Want Onion Rings?

Can you wait until Father’s Day?

Will this promotion motivate you to visit T.G.I.F.?

T.G.I. Friday’s Offers Dads Free Onion Rings
Friday, May 30, 2008 5:00 AM ET
With the purchase of an entrée on Father’s Day, fathers will get a free order of crispy beer-battered onion rings with roasted green chile sauce.

On Mother’s Day, Friday’s offered free desserts to moms and provided vouchers to dads for the free crispy beer-battered onion rings redeemable on Father’s Day.

The coupon is also available at http://fridays.com/FathersDay2008Home.htm. The coupon must be presented for the onion rings.


Are you making money or costing money?

Our company, pruned the trees so to speak of our sales department last year. We trimmed the unproductive sales staff and wiped out a bunch of overhead.

It’s not easy to do this, but it may be necessary in your organization too.

Steve Clark
wrote about this recently:

Will You Be Relevant In The Future

In a study done at Columbia University, it was determined that the top 20% of sales reps earn 16 times more income than bottom 80%, and the top 4% of sales reps earn 54 times more income than the bottom 80%.

Additional data confirms that 65% of everything that is sold in North America is sold by 15% of the sales people.

These numbers should be a wakeup call for owners, managers and sales reps.

Why Should You Care About Any of This?

That is a fair but naïve question to ask. If you are a manager you should realize that about one – third of your sales force is actually a profit center. The other two – thirds, while somewhat productive, are barely covering their cost.

If, as predicted by some, employee cost will more than double in the next forty-eight months this should scare the living hell out of YOU.

When this happens, I predict that companies will have a significant reduction in force of their sales teams, and that only the sales people who are determined to be a profit center will be retained. If you are a mediocre or marginal producer this should scare the hell out of YOU.

The End of the Company Gravy Train Is Insight

For too long companies and managers have tolerated mediocrity and provided what amounts to corporate well fare to non productive sales people. Because of shrinking margins, increased competition, and the need to increase productivity, companies can no longer do this and remain competitive and profitable. In the future, every employee from receptionist to CEO will have to prove their profitability. If they can’t they will be sacked and rightly so.

Many employees somehow think that it is their birth right to be provided with a good paying job which doesn’t require a great deal from them other than showing up and putting in their time. They have forgotten or never learned that in a Capitalistic Society rewards only come to those who provide value in the market place. No value no pay. Not a hard lesson to learn but one that the liberal do gooders of this world avoid talking about. Instead they pander to the lazy masses that willingly lap up their message, “that the government will take care of you”, like a cat laps up warm milk.

What Can You Do to Prepare For This

Accept one – hundred percent responsibility for your own future. It is not your company’s, or the country’s responsibility to provide you with the skills and talents you need to excel.

Invest YOUR time and money in competent training and education that will make you more competitive and more skilled than your competitors both within and outside of your company.

Become a voracious reader, attend seminars and events and associate with the top performers in your industry, turn your vehicle into a rolling university and listen to audio training materials, stop hanging around time and energy vampires that suck life from you, and seek expert coaching. If you will do these things consistently you will be well positioned to weather the coming storm.

P.C. or T.V.?

Is Television going to be a minor media in the future?

Here’s the trend as reported by MarketingCharts.com:

PC Encroaching on TV’s Dominance in Screen Time among Digital Video Users

While TV remains the preeminent channel for watching video content, the PC is slowly encroaching on TV’s territory by capturing an increasing amount of screen time among those who download or stream video online, according to research from Ipsos MediaCT.

The percentage of video consumed on a TV among video downloaders and streamers (some 52% of Americans age 12+ who have ever done so) declined from 75% in February 2007 to 70% in February 2008 – a small but significant drop in overall “share of screen time” among digital video users.


At the same time, the percentage of video consumed on a PC among digital video users increased from 11% to 19% during the same period, according to findings of Ipsos MediaCT’s MOTION – its quarterly tracking study investigating digital video usage and behaviors in the US.

In addition, the percentage of total screen time captured by movie theaters also declined significantly in the past year.

“Streaming video online has become an activity many Americans aren’t just experimenting with, but enjoy on a regular basis. Today, about half of all internet users aged 12 and up have streamed a video file online in the past 30 days,” said Director of Ipsos MediaCT Adam Wright

“While the number of device options are growing for consumers to access and watch their favorite video content, what isn’t necessarily changing is the location where we enjoy this video content – our homes,” Wright said.

Rise in PC’s Share Across Age, Gender Groups

The phenomenon of watching more video content on a PC is relatively consistent by age group and gender.


Teens age 12-17 are the only age group watching a significantly larger percentage of their video content on portable devices. Not surprisingly, then, teens also experienced the largest drop in the share of screen time they devote to the TV.

New video playback devices, such as the Apple TV and Roku’s Netflix Player, are coming onto the market specifically trying to bridge the gap between traditional viewing habits and the growing demand for more convenient access and management of digital video content, Ipsos said.

“We really see these share gains in nontraditional video channels as not simply an isolated, generation-driven market effect, but rather a large macro-trend in the way consumers want their video content delivered that those in the entertainment industry should increasingly be paying attention to as we look forward to the rest of 2008 and beyond,” Wright concluded.

