Saturday, June 05, 2010

Another Free E-Book

This looks interesting... From Drew's blog:

Social media GPS -- the free e-book

Posted: 25 May 2010 07:56 PM PDT

Screen shot 2010-05-25  at 10.01.31 PMSocial Media Marketing GPS was written using Twitter as a content platform and distribution channel. Toby Bloomberg conducted 40 Tweet interviews with 40 prominent social media marketers including people from Dell, Comcast, Marketing Profs, BlogHer.

The list of folks that Toby interviewed is varied and impressive. I think you'll find their thoughts illuminating and very human.

12 chapters take you from the importance of social media to ethics to the social enterprise, tactics, sponsored conversations, blogger relations with a few case studies.

The goal was to create a comprehensive body of knowledge that could serve as a roadmap (GPS) for developing a strategic social media plan.

Toby's thoughts were if this could be accomplished in a series of 140 character tweets it might help ease the apprehension for people new to social media, while at the same time, providing a review and offering some interesting ideas for those more experienced.

I think she's proven her point. Go download the book for free…and see for yourself.

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Do Hamsters Sell?

I saw this ad online last week, and my question to you... Does it sell cars?

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Better be:

Daily Sales Tip: Separate Yourself from the Crowd

Never let it be said of you, "I've heard it all before." If you can't market and/or offer your product in a fresh and innovative way, don't offer it all.

There is far too much competition for you to be selling run-of-the-mill products in a run-of-the-mill fashion, regardless of your industry. Set yourself apart.

Determine unique ways to appeal to your customers and meet their needs. Make it your goal not to be like the rest.

Source: Sales consultant/trainer Todd Duncan

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Aaron Baar
A digital campaign continues the metaphor, with Woods and other professionals using team sport tactics (curling brushes on a putting green, chipping into a basketball hoop or avoiding a hockey goalie) to win holes and tournaments. The viral component utilizes a voiceover from ESPN announcer Scott van Pelt. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"The battle for these shifting shoppers is going to be key to what happens going forward," Kantar Retail's Frank Badillo says. "We still don't know what the 'new normal' is, but I think we're going to see some ongoing bumps in the path of the recovery, including whether the negative fallout from the stock market will affect luxury retail, or whether those who traded down to dollar stores will trade back up to the discount chains." ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
"Our travel partners are also using the partnership as a talking point when selling Norwegian Epic," says Courtney Recht, public relations manager at Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line. "On board, it will be promoted within the on board newsletter and on the stateroom televisions." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Marketing effectively to U.S. Hispanics requires an understanding of diverse psychographics, identity profiles and emerging segments that goes well beyond the language, country of origin and acculturation level targeting definitions now in standard use, according to newly released research jointly conducted by Starcom MediaVest Group and NBC Universal's Telemundo. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"We're extremely focused on the New York market and cosmopolitan travelers from the East Coast overall," says tourism director William Griffith, adding that the effort also targets niche markets around golf, weddings, diving, tennis, and spa. "For example, our new partnership with will raise awareness of Bermuda as an idyllic location for destination weddings and honeymoons." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The automaker will air a series of vignettes and three 30-second TV spots meant to connect the global appeal of the game with the global reach of Volkswagen. One shows fans from different countries driving different Volkswagen models while displaying each of their nations' flags and national colors. They converge on a Latin American town square. ...Read the whole story >>

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Customer Focused Service

from Marketing Profs:

This Won't Hurt a Bit

"My dentist is Dr. Matt Stohl of Foothill Dental," writes DJ Waldow in an article at MarketingProfs. "As an email-marketing nut, instead of critiquing how he administers Novocaine or how the hygienist flosses my teeth ... I think about how the staff communicates with customers." Waldow gives Dr. Stohl high marks, and says if his dental practice's staff understand email marketing, so can you.

