Saturday, August 06, 2011

Classic Ad of the Month

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Saturday, Seniors and Car Sales

Car dealers like to have radio stations do remote broadcasts on Saturdays.

My current car I bought on a Saturday.

I'm not a Senior, but here's what they are looking for:

Senior Customers Require Balancing Act's review of the purchasing behavior of more than 200,000 car buyers from 2009 and 2010 shows that seniors (people 65 years of age and over) choose vehicles from brands they grew up with. Topping the list of brands purchased by seniors in that period, by percentage of buyers, were Buick, Lincoln and Cadillac.

"It's sort of a good-news, bad-news scenario for automakers," says TrueCar head of industry analysis Jesse Toprak. "It's good news because of the high loyalty and admiration for the brands among these older consumers. It's bad news because, well, they won't be alive forever.

"So it's a balancing act, really. I talk to these guys and it's a challenge they live. It's something they think about every morning when they get up: how do we not alienate our loyalists while trying to bring younger buyers into the brand?"

If the relative percentages of older buyers among brands were low, it wouldn't be such a nightmare for marketers. But the numbers say it all: 57.5% of Buick owners in 2009 and 2010 were over 65, per TrueCar stats. For Lincoln, it's 47.7%. Cadillac sold 44% of its cars during that time to seniors. After that comes Chrysler at 36.1%. General Motors sees a more youthful balance with GMC, at 32.4% over-65 buyers, and Chevrolet, which is just above Porsche, at 31.2%. After Porsche (29.5%) come Lexus, Jaguar and Hyundai, a quarter of whose buyers are 65 or older.

Toprak says the key to appealing to all consumers is to have (and market) tech-forward cool vehicles that younger buyers like, and trim levels that older consumers may also respond to. "It all comes down to the product. In spite of image, you can still sell to a younger and hipper audience with the right vehicle." Case in point from some years back before Buick had begun revamping its lineup with vehicles like the Enclave: the Buick Rendezvous, introduced in 2001 and built on the same platform as the (much mocked) Pontiac Aztek had waiting lists in California, notes Toprak, who said those buyers were 40-somethings. Same drill for the Enclave.

Another pattern emerges with a quick glance at the specific models with the highest percentage of older buyers: about 90% of buyers of the Lincoln Town Car are 65 or over. Next is the Buick Lucerne full-size luxury sedan, 86.6% of whose buyers are seniors. After that comes the big Cadillac DTS, the CTS Wagon, STS large car, the Hyundai Azera full-size sedan, and Chevy's largest car, the Impala. The list also includes the Toyota Avalon full-sized sedan. The only mid-sized cars on the list are Buick LaCrosse and Lincoln MKZ, 58.9% and 53.8% of whose buyers were 65 or older in the past two years. For the most part, big cars mean older buyers.

"That's the general issue; large cars don't appeal to younger people; it's really a category problem," says Toprak, who notes that luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have smaller vehicles in market or in the pipeline to appeal to younger buyers: BMW launched the 1-Series in 2004 and Mercedes-Benz plans a small car for the U.S., perhaps based on its Europe-market A-Class platform. These are "leapfrog" cars that a 20-something can buy and then move up from as they get older and hopefully more affluent, notes Toprak.

"It's not just image -- it's practicality, he says. "If they offer vehicles with very attractive lease payments that younger buyers with better cash flow can get into, you get a much higher chance of succeeding."

(Source: Marketing Daily, 07/29/11)

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A Different Kind of List

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Making a List

From a customer's standpoint, how does your service stack up compared with that of competing sales reps?

You could invite customers outright to make the comparison. Or better still, work up an item-by-item checklist for buyers to fill out. It can be revealing on the one hand and show customers you care on the other -- plus it can suggest areas for potential improvement.

Source: Business author Ray Dreyfack

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Friday, August 05, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

I dare ya to click and read...

