Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pushing Buttons

Not just any buttons, but the keyboards on your phone or computer. Look at this research from and click on the charts to make them BIGGER!

Gen Y Chooses Texting, Email over SocNets

Though members of Generation Y spend considerable time on social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, they are far more willing to give up these social networks for a week than texting or email, according to (pdf) a study by the Participatory Marketing Network (PMN), conducted in partnership with Pace University’s Lubin School of Business’ IDM Lab.

The third Gen-Y behavior study from the two organizations examined the time spent and preference for visiting social networks, reading/writing email, texting, talking on the phone, watching TV, reading magazines and surfing the web on non-social-media sites).

Notable findings from the study:

  • Email (26%) and text messaging (26%) are the activities least likely to be “given up for a week,” followed by TV (15%), talking on the phone (11%), visiting social networks (9%), reading magazines (7%) and visiting non-social-network sites (6%).


  • The average time spent by Gen Y on social networks per month is 33 hours, compared with 31 hours for email. A difference of two hours per month is unexpectedly small given the disparate media coverage given to Facebook and other social networks, PMN noted.



  • Texting remains an important communications tool for Gen Y, with the average number of text messages per month exceeding 740.
  • Gen Y spends more time emailing, texting and social networking online than talking on the phone, watching TV or reading magazines.

Michael Della Penna, PMN co-founder and executive chairman, said it may seem surprising at first that email still plays such an important role in younger people’s lives. However, he pointed to the fact that email and social networking sites currently work hand in hand. “As long as email remains the collection point for social networking updates, including alerts around new followers, discussion updates and friend requests, it will remain a powerful force in marketing and our lives,” he said.

A separate analysis by Nielsen found a similar interplay between social networking and email, perhaps because of this relationship.

Interest in Mobile Promos Low

The study also found that interest in mobile marketing remains low among Gen Y, with only one in five now receiving targeted promotional messages and only 4% planning to do so in the future.


A study by 1020 Placecast, which asked a similar question, found a much larger percentage of young people at least somewhat willing to receive such messages. In that research, 40% of cellphone owners between ages 18-34 said they were interested.

About the study: Conducted in October 2009, the study included 203 panel members between ages 18-24.

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Another Customer Service FAIL story

from Drew:

Is a chilly reception part of your brand?

Posted: 12 Oct 2009 09:38 PM PDT

Shutterstock_6607723 This weekend, my daughter and I embarked on the first of what no doubt will be many college visits. We headed up to MN to visit my mom and check out one of the schools on her short list, St. Olaf.

We got there early, which was fortuitous because of three colliding factors.

  1. It had unexpectedly snowed the night before
  2. We had only packed clothes with short sleeves
  3. The walking tour of the campus was scheduled for an hour

So while she got us checked in, I ran over to the campus bookstore. I got there around 9:40 and according to the signage, it opened at 10. The exact time the admissions presentation was starting. There were two middle-aged women inside the store, bustling about, putting cash drawers in the registers, etc.

Meanwhile, I am lurking at the door.

They straightened the t-shirt table. They re-arranged a pumpkin display.

Meanwhile, I am pacing outside the door.

Did I mention the incredible lengths they went to, just to avoid making eye contact? You see, the store walls were floor to ceiling glass, so they couldn't really miss me.

At exactly 10 am on the dot, they meandered over to the door and unlocked it. I scooted past them with a hurried hello and rushed to the St. Olaf logo-wear, which of course, I had been eying for the past 20 minutes.

I grabbed the heaviest sweatshirts I could find and literally 4 minutes after walking in the door, I was at the register, ready to check out. My guess is...this is not how their average customer behaves.

The clerk rang me up and while she was keying in the amounts, I asked her if she might have a scissors I could borrow to cut off the tags. She looked at me and asked, "oh, are you going to wear these now?"

I laughed and pointed to my short sleeved shirt. I told her I was there with my daughter, on a campus tour and we hadn't packed for the weather. She looked at me like I was a moron and handed me the scissors.

No, "welcome to St. Olaf" or "you're going to love the XYZ" or "be sure to check out the ABC."

From the get -go of ignoring me outside the doors to the final kiss off, these two women could not have been less welcoming.

From what I've seen so far, St. Olaf has a pretty aggressive recruitment strategy. Plenty of expensive, four-color mailings, lots of personal attention, etc.

All with the solitary goal of making students and their parents feel like St. Olaf might be home for the next four years. Guess which employees left the most lasting impression on me, the guy who will be footing the bill?

I think this happens every day in companies across the globe. Marketing and other C-level people invest hours and dollars exploring and defining their brand. Only to have it completely violated by one of their own teammates.

How do you know that everyone in your organization not only understands your brand...but is motivated to deliver it? Are you sure?

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Shopping Season

Interesting Research from

Holiday Retail Outlook, cotton or cashmere


Will it be cotton or cashmere this year? The deciding factor may be the bargains to be had by practical consumers…headed into Holiday ’09, one in four (25.8%) says they only buy clothing on sale, rising 5 points from a year ago (20.4%), when confidence dropped and practicality spiked following the mid-September bank busts. One in ten (11.0%) maintains clothing sales aren’t important (v. 15.3% in ’08), while the majority (63.2%) still “usually” buys on sale.