Here's what they get right:

  • They request an email address when setting an appointment. It's a simple fact: They wouldn't have received Waldow's address if they hadn't asked for it.
  • They explain why it's beneficial for the patient. "The receptionist at Stohl's office told me that the staff would use my email address to remind me of appointments," he says. "Simple, yet powerful."
  • They deliver on their promise. Two days before his appointment, Waldow received a message that asked him to confirm the scheduled time by clicking on a large, green button.
  • They follow up with other relationship-building messages. "Besides my appointment-reminder emails," he notes, "Foothill has also sent me a brief survey (which I completed) and a Happy Birthday email." Waldow believes they could expand these messages to include a monthly e-newsletter.

"On my last visit, one of the dental hygienists ... told me that they could [contact me through] ... whichever medium was most convenient for me," Waldow reports. "Yes, for me." He confirmed that he was happy with his email reminders. "If I could give out stars to Stohl and his staff, they would receive 4.5 out of 5," he concludes.

Now, that's healthy, clean customer service.

The Po!nt: Ask and deliver. When executed properly, a simple email program can reinforce your relationship with your customers—and strengthen your customer service.

Source: MarketingProfs. Click to read the article.

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The Presentation

From Talking Media Sales:

All clients are different, so your presentation should be different each time as well. When you are presenting it pays to be aware of your main goal, and often that goal is to make sure that your presentation is solving a problem for your client.

Here are some important questions to ask client before you go to the meeting.

1. Where will the presentation take place, in your office?

2. Is there an opportunity for us to grab a coffee at the coffee shop next door and go through the presentation?

3. Where is the best place I can sit with you for 15 minutes with no interruptions?

4. How many people will I be presenting to you? I often ask this to ascertain if they are the decision maker “who other than you makes a decision on this proposal?”. If the answer is “Oh yes my other partner will assist in the decision” then if at all possible you will need that other person present, so request it. It makes sense to have both people present when you present the proposal.

Remember, no presentation is the same, no matter how many times you do a particular presentation for a particular product. So don’t assume anything.

The key is to prepare, prepare, prepare. If you take that attitude, then your presentation will stand out, be heard and be accepted. Never take your presentations for granted.

Good selling

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Can your cat Tweet? Click & read the last story:

by Aaron Baar
"In a world of one-day sales, we wanted to create a fresh approach to the category of men's apparel -- something different that would set us apart from the pack," CMO Diane Ridgway-Cross tells Marketing Daily. "Since Men's Wearhouse is already known for good value, our new campaign is designed to underscore our quality and service story." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"Five years from now, we'll be more focused on our delivery business, with a higher mix of technology, and sell more private-label products," says Ron Sargent, Staples' chairman/CEO. "There will be more services in our mix, because there is not a lot of inventory and the margins are great. And we're going to grow internationally. We're on a glide path to do all that." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Visitors touring the brewery are being invited to pose within a life-size, 3-D recreation of the ale's print ad. They can then upload the shot to New Belgium's Facebook page (under the "Bike Yourself" tab) to enter to win one of 10 custom-designed Felt single-speed cruisers that are being given away between Memorial and Labor days. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Midas is using in-store bay banners, displays and window clings to inform customers about the promotion. The company is also running a full-page ad in the July issue of Spin and a second ad in the November issue to announce winners of the original song contest. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
May was a red-letter month for auto sales, with good news from just about every corner, from domestic to import, luxury to mass-market. Not surprising -- given its troubles this year -- Toyota's gains were only modest, and weaker than in April, when it boosted incentive spending. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
In what may be a first for a sponsorship of this kind, Dodge executives will be running in the Virginia Beach race, per Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Dodge, who says he is training for the race. ...Read the whole story >>

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Straight Up

It's one thing to make a promise, it's another thing to keep it.

However, there are implied promises. You can hide behind red tape and fine print. Or you can be better than that.

Wizard of Ad Partner Craig Arthur gives us an example:

Speak to a Real Consultant

By Craig Arthur

For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press ‘3’. - Alice Kahn

I needed to phone the company that manages the URL of one of my clients.

I went to their website to find the number.

There it was, top right. Easy to find. Top Marks.

Beneath the 1300 number was the following…

“Call us & speak with a real eBusiness Consultant.”

