Saturday, July 02, 2011

Classic Ad of the Month

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You Don't Need One unless...

We'll let Pat McGraw explain:

You Don’t Need a Marketing Plan

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 08:30 AM PDT


Back around 2004 or 2005, during a nice bubble, I attended a meeting on behalf of a client that was focused on developing distance learning within the D.C.-Maryland region.

I found myself seated next to a venture capitalist that was working with a $500 million investment firm and, somehow during the course of the conversation, we found ourselves talking about the need for a formal action plan. My position was, as it always will be, that a plan was crucial because we face virtually limitless opportunities with limited resources and in order to maximize the return on those resources, you needed to focus them on what they needed to do in order to succeed.

The VC gave me a rather dismissive look and offered his perspective.

We discourage plans because it prevents the organization from responding to opportunities.

A few years later, most of that particular investment firm’s start-ups were closed. Too much to do, too little to do it with. No money, no business.

Proof, as far as I’m concerned, that you don’t need a marketing plan…unless you want your business to succeed.

Today, I still run into that belief – that a plan prevents the organization from responding to opportunities. And between us, that’s crap. No plan should stop you from responding to opportunities – but it should force you down a path that helps improve your chances for success.

Your plan should help you respond to opportunities more effectively because you know what resources you have, what they are doing and how they are performing – so you can identify what you can redirect onto the opportunity and how it might impact the overall business. Additionally, it should force you to follow the same planning process so that you identify a specific goal and objective, determine strategies and tactics so you can measure performance and determine success (or failure so you can pull the plug and focus on other things).

A plan can be very simple:

  1. Where are we today? (situational analysis)
  2. Where do we want to be tomorrow? (mission and vision)
  3. How do we get from here to there in that time frame? (goals and objectives)
  4. How do we monitor performance in order to determine if we’re on target? (monitoring, analyzing)

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Blind Spots

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Work On Your Weaknesses

Some salespeople work on things they're good at and don't spend enough time trying to overcome weak areas. They can only improve their strengths so much.

Even if they do improve strengths, there's a good chance no one will notice, since slight improvements are hard to spot. Strengths will take salespeople only as far as their weaknesses will allow. Be grateful for your strengths, but work on your weaknesses.

Try to do a "weakness" audit each week. What situations in selling make you uncomfortable? Where does your sales manager suggest improvements are needed? Write them down. When you improve your weaknesses, the difference will be dramatic and visible to everyone.

Source: Adapted from How To Be A Sales Superstar, by Mark Tewart

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Sarah Mahoney
The big news, the NRF says, is that Amazon is moving fast. Powered in part by sales of the Kindle, it zoomed from No. 26 to No.19 on this year's list, with U.S. sales climbing 46.2% to $18.5 billion. And tech fueled another seismic power shift, with Apple Stores jumping more than 30 spots, moving to No. 21 from No. 52, with U.S. sales advancing 32.3% percent to $18 billion. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The app lets users shop, research and configure the division's lineup of crossovers and trucks. The GMC Showroom Mobile App, which is a free download, also has photos, videos, and competitive comparisons. It also lets users get local dealer inventories, get price quotes and current offers and schedule a dealer test drive. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The #1 red soda brand Big Red is returning to TV for the first time in more than 25 years, as part of a new "Tastes Good to Be Different" integrated campaign. The campaign celebrates the nearly 75-year-old brand's "indescribable flavor" and its fans, who "like being different." (The advertising's sub-tagline: "Taste It. You'll Get It.") ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Hilton Garden Inn is launching an integrated ad campaign developed to speak to today's travelers through shorthand and acronyms. With the popularity of texting and other social networking, the campaign employs the use of terms from guests' business and social lives: EOD, ROI and B&B. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Between July 1 and Sept. 30, Virgin America passengers flying between San Francisco and Boston, Chicago or Dallas-Fort Worth will be able to check out a Chromebook to use on their flight, along with free WiFi, provided by Google. ...Read the whole story >>

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Living Below Your Expectations

Some interesting insight from Chris Brogan:

On Days You Don’t Feel Like Marketing

Posted: 14 Jun 2011 03:58 AM PDT

Shoe Shopping

I woke up not really feeling like talking about marketing. In fact, I didn’t really want to market at all. Sure, I want buyers, but today, I just wish they’d show up. Only, we both know that never happens, right? But on days you don’t feel like marketing, maybe there’s something else you can do.