EDLP = the formula for success for Women’s Clothing shoppers within Walmart…the big discounter continues to lead this category with 12.8% shopping there most often, rising 1+ points from a year ago (11.4%). Kohl’s continues in second place with 10.1% (also rising from 8.6% in ’08), while JC Penney (7.5%), Macy’s (6.6%), and Target (2.9%) round out the Top 5.

The same line-up is seeing success in Men’s Clothing as well: Walmart (16.1%), Kohl’s (9.9%), and JC Penney (8.9%) lead, with all three retailers gaining ground from a year ago. Macy’s (5.5%), Target (3.0%), and Sears (3.0%) follow.

With twice the share of its nearest competitor, Walmart (14.6%) is a proven winner in Children’s Clothing…Kohl’s (6.0%), Target (5.6%), JC Penney (4.4%), and Macy’s (2.4%) complete the Top 5. No surprise here…price (49.8%) most often drives kid’s clothing purchase decisions, followed by selection (33.8%), quality (26.8%), location (24.1%), and availability of sizes (20.1%).

According to this month’s Consumer Migration Index (CMI), two big discounters are positioning themselves for long-term Children’s Clothing gains…the CMI, which tracks those who have immigrated to a store (new customers in the past year) against those who have emigrated (left within the past year), and where a positive rating spells net growth to a retailer, shows that Walmart and Target are gaining new customers with +1.4 and +1.0 ratings, respectively, while JC Penney and Kmart are experiencing customer deficits:


What’s accounting for the surge of consumers from certain stores? 12.6% of fleeing customers cite high prices, while poor selection (5.7%), decline of store appearance (4.1%), poor quality (3.9%), competitor ads (3.4%), and long checkout or dressing room lines (3.4%) were also key culprits.

For the third consecutive month, Walmart remains on track in Shoes…with 12.2% shopping there most often, the big discounter bests discount specialty Payless (10.2%). Kohl’s (5.2%), JC Penney (3.0%), Target (2.4%), and DSW (2.4%) follow.

Toys R Us has launched a “Christmas in July” offensive and Walmart is touting 100 hot toys for under $10…so who will win the big toy battle this holiday season? In October, 21.4% contend they shop Walmart most often for Children’s Toys, rising from 18.7% a year ago, while 15.0% shop second place Toys R Us (declining from 17.7% a year ago). Target (6.4%), Kmart (1.1%), and Amazon (0.6%) follow.

And for “big kid” gifts like HDTVs, netbooks, and other Electronics, expect consumers to head to big box Best Buy and Walmart, where 32.1% and 18.9%, respectively shop most often in October (both rising from ’08)…Target (3.2%), Amazon (2.5%), and Sears (2.0%) follow.

With Halloween candy, Thanksgiving turkey, and holiday ham purchases on the horizon, look for many shoppers to beeline to Walmart, where 16.7% shop most often for Groceries. Traditional grocers Kroger (6.2%), Publix (3.4%), and Safeway (2.9%) follow, while Meijer and Shoprite (tied, with 2.0% each) round out the Top 5.

Walmart maintains a definitive stronghold in Health & Beauty Care…more than one in four (28.5%) shops the discount giant most often for soaps, shampoos, and shaving supplies, more than double that of closest competitors Walgreens (8.7%) and CVS (8.3%). Target (6.2%) and Rite Aid (3.0%) follow.

However, when it comes to filling prescriptions, it’s the druggists who most often aid consumers…Walgreens (15.4%) and CVS (13.3%) continue to lead this category in October. Walmart is a strong third place contender with 11.0% shopping there most often…Rite Aid (5.3%) and Target (2.4%) complete the Top 5.

Future Purchases

Depending on how you interpret the October 90 Day Outlook, results could be a trick or a treat…according to the BIGresearch Diffusion Index (those who say they’ll spend less subtracted from those who’ll spend more), ALL categories have improved from September as well as October 2008 (read: this is the treat). Here’s the trick: recall the terrible sentiment from consumers in post-banking crisis October ’08…it didn’t take much to improve on those figures. Compare the Diffusion Index to a more stable October ’07, and you’ll find that all categories have declined:

Retail Merchandise Categories - 90 Day Outlook
(Oct-09 compared to Sep-09, Oct-08, and Oct-07)


Are high-dollar gifts in peril for Holiday ‘09? There’s good news and bad news to report this month with pricey durables. The good: compared to a month ago, purchase intentions have improved for several popular gift categories, including computers, jewelry, TVs, and digital cameras. The bad? Compared to a year ago (again, post-bank fall-out), these categories have remained flat (computers, digital camera) or declined (jewelry, TVs).

(source: BIGresearch is a consumer intelligence firm providing analysis of behavior in areas of products and services, retail, financial services, automotive and media. More information is available at

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Just the Facts Ma'am

Well, not quite that impersonal:

Listen Like a Homicide Detective

While listening to a talk show on the car radio I heard a police officer being interviewed. He is the head of the Homicide Unit in his city and was talking about techniques used to question suspects.

One line was so profound and applicable to sales that I kept repeating it so I wouldn't forget it:

"When a suspect is talking, don't do or say anything to cause him to stop."

Wow! So true. And go beyond the surface level to realize the actual danger and potential damage here. It's not just that they stop talking, but what else happens when you've interrupted someone?