I hate dealing with automated answering services, so this sentence impressed me.

I called.

Thank you for calling xxxxx, (An automated response)


Please press 1 for… press 2 for… press 3 for…

I pressed 2.

I got… press 1 for… press 2 for… press 3 for…

I pressed 1. (getting pissed off)

Then I got… press 1 for… press 2 for… press 3 for…

After pressing 2, I was then told my call would be answered shortly.

Ok what I want to know is “Where is the REAL CONSULTANT I was promised on the web site?”

I did speak to a guy called Billy who was extremely helpful.

However, my expectation was, I would speak to a real consultant straight up.

This company could ague that I indeed did speak to a real consultant.

But, four levels down an automated tunnel is not what I was expecting.

I was disappointed only because this company raised my expectations at the beginning.

The moral of the story?

Make your promise PLAIN & SIMPLE. Then DELIVER.

PS. Be sure there can be no other interpretation of what you promise.

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New Ad Campaigns

From Amy:

World Cup athletes carved for posterity. Airport X-ray uncovers vegan diet. Let's launch!

Here they come, yo, here they come. Who? The Kia Soul hamsters have returned in a TV spot called "This or That," with snippets of Black Sheep's "The Choice is Yours" playing throughout. It feels like 1991 again, and I like it. A city of hamsters go about their day, driving cardboard boxes, toasters, washing machines and hamster wheels, except a trio of hamsters cruising in a Kia Soul. Shot music video-style, the hip hamsters compare their well-equipped Soul with less than worthy competition, telling viewers, "you can get with this or you can get with that." Watch the ad here, created by David&Goliath.

Dodge Caravan released extended versions of "Alright, Kittens" and "Turncoat," originally covered here. The extended ads still leave me with unanswered questions, but one thing is certain: having "Dexter" star Michael C. Hall as a voiceover still simultaneously excites and scares me. Strange things happen in abandoned warehouses in "Alright, Kittens." A group of people arrive, donning cat masks, only to be met by people wearing mouse masks. A mask stare-down ensues, until a group wearing dog masks appear, causing both groups to disperse. See it here. A lone elephant is seen running in the desert by an eclectic group on an unknown trip. One man asks if this sight is normal -- and next thing you know, the GPS is being directed to the emergency room and a man pulls a large syringe from his briefcase. Who or what is being sedated? Watch it here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the ads.

Britax, a car seat and stroller manufacturer, launched a viral video and in-store campaign this week promoting its new stroller models, available at the end of June. Creative touts the stroller design, crafted to mimic a mother's embrace. The ads showcase naked mothers holding their children, juxtaposed with similar positions held by Britax strollers. "Thoughtfully designed to fit you and your child," closes the viral, seen here. In-store ads are similar to viral work, featuring naked moms holding naked babies. See it here. Gotham created the campaign.

Visa created "Go Fans," a worldwide campaign promoting Visa's partnership of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. "Anthem," along with most World Cup ads, showcases cultural and economic differences among countries. These differences are cast away for one month every four years when countries unite with a shared love of football. The spot features footage of fans expressing game jubilation, sadness and nervousness while country flag colors are prominently displayed. Watch it here. In addition, customized print ads were created, showing a passionate fan, country colors and the copy: "express your true colors with the easier way to pay." See creative here and here. TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles created the campaign.

Here's a look at the print element from Nike's global football brand campaign, "Write the Future." The campaign's centerpiece is a three-minute spot, also named "Write the Future." Print ads celebrate how one moment on the field will be etched in the memory of those fortunate enough to witness it, and preserved in statue form for future generations. "Defend your legacy," says an ad memorializing Cannavaro kicking a ball away from the goal. See it here. "Weave your way to immortality," says an ad featuring Robinho moving past a defender. See it here. Click here, here, here and here, to see additional ads with Drogba, Ronaldo, Rooney and Ribery. Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam created the campaign.

