Saturday, June 18, 2011

How to Sell Christmas in June

from Drews Marketing Minute:

How does a seasonal business sell year round?

Posted: 26 May 2011 03:32 AM PDT


A guest post by Isabella York

Within most any business, there is a peak and a slow season. The truth is that there are times when a customer wants to buy all of our stock, and a time when we just want to move units out of our storage space. When seasons and trends come to pass, so does the flow of customers.

If you have a business that is expected to make the lion’s share of sales over two months of every year, it is a constant marketing strategy game, getting creative with concepts and ways to use your products, and coming up with methods to stimulate profit for the whole year.

Here are a few things we need to note to keep our seasonal business thriving all year round:

Plan ahead: Kevin Fraley of Printworks talked to the Wells Fargo Business Insights Series about planning months, even years, in advance when it comes to business. Anticipation of the inflow of income during the season highs and the strategy to keep moving units in the slow seasons will ensure that the business stays active year round. Like the Boy Scouts, preparation in a seasonal business is the key to success.

Slash prices in the off season in a creative way: Offer a sale they can’t refuse, and make it interesting. Off season sales at unexpected times, like Christmas in July, when people are craving the chill and comfort of the holiday season, or Halloween costumes to celebrate an iconic horror movie’s redistribution in a digitally re-mastered version, are consistently popular and strike a happy image in the customer’s mind. Use popular television shows, movies or albums to tie in your stock, and hear the cash register ringing all year long

Manage your online reputation: These days, the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to market your company is to do it online. Create, manage and take care of your online reputation for an easy way to connect to the customer on a 24/7 basis. Create a fan page on Facebook and offer deals and steals on the page; connect with past and potential customers while on the site. Check online review sites and offer explanations to customer complaints on these review sites, as most of them give the merchant the option to do so.

Offer your business in a new light: Michael Jones of Chicago’s In Bloom Floral & Events knew his summer was going to be a hard one due to the seasonality of his flower shop, so he created another way of getting his customers inside his store during the off peak season. He opened up an art gallery in his store space, creating more interest in his other offerings by getting people inside to see his items. He drew them in using art, and showcased his flowers as well.

Ride the highs and the lows of your seasonal business by working the unexpected, and planning ahead. Creativity with a lot of planning will get you ahead, and thriving year round, all the whilekeeping your business in tune with the trends.

Isabella York has been in the business world her entire life. Having seen business cycles ebb and flow, she knows a thing or two about developing strategies for changing demands, however her job with a purveyor of Artificial Christmas Trees and Christmas Trees has catapulted this skill set to a new level.

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Online Moms

Check out this research from Mediapost:

Brand Loyalty, Moms And The Web

Has the Internet killed brand loyalty among moms? Recent research shows that when it comes to shopping, today's consumers value research over loyalty. And since moms clearly exert the majority of influence when it comes to household purchasing decisions, it's moms -- and the very many products that they buy -- who would be impacted by such a trend. According to the report, from AMP Agency, unlike in previous generations "very few consumers between the ages of 25 and 49 are moved to purchase by habit, or sentimental considerations for a brand."

In fact, just 3% of those surveyed by that agency said they are loyal to a particular brand and never buy anything else -- very different from past generations. A key reason is that it's so easy for shoppers today to research a product before buying -- even read reviews from other people about that exact same item or service. According to the company, "with more information, consumers have seized control and are more open to the wide choices in the marketplace." Ninety-four percent of people said online research positively influenced their decision to make a purchase.

Some other findings:

  • 44% of those surveyed said they do research when buying baby products
  • 38% of the survey group said they do their research on social media sites

These findings relate to our own research, with the NPD Group, on how social media impacts moms' purchasing decisions. We found that nearly a quarter of moms who are active in social media have made a purchase for their child based on a social media recommendation.

We talked to moms after reviewing the Consumer Insights results and found that while research was crucial and influential, there was still a degree of brand loyalty, more in certain product categories than others.

Liz Thompson, a mother of four who blogs at This Full House, said that there are "brands that I grew up with and now trust with helping me to raise my family." In her case, this mostly applied to foods, clothing brands and department stores.

