Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fashion prediction?

from the blog recently:

I found this amusing little clip from sometime in the 1930s, predicting what fashion would look like in the (gasp!) year 2000.

Somehow, I have a feeling Lady Gaga may have seen this at some point.

The comments of the narrator (ooooh, swish!) are truly entertaining.

And for you guys out there, you’re not left out. Looks like the predictions were just a few years off with the MC Hammer pants, but they did get it right with all the pockets needed for tech gadgets (and candies for cuties!).

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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Invent, Innovate, or Wait

Seth Godin:

It's (always) too soon to know for sure

The cost of being first is higher than it's ever been...

It's entirely possible that you're racing.

Racing to the market with a new product or a news story or a decision or an innovation. The race keeps getting faster, doesn't it?

If you're racing, you better figure out what to do about the times that you don't know for sure...because more and more of your inputs are going to be tenuous, speculative and possibly wrong. Day traders have always understood this--all they do is trade on uncertainty. But you, too, if you're racing, are going to have to make decisions on less than perfect information.

Given that fact, what are you going to do about it? I think it's worth a few cycles of your time.

Is it smart to blog on a rumor?

Worth dropping everything and panicking because of a news alert?

Should you hire someone based on information you're not sure of?

What about changing your website (your pricing, your layout...) based on analytics that might not be absolutely correct? How long are you willing to wait?

Given that you will never know everything for sure (unless you're opting out of the race), some of the issues are:

  • What's the cost of waiting one more day?
  • Are you waiting (or not waiting) because of the cost of being wrong, or because loud people are yelling at you?
  • Is the risk of being wrong unreasonably amplified by part of the market or your team? What if you ignore them and focus on customers that matter?
  • And have you thought about the costs of waiting too long? If you don't, you'll probably end up last.

Have you noticed how often stock analysts quoted in the news are wrong? Wrong about new products, wrong about management decisions, wrong about the future of a company? In fact, they're almost always first and almost always wrong.

Rule of thumb: being first helps in the short run. Being a little more right than the masses ultimately pays off in the long run. Being last is the worst of all three.

A few people care a lot about scoops. Most of us, though, care about alert people making insightful decisions. Decide who you're trying to please, then ship.

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Moving Forward

From my email:

Daily Sales Tip: 'Let's Do This'

Get advances if you can't close.

"Let's do this" is a proven technique that allows you to talk about the next steps in the process while you move your prospect forward toward a final decision.

Let's suppose you're an hour into the sales call and the prospect has shared with you some of the problems he has, but he's still unsure of your product or service's value.

You want to go back to your office and study them prior to giving a proposal. In this case, you would say, "Let's do this. I'm going to go back and put some thought into this and then let's set a time we can come back in a week and take it a little further."

The better process manager you are, the better salesperson you are.

Source: Sales trainer Bill Caskey

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

My folks were loyal Buick owners. I inhertited their LeSabre and Regal when they passed away:

by Karl Greenberg
The Moment of Truth site sits atop a platform that scours the web for anything Regal, filters out the dross and naughty verbiage and displays the resulting content on a visually arresting 3D billboard that displays video, tweets, comments, and blogs. Content ranges from consumer opinions and testimonials, to automotive reviews and critiques. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
CEO David Mackay noted that cereal as a whole tends to be among the highest-spending ad categories, and said that Kellogg sees important opportunities in marketing outreach to the Hispanic market, support of product launches and other areas. The company expects to grow ad spend by a percentage in the mid-single digits for the overall year. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"It's a genius cross-branding move," Cathy Hotka, a retail branding consultant based in Washington D.C., tells Marketing Daily. "Target is known both for its high traffic and desirable demographic, and kiosks selling high-demand items do really well -- this seems like smart partnering." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
At Avon Products, which hiked its ad spending 19%, second-quarter revenue rose 8% to $2.7 billion, with beauty sales climbing 9% and increasing in all categories. And Revlon's sales gains were propelled by color cosmetics and Revlon ColorSilk, but partially offset by lower sales of Almay cosmetics and Mitchum anti-perspirant deodorant. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The company is using a 24/7 strategy for Fiesta with a marketing program tied to the X Games 16. Ford will field souped-up Fiestas piloted by four drivers including Ken Block, who has been doing online stunt videos for Ford in his Fiesta. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"It's not just about making a customer happy, it's actually exceeding that," says Kirk Parsons. "It's an opportunity for the carriers to use the care experience as a way to build loyalty. In today's wireless market, a lot less new customers are coming in, and it's really about stealing customers from your competitors." ...Read the whole story >>

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Email Marketing

A couple years ago, I expanded my marketing knowledge by agreeing to be the V-P of Communication for my local Advertising Federation. I learned a lot about email marketing and how direct mail, (junk mail) is similar, since we used both to promote our monthly events.

