Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sign, sign everywhere a sign...

So, you're considering using Billboards to advertise...

Read this first from The Media Audit:

Outdoor Advertising: Who Drives more, Men or Women?

Preliminary data from The Media Audit's 2009 National Report indicates that men drive an average of 58 more miles than women in a typical week, and they are 23% more likely when compared to all U.S. adults to be heavily exposed to outdoor advertising. According to the study, the average number of weekly miles driven by men 18+ is 215 miles, while women drive an average of 157 miles in an average week. Studies were conducted in 80 U.S. markets among more than 100,000 adults 18+.

The study further reveals that households with children living at home drive an average of 17 more miles per week, when compared to all adults. Among all U.S. adults, the average number of miles driven in a typical week is 186 miles, while households with children living at home drive 203 miles in an average week.

Further analysis of high mileage drivers also indicates that men who are high mileage drivers also have more buying power, in terms of income and planned purchases across different consumer categories. For example, men who are heavily exposed to outdoor advertising earn $84,386 in average household income, compared to women who are heavily exposed to outdoor advertising earn $75,829 in average household income. Heavy exposure to outdoor advertising is defined by The Media Audit as anyone who drives more than 200 miles in a typical week.

In terms of planned purchases, men who are high mileage drivers are more likely than women to be planning the purchase of a new vehicle and also more likely to spend $20,000 or $30,000 or more for a vehicle. According to the data, 8.8% of men who drive 200+ miles per week plan to purchase a new vehicle, whereas 7.3% of women who drive 200+ miles per week plan to do the same. The report also reveals that men who are heavily exposed to outdoor advertising are more likely than women to be purchasing electronics, such as audio equipment and portable music players, personal computers, and TV sets.

Conversely, women who are heavily exposed to outdoor advertising are more likely than men to be purchasing items such as eyewear, furniture, and major household appliances.

THE MEDIA AUDIT is a multimedia, qualitative audience survey that covers over 450 target items for each rated media's audience. These qualitative data points cover things such as socioeconomic characteristics, life styles, business decision makers, product purchasing plans, retail shopping habits, travel history, supermarket shopping, stores shopped, products purchased, fast-food restaurants eaten in, soft drink consumption, brands purchased, health insurance coverage, leisure activities, banks used and other selected consumer characteristics important to local media and advertisers.

For more information, feel free to visit our website or call (800) 324-992

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How to go GaGa


Gaga for GaGa

In two short years, Lady GaGa has become an international phenomenon—selling millions of albums, breaking Billboard records and earning Grammys. According to Jackie Huba, she has also demonstrated a natural ability to cultivate evangelistic fans: "While her performance art-style stage shows and bizarre outfits have garnered much buzz, it's her loyalty marketing that may sustain her for years."

Here are a few things small businesses could learn from Lady GaGa:

  • Bring your fans into the fold by giving them a special name. "Gaga doesn't like the word 'fan' so she calls them her 'Little Monsters,' named after her album 'The Fame Monster,'" notes Huba. "She even tattooed 'Little Monsters' on her arm and tweeted the pic to fans[,] professing love for them." The name doesn't have to be whimsical or bizarre—Maker's Mark, for instance, uses the straightforward term "Ambassador."
  • Make them feel like they're rock stars, too. During her stage shows, Lady GaGa always places a call to someone in the audience. "She dials the number onstage, the fan screams out, is located and they are put up on a big screen," says Huba. "While the rest of audience goes bananas, she invites the fan to have a drink with her after the show." By giving your fans special—and very public—attention, you make them part of the show.

The Po!nt: Lady GaGa knows how to build long-term loyalty for her brand—and you, too, can use her tricks to do the same for your own.

Source: Church of the Customer Blog. Click here for the full post.

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The Committee

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Don't Count on Relationships

Today's faithful customer may be somewhere else tomorrow or may no longer be in a position to help. You may find yourself dealing with new managers, gatekeepers or voice mail.

Many companies now use a group process in their purchasing decisions. Having a great relationship with one of the team members may not be enough. You need to have a relationship with more people on the team. That's when your reputation will support your sales proposal.