Yet, she continued, "I do, however, appreciate the opportunity to research new products and the ability to visit websites to see what my favorite brands are up to. For example, I look for how and where the product is manufactured, nutritional value, price comparisons, customer reviews and/or comments, along with any other information that helps me decide on whether or not to remain loyal to a particular brand."

Added Thompson, "Raising two teens and two tweens, I have researched a wide variety of products, including appliances, books, cars, cell phones, computers, educational aides, food, health and medical supplies, air and hotel rates, and vacation venues, just to name a few. I will run a general blog search on the product or service and then visit the corporate website."

Marketers: How has consumers' access to research negatively impacted your sales -- and what have you done about it?

Stephanie Azzarone is founder and president of Child's Play Communications and editor and publisher of the newsletter "Marketing Communications:Moms" and the blog "Mom Market Trends." Follow her on Twitter at ChildsPlayComm.

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Long Terming It

As I move my career in a different direction this month, these are some of the principles that I will continue to follow.

From Seth Godin:

The professional's platform

If you only show up when you want something, we'll catch on.

If you only learn the minimum amount necessary to get over the next hurdle, you'll fall behind.

If these short term choices leave you focused on the urgent, you'll almost never get around to doing the important.

A professional salesperson refuses to engage in the short-cycle of cold call/sell/move on. An urgent plea from the boss before the end of the quarter isn't enough reason to abandon your consistent approach. That's because cold calls are painful and rarely lead to sales. The professional salesperson realizes that closing a sale and then moving on wastes an opportunity for both you and the person you're working with.

A flustered programmer who grabs the relevant library without understanding its context or the role of the libraries around it will be in the same urgent state in just another few days.

The politician who only shows up when it's time to raise money, probably won't.

We remember what you did when you didn't need us so urgently.

If you're going to make a career of it (and of course, if you want to excel, you will), that means taking the time to understand the texture of your field. It means investing, perhaps overinvesting, in relationships long before it's in your interest to do so.

When it comes down to decisions that matter, your town, every town, is far more likely to support the one who has moved in, put down roots and contributed than it is to rush to whatever bright shiny object shows up for a few days before moving on.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read to your hearts content:

by Karl Greenberg
Marian Salzman, trendspotter and CEO of the agency's worldwide PR operations, decided to do a mid-year, Janus-like gaze backward and forward. Salzman said using trends as part of brand strategy is the only way to be proactive and plan for long-term success by identifying driving forces. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Baby Boomer women are actually less worried about price, and more open to new ideas, than Gen X shoppers, while Gen Y women love direct mail. Marketing Daily asked Janet Tonner, Vertis' director of research and analytics, to dish about the research, based on a survey of 2,500 adults. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
While noting that the industry has "a lot of ground to recover and still faces many challenges," Technomic president Ron Paul stressed that it's encouraging to confirm that improvements in the U.S. economy are beginning to translate into improved performance for the leading chains. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Aaron Baar
The effort, which apes the look and feel of a horror movie, is meant to depict the fear people may have of what can happen to their clothes in the washing machine, while underscoring Woolite's long-held positioning that it helps protect clothing. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The launch of Simply Naked follows a growing consumer trend that names "simplicity" as the latest driving force in new product development, says Nicole Glenn, marketing director for Simply Naked Wines. When the company asked consumers what attracted them to Simply Naked wines, 52% attributed "simplicity" as their main motivation. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Guardian Media Entertainment will join in an equity partnership with NBC Universal wherein the latter will give cross-platform media support around content and product launches for the project. The deal, which supplements marketing and promotion from the NHL and clubs, includes a multimillion-dollar commitment. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Safeway, which already dominates the organic-products market with its O Organics line, is rolling out Open Nature, yet another store brand. But with this one, which has all product ingredients listed on the front of the package as well as the back, "we're responding to consumer demand for transparency, and we're telling them exactly what we mean by natural," Nancy Cota, Safeway's VP/innovation and new product development, tells Marketing Daily. ...Read the whole story >>