On Days You Don’t Feel Like Marketing

Do customer service. Technically, I could stop the post here, and get my point across, but I’ll write a few more words, just to let it sink in. You see, this is the last thing on most marketers’ minds, and yet, it’s the first thing on your buyer’s mind.

Would I trade a clever offer for amazing service? Absolutely. Here’s an example.

A few days ago, I took my daughter to New York City for an adventure. As part of it, we picked out a dress at Bloomingdale’s and a pair of shoes at Payless. At Bloomingdale’s, we were given great service, and had no fewer than two people looking to help us buy a dress.

At Payless, we had a bored employee traipse past us, pretend to ask if we needed help, and then mumble that every shoe in the store is “buy one, get one half off.” We picked out the single pair of shoes we wanted for our efforts, brought them down to the register, where the same employee ignored us for a minute or so before telling us, “I’ll have to get the manager. I can’t ring on these registers.” So, we waited for the manager.

The manager arrived and said, “You know, every shoe in the store is buy one, get the next pair half off.” I said, “Thanks, I’m all good with this pair.” She proceeds to sigh, as if I’m the stupidest buyer in the world and how could I possibly pass up the chance to get another pair of shoes at half off. Then, she slowly (laboriously slowly) scans in my order, and finishes by asking me for four pennies so she can give me back a nickel, as she’s out of pennies in her drawer.

Prior to this experience, I didn’t have high expectations for Payless. It is what it is: discount shoes. But, I never excuse a price point for poor service. That’s just not allowed in my vernacular.

Perform Exceptional Customer Service

On days you don’t feel like marketing, spend every possible moment thinking about customer service and how you can do it better. Retrain your staff, if you have customer-facing employees. Do something to perk up the experience. Do something to eliminate roadblocks. Whatever. Just do something to bring excellent customer service to your buyers and you’ll find that your marketing isn’t as important on those days.

The same is true for online customer service. Have you made it easy for your buyer to be helped? Look around your site. What are you doing to encourage a sale? I know that when I look around at this site, I’ve got some work to do. But when I look at what we’ve accomplished at Kitchen Table Companies, I see that we’ve done a lot and can do even more to make it a top shelf customer experience.

How about you? What are you doing to improve your customer service?

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Overcome the Fear

From my email:

Closing More Sales More Often

If you want to eliminate the fear of closing a sale then this sales closing tip may help. Getting over the fear of sales closing is paramount to earning more money in less time.

I've been with salespeople on appointments and watched the beads of sweat form on their foreheads. I've seen the lumps in their throats, witnessed their mouths turning to cotton, all a result of having to close a sale.

How feared is sales closing? Research shows that 63% of all sales interviews end with the salesperson not specifically asking for the order. Further, research from Dr. Herb True of Notre Dame reveals that 46% of the salespeople he interviewed ask for the order once and then quit; 24% ask for the order twice before giving up; 14% ask the third time; and 12% "hang in there" to make four attempts before quitting.

That's a total of 96% who quit after four closing attempts, and yet the same research shows that 60% of all sales are made after the fifth closing attempt. Since the percentage of salespeople not asking for the sale the necessary five times equals 96%, it's obvious that 4% are making 60% of the sales.

Much of the fear salespeople experience closing sales could be reduced or eliminated by proper preparation. Preparing for the situations that may arise and having a prepared and practiced response will decrease the fear when it comes time to close a sale.

Professionals in all walks of life practice their craft on a daily basis. Professional athletes practice every day, hitting buckets of golf balls, catching passes, spending time in the batting cage. Ten times as many hours are spent practicing than actual game time.

If you haven't thought out and written down what you're planning to say in every possible sales closing situation and then practiced how you will say it, over and over until it becomes second nature, you're probably part of the 96%. The time to practice is on the practice field, not on game day.

Source: Sales consultant Jim Klein (

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
The in-store media platform -- being touted as a breakthrough in the booming shopper marketing arena -- enables measurable digital communications to consumers throughout the store, extending the television model into the retail environment and making retail a plannable media destination, according to its creator. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
For the first time, satisfaction with price is higher among unbundled customers than among bundled customers, J.D. Power & Associates says. "Customers have come to expect a discount for holding multiple policies with their insurer, and it appears that the positive effect of this discount has become diluted." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The offer, which will be available at stations in 18 states, is only good for those using a reloadable Walmart gift card, Walmart MoneyCard or Walmart credit card, and is scheduled to run through the end of September. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
A new study out of Ryerson University in Toronto suggests that loyalty programs may not be so profitable for some brands and that some companies may be better off not offering this type of customer incentive. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The effort, via Miami-based Zubi Advertising, brings in three Univision on-air personalities from different shows to help promote an online sweepstakes offering three winners a chance to have "day in the life" media adventures with the three personalities, and one grand prize winner to have a new 2012 Focus. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Mark Walsh
Small businesses now have a new way to buy advertising on Facebook: rewards points earned from their American Express accounts. It marks the first time a company has connected a customer rewards offer to social media advertising. ...Read the whole story >>

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy:

The debut of Mr. Peanut's stunt double. Believe in a better chicken. Let's launch!

