Saturday, May 28, 2011

Advertising Basics from 1922

What was true 89 years ago is still true today.

This is from Talking Media Sales:

Are Your Clients Wasting Their Advertising Dollars?

Written by Graham Barr

The US department store owner John Wanamaker is best remembered for his famous quotation: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”. Mr Wanamaker passed away in 1922; unfortunately this flip remark is still earnestly quoted today. It’s a great pity because it is neither necessary nor prudent to waste money on advertising. With planning it is not difficult to work out where any wastage is happening and why some advertising works so much better than the poor performing variety.

Never lose sight of the role of Advertising

Advertising in whatever form it takes is a method of communication. Marketers should never lose sight of the fact that the role of their advertising is to communicate with fellow human beings. Obscuring the message behind fancy graphics and clever “creative” executions does not serve the purpose of the advertising. That is not to say that the advertising should be without imagination and creativity. On the contrary, it is important that if your message is to be seen and heard above the cacophony of advertising messages it has to “stand out” and be noticed. Unfortunately too often the creativity involved in helping the advertising to “stand out” sacrifices the very message it was designed to convey.

Get your advertising strategy right first

That brings us back to the question of wastage of advertising dollars. The single most common mistake made by advertisers is to embark upon the process of media selection and creative execution without completing a vital first step. That is the preparation of a comprehensive advertising strategy. With the benefit of a strong advertising strategy marketers will more easily make their media choices and will see for themselves what if any advertising dollars are destined to be wasted. Experience has proven that strong advertising strategies serve to focus efforts, eliminate false starts, and go a long way toward ensuring that ineffective advertising doesn’t get made.

With a focused strategy in place a relevant advertising brief can be prepared setting out such facts as who we are to communicate with and what we are endeavouring to convey. We should also be aware of what would motivate them to act upon our entreaties. In other words we should clearly establish what we are trying to achieve with the advertising. Once a brief has been written it should be the blue print for both media selection and creative execution.

Who are you advertising to?

Making media choices are much easier when we know who our audience is. How effectively we convey that message (the creative execution) will be determined by how much we know about that audience.

Remember that advertising is a communications tool and its true worth can only be measured against communication objectives. It therefore behoves all advertisers who want to know how well their advertising is working to set realistic and achievable communication goals. Such goal(s) should be established at the early planning stage.

Wastage of advertising dollars can be minimised with an effective strategy that clearly indicates what the advertising is expected to do, against which audience it should be directed, and why this target should believe what we are telling them or act as we want them to.

PHOTO – By Bain News Service, publisher.The Mystery Man at Wikimedia Commons

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Modern Momma

A few stats to help you understand them:

Modern Mom More Than "... A Regular Woman"

According to a recent Nielsen Company study, 34% of American households are home to kids under 18, and modern moms wear many hats and play many roles. These moms are 19% more likely than the general population to engage in social networking, and even more likely to become a fan or follow a brand (31% more likely), become a fan or follow a celebrity (24% more likely) and comment on others postings (27% more likely).

Moms account for one-fourth of all video streams occurring on social networks, and are also more likely to post their own content:

  • 37% more likely to post photos
  • 25% more likely to link articles/videos
  • 33% more likely to give status updates

Using the Internet for personal communication is also very high among mothers, with moms 37% more likely to send/receive invites online, 17% more likely to use instant messaging and 14% more likely to make/receive voice calls online.

Moms make up more than one-fifth of online video viewers and spent an average of 258 minutes viewing online video in March 2011. Compared to the overall usage in the US, Moms spent 25% more time, about 52 minutes longer on average, viewing online video from Home PCs.

Moms can be hard to reach, says the report. In broadcast primetime, ad recall levels are 8% lower among moms 25-54 than non-moms of the same age and the general population.

The study found that the ads that resonate most with moms are often family- and convenience-oriented with relatable characters/situations, sentimental tonality and good natured humor. A heavy focus on products/services tends to reduce ad effectiveness among moms. For moms, the 30-second sitcom (or drama) might just snag her much-divided attention.

Though households with kids under 18 make up a third of U.S. households, they are responsible for half of all purchases of cereal, juice, fresh meat and prepared food (dry mixes). Moms also overindex for shopping for groceries online.

However, when it comes to general shopping online, they are on par with other online adults.

Moms are more likely to shop for media items:

  • Books (11% more likely than the adult online population)
  • Magazines (20%)
  • Digital music (15%)
  • Video games (7%).

On the flipside, they are 53% less likely to do investment shopping.

For the 2010-2011 season, reality TV programs have been the big winners among women ages 25-54 in broadcast primetime. In fact, the top four broadcast programs women ages 25-54 watched were reality TV as were half of the top 20 shows watched by this audience.

For more information about the Nielsen study, please visit here.

