Saturday, July 23, 2011

Paper vs Digital Study

from Mediapost this week:

Print Pervasive and Persuasive, But Digital Overtaking

According to new research from Nielsen, reported by Todd Hale, SVP Consumer & Shopper Insights, 60% of shoppers from the survey say they look at printed paper material either mailed to the home or in newspapers at least once per week. With 82% of Americans online, 93% owning mobile phones and 155 million using Facebook, access to digital technologies is pervasive, yet retailers still spend an estimated 60-70% of their marketing budget on printed ad circulars.

The only electronic tactic that matches printed paper's weekly reach is email. But while far fewer people are looking at sales and product information from digital methods like social media sites, store sites using a tablet PC, or from smart or mobile phones, the weekly usage conversion rates are strong.

Weekly Usage of Retail Advertising Material

Sales Product Information

Weekly Usage

Materials mailed to home


Emails from retailers




Social Media


Smart or mobile phone


Printed material in store


Store site on computer


Store site using PC


In store kiosk


In store TV


Source: Nielsen, July 2011

When shoppers are asked what they want for the future, demand goes up for high tech information sources. While nearly 90% of consumers still want print, more than 70% want email and traditional websites and about one-third are interested in social and smartphone applications. These numbers are even higher among younger generations of shoppers who say they still want paper, but they are more accepting of all information sources.

Future Desires For Information Sources


% of Respondents


Direct mail




In store



Store website using computer


Emails from retailers


Store website using tablet


In store kiosk


TV in store


Social media site


Smart or mobile phone


Source: Nielsen, July 2011

The research showed that while printed material gets shoppers in the store, digital tactics reinforce and reward loyal shoppers. Printed campaigns help shoppers find deals about their favorite products and locate widespread sales and high-tech touch points such as tablets, social sites and in-store kiosks are used to more so for research purposes.

Printed circular response promotion lifts are less effective than five years ago, delivering about a 20% return on investment in 2010, compared to a 28% boost in 2005. The report suggests that an improved mixture of items with an overall higher lift profile and/or timing improvements can counterbalance smaller average lifts.

Printed Circular Ad Principles


Advertise for broad appeal

Deep discounts, but not excessive

Compare lift by category

Price multiples

Manage national brand ad composition


Worry about page count

Advertise multiple competing items

Use price multiples on new items

Deal low penetrtion

Source: Nielsen, July 2011

In study after study, Nielsen finds that the online circular is the most widely used part of a grocery/drug retailer's web site, but the lift gained is a bit less than the lift seen for the site overall. The research also shows that:

  • Online display ads drive offline sales
  • ROI is generally higher than traditional media
  • Every online campaign does not work
  • Success is driven by new shoppers, not greater spending among existing shoppers
  • The best responding offline segments are not always the most responsive to online ads

For many brick and mortar retailers, figuring out how to effectively draw people to online offerings and then determining what contribution online efforts are having to offline sales is a challenge. Few of these retailers get more than 20% of store shoppers to visit their site, despite the fact that the majority of shoppers spend 25+ hours per week online.

The presentation concludes with these recommendations:

  • Put a process in place for both print and media campaigns that tracks ongoing optimization. A department-by-department win/loss weekly scorecard that includes display compliance should be deployed to get below the surface of the ad.
  • An understanding of past shopping behavior makes a big difference in the ROI of online campaigns on driving offline sales. Customer-based reach tactics can be effective, but requires a level of analysis beyond what is known about existing brick and mortar segments. Creative messaging with price and promotion on specific items is particularly effective.
  • Digital is necessary to bring about the type of consumer relevancy that future shoppers will expect. It will evolve along with development on the web and in social media, and will be driven to a large degree by younger and more diverse population segments.

For additional information from Nielsen, please visit here.

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Social Media Advertising?

I have some very strong opinions about using social media to advertise your business.

Most of it is annoying.


Most of those doing it are not doing it right.

What are "they" not doing "right"?

They are treating it as a traditional advertising avenue, where you try and sell stuff by pushing out your stuff to anyone and everyone who may follow you, like you or add you to their Google+ Circles.

The right way, in my opinion is to:

Be social. That means conversational. Talk, listen, respond. This is two-way conversation.

Target. There are people who want to spend money with you, and if you take a strategic approach to find those folks and stop blasting the rest of us to the point of annoyance, you can use Social Media Channels to enhance your business reputation and sell stuff too.

The RAB shared this report:

Two-Thirds of Local Merchants Advertise on Social Network; One-Fifth Use Facebook

According to MerchantCircle, new local ad offerings from Facebook are making inroads with local merchants and may put increasing pressure on Google and pure-play deals companies such as Groupon for share of local marketing budgets. With its huge consumer adoption, ease-of-use and low barrier to entry, Facebook continues to be the most popular digital site for merchants to market their business, though, overall, 66% are using the social network for marketing.