Source: Sales consultant John R. Graham, president of Graham Communications

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and read, and come back this weekend for 3 updates Saturday and 4 Sunday..

by Sarah Mahoney
Aw, Mom, we really love ya: The typical consumer is planning to spend a little more on Mother's Day this year, with the National Retail Federation reporting that consumers are planning to spend about $126.90 on gifts, cards and celebrations. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
April is winding down, which means automotive industry watchers in the U.S. are pulling out the Ouija boards to try to get an early fix on April new-vehicle sales volume. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Kraft Foods' Barnum's Animals Crackers are benefiting endangered Asian tigers -- as well as the brand's sales and image -- via a limited-edition, Lilly Pulitzer-designed package and a $100,000 contribution toward protecting the animals. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The makers of e-book readers are pulling out the marketing stops -- Amazon's Kindle has been airing TV ads recently; Barnes & Noble is launching a major campaign to promote the Nook, and then there's the iPad -- but it still might be awhile before the platform catches on with consumers. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Vantage Hospitality Group announced that all of its nearly 900 Americas Best Value Inn and Canadas Best Value Inn properties throughout North America will carry biodegradable packaging in their guest rooms, including shampoo, body lotion and bath soap. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The National Hockey League has launched the next phase of its long-term strategy of taking hockey beyond the hub to social-media and complementary sites. The League has begun using new Facebook tools that it hopes will make NHL fans advocates and promulgators of league content and opinions. ...Read the whole story >>
by Laurie Sullivan
Family values prompted Nickelodeon's move to a one-brand strategy last year after internal research revealed that the first generation of viewers turned into parents. The audience for the 30-year old brand had grown much larger than the company expected. ...Read the whole story >>

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Insight into the Hispanic Mom

from Mediapost:

Automotive Mom
New research explores Hispanic moms' insights, perceptions and involvement with the automotive category: ownership, usage, attitudes, considerations, and key factors influencing purchase. When it comes to automotive purchases, there is always a misunderstanding that women either aren't interested or don't have a say in which vehicle is chosen. Not so with Hispanic moms, who are not only interested in what type of car but also very involved in features that will not only make her life easier with children in tow, but also be safe and reliable. She is concerned as well with purchase vs. lease, and even performance.

This new research identifies key insights for approaches and messaging with this audience, particularly with regard to choice and selection of a family vehicle.

General Panel Demographics:

  • 87% are women ages 18-34
  • 79% are married or living with a partner
  • 50% say their country of origin is Mexico
  • 67% household income is $45,000 or less
  • 60% are stay-at-home moms
  • 74% have children ages 0-5 in the home

Key Outcomes & Marketing Opportunities:

Factors Influencing Purchase

  • More than 56% of respondents said that expecting a child was a major factor influencing the purchase of a new vehicle
  • Room for passengers (78%) is a major factor in choice, followed by safety/security and price/value
  • Nearly all respondents said they test drove the vehicle that they purchased
  • Respondents also said that they test drove other vehicles -- averaging two or more
  • 1 of 4 purchase or leased a vehicle during the last year; a lesser percentage are considering purchasing in the next 12 months
  • Most respondents indicate preference for a SUV or Minivan, followed by station wagon or four-door sedan
  • The majority of respondents indicate they have a preference between foreign vs. domestic vehicles
  • Toyota (21.9%), Ford (21.1%) and Honda (18.8%) lead in brand preference
  • The majority of respondents say they receive information regarding family vehicles and auto safety via TV (79%) and the Internet (68%)

Hispanic moms are a key and influential target for automotive communications, particularly as related to selection and purchase of a new family vehicle.

Key Take-Aways:

Hispanic moms are a key and influential target for automotive communications, particularly as related to selection and purchase of a new family vehicle. There are many, many ways to positively influence buyer behavior of your vehicle brand by making mom the central point of your marketing communication platform:

  • Understand her needs/walk in her shoes in terms of how her family and having children is an important factor in the vehicle that she purchases -- what is important to her, should be reflected in your messaging
  • Provide her with tips and information that help her visualize the features and functionality that your automotive brand will bring to her -- if it saves her money, time or helps her store more stuff -- let her know.
  • Don't limit yourself to TV spots -- the Internet, Video Downloads, Mobile, Grass Roots Events, In-Retail, non-traditional media, are all great ways to reach this busy mom.
  • Remember she is a viral creature. If you build her trust, she will share your data with her friends and family -- priceless for any marketer.

As COO at Todobebé, Cynthia Nelson is responsible for sales, marketing, technology and strategic planning. She also oversees packaging and roll-out of 360? integrated media programs, product licensing and content syndication. She is known as a marketing and business strategist and is a frequent speaker and board member of major conferences, as well as a published author on digital marketing to U.S. Hispanics. For more information, visit Todobebé or reach her here.

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What You Need to Know about Marketing to Moms

Lot's of insight.

Ignore at your own risk.

From Mediapost:

Making The Connection
No matter their station in life, all moms have the same responsibilities and rewards when it comes to raising their children and providing for their kids' needs. It doesn't matter whether they are superstar actresses, stay-at-home den mothers or the First Lady of the United States.