A whopping 48 million people will get food poisoning each year. Not an event you want to mark on your calendar. The Ad Council teamed up with the FDA and CDC to create a food safety campaign to educate viewers, in an exaggerated fashion, about properly cleaning and preparing food. A man cuts veggies in his kitchen while wearing a yellow raincoat in "Clean." An outdoor sprinkler has been set up indoors, allowing the man to hold up the knife and let the sprinkler clean it. Watch it here. Raw and prepared foods must be chilled to prevent food poisoning. A man sitting in his hot living room turns on every fan surrounding him to keep the lobster seated next to him at an ideal temp. See it here. How can a woman relax in a sauna when a pig is oinking in her ear? The spot illustrates the importance of using a food thermometer to cook food thoroughly. Watch it here. You gotta keep 'em separated -- meats and vegetables, that is. Use different cutting boards for each to prevent contamination. See it here. JWT New York created the pro bono campaign.

Kia launched "Joyride II," a follow-up to its 2010 Super Bowl spot "Joyride Dream." Promoting the 2012 Kia Sorento, the 60-second spot marks the return of five lovable children's characters: Sock Monkey, Muno, Robot, Teddy and MR. X, as they embark on a road trip. The crew travels the country, visiting a beach, fishing, skydiving and learning how to line dance. Note to stuffed bear: watch out for that real bear! See the ad here, created by David&Goliath

Perdue launched its first national ad campaign using a new tag line, "We Believe in a Better Chicken." The documentary-style TV spots take viewers to Perdue Farms, where the brand's USDA Process Verified Seal is introduced. Chickens are fed a vegetarian diet, rather than a diet of steroids, hormones and animal byproducts. In the first ad, seen here, Perdue employees explain the chickens' diet and why it's important to consumers. Another ad shows the chickens raised in a cage-free environment and highlights the numerous generations of Perdue family members working in the family business. Watch the ad here. Deutsch NY created the campaign.

Silly robot, Carl's Jr. chicken sandwiches are for the humans that hand-make them to eat and enjoy. A mouthless robot returns home from work with a Carl's Jr. hand-breaded chicken fillet sandwich in tow. Eager to dive in, the robot remembers that he's just that, a robot, and slams the sandwich into his face to no avail. Angered, his eyes turn red, signifying laser mode, and he slices everything inside his apartment in half, himself included. See the ad here, created by David&Goliath

Dunkin' Donuts launched its first-ever TV ad with a movie tie-in. The movie is "Captain America," and the product is a delicious-looking Cherry Coolata. A construction worker springs into action when a runaway dog sets off a nail gun at a construction site. The man grabs a garbage lid to deflect and disarm the nail gun, then chases after the pooch. The dog spills a bucket of blue paint on the man, who runs through a wall to catch and return the dog to its rightful owner. And he did it all while holding his Coolata! See the ad here, created by Hill Holiday.

Nokia launched an interesting TV ad in the U.K. to promote its limited edition N8 Pink phone. The ad features a slew of blonde, Barbie-esque dolls sitting on deer, or wearing N8s as bras. I immediately thought of the Fembots from "Austin Powers" and expected the N8s to start shooting. Following a montage where plastic legs surround a phone, the plastic Fembots did shoot from their N8 boobs -- but pink laser beams only, and no one was injured. Watch the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy London and edited by Cut + Run.

Mr. Peanut has a stunt double, whose name is Peanut Butter Doug. He sports sunglasses and a goatee and sees himself as irreplaceable, judging by the hits he takes as a stuntman. Whenever he gets clobbered, he turns into a jar of Planters' newly launched peanut butter. The ad, seen here, will first launch on Facebook. Being NY created the ad, directed by Mark Gustafson.

"The intensity lasts a lifetime," says an ad for King Kong 360 3-D, a ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. A young boy catches his first glimpse of King Kong in 3-D -- and next thing you know, his braces disappear and he starts aging until he's a balding, old man with yellow teeth. Reminded me of that scene from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" when the man drank from the wrong chalice and aged until he was nothing but bone dust. See the ad here, created by David&Goliath.

