Saturday, February 12, 2011

Boomers are still Booming

Just because we are in our 50's and 60's, don't treat us like our grandparents....

Was This Generation Born To Rebel?

Boomers are proudly individualistic. They defy stereotyping, because they're ... well ...defiant. Always have been. They seem to have been born to rebel, but it might be more accurate to say that they were raised with a strong sense of entitlement.

Most researchers agree that Boomers value flexibility, enthusiasm, relevance, questioning, active participation, informality, optimism and personal autonomy. They may well value all those things and more, but individualism is their most stable, long-term value, serving as the guiding light for the decisions they make.

Of course, many other values can play a role in influencing Boomer buying behavior, but those values revolve in constellations around the core of individualism, radiating out from the most to least important. That means when it comes to how and what they buy, Boomers will have things their way, regardless of what the rest of the world may think.

The roots of this individualism were established during the '60s, when Boomers rejected traditional standards that limited the way previous generations thought and acted, and they haven't looked back. As a result, Boomers tend to place their goals and desires over those of the community or nation. And they won't tolerate being manipulated or meddled with when making decisions. Trying to dictate to them is worse than futile, because it can lead to a perceived lack of respect, which can result in the worst kind of word-of-mouth advertising imaginable. Diss the Boomers, and they'll let the world know.

Although much has been written about the relevance of Boomer values to marketing, it's still virtually impossible to predict the buying behavior of so large and diverse a group. The way that makes the most sense to me is treating the Boomer segment like "a market of one." This might sound like marketing mumbo-jumbo but, really, it's an easy, reliable way to remember that although Baby Boomers may share common values, the most important is individualism. Given their experiences during the '60s, typical Boomer values revolve around a strong ego that stresses independence and self-reliance.

And once you as a marketer embrace this simple truth, you'll be able to get inside the Boomer mind, see reality through their eyes, and understand how to motivate them to buy. Which can mean great things for your bottom line.

Vincent Vassolo is the founder of Vim, Vigor & Vassolo, an agency that creates strategies, advertising and marcom programs targeting Boomers.

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Starbucks & Twitter

One of the benefits of using internet based marketing programs is there usually is a lot of raw data generated for research purposes.

Brian Solis took a look at Starbucks customers from Twitter data:

The Interest Graph on Twitter is Alive: Studying Starbucks Top Followers

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 04:41 AM PST

Social media is maturing as are the people embracing its most engaging tools and networks. Perhaps most notably, is the maturation of relationships and how we are expanding our horizons when it comes to connecting to one another. What started as the social graph, the network of people we knew and connected to in social networks, is now spawning new branches that resemble how we interact in real life.

This is the era of the interest graph – the expansion and contraction of social networks around common interests and events. Interest graphs represent a potential goldmine for brands seeking insight and inspiration to design more meaningful products and services as well as new marketing campaigns that better target potential stakeholders.

While many companies are learning to listen to the conversations related to their brands and competitors, many are simply documenting activity and mentions as a reporting function and in some cases, as part of conversational workflow. However, there’s more to Twitter intelligence than tracking conversations.

We’re now looking beyond the social graph as we move into focused networks that share more than just a relationship.

Bringing the Interest Graph to Life

To demonstrate the value of interest graphs, I worked with the team at, a unique Twitter search platform that has indexed the last three years of Tweets to instantly provide a real-time and historical analysis of activity around keywords and also the people that Tweet them. visualizes the interest graph, and also provides the ability to search within the search to sort activity by demographics and psychographics, sentiment, bio data, profession, and the list goes on. Essentially, it’s a product that anyone can use to learn about what’s really taking place on Twitter to better understand behavior and earn greater relevance by making more informed decisions.

As an example of audience profiling or competitive intelligence, we used to review the followers of @Starbucks, one of the most celebrated brands actively using Twitter today. We started by extracting 1 million follower profiles, sorted by follower count. The results were then further filtered to include only those who published a complete profile. provides the option to then organize the resulting information any number of ways, which in this case, we sorted the accounts by bio, location, and gender.

The Interest Graph

While we are what we say in our Tweets, our bios also reveal a telling side of who we really are. In this study we reviewed the complete bios of 50,000 of the top @Starbucks followers to learn a bit more about how they present their life story as well as their interests, opinions, and preferences.

