Saturday, October 10, 2009

Out of the Box is not...

Just a cliche, if you do stuff like this...

From Drew:

A little grasshopper told me

Posted: 02 Jun 2009 12:20 PM PDT

Grasshoppernumber Thanks to the blog, I get some interesting mail. But I have to say, chocolate covered grasshoppers might just top the list.

When I got it, here's what happened:

  1. It came in a FedEx package, so no one screened it. It actually got to my desk.
  2. I didn't recognize the return address, so my curiosity had me open it right away.
  3. Once I realized that it really was chocolate covered grasshoppers, I started showing my co-workers.
  4. We visited the website on the card to see what the mailing was all about.
  5. We took photos, because I knew sooner or later I'd blog about it.
  6. We're going to have a "who will eat one of these" contest at work. I'll let you know who wins!

Bottom line -- it worked. 3-D mailings may cost a little more money -- but they deliver big results when they are done well.

The folks at decided to send out 5,000 of the attention-hopping packages to entrepreneurs, bloggers, celebrities, journalists and customers. They spent 3 months assembling the list and made sure the packaging and cross promotion (Twitter, YouTube, bloggers, their website, etc.) were all in order.

This was a very well thought out and executed campaign. Bravo to the Grasshopper gang.

P.S. is actually an integrated virtual phone system for your company that includes toll free numbers, forwarding capabilities to home, mobile, office… and even online voice mail to email capabilities. Costs range depending on the package you would like - but they start at $9.95 per month and range up to $199 per month.

The URL on the package sent us to this video about the power and potential of being an entrepreneur.

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Follow the Leader?

Steve Clark featured this in a recent email:

"Orange Elephant"
by Mark L. Fox

"There is no way they haven't rented this room for 6 days."

That is the 1st thing I said to Barbara when we opened the door to the hotel room. There were six restaurant menus spread on the floor. You know those paper flyers folks slide under the door.

My initial thought was they were all from the exact same restaurant. Of course there is no reason for a single restaurant to slide 6 menus under the door on the same day, so they must not have rented this room for a week or so.

But this is Orlando, that's impossible.

As I looked closer at the menus, I noticed they were from 6 different restaurants, though it would take a Sherlock Holmes to really notice the differences:

* Hi Pizza
*Joes Pizzeria
*Pizza Express
*Pastinos Express
*Italian Garden

Look how incredibly similar and bland this advertising is. Could they have tried any harder NOT to distinguish themselves from the competition?



Are you kidding me? !

(Don't worry; you don't have to be able to actually read them to get the point.)

All six have the Exact same dimensions:

11" Long x 4.25" Wide.

On the exact same type of paper.

Even the same fonts for the most part.

What is there some kind of FDA mandate out there? One that says your color scheme and branding must be red and green if you serve any food that contains tomatoes?

Only Steffano's decided to live on the wild side, I mean really swing for the fence: they replaced the green with gray.


Are you freaking kidding me?

Not a single one of these guys spent 10 minutes doing a competitive analysis. How hard would it be to wake from their coma and look at what the competition is doing, then Go Where They Ain't.

OK, I need to go lay down. This kind of stupidity keeps me up at night. Maybe I'll go give them a free marketing workshop just so I can maintain some semblance of sanity.

How long would it take to sit down and come up with some simple things to make these menus different?

* Yellow and Blue instead of Read and Green
*Hang on the door knob instead of thrown on the floor
*5 most popular entrees with pictures and phone number. Nothing else.
*Menu "V" shaped like a pizza slice

If you don't want to be average, why do you insist on being normal?

It's not hard to be the Orange Elephant, Red Fish, or Blue Horse. Just a few minutes of time and an ounce of courage.

Mark L. Fox

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Left & Right

Every Monday morning I get these sales tips and jingle samples from Jim...

I had some fun last week telling my radio friends in Montana about "The Right And Left Theory." "The Right And Left Theory" is a very powerful sales strategy and will triple your sales in the New Year if you stick with the program ... Starting January 1, 2010.

Very simple ... When you make calls call, visit the clients neighbor on the right and then stop in to meet the client to the left. Keep a stack of sales materials handy including business cards and a nice collection of station success stores. When you cold call on the neighbor to the right, drop off the materials and schedule an appointment with the person that owns the business. Do the same with the neighbor to the left ... The strategy will instantly triple the number of prospects you see on a daily basis and will triple your sales for 2010.

There is no denying the logic ... Your 33% closing ratio guarantees that you will triple your sales with this program. This works ... give "The Right And Left Theory" a test run through the end of the year and it'll be part of your daily routine by New Year's Eve!