The survey shows 22% of local merchants have used Facebook Ads, two-thirds would use them again and show increasing favorability towards group deals, with 77% now saying they would offer another daily deal.

Darren Waddell, vice president of marketing at MerchantCircle, says "Facebook...has established (itself) as an important marketing channel for local businesses... and is effectively parlaying this popularity into local ad sales..."

Key conclusions from the survey include:

1. Facebook continues to be the most popular way for merchants to market their business, with 66% overall using the social network for marketing. Facebook's targeted display ad offering boasts a remarkable 94% awareness rate among local merchants.

  • 22% of merchants report having used Facebook ads since its launch
  • 65% of these merchants say that they would use the service again
  • 67% say because of ease of use
  • 65% say the top reason for continuing is the ability to start and stop campaigns
However, of the 35% of merchants who said they would not advertise with Facebook again, 69% said that the ads did not help them to acquire new customers, and 35% said the ads were too expensive.

2. The study indicates that familiarity with Facebook and Google will make these well-known brands a strong alternative to Groupon and LivingSocial, with 52% saying that familiarity with these brands would lead them to choose Facebook Deals or Google Offers over competitive offerings. Other reasons for choosing:

  • Bigger audience size (26%)
  • Better local targeting (21%)

  • Bigger audience size (42%)
  • Brand reputation (34%)
3. While three months ago, only 50% of merchants who had tried offering a group deal said they would do so again, 77% now say they would be willing to offer another daily deal, 58% citing effectiveness in customer acquisition, 30% favorable deal structure, and 24% profitability of the deal as their top three reasons.

Among those who wouldn't offer another daily deal, 42% said that it was not effective in customer acquisition, 25% said it was too costly and 24% said they lost money.

Mixed opinions about the medium's effectiveness for customer acquisition may be contributing to its slow growth among local merchants. This is not for lack of aggressive sales and marketing efforts, notes the report. 34% of respondents who offered a daily deal did so after being contacted by a sales rep, or 31% seeing an ad for the service.

4. Investment in traditional offline marketing methods continues to decline among local merchants. Over the past three months:

  • Use of print advertising dropped from 27% to 24%
  • Use of print Yellow Pages declined from 37% to 29%
  • Use of direct mail decreased from 28% to 26%
The popularity of location-based marketing services has also dropped over the past quarter. Data shows that 22% of businesses are using Facebook Places to market their business, while just 7% are using Foursquare. This is trending downward from the last survey in January 2011, when 32% said they were using Facebook Places and 9% said they were using Foursquare.

In spite of the hype around mobile marketing, just 18% of merchants report doing any sort of mobile marketing or advertising. Lack of understanding continues to be a major barrier to adoption: 71% of merchants state that they don't have a good idea of how to reach consumers via mobile marketing. Additionally, only nine% said they own a tablet, with 9% said they planned to buy one in the next six months.

5. Local merchants continue to have little time or money for marketing. 61% of local merchants are spending less than $2,500 a year on marketing, and 73% have no plans to raise their budgets this year. Time is also a critical issue for merchants, with 37% citing lack of time and resources as their top marketing challenge.

(Source: The Center for Media Research, 06/28/11)

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When Is the Best Time for a Staff Sales Meeting?


Daily Sales Tip: The Dreaded Monday Morning Sales Meeting

Some sales managers believe in gathering the troops first thing Monday morning. Others disagree and prefer sales meetings later in the week; and maybe late in the day. The positives and negatives of each have been debated at length. After all, keeping salespeople in the office rather than in front of clients is expensive, so this is an important decision. Now there is new scientific data available.

A recent study led by Jason Devereux of University College London shows that levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to increased blood pressure and weakened immune responses, are higher in white-collar workers' saliva on Monday mornings than on Sunday mornings. The higher levels of secretion may be in anticipation of a stressful day at work, the researchers say.

What's the application of this research to radio sales? We know that making a decision to purchase advertising is often a stressful situation. If Monday mornings are a time of increased stress in white-collar workers, our primary advertising decision-makers, another time would be better to be making presentations. If we are not going to be making client presentations, Monday mornings may be the best time to get that sales meeting out of the way.

