Saturday, December 04, 2010

Classic Ad of the Month

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Stop & Focus

I know, I know... it's one of the busiest times of the year, right between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

But you and I need to do this.

From Marketing Profs:

Protect Profitability: Start Each Day With a Mission Statement

"Many business owners have dutifully written their vision and mission statements, working hard to craft statements with impact and importance," writes Marla Tabaka at Inc. "But what happens to those statements?"

All too often, they're shuffled out of sight—and out of mind. In Tabaka's experience, many clients can't articulate a mission statement; often, they've simply forgotten what they wrote in the first place.

So how can you regain—and maintain—a laser-sharp focus on your company's raison d'être? Tabaka recommends this three-step process:

Define your true and full vision. Almost everyone starts a business with the purpose of turning a profit, but you might have additional humanitarian or environmental goals. "Certainly this isn't true for everyone," she notes, "but don't negate the importance of your higher purpose if you have one."

Use imagery to communicate the big picture. Sometimes a written statement isn't enough. Tabaka suggests the creation of a poster board that keeps your mission front-and-center with drawings, photos or collages. "Too often the rewards connected to our goals get lost in the passion and dream of carrying out our mission," she notes. "Give yourself permission to include meaningful symbols of the rewards you seek; money, travel, fame, respect, or whatever is important to you."

Make your vision a daily reality. Take a few minutes each morning to ponder your visual mission statement. "Still your mind and gaze at your images, allowing your body and mind to feel and live your success," she advises.

The Po!nt: Focus. To achieve your goals—especially in tumultuous economic times—stay true to your purpose by keeping it at the front of your mind.

Source: Inc.

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Thankfulness

Great Stuff from Harvey:

Say thanks to your employees

By Harvey Mackay

Don MacPherson is co-founder and President of Modern Survey, a human capital measurement company which, among other things, conducts employee engagement surveys. Their research has shown that recognition and appreciation is the top driver of employee engagement.

Perhaps it seems elementary, but Don says if you want employees who are fully engaged, you need to ensure they are recognized when they do great work and that they know you appreciate their contributions to the organization.

Don is so convinced of the importance of his findings that he takes his own advice to a high level. "One of the ways I let our employees know how much they are appreciated is through my Thanksgiving routine," he says. "It is by far my favorite day of the year to work. I get to the office by 8 a.m. and start calling each employee.

"During those calls I let them know how thankful I am that they choose to spend their days at Modern Survey. I mention at least one special contribution they have made to the company over the previous few months. I let them know how much I am looking forward to doing great things with them in the months and hopefully years ahead. I want them to know I am so grateful they are a part of our team that I am willing to work my holidays for them. It makes for an exciting and emotional morning, and I always feel fulfilled once I have made my last call."

Then Don goes a step further.

"After I am finished calling each employee, I call clients, my closest friends, and my immediate family members," he said. "I thank the clients (mostly on voicemail) for their support and loyalty. My friends and family are thanked for being a part of my life and for helping make me who I am."

I wonder if Don makes it home in time for Thanksgiving dinner! For the record, Modern Survey has 23 employees, making his session relatively manageable. But it's the creativity and the personal touch that intrigue me.

Employee recognition is a fundamental concept in successful companies. Thanksgiving is a very appropriate time of year to express your gratitude for loyalty, hard work and a positive attitude. Holidays present a terrific opportunity to thank employees -- but they certainly aren't the only time of year to let your staff know what their efforts mean to the company.

Recognition consultants Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, authors of "The 24-Carrot Manager" and "A Carrot a Day," say recognition is most effective when it is:

  • Positive. Managers should not use recognition events as "a time to talk about how far someone has come, or how they could have done even better." Keep comments positive.
  • Immediate. "The closer the recognition to the actual performance the better."
  • Close. "Recognition is best presented in the employee's work environment among peers."
  • Specific. "Point out specific behaviors that reinforce key values."
  • Shared. "Recognition that means the most often comes from peers who best understand the circumstances surrounding the employee's performance. Peers, as well as managers and supervisors, should be able to comment during the presentation."
Let me add a few lessons from my own experience. Recognition doesn't have to be costly or elaborate. A hand-written note is a rare commodity in most businesses today, but it's one of my favorite ways to let staffers know their dedication is appreciated. Acknowledge the "little" things -- an employee whose can-do attitude sets a positive tone, the person who never sees a setback but a new opportunity. Celebrate group efforts too -- as I like to say, "The boat won't go if we all don't row."

Perhaps you've detected a theme here. As a manager, you are only as effective as the people you supervise. These are not mere employees working for you; they are people who can find other places to work if they feel undervalued.

Don't assume employees know how much you appreciate their efforts just because they still have a paycheck. Never waste an opportunity to say thank you.

