Saturday, July 17, 2010

Understanding Cross Cultural Marketing

This happens to be my second posting from Mediapost today on Hispanic Marketing.

Along with the work I do for a group of radio stations in Fort Wayne, Indiana; I also do some work for the local Hispanic Newspaper.

Go here for details and look on the right side for the links.

Must Use Spanish, Verdad? Not Necessarily!

The role of culture in brand-building is indisputable, and language is naturally a significant component of this. However, this may not necessarily be applicable across the board, for all age groups.

America is a melting pot and polyglot of fresh talent, the foundation of the nation is built on the sweat, tears, and hard work of immigrants, who bring with them not only their talent, skill-set, and abilities, but also their language, customs and distinctive cultural behavior. This is what makes America great, and it is a tradition that continues to this day.

So it's logical to think of the importance of using Spanish when communicating with and engaging the U.S. Hispanic market. But this simple approach does not work across all age groups. It has to do with fitting in, and not standing out.

We know first-hand the value of fitting in. As children, we were accustomed to moving around across different countries, cultures and languages. The first thing any kid wants at school (and, most importantly, on the playground) is to be accepted as part of the group. The first "weapon of choice" is always the mastery of the language, replete with all the slang and colloquial expressions. The consequence of humiliation is well-known in any kid's mind. It may be okay to look and dress differently, but the common denominator that brings everyone together is language.

For the young Hispanic, this translates to mastering the English language at an early age, and fitting in. This is the young ones' symbolic value, and this is what becoming American means to them. It also comes, unfortunately, with the rejection of their Latin identity.

Consequently, they are creating a new identity, where language becomes a tool of expression that is on-code with the hybrid new culture of this new generation of first-born Americans.

As generations of immigrants before them, this transformation and metamorphosis phase are common, as seen in the wave of Italians, Germans, Eastern European Jews, Greeks, Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans, Vietnamese, Armenians, Lebanese and Syrians before them.

So while the option of having "Español" buttons and "Español" call centers may be treasured by plenty of Hispanics, the vast majority might not care that much.

Some assume that Hispanics don't speak or want to speak English, which is false. Acculturated Hispanics, those who have incorporated American cultural codes, including language, feel comfortable enough to use English. These individuals are usually referred to as the "second or third U.S.-born generation" and, for many of them, mainly when they are teens, speaking Spanish is a sign of inferiority, they don't want to go "back" from where their parents came. They want to be American not Hispanic.

As they mature, however, they will find a need to know their roots (this is a reptilian act) and within that search, many will regret not speaking Español anymore.

And all this is without talking about the type of Español brands need to address. Mexican-Americans and, by definition, "wherever you come from" Americans have developed a new symbolic language, creating new words and expression that blend their mother tongue with English.

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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Unexpected Innovation

from Mediapost:

Street-level Retail Innovation In Mexico City
Innovation. The mere word conjures up images of serious-looking scientists clad in crisp, all-white jumpsuits working in an impossibly sterile lab, tinkering with the latest gene-splicing method that promises the cancer cure. Engineers putting the final touches on a clay model of the latest hybrid vehicle, and programmers brainstorming on software platform and apps for the latest touch screen tablet gadget, in response to Apple's iPad.

This is how we commonly view innovation, correlating it directly with R&D, often overlooking the fact that innovation is not the exclusive domain of the developed economies and can come from any corner of the planet.

"Necessity is the mother of all innovations" and the trigger point to innovate is fundamentally human. This can be equally found in the high-tech labs of Tel Aviv and Tallinn, Seoul or Silicon Valley, as well as on the streets of a mega-metropolis like Mexico City, in the mud villages of sub-Saharan Africa, or deep in the tropical rainforest of Borneo. The latter category is best described as street-level innovation.

While in Mexico City recently, I was enjoying an al fresco lunch in the Art Deco-adorned neighborhood of Condesa, when a fruit vendor caught my attention. His mobile fruit stand-cum-retail device was a wooden plank placed on a wheelbarrow. A glass-enclosed box displayed jicama and all the other tropical fruits, with rows of plastic containers for the salsas, lime and condiments, and a "Jicaleta" sign adorned the front. The first hint of innovation, a hybrid combo of "jicama" and "piruleta" (Spanish for lollipop). And to top it off; customers were given little Styrofoam saucers to keep the sauce from dripping. Street-level innovation at its best!

Later, while sitting in traffic at a busy intersection, I noticed a street vendor walking between the long lines of cars. He was selling water, soda, candy, cigarettes and snacks. It seemed like a lot to carry at first glance. But instead of doing a nifty balancing act, he donned a fisherman's vest with multiple pockets for all the different merchandise. A convenience store on foot.

