Saturday, May 08, 2010

Social Media

I found this last weekend on the Basic Marketing Blog:

A Brief History of Social Media

The Internet Was Social From the Beginning

Social Media is the topic of the day, and it seems that organizations ranging from corporate titans to the local "mom and pop's" are pondering how they can join this “new” form of online exchange to increase sales or strengthen a brand. Although most people automatically think of Social Media through the prism of sites like Facebook and Twitter, the development of Social Media is much broader - and has a longer history. In fact, a form of social media was present at the beginning, when the public first accessed the Internet in the 1990’s.

In those early days of the Web, a rudimentary structuring of social interaction began through "forums", which allowed users to post messages and create a continuing dialogue linked by conversation “threads”. This new digital communication channel, although primitive by today's standards, gave millions of people an easy, affordable, and more importantly, popular way to "publish" their own ideas, thoughts, and beliefs, to a wider online audience.

In comparison, most Websites of that time were little more than electronic brochures, containing static, unchanging “pages”. Forums, however, with their lively user-contributions; were always interesting, and continually refreshed, providing new and sometimes controversial content. It made for great reading, but it was also social media in its mewing infancy.

Blogs - Social Media’s First Steps

By 2001, the broader possibilities of the Web were explored by a new concept, first called Weblogs, and then shortened to "blogs". Blogs replaced the cluttered forums, providing a way to create a single, more-focused communication channel. Blogs made it easy to post commentary on any subject and develop an audience of like-minded readers that replied to the blogger’s posts, adding to, and enlivening the content. Although most of these early blogs centered on family activities, others began to focus on topics such as politics and business, and some lucky bloggers found themselves with an online audience numbering in the thousands.

Corporations were leery of the new medium, but by January of 2005, Fortune magazine was forced to encourage business leaders to capitulate to the inevitable, in a cover story entitled, “Why You Can’t Ignore Bloggers”. Bloggers, and by extension, their readers, were American consumers, ignore them at your own peril. Perhaps a better corporate strategy would be to join, rather than avoid, online conversations with consumers, the article suggested.

In hindsight, perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the blog was its role in demonstrating the raw power of individuals, capable of creating a group of online "followers", without need for support, or the legitimacy provided by a political position or professional role as a news reporter. The Internet gave anyone and everyone a chance to build an audience, and depending on their singular abilities, exert influence in just about all areas of human endeavor.

Product Reviews – Courting the Social Searcher

Corporations began to slowly relinquish their need for complete command of the online forum, resulting in a new way to leverage the power of social media to influence behavior – product reviews. In 2004, Amazon became one of the first high-profile companies to accept user-generated reviews of books and other products. These ratings soon became a powerful tool in driving sales. Once again, the Web showed that average people can have a more influential voice on the Web than experts; in this case; book critics, from major media outlets.

Other companies followed quickly Amazon’s example. In some of these product review applications, visitors could “subscribe” to their favorite reviewer’s posts, allowing the reviewer to develop his own audience.

Why do people seem to prefer the opinions of anonymous reviewers than professionals found in major media? Perhaps it was similar to the distrust of major media outlets frequently heard in political discussions. There have been occasions when the impartial nature of media-sourced product reviews has been questioned. For example, in April of 2010, in an article entitled, “Apple IPad: The Reviews Are In,” Fortune magazine noted that all of the new Apple IPad reviewers were handpicked by Steve Jobs, all, it continued, were from publications developing an IPad app and stood to profit from the IPad.

In 2007, a research project commissioned by Power Reviews identified the influence of online product reviews. According to the study, people who utilized online reviews to make purchasing decisions were identified as “social researchers”. The study found that 65% of online shoppers said they “always” read online reviews before making a decision. An example from the study highlighted a company called Delightful Deliveries, which added customer reviews and found, within two months, a 20% increase in conversion rates among products receiving four and five star reviews.

Social Media Takes Center Stage

As technology and Web software continued to advance; the role of an online commentator was recognized, formalized, and became a standard Web design feature. Sites were more interesting, and gained more traffic, when they allowed visitors to post comments, raise questions, or rate the quality of products and services.

The power of followers, fans and product reviewers was obvious, the question became; how best to profitably harness that power?

My Space, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so many more

Perhaps it took the explosive development of countless Social Media applications to make us think that something new had arisen on the Internet. If so, only our awareness is new. Today, a “social” tool is now part of virtually every site or blog.

Ironically, as corporations debate on how to “get involved” with Social Media, it’s a good bet that, unknowingly, they already are involved. How could they not be? If a corporation doesn’t allow customer comments on its own Website, they will discover dozens of user-reviews on Yelp or City Search. If they search blogs and Twitter, they will find themselves there, too. LinkedIn? It probably features the resumes and activities of many of their employees.

At the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century, maybe we finally realize that we don’t have something called “social media” that is found at certain destinations on the Internet. It's much broader than that. We have a Social Web, with a growing list of new tools, and we all make it happen together.

