Word of Mouth vs. Shouting at You

The best form of marketing is when someone feels so good about you, they have to tell someone else. That’s Word of Mouth. The business that I’m in, Radio, too often believes that you need to shout at someone to get them to pay attention. Wrong. Some of the best radio and television ads are conversational instead of “announcerish”.

Last week I discovered this article here. I’ll be following George to see what else he has to say:

It is said that a typical American is exposed to 30,000 advertising messages a day. I found that hard to believe when I first heard this but then I just looked around and thought about this for a moment. Why don’t you think about this for a moment. Imagine your drive to work – billboards, commercials on the radio, how about logos on cars and trucks. Now think about your day at work – banner ads, logos on shirts, your computer, your telephone. Now that you think about it, you can start to imagine this notion of 30,000 ad messages a day. Now how many did you notice? How many can you remember? How many of these ad messages influenced you in any way? This is called “ad blindness” and we are getting very good at filtering this stuff out as consumers.

Interruption Marketing

Interruption marketing is the process of finding a prospect engaged in something else, like reading a magazine, watching television, watching a game, driving to work and interrupting him/her with a commercial message. To do that “creativity” in its conventional form is a huge asset albeit rare. In citing the example above, if you are not influenced or affected any one of the 30,000 ad messages a day, how is it that companies keep doing the same thing hoping for a different result. That’s insanity. It’s also a crap-shoot. It’s a matter of broadcasting loud to as many people as possible and hope it trickles down to a potential buyer.

As you can see, it’s not very effective. For many companies, their solution is to fight clutter with even more clutter. Target audiences, no matter how well segmented, have learned to filter out and ignore the noise. This is a fact.

Engagement Marketing

The digital space is about engaging in a conversation with peers, customers and staff, innovating with them and constantly improving your value proposition in an authentic way. Customers have the power, the information, the advice and the resources to make their own decisions, in the digital world its about entering the conversation. It’s about transparency and allowing consumers to participate and shape your brand based on authentic interactions between your employees, product or service and your customers. It also turns the traditional marketing paradigm on its head — using the interaction with one to spread “affect and influence” thru their personal network.

It’s about becoming involved. It’s about allowing your customers to shape your brand and shape the future experiences you deliver to your customers. It’s about human connection and relationships again — not a manufactured identity of the traditional brand.

Make Networking WORK

After being very busy the last few months in the office, I am forcing myself to get out more and connect face to face with people again. This is how I started a few years ago when I moved to a town that I had never done sales work in before.

I actually like getting out and here’s a few tips from Jeff Garrison for all of us to follow:

Do Networking Events with a Goal

Posted: 26 May 2009 08:40 AM PDT

Networking Event Thousands of business people are showing up at networking events this week and every week all across the country. Many will spend time with those people that they already know and with whom they are already familiar.

Others will introduce themselves to people that they don’t know. Those that are prepared will deliver their thirty second pitch and exchange business cards.

The best and most well prepared will meet several new people and learn several facts about that person and their business. They will exchange business cards and will have asked for a follow up meeting.

This best net-workers are not only well prepared and practiced, but they have a goal. Perhaps the goal is to meet five new people and get three pieces of information about each. Maybe the goal is to get two commitments for follow up meetings with prequalified prospects.

Doing Networking Events with a Goal can significantly increase your Return on Time.

Bad Economy means Good News


At least for some businesses:

For Some Products, Recession Is Not All Bad

It’s not all doom and gloom in the U.S. economy. Some products are bucking the recession and flying off store shelves.

Sales of chocolate and running shoes are up. Wine drinkers haven’t stopped sipping; they just seem to be choosing cheaper vintages.

Gold coins are selling like hot cakes. So are gardening seeds. Tanning products are piling up in shopping carts; maybe more people are finding color in a bottle than from sun-worshipping on a faraway beach.

Strong sales of Spam, Dinty Moore stew and chili helped Hormel Foods Corp. post a 6 percent increase in first quarter sales in its grocery products unit.

Consumers have trimmed household budgets and postponed buying cars, major appliances and other big-ticket items. Yet they still are willing to shell out for small indulgences and goods that make life more comfortable at home, where they are spending more time.

Recession shoppers also are drawn to items that make them feel safe, both personally and financially.