Jim Reilly, President
American Music Concepts
122 Stone Hedge Drive
Toms River, New Jersey 08753
P 732-255-1504
F 732-255-2588
C 732-604-8625

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Wrapping up the traditional work week...

by Tanya Irwin
"7-Eleven wants to promote our great-tasting Brazilian Bold to a younger generation of coffee drinkers," Stephanie Hoppe tells Marketing Daily. "We know they like reality shows, interaction and gaming, so we created the perfect blend of online entertainment. The marketing of our Brazilian Bold flavor is supported by the tagline of "Wake Up with a Hot Brazilian," so the game ties in well with the overall campaign and appeals to the target audience." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"We have had a lot of feedback on the films on Twitter, so we decided to launch there exclusively," says Barbara Ponce. The purpose of the campaign, which targets adults 25 to 49, is to align Honda with innovation in the minds of people who only know the company for cars. "The spirit of the Honda brand is part of our culture, but it is not so clear to people outside the company." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
"It's kind of buyer's envy," Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power, tells Marketing Daily. "More often than not, these buyers of traditional phones are disappointed with the feature set." Among smartphone users, Apple far outpaces the rest of the pack in terms of satisfaction. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Volume for energy drinks as a whole was also up by double digits, but the Gatorade brand -- which has recently revived its partnership with Michael Jordan and launched a new "What's G?" campaign featuring 16 top athletes -- continued to see sales declines. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Michael Cooperman, senior director, consumer marketing and product development at J.D. Power, says NASCAR and the movies help domestics more than imports. "Chevy, Dodge, Honda and Toyota are all spending money in NASCAR," he says, "But the fact that consumers are talking about the domestic brands means their association is having a positive halo effect. Consumers are talking about it, and talking in a positive way." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
The best performances continued to come from those chains that stress value: TJX, owner of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, saw its sales jump 7%, for example, and at Aeropostale, the value play in teen denim, sales shot up 19%. And there was no relief in sight for stores regarded as pricey. ... Read the whole story > >
KitchenAid Launches Promo With Pasta

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Value= More than a Buzz Word for 2010

From recently:

10 Branding Trends for 2010: Value is the New Black

Though US economists are cautiously predicting an uptick in consumer spending next year, the post-recession landscape will present brand marketers with new challenges, new engagement realities and new rules, and will increase pressure to prove how and why branded products deliver value, according to (pdf) Dr. Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys.

Using what Passikoff calls “predictive loyalty metrics” gleaned from consumer data his firm collects, Brandkeys analyzed the likely consumer values, needs and expectations for the next 12-18 months and offered the following 10 trends:

  1. Value is the new black: Consumer spending, even on sale items, will continue to be replaced by a reason-to-buy at all. This may spell trouble for brands with no authentic meaning, whether high-end or low.
  2. Brands are increasingly a surrogate for value: What makes goods and services valuable will increasingly be what’s
    wrapped up in the brand and what it stands for.
  3. Brand differentiation is brand value: The unique meaning of a brand will increase in importance as generic
    features continue to propagate in the brand landscape. Awareness as a meaningful market force has long been obsolete, and differentiation will be critical for sales and profitability.
  4. “Because I said so” is over: Brand values can be established as a brand identity, but they must believably exist in the mind of the consumer. A brand can’t just say it stands for something and make it so. The consumer will decide, making it
    more important than ever for a brand to have measures of authenticity that will aid in brand differentiation and consumer engagement.
  5. Consumer expectations are growing: Brands are barely keeping up with consumer expectations now. Every day consumers adopt and devour the latest technologies and innovations, and hunger for more. Smarter marketers will identify and capitalize on unmet expectations. Those brands that understand where the strongest expectations exist will be the brands that survive and prosper.
  6. Old tricks don’t - and won’t - work anymore: Consumers are on to brands trying to play their emotions for profit. In the wake of the financial debacle of this past year, people are more aware then ever of the hollowness of bank ads that claim “we’re all in this together” when those same banks have rescinded their credit and turned their retirement plan into case studies. The same is true for insincere celebrity pairings - such as Seinfeld & Microsoft or Tiger Woods & Buick. Celebrity values and brand values instead need to be in concert.
  7. Consumers won’t need to know a brand to love it: As the buying space becomes even more online-driven and international (and uncontrolled by brands and corporations), front-end awareness will become less important. A brand with the right street credibility can go viral in days, with awareness following - not leading - the conversation.
  8. It’s not just buzz: Conversation and community is increasingly important, and if consumers trust the community, they will extend trust to the brand. This means not just word of mouth, but the right word of mouth within the community. This has significant implications for future of customer service.
  9. Consumers talk with each other before talking with brands: Social networking and exchange of information outside of the brand space will increase. This - at least in theory - will mean more opportunities for brands to get involved in these spaces and meet customers where they are.
  10. Engagement is not a fad; It’s the way today’s consumers do business: Marketers will come to accept that there are four engagement methods: The platform (TV; online), the context (program; webpage), the message (ad or communication), and the experience (store/event). At the same time, they also will realize that brand engagement will become impossible using out-dated attitudinal models.

