Saturday, November 15, 2008

Read it again

Sometimes we get busy and need to re-read something. Here's some goodies from the THINKing Blog:

Our Top 5

Posted: 12 Nov 2008 09:46 AM CST

In case you missed them, here are the 5 most popular blog postings from THINKing.
Newspapers: Dig The Grave
Top 10 Story Starter Tips For Blocked Bloggers
A Bigger Logo Necessitates A Smaller Idea
Twittering Journalists
Great Employees = Happy Consumers

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The Sugar Battle

In my email this week was this story from AdAge concerning some ads you may see this weekend.

Click here for the 3 minute video report.

NEW YORK ( -- Is it really dumb to be concerned about high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener in food products? That's certainly the way it's portrayed in the Corn Refiners Association's massive new advertising campaign. The TV commercials heavily sell the suggestion that the sugar substitute poses no health risk when consumed in "moderation." But Connie Bennett, author of the book "Sugar Shock," rebuts the idea that "moderate" consumption of high fructose corn syrup is possible in today's grocery marketplace.

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Twitter Advice

You can skip this if you don't know what Twitter is.

Or better yet, go here and get Twittered.

This is from

Your Twitter ID and You

If you attended MarketingProfs' Digital Marketing Mixer, you would have heard keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuk bemoan his choice of Twitter ID: GaryVee. In retrospect, he said, the handle—chosen quickly for reasons he can't recall—doesn't really fit his personal brand.

Vaynerchuk might have benefited from a recent post at the Web Ink Now blog, in which David Meerman Scott gives advice for personal branding at the microblogging site. "Most Twitter pages don't say enough and most have crappy design," he says. "While that's fine if you're just communicating with friends, if you care about your personal brand, you need to do better. Much better." Here are a few of Meerman Scott's very best pointers:

  • Use your 160-word bio to build your brand. Under no circumstances should you leave it blank, but neither should you simply tick off your roles and accomplishments. "Try to be descriptive," says Scott. "And try to be specific."
  • Include a photograph of yourself. "Remember, the photos appear very tiny on Twitter," he notes, "so use a close-up shot."
  • Choose a background image with care. Skip Twitter's in-house selection and go with a custom shot that only you will have—Scott has a close-up of his old typewriter.
  • Don't protect your updates. It's hard to meet new people if they can't see you.

Your Marketing Inspiration: "This stuff is really easy and important for your personal brand," says Scott. "If you are on Twitter, take the time to make some changes today."

More Inspiration:
Eliane Fogel: Give Something Back this Holiday Season
Paul Dunay: Crowds Have No Leaders!
Ann Handley: 9 In the Morning

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Cowboy Training

Chuck's back with another good one for you to sink your teeth into and learn from:

Violated Expectations. Marketing lessons from the Dallas Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys haven't had that bad of a season. Five wins, four losses. Slightly better than average. Unfortunately, the die hard fans are devastated. Care to speculate why?

Probably because their expectations for the 2008 season included the Super Bowl.

HBO's “Hard Knox” may have started some of the hype, featuring the team in four episodes. ESPN picked up on the extra attention given the Cowboys, and focused their considerable airtime (and commentary) on Dallas.

Then, of course, there were all of the bloggers, themselves die hard fans, who enthusiastically trumpeted the inevitable triumph.

Had the fans not been led to expect more, this season wouldn't be all that bad.

Is there a marketing lesson in the 2008 Dallas Cowboys?

Why, yes. Yes, there is.

It has to do with your customers expectations, when compared to their experiences. Outside what they've learned from your ads, many potential customers have no idea of what to expect from your company.

And then they have an actual experience with your company, and you live or die by whether your advertising is contradicted by your customer's reality.

Advertise "fast friendly service," but deliver an experience in which your customer stands in line for a turn with a discourteous employee, and every dollar you've spent on advertising is wasted – at least with that particular customer.

In much the same way that violated expectations have led Cowboys fans believe this season to be awful, your customer's violated expectations may convince her that you deliver bad service.

Worse, that you deliver bad service, slowly.

Violated expectations make people talk. Good and bad.

I wrote about those effects in Love and Indifference, Part 1:
"When you thrill shoppers with their purchases and the way they are treated, they are likely to become customer evangelists. They'll be out preaching the gospel of your company and winning converts to whatever the degree of their persuasiveness.

But the extremely displeased group turn into vigilante customers. In their minds they've been wronged. You could just as well have "Wanted, Dead or Alive" posters up with your name on 'em, 'cause they're out to get'cha. Tell twenty more? Count on it."
But what if your customer's experience is only slightly off?

What if you don't deliver great service, but you don't do a bad job, either?

If the customer expects “a gourmet meal exquisitely prepared using only select ingredients,” and gets a meal that's reasonably good, she may attribute superior qualities to the food.

That's exactly what Antonio Rangel, associate professor of economics at the California Institute of Technology demonstrated in a recent wine tasting. Rangel altered the prices on the bottles, and found:
"The volunteers consistently gave higher ratings to the more "expensive" wines. Brain scans also showed greater neural activity in the pleasure center when they were sampling those "pricey" wines, indicating that the increased pleasure they reported was a real effect in the brain."
Without any major disconnects between expectation and experience, there's a good chance that people will accept what they've been led to expect. Which leads us to a simple formula for advertising success:
1. Use your ads to create an expectation of the experience your customer will have when she does business with you.

2. Then, ensure that her experience delivers on those expectations.

3. And though we haven't yet discussed it, hold something back from your advertising. Use it to "WOW" your customers, and make their experience better than expected.
We'll give that idea some consideration next time.

