Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

You know the drill, Click & read:

Research
by Karlene Lukovitz
“Marketing tends to be preoccupied with staying on track with individual tactical executions or traditional marketing fundamentals like lead generation, campaign execution and content or creative development,” sums up Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “However, today’s demand chain requires a new mix of digital, direct, and retail distribution, fulfillment, measurement and tracking capabilities to maximize customer contact, conversion and interaction.” …Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
Having just added the new Optima to its shiny new lineup — including the Sorento, Sportage Forte and Soul — Kia recently created a one-stop online shop at eBay Motors. Michael Sprague, Kia’s VP/marketing, talks to Marketing Daily about the program, which puts individual dealer inventory on a special Kia-branded subset of eBay’s auto site. While Sprague says dealers don’t have to opt in, the rapidity with which they have signed up shows that they appreciate the need to bridge the virtual and physical processes. …Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
“We have significantly increased our digital media spend over the last couple of years and custom programs like this are an important part of our media plan as they reach consumers when they are engaging with transactions,” Amy Michael, Visa’s head of global e-commerce marketing, tells Marketing Daily. …Read the whole story >>
Electronics
by Aaron Baar
The interactive displays take a page from a similar initiative conceived by the Consumer Electronics Association, ESPN and the country’s top cable and satellite providers earlier in the fall. That promotion, titled “National 3D Demo Days,” involved setting up 3D viewing areas in some of the nation’s top electronic retailers, giving consumers a chance to watch 3D sports programming in the stores to get a better idea of the 3D experience. …Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
The sponsorship aligns with the brand’s “New Standard of the World” brand positioning launched in October. A spokesperson for the brand said the company has not developed specific programs yet. “Our marketing integration will focus on our core models — the CTS family [sedan, wagon and coupe], the SRX crossover and the Escalade,” he said. …Read the whole story >>
Retail
by Erik Sass
Akoo, a place-based TV network delivering entertainment content to mall food courts and college dining halls, has a new ad option that allows advertisers to deliver calls to action with mobile devices simultaneously with traditional branded ad spots. The call to action can include coupons, point-of-sale giveaways, contests, sweepstakes and other promotions designed to drive transactional behavior in a retail environment. …Read the whole story >>
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Us Old Folks Have Lots of Money, Sonny


11 days until my birthday. I’ll be 51.

My kids are on their own, which means no child support, no financial obligations at all for my kids except for a couple more weddings, grandkids, and a college graduation coming my way in 2011.

Yes, those are pretty big things to cover, but as I look back to my child rearing years, I wonder how we managed to get by.

Now days, we get to choose what to spend our income on. And those of us over 40 are still spending.

Here’s some lessons from Mediapost:

Do’s and Don’ts Of Connecting

If you are interested in securing a competitive edge for your product in baby boomer and older consumer markets (aging customers), you will be more successful in your efforts if you understand your market.

David B. Wolfe, noted expert on developmental relationship marketing and communicating with aging customers offers this insight. “Aging customers rely more on emotional reactions than younger adults to determine if they should think about a matter. Memories are activated by emotional triggers in the brain. The stronger the original emotional response to a situation, the stronger the memory will be.” If an ad headline generates a negative first impression (or none at all) the older person is less likely than a younger consumer to plunge further into the ad copy. Moreover, stories generally arouse emotions more readily than emotionally neutral expository. Research shows that the more emotionally neutral information is, the less likely the older mind will give it attention.

Admittedly, Wolfe’s comments are generalities, but generalities can have value when they express verifiable central themes. As you develop marketing, advertising and sales approaches and presentations for an aging marketplace consider the following a guide to design, position, market or sell your product.

DO:

  • Learn as much as you can about physical and behavioral changes caused by the aging process. Apply your knowledge to product design, marketing, advertising and sales communications and approaches.
  • Design your promotion or advertising to allow the consumer to define the service attributes using his/her imagination in terms of his/her needs and desires. Don’t try to shove ten pounds of copy into a five-pound page. Less is more.
  • Design your product to meet functional, social reinforcement, and related experiences’ expectations.
  • Promote and advertise your product as a gateway to desired experiences beyond the intrinsic value of your product. What additional value does you product provide?
  • Be authentic and give them the facts (reduce hyperbole).
  • Portray these populations as doing for others, as individuals, as smart, as active, as wise.
  • Use marketing and advertising firms with a demonstrated knowledge of your target markets (Check if people matching your targets age are on the creative team).
  • Use aging customers to assist in product, service and communications development.
  • Touch their hearts and they will allow you to enter their minds.