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Couponing in 2011

With the growth of Smart Phones and Texting, it's not surprising this is happening:

Online Coupons Reach Nearly Half of Web Users

88.2 Million U.S. Adults Will Redeem an Online Coupon This Year

A digital revolution in couponing coupled with the belt-tightening of the recession have combined to make coupons cool among more than just those clipping the Sunday circular. Digital coupon usage is now firmly a part of the online shopping experience of millions of US consumers.

eMarketer estimates that by the end of 2011, nearly half of US adult Internet users, or 88.2 million people, will have redeemed an online coupon or code for use either online or offline in the past year. By 2013, 96.8 million adults will redeem an online coupon.

"Consumer brands are accustomed to promoting their products in stores and in newspaper inserts," said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer principal analyst and author of a forthcoming report on online couponing. "But as more shoppers make purchase decisions online before taking a shopping trip, brands are following them onto the Internet."

The growth rate for online coupon users is expected to gradually decline through 2013, as most online consumers predisposed to using digital coupons already do so.

Already, household usage of digital coupons has nearly doubled since 2005. Experian Simmons reported that 12% of households redeemed coupons from email or the web that year; it expects that figure to reach 22% in 2011.

"Today's online coupon users tend to be affluent, highly educated and over the age of 55," said Grau. "This is valuable input for marketers shaping the different elements of a promotional campaign, such as what products to promote with coupons, where to place the offers and what marketing messages to use."

(Source: eMarketer, 06/01/11)

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Come to an Understanding

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Restating Objections

The best salespeople repeat objections back to prospects in their own words to clarify that everyone is on the same page.

If the salesperson has taken good notes, chances are the prospect will confirm they're on the right track.

In many cases, prospects will become more engaged because the salesperson is focusing on their greatest concerns.

Another follow-up: Asking prospects how big a concern their objection is. This helps gauge whether the objection is the biggest obstacle to closing the sale, or one of several details that need to be addressed.

Source: Sales author/trainer John Boe

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read...

by Karl Greenberg
Marissa Hunter, head of advertising for Ram Truck brand, tells Marketing Daily the common thread "is a collective desire on behalf of all our brands to build new personalities, new identities and new consideration around the unifying objectives: validating product attributes, but also provoking consumers to look at us as they have not in the recent past." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The study found that just 3% of households with kids in the defined age range are tech "backward" (go out of their way to avoid technology). And while 36% are tech "neutral" (less reliant on tech than the average person, have incorporated it into their lives on only a basic level), 42% are tech "forward" (they've integrated tech into their lives in a significant way and have difficulty functioning without it). ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The game, called "Oceans of Treasure," challenges people to find 20 prizes, including a grand prize of $1 million, that have been scattered throughout the virtual oceans on Google Earth. Reached via a Facebook app, the game is the first to use the Google Earth program for a game, adding a realistic feel to treasure hunting. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
There are indications women will continue to beef up their beauty bags in the months ahead. NPD's Economy Tracker finds that 35% of those it surveyed intend to either maintain or increase their spending in cosmetics and fragrances, up 2% from last year at this time -- even given increases in gas and grocery prices. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
According to Chicago-based Mintel Comperemedia, cash in particular is becoming the enticement of choice, as 23% of credit card offers in January-April 2011 included an additional cash incentive, compared to just 1% during the same period in 2007. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"I think, especially if you are marketing any kind of digital entertainment activity, you should know it is not always mom who the kid is running to, or who is enjoying the digital experience with their child. It is perhaps more likely to be dad. So when you tailor your marketing language, it shouldn't put him off. Acknowledge he's a partner, too." ...Read the whole story >>

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New Ad Campaigns

From Amy at Mediapost:

FedEx ships golf clubs with care. Starburst's latest contradiction: a backwards dog. Let's launch!