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:


Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
The partnership also gives Porsche a History-produced miniseries comprising 60-second vignettes called "Porsche: Decoded." The vignettes, running in the show's advertising pods and online, examine Porsche history, design, iconography and legend. The Cayenne also gets star billing in the vignettes. ...Read the whole story >>
Retail
by Tanya Irwin
Both Kantar and ICSC attribute the gains to promotions. Other factors that resulted in a bump were easy comparisons (back-to-back November declines in 2008 and 2009), colder-than-normal weather, aggressive post-Thanksgiving marketing and a recovering economy. ...Read the whole story >>
Entertainment
by Aaron Baar
"Social media has become a bigger part of what everyone's doing, and EA Sports has been at the forefront of what consumers are doing," David Le, director of marketing for EA Sports, tells Marketing Daily. "Especially with a game like NBA Jam, where it's so social, nostalgic and 'pick-up and play,' we think there's a genuine excitement about that game." ...Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
"They are already offering competitive leases, 0% APR for 15 months and customer cash, so there's not a lot more they can do," says Edmunds.com's Jessica Caldwell. "They are losing the edge from the days when people would just buy a Toyota, no matter. There's a lot more hesitation." ...Read the whole story >>
Food and Beverages
by Karlene Lukovitz
Given that so many meal purchasing decisions are being made before consumers hit grocery stores, retailers and manufacturers have a significant opportunity to become "ingrained" in the planning and shopping cycle by helping consumers address meal-planning challenges, stresses Ann Hanson, NPD executive director of product development and author of the report. ...Read the whole story >>

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Trend Watching 2011 Part 1

from Drew:

2011 trends (part 1 of 4)


106595940 Our friends at trendwatching.com spend all day, every day, tracking, watching and anticipating trends that will impact us as consumers, as business leaders/owners and certainly as marketing professionals.

They just released their top 11 consumer trends for 2011. Rather than try and shove all 11 into a single blog post, I'm going to break them up into bite-sized posts and dig in that way over the next few days. Easier to digest!

I've added a question or two after each trend -- to get you thinking about how you could capitalize on it.

1.Random acts of kindness: Consumers’ cravings for realness, for the human touch, ensure that everything from brands randomly picking up the tab to sending a surprise gift will be one of the most effective ways to connect with customers and prospects in 2011, especially beleaguered consumers in North America, Europe and Japan.

Question re: trend #1: This is really about surprising your customers and prospects. How could you build in (they don't happen accidentally) a little bit of delight?

What could you do in a seemingly random fashion (like Southwest's enthusiastic flight attendants) that would generate some word of mouth buzz and make your customers feel special and appreciated?

2.Urbanization: Urbanization remains one of the absolute mega trends for the coming decade, with about the global population currently living in urban areas. Urban consumers tend to be more daring, more liberal, more tolerant, more experienced, more prone to trying out new products and services. In emerging markets, these effects tend to be even more pronounced, with new arrivals finding themselves distanced from traditional social and familial structures, while constantly exposed to a wider range of alternatives.

Question re: trend #2: The interesting part of this trend to me is the idea that people are longing for traditional social structures but moving away from them. As humans, we need to belong.

How could you create a sense of shared interest or goals among your customers? Could you give them something to band together around? Maybe this is where your charitable giving comes into play? Could you create a cause marketing "family" that holds your customers close to you, like Avon has done with with their breast cancer efforts?

3.Pricing Pandemonium: Mobile devices and social networks allow consumers to constantly receive targeted offers and discounts, even at the point of sale from a rival brand, as well as join interest groups. Brands should target consumers with offers and features such as instant mobile coupons and discounts, online group discounts, flash sales, and dynamic pricing based on real-time supply and demand.

Question re: trend #3: Okay...I'm going to buck the trend a little on this one. What if instead of bombarding your customers with coupons and deals (which always makes me worry that they're going to wonder why you haven't done that before) you create a secret place for where only your best customers (who of course will tell everyone they know) can access special deals?

Remember how much we all love feeling special, being in the know and being able to demonstrate that we're among the elite. Could your pricing strategy take advantage of this trend combined with those human truths?

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Fear

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Using Fear to Your Advantage

Great salespeople have fear. The difference is that the best are fearful of not being the best, or not winning. Struggling salespeople are fearful of losing.

The real question is not "Are you fearless?" The real question is, "How are you going to use your fears to make you better?"

The next time fear has you, try the following:

1. Name something that you were fearful of that you absolutely didn't get through. We get through everything.
2. Develop a plan B and take action immediately. Have plan C ready to go if need be.
3. Recognize what your mind and body does when fear pays a visit. Invite it in, and then invite it to leave.

Greatness is about going where no others will go -- don't try to tell me there's no fear attached to that. The key is to recognize and use your fear so that it becomes your friend.

Healthy fear tells us we're on the edge of a breakthrough. We're in the right place doing the right thing. That's a little different than letting fear own us.

