Saturday, May 22, 2010

Being Social-able on Social Media

Drew wrote an excellent piece on this subject:

Social media fans and followers are like new neighbors

Posted: 21 May 2010 07:06 PM PDT

Shutterstock_20760379 Imagine glancing out your front window just as the moving van pulls in at the house across the street. Oh goodie...a new neighbor!

As soon as the moving van unloads everything and pulls away, you brush your teeth, run your fingers through your hair and head over. After all... you've got to check them out, right?

Their garage door is still open and it's packed with stuff. You start rummaging through the boxes and are pumped when you see the power tools. You have a lot of uses for those! You hear the door leading into the house open up and a startled man looks at you in surprise.

With skipping a beat, you look up and say, "Hey neighbor! Nice to meet you. Mind if I take these tools for a couple days? I'm finishing my basement and..."

I sounds crazy doesn't it? Everyone knows that you don't treat a new neighbor that way. The proper way to get to know a new neighbor is to take over a little gift or some freshly baked cookies. You ask if there's anything you can do to help them settle in. Maybe you watch the kids while they unpack or you offer to bring dinner over so they don't have to worry about getting to the grocery store.

In other words -- you give without expecting to get something in return.

The same is true in social media. When you get a new neighbor in the form of a Facebook fan, Twitter follower or blog subscriber -- you don't dig through their proverbial garage, looking for what you can get from them. You don't immediately try to sell them something or make them jump through a bunch of hoops.

And yet that's exactly what most businesses do. Automated DM tweets pushing their product, Facebook updates that are all about them and blog posts that are just self-promotional press releases.

No wonder most companies abandon their social media efforts and declare it all a waste of time. Because they're lousy neighbors.

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Cars & Culture

from Mediapost:

A Car's Symbolic Meaning To The Mexican-American

A Car's Symbolic Meaning To The Mexican-American A popular public middle school in a mid-sized Texas town near the Mexican border was grappling with traffic problems. The growing student body, with a significantly large population of Hispanics, meant that there was too much traffic causing long lines and delays in the mornings and afternoons. There were too many students in private cars and not enough in school buses. Neighbors began to complain of cars blocking their streets.

So the school devised a plan to increase school bus ridership and reduce the number of private cars. Parents were encouraged to leave their cars at home. And the school designated new drop-off and pick-up points farther away from the main entrance for parents who still chose to drive their kids to school.

After one month, results were evaluated, and the situation assessed. A high number of students switched to the school bus, and these were almost all the white students. As for the Hispanics, they chose to still be driven by car. The program, therefore, did not meet the target of car reduction. So the school decided to investigate and ask, "Porque?"

You see, the car has symbolic meaning for Hispanics, and it sends out a powerful message that having a car shows that this generation is better off than its parents' generation, which stayed behind in Mexico. It also serves as a badge of success on wheels, and part of the American dream.

According to a Yale neuroscientist, the brain functions in three parts, Cortex (logic and analysis), Limbic (feelings), and Reptilian (instinct).

These brain parts then create different values, Functional (Cortex), Emotional (Limbic), and Symbolic (Reptilian). The latter is considered the oldest part of the brain, with the least evolution and one that humans share with reptiles. It is also most powerful, as it deals with survival and reproduction. Apply this theory to culture, and you can understand consumer behavior more deeply.

The car's meaning to the Hispanic family is beyond the functional (a means of transportation) and emotional (I'm just like other American parents with cars. I belong to the same club), but strikes the rawest nerve in the symbolic meaning of success.

The Hispanics did, of course, had some company, with some white parents opting to continue driving their children. But their reason had a different symbolic meaning: "My car is the extension of my family dinner table. It's where we get together as a family and discuss things openly." Driving the children has become a symbol of bonding with the children, in an uninterrupted environment with no distractions.

So, imagine if GM or Ford could understand such reality and build cars that were "On-Code" with the Hispanic culture and their attached symbolic meaning.

Advertisers, marketers and brand-builders need to understand this first generation of Mexican-American car-buyers. Every target market is different, but the key remains the same: Understand both the consumers' symbolic value and their culture.

Dian Hasan is a San-Diego based brand storyteller and business innovator at MindCode, a U.S.-based branding, innovation and consumer research company. He has worked with MindCode clients in the consumers goods, retail, hospitality and tourism industries in the U.S., Mexico and Argentina.

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The Multi-Tasking Debate

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Multi-Tasking Costs You Time

Doing two things at once, like singing while you take a shower, is not the same as instant messaging while writing a research report. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can multi-task jobs that need your full attention. You're not really having a conversation while you write; you're shifting your attention back and forth between the two activities quickly. You're juggling. When you juggle tasks, your work suffers AND takes longer -- because switching tasks costs.