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Handling Rejection

One of the toughest parts of sales is that you will hear no more than you will hear yes.

Here are 5 tips from the DLM blog:

Facing Rejection? Here Are 5 Key Steps To Handle Them Like a Pro

Posted: 17 May 2011 08:28 AM PDT

Rejection can be tough to handle. I know because I face them often in my life.

As a personal development blogger, some readers reject what I write in my articles, sometimes writing lengthy personal emails to tell me why I'm wrong. In my work as a speaker, there are times when participants reject what I share during my workshops. In growing my business and blog, there have been countless times when I reach out to others for collaboration opportunities, only to get turned down.

Even in my personal life, I experience rejections too. For example, my family members are private individuals - they don't like to talk about themselves. There have been times when I try to connect them on a personal level, with limited results. Some of my friends can be quite nonsocial - Often times I contact them to arrange for a meet-up, only to receive lukewarm responses. Here, their rejection comes in the form of non-reciprocated efforts.

Needless to say, rejection can be quite a downer, especially when you're banking your hopes on a positive outcome. No one likes to receive a "No", when it's so much better to get a "Yes".

The thing is, rejection is part of growth - be it in work, relationships or life. In the past few years of actively pursuing my growth, I've learned it's not possible to avoid rejection if you want to truly develop as a person. Rejection helps you to uncover blind spots, to learn more about yourself, and ultimately to grow.

The only way to avoid rejections is to box yourself tightly in your comfort zone, in which case you fail to live by default. This is not how you want your life to be - You're capable of so much more.

While rejection isn't easy, there are ways to deal with it and make it manageable. Here, I'd like to share with you 5 key steps that have worked very well for me:
  1. Don't take it personally
    When you approach someone, you open yourself up, so getting a rejection naturally makes you feel like they're rejecting you. That's why most people tend to take rejections personally.

    For example, when I get rejections on things that are very important to me, I feel hurt. I'd wonder if there's something wrong with me or if I'm not good enough. I'd also wonder if there was something I could have done to make things different. This puts me in a state of self-doubt.

    Of course, such thinking doesn't help. It only makes you feel bad about yourself. For whatever rejection you've faced, recognize it's a rejection of the request, not you. Your request is merely an extension of your thoughts; it does not represent you as a person. Both are two entirely separate things.

    Recognize that many rejections are rarely personal. They usually reflect more about the other person and how the request doesn't meet his/her needs, than about you. By taking yourself out of the equation, you'll realize a lot of your emotional responses with the rejection are unnecessary.

  2. Expect rejection
    Anticipating rejection helps me in 2 ways.

    First, it challenges me to set a high benchmark to what I do. Since I'm expecting a rejection, it forces me to push my boundaries and put my best work forward, so as to increase my chances of a "Yes". Secondly, even if a rejection does arise, it helps me to handle it better, since I'm already prepared for it.

    This doesn't mean you start going "Oh the world sucks and no one will accept what I do/say" and adopt a doom-gloom view. The underlying principle here is to do your best, while preparing yourself to handle the worst.

    Make sure you don't end up procrastinating instead. The point is to use rejections as a driving force to become better, not as an excuse to put off the work.

  3. Maintain your focus of control
    There are 2 focuses of control in life - External focus, which refers to anything outside our sphere of influence, such as our environment, colleagues, society and the world out there. Internal focus refers to what's within our sphere of influence - our thoughts, feelings, actions, behaviors, etc.

    Someone with an external focus of control sees the world as the main controller of his/her universe - He/she feels that he/she has no say in his/her life, and everyone has power over him/her. On the other hand, someone with a high internal focus of control sees that he/she is the sole determinant of his/her reality. He/she recognizes he/she has the power to do what he/she wants.

    Most people will adopt a high external focus of control in the face of rejection. They lose self-confidence and see themselves as incapable, lousy, or even worthless.

    Yet, doing so does not address the situation. It only sends you on a downward spiral, which serves absolutely no purpose other than to feel like crap about yourself. Not only that, you're also relinquishing your power to others. That's not good at all, and you definitely don't want that!

    The best way to handle rejection is to maintain your focus of control. In life, there are always going to be naysayers - the key is to learn to tackle the naysayers vs. let yourself be beaten down by them. Focus on the things you can action on. What can you do about this situation? What have you learned about it? (See point #4) How are you going to apply what you've learned? What are your next steps? The more you focus on actions you can take, the more you empower yourself.

  4. Learn from the rejection
    There's always a reason behind each rejection. Sometimes it may be a lackluster idea, a mismatch of needs, bad presentation (of the idea), bad approach, incompatibility of values, misunderstanding, and so on.

    If you can understand the reason behind the rejection, you can do things differently next time. This will be immensely helpful in your growth.