Passikoff believes that accommodating all of these trends will require some companies to undergo significant paradigm shifts, which will likely be painful but necessary. Either way, change in the brand marketing pace will be inevitable. “Whether a brand does something about it or not, the future is where it’s going to spend the rest of its life. How long that life lasts is up to the brand, determined by how it responds to today’s reality,” he said.

Recent research from Penn State University found that one in five Tweets is brand related, and appears to support the belief that there is an increasing desire for brand engagment and customer service on more community-based media.

Another study from Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, similarly proclaims that “value is the new black,” predicting that post-recession shoppers will transform into “value hunters” as they look for true value and meaning from brands, rather than just discounts.

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The Face of Facebook

I presented some of this material at a seminar this morning.

This is from (Click on the charts to make them BIGGER)

Facebook Audience Grows 8.6% in September

Fueled in large part by younger women, Facebook’s US active base grew by 8.6% in September 2009 to 88.3 million, according to an analysis by Inside Facebook that tracks Facebook’s self-reported demographic statistics for the US market.

Though increases for the month came mostly from younger demographics, Facebook is still growing the fastest- percentage-wise among the over-45 set, the analysis found. For example, the 30-day growth rate for women ages 45-54 is 6.9% and for women ages 55-64 it is 8.4% (vs. a growth rate of only 5.8% for women 18-24). This trend toward more mature demographics was noted earlier this year.


Additional findings about Facebook’s demographic breakdown:

  • Women ages 18-25 account for the largestdemographic group on Facebook. They comprised 12.8 million users during the September, and added more than 700,000 monthly active users.


  • Men in the 18-24 age group account for the second-largest number of users, followed by women ages 26-34.
  • Women older than 45 showed strong growth, while increases among male users older than 35 were lower.
  • Overall, almost half (50%) of US Facebook users are older than 35, and nearly one-fifth top 45.


Inside Facebook also noted that more Americans are using Facebook to communicate inter-generationally than ever before.

About the data: Inside Facebook said that the data Facebook provides about its user demographics it not necessarily real time. Moreover, this self-reported data provided to advertisers is not always consistent with data from comScore, Quantcast and Compete - which all use different methodologies and do not even agree amongst themselves.

For example, though Facebook reported that it had 81.2 million visitors in August 2009, comScore ranked it as the #4 site in the US, with 92.2 million unique visitors. Compete ranked it at #3 with 122.2 million unique visitors.

Though these numbers appear to vary, “all the numbers tell similar stories, just in slightly different ways,” Inside Facebook concluded in a blog post about Facebook’s continued growth.

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from my email:

Identifying the Real Objection

When customers say they want to "think over" their buying decision, it's often safe to assume that they have an objection they're not sharing.

Asking "What do you want to think over?" can seem intimidating, and probably won't help you uncover the real problem. Instead, ask, "Is it a question of price?" Then quietly wait for a response.

By guessing a specific objection, you'll encourage prospects to correct you by stating their true concern. If your suggestion is correct, you probably found out what's making your buyer hesitate. You might be surprised at how much this strategy improves your closing ratio.

Source: 123 Super Sales Tips

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Mediapost writes 'em, I present them here for you:

