Saturday, June 19, 2010


From Harvey Mackay:

Competition teaches you to outswim the sharks

By Harvey Mackay

Codfish are a delectable treat in America's Northeast. But when attempts were made to ship them fresh to distant markets, the cod did not taste the same as they did closer to home. To deal with this, shippers decided to freeze the cod and then ship them. But the fish still didn't taste right.

Then the fish merchants tried shipping the codfish in tanks of seawater, but that proved even worse. Not only was it more expensive, but the codfish still lost their flavor and, in addition, their flesh became soft and mushy.

Finally, some creative soul solved the problem in a most innovative way, according to Charles R. Swindoll in his book "Come Before Winter and Share My Hope." The codfish were placed in a tank along with their natural enemy -- the catfish. From the time the codfish left the East Coast until it arrived at their westernmost destination, those catfish had chased the cod all over the tank. And, as you may have guessed, the cod arrived at the market tasting as if they had just been pulled from the ocean. If anything, the flavor was better than ever.

What a competitive environment and daily challenge can do for codfish works for humans as well. Competition and challenges make us better.

But a problem I see all too frequently is that people are afraid of competition. Perhaps it's because they fear losing, but I suspect a better reason is that they know they are not as prepared as the competition. They are not willing to put in the necessary hard work, training and sacrifice. They think things will be easier for them than for others, possibly because others have made things look easy.

Former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley was a basketball star at Princeton University and later with the New York Knicks. When he was at Princeton, Bradley's father used to tell him, "Son, when you're not out practicing, someone else is. And when you meet that person, he's going to beat you."

I love to watch basketball and there is no better time than the NCAA Final Four or the NBA playoffs. Basketball is taken to another level at this time of year. You really see the competitiveness of players emerge.

The Incas of ancient Peru played a primitive form of basketball, the object of which was to shoot a solid rubber ball through a stone ring placed high on a wall. The winner was traditionally awarded the clothes of all spectators present. The loser was put to death. (You can check out more of these fascinating facts in "The Best, Worst & Most Unusual" by Bruce Felton & Mark Fowler.)

It's the same in business, except the part about the clothes and being put to death. When it's crunch time, you want the people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and jump in. You want gamers. You want people who are confident in their abilities.

As much as I love to come out on top, I'm too realistic to believe the "winning is everything" philosophy. Because after so many years in business, I know that you can't win 'em all. But there is no excuse for not giving it your best shot. And you can be the winner more often than not.

Athletes and actors have long hired coaches to help prepare for a specific competition or role. But today there are coaches available to help people in any field improve their "game."

If you think that leaders don't need coaches--that if you're already at the top, a coach couldn't offer you anything new--think again. Why does someone like tennis champ Serena Williams have a coach, whom she could handily defeat on the coach's best day?

For the same reason all high-performing individuals have one, says professional coach Daniel Pendley: "1) We cannot see our own mistakes; and 2) If we are not getting better, we are getting worse."

Your competitive urge is sometimes the only real advantage you have. Someone else will always have more money, more resources, more connections, or more experience. You will compete with larger companies, smarter people, and less ethical organizations. Use these experiences as opportunities to improve your game.

Mackay's Moral: As I like to say, you CAN swim with the sharks without being eaten alive!

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Why Change?

From Drew:

Brands, taglines and how the Pork Producers are killing their golden pig

Posted: 12 Jun 2010 07:40 AM PDT

Screen shot 2010-06-12  at 9.37.05 AM At a recent industry event, the National Pork Producers announced that they would be stepping away from their iconic tagline of almost 25 years...the other white meat.

The association's VP of marketing explained that the tagline wasn't driving sales and that people seem to have forgotten what the tagline means. (I'd be willing to bet that if you did a man on the street poll -- no one has forgotten what it means!)

This is actually not new news...despite all the buzz. The Pork Producers began to abandon their tagline in 2007 when they tried the completely forgettable "don't be blah" campaign in a effort to step away from their own tagline. This was the same year that "the other white meat" was listed as #29 of the 100 most influential taglines since 194

The other white meat is one of the most recognizable taglines in the country. It's recall is the envy of most companies. It has it's own wikipedia page and website for Pete's sake!

Most businesses would kill to have that kind of tagline -- the Pork Producers did it all right back in 1987 when they hired Bozell to develop the tagline and then until the last few years -- they were absolutely consistent in their use for it.