    One easy way is to follow-up and ask why. This can be done for almost any situation - interviews where you were rejected, client proposals, suggestions your managers turned down, and business meetings. Let them know you accept the rejection and you sincerely want to learn what went wrong, so you can improve. When done in an appropriate and sincere manner, the other party will often be more than willing to share and help you to improve.

    The second, less direct way is to objectively analyze the situation and troubleshoot what went wrong. Why did the person reject this? What was the person looking for? Did the request not meet his/her needs? What could I have done better? By way of self-questioning, I'm able to uncover a lot of learning points that I was not privy to before.

  5. Realize rejection is progression, not regression
    Most people dislike rejection because they associate it as regression - moving backward. To get a rejection means to face a dead-end in your goals. It means you have wasted your time and effort on this for nothing.

    Right? Wrong. Contrary to popular belief, rejection is progression, not regression.

    It took me sometime to realize this, but I finally did so a few years ago. It wasn't a sudden a-ha moment, but more of a gradual realization over time. I realized all the fears about rejection are just mental, and rejection is actually a step forward to knowing what people want, what's out there in the reality, and how to improve ourselves to achieve our goals.

    In fact, the more times one gets rejected, the better - because then you'll have such an extensive understanding of your blind spots and what people are looking for that nothing can take you by surprise anymore. In which case, rejection becomes your best friend and partner in growth.Learn to handle rejection, and it'll become your vital tool to your growth and success. Today, I integrate rejection as a part of my daily life, where I constantly challenge myself to new opportunities that may well result in rejections.
The result? It has made me a more active participant of life and I'm totally loving it. Rejection has turned into one of my best tools for growth, just as it will for you too as you embrace it into your life.

Written on 5/17/2011 by Celestine Chua. Celestine writes at The Personal Excellence Blog, where she shares her best advice on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Get her RSS feed directly and add her on Twitter @celestinechua.
Photo Credit: Bryan Gosline

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Due to the miracle of pre-scheduling and working ahead, I'm not online at the moment.

But there will be the usual 3 updates a day all weekend including Memorial Day...

by Karl Greenberg
The 20-year Nissan veteran, who has held management positions in marketing operations, brand management, market intelligence and marketing communications tells Marketing Daily that the move splits marketing operations at the company but also aligns with an industry trend toward created a dedicated social media position. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Last month, Wal-Mart spent $300 million to buy social media firm Kosmix; this week. Dunnhumby -- owned by Wal-Mart rival Tesco -- snapped up Bzzagent, a Boston-based social marketing firm. Dave Balter, CEO and founder of Boston-based Bzzagent, tells Marketing Daily what's driving the trend. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Consumers took to Pretzel Crisps because they offer "all of the crunchy essence of pretzels, without all the doughy filling," and because like more traditional crackers, they can be paired with other foods or used to dip, sums up Abbenante. (The brand drove massive exposure early on by making small packages for distribution on airlines.) ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Celebrities are known for having their fair share of "baggage" (just ask the folks at TMZ). But JetBlue Airways is asking them to unload another kind of baggage -- carry-ons, party purses, briefcases, guitar cases and other bags -- for a celebrity auction. ...Read the whole story >>

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The Future of Radio & the Web

Automobiles have been mobile radios for decades.

More radio listening occurs in our vehicles than any other place.

We are a captive audience.

Tape players, CD players, MP players... none have made the car radio obsolete.

But now, in 2011 there are several new vehciles that offer the internet as a listening option.

The changes will take years as explained in the following interview:

Online Radio's Big Frontier: The Automobile

Study Finds That 14 Percent of Listeners Already Stream

People have been streaming radio on their computers for years, with sites such as Pandora, LastFM, AOL Radio and more drawing millions of subscribers for hundreds of stations. The next frontier for streaming radio is in cars, and in fact it's a frontier that a surprising number of people have already traversed.

A new study from knowDigital, a Lafayette Hill, Pa.-based digital media research firm, finds that 14 percent of Americans listen to streaming radio in their cars on a regular basis. What's interesting about the study is that it also concludes that streaming radio actually does not constitute a threat to traditional radio in either the short or long term. These early adopters are heavy consumers of audio media, and they listen to terrestrial stations as well as streaming ones. Also of note: In-car streamers aren't necessarily heading for Pandora when they connect. Many are using their cell phones to plug into the Internet and stream, say, their hometown radio stations, and they're doing so even when they're many miles away from home.

Sam Milkman, president at knowDigital, talks to
Media Life about the challenges to in-car radio streaming, who these early adopters are, and what this study means to media buyers and planners.

What did you find most interesting or most surprising about this study?

I guess that people are already doing this. People are already streaming in their car and the future is now.

Even though we had seen it before, it's the level at which they're doing it. Even though there are obstacles, there's really a halo over this activity, and they forgive the fact that you have to go through some hoops to get it done.

What's the most important thing media buyers and planners can take from it?

