Saturday, May 15, 2010

Funny Business

Do your customers know that you have a sense of humor?

You may say, "I'm a professional, I need to be professional!"

I say, "You ought to meet my dentist, he is a professional and he has fun too."

Check this out from MarketingProfs:

Foolin' Around

If you use Google on a regular basis, you've seen playful manipulations of the search engine's multicolored logo. The temporary tweaks often appear during holidays—harvest tones and a cartoon turkey might welcome Thanksgiving, for instance, while green hues and shamrocks might herald St. Patrick's Day.

Visitors on April 1 were greeted with something more dramatic: Google had a new name. "Early last month," explained a post at the Official Google Blog, "the mayor of Topeka, Kansas stunned the world by announcing that his city was changing its name to Google. We've been wondering ever since how best to honor that moving gesture."

Accordingly, continued press release, the world's preeminent search engine would surrender a "fair amount" of brand equity by changing its name to Topeka. "Topeka Google Mayor Bill Bunten expressed it best: 'Don't be fooled. Even Google recognizes that all roads lead to Kansas, not just yellow brick ones.'"

To help users make the transition, the post included guidance on the use of Topeka as a verb:

  • Best: "Before our blind date I did a Topeka search on him."
  • Okay: "Before our blind date I Topeka'ed him."
  • Not-So-Good: "Before our blind date I topeka'd him."
  • Worst: "Before our blind date I topeka'ed him with AltaVista."

The Po!nt: This was, of course, an April Fool's Day joke, and one that showed the lighthearted side of a serious business. Start planning for next year: How can you make your customers smile on April 1?

Source: Official Google Blog. Click here for the full post.

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That Tool Called Twitter

from MarketingCharts.com:

Complaints, Trademark Violations and Retweet Requests: How to Handle Anything on Twitter

There are a lot of examples of companies that handle the unexpected well on Twitter; there are just as many, if not more, of companies that didn’t.

Don’t be in that latter group. Following is a brief list of expert suggestions on how to handle several common issues related to marketing via Twitter.

You Get a Complaint, Legitimate Or Otherwise
First distinguish between the two, Lisa Barone, Chief Branding Officer of Outspoken Media, writes on the company blog. Barone, in fact, was discussing what to do when your company gets a negative review on Yelp, but the theory is largely the same for Twitter.

“Not all bad reviews are created equal,” writes Barone. “Sometimes going in and engaging a disgruntled customer will help them see your company in a new light and other times you’re just opening yourself up to more negative attention.”

Respond contritely if you genuinely need to make amends, advises Barone. “It often doesn’t take much to smooth over one bad experience.” Respond as well if they are misstating the facts, she says. “Speak up and politely let them know that they may have simply misunderstood something …if it’s a matter of bad facts, you should step in to correct them.”

Take all of the complaints seriously, even the ones that seem frivolous, because they all have the potential to develop legs, Barone concludes.

You Spot A Possible Trademark Violation
The law on the use of trademarks in Twitter and Facebook is not any different from their general application on the web, according to Finnegan attorney Jon Gelchinsky. As reported by MarketingVox, Gelchinsky says that in some cases, if the infringement is benign, it may the company’s best interests to leave it alone, considering how quickly cease and desist letters can go viral. But if the use is likely to cause confusion or dilution, then the brand owner should take action.

Gelchinsky says that now that Twitter and other social media real-time feeds are becoming archived - and searchable - it is more important for brands to be vigilant about trademark protection on these sites.

Someone Asks You To Retweet Them
Of course, many companies automatically retweet positive comments about their products or services. Each situation is different, depending on the company and industry. But it is worth considering a purist’s view of retweeting before you indiscriminately hit the send button.

Peter Shankman has at least 50,000 followers that he attracted, he says, following a simple formula reported by MarketingVox: “Honesty, transparency, brevity, relevance, and top-of-mind presence – i.e., offering you valuable information in exchange for you letting me into your life. The day I start shilling for other people is the day my Twitter stream becomes nothing more than advertising, or than a press release submitted over a wire.”

His formula for retweet requests: polite honesty, or the following excerpt of his form letter.

“As we get closer to the date of the conference, I will make mention that I’m keynoting your event, in a way that benefits my followers. I will not, however, advertise for you to my followers, who sign up to receive valuable insight from me, not blatant advertisements. I tweet about all my keynotes. But I do it in my voice, on my time, in a way that’s not blatantly advertorial, self-promoting, or self-serving. Those are my rules. I don’t violate them. Ever. I’m sure you understand.”

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Sales Wisdom from Art


Every week I receive Art Sobczak's e-mail tip and occasionally I share them with you here.

Here's his latest, and be sure to check at the end to get your own copy in your email...

Art's Reality Sales Show

Greetings!

For the past 10 years or so, there have been plenty of
reality TV shows. They're cheaper to produce for
networks, and attract big audiences. Most are horrible,
but that's another story.

If I were doing a reality show for salespeople, I would
loosely base it on one that was very popular and
aired in 2003: "Joe Millionaire." In case you don't
remember it--or didn't care--the premise was this:

A bachelor had supposedly inherited a million dollars.
He then took a number of unsuspecting women
contestants on dates to exotic places, finally
selecting one to be his partner, and share in his wealth.
What the women didn't know is that "Joe" was actually a
construction worker. (There's more, but you can
Google it if you're that interested.)