I glanced across the other side and saw a man in a clown's suit, replete with a red nose, showing off his juggling prowess. An instant entertainment to take your mind off of gridlock, all for some small change.

And while some people from the developed world will argue that such sights are displays of urban poverty, I beg to differ, as this is human ingenuity finding solutions for daily challenges. Solutions that don't go unnoticed by the international corporate world.

During the Asian crises in late 1990s, Unilever, after having observed Indonesia's fragmented retail landscape of small street-side convenience kiosks across the country, decided that was the most effective distribution channel to reach the masses. It launched "micro packaging," pushing everything from body wash to shampoo, detergent and cooking oil in small sachets. The profit margins may also have been "mini"-sized, but the world's largest archipelago with over 220 million people made up for it in volume, handsomely.

It is therefore prudent for any marketer, advertiser and brand-builder to understand the local culture and habits, including the retail landscape. And as in the case of the "Jicaleta" wheelbarrow, salsa and other food-related brands might consider using these unique mobile retail devices and branding them accordingly.

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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One More

from Jim Meisenheimer:

Do One More Thing

It's called an extra effort. Your sales prospects and
customers will always appreciate your extra efforts.

It takes a great deal of self discipline to succeed in
the business of selling.

First and foremost, if you are an entrepreneur or a
professional sales person, you must dedicate yourself
to continuous learning.

Zig Ziglar, in a recent article, says he gets comments
from people who complain that "The effects of motivational
seminars, books, and audio CDs - don't last."

His response to that is: "Neither does bathing, that's
why we recommend it daily."

He makes an excellent point here!

You can always do one more thing - for example you
could make one extra prospecting telephone call every
day. The impact on your selling results would be
astonishing. However, it means you have to dial the
cellphone one more time everyday.

During a first sales call with a new prospect you could
ask one more intelligent question to get to know your
potential customer better.

After every first sales call to a new sales prospect
you could always follow up with a hand written note
card. You could do one more thing by using a fountain
pen to write your note.

Once you've identified a major problem your sales
prospect is experiencing, you could do one more thing.
Using a calculator with your sales prospect you could
dollarize the annual cost of his problem.

You could then add up the cost of this problem for
five years.

You could do one more thing and add up the cost of
this problem for 10 years. When you dollarize the cost
of the problem over the next 10 years you've accomplished
something that very few salespeople ever do.

The bigger the problem, in dollars, the more interest
your sales prospect will have in solving his problem
with your product/service solutions.

If your business environment requires that you prepare
sales proposals, you could do one more thing to make
them even better. For example you could include an
organizational chart which includes photos, phone
numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses, and titles for
six people who usually interact with your customers.

To keep your sales prospects thinking about you, you
can create a communication drizzle that includes e-mails,
greeting cards, handwritten notes, creative faxes, and of
course phone calls.

And you do this because you recognize the value of the
Thomas Kempis quote "Out of sight, out of mind."

When you reach the point in the selling process where
your next step is to ask for the order, you can do one
more thing. You can prepare and practice three ways you
can ask for the business.

Don't complain and don't explain if your business isn't

Just keep doing one more thing every day and you'll have
more business than you can handle.

Wouldn't that be nice?

Jim Meisenheimer. 13506 Blythefield. Lakewood Ranch. FL. 34202

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Oh, come on now.... I'm referring to the last headline... Click & Read and I'll have more updates Saturday & Sunday:

by Wayne Friedman
Good news for those TV Everywhere cable proponents: Not only do consumers seem to like the idea, but according to a new study of broadband users, millions are willing to pay at least $5 or $10 extra per month for those services. ...Read the whole story
by David Goetzl
Top executives at Young Broadcasting have dropped claims looking for new ownership to assume employment contracts they signed in 2007. That clears the way for them to continue -- likely under less lucrative deals. ...Read the whole story
by Erik Sass
While the level of consumer awareness of HD digital radio is up for debate, the new-ish technology is now a selling point for automotive marketers: Ford is highlighting the benefits of HD radio as part of its new radio ad campaign for the 2011 Edge. ...Read the whole story
by Wayne Friedman
Veteran media researcher David Marans has joined the Advertising Research Foundation as executive vice president of media. Marans worked with major consumer marketers, including Ford Motor, Sears, Pfizer and Unilever, as well as a long stint at JWT. ...Read the whole story
by Erik Sass
Hearst Magazines is planning a PR campaign targeting advertisers and media buyers, focused on the message that consumer magazines still attract large audiences. In fact, their readership has been increasing, and consumers are willing to pay for content. ...Read the whole story

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Email and...

If you are using one and only one form of marketing for your business, you are doomed.

Yeah, I know folks who say they only do newspaper advertising, or only do direct mail advertising, but they have either being doing that "forever", or they don't understand that marketing involves more than traditional advertising.