Using the Twitter index, we created a word cloud to amplify the most common words used in each of the bios of these connected social consumers. Followers tended to use expressive words that suggest sentiment runs rich in the Starbucks interest graph. Top words include:

1. Love
2. Life
3. Friends
4. Music
5. World

We can also learn a bit more about Starbucks influencers by analyzing what interests them. Looking a bit deeper into the cloud, we can see that not only do emotions rise to the top; other revealing themes also surface:

1. Family
2. People
3. Mom
4. Wife
5. Husband

This is just the beginning. The words associated with the brands demonstrate the emotional and personal connections Starbucks holds with these tastemakers. Campaigns are a direct beneficiary of such data. As we submerge ourselves one level deeper into the study, we find that this information becomes paramount when we link it to individuals through demographics and psychographics. An import footnote is that the word coffee is among the least used words in the bio, but used nonetheless.

Studying Bio’graphy

With a 50,000-person sample in a traditional research survey, it may be difficult to organize individual responses. Here, we further reviewed each of the bios to find the commonalities in how each person presents who they are in a few precious characters.

Of those, we found that…

- 42 percent expressed strong ties to family, religion, and love

- 29 percent boast special interests, which is further discernible

- 22 percent are professionals who state their current place of employment and position

- 7 percent are students

Additionally, we can extract the attributes of @Starbucks followers further to better symbolize their digital persona. Further review highlights that followers…

- Identify themselves as enthusiasts, geeks, addicts, junkies, creatives

- Define the most popular areas of interest as Music, Food, Coffee, and Fashion

- Potentially favor dogs to cats (2 – 1 as per their mentions)

- Work in either Social Media and Marketing (Note: If we were to change the scale of followers, we would open up the sample to a much broader set of professions)

- Also are still studying. Despite the lower percentage, students account for more than any single professional field

Geo Location: Where in the World is @Waldo?

Brands are more than aware that no one marketing strategy reaches and moves everyone in the same way. Beyond demographic marketing, brands must also focus on driving traffic regionally. Having access to location data isn’t new, but using Twitter as a collective stream of intelligence to identify higher and underperforming locales and associative word clouds allow teams to surface the 3 W’s of real-time geo loco marketing:

Where is negative/positive activity taking place?

Why is it leaning in that direction? And,

What can we do about it?

To give us an idea of where the top @Starbucks followers are Tweeting, we zoomed in to their point of reference. We found that top users tend to Tweet from…

1. California
2. New York
3. Texas
4. Florida
5. Washington

Combining London and UK, we find that The United Kingdom would actually join the ranks of the most often cited cities.

Grouping locations provides a holistic view that provides regional marketing metrics and also areas in need of attention.

Here we can see that the top Tweeps are located in…

- US East, 30 percent
- Non US, 27 percent
- US West, 22 percent
- US Midwest, 21 percent

Tweeting from the Gender Lines

Over the years, I’ve studied the gender makeup of social networks and have consistently found that women outnumber men in some of the most popular networks including Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, women represent the majority share with 57 percent.

Working with the team here at PeopleBrowsr and in conjunction with Klout earlier in 2010, we uncovered en masse, women are more influential than men on Twitter. In fact, the average Klout score within the general Twitter population 34 to 31 in favor of women.

Reviewing Starbucks top followers in, it comes as no surprise to see that the women are the predominant source of Tweets, 63 percent women vs. 37 percent men.

The Tweets Have It!: Introducing the Starbucks Brand Graph

The interest graph is defined by connections, but it is brought to life through self-expression. When we combine brand-centric relationships and conversations, the interest graph eventually evolves into what is essentially a brand graph. Within each brand-related graph is a group of highly connected individuals that serve as a company’s network of influence. The team extracted 50,000 of the most recent Tweets that included a mention of Starbucks. We then analyzed the connections between people and identified the top 100 individuals and the number of their followers who also mention Starbucks within the 50,000 mentions. We can then bring to light Starbucks influencers as a representation of its brand graph and influential hubs. As we can see, the difference between monitoring and gathering intelligence allows Starbucks to now identify relevant networks and introduce personalized campaigns to further spur advocacy and loyalty.

Here are the top 100 most connected people within the group mentioning Starbucks and the number of their followers also discussing Starbucks:

Accordingly, we can visualize the interest graph as connections, showing how influencers are not only interconnected, but also capable of disseminating relevant information and influencing behavior to varying degrees beyond the traditional reach of Starbucks. Social consumers and their place within the social consumer hierarchy determine reach and ultimately outcomes. Everything begins however, with recognizing who they are and what inspires or motivates them.


