Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Can Name that Brand in 6 Words

When I started in the advertising business, one key concept was to develop a Unique Selling Proposition which was the Brand Identity.

Drew gives his perspective:

Taglines that stick

Posted: 05 May 2011 02:53 PM PDT


I think most taglines used by businesses today are a cop out. They feel good but promise nothing. A reader wrote and asked if I’d talk about the other side of the coin – what makes a tagline great?

Creating and using a strong tagline takes real courage. A tagline that will last for decades is one that makes a bold statement or promise.

So what do you need to consider as you evaluate your own tagline?

A strong tagline makes someone take pause. It might be the person it’s directed at like – Just Do It. Or it might be the employee who has to keep the promise – when it absolutely positively has to be there overnight.

A memorable tagline should be a bit daunting. That’s why it’s impressive. If BMW has told us their cars were a nice ride, would you have remembered? But who doesn’t want to drive the ultimate driving machine? Talk about setting high expectations!

An enduring tagline is tied specifically to the product/service: Another element of a strong, test of time tagline is that we connect it to the company who owns it. We don’t remember it just because it’s clever. We remember who said it. Take this little quiz. Who told us “you deserve a break today” or promised us “we try harder.”

This is where the generic taglines about “our people” and quality lose their steam. Who doesn’t believe they provide good quality and that their people are dedicated to their jobs?

A memorable tagline tells a story: In a single sentence, we got the picture when Timex told us “it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” We can only imagine what might happen if forgot the warning “don’t leave home without it.”

We learn through stories. We teach lessons through stories. And we buy and sell around stories. It’s much easier for us to remember a story than straight facts. Which is why a story telling tagline sticks.

A powerful tagline points out how the product/service is unique: Who doesn’t know the unique advantage of an M&M? They “melt in your mouth, not in your hand,” right? The Marine’s tagline reminds us that they’re very choosy about who they let into their club. “The few. The proud. The Marines” lets us know that there’s exclusivity to their brand.

Everyone wants a strong tagline but most businesses are afraid to make a bold promise. What happens if it doesn’t get there overnight? Or if the watch breaks?

Good marketers understand that a tagline is not an absolute. Sure, every once in awhile you’re going to miss the mark. But how you handle it when you fall short is part of the brand promise too.

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The New Normal in Dining Out?

My wife and I made some cut backs in the dining out department. It wasn't due to our income going down, but due to the menu prices going up....

Here's what the trend is...

Study Concludes That Recession Has Changed Long-Term Dining-Out Habits

The Great Recession officially has been over since June 2009, but the effects of that downturn and the slow economic recovery have altered the dining-out habits of consumers -- even affluent, optimistic ones -- for years to come, according to a study by The NPD Group.

The market research firm's recently released report, "The Changing Consumer Mind-set: What it Means to the Restaurant Industry," found that following the recession that began in 2007, restaurant customers now are divided into two groups: those who can spend freely and a much greater number of those who cannot.

The NPD Group's study found that 76 percent of survey respondents qualify as cautious, controlled spenders who say they still are visiting fewer restaurants, trading down from more expensive operations and foodservice segments, and ordering fewer items at each meal. These consumers told NPD researchers that they would be less restrictive with their restaurant spending when the economy improves, but they don't think that will happen any time soon.

On the other hand, 24 percent of participants report being significantly less affected by the recession and have cut back less on their dining out, the study found. Yet, while respondents in this group did not pare back total restaurant visits as much as the controlled spenders did, they have traded down from pricier restaurant segments since 2007, NPD reported.

"There is considerable disparity between the views of optimists and controlled spenders regarding enticement to visit restaurants more often," said Bonnie Riggs, NPD's restaurant industry analyst and the author of the report. "Optimists place much more importance on service and a relaxing atmosphere than controlled spenders, who are more concerned with price and value."

Restaurant brands across several segments seem to be acknowledging the presence of the two mind-sets. Aggressive discounting has taken the form of value menus in quick-service -- bundled dinners priced around $20 and express-lunch offers in the casual dining sector, and $10 large-pizza offers and similar deals in the pizza category.

NPD found that controlled spenders span all demographic groups but skew toward the unemployed, less-affluent households and retirees. Optimists also could be found in every demographic group but were more likely to be employed and from a more affluent household.

NPD's CREST service had found a slow recovery taking place in the foodservice industry, as total industry traffic remained flat for the 12 months ended in February 2011, compared with the 3-percent decline in the year-earlier period. The research firm's "A Look into the Future of Foodservice" report forecasts industry growth of less than 1 percent a year through 2019.

