Saturday, October 23, 2010

Classic Ad of the Week

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What's the Right Price?

The new economy is here to stay for awhile:

When 50 Percent Off Just Won’t Do

When it comes to wooing wary shoppers, many retailers are playing the percentages.

Campaigns for stores, from giant chains to mom-and-pops, are promoting sales that are frequently expressed in percentages off from regular prices. Twenty or 25 percent off, once considered a hefty discount, is practically nothing nowadays, as most consumers must be enticed further to open their wallets or purses.

How willing shoppers are to shop is important as retailers approach the start of the crucial Christmas season. To prime the pump, ads are routinely proclaiming savings of 50, 60 and even 70 percent off. In some instances, the discounts are going as high as 85 percent.

Some retailers are subtracting atop subtraction by offering an "extra" percentage off merchandise, typically items that had been marked down earlier.

For instance, Bloomingdale's, part of Macy's Inc., promoted in newspaper ads on Sunday "an extra 30 percent-40 percent off" the reduced prices on clothing, handbags, accessories and jewelry for "a total savings of 40 percent-75 percent off original prices."

The Macy's division, not to be outdone, advertised in circulars a "fashion clearance" with "an extra 40 percent off already reduced prices for a total savings of 50 percent-80 percent off original prices." That was along with a clearance on home goods with an additional 30 percent off the previously cut prices "for a total savings of 40 percent-75 percent off original prices."

Although retailers are managing inventories and margins better than during the recession, there are still "a lot of sales and promotions," said Mariana Sanchez, chief strategic officer at Saatchi & Saatchi X in New York, a unit of the Saatchi & Saatchi division of the Publicis Groupe that specializes in shopper marketing.

The purpose of what seem to be "amazing discounts" is to offer "some trip-driving items," Ms. Sanchez said, meaning merchandise that would spur someone to shop a store and, the merchant hopes, also buy some items at full price.

There are shoppers who enjoy "comparing the circulars, clipping the coupons," she added, because they see it "almost like the sport of shopping, the hunt, as they're in the pursuit of what they want for a better value."

When such consumers make their purchase, she said, "they feel like they’ve won."

Despite the prevalence of the tactic, reducing prices by large percentages is still effective, Ms. Sanchez said, particularly as consumers become accustomed to discounts.

Sometimes, retailers vary the sales approaches so as not to wear out their effectiveness. One popular tactic is a "bogo," short for buy one, get one, as in a deal to buy an item -- at regular price or on sale -- and get a second item at, say, 50 percent off the regular or sale price.

There are also percent-off savings that are pegged to spending a minimum amount of money. A recent ad from Bloomingdale's offered an extra 15 percent off to shoppers who bought up to $1,999.99 worth of furniture and mattresses. For those whose purchases totaled $2,000 or more, the discount was 20 percent.

J. C. Penney occasionally offers a twist on the so-called door-buster sale with two tiers of percentage-off discounts based on time of day.

For example, early birds who shopped from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a recent Saturday received 70 percent off gold jewelry, 60 percent off men's outerwear and 50 percent off women's boots. After 1 p.m., the discounts declined to 60 percent off the jewelry, 50 percent off the outerwear, and 30 to 40 percent off the boots.

The risk in cutting prices by percentages is that it could confuse some customers. Penney has adopted what the company calls a "clear pricing" policy.

In stores, signs on displays and tags on merchandise display the prices to be paid after subtracting the discounts. Circulars advertise the policy this way: "The price you see is the price you pay! No math required."

At the same time that retailers are demonstrating how eager they are to discount, many are also trying to burnish their brands with image campaigns that run separately from sale ads.

For instance, Lord & Taylor introduced on Tuesday a campaign to promote the renovation of its flagship Manhattan store, on Fifth Avenue and 39th Street. The campaign describes the overhaul, with a wink, as "The ultimate face-lift."

"Promotional messaging is something we do," said Amy Avitabile, senior vice president for marketing at Lord & Taylor, referring to percentage-off sales, "but our primary communication for this month is this campaign."

"We spent the last year renovating this building, and we’re excited to tell our customers about it," she added.

The goal of the campaign "is to get some attention on the brand" to reach those who do not shop at Lord & Taylor, Ms. Avitabile said, as well as "to validate for existing customers that they knew the secret of Lord & Taylor before it got out to everybody else."

The campaign includes shopping bags along with ads in magazines and atop taxi cabs, and on phone kiosks and buses. The campaign is being created internally and by Lipman, an agency in New York.

For Christmas, Lord & Taylor plans an image campaign centered on the word "share," Ms. Avitabile said, to be expressed in ways that will include "share tradition, share memories, share the warmth of cashmere."

