Saturday, September 03, 2011

Classic Ad of the Week

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Insane Email Marketing

from Pat Mcgraw:

Minor League Email Lessons

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 07:05 AM PDT

cluttered mail

About 5-years ago, I purchased two baseball caps online. Both were minor league team caps and I purchased them from the each team’s website.

Both teams are located thousands of miles from where I live. The caps costs about $25 each, plus shipping, and they represent the one and only purchase I have ever made from either team.

Within a year, one team stopped sending me emails.

But today, I received yet another email from the other team. I get about 2-4 per month, depending on the time of year. And the content is typically pushing me to buy tickets to a game or merchandise from the store.

I haven’t unsubscribed because it’s easier to just delete the emails as they come in. I only occasionally scan them because I am hoping they might be sending me something that interests me versus pushing ticket sales and merchandise.

Anyway, here’s my point. When was the last time you cleaned your email list? Do you try to engage your readers in a conversation or do you just prefer to push your message on them over and over and over again? And, finally, what’s the definition of insanity?

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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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Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click, read & enjoy the weekend:

by Karl Greenberg
Cadillac unveiled its new concept car, the Ciel (French for "sky"), in Pebble Beach last week and this week showed the resplendent cabriolet on the rooftop of a Chelsea studio. The car, whose design was inspired by the California Coast, has a long profile that belies that fact that it is actually shorter than the DTS, which will soon go away. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Despite Hurricane Irene and plenty of gloomy economic headlines, back-to-school shoppers delivered good results to retailers in August. And some chains, including Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club and Limited Brands, even posted double-digit gains. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
AAA forecasts that 31.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Labor Day holiday weekend and more of them are driving than flying. Airfares are on the rise, and for the first time this year, the overall number of holiday air travelers is expected to decline for a major travel holiday. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Following Amica Mutual in the rankings are Auto-Owners Insurance and Erie Insurance (in a tie), Cincinnati Insurance, State Farm, and American Family, respectively. USAA, an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore not included in the rankings, also achieves a high level of customer satisfaction. ...Read the whole story >>

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Bring Home The Bacon

Ok, not really bacon.

But how about using the power of satisfied customers to bring in more?

Check out these ideas from

What Can Your Referral Program Learn From Roku?

"Plenty of companies have referral programs," writes Kimberly Smith, "but how many can say theirs converts at about three times the rate of other online marketing campaigns and brings in over 500 new product sales each month?" In a case study at MarketingProfs, Smith explains how Roku—which makes devices that stream Internet content to televisions—achieved these results:

Testing incentives. The company experimented with rewards that ranged from cash and gift cards to charitable contributions. But a free month of Netflix became the sole incentive when surveys revealed that 80% of Roku customers were also enthusiastic Netflix subscribers. After this switch in the referral program, registration rates skyrocketed (from 1,000 per month to 8,000), referrals doubled and product sales increased by five-fold.

Simplifying the registration process. They use a simple form that doesn't scare customers off by asking for more information than they actually need.

Offering a variety of sharing options—including email. "Social media may be the hot channel everyone's looking to for customer recommendations," notes Smith, "but Roku found that more than 70% of its program registrants chose email for referring their friends."

Using a reliable system to track referrals. This might seem too obvious to mention, but if you don't know when a referred lead makes a purchase, you can't follow through with the promised reward for the referrer.

The Po!nt: Even if you're happy with your referral program, there might be room for substantial improvement. Over a six-month period, Roku's retooled approach directly generated $230,000 in revenue.

Source: MarketingProfs.

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Opening Doors with Cost Savings

from my 2009 archives:

From Art Sobczak:

This Week's Tip:
How to Cut Their Costs and
Raise Your Sales


An entire special section in the Wall Street
focused on businesses cutting costs.

A USA Today article discussed how
more people are opting for credit cards that
just don't give airline or other travel points,
both those that can cut mortgage payments,
or reduce their monthly interest expenses.

And as you likely have experienced, buyers
everywhere have been instructed to squeeze
their suppliers for the best deal.

Yes, a hot issue today is cutting costs.

And, any biz school student can tell you that
to increase profits, you can increase revenues,
or, you guessed it, cut costs.

Is that something you can affect?

How do you help companies or individuals
control or cut costs? (Which, in turn, increases

How are you doing it?

Of course, before you go crazy with the
idea, it's important to understand whether
your market is interested in cutting costs.
If so, capitalize on it.

Here are some specific ways to do so.