When your brain switches its attention from one task to another, it takes time to get into a new train of thought. You lose any momentum you had on the first task, which costs you on the next switch. On the Internet or in an office where distractions abound, switching tasks can cost hours. A recent study showed that office employees who were interrupted while they worked took an average of 25 minutes to get back to what they started.

If you've got work that requires engaged thinking -- like reading, writing, or even just a serious phone call, stop juggling and start single-tasking. For example, if you've got a dozen emails to answer and presentation slides to prepare, complete the slides before you look at the email. You'll get both jobs done faster than the juggler who switches between the email and the slides every few minutes.

You already know that some kinds of multi-tasking can be hazardous to your health, like texting while driving or blow-drying your hair while you're in the bathtub. When it comes to splitting your attention between tasks, remember the difference between multi-tasking and juggling. When you have the choice, stop juggling and get things done faster -- one at a time.

Source: Gina Trapani, FastCompany, May, 2010

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and Read:

by Aaron Baar
The partners with Google on its TV plan have the advantage of a halo effect of all things Google. Look for them to run with it for as long as they can. "They're going to brand the hell out of it," says one analyst. "If I'm Sony, I'm going to play that Intel and Google association for everything it's worth." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates said the month's slow start will change next week with the holiday. "With the unofficial start to summer approaching, consumers are more inclined to consider purchasing a new vehicle, and it's likely that Memorial Day sales incentives will generate an even stronger close for May," he said. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The integrated campaign will focus on grassroots online and offline components, with an emphasis on the former. The goal, says Gonzalez, is to provide the consumer with a seamless experience between the brand's online and offline activities, using each component to develop a relationship with the consumer and a community of brand fans. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
To support the collaboration with the North Shore Animal League America, Arm & Hammer has launched an integrated marketing campaign with the tagline: "Tag a Cat, Save a Life." Ads will appear on packages of Arm & Hammer cat litter products, online and in handouts delivered to new cat owners at the point of pet adoption. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
Tim Ferguson, North American marketing director for Loctite, tells Marketing Daily that until now, the company's advertising has been product- rather than brand-focused. "We were doing ads for products like Loctite Power Grab, with TV, print and radio, but it was not brand-centric; this is really the first time we have done a master-brand effort." ...Read the whole story >>

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A Moving Target

As we go through different life stages, our needs change. This is from Mediapost:

As They Age, So Do Their Motivations for Going Online
I'd met the requirements for my major, but I still needed two credits to get my undergraduate degree. While there weren't many two-credit classed offered in the summer, I found one: "Introduction to the Internet."

Yes, I believed it would be important to learn about the Internet, but I had another motivation for learning to create Web pages, use email and Instant Messenger. I lived in California, I had a girlfriend in Texas, and I was a poor college student. Every extra cent I had was going to buy stamps to send letters and pay for long-distance phone calls -- since a cell phone was out of my financial grasp as well.

My initial motivation for going online was simple. I did it for a girl. I welcomed the opportunity to communicate long-distance, in real-time, for free.

But my motivations for using the Internet have changed since then. Now, I use it for everything from work to shopping and paying bills to staying in touch with old friends.

Earlier this year, I wrote "The Fluid Nature of Gen Y's Media Habits," which looked at how media habits change as Gen Y consumers move through different life stages. I've since conducted new research (to be published next month) that looks at how the motivations fueling online activity change over time.

Shopping (22%) and looking for deals (20%)

While women are more likely than men to be motivated to go online to shop and find deals, there are dramatic changes that occur over time.

Shopping is a driver for 19% of female high school students, while searching out deals is a much lower priority (only 4% indicate this is a primary driver). Once women enter college, searching for deals in the form or coupons, discounts, and freebies increases in importance, becoming a primary motivator for 27% of female college students to go online. Finding deals is an even higher motivation for women who don't complete college (39%).

Men are less likely than women to be driven online to shop or search for deals in their high school and college years. However, this changes substantially as they enter the workforce. Armed with disposable income, finding deals online becomes a primary motivation for 50% of Gen Y male college graduates to go online.

  • Application: Women are likely to start looking for deals when they enter college (e.g., maintaining a wardrobe on a budget), while men are more likely to start looking when they get out of college (e.g., they finally have money for techno-gadgets). Target deals to consumers as they enter these new life-stages.

Socializing with online friends (27%) and communicating with friends and family (55%)

Communicating with friends and family is the most common motivator for females to go online regardless of their life stage. Not so for the maintenance of "online friendships," which is a motivator for 42% of female high schoolers to go online compared to only 24% of female college students.