(Source: The New York Times, 10/11/10)

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Starting Fresh

I recommend Jill Konrath and her newsletter and her books (I have both of them)

Here's her an email she sent this week:

Jill Konrath-Fresh Sales Strategies

Wow. 2010 is rapidly drawing to a close. For many of you, it's been a tough one. Setting up meetings with potential customers requires a gazillion calls. Decisions seem to take forever. Hot prospects suddenly disappear into a black hole.

In the past few months, I've heard these same challenges repeatedly as I speak to sales organizations across North America.

Many sellers are just plain stuck. They don't know what else they can do. Others are going back to the basics. But with today's frazzled customers, that only creates more problems.

Remember, crazy-busy people don't think or react normally. That's the key.

It's time to learn new strategies. Check out today's article on why you need to start calling on people who AREN'T ready to make a decision. Now that's a fresh thought!

All my best,

Jill Konrath |

#1 Amazon



two chapters

Get it at your
favorite online retailer

Now on Kindle

NEW Sales
Stimulus Package

Self-Study CD Program


Did you download two chapters of SNAP Selling yet? If not, go here to get them now:

Something Authors NEVER Do: I'm so confident that SNAP Selling will have a major impact on your sales, that I'm removing all risk for you.

If you buy the book, apply the strategies in it for six months and don't see results, I will send you a check to cover your costs. Me. Not the bookseller. Me, personally.

Special Launch Goody: Send me your SNAP Selling receipt and I'll send you my Winning Sales Question eManual as a bonus. ($77 value)

Creating Fresh Sales Opportunities
By Jill Konrath, Author of SNAP Selling & Selling to Big Companies

There's nothing I like better than engaging prospects when they're NOT thinking of making any changes from the status quo.

This may seem counterintuitive or perhaps even like sales heresy if you've spent your career chasing prospects who are already in the buying mode. After all, they already have money in the budget for your product/service and are actively looking for new options.

So why would I recommend chasing "non-lookers" versus the tempting low-hanging fruit? Lots of reasons:
  • The incumbent is sleeping.

    Since dislodging the status quo is always your biggest sales challenge, you want to slip in under the existing provider's radar screen.

    By bringing in new perspectives that help prospects better achieve their objectives, you gain a foothold in an otherwise impenetrable account. The incumbent's failure to do so creates a credibility gap for them and opens the door for you.
  • Your competitors aren't around.

    If you do things right, you can prove your capabilities, demonstrate your expertise, and establish a strong relationship long before any competitors enter the scene. They'll be playing catchup from the start. And, in most cases, they'll find it extremely difficult to close the gap.
  • You set the playing field.

    By bringing new ideas, insights, and information to your prospect, you help determine the criteria against which future "go-ahead" decisions will be judged. This gives you a chance to best position the strengths of your product, service, or solution.
  • Sales cycles get condensed.

    When you leverage your expertise to help customers sort through everything that has to be considered to make a change, their decision-making process go faster.
  • Customers often love you.

    Okay, I don't mean literally. But if you've ever had someone show you a better way, then made it simple to implement it, you know what I mean. That's how I feel when I visit the Apple Genius Bar, where tech gurus show me how to solve seemingly insoluble problems on my computer.
As you can see, there are many good reasons to get engaged with prospective customers earlier rather than later. Plus, you won't find yourself constantly fighting pricing battles.

So start thinking about pursuing business with those non-lookers today. But don't talk about your products or services. Your prospects are only concerned about their objectives or eliminating the barriers that stand in the way of achieving them.

Keep your focus on that and the possibilities are endless!

Planning Your Upcoming Sales Meeting, Kick-off Event or Conference?


Working with today's crazy-busy prospects presents a whole new set of sales challenges.
  • It's tough to get in when you can't make contact with anyone.
  • It's tough to get them to change when the status quo is easier.
  • It's tough to get chosen when they can't differentiate.
New strategies are needed today. Jill's highly interactive, content-packed sessions focus on helping sellers crack into new accounts, speed up sales cycles and land big contracts.

Just send an email to to get Jill scheduled in for your meeting.


Want to use the above article in your publication or on your website? If so, please include this bio box at the end of the article:

Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, helps sellers crack into new accounts, speed up sales cycles and land big contracts. She's a frequent speaker at sales conferences.

For more fresh sales strategies that work with crazy-busy prospects AND to get four bonus sales-accelerating tools, visit

Also, we'd appreciate it if you could let us know when & where it will appear.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
The creative, via London-based Leagas Delaney, features photography of scenarios meant to inspire awe around themes of exploration and achievement. The new positioning will include a series of billboards in New York's Times Square, as well as in central locations in Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Sears says it wanted to offer credit-shy customers more financing options. "The monthly payment plan is a smart shopping solution that makes it more affordable for customers to pay for large purchases," it says in its release. It claims the new plan now gives it more payment options than any other major appliance company. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
"These young adults are finding their place in the world, and looking for products that can help communicate what they stand for," says Nick Tabbal, SVP research for Resonate. "Many define success as growing and maturing as a person. And they tend to view brands as a means of expressing themselves, which is good news for brands." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
J.D. Power and Associates has tapped five consumer trends emerging from the social media commentary it has been studying as part of its new digital trend-spotting division: more mobile adoption, scaling back on purchases, looking for high quality/low price, sense of empowerment and reopening the front door to junior. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"Because those are in so many homes, it's showing that young people, in particular, are starting to turn to those as an entertainment center within themselves," David Tice, Knowledge Networks' vice president and group account director, tells Marketing Daily. "Since the new generation of systems comes with Internet capability, things have been made much easier in terms of getting content on them." ...Read the whole story >>