Now, when I'm talking to a business or non-profit, I share the tips I learned from first hand experience and from other experts, like this:

Why 'Spray and Pray' Email Marketing Doesn't Work

Your B2B email marketing program might have a good reason for sending a steady stream of one-size-fits-all messages to prospects. "The idea being that by keeping these folks exposed to your company's name and logo, you'd stay 'top of mind,'" notes Ardath Albee at Marketing Interactions. "That process is now referred to as 'spray and pray' marketing."

As you might guess, there's a problem with the "spray and pray" approach: It doesn't work to gain or maintain customer loyalty.

Why? Because awareness doesn't promote action, Albee explains. "I'm aware of Anheuser Busch. I love their Clydesdale ads. But I don't drink beer. I'm also aware of many other beers. If I had to pick one, it would probably boil down to a 'close my eyes and point' exercise because I have no expertise in selecting beer."

What's a better approach? Albee creates a scenario in which a business needs to choose an email service provider (ESP).

  • Vendor A sends the usual offers and testimonials. "They rave about how well their customers are doing by using their superior system," she says.
  • Vendor B, meanwhile, sends educational content that enables prospects to improve their email campaigns—even if they don't become a customer—and demonstrates how other customers have succeeded.

While Vendor A is less expensive than Vendor B, the customer has gained more confidence in Vendor B. And even though the Vendor A service might equal that of Vendor B, it won't be the company that gets the call. "[S]taying top of mind wasn't enough to win [Vendor A] a customer when compared with all that Vendor B did to go beyond just staying top of mind," Albee concludes.

The Po!nt: Give 'em info they can use. It's not enough to stay at the top of customers' minds; show them why you deserve to be there.

Source: Marketing Interactions. Read the full post.

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It's all about the Benefits, buddy

From my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Customers Buy Benefits

Sometimes, one of the most difficult things to teach beginning sales professionals (or sometimes even more senior sales professionals) is the difference between features and benefits.

All too frequently, salespeople list their product or service features, without articulating how those features will ultimately benefit that prospect or customer. Unfortunately, your prospects or customers are not always able to make that leap for themselves. And when they do not see the benefit, they do not buy. So, what is the difference between features and benefits? How do you articulate that difference?

Product or service features are facts -- they are just there. There is no real value or judgement attached to them. They simply exist. For example, the product is blue, it's a certain size or shape. Another example: The store is open 24 hours.

The most important thing you want to remember about features is: Nobody cares!

Your customers are buying benefits. They are saying to themselves, "What's in it for me?" "What will this do for me?" "What will this do for my company?" "How will this affect my bottom line?" "How will this affect my employees?" "How will this affect customer relations?"

People buy for their own reasons, not for yours. And people buy because they believe that the product or service will get them what they want. And what they really want is a Big Benefit.

Customers and clients want what they want; not what you think they may want or should want. They have their own reasons for buying. You may have to help them identify those reasons, but they will be theirs, not yours.

Here is an easy way to identify benefits:

Make a list of all of the facts/features of your product or service. Don't think about it, evaluate it or judge it. Just list them.

Once you have that list, go through the list item by item, putting yourself in your prospect's shoes. Say to yourself (as your prospect), "What's in it for me?"

Then, write down the answer. Once you have done that, you should have a compelling list of customer-centered benefits. Once you have that list of benefits, it will be easy to make your prospects and customers understand what's in it for them.

Source: Sales trainer/author Wendy Weiss

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
"We have put together an extensive loyalty communications package, including a loyalty bonus for all customers, and we talk to customers on an ongoing basis either via direct mail or events," says Mike Colleran. Saab last week was in Aurora, Ohio for the annual Saab owners convention, and the company has been wooing Saab-fan bloggers who wield enormous influence. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The start-ups selected will be given the opportunity to execute a pilot project with PepsiCo brand teams. PepsiCo has partnered with venture capitalist firm Highland Capital Partners and social media publication Mashable, and will connect some entrepreneurs with other business partners, including OMD Ignition Factory, TracyLocke, DMG::Events and Weber Shandwick. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"In the short run, these word-of-mouth clients are more valuable because of higher margins," Christophe Van den Bulte, a professor of marketing at Wharton University and one of the authors, tells Marketing Daily. "And in the long run, they are more valuable because there is less churn." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The effort uses an application called the Campus Connector through which students can decorate a virtual dorm room with Sears products. Through the application, students can shop for products such as bedding, appliances, electronics and bath essentials, and place them in a virtual dorm room to be shared with others. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
It will support the Facebook game with ads. It's just one piece of an integrated campaign that includes TV, cinema ads, online lifestyle/engagement sites, print, customer relationship marketing, a music tour and The campaign is likely the last from longtime Mazda agency Doner, which had the estimated $150 million account since 1997 and developed the "Zoom-Zoom" tag. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Given the huge popularity of cooking channels/shows and Americans' current propensity to eat at home more often to save money, the poll results may point to an element of necessity versus enjoyment, and a preference for "watching others cook" versus having to actually cook oneself, observed Harris. ...Read the whole story >>