Whether she is buying a new van, shampoo, or a loaf of bread, a mom's purchase is usually influenced by emotional drivers that contribute to the decision-making process. The challenge for marketers seeking to make the so-called "Mom Connection" is breaking through the noise of competitive messages, not to mention communication forms that have replaced the phone trees and snail mail of just a few years ago such as mommy blogs, PTA groups on Facebook and incessant texting.

Creating relevant products and successfully marketing to moms require recognition of the emotional drivers that motivate moms to make the purchasing and other decisions designed to help their families operate at peak efficiency. Based on existing psychological literature and thousands of interviews and surveys with moms, four key emotional drivers are at play:

  • Survival Mom is responsible for keeping everyone fed, functioning and meeting appropriate milestones. Recently, due to the recession, she has had to do it with more limited resources. Products and messaging successfully tap into this driver when they make her feel she is stretching her dollar by using coupons, eliminating waste through the purchase of recyclable materials, and leaving a green world for her children to inherit.

Target taps into this driver through a commercial showing a harried but playful mom who keeps herself balanced and her kids happy without emptying her wallet or indulging in excessive purchasing. In several minimalist miracles, Oreos become toys; granola bars turn into dance lessons, and Suave shampoo transforms into a fountain of youth in a bottle that "keeps her hair smoking hot." Target is telling moms that with the right retailer, they can still have it all for their families without going crazy (or overdrawing their accounts).

  • Teaching Having kept everyone alive for another day, mom's core responsibility is teaching her kids how to be successful grown-ups. She is a role model for her children's social skills, self-sufficiency and self-worth. The products she chooses to buy demonstrate her values to her children. At the same time, she wants to show them how to make smart consumer choices. She may choose, for example, to shop at a store that donates to local schools and to fill her cart with products that do the same to set an example for her kids.

Nestlé's Stouffer's brand successfully captured this spirit with its "Let's Fix Dinner" campaign, which outlined how myriad potential social problems that could be avoided by spending time with family at the dinner table. The promotion cites research that indicates that consistently eating as a family helps promote good grades, reduces eating disorders in adolescent girls, lowers the risk of alcohol and drug use in teens and lowers obesity rates. All of these benefits to help raise emotionally healthy kids through meals at the family table - hopefully, a meal from Stouffer's.

  • Bonding First-time moms in America are the oldest in the world due to the fact that American moms have been delaying parenthood until they have had more life experience and resources to share with their families. Millennial moms also truly enjoy hanging out with their children. Products that allow moms and kids to share a genuinely enjoyable experience together tap into this driver -- whether it's a family-friendly video game played together or a text-enabled cell phone that keeps everyone in touch tap into this driver.

Panasonic's Living in HD campaign showed consumers that its line of technology could reunite the overworked and alienated American family around a common bonding experience like watching television, sharing photos, or making family videos. The effort was anchored in the singular emotional appeal of connection, hooking the heartstrings of the moms who live in a highly technological world but want to stay intimately bonded to their families.

  • Heroism Rarely does a mom hear the words "Thank you" for all she does. Making decisions to create the feeling that those magic words are being expressed on some level is the ultimate reward. She genuinely enjoys providing things that please her children and give her "street cred" among other moms. It can be something as simple as family taco night, where everyone gets exactly the type of taco they want, to landing the hottest concert tickets nobody else on the block can get.

In one of last year's back-to-school Wal-Mart ads, a mom economically outfits her son's new college dorm with the things he needs and the things he wants. "We were able to get it all, and then some," the mom says in a voiceover as she hands her son a framed portrait of the two of them together. The face that he doesn't roll his eyes at the sentiment is a small gift in itself - he even shows it to one of his new classmates. The campaign reaffirms to mom that with the right retailer, she can make her children proud, cementing her role as the family hero.

When marketers refine their messages to address even one of these emotional drivers, their success in reaching out to the mom market accelerates. Better yet, when they hit multiple drivers, they can succeed with moms in every category. If they miss the mark and fail to hit any of them, there is no doubt that the product or message will fall flat with mom shoppers.

Mary McIlrath is a Vice President at C&R Research, Inc. (, a Chicago-based market research firm. Since 1959, it has provided custom-designed qualitative and quantitative reports for business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients.

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from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Are You Wasting Time?

