Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why Facebook?

Personally, I am not a fan of Facebook for some of the reasons listed below. However, if you are a living breathing human being, you should have a Facebook page. Just be selective regarding what you do with it.

For businesses that are looking to meet potential clients, you need to follow the pack on Facebook simply because you need to go where the people are!

You are more likely to find me on Twitter @ScLoHo


Is Facebook Really Your Friend?

Facebook has a checkered past when it comes to user relations. Members cried foul, for instance, when the social-networking giant launched the invasive Beacon system, and they later bemoaned certain aspects of the site's redesign. More recently, they decried the new terms of service that weighed heavily in Facebook's favor.

So if your business uses Facebook for marketing purposes, you might worry about getting caught in the crossfire; perhaps you're even considering the prospect of a safer haven. If so, Crosby Noricks says there's no need to for immediate concern. "Right now, just keep focusing on connecting with your customers wherever they are (and they are still, absolutely, on Facebook, in droves)."

From Noricks' perspective, the ongoing debates have little bearing on the how you use the social network for business purposes—which include being:

  • Real
  • Relevant
  • Receptive
  • Responsive

She compares Facebook's seeming heavy-handedness to a strip-mall manager with bad interpersonal skills. "A retail store [in the mall] would still get customers," she says, "because customers feel a connection to the store owner and sales clerks."

The Po!nt: "No version of Facebook's terms of service will ever come ... between a company and its constituents in a social media setting so long as that organization has built and maintained a strong personal connection," says Noricks.

Source: MarketingProfs. Click here for the full article.

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Catering to Differences

It is dangerous to make "absolute" statements about certain groups of people. You always have to leave room for the exceptions.

However, it is also important to look at research and see what the trends are:
Study of Consumer Beliefs Reveals Cultural Differences Racial and ethnic groups have wide ranging views of marriage, social networking, brands, and more, according to the Florida State University Center for Hispanic Marketing. Understanding those attitudes and how they vary by age and gender within groups can help marketers improve their effectiveness in targeting emerging majorities.

Blacks are most likely to indicate that brands are important to them, followed by non-Hispanic Whites and Asians, in contrast to Spanish-preferring Hispanics to whom brands have little relevance. English-preferring Hispanics are effectively neutral. Although most research suggests Hispanics prefer to buy brands they're familiar with, this study finds that Hispanics don't define themselves by those brands. Attitudes towards brands vary little by age or gender within groups.

Social/cultural influences
Spanish-preferring Hispanics and Blacks have a positive attitude toward multiculturalism, suggesting they prefer to see advertising that reflects not only their own cultures but also that of a wide variety of cultures. Conversely, English-preferring Hispanics, non-Hispanic Whites and Asians have a negative attitude toward social and cultural references. Older Blacks and English-preferring Hispanics are more likely than their younger counterparts to prefer social and cultural references.

Social networks
Spanish-preferring Hispanics have the most positive attitude toward social networking, non-Hispanic Whites have the most negative attitude, and the other groups are neutral. Younger non-Hispanic Whites still have a negative attitude toward social networks, but less so than their older counterparts. Younger English-preferring Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians have a slightly positive opinion of social nets, whereas their older counterparts have a slightly negative opinion. There is no difference in Spanish-preferring Hispanics' attitudes by age -- older and younger are overwhelmingly favorable toward social networks, making the sites a logical medium to reach the group.

Asians and English-preferring Hispanics are the most likely to have favorable attitudes toward sports and a vested interest in following teams and results, while Blacks are neutral and Spanish-preferring Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites have negative associations with sports. In all groups, men are considerably more likely than women to have a favorable opinion of sports.

Asians have the most positive attitude toward marriage, followed by non-Hispanic Whites and English-preferring Hispanics. Older English-preferring Hispanics are less likely than their younger counterparts to have a positive opinion of marriage. Spanish-preferring Hispanics and Blacks have negative attitudes toward marriage. Women are more likely than men in those groups to have a negative opinion of marriage. Meanwhile, non-Hispanic White, Asian, and English-preferring Hispanic men are more likely than women in those groups to have a positive opinion of marriage.

(Source: Marketing to Emerging Majorities, 05/09)

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The Power of a Smile

coupled with the power of action. From a recent Jill Konrath email:

Selling to Big Companies Blog

If you're not smiling & moving today ...


BeHappy-graphic Hi, Everyone. Here's an uplifting 3-minute video I think you'll really enjoy. It's based on the fun new motto I mentioned last month called Smile & Move.

You and your team can use it as a reminder to stay focused on the fundamentals of being valuable at work (there are 5 ways to smile, 4 ways to move).

Learn the quick points at or buy the manifesto by visiting (20 minute read, tops).

They've even put together a Do-It-Yourself training package around the message – great if you lead a team and want to help your people be better Smovers (people who smile & move).

Let's "smove"...

PS... If you've not seen Sam's (the author) previous message on the value of extra effort, catch this 212° the extra degree video (3.5 minutes).