That's right; you've psychologically inhibited them from wanting to continue speaking. Do you know someone who dominates a conversation and jumps in with their thoughts before you've finished yours? When they do it enough times, you probably feel, "Oh, why bother? I'll just keep my thoughts to myself."

Just think of all the ways a salesperson causes a prospect/customer to stop talking once they've started on a line of thought, and what we can do instead:

Not responding to an answer with encouragement to continue.

Instead: Listen reflectively. Encourage them with statements such as:

"Go on."
"Tell me more."
"Expand on that."

Following up their statement or answer with an unrelated question or train of thought that gets them off the subject.

Instead: Focus on every statement or answer like it's the tip of the iceberg, and your goal is to travel deeper. Listen with the rapt attention of a kid entranced by a campfire story. Direct your next question to get to the next layer.

Responding to their statement or answer with too much of our own experiences.

Empathy is good, but one-upsmanship is bad ("Well, let me tell you how big a fish I caught!").

Instead: Again, the key is in prompting them to continue. Resist the tendency to share your experiences - you already know those. Think about what you want to learn.

Source: Sales consultant/trainer Art Sobczak (

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Every weeknight at or before 6pm Eastern time, I post these, with the exception of major holidays.

by Karl Greenberg
The program will be promoted on and the company's Facebook page, which has some 300,000 followers, as well as sites like Twitter, and on YouTube, where VW will have a viral video about the campaign on its account. "It is really a combination of the most aggressive marketing, PR and social media," says VW's Charlie Taylor, general manager of digital marketing. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
"After the cold reception of Vista, this is Microsoft's chance to polish the Windows brand and put the bad taste of Vista behind it," Toan Tran, associate director of research at Morningstar Inc., tells Marketing Daily. "To a certain extent, Microsoft does have to do some repair work on the Windows brand." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
The promotion theme was also carried over into Pepsi's latest television commercial for National Day. The spot featured thousands of youths using Pepsi cans as a microphone to amplify "Almighty China" into a national movement that expresses their wishes to China and their celebration of the country. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"Homemade food gifts are a way to reduce the budget and show that personal touch, as opposed to simply buying someone a cheaper gift," says Phil Rist, EVP, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. "And even people who give someone a fruit basket they bought at a grocery store are part of that new practicality." ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Chase will reach area residents through a variety of channels, from their daily news source to their morning commute, according to the company. The effort includes "domination" of 30th Street Station. Business travelers and commuters will see kiosks, posters, banners, and graphics, through the end of November. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"When you consider that average trade show in Vegas is down 30% in terms of attendance, we are on track to be somewhere in the neighborhood of [down] 10%," says SEMA's Peter MacGillivray. "When you pile on top of it [the fact that] we are in auto industry, it makes us feel like the steps we have taken to create value programs ... is paying off." ... Read the whole story > >
Kimberly-Clark Sets Eco-Friendly Targets

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Gettin' Dirty

from Jeff Garrison:

Your Value Proposition in Sales should be D.I.R.T.Y.

Posted: 30 Sep 2009 12:17 PM PDT


Crafting your sales value proposition or "elevator statement" well is perhaps the most crucial element in a systematic business development program for the small and medium sized business. If done well, it becomes the foundation for all of your branding, networking, and other marketing efforts.

If done well, it is D.I.R.T.Y.


If the statement is true and accurate when you substitute the name of your competitor's business for yours, then yours is not different. You must discover the value that you provide that is unique from others. Often times what is different is not your actual goods or services or your price.

What may be different is how you can help prospects realize greater valuefrom your companies expertise with products and services that are not necessarily unique.


Compelling, attractive, or even interesting are other ways to express inviting. Although your value proposition should be clear and not cryptic, it should also cause a positive reaction. For example, it should cause people to reflect at least for a moment or to ask you a question.


You value proposition must promise to do one or more of the following to be relevant:

  1. Make money for your prospect
  2. Save money for your prospect
  3. Minimize a negative emotion such as fear
  4. Maximize a positive emotion such as joy, pride, or peace of mind


If your claim to provide a certain value is not true, you will get crucified in today's Word of Mouth society. You definitely don't want to be talked about on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or Linked In for the wrong reasons.


Your value proposition must be something that you and the people you hire can be passionate about. It's a great idea to get help from a professional marketing firm or consultant, but you can't let them create your value proposition for you based upon their research or their ability to be "quippy" or clever.

Is your value proposition D.I.R.T.Y.? Show it off in the comment section below.

To get direct feedback, feel free to send me an email or contact the brand experts below.

Mike Wagner of White Rabbit Group. Mike first introduced me to D.I.R.T.Y. branding. His company focuses on performance branding (connecting the performance of your organization and the customer experience to your company's promise).

Drew McLellan of McLellan Marketing Group. McLellan helps companies identify why they matter to their best and most profitable customers and then to leverage this knowledge to enhance the customer experience and to develop the most effective marketing plans.

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Ban the Ban?

From the MarketingTech Blog:

Chris Lucas

businessman_in_a_bowler_hat.jpgEvery now and again I come across posts talking about how people don’t want to “engage” with brands on social media and that your brand shouldn’t be there, it should be people, etc., etc.