Random iPhone App of the week: Lovebirds, you no longer need to wreck a tree by carving your initials inside bark. It's 2011, and there's an app for that. Country Living's Treemail app is available on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Users can carve their love into a virtual tree. It doesn't have to be just initials inside a heart, it can be quotes or messages, all of which can be shared through email, Facebook, and Twitter. Users can customize the thickness of the carving tool used and select one of 7 tree barks: American Elm, Balsam Fir, Magnolia, Palm, Red Cedar, Silver Burch and Sycamore. 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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A repost from July 1, 2008:

Confused by the networking jargon? Take a look at this from written by our friend Scott, the NameTag Guy:

How to Nail Your Networking Intro

By Scott Ginsberg

Elevator Speeches. 60-Second Commercials. 30-Second Commercials. Personal Introductions. Networking Introductions. Defining Statements. Positioning Statements.

Ahhh! Which one do you use? And when? And with whom?

Tough questions, especially because since the early '90s tens of thousands of articles, books, manuals and guides have been written on the topic of networking. And all of them address various techniques on how to answer the question: "So, what do you do?"

To put it in perspective, consider these results from a recent Google search on the following terms:

  • 30-Second Commercial – 135,000 pages

  • Elevator Speech – 128,000 pages

  • Positioning Statement – 106,740 pages

  • 60-Second Commercial – 33,500 pages

  • Defining Statement – 26,000

  • Personal Introduction – 3,600 pages

Wow. Overwhelming, huh? Makes you wonder which one is right! Still, each of these techniques is some variety of your "Networking Introduction."

Unfortunately, you won't have it come out the way all the books and articles say it will. It's doubtful you'll ever tell someone what you do in an elevator; you'll probably never have exactly 30 or 60 seconds to do so; and the odds of you explaining it the same way each time are highly unlikely.

In real networking, you'll be rushed, caught off-guard and asked unexpected questions. You'll meet people on buses and in bathrooms. You'll address three strangers at a time, get interrupted mid-commercial, and sometimes, you won't get a chance to say a single word until the last five seconds of a conversation. And all the while, you won't have time to decide whether or not you should give your Elevator Speech, 30-Second Commercial or Defining Statement!

Sorry. Didn't mean to scare you there.

But it's true. Networking is unpredictable. And yet, we depend on it for the growth of our careers. According to a 2004 report from the Federal Bureau of Labor, 70% of our new business comes from some sort of networking.

So, rather than put additional pressure on yourself by worrying about how many seconds you have, here are some key points for an effective, concise and memorable Networking Introduction.

Start from the Top

Because you never know how much time you'll have to introduce yourself, I suggest starting at the top with the following exercise. Take five pieces of paper. Assign one of the following sentences to the top of each sheet:

  1. Who you are?

  2. What you do?

  3. Whom you do it for?

  4. How you do it?

  5. What happens as a result?

Write down all the words, characteristics, ideas, phrases and the like that pertain to each of these areas of your introduction. Have fun! Spend at least a few minutes on each sheet. The whole point of starting with this activity is to understand the full scope of you and your business.

Back to the Bottom

Now that your mind is swimming with dozens of key points about your work, it's time to get down to the "Bare Bones Intros." These are pithy, one-liner type sentences that grab attention and intrigue the listener.

Now, since thousands of networking resources claim to have their own magic formula, I'll simply offer the technique I've found to be most effective in my own business:

  • I'm a/an (your job title)...

  • ...and I work with (your target customers)...

  • ...who want to (become, increase, etc.)...

  • they can (some benefit or result).

You don't have to use this exact formula. Just be sure your Bare Bones Intro includes what you do, whom you do it for and what happens when you do it. So, write out different versions. Say them out loud. Share them with friends and colleagues. And eventually you'll be able to pick out the most effective ones.

Anytime, Anywhere

In my networking workshops I make it a point to tell my audience members, "There is a time and place for networking: any time and any place." With that in mind, let's take the material you brainstormed from earlier and put it to use in possible scenarios (you might want to practice these with a partner too).

  • You have five minutes at your local association meeting to introduce yourself via speech to 100 strangers in the audience. What would you say?

  • At the sub shop you go to once a week, the teenage cashier says, "Hey there! It must be Tuesday again, huh? Good to see ya! And you know, you always come in here, but I don't think I know what you do..." What would you tell her (remember, the line is long)?