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Beware of the Social Media Experts

I've been a presenter at a few conferences on Social Media and Marketing and I cringe at being called a guru or expert for one reason:

No one is an expert or guru on such a new and expansive subject.

Was Ben Franklin an expert on Electricity? Not by today's standards.

There are people who are good at certain niche's, and there are those who are good at looking at the big picture, and I've discovered very few who can do both.

I prefer the big picture approach, because I can always find someone else who can work out the technical details for me.

Now, on the subject of Viral Videos, check out this from MarketingProfs:

Shooting Down Three Myths of Viral Marketing

The word "viral" has become synonymous with social-media success, writes Ian Greenleigh in a post at ReputationOnline. "It's even showing up on business cards." Some of the professional titles Greenleigh has recently seen: Viral Brander, Viral Marketing Planner.

But the companies that assign these titles "don't understand social media," Greenleigh asserts. In short, no one "creates" viral content, he says, and "no amount of blood, sweat or tears can make something 'go viral.'"

In his Anti-Viral Manifesto, Greenleigh lists the assumptions he says need to be shot down regarding viral marketing. Among the myths:

If success is repeatable, there is a formula for creating successful content. No there isn't, Greenleigh states: "Normally, it doesn't even matter if the second piece of content bears any resemblance to the [successful] first, [what matters is] that it is marketed to the same network," he notes.

Content is king. "Not really," he says. "If whatever you're sharing is great, it will be shared more. But if it's not so great, and you have an existing fan base, it will still get traction." What matters most is the "kingdom" you create with your customers, he says—based on long-term CRM.

Good guys finish last. Wrong again. Service wins over sensational in the long run. People who "work hard to build networks of brand advocates still see ROI from their efforts," Greenleigh concludes. "They know that all the metrics involved in supposedly calculating viral-ness don't mean diddly if they can't point to results that mean something to someone."

The Po!nt: Trusted content beats viral content over time. When you are viewed as a trusted content provider, Greenleigh says, "your network will do the heavy lifting once you give them something to spread."

Source: ReputationOnline. Read the full post.

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New Ad Campaigns

Amy's on vacation this week, Phyllis Fine fills in:

Honda's Mr. Opportunity sings in Italian. Cats sing in English. A mythical Frenchman creates a better mayonnaise. Let's launch!

Honda's Mr. Opportunity sings in Italian. Cats sing in English. A mythical Frenchman creates a better mayonnaise. Let's launch!

"Uninspired by the condiments of his day," Colonel Pierre FrenchLastNameI Couldn'tCatch determined to create a better mayonnaise. "So he sailed up to a fine fluffy cloud and brought back a big pinch of it," which later became the recipe for Blue Plate Mayonnaise. Or so says one of the two entertaining animated spots that attempt to create iconic status for the brand (which I for one have never heard for), both ending with the tagline "Spread the legend." Second ad is all about the time sandwiches, called "blandwiches," were on the verge of extinction -- who knew? -- until our heroic product came in to save the day. Watch the spots here and here. Agency is The Richards Group.

I don't quite get the central metaphor in this VitaminWater spot: "Some people treat their body like a temple. I treat mine more like an amusement park." The idea is illustrated very literally by showing a tiny woman juxtaposed against a much larger shot of the product. Woman is doing various circus-clowny things, from walking a tightrope to riding a unicycle. Creative was handled by Zambezi. Media agency was Starcom MediaVest Group.