The other interesting point is that despite an endless number of choices online, when asked to program a new digital dashboard with 10 pre-sets, most streamers could only think of four or five sources they wanted to program. That includes their phone, one or two FM radio stations, their digital library and perhaps one other source.

If media planners and buyers want to find a mass audience they will need to continue to focus on the big brands in the radio space.

I'm wondering whether there's any evidence that they were using streaming to avoid commercials. Some of that is going on, but it's clear to these consumers that there are commercials in the stream.

What are the perceived difficulties to in-car radio streaming, and how are in-car streamers working around them? What's the most common way to stream (smartphone, USB port, etc.)?

First there's the connection. They're plugging [their phone] into a USB port on their dashboard, or they have a fancier Bluetooth or some accessory that is transmitting a signal to the FM receiver.

The problem then is to make [channel] choices requires that they fiddle with their telephone and use the phone's battery and data plan. They don't like that this phone is in a cup holder or seat or that they're looking down to play with it and make changes. So they're not necessarily plugging in for a short trip, which suggests to us that if a solution was there they'd use it more often.

The smartphone, probably wired to the dashboard at this point, is the most common way to stream.

Is in-car streaming more or less popular than you expected? Why?

I think that it is more popular. We thought a smaller group was doing it, but we were surprised that a good number is doing it a least a few times during the week. It suggests 14 percent of Americans are streaming at least 5 minutes per week in the car.

What sort of characteristics do in-car streamers share, beyond presumably being early adopters? Do they listen to traditional or satellite radio as well, or mostly streaming?

They definitely listen to other forms of radio. They all reported starting their drives with FM radio. The study revealed a lot of reasons why they still turn to traditional radio. There's certainly a lot of reasons why they rely upon traditional broadcasters.

Some have satellite radio -- these are people who are interested in audio media in the car in general, or just audio media in general. So it didn't surprise us a lot had satellite radio.

Also, they're commuters, they spend more time than most people in the car. They're highly interested in audio of all kinds. And beyond that they probably are looking for something different, some variety and customization, all the characteristics that apply to streamers in general.

Are there cars that stream audio without connecting to a phone or other device?

What I got out of these sessions is people don't want the car to have its own Internet connection. They want the car to pick up their phone's Internet connection, and that'll be by Bluetooth or otherwise. That's in the near future. I guess the real challenge here is how many people are going to turn over their cars and buy new ones.

How does the quality of streaming compare to traditional radio? Will this be an issue for future adoption?

They think the quality is better, that's the funny part of the whole thing. They perceive the quality to be better, and they forgive the technical limitations. So if it cuts out or buffers, they understand how often that happens and they're not bothered by it.

How much of a short-term and long-term threat to terrestrial radio is in-car streaming radio?

I think the two are compatible. They see a value in over-the-air radio and they see a value in streaming. And they seem to use the two in tandem.

Certainly in that more crowded dashboard, someone will get elbowed out. But the funny thing is, a lot of the streaming was of radio signals, it wasn't like they were turning to another source. I think in the long term the two media will learn to live together.

Over-the-air begins to adopt some principles from streaming, and streaming will incorporate elements from over-the-air, and the two come together at some point.

How long until in-car streaming becomes mainstream? What percentage of the population does it now?

I think it has to do with the cycle of car purchasing. And it's probably two generations of cars because 35-year-olds have to buy the cars that have the capabilities, and then the 18-year-olds get the used cars. So it may be as far as 14 years off.

There are certainly car radios you can buy now that will bring your phone into the dashboard via Bluetooth. And there are certainly a number of aftermarket suppliers looking to create something more than bringing the phone to an unused FM position. They want to get to a place where you can control your phone with a dashboard and not worry about messing with the phone anymore.

What are the long-term challenges to in-car streaming radio?

You know, it's the car turnover rate, and also, does the population really want more out of radio? Are they happy with what's provided to them already? To that point there have always been other sources of audio in the car -- CDs, iPods, tapes, 8-track tapes, etc., and none of those things killed radio.

This may be more interesting because it actually is radio in some ways, but in the end I think broadcasters will collect themselves and focus and meet the challenge.

There's also data plan problems and capacity problems. I heard from some that said their data plan is limited and if they stream in the car they'll rack up charges, and they don't want to do that. And there's probably a whole host of capacity issues lurking if everyone started doing this.

(Source: Diego Vasquez, Media Life, 04/28/11)

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They are not the Same

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Are All Sales Opportunities Equal?

The most widely accepted definition of a qualified sales opportunity is a decision-maker with a budget to purchase a product or service. But are all sales opportunities equal? Are identical offerings to two different buyers equal in value to the sales rep?