  • You're participating in a rapid-fire-speed-networking-blitz type activity in which you have less than 30 seconds to introduce yourself to 25 people in a row. Go!

  • You're dressing in a hurry in the locker room when the new guy introduces himself. He notices your briefcase and asks, "So, where do you work?"

  • You email a complete stranger who was referred to you by someone in your network. She probably gets 100 emails a day, so you don't want to make it too long. What do you write?

  • As you fill out your new credit card application, you notice two boxes. One says, "Occupation," and the other says, "Please explain in the space below." It's a small space. Better make it quick!

  • Your spouse runs into her boss at Happy Hour. You shake his hand and he says, "Nice to meet you! So, what do you do?" (You think he's had a few.)

Nailing Your Networking Intro

All specifics aside, the most important part of a Networking Intro is: always be memorable.

In a July 2003 article from Entrepreneur Magazine, Ivan Misner, founder and CEO or Business Network International, explained, "The ideal introduction is brief and memorable - one that provides enough impact to arouse the interest of those to whom you're introducing yourself and get them to join your word-of-mouth team."

So put away your stopwatch. Forget about the elevator. And stop thinking about networking as a commercial. Networking is the development and maintenance of mutually valuable relationships. And those relationships are initially sparked by your ability to effectively, concisely and memorably introduce yourself when someone says, "So, what do you do?"

Scott Ginsberg, aka "The Nametag Guy," is the author of seven books and writes the #39th most popular marketing blog in the world. He is the creator of NametagTV, an Online Training Network that teaches businesspeople about approachability. For more info about books, speeches, customized online training programs or to Rent Scott's Brain, call 314/256-1800 or email

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read...

by Karlene Lukovitz
One element of the integrated campaign: The two brands, with support from the USO, have launched "America's Super-Soldiers," a co-branded, Facebook-hosted contest. (In the movie, Captain America is created as part of a secret "Super-Soldiers" project.) ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Nielsen looked at women in 21 countries, and found that almost 80% of those respondents in developed countries say that the role of women will change, and 90% say it will be for the better. Women in emerging markets are more likely to believe their daughters will find better opportunities than they did. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"If they focused a lot on their first party titles out of the gate, consumers would be happy," Interpret's Michael Cai says. "[But] they tried to let third-parties develop the games, and consumers aren't thrilled. They are holding off purchases until they see those [franchise] games." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Since the recession, are the 58 million adults and 24 million households that belong to the affluent category still buying? According to a new survey-based study by Ipsos Mendelsohn, they are, in fact, starting to feel better about the economy after their sentiment dipped to a low in April this year. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
"We believe that young, male-focused online content is a burgeoning market," says Marc Broccoli, marketing director at Brut parent Idelle Management Co. "BNN offers us a way to engage with a young male demographic that is important to our brand by allowing them to connect through a creative, humorous digital media platform." ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
The winning rescue organization, pet and owner will win a trip to Philadelphia and be honored in the main ring prior to the start of the National Dog Show presented by Purina, which airs on NBC on Thanksgiving Day. ...Read the whole story >>

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Falling for Fads

Drew wrote about it recently:

Brand truth: I don’t care

Posted: 13 Jun 2011 07:22 AM PDT

…Are they really the tree huggers you’d hoped?

…about what you wish I cared about.

Way too many brands chase the fad of the day, thinking they can jump on a swell of consumer sentiment and rise those profits into the sunset. No so fast, my friends.

For your brand to be effective, sticky and enduring — it has to be about what matters to your consumers. They have to genuinely identify with it/care about it. You can’t make them love you. (Nod to Bonnie Raitt) No matter how hot the trend is or how passionate you might personally be.

Case in point — a recent study done by OgilvyEarth (I’m pretty sure David Ogilvy rolls his eyes from the grave on that one) shows that most consumers aren’t buying the whole “green movement.” In particular, men are not motivated or swayed by green marketing messages. It turns out that their perception when they hear green is “more expensive.”

So playing to the trend is actually hurting those brands who hoped that men would be moved to pull out their wallets based on the green movement marketing position.

Time to do your own brand check. Are you trying to force an idea, value or belief at your core audience? Or…do you know yourself and your core audience so well that you know what brings you together?

And before you are quick to answer…be ready to tell me this. HOW do you know that your brand is what truly resonates in the hearts of your core audience?

Hat tip to Kami Watson Huyse for tweeting the Ogilvy link.

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Learning from Failure

It's only failure if you think of it that way.

I call it a lesson.