So why would anyone abandon such an institutional asset? Because they are expecting it to do something it was never designed to do.

Taglines, by themselves, are not designed to drive sales as its primary job. That's what an advertising campaign is supposed to do.

A tagline, or brand promise, as we like to call it at McLellan Marketing Group, creates an emotional reaction or connection between the product and the consumer. It's the one thing that the brand wants to own in the mind of the consumer. In the case of the Pork Producers -- that's why "the other white meat" was so brilliant.

As our friends over at Branding Strategy Insider say:

The ideal benefit to claim in a brand promise has the following three qualities: (1) it is extremely important to the target consumer, (2) the brand’s organization is uniquely suited to delivering it and (3) competitors are not addressing it.

So -- is "the other white meat" not meeting those criteria anymore? Are people less health conscious about what they eat, red meat etc today? Nope. Is pork uniquely suited to being the other white meat? Yup. And are any other meat competitors trying to own that space? No.

If pork sales are stagnant -- it's not the tagline's fault. In the Des Moines Register article, the Pork Producer's representative references the fact that their research shows that people believe pork lacks taste. Sounds like a problem that an advertising campaign, coupled with some education and sampling, could solve. Certainly a "it's tasty" is not a unique brand position.

Bottom line for me -- they are fixing something that isn't broke. And in fact, are throwing away a huge organizational asset. And, worst of all -- it's not going to solve their sales problem.

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Top Dog?

from my email archives:

Daily Sales Tip: Salesperson to Sales Manager?

Before moving your top salesperson into the sales management ranks, consider the ramifications of this move.

You are taking your rainmaker out of the sales game where they've generated lots of money for your company. While your hope is that the theory of "disciple selling" (placing six people underneath the new manager and getting six times the sales) becomes proven, that is rarely the case. If it was so easy to clone a rainmaker, every company would do it. Quite frankly, the "disciple selling" dream is flawed. The sole reason to place someone in the role of sales manager is that you feel that they have the potential to succeed in that capacity.

What does all of this tell you? You need a process and methodology to evaluate sales management candidates...just like you evaluate sales candidates. And, even though the rainmaker got on your radar screen because they blew out their quota, their sales management candidacy should be handled the same way you would if you were considering an external sales management candidate. Don't skip any steps in the evaluation process!

Source: Sales consultant/author Lee Salz (

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and read, and come back this weekend for 6 more updates before Monday!

by Karl Greenberg
"We are taking owner information and customer care to a new level," said Pietro Gorlier, president and CEO of Mopar, in a webcast. He said the program is an industry first. "We are creating a channel of communication with customers about brands, vehicles and customer care." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The brand's new "Crunch Proud" campaign -- centered on the launch of a virtual "Loud Food Club" tied in with social media and in-store promotions -- is all about "celebrating the crunch" that is one of the distinctive attributes most loved by Kettle's fans, says Kettle brand director Julie Dunmire. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Pepsi established a "Mission Control Center" for Gatorade that takes the brand's pulse 24/7. The center, which looks very much like a NASA control room, tracks in real time analytics for campaigns, web sites, or social channels. The focus is on creating the largest sports brand in the world and one that goes beyond the liquid product. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Putting physical distance between senior management and "blue sky" innovation teams to avoid stifling new-idea generation is also critical to success, according to the results presented at Nielsen's Consumer 360 Conference. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"We've always skewed a little but more toward an older audience. One of our objects is to skew younger," Maria Repole, vice president of communications for Toshiba, tells Marketing Daily. "This gives some personality to the brand; traditionally, our advertising has been focused on the product." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The Organic Consumers Association, an environmental watchdog group, says Whole Foods Market is taking action against greenwashing in its cosmetics aisle, and that its new standards will compel such brands as Avalon Organics, Nature's Gate and Giovanni to either change their labels or their formulations. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
"We aim to reach cat owners using a combination of media including direct response TV, online banner ads, and magazine and newspaper advertising," says Paul Zobel. "We were thrilled to see the TV viewers' responsiveness and, due to its success, decided to expand this rebate offer via other media through September." ...Read the whole story >>

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Fresh Ideas

I get a weekly update from Springwise. Here's the latest:

Health care by monthly membership
Life hacks / Government

Seattle's Qliance uses a health care model resembling a fitness club
membership: Members have unrestricted access to its clinicians and
services for a monthly fee of between USD 44 and USD 129.