In the 1940s, Frank Bettger, author of the sales classic, "How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success," made several game-changing observations over a 12-month period:

-- 70% of sales were closed on the first meeting.
-- 23% closed on the second meeting.
-- 7% closed on the third meeting or after.
-- 50% of his time was spent chasing the 7% that closed on the third meeting or after.

By eliminating sales that did not close by the second meeting, Frank doubled his income!

When I learned Frank's simple and brilliant philosophy, I wondered if I could eliminate weak sales opportunities on the front end. How could I avoid high-effort, low-return sales, and sales I would never close?

Qualifying by itself is not enough for evaluation, so I assessed my best and weakest sales with questions like these:

* Which sales netted the highest profit with the least effort?

* What did those sales look like, including lead origin, products and services sold, price range, discount, and cycle length?

* With which types of customer was I most successful, company size, organizational makeup, decision-maker's position, buying committee size, and personality types?

From the answers, I developed a quantification method that helped me evaluate and segregate new sales opportunities.

By eliminating high-effort, low-return sales that pay lower commissions, wear you down, and drain your enthusiasm and passion, you can focus that lost time with a better attitude on high-return, lower-effort opportunities. This is a secret of top producers.

Source: Sales/marketing consultant Gary S. Hart

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
New York City is launching a global campaign to promote Lower Manhattan, an area comprising the financial district, Battery Park City, and the waterfront harbor. The effort -- "Get More NYC: Lower Manhattan" which begins June 1 -- extols the virtues of Lower Manhattan hotels, restaurants, shops, history, museums, and other attractions, including the 9/11 Memorial, which the city says will open on Sept. 12. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Maya Moore, a two-time NCAA Women's Basketball National Champion and college basketball's all-time leader in games won as a player, is one of the most celebrated athletes in the history of college athletics. She led the University of Connecticut Huskies to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2009 and 2010. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"Our thinking was guided by Kyocera's president, who believes we're really in a new world where people really have to watch what they're doing in terms of controlling costs," Livingston Miller, president of Seiter & Miller, the agency behind the campaign, tells Marketing Daily. "What we tried to find was someone who was credible -- particularly an economist." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Americans are expected to increase consumption of sweet snacks and desserts three times more than Canadians over the next decade. Canadians as a whole are more inclined to favor salty and savory snacks foods such as cheese, chips and crackers -- in fact, their consumption of these foods will outpace population growth over the next 10 years. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
DoubleTree by Hilton is launching a year-long, global rebranding initiative that includes operational, marketing, advertising, online, social media and internal/external communications channels. The multimillion=dollar awareness initiative is the largest brand campaign for the brand in nearly two decades. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The television, print, digital, social media, point-of-sale, out-of-home and radio effort centers on creative by ad agency Mother and production house Brand New School that makes the human torso something of a palimpsest for various pursuits, with animation representing various jobs, hobbies, escapes and disasters superimposed thereon. ...Read the whole story >>

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New Ad Campaigns

Our weekly update from Amy:

Betty White to aging boomers: "Get over it." Singing sour cream. Let's launch!

1Everyone's an ad critic, even Michael Imperioli in one of eight ads for 1800 Tequila. In "Commericals," Imperioli dislikes ads that are outlandish and make it hard to determine the product being advertised. He doesn't beat around the bush when hawking tequila. Watch it here. Imperioli knocks rival Patron in the next ad, called "Men." He yearns for the days when men drank real tequila and talked sports, rather than sipping poser tequila and talking hair tinting. See it here. In another ad, "Conversation," Imperioli mocks texting. Why not meet your friend for a drink to talk, instead? Watch it here. Dead As We Know It created the campaign.

2Captain Morgan knows how to ease the tension in a life-threatening situation. Rather than walking the plank, he dives off, adding a decent flip to the mix. "Dive" is the first ad from "To Life, Love and Loot," a campaign that focuses on the enigmatic Captain Henry Morgan himself. The TV ad launches in June and an extended version is running on the brand's Facebook and YouTube pages. Set in the mid-1600s, the ad begins with Captain Morgan being alerted to an enemy ship close by. As the crew prepares for a showdown, Captain Morgan calmly strips down to his skivvies and dives off the plank, breaking the ice and making friends out of potential enemies. See the extended ad here, created by Anomaly and directed by Tom Hooper who directed "The King's Speech."

3Audi launched two TV spots that illustrate consumers' extreme love for the brand. In "Car Carrier," so many people are abandoning BMWs, Mercedes and Lexus cars in favor of Audi, that some drivers actually vacate their moving vehicles for a slew of Audis on a car carrier. The spot ends before the unmanned cars inevitably crash -- and what's with the guy who chose an Audi with someone already in it? I'd like to see them duke it out for ownership. See it here. "Spring Cleaning" is better than rolling out the red carpet for the Audi A7. The streets are cleaned with vacuums and brooms while yellow lines are hand-painted and pigeons are shooed away from street poles. "Ready the road" closes the ad, seen here. Venables Bell & Partners created the campaign.