Internet security provider Webroot launched three amusing online videos that put a different spin on three of the most notorious Internet scams. Think hot single women, Nigerian lottery and male enhancement products. Three young, attractive single women really do want to meet men online but can't get a date because no one will dare click their link. See it here. A Nigerian man hopes to reclaim his country's good name in another video, seen here. "I send you a check. You send me cash. Come on," he says in reference to the Nigerian lottery scam. The final video features a man who gave into temptation and clicked a link that, deep down, he knew was a virus. Said virus was a male enhancement link that spammed his entire friend list -- even his mom. Watch it here. "Don't let bad links happen to you," closes each ad. TDA_Boulder created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Pucker Vodka shatters glass with its bold, fruity flavors. I wonder if it makes drinkers pucker from the sweet and tart flavors? TV spots "Apple Impact" and "Cherry Explosion" show an apple and cherry shooting through a martini glass and vodka bottle, demonstrating an explosive flavor. Watch them here and here. Print ads also break glass, coupled with copy like "shatter tradition" and "blah has officially been destroyed." See them here, here, here and here. Euro RSCG Chicago created the campaign.

"When an investment lacks discipline, it's never this obvious," closes two TV ads for Russell Investments. The company's "Discipline" campaign promotes its Investment Discipline Exchange Traded Funds by showing people behaving chaotically. Despite the unexciting subject matter, the ads are quite funny. A "Hairstylist" is no good at multitasking in the first ad, seen here. She gabs on her cell while cutting a woman's hair. The woman is too busy reading a magazine to notice that her stylist has cut her hair down to the scalp. A mechanic drops a part important to fixing a car engine hose. Unable to retrieve it, he uses his gum as a quick fix that blows up in his face. Watch it here. Print ads continue with undisciplined behavior, paired with heavy financial copy. There's a security guard asleep on the job, a marine dressed like a clown for roll call, an out-of-shape man competing in a bodybuilding competition and a chef eating a just-finished cake with his hands. See them here, here, here and here. Venables Bell & Partners created the campaign.

A flash mob broke out at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon on June 5, courtesy of Dodge, the event's title sponsor. The flash mob started dancing to "Let It Rock" by Kevin Rudolf at the start line of the race, but you know that no actual runners participated in the flash mob. There's no way someone who trained a handful of months for one race would risk injury so close to the race by getting their groove on prior to running. It's a fun way to lighten the mood, though, at a time when runners are fighting their nerves to keep their composure and run a good race. Watch it here.

Coca-Cola launched a cute TV ad called "Shape," starring an empty plastic bottle of Coca-Cola that's having an identity crisis. After viewing a vintage photo of a glass bottle of Coke, the plastic version sucks in its gut, mimicking the vintage glass shape. Determined to have a little nip and tuck, the bottle rolls its way toward a recycling truck and eventually recycles into a plastic Cola-Cola bottle with the vintage glass-shape. Thrilled with its new look, the bottle is eager to be purchased, naturally by the same family, so it can proudly compare itself to the classic glass shape. Watch the ad here, created by Publicis Conseil and directed by Alaux & de Crecy of Little Minx.

When FedEx ships your golf clubs, they will baby them, just like you do. The brand launched two 15-second spots in conjunction with it sponsorship of the FedExCup golf tournament. In "Car Seat," a man gingerly secures his child into its car seat, or so we think. Once his wife appears holding their daughter, viewers see him talking to his precious golf clubs, snug and ready for travel. See it here. A noise awakens a man in the middle of the night in "Baby Monitor." He checks on his little ones via monitor -- his golf clubs haven't moved an inch, but he'll still go check on them in person. Watch it here. "We understand. nothing's more important than your clubs," closes both ads, created by BBDO New York.

The latest contradiction in the Starburst ad campaign is a "Dog" that prefers hanging his rear out an open car window, rather than his face. A friend sits in the backseat and mocks his friend's beloved pooch. The dog owner's lame comeback is that the pal eats Starbursts, an edible contradiction. Yeah, but does your dog pull people into burning buildings or dislike tennis balls? Weird. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York.