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News

From Mediapost:

by Sarah Mahoney
Themed "We are Miracle Whip. And we will not tone it down," TV ads are set to a jangly soundtrack from rock band The Datsuns, featuring people who "proudly embrace the flavor of Miracle Whip without apology," says a Kraft spokesperson. "We will not be quiet," the voiceover says. "We will not blend in." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Chrysler will redistribute new vehicles and parts to the remaining dealer network. The court has also approved a motion vis à vis Chrysler's agreement with GMAC Financial Services to provide the automotive financing products and services to the company's dealers and customers henceforth. That deal makes GMAC Financial Services the preferred lender in North America. ... Read the whole story > >
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
The multi-media campaign, launched by the company's Professional Food Services Solutions, includes three main characters -- Hamburger, Coffee and Ice Cream -- which give customers a first-hand look at what it is like "going out on Dixie." The campaign includes print, interactive and video elements. Beginning in June, the print ads will appear in vertical foodservice magazines. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The program, which is based on a test the company undertook last year, is the first of its kind for the wireless telecommunications industry. While it's possible competitors might launch similar programs, CMO Alan Ferber says U.S. Cellular is not concerned. "We think our strategy is unique, and our program is built around customer service," he says. "We don't think that's high on our competitors' priority lists." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"We see China and India as key drivers of growth, as vehicles become attainable for an increasing percentage of these countries' huge consumer populations," said Uwe Biastoch, director of global forecasting at Polk. "Like Tata Motors with the recent launch of the low-cost Nano in India, manufacturers that innovate and produce market-specific products will be successful in emerging markets." ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
The company's "Do The World A Flavor" contest gives "Flavor Guru" consumers the chance to "create the perfect ice cream" flavor online. "To take part, just mosey over to our online flavor lab, whip together the ice cream of your dreams and give it an appropriately appealing name. You can design your own pint and send to all your friends, for bragging rights." ... Read the whole story > >

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Shopping Habits

Did you buy meat last week?

Meat, Seafood Sales Spike During the First Week of Each Month

Amid countless reports on how the economy affects everyday purchases, very little has been written about how shopping patterns are tied directly to paychecks -- or more specifically, how paydays at the start and end of each month create spikes in supermarket sales. Specifically, how much of a lift can retailers expect on the first week of each month? And which categories are most likely to spike at the beginning of the month?

For related insights to these burning questions, there's no better place to find out than Nielsen's Strategic Planner database. While many months begin in the middle of the week, there is a clear and distinct pattern of supermarket sales spikes at the start of each month, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas, which naturally account for their own sales spikes.

After creating a dollar sales index for average weekly sales on the first week of each month vs. other weeks (excluding Nov.-Dec.), the Nielsen data-masters found an average 4.3 percent lift, with several categories indexing much higher. In particular, categories with the strongest first-week-of-the-month spike include food staples and ingredients for cooking from scratch, with meat and seafood headlining three of the top ten items on the list.

Supermarket Products Most Likely to Sell on the First Week of the Month:
• Frozen Meat/Seafood (Unprepared)
• Vegetables-Canned
• Baby Food
• Sugar/Sugar Substitutes
• Soup
• Vegetables & Grains-Dry
• Shortening/Oil
• Packaged Meat
• Fresh Meat (UPC-Coded)
• Flour

While the average 4.3 percent first-of-month sales lift may not seem like much, it's just one more tool aggressive grocers and suppliers can use to fine-tune their promotion strategies, inclusive of adjusting timing for FSI drops, on-ad specials, and in-store promotions, among others.

(Source: Progressive Grocer, 05/05/09)

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What Elton, Billy & Art can teach us about Sales

From Art Sobczak:

This Week's Tip:
Sales Lessons from the Elton John/Bill Joel Concert


Billy Joel and Elton John are two of the most
popular, talented pianists/performers/entertainers
of our time. I had the opportunity to see them
perform this week in Omaha. Amazing.

They both sang together to begin the show, then
each performed separately, finally finishing together
again with their biggest hits. The place was electric.

However, in my opinion, one of them clearly
connected with the audience better, and received
a warmer response. He expertly did things that we
also do--or should do--as salespeople and
communicators. That person was Billy Joel.

Don't get me wrong, Elton John was fabulous,
and I would pay to see him alone. In fact, I prefer
his music. It's just that Billy Joel was masterful
in his handling of the crowd. Let's look at how.

Elton played his set first. He mentioned the
obligatory, "It's great to be in Omaha," which
drew a big cheer. That was about it regarding
his rapport with the crowd.

After Joel's first song, he stopped, looked at
the audience, and chatted with several sections
of the arena as if he were sitting at the bar with
some buddies. He joked with the section behind
the stage, saying, "I bet you thought those were
going to be bad seats," which they weren't,
since the stage was backless. That drew hoots
and laughs.

He used some local humor, next pointing to
the far upper end of the arena, "And you people
way up there, sitting over in Council Bluffs,
thanks for coming." Council Bluffs is across
the river from the arena, in Iowa. That comment
brought the house down. I'm sure it wasn't tough
to incorporate that local comment, but it had a
huge impact. Just like some of the research we
do to learn about our prospects and customers.