by Sarah Mahoney
Visitors to its microsite can not only check out the product's innovative anti-fatigue features, they can even find a new gig to wear them to. Through a partnership with, workers enter their field -- such as construction, manufacturing, or yes, even marketing -- and view job listings. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
An attorney with the Federal Trade Commission's division of advertising practices said that while companies that market food to kids have gone the extra mile to self-regulate, the crisis of childhood obesity continues apace -- with one-third of American kids now clinically obese. The FTC will do more, she said, adding that companies advertising to kids should as well. ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
In an effort to connect with Boomers in ways that resonate best with their active lifestyles, the targeted campaign will feature "Vitality-themed" content around news, health and wellness, retirement, travel, entertainment and more. All of this will live within Yahoo News and Yahoo Games. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
"Improving marketing efforts means going beyond measurements to the overall management philosophy," CMG Partners' Mark Carr tells Marketing Daily. "You have to translate better insights into better decisions going forward, and that's the trickier task." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
The "Feed Your Fingers" campaign, to run from October through February, will capitalize on the current popularity of finger foods by reaching consumers with recipes and simple entertainment tips that can be used when hosting or attending holiday events. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
One topic was user-generated content (UGC), an area that's hot not just for marketers, but for publishers hoping to avoid litigation. "The issues that a service provider can face are staggering," said Brian Murphy, partner with Frankfurt, Kernit, Klein and Selz. "We used to live in an old-media world: Everyone in the chain of distribution of content would be liable." ... Read the whole story > >
New Ford Webisodes Star Mike Rowe

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Advertisers Drop David Letterman

is NOT the story, despite all the controversy that began last Thursday night.

This is from the New York Times today:

Letterman’s Sponsors Appear to Be Unperturbed

HOW much have opinions on Madison Avenue changed about “Late Show With David Letterman” since Mr. Letterman’s startling disclosures about his personal life?

Well, one of the commercials that ran during the show on Tuesday night was from the Disney parks and resorts division of the Walt Disney Company.

If so squeaky clean a marketer seemingly has no qualms about wishing upon a star like Mr. Letterman after last week’s events, it is unlikely other advertisers would — barring, agency executives and media experts say, any disturbing or scandalous additional disclosures.

So long as viewers stick with Mr. Letterman, they believe, most if not all his sponsors will remain on board.

“There might be some negative short-term implications,” said Steven J. Farella, president and chief executive at the TargetCast TCM media agency, like advertisers “telling CBS, ‘We don’t need you’ ”— particularly at a time when advertising rates for late-night programming are beginning “to tighten up.”

But “unless we hear a lot of other things” about Mr. Letterman and his behavior, Mr. Farella added, “over the long haul I don’t think there’ll be much of an impact.”

Mr. Farella attributed his belief largely to the type of television program over which Mr. Letterman presides: a late-night talk show rather than, say, a children’s program or even a prime-time series.

“Advertisers in that programming expect to hear that kind of stuff” about sexual matters, Mr. Farella said — from guests on the shows, at least, if not from the hosts.

Kristian Magel, executive vice president and director for national broadcast at Initiative, agreed.

“For most advertisers in late-night, it’s not an intolerable situation,” said Mr. Magel, whose agency is part of the MediaBrands unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

Some, however, that are more “focused on family values,” he added, in categories like packaged foods and beverages, “may not be as comfortable in a program with a guy who made a mistake like this.”

Ameliorating matters for Mr. Letterman with advertisers is “the way he is handling the situation,” Mr. Magel said.

“The fact he addressed it head-on, in a very open and honest way, is probably going to position him in the best way he could be positioned in a situation like this,” he added.

Andy Donchin, director for media investments at another media agency, Carat USA, part of the Aegis Group, predicted there would be “no great effect on ratings or advertisers” because they are so far “looking at it as an extortion story” rather than an incident that reveals something about Mr. Letterman’s “moral compass.”

In some ways, Mr. Donchin said, the disclosures may increase Mr. Letterman’s ratings as viewers tune in to watch the aftermath and the incident is amplified as Mr. Letterman becomes “fodder for other late-night hosts and other comedians.”

“He handled it very deftly,” Mr. Donchin said of Mr. Letterman’s remarks on Thursday’s show, and often “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

Mr. Letterman’s ratings were 20 percent higher than usual for the Thursday show, which drew about 5.8 million viewers.

Word had started circulating before the broadcast that he would be disclosing affairs with women on the staff of his production company, Worldwide Pants, and an ensuing extortion attempt.

On Monday, when Mr. Letterman talked again about the matter, which was not brought up during the Friday show, he drew an estimated 5.7 million viewers.

On Tuesday, when advertisers on “Late Show With David Letterman” included, in addition to Disney, Cialis and Samsung, the program attracted an estimated 4.8 million viewers.

“A good scandal is normally good for the ratings,” said Marc Berman, television analyst for the trade publication Mediaweek. “If anything, more viewers might temporarily tune in to see what all the fracas is about.”

There may be some fallout among sponsors, he added, particularly if they market “more family-friendly” kinds of products, but in the long run “I do not think anyone will bail out.”