Gardening service sends seeds when it's time to plant
Lifestyle & leisure / Food & beverage / Homes & housing

SproutRobot generates a personalised planting calendar for users
based on historical weather data for where they live. Seeds and
instructions can then be delivered according to that schedule.

No-darn repair kit breathes new life into worn garments
Eco & sustainability / Fashion & beauty / Style & design

Woolfiller repairs holes and hides stains in woollen jumpers,
cardigans, jackets and carpets, by causing the original and patching
wool to bond - simply by pricking both with needles.

South African fair trade bracelets for Dutch soccer fans
Non-profit, social cause / Fashion & beauty / Style & design

The Orange Bracelet, made of beads in the Netherlands' national
colour plus the rainbow colours of South Africa, is a locally made,
fair-trade alternative to mass-produced World Cup merchandising.

Fans buy shares to fund comic books
Media & publishing

Belgian comic book publisher Sandawe relies on crowdfunding to
select and finance new titles. Authors display artwork and reveal plot
summaries, hoping to excite the interest of potential investors.

Social media check-ins earn loyalty program rewards
Tourism & travel / Marketing & advertising

When users sync their various location-based social networking and
check-in services with Topguest, they get to qualify for an array of
hotel and airline travel and hospitality rewards.

Consumers' event plans matched with professionals
Lifestyle & leisure / Marketing & advertising

EventNow connects people planning an event or party with
pre-screened event service providers who compete for their business.
It's free for consumers; vendors pay for each matched lead.

Hotel's chef service includes trip to farmers' market
Food & beverage / Tourism & travel

At the Vitale in San Francisco, guests may call upon the hotel's chef
to help them choose and buy ingredients at the nearby farmers' market.
He'll then help them prepare the resulting meal - or do it all for them.

Tablet adds digital data to cemetery headstones
Lifestyle & leisure

RosettaStone is a stone tablet that can be attached to new or existing
gravestones. Engraved symbols and a built-in microchip carry data
about the deceased's life, to be accessed using normal mobile devices.

Five (more) businesses selling personalised products
Retail / Fashion & beauty / Style & design

Childrens' audiobooks narrated by their parents, stuffed animals that
caricature their owners, and online software allowing users to design
their own quilts, ski livery, and map-based jewellery.

Key ring delivers uber-premium freebies for life
Marketing & advertising

Only available for purchase to companies as a corporate gift for
favoured clients and customers, the Key-2 Luxury key ring grants its
recipients access to a host of VIP privileges for the rest of their lives.

Rainwater harvesting system stores enough for a year
Non-profit, social cause / Eco & sustainability

Winner of this year's Energy Globe World Award, Aakash Ganga is a
sustainable system that channels rooftop rainwater from every house
in a village into a network of underground reservoirs.

Thermoelectric wellies charge festival-goers' phones
Eco & sustainability / Lifestyle & leisure

Orange Power Wellies feature a phone charger that sources power
from the heat produced while the boot wearers trudge through
festival mud. Dancing generates an extra boost.

An instant storefront for any website or blog
Retail / Media & publishing

Vendr seamlessly adds storefront capabilities to any website or
blog with just a few lines of code. A "Store" button executes a
lightbox-effect store with integrated payment and management tools.

Eco-minded restaurant lists carbon footprint of dishes
Eco & sustainability / Food & beverage

Along with using recycled furnishings, local ingredients, energy-
efficient equipment and renewable power, vegetarian restaurant chain
Otarian publishes the full carbon footprint of all items on its menu.

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Start Selling More

from Jim Meisenheimer:

Start Selling More

You can start selling more today and everyday. That's the good news!

The bad news is you can't do what you've been doing and expect better results. Even Einstein thought this insane.

There are three fundamental things you can do to improve your selling results immediately.

First - you can start doing something. You can start doing something that you've been meaning to do and have been reluctant to do it.

For example you can set a goal to call four new sales prospects everyday. Do you have any idea the impact this would have on your selling results? I'll bet considerable!

Underneath your written goal prepare three action steps to help you achieve it. Do this everyday until you achieve it.

This isn't complicated stuff, but it is fundamental and essential to your selling success. Establish a goal and create action steps to achieve it. You will become unstoppable! You will become more focused, more determined, and eventually more successful because you'll start selling more.

Second - you can stop doing something. You probably, if you're like me, have a list that's a mile-long with all the things you should stop doing everyday.