For men, socializing with online friends and communicating with friends and family becomes less prominent motivators as they age. For example, 59% of male high school students say communicating with friends and family is a primary reason for going online compared to only 28% of male college graduates who consider this a top motivation.

The importance of maintaining "online friendships" also decreases for men as the move from high school to college. However, after graduating college, the importance of maintaining online relationships surges as they shift their attention to building business contacts and keeping up with business trends.

  • Application: As Gen Y ages, women narrow their sphere of online communication while men change their sphere of online communication. Social networks of friends and family are more likely to have an influence on women, while business networks are more likely to have an influence on men.

Hunting for information (20%)

Some consumers are much more interested in getting information online than in interacting with others online. On average, Gen Y men are more likely to fit into this group, but this is because high school age females (7%) and women who don't graduate from college (18%) are unlikely to fit in this group.

In contrast, 18% of high school males consider themselves information consumers, and this trend increases steadily regardless of whether they attend college or not. 36% of men graduating from college and moving only professional careers are motivated to go online in order to "consume information." Only professional women with college degrees are more likely to go online primarily to find information (41%).

  • Application: Men's quest for data increases as they age. For women, this quest is more likely to depend on their level of education. If your audience is college-educated women, providing valuable information should be a key part of your communication strategy. If your female audience hasn't attended college, you are much better off focusing on offering deals.

Earlier today, a friend told me, "It's much less important to look at a person's finger than where the finger is pointing." In short, it's not about what, but why. We are just scratching the surface, and we will be looking at even more motivators in the days ahead. I'm convinced that understanding why people go online, and how that changes over time, will open up many new and exciting opportunities.

Morgan Stewart is Principal, Marketing Research & Education Group, at ExactTarget, a provider of on-demand email and one-to-one marketing solutions. Follow him at Reach him here.

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Listen to your elders

Drew posted this on his blog a couple months ago:

Father knows best by Clickfuel's Denise Cautela

Posted: 12 Mar 2010 11:14 AM PST

Fatherknowsbest Drew's Note: As I try to do on many a Friday, I'm pleased to bring you a guest post. Meet a thought leader who shares her insights every day. So without further ado...Denise Cautela.

Again, enjoy!

Father Knows Best: Online Marketing Best Practices from a Small Business Owner

An entrepreneur, my father owned and managed two local retail chains in the 1980s and 1990s. I grew up in the family business and credit my father with teaching me important customer service, business ethic and product quality values that extend into my current role helping companies manage their online marketing programs.

Even then, my father’s business practices were considered “old school.” He demanded we count change back directly to customers instead of relying on the cash register; he would not close the store until the very last customer was ready to leave (even if it was well past closing time); and he insisted that we manually count inventory monthly because computers were not foolproof and the numbers in the dot matrix printed reports could be wrong.

While these business practices may seem a little “dated,” the underlying philosophy was an important life lesson and provided the foundation for my own best practices for online marketing today:

Be loyal to your customers and they will be loyal to you

  • My father always made a point of building a strong connection with the local customer base. In today’s market, we have a variety of inexpensive and easy-to-use Web 2.0 tools at our fingertips to spark and maintain a dialogue—and strengthen bonds with customers. Tap Social media vehicles like Facebook Fan Pages to build connections and stay ahead of new trends by listening to what your customers have to say and what they want.
  • Be honest on your website, landing pages and email campaigns. Clearly explain your business, what you offer and the value your product or service provides customers. Same goes for information you provide for any blogs or RSS feeds. Full transparency and honesty builds a level of trust with existing and prospective customers that can result in up sell opportunities and referrals, and of course, keep your customers coming back.

Make it easy for your customers to find you
  • Smart Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaigns put your product or service directly in front of those looking for you. It is the most direct, cost effective way to advertise on the Internet today.
  • List your business in as many online directories as possible. These directories are like signs pointing to your website in front of people driving by.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) done right can indirectly pull people into your website and help improve where your business appears on search engine result pages.

You have one chance to make a good first impression

  • Each one of my Dad’s stores had a distinct look and feel, and products strategically placed for easy access. How your website or landing page look, and the ease of use/navigation is critical. You may only have one chance to make that good first impression—make sure it counts.

Denise Cautela, VP of Marketing at ClickFuel, has nearly 15 years of experience in a wide range of strategic marketing and communication roles. A multiple award winning marketer, Denise is responsible for building out the ClickFuel brand, generating new business and strategically supporting the channel and direct sales efforts. Before joining ClickFuel, Denise was with Monster Worldwide for more than five years in a variety of leadership roles, most recently Sr. Director of Marketing, Emerging Markets.

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from my emails:

Daily Sales Tip: Time Your Selling

In every industry, there are better times for prospecting and scheduling appointments.