by Karl Greenberg
The campaign says the muscular SUV is back and not afraid to kick ass. The campaign, which also takes aim at Ford's Explorer SUV, avoids off-roading beauty shots and people unloading kayaks and mountain bikes for an unusual tactic: positing the SUV as a race car. The move aligns with the Dodge brand, though, which uses racing as a subtext to talk up performance. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Super Greenies are the ones who engage in 10 or more environmentally friendly activities, such as recycling, composting, using rechargeable batteries and re-using grocery store bags. Though they only account for 5% of all U.S. adults, they are, by and large, a desirable demographic. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The site, which is a project out of its Japan corporate headquarters, features a game called "The Planet Zero." The game lets players control a character shaped like an electric plug that roams a virtual Earth, interacting with different icons for things like wind energy, solar power, and other elements of a zero-emission society. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Standouts include Saks, where demand for designer duds, accessories and fine jewelry sparked a 15.8% increase in comparable store sales. Rival luxury chain Neiman Marcus saw its sales rise 7.7%, and at Nordstrom, results increased 6.6%. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
As part of the launch, Hyatt will tap their concierges around the country to ask and answer questions about the best places, events and experiences in select domestic markets. Hyatt's diversity agency, Prime Access, facilitated the program with GayCities. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The campaign -- which includes regional cable television, national magazine print ads, in-store promotion/sampling, online ads and a Web site and Facebook and Twitter presences under the "Friends of Elsie" handle -- encourages consumers to become "Friends of Elsie" both to support the farmers and to receive special offers, coupons, new products and recipes. ...Read the whole story >>

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Back To School Spending

Is your business stocked up on Back to School items?

Do you have a marketing plan in place to let people know to visit you and not the Big Box Stores?

Here's what parents and grandparents are buying RIGHT NOW:

Top 10 Back-to-School Trends for 2011

Though many kids have only had a few weeks to enjoy the summer sun, parents are already checking retailers' weekly advertisements, websites and social media to find the best deals.

It's back-to-school time, and the National Retail Federation's latest Back-to-School and College surveys, conducted by BIGresearch, feature an in-depth look at current consumer trends. Here are a few insights living within the numbers:

#1: This year’s theme for parents: "Spend where you need to, save where you can." Though the economy is still impacting shoppers (see Trend #3), parents are willing to spend on things their kids actually need. According to the survey, fewer people will be spending in specific categories, but those who are buying in individual categories are spending more than a year ago.

Sound confusing? It's not. What this means is that parents are actually taking inventory of last year's items -- asking kids to get out the backpacks to see if their pencils are still sharp, try on those "old" jeans, and check if the tennis shoes still fit. If there are items children need, parents are certainly receptive to spending. But if last year's clothes still fit or the school supplies haven't totally run out, parents might be holding off on purchases until later this fall or for Christmas.

The moral of the story, kids: It's not going to be as easy to talk mom or dad into things this year -- unless last year's backpack has a broken strap, you'll be bringing it to school this year, too.

#2: It's not about the best price. It's about the best deal. In 2009, it was all about the Benjamins. This year, we continue to see a trend that emerged during last year's back-to-school season: Value matters more than price.

Instead of looking for the lowest common denominator, parents may be swayed to purchase a laptop if it comes with a free one-year warranty or buy the lunchbox that comes with a matching thermos. Today's back-to-school shopper is including factors like quality and service when deciding where to shop.

#3: The economy is still impacting spending. We're all well aware that slumping home values and high unemployment have put a damper on consumer sentiment in recent years, so it's not surprising that families heading out to buy school items are looking to cut costs where they can.

With the extra burden of tuition, college students and their parents are slightly more likely to change their spending plans this year because of the economy and will compensate by buying more store brand and generic products (38%) and doing more comparative shopping online (31%).

Families with students in K-12th grades will curtail expenses by spending less overall (44%) and shopping for sales more often (50%).

#4: In case you missed the memo, department stores are back. When my mom used to take me shopping for school clothes, we went straight to her favorite department store. These days, when moms and dads head out for their school shopping trip, they head straight to their child's favorite department stores. Having done their own homework in recent years, department stores know what their shoppers want and are among the primary shopping destinations for pre-teens, teenagers and college students.

The survey found 47.6% of college shoppers and 57.0% of K-12 shoppers will head to department stores -- the highest percentage for both groups in NRF's eight-year survey history.

Thanks to smart merchandising, creative social media campaigns and a new concept of "private label loyalty" among teen and college-aged shoppers, department stores have an added advantage when it comes to back-to-school shopping. Labels like LC by Lauren Conrad and Madonna's Material Girl are among the labels driving kids to department stores these days.

#5: Electronics. They're not just for classrooms anymore. There was a time when scientific calculators were the only high-tech gadgets on a parent's school shopping list. These days, parents are splurging on everything from mp3 players and smartphones to tablets and laptops for their school-aged children. But this year, the number of people who are planning to buy electronics decreased in both surveys, bucking a trend of steady growth over the last few years.

How? Why? No need to worry. Electronics aren't losing popularity -- just look at the crowd of people hovering around the tablet devices and laptops at any large retailer. The decline in electronics spending for back to school can be explained in several ways. For starters, today's students are incredibly tech-savvy. This year's sixth graders were born in 2000; there's no piece of technology today's students don't know about, haven't used or don't already own.