Your sign, your business cards, your company vehicles, your location, your website, these are also a part of your marketing.

This week I read the following piece about email as a marketing tool and it applies to all of us:

Two Key Ways Email Can Boost Results in Other Channels

"Once you've created a regular email-communications program, or developed your smart auto-responders, are you remembering to strategically use email to strengthen and encourage relationships with your list members in other channels?" Karen Talavera asks in a Pro article at MarketingProfs.

There's a simple reason why it's important to facilitate cross-channel interaction with your email subscribers, Talavera says: They are actively hopping, skipping and jumping from one channel to another!

"Conversations started in one channel don't just stay there," she notes. "Simply because a customer signed up for your email doesn't mean that customer is not also following you on Twitter or Facebook and might want to communicate there, too."

She suggests several ways to use email to build relationships online and offline. Here are two:

Make it fun to channel-hop with you. You've undoubtedly invited email subscribers to join you at social-media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But have you given them a compelling reason to do so? "Contests and sweepstakes can work well in building social-media fan/follower bases rapidly," Talavera suggests, "but don't overlook couponing and the promise of exclusive treatment, content or access for your social-network community members only."

Drive traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations with special sales and events. Try an email campaign that promotes an in-store-only offer—one that cannot be redeemed online. "Store openings, clearances, benefits, or community events are also great ways to draw your target market into your ... place of business," she notes.

"Your prospects and customers are more likely to learn and retain information when it's presented in multiple modes, and your content will get more attention if you offer people multiple formats by which they can consume it," Talavera concludes.

The Po!nt: It's time to open things up. These days, you're most likely to make your messages memorable when you communicate with subscribers through a variety of channels.

Source: MarketingProfs. Read the full Pro article.

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Facebook vs Email

My friend Kevin wrote about what Ben & Jerry's is doing to notify their fans about new flavors and gives the pro's and cons and outlines what this means to your business. By the way, I first met Kevin via my preferred Social Media, Twitter.

This is from the blog:

Monkey See, Monkey Do? What Ben & Jerry’s Decision Means to You.

Monkey See Monkey Do Social Media Style

The famous Ice Cream makers from Vermont have taken a bold move by declaring that they shall no longer be using email marketing as a means of letting you know about their latest zany flavors. No, instead they will be utilizing those marketing dollars to concentrate on an already successful social media foray. In fact the last email invited subscribers to connect with the brand through either the Facebook or Twitter social networks. This isn’t exactly as bold as one might think, given that Ben & Jerry’s Facebook page is currently over 1.3 million “fans” strong.

Alright, go ahead and ask. What does their move to social media and away from email marketing mean for your business? A little more than nothing, but less than everything. Far too many marketers could see this move as a signal that their business should follow suite and make the jump to social media exclusivity without first questioning if what is good for Ben & Jerry’s is good for their business.

There are of course, naysayers who pretend not to notice that the times, they are a-changing, and are not open to social media at all. This is why careful inspection of marketing channels and preferred client touch points is necessary before abandoning programs that still provide a good return on investment.

Click here to continue:

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The Object of your Objection

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Isolating the Objection

Instead of answering an objection you must first isolate and question it. Let's take two of the most common ones -- "Your price is too high," and "I need to speak with, talk to..."

If your client says, "Your price is too high," you should respond with:

"I can understand that, and let me ask you a question: If this price was exactly what you were willing to pay, is this (your product/service, etc.) the solution you would go with today?"

Now that you've isolated the objection you will see if price really is the only objection. Any answer other than "yes" and price isn't what is stopping your prospect from moving forward (which means you have more work to do to find out what is).

Same thing with the "I've got to speak to, talk this over with...." objection. You should say:

"I can totally understand that. And let me ask you, if you did speak with (the other person) and they said whatever you thought was fine with them, what would your decision be on this today?"

Again, any answer other than "yes" and that objection is just a stall. Answering it will get you nowhere.

Do you see how this works? The whole point of questioning and isolating the objection first is to uncover what is really holding your prospect back.

And until you find that out, there will be no deal.