Source: John Potter, VP/Training, RAB

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
Believe it or not, it seemed both totally appropriate and totally inappropriate that Hyundai Motor America held its Northeast press event for two of its cars at the luxurious/rustic Blue Hill Farm and restaurant on the sprawling Rockefeller estate in Tarrytown, N.Y. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
Secret consumers will also be able to show support for "Mean Stinks" by purchasing a T-shirt at the eStore via the Facebook page. Secret is also launching an iAd for the program on Apple's mobile advertising network and will donate $1 for every user who saves a "Mean Stinks" wallpaper to their iPhone and iPod touch when they see the ad in their favorite apps. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While the shoes themselves may evoke '80s flashbacks, the new campaign is pure urban club culture. It includes 25 dancers, 150 extras and choreography from Hi-Hat, as lasers, smoke and an acrylic box create a multidimensional Classic R, enclosed within a box. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The television and Internet video campaign, with the tagline "Tougher is Smarter," depicts the phone going through a series of real-life tests designed to show off its military-grade specifications, which include being able to withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, drops and submersion. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Josh Donnelly, who works in Fiat brand marketing, tells Marketing Daily that the goal was to create an app that wasn't a flash in the pan. "When we sat down with the creative team, my mission was to create an application that people want to open frequently," he says. ...Read the whole story >>

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Groupon or No Groupon?

I say it is a winner for consumers, but a loser for businesses.

Which in turn hurts consumers in the long run.

Here's more:

Daily Deals Aren't Always a Good Deal for Businesses

The daily deal frenzy appeared to reach a crescendo a few weeks ago when Groupon -- the company most associated with the group coupon model -- announced plans for an initial public offering.

Now, a new study is raising concerns about some possible pitfalls of the daily deal model of offering steep discounts for a limited time, mostly from local retailers and restaurants.

Utpal Dholakia, an associate professor of management at Rice University, surveyed 324 businesses in 23 markets who had participated in daily deals with Groupon, LivingSocial, OpenTable, Travelzoo and BuyWithMe.

He found that the good deals for consumers weren't always good deals for businesses.

A little more than half of the businesses Dholakia surveyed made money on the deals, while a little more than one-fourth said they lost money and the rest said they broke even.

That might not be so bad for retailers, if they thought they'd gain a new customer or make money in other ways. But the retailers said about 36 percent of users spent beyond the deal's value, and only about 20 percent of customers returned for a full-price purchase.

About half of the retailers said they'd run a deal again, while around 20 percent said they would not, according to the study. About 30 percent were unsure.

The fact that some retailers aren't clamoring to do another deal could be a red flag for the daily deal companies, whose business model depends on companies who are willing to provide the deals.

Another potential problem: Dholakia's survey found that more than 20 percent of the people who bought the deals never actually used them.

Groupon has impressed retail industry watchers with its astounding growth -- the company has more than 80 million users, and more than 7,000 employees, even though it has been in business less than three years.

But some also have worried about how well the company can sustain its success, and make money. Groupon has lost hundreds of millions of dollars since it was founded, which is one of the arguments against investing in Groupon's stock.

Nevertheless, an intriguing mix of deep discounting, web-based marketing and local business support has clearly touched a nerve for many people. It's also spawned a massive influx of daily deal companies, including Living Social, Google Offers, a Facebook deal site and countless other niche players.

The crowded field appears to have few loyalists. Dholakia noted that the vast majority of the businesses who responded to his survey said they would consider doing a deal with another daily deal site, rather than sticking with the one they'd already used.

"Overall, our findings lead us to conclude that there are relatively few points of differentiation between the daily deal sites, making it harder for any one site to stand out from the others," Dholakia wrote.

(Source: Life, Inc., 06/22/11)

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How Honest are you?


Daily Sales Tip: Honesty is the Best Policy

Successful salespeople all use a range of different styles and techniques, but they also all share one key thing in common: they know that honest communication is the single most important secret to increasing sales, and commissions.

By focusing their efforts on creating a positive customer experience based on openness and trust, these top performers can almost always rely on an extraordinary level of repeat sales. Nine times out of ten, their customers would simply never even think of looking elsewhere when they need to reorder. As we all know, it's far easier -- and far more profitable -- to keep repeat business, than it is to land a whole new account.

So what's the "secret" to establishing and maintaining credibility in the eyes of your clients?

Don't lie. Ever. End of story.

Lies not only damage the ability of salespeople to communicate with their clients. They can also result in a complete communication breakdown that is difficult -- or even impossible -- to repair.