Also, many parents and college students with their own money to spend don't necessarily view these purchases as "seasonal" anymore -- they are simply buying them when they can or when they want it, all year long. And finally, I would be surprised if many shoppers are waiting for the release of newer models (iPhone 5, anyone?) or until holiday gift-giving rolls around.

#6: This year, it all comes down to crunch time. One of the trends NRF's Ellen Davis wrote about last year was that "the early bird gets the deal." Though we're definitely seeing our share of shoppers who want to start early, many back-to-school shoppers this year are waiting until the last minute. Nearly one-third (31.2%) of parents of K-12th grade students will shop one to two weeks before school starts, up from 24.8% last year.

For retailers, it will be important to move merchandise around in the supply chain, when possible, to take advantage of sales peaks as school bells start ringing in different areas of the country.

#7: Everyone's a winner. This year's back-to-school season has something for everyone. Discounters, who have long touted low prices and one-stop-shopping convenience, will continue to be the most popular shopping destination. Department stores, as mentioned earlier, will see more shoppers than anytime in our eight-year survey history.

But a decent chunk of shoppers will also be visiting electronics stores, clothing stores and drugstores. The Internet also continues to be a force to be reckoned with, as people who shop in multiple channels will spend 40% more than those who only shop in stores -- another reason why retailers should be paying close attention to their websites and mobile apps when thinking about ways to grow their business.

#8: Think beyond denim and crayons. Though you might think first of jeans, tennis shoes and scissors, there's plenty of opportunity in the back-to-school market for a variety of different retailers. Case in point? Before heading to campus, college students will spend a collective $5.4 billion on food -- which boils down to a not-too-shabby $94.60 a student. (That's a lot of granola bars.) They're also plunking down $3.7 billion on personal care items like toothpaste, Tylenol and body wash.

Prepaid cards are also popular among many in this crowd, as parents plan to spend $3.4 billion on gift cards or prepaid cards they can reload when their kids are away from home and need to head to the stores. A variety of retailers can capitalize on this trend, including grocery stores, warehouse clubs and drugstores.

Who takes the cake as the company thinking outside the box the most for back to school this year? It could be Tuffy Auto Service Centers, who is offering free back-to-school maintenance inspections. Every parent wants to make sure their kids' cars are running smoothly before they head out by themselves to college, further proof that there really is a part every retailer can play when it comes to the back-to-school season.

#9: As they prepare for the "real world," college seniors pull back. When you look at how the state of the economy has impacted college seniors, the numbers are staggering. Four in 10 say they will buy more store brand and generic products this year, up from 28.6% last year. When it comes to school items, 38.5% will make do with last year's items, up from 30.6% last year.

And who says 21-year-olds aren't frugal? This year, 44.5% say they will shop for sales more often, up from 35.8% last year. More will shop online as a way to save money (25.1% vs. 18.7% in 2010) and will share or borrow textbooks instead of buying them (21.3% vs. 15.8% in 2010).

Whether these students are pulling back because they didn't make as much from a summer job or whether they're trying to save up for their foray into the real world remains unclear. What we do know is that the oldest in the college crowd are feeling the pinch.

#10: Coming soon to a phone near you -- back-to-school and college shopping. In the next few weeks, NRF will be releasing brand-new data that evaluates how people will use their smartphones and tablets for back-to-school shopping this year. Let's just say there are a lot of people who may buy their school or college needs without ever leaving their house -- and those who plan to venture to the stores will be bringing their Droids and iPhones with them.

(Source: Kathy Grannis, National Retail Federation, 07/29/11)

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Nobody is Working

Because they are on vacation.

But you're not.

And you still have numbers to bring in.

Here's a few ideas from

Daily Sales Tip: The Best Use of Your (Summer) Time

As I speak to clients and colleagues, they tell me the same thing -- many of their bosses, co-workers, suppliers or business partners are either on vacation, just coming back from a vacation or just about to take a vacation.

Business is seasonal. Kids get out of school. The weather changes. People have worked hard and are now ready to take some time off. Business changes and people seem to relax.

Does this mean companies aren't buying or planning for the fall? Of course not. It just means that they are going to begin doing things on their timetable, not yours.

So here's what you can do to not only make sales now, but also set yourself up for the best finish of any year you've ever had:

1. Don't let up. Keep working hard -- if not harder. Make more calls. Send more emails, stay later and come in earlier. The time you put in now may not seem to pay off right away, but in the fall you'll see the fruits of your labor.