“The focus on the family hearth is something that has happened in nearly every recession. It’s, ‘How can I have more fun at home?”‘ said Paco Underhill, whose company, Envirosell, monitors the behavior of shoppers and sellers across the U.S. and in other countries.

“People are much more focused on their homes and their immediate happiness and they’re buying things that they can use themselves — seeds, fishing equipment. Lipstick and chocolate are small rewards that make you feel better.”

Profits in the first three months of 2009 at Hershey Co., the nation’s second-largest candy maker, surged 20 percent and beat Wall Street’s expectations. Kraft Foods Inc. reported double-digit growth in macaroni and cheese dinners — the consummate comfort food.

Recessions, it seems, are good for love, too. Over the final three months of 2008, condom sales rose 5 percent and Match.com reported its strongest performance in seven years.

But economic woes are as rough on the tummy as they are on the wallet. Chicago-based market researcher Information Resources Inc. reports that sales of laxative liquids and powders rose 11.5 percent for the 52 weeks ending April 19. Sales of stomach remedy tablets, including Pepto-Bismol and Phillips brands, climbed 8 percent.

As expected during any economic slump, recession shoppers looking for deals have boosted sales at discount chains such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Dollar Tree Inc. sneaked into this year’s Fortune 500 for the first time, at No. 499.

There’s a general tendency to trade down, according to Leo J. Shapiro & Associates, a consulting firm in Chicago. That means eating dinner at the kitchen table instead of restaurants, buying used cars and shopping at do-it-yourself auto parts stores. It means spending less on clothes. Sales at luxury retailer Saks Inc. fell 32 percent last month. Sales at Goodwill Industries International stores in the U.S. and Canada jumped by 7 percent in March.

“If you’re used to eating out, maybe you’re now buying a high-end steak at the supermarket,” said Bill Patterson, a senior analyst in Chicago with Mintel International, which supplies consumer, product and media intelligence. “If you eat at home mostly, maybe you are going down from the branded product to a private label.”

People are not drinking as much beer or wine at bars and restaurants, but they haven’t stopped drinking. The Wine Institute says that despite the recession, U.S. sales of California wines totaled about 467 million gallons last year — 2 percent more than the year before. But people are looking more closely at cheaper selections: The overall retail value of California wine sales fell slightly from 2007, the institute said.

Those on the go are not shying away from footing the bill for sturdy running shoes. Sales increased 2 percent in 2008, said Tom Doyle at the National Sporting Goods Association in Mount Prospect, Ill.

“Runners aren’t going to hurt themselves to save a few bucks,” he said. Likewise, sales of bicycle helmets are up as parents continue to spend money to protect youngsters, he said.

The financial meltdown produced more interest in home safes. Coin dealers are awash in customers as investors big and small see the safety of gold.

Sunshine Minting Inc. in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which supplies gold blanks to the U.S. Mint, doubled its work force in 2008.

“It just came on like gangbusters,” said president Tom Power, who struggled to hire, train and get new equipment to handle demand that doubled, then tripled. “You can’t just flip a switch and jump up production overnight.”

Guns are selling well, too. Total firearms sales rose 27.5 percent at Smith & Wesson for the three months ending Jan. 31. It’s not a sudden interest in hunting behind the increase; hunting firearm sales at the company declined during the quarter by 46 percent.

Gun sales are being driven by concern that the Obama administration will tighten gun laws. But people also are feeling a level of fear and heightened interest in self-reliance as they weather the recession.

“They are looking down the road going ‘What could happen here?”‘ Underhill said. “I think a lot of Americans are truly scared. One of the things that tickles is our pioneer ethos, which is, ‘I feel better with a year’s supply of toilet paper’ and ‘Maybe I should start canning and pickling.”‘

Many people already are.

The number of home vegetable gardens is predicted to jump more than 40 percent this year, compared with two years ago, according to the National Gardening Association. Sales of vegetable seeds such as green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and lettuce climbed 30 percent as of March at W. Atlee Burpee, a large seed company in Warminster, Pa. It organized a basic training course called “root camp” for hundreds of would-be gardeners this month outside Philadelphia.

Still, when the economy grinds to a halt, people clench their teeth. That could mean spending money at the dentist.

There’s no statistical evidence, but dentists such as Dr. Matthew Messina in Cleveland, Ohio., are seeing more people with tooth-grinding injuries.

“The body responds the same way to a real threat, ‘There’s a burglar in the house,’ as it does to a perceived stress like ‘I’m worried I’m going to lose the house,”‘ Messina said.