The latest was a post from Mike Seidle, a local blogger and business person who runs Professional Blog Service. I want to preface that I don’t know Mike and I have nothing against him. I follow him on Twitter and I think he generally has some good thoughts about business blogging and social media, however I still disagree with Mike on this point.

It is OK for your brand to be on Twitter – to be on Facebook – to be active in social media. It really is, and for a couple of reasons.

  1. It gives your customers one point to gather news and information about your company.
  2. It allows you to monitor the conversation.
  3. It allows you to connect with other brands and possibly forge relationships and parterneships based on their interactions in social media.

Mike points out that people want to engage with other people. Yes, this is true, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t carve out a space for your brand as well. Here are some effective ways to do this:

  1. Acknowledge who tweets/updates Facebook etc. on your company’s behalf: By providing some real faces it helps humanize your brand. FreshBooks does a good job of this on their Twitter page.
  2. Allow your employees to interact on social media on a personal level AND on behalf of your company: I manage our twitter account as well as our Facebook page but I also have my own personal accounts. Many of FormSpring’s customers don’t want to follow me, because well, sometimes I like to talk about sports, or my kids or whatever else is going on.So, much of what I have to say is not great for them. But I also am an advocate and an evangelist for FormSpring, and when it makes sense, I talk about the cool stuff we are doing on my personal accounts. It gives insight to people who follow me on what I do for a living and helps expose them to FormSpring. Empower your brand and employees and it will pay off.
  3. Have personality. If you are going to engage as your brand on social media show a bit of personality. We know that brands are not humans, but the more “life” you are able to give your brand on social media the more value you will derive from interacting through the multiple mediums.
Agree? Disagree? Have other ideas on how to use your brand across social media, let me know in the comments!

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10 First Steps


Off the Wall: A Column by Alan Weiss, Contributing Editor

Everyone is concerned about whether or not a prospect will be amenable to what's being presented. We spend a lot of time on everything from first impressions and "dress for success" to whether or not to use PowerPoint (NOT!) and how to deal with committees or individuals.

Prospecting Dos and Don'ts
The Right Stuff: Building Your Best Prospect List

Promiscuous Prospecting: Why More Isn't Better with Cold Calling

Practical Tips for Making Prospecting a "Win-Win" Proposition

So, I thought I'd distill this down to how to ensure that a prospect—that is, a prospective buyer—will love you. Here's what YOU can do and control so that you can stop worrying about things you can't control. You may be doing some or all quite well, but it's useful to create your own checklist, since you only get "one first chance."

The Key Factors

  1. Be professional: easier said than done, and hardly a "no-brainer." Do you show up on time? Do you present a professional image, or are you burdened with stuff that makes you look like a pack animal in the Andes? Your image, your language, your demeanor will set the scene. If you're walking into the meeting with a cup of coffee from Starbuck's, you're not doing well right at the outset.
  2. Look professional: in addition to the advice above, are you alert or distracted? Are you "in the moment" or desperately thinking of your next sentence? Do you act as though you've been in this situation a thousand times, or are you a rabbit caught in a locomotive's headlight? Would you belong in that office or conference room yourself, naturally?
  3. Show up: have with you—in your head or on a pad—all the information you need to intelligently conduct business. Don't plan to learn about the organization from an annual report on a table in the lobby. What have you prepared that is intrinsically helpful to this buyer? Will they feel as if you're focusing on them and not merely a "prospect"?
  4. Follow up: provide what you promised ahead of time, at the meeting, or after the meeting, in the manner discussed. Use Fedex. Have enough copies for everyone present. Don't rely solely on electronic or physical materials, provide both. Bring duplicates.
  5. Innovate: suggest new ideas without fear of being questioned about them. Don't focus on a problem your prospect wants solved; focus on reaching new levels, which is far more valuable than merely restoring past performance.
  6. Add value: eschew the mindless, dumb advice that you shouldn't share your intellectual property. Make the buyer feel that you're providing so many insights and new approaches during this meeting that the ROI for hiring you would be huge.
  7. Act like a peer: don't patronize with platitudes, but don't allow yourself to be patronized, either. Act as someone who normally interacts with executives and cite examples of such interactions to help prove your points. Address yourself to the buyer, not primarily to others in the room.
  8. Be assertively patient: this is similar to "hurry up and wait," perhaps, but it means be definitive about next steps, dates, and times, but then wait for them. I'm besieged by consultants asking, "What can I do between now and our next meeting?" Do nothing other than what you promised, or you'll appear desperate. But DO have a next date and time before you leave.
  9. Don't waste time or money: activities such as "needs analyses" and endless interviews (and any visit to human resources) are wastes of time. Don't accept such suggestions, and certainly don't suggest it as a "toe in the water." You don't want a pilot project, but that's what you'll get if you suggest it.
  10. Accept victory and defeat with grace: you win some, you lose some, and some get rained out, but you have to suit up for them all. Learn something from every interaction. That will make you that much better the next time. That's the secret to perpetual learning and improvement, and making the next prospect love you still more!

Why So Important?

It's one thing to walk on thin ice, but it's another to do so with a flame thrower strapped to your back, and still another with the flame thrower ignited and pointed at your feet. You control certain aspects of your meeting with a buyer, and you should maximize the chances for a positive and constructive outcome to counter those factors you can't control (competing priorities, competing interest groups, time pressures, budget pressures, and so on).