Source: Sales consultant/executive coach Chuck Mache

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:


Restaurants
by Karlene Lukovitz
At the end of its first year, marked in early November, the new rewards program, driven with the one-to-one marketing capabilities, has exceeded all targets, including new membership/activation and sales goals, and email open/read rates that are beating the industry averages. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The campaign for PediaCare, which was developed by Portland, Maine-based Via Group, includes TV spots with a hand-held camera feel intended to evoke home movies. No parents are shown -- only the kids, and the camera remains stationary. The TV spots were directed by John Budion, who has experience with straight-on shots of kids, as he did the E*Trade ads featuring babies with grownup voices. ...Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
Ford reported a 24% increase over last November for its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands versus a year ago, with Mercedes-Benz reporting its best November since 2007, and Subaru reporting its best November ever. One analyst says it reflects higher incentives and a stronger economy as well as pent-up demand. ...Read the whole story >>
Airlines
by Tanya Irwin
In comparison, JetBlue had 428,387 Facebook fans at press time, United Airlines had 163,160 and American Airlines had 96,546. The airline has been involved in social media for five years, says Southwest Airlines' VP/communication and strategic outreach Linda Rutherford. "Through this effort, we've identified what our customers want, what we're doing well, and how we can improve." ...Read the whole story >>
Technology
by Aaron Baar
"It's very metaphoric about security software," Natalie Sezerino, director of consumer product marketing at Trend Micro, tells Marketing Daily. "We set up the bad guys to represent 'pain points' and they get to be the hero that overcomes them." The game supplements an advertising campaign the company launched earlier this year, positioning its Titanium Maximum Security product as "security that won't slow you down." ...Read the whole story >>

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy:

Chic bus shelters. Oversized props at train stations. The joys of commuting. Let's launch!


1AIDES, a French-based organization fighting the social injustices endured by those living with AIDS in France and Europe, launched a powerful TV spot coinciding with World Aids Day. Viewers hear the story of Victor, an 85-year-old man who's lived a full life. The setting is a hospital, where Victor's voiceover retells significant life accomplishments via home movies, beginning with recent milestones and working backwards: becoming a grandfather, father, learning to longboard, running the NYC marathon, meeting his wife and starting his own business. The saddest part of this story is, not a word of it is real. At 20, Victor contracted AIDS through unprotected sex. He reflects upon a life he could have had, but knows he will not. Absolutely heartbreaking. "Protegez-vous" (protect yourself), closes the ad, seen here and created by TBWA/Paris.

2I know the holiday season is upon us by the massive influx of red coffee cups from Starbucks. In case you missed them, the brand launched a TV spot reminding consumers of its line of holiday drinks. I've missed you, peppermint mocha. Oversized snowflakes take over New York. In actuality, they're snowflake kites flown by throngs of people. Those not kite flying are drinking Starbucks treats. The spot ends with kites getting stuck in a tree and the line, "you know when the holidays are here." The music played throughout sounds like Bon Iver, but it's actually "Snow Day" by Matt Pond PA. Watch the ad here, created by BBDO New York.

3Martini & Rossi launched its first TV campaign in a decade. When a beautiful woman maneuvers the streets of Rome carrying a gaggle of gold balloons, people get out of her way. A waiter moves a table, a couple unlock lips, a tailor stops working on a dress. Just when you think the woman has the ability to walk on water, a man rows her to her final destination: a rooftop party. Balloons are distributed to partygoers, and once the sparkling wine is uncorked, the balloons are set free, morphing into wine bubbles. "Let go" closes the ad, seen here and created by David & Goliath.

4If bus shelters looked this good, people might enjoy commuting more. Absolut Vodka transformed Chicago bus shelters into quirky installations inspired by print elements from Absolut Vodka's "Drinks" campaign. Click here to see my coverage of the print campaign. Actresses Kate Beckinsale, Ali Larter and Zooey Deschanel appeared in print elements; Beckinsale and Larter resurface in bus shelters equipped with psychedelic seats and lemon trees. See the bus shelters here, here and here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York.

5After watching Tassimo's TV spot, "Brewbot Beats," I wonder how many people actually think the machine doubles as a dancing robot? Aside from that, a cute portrayal. Way happier than my Keurig. The Tassimo Brewbot can brew a bevy of drinks, ranging from coffee, cappuccino, espresso and hot chocolate, among others. Illustrating this is a machine that comes to life, dancing and serving its entire array of drink options. "Seven different beverages. One smart little bot" closes the ad, seen here and created by Being.

6The final spot in the Nissan Juke trilogy launched and it answers the question of why Juke's inner console is reminiscent of a motorcycle's fuel tank, through urban legend storytelling. "Trophy" shows a woman and Nissan Juke take on a trio of futuristic bikers to retrieve an unknown package. Juke knocks two bikers off with its bumper, leaving the final biker for the woman, who drops a steel door down, causing the last biker to drive into it, erupting in flames. Watch it here. Check out Juke's previous ads, "The Dread" and "Weather." TBWA/Toronto created the ad, with visual effects provided by MassMarket.

7Commuters traveling through Washington D.C. and Atlanta train stations will have a hard time missing oversized barbells, digital cameras, high-heeled shoes and tricycles on their way to work. MasterCard and SunTrust Bank are behind the initiative, which touts the benefits of using a MasterCard-branded Check Card from SunTrust. Cardholders can log on to a Web site to receive 20% to 30% off various online purchases. "Overwhelming" is the campaign's theme, which explains the massive props outside train stations. See them here, here and here. Most displays feature scannable QR codes that deliver consumers to a microsite that offers an "Overwhelming Offer" of the day. McCann Erickson, New York created the campaign.