Further addressing the people in the nosebleed
seats he said, "If you can't see me, I'm the guy
who's six-foot four, a cross between Brad Pitt
and Tom Cruise...with flowing blond locks."

Of course he's pretty much the opposite of
all of that. And the crowd roared again. Self-
deprecating humor helps us connect with others,
as opposed to trying to be aloof, or a know-it-all
in the sales process.

Elton John did not acknowledge the other
members of his band. After each song, Billy
Joel introduced one of his many band members
by name, and where they were from. It was not
all about him. Just as in sales, it should never be
about us.

Further, he again added some local flavor by
making a point to emphasize that one
of his guitarists was from LINCOLN, NEBRASKA.
That of course went over well.

John's piano was stationary on the stage. His
back was to my section on the side of the stage
the entire time. Billy Joel's piano spun around,
so that he was facing all parts of the crowd equally.
Again, small point about making it about the
audience, and connecting, contributing to the
total impact.

I am always amazed by people who do things
that I have zero talent or aptitude for, and musicians
certainly fall into that category. My musical
experience consists of being a disc jockey for
weddings during college (I did over 400 receptions
in four years!). As a result, I still know a lot of
songs from that era. And when I go to a concert,
like many people, I prefer to hear the songs I know.
For the most part, these guys excelled in this area,
since they have about a gazillion hits between them.

However, Elton John played one, maybe two new
songs--one excruciatingly long--while most of the
crowd politely sat. Billy Joel, however, played only
the well-known hits, delighting the crowd, singing
along to every song. Again, it was about the

It reminded me what Kix Brooks, of the famous
country duo Brooks & Dunn told me. (I know,
huge celebrity name-drop here.) I played golf
with him about a year and a half ago the day of
their concert in Phoenix (a good friend of mine
is a good friend of his). He's a down-to-earth,
regular guy, and a pretty good golfer (we tied
with 82's). I asked him if he was going to play
lots of songs from their new album. He looked
at me, smiled and winked, and with his slight
Southern twang said, "Art, when you got 16
Number Ones in the rack, people get pissed
if you don't play 'em." So true.

Of course, being a sales geek, I found a way
to turn a concert into a sales lesson. Billy Joel
helped the crowd buy him by making it about us,
personalizing and customizing his comments, and
overall projecting a warm vibe that made him likeable
because he genuinely cared about his audience.

Sounds like a good model, doesn't it?

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize
how close they were to success when they gave up."
Thomas Edison

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

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News

Courtesy of Mediapost:

by Karl Greenberg
The most recommended brand was Porsche, with the highest owner recommendation of 91%. "Porsche owners' feelings for their cars run deep; some might call it devotion," says AutoPacific's George Peterson. "Clearly, that is still the case as the Porsche lineup all scored well in this survey." After Porsche were Infiniti, Lexus and Cadillac. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
At-home snack products are being influenced by high-end restaurant trends such as "gastropubs" (pub settings emphasizing bold, upscale nibbles and small portions), cicchetti (Venetian-inspired little snacks, including mini-sandwiches and olives) and izakaya dishes (Japanese sake bar-inspired chicken wings, salted soybeans and grilled short ribs). ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
The site also includes a sweepstakes, providing a trip for four people to spend five nights at the Crane Resort in Barbados, as well as links to social-networking sites so women can share their suit choices with friends. Lands' End, part of Sears Holding and sold exclusively at Sears stores, has long been beloved by women of a certain for being a bit of bathing suit maverick. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
The ads frame the masters' training tips and lifestyle advice with Altima advertising. J. Schaffer, manager of Nissan marketing, says Nissan is focusing on Altima with the program because the latest Altima is hitting showrooms now and because "it's an important volume brand for us that connects with people who read these titles." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The effort builds upon the long-running campaign "The best-run businesses run on SAP" by adding the line "It's Time for a Clear New World." With images of clear vistas and clear views into offices and businesses, the campaign is meant to connect the efficiency and flexibility of SAP's software products with the business goals of greater accountability and transparency. ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
"The travel industry pioneered the modern loyalty program," says Colloquy Partner Kelly Hlavinka. "As first movers, they have the accolades -- and the bruises -- as constant reminders of what was started in 1981. Since travel loyalty programs were launched in another acute recession, it's fitting that this current recession should present another major turning point for the future of airline and hotel loyalty programs." ... Read the whole story > >
by Laurie Sullivan
Beam me up, Scotty. Verizon Wireless has launched a campaign themed on Paramount Pictures's newly released "Star Trek" movie to promote the Nokia Intrigue 7205 phone and V-CAST. Marketing efforts tap augmented reality technology from Total Immersion to get Trekkies closer to the action. ... Read the whole story > >

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Connecting with Moms

Take a look at this for some excellent insight:

Mindset Matters
By Tina Sharkey
I love Facebook. I can post articles, keep tabs on my best friends from college and share long forgotten photos with former kindergarten classmates. Yet, while this type of connectedness appeals to the executive and friend in me -- it does little for me as a mom.