Set priorities. Follow the schedule to the letter whenever possible. Nobody sells them all, but you're guaranteed to lose 100% of the prospects you don't call at the right time.

Source: Ted Barrows, president of the sales and marketing firm, Barrows & Associates

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
Mercedes-Benz marketing VP Steve Cannon talks about how the brand is going beyond customer satisfaction to something he calls "customer intimacy," a quality a brand needs to create brand advocates and disciples. "I'm talking about getting that much closer to your customer that make some of our ways of targeting them look Stone Age," he said. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
New for 2010, Staples is launching a line of products that students can use to keep organized and learn about important issues impacting their communities. These products will be available at Staples retail stores by July 4 and will direct students to a dedicated microsite with additional information and suggestions. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Moving toward Memorial Day, the Beef Council will heavy-up its effort, with a greater focus on recipe communication. Ads tagged "29 lean cuts, one powerful protein" will be expanded to include summer radio spots in 20 markets, with specific retail mentions. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Dan Germain, head of creative for UK fruit drink brand Innocent Drinks, used moleskin notebooks as an example of good emotional brand character. "They are just a bloody notebook. But don't you feel a little cleverer than everyone else? It's just a notebook, but somehow the act of holding it, touching it ... When you see someone else [with one], you think, 'Yeah, one smart chap.'" ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
In addition, they offer healthy hints, such as alternate menu selections with lower calories or fat, or ways to reduce these on favorite menu items, on a customer's next visit. ("If you are trying to eat healthier, try 'holding the chipotle mayo' on your sandwich and save 180 calories and 18g of fat.") ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"It's taken a couple of years, but they've figured out the mobile phone is really a tool kit, and one of the tools it unlocks is this thing called the retail environment," says the Mobile Marketing Association's Peter Johnson. "If we had done this survey two or three years ago, I would guess almost all respondents would have used it to purchase ringtones or wallpaper." ...Read the whole story >>

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You know, not a week goes by with my making some mistake.

Sometimes no one knows but me, and it is inconsequential.

Other times it affects others and so there are words we need to say. Drew explains:

Give them your heart... and then your head

Posted: 18 May 2010 10:10 PM PDT

Hearthands_drewmclellan Clients have high expectations of us and rightly so. And I think that most companies (and employees) bust a hump to meet and exceed those expectations. But sooner or later, we're going to mess up.

It's inevitable. We're human beings and we screw up.

Whether we catch our own mistake or the client points it out -- how we respond in those first few minutes will make or break the experience. I have always said -- it's not the screw up, it's how we handle the screw up that matters.

Because we work our tails off to please and serve our clients -- when we mess up, we're embarrassed and we are highly motivated to correcting the problem. So we go into "Fix It Mode."

Oops...we just made it worse. Yup... worse.

The client doesn't want you to fix it. Not yet. First, they want you to feel their pain. They want to know that you are sorry (you cannot substitute words here...the words are: "I am very sorry...") and that you are upset that you have let them down. In other words, it's time to eat some humble pie.

It's not that the client wants you to grovel or beat yourself up. But they're feeling pretty lousy at this point. And they want to know you're in it with them. They want you to feel as badly about it as they do. This is less about blame and much more about reassurance that when things go wrong -- you give a damn.

Then and only then, can you go into "Fix It Mode." If you go immediately to fixing the problem and you're all logical and left brained -- to them it feels like you don't care. You're just trying to get out of the jam you find yourself in. When you go right into "Fix It Mode" -- it feels to the client like it's about you, not them.

And they really need it to be about them. (As it should be.)

But once you've demonstrated that you're sitting right there beside them and are feeling as badly as they are -- then you can roll right into your creative problem solving and fix whatever is broken.

Ultimately, they do want you to solve it. But not before you've felt it. So remember...heart and then head.

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New Ad Campaigns

Amy's weekly update:

World Cup ads. An ice cream robot makes employees happy... and sticky. Let's launch!

AT&T has launched a series of ads under the "Rethink Possible" theme. They're bringing emotion back to phone company ads! My favorite spot is "Ripple Effect." A chance encounter results in a man changing his train ticket to sit next to a young woman. They eventually marry and become parents of the 57th president. See it here. A moderator declares 20 kids winners of a "Spelling Bee," since the competition has lasted 48 hours without a single elimination. Blame it on increased Internet access. Watch it here. "Birthday" gives adults the mindset from their childhood days, when obstacles ceased to exist and ideas about changing the world seemed feasible. See it here. "Blanket" illustrates AT&T's coverage by blanketing large U.S. attractions, like the Hoover Dam, Gateway Arch and Hollywood sign, with orange drapery. Reminded me of The Gates exhibit from 2005. Watch it here. Another ad follows a father throughout his house, looking for a place to watch TV without interruption. See it here. The final spot in the campaign, the weakest of the bunch, shows a man talking and surfing simultaneously, causing him to lose track of time and place. Watch it here. BBDO New York and BBDO Atlanta created the campaign.

