine, technology, society and politics to be better. And challengists are aspirational by nature. It's why they believe things can be better.
  • An assumption that aging is a destination, not a journey. Our parents' and grandparents' generations looked at aging as a journey with a definite destination -- retirement. Given the struggles of their lives and the lower life expectancy, "retiring" was a badge of achievement. For us, "retirement" will be the start of a new phase -- perhaps of a new career, a new passion, or more time to devote to a lifetime passion. And, it most definitely is part of a journey, not the final resting spot.
  • A heavy reliance on nostalgia, not progress. While it is important to understand the historical political, societal and cultural changes that helped shaped Boomers' psyche, it is equally important to remember that Boomers are a forward-thinking group -- and have been for most of their lives. It's this forward thinking that wrought important societal, political, and cultural changes -- and will continue to bring changes as we enter new phases. We are not nostalgic for the "good old days" but rather look forward to what's next -- whether it is in our personal or public lives or products we embrace.

This is not to suggest that all Boomer experts are guilty of all these transgressions. There are some terrific practitioners who are walking the talk and helping companies successfully marketing to Boomers. But, as a good friend and young creative director told me, it's hard to get excited about a target audience when the adviser is not. There's nothing sexy about selling products to a target that's old, retired, and fearful.

So, the next time you are frustrated at your inability to convince the young creative director or media planner or marketing client to include Boomers in their campaign, ask yourself if you are abiding by your own advice.

Anne Mai Bertelsen is the Founder and President of MAI Strategies, a marketing consulting firm specializing in integrated marketing strategy development and implementation. Her clients include American Express Consumer Card Group, United Nations' Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, and the Radio Advertising Bureau. Prior to starting her own firm, Anne held marketing positions at American Express and the Port Authority of NY & NJ. Reach her here.

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from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Try Not to Let It Bother You

There's no such thing as rejection. Somebody saying "no" is just like somebody saying "yes." "No" is just a word, like "yes" is a word, except we put all these connotations on certain words: "No" is bad and "yes" is wonderful. Here's the key - if I don't give "no" any power, then it doesn't stick to me. I can keep getting "no'd" and it doesn't matter. Eventually, the more I keep going the more "yeses" I will get.

Sometimes I get asked by salespeople if sales is something you're born with or something you can learn. That's a hard one to answer. I think it's unquestionable that some people are born with the skill to communicate more effectively than others - it's in their DNA. Can you teach someone how to sell? Yes, you can give them all the skills sets, but eventually they still have to do it.

In all these years that I've been selling, nothing has changed. I'm constantly looking at how I am doing it. What should I say? What should I not say? I can come out of a sale knowing I did all the right things and still not get an order, and still, I will feel great because they weren't ready to buy at that time.

There's no point in beating myself up, if I take it personally, or feel rejected, everything stops: I'll never get out of bed. That's why "no's" don't matter. Being told "drop dead and go away" doesn't mean anything; it's just their opinion, and has nothing to do with me or with you.

So if I do get fed up, I just make a choice: How long do I want to be fed up for? Answer: I only want to do it for seconds. I have got my life ahead of me and if I take it personally and get upset nothing is going to happen except I'm going to blame someone else, and then it's a spiral into the abyss - the downward elevator to despair doesn't make for sales.

So keep your chin up and spirits high -- set your sights on winning the sale and you will always succeed.

Source: Jeff Gee, President/CEO, McNeil & Johnson Learning Company (

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Sarah Mahoney
"The impact of his win is just enormous for our brand," Brian Groves, Callaway's VP/brand management, tells Marketing Daily. Because the final round was so close, ratings jumped 36%, reports CBS Corp., and the tournament was seen in 12% of U.S. households. "When you monetize how many times our logo showed up, it's just tremendous." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Hockey, more than any other televised sport, seems to benefit most from the proliferation of HDTVs, which can follow the fast-paced action better than standard definition broadcasts could in the past. "The aspect ratio provides tremendous benefit for hockey fans. Given the dimensions of a hockey rink and the camera placement, it provides so much more. There's no doubt it's a huge part of what we do." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The effort uses fonts, voices, styles and sets reminiscent of the time when Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" was atop the charts. The campaign, "Comfort is Back. Travel Avalon Class," even features '50s- and '60s-era pamphlet art to tout Avalon's cabin size, ride and today's technology. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The integrated campaign for Torched Cherry, which combines the flavors of Barbados cherries and Torch Plant aloe, includes national print advertising (consumer and trade), public relations, on-premises and in-store promotions (including tasting strips and product sampling, where legally allowed). ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The efforts include new advertising for the car starring someone to be picked from among people who attend a casting call at Washington, D.C.'s Howard University. The automaker's "Inspired by Color" program aims to find people whose "unique and stylish" personalities represent the 2011 Ford Fiesta. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
The campaign, with the tagline "Be Tenacious," includes a partnership with Abernathy, known as "Grandma Luge," has made a career of breaking barriers. She holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest woman ever to compete in the Winter Olympics and is the first woman over age 50 to participate in the Winter Games. ...Read the whole story >>

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Are You a Funny Looking...