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Email Marketing Tips


A Day-By-Day Email Marketing Guide

Timing in an email marketing campaign, that is, deciding on what day and what time of day, to hit the send button is as important as actually crafting the message and selecting which segmented group of customers will receive it, according to social network Gather.

The overall consensus from numerous studies show that mail sent on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays has the best chance of being opened, according to Gather. But more thought - far more - should go into a send decision than that, Gather said.

For example, Monday is a good day because after a long weekend, many email users make it a priority to organize their inboxes. “This means there is a good chance that they will run across your message and open it,” according to a recent Gather blog post.

Monday and Friday

Gather’s recommended approach for Monday: “Send email late in the morning, preferably just before lunch, as this is when they are more likely to have the time to check their inbox.” As for Friday, “people tend to receive less email on Friday, which in turn, increases the visibility of your message.” The recommended approach for Friday? “Send your message early in the day so the recipient has more time to read it and take action.”

The Weekend
People do check their inboxes on the weekend, according to Gather, which gives a marketing message unlimited potential. The best approach for these days is to send only to subscribers who are most responsive. And sometimes companies have to go by their own instincts, or at least internal research, as a recent example by regional Irish airline Aer Arann shows. Last year, an email marketing campaign run Aer Arann resulted in a 320% spike in flight bookings for that particular day, the highest sales achieved by the airline in one day this year, according to the Irish Times.

The promotion offered 50% off all flights booked between 1pm and 3pm that day. To make sure that customers knew to open their emails, they were first alerted that a deal was coming the day before. Then, the next day at 1 pm, they learned the specifics. This window of time was no accident: Aer Arann established through research that few people book travel at home, but instead take care of such tasks at work. The peak booking period is between midday and 2 p.m., hence the highly targeted and small window.

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Close the Door

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Leaving the Scene

Once you close the details of a sale, don't linger. The customer's time is valuable and so is yours. Too many salespeople unravel the sale by lingering too long and annoying the buyer after the sale has been made.

Hanging around just gives the customer time to have second thoughts about buying.

Source: Master Salesmanship

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
"I came into K-C about two years ago starting on adult and feminine care businesses. The thing I noticed most is that all three categories involve some taboo or stigma associated with them. All three were really born out of institutional roots. Kotex invented the category with belted pads; it was almost clinical the way they introduced menstrual pads in the 1920s. [Then], Depend, of course, and Poise." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Toyota was a bit like a racer who is so far ahead of the pack that the pebble in its shoe merely evens the playing field. "They basically lost a very large lead," says KBB's Rick Wainschel. "Ford has been climbing but what led to the reversal in the placement was more related to Toyota's decline than Ford's increase. They were very far ahead." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Besides affluent shoppers, younger ones show continued enthusiasm for private labels. "It's the younger ones turning to store brands much more than older people," says Nielsen's Todd Hall, who adds that about half of both Millenials and Gen X shoppers say they are likely to turn to private labels, versus 41% of Baby Boomers, and 35% of the Greatest Generation. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"There's a strong desire for consumer electronics. It's one of those things people want, and they now look at it as a necessity rather than a luxury," CEA representative Steve Kidera tells Marketing Daily. "We're hopeful the worse of the [economic downturn] is behind us." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Kantar Retail reports that despite the declines in April, shoppers continue to find themselves increasingly inclined to go shopping, and its ongoing ShopperScape says that only 40% of those polled say they plan to spend less in the month ahead -- the first time it has fallen to that level since early 2008. And more than 50% plan to spend more. ...Read the whole story >>
by Mark Walsh
With prepaid customers the fastest-growing segment of its business, Sprint aims to expand further in the category by establishing brands tied to specific consumer types, whether heavy-texting teens or older users with limited cell phone needs. The underlying connection is affordability and flexibility. ...Read the whole story >>

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You Must Leave...

Sometimes you need to kick out a customer...


When the Customer Is Wrong

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema of Austin, Texas, encourages its patrons to enjoy dinner and a movie—at the same time. "The theater is laid out like a traditional movie theater," explains the company's website, "except every other row of seats has been replaced with a long narrow table for your food and drinks."

A discreet ordering system keeps distractions to a minimum, as does a policy of warning—and, eventually, ejecting—noisy customers who disrupt the film. In a post at the Church of the Customer Blog, Jackie Huba highlights an Alamo Drafthouse PSA, for which the theater recruited a former Texas governor: Confronted with a rowdy customer, she throws him onto the sidewalk. The PSA reads: "Don't talk during the movie… or Ann Richards will take your ass out."

Importantly, the venue stands behind its stern words. After a recent screening of Where the Wild Things Are, Tim League, the theater's founder, was confronted by a man who became irate when a waiter shushed him. The outraged moviegoer followed League to the parking lot, punched the windshield of League's car, and promised never to return.