“It’s late night,” Mr. Berman said. “They’re not advertising diapers.”

Another factor in favor of Mr. Letterman, according to Mr. Berman, is that “he was in a good place” before the scandal broke, outdrawing his competition on NBC, “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien.”

The likelihood of viewers sticking with — or changing the channels on — Mr. Letterman has been the subject of considerable discussion on blogs.

On VibrantNation, a Web site aimed at older career women, Stephen Reily, chief executive, wrote in his blog that the women visiting the site “are interested in celebrity gossip” but “aren’t driven by it” because “the ultimate stories are not about men but about women — women who spend a lot of time putting up with men who do wrong.”

“These women really don’t care about this scandal very much,” Mr. Reily wrote in an e-mail message.

“It should not impact their loyalty to Letterman.”

“They watch Letterman to laugh,” he said. “If he can keep them laughing, they will keep watching.”

Steve Sternberg, a television analyst for media agencies like Magna, said it was unlikely that advertisers would withdraw from “Late Show With David Letterman” unless the news media “treat Letterman extremely negatively,” which they have not been doing so far.

Mr. Sternberg said, however, “if this remains in the headlines for several weeks, with more negative stuff coming out about Letterman, then I’d rethink the impact on advertisers.”

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy:

Sludge in your bath? Tryptophan got you sleepy? Watch the "Battle for Milkquarious." All 20 minutes. Let's launch!

Michelin launched a global ad campaign using the theme "The right tire changes everything." Bibendum, better known as the Michelin Man, fights an evil gas pump in an animated world. The gas pump sucks the money from people's wallets like a vacuum on steroids. Until the Michelin Man rolls into town. He throws tires from his belly at the evil gas pump, while educating drivers about using the right tires to reduce fuel consumption and extend tread life. Strangely, no one from OPEC was harmed. See the ad here. The worldwide effort kicked off stateside this week, followed by a gradual launch in 55 countries. Check out Michelin Man's Facebook page to see how he's evolved through the years. One constant: He's never joined a gym. TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York created the campaign.

Bring an open mind to this year's Vancouver International Film Festival, running through Oct. 16. The movie previews are rated "V" for Vancouver and forget parental discretion. An open mind is advised. A masked man holding a gun approaches a woman in a zebra mask. There's laughing, dancing and someone left injured in a deserted area. See it here. Another ad, seen here, begins with a couple getting frisky in the bedroom. "The following film may contain scenes of sexuality. Or scenes that make you question your own sexuality," says the voiceover. The couple is not alone, sharing the room with a second man, donkey and person dressed in a bear costume. Could it be David Letterman? The final ad mocks subtitles, and it's hilarious. The voiceover references subtitles that makes the viewer feel he's missing something, while a movie character spouts 10 seconds of dialogue -- only to have the translation be "maybe." Watch it here. TBWA/Vancouver created the ads, directed by Tim Godsall and edited by Geoff Hounsell.

Mohawk bowed "Frozen Moment" on HGTV, TLC and Lifetime, promoting its stain resistant SmartStrand carpets. Time stops in this 30-second spot, and viewers concurrently see numerous spills from the past, such as ice cream, salsa, guacamole and red juice. The spot ends with Mom cleaning the messes with ease. "Don't worry. It's SmartStrand," ends the ad, seen here. Let's hope it covers toxic oil spills, too. Cramer-Krasselt Milwaukee created the campaign and handled media planning and buying.

Get your Thanksgiving groove on. This TV ad for the Oregon State Lottery promotes its Thanksgiving Raffle with a rap video. The chance to win $1 million can make Grandma and her LeSabre and the uncle who wears turkey sweaters hip. And yes, the track, performed by Fatlip from the Pharcyde, can be downloaded for free at The ad takes a peak inside a winning family's home on Thanksgiving Day. There are numerous nods to the hip-hop world, like an uncle brushing powdered sugar off his shoulders, pouring gravy onto a plate like it was Champagne and a jiggling mold of Jell-O. My favorite line of the song? "Turn your little gravy boat into a crazy gravy yacht." Borders Perrin Norrander created the catchy ad.

The California Milk Processor Board launched an additional three ads starring rock star White Gold and promoting "Battle for Milkquarious," a 20-minute rock opera about milk. Yes, I watched the entire 20-minute opera. It wasn't half-bad. I've seen off-Broadway shows that were far worse. And there's a plot twist! Each ad is a preview of "Milkquarious," showing highlights from the rock opera. The first ad, seen here, touts the return of White Gold and his penchant for unicorn cows. The next ad introduces the opera characters, including Strawberry Summers, great hair and Bovina, the unicorn cow. Watch it here. White Gold is a man who's lost his milk and his girl in the final ad, seen here. It's like La Boheme without the consumption. Goodby, Silverstein and Partners created the campaign.