These are 10 simple factors, often overlapping. Only the gifted few can wing it, and if you have to wonder if you're one of the gifted few, then you aren't!

So prepare. You'll be surprised by how much preparation creates "good luck."

Alan Weiss, Ph.D. is a contributing editor to and is the author of 32 books appearing in nine languages. His newest is The Talent Advantage (with Nancy MacKay) from John Wiley & Sons. He runs the unique Million Dollar Consulting® College three times a year. He has won dozens of writing and consulting awards and is a member of the Professional Speaking Hall of Fame.® Contact him at or via his blog,

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Zoom, Zoom...

by Karl Greenberg
The program is intended to be a fairly aggressive gambit to get vehicles out to non-owners and their comments on the car into the blogosphere. "Like Fiesta Movement, it's another example of how confident Ford is in marketing now," says Jeff Eggen, Ford car experiential marketing manager. "We want real customers behind the wheel to experience [the cars] and tell the story." ... Read the whole story > >
Social Media
by Sarah Mahoney
A just-released study from Cone Inc. reports that among new-media users, a staggering 78% of them interact with companies or brands via new media sites and tools, up from 59% the year before. And these users are conversing with brands more often: Some 37% say they do so at least once a week, up from one in four when Cone did the study last year. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"What we are hoping is that by engaging teenagers and moms online and on TV we can get them to have such a high-quality interaction with milk and White Gold that when they walk into a retail outlet, in the back of their minds will be White Gold's guitar riffs and how wonderful milk is," says the executive director of the California Milk Processor Board. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
"In this new economy, luxury goods will go back to where they were in the 1960s and 1970s, where they appealed to the very top end of the population," says Patricia Pao, CEO and founder of the Pao Principle. "Luxury-goods companies are going to have to adjust to that idea that they're precious, and very special [and] not for the masses." ... Read the whole story > >
by Tanya Irwin
The impetus for the iPhone app is Declaring Indigo, the new Autumn/Winter 09 makeup collection by Artistic Director Aaron de Mey. It gives users an innovative and different way to try out the "avant-gardiste," according to the company. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
"Social purpose is the new social status," says Edelman's Mitch Markson. "[Marketers] have to figure out how to build a bridge between [CSR] and the brand." The study finds 61% have purchased a brand that supports a good cause even when it wasn't the cheapest option, and 67% said they would switch brands if another brand of similar quality supported a cause they were interested in. ... Read the whole story > >
HomeAway Books Super Bowl Slot

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One Person

In the days before easy internet communication, word of mouth spread relatively slowly. The saying goes, a happy customer will tell his friends about you, but an unhappy customer will tell EVERYONE about you.

In our modern social media world, the speed of word of mouth has grown at the speed of light. And take a look at the difference One Person can have on your marketing.

This is from Scott Stratten:

The Three Billion Dollar Cleaning Man

Wes is the three billion dollar man to me. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

It’s no secret I “enjoy” Las Vegas. After going there 14 times in the past four years I consider myself an unofficial tour guide and resident of Sin City.

A place you can’t miss on the strip is the Wynn. Very fancy, very pretty and very expensive. Since the place cost 2.7 billion dollars to build, I assume selling 99 cent hot dogs isn’t gonna make that money back.

I really didn’t care about the Wynn. Not in a negative way, it just wasn’t on my radar. After getting comfortable staying at MGM, Venetian, etc, I didn’t really see a need to change, until last Saturday.

I had a meeting at Wynn during the BlogWorld conference, and strolled in through the majestic doors with a friend of mine. As soon as we walked in we spotted a man (Wes) using a large carpet cleaning machine. Since he wasn’t in our way, we really thought nothing of it, but he thought differently.

He stopped what he was doing. Looked up…… and smiled. Not one of those “it’s part of my job to smile” ones, but a genuine, warm, authentic smile.

And then he said “Good afternoon, and welcome to the Wynn, please enjoy your day” all the while looking us right in the eye, like it was his mission to ensure we knew he meant business.

And that alone changed my entire perception of the Wynn. Almost 3 billion big ones went into making this mega casino resort, and it was one guy that made me want to stay there. Made me want to tweet about it. Made me want to blog about it. The carpet cleaning dude. I have passed hundreds of people cleaning in casino’s in Vegas, I’ve rarely been given eye contact, and not once felt welcome.

As a matter of fact… I have never, ever been greeted like that by anyone in Vegas.

It’s wonderful and sad at the same time. That this gentleman making us feel welcome at his place of employment was not only exceptional, it was extremely rare.

Casino’s (and probably most of you in business) all have the same “stuff” for the most part. The 5-star resorts all have fancy smells, spa’s, and pretty patterns. But only one resort has Wes.

Marketing is not a task.

Marketing is not a department.

Marketing is not a job.

Marketing happens everytime you engage (or not) with your past/present/potential customers.

(Thanks Wes, and yes, I did enjoy my day, and will even more when I stay at the Wynn, because of you)

Any place in Vegas that really impressed you with their engagement? Can one person really change your opinion of a company? Let me know in the comments below.

Scott Stratten
Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.

Scott Stratten Companies, 102-1230 Marlborough Court, Oakville, ON L6H3K6, CANADA

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New Ad Campaigns

Here's Amy:

Hybrid animals are Kia's "Forte." Porsche comes in a four-seater! Get stung by a Scorpion motorcycle helmet. Let's launch!