"Recovery and growth for the restaurant industry will mean understanding the shift in consumer behavior and realigning strategies with what may be the new normal," Riggs said. "Rather than age largely defining frequency and type of restaurant visited, lingering effects of prolonged unemployment and loss of wealth by many will carry forward in years to come, regardless of age."

(Source: Nation's Restaurant News, 05/10/11)

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The Foot In The Door

I know several folks who are looking for a job.

When my kids were teenagers, my simple advice was to get "a job". Not the "ideal job" or "perfect job".

In the sales world there should never been an unemployed sales person. You may not have the ideal or perfect job, but a job is always available as a salesperson.

Harvey Mackay has more:

Everyone has to start somewhere

By Harvey Mackay

Comedian Jim Carrey took a job as a janitor at a tire factory at age 15 when his father lost his job. He also worked as a security guard. To relieve his stress, he visited local comedy clubs, which instilled his love of comedy -- and prepared him for a blockbuster career.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Like Jim Carrey, I started by pushing a broom at an envelope manufacturing company and worked my way into sales in six months. My career path took a different turn, but all in all, I'd say my humble start led to a life I love.

You never know where your career will go once you get your foot in the door and learn about different businesses.

Many famous people started out very small before they hit it big. The main thing is they started and got experience. Pride didn't get in the way -- they had to pay the rent, eat and work toward their ultimate goals. Consider these examples.

Before Brad Pitt was a leading man in the movies, he worked various odd jobs, including driving limos, moving refrigerators and dressing up as a giant chicken to attract customers to a local restaurant.

Another one-time janitor is Stephen King. He job was cleaning a girls' locker room, which later became his inspiration for his best-selling novel "Carrie."

Cooking show hostess Rachael Ray started out working at the candy counter at Macy's in New York City. She later managed the fresh-foods department, which helped pave the way to her sizzling cooking career.

Donald Trump collected soda bottles for the deposit money and later went around with rent collectors to learn about that business. Do you suppose that's where he got the idea for The Apprentice?

David Letterman, Diane Sawyer, Raquel Welch and George Carlin were all weather people on TV.

Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell computers, and personal-finance guru Suzie Orman, washed dishes at restaurants.

The late George Steinbrenner, who later owned the New York Yankees among other businesses, helped his older siblings raise the family's chickens, which he would also kill and dress for customers.

Working at ice cream shops is part of the resumes for Julia Roberts, Lucille Ball and Robin Williams, who also was a street mime before he got into acting.

And I'd wager that every one of these fabulously successful people would tell you that they still remember the lessons they learned from those early labors -- even if one of those lessons was that they wanted more out of life.

Few people would describe their first jobs as their dream jobs. The work is usually hard, the pay is never enough, and the hours are lousy. The experience, however, is invaluable.

As college graduates start to learn the realities of the business world, I tell them that they will have to pay their dues. There is no substitute for real-world experience. Hard work is still a requirement for success. You can't start at the top and work your way up.

In this economy, I'm frequently hearing stories about folks who are starting over in their careers due to downsizing, restructuring, technology or belly-up businesses. Most don't have to start at the bottom, but they aren't making lateral moves either.

My advice is always the same whether you are starting up or starting over: Keep your options open. Don't discount the value of any working experience. Expand your network at every opportunity, because you never know who might know someone who could use your talents and skills. Volunteer some time to get more and varied experience. Make sure you have a presence on social networking sites, especially LinkedIn and Facebook.

Perhaps the most important tip I can pass along is this: Never be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of people who have created successful businesses, and even more who have built successful careers. Learning from others is essential, no matter how much you have learned from your own experience.

Finally, don't be afraid to dream. Long before Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney dropped out of school at age 16 to join the Army, but was rejected because of his age. He became a Red Cross ambulance driver in World War I instead. He wanted to be an artist when he came home, and with determination, an entertainment empire was born. For Walt Disney, "a dream is a wish your heart makes."