... Animal?

Check this out from Drew:

Stop trying to be a liger brand!

Posted: 11 Apr 2010 07:38 AM PDT

Liger_drewmclellan I've had this conversation about 6 times this past week, so it seems timely to write about it as well.

For some reason -- many companies and brands are not content to be who they are. They feel the need to create some artificial hybrid of themselves.... no doubt because they're afraid they're leaving money on the table, they are missing out on some customers or their revenue is down, so they're going to fish outside of their own pond.

Here's the truth about your brand. If you are a lion -- then be a lion. Be the boldest, loudest, most confident lion you can be.

The minute you decide to become half lion and half tiger... you compromise your own brand. You become less of who you truly are.

I've seen this too many times to think it is a coincidence or fluke. While you are out prowling as a are the results:

  1. You chase after business that is outside of your sweet spot -- so it takes up more resources (time, talent, money) for you to deliver what you sold. In other words -- lower (if any) profit.

  2. You end up working with customers who value something other than what you are best at selling, so in many cases, you are satisfying them but not delighting them.

  3. Because you are a little (or a lot) outside of your usual scope -- you price your offerings badly -- either giving it away (what did we say about net profits?) or trying to charge a ridiculous amount, just proving that you aren't really an expert in that particular arena.

  4. While you are working extra hard (see #1 above) to deliver on business you really aren't superior in, you're so busy that you can't chase or win sweet spot business.

In are working harder, delivering less spectacular results and making less money.

I get the short term temptation of trying to be that hybrid -- it's money in the pocket.

But, in the long run, you simply diminish your own ability to be remarkable. To be the brand that goes way beyond delivering satisfaction -- but instead, your customers LOVE you. Those are the companies that are surviving this recession. Those are the companies who enjoy incredible word of mouth business.

If you are a lion -- be the biggest, baddest, boldest lion you can be. You don't (and shouldn't) be anything else.

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Customer Service Tips for 2010

from the CustomersRock! blog:

Customer-Obsessed Service

heart-gift.jpgI have been broadcasting my Customers Rock! Radio program now for 6 months, and I feel it is time to pull together a summary of information from some of those programs into a post (or two!). The radio program is really an extension of this blog; you get to hear my voice as part of an hour-long conversation around the topics we all know and love here: customer experience, customer service, loyalty, marketing, and social media. But I can really sum up the first 6 months of the program with the title of this post: we have been talking about what Customer Obsessed Service looks like. (Note: I borrowed this term from something that Rayanne Langdon was talking about on the show; she was sharing about Freshbooks and their involvement in the Small Business Web – companies focused on customer obsessed software.) This post will discuss the operational perspective of Customer Obsessed Service – what does it take to make this happen at an organization?


Before we can discuss Customer Obsessed Service, we need to make sure we understand customer expectations. Customers have changed, and customer expectations have greatly changed! Social media has put everything into a new light as empowered customers are taking up their mobile phones and tweeting their distress for all the world to see. Here is a typical customer service tweet:

Does anyone know if COMPANY X has a Twitter? I want to make sure everyone knows how POOR their customer service is!! I’m sooooo annoyed.

If nothing else, brands need to be using social media to listen to the customer conversation for concerns or issues. Sometimes customers may be whining, and sometimes customers may have a real problem that needs to be addressed. Customer Obsessed Service means a company is attentive to what their customers are saying via social media (and via other mechanisms as well, including surveys, comments to sales, feedback to customer service reps, etc.) and go take action to make sure the customer’s issues are resolved to their satisfaction.

Action: Do you understand the expectations of your customers for your products, and for your customer service? If not, spend some time listening to customer conversations, talking to customers for clarification, and determining the top pain points.


Most employees in an organization don’t understand what it takes to provide great customer service, much less Customer Obsessed Service. Yet employees are a key factor in whether customer service sucks or rocks. This is true whether the employee actually works in customer service or whether they are not customer facing at all!