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Social Media & Customers

from the Wonder Branding Blog:

Small Businesses Whomp The Big Boys At Social Media Marketing

Posted: 20 Oct 2010 07:00 AM PDT

It looks like marketers are getting a handle on how to effectively use social media tools.

A new report commissioned by Network Solutions and the University of Maryland identifies a shift in thinking about social media and what kind of business opportunities are available.

E-Marketer provides an excellent chart, showing what marketers expected social media to do for their business, and the modified results of what actually happened.

Surprise, surprise – businesses find that social media has been very effective in staying in touch with current customers, and has strengthened employee relationships internally.

Acquiring new customers within their target demographic? Not so much.

The bonus comes for small business owners, who recognized the “loyalty factor” of social media very early on, and are gaining the most from staying in touch with current customers through dialogue and word-of-mouth.

This is an excellent sign that social media for business is gaining traction. It also means that many new apps will develop in the coming years – keep your eye on the horizon.

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Can you handle the Truth?

In Fort Wayne, a new radio station was launched last week that stirred up some hoopla with their new name, "The Truth", a conservative FM Talk radio station.

But the real truth is not political, it is simply being honest.

Check out this insight from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Inviting the Truth

The main reason prospects suddenly vanish is that they're uncomfortable telling us the truth. They don't want to disappoint us, or they don't want to feel sales pressure from us. So keeping us at bay just feels better.

And we can't really blame them. How often have they been called and called, chased by salespeople who hope to wear them down?

Or how often has your own boss said, "Call them back and get the sale. Why is it taking so long?" Your boss blames you, and you feel that you're not very good at selling anymore. So now you have to put pressure on your prospect. And of course this only makes things worse.

This happens every day. We're stuck in that endless cycle of chasing prospects, trying to get them to respond to us. And the more we press, the more they run.

But the opposite is true, too. The more we relax and simply invite the truth, the more straightforward they'll be with us. Prospects feel okay sharing what's really going on when they know we're okay with hearing it.

The only way to discover the truth is to communicate in a way that helps the other person feel comfortable telling you the truth. What you don't want is for them to think you're calling just to make the sale.

Remember, prospects will trust you and reveal what they're thinking only if they feel like you're on their side.

Source: Sales consultant Ari Galper

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
Dunkin' Donuts has signed a deal to make Celtics All-Star guard Ray Allen spokesperson and the face behind a New England-market, season-long iced coffee marketing campaign, "Caught Cold." Allen will appear in television and radio commercials and participate in promotional appearances. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While Levi's expected the data to substantiate Gen Y's much-discussed free-spiritedness, Mary Alderete, VP/global women's marketing, tells Marketing Daily, she was a bit stunned by just how little they care about a traditional path. Only 68% say becoming a mom is a priority, 50% say getting married is, and just 43% ascribe much importance to getting rich. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"People have been saving, and I believe they've been saving for larger purchases," IBM retail analytics leader Michael Haydock tells Marketing Daily. He adds that the proliferation of Internet-connected devices has moved from a "nice to have" purchase to "must have" products. "The idea of connected devices has become a requirement. It's no longer something to put off purchasing." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
While Americans' growing propensity to consume more meals at home is well documented by now, preparation trends point to relatively static amounts of stovetop -- and even microwave -- cooking currently going on in our kitchens, according to long-term data from The NPD Group's ongoing National Eating Trends research. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Karl Greenberg
Farmers' effort, which includes TV, involves a semi-fictive "University of Farmers" overseen by Prof. Nathaniel Burke, played by character actor J.K. Simmons. The national campaign, by RPA and Tool of North America, makes fun of educational films, beginning with TV ads that started late last month, touting Farmers insurance agents as the best trained in the business. ...Read the whole story >>
by David Goetzl
ESPN has cut a second deal that changes the lineup for the annual top college football bowl games. The Rose Bowl, sponsored by Citi for years, will now have flat-screen TV maker Vizio as its nameplate backer. Starting in January and running through 2014, the bowl is the "Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio." ...Read the whole story >>

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy:

Make your Frankensteiner come alive. Popcorn reenacts famous movie scenes. Let's launch!