Jameson Irish Whiskey launched a U.S. TV spot depicting the story of the "Lost Barrel." A storm in 1781 caused John Jameson to lose a barrel of whiskey. Not one for letting go, Jameson left his crew and dove into the ocean to retrieve his barrel, which he found, along with a ginormous octopus. Weeks later, an ocean funeral was held for Jameson. All of Ireland attended, including a soggy Jameson -- and his barrel. "Taste above all else" closes the ad, seen here and created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York. launched a TV and online promotion for its latest product, Ask Deals. Users who search for products will be shown where the best deals are online, along with coupons to redeem for additional savings. TV ads feature people dancing in squares (think "Hollywood Squares") singing about their desire for a deal. "Hey ladies, who wants a deal?" asks an MC. "I do! I do," reply overly eager respondents. When a dancer is singled out, the search bar appears, offering the user a coupon to use on his or her searched item. See the TV ads here and here. There's also a microsite for those who can't get enough of the song. Users can enter an item they want a deal on, and then record themselves, via webcam, dancing and singing to the song. San Francisco created the campaign and handled the online media buy. Mullen handled the TV buy.

Adidas Basketball launched a global campaign for the 2009-10 NBA season dubbed, "It's On Me for My Brotherhood." In one video, shown here, Derrick Rose uses fancy footwork en route to a slam-dunk. "It's on me to be faster than the game. To keep you guessing," he says. The next ad, seen here, is a compilation of NBA players Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups, Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady and Josh Smith showcasing the talents of the brotherhood. 180 Los Angeles created the campaign.

Ada E. Yonath, Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider, Herta Müller and Elinor Ostrom. These are the five women awarded Nobel Prizes this year. Levi's placed an ad in the New York Times last weekend honoring their accomplishment. With all the empty space in the ad, seen here, why not actually name them, as well? It's not as if there wasn't enough room. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the ad.

The Kia Forte takes the best car qualities and combines them into one car. "The First of its Kind" pairs notable qualities of animals to create one hybrid beast standing alongside a Kia Forte. A peacock-turtle (turcock?) is safe and stylish, like the Forte. A camel-cheetah symbolizes speed and fuel efficiency. See the ads here, here and here, created by David&Goliath.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority launched its latest TV spot, "Reason," under the "What happens here, stays here," umbrella. A man and woman are about to be married. The priest asks the congregation if there's any reason the couple should not be married, prompting awkward looks among the bridesmaids, groomsmen, camerman, family members and even the priest, who's surprised by the lack of objections. "OK, moving on," he says. See the ad here, created by R&R Partners.

Porsche launched a TV spot promoting the Panamera, the brand's first four-seat sports car. "Family Tree" brings 50 production and racing models from Porsche's past together for a drive through the desert. Viewers first see glimpses of older models racing through the desert, eventually forking to the sides to allow room for the newest member of the family, the Panamera, to burst through. The spot ends with an aerial shot of the cars making branches of a family tree. See it here. There's also a Web site where visitors can share Porsche stories and photos, watch behind-the-scenes video from the commercial shoot, and take a personality quiz to determine which "branch" of the Porsche tree suits them. Cramer-Krasselt Chicago created the campaign.

Scorpion Sports launched an online video promoting its line of motorcycle helmets that keep riders dry no matter what the temperature. A scantily clad gas station attendant sexily perspires while waiting for her next customer. Enter hot man on motorcycle, who removes his helmet, showing a sweat-free face. He doesn't start sweating until he sees the attendant, who conveniently wipes the sweat from his brow. Or maybe he's sweating because he caught a glimpse of her nipple through her shirt? See the video here, created by Marshall Advertising.

Random iPhone App of the week: Runner's World launched its first app, sponsored by Nike. "Runner's World Shoe Shop" offers reviews from the RW Shoe Lab, shoe-buying advice and reviews divided into five categories: trail, motion control, stability, performance training and neutral-cushioned. Runners can watch various "how-to" videos, including "How To Find The Right Shoe For Over Or Under-Pronaters" and "How To Determine Your Arch Type" to decide on an ideal shoe. NearbyNow created the app, available for free at the App store.

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

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Live & In Person

from Jeff Garrison:

Present Sales Proposals in Person

Posted: 12 Oct 2009 10:23 PM PDT

Sales Presentation Never present something in writing that could be done in person!

The difference is results over time is enormous when comparing closing ratios of those proposals delivered in person compared to those delivered in writing. Here are some reasons why.

In person presentations eliminate guessing.

When it comes time to start getting specific about providing solutions to a client, at least one discussion and perhaps many have taken place about the clients needs. However, there may still be hidden assumptions in your ideas about your prospects needs or resources. It is best to discuss them in person rather than have the prospect recognize these issues in a written proposal and reject your ideas in written form.

In person presentations allow the best solution to be discovered.

Once you have done your best thinking, you need a chance to discuss your ideas with your prospect. You need to have them challenge your ideas and combine them with their best thinking. Getting their input does not diminish your value or your ideas, it enhances them.

In person presentations leverage human factors.

Interaction creates rapport. Rapport leads to liking. Liking precedes trust. Trust is required to reach an agreement and close the sale. Paper does not do these things.