VH1 Latin America launched two TV spots as part of its "Wonderful World of VH1" campaign. "If You Like" features a series of quirky vignettes coupled with a voiceover directing viewers to text and vote for their favorite. Do you like robot love, overtly serious bocce players, overrated Latino lovers, or a boob with fake boobs? The ad ends with a family of boobs with fake boobs texting in their favorite snippet. As if you need to guess what they voted for? See it here. Existential rock and roll, anyone? "Anti-Rock Star" is great. The premise: for every rock star that exists, there's an anti-rock star to balance out the universe. Yin and Yang. Eating chicken wings with groupies and eating alone in your hotel room. What happens when these two worlds collide? The two touch fingers (think E.T.) and release similarities -- and urine. See the ad here. Young & Rubicam New York created the campaign.

I never realized how much I wanted an ice cream-dispensing robot at work, until I saw an ad for AMP ENERGY Canada. Office worker Eric lights his creative fire after drinking AMP Energy Juice, motivating him to build something special for his co-workers using old computer parts. That something is an ice cream-dispensing robot, complete with ice cream-truck music that turns mild-mannered employees into rabid ice cream eaters. And they socialize with their co-workers, if your definition of socializing involves taking your pants off and licking ice cream off your co-worker's hand. We'll just take the ice cream, thanks. Best part is, the boss in the ad loves the work camaraderie the robot brings. Watch the ad here. Proximity Canada created the ad and OMD handled the media buy.

ESPN launched a pair of TV spots promoting its upcoming English-language coverage of the FIFA World Cup. "Robben Island" is the first spot from "One Game Changes Everything." The ad retells the significance behind the World Cup taking place in South Africa. "Robben Island" is the prison in South Africa that housed political prisoners like Nelson Mandela. Cut off from the outside world, for them soccer was an outlet of inspiration and hope. Watch it here. "United" is amazing. Set to U2's "Magnificent," the ad has a simple message: despite the differences and disagreements among countries and cultures, for one month every four years, the world is united. "It's not about the stock market, black market, orange alerts, green homes, hope, change, fear or loathing," says voiceover Bono in the ad, seen here. Wieden + Kennedy New York created the campaign.

Home Depot launched an ad promoting its sponsorship of the Mexican national team for the World Cup. The ad intertwines soccer game footage on a wet field with DIY homeowners blowing leaves, using a sledgehammer to break down a wall, and tightening a leaky pipe. The spot was shot with a phantom camera and some scenes were shot at up to 7000 frames per second. Pretty cool. Watch the ad here. Vidal Partnership created the ad and Crew Cuts handled the postproduction.

Adidas Japan launched the "adidas Sky Comic" project leading up to the FIFA World Cup. The project spans 13 cities over five weeks, concluding May 25. Football fans and children throughout Japan painted thirteen ginormous 300-square-meter comic-strip panels, each featuring a different player. A camera was attached to a remote-controlled balloon that took flight and snapped pictures of each completed graphic. The panels are joined together online as a digital comic book. The complete set of panels will be erected for two days at Haneda Airport, greeting arriving and departing passengers. See the making of a panel here, created by TBWA/Hakuhodo.

Remember those dirty sneakers you touched today? If you haven't washed your hands, chances are the sneakers are still with you, in the form of germs. Protex antibacterial soap launched print and outdoor ads using the tagline, "The Things You Touch Stay With You." One ad shows a finger with tiny dogs walking and pooping on it. Ick. See it here. Then there are the grimy germs from your sneakers taking up residence below your fingernails. See it here. Young & Rubicam New York created the campaign.

I love a good mystery. Do you know why Jack Daniel's whiskey has "Old No. 7" on its label? Neither does the brand. The first ad speculates that number 7 was JD's lucky number, or the train that carried his barrels across country, or the number of women in his life. Don't expect a resolution, only more speculation. See the ad here. "Proud" portrays JD as a man "who never varied from his recipe, and stayed true to the process." Like "Old No. 7," "Proud" is animated and shot in black and white. See it here. Arnold created the ads, produced by Brand New School.

Random iPhone App of the week: launched "Find Your Fix," a free app that focuses on breaking entertainment events and news, sans gossip. Users can read movie, TV, DVD, CD and concert reviews and purchase tickets and DVDs within the app. There's also a video tab where movie trailers can be watched. The app is available in the App Store.