During Conversations With People Other
Than Your Decision Maker

As I always preach, get information from
anyone and everyone before speaking with
your decision maker. So, ask questions
of admin assistants, others in your buyer's
department, or anyone for that matter:

"What are the initiatives in your division/
group/department? Cutting costs? Increasing

"Has there been an emphasis on cutting
spending lately?"

Then, if you learn, or know, that cost
cutting and expense control is important,
you can work that into your call strategy.
Here are ways to do so.

In Your Opening Statements
Based on what you know about your prospects
and customers, you could use words and phrases
like these. Think of how you could customize
these to to fit in what you sell and what you
could do for them.

For example, you could say,

"Ms. Prospect we help companies to ..."

...cuts the costs of...

...reduce expenses on...

...trim the fat from...

...lower the payments on...

...lessen the...

...control the costs of...

...reduce interest rates on ...

...eliminate the waste of...

...minimize the number of ...

...prevent increases in ... less for...

...get discounts on...

...increase the amount of ____ they get,
for the same price they're paying now.

...reduce spending on...

...delay increases in...

...consolidate the bills for...

...take advantage of credits for...

...reduce their debt...

Of course, there are many other ways to
communicate how you can help control costs.
Saving time is another major area. Think of
ways you can include that as well.


In your questioning, it's important to help
understand where they're bleeding.

Then, open the wound wider.

"What's that costing you?"

"What other costs are you incurring?"

"How is that affecting overall profits?"

The language of cost is universal. It touches
a nerve. If you can affect it, and it's something
that is important to them, that's a recipe for
your sales success.

Go and Have Your Best Week Ever!


Quote of the Week
Don't bunt. Aim out of the ballpark."
David Ogilvy

Contact: Art Sobczak, President, Business By Phone Inc. 13254 Stevens St.,
Omaha, NE 68137,
(402) 895-9399. Or,

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
American Express is a top-tier sponsor. Other sponsors in that category include Chase, JP Morgan, Citizen, IBM, Mercedes-Benz and Olympus. Esurance is a tier-two sponsor and are joined by Heineken, Polo by Ralph Lauren, United Airlines and Xerox. Tier-three sponsors include Adecco, Evian, Gatorade, Grey Goose, Moet & Chandon, Nabisco, The New York Times, Nirmal Lifestyle, Panasonic, ticketexchange, Tiffany & Co., Westin and Wilson. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, the public health departments of five major cities and 110 local and national health groups are cooperating on a campaign to reduce consumption of soda and other sugary drinks. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Bali Intimates is kicking off the latest in its efforts to link the department-store bra brand with fundraising efforts for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, with a "Live Beautifully Daily" campaign. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Ford and Cambridge, Mass.-based car sharing network Zipcar, Inc. have inked a two-year deal that's a first for both companies. Ford will be Zipcar's largest university vehicle partner, a partnership that involves Zipcar's programs at more than 250 U.S. campuses. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Today's grandparents aren't the thrifty geezers most marketers think they are, according to the latest research from Metropolitan Life. The majority are working-age Baby Boomers between 45 and 64, and they're spending lavishly on everything from new trikes to college tuition. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The campaign promoting the university on the new Longhorn Network and on broadcasts of UT games features footage of a video projection on UT Tower that spotlights famous alumni and uses 3D graphics to make the building look as if it is made of spinning blocks that fit together like puzzle pieces. ...Read the whole story >>

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy at Mediapost:

The GE air show takes flight. Kia Soul hamsters shuffle on scene. Let's launch!

BojanglesTalk about an appetite for destruction. Folks with a craving for Bojangles' chicken and biscuits have urges so strong that they're willing to leave friends and acquaintances in life-threatening situations without a second thought. A man with a face full of bees is left powerless once his friend buzzes off to a Bojangles restaurant. See it here. A first-time bull rider is left to fend for himself atop a raging bull. Watch it here. There's also a son left by his father to teeter between a cliff and terra firma; a hiker who unexpectedly leaves his injured friend to fend off wolves; and a magician who leaves his assistant handcuffed inside a full water tank. BooneOakley created the ads, directed by Brian Lee Hughes of SKUNK.

General MillsGeneral Mills launched a creepy TV spot promoting its various fruit-flavored snacks. "Cocoon" takes place in a young boy's eerily empty bedroom. He sits on his bed and stares at a large, red cocoon hanging in his closet. A sticky, slippery young boy emerges from the cocoon, causing the boy on the bed to exclaim: "You look delicious." "I feel delicious," responds cocoon boy. The voiceover directs kids to a site where they can enter to win a year's supply of fruit-flavored snacks. "What would you do with yours?" Not build a cocoon, that's for sure. See the ad here, created by Saatchi & Saatchi, New York and directed by Jeff Low of Biscuit Filmworks.