The era of analysis paralysis is officially over. Instead of just listening, companies can now study people and their interests based on what they say and do and also how they color their profiles. This goldmine of insight gives brands the potential to improve marketing, promotional and advertising campaigns to start. What we’re talking about here is the ability to personalize experiences that go beyond demographics and start to employ psychographics and behaviorgraphics – the ability to connect with groups of people by interest and how they interact.

As this practice develops, brands can also gather the intelligence necessary, and widely available, to improve products, services, and spark new waves of tweets gushing with positive sentiment. Doing so over time helps to build the social, and more relevant, business of the future while improving relationships to convert followers into stakeholders.

Brian Solis is the Chief Data Analyst at PeopleBrowsr and and author of Engage, the complete guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web. Follow him on Twitter, @briansolis or read his blog,

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12+1 Tips, Day 12

Continuing through February 12th, (that's today) I'm sharing with you one tip per day from a recent email I received from Jim Meisenheimer.

What's the +1?

His 13th Tip is for a program he offers, and I'm including a link to it everyday.

I have purchased Jim's materials in the past and refer to them regularly.
Here's Jim:

How To Become A
Better Sales Person

How would you like to become a better salesperson?

It's too bad the world is crowded with average and mediocre salespeople.

These average and mediocre salespeople have one thing in common. They don't change. They don't ever change.

It's like, if they've been in sales for 10 years, they have one year of experience and repeated it nine times.

There is a better way you know. All it requires is energy and effort.

12. Everyday selling activities can wear a person down. Physical exercise works like an energy bar without the carbohydrates.

Exercise reduces stress. If you don't exercise, your stress levels just multiply.

Commit to physical exercise and put this commitment on your calendar.

And here's the +1:

Become a Sales Trailblazer. In the first seven days of 2011, 8 professional salespeople signed up for my Sales Trailblazer Sales Training Program.

So what's the big deal? The big deal is they have committed to a 24 week training program.

The big deal is they'll bring more to the table than a salesperson who has decided not to participate in the acquisition of new selling skills.

You can be average and mediocre or be a Sales Trailblazer and become a better salesperson.

And remember, your future is determined by the choices you make today.

Jim Meisenheimer
13506 Blythefield Terrace
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Tel: 800-266-1268
Fax: 941-907-0441

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
What remains to be seen, of course, is how the beverage industry as a whole and the major brands in particular will respond -- or perhaps not respond -- going forward to the bad press for diet soda. And on a related front, whether the publicly acknowledged, already intensive research pushes both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to come up with a next-gen no- or low-calorie natural sweetener. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
In part two of an exclusive Marketing Daily interview, Joel Ewanick, CMO of global marketing for General Motors, and Chris Perry, now head of marketing overseeing Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC in the U.S., talk about how a global marketing purview creates a bigger pond for fishing for new creative ideas and testing them in different markets. The two also talk about GM brands in different markets. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Brazil is already the second-largest user of Twitter after the U.S. "It's explosive," says Pepsi's Bonin Bough. "You have the huge population of bloggers and content creators. And you have interesting dynamics such as the fact that they are expanding broadband to the whole population. They are changing the car while the car is still moving. It's evolving so fast." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"The 4H is in just about every community in the nation," says Noel Ritter, associated creative director at Big River Advertising, the Richmond, Va., agency that created the campaign. "There are thousands and thousands of stories. One story by itself may not seem surprising, but once you see it's a whole community of kids in this giant organization, then you realize it's a whole revolution." ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
"Southwest has always had more empathy for their customer and their frustrations, and now they've embraced that same philosophy in their loyalty program," says Gary Leopold, president and CEO of ISM, a marketing consultancy and advertising agency that specializes in problem solving for premier travel and lifestyle brands. "It's a lesson for all brands." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"Tax refund time is a point on the calendar when retailers really lick their chops," Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with Bankrate, tells Marketing Daily. "That part is nothing new. But you may see a little bit more innovation if this small test is expanded." ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Portland, Ore.-based Banfield, which was acquired by Mars Inc. in 2007, is primarily located in PetSmart stores. The rebranding, from Bernstein Rein, includes a new logo, new colors, DirecTV in select markets, direct mail marketing and bag stuffers at PetSmart. There will also be a print ad in USA Today in April. ...Read the whole story >>

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Fine Tune or Start Over?

Certain companies over the years have had to overhaul their name and brand to keep up with changes in the market.

American Telephone and Telegraph and International Business Machines simply changed to their initials.

Laura Ries has another approach.

From her Ries' Pieces site:

Redesigning a Brand

So you want to start a business? You’ve got an idea, you see an opportunity in marketplace and you plan to work hard in building your business, but where do you start?