Leave it to Apple to craft an ad featuring equal parts of iPad and lap/feet shots and make it work. The ad poses the question, "What is iPad." It's the product that sold 2 million devices in two months. Not one for tooting its own horn... loudly, the voiceover defines iPad for viewers. "It's 200,000 apps and counting. All the world's Web sites in your hands. It's video, photos, more books than you can read in a lifetime. It's already a revolution. And it's only just begun." Like I said; subtle. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Media Arts Lab.

Southwest Airlines rejected this PETA ad for its in-flight magazine, Spirit, deeming it too sexy. I don't think it's that bad. For PETA, it's pretty tame. How do you feel about it? The ad, promoting a vegan diet, shows an airport security scan of a woman clad in a bra and underwear that says: "be proud of your body scan: go vegan."

With summer unofficially here, let's take a look at a campaign launched earlier this year by MADD Canada, urging drivers to call 911 and report drivers suspected of being under the influence. "Campaign 911" features four TV spots, set in a talk-show format. The show, "Stayin' on the Road," hosts a variety of guests who share their secrets to driving while impaired. "Hal" uses the digit method to stay on the road. See it here. "Lenny" believes that going straight, and not making turns while driving, keeps him safe. If there's a bend in the road, keep going straight. Watch it here. "Rob" takes the back roads because sobriety checkpoints are found on main roads. See it here. "Ryan" always keeps a penny handy when driving impaired. He sucks on it in an effort to beat a Breathalyzer test. Watch it here. "There are a lot of idiots out there. Help us keep them off the road," concludes each ad. TBWA/Toronto created the ads, directed by Adam Massey of Holiday Films.

Random iPhone App of the week: The Meredith Women's Network launched a Mixing Bowl app that gives users access to the recipes and activities on, Meredith's social networking site for foodies. Mixing Bowl members can access recipes and friends from anywhere. Need an ingredient list while grocery shopping? Done. Want to learn how to make authentic pho or bouillabaisse? The app allows users to rate and share recipes and chat with others while cooking. Sourcebits developed the free app available in the App Store.

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

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11 ways to sell

From Craig Garber:

Whenever you're selling something, for the most part, you
need to sell the end benefits or results, or the
experience. Rarely does anyone find inherent value in the
product itself.

That's why, commercials for even extremely popular products
like the iPhone, talk about all the apps available and the
incredible experience these features give you. You never
hear anyone talking about the product itself as the benefit
-- because that's NOT the benefit and it's not the reason
why people buy.

So with that in mind, here are 11 different appeals you
should be using to capture your prospects attention and
increase your sales.

1. Eliminate pain - including both physical and emotional

2. Burning flab - which could easily be included in the last

3. Eliminate worry - which comes in a multitude of versions

4. Eliminate money worries - perhaps the strongest appeal in
the 'eliminate worry' category

5. Avoid embarrassment - which is also sometimes a
sub-appeal of 'eliminating money worries,' but can be used
in social and psychosocial situations as well

6. Save money - usually related to a specific chore,
process or product that is often used

7. More leisure time - everyone wants this, for sure

8. Safety - in today's crazy world, people need to feel
more safe in LOADS of different situations, and they're
more than prepared to pay for this