"Fabulous," responds League at his blog. "You, sir, are exactly the type of patron that I never want to see at an Alamo Drafthouse ever again. People who continue to talk when the movie has started are impolite, self-absorbed losers who were never taught common decency by their parents."

The Po!nt: According to Huba, we need more Tim Leagues—those who choose to protect their best customers from obnoxious behavior, rather than catering to those who ruin the experience for everyone. "The customer is always right," she notes, "if it's the right customer."

Source: Church of the Customer Blog. Read the full post.

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TV ads vs Web Video Ads


Online Ads Surpass TV Ads in Recall, Likability

New online advertising research has again shown what other studies have suggested: Online commercials get better recall than television messaging.

In every recall measure -- general recall, brand recall, message recall, likability -- online proves superior.

Online video ads have a 65% general recall, compared to 46% general recall for TV ads. Brand recall online is at 50% to TV's 28%; message online recall comes in at 39% to TV's 21%; and online likability is 26% to TV's 14%.

The study of 14,000 surveys was originally presented by Dave Kaplan, senior vice president of product leadership at Nielsen AG, and Beth Uyenco, director of global research at Microsoft, at the Advertising Research Foundation. They evaluated 238 brands, 412 products and 951 ad executions to get these results. A deeper brand impact was felt higher among young viewers 13-34.

What accounted for the positive results?

Internet video viewers are more engaged and attentive. The research also said curiosity is a factor, as online video is still relatively new compared to existing media.

One of the biggest reasons for the attentiveness: The inability of the user to skip ads versus that of traditional TV, where about one-third of US viewers have the ability to fast-forward through messaging.

There is also reduced advertising clutter; about four minutes for an hour of programming. This is against 10 minutes of national ads for traditional TV, and around 15 minutes overall when including local ads and TV promos.

There are growing trends to increase commercial load, however. The research says online advertising's "sweet spot" is between six and seven minutes per hour.

(Source: Media Daily News, 04/22/10)

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Another look...

Daily Sales Tip: Simple as ABC

The primary rule in selling has been and always will be ABC: Always Be Closing. Unfortunately, some prospects identify ABC with pushy, aggressive, manipulative or offensive salesepeople.

Closing shouldn't be manipulative, tricky or based on a technique you apply at the end of a presentation. Closing should begin the second you qualify a prospect. It's an attitude you maintain throughout the selling process.

Sales are not closed for two reasons: Either the prospect didn't see the need to make the change, or the salesperson failed to explain the advantages of the product or service being sold.

You begin to close the sale the moment you open it. You're closing when you believe 100 percent in what you do and what you sell. You're closing by showing prospects a passion for what you sell. You're closing when you keep your word, walk your talk, and behave in a thoroughly professional manner.

You're closing when you ask intelligent questions to identify the specific ways your products or services will contribute to the lives of your prospects. You're closing when you listen, giving prospects the respect they want and expect. You're closing when you present expert solutions to the specific needs and concerns of your prospects.

Source: Adapted from 22 Keys To Sales Success, by James M. Benson and Paul Karasik

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Tanya Irwin
"Gen Y goodwill is arguably the closest thing to a crystal ball for predicting a brand's long-term prospects," says Scott Galloway, New York University Stern clinical associate professor of marketing, who founded L2. "Just as Boomers drove the luxury sector for the last 20 years, brands that resonate with Gen Y, whose purchasing power will surpass that of Boomers by 2017, will be the new icons of prestige." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
A source close to Ewanick and the companies involved and who requested anonymity said Nissan was Ewanick's second choice after GM, but that the latter wasn't willing to make a space for him. He adds that the data- and cost-driven Nissan would not have been a good fit for Ewanick, whose focus is ad creative. "Hyundai is also heading that way, which is why he left," he says. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Major packaged food and beverage companies and restaurant chains alike are shifting more of their capital expenditures overseas, in line with their increasing emphasis on realizing growth through developing markets, confirms a new U.S. corporate capital expenditures report from Fitch Ratings. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Olympus is looking to get people to express their artistic sides with a new YouTube-based contest in which they vie to get their dream photography or video project funded, while using the company's new PEN camera. "The PEN your story challenge," says a rep, "is about getting more consumer engagement of the PEN camera. This is about getting the camera into the hands of as many people who can get it and empowering them." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The company is also doing social-media elements on Facebook and YouTube, as well as Playtex "Fit Fridays" promos where one Facebook fan wins a free bra, fit and style tips, and a star turn in video segments featuring style maven Alison Deyette. The campaign, which runs through May 21, offers a chance to be flown to New York for a fitting with Deyette. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Rick Wolford, chairman of GMA's board of directors and chairman, president and CEO of Del Monte Foods, issued a follow-up statement praising the bill's sponsors for creating "sensible, science-based legislation" with a framework that is "both simple and attainable." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
While High Life's red-and-white, "soft cross" logo is unchanged, the cartons' front panels now feature a considerably sized-down version, along with an image of a just one bottle, rather than two. Both images are silhouetted against a simple gold background that subtly reinforces High Life's iconic "Champagne of Beers" tagline. The brand's traditional "Girl in the Moon" logo, is also spotlighted, but on the carton's side panels. ...Read the whole story >>

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Advertising Adult Diapers


The fact that we call them diapers is not going to go away. And no one wants to wear adult diapers unless you're an astronaut or in some similar profession.