Mackay's Moral: You can't win the race if you never start.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

3 updates coming Saturday, 3 more on Sunday, just like every single day on this website:

by Karlene Lukovitz
The goal of the Cheetos Billion Minute Break is getting brand fans to rack up a billion cumulative minutes goofing off online. The promotion is the first sponsored program being run on Quests, a new addition to Meebo's Web check-in system that rewards users as they visit sites. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Aaron Baar
In the online free runner-themed game, participants complete challenges in urban and rural locations across nine international settings, including the U.S., Brazil, Australia, India, Russia, Germany, and France. The goal is for the runners to collect Reckitt Benckiser-branded kites placed around those areas in difficult-to-reach places. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Honda, which became sole provider of the Indy V-8 engines that power the cars in the IndyCar series starting in the 2006 season, has a big marketing push on deck for this year's keystone event of the series, the Indianapolis 500. In addition to sponsoring the pre-race show on ESPN, as well as on, Honda has a whole fleet of print, TV, and interactive ads during the coverage. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Looks like Americans may be weathering high gas prices better than many expected. "Both the improving job market and strengthening economy are helping consumers cope better now than during the recent economic downturn," writes Todd Hale, SVP/ Consumer & Shopper Insights at The Nielsen Company, in his latest blog. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"It starts with employee recruitment and commences from the very first day. For example, USAA new employees rapidly learn what it is like to be part of the military: dining on MREs, looking at the world from the eyes of a soldier in Afghanistan needing to wire money to a sick parent." ...Read the whole story >>

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It's A Guys World Too

I work with a few advertising agencies and part of their job is to create and place advertising that reaches a target demographic that is most likely to buy the product/service advertised.

The typical demographic asked for is either Adults age 25-54; or Women 25-54. But don't ignore the guys according to this Mediapost report:


Men play a crucial role in purchasing decisions -- both big and small -- that defies stereotypes, according to a new survey about male shopping habits. The web-based survey of 13,000 American adults who listen to rock, alternative, classic rock and sports radio stations, reveals that companies marketing and advertising products to a broad market might need to re-think their long-held assumptions about the value of men.

The "Marketing To Men" survey was conceived by Southfield, Mich.-based research and consulting firm Jacobs Media in response to the trend of media buying demographics shifting away from men and toward women. Many advertisers share the misplaced belief that women are responsible for the lion's share of household purchasing decisions, according to the research firm.

"We work with our radio clients every day to help them position their male audiences to advertisers and over the past few years, we've become frustrated," says Jacobs Media Vice President/General Manager Paul Jacobs. "There has been a shortage of solid data to help educate marketers about the changing role of men in the purchasing process."

Marketing products and services in this competitive environment is more challenging than ever, Jacobs says. "The last thing agencies should do is limit their sales opportunity due to stereotypes that aren't relevant today," he adds. "In the 21st century, men are emerging as an incredibly valuable component in the marketing mix. They make purchases on their own, and have significant input in the decision-making process in the majority of households. And single men are a bonus. Advertisers ignore men at their own peril, opening up opportunities for competitive products and brands."

The study shows that three of 10 men are single, and more than 80% of them make the sole or key big-ticket decisions in their households. This segment of the male population is a hidden opportunity for marketers --- they profile equal to or better than women in their decision-making power and are a significant opportunity for growth.

The study also indicates that women agree that men should have major input in decisions about buying big-ticket items. In fact, six in 10 women say a recommendation from a spouse or partner is a deciding factor when making major purchases.

Six in 10 men play a key role in the big-ticket item buying process. They either are the sole decision makers or play a key role in the purchase of items like homes, cars and major appliances.

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Testimonials... How to Get Them & Use Them

They can be one of the biggest tools in your toolbox to open doors:

Daily Sales Tip: Obtaining Convincing Testimonials

In my workshops and teleclasses, I tell attendees that there are two good times to ask for testimonials:

1. When a customer compliments you. After thanking them, ask if you can write it up for their signature. Most people will consent. Customers don't usually do a very good job of writing testimonials, so you have to help them. They also tend to forget, so this method helps remind them. You can say something like: "I know you are busy, so let me write something up and send it to you for your signature."

Need some compliments in a hurry? Get on the phone and call some of your best customers to see how things are going. Ask if they were happy with their last order. Then listen.

2. At the end of a job. This is when your customers should be happiest and the great results or service you provided is still fresh in their minds. Again, probe by asking enough specific questions to develop a compelling endorsement.

Source: Sales consultant/author Jim McCraigh

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beer on the Beech & A Road Tripping Contest

Sounds like the start of summer.