9. Short-cuts - if you can save someone time and energy in
something they do, you've got a great appeal

10. Desire to be popular - this goes from being liked at
work, to not being single, and loads of other places in

11. Advancing and getting ahead - go-getters take action
when they know there's something in it for them

There is virtually nothing you might sell, that wouldn't
allow you to use more than one of these appeals... as long as
you're paying attention to what you're buyers really want.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
The flagship store in New York's Times Square will include a walk-in "Toy Story 3" branded action figure, and the in-store Ferris wheel there will have a "Toy Story" theme. Toys "R" Us is also selling a line of themed toys for younger children, including furniture, beds, and stepping stools and a new "Toy Story 3" Imaginext line from Fisher-Price. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Pinched by declining sales in their traditional categories, retailer pricing pressure and other factors, beverage makers are increasingly looking to acquire or partner with companies outside their core product segments as a growth strategy, according to a new Rabobank report, "Convergence in the Beverage Sector." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
One change is a big increase in demand for organic home textiles. "The industry has been really apparel focused until now, but between companies like Target, with its sheet and towels, a new line from Bed Bath & Beyond, and Williams-Sonoma's expansion into this area, it's really taken off," says Organic Exchanges' LaRhea Pepper. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Ford is leveraging the connection between music lovers and its Fiesta with partnerships and activities that mirror the Fiesta Movement social media campaigns that have been running for a year. After last weekend's "Movement: Detroit's Electronic Music Festival" in Detroit, it's on to Bonnaroo. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
American Express is getting the word out about the contest on its Facebook and Twitter pages while the film festival is also conducting "organic outreach efforts to influential members of the online film community." The financial services company also is running online ads on key industry sites, says an American Express spokesperson. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The campaign features a redesigned stork, considerably slimmer and now three-dimensional. He was created by AOR Merkley + Partners with animation company, Passion Pictures. The stork will "now live in the environment around him, interacting with people in a more relative way and carrying a slightly younger attitude," according to the company. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The company surveyed 350 top marketing execs everywhere but New England, asking them to name the area's 25 most powerful brands. ESPN was named the most powerful, followed by General Electric, and Dunkin' Donuts. Subway, Ben & Jerry's, L.L. Bean, Bose, Samuel Adams, Ocean Spray and Staples rounded out the top 10. ...Read the whole story >>

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More than Selling Soap

Check this out from Drew:

Dawn walks out their brand talk -- thanks to BP Oil Spill

by Drew McLellan

I am sure that everyone at Proctor & Gamble (parent company of Dawn liquid soap) wishes that the BP Oil spill never happened. I'm sure they are just as concerned as the rest of us are about the short and long-term implications of this disaster.

However... they were also smart enough to recognize the incredible opportunity it presented to them.

Dawn liquid soap is the only product approved for use with animals who have been oil-soaked. So as people are paying more attention to the entire crisis -- Dawn is playing a starring role.

And I'm not just talking about the news media shots of the adorable ducks getting a bath. P&G has really thought about how they can differentiate themselves from the other liquid soaps.

Let's face it -- the fact that you can use Dawn to clean off an oil-soaked animal is not going to come in handy for most of us. We're not going to rush out and buy Dawn now that we know. Our pets aren't likely to be dunked in oil. But... we love a hero. And Dawn's stepping up to that role by taking the lead in not only caring for the animals affected by the spill but by becoming a voice of advocacy and information regarding the problem.

So, since we have to buy dish soap anyway...why not buy the hero brand that is stepping up to making a difference?

Let's look at the various ways they're claiming this leadership position.

The TV spot:

The bottles/the donation:

Notice the new bottle design. See the cute (and clean) animals? What you can't really see is the little snip on the top of the label. But on that snip, they tell you how, through the purchase of that bottle of liquid soap, you can donate $1 to save wildlife. To activate your donation, they direct you to (By the of 5/31, they'd raised $413,475 thanks to their consumers -- can you say that's a huge boost in soap sales?)

The website:

When you get to the website, they don't just let you donate, they engage you in the crisis. They connect you to photos of animal rescues, encourage you to meet some wildlife champions and visit their Facebook page.

Screen shot 2010-05-31 at 11.40.36  PM

The Facebook page:

Screen shot 2010-05-30 at 12.56.58  PM

Here's where they really set the hook. They use Facebook to tell us stories about the rescue, show us pictures and promote the organizations who are doing the hard and dirty work. They don't hold themselves out as the heroes -- they are the support behind the heroes.

In other words -- they're writing about what they know we care about, not their soap. They celebrate when the animals are released back into the wild, they teach us how we can protect and save animals in our own neighborhoods and they are the chief cheerleaders for the effort.