ESPNMonday Night Football is almost here, and ESPN reminds fans of their only job on Monday nights: to watch football. A woman calls "Animal Control" when an unknown pest begins emerging from inside her bedroom wall. The animal control guy surveys the situation, hands the woman a large laser gun to shoot the animal with, then rushes home to watch Monday Night Football. See it here. A plumber leaves a homeowner up to his ankles in brown water and a clogged toilet, so he can make it home for MNF. "Most of this liquid will just evaporate and the floorboards can just absorb everything else," the plumber tells a mortified man. Watch it here. Wieden+Kennedy New York created the campaign.

EA SportsIf you're not watching football, playing football, reading about football or worrying about a football game, then you might as well be dead. So says a 60-second ad for EA SPORTS FIFA 12 video game. "Love football, Play football" stars soccer phenom Wayne Rooney and premiered Sunday during the Manchester United and Arsenal game. The ad tells the story of a football fan who truly eats, sleeps and breathes the sport. While describing his loyalty, shots from the latest version of FIFA 12 are shown. My favorite part features the game version of Rooney flicking a flock of birds away prior to kicking the ball toward a tiny goalie. The spot ends with the storyteller being carried off a soccer field on a stretcher. Look for famous faces. See the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam.

SonySony launched two TV spots promoting its digital and video cameras. In "Take Control," a man strolls through a city during a power outage and takes watchable HD video, despite little light being available. Watch it here. A man takes scores of video footage throughout India in "Family Vacation." Later that evening at dinner, the man is able to project his footage on a wall by using the camera's built in projector. See it here. 180LA created the ads, directed by Christopher Riggert of Biscuit Filmworks and edited by Arcade Edit.

GEEvery year, GE is a sponsor of the Osh Kosh Air Show. That being said, this year GE wanted to involve Facebook fans in their love for flight, so the company asked FB fans what they wanted to see happen each week, and then MakerBot made it happen. Watch the teaser here. One week GE asked, "What kind of planes do you want to see at our air show," and fans responded with flying saucers, planes that land on water and flying toasters. Once made, GE put the toaster plane to test and had it fly through hoops. See it here. Another week brought the question: "What kind of spaceships do you want to see at our air show," and fan drawings, a replica of the space shuttle and a rocket ship were recreated. Watch it here. Keep watching the FB page for weekly updates. Evolution Bureau created the campaign.

VWVolkswagen UK is bringing back the Golf Cabriolet after a nine-year hiatus. A supporting TV campaign tugs at viewers' nostalgia strings, taking them back to their childhood days. The spot shows vintage footage of kids playing in bumper cars, pedal carts and go-karts. "Remember how the cars you had most fun in never had a roof," says the ad, as a shot of the new Golf Cabriolet drives by the ocean with the top down. Watch the ad here, created by DDB UK.


The Kia Soul hamsters are back, and they're saving the world from war with their dancing skills. Set in a futuristic video game, "Share Some Soul" begins with alien robots and humanoids shooting one another. A Kia Soul appears from nowhere and the hamsters emerge and break the tension by dancing to "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO. Their moves are contagious, prompting humanoids and robots alike to drop their weapons and dance. Even the dark clouds fade away to let the sunshine in. See the ad here, created by David&Goliath.

Human AppRandom iPad App of the week: AKQA created The Human Body app for the iPad. Readers can use their finger to swipe away 3D layers of body systems, zoom in to illustrations and actually feel the heart beat and lungs breathe through the iPad. The app covers 12 systems of the body and is illustrated with more than 200 images. Users can also watch four CGI movies of the key processes of the human body. The app is available for $13.99 in the App Store.

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

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Are You Listening?

from Harvey:

Harvey Mackay's Column This Week

Listen if you want to learn

By Harvey Mackay

Few things are more frustrating than having to repeat yourself because the person you are speaking to isn't listening. It wastes time -- and time, as we all know, is money.

Perhaps a little further up the annoyance scale is the exchange -- I hesitate to call it a conversation -- in which both parties are so determined to get their own points across that they have little regard for what the other is saying. When everyone is talking at the same time, or planning their next remarks instead of listening and responding, the result is never positive. It demonstrates a real lack of respect for the speaker and the message.

As I've said so many times before, we have two ears and one mouth, which I interpret as a clue that we should listen twice as much as we talk.