Target recently launched nine 15-second spots in the latest incarnation of its "Life's a Moving Target" campaign. In my favorite, a man on a cell phone looks at first one, then the other Target candy aisle as we hear a woman's voice ask, "Could you get me something sweet... or salty... no, sweet... actually, salty..." When the camera cuts to her we see that of course, she's pregnant. The featured product, M&M's Pretzel, neatly solves the sweet/salty dilemma. See it here. "Let's put the fish in friendship" begins the silly song sung by animated fish -- in a commercial inside a commercial for Friskies Seafood Sensations being avidly watched by a gray tabby (who resembles my own cat Joey -- but then, most tabbies look pretty much alike). See it here. Meanwhile, the treadmill Vitaminwater Zero spot, which features pounding feet and the treadmill's time indicator slowly advancing from one second to another, was almost too lifelike in its evocation of the tedium that is the gym. See it here. Then there's the Target brand tissue spot, with the guy crying while watching a dramatic moment in the movie "Rudy" on TV, here, and the brother wrapping his sister in Cottonnelle toilet paper, here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

If you're a cat person, you know that folks often assume you'll welcome any gift with a feline image tacked on. Still, sometimes it's hard to be thankful when my mother-in-law gives me the latest cat present, usually something for the kitchen (thankfully, not clothing). That's the way I felt -- mixed -- about the first entry in the new national Quiznos campaign featuring the "Singimals": three cats all dressed up in what look like high school band uniforms, wearing weird blonde wigs on their heads, singing (and playing band instruments) to celebrate Quiznos' new $5, $4, $3 value menu. Cutest part is the paw holding up a sign that says "Toasty." Check it out here. The campaign will also feature an online contest where consumers can upload their own versions of the "Singimals" song for the chance to win a $5,000, $4,000 or $3,000 cash prize. Agency is WONGDOODY.

Honda goes to the opera in one of its latest Mr. Opportunity spots. Scusa, that's "Signor Opportunity," who comes onstage to save the day by singing news of the Honda Clearance Event, after an agitated soprano tunefully bemoans the loss of her golden opportunity. Yes, it's all sung in Italian (with English subtitles), and hilariously over-the-top. See it here. (Am I hallucinating, or is the first phrase the soprano sings, translated as "Alas," really a distinctly non-Italian one: namely, "Oy, vey"? Or is there an Italian equivalent that sounds like Yiddish?) RPA handled the creative and the media buy.

Random iPhone app of the week: With StayHIP, the first bookable app for boutique hotels, mobile users can search by city name, price, or keyword (for example, "contemporary, luxurious, urban") and view rates and availability in real time. The "Hotels Near Me" feature instantly finds the nearest boutique hotels using guests' GPS location. Developed by TRAVELCLICK and Mobiata, the app is now available at the App Store and for Android.

Regularly scheduled Out to Launch columnist Amy Corr is on vacation this week.

Phyllis Fine is columns editor for MediaPost.

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6 Lessons from A Cab Ride

Jim Meisenheimer:

Chubby The Cabby

Chubby the cabby - has what it takes to be successful in business.

Have you ever gotten into a taxi that was dirty, so much so you
were afraid to touch anything?

Have you ever gotten into a taxi and had to deal with the driver's

Have you ever gotten into a taxi and the driver didn't speak
English which made getting to your destination nerve-racking?

Look, we've all had these experiences.

Here's a taxi experience that will make your day and also serve
up a lesson on how to be successful in business.

Craig Soling, one of my newsletter subscribers, sent this to me
and I want to share it with you.

Craig says, "I recently attended a national conference in Chicago
Illinois. I live in a northern suburb of Chicago and decided to
commute each day. I have a friend who lives about 1 mile from the
convention center, so I decided to park my car at his place and
walk to the convention hall.

On the second day, I was exhausted from being on my feet and a
full day of meetings. So I decided to take a cab back to my car.
It was a great decision!

As soon as I got into the taxi I was greeted with enthusiasm. The
driver said, "welcome to my cab, you just made the best choice of
your day, I speak English and I truly believe in the power of
positive thinking and positive attitudes."

Craig was instantly intrigued, not to mention not so tired anymore.
The ride was quick, but I stayed and talked to my driver for another
15 minutes.

For every question I asked, he had a well thought out response.
He wasn't a driver, he was a salesman!

As soon as I stepped into the cab, the driver began making the
sale for my next ride, without directly talking about it.

And it worked. I got his name and telephone number side note on
the phone number, when I asked for his business card, he told me
he doesn't have them because people just throw them away. He told
me to get out my cell phone and he would wait until I programmed
his name and number.

In Craig's e-mail to me he said he hoped I would enjoy this story
and obviously I did.

Craig recommends that if you're ever in Chicago, give Chubby the
Cabby a call for your transportation - you'll enjoy the ride!
Chubby 773-392-1114.