Source: Business consultant/sales trainer Mike Brooks

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
While Starbucks pulled the most votes when consumers were asked to name their favorite coffee house or snack chain, Krispy Creme won by a wide margin when the results were indexed to factor in chains' comparative number of locations, according to a restaurant outlook study from Market Force Information. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
With the nascent retail recovery showing alarming signs of pooping out, experts are predicting that marketers will go all in for the back-to-school season, using celebrity tie-ins, heavy-duty promotional battles and plenty of social marketing. Stores like Macy's, with the launch of both the "Glee" and "Material Girl" line by Madonna, and JCPenney, with its just-breaking "New look. New year. Who knew!" school effort, will be among the most visible. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Remember the tiger in your tank? Tiremaker BFGoodrich wants to put a tree frog on your wheels, not to mention a cheetah and probably a few other animals. The company's first national advertising campaign since 2008 uses animal attributes as metaphors. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Aaron Baar
Chase Card Services and InterContinental Hotels Group took the adage "Give the people what they want," to heart when it came to creating their new Priority Club Select Visa Card, using a private social community of users to determine the features that would appeal to their customer base. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The American Legacy Foundation's 10-year-old Truth campaign recently launched a new ad campaign that ponders what different products would look like if they were as dangerous as tobacco. The organization is launching phase two of the effort with an interactive and social-media program on teen site ...Read the whole story >>
by Mark Walsh
A year ago, Starbucks knocked off Coca-Cola as the most popular corporate brand on Facebook, with its page on the social network drawing 3.7 million fans. Now the coffee giant has become the first brand to clear the 10 million-fan mark on Facebook, with its nearest rivals -- Coke and Skittles -- both trailing behind at about 6.5 million. ...Read the whole story >>

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Sniff what?

This happens in my house.

From the WonderBranding blog:

Do Females Have A Nose For Business?

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 08:00 AM PDT

(This “From the Vault” post was originally published on August 17, 2008)

There is one sure-fire way to drive my husband nuts – ask him the following question:

“Do you smell that?”

He is instantly on alert, sniffing and scrambling like a Jack Russell Terrier on the hunt for a rawhide chewy. He goes crazy trying to detect the smell while I describe the particular components of the odor. “It’s like a fried egg with a hint of cinnamon, wrapped in a bouquet of kitchen cleanser.” Inevitably, my husband gives up the chase, convinced that no such smell exists and I’m one cupcake shy of a full dozen.

Actually, I’m not (at least where smell is concerned). Studies like a recent one conducted at Cardiff University report that when it comes to odor detection, women have a much more elaborate sense of smell thanks to elevated levels of estrogen in the body. And not only do women have a heightened sense of smell: MRIs show that women link those smells to emotion, storing those feelings in the right brain of emotional and long-term memory.

What kind of smells does your retail location or office expend?

If it’s moldy, you’re in trouble; likewise, any one of myriad odors can trigger the “don’t feel good about this business” button in a female customer. Realtors have known about the importance of smell for years – just visit any open house on a Sunday afternoon and you’re likely to encounter a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies on the kitchen counter.

Consider taking a group of women through your location and have them tell you what they smell (it won’t work to do it yourself, even if you’re a woman – your nose is too familiar what it encounters everyday). Then, determine what you can do to improve it. But be careful – don’t make things too “sterile.” I once had a pet-store client that was so focused on the cleanliness of the store that it smelled like a medical facility. We had to introduce a new smell (cedar) to subliminally change the customer’s perception.

The nose knows… what would her nose tell her about you?

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New Ad Campaigns

From Amy:

Create a virtual oil spill. Silence the vuvuzelas. Let's launch!

Absolut Vodka created "Lemon Drop," a short film set for an online release this summer, starring Ali Larter in the title role. She's mostly sweet, loves the color yellow, and packs a sour punch, especially when her kittens are stolen. A teaser ad shows Lemon Drop meeting Johnny Thunderbird, a bad boy and potential cat thief. The duo play tennis, become acquainted and fight for the kitties. The teaser closes with Lemon Drop leaving with her cats while Thunderbird's house explodes. Look for Thunderbird right by the fireball. See the teaser here. TBWA/Chiat/Day New York created the campaign.

OFF! created a World Cup-themed nugget that accomplished what the majority of World Cup viewers only wished they could do: off the vuvuzelas. Those pesky horns sound like swarm of bees... for 90 consecutive minutes. The timely ad shows an aerial stadium view coupled with the constant sounds of vuvuzelas. A spray is heard, then silence, followed by the OFF! logo. See it here, created by Draftfcb Chicago.

Nike Football launched an in-store ad to promote its Elite Series of football boots. The ad uses World Cup athletes carved in stone, initially seen in Nike's "Write the Future" campaign. Their faces show a bevy of emotions -- excitement, anger and pain -- as four different Nike boots, each equipped with varying technologies, are displayed. Boot functions are explained as the collective sound of fans cheering plays in the background. "Fastest means greatest," closes the ad, shown here and directed by Psyop.