4Allstate's Mayhem is back and he continues to make life miserable for those not insured by Allstate. Take this man, who's selling his motorcycle. A potential buyer, someone he doesn't know very well, comes to test-drive the bike. The test driver is Mayhem, who hardly makes it to the end of the road before wiping out and severely damaging the motorcycle -- a major cost to the owner, if he doesn't have the right insurance. See the ad here, created by Leo Burnett.

5Breakstone's sour cream launched two adorable TV spots starring an animated tub of sour cream professing his love to other foods. Love knows no language barrier. Sour cream consults a Spanish/English dictionary to properly confess his love to a pair of tacos. Watch it here. When it comes to his love of potatoes, sour cream takes a page from John Cusack's character Lloyd Dobler from "Say Anything." He takes his stereo and plays REO Speedwagon's "Keep on Loving You" to the potatoes. See it here. Each ad closes with the tagline "the food your other food loves." The Martin Agency created the ads, directed by David Hicks of B-Reel Films, with visual effects by axyz.

6Can Betty White do wrong? Answer: No, says the person who owns every season of "Golden Girls" on DVD. She is such an ideal spokeswoman for AARP, given that much of her success occurred after she turned 50. White tells soon-to-be 50somethings to "Get Over It," in a TV ad encouraging those 50 and older to join AARP. White proves that joining AARP doesn't make you old by hosting a telethon, answering every phone call and performing with her band to entertain viewers. Watch the ad here, created by GSD&M.

7Mars launched a print and outdoor campaign positioning itself as a candy that fixes things. So what if your surfboard has been half-eaten by sharks? Eat a Mars and get back in the water. Is your BMX bike bent out of shape with two flat tires? That shouldn't stop you from "getting back on track," by careening down a massive bike hill. See the ads here and here, created by CLM BBDO.

8AT&T launched "Spider," promoting its Samsung Infuse 4g phone with colors so real, you'll want to beat it, if your phone's wallpaper happens to show a large spider. That's exactly what happened when a man placed his phone on a table in a crowded restaurant. A woman sees the spider screen, thinks it's a real spider, flips out, and a third person at the table beats the phone senseless. Watch the ad here, created by BBDO New York.

9Random iPhone App of the week: And it's another graffiti app. Elite Gudz upgraded its Graffiti Spray Can Pro app to offer more texture choices, colors and a more realistic spray paint movement. Users can now share their work on Facebook, Twitter and email or upload it to the "Wall of Immortalz," an online graffiti community accessible from within the app. The app costs 99 cents in the App Store.

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

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3 Times to Say Thanks

My Mom would have called it the ultimate follow up.

The Thank You Note.


Three Ways to Thank Your Loyal Customers via Email

"Unless you were raised by wolves in the wild," writes Karen Talavera in an article at MarketingProfs, "at some point you learned that it is polite to say thank you. It's not merely proper etiquette; it's just downright considerate and gracious."

Customers need to know you're grateful for their business, and adding thank-you emails to your marketing "illuminates the human side of your brand," she argues.

Talavera breaks down the thank-you email into three categories:

The Immediate Thanks. It's important to acknowledge any transaction or communication right away; be sure to do it in a tone, style and design that match the channel in which your customer took action. And don't skimp on the gratitude if they spent lots of money. "Match your thanks, in magnitude, to the action you are thankful for," Talavera advises. "The last time I bought real estate, for example, I received a huge housewarming gift basket, not a lame postcard or text message."

The Seasonal Thanks. Holidays—especially Thanksgiving—are a natural time to thank loyal customers. "[B]ut go beyond national or religious holidays," she suggests. "Are you also thanking your customers on the anniversary of their relationship with you? Of their first purchase? On holidays relevant to them (Mother's Day, Father's Day, New Year's Day, Veterans Day, Grandparents Day)?"

The Surprise Thanks. Even the most jaded customer will likely appreciate an expression of thanks that comes for no particular reason. "To start," she says, "weave a quarterly or (if you're ambitious) monthly thank-you campaign to reward repeat business and customer loyalty." You can establish a regular schedule, keep customers guessing or tie the program to behavior.

The Po!nt: It's OK to show you're grateful. Like friends, your customers won't feel valued if you contact them only when you want something from them. Thank them once in a while.

Source: MarketingProfs.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Social, Social, Social, Website, Social...

In case you were still wondering where this whole social media and internet fad is going...