From my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Learning From That Sale You Lost

My mom always used to tell me how we learn more in life from our failures than we do from our successes, yet for too many of us in sales this concept doesn't seem to sink in.

I've lost plenty of sales in my life. If I wanted to get really down on myself, all I'd have to do is take a piece of paper and start writing down as many as I could remember. If I wanted to go into a complete state of despair, all I'd have to do is to write down next to each sale I lost the amount of commission I failed to receive because of the lost sale.

For this simple reason, too many of us in sales choose not to dwell on what didn't happen. Instead, we merely move on.

It's much easier to move on than dwell on the past, and I'm a firm believer that dwelling on the past doesn't do anyone any good. If you want to damage your sales motivation, go right ahead and dwell all you want.

As much as we can't dwell on the past, we do need to spend a few minutes doing an autopsy on the lost sale and learning from it. If we don't learn from each sale we fail to close, then we're committing ourselves to a pattern of losing more sales.

The key I've found to the process is to do the autopsy on the failed sales call right away. The sooner you can do it, the sooner you can apply what you've learned to the next sales call.

The only downside to doing it quickly is you have to make sure you're in a stable frame of mind. I'm not meaning to be rude with this comment, but you can't think clearly if you're so hot emotionally over losing the sale. If you are worked up over the lost sale -- wait till you calm down. Then do your autopsy.

Ask yourself the following questions:

-- Was I able to get the customer to state their key needs and desired benefits?
-- Why specifically did the customer choose not to buy from me? How do I know that?
-- What were two things I know the customer appreciated about me?
-- What did the customer ask and how did I answer? What can I learn from the questions?
-- What were all of the customer's objections and how did I respond to them?
-- Did the customer clearly understand my value proposition? How do I know that?
-- What closing technique did I try? How specifically did the customer respond to it?
-- What did the customer agree with me on? How can I leverage this for future sales?
-- What is my next step with this prospect/customer?

Take the time to answer these questions. Doing so will provide you with key information you need. Also, never hesitate to go back to the customer after they've turned you down and ask them why they didn't select you. Be sincere in how you speak to the customer and be appreciative for what they tell you.

This is not the time to be defensive or attempt to convince the customer they've made a dumb decision by selecting someone else. Your ability to be professional and appreciative in listening to what the customer shares with you will do more than anything else to help ensure you have a good relationship going forward with that person.

It's been my experience both personally and professionally that by doing this process right, you can position yourself to become the salesperson these individuals turn to in the future.

The beautiful thing about this entire process is you come away with two major outcomes.

First, you find out things you can do differently to help you with other customers. Second, you deepen your relationship with the customer you weren't able to close, setting yourself up to potentially close with them next time around.

Source: Sales consultant/speaker Mark Hunter

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Oops, forgot to post this.

Hope the world is still spinning.

Click & Read:

by Sarah Mahoney
"In the big-ticket category, stores like Sears, Best Buy, and Lowe's have certainly been doing this for a while," Neil Stern, senior partner at McMillanDoolittle, a retail consulting company, tells Marketing Daily. "What's different here is that it shows how this is migrating more and more to the mass market." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Nissan has big plans for the next six years, and some of it comes in hindsight. The company's new six-year business plan, "Nissan Power 88," means that by the end of fiscal 2016, if all goes as planned, Nissan will have a global market share of 8% and increase its corporate operating profit to "a sustainable" 8%. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
That approach came about because the marketing team was so impressed by the "passion and pride" the employees feel about the products, and wanted to share that with consumers, explains Brandi Unchester, senior brand manager, frozen and refrigerated breakfasts, Pinnacle Foods. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The image of a "gamer" as someone who sits on a couch in the basement while playing Sony PlayStation or Xbox 360 is fading, as the abundance of new platforms and delivery systems is changing. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
"The 'Make it an IHOP day' campaign taps into something that our guests have told us: That starting or finishing their day with great food and a great experience at IHOP makes their whole day better," Joe Adney tells Marketing Daily. "The new campaign is designed to build an emotional connection with guests through a 'pay it forward' feel." ...Read the whole story >>

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Boomer Money

I just switched jobs after 8 years last week and consulted with my financial planner about moving my old 401K.

And I'm not the only one that is in this boat:

From Mediapost:

Getting Personal: How Financial Marketers Can Reach Boomers

Today's younger Boomer generation (45-55 year olds) is settling into leadership positions across industries, from politics to business, popular culture to entertainment. Members of this cohort include President and Mrs. Obama, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and entertainers like George Clooney and Bono. While those particular young boomers may not need to worry about their financial heath, the rest of us are concerned. Very concerned.