DON’T:

  • Underestimate the significance of these markets. They are the New Customer Majority. More than 110 million people in America are over the age of forty.
  • Consider age a determinant of consumer behavior (there is no evidence that a person’s age is a major factor in determining buying habits). Age should be considered as a correlating factor only.
  • Design your service or advertisements to appeal to self-gratifying interests of the consumer.
  • Design or promote your services to appeal to the vulnerabilities associated with the aging process. At times they feel bad enough; you don’t have to remind them.
  • Attempt to instill a “sense of urgency” during a purchase consideration (time is usually not of the essence in their decision making process).
  • Over-embellish product or service performance claims — may be automatically perceived as misleading as would small print on product labels and advertising.
  • Stress self-indulgent of your product/service — more effective in younger markets.
  • Stress images that are contrary to traditional basic values. Generally accepted universal or traditional values may include American flag, church or temple, home, traditional small town, etc.

Remember that aging customers, on average, have a superior sense of reality. Don’t succumb to the myths and stereotyping about aging that pervades our society — you may do so at the expense of the long-term potential of your business.


Jim Gilmartin is president of Chicago-based Coming of Age, Inc. (www.comingofage.com), a marketing/ad agency, PR and training firm specializing in helping clients increase market share and profit in baby boomer and senior customer markets. He has co-authored “Market Smart: The Best in Age & Lifestyle Specific Design.” Reach him here.

Short Ones

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: The Shorter the Better

You have to ask questions that truly engage the customer. However, this doesn’t mean you need to develop complex questions.

Instead, the best tactic is to ask shorter ones. Long questions tend to result in short answers, while short questions will generally result in long answers.

An example of a great short question is, “Why?” In my opinion, there isn’t a better follow-up question you can ask after the customer has shared with you some information.

Consider how your customers would respond to other short examples like, “Can you elaborate on that?” and “Could you explain more?” These shorter questions elicit detailed responses and that’s just what you want.

On the other hand, asking complex questions often tends to perplex customers. Because they are not sure what you are looking for, they respond with the universal answer representing total confusion, “What did you say?”

Questions should not be your means of showing your customers that you are an expert. Save that for your statements.

Source: Sales consultant/trainer Mark Hunter

Monday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

Beverages
by Karlene Lukovitz
The new “Let Go” spot for the Italian wine, filmed in Rome, depicts a stylish young Italian woman holding a large bunch of golden balloons, walking among the city’s traffic and cafés and being rowed across a scenic park lake on her way to a party at a modern terrazzo. …Read the whole story >>
Retail
by Sarah Mahoney
Looks like Black Friday — still considered the true kickoff of the holiday season — was a rosy one, with the National Retail Federation reporting that 212 million shoppers went to stores or Web sites over the weekend, a big jump from 195 million last year. On average, each shopper spent $365.34 over the weekend, up from last year’s $343.31, with total spending reaching an estimated $45 billion. …Read the whole story >>
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
Jeri Yoshizu, Scion’s head of sales and promotions, says Scion has had a relationship with Vice for five years starting with ad buys in Vice Magazine, then tasking Vice with bringing talent to Scion’s own rock festivals. “They have a high level of expertise when it comes to talent and artists.” …Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Quicken Loans ranks highest among primary mortgage lenders with a score of 826, and performs well in all four factors. MetLife Home Loans (808) and PNC/National City Mortgage (776) follow Quicken Loans in the study, which measures customer satisfaction in application/approval process; loan officer/mortgage broker; closing; and contact. …Read the whole story >>

The Social Media Disconnect


Facebook uses the term Friends, but what really defines a Friend?

Are they someone we would call a friend in real life?

Are the “Likes” on Facebook really things we are passionate about, or do we just want to see what they will give us for being on of their fans?

From Mediapost recently:

Here We Go Again …

Relationship marketing is about quality, not quantity. This is not to say that numbers aren’t important; they are. Marketing programs need critical mass to succeed. However, the numbers follow quality. Why did the Old Spice Guy attract such large numbers? Because the content was really, really good.

Take a step back. For the past 20-plus years we have heard about the need to establish one-to-one relationships with our consumers. Go back 11 years to Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing and you’ll find one of the ways he thought we could build these relationships was through email.

But guess what? Most companies messed that up because they started sending out email that was self-serving instead of serving their customers. Somewhere along the line the idea of delivering personalized messages to loyal and engaged customers turned into a need to get permission from the most people possible, which eventually turned into simply getting the biggest list possible.

This hit home when working with a client several years ago. We walked into the annual planning meeting to discuss the goals for the coming year. After all of the plans were presented, the person heading up the marketing organization said, “Our primary goal for the year is to add 10 million names to our email list.” No financial targets. No engagement metrics. Testing and optimizing content were to be put on hold until that objective was reached. All of the energy and resources were directed toward the goal of building the biggest possible list.

Not surprisingly, the year was largely wasted. We met the goal, but other areas of the program suffered. Creativity on the content side suffered. The messages that were going out weren’t personal. Revenue did not increase in proportion to the size of the list because a lot of the names being added simply never became engaged in the program. We’d shifted away from the core concepts of permission marketing (and relationship marketing) to mass marketing through a personal channel.