In conclusion, the most effective advertising reinforces what people already believe. The most successful businesses do nothing to contradict those beliefs.


Chuck McKay is a marketing consultant who helps customers discover you, and choose your business. Questions about delivering on your customers expectations may be directed to

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Night Marketing News

From Mediapost:

by Sarah Mahoney
Wal-Mart is also stepping up its new-media efforts, reaching out to female head-of-households via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The company is also said to be stepping up its use of mobile ads, texting women who want to know about pending price-cuts. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
"We're letting consumers know that we're aware that it's a tough economy, and we want to make things easier, particularly during the holidays when there's added money and time pressures," says Scott Hudler, senior director of brand marketing for Dunkin' Brands. "But that's really just a continuation of our existing brand positioning." ... Read the whole story > >
Packaged Goods
by Les Luchter
At the opening of the "Dog's Night Out" festivities, Red Sox great Carlton Fisk was scheduled to serve as guest waiter, providing canine customers with the house special: Filet Mignon made with angus beef, one of seven flavors in the Chop House Originals line of gourmet canned dog foods. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"Some leisure and business travelers are avoiding air travel altogether, which has ramifications for airport-based rental car companies in terms of a shrinking customer base and decreasing revenues," says J.D. Power and Associates' Jim Gaz. For the fifth year, the firm puts Enterprise on top of rental fleets in customer satisfaction. ... Read the whole story > >
by Nina M. Lentini
"Internal research showed that "Grower-Owned" also suggests quality and freshness," says a spokesperson for the applesauce brand, and helps validate higher shelf prices for Musselman's single-serve and bottled products, both resulting from a year-long, industry-wide rise in apple prices. ... Read the whole story > >

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Tried and True

Good News for the Golden Arches:

McDonald's well positioned in face of recession: CEO

Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:57am EST

BERLIN (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is shielded against recession and has hardly been hit by the international financial crisis, Chief Executive Jim Skinner was quoted as saying on Thursday.

"Worldwide turbulence is barely affecting our business," Skinner told Germany's Bild daily. "We are growing worldwide, especially in Europe we have significant gains at the moment -- also in Germany."

Skinner said the fast-food chain would be in a better position without the global financial crisis and the significant rise in food prices, but added: "McDonald's seems well positioned for recession. In bad times, people think twice about where to spend money when going out for food."

His comments appeared in German and were translated by Reuters into English.

Last month McDonald's results showed it growing faster than rivals as U.S. consumers visit fewer restaurants, with the world's largest hamburger chain posting a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street estimates, helped by a 7 percent jump in global sales.

(Reporting by Kerstin Gehmlich; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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False Advertising Claims

Just don't do it.

Forget the fast talking disclaimers, Just tell the truth!!!

This week a local print publication sales person told me they offer a money back guarantee, if you are not satisfied with the results.

Then I saw the disclaimers on the hand out. Bunch of Bull.

Free Credit isn't really free. Click here to see why.

And now is being sued: Sued Over Emails Promising Contact With Schoolmates
Reunion photoA California resident has sued for allegedly tricking him into purchasing a paid membership with false ads.

The plaintiff, Anthony Michaels of San Diego county, alleges that he signed up for a free membership to the site last Christmas Eve, but then upgraded to a paid one after receiving e-mail ads stating that other schoolmates were trying to contact him. Those statements turned out to be false, according to the lawsuit.

Michaels' lawyer, Brian Kabateck, said his client had no way of verifying whether his former schoolmates were actually seeking to contact him on the site, short of signing up for a one-year membership.

"The e-mail said: 'So and so's trying to find you, and in order to hook up with him you have to join and become a gold member,'" Kabateck said. "It's their business model: Once you're in for free, they try to upsell you as quickly as possible," he added.

A spokesman for said the company had no comment on the lawsuit.

Michaels, who is seeking class-action status, alleges misrepresentation, negligence, fraudulent concealment and violations of California's business code. He brought the case against Classmates Online, Classmates Media Corporation and parent company United Online, based in Woodland Hills, Calif. in state court.

Kabateck, who is probably best-known for successfully suing Google for click fraud, said he intended to ask for refunds for all users who joined the site in response to a misleading email.

Internet legal expert Venkat Balasubramani said that California's business code offers Michaels powerful ammunition against "If you do anything unfair, improper or that violates a regulation, you could be committing unfair competition," Balasubramani said.

This case is not the only potential class-action lawsuit against an alumni networking site. also faces a lawsuit by members complaining about the site's marketing efforts. In that case, filed in federal district court in San Francisco, the members allege that sent e-mails that appeared to have come from specific friends, but were actually sent by the site.

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A word from the ladies....

or more specifically, Moms:

Moms Shape New Culture by Cutting Back
According to a recent report by the allen & gerritsen (a&g) audience intelligence department, 80% of online mothers in the US say most Americans have been encouraged to overextend themselves, while 58% think the average American is too greedy.

Because moms manage the household (which means their behaviors drastically impact sales) and they teach and enforce family values (which means they are as influential in shaping our culture as is the media), a&g surveyed moms to understand just how the economy is affecting their purchase behaviors and economic outlook. The study reveals that most moms believe that cultural trends that demonstrate a belief that Americans deserve to regularly indulge, contributed to the financial crisis we are in.

But, says the report, the pendulum has begun to swing the other way, with moms taking the lead. In this countercultural trend, moms see themselves as shunning greed and are putting family needs before their own.

Moms are looking for ways to rein in their household finances, with 65% of moms surveyed eliminating purchases that are not absolutely necessary, and 52% cutting back in general. 71% say they have made more sacrifices this year than last.