It reminds me of the "dog days of summer" in NFL training camps. I still remember what Bill Parcells told his players in late December when they were about to begin a drive that would determine whether they got into the playoffs or not. He looked at his exhausted linemen and said: "This is why you lift all those damn weights!" The effort you put in now will make the difference at the end of this year.

2. Connect with established clients. This is the perfect time to send a card, to make a call, and to talk with clients about things other than business. For example, where are they going for summer vacation? Face it, if things are slow for you, they are probably slow in their business as well. How about asking what they are doing to deal with this period and what they are doing to get ready for the fall. And how about asking how you can help them do that? Set yourself up to work with them when they'll be ready...

3. Work on improving your skill set, new product development or other part of your business that will make a difference in the second half of the year. If any of you have thought about developing a greeting card campaign to stay in front of your customers and prospects, this is the perfect time to do it!

Why not design a card with a picture of yourself and family on YOUR vacation and send it to all your clients and prospects. That'll give you something to talk about.

4. Make goals for September through December and develop a plan of action to accomplish them. Develop an affirmation card and goal sheet of what you're going to earn, what it's going to feel like over the holidays to have accomplished it and begin smiling each day as you feel the feelings of having done it.

Remember, "Fear Pushes, but Vision Pulls." Use this time to create a compelling vision of the rest of the year for yourself and let that vision pull you through the summer.

5. Feed your mind a positive diet. This is the time to feed your mind every single day (and many times during the day as well). My favorite book to re-read during each summer is: Beyond Positive Thinking by Dr. Robert Anthony.

I'll bet you have your own list of positive reading material you'd like to finally read. Pick one book tonight, put it on your desk and commit to reading it before Labor Day. That alone will make a huge difference for you. The most important thing to remember during the summer is that "This, too, shall pass." If business has slowed down, that will change. And if you take advantage of any of the five suggestions above, you'll be the most prepared to prosper when it does...

Source: Sales consultant/trainer Mike Brooks

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Karl Greenberg
Audi has signed on to be the official automotive partner of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, taking the mantle from Nissan Motors' Infiniti luxury marque, which was official sponsor last year. Audi will activate across a number of events leading up to the awards, and on the Sept. 18 broadcast itself at the Nokia Theater at L.A. Live. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Grabbing the No. 1 spot is Ascena Retail Group, which owns women's budget apparel chains DressBarn and Maurices, as well as Justice, which targets teens and tweens. (The company acquired Tween Brands in 2009, which helped propel sales up 59% last year to $2.4 billion.) ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
This week, U.S. Dunkin' Donuts restaurants are beginning to sell the brand's coffees in single-serve Keurig K-Cups. That gives Dunkin' a slight jump on Starbucks, at least on the restaurant distribution front, since Starbucks won't start offering K-Cups in its restaurants (and in mass retail) until the fall. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"The shift is along four or five percentage points, which is not insignificant," Jim Howland, senior director of the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates, tells Marketing Daily. "It's our observation that people are taking advantage of the Internet and other sources of information to research products before they buy them." ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
Schick Hydro Blast razor is running a promotion on Thrillist's fashion site. The former is a N.Y.-based emailed newsletter for men. It entered the e-commerce business when last year it acquired Columbus, Ohio-based, a members-only flash-sale site for men. ...Read the whole story >>

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy at Mediapost:

Can you read my Jell-O Pudding face? Hungry eyes for Pretzel M&M's. Let's launch!

ESPNNow that football fans officially have an NFL season to watch, ESPN takes celebrating a touchdowns to a whole new level with the "Evolution of the Touchdown Dance." Anyone with a computer and a friend who forwards funny videos is all too familiar with Judson Laipply's "Evolution of Dance" and its 178 million YouTube views. Laipply does not disappoint with his brilliant rendition of memorable touchdown dances throughout the years. Before viewing, two celebratory dances immediately came to mind: Terrell Owens pulling a sharpie from his sock to autograph the ball he just scored with -- and Joe Horn retrieving his cell phone, hidden beneath the goal post, and placing a call. Both made the dance. Watch it here, created by Wieden+Kennedy New York.

Stride GumStride gum not only has flavor that lasts a ridiculously long time, it has feelings, too. An empty classroom sets the scene for a scared and lonely voice, hoping that "Johnny" returns. The voice comes from underneath Johnny's desk, and it's his piece of Stride gum that's been left behind, feeling abandoned as it remembers incidents of the past. See it here. The second ad, seen here, shows the gum readying for the end of its life... he's starting to harden up. Just when it seems like the end is near, Johnny returns, apologizes and starts chewing. JWT Puerto Rico created the ads, directed by Matt Fackrell of kaboom productions.