Customer Obsessed Service starts with hiring the right people – those who are naturally people-focused, have a passionate spirit, are empathetic, and like to think creatively to solve problems. Southwest Airlines calls this having “…a Warrior Spirit, a Servant’s Heart, and a Fun-LUVing Attitude.” I couldn’t agree more!

These employees also have to be empowered to do what is right for the customer. This doesn’t mean giving every customer a discount, or something for free when they complain. It DOES mean listening to the customer’s needs and doing what they can to make it right without always have to get a supervisor’s approval. Guidelines need to be clear, and when they are, employees are then freed up to get the help they need to turn around a bad situation with a customer.

Action: Start with an assessment in your organization. What do your employees think about your customer service? What would they do to make it better?

Customers as Assets

Customer Obsessed Service is also achieved based on how we measure it.

Incredibly, many companies today are still measuring their customer service based on how many calls they can process in an hour. Get the customer off the phone/chat as soon as possible in order to respond to more customers. The end result is usually customers that have to call again in order to finish getting their questions answered. These types of metrics are used when organizations look at the customer service department as something to be measured on a P&L statement. Customer service is viewed as a cost center.

Organizations espousing Customer Obsessed Service view customers as a valuable asset that belongs on a balance sheet. Each customer interaction is a golden opportunity to improve the relationship, and each customer touch could result in a customer who is so happy they become an evangelist for the brand. Don Peppers and Martha Rogers talked about this in their book Return on Customer Companies that treat their customers as an asset create a very different approach to customer interaction; each customer contact is reviewed to see how it will add to or detract from the customer value of each customer.

Action: Review your customer service metrics to see how you view your customers.

What About You?

What else do companies need to get right operationally in order to create Customer Obsessed Service? Who is doing it well? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

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Sarah & Jim

Recently I was cleaning out my email.

I can be a pack rat.

I save stuff for the future. Like this story from Jim Meisenheimer that he wrote last year:

In Sales Little Things
Mean Everything

In sales little things mean everything. I've always
believed this to be true.

Once again, I was reminded how important the little
things in life are.

About 10 days ago I had the privilege of working with
a golf professional and a tennis professional.

You see, they're in business together and wanted to
sharpen their selling skills.

So I put together a 2-day program tailored to their
specific needs.

At the end of the first day I offered to take them
to dinner.

We went to the Stonewood Grill & Tavern.

Sarah was our server.

She was friendly, very attentive and had a big warm
smile. I asked her what kind of Cabernet was on the
wine list.

She mentioned several and I asked her which one she
recommended. She said there were two favorites but
she recommended the Coastal Oaks Cabernet.

Like you - I've been to lots of restaurants.

Sarah did something no one has ever done before.

She came back with two bottles of beer - for the golf
and tennis pros.

And she had two wine glasses and two bottles of
Cabernet. She said, "I thought I'd let you try both."

I tried both and like the one she recommended better.

She was happy and I was even happier.

You have to admit, what Sarah did was a little thing.

Okay - so how come no one else has ever offered two
samples to try for me?

Sure it's a little thing, but it had a big impact.

I just told 22,457 newsletter subscribers about my
experience with Sarah at the Stonewood Grill & Tavern.

If you stop and think about it, I'm sure there are
any number of little things you could be doing for
your customers.

Dozens of restaurants have closed in Sarasota during
this recession.

Most restaurants mistakenly think they're in the
"Serving food business."

Wrong - they're in the "Serving customers business."

It doesn't take brains to hang up a "Going out of
business" sign.

It does however take brains, passion, enthusiasm,
and enormous energy to exceed your customer's
expectations to keep them coming back for more.

Keep looking for ways to exceed your customers

Make them laugh!

Surprise them often!

Learn how to upsell and cross sell.

Ask your customers "How can we do it better?"

Take pictures of your customers using your products.

Develop an attitude of gratitude with regards to
your customers.

Collect snail mail and e-mail addresses so you can
creatively keep in touch with your customers.

Regardless of your business always ask for referrals
and introductions so you can keep growing your
business - even during a recession.

And please don't ever forget - in sales little things
mean everything!

Favorite Quote

The secret of success is doing what you do well.


Let's go sell something . . .

Jim Meisenheimer

21 years . . .

522 customers . . .

72.7% repeat business . . .

Jim Meisenheimer | 13506 Blythefield Terrace | Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 | 941-907-0415

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