Do you really need to text message while you're driving? Do you really need to check e-mails hourly? Do you really need to make sales calls without having prepared written sales call objectives? Do you really need to be late for appointments and meetings?

I think you get the picture here. Forget the laundry list approach. What's the one thing, if you stopped doing it, that would have a positive and significant impact on your selling results? Think about this and then think about not doing it anymore. It’s really a no-brainer!

Third - you can change something. You know of course that in sales little things mean everything. Having an attitude of gratitude will differentiate you from your competition.

Think about this for 17 seconds. Imagine that you sent either a hand written note or a greeting card every day to one of your sales prospects and or customers.

If you did this for 20 years it adds up to 5000 cards to your sales prospects and customers. If you sent two cards everyday it would add up to 10,000 cards. It would be 10,000 touches of goodwill.

It would spread your goodwill like a bonfire.

Sure, you're not doing this now and neither is your competition. Doing something like this would solidify your personal branding.

Do things nobody else is doing. Last weekend Bernadette, my wife, and I stayed at the Marriott Hotel in Tampa so we could see a show on Sunday afternoon. After we checked into the hotel with our luggage we decided to do a little shopping. Actually Bernadette decided we should do a little shopping.

Over the years I've stayed at hundreds of hotels. When we returned to our room we found a hand written note along with two good-sized chocolate chip cookies.

Since the reservation was in my name this is what the personal note said. "Dear Mr. Meisenheimer, You have been selected as my "Guest of the day" and I hope you enjoy your stay. Sincerely, Sandra Augustus - at your service."

You have to admit different, unexpected, and a very nice touch.

What are you doing that's a very nice touch for your sales prospects and customers?

Give it some thought if you want to Start Selling More!

I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you’re doing that’s different!

Send an email to:


Boot Camp Survey

Please take, literally, 27 seconds to complete a quick
survey on Sales Training Boot Camps.

I'm trying to decide what the interest level might be
if I were to schedule my 14th Sales training Boot Camp
in the Fall.

Use this to take the survey:

Cut and paste this into your browser.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Aaron Baar
The Web videos are similar to the company's ads for Windows 7. "Where you see similarity, those are things that we think are core to Microsoft and the Microsoft brand," says Microsoft's Gayle Troberman. "One of the most powerful assets that we have is massively happy customers. Sometimes the best marketing we can do is when we have our customers talking about the product." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Latinas with household income of between $50,000 and $75,000 have the highest rate of makeup usage. And Hispanics don't consume less makeup when they get older, as is the case with other ethnic groups. "Those between 50 and 60 actually use more," said Mintel's Leylha Ahuile. "But are beauty advertisers targeting older Latinas?" ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Denny's promoted the deal offers with a full-page, four-color ad in the May/June issue of AARP The Magazine to reach the magazine's 23.5 million subscriber circulation rate base. While the restaurant declines to discuss the cost, the publication's rate card lists a full circulation run, four-color full page at $532,600. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Inspired by the tradition of blowing on a fallen eyelash to make wishes come true, three celebs will each lead a team of Latisse users from across the country who are challenged to raise more than a quarter of a million dollars for the nonprofit organization dedicated to granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Writing an op-ed piece in's Inside Line on Wednesday, U.S. president and CEO John Krafcik says the car's purpose is about more than generating retail revenue; it will be a major milepost in Hyundai's years-long march to legitimacy in the U.S. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Now that retailers have spent much of the recession steadily pruning back the options they offer shoppers, a new study from the Nielsen Co. says they may be in for a rude surprise: More than half of U.S. shoppers say they'll switch stores if they notice a reduced product selection in consumer packaged goods. ...Read the whole story >>

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Could this be an American Come back?

Ford has been quietly chugging along, avoiding government bail outs and doing a good job:

Survey Finds Ford is Top Auto Brand

Ford is riding sky high in terms of consumer perception, according to a market research firm that tracks how Americans view consumer brands.

Toyota took a huge fall in BrandIndex's survey of consumer sentiment after its recall crisis this year. It still is dead last among auto brands, but it has started to make a comeback.

New York-based BrandIndex surveys 5,000 consumers daily on their opinions of more than 1,100 brands. It rates brands on a scale from minus 100 to 100. Zero means equal positive and negative perceptions. Generally, the highest score is around 60.