Old Spice man is on a boat. I swoon. More on that shortly. A quickie TV spot features Isaiah Mustafa in a boat, shirtless, with a romantic picnic basket filled with fruit, bread and cheese. His mustache is easily interchangeable with a clean-shaven look. See it here. A trio of print ads show Mustafa covered in bubbles and riding a motorcycle, atop a sudsy horse and channeling his inner lumberjack. See the ads here, here and here. I saved the best for last. Yesterday, Isaiah Mustafa answered fan questions with personalized videos. Why am I excited? Oh yeah, I got a personalized message. He said "I'm on a motorcycle," the line I was hoping he'd utter in his previous ad, along with other lines that involved wood, hot tubs and pizza. So I have a good-looking, shirtless man, flexing his pecs, talking about food and directing it all at me? This is why I swoon. Get out the phone book, Isaiah Mustafa. I'd watch you read it to me. See my personalized video here. Check out additional personalized videos via Old Spice's Twitter feed. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

Band music plays while humans in colored spandex suits frolic about to form pieces of fruit in a TV ad promoting McDonald's new line of smoothies. "Blend In" supports McCafe smoothies, in strawberry banana and wildberry flavors. Dancing strawberries, blueberries and grapes separate and scurry to a blender, eager to walk the plank to become smoothies. See the ad here, created by DDB Chicago.

Ever wanted to create your own virtual oil spill, minus the environmental and livelihood damage? Now you can with The site was created to raise awareness about the dangers of fossil fuels while educating visitors about clean energy. Visitors submit a URL to the site below the copy stating: "Note: This doesn't really harm other websites. We're not complete a**holes." The site becomes overrun with a black cloud of oil, until the entire screen goes dark. A quote appears at the end, along with links to donate, volunteer, share the site with a friend and sign a petition to hold big oil companies accountable for their actions. More than 19,000 signatures have been collected to date. Mark & Phil and Greener Media created the site.

ESPN launched "Cause It's Racing," a campaign for the network's coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup races. "Invincible" serves as a tribute to the men of NASCAR who risk their lives on a regular basis to participate in a sport they love. The ad begins with the Pledge of Allegiance, while heat rises off the pavement. A car fire is extinguished, one vehicle scrapes against the wall, creating sparks, and another flips through the air. Why risk such damage? The checkered flag, for one... and "cause it's racing." See the ad here, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland.

The Montana Meth Project launched four TV ads earlier this year to discourage people from experimenting with meth... not even once. The ads are graphic, gritty and difficult to watch. Each ad tells the story of a person's downward spiral following their meth addiction, and the friend that said nothing when learning of their pal's impending meth experiment. "Ben" went to the ER from meth-induced convulsions and smoked more following his release. He eventually hung himself when he couldn't quit. See it here. "Kevin" dropped out of school, used sharp objects to remove imaginary bugs from his body and now spends his days restrained to a bed. Watch it here. "Tracy" was fired from her job, robbed a house, sold her body and gave birth to a premature baby. See it here. "Jessica" was a cheerleader who was raped by her dealer and subsequently forced her brother to smoke meth. Watch it here. Venables Bell and Partners created the campaign, directed by Wally Pfister of Independent Media Inc.

Random iPhone App of the week: Nigella Lawson and Random House launched the Nigella Quick Collection App, featuring exclusive recipes, video and unique audio elements. Users can add notes by text or voice, browse and search according to mood, and send dinner invitations using Facebook Connect or email. Each of the 70 recipes featured are presented in six steps or less, making preparation convenient. More than 40 minutes of audio and video content is available, ranging from tips, recipes and simple inspiration. AKQA created the app, available for $7.99 in the App Store.

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

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It's more than a Pizza

I read this and was AMAZED at how it all turned out... From Art Sobczak:

A Mishandled $8000 Pizza Order Call

I'm a self-taught cook, and probably own as many
cookbooks as sales books. I watch the Food
Network every chance I get. For a few years my
barbecue cooking team traveled all over to competitions,
and we even won a few championships. It's tough
to order at many restaurants, since I sometimes
struggle to find something I couldn't make better

However, there's still nothing better for my palate
than a great slice of pizza. I particularly like
thin crust, New York style. Could eat it every
day. Normally I don't go more than a few days
without a pizza-fix.

When I'm in Omaha I'm a bit limited in my choices
of places to get exceptional pizza. Last Sunday I
was lusting for a slice and wanted to try something
different, so I went online and was reminded of a
place just a few blocks from my suburban neighborhood.
I had tried it a couple of years ago, was not
impressed, so they fell off my radar.

However, I read some of the recent favorable reviews
and thought I'd give them another shot. After all, right
down the street...if they've improved, this could
become a spot I'd be dropping lots of cash in the

So I called, intending to order a pie. After about
eight rings, the out-of-breath voice answered--
with chaos in the background--and greeted me with,
"Can you hold?"

(I'm intentionally leaving out the name of the
place--she did say it when she answered.)

Reluctantly, I agreed.

She did NOT put me on hold.
She just put the phone down.

So now I'm hearing the banter of the kitchen
staff, and occasionally her voice. One minute

I'm getting restless.

Two minutes, I'm annoyed.