Mine would be a much more entertaining,
and useful show, probably airing on the
Fox Business Network:

"Joe BigCustomare."

In this reality series, 50 salespeople are herded into a 55-
story magnificent office building with gold fixtures in every
bathroom, to wait their turn to win the business of Joe
BigCustomare, a head honcho decision maker who will
award a million dollar purchase order to one lucky and
skillful sales pro.

Little do the unsuspecting sales reps know, but Joe
BigCustomare is really a schlub who runs a near-
bankrupt snow plowing service in Phoenix, and is behind
on his truck payments.

Our focus is on one sales rep, Pat Savvy. Pat was the
eighth sales rep to have a shot at pitching to Joe.

In the first episode, the first seven all pretty much took
the same approach. Each paraded in to see Joe, pulling
out their laptop computer and Powerpoint presentations.

They had charts, graphs, videos, reams of technical data,
samples, interactive computer programs, and slickly-crafted
pitches, extolling in detail each of the fine "benefits" of
doing business with them.

One even got in the hot tub with Joe.

Then, it was Pat Savvy's turn.

Pat had nothing but a yellow legal pad and a pen.

And lots of questions.

Pat started out with some general questions. "So, Joe,
tell me why you're looking at this product."

"How long have you been looking?"

Then Pat go into need- and problem-related questions:
"What problems will it solve for you?"

"What are the other implications of the problem you're
looking to solve?"

"Who else is affected by them?"

"What is the return on investment that you're looking for?"

"What do you expect to get for the price you expect to pay?"

"Why did you choose this format to choose a vendor
and make a purchase?"

"Is this product going to replace another one?"

Then Pat asked about the decision-making process:
"What three criteria will you weigh most heavily in
choosing your vendor?"

"How did you come up with those?"

"How did you choose the previous vendor?"

"Who else will be involved in the decision making process?"

"Tell me about them and what they might be looking for."

"Will everyone else go along with your recommendation?"

"Who else will be affected by your decision?"

"Are you already leaning toward one salesperson over another?"

"If I met your criteria, the ones you mentioned, better than
anyone else, would we work together?"

"When, specifically will the decision be made?"

Pat just absolutely drilled Joe with questions.

And you know what?

It was decided that Pat wasn't the best person and
company to get the business. Pat was the first one
eliminated.

Pat decided that, by the way. Pat quit.

You see, that by asking questions, Pat unmasked Joe.

Pat realized that Joe wasn't for real.

Pat knew Joe had no intention of making a real decision.

Joe had no money or authority, in this reality series,
and Pat saw that by the answers to questions.

Joe was just parading salespeople in, all of them eager
to put on their dog and pony shows, because they thought
Joe was working on "some new initiative."

Pat didn't want to hang around, just an undistinguished
peddler among the masses. Pat didn't do business like
that. Pat's motto is, "Move them forward, or move them out."

The announcer tried to grab Pat for the obligatory interview
after the losers are eliminated, where they act bitter and cry.
But Pat was nowhere to be found. Until later, where the
announcer caught up to Pat after a sales call.

Announcer: "Pat, you were one of the first sales reps
eliminated. How do you feel about that, and why are you
smiling?"

"I feel great. I always say, if there's not a fit, find that out
early. Don't try to shove a square peg into a round hole.
You won't create business where it never will exist. I knew
there would never be a real sale here... and by the way,
I'm smiling because I got out of there quick, and used that
time to close a deal minutes ago with a real customer."

Announcer: "Any more sales cliches that people make fun
of, but are actually true?"

"Yes, big business isn't necessarily good business. If it
looks too good to be true, it probably is. You don't need to
get all of the business, just the business that is profitable
for you."

Announcer: "So, sometimes you need to know when to
hold 'em, and when to fold 'em ..."

"You need to know when to walk away, and when to not
quote bad country songs."

Announcer: "It looks like losing was actually winning for you."

Precisely.

ACTION STEP

Do you have any Joe BigCustomare's out there?

These are the people who look like they might be legit,
when in fact they'll yank your chain for months or years
if you allow them. Analyze your own follow up files right
now and make some tough choices. Ask them the tough
questions next time. And be aware, and beware of these
types so you can treat the situation accordingly.

Go and Have Your Best Week Ever!

Art



QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Forget the times of your distress, but never forget what
they taught you."

Herbert Gasser


Smart Calling Bonuses Still Available

With the purchase of your Smart Calling book from
amazon, come back to our special page because
we are still offering all of the bonus audios,
e-books, and special reports, over $450 worth, from
a number of other sales experts (including Zig Ziglar)
who partnered with us in the launch of Smart Calling.
Amazon is now shipping books again after selling out,
and they are offering it at a crazy-low price of under $15.
Get more info, watch a video about some more opening
mistakes, and order here.
http://www.smart-calling.com/launch.html

If this issue was forwarded to you and you are not yet getting these free
weekly e-mailed sales tips, send an email to
TelEHotTips @ businessbyphone.com. Please put "JOIN" in the subject line.