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

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Lessons from the Golf Course

from my Art Sobczak archives:

This Week's Tip:
Overcoming Fear; How I Did it On the Golf Course


This week I'll talk about situations where fear can be
paralyzing and potentially cause you to not perform to
your potential, and of course I'll relate it to sales.

However, my personal example is about golf.

Last weekend I played in a Member-Guest golf
tournament at a friend's club. We did pretty well,
qualifying into a seven-team 'shootout' for the

If you've never seen one of these, it's a fun event
to watch, and can be nerve-wracking for participants.

Most of the other players who don't qualify for the
shootout, and various other spectators watch from
their golf carts and follow the action hole-to-hole.

All 14 of the players on the seven teams start on the first
playoff hole. Then teams are eliminated on each hole
until there is a champion. It truly has the electric feel
of a big-time golf event, albeit on a smaller scale.

I'm not a great golfer, but respectable, and shoot in
the low-to-mid 80's, occasionally dipping into the 70's.
One other time, two years ago I was in a similar type of
shootout, and actually won it with my partner when it
came down to a chip-off against the other final team.

Even though I experienced a shootout before, being in
that situation last Sunday with all of these people
watching, just the thought of trying to hit a golf shot
where I wanted it to go was a bit unnerving.
(It's not easy even when no one is watching!).

In fact, evil doubts tried to creep into my head.

I have given over a thousand seminars and workshops
to groups as big as 2000 without any anxiety, but I
must admit, hitting the golf ball in this situation is
downright scary for me. In fact, I've been in less-
stressful golf situations where I still had "a little too
much going on upstairs" and completely botched shots.

As I played in that shootout with my partner on Sunday,
to help me handle the potential fear, I recalled my
mental notes about managing these types of situations
that I first read several years ago.

Jack Stark, sports psychologist for the University of Nebraska
football team, in an interview with the "Omaha World-Herald,"
said that activities such as golf, place kicking, free-throw
shooting, job interviews (and let me add, sales calls) that
require a burst of activity after down time are fertile breeding
grounds for negative thoughts that can cause even a polished pro to
turn into a Jello-legged babbling Elmer Fudd.

Self-destructive thoughts ("Please don't hit it into the water,
again, dummy," or, "I hope I don't say something stupid.") cause an
adrenaline rush, according to Stark, that result in 1,200 chemical
changes in one-tenth of a second.

He says these changes inhibit our finer thinking and natural motor
activity. That means instead of just doing what we're otherwise
capable of expertly and repeatedly in a role play situation, or when
no one is watching at the driving range, we lose it when it counts.

So what should we do to avoid turning into Gumby when faced
with money situations?

Stark teaches players a system that also works in any life
circumstance. He calls it FOCUS, an acronym to help remember
the steps.

FORGET. Start with a blank sheet. The past doesn't exist. Do not,
I repeat, DO NOT let negative images or thoughts enter into your
mind. I did not think about dumping the ball into the water on the two
holes where I needed to hit over it from 175 yards.

ORGANIZE. Get your notes, product info, whatever you need in
front of you. Position your body properly.

CONCENTRATE. Visualize the call or shot in a positive light. See the
ideal call. Hear the words being spoken--by you and the customer-
as you want them to occur. Matt Oechsli, author of the "Inner
Game of Selling," suggests using affirmations in the present tense:

"I will sell this big account."

"I will land the ball next to the pin."

As King Soloman said, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

UNWIND. Take a slow, deep breath. Loosen your shoulders.

. Dial the phone. Place the call. Begin the swing. Don't worry
about how you're going to succeed. Let it happen. Thinking about
HOW it will happen at this point is sure to throw you off. A long-jumper
doesn't think about his jump when he's in the middle of it. He's thinking
about the other side, the result.

The next time you're faced with a situation that raises your
anxiety level, practice these ideas and you'll perform at the
high level you're capable of.

And oh, if you're wondering how we did, well, I'd like to tell you
that this ended as a Cinderella story and we won the championship.

Close, but not quite.

Jim and I both managed to hit clutch shots, keeping us
progressing as four other teams were eliminated. My butterflies
were flying like crazy, but in formation as I managed to keep those
FOCUS points in mind (the ample Bud Lights contributed a bit too).

Three teams remained, with the other two being much lower-handicap
(better) golfers than us.

The next hole was a 165-yard par 3, with the pin nestled between a front
and back sand bunker, and only a sliver of green about 8 yards wide
to work with. You've go to be kidding me, I thought. No room for error.

The other four players all hit their shots fairly close to the pin.


Then my partner sprayed his well to the right, off the green.

I was next.

I went through my mental routine, and proceeded to hit my most purely-
struck shot of the day, right on the screws, directly at the pin.

Beautiful trajectory...several people in the gallery yelled "great
shot," "nice swing," and I do recall someone screaming,
"Go in the hole!"