But they keep trying to make them acceptable..... (from Mediapost):

Can Even A Great Ad Campaign Make People Rethink 'Depend'?
The Depend brand, owned by Kimberly-Clark, recently launched a new set of television and print ads. Ad agency JWT NY made versions for men and women.

Take a look at the women's version.

Titled "Orchestra," the 30-second piece portrays a 50-something orchestra conductor preparing for a concert. First described by another midlife woman who praises her in a teasingly affectionate way ("she always forgets where she puts her magic wand, but when she finds it, she makes magic happen"), the ad then shifts to the conductor (Kim) herself, who says, "People know a lot of things about me, but no one needs to know about my condition."

It's hard to imagine how Kimberly-Clark could capture a better tone to describe a Boomer woman challenged by incontinence. She is depicted as a talented, fully dimensional, hard-working woman, one who people regard with a combined sense of affection and respect. She is talented but not perfect; the sense of humor women apply to each other is captured in a pitch-perfect way.

Better yet, we hear all of this before Kim herself tells her that she also has a secret, the "condition" that makes her rely on Depend.

I don't just like the way that Kim is depicted, I like the way she uses a matter-of-fact word ("condition") to describe exactly what it is. She doesn't beat around the bush or use a cutesy euphemism -- things that Boomer women abhor. She simply tells us that the accomplished, satisfying life she leads also contains a frustrating challenge -- and one that the advertised brand helps her solve.

I wonder, nevertheless, if the Depend brand faces an uphill battle that even a flawless ad campaign can't overcome. Can it make women (and men -- there is a male version you can check out on YouTube) feel comfortable about putting a package of Depend in their grocery or drugstore carts? Given that the ad subjects themselves say, "People don't need to know about my condition"), I'm not sure.

Depend announces at the end of each ad that its products come "in new prints and colors." And the packaging takes big steps to look more like a multi-pack of underwear.

Kimberly-Clark deserves praise for this campaign and for its work with the Poise brand (women-only pads for light bladder leaks). We know that women loved the Super Bowl ad featuring Whoopi Goldberg, which makes the issue of bladder control funny -- not just by making fun of it but by reminding women that humor itself is the best response to a medical condition that makes you pee when you laugh.

If flawless advertising can't help this category recreate itself in the minds (and shopping carts) of consumers, what can? Should it explore new brand names? What if a package of adult diapers was sold in small packages with a brand name like Hanes?

Maybe the brand should simply get away from the retail marketplace entirely. We know that Boomer women are shunning bricks-and-mortar as a place to buy clothes and cosmetics. Maybe products like Depend should promote itself via online sales (where consumers can buy in bulk) so that they never have to advertise to other shoppers that they are buying a product that undercuts the way they see themselves -- and, as this ad so well depicts, others see them.

Because I truly admire this creative work, and because I know that someone needs to serve the needs of women and all Boomers in this category better, I'm really curious to hear what others think.

Stephen Reily is Vibrant Nation's CEO, an entrepreneur, marketing expert and Flash Forward Blogger. is an online community for the fast-growing demographic of smart and successful women over 50. Reach him here.

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy:

Gatorade evolves. Lipton inspires. "Life's a Moving Target." Let's launch!

Wilkinson SwordGentlemen, start your trimmers. Wilkinson Sword (the name for Schick in Europe) launched a global online campaign for its new Quattro Titanium body razor. Hair Off My Stuff begins with a three-minute video that shows the plight of three men with hair on their stuff. Armando has hair on his tennis racket, sneakers and tennis balls. He wins tennis matches, but not love from the ladies. Ferguson must re-wallpaper his apartment weekly to hide the hair on his stuff. Benton and Margelina are an adorable couple who met in a bookstore. The two move in together, with Margelina content and accepting of Benton's hair, found everywhere. That doesn't prevent her from fantasizing about a less-hairy environment. My favorite scene was Margelina talking on the phone, only to get hair in her mouth. Watch it here. Three instructional videos starring Margelina teach men how to remove hair from their back, their front, and their tools -- obviously the more amusing of the series. Margelina stands beside a workshop full of hairy nuts and bolts in multiple sizes. Once the tools are shaved, "your tools will be easier to find and handle," says the voiceover. On that topic, check out this how-to-shave-your-groin video Gillette created last year. JWT New York created the campaign.