You start by building a brand.

There are lots of ideas and opportunities and people who work hard, but few ever become truly successful because they don’t know how to build a brand.

So how do you build a brand? You need to do three things: get focused, be first and become famous.

You need a focus in order to stand for something in the mind.

You need to be first in order to establish authenticity and hopefully create a new category.

And in the long run, you need to become famous because PR is what builds brands. Since a brand can’t talk, you’ll need a spokesperson get the message out via traditional media, social media and word of mouth.

Build a brand still isn’t going to be easy. You’ll also need some tools to get your brand in the mind. You’ll need the right name, the right verbal strategy (a nail) and the right visual (a hammer) to drive that nail into the mind of the consumer.

May sound gruesome, but in today’s tough and competitive climate brute force is needed. Nobody said branding wasn’t messy.

Recently, my friend Audrey who is a personal trainer decided to make a change in her life. She wanted to start a new business.

She had always been gifted at helping people decorate and organize. Unlike your stereotypical “decorator,” Audrey is very practical and thrifty. With the tight economy, she thought there might be great opportunity for her idea. To be the opposite of a high-end decorator who goes out and spends thousands of your dollars buying stuff to make your house look great. Audrey’s idea was to take exactly what consumers have and simply reorganize, restyle and reduce the clutter in order to redesign their homes to make them fantastic.

Audrey has a great idea and she also sees a great opportunity, but she still needs to build the brand.

Audrey got some pro-bono help from a friend. Here is what he suggested for her brand:

The brand name: Simple Redesign

The verbal nail: Restyle, Reuse, Reduce

The visual hammer: Hammer 1

The website:

Old card front
Old card004
I wasn’t impressed. So I decided to give Audrey my advice and I thought you might be interested in reading about it.

In theory, generic names like Simple Redesign sound like a great idea. They tell prospects exactly what it is your business does. And they give the illusion your company is bigger than perhaps it is.

At the beginning of the 20th century, generic names were all the rage. When most businesses were small and local, the advantage was in being the opposite: big and national.

At that time, brands like General Electric, General Mills and Standard Oil stood out. The problem is that over time, as lots of people jumped on the generic bandwagon and most companies were national, the advantage was gone. You can't build a company with a name like GE now.

Today, launching a brand with a generic name is a killer. There are just too many brands in the marketplace. A generic name gives your brand little protection or power.

Look at the word “Natural.” There is a big trend towards more natural products and foods. But using the generic word “natural” in your name doesn’t work. There are too many brands with similar names and so none of them stand out.

The same is true with a generic word like “Simple.” On the other hand, “Redesign” is a nice word for Audrey’s business. It implies the restyle, reuse, reduce concept.

The final misfortune of Audrey’s initial branding effort was that the website and name didn’t even match. was taken so she had to use

Big mistake. If you can’t get the url, you shouldn’t use the name. These days, checking with has become a regular part of our naming sessions.

Instead of a generic name like Simple Redesign, what could Audrey use as a brand name?

The strategy of personalizing a brand has a lot of advantages. It leads to a proper name and has the spokesperson built right in. Think Papa John’s, Forbes, Ralph Lauren, Dell and Charles Schwab to name a few.

Audrey is a terrific and perfect name to use for a brand. It is usual yet easy to spell. So I suggested changing the name to Audrey Redesigns.

Luckily when you have an unusual name the chances of getting the url increase dramatically. was available.

The verbal nail Audrey was working with was really nice. I love “restyle, reuse, reduce.” It is repetitive and reinforces the concept of Redesigning instead of just interior designing.

But no verbal nail will get into the mind without a good visual hammer to drive it in with. A hammer is a key marketing element missing from many programs. For Audrey, her original “leaf” hammer was pretty but had no relation to her brand or her category.

So if the idea is “Redesigning,” the idea of recycling comes to mind. The visual everybody associates with recycling are the three green arrows that indicate recycling.

Now that was a perfect visual hammer for Audrey’s brand. So I redesigned the three arrows to simplify them and make them fit her brand name .

Audrey Logo (2)
The result is a logotype with a strong visual hammer that reinforces Audrey’s memorable “restyle, reuse, reduce” verbal nail.

New card front
New card003

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Rebirth of Radio?

The industry that pays me the most is the radio industry. Been in it since I was a teenager with a couple of breaks but for the past 8 years, I've worked for a group of radio stations in Fort Wayne, Indiana handling advertising sales, campaign management, and the occasional talk show host.