My friend Bob Dilenschneider, CEO of The Dilenschneider Group in New York City, who makes his living helping corporations communicate globally, is very concerned about the "lost art" of listening.

"Sadly, the current state of the nation's political discourse underscores how much has been forgotten, or neglected, about the art of listening," he wrote to me. "We feel the need to cast a light on this topic because of the rising din in public and private discourse -- and the fading prospect the decibel level will ratchet lower.

"Everyone seems to be shouting, declaiming and clamoring; few appear to be listening. The chasm between hearing and truly listening grows ever-wide. What has followed, inevitably, is anger, misunderstanding, frustration and, too often, gridlock and dysfunctional government," he says.

Bob attributes a good part of the problem to the age in which we live: "The problem is pervasive in modern society. Many of us don't listen because we're too busy talking, texting, blogging, and using Twitter and Facebook . . . Because most people have gotten used to talking without listening to their adversaries, and even their allies, this tendency to transmit rather than receive has become the hallmark of the cyber-era."

Is this a dismissal of the importance of social media? Hardly. Face it, we are all so wired in that we can hardly remember when we had to actually talk to each other. We love the freedom, the flexibility and the efficiency.

But when the result is a lost ability to effectively communicate because we can't define the tone of the communication or don't agree with the sender, our listening skills go into lockdown mode. With the competition for an audience so fierce, the messages get louder and louder. Is anyone listening?

I would submit that to get people to listen to you, you must first demonstrate that you are a good listener. Learning -- or relearning -- good listening skills starts with a few basic concepts, which Bob shared with me. With his permission, I will share them with you.
  • Avoid passing judgment. I agree with Bob that we are often so eager to make our own point that we stop listening to the others' points of view. I have found that if I listen carefully, there are often many points of agreement. Even more often, I learn something new that enables me to reconsider or reinforce my opinion.
  • Be patient. Bob warns against interrupting. Let the other party finish before you jump in. When you violate this rule, you run the risk of making the speaker defensive and inadvertently give permission for others to interrupt you. This to me is getting sickening on TV talk shows.
  • Pay attention. How simple is this idea -- and how often is this advice ignored. Bob reminds us that noisy restaurants or street corners are tough places to hold a discussion. I would add the cell phone and other gadgets that are constant attention-grabbers to the list of distractions.
  • Ask. If you are confused about what is being said, just ask for clarification. What you thought you heard may not be what the speaker meant. Allow the speaker to explain.
  • Listen at different levels. Be aware of body language. Words don't always tell the whole story. Actions often do speak louder than words.
Will improved listening skills solve every problem? Of course not. But you will solve one problem right up front: establishing a level of respect that will set the tone for the rest of the discussion.

Mackay's Moral:
If you want to be heard, you must know how to listen.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Sarah Mahoney
"Negative information is now just as powerful as positive information," says Mike Hollywood, Cone's director of new media. "For marketers, that means that leaving your head in the sand and just letting people make negative comments isn't working any longer. Reaching out and trying to make the consumer experience better, even if you can't solve the problem, is important." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
"This is an interesting time in the burger segment," says Technomic EVP Darren Tristano. "We are seeing very high growth rates from smaller brands and a steady stream of new 'better burger' entries making their presence felt, while at the same time some of the larger brands are struggling to maintain their footholds." ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The fast casual restaurant chain is also debuting a film that shows the path to more sustainable farming. The stop-motion animated short called "Back to the Start" is a first for Chipotle. It was directed by London-based Johnny Kelly and features a cover of the Coldplay song "The Scientist," sung by family farm advocate Willie Nelson. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The company is timing the launch with the beginning new school year and supporting with an integrated marketing campaign that includes national radio ads, social media efforts and PR programs. There is also a cause-marketing component: for each Emergen-C sold, Alacer Corp. will donate 25 cents to the non-profit Vitamin Angels. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The cause model for Sir Richard's condoms, which come in handkerchief-style plaid packages, is that for each condom purchased one is donated in a developing country, initially Haiti. And they are made from 100% natural latex. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
In the latest twist on employing QR codes, Quaker is looking to boost sales of its Chewy Granola Bars by enabling kids to receive personalized messages from musician Nick Jonas. ...Read the whole story >>

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Inside Look at Merchandising in 2011

Most of us are unaware of the 13 retail seasons:

A Season (or 13) for Shopping

Spring, summer, fall, and organization? Most shoppers see the seasons change four times a year. Retailers see anywhere from 13 to 20 and all those seasons are designed to get shoppers into their stores.