So... why does all of this work and where's the brand lesson for us:
  • Dawn understood their own product -- and saw how they were genuinely different (self awareness)
  • Dawn was willing to share what they had/knew in a time of crisis (sincere generosity)
  • Dawn was willing to let the conversation be about more than their soap (be a part of something bigger)
  • Dawn put resources behind the bigger picture, knowing it was in alignment with their brand (they give, not just take)
  • Dawn found a way to let us connect (we can donate, we can follow the efforts on Facebook, etc)
  • Dawn found a way to sustain our interest and their effort -- just watch what they do over the next few months, I am guessing!
Bravo P&G. And thanks for helping save the animals!

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Pen & Paper

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Write It Down

Salespeople who listen more than they talk tend to win more sales. After all, listening gets you information you need to better understand the customer's business and deliver a solution that works best for them.

But salespeople who take notes while listening can have an even bigger advantage. Why? Because prospects have grown wiser. They recognize that some salespeople only superficially listen or are simply waiting an appropriate amount of time before launching into their presentations.

When a salesperson takes notes, prospects are more readily convinced the salesperson is truly interested in doing what's best for the customer. That builds trust and credibility.

Source: Famed negotiator Herb Cohen

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Here in my corner of the state of Indiana, we are getting ads from Michigan & Illinois, but not Ohio.... Click and Read:

by Karl Greenberg
In addition to online banner ads on target-market newspaper Web sites, there are TV spots. The campaign, with a "Real People, Real Time, Real Florida" message, drives people to, which is the strategic center of the campaign to convince people that Florida is still unsullied. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"What's different [this year] is, it's not just a tourism marketing campaign," GPTMC representative Jeff Guaracino tells Marketing Daily. For instance, Philadelphia-based Victory Brewing Company and Capogiro Gelato Artisans will create Philly-themed edibles for the summer, giving travelers something not only to experience, but touch and taste as well. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
All states have to expect the occasional PR kerfuffle and be prepared for the nightmare of a natural disaster. But as the current scenario in Arizona is demonstrating, a serious political controversy can threaten to be as devastating to a state's tourism industry as the wrath of Mother Nature. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"We're pleased that the majority of people are going to be traveling this summer," Mona Hamouly, an American Express spokesperson, tells Marketing Daily . "They're definitely making trade-offs to do so -- many are driving instead of flying, taking shorter trips, using their points more aggressively. But people are passionate about travel again, and they want to fit it into their life, no matter what." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"Typically, customers fly to Milan and rent a motorcycle or car for a week and use [World Ducati Week] as a hub," says Ducati CEO Michael Lock. "They take the week to explore the Italian countryside. It's Tuscany, so it has some of the best motorcycle riding roads in Europe. It's really a catalyst for a European vacation." ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
It may be almost summertime, but the living is not easy -- at least not at many state tourism offices across the country. While spring usually signals the beginning of robust advertising efforts in hopes of attracting vacationers, state budget deficits are resulting in many slashed budgets. ...Read the whole story >>

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The Gen Y Mom

From Mediapost:

Parents: It's a Whole New Playground
Recent statistics show that Gen Y has already given birth to more than 13 million babies. With the generation being nearly 80 million strong, they will produce more children than baby boomers. What does this mean for marketers? Strap yourself in for a few decades of a wild ride! This generation is big and spans many years. It is also unruly, fickle, elusive and smart.

Gen Y women are re-casting the mold for what "mom" looks like. They don't sit in one place for long and don't define themselves by their "mommyhood." They are confident, know nothing but multi-tasking and believe their balance is found within their personal interests and global responsibility -- more than just work and family, as previous generations may have.

So, who are these millennial moms and how do marketers reach them?

It's important to understand that just because they have had children doesn't mean they have changed their outlook, activities, or personal beliefs -- they have just added "baby" to the mix. Being a parent is only one part of who they are and it co-exists with everything else they embody. There is less separation between "mommy time," "work time" and "me time," but rather a more infused state where all of their passions and interests come together.

Because multi-tasking is fully ingrained in this generation, moms' online time toggles between updating their Facebook pages, building their personal blogs and following, jumping in and out of multiple conversations within various communities, all while celebrity-watching and seeking out the latest fashion and beauty trends.