It is very important to note that trust must go both ways, thus it is as important for the business owner and/or the sales person to trust the prospect as it is for the prospect to trust them. If closing a deal seems to easy, get prepared for problems.

Remember, paper does not close deals. People do.

Photo on flickr by chalks.corriette

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Burger King, Starbucks, and G.M.:

by Karl Greenberg
"Most car companies go to market on a consumer influence paradigm that died 10 years ago," says GM's Chris Preuss. "Bob [Lutz] correctly identified that as big ad agency marketing models crumble under their own weight you have an opportunity to retool the culture of the company. Now, as communicator at GM, we have a seat at the table." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Consultant Michael Stone questions the conclusion that next month's launch will hurt the brand. "The real question is how far off brand you can go without damaging it," he says, adding that Starbucks has made a well-researched bet that the stretch is justified by the opportunity. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The tour includes scheduled stops in cities along the West and East coasts. However, the vans are able to showcase the game at any stop the crew deems worthy, via a "renegade window" that pulls down to reveal a 32-inch television screen, on which people can play the game. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg specifically pointed out that some of the foods bearing the "Smart Choices" checkmark logo, based on a nutritional criteria system created by General Mills, Kraft Foods, Kellogg and other manufacturers, are nearly half sugar. She also likened the variety of systems and logos in the marketplace to a "tower of Babel." ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The integrated marketing effort includes five episodes of "The Road to the Woodies," in which a teenage driver navigates closed-course obstacles and typical teen distractions to improve her driving skills using Madison, Wis.-based American Family Insurance's proprietary Teen Safe Driver program. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Delta and MSG will tout the relationship with a promotion dangling prime seats at Madison Square Garden venues and on Delta flights. Brand ambassadors will be around New York City and at Delta's local terminals through Oct. 24, handing out scratch and win boarding passes. MSG will talk up the promotion on ... Read the whole story > >
Apple Intros 'Magic Mouse' For IPhone, ITouch

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Guts, Nerve, Conviction

As I was reading this post from Drew, I thought of what words to describe it and came up with the three I mentioned above.

Read more and click on the links, unless you want to stay mediocre:

To find your nerve, find your core

Posted: 20 Oct 2009 02:54 AM PDT

Shutterstock_33666787 A few months ago, I received an intriguing e-mail from a guy named Steve McKee. He had an idea.

He wanted to build "a website dedicated to supporting the community of corporate professionals who want to move beyond the economic morass and return their companies to the growth path. This grass roots effort is intended to help jump start corporations and, therefore, the economy."

Each day of the 4th quarter, they would have a different guest author address the issue of how do you get back your nerve and get back to some semblance of business as usual. As you know, I've been rallying against the paralysis caused by the recession (here, here and here) for quite some time so I jumped at the opportunity.

My contribution went live today and I'd like to:

  • Share it with you
  • Get your feedback
  • Ask you to share it with others

Here's how I started....

When the recession hit, many companies lost their nerve. They began to second-guess their own decisions. They compromised on what they believed was right because right was too expensive. They chased after business that wasn't really a good fit — because any business was better than the potential of no business.

And they lost their way. A side effect of being lost is being scared. Sometimes being scared leads to being paralyzed. In my opinion, that's why this recession got so bad.

We got scared and we got stuck.

It's time for us to find our nerve and get ourselves out of this recession. I highly doubt there's going to be a bailout for any of us.

So how do we break loose from our fear and get some nerve? We get back to our core.

Please check out the site to read the rest.

While you're there, check out the rest of the site. There are polls, plenty of blog posts from some very smart folks, and some eye opening facts about the recession and advertising/marketing.

Also note that this is a very savvy effort on Steve's part to promote and sell his new book, When Growth Stalls. Rally the troops around something they're passionate about and they'll do whatever it takes to get the word out. And sell some books along the way.

The site is well done, Steve's intentions are honorable and I encourage you to check out the guest posts.

Photo courtesy of

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The Plan

From one of my clients:

Don't Fail to Plan Your Marketing Efforts. Seven Steps to Help You Plan... to Succeed.

Thom Villing
Written by:
Thom Villing

As we approach the end of a year that many people would just as soon forget, it may be a good time to remember to work on your marketing plans for 2010.

Let’s start with a fundamental question. Do you have a marketing plan?

I’m always a bit amazed at how many organizations don’t. Whether it’s apathy, lack of time, or a desire to explore the unknown, some marketers have neither a destination in mind, nor a map to help them get there. Marketing is often viewed as something to be dealt with when people have time get around to it. At the risk of falling back on a cliché, a failure to plan can be the equivalent of a plan to fail.

For my part, I would rather see people plan to succeed.