"Storage and Organization" comes the first weeks in January at Target Corp. It's a chance to display products that might appeal to shoppers' New Year's resolutions like exercise equipment. Sam's Club, part of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., celebrates "Fall Gatherings" in October with displays of rakes, sweaters and comfort food. Late fall at Supervalu brings the less-than-celebratory "Cough, Cold and Flu" season, not to be confused with late spring's "Allergy Season." In stores most recently: "Back to School/Back to College."

A key goal is to get people to buy impulsively, something they do less of these days. The number of impulse purchases fell to 15% of purchases in 2010, from 29% in 2008, according to market-research firm NPD Group.

The average shopper visits a big-box store once every two to three weeks, NPD says. Shoppers go to the grocery store, by contrast, every seven to 10 days. By adding grocery items prominently, stores are trying to get people to make more frequent shopping trips.

The true art of the seasonal display is to trick out products that don't seem like obvious impulse buys -- like vacuum cleaners or tissue boxes -- in a way that makes shoppers grab first and think later. People are usually willing to spend more during special seasons, retailers and manufacturers say, especially if they are spending on their children.

Products that may seem neither impulsive nor seasonal are finding ways to be both in order to be part of the prominent displays in stores.

This summer Kleenex introduced boxes that look like ice cream cones. Shoppers could find the ice cream Kleenex in the actual ice cream aisle of Meijer Inc. stores, says a spokesman for Meijer, a Midwestern retail chain selling groceries and other goods.

The Kimberly-Clark Corp. brand was following its cake slice-shaped boxes made for winter holidays and playing off success of triangle-shaped watermelon, lemon and orange Kleenex boxes last year. Those boxes found their way into summer displays and elsewhere beyond the paper products aisle in stores, says Christine Mau, director of design for the company. Kleenex sales typically drop in the summer when people have fewer colds.

The company asked its design team, "what can you do design-wise to get us to the front of the store in the summer?" says Ms. Mau. After researching "what summer means to people," the company realized watermelon resonated with people who think of summer as picnics, family gatherings, and fruity drinks, Ms. Mau says.

Putting together a seasonal display is a high-stakes effort. If a customer can't find something, "she is probably going to walk," says Stacia Andersen, Target senior vice president of merchandising, following the consumer goods industry's habit of referring to all consumers as 'she' because women make the majority of purchases.

And making sure that one big-box store doesn't look like the next big box is key. Target plans seasonal displays with product manufacturers about a year in advance.

A product's color can make a difference. Target told TTI Floor Care North America, Inc. that if it wanted to get its typically red Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners into the retailer's prime "Back to College" seasonal displays, it needed to make hot pink, teal and black versions. Meanwhile, Jarden Corp., which makes small household appliances among other items, created hot pink and teal Sunbeam irons and toasters for the displays.

Internal research at Target showed that college kids want to personalize their dorm rooms with bright colors. Fitting into the marketing scheme is worth it, says Stephanie Begley, associate marketing manager for Dirt Devil. Target's college displays "hit our market" of first-time home owners and young adults on their own for the first time, she says.

To slice the calendar into as many seasons as possible, retailers create sub-seasons. At Sam's Club, the calendar reaches about 20 seasons with some overlapping.

At Wal-Mart, the Christmas shopping season starts the day after Thanksgiving with children's gifts and holiday home d├ęcor getting prime space. By December, stocking stuffers will get more prominent placement, along with holiday entertaining food and last-minute gift ideas, says Tara Raddohl, a company spokeswoman.

"We aim to be where our customer mindset is," so they don't head to the competition, she says.

In a suburb of Minneapolis, Supervalu runs a "lab store," a model store not open to the public where the third-largest traditional grocery store company in the U.S. can test how new products look on its shelves and experiment with seasonal displays. Last month, Supervalu employees worked to create the perfect fall endcap, the shelves that anchor the end of the typical grocery store aisle. The goal -- easy meals for parents pressed for time at the start of the school year.

Problems quickly became apparent. After setting up tuna in pouches, mayonnaise, peanut butter and bread on the lunch endcap, employees saw that the tuna pouches tilted slightly backwards. The tuna "didn't present itself well to customers," says Chris Doeing, a director of merchandising for Supervalu, which owns chains including Albertsons and Cub Foods. Tuna was booted from the endcap to a nearby shelf.

On endcaps, best-selling items often go on the larger shelves near the floor to grab people's attention from farther away. Employees experiment with which size and shape products look best together.