Household Finance Changes Moms Made in 2008


% of Respondents (multiple response OK)

New source of income


Cut back spending


Eliminated unnecessaries


No changes


Source: Allen & Gerritson, October 2008

Though 71% of moms report they have made more sacrifices this year than last, childcare and medical needs will not be compromised. More of these moms blame the government (not enough oversight or regulation) for the economic crisis than blame the banks (32% vs. 16%).

Parties That Moms Feel Responsible for Collapse of Financial Institutions

Responsible Party

% of Respondents







Individual borrowers




Wall Street


No one




All other


Source: Allen & Gerritson, October 2008

In addition:

  • 94% of moms say it is more important to seek regular medical care for their families than themselves.
  • 62% of moms say they are less greedy than the American average.
  • 51% of moms say don't see the economic situation improving within the next year.

Catherine Kolodij, VP, audience intelligence director at a&g, summarizes by saying "For the last few years, there have been a number of cultural trends that demonstrate the idea that Americans deserve to indulge, buying bigger homes and better cars and other luxuries. Most moms believe this culture contributed to the financial crisis we are in... "

Please visit allen & gerritsen here to obtain the complete PDF file, including charts.

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21 ways to be Better

Here's a fresh perspective on being more productive, which helps us stay on top of our game in the world of sales. This is from the DLM Blog.

21 Ways To Do Everything Better

Posted: 06 Nov 2008 07:58 AM CST

Doing everything with quality increases your chances for success, enhances your reputation and saves you time in the long run. People typically equate quality with skill, but quality is a by product of time, thoughts and systems.

Here are 21 ways to assure quality in everything you do. See where you can apply a couple of these rules to your life. In a few weeks, review the impact.

  • Review Everything
    Review everything you touch before you hand it off. Proof read your documents one last time, double check that package to make sure everything is included, triple check your bullet points on your presentation.

  • Review Help: Enlist a 2nd set of eyes
    Even after you look things over, you may miss some glaring mistakes because you are used to your work. Having someone else look it over will give you a new perspective on your work and may even lead to new, better solutions.

  • Review Other's Contributions
    Don't take it for granted that others can do the job well or even that they know what they're doing. Trust but verify. Remember the saying, "Don't expect what you don't inspect."

  • Review your mistakes
    Sometimes you make mistakes. Learn from them and move on.

  • Review Accomplishments
    A lot can be learned from your past accomplishments. Take the the time to go over your past work and look objectively at what you did well and didn't do so well. There are many lessons to learn.
  • Control Your Task List- Don't Drop Anything
    Keep track of your commitments. If you don't know what you need to do, you can't do it well.

  • Control Your Commitments: Just Say No
    With a heavy workload, it may be hard to get everything done right. This may mean saying no to new projects.

  • Control Your Understanding
    Find out deadlines and requirements. Ask questions. Make sure you know what's expected. If you don't know what you're shooting for you can't succeed.

  • Control Expectations
    Provide feedback at the beginning of a project of what you will be delivering. Set the scope of the project early so there aren't any misunderstandings.

  • Control Yourself
    Don't try to do everything yourself at one time. Break projects apart and succeed through layering one success on top of another. This will enable you provide progress and ensure you are on the right track.
  • Learn From Others
    The people around you may be doing some tasks better than you. How are they doing it? Look at colleagues, bosses and definitely don't neglect learning from subordinates.

  • Learn Through Research
    Look at industry groups, books and blogs- all may have some good tips on helping you do better.

  • Learn Through Education
    Are there ways to enhance your skills? Take an extra course? How can you learn more?

  • Relearn
    If you frequently do a task but it isn't consistently perfect, take some time to analyze the steps you should be doing. Start the process from scratch. Consciously do one step at a time making sure you're doing it right.
  • Commit to Quality
    Decide that with anything you do, you'll do it the right way. Just committing to quality will cause you to reconsider sending out a half-baked project and increase your quality.

  • Brainstorm
    Think of ways you can do it better. Think of ways to put systems around your tasks.

  • Envision Success
    Ask yourself "What would perfect execution look like for this task?" Now go do it.

  • Be Proud of Your Quality
    If you take pride in your quality, you won't release non-quality items.

  • Solve the Problem, Not the Request
    Sometimes a "simple" request is not so simple. Find out what the requester really wants, then give it to him.

  • Think big picture
    Don't just solve the problem by applying a quick fix. See how it fits in the big picture and determine if you san solve a big problem with just a little more effort.

  • Don't Wait for Deadlines
    It's inevitable that people rush to finish a task at the deadline. This only leads to more problems. The solution is simple- start early and plan your schedule so that you finish early. Which leads to:

  • Exceed expectations
    You've understood the expectations and you've set expectations- now do your best to exceed them. Everyone loves good surprises!
You're not going to be able to implement this in one day but refer to this list often to ensure you're always thinking of quality. With good quality, work doesn't need to be reworked and problems are minimized.You can remember these using the mnemonic Review-TLC (TLC= Think, Learn, Control).

Did I miss anything in these steps? Let me know in the comments- I'm using you as my second set of eyes.