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% of the allotted time. Why only 60%? 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 Kevin Davis (

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and Read:

by Karl Greenberg
Chrysler's message with its latest quarterly report is that things are turning around, and that the company isn't the Larry King of automakers: This time the marriage is going to work. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Sprint and are teaming up on a public-service campaign to discourage teens from texting. Included is a video PSA featuring Joel McHale and Ken Jeong, of the sitcom "Community." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
JCPenney has been on a mission, determined to shake off its dowdy image and convince consumers that it is the destination for fun, affordable fashion. Now, the Plano, Texas-based retailer says it will pick up the pace of that makeover, unveiling a new five-year plan for investors and analysts that calls for sales of $23 billion by 2014, driven primarily by comparable-store sales growth. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The signs are increasingly pointing toward Food and Drug Administration intervention and eventual regulation of sodium levels in packaged and restaurant food and beverages. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Shell Oil and Penske Corp. have signed a multi-year partnership around both the latter's racing program and its broader business activities. The new deal gives Shell marketing opportunities for its fuels, products like V-Power motor oil products and its Pennzoil subsidiary. ...Read the whole story >>

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What's the value of Word of Mouth?

While it's true that there are businesses that never spend money on advertising, they do spend it on marketing.

That's becasue of the broad scope of "Marketing" includes anything from the way they answer the phone to signage, etc.

Take a look at this from

Word of mouth has greater impact than ads

NEW YORK: Marketing campaigns that encourage considerable word of mouth among consumers have a greater impact on sales than more traditional forms of advertising, according to McKinsey.

The consultancy argued that word of mouth is the "primary factor" behind between 20% and 50% of purchases, with a particular relevance in relation to expensive products and first-time acquisitions.

It added that an advertising "overload", growing mistrust of marketing and the social media-driven shift in control away from companies and towards consumers have all encouraged this trend.

More specifically, an individual's direct experience with a brand was found to generate something in the region of 50% and 80% of all word of mouth.

"Consequential" word of mouth driven by marketing and "intentional" word of mouth based on formal corporate efforts – such as brands hiring celebrity endorsers – made up the majority of the remainder.

A detailed study of the mobile phone sector showed advertising had an influence score of 30% in mature markets at the "initial consideration stage", with previous usage on 26% and word of mouth on 18%.

Information gathered from online sources played the most significant role in the "active evaluation phase" with a rating of 29%, falling to 20% for shopping and 19% for word of mouth.

These factors retained their pre-eminence at the moment of purchase, although data collected from the internet held an even higher weight of 65%, with shopping on 20% and word of mouth on 10%.

By contrast, word of mouth was the main influence across the entire process in emerging markets, posting 18% at initial consideration, 28% at active evaluation and 46% at the point of purchase.

Advertising took second place during each phase, reaching a peak of 40% at the end of the cycle, with previous usage trailing in third in each case.

When assessing the "equity" of word of mouth, McKinsey said recommendations from a "trusted source" like a friend or family member was 50 times more likely to persuade someone to buy a brand.

Elsewhere, influentials, making up some 9% of the population, produced around three times more word of mouth than the norm, with the 1% of "digital influentials" also boasting "disproportionate power".

McKinsey cited the example of Apple's launch of the iPhone in Germany, where it was the subject of just 10% of word of mouth in the category, a third less than the market leader.

However, this activity was five times more powerful than that for its rival – and six times more powerful than Apple's paid-for media – because of the perceived authority of these "influentials".

"Marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising in categories as diverse as skincare and mobile phones," McKinsey added.

Red Bull was also credited with effectively using celebrities and other "opinion makers" to champion its brand, while Miele and Lego achieved this result by involving customers in the innovation process.

Messages passed among consumers that emphasized “important product or service features” were also found to have a more substantial impact than general or emotive comments.

Equally, the sharing of information in small, closely-connected groups delivered better returns than interactions in "dispersed communities" due to the stronger levels of trust between participants.

This even applies on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, where individuals can have hundreds of friends, but still typically only value the input of a limited number of their contacts.

Data sourced from McKinsey; additional content by Warc staff, 21 April 2010

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy at Mediapost:

Long faces. Symmetrical faces. Water conservation. Let's launch!

Coca-Cola debuted a TV spot in Australia promoting its energy drink, Mother. Targeting young, strapping men, the ad takes place in "Motherland," a carnival world where men blow up buildings, eat full steaks on a stick, bungee-jump sans cord and ride a roller-roaster through fire. The roller-roaster is conveniently equipped with a small opening, perfect for cooking that steak on a stick. See it here. Smart, Sydney created the ad, directed by David Gaddie of The Colony.

VH1 Latin America launched a print campaign called the "Wonderful World of VH1." Ads feature artists from four music genres: "Rap," "Blues," "Pop" and "Latino," morphing from ordinary, cookie-cutter artists to edgy and extreme. The edgier a performer becomes, the more records are sold. Three versions of each artist are shown per ad. I love how the Latino singer is surrounded by teddy bears -- and then lingerie. Each ad portrays a "fictional" artist, but if you don't see Amy Winehouse, 50 Cent and quite possibly a Jonas Brother in these renderings, then we need to talk. See the ads here, here, here and here, created by Young & Rubicam New York.