Allstate launched two new TV spots starring "Mayhem," also known as Dean Winters, an actor I remember best from "Oz." These ads are great. I can't get enough of them. "Lawn Game" launched last week, with Mayhem playing the role of a son riding a sit-down mower and listening to a football game. Unable to multitask, Mayhem rides the mower onto a sidewalk of small rocks that ricochet into a home, shattering every window. Dad's car and sailboat also receive Mayhem treatment. See it here. "Quarterback" shows the rise of a high school fourth-string quarterback to starting QB. He's also a transfer and unfamiliar with the school's layout. So he leads his team into a crowded street, and not the football field. A distracted driver takes down a trio of parked motorcycles. Watch it here. Previous Mayhem ads include Winters as a deer eating leaves one minute and becoming road-kill the next; a random windstorm; a cute jogger with pink weights and headband who sidetracks a driver; a teen girl driving a pink SUV who receives a disturbing text; and a lawyer that freaks out while driving (he purposely spills hot coffee in his crotch), causing a driver to hit him. Keep the Mayhem coming. Leo Burnett created the campaign.

Mother is clearly an agency that doesn't stress out about moving offices. The agency mingled with its new neighbors by creating faux storefronts at Mother's new digs. The first was a seller of rare animal hot dogs. Panda meat, koala bear, sea turtle and orangutan, anyone? No endangered animals were served to pedestrians. The next storefront offered cosmetic surgery for pets. The general consensus was the store was better suited for the West Coast. Then there was an insect funeral home that takes care of business when a moth dies. Last came the transsexual moustache clipping business, with a variety of moustache styles. Watch the video here or visit Mother's new office in Hell's Kitchen.

Burger King wants guys to offset their stupid with some smart and keep certain confessions to themselves, unless you're into awkward moments. Anyone plucked out of the "Jackass" franchise could have starred in "Ball Machine," where a guy stands dangerously close to a baseball machine doling out pitches. He bought a BK breakfast burrito for $1 to offset his stupidity, but he's hit in the chest before eating it. See it here. A man admits to enjoying a BK-stuffed steakhouse and trying on his roommate's clothes after he leaves. Creepy. Watch it here. In the director's cut of "Jorts," the BK-loving guy still has the hots for his oblivious roommate. He's wearing his crush's jorts and stroking them lovingly. See it here. Crispin Porter + Bogusky created the ads, directed by Brian Lee Hughes of Skunk.

McDonald's is bringing a little New York to Hong Kong. Happily, it's not the smell of hot garbage. It's yellow cabs and a Chicken Bacon Deluxe, part of the brand's "M Selections" line of sandwiches. Promoting the sandwich launch is a fleet of New York yellow cabs that will pick residents up and bring them to a McDonald's, free of charge. Customers will also be given a coupon to sample the CBD. The service is running until Oct. 23. A TV spot promoting the sandwich features two grown men greeting each other like teenagers, with a signature handshake. I haven't seen teenagers dole out handshakes like this in ages, nor have I ever heard of a CBD sandwich stateside, but I'm rolling with it. Take note of the portion size in the ad. I'm lovin' that. See the ad here and picture of a cab here. The Hong Kong offices of DDB, Tribal DDB and OMD made this campaign happen.

Another day, another video game ad that impresses me. This one comes from Xbox 360's "Fable III," on sale Oct. 26. "Revolution" takes place in Albion, 50 years after the events of "Fable II." A corrupt king is about to be dethroned, thanks to a new leader that enlisted citizens to help him fight. A statue of the king is destroyed, reminiscent of Saddam Hussein's statue toppling. Add the tune "Young Men Dead" from The Black Angels, and you're left with an entertaining 60-second ad. See it here. "Revolution" launched October 14 on Spike, Comedy Central, MTV, ESPN, Adult Swim and TBS, among others. agencytwofifteen created the ad, with visual effects handled by Psyop.

Pop Secret and the Kernel family are back to pay homage to another movie. Previously, it was "The Dark Knight." This time around, it's "When Harry Met Sally." I expected the brand to play off Meg Ryan's infamous scene in Katz's Deli. I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn't. It's New Year's Eve and a guy (an animated popcorn kernel) is home alone, watching "When Harry Met Sally." His roommate sees this and is about say something when Mr. Sentimental recites Billy Crystal's famous last words: "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody..." only to have the sentence completed by the macho roommate: "you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." Both popcorn kernel guys pop, and then vow never to mention the moment again. See it here. Ads are running on ESPN, USA, TBS, TNT and Lifetime networks. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created the ad, with animated handled by Nathan Love.

On Friday, Sony Electronics debuted Sony Internet TV, which gives users the ability to watch HDTV, surf the Internet and enjoy apps on one screen. Oh, and it's powered by Google. Supporting the launch is "Big Screen," a 60-second ad that brings people outdoors to experience Sony Internet TV on a giant screen. A massive tweet is sent from the screen, urging people to travel downtown and interact with the TV and other onlookers. People are watching "Jeopardy," then looking up an answer on Wikipedia. Add a cute dog video from YouTube, a movie off Netflix, a soccer game, and conclude the day by being on the 10 p.m. news. See the ad here, created by 180LA.