A trio of print ads for Bonobos men's pants, running in GQ, Maxim, NY Magazine, Wired, Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times Magazine, aims to change the way men buy pants. Read: just because the waist fits and the length looks good doesn't mean you're immune to being a victim of "diaper butt." Pictures of men from the waist down in Bonobos pants are paired with headlines such as: "Here's your chance to tell women, 'Hey, my eyes are up here.' " and "People will stare at your pants. Even when your fly isn't open." See the ads here, here and here, created by The Gate Worldwide.

Yellowbook launched two new ads in its ongoing "Yellowbook Moments" campaign. A couple returns from a costume party only to realize their house keys are missing. The man, dressed as a woman, jumps up and down, while his girlfriend looks through his cleavage in a failed attempt to find the keys. Their elderly neighbor, walking his dog, watches it all unfold. See it here. A woman taking a bath receives an unexpected surprise when she opens the faucet with her foot. Sludge. Lots of it. The best part? She's somehow oblivious and rather than turn the faucet off, her husband leaves to call a plumber. Watch it here. Gotham created the campaign and Ingenuity Media handled the media buy.

ASICS launched a community-based Web site that serves as a virtual running partner where runners can visit for advice, commentary and offer feedback to fellow athletes. Five running bloggers: The Motivator, The Gear Head, The Trainer, The Social Runner and The Mom, make up Blogs are updated weekly, and the site features tools to help runners customize their training. There is a database of events containing short and long-distance races, a running log and maps of runs, submitted by site users. All are mapped out, courtesy of Google Maps. The site was developed by vitrorobertson.

Random iPhone App of the week: Women's Health launched its first iPhone app called "Women's Health Workouts." The $1.99 application includes 16 workouts and 120 exercises from fitness experts and trainers. Each workout is explained through step-by-step instructions and pictures. The app also uses the iPhone OS 3.0 In App Purchase function, allowing users to purchase additional groups of workouts from within the app itself. Available expansion packs, such as, "Get a Flat Belly Fast," "Fat-Burning Yoga" and "Sculpt a Bikini-Ready Body" cost $0.99 at the App store.
Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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from my email:

Maintain a File of Testimonials
Sales prospects who work in the same industry are prone to face similar challenges.

That's why top salespeople collect as many testimonials as possible from existing buyers.

Keeping a file of them allows salespeople to choose two or three testimonials that speak to a prospect's biggest challenges.

Once prospects see evidence that a salesperson has helped their peers solve similar problems, they're much more inclined to believe the salesperson can provide similar results for them.

It also creates the idea in prospects' minds that the salesperson is someone who can provide definite solutions, as opposed to just selling products.

Source: Sales consultant/author Jill Konrath (

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Hard to believe it's Wednesday already....

Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The centerpiece is a co-branded weekly film block, "Official Selection: The Tastemaker Series," which airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. from Oct. 7 to Nov. 18. Presented exclusively by Chase Sapphire, the film series will showcase films, filmmakers and artists that are setting trends and paving the way for others in the world of independent cinema. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The company is targeting new technology early adopters, as well as heavy travelers with this introductory campaign, Woods says. "I think there's a lot of crossover between those two audiences," he says. "So much travel now involves taking our hardware and software with us, it goes hand in hand with early adoption." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
The retailer's catalog will present all the insane extravagances that the Christmas Book, now in its 83rd year, is best known for, like the adorable little Cupcake Car, a whimsical confection first introduced as an art car at Burning Man, enabling its owner to go up to 7 mph ($25,000.) ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
At the "Best Puffery Panel in the Universe" at the BBB's National Advertising Division Conference in New York, panelists agreed that marketers, creatives and their lawyers should not cross their collective digits and hope the world sees their humorous and exaggeration-filled ad campaign as mere puffery. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Even jaded New Yorkers are likely to take note when encountering a cranberry bog in the middle of Rockefeller Center. Or for that matter, being handed a free subway card by Bananaman. Both experiences were possible Tuesday in Manhattan, where Ocean Spray and Jamba Juice each promoted the launch of new national campaigns. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Zack Elkin tells Marketing Daily that the company has weathered the economic storm during the past year partly because of market traction from its "One, Two Free" program that offered a Thermador dishwasher or ventilation hood with the purchase of two other Thermador appliances. "Even the wealthy are looking for great value now." ... Read the whole story > >
Microsoft Unveils Windows-Enabled Phones