Written on 11/06/2008 by Heshy Shayovitz. He is the author of Success Making Machine where he writes extensively about the optimal way to succeed on your own terms. He is the Vice President of MetComp, and received his MBA from New York University.Photo Credit:

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Night Marketing News

Yeah, just click to read more:

by Aaron Baar
"As they get older, will that trend stay the same?" asks Scottrade's CMO. "The percentage of Gen Y [investors] who are doing it on their own would suggest that would be the future." To prepare, Scottrade has begun to enhance the educational components of its online offerings. The company is also anticipating more mobile investing. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"The ever-present game of chicken between retailers and consumers over holiday promotions is decidedly tilted in the favor of the consumer," says one industry analyst. "It would appear that we are definitely not near the end of this miserable cycle, and not even convinced that this is as bad as it gets. The 'valley' may be deeper than we anticipated, and almost certainly wider than expected." ... Read the whole story > >
by Les Luchter
CMO Chris Heye noted that while TV alone would have sufficed for Welch's in the past, when it touted taste and targeted kids, the brand's repositioning to focus on health for the entire family and resulting need to reach Gen X moms has brought other media into the marketing mix. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"It's presenting the broad scope of things from lifestyle through utility," says Last Exit's Nuri Djavit. "We try to say that Vespa, apart from the lifestyle play, is extremely practical, useful and fun. The site's easier to use, and coupled with a more expressive brand-focused look and feel, every part of the site looks and feels and imparts Vespa." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"In 42 years of retailing, we've never seen such difficult times for the consumer," company execs add. "People are making dramatic changes in how much they spend, and we're not immune from those forces." Still, the retailer insists it is gaining market share, and that other indicators are strong. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
"This is the first time we see how the public votes on how companies operate as corporate citizens," said Philip Mirvis, senior research fellow at Boston College. "Although the survey was taken before the Wall Street collapse, the U.S. findings show that corporate governance ethics and transparency are increasing in their importance to overall corporate reputation." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Tom Garrett, VP of Garrett Associates, says he started thinking about doing local-market Cadillac programs two years ago. "I felt like what they were doing [in traditional media] was inefficient and ineffective. We developed it, pitched it and pushed for it. And this summer the dealers agreed to give it a try," he says. ... Read the whole story > >

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Reverse Psychology

Adrants yesterday brought this to my attention last night. Mono is an ad agency that decided to try something a bit different to announce their new office. Take a look:

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Keeping Momma Happy

The headline reads Cash-Strapped Moms Plot Scroogy Holiday Season. The details are from

woman_blogs_small.jpgADOTAS – Confirming retailers’ darkest fears, American mothers are planning on keeping a short leash on spending this holiday season, according to an industry association called the Marketing to Moms Coalition.

Women with children plan to spend about $660 on average this year, $50 less than last year. Cuts are biggest for mothers with teens and children aged 7 to 12.

Offline retailers will take the biggest hit (8%) with online holiday spending seeing a 2% downturn. Most mothers surveyed (87%) said they planned to shop at stores like Wal-Mart and Target this season.

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Fresh Ideas


AlertMe kitHome security with an energy-monitoring twist
Homes & housing / Life hacks

Clearly influenced by Apple, AlertMe is a home security device that
combines simplicity with clever features. Besides guarding a home,
it can also measure energy use and control other appliances.

Illustration of a leafy vineCrowdsourcing the sales force
Marketing & advertising / Life hacks

LeadVine lets users post the types of sales leads they seek, along
with the referral fee they're willing to pay; the community is then invited
to earn that fee by making the desired connections.

Two stylish women in Pmc iPhone magPhotographer launches iPhone-only style mag
Media & publishing / Mobile & telecom

Named after its creator -- noted nightlife photographer Patrick
McMullan -- PMc is a new bi-monthly magazine that's only available for
for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Three Green Garmento garment bagsReusable dry-cleaning bags
Eco & sustainability

So, you thought the market for reusable bags was saturated? Having
found a niche that has yet to be infiltrated, The Green Garmento hopes
to help green up dry cleaning.

Three purple thumbtacks on a map of KenyaCitizen journalism, from text message to map
Telecom & mobile / Media & publishing / Non-profit & social cause

A shining example of crowdsourcing at work, Ushahidi is mobilizing
citizens to report and map conflicts in detail. The project began as a
way for Kenyans to log the post-election violence earlier this year.

Two leViv meal productsMeal delivery service focuses on health issues
Food & beverage / Life hacks

While customized meal delivery programs have been on the market
for a number of years, leViv differentiates itself by focusing on specific
health conditions, rather than healthy living alone.

Back of a postcardSnail mail application for Facebook users
Media & publishing / Life hacks

Facebook users can already send real flowers and candy to their
virtual friends, and now Peggy Mail allows them to send real
postcards through snail mail.

Women using a bike wheel to explain geometryOnline video network helps teens prepare for college
Education / Media & publishing

Brightstorm's online learning network is designed to help high-school
students deepen their understanding of important subjects through
video-based courses designed and taught by inspiring teachers.

Runner in a yellow jacket (with pretty fall background)Turning workout miles into charitable donations
Non-profit, social cause / Lifestyle

A new site dedicated to combining exercise and charity aims to help
consumers get corporate sponsorship for their everyday exercise

Sticky wall art and a couchSticky car art: now for laptops and walls, too
Style & design

Two months after we covered sticky car art purveyor Infectious, the
startup has expanded beyond the realm of cars with a new range of
products for laptops and walls.

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Crisis or Opportunity

It's time to make a few changes, if you haven't yet. Changes in the way you market yourself and your business. Here's some advice and an offer from

Turning Economic Crisis into Gold

Since marketing involves knowing what your prospects want, it is important to focus on the emotions behind your customers' needs. Though it may not be immediately obvious, during economic turbulence, customers are most concerned about meeting their safety needs. Therefore, marketing messages should be aligned with safety. To resonate with your audience's concerns, you may need to revise your current messages. Jay Hamilton-Roth offers three suggestions:

  1. Position your offering as a need rather than a want. Needs are "gotta haves" while wants are "nice to haves." When the future is uncertain, customers focus on satisfying their needs rather than their wants. Re-craft your marketing messages accordingly.
  2. Focus on small luxuries. Over the past several decades, most consumers have experienced economic success and have become accustomed to splurging on luxuries. During a crisis, consumers will still desire luxuries, even if they can't afford them. Marketers can focus on products they offer that provide small luxuries.
  3. Reframe you offerings to appeal to safety needs. Marketers should improve their case studies and testimonials and reframe their messages to promote safety, particularly financial safety.