When I'm in mom mode, I'm looking for something more meaningful than chit-chat and funny reminders of moments past. I need advice, guidance and the connections you can only feel with someone who has experienced what you're going through, when you're going through it. Right here, right now. Mindset matters.

To better understand the social mindset of moms, here at BabyCenter we recently conducted a series of social surveys that revealed the vast difference in how moms engage in mom-centric communities versus mass social networks.

Moms visit parenting communities to learn from other moms.

21st-century moms rely on crowd-sourcing mom-to-mom wisdom. Eighty-seven percent of moms report having read information or advice posted by other moms on community, social networking or blog sites. Additionally, 48% of moms said they look to parenting communities to find other moms compared to less popular sources, including offline local mom groups (25%), school (19%), online local mom groups (16%), or mainstream social networking sites (16%).

Parenting social networks are the ultimate level playing field.

Within these communities, things like location, job, education, religion and political affiliation are somewhat inconsequential. What matters is their shared experiences based on commonalities like due date, child's birthday or perhaps the special needs of their child. So who do they trust? Seventy-two percent of moms surveyed said that sharing a similar experience and having children the same age are the two factors enabling them to trust other moms.


Moms welcome communications with marketers in mom-centric social networks.

Early motherhood is a significant time for product testing and trial. It is a time when moms welcome new ideas, products and services that could potentially make their lives easier. Marketers should tap into the power of mom word of mouth. Our research with Keller Fay Group shows that pregnant and new moms have one-third more word-of-mouth conversations per day than women in general.

Moms average 109 word-of-mouth conversations per week about products, services and brands, most of which are positive and considered highly credible by other moms. We also found that 71% think companies should interact with them through our community. Additionally, 73% feel they find trustworthy information about products and services through online communities focused on their specific interests such as parenting -- more than any other type of media including magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and mass social networks.

Although social media provide significant opportunities for marketers to connect with moms, a recent survey from M2Moms revealed 60% of moms feel that marketers are ignoring their needs and 73% feel that advertisers don't really understand what it's like to be a mom.

Let's change that perception. Let's move beyond simply looking at where moms spend their time, and focus on what they are trying to accomplish at that moment. Right here, right now. Clearly, mindset really does matter.

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Connecting with Dads

In about 3 hours, I'll post an article on Connecting with Moms. This is from Drew:

The Marketing Minute

Time to start talking to dads in a different way

Right up front, I will admit my bias here. I've always found the advertisements and shows that portray dads as the bumbling idiots to be pretty insulting. I think it demeans how dedicated many men are to their kids and being a good dad.

It's not that we can't laugh at ourselves, but from a marketing point of view -- I may find it funny but I sure don't see myself in the portrayal. So if you want to amuse me...have at it. If you want me to buy something, you'd better find a different avenue.

That's why I found this recent study from the nonprofit Families and Work Institute (FWI) so fascinating. What the study suggests is that men are now feeling the same pressures to balance their lives and that pressure is causing a lot of stress.

It suggests that perhaps it's time for marketers to re-think how they target and talk to men. I'm curious what you you think this sort of study gives us new insights? Or do you think marketing is ahead of the research and we already knew this?

Here's some of the study's data and analysis.

The study traces the trends in men’s and women’s attitudes and actions over the past three decades, reveals that changing gender roles have significantly and specifically increased the overall level of work-life conflict experienced by men, from 34% in 1977 to 45% in 2008. On the other hand, the rise in women’s work-life conflict, which increased from 34% in 1977 to 39% in 2008, has been less dramatic and is not statistically significant.

Fathers in dual-earner couples are spending more time with their children but are experiencing more work life conflict than mothers. In 1977, 35% reported experiencing some or a lot of conflict. In 2008, that figure has risen to 59%. The level of conflict experienced by mothers in dual-earner families has not changed much during that time period (41% in 1977 and 45% in 2008).

Picture 11

Working Women Can Be Good Mothers

Greater proportions of both men and women agree that employed women can be good mothers, the study found. In 1977, 49% of men agreed (strongly or somewhat) that a mother who works outside the home can have just as good a relationship with her children as a mother who does not work. Today, 67% agree. From 1977 to 2008, the percentage of women agreeing moved from 71% in to 80%. Both men and women who grew up with employed mothers have greater acceptance of working mothers than those whose mothers did not work outside the home.

Fathers Spend More Time with Kids

Employed fathers, especially Millennials, are spending more time with children today than their age counterparts did three decades ago, while employed mothers’ time has not changed significantly. On average, employed fathers of all ages spend 3.0 hours per workday with children under 13 today compared with 2.0 hours in 1977. For employed mothers of all ages, time spent with children has remained at 3.8 hours. Today’s Millennial fathers spend 4.3 hours per workday compared with the 2.4 hours spent by their age counterparts in 1977. Mothers under 29 today average 5.0 hours compared with 4.5 hours in 1977.

Men also say they are taking more overall responsibility for the care of their children. In 1992, 21% of women said that their spouses or partners were taking as much or more responsibility for the care of their children as they were. By 2008, that percentage has risen to 31%.