Source: Colleen Francis, founder and president of Engage Selling Solutions

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and read these as bedtime stories... if you want:

by Aaron Baar
"The Olympic Games bring the world together unlike any other event," said McDonald's global marketing officer Dean Barrett during the webcast. "This one-year-out date is important for us because for London 2012, every dimension of our sponsorship will be bigger and better than ever." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The National Retail Federation is predicting that parents will keep the reins tight this back-to-school season, spending an average of $603.63 on apparel, school supplies and electronics, just under the $606.40 predicted last year at this time. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Drury Inn & Suites, Embassy Suites Hotels, Holiday Inn, Homewood Suites, Hotel Indigo, Microtel Inns & Suites and The Ritz-Carlton rank highest in customer satisfaction in their respective segments, although overall hotel guest satisfaction has declined. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Nearly nine out of ten LGBT adults (versus about 75% of heterosexual adults) said they are likely to consider a brand that is known to provide equal workplace benefits for all of their employees. Nearly half said they are extremely or very likely to consider such brands. ...Read the whole story >>
by Erik Sass
Pandora's push to become a multiplatform service got a boost this week with Verizon's announcement that it will make the personalized Internet radio service available to FiOS TV subscribers in major media markets. ...Read the whole story >>

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy at Mediapost:

Handlebar moustaches. Bubblegum love. The "V" on the big screen. Let's launch!

ToshibaToshiba thought of everything when crafting its TVs and laptops. In one ad, a flat-screen model is ready to ship if WiFi isn't included. This makes the head honcho think of every worst-case scenario possible, like when a plug that can't reach the TV causes a chain reaction that redirects a satellite, altering a car's GPS, directing a woman to drive off a cliff. And she does. Watch it here. Should a laptop ship without an impact-smart hard drive? Sure, if you love zombies. A laptop is dropped, then plugged into a power grid that leads to a North American power outage. Drinking spoiled milk turns people into zombies (who knew?) leading the head honcho to insist on an impact-smart hard drive, thereby avoiding the zombie apocalypse. See it here. goodness Mfg. created the ads, directed by Ulf Johansson of Smith and Jones.

Sony/IntelThe conclusion of "Project Shiphunt" is 5:30 long, but worth watching. Back in May, Sony and Intel gave five high school students from Saginaw, Mich. a challenging mission: use Sony laptops with Intel core processors to locate shipwrecks in deep water off Presque Isle in Lake Huron. What an adventure. Working with scientists, the kids found a shipwreck, the M.F. Merrick. Watch it here. The kids also found a second shipwreck, the Etruria, all of which will be documented on an hour-long special Aug. 30 on Current Media. 180LA and created the campaign.

Powell Street PromenadeWhat I love most about this initiative is that a car company improved two blocks of pedestrian walkways for San Francisco resident and tourists. To promote the Audi A7, the brand and its agency, Venables Bell & Partners, teamed up with the Union Square Business Improvement District to launch The Audi Design Project: Progress on Powell Street. Designed by Walter Hood, The Powell Street Promenade transformed two blocks between Ellis and Geary Streets into an area where people can eat, relax and use free WiFi. An additional six feet of pedestrian space was added, making room for custom-designed aluminum benches, planters, tables, rails and bike parking. LED lights illuminate the space via power collected from solar panels. Check out the finished product here and here.

Summer's EveIt takes a lot for me to talk back to the TV -- or the big screen, for that matter. But there I was last Saturday night, hunkering down to watch "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" when a preview started. Or so I thought. It was a look-back in time. There was a powerful Cleopatra addressing her legion of followers, men jousting for a woman's heart, kung-fu moves I swore Ang Lee was behind and a woman in the grocery store buying Summer's Eve for her "V." The teenage boys sitting nearby laughed awkwardly, I yelled out "WHAT?" and made a mental note to track this ad down so I could write about it today. "The V" campaign is not only running in National CineMedia's FirstLook pre-feature, but it's also a TV spot. See it here. There's also an educational Web site called "ID the V," where users can take a quiz to ID the V. The Richards Group created the campaign.

Heineken LightHeineken Light launched "Handlebar Moustache," the latest spot in its "Occasionally Perfect" campaign. The first ad highlighted the right and wrong times to rock a snakeskin jacket. This time around, it's an ode to the handlebar moustache. The modern-day man with the old-school facial hair has a hard time on crowded buses or kissing an acquaintance hello. When the man is thrust into a bare-knuckled boxing match, it's as if the planets have aligned. He knocks his opponent down and gets a kiss from a pretty lady watching the fight. See the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy New York.

MTVMTV International launched "Bubblegum Love," an animated story of first love. It's 20 seconds of a teenage girl falling in love for the first time. Cue the butterflies in stomach, flying heart butts, exploding flowers and squirting volcanoes. Paging Dr. Freud. See the ad here, created by MTV World Design Studio Milan and directed by David Lobser of Blacklist.