TargetTarget launched a national brand campaign Sunday called "Life's a Moving Target." "Life Cycle" follows the story of a woman who buys a dress at Target, meets a guy, gets married, and has a kid, which leads to buying a dress at Target. Full-circle. See it here. "Contrary Mary" is adorable. It tells the story of Mary, a young girl who loves a different color every day. Mary pairs her likes to her color of the moment. I loved watching Mary decorate a cake with orange frosting, while wearing orange gloves. Watch it here. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the ads.

GatoradeGatorade launched a TV spot to promote The G Series, a line of pre-, during- and post-workout gels and drinks. "Gatorade Has Evolved" begins at a time when basketball was played with peach baskets, tennis racquets were made of wood and hydration equaled water. The game changed in 1965 when Gatorade was created. I loved seeing the old footage of a football player drinking Gatorade from a glass bottle. Classic footage of Michael Jordan drinking Gatorade and a football coach being doused in it were used, leading up to present day and the launch of G series. "Prime to ignite. Fuel to perform. Protein to recover," closes the spot, seen here. TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles created the ad.

LiptonLipton Yellow Label launched a global brand campaign -- in countries including Turkey, Russia, Poland, Chile, Australia and Japan -- that recreates famous moments of clarity. The launch spot, "Lalo," goes back in time, 1966 to be exact, to observe composer Lalo Schifrin composing a music score as he sips a cup of tea. He revises the score on paper as viewers watch the orchestra building inside his head take shape. Whenever Schifrin makes a change, musicians drop from the sky. Some drop gently, others with a bang. The score begins to take shape, and with a final sip of tea, Schifrin lands at his "aha" moment, completing the theme to "Mission: Impossible." "Tea sharpens the mind. Lipton Yellow Label. A sip of inspiration," closes the ad, seen here. DDB Paris created the ad, directed by Noam Murro of Biscuit Filmworks.

Lincoln MarathonHow better to promote the Lincoln Marathon, held yearly in Lincoln, Neb., than by tweaking the opening line of the Gettysburg address to make it more runner-friendly? Instead of four score and seven years ago, it's one score and 6.2 miles. It might not flow like the original text, but couple it with Lincoln-esque images runners can appreciate, and you've run a PR. This year's poster lists Lincoln's seat losses for state legislator, speaker, congress and land officer, among others, but closes with his win for the presidency. See it here. An ad from 2005 shows the Lincoln Memorial, with one noticeable addition: Lincoln's feet are sitting in a bucket of ice water. My favorite ad ran in 2000 and features a sweat-stained stovepipe hat. See it here. Bailey Lauerman created all the ads.

Mobile Loaves and FishesMobile Loaves & Fishes, an Austin-based nonprofit that provides food and shelter to the homeless and working poor, launched a billboard campaign called, "I Am Here." And someone really was there. Danny, a former steelworker and homeless man, stayed atop a billboard over the course of two days in an effort to put a face to this cause. The billboard encouraged passersby to text "Danny" to 20222, which would donate $10 towards helping Danny and others get a home through MLF's Habitat on Wheels program. For every 1,200 texts the nonprofit receives, a person gets a home. See the billboard here. T3 created the campaign and Reagan Outdoor donated the billboard.

XboxI am constantly amazed at the depth of storytelling that takes place in video game trailers. This week's trailer, "Birth of a Spartan," promotes Xbox's "Halo: Reach," slated for a fall 2010 release. The ad is airing in the U.S. and the U.K., and in theaters before "Iron Man 2." "Birth of a Spartan" is the journey of Carter-259, the future leader of Noble Team, as he undergoes medical augmentation procedures that transform him from average man to Spartan III super-soldier. These procedures turn his brown eyes blue. Once he's injected and transformed to super-soldier, Carter stares at his future uniform. "Welcome to Noble team," closes the ad, seen here. agencytwofifteen created the ad, directed by Noam Murro of Biscuit Filmworks.

NissanNissan didn't reinvent the "Wheel." It wants you to break away from it. The brand launched "Wheel" as part of its "Best Part of Your Day" campaign. Viewers follow a man throughout his workday, as he wakes up, showers, commutes, participates in meetings, eats lunch and leaves the office. The man is running in a hamster wheel the entire time, until he spots a Nissan Sentra outside his office. Once he steps inside, he's free of the cage. Funny, he didn't use it on his way to work... See the spot here. TBWA/Toronto created the ad, directed by Mark Zibert of Sons and Daughters.

Cheese or Font appRandom iPhone App of the week: Baldessare. Cheese or Font? It's a font, and there are many more words available for gamers to decide whether they are looking at the name of a cheese or a type font. This game is harder than you'd think. It's not like they're throwing Times New Roman in there as an option. Actually, they do. Bad. Give me a hard one, like Beaumarchais, for example. Font. The App is available for free at the App Store and if you don't own an iPhone, test your knowledge online.