In short: A crisis focuses attention on safety. Show your prospects how your product enhances their safety, and your business will thrive.

Source: Marketing in an Economic Meltdown, a seminar by MarketingProfs. This recording is available to all members of 911 Marketing Help as a gift. (Normally $129.)

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New Ad Campaigns for the week

What do trampolines, cookies, beer & puppies have in common? Take a look:

Post-election ads. Is it too early for holiday ads? Answer: apparently not. Let's launch!

Douleurs Sans Frontieres (Pain Without Borders) launched a TV ad that raises awareness of the cyclical effects of constant pain. The ad centers on a young child walking with his mother down a street full of destruction. His mother collapses and the traumatized boy continues moving along, passing his mother's body, again and again, until viewers see that the boy is walking on a conveyor belt, passing the same horrible situations over and over. "For some of us, pain never stops. You can stop it," concludes the ad, seen here. Viewers are encouraged to visit the Web site to make a donation to the group, which provides training to local medical teams all over the world. TBWA/MAP created the campaign.

Tecate Light launched a funny Spanish-language TV spot advising Mexican men living in the U.S. not to drink flavorless light beer. Using the tag line "Para los que quieren más" or "For those who want more," the ad features distraught Mexican parents who are devastated to learn that their son, now living in America, drinks flavorless light beer. "It's my fault," wails the mother. "I made him drink a lot of water as a child." The spot ends with a plea to drink Tecate Light and a hello from Aunt Conchita. See the ad here. Adrenalina created the campaign and MediaVest New York handled the media buy.

Citi launched two TV spots starring Mary J. Blige and Nickelback for its Citi Cards holiday sweepstakes promotion. "Story of a Lifetime" is a continuation of the company's "What's Your Story?" theme and features fans of Nickelback and Mary J Blige. An extreme Mary J. Blige fan rides the elevator with the singer, in one ad, seen here. Her inner thoughts speak volumes, but nerves silence her outside voice. Two Nickelback fans move from nosebleed seats to floor seats in another ad, seen here. Their challenge is to successfully move to the better seats without being caught by security. Publicis New York created the campaign and Mediaedge:cia handled the media buy.

MasterCard Worldwide launched its holiday promotion TV spot called "Overjoy of Giving." This ad ran last year as well; it's been slightly tweaked, for I don't remember a trampoline being a part of the ad. The promotion gives consumers a chance to win two identical prizes; one to keep and one to give away. A wife begins to unwrap her gifts and wonders why she's receiving a box of tissues, a paper bag and a trampoline. Her answer sits outside in the form of a brand-new car, where upon viewing, she cries, hyperventilates and passes out, using each gift her hubby wrapped. Watch the ad here, created by McCann-Erickson.

King Arthur Flour launched a print campaign in Yankee, Southern Lady, Taste of the South, Eating Well and Fine Cooking that encourages baking with the flour on more occasions than merely holidays. That's some mighty powerful flour. The food pictured in each ad: cookies, cupcakes and yum, focaccia bread, successfully left me both hungry and wanting to bake. "You'll look for reasons to bake," say the ads, along with different reasons why baking took place. "Happy Tuesday" read one ad, and "Thanks for doing the dishes" read another. Mine would say, "You're over the hump." See the ads here, here and here. KSV created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America launched a post-election outdoor campaign to spread hope and unity. The attitude for both ads changes from "vs." to "us." The words "last night" and "this morning" appear below the words in the first ad, seen here. The second ad, running until the end of today, has a similar message, writing out the dates November 4 and November 5 alongside the change in mindset. See the ad here. The ads are running on digital out-of-home displays, including bus-side ads and mall networks. TAXI New York created the campaign.

Pedigree wasted no time in getting a print ad to press following President-Elect Obama's promise to his daughters to bring a puppy to the White House. The ad ran in last Thursday's edition of USA Today and features an adorable shelter dog in need of a home. "...We think you'll find that shelter dogs are among the most loyal, loving and special dogs in the world. And no dog is more in need of a little hope," says the ad, seen here. Weber Shandwick Chicago and TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles created the ad.

Calvin Klein Performance gear launched a print campaign called "New Movement" with the women pictured striking poses that should come with a "consult your doctor before attempting" warning. Actually, the looks are pretty standard if you're a yoga practitioner or one that exercises regularly. Targeting women with active lifestyles, the ads are running in Shape, Women's Health, Cookie, New York Times Magazine, In Style, Elle and Real Simple. See the ads here, here and here, created by Full Contact.

The Boys & Girls Club of Boston launched "In These Hands," a campaign to raise awareness for BGCB programs at a time when acts of violence among Boston teens are on the rise. Print and online ads drive people to a redesigned Web site for additional information and making donations. Ads show actual hands of the children who use the club with copy written on them. "In these hands. The poetry of living life or doing life... An epiphany or a felony..." reads one ad, seen here. Hill Holliday created the pro bono campaign.
Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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The Truth about Sales

I discovered this article from Forbes last week:

Always Be Closing
How To Sell In Tough Times
Glenn D. Porter
09.30.08, 4:40 PM ET

Salespeople know how to frame a discussion. They know how to ask the right questions and, with a little discipline, shut up and listen to the answers. They can relate to people. And they have the courage to ask for business and try new things.