Symmetry only Adrian Monk could love. Nissan launched a print and outdoor campaign in Europe promoting the Cube, its car targeted to a design audience... and shaped like a cube. Creative shows how three people look when their face and attire are symmetrical. Eyes are crossed, freckles have matching partners, hair curls perfectly and noses look creepy. "Humans aren't symmetrical. Why should their cars be," asks the ads, seen here, here and here. TBWA/Paris and TBWA/G1 created the campaign.

Keeping with oddly shaped faces, Boost Mobile launched a Hispanic campaign this week called "Facing Abuse." The first spot, "Long Face," takes place in a diner. A patron has an unusually long face because his wireless provider has lousy coverage, resulting in dropped calls. His waitress suggests Boost Mobile, which offers talk, text and Internet access for $50 a month. She's a changed woman now, wearing a badge depicting her former long face on her uniform. The ad, seen here, is airing nationally on Hispanic networks like Univision and Telemundo. iNSPIRE! created the ad.

Brita launched an Earth Day TV spot this week in Canada, chiding residents, without saying a word, for buying plastic water bottles. "Change" shows how intrusive plastic water bottles can be when accumulated throughout a household. A closet door opens, only to have countless water bottles spill out. A woman exercises with bottles strewn nearby, a man reads a newspaper while surrounded by bottles. My personal favorite is the woman longing to swim in her pool, only to see it's overrun with bottles. "Ever thought about how many plastic water bottles Canadians bought last year? The Earth needs Brita," concludes the ad, shown here and created by DDB Toronto.

Leave it to AXE Canada to take the theme of conserving water by showering with a friend and create an Earth Day campaign that encourages residents to take part in "Showerpooling." Why the Canadian tough love? Apparently, Canadians are second only to the United States when it comes to wasting water. AXE created a Facebook application where users can invite friends to Showerpool. A "Showerpooling Introduction Service" allows water-conscious folks to be introduced to each other by a mutual friend. Lastly, a satiric video was created to suggest ideas to save water parks and synchronized swimming. Shower with "like-minded acquaintances or attractive strangers." My favorite scene shows two pairs of water footprints getting down and dirty. "It's not just environmentally friendly, it's all kinds of friendly," concludes the video, seen here. Zig created the campaign.

Electrolux launched "Table," a TV spot touting "appliances that help you create more than just wonderful food." That translates into strange things happening at the dinner table. Animated water takes a child's sailboat birthday cake and moves it downward; a tiny man maneuvers clouds onto a table, resulting in a rainstorm; a train set interrupts dinner; a chicken dinner comes back to life, and green Play-Doh becomes a giant Tyrannosaurus rex. Strange, right? Watch it here. Lowe Brindfors created the ad, with visual effects by Smoke and Mirrors.

Runners of the world, check this out! Runner's World magazine launched Runner's World Route Finder, a site where runners can search for maps of running routes in their own neighborhood or travel destinations. Runners can learn the degree of difficulty ahead of time by viewing elevation profiles of any hills. Users can also drag and drop routes into their training log calendars. Routes recorded in the RW Route Finder can also be shared with friends on Facebook and Twitter. TrainingPeaks powers the site.

Random iPhone App of the week: Enjoy viewing magazine covers of the past? Newsweek launched "Flashback," a free app that allows users to do just that. Created by HUGE, the app gives users access to covers from the 1930s to present day. The mag's covers can by a viewed by date, year or decade -- or shake your phone to see a random one. Covers can be saved to phones and downloaded as wallpaper. Download the app here.

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Value is Better

Better than what?

Take a look.

From Jim Meisenheimer this week:

Sell Value Not Discounts

Sell value not discounts is the way to go if you're one
of the rare breed of entrepreneurs or professional
salespeople, who do in fact, focus on adding value to
your sales prospects and customers buying experience.

A quick story to illustrate this point.

Last weekend Bernadette, my wife, and I took off for
the weekend.

At a recent Women's Club event Bernadette bid and won
a free night at the Vinoy Hotel and Resort in St.
Petersburg. We added a night so we ended up with a
3-day/2-night package.

My wife's friend Alexis told her about a wonderful
boutique, Pamela M's, just north of St. Pete.

So off we go to Pamela M's shop.

But first we stopped for lunch in Madeira Beach.

The movie, Forrest Gump, is one of my all-time favorites.

It turns out the movie inspired a seafood restaurant
with the movie producers.

So they created the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. They currently
have six locations in the US. They do a lot of little
things that most restaurants never think of doing.

For example. Have you ever been to a restaurant, where
the entire staff is looking out for you? Well I haven't!

Every table at Bubba Gumps has a little stand that holds
two license plates. The blue plate says, "Run Forest Run."
The red plate says, "Stop Forest Stop."