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

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Are You Top of Mind?

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Remaining Top-of-Mind with Customers

The biggest complaint that buyers have about salespeople is that they don't do an effective job of following up after the sale.

In many cases, that causes buyers to consider other options when it comes time to make another buying decision.

Successful salespeople maintain consistent contact with buyers by scheduleding follow-up calls using either a PC calendar or desktop calendar. That way, they can simply check the date and see which buyers are due for a callback that week (or, if possible, have their PC provide an automatic reminder when it's time to contact them).

Another strategy that works when salespeople are constantly on the go: Starting an e-mail buddy list that includes all their existing buyers. Once a week or so, salespeople can forward some pertinent product or industry information, providing a reminder at the foot of the e-mail for buyers to contact them with any questions or concerns.

It's one more way for salespeople to ensure they're always on the buyer's radar, and it increases the chances that the buyer will call them first when it's time to consider another buying decision.

Source: Adapted from Value Added Selling by Tom Reilly, president and founder of Tom Reilly Training

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and Read:

by Karl Greenberg
Despite that big silver lining, analysts are taking those numbers with a few grains of salt. After all, last April the market was scraping the bottom. "When the SAAR is 10.4 million and we used to be at 16 million units," says Jim Hossack of AutoPacific, referring to how far yearly auto sales dropped last year, April gains represent "a small increase." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The campaign is aimed at "ultra high net worth individuals and families seeking a private banking relationship to help them manage the complexities that come with wealth, including both tangible and intangible assets," according to the New York-based Bank of America's private wealth management unit. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Team play is a new feature for this version of the game (and one that doesn't normally occur in real life). Most skateboarding contests showcase individual talents. The trick was to show off that feature -- which might appeal more to younger and older gamers than the 17- to-24- year-olds to whom the game had appealed in the past -- without alienating the core skaters, says John Elder, president of Heat. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The new online initiative aims to encourage healthy-weight initiatives for children by reaching educators and parents through two new sites co-sponsored by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, Discovery Education and Meredith Corp. The sites are intended to support First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Al Fresco, the country's leading all-natural chicken sausage, has updated its logo and packaging and launched a national marketing/advertising campaign -- including its first major online push and a revamped Web site -- to support the "evolved" brand image. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
"Not all recalls are equal, and in this case, McNeil was proactive, instituting the recall before anyone got hurt," says brand guru Robert Passikoff. "And the very fact that they are doing it is likely to generate a 'yes, they are the brand that is doing the right thing at the right time' response." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"Overwhelmingly, marketers feel that success in today's environment is gauged by revenue and ROI-they know that it's about deals over leads, and metrics, metrics, metrics," says Parker Trewin, director of marketing communications for "But while they've gotten religion about the importance of sales, they still haven't quite figured out how to get to that pot of gold." ...Read the whole story >>

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Hispanic Update

Time to break some stereotypes:

Media, Marketing Trends: Hispanics Younger, More English Proficient

A majority (62%) of Mexicans over the age of five who are living in the U.S. speak English "proficiently," while having a median age of 11 years younger than the country at large, according to new data from the Pew Hispanic Center.

"Proficiently" means speaking English solely at home or doing so "very well." The findings come from a Pew analysis of 2008 Census data. Figures are based on a survey, where people said they were either born in Mexico or have family origins there.

The median age for Mexicans in the U.S. is 25, compared to 36 for the full U.S. population. The 31 million Mexicans also have a lower median age than for all Hispanic residents.

The median income for Mexicans 16 or older in 2008 was just above $20,000, slightly below the full Hispanic population. Among 10 Hispanic groups, Puerto Ricans and Cubans tied for the highest at nearly $26,500, according to Pew's analysis.

An earlier Pew report on Internet usage found that online news users tend to be employed full-time (50%) and two-thirds (67%) have at least some college education. Racially, this group skews toward Hispanics and whites, while 32% of Hispanics get their news entirely offline.

With 19 million Mexicans who are conversant in English, that could give marketers some options in addition to Spanish-language media to reach them. Still, Spanish-language media appears to maintain its efficiency, since more than 60% of all U.S. Hispanics don't view themselves as "proficient" in English.

While some marketers appreciate the younger-skewing Hispanic population, the median annual personal income is a bit over $21,000. Still, data from the University of Georgia's Selig Center shows that estimated Hispanic buying power -- $978 billion in 2009 -- is significant, coming in higher than the GDP of all except 14 countries around the globe.

Buying power is defined as personal income available after taxes, not including money borrowed or saved in previous years. Hispanics represent 9% of all U.S. buying power, according to the Selig Center. The $978 billion figure is expected to increase by 36% over the next five years, faster than the predicted 22% jump for the general population.