Of all the folks in the building, there are 5 air staff that have been here longer than me, otherwise, I'm the senior dude.

I've seen good times, and lean times, and 2010 turned out to be a good year, with 2011 looking even better already. And it's not just us:

Print Has a Pulse, But Radio Has a Rebirth
According to the STRATA quarterly survey of media buyers, 24% of agencies' clients are more focused on radio, up from 17% in the prior quarter. The number of agencies reporting they are spending less on radio is off by half, with 17% trimming radio budgets compared to 34% who said that three months ago.

The survey of advertising agency buying teams finds fewer are cutting radio budgets, and client interest in the medium is growing. The report notes that the top three media, television, Internet and radio, appear to be the breakout hits of the advertising recovery.

Areas Of Client Focus

Most Focused

% of Respondents

Spot TV




Spot radio




Network TV


Network cable


Spot cable




Source: Inside Radio/RAB, January 2011

J.D. Miller, STRATA marketing chief, says "... classifying the advertising avenue that agency clients are most focused on... TV remains at the top followed by digital... But survey takers were surprised with #3: radio... 16% of clients rate radio as their top pick, compared to 9% who said that in the prior quarter's survey... "
Spot Radio Focus (% of Respondents; Compared to Previous Year):

  • 24% more than last year
  • 17% less than last year
  • 59% same as last year

Though there's a considerable drop off of interest in other media, notes the report, print ranks fourth, with 7% of clients making it their top pick. Miller says "... print has a pulse... it was almost nonexistent, now it has a pulse... "
STRATA president/CEO John Shelton says, "Advertisers are finally feeling more confident about the economy... " 51% of buyers surveyed in the study say their agency is seeing improving business, up from a low of 23% during the 2008 economic meltdown.

That confidence is manifesting itself in a surprising way, says the report. As budgets come back, buyers appear to be more interested in traditional advertising like television and radio, with demand for digital advertising going in the other direction. But Shelton notes that "... while (digital) is still hot, it is used more in a solid media mix... "
The most popular digital menu items are website display ads, social media and search, but just 29% of buyers say they're buying mobile ads. Among those who are, mobile display is the preferred format with SMS text ads fading fast, with just 15% of agency buyers say they're on their radar in 2011.
For additional information from Inside Radio, please visit the RAB here.

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12+1 Tips, Day 11

Continuing through February 12th, I'm sharing with you one tip per day from a recent email I received from Jim Meisenheimer.

What's the +1?

His 13th Tip is for a program he offers, and I'm including a link to it everyday.

I have purchased Jim's materials in the past and refer to them regularly.
Here's Jim:

How To Become A
Better Sales Person

How would you like to become a better salesperson?

It's too bad the world is crowded with average and mediocre salespeople.

These average and mediocre salespeople have one thing in common. They don't change. They don't ever change.

It's like, if they've been in sales for 10 years, they have one year of experience and repeated it nine times.

There is a better way you know. All it requires is energy and effort.

11. Conduct a quarterly business review for your 10 largest customers. Prepare a list of 6 to 8 questions that gets your customer talking. Your questions of course show your interest. You will no doubt uncover seeds of anxiety that you can deal with.

You'll also uncover plans for the future, which will enable you to get a jumpstart over your competition.

And here's the +1:

Become a Sales Trailblazer. In the first seven days of 2011, 8 professional salespeople signed up for my Sales Trailblazer Sales Training Program.

So what's the big deal? The big deal is they have committed to a 24 week training program.

The big deal is they'll bring more to the table than a salesperson who has decided not to participate in the acquisition of new selling skills.

You can be average and mediocre or be a Sales Trailblazer and become a better salesperson.

And remember, your future is determined by the choices you make today.

Jim Meisenheimer
13506 Blythefield Terrace
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Tel: 800-266-1268
Fax: 941-907-0441

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Been a BUSY Day in the advertising & marketing world I live in, take time to click and read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
Corazonas is now building on its "mantra" -- "Freedom to Snack Sensibly" -- with a new integrated campaign that seeks to ... well, get to the heart of the matter. Indeed, the campaign is centered on a new heart icon bearing the tagline, "Love Your Heart. Love the Taste." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"The center of the world isn't the PC [anymore], it's the user," Page Murray, vice president of integrated marketing for HP's Personal Systems Group, tells Marketing Daily. "The shift went from getting on and getting connected to you being the center and staying connected. That's a very different way of interacting with a company." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The campaign, which comprises three spots, takes the tack that beds, kind of like kitchens, have evolved to have a more central role in family life. The second of the three spots, breaking on "American Idol" Tuesday night, shows how a good bed is like a good trampoline: the ad has slow-motion shots of aerial stunts using the Sealy Posturepedic mattresses as springboards. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
For Ace Hardware, customer satisfaction isn't just a nice idea -- it's the whole point. The secret, which results in it winning its category again in the 15th annual Brand Keys Loyalty Index, is knowing what makes it different from its competitors. ...Read the whole story >>

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It's Not That Hard

To figure out how to become more valuable to your customers. You have to ask. This is what I do in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and what Pat McGraw does in Baltimore.