Jack DanielsJack Daniel's launched "As American As," a TV spot highlighting American-made objects from the past: a jukebox, old TV, motorcycle and electric guitar. "Here's to the American Spirit," closes the ad, along with a glass of Jack Daniel's. Watch it here. There's also a Facebook app chock full of creative and posters that users can download or purchase. Arnold Worldwide's Boston office created the campaign.

USA Pro CyclingThe USA Pro Cycling Challenge launched a campaign today to promote its inaugural race in August. More than 100 professional cyclists will take on the terrain of the Colorado Rockies. Outdoor ads will run throughout Colorado, and print ads will be found in USA Today, The Denver Post and Velo News. My favorite print ad, seen here, shows a bevy of cyclists with the Rocky Mountains behind them. "Pain is climbing 12,000 feet and finishing second" reads the copy. VML created the campaign.

Sausage AppRandom iPhone App of the week: Did you know that it's the Summer of Sausage? It is for Whole Foods Market's Mid-Atlantic region. But you don't have to live in the area to partake of the festivities. The company launched an app with recipes, a store locator, a sausage contest and a '60s-themed "dress your sausage" game. Come fall, the app will automatically update with a new seasonal food to eat. The Watsons created the free app, available in the App Store.

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

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The Simple Goal Plan

At my new job with Cirrus ABS, I am learning new software to stay organized and track progress, etc.

But when it comes to goals, those are pretty easy to describe. I can describe them in 10 seconds, or 2 sentences.

Jim Connolly wrote about this concept:

What everybody ought to know about achieving their goals

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 01:36 PM PDT

I was walking home this evening, when I decided to stop and take this photo with my phone. It’s not a great photo, but my photographic skills are not what this brief post is about.

This post is about the decision I made a decade ago, which made this photo of my walk home possible!

My lifestyle today sees me living in the countryside with my beautiful family, making more money than I need, working fewer hours than anyone I know; yet it all started off as a series of notes I scribbled down on a notepad.

The reason for this post, is that most of the stories you hear like this, where someone talks about how their life changed immeasurably for the better when they started setting goals, are written by people selling goal setting books, seminars or goal-setting software. I have nothing like that to sell you. I just have a few ideas to share, which I hope will inspire some of you or even one of you, to do as I did and massively improve the quality of your life.

FACT: You don’t need goal setting books, seminars or software!

The reality is that you don’t need to buy goal setting products. You simply need to know what you want and to make the decision to do everything you can, to make it happen. Learn what you need to learn, find the people whose help you will need and work like crazy. Chunk your main goals down into small achievable, measurable pieces, and use these as the stepping stones to get you from where you are, to where you want to be. Review your goals each evening and again once a week. Check you are on course and if you are not making measurable progress in reasonable time, make the necessary adjustments. That’s all I did and I can assure you, it works extremely well!

Many people fail to achieve their goals, because they get fixated on making sure they follow all the steps from some dumbass book. They try and work with those bogus, overcomplicated goal-setting strategies, then get so confused that they lack the motivation to make it happen! If you are hungry you don’t need a sophisticated sandwich making strategy. You will figure it out.

Something truly magical happens, when we commit our goals to paper and start working on making them a reality. As Earl Nightingale discovered: “We become what we think about.” When we think about our goals and then work to make them happen, we progressively move toward their attainment.

The challenge

Why not make today the day you decide to commit your major life goals to paper, followed by some initial plans and a commitment to do whatever is required to make your goals real?

Thanks Jim for keeping it simple.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Tanya Irwin
Fans are encouraged to go to the page and check out the FanBridge-powered tab, "A Band Apart." FanBridge and Flavorpill have teamed up to let people check out independent artists in their hometown on Stoli's Facebook page, listen to a music sampling and vote for their favorite. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
With the economy still feeling unsteady, people plan to spend just about as much as they did last year on back-to-school purchases, reports the NPD Group. But marketers from Timberland to Macy's to Walmart are out to increase their share. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The firm's "Marketer Perspectives on Mobile Advertising" study of 300 top-level brand-marketing executives includes a prediction that a much bigger increase is coming over the next two years, initially driven by marketing programs on smartphones. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"Virtually every product is being overshadowed by these mobile connected devices," Steve Koenig, the CEA's director of industry analysis, tells Marketing Daily. "Those are the products that are in demand. There's a lot of value, and the utility of these devices -- especially for smartphones and tablets -- with [the availability of] apps, is infinite." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Mountain biking is huge, but riders are a solipsistic lot who'd rather go it alone than join clubs. That is a problem the International Mountain Bicycling Association hopes to solve with its first new campaign in two years. Instead of focusing on tribalism, the campaign talks up how the organization and its network of clubs helps bikers do what they want to do most. ...Read the whole story >>
by David Goetzl
The chief executive at Coca-Cola, one of the world's largest marketers, bluntly said Tuesday that the economy continues to drag in many countries, including the U.S., and the struggles extend beyond low-income individuals. ...Read the whole story >>

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Mobile Media Consumption

What if everything you have been doing for the past 40 years to advertise and market your business was outdated and stopped working?