Last week, Ford's score of 40 was tops among all auto brands in the survey. Chevrolet was second at 22, and Honda was third at 20. Rounding out the top 10 (as of June 7) were: 4. BMW (19); 5. Volkswagen (18); 6. Mercedes (15); 7. Cadillac (14); 8. Nissan (13); 9. Hyundai (12); 10. Buick (11).

With a score of minus 14, Toyota trailed all other auto brands. But that's a vast improvement from the minus 50 BrandIndex reported for Toyota on Feb. 4, just as the recall scandal was exploding.

Prior to June 2009, Toyota was consistently No. 1 among car brands, says Ted Marzilli, global managing director of the research firm. It peaked with a score of 44 in July 2008.

"The U.S. industry had been maligned for so long, but Toyota has tossed out the notion that the Japanese are superior," Marzilli says. "Ford caught up with Toyota in January 2010, when Toyota fell off the cliff. Honda suffered a little bit, probably due to the negative effect on Japanese makers because of Toyota."

Toyota is slowly climbing back, rising from a minus 24 in early May to minus 14 on May 31. But some Detroit 3 brands are improving, too. Cadillac went from a score of eight in early May to 15.6 on May 31. Buick rose to its best score ever -- 14.6 -- as of May 31, from eight in early May.

"Toyota still is in a negative position, and that's not a good place to be," Marzilli says. "They stumbled and proved they're human. That has benefited everyone, particularly the non-Japanese. The U.S automakers, led by Ford, have been on an upward trajectory for most of the year."

Sales results back up the brand perception. Toyota was the brand sales leader in 2009 for the second year in a row. But through the first five months of this year, No. 1 Ford's sales have soared 34 percent to 703,327 -- leading third-place Toyota by 104,749 units. Chevrolet, at No. 2, is up 31 percent and leads Toyota by 41,403 units. Toyota's sales were up 10 percent.

Says Marzilli: "I believe it will be three to six months before Toyota gets into the positive category and two years before it maybe can get back to where it was."

(Source: Automotive News, 06/14/10)

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New Ad Campaigns

Amy's Update:

Say no to dolphin running shorts. Mr. T will be your bodyguard. Let's launch!

Orbit launched the first of three digital shorts, starring Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Rachel Harris. It's five minutes long and extremely funny. Can't wait to see the next two. "Prom Date" begins with Bateman and Harris awaiting the arrival of their daughter's prom date. Daddy Bateman is concerned with how young boys think: "These boys know how to act all polite, but before you know it they've got their Facebook all in your Twitter," he says. But Mama Harris tells him to stop overreacting and chew Orbit. In walks Katie's date, her Social Studies teacher, played by Will Arnett. The banter between Bateman and Arnett is fantastic. Bateman: "You told me you were giving my daughter excellent marks." Arnett: "Nothing that a good set of leggings can't cover." Both parents are ready to explode, until they chew Orbit and see the upsides of their daughter dating an older man. Something similar happens to Arnett once he chews Orbit. He's determined to find Katie a dance partner her own age. Watch it here. Electus and Energy BBDO Chicago created the campaign, produced by Arnett and Bateman's production company, DumbDumb.

Stride gum launched a TV and online campaign promoting Stride Shift, its flavor-changing gum. The TV ad "Water" watches a focus group react to flavor-changing gum. It's too much for people to handle, resulting in everyone being doused with water in an effort to rejoin reality. The marketing team observes from a back room uttering, "This could get ugly." See it here. "Slap," running online, shows the focus group members slapping one another in the face when presented with flavor-changing gum. Watch it here. JWT created the campaign.

Stunning imagery is used to tackle a serious topic in an ad for Amnesty International. "Death Penalty" plays off Amnesty's lit-candle logo to speak out against executions. Firing squad, hanging, electrocution and beheading scenes are depicted using statues made out of wax that melt from the heat generated by the Amnesty International logo. "Death to the death penalty. 139 countries have wiped out the death penalty. Only 58 are left to convince," closes the ad, seen here. TBWA Paris created the pro bono ad, directed by Pleix of Warm & Fuzzy.