When a product sits on an endcap its sales can increase three-fold, says Tom Lofland, Supervalu director of sales and promotions.

Currently, back-to-school is at the forefront of the display battle. This year Wal-Mart is putting more seasonal products in one place to make shopping easier. In the past, for example, customers may have found that the "Back to School" section didn't feature enough of the store's selection of backpacks, says Ms. Raddohl, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart. For the first time, this year Procter & Gamble Co. is grouping many of its personal-care products like deodorant, shampoo and razors into "Back to College"-themed bins in Wal-Mart.

At Target, local store managers are responsible for tracking down the supply lists that local schools give parents of items their children must bring. Managers send them to headquarters. Regional variations -- one school might require kids to have composition notebooks, another spiral -- affect what goes on shelves.

"We have become more focused on 'the list,'" Ms. Andersen says.

(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 08/17/11)

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Body Talk

There was an old Olivia Newton-John song, "Physical" that included the chorus, "Let me hear your body talk".

The question is, are you listening?

From my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Understanding Body Language

Body language is a mixture of movement, posture and tone of voice. Research indicates that in a face-to-face conversation, more than 70 percent of our communication is nonverbal.

Our body language reveals our deepest feelings and hidden thoughts to total strangers. In addition, nonverbal communication has a much greater impact and reliability than the spoken word. Therefore, if your sales prospect's words are incongruent with his or her body language gestures, you would be wise to rely on the body language as a more accurate reflection of their true feelings.

Be mindful of your own body language gestures and remember to keep them positive by unfolding your arms, uncrossing your legs and smiling frequently.

Create harmony by "matching and mirroring" your prospect's body language gestures. Matching and mirroring is an unconscious body language mimicry by which one person tells another they are in agreement.

The next time you are at a social event, notice how many people are subconsciously matching one another. Likewise, when people disagree, they subconsciously mismatch their body language gestures.

An effective way to begin matching your prospect is to subtly nod your head in agreement whenever your prospect nods his or her head, or cross your legs when they cross their legs, etc.

By understanding the meaning behind your prospect's body language, you will minimize perceived sales pressure and know when it's appropriate to close the sale.

Source: Sales trainer/author John Boe

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Karl Greenberg
"Instead of a person saying they love the roar of the engine and horsepower, today people are saying give me the most fuel-efficient engine that does the job, but what else can it do for me than just transport me from A to B?" ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"Two years ago, when we did this study, only a small percentage of retailers allowed customers to purchase an item online and return it instore," says Mark Fodor, CEO of CrossView, "and while it was 100% of companies this time, it illustrates how slow retailers can be in moving to deal with crosschannel capabilities." ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
In a mailing that went out late last week, the New York-based satellite radio company is offering two free weeks (Aug. 30 - Sept. 12) of access to 60 channels. The promotion, with the theme: "Bringing Your Radio Back To Life," includes a laminated card featuring the free stations. ...Read the whole story >>
by Nina Lentini
"Overwhelmingly, 96% of the more than 23,300 respondents said that they would still use coupons if they struck it big in the lottery," said Redplum. "This reflects the value-oriented mindset that took root at the onset of the recession. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The good news for fans and for Tecate is that the sponsorship involves both fights under Golden Boy Promotion's' "Star Power" event on HBO Pay-Per-View, meaning fans at the two arenas will see both fights, as will those who watch it on PPV and at movie theaters around the country. And they will also see Tecate branding. ...Read the whole story >>
by David Goetzl
NASCAR is going on campus to recruit a new generation of potentially up-market fans. The racing circuit will look to a pair of "brand ambassadors" on 12 college campuses to host events and use other tactics in an attempt to encourage attendance at nearby tracks. ...Read the whole story >>

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Email vs Direct Mail

A few lessons from

What Your Email Campaign Can Learn From Direct Mail

"Though direct mail certainly isn't as popular or as effective as it once was, email marketers can apply many of the theories used for direct mail campaigns to increase the value of their email marketing campaigns," writes Ryan Morgan in an article at MarketingProfs.

For one thing, a direct mail piece and an email both need to make a strong first impression. That's because a recipient sifts through her email in the same way she sorts direct mail: making arbitrary, snap judgments about what she'll read and what goes in the trash.

A plain white envelope with an unfamiliar return address won't intrigue her—and neither will its generic email equivalent. So give her a subject line that piques her interest, a "from" address she trusts and an appealing, eye-catching mix of text and graphics, Morgan advises.