My Frankensteiner is alive! Kayem hot dogs launched a Web site that allows visitors to design and customize their own hot dog. Just think of the calories you're saving. Users can select a variety of conventional and unconventional hot dog toppings, from hot sauce, mustard, ketchup, guacamole, cheese, coleslaw, salsa, bacon, gravy and onion, among other goodies. Add as much or as little of each topping you want, then flip the switch and share your creation with friends. The VIA Group created the site.

Random iPad App of the week: Dexter Morgan is an app. Mark Ecko Entertainment created a game starring Showtime's serial killer/blood spatter analyst in Miami. Dexter kills murderers who cannot be brought to justice through a court of law. The game allows players to aid Dexter in selecting his next victims, while making sure he's not caught. Gamers can also help Dexter with his day job, which is both fascinating and legal. The game is 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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Are you an Animal?

from my email archives, this piece from Harvey Mackay:

Lessons from the animal kingdom

By Harvey Mackay

The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. It's a remarkable feat to observe -- so effortless and graceful, a real defense mechanism necessary on the predator-filled savannas.

But put these magnificent creatures in an enclosure in a zoo surrounded by just a three-foot wall, and the animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will land. They will be killed rather than risk the unknown.

Many humans share these characteristics. They thrive in familiar territory, doing what they know is safe and comfortable, but they won't take any risks for fear of failure. They would rather watch opportunities pass them by than jump over the wall.

And then there is the barnacle which makes one single and lasting decision about where it's going to live. After it decides, the homely little creature spends the rest of its life with its forehead cemented to a rock or attached to a ship. It survives by capturing food with its feathery legs and fending off predators. Not a glamorous existence, to be sure.

Again, parallels can be drawn to human behavior. Some people will attach themselves to a job or company with no intention of doing much other than eating or being eaten. Even if I were stuck on a luxury yacht, I know I'd get bored in a hurry.

Have you ever wondered how a little stake in the ground attached to a chain can restrain a four-ton elephant? These powerful creatures must be trained to stay with their keepers. For the first few days they are in captivity, the elephants are tied to bamboo trees with heavy rope. After trying unsuccessfully to free themselves, the animals give up, and can be restrained thereafter by a rope anchored to a small stake.

Certainly the stake is no match for the elephant's power, but these largest of land mammals have learned to be helpless. Chances are you've worked with a few elephants, who won't leave their comfort zone even though they have plenty of strengths to protect them. Their spirits are broken and they step back at the least resistance.

Of course, we can also learn plenty of positive lessons from animal behavior.

In the 1930s, a leading zoologist concluded it should be impossible for a bumblebee to fly. That is because its size, weight and the shape of its body are all wrong in relation to its total wingspread. Fortunately, no bumblebees have ever studied aerodynamics so they just naively keep on doing what they should logically be incapable of doing.

We work with people like that too. They buzz around, doing the seemingly impossible without giving it a second thought. No explanation for what they are able to accomplish: they just do what needs to be done, and along the way, they pollinate ideas and make them grow.
Watch a duck navigate across a lake. It looks so smooth and steady, floating along, like a postcard from the north woods. Look under the surface, and observe how hard the webbed feet are working. Then look at the wake the duck leaves behind. A ten-pound duck, less than a foot wide, opens up an angle of at least 40 degrees, with ripples extending more than 50 feet. The duck has left its mark--more than 600 times its size!

This poem, "Plain Old Oyster," attributed to David Cohen, really captures what a determined spirit can achieve:

There once was an oyster, whose story I'll tell
Who found that some sand, had gotten into his shell
It was only a grain, but gave him great pain
For oysters have feelings, although they are plain.

Now, did he berate the harsh workings of fate
That had brought him to such a deplorable state?
"No," he said to himself, "Since I cannot remove it,"
I'll lie in my shell, and think how to improve it."

The years rolled around, as the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate destiny ... stew.
Now the small grain of sand that had bothered him so,
Was a beautiful pearl all richly aglow.

This tale has a morale, for isn't it grand,
What an oyster can do with a morsel of sand?
Think ... what could we do, if we'd only begin,
With some fo the things that get under our skin.