Dodge Challenger pimps George Washington's ride in "Freedom," a TV spot that loosely recreates a Revolutionary War scene. In a battle between the Americans and British, Washington leads his men into combat in his pure Americana vehicle, Dodge Challenger. You weren't expecting him to be on-horse, were you? "Here are a couple of things America got right: cars and freedom," says my favorite voiceover, "Dexter" star Michael C Hall. See it here. A print ad features a proud Washington standing with his soldiers beside his Challenger. "This is the car you buy because you can't buy a bald eagle," reads the copy. Huh? Because bald eagles are free? Explain. Check it out here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

Sunday is Father's Day, and Golfsmith launched an amusing spot contending that "Dads Win at Golfsmith." "Water Cooler" makes fun of homemade gifts given to Dads, like a decorated coffee mug and Play-Doh necklace. While two guys sport their gifts from the heart, one Dad grinds the work hallways with his new golf club. The homemade mug breaks at the handle and golfer Dad rubs his new gift under his co-worker's nose. Really. See it here. GSD&M Idea City created the campaign and handled the media buy.

As a runner, I can truly appreciate this campaign. I've seen things at races that my retinas wish they could erase from memory. Walrus created an online campaign designed to put a stop to dolphin running shorts, the very short athletic shorts that have the potential to show every one your business at the slightest stretch or bend. The ads promote CW-X, a maker of tech tights and shorts. Rich-media ads are running on, and a homepage takeover of CW-X features an enlarged version of the rich-media ads. A man in short shorts stretches his legs while the camera zooms in for close-up shot no one wants to see. The site asks visitors to "click to make it stop," which lead viewers to alternative options that offer ideal coverage.

Mr. T doesn't use words to intimidate; one look is all he needs to convey he means business. He protects a woman's transactions made with her MasterCard prepaid card. In "Bodyguard," Mr. T accompanies a woman to the dry cleaners, hair salon and grocery store, shooting anyone within sight a look that speaks volumes. See the ad here, created by McCann Erickson, New York.

Did you think I could make it through an entire column without mentioning the World Cup? Think again. Here's a look at another handful of murals created by Wieden+Kennedy New York and South African artist collective AM I on behalf of ESPN's World Cup coverage. I showed six last week, and include seven in this week's roundup: Here's a look at South Africa, Japan, Ghana, Switzerland, England, Denmark and Australia. I love how the Swiss players each make up a gadget found in a Swiss Army knife, and Australia's Tim Cahill is half-man, half-kangaroo. Three of England's players are pulling heavy stones etched with the year 1966, the last time England won the World Cup.

Where it all began: adidas Japan launched three animated viral comics leading up to the World Cup. One piece, shown here, features Shunsuke Nakamura and the journey of the Japan team prior to the World Cup. The comic explains Japan's team jerseys, which feature a feather pattern from an empowering mythical creature called Yatagarasu (a three-legged crow). When Nakamura gets a free kick, the three-legged crow motivates him and he scores, winning the match. In addition to the animated comics, 13 massive comic frames, each featuring members of the Japan National Football Team and signed messages from supporters, were created to form the world's largest comic strip. Placed in Haneda airport, the piece measured 40,745 square feet, and was confirmed by Guinness as the world's largest comic strip. See it here. TBWA/Hakuhodo created the campaign.

Random iPhone App of the week: Actor Genie recently updated its app, which serves as an aspiring actor's best friend. The app provides insider information like what TV and movies are casting; a directory of agents, managers and casting directors; and insider advice and tips from well-known actors, directors, writers and producers. Users can download the app for $9.99

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

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Be a Good Sport

Got another one from Art to share with you:

This Week's Tip
Sales Success is Similar to Liking
Soccer, for Non-Fans of Soccer


I'm really jazzed about the major sporting events
going on this weekend. I'll be attending the start of
the NCAA men's baseball College World Series here
in Omaha, and closely following the U.S. Open golf
tournament however and whenever I can.

What's that...there's another major sporting event
going on? Oh yeah, that World Cup soccer thing.

Calm down, soccer fans worldwide, I'm toying with
you. I know that is the biggest sporting event in the

However, most guys my age in the U.S, in their
40's and 50's, grew up playing baseball, football,
and basketball, and many of us also got into watching
hockey (congrats Blackhawks!). Then some of us got
into golf--some of us much more than others.

I am one of the bigger sports geeks you'll ever meet.
I have spent more time attending, watching, reading
and talking about all of those sports than I am proud
to admit.

However, with soccer--and I'll include tennis and
NASCAR--there has been zero appeal for me over
the years.

But, I can understand they are tremendously popular
sports, and have rabid fans.