Or the Thursday Night Marketing Update from Mediapost:

by Tanya Irwin
More than 10,000 bottles and 1,000 12-pack cans will include the new beach packaging -- over five times more than the 2010 Corona "Win the Beach" promotion. "Consumers, retailers and wholesalers really drove the success of this program in 2010 and we responded to the demand for the program this year by creating our largest promotion to date," Crown Imports Chief Marketing Officer Jim Sabia tells Marketing Daily. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The contest, for which Honda is taking submissions until June 5, with voting starting June 8, includes a digital promotional campaign involving musicians who have made it big on YouTube. The automaker is touting the campaign with Twitter elements and with updates on the Sounds of Civic tab on the Honda Civic Facebook page. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
New research from Scarborough shows that 50 million homeowners, or 29%, are currently working on a landscaping project, making it the top DIY priority around the country. Painting/wallpapering is next, with 28%, followed by carpet/flooring projects, with 14%. More than half in the Scarborough sample say they have shopped at The Home Depot during the past year. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The Futures Company says "navigation" -- where to go, how to get there and what to do along the way -- and "curation" -- supplying acculturated Hispanics with a context for expressing their Hispanic identity -- will supplant mere "association" with Hispanic culture that has been the basis of marketing efforts directed at Hispanics until now. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The company is featuring eight such road trips as prizes in a consumer-content effort located at To get a shot at the road trips, people have to make and upload video pitches to the site. A panel will select finalists and there will be a final public online vote to choose two teams to participate in each road trip. ...Read the whole story >>

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New Ad Campaigns

Amy at Mediapost:

The Stanley Steemer techs are back. Mitsubishi lives dangerously. Let's launch!

1The 2012 Honda Civic comes in five different models to match any personality or undead driver. "To Each Their Own" matches a quirky character with a different Civic. "Apartment" follows each character's morning rituals as they ready for work: a Luchador, lumberjack, monster, zombie and ninja. See it here. Our lumberjack brings his pet fox on dates, and outfits his ladyfriend with proper forest attire that's ideal for fishing and hiking. Watch it here. Even zombies can have a bad workday. His undead demeanor improves once he's in his Civic. At the driving range, however, he loses more than his shirt. See it here. Lastly, a female ninja can outmaneuver her enemies in her Civic and wind down by eating licorice. Watch it here. RPA created the campaign.

2Chrysler launched a pair of TV ads for its Chrysler 300 featuring true stories where hard work paid off for a football player and fashion designer. "Homecoming" stars NFL player Ndamukong Suh as he takes a drive down memory lane through his hometown of Portland, Ore. Suh passes his old high school and barbershop while viewers see childhood football pictures of Suh and countless trophies from his youth. The spot ends as Suh arrives at his parent's house, happily greeted by his mother. See it here. "Attitude" follows Detroit-born fashion designer John Varvatos through a record store in New York. After purchasing some vinyl, Varvatos drives to his studio, plays his record and starts creating his next great design. Watch it here. Both are great stories, but neither grabs me the way Chrysler's Super Bowl spot for its 200 model did. How about you? Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

3I have a hard time watching "Ice Road Truckers," fearing for the safety of the men and women who risk their lives driving big rigs on dangerous roads. This ad for Mitsubishi's Outlander Sport and Outlander was equally rough to watch. The brand brought these two vehicles to Yungas Road in Bolivia, aka "Death Road," to demonstrate the traction and maneuverability provided by the duo's all-wheel drive system. It's the first commercial ever to be shot on "Death Road." This 90-second spot shows how close to the edge drivers are on the 43-mile stretch of dirt road, without guardrails to protect them. Add rain and nearby waterfalls to the mix, and you can see how the road got its nickname. Did I mention it's two lanes, even though it's only configured as a single-lane road? See the ad here, created by 180 Los Angeles. In addition, try to test-drive the road online -- if you dare.

4Glidden Paints launched "Everyone Can Paint," a TV spot that shows that anyone can paint, even nuns! Huh? Cowboys, kids and 20something women are also labeled as non-painters who complete a job easily when using Glidden. The spot ends with people filling a sports stadium with carefully aligned paint cans that, when viewed from above, form the face of a non-painter seen in the spot. See the ad here, created by DDB New York and ETCETERA

5"Daybreak" is calming and made entirely of paint swatches in a TV ad for Sherwin-Williams. Hot air balloons, mountains, trains, city buildings and trees are crafted from paint swatches, showcasing the brand's 1,500+ paint colors. The ad, seen here, is running on ESPN, TBS, TNT, A&E, Cooking Channel, DIY, Food, HGTV, History and Lifetime, among other networks. A print ad, seen here, features a cake made from swatches. McKinney created the campaign.

6Stanley Steemer has been scoring high with its TV campaign following a pair of technicians who take their work seriously. The attitude remains the same in two new ads. The techs are treated like heroes after breathing new life into dingy carpets. A young girl draws a picture, frat boys celebrate and a Texan man gets huggy. The lead tech wonders if he should be dubbed a hero and quickly comes up with a response: Yes. See it here. In "Mystery Spot," the tech chastises a family for an unknown stain that no one will admit to making. Watch it here. Young & Laramore created the campaign.