Please Pass this Issue Along to Friends, Co-Workers,
Customers ... Anyone Who Could Benefit.

They'll appreciate it, and so will I!


Or, simply have them go to www.BusinessByPhone.com and enter the email address.

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

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost


Click & read:

Retail
by Sarah Mahoney
The Seattle-based Nordstrom says net earnings for its first quarter jumped 43.8% to $116 million, compared to $81 million in the same period a year ago. Kohl's Corp. reported a 45% jump in earnings, and an 11% spike in sales. Even better, the company says, it increased market share. ...Read the whole story >>
Research
by Karl Greenberg
"Ultimately, the thing we need to realize is that data is inherently backward-looking and all marketing decision-making lives in the future," says Rubinson. "It's always about the next thing, so by definition the consequences of your business decision are unknowable. Marketing is a game of hunches; what research is trying to do is inform decision-making in a way that improves its chances." ...Read the whole story >>
Food
by Karlene Lukovitz
The medical experts who wrote the report stressed that foods potentially present greater risk than drugs, because larger numbers of people are exposed to food products. The report stresses that foods should be evaluated not just on the basis of one ingredient, as they are now, but on the safety and efficacy of the entire product, as is the case with drugs. ...Read the whole story >>
Restaurants
by Karlene Lukovitz
Domino's gets credit for successfully leveraging digital media in conjunction with TV to greatly expand the reach of its message cost-effectively -- for example, its new social media-based "Taste Bud Bounty" contest incenting fans to bring "holdouts" into the fold. "They clearly understand that loyal supporters are far more effective at converting others to a brand than television alone," says one consultant. ...Read the whole story >>
Retail
by Tanya Irwin
Three 30-second television spots take viewers into landscapes and cityscapes bursting with color. Directed and produced by Buck NY, the animated spots feature a range of locations and characters, including a paint-chip frog and a paint-chip cardinal. The spots will air nationally on cable channels, including HGTV, Discovery, DIY, E!, ESPN, Food Network, GAC, Lifetime, Style, TNT Sports, USA and Weather. ...Read the whole story >>
Education
by Aaron Baar
The television, radio, print and out-of-home campaign goes about the difficult task of "depicting air," Martin says. Visuals include a boy playing a trombone, a girl flying a kite and a man scuba-diving with air bubbles surrounding him. (Other visuals, more pertinent to the message, include a bus running on natural gas and a woman sitting in a non-smoking section.) ...Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
Ford is using its new Fiesta car to demonstrate that cars can be mobile Internet devices. The company is sending two Ford Fiestas, loaded with high-tech applications and University of Michigan students, on a road trip. The trip is the culmination of a year-long project, American Journey 2.0, with the university, supported by Microsoft and Intel, offering a group of UM students a chance to define the future in-car experience. ...Read the whole story >>

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It's all about the People

From the Church of the Customer Blog:

How to humanize your brand

Posted: 06 May 2010 10:45 AM PDT

If you travel for business frequently, take this quiz:

Think of the hotels you've stayed at this year. Can you name even one employee by name?

I can. Felix from the San Mateo Marriott. I stayed there a few weeks ago and noticed this poster in all of the elevators:

IMG_0162

Curious, I stopped into the Marketplace Cafe and sure enough, there was Felix.

IMG_0161

Friendly, approachable and mostly resembling the man on the poster, Felix told me he has worked for the hotel for 12 years. He said he loves his job and loves meeting people. He recounted the story of a man he met from Europe who, on his second stay at hotel, remarked that we was surprised that Felix was still there. Felix asked him when he had visited the hotel the first time. The man said "seven years ago."

A now-departed manager had thought up the idea eight years ago for putting Felix on the posters. Felix said there used to be a life-size cardboard cut-out of him in front of the cafe that was so life-like that it would stop people in their tracks to say hi. That is, until someone stole it.

I travel alot and for the most part, hotels are nameless, faceless places that aren't very memorable. But I won't forget the San Mateo Marriott because of Felix.

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Are you Social?

In some of the conferences I've hosted, I've asked a simple question: "Are you on Facebook? Then you are using Social Media."

However, Social Media Marketing is more involved than that. This is from the BasicMarketingIdeas.com site:

What is Social Media Marketing?


Social media marketing
A marketer’s guide to social media


What it is, what it’s not

Social media is a tool; it’s not a plan or a strategy. A hammer cannot build a house; it doesn’t know what you want to do; it’s dumb, you’re the smart one. Social media will not develop a marketing campaign for you, and it is definitely not a marketing initiative all by itself.

Social media is a communications channel, it’s not a message. Another communications channel, radio, has been around for almost 100 years, but it has never sold a single product - not one.

However, effective radio copy has sold billions of products.

Social media marketing is free, but it comes with a high price tag; it’s expensive in terms of time and resources. You will need to plan messages, develop key words, target your audience and learn from your mistakes – social media gobbles up time.

Social media messages are good for today, not next week. The channel has an ephemeral nature. A “tweet” is like direct response advertising, if you haven’t heard from the customer within three days of your tweet, it is unlikely you ever will. Social media constantly requires new, interesting content – out of sight, out of mind. To be successful in social media, you must begin to think of yourself as a publisher, as well as a marketer or business owner.