Thanks Craig for sharing this with me. Here are some of the
lessons I learned.

1. Enthusiasm makes a difference!

2. Deal with the problems up front - "I speak English."

3. Be positive in everything you do.

4. Ask people to program your name and telephone number when
you're with them.

5. Ask for the business.

6. Be different.

The next time I'm in Chicago I'm calling Chubby the Cabby!

He's got what it takes.

Got a motivating story to tell?

Send it to

See my Blog here:

Twitter me here:

Facebook link:

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

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
"We are not a stand-alone destination -- our locations are about 1,200 square feet, on average, and typically located within strip malls," explains exec Evan Evans. "But as mom-and-pop operations, we can take marketing to a much more personal level than a typical pizza chain or QSR. That personal touch takes us out of the 'chain' equation in consumers' minds, making us part of the community." ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Notably, Microtel Inns & Suites ranked first for a ninth consecutive year in the economy/budget sector. Drury Inn & Suites ranked first for a fifth consecutive year in the mid-scale limited-service segment. Hilton Garden Inn ranked first for a second consecutive year in the mid-scale full-service category. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"The overall tone was a little surprising, and very upbeat," Alison Paul, Deloitte's vice chairman and retail sector leader in the U.S., tells Marketing Daily, "with 8 out of 10 expecting to spend the same or more. Consumers told us they would buy some more expensive items, including PCs and cell phones, and we believe that is the result of their not having bought those things for two or three seasons." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The latest element of the campaign, "The Right Tire Changes Everything," borrows a theme that is common these cash-strapped days in other segments of the after-market business. It is not that often one sees it in the tire segment, though, where the focus is usually on safety, fuel-economy benefits, weather benefits, and performance. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"The real question was, 'How far had he fallen?'," Steven Levitt, president of the Q Scores Company, tells Marketing Daily. "The answer is, he fell quite a bit. The speculation is that it's not going to get better soon, if ever." ...Read the whole story >>

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Are You Upselling?

Barry Labov started as a musician and jingle writer and evolved into creating an agency that focuses on working with businesses that have dealer networks. Volkswagen is one of their major clients and they are located here in my city Fort Wayne, along with a couple of satellite offices elsewhere.

Besides knowing Barry and a few members of his team, I also keep an eye on their blog.

Check out this piece from earlier this month and click here for their website.

Asking (again) for the sale

A regional drive-through car wash I frequently visit does a great job in a number of areas like marketing and attention to detail, like putting a bag over your rear wiper so it doesn’t end up like a projectile from the movie “Twister.” But the one thing they’re really good at is asking for the sale—even after I’m sold. I have a book of coupons for the basic wash, but without fail, the friendly guy or girl says, “Looks like a little bit of brake dust…it’s just $2 for the Wheel Bright.” It’s my guess that those two dollars (asked for consistently) mean the difference between having a thriving car wash enterprise or going out of business.

– Jim

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Too Many Hoops?

I recently worked with a local advertising agency that was running a contest for a client that involved giving away a free iPad.

A nice idea, but I think the main message of the campaign was lost by the distraction of the contest because there were too many hoops for respondents to jump through.

Drew wrote about this going on in his town..

Is the juice worth their squeeze

Posted: 20 Jul 2010 03:05 AM PDT

Let's face it, we're a lazy people. The idea of actually getting up to change the TV channels or hand crank open a car window is almost offensive to us.

We are used to our conveniences. And we don't expend a significant amount of effort without getting something of note in return. And yet, we seem to forget this human truth when concocting some of our marketing efforts.

As you are crafting a new campaign or gimmick that you hope will go viral -- always ask yourself, is the juice worth the squeeze for my audience.

Ciro3_drewmclellan Let me give you an example. These photos are the pizza box top from a place called Ciro's. It's a fun idea and an eye-catching, almost handwritten design. Here's what they want their customers to do:

  • Cut out Ciro from the top of the pizza box (Scissors, a knife, exacto blade?)
  • Carry Ciro around with you until you go someplace interesting
  • Have a camera (or cell phone with a camera) with you and remember to snap a photo of yourself and Ciro
  • E-mail them the photo so they can put it on their wall

Ciro2_drewmclellan What's in it for you? A free pizza.

For a poor college student, this is probably just the thing to do on a Friday night. Especially after a couple beers. God only knows where Ciro has appeared.

But for a busy mom or harried business guy ordering pizza from his hotel room, probably not going to happen. A free pizza just isn't worth the hassle.