Beyond that, he offers this direct-mail-inspired advice:

  • Give your subscribers something of value. This might be monetary (a discount), informational (a how-to guide) or an opportunity not available to everyone. "I want to be an insider, and I want to feel special," Morgan explains.
  • Be considerate of their frequency preferences. This is where you can learn something from direct mailers who may not get it right for each recipient's preference. Morgan wryly notes that "you could probably build a small home out of '20% off' coupon postcards from Bed Bath & Beyond." But email marketers have an advantage in the frequency debate: They can simply ask subscribers how often they'd like to receive messages.

The Po!nt: Email is direct-to-consumer, too. Although direct mail might not be a part of your marketing mix, understanding its principles could help you improve your email campaigns.

Source: MarketingProfs.

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2 Approaches

One is an opportunity.

So is the other, but from a different angle.

From Seth Godin:


The two best ways to break through a rut and to make an impact:

  • Find things that others have accepted as the status quo and make them significantly, noticeably and remarkably better.
  • Find things that you're attached to that are slowing you down, realize that they are broken beyond repair and eliminate them. Toss them away and refuse to use them any longer.

When a not-so-good software tool or a habit or an agency or a policy has too much inertia to be fixed, when it's unbetterable, you're better off without it. Eliminating it will create a void, fertile territory for something much better to arrive.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
The new TV, in-cinema, digital and social media campaign uses LMFAO's hit "Party Rock Anthem." And instead of rolling through a world where un-hip hamsters attempt to travel about on appliances, the three rotund rodents now roll through an interstellar video game world. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While shoppers are value-conscious, they still say food quality, especially perishables, and store atmosphere are just as important to them as prices. About 70% of consumers are making trips to buy groceries once a week, with 50% planning to spend more on food in the year ahead, and 39% expecting to spend roughly the same as they did this year. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The candy's Facebook page now features an app that lets users create and send "Custom Life Guidance" videos, starring the brand's tongue-in-cheek guru character Dragee ("part Zen master, part inspirational leader"). Each video is personalized by pulling information, photos and other content from the recipient's Facebook profile. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
The object of the contest is to establish a virtual "saves streak" and keep it going for as long as possible. Consumers do this by selecting one MLB player each game day from a list displayed on of MLB players who are on a MLB Club's active roster on that game day. ...Read the whole story >>

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Mom's Gotta Blog

I don't have the stats to prove it, but I believe from personal observation that there are more women actively blogging than men.

If you are within driving distance to Fort Wayne Indiana, tomorrow morning, join us for the Social Media Breakfast-Fort Wayne from 7:30 to 9am. It's always the last Tuesday of the month and we have been packing folks in.

Blogs are one of the topics that is talked about. Go here for details.

And back to Moms and blogs with this from Mediapost:

Building The Blogger/Brand Relationship

There are so many ways for brands to engage mom bloggers, but a successful blogger strategy is not just about tactics, it's about relationships. And like all good relationships, the blogger/brand union takes time and effort. "Bloggers should be part of a broader, integrated communications strategy and not viewed as a 'one-off' effort," says Laura Tomasetti, managing director of 360 Public Relations, LLC. "The result will take you beyond blogger relations and can allow you to create a powerful go-to network of brand advocates."

Such brand advocates were created by Tomasetti and her 360 PR team as they worked with bloggers on behalf of a major supermarket chain. "The effort was successful because we sought to engage bloggers in a true two-way dialogue over time with a high-touch approach," said Tomasetti. This approach not only worked for [our client], but it can work for your brand as well. Here are some ways to make sure your blogger relationship is one that is truly built to last:

Think near- and long-term
Yes, you want to spur excitement and immediate engagement, but don't forget to also consider what you will do to sustain the relationship over time. Think about how bloggers can play a role in your broader social media conversations and communications campaigns. "We met with bloggers on an ongoing basis and gave them special access to the brand team," says Tomasetti. "Bloggers were the first to know about important brand initiatives that could help them with the things that mattered in their everyday lives -- like saving money and eating healthier."

Have an open dialogue with bloggers
"To imbue your thinking, identify a core group of bloggers who demonstrate an authentic interest in your brand and have an open dialogue with them," adds Tomasetti. "Invite their feedback and utilize their perspective to help shape future engagement efforts." This will not only help with your overall marketing efforts, but will give you great insight into product development and even customer service initiatives.