And right now I am really making an attempt to get into
the World Cup. I'm reading everything I can about
the teams, players, history, how players are developed
worldwide, the importance of soccer to other countries
and its citizens, those annoying horns we hear during
the games, etc. I watched the end of the US-England
game (right after I finished playing 18 holes).

I'm not certain I can ever become an avid fan, but I
can respect how others are passionate about this and
want to understand and feel where they are coming from.

What does this have to do with sales?

Well, everything. Let me put a spin on it.

You have certain thoughts, interests, beliefs, and
knowledge about your products and services, why
you think your prospects and customers should buy,
and what YOU want to do.

But, most importantly, YOU are not your customer.

In sales, it does not matter what you want. It needs to
be all about them.

When you let your interests and desires get in the way,
that creates objections. That is, IF you are even able to
get to that point, meaning self-interested salespeople often
don't even get the chance to speak with a prospect,
since their "all about me" calls, emails, and voice messages
are ignored and deleted.

So here's one of the simplest principles of sales success:

Forget about what YOU want. make it all about them. I have a
brief audio tip that goes into a bit more detail on this. I invite
you to join me and take four minutes to listen in.

Go to and scroll down in the
post to the audio player to hear the tip.

"In business or in football, it takes a lot of
unspectacular preparation to produce spectacular results."
Roger Staubach

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

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
In its coming fiscal year starting in July, the brand will also be investing about $10 million in a new TV, radio and print campaign -- the first new traditional creative in about three years, reports Seidner. The brand will be using consumer research to choose between the two leading creative approaches under consideration. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
An Ad Club panel, led by Google automotive analyst Meredith Guerriero, who heads the auto industry practice for Google's East Coast operations, traversed a lot of ground on Tuesday in New York, from the importance of customization to the meaning of value to post-recession luxury customers. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"Throughout the recession, replacing home office furniture wasn't a priority for people -- they had bigger issues to deal with," Jason Shockley, an Office Depot spokesperson, tells Marketing Daily. "Now they're looking to replace damaged and dated chairs, and believe me, we are seeing some really sorry-looking seats." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
As people become more comfortable with mobile Internet devices, the number of mobile Internet subscribers will also increase 40% to 96.1 million, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report. As such, Internet advertising is expected to grow at an average 7.7% annually between 2010 and 2014, while video game advertising is set to grow at a 6.4% annual average rate. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
Dove Men+Care has enlisted Major League Baseball personalities for online videos and a sweepstakes to promote the men's skincare line from Unilever. The video series is themed "Journey to Comfort." The first 90-second video is from St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols and premiered June 15. It will be followed on July 9 with an effort from New York Yankees' Andy Pettitte. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Ford says it cut water use by 16% last year and became the first automaker to join a global program to help establish a water disclosure protocol for companies around the world. Other accomplishments Ford touts in the study include cutting CO2 emissions in 2009 model vehicles by 12% versus a 2006 baseline. The company says it is on schedule to cut CO2 emissions by 30% in vehicles by 2020. ...Read the whole story >>

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Social Media vs Word of Mouth

A great piece from the blog:

Word of Mouth Marketing Will Never Die

Question: What’s better than hyping your own product?
Answer: Having a satisfied customer do it for you.

word of mouth marketing
Give your customers a reason
to evangelize your products.

My friend Heather was previously using an real estate agent that was a tad on the pushy side. The agent did all those things that really cheese potential home buyers off, like suggesting homes way out of Heather’s budget. The agent basically tried to force Heather into buying a home out of her price range so that she could receive a higher commission. (She even suggested Heather borrow money from her parents to do it!)

Instead of helping Heather, the agent was most interested in helping herself.

So, I sent Heather over to my buddy Travis who is also a real estate agent. I’ve known Travis for a while, and he’s quite possibly the most laid-back person I’ve ever met. He did everything he could to make Heather feel comfortable, and went out of his way to help her. Because of his helpfulness and care, Travis eventually sold Heather a home that she loved.

Instead of using the previous agent’s tactics, Travis instead made her feel at ease. He didn’t try to upsell her, but only worked within the parameters that she had previously set. Because, when you buy something as freakin’ expensive as a house, you definitely want to be at ease with your decision. (There’s nothing worse than a few hundred thousand dollars worth of buyers remorse.)

But here’s the real kicker: Heather has since sworn that she’d refer anyone to Travis.

Now that’s Old Skool Word of mouth marketing.