This was a question I used to ask advertisers a few years ago when they saw the number of new leads shrink from the old stand-by, the newspaper.

I have circulation numbers for my two local newspapers for the past 8 years that shows how the decline in readership coincides with the decline in advertising and the increase in prices for both.

The other form of advertising that should be taking a hit soon is the phone book, if it hasn't already in your city.

But on the cusp of being outdated is the website that is not mobile optimized.

Check out this report I got from

35 Percent of American Adults Own a Smartphone

In its first stand-alone measure of smartphone ownership, the Pew Internet Project finds that one third of American adults -- 35% -- own smartphones. The Project's May survey found that 83% of US adults have a cell phone of some kind, and that 42% of them own a smartphone. That translates into 35% of all adults.

Our definition of a smartphone owner includes anyone who falls into either of the following two categories:

  • One-third of cell owners (33%) say that their phone is a smartphone.
  • Two in five cell owners (39%) say that their phone operates on a smartphone platform (these include iPhones and Blackberry devices, as well as phones running the Android, Windows or Palm operating systems).
Several groups have higher than average levels of smartphone adoption, including:
  • The financially well-off and well-educated -- 59% of adults living in a household earning income of $75,000 or more are smartphone owners; 48% of those with a college degree own smartphones.
  • Those under the age of 45 -- 58% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 now own a smartphone as do 49% of those ages 18-24 and 44% of those ages 35-44. Even among those with a household income of $30,000 or less, smartphone ownership rates for those ages 18-29 are equal to the national average.
  • African-Americans and Latinos -- 44% of blacks and Latinos are smartphone users.
Urban and suburban residents are roughly twice as likely to own a smartphone as those living in rural areas, and employment status is also strongly correlated with smartphone ownership.

Mobile phones are a main source of internet access for one-quarter of the smartphone population. Some 87% of smartphone owners access the internet or email on their handheld, including two-thirds (68%) who do so on a typical day. When asked what device they normally use to access the internet, 25% of smartphone owners say that they mostly go online using their phone, rather than with a computer. While many of these individuals have other sources of online access at home, roughly one third of these "cell mostly" internet users lack a high-speed home broadband connection.

Smartphone owners under the age of 30, non-white smartphone users, and smartphone owners with relatively low income and education levels are particularly likely to say that they mostly go online using their phones.

Phones operating on the Android platform are currently the most prevalent type of smartphone, followed by iPhones and Blackberry devices.

Demographically, Android phones are especially common among young adults and African-Americans, while iPhones and Blackberry devices are most prevalent among college graduates and the financially well-off.

(Source: Aaron Smith, Senior Research Specialist, Pew Research Center, 07/11/11. Complete report at

By the way, my company Cirrus ABS can create a mobile version of your site or perhaps optimize your current site for those mobile visitors.

Call or email me: 260-255-HELP or

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Are you Really in Sales?

Excellent Advice from Pat McGraw:

Whatever Happened to Sales?

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 09:45 AM PDT

Sales is NOT order taking.

Long ago, when I was in college, I had a part-time job in the men’s department at a regional department store chain. I started off with your typical part-time job perspective – I show up, put in my time and collect a check so I could keep going to school, pay my rent and maybe event afford groceries.

But after a few days on the job, meeting my co-workers, I realized there was going to be more to this job. I quickly learned that I was going to need to learn about my products strengths and weaknesses, features and benefits. And I realized that my role, my responsibility was to help the customer find the best solution for their needs.

I was there to help them make a great purchase. And I learned that this made the job a whole heckuva lot more fun.

When someone came in to buy a suit, I asked about where they worked and how often they planned on wearing the suit. I probed until I understood if the person was interested in style, functionality, easy care…

And then I showed them what we had and explained the features and benefits of each option – followed by recommendations based on what I learned about my customer.

After the suit was selected, I asked about socks, belts, shirts and ties because you need those things when wearing a suit. (That’s where I really learned how to match shirts and ties and sock…yes, I learned how to dress myself.)

And if the subject of cost came up – and it did sometimes – I knew what payment options existed in order to make the purchase affordable. (When the buyer would back out of a shirt or tie – I would put them aside and make sure I called the buyer in a couple of weeks to see if they might be ready to buy. Thanks to a marketing department that loved promotional sales, I usually got to call and tell the customer that the shirt and tie were now on sale.)