Interestingly, FWI noted, 49% of men report taking as much or more responsibility for the children as their wives, indicating a perception gap.

The report states that the gradual increase of women in the labor force over the past half century, combined with various work life trends and economic pressures, has resulted in a shrinking gap between how men and women view their careers, family roles, and the fit between their lives on and off the job.

“Our findings are striking and surprising,” said Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of FWI and lead author of the study. “There are many firsts in this study - the first time that younger men and women feel the same about job advancement and the first time that there is no statistically significant difference between men and women in their views of appropriate gender roles.”

You can read the whole report:Times Are Changing: Gender and Generation at Work and At Home,” (pdf) examines the evolution of work-related gender roles over the past three decades.

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New Ad Campaigns

Our weekly update from Amy:

Spanked cows. Unnecessary accents. The Salvation Army advertises on every rock, window and pizza box. Let's launch!

There is no "i" in team; orbit is a different story. Jimmy Dean launched "Spaced Out" to promote its line of breakfast sandwiches. Simply put, this ad makes me happy. The planets are out of alignment and fading fast at 10 a.m. Unacceptable for the sun, who discovers that the planets have yet to eat breakfast. Once a sausage, egg and cheese croissant is devoured, the planets sedately orbit around the sun. Watch the ad here. TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles created the ad and Starcom Chicago handled the media buy.

Magners pear cider is all pear, no disappointment. Three TV spots star British comedian and writer Mark Watson as a guy who can't get a break. He's constantly given the run-around, with Magners pear cider the only dependable thing in his life. Sad for him, but fun for us! "Blind date" is my favorite ad. Watson is sick of being misled by fast food chains, movie reviews and exercise equipment. "Get the body you always dreamed of. Really? How do you know what kind of bodies I dream of," he quips. The spot ends with Watson meeting a blind date at a pub. She takes one look at him and says, "Strong, athletic build?" before she storms off. See the ad here. Watson describes his friend Duncan in another ad, who was promoted to head of a department where he's the lone member. See it here. The final ad, seen here, captures Watson's tirade against supposedly user-friendly cell phones. It's definitely worth watching. Euro RSCG created the ads, produced by Epoch Films.

Intel launched a massive brand campaign on May 11 that redefines rock stars, clean rooms and hobbies. "Sponsors of Tomorrow" consists of TV, print, outdoor and online elements and is expected to run between three and five years. A man walks into an Intel cafeteria and receives rock star treatment. Women swoon, ask for autographs and doodle his face on their notebooks. The rock star in question is none other than Ajay Bhatt, co-inventor of the USB. Swoon. "Our rock stars aren't like your rock stars," ends the ad, seen here. Intel arranges a press conference in the next ad, seen here. The company wants to introduce the world to Intel's smallest chip. When it's dropped at the press conference, attendees are seen scouring the floor for the delicate object. Online ads, shown here and here, show the difference between an average person's hobbies and reading material compared to those who work at Intel. Print ads juxtapose Intel rock stars and musical rock stars and Intel clean rooms compared to a young girl's clean room. See the ads here and here. Bios of the engineers portrayed in the ads can be found on the campaign's Web site. Be sure to check out the virtual wind tunnel, as well. Venables Bell & Partners San Francisco created the campaign and OMD handled global media planning.

There is something terribly wrong yet terribly right about this ad. Carl's Jr. Watch the ad here, created by Mendelsohn Zien. launched "Making Milkshakes," a 30-second TV spot that remixes its 2007 "Cow Shake" spot to promote its Orange Shakes made from genuine ice cream. This time around, the cows are spanked and shook, udders flying about, under an orange hue. Can we talk about the accompanying song used in the ad? Can we say impulse iTunes buy? It's "Disco House" by Gameboy/Gamegirl for those interested.

The Salvation Army of Northern New England launched a fantastic campaign in Portland, Maine, dubbed the "advertising campaign that cost nothing." Eighty-three cents of every dollar donated to The SA goes directly to programs and people served, which helps explain the concept of the campaign. More than 40 local businesses in Portland agreed to participate in the campaign by donating windows, walls, coffee sleeves, bar mirrors, shopping bags and pizza boxes as ad space. You might even find a rock turned into an ad. "Free ad space helps us free even more people from addiction," reads one guerilla posting. Traditional print, TV and online ads, running on donated media, support the nontraditional ads. The TV spot watches a woman paint copy inside a Salvation Army logo on window space donated by a local bookstore. Watch the ad here. The campaign drives residents to the Salvation Army Web site, where creative is showcased along with a list of participating businesses and donating options. The VIA Group created the pro bono campaign.