8Corona Extra launched a Hispanic TV campaign called "refresca quienes somos" or "refresh who we are." Each spot features an impromptu singing crowd of Hispanics who help someone go back to their Latin roots. A man's friends are late in meeting him at a restaurant in "Espera." The singing crowd tells the man to grab a Corona and relax, rather than stress out about time. See it here. Don't just wave hello to people you don't know in "Abrazo": hug them. All of them. Watch it here. Jose got his groove back in "Baile." His dancing was so bad, the singing crowd encouraged him to call Santo Domingo and ask for a shipment of rhythm. Jose picked up some moves by the end of the ad, seen here. A soccer ball rolls out of bounds in "Balon." A passerby picks it up to throw it back, but is chided by the singing crowd. "We Latinos kick the ball," sings the crowd, prompting the man to kick the ball back in play. Watch it here. La Comunidad created the campaign.

0Random iPhone App of the week: Did you overeat this Thanksgiving? Check out FITNESS magazine's FITNESS Express Workouts app, featuring a variety of 15-minute exercises you can do anywhere. Users can target their abs, arms, butt, thighs, or do a total-body workout. Each routine includes step-by-step instructions and video demos. There's also an online training log to track workout dates, times and reps performed. If you're into social media oversharing, you can post your routines to Twitter and Facebook. Pump One developed the app, available for $1.99 in the App Store.

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

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The First Appointment

From my email:

Sales Tip #106

Dated: 24 November,2010

Your persistence may get you that first client meeting, but the ideas you propose about how to improve their revenue or business situation should be your strongest selling points.

Once you have a foot in the door, use the opportunity to the maximum. The focus should be on the benefits and value to be derived from buying your product. Place the spotlight on the client’s business and how his processes will be improved or how his revenue streams will be expanded by investing in your product. Your client won’t be sold by your persistence in the meeting. He will want to know the facts and figures about how he will benefit from your product. Respond directly to his needs and you will have his undivided attention.



Click here to read this post at The Science and Art of Selling by Alen Majer.



602-100 Strachan Ave, Toronto, ON, M6K 3M6

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

Retail
by Aaron Baar
"We wanted to come up with a cool app experience that could be linked to a specific product or service," Jeff Haddon, mobile team lead for OfficeMax, tells Marketing Daily. "We do a fair number of campaigns throughout the year that are loosely related to what we do, but we thought this was a good way to bring them together." ...Read the whole story >>
Retail
by Karl Greenberg
"Just because there are more platforms upon which one can place money and get product doesn't mean you will end up spending more than you intended to," says Brand Keys' Robert Passikoff. "The economy is still down and people are going to spend what they can afford. Kohl's doesn't care whether you went to a store or to Kohls.com as long as you didn't go to Macy's." ...Read the whole story >>
Restaurants
by Karlene Lukovitz
People perceive value in combo meals even when these meals cost the same as ordering the identical items á la carte, according to a results summary on the Darden school Web site. Combo offers draw attention to the individual food items in the bundle and make it "more appealing and easier to select a '#3' rather than choosing each item individually." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The approach is building brand loyalty in ways unseen anywhere else, says Pamela Pavliscak, a Change Sciences Partner. "On most bank sites today, users are greeted by the typical online banking user interface. You can search transactions and pay a bill, but there isn't a lot of attention to providing features and functionality that are deliberately designed to help customers get control of their spending and saving." ...Read the whole story >>
Retail
by Karl Greenberg
A spokesperson for Ugg says the company went after Tom Brady. "We wanted to partner with someone who embodies the brand's strengths and values." The spokesperson said Brady appeals to both men and women "who appreciate and are attracted to his style and charisma." ...Read the whole story >>

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SHUT UP

The number of advertising and marketing messages we are exposed to daily have continued to grow year after year after year.

Fortunately, our brains screen out most of what we see or hear, at least on a conscious level, or we would go nuts. We still are getting plenty of messages that we are not aware of subconciously.

So we look for ways to slow down the messages.

For me, this time of year, I avoid the mall and most major shopping areas due to the bombardment of marketing messages, ranging from the non-stop Christmas music, to the advertising gimmicks, etc.

And I work in the advertising world!

Marketing Profs featured an article on how this applies to customer service:

Why Your Customers Might Want You to Just Shut Up

Quick quiz: Have you ever walked into an airport, noticed that there is nobody in line at the check-in counter and still made a bee-line for the self-service kiosk? Better yet, have you ever waited in line for an ATM machine even though there was no one in line for the teller?

"If you answered 'yes' to either of these questions, you're not alone," say Matt Dixon and Lara Ponomareff in a post at the Harvard Business Review blog. Their recent research has revealed a fascinating new consumer reality: "Most customers these days demonstrate a huge—and increasing—appetite for self-service," they report.

Some of their findings:

  • Today's customers value electronic self-service just as much as using the phone to get help from a live person.
  • By and large, that holds true regardless of age, demographic, issue type or urgency.
  • A staggering 57% of inbound calls to companies come from customers who first attempted to resolve their issue on the company's website.

What makes self-service so appealing? The lousy level of live service being offered is one factor (if you agree with the fascinating reader comments accompanying the blog post).

But on a psychological level, "it might have more to do with the unique element of control that self service affords," these authors suggest. "Skeptics might argue that customers never wanted the kind of relationship that companies have always hoped for, and that self service now allows customers the 'out' they've been looking for all along." Ouch!