Word of Mouth Marketing is Nothing New

We’re so caught up with social media these days. You have to have a Twitter profile. You have to have a Facebook fan page. LinkedIn, Youtube, and on, and on, and on. Follower counts are pivotal. Retweets are currency, et. al. Sure, these platforms can help you reach new potential customers, but focusing on the platform instead of the people is a sure way to fail.

Twitter, Facebook… it’s all word of mouth marketing: People talking about your product or service and referring it to friends.

On paper, my friend Travis has a stark disadvantage against other, more established agents. They have lots of marketing dollars, with their fake smiles flashed across billboards. Travis doesn’t really advertise, has zero “social media presence”, and only relies on friends and previous clients to spread his brand.

Yet at the end of the day, he’s making the sales. Oh, and at night he sleeps soundly knowing that he’s helping people, not looking out for himself.

Word of Mouth is NOT Social Media

With all the focus on social media these days, it feels like people are forgetting what makes the champions of these technologies so great. Organizations like Zappos have successfully used social media to sell more of their product. But if you look deeper, it’s not because of social media, it’s because they intensely care about their customers.

Story after story, (I love this one), has surfaced about how Zappos has gone the extra mile 20 miles and made sure their customers were happy. Sure, social media has helped, but that’s because it’s an extension of how they care, another way to reach out to customers.

And it keeps people talking about their product.

So stop worrying about Twitter followers. Start thinking about how many people you can help, and how you’re going to do it. Use Twitter and Facebook to help everyone, not to flash authority.

And then people will start talking.

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Smile Power (part 2)

I was reading a recent email from Art Sobczak and decided to make it a two-parter.

Yesterday I featured part 1, here's part 2:

I asked voice expert, Susan Berkley, author of "Voice
Shaping: How To Find Your Million Dollar Voice,"
share a few ideas about how to project the best image
on our sales calls.


By Susan Berkley

A boring salesperson isn't just tedious for the
prospect or customer. It's embarrassing for the sales

If you've ever suspected you might be putting
people to sleep, fear not. You don't need an elaborate
bag of gimmicks to liven up your talks. All you need
is a little more liveliness in your voice.

While working as a broadcaster and voice-over artist,
I have discovered that the quickest and easiest way to
liven up your voice is to liven up your body language.

With body language in mind, let's explore three easy
ways to become a more energetic, natural communicator.

Sit up straight, or even stand, when speaking on the
phone. If you habitually slump in your chair, I
guarantee that the tone of your voice is going to
sound slumped and the people you call may find it hard to
concentrate on what you are saying.


Because there is no energy in your voice to capture
their interest.

Even though you cannot see them, successful radio
personalities use their bodies to express themselves,
consciously or not. They speak with their hands. Their
body language is fluid and alive--just as it was when
you were a child.

Next time you are on the phone, pretend you are "on-
the-air." Notice how energetic gestures add life to
your voice. Try using a telephone headset so your
hands can stay free and relaxed while you speak. You
don't have to look like you are conducting an
orchestra. A few expressive hand gestures will do.

Do people frequently ask you what's wrong--like Art's
airport train example--even when you feel as though
you are smiling and happy inside?

If so, you are probably a "secret smiler." Secret
smilers tend to look intense and may scowl when they
are concentrating. If you are in this group your voice
may tend to flatten and sound monotonous to others. By
developing a greater range of facial expression,
you'll develop a more interesting and captivating

Here's a great exercise to try. You will need a
TV, a hand mirror, and a friend:

Step One: Turn on the TV news channel

Step Two: Watch a few news stories keeping your face
relaxed and neutral.

Step Three: Look in the mirror. Pretend you are mute
and have to express the feeling of each story to an
imaginary third person. Do this with facial expression

Step Four: Repeat step three looking at your friend.
Can they identify the emotion?

Selling is enough of a challenge. Don't make it
tougher by projecting a gruff image. Follow these
ideas and you'll liven up your voice, and your
customers' and prospects' attitudes as well.

(Susan Berkley is a professional speaker and
international communications expert. She is a top
voiceover artist and author of "Voice Shaping: How To
Find Your Million Dollar Voice,"
which is absolutely
the best voice training product I've ever seen.

It is a seven-CD audio program, and for anyone making
his or her living as a communicator, this program is a must-have.

Go and have your best week ever!



"When it comes to body language, there are some who
have better vocabularies than other."

Doug Larson

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

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