A cursory survey of these younger Boomers quickly reveals their primary financial fears and concerns: retirement, the stagnant stock market and falling housing prices. These are compounded by common life challenges, such as potentially aging/sick parents and kids' college bills. It's a tough squeeze, and if there are radical changes to Medicare, younger Boomers will be the first to feel the inevitable cut backs. Additionally, it appears that working past 65 may be the reality for those with lower incomes and people who did not start saving early. They know this, and they are looking for answers, but financial and investment firms aren't offering them, at least not in their marketing messages.

These mounting financial concerns offer financial and investment firms' insight into the type of messaging that will resonate with Boomers, and therefore a wealth of marketing opportunities. But instead of addressing these clear-cut needs, financial marketers consistently rely on tired tactics. You know the ads: handsome older couples, straight out of central casting, riding their bikes across Europe or setting up that photo studio, or bed and breakfast, they always dreamed of. Is that the reality facing today's typical 50 year old? Not so much.

The good news is that because financial marketing has been so slow to adapt to media changes, the simple act of addressing and speaking to their audiences' fears and concerns can actually become a great market differentiator. Want even more good news? According to Maxymiser's recent white paper, "Taming the Fickle Financial Services Customer," banking and finance customers are up for grabs, as their loyalty is directly tied to the good deals and value these institutions offer them. All of this is to say, it's a blue ocean out there for the marketers and companies that can effectively target, speak to, and entice hungry customers who are facing a stagnant and stubborn economy as they head into a critical 10-20-year time period before retirement.

Here are some marketing strategies that may engage younger Boomers to build relationships with financial services firms:

The idea is not to put your services at the forefront of your messaging; it's to convey that you have the fact that you have the answers to their problems ... which implies that you know what their problems are. So, instead of waxing poetic about your online transaction solutions and research capabilities, produce meaningful and useful content that helps customers navigate through life's trickiest dilemmas. Instead of touting all of your features, provide tools, calculators and how-to-type advice. There are numerous content topics that can be covered to help establish the firm as a trusted partner. For instance:

  • How to budget and manage your debt while saving the proper amount for retirement
  • How to save for college with 529 plans and other instruments
  • Estate planning for aging parents, and tips for the lucky few who will be inheriting sizeable sums from their parents
  • Health and wellness best practices. After all, the best way to minimize healthcare cost is to maintain your health
  • Since many will need to keep working past 65, how about some ideas on second careers or even advice on how to start your own business?

This type of content on a website that's personalized and customized for a targeted consumer is a recipe for success. Personalization can be achieved by modeling past behavior or creating a predictive model based on how a visitor comes to your site. The act of serving up custom, relevant content will increase engagement and time spent on the site. When this is coupled with a strong call-to-action, the odds of capturing a lead or new customer is increased significantly.

Additionally, financial firms must acknowledge that Boomers are far down the road of making social and mobile media part of their everyday lives. Instead of relying heavily on TV and print ads, financial marketers must embrace new media as a place to distribute content, engage customers and spur conversations. And of course, this segment needs its own messaging and outreach and should not be lumped in with efforts targeting Millennials or Gen X.

In summary, younger Boomers are facing unique and difficult challenges as they look at their financial well being over the next phase of their life. This is due to both market forces and the very nature of being in their early 50s and late 40s. There is a real opportunity for financial marketers to capture new customers by speaking to these unique needs with personalized and useful content and advice.

Gordon Plutsky is the director of marketing and research at King Fish Media.

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7 Steps to Follow

Excellent Advice from Pat McGraw:

How to improve lead management and conversion rates

Posted: 22 Jun 2011 08:37 AM PDT


Here’s a simple 7-step process that you should consider whenever your searching for ways to improve the performance of your sales team.

Couple of terms to be defined here – a “lead” is a potential buyer that hasn’t been qualified yet; a “marketing qualified lead” requires marketing to examine the information provided by the “lead” and to determine if it meets certain established criteria so that the lead can be either handed to sales or placed in the nurturing process; a “sales accepted lead” is a marketing qualified lead that is sent to for review and it is determined that the lead should remain with sales; and a ‘sales ready lead’ is one that is asking for proposals and in the buying process.