Mentos launched an interesting campaign to promote UP2U, a gum with two flavors in each package, like sweet mint or bubble fresh. An outdoor ad, seen here, went up in Chicago, the site of the annual Sweets and Snacks Expo. The billboard has a phone number, 800-304-UCHOOSE, where an automated voice will tell you which flavor to choose, after analyzing a series of multiple choice answers you've selected. Questions begin normally -- "What is your favorite color?" -- then quickly stray to kooky: "Where do you think Grandpa is hiding?" Also, I haven't the word parallelogram used since the fourth grade, so that was a treat. After answering all the questions, the automated voice gives you an answer: "Thank you, friend, for your choices and the hard work you put into choosing all of them. After analyzing your responses, it appears that Mentos UP2U gum is the perfect gum for you. Please buy some and visit us at" Kind of feels like the letdown Ralphie endured in "A Christmas Story" when he gets his decoder ring only to find out the code deciphered says, "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine." Listen to the phone call here. The Martin Agency created the campaign.

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

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Can You Do it in 3 Minutes?

Our attention spans are shrinking.

Here's wisdom from Harvey:

Let your 'elevator speech' elevate your business

By Harvey Mackay

If you were given a 180-second opportunity to change your business forever, would you be prepared to do it on a moment's notice? You would if you learn about the elevator speech as defined by Terri Sjodin in her new book, Small Message, Big Impact.

The book's subtitle, How to Put the Power of the Elevator Speech to Work for You, gets right to the point: the three minutes or so that you have to introduce your product or service to a potential customer.

In meet-and-greet situations, we have a unique opportunity to start a business relationship. Knowing how to use those few minutes to your best advantage is a skill that is essential to getting to the next level. Are you prepared for this challenge?

Terri Sjodin just became your best friend. "Small Message, Big Impact" is an extremely practical guide that is clearly written and packed full of terrific examples.

I've known Terri for a long time, and I am a big fan of her work. As a professional speaker, I can vouch for the wisdom she shares. The way she presents the information makes it easy to absorb. In fact, each of the chapters becomes an elevator speech on its own, because she takes just the right amount of time to get the ideas across.

Sjodin defines the elevator speech this way: "A brief presentation that introduces a product, service, philosophy, or an idea. The name suggests the notion that the message should be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride, up to about three minutes. Its general purpose is to intrigue and inspire a listener to want to hear more of the presenter's complete proposition in the near future."

Working with that time constraint, you begin to realize that every word is significant. You can't ramble or veer off message, or your presentation loses focus and becomes small talk. That's where the value of her advice is most apparent: getting to the point without getting stuck on the details.

"Your goal is to be both informative and persuasive, pairing rock-solid information with compelling arguments," Sjodin says. "If you are too informative, nothing happens. If you are too aggressive, nothing happens. Find a balance and you'll see results."

Drawing on the work of Professor Alan Monroe, Sjodin works through the steps of Monroe's Motivated Sequence which describes the normal sequence of human thinking: attention, need, satisfaction, visualization and action. She translates this scholarly work into language that anyone can understand and apply to their specific situation.

Once you understand what the listener needs, the product becomes much easier to craft. With useful examples and step-by-step outlines, she takes the mystery out of what makes an effective message and how to best use those precious three minutes.

Really outstanding speakers typically meet three benchmarks, she says.
  1. Case -- "They have built solid persuasive cases, employing clean, logical arguments and evidence to support their message."
  2. Creativity -- "Their illustrations of the talking points are really creative. They have blended thoughtful analysis and storyboarding to craft intriguing and interesting messages."
  3. Delivery -- "They present their messages in their own authentic voices. There's no boring professional mode; they aren't canned Stepford people. Their presentation style is genuine, and people sense the truth in their delivery."

Sjodin offers the ten basic steps to developing an elevator speech, and provides an outline worksheet that can be adapted for any situation. You couldn't ask for a better how-to. She's taken the guesswork out of preparing the presentation.

She emphasizes the importance of practice and evaluating your performance. She includes a thorough speech evaluation form that allows readers to assess their progress and effectiveness.

The creative approach Sjodin takes sets her book apart from so many other advice books. Borrowing from MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz, she starts with "the butterfly effect," the notion that a massive storm might have its roots in the faraway flapping of a tiny butterfly's wings.