Mackay's Moral:
Even the turtle knows you have to stick your neck out to get ahead.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
Biz Stone said he agreed to be featured because he viewed the "fun" script as a way to "do some myth-busting about Twitter." (He also told The Wall Street Journal that the money earned would go to a nonprofit that he and his wife are setting up to support causes such as arts, education, health and the environment.) ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"In the beginning of our relationship with the NBA a few years ago, people were surprised to see Kia, but now we do not see that. We have a strong presence; people see us as a regular part of the game. It has boosted brand image, purchase consideration, positive opinion of the brand and elevated the Kia brand into the mainstream. It's a great way for us to increase share of voice in a sport that is on the upswing." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
A 30-second television spot that made its debut this week showcases two fighters squaring off, and then taking their bout to other exotic locales. The commercial ends with the fighters appearing in the Strikeforce league arena, with the tagline, "The world of MMA has never been bigger." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
By beefing up its social presence through events like this, its digital ad programs, and use of Facebook, "we're hoping to increase our connection and presence and expand beyond traditional print. We know how much time the plus-sized woman spends online, and we know how passionate she is about finding clothing that fits and looks good." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
In conjunction with the release of the game on Nov. 9, Jeep will produce a limited-edition 2011 Jeep Wrangler called "Call of Duty: Black Ops Edition." That kind of 3D realization of a 2D Jeep is a first for the company, but a spokesperson for Jeep says another first is the fact that the division will support the game and the limited edition with advertising. ...Read the whole story >>
by Wendy Davis
The Federal Trade Commission's upcoming report about behavioral advertising will include suggestions for how online ad companies can better protect consumers' privacy, but won't recommend that Congress enact new laws, commission member Julie Brill said on Tuesday. ...Read the whole story >>

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10% Doesn't Cut It

Last week I was reading a listing of "Senior Specials" that some area businesses are offering to attract new, mature, customers.

And ever since I turned 50 late last year, they think I'm ready for some "Senior Specials".

It was a bunch of bull.

It's that these businesses aren't really thinking with their hearts, they're thinking like accountants.

10% off Carpet Cleaning

10% off Auto Service

10% off Custom Golf Clubs

10% off Shoe Repair

The business that advertise these silly 10% off offers is looking at how much they can afford to lose by doing business with that old man or old woman. 10% isn't too painful for them.

10% off is stupid. I can negotiate a better deal by simply asking.

And is offering a lower price to old people going to attract new customers that will help you grow your business?

Older people are wiser than that.

I want my carpets to be really clean, and I'll pay a reasonable price.
I want my car fixed right, otherwise 10% off is still a waste of my time and money.

Get the picture?

Here's Roy H. Williams to really drive it home:

Left Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

I’m going to explain a sophisticated ad-writing technique to you today, but I have confidence you’ll understand it perfectly.

Learn to incorporate it into your writing and your ads will produce better results, generate more comments and make people smile.

Tight-asses will criticize you, of course, but hey, they’re tight-asses.

We’ll begin with a couple of examples from a flyer I edited recently for a fish market that donated $500 to help finish the tower at Wizard Academy. The flyer offered a complete fish dinner for 4 for just 39.95, including gourmet salads and side dishes. When I finished my revision, the last 2 points made at the end of the meal description were these:

Fresh-baked homemade bread.
(Be sure you’re sitting down when you take your first bite.
This bread is so amazing that people have been known
to pass out from the sheer wonderfulness of it.)
You got questions? We got Answers,
and much better fish than you’ll find at the grocery store.
No pesticides, No growth hormones, No color added.
Fish so healthy you’ll live forever.
The left hemisphere of the brain wants facts, details, descriptions and benefits. Lefty is all about sequential logic and deductive reasoning. Lefty looks for loopholes and discrepancies and is full of doubt.

But the right hemisphere cares for none of that. The right half of the brain is where fantasy lives.
And Righty doesn’t know fact from fiction.

If you merely exaggerate, your customer’s left brain will shoot your claims full of holes. But if you go beyond mere exaggeration – so far beyond it that the left brain knows you’re just clowning – the right brain will happily embrace your glowing fantasy in all its positive glory.

This is the technique:

Open with 2 or 3 quick jabs of fact:

1. “fresh-baked”
2. “homemade bread”

Then hit the right brain with everything you’ve got: “Be sure you’re sitting down when you take your first bite. This bread is so amazing that people have been known to pass out from the sheer wonderfulness of it.”

Again, 2 or 3 quick jabs of fact:

1. No pesticides,
2. No growth hormones,
3. No color added.

Then electrify Righty with an impossible dream: “Fish so healthy you’ll live forever.”

Yes, we’re speaking to the unconscious. We don’t need the customer to believe our silly, over-the-top promise. They don't even have to think it’s cute.

All they have to do is hear it.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is deep branding.

One last benefit of this technique is that Right Hooks often become “word flags” that are repeated by smiling customers. As they place their orders, they’re likely to say, “Make sure you give me some of that bread that makes you pass out!” And as they lift their fish dinners off the counter and turn to leave the store, they're likely to smile again and say, “Fish so healthy you’ll live forever.”

You gotta love it when customers quote memorable lines from your ads.

Anyone who has been in advertising longer than 10 minutes knows that saying, “Mention this ad and receive 10 percent off,” doesn’t work.