Separately, Spanish-language network Telemundo recently released a survey that addressed economic concerns. It found that 63% of Hispanics feel the economy has not improved, but has "stabilized." An additional 20% said the "worst is yet to come." The Telemundo-commissioned phone survey of 500 adults was conducted from Feb. 11 through March 7 by research firm Ipsos.

Telemundo said, however, that the figures show that Hispanics are more "optimistic" than the general population. It cited a poll conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by publisher McClatchy, which found 31% of U.S. residents saying the economic bottom is yet to come.

At 46.8 million, Hispanics make up more than 15% of the U.S. population, using a combination of current and 2008 Census figures. People who self-identify as Mexicans make up about two-thirds of the Hispanic population, the largest share by far. The next-largest community is Puerto Ricans, at about 9%. Cubans are third at 3%. Some 34% of Mexicans -- 11 million -- don't have health insurance, more than double the U.S. population.

A majority of Mexicans live in California (37%) and Texas (25%). About 70% of Cubans live in Florida, while 51% of the 1.3 million Dominicans live in New York and almost 80% of them in the Northeast.

(Source: Media Daily News, 04/22/10)

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Better or Best?

The enemy of Best is Good, someone said. Drew talks about this concept:

Do your customers think you're a "10"?

Posted: 26 Apr 2010 07:53 AM PDT

In the drive up windows of one of the country's largest banks -- there is a sign. "Please honk if we've delivered a "10" customer service experience."

I've never heard anyone honk or honked myself. Now...I want to honk. I feel bad about not honking. I can see that the tellers are being very friendly. They use my first name. They enclose a pen in the little tube so I don't have to ask to borrow one. But here's the thing. That's not being a 10. That's just being good. Being a 10 isn't about being good -- it's about being spectacular.

For those of you over 40, you will remember the movie 10 with Bo Derek. The premise of the entire movie is that Bo Derek is so extraordinary that Dudley Moore makes a complete and utter fool of himself.

Check out the trailer (e-mail subscribers, click here) and then we'll talk about how Bo relates to marketing and our customers.

According to the movie, Bo wasn't just pretty. She wasn't satisfactory. She was stunning. She was so remarkable -- she made everyone stop and notice.

That's what I want the bank tellers to be. Not friendly. Not doing their job. But remarkable. Do something that I can't help but tell others about. (Who is going to say..."boy, the bank teller called me Drew today.") Dare to be remarkable.

What does that look like? It looks like a small gesture that says you know who I am and appreciate me and my business enough to do something that most would never even think of doing.

Include a dog treat with my receipt because my dog is with me? Nice but not remarkable. Include a dog treat because you remember that I have a black lab, even when she isn't with me... remarkable.

Send me your newsletter, chock full of helpful hints? Nice but not remarkable. Drop off a book you think I will enjoy because you know that I grew up owning horses... remarkable.

Include a free sample when you ship my order to me? Nice but not remarkable. Include a packet of flower seeds that will grow perfectly in my climate with a note saying you can imagine how happy we are to see Spring after a miserable winter... remarkable.

Then, I will honk my heart out. I will tell everyone about your business. And, I will love you enough to never matter how much your competitors woo me.

That's a 10. And that's why we rarely (figuratively or literally) honk our horns for the companies that serve us.

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from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Show Your Enthusiasm!

There's no universal way to close a sale. Every product and service requires a different approach. Every customer has different needs and emotions to be addressed.

What is universal is that salespeople with enthusiasm and confidence close more sales.

They're always pressing forward, confident they have the best solution for the customers. And that positive demeanor is frequently what wins them the sale.

Source: Sales motivator James W. Pickens

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
The deal makes Kraft the first food company to create long-form content for the big screen. It also marks the first U.S. advertising initiative to include both Kraft brands and the company's newly acquired Cadbury brands. Featured brands will include Oscar Mayer Lunchables, Ritz crackers and Cadbury's Stride gum. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar will begin promoting the augmented reality technology through a print advertising campaign aimed at the technical market this week. The company will also use PR and social media to inform consumers about the site. The company intends to spread the message -- and the AR glyph -- as the effort develops. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The :30 TV ads also showcase a limited-edition version of the car, the 2011 DUB Edition Mustang, developed by Ford, DUB Magazine and Roush Industries. The ad, shot in San Francisco, shows the car tooling down empty city streets to rock music, with supers using an "M" motif to connect 31 mpg to words like "Primal," "Amped" and "Untamed." The vehicle gets 19 mph in the city. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"Sears is experimenting with a clearance format that can be used in outlet malls around the country, if it's successful," Dick Seesal, a retail consultant based in Milwaukee, tells Marketing Daily, adding that it's "probably a good way for Sears to liquidate inventory from stores and Web sites, if 'normal' clearance strategies don't work." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Pied Piper says Victory's successes involved improvements in some basic areas of interaction like asking for a prospect's name, asking for the sale, and asking for a prospect's contact information. Victory salespeople also led all other brands in areas such as asking follow-up questions, addressing unique features and encouraging prospects to sit on a motorcycle. ...Read the whole story >>

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Email Marketing Tips

from Marketing Profs:

It Ain't Over 'Till It's Over

What happens after a subscriber opens your message, likes the offer, clicks through and makes a purchase? "Do you simply count them as another customer," asks Dylan Boyd at The Email Wars, "or…do you take the next steps in the lifecycle?"