Here's Pat:

You Don’t Really Know Your Customers

Posted: 09 Feb 2011 11:00 AM PST

Blind Reflection by Fran Ulloa

Forget the customer satisfaction survey – you know, the one that tells you that 96% of our customers really like us.

They don’t tell you anything.

Why do they buy from you? Are you their primary source for the products and services you offer? Or are you one of many that they turn to when they have a need?

What customers consider you a primary choice and spend 100% of their budget with your business? Why do they rely on you so heavily?

And why don’t others act the same? Why do they only spend a fraction of their budget with your business? More importantly, how can you motivate them to spend more with you?

One of my first questions for potential employers and clients is about their target audience and customer base. And the typical answer focuses on a demographic/firmographic response.

Our audience is small companies with under 100 employees and $100M in revenue. Or our audience is people between the age of 35 to 50.

Great. That narrows it down. And it really helps with messaging and offers.

Our best offer was a discount. When we lower our price, we see more buyers.

And how many would have bought from you without the discount? And of the first-time buyers that came running when you dropped your price, how many will come back again in the next 90-180 days and make another purchase at full price?

Market research is the bastard stepchild for most businesses. It’s under-funded and the first to go when budget cuts start happening.

Pity. Market research should be ingrained in your business. You don’t need to spend a fortune either. You just need to sit down and think hard about what you need to know in order to improve business. Then you can go out, ask questions and listen. You can learn a lot when you listen, read and ask.

Why do people buy your products and services? What do you offer that they value? What could you offer that they need and can’t find? The answers will help you identify ways to improve services and differentiate your business.

Want an example? Recently I spoke with the customers (prospective, current and former) of a client and learned that they would love payment plans. That’s right – the price was fine. The product was fantastic. But the competition offered monthly payment plans and my client didn’t so the competition was capturing more business.

The cost of offering the payment plan? Minimal. The impact on the business? Triple-digit growth.

How well do you know your customers? And what will you do to gain a deeper understanding so your business can grow?

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New Ad Campaigns

Last week Amy did daily previews of Superbowl ads. She's back to her weekly schedule today:

Super Bowl Recap and a few newbies. Let's launch!


Can we talk... about whether that was Joan Rivers' actual body in that Go Daddy ad? If it is, bring on the geriatric, plastic-surgery time of my life.

1My top three big game ads were Chrysler's "Born of Fire," created by Weiden+Kennedy Portland; NFL's "American Family," by Grey New York; and Volkswagen Passat's "The Force," created by Deutsch LA.

My least favorite ads were Groupon's "Tibet," by Crispin, Porter + Bogusky;'s "The Reviews are in," by DDB Chicago; and Lipton Brisk's "Eminem," by Mekanism, San Francisco.

2Did you like the user-created choices that Doritos and Pepsi Max aired during the big game? I guessed 2 out of 3 correct for Doritos but only 1 of 3 right for Pepsi Max. Doritos' "Pug Attack" tied for first place on the USA Today Ad Meter, scoring the ad's creator $1 million.

For more in-depth Super Bowl ad coverage, check out my Media Creativity column from Monday.

Now, onto a few new ads that launched during the Super Bowl hype.

3Nike launched "Throwdown" this week, a 90-second TV spot promoting Nike FREE, its line of minimalist running and training shoes. Not as simplistic as Vibram Five-Fingers, but close. Directed by Jake Scott, the TV spot takes viewers through a series of athletes who are challenging each other in "sport offs," with each athlete executing his or her best move. If only I could move like them. Athletes slam-dunk a basketball with ease, breakdance, jump atop a stability ball and balance on it, and jump inside the back of a pick-up truck from a standing position. I'm on the level of the adorable girl who attempts a cartwheel and sticks out her tongue. I can relate to the last portion of the ad that shows runners completing a race and admiring their fast times, thanks to Nike FREEs. Watch the ad here. There's also a great women's version of the ad, showcasing women basketball players, roller derby teams and track stars. See it here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

4I love a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich after a long run. Target created a 15-second spot that illustrates a love for peanut butter to a higher degree. An adorable young boy sticks one hand in the peanut butter jar, the other in the jelly jar, scoops out an extreme amount of each, combines, and then eats. The ad, of course, is advertising Target's line of bread. See the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy Portland.