The full-time salespeople had small file boxes with 3×5 cards that had the customers information on them – name, contact information, size, preferences…and whenever we had a sale or new merchandise came in, they called the right customers and invited them to stop by. So I helped them add to their files – after all, this was their full-time gig and they were commissioned.

Oh, by the way, this approach built strong, personal relationships that made the customer experience more unique and valuable. It drove referrals and retention.

But that’s how we handled cross-selling, up-selling and re-selling. And I don’t often run into this anymore. (Maybe I hang out in the wrong places?)

So, what’s your plan for cross-selling and up-selling and re-selling?

  • An upsell is simply convincing the buyer that he or she should purchase a more expensive (and higher quality or more versatile) product than the one under consideration.
  • A cross-sell is an effort to encourage the committed buyer to add auxiliary items to the purchase, such as accessories or related items.
  • A re-sell is simply convincing a current customer to come back to your business and purchase your products/services again and again (retention).

How skilled are your sales team members in identifying the customer’s needs and offering the best, most appropriate solution for those needs? Do they take orders? Or do they ask question, probe and offer relevant alternatives so the buyer can make an informed decision?

Do they know what else to recommend – and why – once the buyer has made a decision on the primary purchase?

And what does your sale team do to remain in touch with the customer in order to increase the chances for repeat business?

Recommended Reading: Cross-sell versus Up-sell Strategies

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read, I'm after a cold one...

by Karl Greenberg
The campaign, via AOR Southland, Mich.-based GlobalHue, sets the stage with a four-page insert in Monday's USA Today spotlighting the list of third-party endorsements and awards the vehicle has won over the year since it launched. Jeep, which says the vehicle is its most-awarded SUV ever, is citing the 30 or more such kudos in the piece. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Ad agencies, take note: while marketers say they are boosting budgets this year, marketing chiefs are looking for integration, alignment, visibility and (of course) ROI, per the CMO Council's fifth annual State of Marketing Report. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
African-American teens not only spend $96 more per month than the average teen, but exert far-reaching influence on mainstream cultural trends, points out Seth Freeman, senior brand manager, sparkling beverages, African-American marketing for Coca-Cola North America. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Beginning this month, the Costa Mesa, Calif. company's "Feel the Mexcellence" campaign showcases the restaurant's passion for flavor, preparation and in-store experience. Television commercials in the campaign show off the chain's signature citrus-marinated grilled chicken and other handmade items. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The effort, from Ogilvy & Mather, includes TV, radio, print, online, digital, out-of-home, branded content, search, events, social and multicultural. TV breaks July 18 on high profile network and cable shows with print ads breaking in the fall. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"As companies respond to the new U.S. nutrition guidelines, it appears that the most important issue is largely ignored by CPG companies -- portion size. Hundred-calorie packs helped the U.S. consumer think about easy ways to control consumption, but today the packages are less focused on just 100 calories and more focused on providing additional benefits." ...Read the whole story >>

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Break the Demographic Stereotypes

When I worked in the radio business, our stations were judged by the age of our listeners.

The web doesn't discriminate.

From Mediapost:

How To Get Your Organization Age Ready

At the age of 60, Bruce Springsteen earned more revenue from his concert tour than did Coldplay and the Jonas Brothers combined.*


Does your top management team know this? Do they realize we live in new world where the 50+ consumer is fast becoming the major driver of the U.S. economy?

Is your organization ready to claim your fair share of the $3.5 trillion spent annually by Boomers and older adults on consumer goods and services? By the way, younger adults spend around $2.3 trillion, or about a third less (according to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Adults 18 to 49, ha!

Look. It is time for all organizations -- from Fortune 500 corporations to non-profits to government entities to local retailers -- to get up-to-speed on what is happening to the demographics in the U.S. and what to do about it.

Over the next two decades America and most of the world will undergo a profound, transformative, industry-changing, revolutionary and permanent change: there will be fewer younger people and greater numbers of older people than ever before. This change will be as dramatic and all encompassing as the change that happened between Aug. 6, 1991, and today, some 20 years later.

That's right, on that day Tim Berners-Lee announced to the online world that he had created the World Wide Web (sorry, Al Gore was not in the room at the time).

If you could go back to that day, knowing what you know now about the impact of the Web on literally everything, what would you do differently? Not just in 1991, but in '92, '93, '94 and so on? How would you have capitalized on the change, as it happened?

(Yeah, yeah, you'd have invested in all the right Internet stocks and now be retired.)

Our belief is that the inevitable age shift is as profound, transformative, industry-changing, revolutionary and permanent. Knowing that, what should your organization start doing differently? Now, in 2011, and in '12, '13, '14 and so on.