And it landed...

...two yards too long, absolutely buried in the back bunker with just
the top of the ball peeking out of the sand.

I proceeded to spray my sand shot into the other bunker across
the green, while my partner did the same.

Third place. Oh well.

You can bet the next time I'm in that situation, it will be even
easier, just like anything we initially fear, but work to overcome.

Go and Have Your Best Week Ever!


Quote of the Week

"You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up
your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere
except in the mind."

Dale Carnegie

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

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Can a duck make insurance appeal to kids?

Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The campaign also includes a "Toy Story 3"-themed paint scheme for the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion for the NASCAR race on June 20 in Sonoma, Calif. A sweepstakes will offer consumers a chance to win a trip to Hollywood, a VIP tour of Walt Disney Studio and a private screening of the winner's favorite Disney-Pixar film. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The company announced another round of deep price rollbacks on 22 favorite foods and everyday items, slashing an additional 30% off these products, citing evidence that its core customer is still feeling pinched by the economy. Its research has found that mothers continue to worry about finances, with 75% searching for dollar-stretching deals. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
A Chrysler spokesperson says Global Hue will work with the respective lead agencies of each division to translate the brand message to diversity markets. Though the agency is AOR for Jeep, its expertise is multicultural marketing. The agency also handles Bermuda tourism, the MGM Grand in Detroit, and multicultural efforts for FedEx, the U.S. Navy, Subway and Verizon, among others. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
In the latest move emphasizing that they're fully on board the anti-obesity movement formalized by First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative, major food and beverage manufacturers in the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) have publicly pledged to slash a dramatic 1.5 trillion calories from their products by the end of 2015. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"We're trying to sell the 'entertainment'" of JVC Mobile products, Chad Vogelsong, general manager of JVC Mobile Entertainment, tells Marketing Daily. "At the end of the day, driving around with your car stereo on is just fun." This year's campaign, which launches this week, features the All-American Rejects in a four-minute music video. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
One reason that the topic is getting more attention, and that more emotional appeals may be seen in the months ahead, is that the recovering economy may be making consumers less intent on focusing strictly on short-term value and more open to longer-term benefits or aspirations that lend themselves to more visceral messaging, noted ANA President/CEO Bob Liodice. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The effort also continues the Fiesta Movement campaigns featuring bloggers and Facebook mavens who got early versions of the car. A series of humorous videos featuring the "Fiesta Agents" are running on Ford's microsite for Fiesta. Marketing Daily talks to Fiesta's Thomais Zaremba. ...Read the whole story >>

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Using a Blog for Marketing

Over the past few years, I've encouraged a few of my clients who wanted to create a stronger online presence to start a blog.

Here's a few tips from

Blogging Boo-Boos

By now, it's pretty clear to most people what works in the blogosphere—and what doesn't. Not everyone, however, has caught on. Accordingly, Frank Days used a post at Tangyslice to discuss the functions a blog simply won't serve. To help these extremely late adopters, Days provided a list of what not to do with your company's blog.

Here are several marketing functions that can't be blogged, no matter how hard you try:

  • A direct-response program. While it's okay to discuss various aspects of your business, as they relate to the topic at hand, beware the slippery slope to overt sales pitches. "Few things shut down a blog's conversations faster than 'act before Friday...' or some other type of offer," he notes.
  • An alternative to email marketing. In a similar way, resist the urge to use a blog as channel for messages that belong in your email program. "Just because your house email list is losing its pop doesn't mean you can blindly move your promotions to your blog," he argues.
  • A press release. As an official announcement from your company to the media, a press release speaks in the formal, third person voice—and hampers dialogue in the casual atmosphere of a blog. "[E]ffective blogging works in the first and second person as you would in a conversation," he says. "This also invites comments, both positive and negative."

The Po!nt: Ignore Days's advice at your own peril. You won't get a citation from the blogging police—but you'll almost certainly lose readers.

Source: Tangyslice. Click here for the full post.

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An Easy Way

to get testimonials:

Daily Sales Tip: An Easy Way to Secure Testimonials

One of the most common comments you'll hear from clients when asking for testimonials is, "Well I'm really not much of a writer, so it's hard for me to put it into words."

The real power of testimonials comes from the fact that they're not polished...they're authentic and from the heart. A marketing professional I know quite well recently shared with me his secret about how he addresses this issue in his business: "I borrowed an idea from John Caples -- one of the great copywriters of the 20th century. When asking a client for a testimonial, he'd simply say 'Finish this sentence in 25 words or less: I really like (product/service/person) because...'

"This really works because it gets right to the point about the feelings people have for you, for what you do and for what you're selling."