So what happens if--and when--you lose your job? First, you go have a martini and a big steak dinner. Then you look for a growing market to attack.

Salespeople are often the first to get whacked when the economy goes south.

But here's some good news for busted Wall Streeters--and any other commission chasers laid low by the latest economic crisis: Salesmanship is a transferable skill.

If you can sell stocks, bonds and financial derivatives, you can sell real estate, technology, autos and tooth brushes. That's because the fundamental tools are the same.

My friend Doug, a placement agent, reports that sales gigs at companies heavily dependent on consumer disposable incomes are growing few and far between. This recession is real.

So where's the growth? In tough times, any product or service that promises to boost productivity (or to save money, however you want to look at it) is worth a look.

Some promising areas: alternative and sustainable energy sources, such as wind power. (Old company raider Boone Pickens imagines massive fields of wind mills in the western U.S.) Such an infrastructure requires engineering, construction, software, spare parts and maintenance providers--they all need salespeople.

The same goes for battery and bio-fuel technologies. We don’t know who will win the alternative-energy game, but we do know there will be plenty of competition for years to come.

Another hot area: software as a service. SaaS providers charge monthly subscription fees, rather than more expensive upfront licenses--a cash-flow booster for small businesses in tough times. Some of the fees are so low you can use a credit card to cover them.

Not that you should forget the old standbys: companies that sell to public utilities, educational institutions, health care and infrastructure providers. We're not talking "credit default swaps" or other sexy doohickeys like that, but you want to put a decent dinner on the table, right?

For those still on the payroll, get in touch with your loyal (and solvent) customers. Immediately. Anticipate how the troubled economy might affect them, because it will.

Preempt trouble and engender even deeper loyalty by crafting some new pricing schemes. Take another look at long-term contracts. Assuming they haven't fallen on especially hard times, find creative ways to allow valued customers to keep buying. Worse case scenario, accept products or services in lieu of payment.

A final thought in this environment: Watch receivables like a hawk. Your commissions depend on it. You don't have to whip out the bludgeon, but a sales pro should be able to politely squeeze a customer's payables department.

I'm not going to kid you: Things aren't looking good out there. But it doesn't matter. Because no matter what, salesmen do one thing: They sell.

So stop reading and pick up the phone.

Glenn D. Porter has 25 years of professional sales and sales management experience, much of it with IBM. He is the founder of Dolphin Nextgen, a business advisory firm. He can be reached at

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Night Marketing News

Hmmm Chocolate Brewski's are returning. Click on the headline below from Mediapost.

by Karl Greenberg
The effort, "Flex Insider," developed by Ford and ad agency Team Detroit/JWT, was a five-city program that gave invited intelligentsia--from lifestyle media to radio deejays, architects, agency creative types, and musicians--a tour of the vehicle, and then an urban tour in fleets of the vehicles to local galleries, restaurants and nightspots. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While the news is certainly downbeat for retailers, there are pockets of opportunity to connect with shoppers, NPD notes. In the same seven-month period, for example, coupon use among the same survey group has risen from 23% to 27%, and those who are shopping at sales have increased to 28% from 25%. ...Read the whole story >>
by Nina M. Lentini
This is the second of a three-part plan to restore growth of the brand. The first was getting the right team in place. "We are now completing the second phase--refreshing the brand to emphasize fresh, delicious seafood prepared with culinary expertise," says a spokesperson. "The third phase of the plan is to begin growing new units again, which is starting this year." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Reasons cited in Omnicom's survey for eating fast food less often included: eating at home to save money (84%); taking lunch to save money (35%); fast-food price increases have made it less affordable (26%); and higher ingredient prices have led to a decrease in the food's quality (13%). ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
As official Coca-Cola spokesperson, Mexican football goalkeeper Francisco Guillermo "Memo" Ochoa will make customer appearances, do autograph signings, and participate in meet and greets with U.S. fans. Coca-Cola has been one of the major partners of the Mexican National Team for 30 years and expanded the marketing relationship to the U.S. in 2003. ...Read the whole story >>

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Reaching Teens

How do you make a teenager feel loved, feel special, feel important? Send them something via the U.S. Post Office! Read this from

You Just Don't Understand Me!

You've got a great new product for the high-school crowd. The demographics you've researched are screaming that teens love all things digital. So, your marketing team has crafted a great email campaign, with social-media components and links to a fun landing page at your site. Will this totally rad approach grab your biggest ROI ever? Not quite.

A new whitepaper from ExactTarget has a surprise for marketers seeking to reach teens ages 15-17. The results of its recent research project, conducted with Ball State University's Center for Media Design, show that teens actually prefer to get their marketing messages via—(drum roll, please)—direct mail. Yes, good ol' direct mail. Some findings:

  • A full 58% of teens surveyed report they "have been influenced by direct mail to make a purchase."
  • Email came in second, with a solid 42% of teens saying an email-marketing campaign had influenced them to buy something.
  • But "only 13% of teens have made a purchase influenced by text marketing," the whitepaper notes.

That last point is interesting because, when asked their preference for general communications, teens gave text messaging a high score. That love, however, doesn't translate to marketing messages. "In terms of absolute preferences, [teens] are similar to other consumers in that they prefer traditional direct marketing channels ... for marketing communications," ExactTarget concludes.

The Po!nt: Put pen to paper. Try adding a direct-mail component to your next outreach to teens. You may see a boost in ROI.

Source: ExactTarget. Download the whitepaper here.

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Hiring a Marketer

Thought's from Seth Godin on this subject. Doesn't matter if you are adding to your staff, replacing a staff member, hiring an outside firm to do your marketing, or simply looking to stay ahead of the pack.