At least 5 of the 14 stories in the Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost are about social and/or web:

by Aaron Baar
The NFL, MLB and NHL Facebook communities have a combined 5.2 million Facebook fans. The Los Angeles Lakers, the most-"liked" individual sports team in the U.S., has 8.2 million. So it's saying something that gaming company EA Sports has just surpassed 10 million fans (covering all of its brand and franchise pages). But that milestone didn't come without some effort. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Robin Daniels, director of product marketing at, tells Marketing Daily that the collaboration gets the car into the social media space, which it has not been part of heretofore. "This network gives customers an opportunity to connect in a new way and in real time." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Social media engagement continues to play a significant role in San Francisco-based Visa's ongoing U.S. marketing efforts. The campaign gives travelers a new tool to share their experiences through a Facebook application, Memory Mapper, which uses Google Maps satellite technology and a person's own photos, videos and captions to chronicle a visual story of their travels for a unique keepsake to share with friends and family. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Disney isn't alone. Such chains as Macy's, Subway, Target, Zumiez, Saks and Urban Outfitters have recently announced stepped-up expansion plans, which retail experts say is another sign that the economic recovery is on solid footing. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
An anchor of the new campaign is a 30-second TV spot, "Inventions," from Young and Rubicam. The spot reviews human inventions over the centuries designed to help them get together -- including fire, the wheel and light -- leading up to: "... and over a century ago, we invented Bacardi, to bring it all together." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
But says the propensity within the safety "culture" in the U.S. to mitigate human behavior as a factor in the safety or danger of machines compelled Toyota and government to behave as if a real, fixable, mechanical or electrical problem was at fault in accelerations, rather than problems that might have had a source in behavior. ...Read the whole story >>

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The New Frontier

I've worked in the radio advertising business since 1986 and seen watched the growth of the web as a new media and medium for advertising & branding.

Check out this story from

Technology makes media redundant

Brand (n): a class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer. (Source: What do the media have in common with the idea of branding? Unfortunately, not much … yet! The media have long operated under a functional model that is based upon two foundational variables:

Distribution: This is the definition of the term “medium” in the first place. It’s the idea that a medium represents a unique distribution pathway that enables content to flow from its source to an audience.
Audience: The focus here is the medium’s ability to aggregate an unduplicated audience that is highly desirable to marketers.

And, once upon a time and not too long ago, this functional model seemed to work. Historically, media distribution pathways were relatively fixed and a bit more proprietary. Newspaper circulation networks were required to disseminate news to a particular community/market. Network television affiliates were required to broadcast television signals across a coverage area (Designated Market Area). The technology was not particularly friendly to redundant systems.

And audiences selected their medium of choice and spent their time with said medium … usually to the exclusion of others. Media consumption analyses used to illustrate the “sea-saw effect.” If you were a heavy user of one medium, you tended to be a light to non-user of another.

There was no need for the media to become true brands. Branding comes into play when product function is no longer enough. Brands take what are otherwise redundant products or services and make them special. Brands live beyond function, to infuse promises that create emotional bonds between the brand and the consumer.

Well, the time has come. The old model is broken: Any medium that defines its strategy by virtue of either its mechanism for content distribution and/or its ability to aggregate an audience will likely fail. There is nothing proprietary or particularly compelling in distribution pathways or audiences. The media themselves are becoming a commodity.

Thanks to first digital and now wireless (mobile) technologies, new distribution platforms can and will spring up with limited cost or infrastructure required. Much like the human body that can generate a new blood flow when an arterial route becomes clogged, new media will find new distribution pathways to avoid any “clogs” in a metaphorical sense. Distribution pathways are no longer proprietary.

Think about it. Not too long ago, you needed a television set and a microwave relay signal to enjoy a television program. Now? That same program can be distributed over the air, via cable or satellite (live, DVR or on demand), on Hulu or perhaps through the .com version of the network. You could also possibly download the program through iTunes or order up a DVD or video stream from Netflix.

What about newspapers and magazines? You can still get them “on paper” delivered to your door. Or you can still find a newsstand and buy a single copy. But you can also read the e-version on your computer screen. Perhaps you will download an app that lives on your Kindle or your iPad. You can even get versions of this content served to your mobile phone!

What happened to the distribution pathways for music? We used to be limited by the bandwidth of the AM and FM spectrum. Not anymore. Now music travels via satellite and digitally. We can listen on radios, computers, televisions, MP3 players and our mobile phones. The distribution pathway doesn’t matter much anymore. The consumer has multiple choices.

--Judy Franks, The Marketing Democracy This article is an excerpt from her new book "Media: From Chaos to Clarity":

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Summer Sales Slump?


Five Ways to Have Sizzling Summer Sales
by Mike Brooks

I'm amazed when I hear sales people and managers tell me how slow summer is for their business. It's almost like they're resigned to the fate of poor summer performance and are already thinking about how to make up their losses in the fall. Now I understand that many people take vacations in summer - a week or so here and there - but they are working all the other time aren't they? Even if your particular business slows down during the summer months (trade show, etc.), that doesn't mean you can't pre-book business or build relationships, or get referrals.