"Assume that one tiny presentation at the outset of your journey could ultimately result in the fruition of your short- and long-term plans," she says, "and the magic of the Elevator Speech Effect can begin to generate a positive ripple effect forward. The motivation you use to put yourself out there is the potential to attain your goals and dreams."

Mackay's Moral: A great elevator speech can take you all the way to the top.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Just click & read.

It's that simple.

Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
Jeffrey Wolf, senior brand manager for Edge shave gel at Energizer Personal Care, says there's no cap on the number of submissions. "It could be writers, artists, someone who wants to drive a boat around the world." He says entries can be pretty much anything. "The wackier the better; it motivates others." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
It's not surprising that people who are crazy for something -- whether it's kayaking, 1966 Mustangs or beekeeping -- can be fanatical about their interests. But a new study finds that these "pollinators" don't just spread their money and opinions more freely, they've also got a different attitude about ads and social media. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Aaron Baar
"While Shaquille is recognized worldwide for his athletic skills, he is also known for championing products that deliver value, durability and functionality," William Thornton, vice president of product management and supply chain, says. "This makes him the ideal person to help us get the word out and bring increased recognition for iGo in the mobile accessory marketplace." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The Irvine, Calif., automaker, whose Optima is the "Official Vehicle of the NBA," will get product and brand placement around the arena and stage in Newark during the live coverage on ESPN, and on NBA TV and Kia's involvement includes presentation of two NBA Cares Community Caravan events in Newark and New York City before the Draft. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The entry process includes submitting a before and after photo and writing a weight loss success story in 300 words or less. Contestants are asked to share their Atkins journey, how they achieved their weight loss goals, what they enjoy about Atkins and what motivates them. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Marketers looking to buy programming based on "audience engagement" may want to think twice. A new study by Ace Metrix reveals there is little difference in advertising effectiveness among so-called engaged viewers and those who are not as involved with the program. ...Read the whole story >>

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How Long?

As I transition my employment from the radio business into the internet world, I'll continue to offer articles on a variety of media and marketing subjects.

Today the topic is Email from

What You Need to Know About Lead-Nurturing Messages

In a post at Marketing Interactions, Ardath Albee recalls a B2B client who thought her proposed lead-nurturing messages might be too brief. Albee begged to differ.

"[I]nundating prospects with more links and choices rather than improving the personalization, value and contagiousness of your email message is not the right answer," she explained. "The purpose of a lead nurturing email is NOT to: Be everything to everyone; get any old click; ask for a lot of time; [or] make a sale."

According to Albee, your email has about 10 seconds to answer these questions:

  • Do I need to know this right now?
  • Is this subject matter relevant to my priorities?
  • Will it be easy to get the information?
  • What is my opinion of the sender?
  • What do I think they want from me?

In other words, your B2B customer won't waste his time digging through your paragraphs in search of your buried hook. "The only job of your lead nurturing email is to get the prospect to take an action that shows you their interest in the subject matter of your content offer," she notes. "There's just simply not time for much else."

Albee recommends limiting such messages to 150 or—even better—100 words. And there's no need for graphics since many prospects will read your email on a mobile device. "[I]f all I see is the emptiness of graphic boxes waiting to be downloaded in a preview, I just delete," she says. "Who has the time?"

The Po!nt: Brief works. When nurturing leads, keep your message short, sweet and relevant.

Source: Marketing Interactions.

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What's the Worst that could Happen?

When I went thru my Dale Carnegie training a few years ago, one of the exercises was to imagine the worst that could happen and what would be the result.

Seth Godin talks about that subject:

Disaster tolerance

Not all disasters can be avoided.

Not all disasters are fatal.

If you accept these two truths, your approach to risk will change. If you build a disaster-tolerant nation or project or lifestyle, you will be more willing to challenge the fates and won't hide out.

The disaster-tolerant approach means that you can focus on the upside of risk instead of obsessing about the worst possible outcome. And once you do that, the upside is more likely to occur.