(Source: Associated Press, 05/16/09)

Who knows?


And what are you know for?

A few interesting thoughts from Seth Godin recently:

On becoming a household name

The guidance office at the high school has a big poster for Wellesley College hanging by the door. It’s just a picture of a building, no features, no benefits, no text at all.

Kids apply to schools (a quarter of a million dollar investment) for crazy reasons. A big one: “Well, I’ve heard of it.”

Gonzaga University features basketball players on their home page. No doubt a few people attend to play basketball, but my guess is that the school believes that the fame of their school will somehow get someone who doesn’t play to attend.

It’s completely irrational and it’s also what your customers do every day.

Being a familiar name takes you miles closer to closing a sale. People like to buy from companies they’ve heard of.

It turns out that this is an overlooked benefit of banner ads. Banner ads are fairly worthless in terms of generating clickthroughs… you have to trick too much and manipulate too much to get clicks worth much of anything. But, if you build ads with no intent of clicks, no hope for clicks… then you can focus on ads that drill your name or picture or phrase into my head. 100 impressions and you’re almost famous.

A household name. Not for everyone, but for people who matter.

Free E-book

from Jill Konrath:

Selling to Big Companies Blog

Complimentary Ebook: 5 Essential Strategies for Highly Effective Initial Meetings

Posted: 19 May 2009 06:35 AM PDT

G2MC_5EssentialsIt’s not easy to secure the full attention of decision makers – even for just a few minutes. Whether you have 15 minutes for a phone conversation or 30 minutes for an online presentation, your prospect must feel like their time is well spent.

To make that happen, your initial meeting must be strategically designed for a lasting (and profitable) impact. My new eBook shows you how to do that. In it, you’ll discover:

  • Why most first meetings fail miserably.
  • What it takes to really engage customers in the conversation.
  • How to flip your focus to what’s really important.
  • Strategies to enhance your credibility in just one meeting.
  • How to effortlessly advance to the logical next step.
  • …and much more!

Get your complimentary copy of 5 Essential Strategies for Highly Effective Initial Meetings now.

I hope you enjoy it! And, please forward this to your colleagues who might be interested in learning more.

Friday Night Marketing News

Pop-tarts and booze:

SPIRITS
by Karlene Lukovitz
The celebrity tie-ins include a “Call of the Wild” sweepstakes in which the winner and three friends will receive an “all-access” weekend to see Kid Rock perform live in Las Vegas, as well as other prizes. Fans can enter through the Jim Beam and Red Stag sites, their Facebook fan pages, or via SMS mobile messaging. … Read the whole story > >
RETAIL
by Sarah Mahoney
Levi’s move comes at an interesting time, because while both jeans marketers and specialty retailers continue to struggle, there’s plenty of evidence that the denim market is way tougher than other types of discretionary spending, and shoppers just aren’t letting the recession scare them away from buying new jeans. … Read the whole story > >
ENTERTAINMENT
by Aaron Baar
All this week, the company has been announcing band participation via news, gaming and entertainment programming (both Web and television). Through the game’s official site, GH5.GuitarHero.com, consumers are encouraged to find these news items. Properties involved in the announcements include Rollingstone.com, IGN.com, Yahoo News, G4 (and G4TV), as well as the sites of the bands themselves. …Read the whole story > >
HEALTH
by Karl Greenberg
The American Legacy Foundation’s Eric Asche says the cinema verite approach is what “truth” has done along with street theatre campaigns and guerrilla marketing activities. “It’s so much better than anything we could possibly script because it’s genuine; you can’t replicate the shock people have when they learn the facts [about tobacco].” … Read the whole story > >
RETAIL
by Tanya Irwin
The fully integrated marketing campaign also includes print, radio, online and outdoor advertisements. A new Web site, http://www.foodlion.com/pricehunters/, includes links to the TV spots. There’s also a Food Lions Brand Matching Game where consumers can win coupons while getting to know the store brands that the grocer carries. … Read the whole story > >
RESEARCH
by Mark Walsh
Heralding potentially broader sales, netbooks are gaining traction among the digerati in cities such as San Francisco, New York, Miami, San Diego and Los Angeles. New data from market research firm NPD Group shows that major coastal markets are driving netbook sales, which in turn are boosting overall sales of laptops. …Read the whole story > >