This is also a good article if you want to be hired. Read on:

The marketer's attitude

Traditional job requirements: show up, sober. Listen to the boss, lift heavy objects.

Here's what I'd want if I were hiring a marketer:

You're relentlessly positive. You can visualize complex projects and imagine alternative possible outcomes. It's one thing to talk about thinking outside the box, it's quite another to have a long history of doing it successfully. You can ride a unicycle, or can read ancient Greek.

Show me that you've taken on and completed audacious projects, and run them as the lead, not as a hanger on. I'm interested in whether you've become the best in the world at something, and completely unimpressed that you are good at following instructions (playing Little League baseball is worth far less than organizing a non-profit organization).

You have charisma in that you easily engage with strangers and actually enjoy selling ideas to others. You are comfortable with ambiguity, and rarely ask for detail or permission. Test, measure, repeat and go work just fine for you.

You like to tell stories and you're good at it. You're good at listening to stories, and using them to change your mind.

I'd prefer to hire someone who is largely self-motivated, who finds satisfaction in reaching self-imposed goals, and is willing to regularly raise the bar on those goals.

You're intellectually restless. You care enough about new ideas to read plenty of blogs and books, and you're curious enough about your own ideas that you blog or publish your thoughts for others to react to. You're an engaging writer and speaker and you can demonstrate how the right visuals can change your story.

And you understand that the system is intertwined, that your actions have side effects and you not only care about them but work to make those side effects good ones.

The cool thing about this list is that it's not dependent on what you were born with or who you know. Or how much you can lift.

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64 B 2 B Tools

When I started 2008, I started the year with a brand new laptop computer and a new way to managing my "stuff".

I decided to move more of my stuff to the on-line world and rely less and less on storing "stuff" on my computer. And with the advances in technology and security, it has been a very good move. You can click here for a page that lists and links some of the tools I use.

One word of caution though, as we see an economic slow down, some of the tech start ups will not be able to survive. Likewise, some of the giants will also crumble, so keep an eye out for these events so that you are not without your "stuff" if something happens to the company you are using.

Now, I have a list of 64 Business to Business Tools that you may find helpful. This list was complied by the folks at Marketo and comes from their blog, which I subscribe to, and you can too. Click on the underlined headings to get the goodies:

There is an amazing amount of great content about B2B marketing out there, ranging from trends in demand generation to best practices in lead nurturing, lead scoring, and landing page optimization to how to buy and select marketing automation systems.

To help you find the good stuff, we recently put together a new site with B2B marketing tools and resources that collects a whopping 64 eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, podcasts and blog posts to help you learn all these best practices and more. Many of these are authored by the team at Marketo, but certainly not all of them. As always, if you have an additional tool or resource you'd like to share, please let me know.

Seven Lead Nurturing Tools and Resources

Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with qualified prospects regardless of their timing to buy. Over 50% of leads are not yet sales ready, so nurturing those leads rather than throwing them away can help you maximize results. These blog posts, whitepapers, and podcasts can show you how to do it right.

  1. Best Practices for Lead Nurturing — Blind Date to White Wedding (white paper)
  2. Lead Nurturing 101 (blog post)
  3. Lead Nurturing — Keeping your Prospects Engaged (MarketingSherpa podcast)
  4. Lead Nurturing: Triggered Emails, Newsletters and Webinars (blog post)
  5. How To Use Thought Leadership To Build Brands and Nurture Leads (blog post)
  6. Lead Nurturing With Brian Carroll (blog post)
  7. The YouTube Approach to Lead Nurturing (blog post)

Four Lead Scoring Tools and Resources

By tracking your prospect's behaviors and web activity, you can determine their level of interest in your solution (engagement) in addition to your interest in them (demographics targeting). Only by combining both factors can you send truly qualified leads to sales. Download these resources to learn why lead scoring matters and how to do it right.

  1. Best Practices in Lead Scoring — Are They Hot or Not? (white paper)
  2. Lead Scoring Best Practices (Buzz Marketing for Technology podcast)
  3. Improving Lead Quality Can Improve Sales Productivity (blog post)
  4. Measure Relationship Depth (blog post)

Nine Demand Generation Tools and Resources

Demand generation is the evolution of traditional lead generation. Unlike traditional programs that throw any lead over the wall to sales, demand generation is about qualifying and prioritizing prospects, nurturing a steady crop of qualified leads that want to engage with sales, coordinating ongoing activities with sales, and measuring and optimizing the results over time. These tools and resources will help you research demand generation and learn the latest best practices.

  1. Raab Guide to Demand Generation Systems (analyst report)
  2. Supercharge Your Demand Generation with Personalization (Marketo on-demand webinar)
  3. Demand Generation Quiz — How Good Are You? (blog post)
  4. 7 Tips For Practical B-to-B Lead Generation (MarketingSherpa on-demand webinar)
  5. 8 Ways The Internet Changed Software Marketing (blog post)
  6. Insights for Marketing High Tech to Businesses (MarketingSherpa on-demand webinar)
  7. Practical B2B Lead Generation (podcast with MarketingSherpa)
  8. Using White Papers to Generate and Nurture B2B Leads (podcast with Michael Stelzner)
  9. Top 5 Challenges for B2B Demand Generation Marketers (blog post)

Five Lead Management Tools and Resources

Lead management covers the entire process of modern sales lead generation, including acquiring new leads, scoring leads so you know who's ready for sales, nurturing the leads that aren't yet ready, passing leads to sales at the right time, and measuring and optimizing the process over time. These tools will help you get started improving your own lead management capabilities.