The message for marketers? Better focus on polishing your self-service technologies—just in case your customers prefer DIY.

The Po!nt: Know when to zip it. "Running your company as if customers want to talk to you … [is] potentially undermining your efforts to build longer-term loyalty," Dixon and Ponomareff conclude.

Source: Harvard Business Review.

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9 Questions

From Pat Mcgraw's blog:

9 Questions that will Lower Lead Generation Costs

Posted: 19 Nov 2010 06:00 AM PST

Here are nine simple questions to consider when developing your next lead generation campaign – the answers to these questions can help you lower costs, increase performance and generate more profitable sales. (Let me know if I missed any of your favorites!)

Who is your target audience? With lead generation, you need to know who you are targeting and where they are in the buying cycle. Why do they need what you offer? How does your product/service make their lives better?

What problems do they have that your products/services solve? People buy solutions to improve their lives – so what is the need/problem you address for the target audience? Make sure you clearly identify [a] the need and [b] the unique, valuable way your product/service solves that need for them.

What options do they have – what are you competing against? You will need to address these issues because they will serve as obstacles during the buying process. And remember, doing nothing is a viable option for your audience – how does your product/service provide a better alternative than living with the need/problem?

What makes your solution the most valuable solution available to these people? You need a point of unique differentiation that translate to value for the audience – otherwise, you’re no better or worse than the competition.

What are you telling them – and why should they care? Most people want to know about benefits, not features. They want to know “What’s in it for me?”, not how wonderful your business is. Stop blowing your own horn, start telling them what they need/want to hear.

What offer will motivate them to respond the way you want them to respond? What is an offer they can’t refuse? If you find yourself going through a list because you expect different types of prospective buyers to see the promotion, you might want to refine your target – when you try to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing. If you are targeting people ready to buy today, the offer is going to be different that if you are targeting people that are just realizing they might have a need.

What channel(s) are you using to deliver your message and offer to your target audience? (Why?) Where does your audience go for information – and do you need to be there on a more frequent basis in order to cut through the clutter and capture their attention?

Pet Peeve: Just because you got a great deal from your email vendor doesn’t mean that every promotional campaign must be email – especially if your audience tells you that they use other channels to identify solutions for their needs. Not picking on email here – my point is too many look at the cost to reach the maximum number of potential buyers rather than the cost to generate a sale and I can’t tell you how many times the cost per sale metric has shown that certain channels are cheap to use and ineffective at generating profitable sales!

For interesting insight – visit Return Path and read Complacent Marketers Give Hope to Social Media.

But marketers’ complacency for the dominance of the email channel may be encouraging them to disregard what their subscribers want. This could potentially be their downfall.

This is confirmed by the recent launch of the DMA’s Digital Tracking Study, which I attended. The event delivered the alarming news for marketers that 90 per cent of emails that UK consumers receive are not considered to be relevant to them. Two thirds of UK customers only find one in ten of the emails they receive interesting.

These failings represent a very real prospect that social media could eat into email marketing’s audience. Not providing consumers with relevant, targeted marketing emails runs the risk that their heads will increasingly be turned towards social media. Marketers need to tighten up their email best practice to avoid diminishing the value of a vital marketing channel, particularly when the efficacy of relatively new social media marketing campaigns is still being debated.

What is your contact strategy for this audience with this message and offer? Are you using a 1-shot approach that will either hit or miss? Or, since you know your target audience will buy eventually, are you putting together a carefully planned strategy for contacting the individuals multiple times via multiple channels over the coming weeks/months?

So, a few things to think about while developing your next lead generation effort – have I missed anything?

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

You know the drill, Click & read:

Research
by Karlene Lukovitz
"Marketing tends to be preoccupied with staying on track with individual tactical executions or traditional marketing fundamentals like lead generation, campaign execution and content or creative development," sums up Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. "However, today's demand chain requires a new mix of digital, direct, and retail distribution, fulfillment, measurement and tracking capabilities to maximize customer contact, conversion and interaction." ...Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
Having just added the new Optima to its shiny new lineup -- including the Sorento, Sportage Forte and Soul -- Kia recently created a one-stop online shop at eBay Motors. Michael Sprague, Kia's VP/marketing, talks to Marketing Daily about the program, which puts individual dealer inventory on a special Kia-branded subset of eBay's auto site. While Sprague says dealers don't have to opt in, the rapidity with which they have signed up shows that they appreciate the need to bridge the virtual and physical processes. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
"We have significantly increased our digital media spend over the last couple of years and custom programs like this are an important part of our media plan as they reach consumers when they are engaging with transactions," Amy Michael, Visa's head of global e-commerce marketing, tells Marketing Daily. ...Read the whole story >>
Electronics
by Aaron Baar
The interactive displays take a page from a similar initiative conceived by the Consumer Electronics Association, ESPN and the country's top cable and satellite providers earlier in the fall. That promotion, titled "National 3D Demo Days," involved setting up 3D viewing areas in some of the nation's top electronic retailers, giving consumers a chance to watch 3D sports programming in the stores to get a better idea of the 3D experience. ...Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
The sponsorship aligns with the brand's "New Standard of the World" brand positioning launched in October. A spokesperson for the brand said the company has not developed specific programs yet. "Our marketing integration will focus on our core models -- the CTS family [sedan, wagon and coupe], the SRX crossover and the Escalade," he said. ...Read the whole story >>
Retail
by Erik Sass
Akoo, a place-based TV network delivering entertainment content to mall food courts and college dining halls, has a new ad option that allows advertisers to deliver calls to action with mobile devices simultaneously with traditional branded ad spots. The call to action can include coupons, point-of-sale giveaways, contests, sweepstakes and other promotions designed to drive transactional behavior in a retail environment. ...Read the whole story >>

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Us Old Folks Have Lots of Money, Sonny


11 days until my birthday. I'll be 51.