7The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network teamed up with the Ad Council and NBA to launch "Think Before You Speak," an initiative aimed at eliminating anti-gay language among teens. When a teen refers to an opponent's moves on the basketball court as gay, Grant Hill and Jared Dudley from the Phoenix Suns step in to inform the player that this language is not acceptable anywhere. The PSA drives viewers to for further information and to take a pledge against using anti-LGBT language. See the ad here, created pro bono by ArnoldNYC

8No matter how many princesses this frog kisses, he's still going to be a frog. Vitaminwater launched "Frog" this week, starring an amphibian that will travel great lengths to kiss a Vitaminwater-drinking woman. The frog follows one woman from a park to a restaurant to steal a kiss. Once he realizes he hasn't changed, he moves on to the next woman drinking Vitaminwater. He rebounds quickly. See the ad here, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

9Tag Heuer launched a print and outdoor campaign in France to promote its Mikrograph watch that displays 100ths of a second. The "Mechanism" campaign encourages wearers to seize the moment, illustrating this concept with mechanical animals doing precisely that. A frog captures its lunch with ease in one ad, while a hummingbird takes nectar from a flower in another. See the ads here and here, created by CLM BBDO.

10Random iPhone App of the week: McCann Erickson San Francisco created GraffCity, an app that lets you graffiti walls, cars and entire buildings without that whole breaking-the-law thing getting in the way. Users can choose the spray can or finger paint option, along with varying brushes and colors. Augmented reality allows users to use their iPhone or iPod Touch just as they would an aerosol can to virtually tag any wall or surface selected. Tags are saved just as the artist creates them and are viewable to anyone who has the app. Tags can be uploaded to a GraffCity profile, a Facebook profile, or emailed. The app is available for free from the App Store.

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

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Sales vs Marketing

From Seth Godin:

Selling vs. inviting

Selling is often misunderstood, largely by people who would be a lot more comfortable merely inviting.

If I invite you to a wedding, or a party, or to buy a $500,000 TV ad for $500, there's no resistance on your part. Either you jump at the chance and say yes, or you have a conflict and say no. It's not my job to help you overcome your fear of commitment, to help you see the ultimate value and most of all, to work with you as you persuade yourself and others to do something that might just work.

If the marketing and product development team do a great job, selling is a lot easier... so easy it might be called inviting. The guy at the counter of the Apple store selling the iPad2 isn't really selling them at all. Hey, there's a line out the door of people with money in their pockets. I'm inviting you to buy this, if you don't want it, next!

The real estate broker who says that the house would sell if only he could get below market pricing and a pre-approved mortgage is avoiding his job.

The salesperson's job: Help people overcome their fear so they can commit to something they'll end up glad they invested in.

The goal of a marketer ought to be to make it so easy to be a salesperson, you're merely an inviter. The new marketing is largely about this--creating a scenario where you don't even need salespeople. (Until you do.)

Selling is a profession. It's hard work. Ultimately, it's rewarding, because the thing you're selling delivers real value to the purchaser, and your job is to counsel them so they can get the benefit.

But please... don't insist that the hard work be removed from your job to allow you to become an inviter. That's great work if you can get it, but it's not a career.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pizza, Paint & Vodka

The Wednesday Night Marketing News Update has the details from Mediapost:

by Karlene Lukovitz
The television buy and supporting digital and other media (including streaming video, to commence about a week from now), plus public relations, represent a doubling of ad spending for the brand over last summer's campaign. The campaign strategy is designed to give Grey Goose "the #1 share of voice" in vodka over the summer, according to its brand director, Michelle Beauchamp. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Mike Duke, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. president/CEO says in a recorded conference call, "The good news is that the plan ... is gaining traction, and customers are responding favorably to everyday low prices and our wider assortment. In grocery, we are further along. But the work on general merchandise won't be complete until the second half of the year." ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The Bridgewater, N.J.-based company will also hand out $100,000 worth of coupons. The tour is aimed at anyone who loves hot dogs but has avoided them because hot dogs are perceived as unhealthy and full of "mystery" ingredients, says Stephen McDonnell, Applegate founder and CEO. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"Last year we also had inserts in Time, Inc. books but we included magazines like Golf and lifestyle magazines, not just epicurean magazines. It turned out really well but the scale was smaller. This year, we wanted to focus more on epicurean, and on owners of Infiniti vehicles rather than owners of competitive brands." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"This is an industry that is doing a significantly better job with customers than they were five years ago," David VanAmburg, managing director of the ACSI, tells Marketing Daily. "It was one of the worst industries in [the Index]. Now it's getting closer to the average of all goods and services in the U.S." ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The company says the campaign touts GoodNites' design and fit, with -- for the first time in three years -- a TV advertising component. The ad illustrates how quickly kids grow, as the creative shows a child getting bigger overnight. The TV ads run through September on programs like "The Today Show," "The View" and "Good Morning America." ...Read the whole story >>

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Time to Learn

If you follow Collective Wisdom, you'll notice one of my favorite subjects is understanding various demographics.