McDonaldsIf "Earth's Treasure," in the eyes of aliens, is $1 fountain drinks from McDonald's, then we've either got problems -- or we've hit the jackpot. A soda fountain dispenser is brought onboard an alien spaceship and described as something cherished by billions. The top alien goes straight for the Dr Pepper -- I would, too -- and sheds a layer of face to reveal a large smile. Too bad a man on his lunch break will remain parched, thanks to the missing soda dispenser. What will he wash his double cheeseburger down with? See the ad here, created by Moroch and directed by Fred Raimondi. PrimalScream Music created the music and sound design.

Jell-OJell-O Pudding launched a 3D billboard in New York City that monitors the world's mood on Twitter. The billboard, seen here, is part of the brand's current "Pudding Face" campaign and majority rules, so if more people are sad, the billboard frowns, and that frown is turned upside down if Twitter folks are happy. Created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the billboard pings Twitter every 7 seconds, looking for a smile emoticon or frown and adjusting the billboard's face accordingly. The billboard ties in with a Web site that launched July 13 that shows real-time happy and sad tweets. When the majority of tweets contain a frown face, Jell-O sends those with recent frown posts a link to redeem a coupon for free Jell-O pudding. Now if only they'd bring back Jell-O pudding pops. I can't be the only one missing them.

M&MsPretzel M&M'S pick the lesser of two evils in "Hungry Eyes." Salty pretzel and sweet M&M are faced with being eaten by an attractive woman or a man with a questionable combover and creepy look in his eyes. The awesome and underused song "Hungry Eyes" plays while the man gawks at the duo. Watch it here. In honor of the one-year anniversary of Pretzel M&M'S, a bloopers reel of outtakes from the ad was created. Watch it here and on M&M's Facebook page. BBDO New York created the campaign.

MitchumMitchum launched the latest TV ad for its "Love Thy Pits" campaign, showing a mom who's cool under pressure. She might be panicked on the outside, but her pits stay calm and dry. It's not every day that you pick up your son from soccer practice, drive off and then realize you have the wrong kid in your back seat, is it? "Dawson's Kid" goes home to his family and the woman's actual son is "triple seat-belted in the back seat of the less-than-pimped minivan." See it here. Mother New York created the ad, produced by Brand New School and directed by Jonathan Notaro.

Farmers InsuranceProfessor Nathaniel Burke of Farmer's Insurance, played by J.K. Simmons, hires a "Cat Burglar" for his students to observe in the hopes they in turn can help their consumers protect themselves. The burglar is strapped to a dolly, reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter in "Silence of the Lambs," but sans face mask. One student is skeptical about the burglar's talents until he turns around to find a home's contents askew on the lawn... and his own watch missing. See the ad here, created by RPA.

MichelinMichelin's fourth ad in its global campaign "The Right Tire Changes Everything" illustrates that rain can be a more-dangerous foe, especially when your tires are sub-par. A rainstorm wreaks havoc for a father and son as they maneuver slippery roads, avoiding a near-miss with another car. When it comes time to brake suddenly to avoid a fallen tree branch, the Michelin man comes to the rescue, swapping tires on the man's car and enabling him to stop before hitting the branch. The ad promotes the Primacy MXM4 tire, which touts a braking distance of up to 29 feet shorter in wet conditions. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York.

LazytownRandom iPad app of the week: LazyTown Entertainment, creator of the now-defunct "LazyTown" children's TV show, along with Castle Builders, launched the LazyTown BooClips iPad app. BooClips helps kids to read by using sign language interpretation, translation to different languages and an animated magnifying glass. The digital book features music and songs from the "LazyTown" TV series and allows kids or parents to narrate a story using the app's voiceover function. The app is free in the App Store.

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

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Do You Trust Me?


Daily Sales Tip: Building Trust

Continually setting, and meeting, expectations is one of the easiest and most direct ways to build the strong, trusted relationships you need to close deals.

Building trust allows you to:

1. Set the agenda. If each encounter goes as expected and the prospect gets what they want, they will let you drive the process -- that, in turn, allows you to control the sale, determine the process, set next steps, and take it where you want.

2. Mitigate risk. Buyers want to be sure they are making the right decision. Unfortunately for them, any purchase decision comes with risk. You can mitigate this risk by providing direction at each step of the sales process. If there are no surprises, you create a sense of certainty in an otherwise uncertain endeavor. Certainty helps eliminate doubt in the prospect's mind, removing a major obstacle and allowing you to move the sale forward faster.