My kids are on their own, which means no child support, no financial obligations at all for my kids except for a couple more weddings, grandkids, and a college graduation coming my way in 2011.

Yes, those are pretty big things to cover, but as I look back to my child rearing years, I wonder how we managed to get by.

Now days, we get to choose what to spend our income on. And those of us over 40 are still spending.

Here's some lessons from Mediapost:

Do's and Don'ts Of Connecting

If you are interested in securing a competitive edge for your product in baby boomer and older consumer markets (aging customers), you will be more successful in your efforts if you understand your market.

David B. Wolfe, noted expert on developmental relationship marketing and communicating with aging customers offers this insight. "Aging customers rely more on emotional reactions than younger adults to determine if they should think about a matter. Memories are activated by emotional triggers in the brain. The stronger the original emotional response to a situation, the stronger the memory will be." If an ad headline generates a negative first impression (or none at all) the older person is less likely than a younger consumer to plunge further into the ad copy. Moreover, stories generally arouse emotions more readily than emotionally neutral expository. Research shows that the more emotionally neutral information is, the less likely the older mind will give it attention.

Admittedly, Wolfe's comments are generalities, but generalities can have value when they express verifiable central themes. As you develop marketing, advertising and sales approaches and presentations for an aging marketplace consider the following a guide to design, position, market or sell your product.

DO:

  • Learn as much as you can about physical and behavioral changes caused by the aging process. Apply your knowledge to product design, marketing, advertising and sales communications and approaches.
  • Design your promotion or advertising to allow the consumer to define the service attributes using his/her imagination in terms of his/her needs and desires. Don't try to shove ten pounds of copy into a five-pound page. Less is more.
  • Design your product to meet functional, social reinforcement, and related experiences' expectations.
  • Promote and advertise your product as a gateway to desired experiences beyond the intrinsic value of your product. What additional value does you product provide?
  • Be authentic and give them the facts (reduce hyperbole).
  • Portray these populations as doing for others, as individuals, as smart, as active, as wise.
  • Use marketing and advertising firms with a demonstrated knowledge of your target markets (Check if people matching your targets age are on the creative team).
  • Use aging customers to assist in product, service and communications development.
  • Touch their hearts and they will allow you to enter their minds.

DON'T:

  • Underestimate the significance of these markets. They are the New Customer Majority. More than 110 million people in America are over the age of forty.
  • Consider age a determinant of consumer behavior (there is no evidence that a person's age is a major factor in determining buying habits). Age should be considered as a correlating factor only.
  • Design your service or advertisements to appeal to self-gratifying interests of the consumer.
  • Design or promote your services to appeal to the vulnerabilities associated with the aging process. At times they feel bad enough; you don't have to remind them.
  • Attempt to instill a "sense of urgency" during a purchase consideration (time is usually not of the essence in their decision making process).
  • Over-embellish product or service performance claims -- may be automatically perceived as misleading as would small print on product labels and advertising.
  • Stress self-indulgent of your product/service -- more effective in younger markets.
  • Stress images that are contrary to traditional basic values. Generally accepted universal or traditional values may include American flag, church or temple, home, traditional small town, etc.

Remember that aging customers, on average, have a superior sense of reality. Don't succumb to the myths and stereotyping about aging that pervades our society -- you may do so at the expense of the long-term potential of your business.


Jim Gilmartin is president of Chicago-based Coming of Age, Inc. (www.comingofage.com), a marketing/ad agency, PR and training firm specializing in helping clients increase market share and profit in baby boomer and senior customer markets. He has co-authored "Market Smart: The Best in Age & Lifestyle Specific Design." Reach him here.

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Short Ones

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: The Shorter the Better

You have to ask questions that truly engage the customer. However, this doesn't mean you need to develop complex questions.

Instead, the best tactic is to ask shorter ones. Long questions tend to result in short answers, while short questions will generally result in long answers.

An example of a great short question is, "Why?" In my opinion, there isn't a better follow-up question you can ask after the customer has shared with you some information.

Consider how your customers would respond to other short examples like, "Can you elaborate on that?" and "Could you explain more?" These shorter questions elicit detailed responses and that's just what you want.

On the other hand, asking complex questions often tends to perplex customers. Because they are not sure what you are looking for, they respond with the universal answer representing total confusion, "What did you say?"

Questions should not be your means of showing your customers that you are an expert. Save that for your statements.