Whether you want your customers to fill out a survey, prospects to play a scavenger hunt, or want to try some variation of the drive them to a website, 800 number or bounce back card -- always remember that you need to make the reward worthy of the effort.

And not everyone will judge that through the same lens. So decide who is most important to you and design the reward for them. Hopefully Ciros wanted to capture the college crowd.

What do you most marketers ask themselves this question before launching a new initiative?

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Excuse Me?

Found this in an email from last year:

Drop the Excuses
by Tony Cole

In 'today's economy', we all have a built-in, ready-made excuse to not hit sales goals. Let me state here that I am not denying the economy does make it difficult to sell. It, however, does not make it impossible. Surely someone in your market is selling. It starts with how you think, not what you do.

The market did not disappear. It shrunk. It slowed down. It isn't what it used to be 18 months ago. But the market is still there.

I have a prospect on the east coast that told me they don't have money to spend on salespeople. I have a new client on the west coast that committed $200,000 to kick off a program this month. It will last a year. I promise you their industry is suffering as much as any other.

What is the difference? One is using a convenient excuse.

Take a minute or two to analyze your business and find out what you have to do differently to get results. Ask yourself: If I didn't use that as an excuse, what would I be doing differently? I promise you, it will make all the difference in your results this and every year.

Tony Cole is President and CEO of Anthony Cole Training Group. As a former educator and university coach, Tony helped individuals improve their game not by 'running faster' but with significant and tactical behavioral changes. After 10 years in direct sales and sales management, Tony began to ignite that fire with other firms in 1993. Learn more at his site.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read, especially if you are on FourSquare and there is a Chili's in your town, the last story:

by Tanya Irwin
"This is a natural extension of that campaign," Lay's Linda Bethea tells Marketing Daily. "Instead of just telling our farmers' stories, we're actually bringing the farm to you." The farmers are really excited to be part of the marketing campaign, she adds. "They have such pride in what they do. For them to be able to go on the road and share that passion with people is just a wonderful thing." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Hispanics are also not as debt burdened as the general population. Despite half of Hispanics saying they own their own home, more than half (51%) said they have never taken out a loan for a house or a condo, and 50% said they're not comfortable taking on large long-term debt. One of six said they send money to someone in another country nearly every month or more. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While the décor was seen as somewhat more downscale, it was also warmer than Walmart's, which is "cold and crisp at the same time," with digital signs and SmartTV displays coming across as impersonal, they write. "Walmart was so clean that it became almost sterile and so uniform that it turned almost faceless." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Although the brand is serving as Mobility and Sustainability partner of the 2012 London Olympics, much of the USOC efforts will be off-season, with local efforts, fund-raising and cause-related programs to generate additional funds to support the training of Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
James Dale, president of Panache Imports -- also parent of Alchemia vodka and Alibi Bourbon (and originator of the 42 Below vodka brand that was acquired by Bacardi in 2006 for a reported $91 million) -- says Wódka and its marketing thrust had been in development for three years, and were more or less ready to roll when the recession presented the perfect climate for the launch. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Madison Square Garden has extended its deal with Anheuser-Busch. It joins several brands like Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola as "Signature Partner," which gives A-B access to teams that use the Garden as home base (the New York Knicks and New York Rangers), the MSG television networks, online channels, and in-arena signage. ...Read the whole story >>

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We're not THAT old...

My wife and I are both in our 5th decade of life and we're not slowing down...

Research Titan Claims Demographic's Retirement Upends Old Notions, Younger Consumers Are Losing Dominance

Get ready: Nielsen is once again trying to challenge one of the industry's oldest chestnuts -- that consumers over 50 aren't worth the expense to target.

The measurement-and-data giant is out to prove that it is advertisers' continued focus on younger customers that's out of date, thanks to a massive and aging population of baby boomers as well as changes in consumers' lifestyle sparked by new technology.
Nielsen is in for a tough battle. Any number of parties have complained over the decades about marketers' obsession with youth.

Consumers over AARP age often have more money saved and can spend more on items other than food and groceries, but marketers maintain that reaching younger consumers, particularly those between the ages of 18 and 49, is more important. The logic? That group usually hasn't committed to a favorite toothpaste or window cleaner, while older folks have -- and won't have their minds changed by a TV-ad blitz.

Nielsen wants to change those perceptions and it's got numbers on its side. Its researchers believe consumers over the next decade will have fewer children, leading to smaller households and fewer young consumers to lure. A rough economy will lead to those smaller young families spending less, and smaller salaries for younger generations known today as "Generation Y" and "Millenials."