The blue plate means you're happy with everything. The
red one says you need something. Everyone who sees the
red plate asks how they can help you.

Ya know, in sales little things mean everything.

Sales tip - do the little things that no one else in your
business is doing.

Now - off we go to Pamela M's boutique.

As soon as we walked in the door, we were greeted with
friendly, "Hellos" from the staff.

One of them said, "Everything is 20% off today."

For the next hour and a half I'm taking it all in. I
found a comfortable chair and was able to amuse myself
with my iPhone.

My wife likes to shop. In fact she shops more than she

But today would be different. Very different!

From my perch I could see that a lot of the customers
are regulars.

The selection of clothes was amazingly unique and

We've been married about 22 years. I've never seen my
wife buy so many things, at one time, in one store

In addition to having a marvelous selection to choose
from, Pamela - the store's owner, also had a fabulous

I'm watching all this. Customers interacting with
salespeople. Customers interacting with other customers.
Everybody is just having a good time while they're
trying on and buying clothes.

It was fun. There was a bottle of Kendall Jackson
Chardonnay standing tall next to the plate of crackers
and Bree cheese and set on a small oak table in front
of a sofa.

This wasn't a shopping - it was an experience.

Our salesperson tallied up our bill and then deducted
the promised 20% discount.

The discount didn't matter. Everything else did. In
fact, everything else mattered more.

Pamela has a great shop and an inconvenient location
for us - about one hour drive from our home in Lakewood
Ranch. Guess what? I'm sure we'll be going back soon.

Hey Pamela. You ofter an incredible shopping experience
for women and tremendous clothes and have an awesome
sales staff.

You didn't have to knock $300 off our bill.

You could however do something a little different that
has potentially a big impact. You could do something
that would even create a buzz with your customers about
your business.

For example. Instead of offering a 20% discount you can
give your customers a box of Godiva - Thank You
Ballotins - 19 pieces.

The cost is $26 but the value is priceless to the women
who love chocolate.

In addition you would have added, on our bill, $274 to
your bottom line.

Keep up the good work Pamela - and remember to sell
value not discounts.

See my Blog here:

Twitter me here:

Facebook link:

Jim Meisenheimer. 13506 Blythefield. Lakewood Ranch. FL. 34202

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Sarah Mahoney
Looks like affluent people are feeling safe about spending again: Coach says its fiscal third-quarter sales jumped 12%, and Burberry says that its retail sales gained 15% in the second half. Consultant Patricia Pao says she isn't surprised, and that the strong pickup some luxury retailers saw over the holidays is building steam. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
While the producers are trying to keep at least a few surprises in store for fans planning to take in the latest adventures of Carrie Bradshaw and cohorts in the upcoming "Sex and the City 2," "Sex" addicts can count on at least one thing: When the foursome sips a bit of the bubbly, their brand of choice will be Moët & Chandon. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Harley-Davidson says first-quarter sales were down, but not as sharply as they had been in the prior three quarters. The Milwaukee-based maker of the top-selling bike brand in the U.S. said worldwide retail sales of new motorcycles dropped 18.2% for the company, versus the quarter last year. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
It's a question men and marketers have been asking since time immemorial: What do women want? Well, for marketers the answer is more targeted ads that show an understanding of their lives and give them something of value. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
iShares, a leader in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), has launched an integrated, multiplatform marketing campaign, its first since the company was acquired by BlackRock with the message 'Keep Evolving.' ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Automakers are throwing cash on the hood and consumers are biting. Last month, according to, sales of new vehicles purchased with zero-percent financing hit record levels -- at least since 2004, when Edmunds came on the scene. ...Read the whole story >>

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How to Beat a Giant

Valuable lessons to learn from the story from the Times:

A Local Dry Cleaner Tries to Compete Against P.&G.

FOUNDED in 2004, Hangers Cleaners of Kansas City, Mo., was started as an environmentally safe dry cleaner. It uses colorless, odorless liquid carbon dioxide instead of the aggressive chemicals applied at traditional dry cleaners. It has 35 employees and 2009 revenue of $1.6 million.

THE CHALLENGE To survive the arrival of a huge new competitor, Procter & Gamble, which began testing a Tide dry-cleaning service in Kansas City in 2008.

THE BACKGROUND When Joe Runyan started Hangers, he was hoping to bring a fresh approach to what he considered a stagnant industry. A first-time entrepreneur who had left a marketing career at Sprint, he had been dissatisfied with the local dry cleaners, finding dirty facilities and rude workers to be the norm.