3. Be seen as the expert. Delivering as expected demonstrates a certain mastery that inspires confidence in you, your company, and what you are selling. This positions you as the thoughtful and trusted expert as you answer questions, listen and demonstrate understanding, and provide recommendations.

4. Demonstrate what it is like to work with you. Trusted relationships are built over time, and you can start building that trust during the sales process. When you consistently deliver on what you promise, you demonstrate what it will be like to work with you and your company day in and day out.

However, if you over-promise and under-deliver -- by missing deadlines, showing up late to meetings, setting inappropriate expectations -- you lose out on your best opportunity to build trusting relationships with your prospects.

Trust does not come overnight, in fact it can take months, in some cases years, to build, yet it takes only one instance of not following through on your promise to destroy it.

Be mindful of this in your sales conversations and interactions with prospects. Think things through, take the time to make appropriate decisions, and give each prospect the respect they deserve; this allows you to maximize the trust factor.

Take it one step further and think of how you can over-deliver in the sales process. I'm not suggesting you sandbag it. I'm suggesting you set expectations that you're sure you can meet and leave some room for yourself to go above and beyond.

Source: Sales consultant/author Bob Croston

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Uh, a little late....

by Tanya Irwin
The jury is still out on whether any of the affiliations have impacted sales. One analyst, however, "seriously questions the effectiveness of using a celebrity to endorse an airline given the reality of today's air travel environment." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Back-to-college kids, for instance, can go to and go through a checklist, with everything from bed risers to Kindles to blackboard refrigerators. After checking their items, they can then either print the list at home or pick it up at a store kiosk, and share via Facebook. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
After getting a lot of attention with its two-minute Super Bowl ad, which featured rapper Eminem, scenes from urban Detroit, and shots of the new 200 sedan, Chrysler reportedly held meetings with Eminem but was mum about the topic of discussion. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
According to research company Strategy Analytics, 13% of U.S. households will participate in bundled offerings that include fixed voice, Internet, television and mobile voice services by 2016. That's a fourfold increase over the current levels. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The wealthy spend more time online and recall digital ads better than the general public. No surprise here, but the wealthy -- generously defined by the study as households making $100,000 or more per year -- are just 21% of U.S. households, but they now have 70% of all consumer wealth, and spend 3.2 times more than other Americans on purchases. ...Read the whole story >>

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Another Rant Against the Yellow Pages

Last month, my wife asked me to look up the phone number of a local restaurant.

She was writing a note to her sister who is coming to visit and wanted to call the restaurant to see which hotels are located nearby.

(This was a handwritten note, the kind you shove in an envelope with postage.)

She was sitting in the living room with a book as a writing surface as she asked me for the number.

I used my Droid, did a Google voice search, pressed the number and handed the phone to my wife.

While she was talking to the restaurant, I noticed that the book the she was using as a writing surface, was The Phone Book.

It's that time of year again when phone book sales people try and get you to sign up for another year of advertising in the book.

Now days, they will try and sell you on a website too because they know that the book is dying, and being replaced by the web.

Paul Weyland wrote about The Phone Book recently in a newsletter he sends to radio and television sales reps:

Yellow Pages- Despite rumors of its imminent Internet-inspired death, many businesses still feel they absolutely must advertise in the phone book. When many consumers are ready to buy a product or service they pull out the Yellow Pages for information. Advertisers feel that many sales can be traced directly to the phone book. Many cities now have more than one book and for many advertising decision makers that poses a problem. Which book (or books) do you buy? Technology poses another problem for phone book advertisers. Younger people are relying more and more on the Internet for information on businesses. Despite it’s problems, Yellow Page advertising is still very popular, and they’re doing a lot to embrace the Internet and keep their customers.

Here are some of the strengths of the Yellow Pages:
• Perceived as reliable-People turn to the Yellow Pages when they are ready to buy.
• Room to display multiple products and services-Like the newspaper.
• Advertising by section-Yellow Pages can place ads for one client in several different product/service categories.
• Couponing-Like the newspaper, Yellow Page customers can find coupons they can bring directly to the advertiser.
• Ubiquitous-Yellow Pages are everywhere. And usually right next to the telephone.