If your hard drive has backups, you don't have to be as careful in buying hard drives. It's okay if a cheap one breaks. If your portfolio of artistic or financial endeavors isn't wrapped up in one project or one gallery, it's okay to do something a bit more daring, because one critic can't cripple you.

That outcome you were so afraid of isn't so bad, and once you realize you can tolerate it, it's (amazingly, perversely and ironically) less likely to happen.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Ford, Nissan and a few other non-automotive stories...

by Karl Greenberg
McClary, who says players of the game are pretty evenly split male and female 18 to 34 years of age, "which is a perfect fit for Focus," adds that gaming has broadened so much over the past four or five years that it has to be considered a medium, rather than merely a pastime. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Kimpton Hotels has linked with upscale bag maker Tumi for a promotion to award loyal customers for frequent stays. However, the partnership comes on the heels of a seemingly more long-term link-up between Tumi and JW Marriott, announced Sept. 8. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The first spot in the campaign features glass beakers stacked up on glass shelves. Each beaker contains a different kind of fuel, whether hydrogen, ethanol, natural gas, gasoline, algae-based fuel. The camera pulls back to reveal that the beakers are stacked by the hundreds, forming a wall of glass and liquid. Perfect for a bull-in-a-china-shop event. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The new campaign, which touts the company's commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, increase resource recycling, save and reuse water and raise environmental consciousness, will feature 30- and 60-second commercials to air during "The World Heritage Special" monthly programs running on the National Geographic channel. ...Read the whole story >>
by Gavin O'Malley
"Our collaboration with AOL's Patch increases the scale and reach of the Serve platform and helps bridge the divide between online commerce and offline deals," stated Dan Schulman, group president of Enterprise Growth at American Express. ...Read the whole story >>

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Father's Day Spending

I've been one for 27 years.

My Stepson has been one for 12 years.

And my son-in-law Jon became one 3 weeks ago.

Father's day has never been about the loot for me.

A phone call from kids that are far away, a card, a visit, those are what matters most to me.

Still, it looks like Dad's day spending is on the upswing according to this report from Mediapost...

Dads Catching Moms

Washington, May 31, 2011 - Faced with tough budgeting decisions, consumers have put Father's Day on the back burner for years, but this year Americans seem intent on showering dad with their appreciation.

According to NRF's Consumer Intentions and Actions Father's Day survey, conducted by BIGresearch, Americans will spend an average of $106.49 on dad, up from $94.32 last year and the most in the survey's eight-year history. As dad gets more recognition, the gap between Mother's Day spending and Father's Day spending has narrowed substantially.

Total Father's Day spending is expected to reach $11.1 billion, up 13% from billion last year and 18% from 2009. In terms of spending more, less or the same on Father's Day this year, there is essentially no gender gap.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says "Shoppers seem to be more excited when it comes to gift giving, an encouraging sign for retailers... and dads... everywhere."

More people will be taking dad on a special outing this year, spending $2.1 billion on activities like golfing, eating out or heading to the movies. Dads will also be receiving:

  • More gift cards ($1.4 billion)
  • Sporting goods ($653 million)
  • Automotive accessories ($593 million)
  • Electronics ($1.3 billion)
  • Clothing ($1.4 billion)
  • Home improvement or gardening tools and appliances ($1.4 billion)
  • Books or CDs ($598 million)

Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch, says that "... shoppers are putting more thought into Father's Day gifts and are seeking out the perfect personal, yet practical, gift to say thank you to the man who's always been there for them..."
According to the study, 35.2% of shoppers will head to dad's favorite department store and:

  • 32.2% will shop at discount stores
  • 26.9% will shop at a specialty store (electronics, gift store, etc.,)
  • 22.1% will shop online
  • 8.9% will shop at a specialty clothing store

For more information from the National Retail Federation, please visit here.

And that picture... it was my Dad being a Dad with me, his only son.

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Shout it!

From my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Give Public Recognition

Salespeople, by nature, thrive on recognition. Don't make success a private event. Make a point to compliment your salesperson in front of customers, colleagues and fellow team members. Public pats on the back go a long way.