My wife and I are both Baby Boomers. Think you know the lifestyle of a boomer? Better double check:

A Day In The Life Of Barbara Baby Boomer

Barbara, the marketing executive, woke up at 5:30 a.m., grabbed a banana, jumped in her new Buick and headed to Curves gym to use light weights and its circuit training. She remembered to stretch before her workout and was happy with herself that she had committed to going to the gym four times per week since their second child headed for college. She paused in thought and realized they are now officially empty-nesters and this is "me" time. She smiled.

Barbara acknowledged that, with her big "5-0" birthday coming up this year and her class reunion, she wanted to look and feel great. Her life had become quite full with her marketing consulting firm, going to college football games, planning her daughter's baby shower, making European travel plans for her and her husband and assisting with her aging parents.

Barbara arrived home at 7 a.m. showered, applied her anti-aging cream, took her vitamins, put on her Chico's jeans, Talbot's sweater and Clark's comfortable low-heeled shoes. She checked her iPhone for emails as she turned on her Apple computer with the 20-inch monitor. She smiled at her screen saver -- it's her favorite family photo. She was a couple hours into writing a proposal when the phone rang. It was Dad. Mom had fallen and broken her hip. They were both 82, recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last year and were just showing signs of slowing down. She has two siblings, but she was the only daughter.

Barbara made a few phone calls to family and senior services companies. She knew from the various web sites she visited -- such as,,, OomphTV, -- that there were companies she could call to help her parents age in place. She would call Home Instead for home care assistance, call Presto to set up an automated email without a computer and Wellcore for a personal emergency response system. (PERS).

Since her parents live six hours away via car, she decided to fly instead of drive. She made plane reservations on Southwest Airline's web site to arrive the next morning so she could help with the doctors and necessary surgery decisions. While she was online, she ordered flowers from 1-800-Flowers to cheer up her mother.

Later in the afternoon, she took time to walk her dog Snickers around the block, gave him his preferred dog food and then prepared their family's favorite grilled organic chicken recipe for dinner.

The marketing moral of the story is the insight to the demands on time and the brands that currently engage Boomers -- specifically female Boomers. The brands that solve problems, are stylish, helpful or make a task easier will be embraced. Keep in mind, female Boomers generally make or influence 80% of the buying decisions for their home as well as influencing decisions for three generations.

It is clear that our friend, Barbara Baby Boomer:

  • Is health conscious
  • Is smartphone savvy
  • Has buying power
  • Likes to travel
  • Is married
  • Is a mother
  • Works
  • Makes many daily decisions
  • Is computer savvy
  • Buys products and services online
  • Looks over three generations for care and support

Currently at Navigate Boomer Media, we have 10 associates; five of us are dealing with aging parent issues, hospitals, aging in place products and services and just being available to the help them. We certainly enjoy attending the conferences with the brands focused on these issues like the "What's Next Boomer Business Summit," "Digital Health Summit" and "Silver Summit" to learn about their benefits both professionally and personally.

Recent articles in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and on CBS have highlighted the importance of Boomer consumers and their economic strength. It's also important to note that Boomers spend 15 hours per week online, more time than teens as well as spend three times per month more online than Gen X, according to Forrester Research. The brands that engage female Boomers today will earn their share of Barbara's heart and wallet tomorrow.

Nancy Shonka Padberg is CEO of Navigate Boomer Media.

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7 Lessons from Mark Twain

This is from the DLM blog and applies not just to sales, but life:

7 Life Changing Lessons You Can Learn from Mark Twain

Posted: 26 Mar 2011 08:09 AM PDT

in 1871, Mark Twain was born as Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, U.S. He was a writer, and lecturer. He was called the “greatest American humorist of his age.” He wrote the now classic novels, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

He wrote some great stuff that is still read by millions today. He also had some great quotes that continue to live on because of the wisdom in them. Mark Twain was a funny, witty, and wise guy. I hope the below quotes will astonish, enlighten, and amuse you.

  1. "I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."