Then, while researching the business, he discovered that the chemicals used by most cleaners were prohibiting new entrants. Building owners refused to lease space to cleaners using perchloroethylene, or “perc,” which is now heavily regulated. “By no means was I a tree hugger,” Mr. Runyan said. “But from a business perspective, it was clear this industry had to change.”

He found that liquid carbon dioxide was acceptable to landlords and as effective as perc in cleaning. Mr. Runyan decided to employ the new process.

While his business plan had called for 12 to 14 storefronts and drive-through counters throughout the city, pick-up-and-delivery vans emerged as Hangers’ most effective sales channel. At a storefront, customers might forget to retrieve garments, and Mr. Runyan might never get paid. His six vans, however, picked up and delivered clothes in waterproof bags from patrons’ porches or garages twice a week. Upon delivery, Mr. Runyan immediately charged his customers’ credit cards. He didn’t charge extra for the service, but he said, “It’s so much less expensive to roll a van.”

Better yet, he found that if customers never put clothes in their own cars, they were less tempted by competitor sales. “Our bricks-and-mortar storefronts provide credibility,” he said, “but we encourage our employees to convert customers to the vans. Our stickiness is so much higher. It’s one more errand people don’t have to run.”

And then, in 2008, Procter & Gamble opened an eco-friendly dry cleaner about 1.5 miles from Hangers’ headquarters. Using Kansas City as a test market for a new line of franchised Tide Dry Cleaners, P.&G. offered drive-through service, 24-hour lockers, an on-site tailor and traditional “wet” cleaning, as well.

“I think there’s enough business in town for both, especially if they focus on storefronts, but they’re spending tons of money marketing and undercutting price,” Mr. Runyan said. “How do we overcome the gorilla down the road?”

THE OPTIONS One way to differentiate Hangers from a global brand, Mr. Runyan hoped, would be to increase the quirky messaging he believed his patrons enjoyed. Hangers gave away T-shirts that say “Sniff me” and sent promotional e-mail messages with riffs on the latest “American Idol” episode. It returned garments on hangers with slogans like “In the closet and proud” and “You’re the 23rd person I’ve seen naked. Please recycle hangers.” These efforts had brought positive feedback in person and through Mr. Runyan’s social networking on Facebook and Twitter.

Another option was to cast the company as an integral member of the community. For example, Mr. Runyan could try to partner with local businesses and charities, picking up from and delivering to their offices. A single point of contact might introduce Hangers’ services to thousands of employees, bypassing the cost of traditional media.

Third, Mr. Runyan could re-evaluate his storefront strategy, promoting the best ones but placing an even bigger bet on the vans.

Finally, he contemplated offering “wash ’n fold” laundry, too. “How can we leverage the trust we’ve built, the payment mechanism, and the vans to capture a larger share of wallet?” he asked. “What else can we sell?”

THE DECISION Mr. Runyan decided to pursue a combination of these options:

Hangers continued to cultivate its offbeat image. “We have a personality in a business devoid of it,” Mr. Runyan said. “We can’t out-price or out-spend our big competitor, but we can be genuine, funny and edgy.”

He worked to create a tight-knit culture of service and accountability. If a garment was damaged, a store representative would call the customer immediately and offer to replace it. He held a St. Patrick’s Day tailgate party for 60 people in a Hangers parking lot and financed a float in the local parade. “Maybe it’s goofy and old-fashioned,” he said, “but it seems to be resonating with the folks in K.C. Who would expect people to party with their dry cleaner?”

He initiated partnerships with corporations, nonprofit organizations and community groups, and he can quantify the patrons gained from each. He also contacted schools and donates 10 percent of the proceeds from parents’ dry cleaning back to each school.

In 2009, Hangers closed an underperforming storefront. And he concentrated Hangers’ van service on affluent, densely populated neighborhoods, hiring an additional sales representative to explain and expand the service in these areas. “We were already focused on the vans,” he said, “but P.&G.’s arrival made us work even harder.” (So far, Procter & Gamble has not offered van service.)

Additionally, Hangers began offering laundry service at $1.55 a pound (Tide cleans primarily pressed shirts and charges per article of clothing).

THE RESULTS While other local dry cleaners have told him that their year-over-year revenue is flat or down as much as 25 percent, Mr. Runyan said his revenue grew 2 to 3 percent in 2009 and his profits quadrupled, largely as a result of closing the unprofitable location. The laundry service proved a hard sell to suburbanites with their own washers and dryers, but young professionals and dual-income families responded; it now accounts for 2 percent of Hangers’ revenue.

Procter & Gamble now has three locations in Kansas City, and according to Lisa Popyk, a communications representative, they have been “a big win.” The company is advertising franchise opportunities in Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, and in Lexington, Ky.