We see three courses of action:

1. Become "Age Aware." The simple facts about the size and spending of the 50+ consumer segment ought to be well known by anyone running an organization today. Here's another demographic time bomb few seem to grasp: Between now and 2031, the 18-to-49 age segment is expected to grow in size by 12%, reaching about 153 million. The 50+ segment will expand by 34%, reaching 135 million, almost as large. Focusing only on young adults -- about half the market -- is a fast way to ruin your business.

2. Get "Age Ready." Once your organization has a grasp on the demographic realities, it is time to plan for the future. The longer-trend, permanent shift in the age composition in America will impact every industry and every organization, but not all at the same time in the same way. Does your organization have any game plan for capitalizing on this future?

3. Plan to become "Ageless." Few organizations can afford separate marketing programs for different generational or age segments. The ultimate goal is to change how you approach marketing so it is truly "ageless." A good place to start is by reading David Wolfe's Ageless Marketing. Finding a path forward that enables you to effectively market to both young and old is not difficult. It starts, though, with your organization coming to grips with the reality that such a move is demographically necessary.

Let us say it once more: the coming age shift means every organization needs to get Age Ready.

It is the only sure-fire way to create your own "Glory Days."

* Source: Billboard 2009 Concert Tour Revenues

Boomer Project founder/president Matt Thornhill is an authority on marketing to today's Boomer Consumer. He has appeared on NBC, CBS and CNBC, in "BusinessWeek," "Time," "Newsweek" and "The New York Times" and countless others. Matt is also the co-author of the business book "Boomer Consumer." Boomer Project is a marketing research and consulting firm and has done work for Johnson & Johnson, Lincoln Financial, Samsung, Hershey's Foods and Home Instead Senior Care. Reach him here.

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Slump Busting

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Breaking Out of a Slump

Slumps happen.

But the best salespeople have go-to methods that help them overcome slumps and get back to their winning ways.

Here are some methods top salespeople use to get back on track when closing doesn't come easy:

Revisit the basics
Slumps are great opportunities to revisit the fundamentals. Salespeople often find it's the little things they've gotten away from that make the difference.

Choosing one basic skill to focus on can be an effective way to center a sales presentation or pinpoint the problem.

Reconnect with buyers
Most salespeople have loyal customers who appreciate their dedication and drive.

Those customers can provide the perfect boost of confidence a salesperson needs to get back on track. It may help to focus on these loyal customers for a couple of days instead of concentrating on new accounts.

Closing some repeat business may provide welcome success after struggling out in the field for a few weeks.

Reprioritize tasks
Top salespeople often break down their responsibilities by task to see if there are any opportunities for better time management. Is there a better time or day to cold call? Are there low-impact tasks eating up a salesperson's time?

Reprioritizing gives salespeople a great chance to refocus on areas where they can have the most impact.

Source: Sales consultant/trainer Christine Corelli

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Night Markting News from Mediapost

Due to the heat, my advice is get cool first, then Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
The "Challenger" campaign is continuing with a more aggressive creative and a social-media component in which consumers help decide the ads' media rotation. The new chapter comprises a pair of 15-second spots that will not even air on TV until social fans of the luxury auto brand decide which of the two ads deserves the heavier media rotation. ...Read the whole story >>
Food and Beverages
by Karlene Lukovitz
The new standards, while not specifically described as such, are clearly intended to present an alternative to the voluntary nutrition and marketing-to-children guidelines proposed by the Interagency Working Group comprising the FDA, FTC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Agriculture. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Heading up the new division/brand is Ralph Gilles, the multitasking designer-turned-marketing executive who became famous for penning the Chrysler 300 in 2005, then was moved up to be president and CEO of Dodge as well as SVP of Chrysler Group design in 2009. He is now president and CEO, SRT brand and Chrysler's Motorsports operation. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The heart of the campaign is an online shopping tool that helps consumers decide, in three clicks, the appliance that best fits their needs. The tool, as well as in-store materials featuring QR codes, takes users to videos that focus more on how the appliances fit consumers' needs and less on specific product features and attributes. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Although the majority of Americans (96%) say they can identify two to three causes that are important to them personally, the recent 2011 MSLGROUP Social Purpose Index found that only 37% of Americans have actually purchased a product associated with a cause in the past year. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Bertolli's primary goal in the U.S. is to take its efforts to educate consumers about its three different olive oil varieties to a new level, reports Maria Hernandez-Procaccini, USA, Canada and Caribbean brand manager, CPG food and beverage for Bertolli parent company Grupo SOS. ...Read the whole story >>

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