5Meet Alejandro, a bullfighting almond that dares to steal the thunder away from Mr. Peanut. The ad promotes Planters Flavor Grove Almonds, nuts with kick, just like Alejandro. Even the two ladies (madame butterflies?) who accompany Mr. Peanut out on the town can't resist talking about Alejandro... right in front of Mr. Peanut. Watch the ad here, created by Being NY.

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

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12+1 Tips, Day 10

Continuing through February 12th, I'm sharing with you one tip per day from a recent email I received from Jim Meisenheimer.

What's the +1?

His 13th Tip is for a program he offers, and I'm including a link to it everyday.

I have purchased Jim's materials in the past and refer to them regularly.
Here's Jim:

How To Become A
Better Sales Person

How would you like to become a better salesperson?

It's too bad the world is crowded with average and mediocre salespeople.

These average and mediocre salespeople have one thing in common. They don't change. They don't ever change.

It's like, if they've been in sales for 10 years, they have one year of experience and repeated it nine times.

There is a better way you know. All it requires is energy and effort.

10. Read a new business/sales book every two weeks. Just 15 min. a day will do the trick. Imagine you take a brain scan. Next imagine, you read 26 books a year for 10 years. Now after reading 260 books, and I'm no doctor, your next brain scan will be much improved.

Keep growing your brain.

And here's the +1:

Become a Sales Trailblazer. In the first seven days of 2011, 8 professional salespeople signed up for my Sales Trailblazer Sales Training Program.

So what's the big deal? The big deal is they have committed to a 24 week training program.

The big deal is they'll bring more to the table than a salesperson who has decided not to participate in the acquisition of new selling skills.

You can be average and mediocre or be a Sales Trailblazer and become a better salesperson.

And remember, your future is determined by the choices you make today.

Jim Meisenheimer
13506 Blythefield Terrace
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Tel: 800-266-1268
Fax: 941-907-0441

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Karl Greenberg
"There will definitely be a global core strategy that everyone adheres to and tailors to their own market. We have a very good strategy here in North America for Chevrolet, so we started sharing this around the world and already the Brazilians have an almost identical strategy. It's on this whole idea of "Everyday Hero," and they are already executing it very well. In fact, I think some of the work coming out of McCann in Brazil is some of the best in the world." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The research processes, recently shared with Marketing Daily by Shiv Singh, director, digital for PepsiCo North America, offer an eye-opening look at the depth and sophistication now possible through analysis of social media and other digital consumer feedback. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"A large part [of our consumer engagement strategy] is offering a consistent experience to consumers who buy Samsung products," David Steel, executive vice president of strategy and corporate communications at Samsung, tells Marketing Daily. "We want to make sure when someone buys a product from us, they know what the Samsung experience represents." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
A photo shoot captured the Aflac duck in profile, poised, in flight and aflutter to enrich the design possibilities. A wide array of graphic environments -- some with famous quotations, others with simple memorable commands ("That Way") -- was created. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"Stripes really wanted to push the envelope," Ian Dallimore, digital strategist at Lamar Advertising in Baton Rouge, La., tells Marketing Daily. "It wanted to communicate with consumers and let them know that the company is listening to them. They said, 'Let's have our customers write the digital copy through tweets.'" ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
T-Mobile is for the first time sponsoring the 2011 NBA All-Stars game with a television, film, and music celebrity garnished T-Mobile Magenta Carpet event. The event includes performances by Bruno Mars and Keri Hilson. Access Hollywood's Maria Menounos will do interviews for NBA TV's and TNT's pregame specials, while actor/comedian Nick Cannon will host the stage show. ...Read the whole story >>

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Survey Says....

A friend of mine who used to own a radio station now owns a research company and we were discussing a few years ago the limitations of surveys.

Michele Miller asks similar questions on her WonderBranding blog:

Survey On Gender Desire For Brands: Fuzzy Logic?

Posted: 03 Feb 2011 08:50 AM PST

reported on a new study just out from Buyology marketing group, listing the “20 Most Desired Brands” for each gender.