Mr. Runyan noted, however, that several of his customers had tried Tide’s service and returned to Hangers; he can tell, he said, because of the bar codes “the gorilla” leaves on each garment.

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Who Benefits from Tax Refund Checks?

As I checked with various members of my family, I noticed a pattern for those who file their own taxes and were getting refunds; we filed early.

Gotta pay? We filed last week, April 15th. I did both and used money from the Feds to pay my state taxes.

According to this report from Mediapost, here's what we are doing with our checks this year:

A Bird In The Hand

According to a new poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, recession-weary taxpayers awaiting a tax refund check from Uncle Sam will not indulge in unbridled consumer spending this year. Instead, 84% of Americans receiving refunds intend to pay down debt, save or invest their windfall or use it for everyday necessities.

Plans For Refund


% of Respondents

Pay down debt


Save of invest


Spend on necessities


Splurge on vacation or shopping spree


Something else/don't know


Source: Bankrate, April 2010

Bryan Pukoff, CPA and principal at Rehmann, says "... there is still a lot of uncertainty out there... different than what we have seen in the past... people generally... spend it on something for themselves... the percentages surprise me... "

On the other hand, 40% of those who believe they owe taxes say they are not prepared to pay up. Nevertheless, only 6% plan to borrow money, though 17% say they intend to set up an installment plan with the IRS. 63% of respondents will pay their taxes with funds straight from their bank accounts.

Tax Day Expectations


% of Respondents

Expect to receive a tax refund


Have to pay additional taxes


Don't expect a refund; don't have to pay


Already received refund


Don't know/no response


Source: Bankrate, April 2010

Greg McBride,'s senior financial analyst, points out that regardless of economic conditions, putting the money directly into an IRA would be a smart move from a financial planning point of view.

"... the Employee Benefit Research Institute showed that 54% of Americans have less than $25,000 saved for retirement. The tax refund is the biggest windfall people are going to get all year," McBride says.

The vast majority of Americans, 88%, will receive their refunds via check or direct deposit from the U.S. Treasury. 3% of respondents plan to have their refund deposited into multiple accounts, including an IRA. 3% of those getting a refund took a refund anticipation loan. For people with incomes under $30,000, that number jumps to 6%.

For additional information, please visit Bankrate here.

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Stats or Stories?

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Focus on Stories, Not Statistics

Stories make your points memorable during sales meetings with senior executives.

Data are for the middle managers. Statistics and charts support your key points and give you credibility -- but they do not stay in the mind. If they did, every commercial you hear or see would be announcers reading test results and survey data.

Make your points about the solutions you're selling with well-chosen business stories from client organizations. Reduce the case histories to the pertinent details -- sound bites that they can then convey to their advisors in later meetings when they're retelling your story.

Source: Sales trainer Dianna Booher, CEO of Booher Consultants

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and Read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
Improved customer targeting and conversion via analytics, enhanced digital marketing structures and capabilities, greater alignment between marketing and sales, and greater accountability will be the leading strategic mandates for marketing in the year ahead, according to the just-released fourth annual "State of Marketing Report" from the CMO Council. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Buick says it will be one of only six companies to advertise on The Wall Street Journal's new application for Apple's iPad. The ads, touting the LaCrosse sedan, are placed between each section of the digital paper and can be viewed when swiping past certain pages. Users can tap the touchscreen on the ad to learn more about the vehicle. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"Consumer spending will continue to do well for toys," Gerrick Johnson, an analyst who follows the toy industry for BMO Capital Markets, tells Marketing Daily."Whether times are tough or whether we're moving into a recovery, we still have cautiousness, and that means a lot of moms and dads are continuing to budget. Budgets are good for toys, because parents may cut back in other areas, but they won't scrimp on their kids." ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Aaron Baar
Benadryl and the National Park Foundation have teamed up to create a short Web series that pits two families against each other to win an all-expenses paid trip to the national park of their choice. The show's microsite houses a national parks finder for users to find their parks nearby for a vacation and a place to post their own favorite spots. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Earthbound Farm is complementing a brand new series of quirky Greenman videos with a reusable bag giveaway, eco-charity donations, and tips from the company's co-founder and cookbook author Myra Goodman, all in time for Earth Day. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
When J.D. Power and Associates (JDP) acquired Web intelligence firm Umbria in 2008, the Westlake Village, Calif. market research firm was staking a claim in social media. Now, the company is launching its first social-media research product, the Auto Intelligence Monitor (AIM). ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Wayne Friedman
Bank of America is lending some unusual advertising/programming help to the cable network History for its massive 12-hour series "America: The Story of Us." The financial services provider is not only the presenting sponsor of the series, it will produce, through a partnership with History, 12 two-minute, original mini-documentaries about itself. ...Read the whole story >>

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