The fact is, top 20 percent producers still find ways to make their quotas in summer, and they also find ways to set up the end of the year so they exceed their revenue goals, earn their bonuses and have a great holiday season. And you can, too.

Here are five ways to make sure your summer sales sizzle, and ways to make sure you end the year strong as well:

#1 Have a strategy. Eighty percent of your competition approach summer like they approach everything else in their sales career -- they ad-lib their way through this season and hope to run into business. The top 20 percent, on the other hand, know exactly what objections they may encounter, they are prepared for them, and they have a specific selling strategy in place before they pick up the phone.

Do you have your "summer special" ready to counter the "slow summer price objection?" Do you have your "pre-fall purchase special" together to get pre-orders from those companies who are waiting until mid September? What is your compelling reason for your prospects to act now? Will they increase market share while other companies are sitting on the sideline? If you don't have a compelling reason as to why they should buy now, then develop a pitch today. Whatever you do, don't go in blind.

#2 Make more calls before noon. In summer, most people can't wait to leave the office and enjoy the sunshine while it's here. It's a proven fact that during summer most of the work, and attention given to that work by employees, takes place during the morning hours.

You need to capitalize on that work-flow energy and dedicate yourself to making as many of your calls as you can before noon. That doesn't mean you stop calling after noon, but try to put off your other activities like paperwork, quotes, etc., until later in the day and do the bulk of your calling in the morning.

Also, try to make an additional 5 calls per day. If you can accomplish that, you'll put in over 315 additional calls this summer. That, combined with morning calls, will pay off for you big time.

#3 Be prepared to talk vacation. Need an instant rapport builder? Ask your prospect where they are vacationing this summer and then let them talk! Did you notice that I used an assumptive question here? I didn't say to ask, "Are you taking a vacation this summer," rather ask "Where are you vacationing this summer?"

After you listen and ask some questions about their vacation, it's time to get back to business. Try a good transition sentence like, "You know _________, many of my clients are taking vacations as well and they are making sure to get all the business done that they can ahead of time so they can relax and enjoy their time off. I'm taking orders now for (your product or service), how many (your product or service) do you think you'd like to order before you leave?"

Adapt that script to fit your selling situation, but use it after talking vacation - you'll get more order than you think.

#4 Set your prospect up for the fourth quarter. Many fourth quarter deals are set up - and sometimes even completed - during the summer months. Here's the key, though: Don't do what 80 percent of your competition does which is simply to get a time to call back in the fall, but rather, get a "pre-order" from your prospect up front.

What you do is get all the information on a possible order size, need, circumstances, dates, etc., and then tell your prospect that you will "Have that order ready," and that you'll leave it open in case they need to add or subtract from it when the time comes." Then go ahead and send your prospect out the order form, contract, P.O., etc., along with a date of follow up or fill.

#5 Invest in your own training. Now that the summer is here, if you've got some additional time (or your team does), this is the perfect time to invest in their development. The smart companies use the summer months to improve their team's selling skills so they are sharp and ready to take advantage of the fourth quarter.

Remember, if you're not doing something to improve, then you probably aren't improving.

So there is your summer recipe for sales success. Use any of these five ideas to improve your results and you're sure to have the best summer (and fall) yet!

Mike Brooks has over 20 years of inside sales closing experience and has been billed nationwide as Mr. Inside Sales. For more information visit
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read, it's that simple...

by Karl Greenberg
The effort is timed with the inauguration of the automaker's new plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., which VW says is one of the greenest automotive factories in the world. It presages "Blue Motion," which (like BMW i, BMW's own urban mobility sub-brand) will be a new-technology division devoted to developing and producing alternative transportation products. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Choice Hotels is a true "brand of the people," said Bruce Dincin, senior director of marketing and advertising for Choice Hotels. "This campaign is a reflection of our commitment to listening to our guest's needs and desires and giving voice to the average value seeking American traveler," Dincin tells Marketing Daily. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"It's really something we came up with for people to inspire others to create things through our products," Rob Altman, manager of camera and video marketing for Canon USA, tells Marketing Daily. "We want people to use their cameras to inspire others." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
People who bring clothing donations into their local Gap store through May 29 earn a 30% discount on purchases that day, including both regularly priced and sale merchandise. Gap is also supplying volunteers for Goodwill's volunteer initiatives in communities nationwide, Lauren Lawson-Zilai, a spokesperson for Goodwill, tells Marketing Daily. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
One element of the promotion includes a 30-second spot commercial called "Pitties" (as in people working in a racing pit-stop) that is thematically tied to the movie: it carries the message that you can't always be ready for the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune but State Farm agents are. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
A new survey commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows significant majorities of U.S. voters in favor of providing the Food and Drug Administration with more funds to implement food safety measures and saying that they would be willing to pay more for their food to do so. ...Read the whole story >>

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