SpecSaver launched two TV spots in Amsterdam supporting its experienced opticians and special offers. The Dutch-language ads feature a smarmy high-end salesman trying to convince consumers to pay more for their eyewear. The salesman offers a customer a cappuccino in the first ad, seen here. He's soon zapped away and replaced by a SpecSaver employee who tells viewers, "At SpecSavers you are being served only by certified opticians who have studied for at least three years. And we think clear pricing is a serious business." The second spot shows smarmy sales guy giving a child a lollipop and plopping down a box of two-for-the price-of-one glasses. SpecSaver man steps in, tells viewers if they buy glasses for 99 euros and up, the second set is free... even designer glasses. He also changes the girl's lollipop to an apple. Talk about taking all the fun away... See it here. BSUR created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Here's a campaign full of yummy coffee and unwarranted accents. Reminds me of people who pronounce Target as Tar-Jay. McDonald's launched two TV spots supporting the scrumptious-looking McCafé coffee drinks. The beverages have the power to make commuting to work pleasurable and interacting with co-workers a treat, especially if said co-worker bought you the drink. See the ad here. Another ad makes chores like ironing and washing the car more pleasurable experiences when iced coffee and mispronunciations are involved. Watch the ad here. Check out the interactive element of the campaign here. DDB Chicago created the TV ads and Tribal DDB Chicago created the Web site.

A man gets dragged through streets, down hills, stairs and onto a bus to the tune of "Mack the Knife" whistled in the background. The man's final stop is a table where his friend is sitting. He's also the whistler. He stops his tune and gestures for his friend to return something. It's his Samsung Mobile Tracker. The phone contains a tracking system, allowing owners to trace back their phones. Watch the ad here, created by Cheil India.
Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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Keeping the Power

The power of our Words:

Avoid 'Power Robbers'

Certain expressions, phrases and word selection can rob the speaker of his or her power. These "power robbers" should be avoided. Verbal shortcomings detract from our confidence, authority, and professionalism. Salespeople are not powerless against the power robbers, however.

Examples of power robbers are: "I guess," "I hope," "I think," "Maybe," "Sort of," "Kinda," or "Kind of," and "Probably."

Tag questions can also be power robbers. These are questions at the end of a sentence that give the impression you are unsure of what you just said, or are looking for approval. An example would be: "I think the proposal is good, don't you?" The "don't you" gives the sentence a weak ending.

If your aim is to stimulate conversation or encourage feedback, ask an independent question, such as, "I think the proposal is good. What are your impressions?" This allows you to say what you think or how you feel and encourages a response without devaluing your original statement.

Hedges are also common power robbers. These are fillers we use when we are uncertain about what we have to say or are uncomfortable with silence. The "wells," "ums," "ahs," "likes," and "you know" have no place in a sentence and become distracting and annoying if they are abundant. Words like "basically" and "frankly" are worthless fillers. Think about what you really want to say and how you are going to say it before you start to speak.

Source: Author/public-speaking coach Marjorie Brody (

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News

A little early 'cause I have a Dinner meeting. Enjoy:

by Sarah Mahoney
"Over the past decade, fashion providers went through their satisfaction and quality stages and, by now, most of the clothing produced is pretty undifferentiated," says Brand Keys. "Most products ... are pretty much the same." As a result, that puts more pressure on brands: "Brand meaning has become a surrogate for product differentiation." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Says the Saatchi representative for the team, "The programs are far deeper in nature than anything we have done before in the social space. They require efforts from both Toyota and the agency to be able to respond quickly and efficiently to consumer conversations. Instead of a launch effort, this is managing an ongoing relationship with enthusiasts and intenders on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
A new campaign for French's Mustard promotes more mustard for less money at the same time it establishes a new tag line, "Happy Starts Here." The 40% more offer will be supported by a two-page coupon FSI in mid-May in major newspapers throughout the U.S., as well as featured in the integrated marketing and advertising campaign. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
Dos Equis will promote The Interesting Academy through a marketing campaign that will include television, on- and off-premise promotions, public relations and digital advertising. The company will also hold live events in six to-be-determined markets, with programming covering all of the online curriculum. ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
"This effort from Wyndham is a creative way to instigate some viral marketing," says Forrester analyst Diane Clarkson. "They've captured some humor with the program title and life ring graphic along with an enticing offer." The promotion is likely aimed at "influencers" who are likely to use social networks and share products or promotions that they like, she said. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"Just as consumers increasingly expect grocery retailers to provide meal solutions rather than [just] meal ingredients, retailers are turning to CPG sales forces to deliver comprehensive product, brand and category strategies," the GMA report says. Companies that aren't focusing on this "talent triage," it says, "risk losing market share." ... Read the whole story > >

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You can't change the past only the future. And the future begins now. And now, and now, and now again. Look at these words from Seth Godin:

Ignore sunk costs

Stationary The most important decision-making rule you learn in business school is still largely misunderstood.

When making a choice between two options, only consider what's going to happen in the future, not which investments you've made in the past. The past investments are over, lost, gone forever. They are irrelevant to the future.

You have two pieces of land. One you bought for $1,000,000, one for $10,000. On which one should you develop a gas station?

I know. The one that's right next to the huge subdivision being put up, not the one next to the condemned shopping center. Does it matter how much the land cost to buy? No. Not at all.

You have tickets to the Springsteen concert. They were really hard to get. You spent four hours surfing StubHub until you found the perfect seats for $55 each.

On your way into the event, a guy offers you $500 cash for each ticket. Should you sell?