Social media marketing is different from traditional advertising and promotion, but it’s not better. It’s not worse, either. The two media choices provide different benefits. It’s a tool, remember? Hammer or saw?

But still, sometimes the best social media is a billboard.

There are two sides to every story

The ancient Greeks believed that the opposite of every great idea was equally true, so it is with Social Media - the great, new idea.

On one hand, it gives businesses new ways to succeed in the marketplace. On the other, it also provides new ways to trip and fall flat on your face. Your mistakes can now go “viral”.

Social media lets you gather your customers together and engage them in conversation, to build strong relationships. But it also provides that same opportunity to your competitors. They can become anonymous “fans” and join all your nice, friendly conversations. Additionally, your followers now have a method (thanks to you and social media) to talk to each other, to praise your company or to grouse and complain in a very public forum - your forum.

If you don’t like social media and feel some affinity for it; it probably won’t like you either. Find someone who likes social media to build your online relationships. If you don’t want to be at the party, people will soon see it and drift away. After all, there’s a reason the word “social” is in the title.

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Are you doing this?


from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: The Most Profitable Sale

In any business there is one type of sale that brings the most profit. There is one single sales activity that can make the most difference in the profitability of your company. Not taking advantage of this all-important sales opportunity will cost you thousands of dollars.

That sale is called the "upsell" or "add-on" sale. The reason this type of sale is so profitable is because you have already invested the cost of acquiring and administering your client.

Therefore, anything that is added to the "ticket" is extremely profitable. The marketing cost, the labor cost, the administration cost (i.e., the overhead), has already been realized. This makes the add-on sale the most profitable sale you can make.

Source: Sales trainer/coach Howard Partridge



Also known as, "Do you want Fries with that?"

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

Spirits
by Tanya Irwin
"Cases hidden on top of mountains, planted on exotic islands and buried in the sea caught the attention of adventurous souls far and wide and many of our treasure cases were eventually discovered. However, even with the help of clues revealed in a series of print ads, not all the hidden cases were found," according to the microsite. ...Read the whole story >>
Retail
by Sarah Mahoney
"Sales exceeded our expectations in virtually every market, at Bloomingdale's, and on the Internet," Macy's CFO Karen M. Hoguet says in a conference call. The strongest areas were men's and home, as well as sectors within women's clothing; weakest were brands aimed at younger shoppers. ...Read the whole story >>
Electronics
by Aaron Baar
Pop star Alicia Keys' appeal to a younger demographic that is both technologically and celebrity savvy made her a natural fit for the DualView product. The fact that she had a song that fit perfectly with the idea of snapping photos was a "lucky strike," says Samsung's Peggy Ang. "We think it's the camera that will catapult Samsung from our current market share to two to three times [what it is]. The marketing of it has to be equally ambitious and hard-charging." ...Read the whole story >>
Restaurants
by Karlene Lukovitz
The Rubio's deal is the most recent in a spate of acquisitions by private equity firms as the foodservice industry's prospects improve. Other announced deals in recent weeks have included Oak Hill Capital Partners' agreement to buy Texas-based Dave & Buster's, Tavistock Group's acquisition of Fuddruckers Inc., Apollo Management's acquisition of CKE Restaurants, Lee Equity Partners' acquisition of Papa Murphy's, a Golden Gate Capital affiliate's acquisition of On the Border, and Roark Capital Group's acquisition of Wingstop Restaurants, Inc. ...Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
The "Start Something" effort has an anti-Walter Mitty message, with the idea that you have to stop dreaming and actually do it. Ads feature model and motorcycle enthusiast Marisa Miller, with advertising focused on the Maxim "Hot 100" issue that includes a spread featuring Miller with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The content includes daily articles, instructional videos, blogs, quizzes and polls. The site also has things like CareFinder, designed to help people find senior care, child care, and housekeeping assistance locally and something called a "Slang Blaster" for teaching grown-ups how to decipher texting acronyms and other slang terms. ...Read the whole story >>
Spirits
by Karlene Lukovitz
The brand's traditional bottle shape has been preserved, but the intricate detailing of the old labels has been replaced by graphical "lock-ups" that convey the brand's heritage and New Orleans provenance in a clearer, "more premium" treatment, in the description of the Southern Comfort Company. ...Read the whole story >>
Pharma
by Aaron Baar
The company, which markets glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, is set to undertake a social media campaign to reach Boomers by appealing to their sense of volunteerism. "When Boomers have more time on their hands, they want to spend more time giving back to the community," Michael Burton, marketing director of Elations, tells Marketing Daily. "Because Elations provides a time to be active, we thought it was a good way to help them get actively involved." ...Read the whole story >>

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The Best Brain for Business...


isn't always the young college grad. It could be the Boomer who has insight and experience...

This is from Mediapost:

The Talents Of A Middle-Aged Brain
Last month, I heard the tail-end of an interview with Barbara Strauch, the health and medical science editor for The New York Times, who had just published The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain. I was intrigued by the scientific research she referenced on middle-aged brains -- brains between the ages of 40 and 65. Alas, I was multi-tasking and before I could jot down some notes, something else came along to distract my own middle-aged brain. I forgot all about that brain research. Until last week, when someone gave me a copy of her book.