If you have a salesperson that is getting great feedback from clients, ask the customer to write a testimonial letter. This is a win-win for both parties. The first win is the feeling of importance and appreciation felt by your salesperson. The second win is for the customer. (Can you imagine how inspired this salesperson is going to be working for this client in the future?)

Source: Colleen Stanley, president of SalesLeadership, Inc.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Karl Greenberg
Cars aren't clothes, but online auto research and shopping site is hoping Groupon and SocialLiving's daily deal model works in the world of big-ticket items. The Los Angeles-based company is launching a program, currently in beta in one market, called "Edmunds Exclusives." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Northwestern Mutual will have a strong advertising presence during the U.S. Open Golf Tournament, including TV spots on June 16 and 17 during ESPN's daytime and primetime coverage. In addition, print advertisements are running in June issues of GOLF Magazine and SI GOLF Plus. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
For the second summer in a row, the company and its agency, DGWB Advertising & Communications (Santa Ana, Calif.) have set out actually to change consumer banana-eating habits in key markets, via the company's "Go Bananas After Dark Tour." What's more, they're reporting significant success. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The spots speak of Insight's offer of unlimited calls, voicemail and caller ID for $25 a month as "Phone 2.0." "The idea behind that is to get the phone plugged in, but also to get plugged in with Insight because there are more things to come. Insight 3.0 will have really phenomenal features." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The show includes seven driving courses that are delineated by vehicle type -- performance cars, sedans, trucks and SUVs, and the Volt, which gets the only on-road course. Competitive vehicles from Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Acura, Nissan, and Ford are on hand. The exhibition also has areas with interactive games from the likes of Wii, PlayStation, and Xbox. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Lululemon isn't alone in predicting big sales gains for the $31 billion women's sports and active wear market. Gap Inc. says it will continue to expand its Athleta brand, which competes directly with Lululemon, with 10 stores scheduled to open by year end. ...Read the whole story >>

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You need to get the word out, but you need to be careful too.

From the Not-So-Secret Writings of ScLoHo:

The Power of Hype

Last month the rapture was to have occurred according to Harold Camping.

It generated enough attention that it was the top trending topic a few times that week and weekend on Twitter.

CNN, CBS, and the other networks all spoke of it both before and after.

Most people did not believe the hype, but had fun making fun of the hype.

When the Hype for an event, product, service, or person is bigger than than the event, product, service, or person; credibility is lost.

You don't have to do something on the scale of a rapture prediction to create Hype.

You can create an incredible offer, promise or guarantee.

Just make sure you can back it up.

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from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: No Excuses!

"Why did you lose that deal?" is a routine question that managers ask their representatives.

One simple way to identify the sales superstars in the crowd is to analyze the responses. Most representatives will reply, "We didn't get the support we needed from headquarters," or "We don't have feature A or B," or "Our price was too high, wah, wah, wah." If that were the case, why is it that every single day, sales representatives are winning deals in which their price is significantly higher than everyone else's?

The response from a superstar will be short and sweet: "I was outsold," or "I didn't earn their trust." A superstar knows that customers do not buy based on the product or service; they buy based on their level of trust in the sales representative. A superstar does not make excuses. It's not just that he or she is good at fessing up; it's more than that. Superstars understand how people make decisions.

Bad representatives think people make decisions based on price or features. Superstar representatives know people make decisions based on whether or not they trust and rely on you. So if a superstar loses a sale, he or she says, "I didn't qualify the opportunity correctly, I didn't get to the decision-maker, I didn't uncover their needs adequately, or I didn't understand the customer's buying or decision-making process. This is all about me-me-me." The average loser representative says, "It's all about something else."

Source: Dan Adams, principal and founder of Adams and Associates

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

1 of 4

Our Sunday Seth:

Which of the four are getting the way?

You don't know what to do

You don't know how to do it

You don't have the authority or the resources to do it

You're afraid

Once you figure out what's getting in the way, it's far easier to find the answer (or decide to work on a different problem).

Stuck is a state of mind, and it's curable.

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