It turns out the amount of time you spent getting the tickets is irrelevant. If you wouldn't be willing to PAY $500 for these tickets (and you weren't, or you would have) then you should be willing to sell them for $500. Spend $250 on dinner and go buy better tickets for tomorrow night's show.

Or say you make a mistake and go to the concert instead of selling (those seats are $500 seats now). But Bruce is sick and Manfred Mann is substituting for him. You don't like him so much. But you paid $500 for the seats! Should you stay?

[Just because the guy spent a lot on the sign for his store doesn't mean he shouldn't spend more to spell the biggest word properly. The amount he already spent is irrelevant. What matters is what the benefit of spelling 'stationery' properly will be.]

Ignore sunk costs.

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Are You Overlooking the Fastest Growing Demographic?

I could list all the stats that show that the Hispanic population is the fastest growing in the U.S. but that's old news.

Instead, take a look at WHY, you need to reach out to them:

Latinas Are Technically Savvy, Brand-Loyal 'Chief Household Officers'

Two Hispanic media companies have partnered to tell marketers what Latinas want in an in-depth survey and video ethnographies that explore everything from Latinas' financial worries to their brand-bursting refrigerators and bathroom vanities.

Meredith Hispanic Ventures and NBC Universal's Spanish-language network Telemundo Group collaborated on in-depth, at-home video interviews with 13 young Latina women in four cities and on a wide-ranging survey of 1,004 Latinas and 500 non-Hispanics.

"What most surprised advertisers was how technically savvy this woman is once (household income) reaches $50,000, and how much they've raised the bar in what they want from the American dream," Ruth Gaviria, VP of Meredith Hispanic Ventures, said of marketers who saw preliminary results.

According to the study, conducted by OTX Research, the Latina respondents were slightly more likely than the non-Hispanic respondents to take pictures with a digital camera (45 percent compared to 42 percent) and download music to an iPod (28 percent compared to 22 percent).

Main decision-makers
"She's the chief household officer, and she's making all the decisions, from finances to food," said Jacqueline Hernandez, chief operating officer of Telemundo. "She has a new-found self-identity. She's very ambitious, and wants to have more than her mother."

In the "What Latinas Want" research, 81 percent of respondents said they are either the main decision-maker or make decisions with their spouse. The key factors determining their success in life were education, being fluent in English as well in Spanish, and often owning a business. Latinas are optimistic and self-confident, with 66 percent describing themselves as "someone who can do it all," compared with 53 percent of non-Hispanic women.

Latina respondents said their greatest financial concerns were rising taxes (75 percent), saving for retirement (71 percent) and paying bills each month (70 percent). Not including home mortgages, 44 percent said they have less than $10,000 in debt.

According to the research, 40 percent of Latinas described themselves as fashion-forward, 37 percent said they keep up with beauty trends and 37 percent prefer to use the latest products, compared to a somewhat smaller number of non-Hispanic women who said they are fashion-forward (31 percent), keep up with beauty trends (30 percent) and prefer the latest products (32 percent). The ethnography videos revealed an amazing assortment of beauty products in Latinas' homes.

Loyal to many brands
"She loves beauty and she's loyal, but she's loyal to just about every single brand," Ms. Hernandez said.

The ethnographies also revealed refrigerators and pantries packed with both Latin and mainstream products, as these women prepare some of the same foods they grew up with but add new ones.

"She's really mixing it up with American and Hispanic recipes, in spices, side dishes and how people eat at home," said Ms. Gaviria. "It's really fusion cuisine. For (companies such as) Nestle, Kraft and Unilever, that's actionable for them."

(Source:, 04/21/09)

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Ronald McDonald is smiling

Yesterday I was at McDonalds for a 2 hour radio remote broadcast and we had between 200 and 300 visitors. Here's how McDonalds continues to win:

How McDonald's Is Winning More Than the Value Wars

By Building on Its Dollar Menu, Fast-Feeder Boosted Ad Spending on Full-Priced Items

CHICAGO ( -- It wasn't enough that McDonald's is beating competitors in same-store sales and winning the value-perception wars. Thanks to stepped-up burger marketing, it's now getting higher-margin customers, too.

While McDonald's pretty much owns the value menu and pricing proposition, since last summer it's quietly boosted advertising of full-priced items, which is paying off by bringing in higher-ticket customers. The product-specific pushes, for Big Mac in July, chicken nuggets in December and the Quarter Pounder with cheese in February, have resulted in double-digit sales increases for the products in question.

Big Mac
Big Mac

"In the last eight months, we have placed greater emphasis on flagship-quality products," McDonald's USA CMO Neil Golden said in an interview. "And it's making a difference. These are the products consumers love and feel good about enjoying on a regular basis, and it's been a very successful part of our business."

Has not forsaken Dollar Menu
At the same time, the chain has not forsaken the iconic Dollar Menu, with which the brand is irrevocably intertwined for so many consumers. Rather, said Greg Watson, McDonald's VP-marketing strategy, "we've increased support on core burgers and we're seeing a lift in core burger sales like Big Macs and Quarter Pounders. And we're selling more McNuggets."