I'm not going to provide a review but if you're marketing to Boomers, who are most definitely in possession of a middle-aged brain, it's worth picking up -- if only for the scientific research she cites.

Contrary to what is commonly believed, the middle-aged brain has some surprising capabilities and advantages to a younger brain:

  • Better at inductive reasoning, problem solving and actually getting to a solution than younger brains
  • Better at complex reasoning
  • Better at sizing up a situation - a/k/a seeing the "big" picture
  • Social expertise -- i.e., the ability to assess the "bad guy" from the "good guy"
  • Is more empathetic
  • Gets the gist of an argument better, faster
  • Uses more than one side of the brain to store and retrieve information -- what scientists call bi-lateralization and Strauch calls "two brains"

And our middle-aged brains are better at all of this because we produce greater amounts of myelin, which helps facilitate the information flow from brain cell to brain cell by building neural connections that help us understand the world around us.

To be sure, there are downsides to the middle-aged brain:

  • It is slower to process information
  • It is more easily distracted
  • And, yes, more forgetful but not for autobiographical (e.g., the memories that define our personal lives) or habitual activities

Implications for Marketers and Advertisers

While I found the research fascinating -- and reassuring -- I was also struck by its implications for how we market and advertise to Boomers:

  • "Dumbing down" is not needed: the middle-aged brains' ability to process complex ideas, employ inductive reasoning and problem solving suggests an opportunity to communicate and market complex ideas and products to Boomers. This is particularly relevant for those developing and marketing financial products. Too often, there is a tendency to dumb down this information as if consumers can't grasp the complexities. While this might be true for the younger brain, research suggests otherwise for the middle-aged brain.
  • Get to the point: While brain processing might start out a little slower, the middle-aged brain's ability to grasp the gist of an argument faster and better suggests long, drawn-out explanations are not needed or helpful.
  • Tap into empathy to get attention: with more personal experiences to draw upon, middle-aged brains are more empathetic. And, empathy elicits emotions, which research also suggests impact message recall and purchase decisions.
  • Minimize auditory and visual distractions: Since the middle-aged brain is more apt to be distracted -- or fall into a "default" daydreaming mode, as scientists call it -- minimize the auditory and visual distractions in communications. Those distractions work against a middle-aged brain's ability to focus on a marketing message.

Understanding middle-age brain functions provides important insights on marketing to Boomers during the middle-aged years.


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

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy:

A dancing tube sock. A sleeping baby. Ways to act under pressure. Let's launch!


Eastpak bags are "built to resist." Just ask the rebellious little people skateboarding naked, playing guitars that spew fire, and dancing. An oversized Eastpak is left on the street in the first ad, seen here. Before you can say, "if you see something, say something," a naked little person jumps out and skateboards past curious onlookers. A police cruiser is hot on his tail as the tagline, "built to resist" appears onscreen. An aging rocker tries to recapture his guitar mojo in "Battle," only to be outdone by a younger little person playing a fire-spewing guitar. The older man swings his guitar at the wee man, only to have him morph back into an Eastpak, which breaks the man's guitar and self-esteem. Watch it here. The final ad, the director's cut, features a slew of little people dressed as Mexican wrestlers, dancing on a rooftop. See it here. Satisfaction, Brussels created the ads, directed by Julian Pugsley.

Dodge Caravan campaign launched a duo of TV spots emphasizing features like voice-activated navigation and FLO TV. "Dexter" star Michael C. Hall remains the voiceover, making me both happy and constantly looking over my shoulder. A photographer, boasting a lame camera, rides through the dessert with military and top-secret personnel in "Turncoat." The car's navigation system provides directions to the emergency room. "Who's going to the emergency room?" asks the photog, in over his head. "All of us," responds one man. Not the answer I'd want to hear. Watch it here. "Alright, Kittens" is a game of cat and mouse, foiled by the intrusion of dogs. The spot pays homage to caper films, pitting a group of people wearing cat and mouse masks against one another. "It has everything, so you can do anything," closes the ad, seen here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

LG's "Iron Man 2" partnership ad promoting its Ally phone is so over-the-top ridiculous that I like it. Battle drones put a damper on a night out for a group of friends. One guy takes charge, delegating orders to friends, like finding the nearest crowbar shop, downloading cool rescue music, bidding on a car that's not upside down, checking OpenTable for dinner reservations and asking a guy trapped in his car upside down to shoot our hero -- who's standing near flames, because girls like guys who stand near flames. The choices of rescue music were "Eye of the Tiger," -- deemed too obvious -- and "More Than Words Can Say" by Alias. They had me at cheesy '80s music. See the ad here, created by Young & Rubicam New York.

I knew I was in for a treat when I saw a human-sized "Tube Sock" shuffling on a rug in an ad for Skittles new Fizzl'd Fruit. That's a lot of static electricity. An elderly couple is sitting on a sofa. The husband prefers his shock treatment to come from a giant tube sock full of static electricity tapping his tongue. His wife eats Skittles Fizzl'd Fruit instead. "They tingle on your tongue," she says. "It's covered," he replies. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York.