  1. Optimizing Marketing and Sales Lead Management with Marketing Automation (workbook from the analysts at IDC)
  2. Ten Tips for Best Practice Lead Management (eBook)
  3. How Acteva and IDology Achieved Significant Results with Lead Management (on-demand case study webinar)
  4. How Vindicia went from Zero to Lead Management Hero in One Day (on-demand case study webinar)
  5. Lead Management Will Never Be The Same Again (blog post)

Six Landing Pages Tools and Resources

Relevant and optimized landing pages generate higher conversion rates, meaning you get more leads whenever someone clicks your ads or emails. Getting them performing at their best is one of the quickest ways you can improve your B2B marketing results. Download these best practices to get practical tips for optimizing your landing pages. There's even a free online calculator to tell you how long it will take your landing page test to return valid results.

  1. Building Effective Landing Pages (eBook)
  2. Practical Tips to Raise your Landing Page Conversions (MarketingSherpa on-demand webinar)
  3. Landing Page Testing Calculator — How many test versions can you have? How long will it take to get results? (online calculator)
  4. Landing Page Testing: How Much Is Too Much? (blog post)
  5. Ten Tips for Lead Generation Landing Pages (TopRank blog post)
  6. Two Practical Landing Page Tips That Will Save You Money (blog post)

Eight Marketing Automation Tools and Resources

Marketing automation tools help increase operational efficiency, drive revenue, and demonstrate marketing's impact on revenue. Since the space is changing and evolving so rapidly, it can be hard to know what features you need to look for and what other factors you need to consider. These tools and resources can help you understand the marketing automation space and learn how to make the right decision.

  1. 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Marketing Automation (white paper)
  2. The Big Easy Guidebook to Marketing Automation (eBook)
  3. Marketing Automation Glossary of Terms (analyst report)
  4. Marketing Automation Market Trends 2008 (analyst report)
  5. Marketing's World of Hurt: How Marketing Automation Mistakes Prevent Organizations from Measuring Up (analyst report)
  6. Buying and Using Marketing Automation Systems (podcast)
  7. Three Strikes and You're Out: Why Marketing Automation Failed the First Time, and Why This Time Is Different (whitepaper)
  8. Why Invest in Marketing Automation (blog post)

Six Email Marketing Tools and Resources

Because of the complex sales cycles, B2B companies have unique email marketing needs that are not served by most email service providers. Get these best practices, webinars, and podcasts to learn how to optimize email campaigns and maximize email deliverability.

  1. 20 Quick Tips for Improving Your Email Programs (StrongMail white paper)
  2. Optimizing your Email Marketing Lead Nurturing Programs (eBook)
  3. Email Marketing for Lead Generation (MarketingSherpa on-demand webinar)
  4. Mastering Your Email Reputation: Seven Strategies for Improving Deliverability (StrongMail white paper)
  5. How to Drive Revenue by Improving E-mail Deliverability (eWeek article)
  6. Email Measurement: Opens or Clicks? (MarketingSherpa podcast)

Eleven Marketing ROI and Marketing Budget Tools and Resources

Marketers are under growing pressure to measure ROI and demonstrate their impact on revenue. Among other things, this makes it difficult to set and justify your B2B marketing budget. Download these tools and resources to learn how to increase marketing accountability, justify your marketing budget, and demonstrate marketing's impact on revenue.

  1. Trends, Forecasts, Benchmarks — Key Metrics from IDC's CMO Advisory Practice (IDC on-demand webinar)
  2. Earn a Seat at the Revenue Table — Why Marketing Needs to Be As Accountable for Revenue as Sales (blog post)
  3. Marketing Performance Measurement: Areas Where Marketers Want to Improve (analyst report)
  4. Selling your Marketing Budget to your CFO (benchmarks and white paper)
  5. 7 Strategies for B2B Marketing during a Recession: The Definitive Guide (blog post)
  6. The Five Stages of Marketing Accountability (blog post)
  7. Building Power and Respect through Marketing Accountability (podcast)
  8. Better Marketing Accountability without Better Performance Won’t Improve Job Security (blog post)
  9. Proving Marketing’s Value: Tangible Tools and Metrics for the 21st Century (podcast)
  10. Are You a CMO or a VP of Marketing? (blog post)
  11. So You Want to Survey Business Executives? Executives Speak Out on What Works to Gain Their Participation (analyst report)

Six Sales and Marketing Alignment Tools and Resources

The disconnect between marketing and sales departments is the largest opportunity for improving business performance today. When marketing and sales teams align around a single revenue cycle, they can create dramatic improvements in marketing ROI, sales productivity, and most importantly top-line growth.

  1. Coordinating Marketing and Sales across the Entire Revenue Cycle (IDC Analyst Connection)
  2. Ten Easy Ways to Close Deals Faster: The Salesperson’s Guide to Aligning Marketing and Sales (white paper)
  3. The Revenue Cycle: A New Model for Explosive Revenue Growth (blog post)
  4. Sales is from Mars, Marketing is from Venus (Buzz Marketing for Technology podcast)
  5. Sales is from Mars, Marketing is from Venus — The Sales Perspective (Buzz Marketing for Technology podcast)
  6. Ten Tips for Marketing and Sales Alignment (eBook from The B2B Lead)

Two Social Media Marketing Tools and Resources

Social media is one of the biggest forces driving change in B2B marketing today. Download these podcasts to learn how to use video and Web 2.0 tactics to boost B2B marketing results.

  1. Using Digital, Web 2.0 Tactics To Boost B2B Marketing Results (podcast with Laura Ramos, Forrester Research)
  2. Viral Video: Spark the Imagination (podcast with MarketingSherpa)

Do you find these tools helpful? Do you disagree with anything? Please share your comments, tips, and links to make this resource as useful as possible.

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