Make sure it fits
Look for bloggers who are a fit with your brand's message and goals. Take into consideration such factors as blog content, reach, activity and reader engagement. "We've found Twitter to be a particularly useful platform in interacting with bloggers and learning about bloggers' passions and pain points," says Tomasetti. "In addition to online assessments, we find it valuable for our teams to interact with bloggers at conferences. At the end of the day, we're still in the relationship business."

Patti Minglin is the Founder/CEO of Go Girl Communications. She is also a freelance writer who regularly contributes to regional parenting magazines. Follow her on Twitter (@PattiMinglin).

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Think Like a Customer

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Thinking Like a Customer

Outstanding sales results depend on the ability to think from the customer's point of view. This means understanding and responding to the customer's agenda and best interests.

Top salespeople are willing to adapt to a customer's change of agenda almost twice as often as average salespeople.

They recognize that thinking like a salesperson places the focus on what they want to sell, while thinking like a customer means getting in tune with what the customer needs and aligning the product or service to fit the customer's requirements.

Thinking like a salesperson may make the sale, but thinking like a customer creates a relationship.

Source: Adapted from The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople, by Stephan Schiffman

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

No Regrets

That's the life you want to live.

Sure, you may have a few moments of doubt.

Or sheer terror and panic when you realize that there is no other way.

No other way than to move forward.

It's like the decision I made June 1st when I signed the paperwork to leave me job and take a new one.

I walked away from 8+ years with the same group of radio stations to venture into a new field.

Seth Godin sums it up:

Dig yourself a hole

Make big promises.

Burn your boats.

Set yourself up in a place where you have few options and the stakes are high.

Focused energy and serious intent will push you to do your best work. You have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. (Better than the alternative).

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When Were The Good 'Ole Days?

When I saw this last week, I was surprised:

from Mediapost:

'90s Nostalgia: Millennials Long For Simpler Times

They might seem too young for it, but leading-edge Millennials -- those in their 20s -- are already getting nostalgic for the "good old days."

For older adults, it's hard to imagine Millennials lives as difficult. In fact, they usually think of their younger counterparts as over-privileged and having an unearned sense of entitlement. But Millennials have spent their lives striving to be the best and trying to live up to what their parents have always said: that they can do anything. But adjusting to reality is proving difficult.

Millennials are coming of age in one of the worst economic slumps the U.S. has seen in decades, and it's making them nervous. Instead of getting rewarded for their hard work, they find themselves unemployed or underemployed. Those who are lucky enough to have jobs spend every day trying to keep them; they're the last hired in their companies, and first on the chopping block. With all this anxiety hanging over them, Millennials are afraid to make the next move for fear it will be the wrong one.

They miss the time when everything was easy, when they felt safe and secure. In particular, they pine for their adolescent years, and want to be emotionally transported back to that time.

Nickelodeon is doing just that for Millennials. It has introduced a midnight programming block called "The '90s Are All That!" airing programs that were in their heyday a decade ago. Viewers are loving it; they can go to sleep after watching their favorite shows feeling as carefree as they did when the episodes originally aired.

MTV is making a similar move bringing back some of its more popular '90s shows, though with minor updates. "Beavis and Butt-Head" will soon be back on the air, but instead of making fun of music videos, they're watching "Jersey Shore." "120 Minutes" is back with Matt Pinfield again at the helm, showing a mix of videos from new indie rock bands alongside classic videos -- from bands like Nirvana, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, and more -- that debuted during "120 Minutes"' previous run from 1986 to 2003.

And it's not just entertainment; the '90s are everywhere.

Nostalgia is so powerful with 20-something Millennials because they're stuck between childhood and adulthood. Many recent college grads are moving back home and living with their parents while they figure out what they want to do with their lives. They're waiting longer to marry and start families, preferring to relish their freedom for a few more years. They can continue to act like kids (while enjoying the privileges of adulthood) well into their 20s.

With this combination of fear and freedom bearing down on them, the last thing Millennials want is a marketer telling them they have to act like grown-ups. Instead, a subtle nod to their desire to be kid-like a little longer suits them much better. Taco Bell is speaking Millennials' language with its latest campaign for its steak burritos; the ad tells guys it's perfectly acceptable to still want Taco Bell (no doubt a staple of their teen years) even if they can afford dinner at a steakhouse. It doesn't make them any less grown-up to still like the things they did when they were thirteen.

Millennials will always be nostalgic for the '90s -- all generations are nostalgic for their adolescent years -- but, for now, the longing is particularly poignant because older Millennials are clutching to the last gasps of childhood as they speed toward grown-up responsibility.

Melanie Shreffler is editor-in-chief at Ypulse.

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