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Smarty Pants

from the THINKing blog:

Smart Customers

Posted: 06 Oct 2009 06:13 AM PDT

Your customers are smart, but as marketers, we often misconstrue what they are telling us. We’ve written about this before but thought about it again today when I read a piece by Valeria Maltoni entitled “Your Customers Don’t Know What They Want.” Maltoni says,

Whenever you design a survey, a feedback form, write a phone script - throw away everything you know about your product and service. Your customers and prospective customers are not in your head - they don’t have your same history and assumptions about what you ask. Instead, look to capture the outcome they’re seeking. What job are they trying to do?

It’s not that customers don’t know what they want, it is that they don’t know the possibilities.

Krispy Kreme gives us a prime example of asking the right questions and actually listening to their smart customers. They didn’t ask the customers what they wanted in a donut. They asked questions that got to the heart of the Krispy Kreme brand experience. Consumer input brought about the “Hot, Now” signs and the drive-through window.

Maltoni suggests that marketers ask questions and listen to customers for,

  • indications as to how they’re solving a problem now or thinking through it
  • hints that the second answer is where you should focus
  • clues as to what gets their hearts racing in addition to their minds going
Listening to your customers is always good, particularly in a recessionary period.

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Why Twitter?

A few days ago, I was at the District 6 Fall Conference of the American Advertising Federation. Last year, our Fort Wayne chapter was asked to host this event and we accepted.

Friday began with a panel discussion featuring the Marketing Directors of a bank, a bakery, a Television Sales Manager and the head honchos from 3 local advertising/marketing agencies.

Everyone was over 35 years old. Maybe in their 40's and 50's. At least one was in their 60's.

What struck me was how one of the agency heads, whose company is most likely #1 in local business, made a comment that he believed social media was for the 35 and younger crowd!

While it may have started with the youth, its a non-generational communication tool.

The folks at my table on Friday commented that they are not into Twitter, because they don't care what someone had for breakfast.

I listened for a moment, then mentioned that I had around 700 followers on Twitter, and have seen thousands of dollars change hands as I connected people in my community via Twitter.

Friday morning I am presenting a seminar in Fort Wayne entitled, "Join the Conversation" which will be an introduction to Social Media and Marketing. Click here for details. And take a look at this too:

Why I Love Twitter: Timing, Relevance and Immediacy!

Amy Howell, Social Media and PR Expert

Howell Marketing, By Amy Howell — I have tried to embrace the social media revolution with open arms (and mind) and in doing so, I have met some really cool, great people out there and I know without a doubt, which would have never happened “pre-Twitter.”

It’s hard to keep up with all of the tools and applications out there but I applaud and encourage any attempt. Here are a few of my own observations and thoughts about Twitter, social media and relationships that I think speak to some of the timeliest and relevant issues we are all faced with in our businesses as well as personally.

My Observations:

* Twitter is my first choice of a social media tool for a busy executive. It’s easy, intuitive, immediate and conducive to relationship building (which is everything in my business).

* Some of the best on Twitter all have similar characteristics: good content that is timely, relevant and useful. They also have another similar trait: they are gracious and helpful. Seems to me the Twitter community is sophisticated, informed and successful (of course I block anyone who is offensive, rude or crude).

* Twitter isn’t always “news” but it sure is a source for “breaking news” and that is huge!

* Twitter is the magnifying glass for blogs—they’re easy to find and people are circulating them more often. 140 characters are plenty to link a blog and give an opinion.

* There is an art to Re-Tweeting and replying on Twitter and many on Twitter “get it.” How many times have we read lately to credit people, thank people, and recognize others’ successes?

* The information we have access to from Social Media is awesome. Good information is powerful and profitable. The other day a client was talking about something I had just seen (and researched) and I was able to pull out relevant, helpful, up to date resources for him within minutes, so gone are the old timeframes of taking “days to get back” to clients. They need information now and social media gives us that.

* People still tell me Twitter is silly. That’s o.k. though. As I work with clients who haven’t yet tasted the Kool-aid, I have to quietly give my clients what they want while plotting and planning for their inevitable toe-dip into the social media sea (“Hello, Amy, can you come show me how to set up my facebook page?” I LIVE for those calls!!!)