Indeed, as the baby-boom generation retires and grows old, America is likely to have a larger older population and a much slower-growing young one, suggested Doug Anderson, Nielsen's senior VP-research and thought leadership.
"There will be a huge number of people over the age of 65, 75, and 85 over the coming decade. We've never had a population this big this old before," he said. "This is not something that demographers and anthropologists have tons of models sitting around that they can talk about. We as a species have never had this many older people before. It's new ground."

There is some interest. In May, NBC Universal and Procter & Gamble launched a group of websites under the rubric "life goes strong" and aimed at catching boomers' fancy. Topics include technology and health. "With this property in particular, we're enabling advertisers and brands to reach a powerful demographic with an annual spending power of $1 trillion," Rich DelCore, director-branded entertainment at P&G, said in a prepared statement at the time.

Most times senior citizens are still seen in ads selling life insurance or denture cream, yet the older person in the U.S. in the next decade is likely to be anything but helpless and in the market for more than just financial help and medications.

According to Nielsen, baby boomers in 2010 account for approximately 38.5% of all dollars spent on consumer package-goods such as diapers, toothpaste and laundry detergent. They account for 40% of customers paying for wireless services and 41% of customers paying for Apple personal computers. And while brand alliances are often thought to be established when a consumer is in his or her 20s, changing technology has unleashed a steady spate of new devices and gadgets that are new to all consumers.

With older folks having salted money away and younger consumers expected to find income shrinking over the next decade, "targeting older consumers makes sense because you might be reaching more of your consumers" with the pitch, said Pat McDonough, Nielsen's senior VP-planning and policy analysis.

These aging boomers could also establish new behaviors, said Nielsen's Mr. Anderson. Boomers are accustomed to advertisers meeting their demands, and have always been so, he suggested. As such, they may be less brand loyal than the elderly of the past. This generation also drinks more heavily than previous post-retirement consumers. "Alcohol is a bigger part of their lives,"he said. "They aren't going to just stop."

To be sure, there are business dynamics in place that make the pursuit of a generation of consumers previously thought useless to marketers more crucial than in eras past. TV advertising was founded on reaching the demographic of consumers between the ages of 18 and 49, yet the median age of viewers of prime-time broadcast TV is nearing 51 -- two years above that age range.

To maintain relevance to advertisers, the big networks need to find a way to establish the relevance of older consumers if they want to continue to draw the marketers that support TV so heavily.
"There isn't a single media-content company that won't face this, and the same is true for mass marketers," said Alan Wurtzel, president-research and media development at NBC Universal.

The hope is that advertisers will grant new consideration to the older demographic as baby boomers, the generation that has set consumer attitudes by dint of its sheer mass, moves off the radar screen currently established in the advertising industry. While baby boomers are leaving the demographics that have been favored by advertisers for decades, said Mr. Wurtzel, "their value is actually increasing in many ways and no one has noticed it. For many years, we all got along with it.

Now what everyone is seeing is that a very significant portion of the audience is leaving the group, the Nielsen group that is counted."
Thanks to their wealth and the rise of new product categories, he added, the generation could maintain its importance. "These guys are changing. They are not behaving the way people would normally think" they should, he said. Old dogs learning new tricks? If older consumers do act in this fashion -- and continue to do so for the next decade -- advertisers may have to adopt a few new methods as well.

(Source: Advertising Age, 07/19/10)

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Talk to Me Like a Grown-Up

Hey, I turned 50 a few months ago, and ever since my birthday arrived, I've been getting bombarded with ads that are so off base...

Uh, no, I'm not ready to move into an assisted living center, and a free meal won't persuade me to listen to your investment pitch. I'm too busy with my family, work, career, business and life in general having fun.

And I also don't want to relive my youth. I'll let my kids live their youth...

Mediapost featured a story about this:

Excitement Or Peacefulness?
I don't have to tell you about the incredible marketing opportunity that is the 45-65 consumer in America today. You know those numbers inside and out.

And therein lies the problem. Yes, the numbers are great. In fact, the numbers are amazing and incredible and stupendous and shocking and undeniable.

So what.

That seems to be the reaction from anyone and everyone outside of the sphere of people that spends any time perusing Engage:Boomers. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's a huge group with lots of money and they're going to live a really long time, blah, blah, blah blah. Tell me something I don't already know."

Okay, how about this?

That huge group with all that money? They can't hear you. They don't hear you. They're not going to hear you. And this has nothing to do with their ears.

There is a widely held misperception of the 45-65 consumer that penetrates almost all facets of mainstream marketing and communications. That misperception?