About the study: Data were sourced from the Q1 ‘08 Deep Dive wave of fieldwork as part of Ipsos MediaCT’s MOTION study, which was conducted online among a representative US sample of internet users age 12 years and older in February 2008.

Never say Never

Seth Godin wrote this on his blog recently.

Now that we are getting ready for a new month, I thought you could use some words of encouragement:

Never’s not such a long time

“I’ll never buy from you again.”
“I’ll never vote for that candidate if my candidate loses.”
“I’ll never invest in that stock.”

Never seems like a really long time, doesn’t it? Practically forever.

Here’s the thing. People who say ‘never’ actually mean, “until my situation or the story changes materially.” Making bad decisions in the now to honor absolute statements in the past isn’t particularly sustainable. Consumers, short-sighted as they are sometimes, are able to realize this pretty quickly.

In fact, the only thing shorter than ‘never’ is ‘always.’

T.V. Viewing Habits

This report of what’s our cousins across the Atlantic are doing could be a prediction of what will be occurring in the U.S….

Most UK Residents Time-Shift TV Content

More than half of UK residents (57%) watch at least one hour of on-demand TV or recorded TV each week, according to a UK nationwide survey measuring the popularity of on-demand TV and internet video.

Women watch more on-demand or recorded TV than men (58% vs. 55%), the survey found. Seniors (55+) and young adults (18-24) watch the most on-demand or recorded TV (60%); those age 25-34 watch the least (51%).


The survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Redback Networks, looked at the changing habits of TV viewers across different media platforms and devices, including TVs, PCs and mobile phones.

The most common methods for recording programs in the UK were Sky+ (22%), personal video recorders, and VHS machines (27%).On demand services are also used for later viewing: 11% use On demand TV services, and 16% use internet catch up services such as the BBC iPlayer.


Among the other primary findings of the survey:

  • Of the 57% who time-shift content, about one-third watch at least three hours of on-demand TV per week.
  • About half of online UK residents (48%) have watched video or TV on the internet, with the vast majority using internet-based TV services for on-demand viewing (70%).
  • Of that 48%, 22% have watched internet TV or video over the past 7 days.

The survey also found that Internet TV and video are quickly becoming established as regular channels for consuming video content, changing the viewing habits and experience for a new generation of viewers.

Regarding those who have watched internet TV or video, the survey found as follows:

  • UK residents expressed a clear preference for better internet video content (56%), better internet TV quality (47%), and the desire to watch more internet video on TV rather than the computer (38%).
  • Most people watch internet TV or video in their home office or study (68%), followed by a communal room at home (39%) and then at work (20%). (Multiple responses allowed per user.)
  • The biggest drivers that would encourage more people to watch internet TV or video are more free content available (56%), quality of picture (47%) and the ability to watch internet video on a TV screen, rather than a computer (38%).
  • In terms of content, news (24%), entertainment (27%) and short videos (42%) are the most popular type of content to watch on computer rather than on TV.
  • And just 9% of people use their mobile phone or PDA to watch internet TV or video.

“While the good old VHS recorder has created audience demand for time-shifted TV programs, it is new game-changing internet video services such as the BBC iPlayer which are reshaping how carriers upgrade their networks over time,” said Philip Wilton, Director of Sales and Operations in the UK for Redback Networks.

“This growth of video over broadband is reflected in what also we’re back hearing from our service provider customers, with HTTP streaming traffic now outstripping P2P for downloading video content.”

“Where Internet video was just about sharing content via P2P networks, it’s now moved into the mainstream with viewers able to consume time shifted content direct from content provider, placing new strains on the network and the traffic it supports,” Wilton concluded.

About the survey: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,168 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken 11-14 April 2008. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all online UK adults (age 18+).

Will Viewers Tune In or Out?

by Joe Mandese
With less than nine months before the U.S. television industry converts to digital broadcast spectrum, 22% of households are still either completely or partially unready for the conversion, according to findings of a report scheduled to be released today by Nielsen Co. The report, a version of which was released to clients last month (MediaDailyNews May 1), concludes that 9.4% of U.S. households are completely unready, and that the transition risks a significant number of TV viewing hours being displaced begging on Feb. 17, 2009, when the nation’s analog-only sets will go dark. … Read the whole story


What’s In It For Me.

My wife found this on the web recently. It’s from Eric Pennington.

It’s a good reminder for everyone:

Things Customers Don’t Care About

Took on a consulting project with a company who’s focus is on event marketing. As I talked to the president this morning, the following list came to my mind (we were discussing what customers care about specifically):

  • Customers don’t care about a salesperson’s volume goal.
  • Customers don’t care about your sales ranking (specifically inside your organization).
  • Customers don’t care about the fine print in your literature/contract.
  • Customers don’t care if your manager read you the riot act in the morning conference call.
  • Customers don’t care about who should get the blame (inside your organization)for an order botched.
  • Customers don’t care about the poor technology your organization refuses to give up.
  • Customers don’t care about how tough your market is.

One thing was clear after our conversation; customers care about relationship (do you care, can you be trusted, can you be a difference-maker) and value (when the transaction is complete the customer feels good).

Remember the initials W.I.I.F.M. is what your customers are asking themselves when your lips are moving. Make sure you focus on W.I.I.F.M. from the customers perspective, not yours.