* You don’t have to know “everything” (and who can?) and what I love about social media and business is the collaboration of teams/people to get the job done. Social media is permeating throughout organizations in a lot of ways (sales, HR, employee recruitment and retention, etc) and what is great is working on teams to explore creative ways to infuse it to help a company on a lot of levels.

* Finally, Social Media has taught us the importance of brevity, creativity and saying the most important things right off the bat. I think the Twitter creators are genius! Colleges should teach 140 characters or less classes (my next career)

For more helpful insights, tips and ‘Breaking New’ you can reach Amy here:

Amy Howell, President and CEO, Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC

408 S. Front Street, Suite 104 Memphis, TN 38103

(901) 521-1453 office – (901) 351-7186 cell

Web: http://www.Howell-Marketing.comTwitter:

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from Craig Garber:

Order forms are near and dear to my heart.


Because that's where your prospect becomes a buyer. It's
the final 'handshake' of the deal, if you will.

But there are a number of things you need to bear in mind
when you're designing your order form, to keep the ball
moving. See, if you're buyers are gonna bail, they're most
likely to do right here. So you want to be very clever
when it comes to putting your order form together.

Here are 3 order form secrets you want to be all over:

1. First, don't make a big deal about your order form. I
don't care whether you're doing direct mail or whether
you're creating a web page online, the order form is NOT
the time for big glitzy graphics and lots of hoopla going

Imagine, if you were buying a car, and just before you
walk into the financing guy's office (which is intimidating
enough, unless you've gone out of your way to control these
folks), as you walk through the door, someone puts a party
hat over your head and bells and whistles start going off.

Might make you feel strange, no?

Might make you think, "Hmmm... what's really going on

So the first thing you want to do is make your order form
as simple and ordinary as possible. If it's not natural
and ordinary to your prospect, then ordering won't be
natural to them either, and that is NOT the environment you
want to create.

2. Second, consider putting upsells on your order form.
The best time to sell someone something else, is when
they're getting ready to buy from you.

This is why you're surrounded by crap at the register in
your grocery store. You're primed to grab a few more
things and drop them on the counter at this point, and most
of us do just that.

3. And lastly, make sure you offer multiple ways of

When I use direct mail, for example, there are always
three ways of ordering: fax, phone, or postal mail, and
many times I also have a fourth way - I point them to a

Even online - when you go to any of my ordering pages,
you can also order by phone or fax.

Again, this makes things much easier for your buyers.

And easy... is good.

Now before I go, let me just say this: every time I say
something even remotely negative about car salesman, or the
car selling process, I get a half-dozen guys sending in
e-mails here about how much they hate me and how they're

That would be like me getting all up in a roar with
someone because they said I'm bald.

Why the truth is so painful for some people, I just don't

I'd rather spend my time focusing on the positive energy
in life, than the negative, but... who knows? Maybe I'm
missing something...

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click to read more:

by Karl Greenberg
"The distinction between ads and other content is often blurred to the point that even older kids may not get when they are being pitched," said the FTC's David Vladeck. "The goals are to teach kids to be aware of ads, analyze and understand them, and the benefits of being an informed consumer." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
An unprecedented coalition of more than 40 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, non-governmental organizations and educators have committed to a national, multi-year effort to help reduce obesity, particularly among children, by 2015. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation will seek to help people achieve a healthy weight through "energy balance." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
Through the promotion (at Paragon Sports in Union Square), marathoners and aspiring marathoners can have a t-shirt made from synthetic materials turned into a reusable bag, and receive a 26.2% (calibrated as the same distance as a marathon) discount on an Icebreaker purchase and a pair of the company's socks for free, says Icebreaker's Molly King. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Mary Engle, associate director of ad practices at the commission, speaking at the NAD Annual Conference in New York on Monday, said that while the guides are not law, they "put meat on the bones" of the general rules in Section 5 of the FTC Act. "The change puts advertisers using endorsements on the same footing as all other advertisers." ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
The campaign targets a youth audience and takes the position that "it is far more effective to provoke than sell," says 72andSunny Partner and Creative Director Glenn Cole. The campaign speaks to the imaginary NBA player in all of us, he adds. TV spots, which run through the end of October, feature motion capture computer-generated imagery courtesy of the Los Angeles office of Psyop, as well as a high-energy soundtrack. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"We are always trying to reach consumers in the spaces that they live, and in this case, invite them to engage actively as well," says a spokesperson for Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., Levi's ad agency. The "Go Forth" game, also by W+K, asks users to solve the mystery: "Who was Grayson Ozias IV and where is his fortune?" ... Read the whole story > >
Ethical Products Buck Recession, Gain 9% This Year

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