Anyone over 50 wants to be 30 again. "Everyone I know who is 45 or 50 or 60 says they still feel 30. My advertising is targeted at 30 year olds and I know that my media buy delivers loads of the 45-65 group too, so what's the problem? I'm covered."

I hear it from clients and I hear it from people in advertising. In fact, the only people I don't hear it from are the people over 50.

Why? Because the little known fact is, they don't want to be 30 again. Not at all. Not ever.

They've been there. They've done that. It was great, but that was then and this is now. And now they're not just older, they're also a lot smarter. Wiser. Hipper. Cooler. They've been around the block a time or two and they know a lot more about who they are, what they like and, perhaps more importantly, who they aren't and what they don't like.

Now, don't get me wrong. Plenty of people over 50 would like to have the skin or the knees or the hair of a 30 year old. But the one thing they would never want again is the brain of a 30 year old.

And last time I checked, marketing and advertising talks to our brains.

So all that marketing that's targeted at 30 year olds may be reaching the 50 year olds but it might as well be written in Portuguese for all the effect it has on the 50+ audience.

We respond differently, because we think differently than we did when we were in our 20's or 30's or even our 40's.

But don't take my word for it.

Last year, Stanford Graduate School of Business released a study on age and the meaning of happiness. Yes, happiness. As in, what does happiness mean to you if you're 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 or 60.

The highly intelligent people at Stanford studied 2,600 blogs. They read them looking for clues as to how different age groups wrote about the good things happening in their lives. How did they write about the things that made them happy?

The results are fascinating, but they wouldn't surprise anyone over 50. Drum roll, please.

The study found that people in their 20's, 30's and early 40's tended to equate happiness with excitement. As in "I'm so excited, I'm starting a new job" or "I had such a great weekend, I went to the wildest party with a rockin' DJ."

On the other hand, people in their 50's and beyond equated happiness with peacefulness. As in "I had such a great weekend, my wife and I had the house to ourselves, just the two of us for two straight days." Or "My new role at the company makes me feel like the years of hard work are really paying off." Or "Sailing makes me happy because it's just me and the ocean."



Two words that would most definitely change the direction of the advertising if either one was included in a creative brief.

The advertising should be exciting.

The advertising should be peaceful.

The difference is practically black and white.

And here's the most important part of this peek into the psyches of the 50+ group. That wild party with the rockin' DJ? Not only do we look at that and think, "Been there, done that," we actually look at it and say, "I wouldn't go to that party if you paid me."

The same goes for advertising. If your ad is truly targeted at the group in their 20's and 30's, you're making a critical decision. You're not just saying your brand is all about the younger group, you're also very clearly saying that your brand is not for the older group. You're saying, "Ignore this ad," to nearly 100 million consumers. You're saying, "Don't buy our product," to the group with the most disposable income on the planet.

And maybe that's what you want. The choice is yours. Just know that you are making it.

With partners Nancy McNally and David Page, Brent Bouchez founded Agency Five0, dedicated to messaging and content for the 50+ consumer. Bouchez has worked at Chiat/Day Los Angeles, Ketchum Los Angeles and Ammirati & Puris New York. He was founder and president of M&C Saatchi New York, Chief Creative Officer at Bozell New York and Founder of Bouchez Kent + Company. His clients have included BMW, Nike, Bank of America, Nikon, and many other major brand names. Reach him here.

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from the TalkingMediaSales blog:

In the early 1900s, Reverend Russell Conwell* earned $5 million by giving the same speech, which he titled “Acres of Diamonds,” more than 6,000 times to audiences across the country.

His speech told the story of a farmer who sold his farm so he could travel overseas searching for diamonds. After a lifetime of searching, he returned home penniless, having never found treasure.

In the meantime, the man who purchased the farm noticed one day a sparkle in the stream running through the property. He waded into the water and found – a diamond!

Turns out, the farm was sitting on one of the world’s largest diamond mines, which made the new owner rich beyond his wildest dreams.

The point of Conwell’s speech: you can find a fortune literally in your own backyard, if you just take the time to look for it.

The reverend concluded his talk by telling listeners: “Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas. They are in your own backyard if you but dig for them.”

Isn’t this so true of salespeople? The pursuit of new clients, day after day, when the real ones are actually right in front of us.

Lapsed clients, clients who have been neglected by reps who now only work with just a few of their clients on their list, leaving literally millions of dollars sitting there waiting. If only we were to approach them.

This lesson was taught back in the early 1900’s and is still true today.

So go and check out your diamonds.

Good Selling

PHOTO CREDIT - jurvetson

* Source – Wikipedia

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