If I have inspired you to at least think about the planning process, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. A down economy is the best time to move up in market share. All the signs seem to indicate the economy is on the verge of improving. If you take steps now to increase market share, your slice of the revenue pie will be that much sweeter when the recession is over.
  2. Consider an objectives and task based budget. Many companies base their marketing budgets on arbitrary approaches like what they did the previous year, a percentage of sales, industry averages — or worse still, whatever monies are left after all other line items have been addressed. You would be far better served to determine what you want to accomplish in 2010 and use that as the basis for your budget. These other methods can help keep things in perspective, but a needs-based budget is far more likely to help you achieve your objectives.
  3. Have you ever analyzed your brand? Do you truly know what it means to your current and prospective customers? Do you understand how your brand can differentiate you from your competitors? Now might be a good time to go through that process.
  4. Know your friends. Know your enemies better. OK, some people prefer not to think of their competitors as enemies (although many do). Regardless, if you want to take market share away from your competitors, you need to know what they may have to offer that you don’t — and vice versa.
  5. Tactics aren’t strategies. This is an easy trap to fall into. I find myself doing it on occasion. But an effective marketing plan really requires well thought out strategies based on knowledge and insights. Acquiring and analyzing relevant knowledge takes time and discipline. Combing through that information to identify critical insights takes time, thought and an element of creativity. Planning to succeed in 2010 is well worth the investment of time necessary to generate appropriate strategies.
  6. Get your marketing in gear. Synergistic marketing can be a powerful trump card. Make sure your Web site is effectively integrated with your overall Internet marketing strategy, which is in turn, meshing with traditional marketing communications like advertising, public relations and sales promotion. Results increase exponentially when the elements of your plan are engineered to be totally in sync.
  7. Think about results, but don’t over-think. Everybody is concerned about ROI these days. Appropriately so. But sometimes people put so much emphasis on irrelevant statistics that they lose sight of the bigger picture. Like many things in life, there needs to be balance. You need to know and understand how to evaluate the results of your efforts. However, there is such a thing as paralysis through analysis. The most effective marketing often involves an element of risk. There’s nothing wrong with trying something your industry has never seen before. It could bomb. It could also exceed beyond your fondest expectations.
  8. If you enjoyed this article or would like to receive your own personal "subscription" to Villing & Company’s News & Views, click here to get free updates by e-mail or RSS.

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The main difference between someone earning $10 an hour and $100 an hour is how they manage their time.

This is from a recent email from Jill Konrath:

7 Time Wasters of Busy Salespeople
By Audrey Thomas, Lean Officer Expert & CPO®

Everyone loves those days when you're able to check more things off the Task list vs. adding more to it. When it comes to being efficient in the office, there are several things that might interfere with your ability to complete tasks on that never-ending To Do List. Learning how to minimize these common distractions will help you optimize your productivity and close more sales!

1. Email
According to RescueTime, a company that analyzes computer habits, a typical information worker who sits at a computer checks email more than 50 times a day. That's once every 9.6 minutes. Begin immediately to control the number of times you go to your inbox.

Set a goal to check your email only 3-5 times throughout your day and get into the habit of minimizing your email program after checking emails. Also, keep in mind that while many emails are important, few are urgent.

2. Interruptions by Co-workers
There's nothing worse than someone who asks for just a minute of your time but takes 15. You might feel you need a stoplight or yield sign to manage the flow of people coming by your office door. While interacting with others is a requirement, it doesn't have to take up most of your day.

Start by communicating to others your need for focus time. Hanging a sign/symbol on your doorknob or outside your cube will signal to others that this isn't a good time to interrupt your work. Be creative. One of my sales clients used yellow caution tape across his cubicle entrance, sending a firm message with a little humor.

3. Attending Unnecessary Meetings
We are a "meeting" culture. We've all been part of a meeting in which our attendance seemed pointless or a waste of our time. If your name appears on an invite list unnecessarily, challenge the meeting planner in a constructive way. Offer to review the meeting recap notes in order to stay in the loop of things.

4. Mixing Business with Pleasure
It's easy to get into the habit of handling a few personal items while at work. According to Voco, a network security firm, workers are spending 25% of their time tending to personal things (such as checking personal email, texting, monitoring an eBay auction, or scoping out the best vacation deals) and most bosses are totally unaware of it. Spending time on personal items takes away time with potential customers and increases the need to work late or bring work home.

5. Social Media
Ever lose track of time with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube? Online socializing-even when used for business purposes-can be a time waster if it interferes with other projects.

Begin by giving yourself permission to check in online with others. Next, designate a set amount of time each day for online social sites. In 15-20 minutes, you can update your status or send a few tweets; setting a limit makes you more aware of your time and less apt to waste it.

6. Distractions
Small, everyday things contribute to big distractions without us even realizing it. For example, you might be lucky to have a window in your office, but outside activities like wildlife, people or even traffic interfere with your ability to focus.

Or perhaps your office is located close to the break room or restroom, and you find yourself noticing others instead of the follow up calls on your To Do List which desperately need your time and attention. In that case, rearrange your office so you're not directly facing the window or foot traffic going by.

7. Working from Home
Many salespeople are given the option of working from home. A common misconception is that telecommuters are able to multi-task with chores around the house and sales calls for work. This habit usually results in longer work hours and wears down productivity. If you work from home, you need to clearly define working hours as well as specific time for doing laundry, mowing the yard or running errands with the kids.

AUDREY THOMAS, CPO®, is a speaker, author, and Lean Office expert. She's the author of Buried Alive!: Surviving the Avalanche of Paper and Email and Getting Organized with MS Outlook and serves as Past-President of the National Speakers Association-Minnesota. A frequent speaker at conferences and sales meetings, Audrey also coaches individuals who want to improve productivity in order to reach their sales goals. Contact her at 1-866-767-0455 or visit

© 2009 Audrey Thomas

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