Like newspaper, Yellow Page advertising does have its drawbacks. Here are some examples:
• High cost-Yellow Pages advertising can be very expensive, particularly when the advertiser is running full-page color ads in several product/service categories. And if you dispute your bill your phone could be cut off.
• You can’t change the copy-The advertiser is stuck with the same copy for a year. That’s a long time, especially if something new you have something new you’d like to say. And what if there’s a mistake in the ad? Too bad. You live with it for a year.
• Passive medium-Again, a Yellow Pages ad doesn’t say anything until you pick it up and turn the pages. Up to that point the book sits in a drawer or under piles of mail.
• Absolutely no competitive protection-When you a consumer shops the Yellow Pages he has the opportunity to shop all of your competitors as well.
• The biggest ads are in the front of the product/service category-Sounds nice, until you think about how many consumers really pick up and handle the phone book. “When you buy a full page ad in our Yellow Pages, we’ll put your ad right in the front of the section!” Fine, except most people thumb through the Yellow Pages from back to front. Try it yourself. Pick up the phone book and look at the way you actually handle it to get to the pawn brokers section. That means that in reality, customers will see the smaller ads before they get to the big, expensive ones in the front of the section.
• Clutter-The Yellow Pages is virtually all ads. For small businesses it’s becoming very expensive to compete in the phone book, particularly if you need multiple listings. For example, if you’re in the heating and air conditioning business you’ll need an ad in heating and another in air conditioning. If you’re in the appliance business you’d need listings in refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, etc.
• Too many books-Clients in many markets are being courted by multiple “Yellow Pages” books. Which book (or books) should you buy?
• The Internet-Many younger people use the Internet for searching out businesses. And there are many different Internet “Yellow Pages”. Older people may have trouble with the Yellow Pages as well. In big cities the books are big and the older you get, the harder it is to read the numbers.

You can read the rest of what Paul wrote here on

When I was in the radio business, we used the book as a directory of potential advertisers.

Now that I moved to the web based world, I can offer marketing solutions that are measurably more cost effective than the book.

Contact me at: or 260-255-4357.

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Say What?


Daily Sales Tip:

When presenting a written proposal, always remember your audience. Keep it simple. Eliminate jargon and acronyms.

Instead, use short simple words and sentences. Include content specific to the customer's industry or vertical market, particularly in the cover letter and executive summary.

Remember that people buy ideas, solutions, and feelings. Data should support that, not the other way around.

Source: Brandeis C. Hall, RAB,, (972)753-6786

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read, I'm busy...

by Karl Greenberg
Fiat is launching its first national ad campaign in the U.S. this month. The national and cable broadcast, print, digital and experiential effort bows with a TV advertisement but includes a range of other elements with a focus on programs to get the car in front of potential buyers. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
While such programs have been viewed by banks as an easy way to gain and retain customers and have marketed them heavily, Mintel found that debit card programs alone aren't likely to foster customer loyalty, as 47% of respondents who participate in a debit rewards program have never redeemed their points. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Tully's Coffee has teamed with Pomegranate Center on a "Taste of Community" program that encourages and funds the building and revitalizing of community spaces. The program spans a Facebook-based grant contest, other community project grants, a community tool-kit and a limited-edition blend of coffee. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Only 25% of parents in its survey say they plan to purchase computers, cell phones and other electronic items for kids this year, down from 36% last year. And only 18% plan to shop at electronics stores, such as Best Buy, a big drop from 24% in 2010. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
November 3 is the official centennial of General Motors' Chevrolet division, but the party is starting early with a new program called "Centennial Experience." The digital program, at, encourages people to vote for their favorite Chevrolet vehicle of all time. ...Read the whole story >>

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Word of Mouth via Teens

This is nothing new, I just doubt that very many advertising execs are thinking about what it means to be a teenager and the power the under 25 years old have influencing others.

My own kids are out of their teens, which means I'm way past my own teen years, so maybe we need a refresher from Mediapost:

How To Turn Your Superfans Into Guerrilla Marketers

Teens are natural marketers: they are extremely enthusiastic about the things they love, and they want to share the newest and coolest things in their life with their friends. This is why many teens often make up the lion's share of brands' "superfans" -- people who will aggressively share your message with their network of friends.

For example, in a recent campaign for recording artist Cady Groves, RCA offered a free merchandise pack to every fan who got five friends to download a free Cady Groves song from the web site. While many fans shared to complete the offer, quite a few superfans took sharing to the next level, coming up with their own tweets, direct messaging friends and posting on Facebook to recruit hundreds of new fans to the Cady Groves web site and Facebook Page.

These superfans can wield tremendous power when it comes to spreading the word about your brand, but how do you encourage their natural inclination toward sharing? Superfans aren't necessarily motivated by the offer for themselves; they're interested in promoting a favorite artist or product, getting free merchandise for their friends and establishing their reputation as someone in the know. The key is to provide them with ways to do this.