LG launched four print ads for its Jet Cool Air Conditioners, designed to lower the temperature in a room faster than normal air conditioners. Ads simplistically show situations where most people are blue, denoting a cool temperature, while others are red, and in desperate need of a cool-down. A woman serving dinner to guests is beyond mortified when "Grandpa" emerges, wearing cowboy boots and boxers. See it here. A man waits romantically for his wife to return from shopping, except she has a friend in tow. "Man Present" fail. See it here. A poker player is hot under the collar in another ad, seen here. The final execution shows a teen couple unexpectedly interrupted by the return of Mom, Dad and kid brother. See it here. Young & Rubicam New York created the ads.

John Smith's ale launched "Diner," starring Peter Kay, who reprises his role for the first time in five years, as the brand's no-nonsense man. Two couples are out to a casual dinner, and when a restaurant TV shows snippets of attractive women, the meal goes downhill. A wife asks her husband the dreaded question: if you could go out with anyone, who would it be? The hubby starts off well, telling his lady that she is the only woman in his life, but the wife persists. The husband nonchalantly responds, "Clare from work." Then he goes into fantasyland and lingers over the idea of he and Clare a bit too long. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/London.

This ad is way too precious. A father has trouble ordering from the McDonald's drive-thru window. If he stops, he'll wake his sleeping "Baby." He whispers his order of an Egg McMuffin and coffee, puzzling staffers. Once his order is deciphered and made, the difficult job of payment handoff and food pick-up remains. Lucky for him, no one else used the drive-thru window. And what about the woman who leapt over the counter to hold up a paper showing how much he owed? It's about as believable as the money handoff (all change) and food pick-up (no hands on the wheel!). Other than that, a sweet ad. Watch it here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York.

Food Network star Alton Brown wants to teach you about salt: kosher and sea salts. Cargill, maker of Diamond Crystal salt, launched Salt101.com, a site full of witty instruction and culinary advice. Follow Brown into the laboratory or test kitchen to see answers to questions like: Why cooks should season with kosher salt throughout the cooking process, and why sea salt is an ideal final ingredient to add to a dish before serving. Carmichael Lynch and Carmichael Lynch Spong created the site.

Random iPhone App of the week: Forget ambiance and d├ęcor. Twiddish caters to diners and food lovers who go to restaurants... for the food! All reviews, ratings, and photos are user-generated in real-time in micro-blogging format. Each Twiddish review contains a photograph of the dish, as taken by the foodie who ordered it, along with a rating based on flavor, aroma, portion size, presentation and value. Foodies can also search Twiddish by restaurant name to discover signature dishes. Fuzz Productions developed the app, available for free at the App Store.


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

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What ya gonna say?


from Jill Konrath:

Brianna just hung up on me

Posted: 06 Apr 2010 10:51 AM PDT

I'm at my desk working. Right now. When the phone rang, I picked it up without looking who was calling.

"Hello," said the voice. "My name is Brianna. I need to reach the senior administrative person in your office."

She was crisp and efficient. When she finished, it was clear she expected me to direct her to the appropriate person. So far, so good.

"What's this in regards to?" I asked.

"An administrative audit. Would you please forward my call," she replied. It wasn't a question, but a command.

TashaJean123-flr"Can you tell me a bit more?"

"Just one minute," she said. I waited 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds. I heard papers ruffling in the background.

I thought maybe I'd get transfered, but Brianna ultimately came back: "I'm with XYZ company. I need to send her some important information regarding critical administrative issues."

"I'm sorry," I said. "Can you repeat that? (I was taking notes). After she did, I asked, "Such as?"

Clearly her employer hadn't prepared her to deal with all these questions. She hung up on me.

LESSON TO BE LEARNED

What I asked was not out of line. It was a typical prospect request. But poor Brianna wasn't ready for it.

If you want to be successful in sales, you need to be ready for all possible sales contingencies and practice how you'll handle them BEFORE they occur.

Photo from Tashajean123 at Flicker

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and Read:

Retail
by Sarah Mahoney
Yes, marketers have long acknowledged that teens wield plenty of buying power. And, yes, they have given plenty of thought to their technological prowess. But Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR North America, tells Marketing Daily that most execs are missing the bigger picture, that these teens wield far more influence than they're given credit for. ...Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
Kim Kyaw, senior media strategist for Toyota, says Toyota's branding in the program is deliberately low key. "MySpace is a complex social network, and in order to be authentic there you have to relate back to what it is people are doing there. Since this is about reaching out to unsigned artists and generating positive messaging that this is made possible by Toyota, it makes it more of a brand initiative; it's more 'higher funnel'." ...Read the whole story >>
Restaurants
by Nina Lentini
During the afternoon, the company apologized for the confusion. On Twitter, @javajosh took to pointing out where the promotion was being offered and responding to some individual tweets. Dunkin's Facebook page contained several responses to individual fans as well as a status update that pointed to other ways to get a free coffee. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The spots show Citizens employees talking about their roles in the community -- from coach to parent -- to demonstrate that they also are part of the communities served by the bank. One spot highlights the bank's beginnings with references to Alexander Hamilton and the founders of the country who were the original visionaries in articulating the values of "citizenship" for the new United States. ...Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
Susie Rossick, Acura's manager of national advertising, says the effort was writ large in terms of creative and media to get people's attention during the cacophony of spring auto sale messages. "It's a commitment we made to the dealer network to support the sales event. We were really looking for something big to break through the clutter and really communicate Acura's take on luxury." ...Read the whole story >>
Food
by Karlene Lukovitz
Many of the core marketing recommendations largely reaffirm work or discussions already underway by various federal agencies with the cooperation of the food and beverage industry, points out Margo G. Wootan, nutrition policy director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. ...Read the whole story >>
Retail
by Tanya Irwin
The application, available at www.tissot.ch/reality, allows users (holding their wrists in front of a webcam) to try on watches and change models, colors and styles on their computer. Advertising will appear in selected markets to make consumers aware of the new technology. A Tissot spokesperson declined to reveal specifics about the campaign. ...Read the whole story >>