Here are the results:

Top 20 Most Desired Brands in the World: Women

1. Johnson & Johnson
2. Sony
3. Kleenex
4. National Geographic
5. MasterCard
6. Google
7. Amazon
8. Visa
9. General Electric
10. Toshiba
11. Crest
12. Microsoft
13. Disney
14. Target
15. Tropicana
16. BMW
17. Febreze
18. Ford
19. Olay
20. Chase

Top 20 Most Desired Brands in the World: Men

1. Crest
2. BMW
3. National Geographic
4. Panasonic
5. Hyundai
6. Kleenex
7. Coca-Cola
8. Microsoft
9. Tide
10. Lexus
11. Apple
12. Bed Bath & Beyond
13. Ford
14. Animal Planet
15. Hitachi
16. Mercedes-Benz
17. FedEx
18. Procter & Gamble
19. Hallmark
20. Geico

You can read the entire article on the study, but some questions came to mind as I reviewed the results.

  • Are these really the most desired brands in the world? According the article, the survey was given to consumers in America and Japan.
  • The survey was presented to 5,000 consumers. Were they evenly divided among gender? Among country?
  • What were the qualifications for brand identity? There seems to be a mixture of conglomerate brands and product brands – for example, Proctor & Gamble, which owns Tide.

Finally: How were survey questions posed to consumers? Were questions worded differently for women than men? Female consumers definitely speak a different language than male consumers.

The reason I ask this is because I was so surprised at the results in the men’s category. Tide is a more “desired” brand than Lexus? Bed Bath & Beyond? And it beats Mercedes?

While I appreciate the time and effort put into this survey, I strongly question the methodology and results. Not having had an opportunity to view the study’s platform or parameters, my marketing intuition tells me that it was either hastily put together or created without regard for posing questions in a language suitable for each gender.

What do you think? How do these lists reflect with your own “desire?” I’d particularly love to hear from the men out there.

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Lessons from SBXXXV & VW about Moms

Most of the folks I spoke with (male & female) liked this ad.

Mediapost tells us why:

What We Learned From VW's Super Bowl Success

If you were one of the millions watching last Sunday's Super Bowl, you probably saw the ad from Volkswagen that showcased a pint-sized Darth Vader using "The Force" on the new 2012 Passat. While Volkswagen was one of several automakers stepping back into the Super Bowl ad game, it was the only one that created a campaign that resonated with a key consumer demographic: Moms.

Yes, we have all read the research that shows a large percentage of Super Bowl viewers are women, but this sporting spectacle has also become one of the biggest family events of the year -- meaning many of those women are also moms. "More automotive advertisers should take the VW higher road on Super Bowl advertising as it sends a message that women and families are important viewers," says Jody DeVere, CEO of

Even if your brand failed to make an appearance during the 2011 Super Bowl, there are several key marketing-to-mom lessons we can all learn from Volkswagen's success:

Focus on Family. Yes, resonating with mom is a key component to any marketing-to-mom strategy, but if your brand can create a spot that resonates with mom, dad and kids -- you've hit the marketing-to-mom trifecta. Developing a campaign with universal family appeal does more than just bring dads (and kids and even grandparents) into the conversation, it actually gives mom the opportunity to use your campaign as a way to connect with her own family.

Tell an Emotional Story. The VW ad resonates with moms "because of the whimsical and heart-touching emotional story it tells," says DeVere, and that goes a long way with mom consumers. "Commercials like this warm the heart, and allow women to view your brand as smart, savvy and family/mom-friendly."

Appeal to "Shared Experiences." Not only do moms have shared parenting experiences, but they also have shared generational experiences -- and there are moments when those two worlds collide. What mom hasn't watched her own children run around in super hero costumes and princess crowns and not been reminded of her own childhood experience of pretending to be Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia? That is powerful messaging that transcends beyond parenthood.

Does all this really work? It appears to be working for Volkswagen. Even before the first second of this commercial made its way to the TV screens of households throughout the U.S., the spot had gone viral -- with some estimations showing it garnered close to 8 million views before kick-off and continues to grow its viewership even after the final field goal.

It even made its way onto the top of almost every single Super Bowl ad review list, leaving Ryan Rudnansky, featured columnist for Bleacher Report, to state, "The ad is not only ingenious in setting up things for the car at the climax, but also strikes a nerve (or a funny bone) with the general public, something all great ads do."

Especially ads that win with moms.

Patti Minglin is a marketing consultant specializing in marketing to moms and a freelance writer who regularly contributes to numerous regional parenting magazines including "Chicago Parent." Follow her on Twitter (@PattiMinglin).

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