Source: Colleen Francis, president and founder of Engage Selling Solutions

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
Oreo/Kraft and DQ have a long-standing relationship: The Oreo Blizzard is the #1 selling flavor of the frosty drink, according to Dairy Queen International chief brand officer Michael Keller, who adds that Blizzards as a whole represent a $600 million annual business in the U.S. and Canada alone. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"That idea of surrounding the consumer, from digital, events, to me, all that synergy works incredibly well," says Craig Bierley in a Q&A with Marketing Daily. "When I was at Pontiac, we surrounded the consumer with our programs with NCAA basketball. You can leverage programs to look bigger by really going deep. That's what we are looking to do with Buick as we have done with GMC." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The partnership, which launched on Monday, includes putting the American Heart Association's logo on boxes for the Wii Fit balance board controller and on the Wii Sports Resort games beginning this summer. The logo placement is not meant to convey an out-and-out endorsement of the product, but rather that the AHA views the product as valuable for a healthy lifestyle. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
After four years of declining sales, Lowe's says people are finally feeling ready to spruce up their homes, with comparable-store sales up 2.4% for its first quarter. The company beat its own forecasts and says that in some regions -- including the Northeast and North Central -- comparable-store sales even posted gains in the double-digits. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
This week, the company is launching a social-media leg on its site linked to its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites and the company's blog. The effort, around the theme, "What would the world be like without self-expression?" encourages visitors to the site to submit images and videos of how they have used Sharpies to enliven prosaic items or create art. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Those who said they were more likely to shop around were willing to switch for an annual savings of $300 or less, while those saying they were less likely to shop needed an incentive greater than $300 before they would consider switching. Customers willing to change for $300 or less in annual savings were more likely to be younger and with their primary provider for a shorter period of time. ...Read the whole story >>

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Food Choices

Over the weekend, my wife and I visited Taco Bell twice. That was our 3rd and 4th visit of 2010.

They're sort of off our radar. However now they've introduced $2.00 meals which is bound to get some attention. Take a look at the other food choices we are making in this report from

Value Drives Dining Decisions

Consumers are dining out less often, and more value-focused when they do visit a restaurant, according to the results of a recent Harris Poll.

One-Third of Consumers Scale Back Dining Out
Both fast food and casual dining restaurants have experienced the same slowdown in the past six months, with 34% and 31% of adults respectively saying they have visited these types of restaurants with less frequency than a year ago. Almost half of Americans (45% and 47%) have respectively visited casual and quick service restaurants at the same level as a year ago. On a more positive note, 13% and 14% say they visited these types of restaurants with more frequency than in the past year.


More than 8 in 10 Diners Driven by Value
Prices are important to more than eight in 10 consumers when choosing both a fast food and casual dining restaurant. Among fast food customers, a total of 83% consider price important, with 22% finding it extremely important, 27% finding it very important, and 36% finding it important. Only 12% consider price somewhat important and 5% consider it not at all important.


Price sensitivity is virtually identical in the casual dining niche. Twenty percent of casual dining customers consider price extremely important, 28% consider it very important, and 36% consider it important, for a total of 84% of casual dining customers considering price an important factor. Twelve percent consider price somewhat important and 5% consider it not at all important (total equals more than 100% due to rounding).


Location More Important for Fast Food
The importance accorded different factors by fast food and casual dining customers diverges beyond both customer sets agreeing price is paramount. Fast food customers consider convenient location the second-most important factor (82% consider it important and 18% consider it somewhat or not at all important), followed by type of food offered (78%/22%), availability of a specific menu item (72%/28%), and menu variety (67%/33%).

However, casual dining customers consider type of food the second-most important factor (80%/19%), followed by menu variety (78%/22%), location (77%/22%), and availability of a specific menu item (70%/30%).

Mary Bouchard, VP of restaurant industry research for Harris Interactive, says consumers now expect value throughout their dining out experience, which even higher-priced restaurants can use to their advantage.

“Although consumers have shown a tendency over the past few years to move their dining out dollars to lower-price, quick service restaurants; any restaurant brand that promotes good value as a reason to dine out and then successfully fulfills consumer demand with price-conscious menu items are more likely to draw a greater share of today’s smaller wallet,” said Bouchard.

Consumers Seek Comfort Food
In addition to seeking lower-priced fare, consumers in 2010 desire “comfort foods” such as sausage, fried foods and tavern fare in 2010, according to the Top List of 2010 Menu Trend Predictions from Flavor & the Menu magazine. Other predicted trends include a desire for casual setting, ethnic sandwiches from around the globe, chile-fired sauces, deep-fried foods, and “virgin” alcohol-free specialty cocktails.

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between April 12 and 19, 2010 among 2,755 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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