Consequently, don't limit your advertising to traditional parenting magazines and mommy sites. Yes, moms will pop into parenting sites to chat with friends about specific child-related topics but this is not where they are spending the bulk of their time nor is parenting their primary interest online. Research shows that moms' fourth task online behind email, banking and search is shopping.

This is a group that cares about how they look, the fashions they are wearing and the image they project. Some brands understand this and have already evolved their product and messaging appropriately. The Detroit automotive industry, for instance, has come out of the economic downturn, replacing the caravan with the crossover. Sleek designs coupled with safety, is what makes vehicles such as the Ford Edge or the GMC Acadia attractive to this new generation of parents.

Lastly, let's not forget -- daddies matter, too. With nearly 20% of fathers serving as the primary caregiver, it's not just about moms. This generation has a deep respect for each other and parenting carries equal responsibility. Moms are still the influencers but they are not the sole decision makers.

Brands need to think about a family approach to their messaging, not just mom-targeted communications. This doesn't mean stroller ads should appear on ESPN, but thoughtful family- oriented creative on your female-targeted sites will resonate much better than addressing moms only.

Gen Y moms are well-rounded women. Think about their various passion points and bring that into the discussions. We all know this generation likes to be communicated with, not to, so make sure the dialogue you are creating involves more than just "kiddie talk." They will have more interest in your brand and be more apt to stick around for conversations if you can connect with them personally and understand the many dynamics that make up their lives.

Kristine Shine is VP of PopSugar Media (, a division of Sugar, Inc., which provides content and social media for Gen Y women. She is responsible for helping marketers forge a trusting relationship with Y Women through PopSugar's sites. Kristine posts insights about Gen Y and digital marketing at Follow her on Twitter @kristineshine. Reach her here.

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Under the Radar

Kids are a tough market to crack. But as I think about it, all demographics are becoming tougher...

Last weekend, I noticed in the pew in front of me, a couple of girls in church entertaining themselves by trading these wristbands called Silly Bandz. I didn't know what they were until I saw this on the InfluentialMarketingBlog today:

Silly Bandz: Could The Perfect Toy Save America?

They are for boys or girls, you wear them on your wrist or elsewhere and just about every kid has to have an arm full of them, prompting many schools to ban them. Welcome to the world of Silly Bandz. Like most toy sensations to hit the market, there are no shortage of gushing morning shows, and idolatry newspaper articles declaring the little silicone/rubber bands in various shapes the must have kids toy of the moment. Stores sell out in hours and brands are getting in on the action by creating licensed versions of these bands. Though this probably fits the textbook definition of what any marketer would call a fad - it does stand apart from many other toy fads for a few key reasons that might just make this one of the most interesting product marketing examples to come along in several years. Before you dismiss this as just another blog post jumping on the bandwagon (um, pun intended), here are a few reasons I think this fad may be worth a deeper look:
  1. IMB_SillyBandz1 Collectible, tradeable, visible and talkable. Just like the Olympic pins phenomenon that happens every four years, the bands not only have an appeal as something visible that you can wear - but also are being shared and traded as a kind of social currency. Get a band that no one else has, and you have something worth trading and talking about. It's a part of many trends, but an important reason that a product catches on.
  2. Almost anyone can make them and sell them. While Silly Bandz claims to be the original maker of these bands with the trademark to prove it, there are plenty of other makers of these bands who are actively promoting their own offering. With a simple idea like this, the barriers to manufacturing and marketing are so low that anyone can make them and sell them - almost overnight. Not to mention that the margins should be great as these bands can't cost much to produce. This means that the benefit of the trend goes beyond one lucky company - and spreads out to others in the market.
  3. They help drive people to retail stores. Any product that can get people to go into a store more frequently is like a gold mine for most retailers, and these bands have the added benefit of generally selling for between $3 for a pack of 12 to $5 for a pack of 24 - which means most consumers will have some money left over for other incidental purchases. Not to say that the bands can single handedly help turn around retail sales that have generally been shrinking, but according to some reports, these bands are the #1 selling product in America, so if any one product could do it, this would be it.
  4. Lack of marketing is (and has been) a benefit. Though it may not be what many marketers want to hear, there are some products that manage to become popular without significant marketing efforts behind them. Every report on these bands talks about how they have been steadily growing in popularity organically through word of mouth. Some evidence of how this has been happening is traceable online - before all the recent hype, a comment on an Amazon listing for one of these packs from a mom talks about how this was the hottest product in her daughter's fourth grade class back in February of this year. While the product is getting media attention now, it's growth was through the passion of elementary school kids who first discovered it and spread it around.
What do all of these points add up to? These bands may last no longer than most other product fads, but the lessons from their rise to popularity are ones that we can all learn something from.