    We walk around all our lives thinking about things that will never happen. We worry, dread, and fear what hasn’t happened and what probably never will.

    Our minds are out of control. Our heads are filled with negative thoughts that have no bearing in reality, even if we think they do.

    Eliminating bad thoughts is possible, through methods such as EFT and The Work. It’s not easy, but worth it.

  2. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

    We want safety. We want to be secure, but the best life experiences come when we drop those notions and go after what we truly want, whether it feels safe or not.

    I’ve battled with this myself, and I often stop myself from doing things because it feels unsafe. I worry too much about the future.

    In reality, we can’t know what the future will bring. Even if you have millions in the bank, you may lose it tomorrow. Not even the wealthiest on this planet are secure.

  3. “When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet in his private heart no man much respects himself.”

    Imagine that something negative happened to you. Maybe someone said something to you that you thought was wrong.

    How often do you replay what happened over and over and over again when it’s all over?

    We disrespect ourselves by replaying bad thoughts in our mind, which leads to feeling bad, and treating everyone (including ourselves) around us badly.

  4. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

    Going after your dreams can feel like an overwhelming task, but that’s because you’re trying to visualize something in your head that cannot be visualized.

    Mark Twain is right on in breaking things into small pieces. It works because you can hold an image in your head of what the end result looks like. Instead of thinking “I need to start an online business,” a better thought would be “I need to start a blog.”

    That is, if you want to go down that route. Break things down, and simplify!

  5. “When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear.”

    A good and funny quote, but to me it sends the message to not make decisions when you’re angry. People are foolish when they are angry. They snap at others and only create more trouble in their life. Next time you’re angry, either use methods such as The Work or EFT, like I mentioned above, or just count to four, or better yet, ten.

    Calm down, and sleep on your decision.

  6. “Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.”

    Have you ever felt like you deserved something, but didn’t get it? I know I certainly have. That thought does us no good, even if we think we did deserve whatever it is that we didn’t get. It keeps you stuck instead of moving forward. So what if things didn’t go perfectly? You adjust and you keep on going.

    Who knows, maybe that setback wasn’t a setback after all. The negative events in my life have a tendency to blossom into positive ones.

  7. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.”

    Successful people aren’t fearless; no one is. It’s easy to believe that if you got rid of your fears, everything would be fine, but that’s just an excuse for not getting started. You will always have a smidgen of fear when diving into the unknown. Don’t let it stop you; instead use it as fuel to keep going.

Written on 3/26/2011 by Henri Junttila. Henri blogs at, Wake Up Cloud, where he shows you how you can earn money online ethically. You can also get the Passion Blogging Guide, which is free, but really shouldn't be.Photo Credit: Joe M500

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Found This Boring, But...

maybe that's just me.

Weeknights at 6pm I post the Marketing Daily email I recieve and usually I find at least one story I want to read more about.

Not today.

But who says everyday has to be exciting?

Enough about me, here's the Tuesday Night Marketing News Update from Mediapost:

by Aaron Baar
Aside from some light branding on the YouTube page where the videos will be hosted and casual mentions and placement within the programming, Intel's presence will be light throughout the campaign. The intention is to focus on the story being brought to life and enabled by Intel. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
A new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council points to three core elements that need to be in place: a strong mandate and unwavering support from the CEO; close, productive relationships with peers in the C suite; and early evidence that marketing is indeed performing expanded roles and enhancing business value (cultivating customers and driving sales and new revenue streams). ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Budweiser plans digital support (including display ads) in multiple international markets, including the U.S., to help drive traffic to the Facebook page, a spokesperson tells Marketing Daily In addition, the campaign will have additional offline support in selected print, radio and point of sale in various markets. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
A first-quarter analysis of retail activity by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) shows that U.S. sales of motorcycles and scooters from major manufacturers rose 7.2%. "There has always been a connection between higher fuel prices and a rise in motorcycle sales," says Ty van Hooydonk, MIC communications director. "We are also seeing stronger sales of dual-purpose bikes." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
In announcing stronger earnings and sales, JCPenney says it is amping up its expense-reduction plans, and will deliver an additional $50 million in savings this year -- some based on more efficient marketing spending. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Nissan will have a presence at a dozen major races around the country -- including the New York City Marathon -- to promote the Leaf and other vehicles. There will also be a Facebook community page that includes a blog and video posts about motivation, training, gear, health, lifestyle, and the environment. ...Read the whole story >>

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Can They Really Kill Off the Phone Book?

Most forms of advertising are regulated by someone somewhere.

The Federal Trade Commission has rules against deceptive advertising practices, many local cities have regulations on outdoor signage.