Source: Sales consultant/trainer Mark Hunter

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:


Beverages
by Karlene Lukovitz
The new "Let Go" spot for the Italian wine, filmed in Rome, depicts a stylish young Italian woman holding a large bunch of golden balloons, walking among the city's traffic and cafés and being rowed across a scenic park lake on her way to a party at a modern terrazzo. ...Read the whole story >>
Retail
by Sarah Mahoney
Looks like Black Friday -- still considered the true kickoff of the holiday season -- was a rosy one, with the National Retail Federation reporting that 212 million shoppers went to stores or Web sites over the weekend, a big jump from 195 million last year. On average, each shopper spent $365.34 over the weekend, up from last year's $343.31, with total spending reaching an estimated $45 billion. ...Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
Jeri Yoshizu, Scion's head of sales and promotions, says Scion has had a relationship with Vice for five years starting with ad buys in Vice Magazine, then tasking Vice with bringing talent to Scion's own rock festivals. "They have a high level of expertise when it comes to talent and artists." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Quicken Loans ranks highest among primary mortgage lenders with a score of 826, and performs well in all four factors. MetLife Home Loans (808) and PNC/National City Mortgage (776) follow Quicken Loans in the study, which measures customer satisfaction in application/approval process; loan officer/mortgage broker; closing; and contact. ...Read the whole story >>

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The Social Media Disconnect


Facebook uses the term Friends, but what really defines a Friend?

Are they someone we would call a friend in real life?

Are the "Likes" on Facebook really things we are passionate about, or do we just want to see what they will give us for being on of their fans?

From Mediapost recently:

Here We Go Again ...

Relationship marketing is about quality, not quantity. This is not to say that numbers aren't important; they are. Marketing programs need critical mass to succeed. However, the numbers follow quality. Why did the Old Spice Guy attract such large numbers? Because the content was really, really good.

Take a step back. For the past 20-plus years we have heard about the need to establish one-to-one relationships with our consumers. Go back 11 years to Seth Godin's Permission Marketing and you'll find one of the ways he thought we could build these relationships was through email.

But guess what? Most companies messed that up because they started sending out email that was self-serving instead of serving their customers. Somewhere along the line the idea of delivering personalized messages to loyal and engaged customers turned into a need to get permission from the most people possible, which eventually turned into simply getting the biggest list possible.

This hit home when working with a client several years ago. We walked into the annual planning meeting to discuss the goals for the coming year. After all of the plans were presented, the person heading up the marketing organization said, "Our primary goal for the year is to add 10 million names to our email list." No financial targets. No engagement metrics. Testing and optimizing content were to be put on hold until that objective was reached. All of the energy and resources were directed toward the goal of building the biggest possible list.

Not surprisingly, the year was largely wasted. We met the goal, but other areas of the program suffered. Creativity on the content side suffered. The messages that were going out weren't personal. Revenue did not increase in proportion to the size of the list because a lot of the names being added simply never became engaged in the program. We'd shifted away from the core concepts of permission marketing (and relationship marketing) to mass marketing through a personal channel.

The same risk exists in social media. As we read about the "Social Media Revolution," about two-way dialogues, authenticity, transparency, and customer empowerment there is a specter looming beneath the surface. More and more we are hearing things like, "we need to get to 10 million Facebook Fans" and "we need to get 1,000,000 Followers on Twitter." It's like déjà vu all over again.

It's a wrong-headed approach and here's why:

1) The disconnect between "likes" and impressions: there is an underlying assumption that once a person "likes" your brand that your posts will show up in their news feed. That's not necessarily true for two reasons. First, Facebook EdgeRank determines your placement in each users newsfeed (if at all). Second, many users will hide your posts from their news feed. Click the "X" once and your posts disappear. A parallel can be drawn back to email deliverability. Simply said, not all of Facebook posts get delivered.

2) Social Media Fans don't represent new customers: another assumption of "big numbers" marketing objectives is that new fans (or followers or subscribers) represent new customers. In some cases this may be true, but as Jay Baer recently wrote in "Ra Ra Wrong. How Facebook's Cheerleaders Are Blowing Smoke", "the people that 'like' your company on Facebook already like you in the real world. Consequently, your Facebook fan page is just another way to identify, corral, and (hopefully) activate them."

3) The "relationship" is over-valued: social media seems like the ideal channel to establish a relationship with our customers. We post something to Facebook and people respond. That's good. But there is a good reason that Facebook allows us to "like" brands instead of becoming "friends." When is the last time you heard someone say, "My best friend is Diet Coke?" Or "I wish I could have a better relationship with Toyota?" You don't because consumers don't talk about brands that way. The fact is that consumers, and especially Gen Y consumers, are not interested in having a "relationship" with your brand.

Just to make the point, we recently asked a group of consumers about the "relationship" they have with different brands. Most respond that they have no interest in a "relationship," they just "like" stuff. A small percentage of consumers do want two-way dialogue and want to interact with brands. It's an important minority because of their willingness to endorse your brand to their friends, but it is a minority nonetheless, which doesn't give much credence to the idea of simply building a big list of fans.