  • Develop a lead scoring process. This is simple to do – check out this video and template. For example, in a B2B setting, I recently helped a business develop a scoring process that focused on
    • Industry (5 points for the primary target industry, 3 for secondary, 0 for other)
    • Location (5 points for US based company, 3 for Canada and Mexico, 0 for other)
    • Revenue (5 points for $250 to $500 million, 3 points for $100 to $249 million, 0 for other)
    • Title (5 points for senior-level technology, 3 points for mid-level technology, 0 for other)
    • Need (5 points for products we offered, 0 for other)
    • Time Frame to Purchase (5 points for within 90-days, 3 points for 90-180 days, 0 for other)

Their web forms and telephone scripts asked for this information, and it was captured in their database for automatic scoring. If the lead scored above a certain level, they were considered ‘marketing qualified’ and were sent to sales. Below a certain level, they were placed into the nurturing campaign so we could continue to develop a relationship and attempt to gain more information that impacted the score.

  • Establish a set time frame for marketing to score the leads and send only the top scores to sales. Since research tells us that the timeliness of your response has a significant impact on whether or not you get the business, scoring leads should happen ASAP. That’s why an automated process for companies that drive a large volume of leads is key – but for companies that drive a smaller volume, I have seen a manual process work just fine.
  • Require Sales to respond back to marketing that those leads have been accepted – this is called a Sales Accepted Lead. This is important for two reasons. First, there’s nothing worse than sending leads to sales and having them get lost in the process. Been there, done that. Second, by requiring Sales to accept the leads, you get them to check the quality and agree that they are valuable. This reduces, if not eliminates, the age old game of “…the quality sucks” because Sales has to accept the leads.
  • Establish a set time frame for sales to contact the lead and determine if they are qualified so that a “Qualified Status” is inserted into the CRM file. Again, a timely response increases your chances of winning the business AND this is another way of getting Sales to buy-in to the quality. If they feel the leads are quality leads, more get worked and less get ignored which means your business has a great chance of closing more business with the same number of leads.
  • Establish a process with strict time frame for lower scoring leads that have not been Marketing Qualified to be placed into the nurturing process. Sometimes you won’t get all the information you need right off the bat – but what you get indicates that the lead has potential. Those lower scoring leads need to get right into the nurturing process so you provide the lead with a timely, relevant response. (And make sure you continue to ask for the information you need in order to update the score!)
  • Establish a process with a strict time frame for a Marketing Qualified Lead and Sales Accepted Lead to be returned to marketing for nurturing because the lead is not Sales Ready. This scenario is typical for a lead that meets most of your criteria and scores high enough to get handed over to Sales – but [ex] isn’t planning on making a purchase for the foreseeable future. By placing them into the nurturing process, you can manage the relationship in a more affordable way and position your company for the sale when the buyer is ready.
  • Establish a specific time frame for sales to work Sales Accepted Leads before they must be returned to the nurturing program. Sometimes all the data indicates that the lead will buy soon but they don’t get off the dime and buy. Meanwhile, you are continuing to provide the salesperson with new leads – and since no salesperson can adequately manage hundreds or thousands of leads, it’s best to take those slow to buy leads and place them in the nurturing program. If they remain with the salesperson, chances are pretty strong that they will be ignored – and that could cost you that future sale. (I know this is a tough one – taking a lead from a salesperson who will tell you they can close anything. But it’s best for the business so let the sales team focus on selling, not nurturing.)

Hope these help – let me know what you think and if you have used other approaches that have worked.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Night Maketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
The automaker says it is also launching partnerships with a number of emerging artists across various genres of the music industry, with each artist taking a 2011 Jeep Compass on tour and posting live tweets and updates along the way. The artists involved include Alberta Cross, hip-hop artist Elzhi, and rapper MGK. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
School may be out for summer, but JetBlue and PBS Kids are partnering for a program that encourages children to keep reading. JetBlue is sponsoring in-flight and online literacy resources, community reading events and a partnership with First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
In an extension of its "Bacardi Together" campaign, Bacardi rum has launched a multi-platform effort employing Live Nation Entertainment's digital, mobile and social media properties. Live Nation owns, as well as ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Jamal Baksh, partnership and data services specialist for the New York regional office of the U.S. Census, said the demographic has seen "explosive growth," and that South Asians are now the second-largest subset among all Asians, after Chinese. ...Read the whole story >>
by Gavin O'Malley
"We wanted a smart yet engaging media campaign around the Chiquita Rio Web site that could provide trackable, measurable results for our brand," aid Craig Stephen, vice president North American Bananas and Fresh Select. To reach the target audience -- parents and their children -- Gotham Direct targeted top online parenting sites. ...Read the whole story >>

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