Watching the clock on the computer screen tick
away, three minutes. Now I'm pissed. The kitchen
staff continues whooping it up.

Trying to put it all in perspective and remind
myself that in the whole scheme of things this
is not worth getting upset about, I decide to
give them one more minute. Sure, I could have
hung up and called back, but the devilish side
of me wanted to see just how long this customer
service train wreck would continue. Plus, I thought
I had the makings of a weekly tip.

And I really didn't feel like driving any
further than a few blocks to get pizza.

At the five-minute mark, I FINALLY hear someone
pick up the phone, and...hang it up. "Call Ended"
flashes on my cell phone.

At that moment I decide to provide the owner
with some unsolicited phone sales training.

While I was simmering, waiting, I was online,
reading about the history of the joint, and
about the owner who had come here from
Chicago a few years ago. I remembered seeing
him the last time I was there, working the counter
and the kitchen. Chances are he was there and
I was going to tell him about my experience.

Certainly as an astute business owner he would
welcome feedback and offer to make things right.

I called back.

Busy signal. Hit redial. Busy signal again.
Undoubtedly someone else was told to
hold, but then forgotten about.

THREE more times I tried back, hearing the busy
signal each time.

Finally I heard a ringing sound. A male answered,
and said "This is____," giving his name. It was
the owner.

I said, "Yes, I called there about 10 minutes ago.
I was going to get a pizza from you. I was asked
to hold, was forgotten about for exactly FIVE minutes,
and then was hung up on. I wanted you to know this
personally since you might be losing customers
because of how calls are handled."

"Sorry about that," he said in a tone that
contradicted his words.

That was it. No attempt to recover. Nothing like,
"Wow, that certainly is not the way we do things,
let me make it up to you..."

"Sorry?", I repeated, after he was silent for a few
seconds, giving him a chance to say more.

"Yeah, sorry, he repeated with an attitude that I
read as, "Look, I'm busy here."

I remained silent--and a bit stunned--for a few seconds,
thinking he might come to his senses as a business
owner and do the right thing.


I was not an a-hole about this by any means, but I
finally matter-of-factly said, "Well, you just lost a sale
and more importantly, a customer."

That, I thought, might cause him to realize he could
still fix this. Instead, I heard, "Sorry to hear that."

He was one of the sorriest guys I've ever heard.

So I found another place, a few miles from my house,
that answered on the first ring, did not put me on
hold, repeated back my order, made an upsell suggestion
for a salad, which I took advantage of, and told me
precisely when my order would be ready. THEY will
be getting a lot more of my money in the future.

Now, you might be thinking that from the first pizza
joint's perspective, so what, big deal, they lost a
sale, under $20 in revenue.


A number of years ago a marketing exec with Dominos
spoke right before me at a national sales meeting. He
talked about the value of a customer, something
many people do not keep at the forefront of their
mind. He said their research indicated that a
customer would spend--I don't remember the exact
number, but this is close--in the neighborhood of
$8000 with Dominos in their lifetime.

They would emphasize that to their employees who
answered the phone, and anyone who had contact with
customers. It wasn't a one-pizza transaction, you
were talking to an $8,000 customer.

One of my business mentors, Dan Kennedy, stresses
the importance of "future bank" vs. "present bank."
Future bank is what your customer means to you over
their lifetime, and yours. That's why smart
marketers often take a loss in acquiring a customer,
knowing that the real profit is in keeping them
over time.

Let's try to stitch this back together to some
relevance for you: What do YOU do to ensure that
you make it easy for people to become customers?

Are there any deterrents that make it difficult
for people to become saying,
"Can you hold?", when someone WANTS to buy
from you, now?

Do you know your own "future bank" number?
If not, figure it out, and be sure EVERYONE
who has customer contact knows it.

What are you doing so that when your competition
calls your customers--and you know they will--
your customers say, "I'm happy with who I'm
buying from."

By the way, I didn't reveal this pizza place's
name, since perhaps it was an isolated incident,
and I don't want to trash them. And I might just
give them another shot at some point. I guess I
like pizza too much and almost kind of expect
bad, or even rude service from pizza places.


"Adversity is an experience, not a final act."
Michael LeBoeuf

"Like" Art on Facebook and get a Free Ebook!
So Facebook has changed their Fan terminology to "Like."
I don't "like" it, but it's their playground and we're part of it.
Anyway, go to my Page, hit the "Like" button at the top
and I will even bribe you to do so. On the left at that page
you'll see the link to get your free ebook of 501 Sales Tips
You Can Use Right now.