Broadcast TV & Radio stations can lose their licenses if they cross certain lines.

But now it looks like that old standby, the Yellow Pages are being regulated in such a manner that they could become extinct, at least in San Francisco, according to this story from Good Cities:

San Francisco Set to Ban Unsolicited Phone Books

When's the last time you looked up a number in the phone book? For us, it was probably around 1999. But the Yellow Pages keep coming. Every year there's another stack of trash delivered to your doorstep.

Now San Francisco, the first city in the country to ban plastic bags, is about to take another step forward: Preventing the Yellow Pages from giving books to people who might not want them. Last week, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to pass legislation (PDF) that would ban unwanted delivery of the directories. Each phone book would have to be "personally delivered to an occupant or authorized representative of the residence or business or left at the residence or business following a request." A few cities have opt-out registries, but this bill is different. The Yellow Pages would have to confirm you want a book before giving you one. The legislation also includes a public outreach campaign to make sure seniors and low-income people aren't deprived of useful information.

The bill faces one more vote this week, but it's expected to pass. If it does, the savings will be considerable. According to the city, the 1.6 million business directories delivered every year would stack up to 8 1/2 times the height of Mt. Everest, and banning them would actually boost the economy by lowering advertising rates and reducing damage to municipal recycling machinery.

Let's hope laws like this catch on elsewhere. There are tons of great doorstops on Etsy.

Photo (cc) from Flickr user angusf

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When Price Questions are Not Price Objections

Some of you may have seen this tip last week. Google Blogger was offline shortly after it originally appeared and I had a couple of compliments so here it is again.

Very important info:

Daily Sales Tip: When the Customer Has Price Concerns

Don't dismiss the buyer when they push back. I often hear this comment: "If they push back on price, we don't want them! Pushing back on price is an indicator that a client will be high maintenance or worse down the road."

That might not be the case. Buyers are often taught to challenge price in multiple ways. Just because they challenge you doesn't mean they are bad people or are destined to be bad clients. It also doesn't mean they're challenging your value personally.

It often means they're trying to figure out how to engage you and your solutions. Some providers discount; others don't. They're just asking. Hold your ground and treat them reasonably in the process, and oftentimes they'll just come around.

Source: Sales/marketing consultant Mike Schultz

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Know Anyone With Land Rover?

When I was a kid, before I got my drivers license, I had a Land Rover.

The Matchbook cars version.

I think it was the National Geographic Specials they used to run a few times a year about going to Africa and other exotic places that caught my interest.

But then I sort of forgot about them until a friend of mine had one a couple years ago.

This off the radar problem is one of the stories in the Monday Night Marketing Update from Mediapost:

by Karl Greenberg
Imagine being away from home for 10 years, coming back and finding that someone redesigned your house. Kim McCullough might have felt a bit of that two months ago, when after a decade-long absence, she returned to Land Rover North America as Brand VP. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"We wanted to get away from the lofty and generic look of our competitors," says David Srere, co-president/ CEO and chief strategy officer at Siegel+Gale. He adds that the colorful graphics will appear on packaging, digitally, point-of-sale, and eventually, in consumer advertising. "The idea was to show people the beautiful, vivid world they can enjoy in these lenses." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Kraft Foods' string cheeses -- branded Polly-O on the East Coast and Kraft elsewhere in the country -- are teaming with Six Flags Entertainment Corp. for a multiplatform "Twisted Fun" promotion this summer. The promotion also brings in a sustainability element, through a partnership with the TerraCycle, Inc. "upcycling" company. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The iPad is many things, but it's not necessarily a PC-killer. According to The NPD Group, only 14% of early iPad adopters (those who owned an iPad for six months or more), bought the device instead of a PC, and the rate dropped to 12% among people who purchased an iPad more recently. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The Minneapolis-based company has launched a Web site and blog where users can view fan-created videos and exchange ideas on sustainable packaging and green initiatives. Included on the site is a "Think Green" video that showcases why bags are a smarter packaging solution. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Jeff Bezos, president, CEO and chairman of the board at Amazon, held forth before a full house at the Yonkers, N.Y., headquarters of Consumer Reports during its ShopSmart symposium this week. He spoke on everything from feedback-abuse to the future of online marketing and the importance of a corporate vision that transcends ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Craft beers' appeal has always resided in their distinctive, individualistic tastes and identities. That's certainly true for Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado -- which, in an unusual move for a craft brewer, is running regional TV ads that spotlight those characteristics by spoofing big beer brands' advertising. ...Read the whole story >>

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