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Betty Brings Down the House


from Bnet:

As soon as I heard that Betty White would be hosting SNL’s Mother’s Day show, I knew I had to tune in. Why, I’m not entirely sure, but I wasn’t alone. Sure, capitalizing on the viral Facebook movement to get White to host the show was a smart move, but SNL delivered on White’s “sizzle” and came away with their highest rated show in 18 months.

Here’s what marketers can learn from Saturday Night Live’s Betty White Mother’s Day show:

  1. They leveraged the marketing value of social media. Social media’s a tremendous source of free consumer data if you’re paying attention. I mean, you don’t think Ashton Kutcher’s landing all those movie and promotional roles because he’s a great actor, do you? Anyway, by leveraging the “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!” Facebook page and its 500,000 fans, SNL got the attention of a huge grassroots audience to tune in.
  2. They leveraged the hell out of all those eyeballs, using Betty White in I think three different skits to promote the soon-to-be-released MacGruber movie produced by Lorne Michaels. It’s often a good idea to use a successful product to help a new one get off the ground.
  3. They delivered the goods. While capitalizing on the viral movement was a brilliant move, failing to deliver on the promise by coughing up an average-content show would have been a huge let-down. That goes for any marketing campaign: you have to deliver on the sizzle.
  4. They brought back great alumni from previous seasons: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon, Rachel Dratch, and Ana Gasteyer. While this is an old strategy in entertainment, it’s rarely used in the corporate world, and I don’t know why.Bringing back previously successful campaigns, products, and brand images and using them in new ways can be big winners. Coca Cola has made liberal use of this technique by bringing back old slogans, ad campaigns, the bottle, and of course, Coke Classic.
  5. They cleverly revived a classic sketch without using its star! They conjured up our memory of the sketch with Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon as food program hosts but, instead of Alec Baldwin and his “Schweddy Balls,” they had Betty White and her “Dusty Muffin.” When something works, find clever ways to extend it, reuse it, whatever works. Sure, we sometimes accidentally hit upon a campaign or technique that appears to have legs, but we usually just pat ourselves on the back and do nothing while it runs its course and eventually dies. How often do marketers leverage these once-in-a-career opportunities by creatively extending their success? Not often enough.

When I ran marketing for a microprocessor company, we ran an ad campaign that sent potential customers to a website with a list of regional resellers. But the site hadn’t been updated in ages and there was no program in place to motivate resellers to actually promote our products. When you called them, some of them no longer existed and others pushed our competitor’s products. Hard to believe, but it’s true.

The point is this. When you’re working on a new product or campaign, remember to:

  • Think it all the way through, from the very beginning of product development, through promotion, and all the way until the product is out the door and actually purchased by someone.
  • Close all the “open loops” in the process.
  • Follow through and deliver on the promise of your promotion.
  • Leverage the hell out of your limited budget, including free-research courtesy of social media and creatively resusing previously successful talent and campaigns.

It’s surprising how few marketers actually do all that. That’s why so few are consistently successful.

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The Revolution Continues

Over the past 18 months, I've done several presentations and events on Social Media and it's growth. One of my favorite videos that I use has been updated:

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Lessons from Jim & KFC


from my email archives. Jim Meisenheimer sent this last August:


Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky fried chicken began in 1952. Colonel Sanders
awarded Pete Harman the first KFC franchise. They sealed
the deal with a handshake.

In 1960 there were 190 KFC stores and 400 franchised units.

Fast forward to 1979 and KFC had 6000 restaurants
worldwide.

In 2006 more than 1 billion chicken dinners were served
in more than 80 countries around the world.

I've had KFC fried chicken. I happen to be a diabetic
and the grease covered chicken plays havoc with my blood
sugars - which of course I have to monitor.

Enough about that.

Please do me a favor. Stand up and walk over to the
closest wall. Stand right next to it with your nose on
the wall.

Now imagine the wall is your business. It's the world
you live and work in. When you're standing this close
to the wall (Your business) it's easy to lose your
perspective.

Okay where am I going with this?

You don't have to read the daily newspaper or watch the
network evening news to know the business landscape is
very challenging today.

It's challenging for salespeople. It's challenging for
companies. It's extremely challenging for senior
executives of these companies.

This is no time to put your head down and whine about
the economy.

These are the best of times - if you imagine them to be.

In fact, 20 years from now, these will become the "good
old days."

There are opportunities everywhere - but you have to be
looking and receptive to them.