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

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Sarah Mahoney
The good news from Deloitte's "New American Pantry" is that the vast majority of consumers don't feel bad about the recession -- they actually love it. The bad news is for brands everywhere: The more adept consumers get at saving, the less they care about buying a certain brand, and are more willing to trade down or in favor of a sale than most marketers imagine. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
What do senior management executives at CPG companies and retailers think about corporate social media strategies? Top executives were probed on this topic, along with many others, as part of the research for a just-released 2010 Grocery Manufacturers Association/PricewaterhouseCoopers financial performance report -- and the insights gleaned are more specific and practical than marketers might imagine. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
Procter & Gamble's Pampers division is launching a series of Web-based videos called "Welcome to Parenthood," on and the brand's Facebook page. The effort is co-sponsored by pharma company Abbott, which makes infant products Similac and Beech-Nut. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Aaron Baar
Consumers are becoming more accustomed to mobile banking services, but that doesn't mean they play a large role in their banking decisions. According to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults by IDC Financial Insights, mobile banking usage has doubled in the past year. But mobile banking is still not at a point where it could be a game changer for the financial industry. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
AutoPacific says the big winner in its 2010 Ideal Vehicle Awards is Range Rover, which was last in its class in 2009. Another surprise, at least for those who don't have Suzuki anywhere near their shopping list: The tier-three auto brand's 2010 Kizashi was top car. The firm also gave it top honors in its 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. ...Read the whole story >>
by Erik Sass
Hard times have prompted a number of big newspapers to begin offering advertisers more unorthodox ad placements, including space on the once sacrosanct front page. On Monday that list grew to include USA Today, the national flagship of Gannett Co., which featured a front page wrap carrying an advertisement for Jeep's 2011 Grand Cherokee. ...Read the whole story >>

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from my email:

Study: Consumers Hungry for Restaurants

Consumers' appetite for dining out has grown significantly from six months ago, according to a new study from consumer research firm Market Force Information.

About 25 percent of the 4,600 respondents to a Market Force poll indicated that they plan to eat at restaurants more in the next three months than they did during the previous three months, compared with only 5 percent of consumers surveyed in December 2009.

Only 8 percent of respondents projected that they would eat at restaurants less than they did the past three months, compared with 52 percent who said so in December 2009, while two-thirds of consumers said their eating-out habits would stay the same, an improvement from the 44 percent who responded that way six months ago, according to Market Force.

The study indicating growing consumer hunger for dining out comes amid broader signs of a sluggish economic recovery. While the Department of Labor recently reported that the national unemployment rate fell from 9.7 percent in May to 9.5 percent in June, much of that decrease was attributed to 652,000 people dropping out of the labor force. Private employers added 83,000 jobs in June, while government payrolls decreased 125,000 after 225,000 census jobs were phased out.

The way restaurants attract those diners also is starting to change. Some of the industry's biggest companies are shifting their marketing from aggressive traffic-driving deals to new products. For example, quick-service chains Subway and Taco Bell, which have long focused on value offerings, are looking to make in-roads at breakfast. Burger King pivoted from value offers like $1 double cheeseburgers to a limited-time offering of Fire-Grilled Ribs, a more premium product with a higher price point.

While casual-dining chains haven't completely abandoned discounted meals — T.G.I. Friday's still has a $6.99 Endless Lunch, and Chili's temporarily resurrected its "3 for $20" deal in three states -- they have de-emphasized those offers in their marketing in favor of new products and menus, like regional lines of burgers at Applebee's and The Cheesecake Factory or a Caribbean-inspired menu at T.G.I. Friday's.

Whether restaurants lure customers with deals or new menu items, social media will continue to complement those marketing efforts, Market Force found. The firm's research shows that nearly half of all respondents had looked for a restaurant recommendation in the past 30 days by reading online reviews, blog posts, or Facebook and Twitter profiles. In addition, 13 percent of respondents had posted an online review after dining out in the past 30 days.

"One of the most interesting findings from this survey was that a 'very satisfied' customer -- one that gives a five out of five rating (to a restaurant) -- is three times more likely to recommend a restaurant, both online and offline, to a friend than a merely 'satisfied' customer -- a four out of five (rating)," said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Boulder, Colo.-based Market Force. "Because of the long-term effects that recommendations have on a restaurant's reputation, a one-point disparity in a rating scale can spell the difference between real sales growth and a stagnant business."

The Market Force survey also found that healthful dining options remain important to consumers as they express a willingness to dine out more. Forty-two percent of respondents said it was extremely important that restaurants post information on calories and nutrition, while 45 percent said it was somewhat important. Similarly, 36 percent of consumers said it was extremely important that restaurants serve appropriate portions, with 45 percent saying it was somewhat important.

Organic and locally sourced products are not as crucial to consumers, however. Forty percent of respondents said the use of organic products was not at all important, while 21 percent of consumers responded that local sourcing was not at all important.