According to Boyd, the savvy marketer has no less than three opportunities to further engage a customer following a click of the "buy" button. You can:

  1. Use an order confirmation to encourage further purchases. You might provide a discount code for their next purchase, or an offer they can pass along to friends. "I am a satisfied shopper right now," argues Boyd, "and it is an ideal time to use me as a referral source."
  2. Use a shipment confirmation to promote similar items or announce upcoming deals. This type of message "often gets more opens than any other as we tend to keep it and use it until the order arrives," he notes.
  3. Use a survey to request feedback on the product and opinions of the overall experience. For example: "How did it go? Were things easy to find? Did you have any issues that came up that we could address? Would you recommend us to someone else?"

When you create satisfied customers by following up with them, odds are they'll consider you before your competition the next time they're in the market, Boyd concludes.

The Po!nt: "Buy" is not good-bye. Think of an initial purchase as the first step in a relationship that can produce additional sales, good will and high engagement levels.

Source: The Email Wars. Read the full post.

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Pizza Wars

When was the last time you ate Pizza?

Was it Carry-Out? Delivery? In-Store? A National Chain or your local Mama & Papa?

11 months ago, my wife and I traveled from Indiana to Maine, driving thru tons of small towns and I noticed nearly every one of them had a Pizza joint!

Last week, I found this interview from

Pizza Hut Pins Turnaround on $10 Pies, Two-Click Ordering

Five Questions With VP-Marketing Kurt Kane

CHICAGO ( -- At a time when Domino's is defending its new recipe and Papa John's is an increasingly formidable third-place competitor, No. 1 pizza chain Pizza Hut is pinning its turnaround on sending a value message to consumers, tempting them with lower prices, new advertising and two-click ordering.

Kurt Kane
Kurt Kane
Touting $10 pizzas and 50-cent wings, the chain appears to have promoted itself out of a slump in which same-store sales fell as low as 13%: Parent company Yum Brands reported Pizza Hut sales were up 5% in the U.S. in first-quarter earnings earlier this month.

Also during the first quarter, Pizza Hut debuted its first advertising from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, focusing on young families, married couples and college students taking advantage of the $10-large-pizza promotion. Kurt Kane, VP-marketing, said the fresh perspective has been helpful in that it provides real-life applications of the chain's value offerings.

Pizza Hut, which has prioritized online ordering in recent years, last week debuted a simpler platform from digital agency IMC2. Last year the marketer was the first major fast-food chain to launch an iPhone application. At, consumers can now order a pizza in two clicks. Mr. Kane, who recently chatted with Ad Age about the new developments, said the chain expects to surpass $2 billion in online sales by the end of this year.

Ad Age: What's working so well for Pizza Hut right now?

Mr. Kane: We've gone directly after the No. 1 issue that consumers had with our brand, which was value, and we've really provided them with a great value-oriented solution so they feel like they're getting what they should for what they're paying.

Ad Age: How important is the new advertising in all of this?

Mr. Kane: We've got insight-led advertising now that is bringing to life how value from Pizza Hut fits in their everyday lives. It was really important for us to have a fresh start this year, both with our advertising and our overall messaging, and our agency partnership has been a big part of that. Our partnership with Martin -- they've done a really nice job with bringing strategic insight to the business. It really shows in the work how they're grounded in the reality of our customers' lives and how to connect with them.

Ad Age: Who are your consumers?

Mr. Kane: We've got two main consumer groups we're taking to: a family that may or may not have kids in the home and also young adults. Not just college students, but young adults are big consumers of our group of products, and we want to talk with them as well.

Ad Age: Are you seeing any signs of a rebound, or evidence that consumers are open to incremental purchases?

Mr. Kane: What we're seeing right now is consumers are still very conservative about the economy and the overall financial picture, so they're looking for value as much now as ever before. They've also begun to discover that getting great value is part of everyday life because companies have responded to the original economic challenge with value the consumers haven't seen in a long time ... [now] getting great value is part of their new reality.

Ad Age: Pizza Hut expects to reach $2 billion in online sales by the end of this year. Is that sooner than originally projected?

Mr. Kane: It's definitely surpassed expectations and grown faster than you could ever imagine. It's one of those things when people get into the rhythm of doing it, they do it all of the time, they have to be able to do it and our goal is that people know about the website and have a greater, similar or even better experience ordering online as they do on the phone. That's the foundation of the redesign: being able to give them their favorite online-ordering experience.

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