The same risk exists in social media. As we read about the “Social Media Revolution,” about two-way dialogues, authenticity, transparency, and customer empowerment there is a specter looming beneath the surface. More and more we are hearing things like, “we need to get to 10 million Facebook Fans” and “we need to get 1,000,000 Followers on Twitter.” It’s like déjà vu all over again.

It’s a wrong-headed approach and here’s why:

1) The disconnect between “likes” and impressions: there is an underlying assumption that once a person “likes” your brand that your posts will show up in their news feed. That’s not necessarily true for two reasons. First, Facebook EdgeRank determines your placement in each users newsfeed (if at all). Second, many users will hide your posts from their news feed. Click the “X” once and your posts disappear. A parallel can be drawn back to email deliverability. Simply said, not all of Facebook posts get delivered.

2) Social Media Fans don’t represent new customers: another assumption of “big numbers” marketing objectives is that new fans (or followers or subscribers) represent new customers. In some cases this may be true, but as Jay Baer recently wrote in “Ra Ra Wrong. How Facebook’s Cheerleaders Are Blowing Smoke“, “the people that ‘like’ your company on Facebook already like you in the real world. Consequently, your Facebook fan page is just another way to identify, corral, and (hopefully) activate them.”

3) The “relationship” is over-valued: social media seems like the ideal channel to establish a relationship with our customers. We post something to Facebook and people respond. That’s good. But there is a good reason that Facebook allows us to “like” brands instead of becoming “friends.” When is the last time you heard someone say, “My best friend is Diet Coke?” Or “I wish I could have a better relationship with Toyota?” You don’t because consumers don’t talk about brands that way. The fact is that consumers, and especially Gen Y consumers, are not interested in having a “relationship” with your brand.

Just to make the point, we recently asked a group of consumers about the “relationship” they have with different brands. Most respond that they have no interest in a “relationship,” they just “like” stuff. A small percentage of consumers do want two-way dialogue and want to interact with brands. It’s an important minority because of their willingness to endorse your brand to their friends, but it is a minority nonetheless, which doesn’t give much credence to the idea of simply building a big list of fans.

Building a social media strategy is an imperative for any brand in today’s world, but building the biggest social media list possible is a recipe for disaster. Sure, it may all simply be semantics, but we’ve been down this road before and there is no reason to make the same mistakes. Take your eye off of building a quality audience and the audience you end up building will be less impactful (and thus less profitable) than if you had simply focused the same resources on generating better content. Interact with your customers. Thank them when they do nice things. But most of all, engage consumers by injecting fresh and engaging content into the community.

Do these things and the numbers will come. Focus on the numbers first and your efforts will end up being wasted.


Morgan Stewart is Co-Founder and CEO of Trendline Interactive, an email-centric marketing consultancy. Follow him at twitter.com/mostew and reach him here.

Michele Souder is Vice President, Strategic Services at Trendline Interactive.

The Next Step

from my email:

Sales Tip #106

Dated: 22 November,2010

Your persistence may get you that first client meeting, but the ideas you propose about how to improve their revenue or business situation should be your strongest selling points.

Once you have a foot in the door, use the opportunity to the maximum. The focus should be on the benefits and value to be derived from buying your product. Place the spotlight on the client’s business and how his processes will be improved or how his revenue streams will be expanded by investing in your product. Your client won’t be sold by your persistence in the meeting. He will want to know the facts and figures about how he will benefit from your product. Respond directly to his needs and you will have his undivided attention.

Click here to read this post at The Science and Art of Selling by Alen Majer.

602-100 Strachan Ave, Toronto, ON, M6K 3M6

Why Your Work Is Never Done


In school you would get an assignment, do the work and turn it in and you were done. That doesn’t work in real life.

Here’s my Sunday Seth to keep you moving forward from Seth Godin recently:

Seeking market resonance

If you’ve ever wasted time at a catered affair, you know the water glass trick. Half full glass, wet finger, hold the bottom of the glass and then slide your finger around and around the top of the glass.

As you move your finger, the glass will vibrate. Move it just right (a function of the amount of water and the thickness of the glass) and the glass starts to sing. Do it really well and it sings so loud you might be able to shatter the glass and get into all sorts of trouble.

This is what most marketers seek (not the trouble part, the singing part).

The market awaits your innovation. Things that might make it vibrate and resonate don’t work. Then some do. It’s not always obvious before you start what the right entry point is, what the right product is, what the right speed is. And knowing that you don’t know is the most important place to start.

Honing your music or your presentation or your business plan or your store’s inventory are all efforts to resonate. Smart marketers are hyper-alert for what’s working, for what’s starting to get people to prick their ears. Just like the glass, you have a touch, you adjust, you listen, you adjust again.