My theories are:

1. It makes people feel like Oliver Twist asking for another bowl of porridge.
2. Customers fear they’re going to mention the ad and some mouth-breathing employee is going to say, “What ad?” If they answer, “The ad that says I get ten percent off for mentioning it,” they risk Mouth Breather saying with a snort and a sneer, “Nice try.” Or worse, MB throws his head back and shouts across the store, “Ralphy! Do you know anything about an ad that says this guy gets ten percent off?”

Play it safe.
Plant a word flag with a Right Hook. Customers mention word flags because it’s fun; a moment of friendly connection that’s guaranteed to make 3 people smile:

1. The witty customer who repeats the line.
2. The happy advertiser who hears it, and
3. The above-average writer who wrote it.

Be that above-average writer.

Roy H. Williams

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Aim for the Problem

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Don't Aim Too High with Cold Calls

Just because you can make a cold call on a mover and shaker doesn't mean that you will get the sale.

Research shows that the most successful salespeople don't call at higher levels than their less successful colleagues. The best salespeople start their calls at the level where the problems are, which is generally lower in the organization.

Once they understand the prospect's problems, they may move up the ladder if it's necessary to close the sale.

Source: Wesley Forcier, president of the sales and marketing firm Alpha Marketing

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Sarah Mahoney
People seem to be taking "baby steps toward a new normal," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay says in its release. "As Americans open up their wallets for more discretionary gifts like jewelry or take advantage of sales to buy for themselves, retailers will begin to truly believe that the worst may be behind them." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Aaron Baar
"This campaign has been a year in the making. They are nothing if not deliberate in terms of what they are," Mike Gray, president of Martin/Williams, tells Marketing Daily. "The inspiration for the campaign is financial pragmatism. It's an answer to the mess we've just come through. When you step back and look at what we've been through, it was an amazing opportunity to express this." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
In the spot, the lawyer learns she is promoted to partner in her African-American-owned law firm. When the president of the firm tells her to take the day to celebrate, she heads out to her MKX, and uses MyLincoln to call a friend awaiting her at a yacht party. She uses different voice-control functions to make calls and play her favorite songs, finally picking up her soccer husband from practice. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"Perishables has been the one area where Target has struggled most," Jon Hauptman, a partner with Willard Bishop, a retail consultant in Barrington, Ill., tells Marketing Daily, "so it will be very interesting to see how they do. The success of their food offering will be based on how well they adjust their perishables." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Domino's will expand on the quality theme with a new "Behind the Pizza" microsite, to go live on Oct. 29. The interactive site will feature the "real stories" and behind-the-scenes footage from the farms that help supply 10 of Domino's' ingredients. Users will also be able to play games and earn points toward Domino's rewards, which can be shared with friends. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The company's activities start with the Kia NBA Tip-Off '10, where the automaker will hold assorted activities to celebrate the start of the season. They include sponsorship of two two-hour television shows on ESPN. The first, "Countdown to Kia NBA Tip-Off" was Sunday. Next Sunday will bring the second of the shows. ...Read the whole story >>

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Should You Handle Your Own P.R.?


If you're willing to do the work.

Today the work involves using social media in the way that social is the most effective, as a communication tool. And by communication, I mean two-way communication.

It's what I do and it has lead to all kinds of good things which I'll go into more detail one day.

From MarketingProfs:

How to Become a Newsmaker

When you're ready to position yourself as a media resource, says blogger Nettie Hartsock, you can hire publicists who pitch your expertise to journalists—or you can start making news at your blog. "The media is constantly sourcing blogs and the experts who write them to feature in both online and offline news stories," she writes. "Almost every single cable news show incorporates experts who are identified only by their blog or website." Further, she notes, the AP has announced it will now credit bloggers in news stories.

According to Hartsock, media outlets and bloggers enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. "Offline and online publications will assume that if you're quoted in a story, you will also link to that story on your blog, Twitter, Facebook etc. and that will help drive more readers to the media publication itself," she notes. "It's a win-win."

So how do you become a newsmaker? Hartsock has this advice:

  • "Be ahead of the stories of the day and offer your expert opinion via your blog before you're asked to," she suggests. Make an interesting argument, offer an unusual angle and demonstrate your expertise. Don't forget to write clean, quotable copy that's snark-free.
  • Give your posts titles with a newsy hook. "Look at the headlines on major media sites," she says, "and use the same form for some of your blog posts." A title should communicate the post's basic premise and whet a reader's appetite for what she will find once she clicks on the link.

The Po!nt: You've been pitching the media all this time—now let the media come to you.

Source: Nettie Hartsock's blog. Click here for the full post.

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Staying Motivated in Challenging Times
by Dave Kahle
Sales is an emotional roller coaster, and unless you figure out how to manage those emotions and keep yourself motivated, you'll have a difficult time succeeding. This is particularly true during a downturn. The economy struggles and unemployment rises. Many companies cut back, there are fewer jobs available, and pressures to perform are greater than ever. It's easy to lose our motivation.