Here are five creative approaches to motivating your superfans:

1. Grant exclusives.

Play into teens' desire to be part of an inner circle by offering content that isn't available to the masses. This strategy is frequently put into play in the music industry: as with the Cady Groves example above, artists will often offer previews of music videos, song tracks or merchandise to fans who share with several of their friends.

2. Raise the stakes for playing the game.

Teens are especially keen on the gaming aspect of social media -- they like the competitive challenge. Tie in gaming with a way to raise the rewards, and you have the perfect way to lure superfans into sharing. BookRenter, which rents textbooks online, recently ran a scholarship contest in which the scholarship increased as more people shared it with their friends.

3. Provide a platform for expression.

Just as teens like put their own stamp on their rooms and their fashions, they want to show their creativity online -- and they want to know that their opinion is valued. Let teens voice what they want to view or buy, since they're more inclined to share something that they've had a hand in creating. For example, StyleFactory, which sells unique home furnishings and accessories, places a Facebook "Like" button on products, and lets shoppers choose the designs that should be produced. People who share their favorite designs get discounts on the top choices.

4. Recognize loyalty.

Teens want to cement their reputation as pack leaders, and they'll share more when the process comes with recognition of their early adopter status. You can use badging to allow teens to advertise their ability to build a fan base. For example, offer exclusive icons to teens that get friends to sign up for group deals or get people to like your brand's Facebook page.

Also consider giving your most loyal fans an opportunity to win public recognition in return for sharing. For example, Stiletto Music recently ran a campaign for artist Tally Hall where people who shared her web page were entered into a contest to win a personal theme song written and recorded by Tally Hall.

5. Help them do good.

According to the United Nations Foundation, in 2010, 79% of U.S. girls contributed food or clothing, 53% gave money, and 66% asked family or friends to give or volunteer. Look to feed into teens' budding altruism with shareable campaigns. For example, to celebrate his 17th birthday last March, Justin Bieber asked his 7.7 million Twitter followers to donate to Charity: Water, a nonprofit devoted to bringing safe drinking water to developing nations. Bieber's tweet about the campaign was retweeted by hundreds of his fans, and those who contributed got to post a birthday message to Bieber on the Charity: Water website. The result: $30,000 raised in just two days.

Keep in mind that while teen superfans may be interested in your social offer, they may be more excited by the possibility of sharing it: promoting a new band, getting free stuff for their friends, and highlighting their status as someone who knows what's hot and what's not. Your job as a marketer is to provide teens with ways to carry your brand message as they extend their influence online.

Sanjay Dholakia is CEO of Crowd Factory, a provider of crowd-powered marketing applications.

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Keep Asking


Daily Sales Tip: In Case of an Emergency, Ask Questions

Questions will save you.

Whenever you start to feel stressed and don't know what to say to a customer, start asking questions. Questions are your emergency kit for all situations.

Simply asking, "Please tell me a little more about that?" or "What could we do to help you?" or "What would you like us to be able to do for you?" will often turn it all around.

Once the prospect is talking, you'll have the opportunity to regroup and prepare your next move.

Source: Sales consultant/trainer Steve Waterhouse

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Monday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
Starting in 2017 when the current standard expires, the deal will increase CAFE at 5% annually for cars and 3.5% for light trucks through 2021, with an overall target of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The current timeline is 35mpg CAFE by 2016. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
A new study from American Express reports that while parents say they will not scrimp on what kids need to start the school year, it won't be painless: They'll cut back on restaurant spending, entertaining, and their own clothing. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Having just announced its phasing in of healthier Happy Meals, McDonald's is making sure nutritional elements are included in its massive, global promotions tying in with the new "The Smurfs" movie. The promotions also tie in an eco-friendly theme. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"On the non-contract side, they're pretty much in the dark" when it comes to customer information through help calls or e-mails, Parsons tells Marketing Daily. "Satisfaction really drops with the more transfers and the longer on hold you are." ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
The company is promoting the product line on Facebook and via word-of-mouth marketing, according to a oneCare Co. spokesperson. Included is a demonstrational video showing how well the training pads absorb liquid. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
"It's sort of a good-news, bad-news scenario for automakers," says TrueCar head of industry analysis Jesse Toprak. "It's good news because of the high loyalty and admiration for the brands among these older consumers. It's bad news because, well, they won't be alive forever. So it's a balancing act really." ...Read the whole story >>

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