Market-share figures show McDonald's is less dependent on its lower-margin Dollar Menu. In the last quarter, the low-price menu has dropped from 13% of the chain's sales to 10%. A big reason is the double cheeseburger, now priced at $1.19, depending on the market, but McDonald's is also making a concerted pitch of higher-ticket items. "It's not surprising that Dollar Menu sales have dropped," Mr. Watson said. "We did take the double cheeseburger off and we've been supporting Quarter Pounder with cheese. I think consumers are finding other choices."

UBS analyst David Palmer said the strategy seems particularly timely. "They're advertising old favorites and the consumer wants the old favorites now," he said, adding that the lack of "new product news" also gave the chain time to align for its McCafe marketing blitz.

Neil Golden
Neil Golden
Photo Credit: Tim Klein

And so now the chain that sparked the dollar wars is backing off and leaving its competition holding the bag. Burger King now counts 12% of sales from its value menu at U.S. company restaurants; Wendy's value menu sales are now about 15% of sales, though that's down from 20% last year. But for McDonald's with the menu accounting for 10% of overall sales, that equates to more dollars for the biggest, most profitable player in the sector.

Dennis Lombardi, exec VP-food services at WD Partners, said that McDonald's is "truly going to be a great Harvard case story for their performance over their last five years." He said the chain is "resonating with the consumer on a lot of different levels," with a relentless focus on marketing, seemingly happy franchises and impressive store-level execution.

Concession with franchisees
The once-battered chain began a comeback in 2002, wading out of quarterly losses and negative same-store sales, some say, on the shoulders of its Dollar Menu, and particularly the Double Cheeseburger. But the chain removed the item from the Dollar Menu last fall following franchisee complaints about the sandwich's profitability in the face of skyrocketing commodity costs. That concession helped align the chain's franchisee network, which was hunkering down for a long winter's McCafe buildout. The new drink platforms required up to $100,000 in renovations per store, to which McDonald's paid up to 40%.

Now the trick is going to be staying the course, said Technomic President Ron Paul. After all, he said, "McDonald's has been firing on all cylinders for so long."

UBS's Mr. Palmer noted that recent consumer research revealed that "Americans didn't really want to try a big new thing," in terms of new menu items. But McDonald's is now focused on espresso-based beverages, and looking to an Angus burger launch this fall, followed by smoothies and frappes. "Perhaps McDonald's will be preparing itself for Americans trading back up," he said. But while that could happen in 2010, "it does seem to be going against the grain, introducing new premium items."

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Productive Cold Calls

I know very few people that enjoy cold calling. Yet, it is important to do and do right. Check this out:
The Goal of Cold Calling
The primary goal of cold calling is to find and qualify prospects. The only way to perform this task correctly is to measure prospects against a customer profile for your business. This means that before you make a cold call, you must have a clearly defined profile of who qualifies as a prospect.

This is important, because if you don't have a target customer profile, you'll be wasting time with cold calling. Think of it this way: If you are sent to the grocery store to bring back tomatoes, can you tell ripe ones from rotten ones? If you can't tell the difference, you aren't qualified to pick tomatoes. The same is true with trying to pick good prospects and determine if they are good or not.

If you went cold calling and came back with rotten contacts that don't match your customer profile, you will have wasted your time. And here is where it gets a little tricky, depending on your business. There is an expected ratio of who qualifies as an ideal prospect. In many cases, there are more duds than prospects when cold calling, which means you will need to filter through a lot of contacts to find good ones. This is perfectly fine, and the better you are at filtering your prospects the easier cold calling becomes.

Source: Sales consultant Steve Martinez (

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Night Marketing News

Wish I had pull-ups when I was a tot. But fortunately, I don't remember those years.

Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
Kimberly-Clark has taken a reality-TV approach to explore the joys and stresses of potty training, with a series of documentary-style videos. The effort for Pull-Ups potty training pants centers on a Web site that serves as video channel, blog, social-media site, parent resource center, and of course, Pull-Ups product and special-offer site. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
It is urging Congress to pass legislation requiring a plan to reduce sodium in packaged and restaurant food by half within 10 years. Meanwhile, the National Restaurant Association is "disappointed in CSPI's latest attack on America's restaurants" in light of the restaurant industry's "tremendous strides" on sodium and other issues related to healthy cuisine. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The centerpiece of the campaign is, where customers can submit their favorite Chipotle combinations in a video. "Chipotle is fortunate to have a large base of fanatical customers," says company rep Chris Arnold. "One of the things we're looking to do is leverage their fanaticism and spread the word of what Chipotle is all about." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
This year, the company is boosting its ad budget by half with this effort, which focuses on the elevating the brand rather than touting individual products. The campaign is also a move to appeal to younger couples and families. The effort, "Build for Life," is also the first in five years that includes national TV. ... Read the whole story > >
by Erik Sass
Snickers has tapped Inwindow Outdoor to produce eye-catching digital displays in storefronts that complement its national ad campaign, featuring puns and amusing slogans touting the candy bar in Snickers font. ... Read the whole story > >

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