Building a social media strategy is an imperative for any brand in today's world, but building the biggest social media list possible is a recipe for disaster. Sure, it may all simply be semantics, but we've been down this road before and there is no reason to make the same mistakes. Take your eye off of building a quality audience and the audience you end up building will be less impactful (and thus less profitable) than if you had simply focused the same resources on generating better content. Interact with your customers. Thank them when they do nice things. But most of all, engage consumers by injecting fresh and engaging content into the community.

Do these things and the numbers will come. Focus on the numbers first and your efforts will end up being wasted.


Morgan Stewart is Co-Founder and CEO of Trendline Interactive, an email-centric marketing consultancy. Follow him at twitter.com/mostew and reach him here.

Michele Souder is Vice President, Strategic Services at Trendline Interactive.

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The Next Step

from my email:

Sales Tip #106

Dated: 22 November,2010

Your persistence may get you that first client meeting, but the ideas you propose about how to improve their revenue or business situation should be your strongest selling points.

Once you have a foot in the door, use the opportunity to the maximum. The focus should be on the benefits and value to be derived from buying your product. Place the spotlight on the client’s business and how his processes will be improved or how his revenue streams will be expanded by investing in your product. Your client won’t be sold by your persistence in the meeting. He will want to know the facts and figures about how he will benefit from your product. Respond directly to his needs and you will have his undivided attention.



Click here to read this post at The Science and Art of Selling by Alen Majer.



602-100 Strachan Ave, Toronto, ON, M6K 3M6

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why Your Work Is Never Done


In school you would get an assignment, do the work and turn it in and you were done. That doesn't work in real life.

Here's my Sunday Seth to keep you moving forward from Seth Godin recently:

Seeking market resonance

If you've ever wasted time at a catered affair, you know the water glass trick. Half full glass, wet finger, hold the bottom of the glass and then slide your finger around and around the top of the glass.

As you move your finger, the glass will vibrate. Move it just right (a function of the amount of water and the thickness of the glass) and the glass starts to sing. Do it really well and it sings so loud you might be able to shatter the glass and get into all sorts of trouble.

This is what most marketers seek (not the trouble part, the singing part).

The market awaits your innovation. Things that might make it vibrate and resonate don't work. Then some do. It's not always obvious before you start what the right entry point is, what the right product is, what the right speed is. And knowing that you don't know is the most important place to start.

Honing your music or your presentation or your business plan or your store's inventory are all efforts to resonate. Smart marketers are hyper-alert for what's working, for what's starting to get people to prick their ears. Just like the glass, you have a touch, you adjust, you listen, you adjust again.

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This is the Future


And the Future is here today.

From Roy H. Willams Monday Morning Memo:

What to Say.

Old ideas are carried by old words

New ideas are carried by new words.

Old words keep you inside the box.

New words help you escape it.

If you want to remain inside the box and fall behind the pack, just keep talking about target customers, demographics, gross impressions and unique selling propositions.

Do you want to keep up with the times, get ahead of the curve? Grasp the new ideas. Learn the new words.

These are the new ideas. These are the new words:

Felt need: A desire in the heart of the customer. To speak to an unfelt need is to answer a question that no one was asking.

Relevance: A message has relevance to the degree it speaks to a felt need.

Credibility: A message has credibility to the degree it is believed.

Impact quotient: Relevance + Credibility.

Competitive environment: an objective assessment of (A.) the market and (B.) your place in it. Your strengths and weaknesses compared to the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, including location, reputation, selection, product lines, unaided recall (brand awareness,) etc.

Limiting factor: anything that’s holding you back.

Unleveraged asset: an ace you forgot you had up your sleeve.

Core competence: what you’re all about, really.

Market potential: the total dollars available in your business category in your marketplace. Easily measured if you know your NAICS code.

Share of voice: An advertiser’s percentage of all the advertising done in their category. Location visibility, signage, word-of-mouth, etc. are included in this metric.

Share of mind: The mental real estate an advertiser owns in the mind of the public. Share of voice x impact quotient = share of mind

Share of market: An advertiser’s percentage of the total business volume done in their category.

Authenticity: Being what you say you are.

Transparency: showing your dirty laundry; admitting a downside rather than ignoring it. Transparency increases credibility.

Personal Experience Factor: Buzz is triggered by personal experience. If the experience of your customer – the word on the street - does not line up with your message, your message has no credibility. Unscripted, unedited, unpolished testimonials have credibility because they carry the credentials of personal experience and the markings of authenticity.

Ad-speak: Cliché’s, empty phrases, unsubstantiated claims and hyperbole – the language of yesterday’s advertising. Words without weight, having neither relevance nor credibility.

Curse of knowledge: The blinders that come with expertise.

Brandable chunks: vivid, recurring phrases used by an advertiser to help position and define the brand. Slogans and taglines are out. Brandable chunks are in.

Black words: empty words that fail to contribute to a colorful mental image. The objective of every good writer is to remove the black words so that the others shine more brightly.

Were you waiting for me to discuss metrics, unique visitors, page views and the other jargon of digital media? No need. Those things are already being discussed as much as they need to be.

The 4 keys to a rainbow future are these:
1. Relevance
2. Credibility
3. Speak to a felt need.
4. Be what you say.

That’s it, really. The rest is just bookkeeping.

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