Market Force's survey was conducted among the firm's network of more than 300,000 independent mystery shoppers and merchandisers. Of the 4,600 people selected for this study, which was conducted in May and June, 80 percent of them worked part-time or full-time, and 60 percent reported incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Seventy-six percent of respondents were women, and half the participants reported having children at home.

(Source: Nation's Restaurant News, 07/05/10)

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Knowledge is Power

Realistically, you are only going to sell to a small percentage of the people you could sell to. One way to increase your sales is to know increase your closing ratio:

Daily Sales Tip: Why Sales Don't Go Through

Closing sales is an art, not a science. Everything we do from our communication style, our dress, to our understanding of the customers' wants and needs can affect our success or failure in closing sales. The way you close a sale depends as much on the product/service you're selling as it does the customer you're dealing with. There are many reasons why sales don't close. Here are 7 of the most common mistakes:

Not Asking Questions
Too many times we pre-judge or jump to conclusions about what our customers want or need. By asking open-ended questions to determine such things as lifestyle, hobbies, spending limits and previous experiences we can get a true picture of what our customer really wants. By understanding the customer we can then focus on the right products and services to offer.

Not Communicating in the Communication Style Important to the Customer
If we communicate to everyone in our primary communication style then we will lose about 75% of our sales. In other words, everyone is different and therefore everyone needs to be treated differently. For example, some people just want the facts and details about a product or service while others may be more comfortable if you tell stories or anecdotes. So, to persuade, motivate and influence others, communicate in the ingredients they find important.

Interrupting the Prospect
Whenever you interrupt someone, sensitivity, commitment, closeness and rapport are lost. In addition, by interrupting we may miss what benefits the customer is really seeking.

Not Paying Attention to the Prospect
To develop the like and trust that are essential in developing any relationship, we must give our full attention to the prospect. Taking calls, talking to other customers, looking bored or uninterested can detract from the relationship we develop with our potential customer.

Showing No Empathy or Sympathy
Empathy means putting yourself in the other person's shoes. For example, if a potential customer wants to go on an adventure trip we offer, but has had bad experiences in the past, we must first understand those experiences before we can discuss why our trips are a best buy.

Not Selling Benefits...Only Features
Understanding the difference between features and benefits is crucial to your success. Features are about you, your product and service. Benefits are the specific results your product or service offer to your client or prospect. When meeting with a prospect we need to address the buyer's critical self-interest questions such as, "So what?", "Who cares?" or "What's in it for me?" You see, people don't buy things, they buy results like happiness, making and saving money, saving time, comfort, safety, security and easier ways to do things.

Pressuring Prospects
People don't like to be pressured. They like to buy but they don't like to be sold. By planning your presentation carefully and understanding the wants and needs of the potential customer, you'll make more than your share of sales.

Source: Sales speaker/author Arnold Sanow

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and Read:

by Wayne Friedman
U.S. viewership of the World Cup final in South Africa on Sunday, in which Spain beat the Netherlands in overtime, was the most-viewed soccer game ever. Nielsen says it drew 24.3 million from the broadcast on ABC and Univision. ...Read the whole story
by Erik Sass
The number of new magazine launches and closings stabilized in the first half of 2010, according to new data from MediaFinder. There were also far fewer magazines folding in the first half of 2010, with 87 titles closing compared to 279 in the first half of 2009. ...Read the whole story
by David Goetzl
In a corporate synergy move that could signal how difficult it is for magazines to build a lucrative business online, Sports Illustrated has turned over the business operations for its to Turner Broadcasting. Turner manages a slew of high-profile sports sites. ...Read the whole story
by Erik Sass
Consumer magazines saw growth in both ad pages and rate card ad revenues in the second quarter of 2010, according to the Publishers Information Bureau -- the first time this has happened in nearly nine quarters. Big winners were Food Network Magazine, ESPN Magazine and Real Simple. ...Read the whole story
by Wayne Friedman
Fox Sports En Español will become more efficient with its new network name. This fall, the 14-year-old network will be called Fox Deportes. Fox Sports has given affiliates 90-day notice of the upcoming changes, when a new logo and graphics will be reveal. ...Read the whole story
by David Goetzl
The NCAA has tried to offer some balance for what effectively will be play-in games for March Madness. Next year, the tournament match-ups will become the initial sports events on truTV. ...Read the whole story
by David Goetzl
Longtime agency researcher Steve Sternberg will produce a series of reports for the B-to B data provider Baseline, starting with a preview of the fall TV season. The information offers a similar type of insight and analysis to his writings at Magna. ...Read the whole story
by David Goetzl
Rentrak, which strives to sell a measurement product for local markets more compelling than Nielsen's, has inked a deal with Gray Television involving two Kansas DMAs. Gray's ABC affiliate in Wichita and CBS outlet in Topeka will subscribe to what's known as StationView Essentials. ...Read the whole story

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