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Sales Wisdom from Art & Kelley

As we kick off a new month, I wanted to share with you an email I got a few days ago from Art Sobczak:


A few items for you as we head into the holiday weekend here in the US. First, a bonus article for you on negotiation from my friend Kelly Robertson. This actually is excerpted from a brand new book Top Dog Recession-Busting Sales Secrets, with contributions from over 50 sales authorities (including myself). You can see more info on the book here.

Five Ways to Negotiate More Effectively

by Kelley Robertson

Most salespeople and business owners hear statements like these everyday: "What's your best price?" or "That's too expensive." or "Your competitor is selling the same thing for---." These statements are clues from buyers and prospects that you need to learn how to negotiate more effectively. Here are five strategies that will help you drive more dollars to your bottom line:

Learn to flinch. The flinch is one of the oldest negotiating tactics but one of the least used. A flinch is a visible reaction to an offer or price. The objective of this tactic is to make the other person feel uncomfortable about the offer presented. Here is an example of how it works.

A supplier quotes a price for a specific service. Flinching means you respond by exclaiming, "You want how much?" You must appear shocked and surprised that he could be bold enough to request that amount. Unless the other person is a well-seasoned negotiator, he will respond in one of two ways: He will become very uncomfortable and begin to try to rationalize his price; or he will offer an immediate concession.

Recognize that people often ask for more than they expect to get. This means you need to resist the temptation to automatically reduce your price or offer a discount. I once asked for a hefty discount on a pair of shoes hoping to get half of what I asked for. I was pleasantly surprised when the shop owner agreed to my request.

The person with the most information usually does better. You need to learn as much as possible about your customer's situation. Ask your prospect more questions about his purchase. Learn what's important to him as well as his needs and wants.

Develop the habit of asking questions such as:
"What prompted you to consider a purchase of this nature?"
"Who else have you been speaking to?"
"What was your experience with... ?"
"What time frames are you working with?"
"What is most important to you about this?"

It's also important to learn as much about your competitors as possible. This will help you defeat possible price objections and prevent someone from using your competitor as leverage.

Practice at every opportunity. Most people hesitate to negotiate because they lack the confidence. Develop this confidence by negotiating more frequently. Ask for discounts from your suppliers. As a consumer, develop the habit of asking for a price break when you buy from a retail store. Here are a few questions or statements you can use:

"You'll have to do better than that."
"What kind of discount are you offering today?"
"That's too expensive."

Wait for a response afterward. Learn to flinch. Be pleasant and persistent but not demanding. Conditioning yourself to negotiate at every opportunity will help you become more comfortable, confident and successful.

Maintain your walk-away power. It's better to walk away from a sale rather than make too large a concession or give a deep discount on your product or service. It's particularly challenging to walk away when you are in the midst of a sales slump or slow sales period. But, remember that there will always be someone to sell to.

Negotiating is a way of life in some cultures, and most people negotiate in some way almost everyday. Apply these strategies and you will notice a difference almost immediately.

Kelley Robertson is a president of The Robertson Training Group. This article was excerpted with permission from Top Dog Recession-Busting Sales Secrets. This new book is packed with real-life examples and rock solid advice from 50 leading sales experts. When you buy a copy, you'll also receive bonus gifts from authors such as Jeffrey Gitomer, Tom Hopkins, Zig Ziglar, Bob Bly, Wendy Weiss, and more. All this plus free shipping! Check it out here.

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