However, even though the world around us may be dreary and depressing, that in no way reduces our personal need to do the best we can. That means we all have a responsibility to stay motivated.

It is amazing what a difference a few degrees of attitude adjustment can make in our performance. Try this little exercise. Tell yourself these things: "Business is terrible. All of my customers are struggling. Nobody wants to see me, and when they do, it's just to complain." Now wallow in those thoughts for a moment, and note how much energy and enthusiasm you have.

Now, think the opposite: "I have great opportunities. My customers need me more today than ever. I have valuable solutions for them. It's a great time to have this job." Roll those around in your mind for a while. Note how much energy and enthusiasm you have.

As you reflect on this exercise, it's clear that your energy, enthusiasm and drive to succeed come as a result of your thoughts. Here is one of the most powerful truths known to mankind: You can control your thoughts.

Going beyond "Positive Thinking"
Succeeding in difficult times depends a great deal on our motivation. Staying motivated requires us to take charge of our thoughts.

I've heard dozens of salespeople say, "I've tried positive thinking. It just isn't me." I agree that it is difficult to patch a bunch of positive thoughts on top of an essentially negative personality. The issue is deeper than that. Let's, therefore, examine the deeper issues.

At the heart of motivation lies a pair of powerful beliefs that you must embrace if you are going to successfully motivate yourself. Without a wholehearted commitment to these foundational beliefs, all the techniques and tactics for self-motivation are like spreading wallpaper over crumbling plaster. It may hold temporarily, but it is soon going to deteriorate into a mess.

Here's the first foundational principle: You must believe that you can do better than you are now doing. The second is this: You must accept that it is your responsibility to do so.

It's simple and commonsense, but, the more I observe people and salespeople specifically, the more convinced I am that the majority of people do not share these core beliefs. Rather, they are in the habit of making excuses for their situation. They believe fate, not their actions, determines their success. They believe success is for someone else, not them. They never really grab unto the first of these foundational principles.

Others believe that they can achieve greater degrees of success. They embrace the first principle, intellectually, but they never internalize the second. They become content with their situation and remain in pre-established comfort zones. They look at their manager as the person who is responsible for their success, or lack thereof. Maybe it's their parent's fault or their spouse's, or... the list goes on.

Whether you are struggling with a lack of energy that accompanies a bad day, or you're depressed and frustrated with your lack of progress on a larger scale, examine your core beliefs first. If you really accept these two principles, you have the keystone in place to become highly motivated.

Having said that, here are a couple proven techniques you can use to keep yourself motivated day-to-day.
Have a Compelling Purpose
Have something you are working to accomplish. This can be an important and compelling goal like saving enough money for a down payment on a house. When you are working toward something like that, your emotions of the moment tend to be a lower priority than your drive to achieve. If you are trying to make money for a home for your family, so what if you're tired or depressed? You get out and do it.

The same is true for having a compelling purpose. I believe that every salesperson should be able to articulate clearly his or her purpose in life. I once began a ten-week sales training program with a requirement that everyone write a two-sentence "life purpose." Why? Because it gives power and focus to everything you do. In your job as a salesperson, there will many difficult times when things don't go your way. You may lose a big deal, or be unable to get anyone to return your calls. At times like these, it helps to view them within the context of a larger perspective: your life purpose.

Choose Your Thoughts
Proactively put positive thoughts into your mind. Make a point of taking charge of your mind and the kind of thoughts you choose to think. Wise and thoughtful people for ages have discovered an extremely powerful principle: Your actions arise from your thoughts, and you can choose your thoughts.

Controlling and managing your thoughts is one of the basic tenants of Zen Buddhism, for example. In the Christian context, the apostle Paul said, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Philosophers, educators, and thinkers of every generation conclude the same thing.

But the power of this truth is not reserved just for philosophers. Salespeople can use it as well. The reason you may feel depressed or anxious is because you are thinking depressing or anxious thoughts. Change your thoughts, and you can change your feelings. Change your emotions, and you can change your behavior. Change your behavior and you can change your results. It's not as difficult as it may sound.

Take Action
Do this: invest in a couple of audio programs filled with good, positive stuff, or find something at the local library. As you drive between appointments and on your way home from work, listen to those tapes or CDs. You'll find yourself thinking positive thoughts. Those positive thoughts will lead to a more positive attitude. That attitude will manifest in more focused actions. Those actions will lead to better results.

There is no limit to the amount of positive, educational material available to you. If you are not regularly exposing yourself to some of this, it is because you are choosing to not be motivated.

Succeeding in difficult times requires you to take charge of your motivation. Now is the time to take this most important step to becoming a true professional.

Dave Kahle has trained tens of thousands of B2B salespeople and sales managers to be more effective in the 21st Century economy. He's authored seven books and presented in 47 states and seven countries. Visit his site here. This article is excerpted from Top Dog Recession-Busting Sales Secrets.

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