Take the Pyrex measuring cup for example. You have one,
your parents have one, and if your grandparents are alive
they'll have one. And there's a good chance you have more
than one.

I just looked in my kitchen cabinet and we have six
Pyrex measuring cups.

During the 1980s, both ends of the handles were attached
to the cup.

Sales were dismal because everybody and their aunt Bertha
had more measuring cups than they needed.

So what were they going to do?

As Henry Ford once said, "don't complain, don't explain,
deal with it."

And that's what Pyrex did when they invented the stackable
measuring cup.

And what do you think happened to sales - sales took off
because they changed the handle and had something new to
talk about.

KFC has been around for 57 years selling fried chicken.

Someone got the brilliant idea that KFC should sell
grilled chicken.

And here's what a KFC recently said.

"Clearly, we're bringing in a lot of new customers,
We're exciting a lot of people about the brand who
haven't been excited about the brand before. And that's
really helping the business grow."

Before you write off your business possibilities consider
what Pyrex and KFC did.

Nothing more than a product tweek.

What can you week to jumpstart your sales?

Step back from the wall. Get people from the outside
to step inside your business.

In my opinion there's no one better positioned in a
company to come up with revolutionary new product ideas.

It's you - the road warrior called sales representative.

It's time to get excited about your business again.

It's not too hard to believe that in 2029 - these will
be considered "the good old days."




Favorite Quote

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...

It's about learning how to dance in the rain.


Is an anonymous, unattributed quote.

Submitted by - Russell Adsit


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

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Your Social Media Persona

From Drew:

There are no divided plates in social media

Posted: 09 May 2010 09:04 PM PDT

Plate_drewmclellanSocial media is an all or nothing proposition. No... I am not suggesting that you air all your dirty laundry, that you passive aggressively comment on a specific person's behavior on your Facebook updates or that we should all know how your marriage is going based on your tweets.

That's a discussion of discretion and propriety, which we'll hold for another day.

I was talking about how some people are clinging to the idea that they can embark into the world of social media and somehow maintain very distinct and separate personal and professional lives. You know..."I use Facebook just for my friends and LinkedIn for business contacts."

Life isn't that clear cut. And let's take it out of the social media realm for a minute. Do you know if your favorite client has children? Do they know if you like coffee? Ever share vacation photos or a book you love with a business associate?

Of course you have. We are human beings. And if you're doing business exceedingly well -- odds are your customers are also your friends.

So what in the world makes us think we can or should keep those two interwoven worlds separate in social media? Does the fact that I posted photos of my daughter's play negate my ability to help clients with their marketing? If I tweet on occasion with an old college buddy, does that erase the tweets with insightful social media links and commentary?

That's not to say you shouldn't have a strategy for how you want to handle your social media exposure. You have a reason -- often a business reason -- for being there. And you shouldn't lose sight of that. But just don't create artificial barriers to the point of the extreme.

As Amber Naslund said at the recent SOBCon conference -- "sooner or later the mash potatoes are going to touch the peas."

There are no divided plates in social media. So you might as well figure out how to blend your worlds. I hate to break it to you... but they're already blended.

What do you think?

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If Newspapers were Websites..


Then maybe they would survive....

NAA Bonanza: Newspaper Web Sites Draw 74 Million

Newspaper Web sites drew a record-breaking average 74.4 million unique visitors per month in the first quarter of 2010, according to new figures from Nielsen Online released by the Newspaper Association of America. That's up from 72 million unique visitors in the fourth quarter of 2009, and represents the highest quarterly average in history.

In proportional terms, the first-quarter number equals 37% of all U.S. Internet users. These visitors generated a monthly average of just under 3.25 billion page views per month from January-March, spending an average 2.34 billion minutes in over 592 million sessions per month -- or an average 31:32 per person, divided among just under eight sessions per month.

On average, newspaper Web site visitors viewed 44 pages per month.

Because this data was generated by Nielsen Online using a new methodology introduced almost a year ago, Nielsen and the NAA warn that year-over-year comparisons may not be statistically valid. With that caveat in mind, a superficial comparison of this year's stats with 2009's suggests the total newspaper Web audience increased 1.5% from a monthly average of 73.3 million in the first quarter of 2009.

However, the total number of page views appears to have declined somewhat (8%) from 3.54 billion, while the number of visits per person stayed roughly the same (8.1 in the first quarter of 2009).

The increasing online audience numbers come as some major newspaper publishers report a rebound in their digital advertising revenues in the first quarter of 2010.

The New York Times Co. recently announced that digital-advertising revenues increased 18%, compared to the first quarter of 2009 to $80 million, while revenues at the About.com group -- which is counted separately -- increased 29.3% to $34.7 million.

Separately, McClatchy announced that digital-ad revenues rose 2.2% in the first quarter to $46.8 million.

However, digital ad revenues remain a fairly small part of the newspaper business overall -- and they will have to deliver sustained growth to come anywhere near making up for catastrophic print losses over the last couple years.

After peaking at $49.3 billion in 2005, total newspaper ad revenues declined 44% to $27.6 billion in 2009, according to the latest figures from the Newspaper Association of America.

(Source: Media Daily News, 04/23/10)

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