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Monday Night Markting News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

Automotive

by Karl Greenberg

The new Facebook integration on GMC.com and Buick.com lets consumers who are building and configuring Buick and GMC vehicles save them in their own directory on the site and then share the configured vehicles with Facebook “friends” who can post comments or “like” their customized selections. …Read the whole story >>

Entertainment

by Aaron Baar

“It’s a big announcement, and it’s gotten a lot of press, so the attention’s been magnified,” Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov BrandIndex, tells Marketing Daily. “When you look at the metrics we track, they’ve moved in a statistically relevant negative way.” …Read the whole story >>

Restaurants

by Tanya Irwin

“Outdoor provides mass reach, but the campaign is really designed to target our loyal and less frequent customers (with boards strategically located near the restaurants) to create awareness of the new menu items, and provide a reason to visit again now,” Dailey President Tom Lehr tells Marketing Daily. …Read the whole story >>

Retail

by Sarah Mahoney

“I was surprised to see that consumers are treating grocery shopping as a sport now,” Pat Conroy, Deloitte’s vice chairman and U.S. consumer products practice leader, tells Marketing Daily in an email. “They are no longer feeling like victims and instead have a mindset that [says] ‘I can beat you at your own game when it comes to shopping in spite of you raising prices and decreasing package size’.” …Read the whole story >>

Packaged Goods

by Karl Greenberg

The truck, a bright purple affair, matches the color scheme and packaging of the newest Trojan vibrator product, the Twister. It is also meant to look like food vans plying the streets of New York that are all the rage in Manhattan and Brooklyn these days. The van is hitting nightspots in the two boroughs next week to show off the products and do some sex education on the side. …Read the whole story >>

The Tale of 2 Coffee Shops

from the Not-So-Secret Writings of ScLoHo:

You are in the People Business

Posted: 19 Jul 2011 04:00 AM PDT


I started writing this in March:

No matter what you produce, provide, sell….

No matter how automated and sleek your systems are…

No matter if you wear jeans or a three piece suit…

You are in the people business.

There’s a couple of coffee shops on the same street in my town that have very different personalities.

My favorite has been in business for over 10 years and has switched coffee providers once or twice, changed some of the details and each year they seem to do a little remodeling.

They used to have live music on Friday and Saturday nights. They don’t anymore. They used to be open late on weekends. Now they close at 8pm every night. They have a couple of the original staff, and the others that work there fit in to the culture.

Most of the furniture is old, some is getting a little threadbare, but it is a comfortable place to go and get a bite to eat, a white mocha, a smile and a little conversation.

Down the street is another coffee shop that roasts their own beans and is also family owned. They moved from across the street to the same side as the first shop and expanded their offerings.

Along with having coffee, they also have a full service bar and on Friday and Saturday evenings they would have a special theme menu that would include ingredients from their garden and recipes crafted from their own chef. Coffee shop #2 really had it going for them as a place that my wife and I would often visit for dinner on Saturdays.

Not anymore.

Recently on a Saturday night at 6pm we walk in the door and notice the weekend menu’s were not out. They were on the door, but not on the tables or at the bar. The owner and his wife are usually there when we show up, but not this time.

Instead of feeling comfortable, it felt like sort of weird. The guy at the register was busy counting change, the young woman who took my wife’s drink order not only had to pull out the recipe card but had to ask what kind of liquor to use and she seemed very unsure of herself.

When I asked for a menu, they said they aren’t doing the weekend dinner menu on Saturdays, only Fridays. Which was very disappointing since the read the menu as we walked in and was trying to decide which delicious items we would enjoy. Instead we had a drink and left.

It’s now 4 months later. Neither one of us have been back. As a matter of fact, a couple of days ago, she asked me if coffee shop #2 was still in business, as we drove by on Saturday afternoon. That’s not the lasting impression you want to leave with your customers is it?

And yes, they are still in business.

Update: my wife and I visited them Friday night. Dinner was both unique and delicious. Service was a little better as one of the owners was tending the bar.

Saturday I told some friends about our Friday night experience and apparently they have done a lot of damage in their reputation beyond what I was aware of personally. These friends will never go back.

Which leads me to share once again: Where Did They Go?

Make Them Your Ally

from RAB.com:

Daily Sales Tip: Empowering the Gatekeeper

Do not bypass gatekeepers. Build alliances. Do not come down to their level. Come up to their level. You never know with whom you are talking. For all you know, the “secretary” is the owner.

Gatekeepers’ jobs are to push you away, but in the same respect it is their job to determine what might be a benefit for the company. Humanize with them. Make a joke. Have fun. Be respectful. Treat them like they are the owner.

And here’s an interesting idea — never ask for the person in charge. Assume they are the people in charge. Say you want to meet with them “and whoever else also makes the purchasing decisions.” There are two reasons here:

1) Who you think is in charge and who really is could be different people. By letting them say if they are or not, you will get the real answer;

2) At the same time, by respecting them and their importance, you are separating yourself from every other sales rep who tramples upon them with disrespect as they try to reach the decision-maker.

Source: Sales consultant/author Todd Natenberg

Why I Switched Careers


It has now been a full month since I walked away from 8+ years working for a group of radio stations in Fort Wayne Indiana.

All together I have spent 25+ years in the radio business with a couple of breaks. I started as a teenage disc-jockey and moved into the advertising and marketing world which I found fascinating.

Radio uses push marketing methods. In order to get the free music, they will push advertising messages out too.

Television broadcasting works this way too. Newspapers also use push marketing methods… you want to read the news, then you have to page thru the ads too.

Yellow Pages is not push marketing. I don’t know of anyone who has casually paged thru the phone book as a source of entertainment.

The selling point for yellow pages sales reps was, the book was the place people go to find a business to spend money with to solve problems. Once you pick up the book, you are ready to spend.

Technology however has made the phone book and the yellow pages outdated. When we want an answer, we Google it. The web and search engines are replacing the yellow pages as the source for finding information and answers.

The other reason I switched careers, I believe in the methods used by my team at Cirrus ABS which combines sound technology, solid strategic planning and analytics to measure the results.

Our Sunday Seth talks more about this:

Paying attention to the attention economy

Most of us are happily obsessed with the economy of money. We earn it and we spend it and we generally pay attention to what things cost.

Certainly, salespeople and marketers are truly focused on the price of things, on commissions and shelving allowances and net margin and the cost of goods sold.

With all of these easily measured activity, it’s easy to overlook the fast-growing and ever more important economy based around attention.

“If I alert my entire customer base, how much will this cost me in permission?”

“How much time do we save our customers with a better written manual?”

“When we fail to ask for (and reward) the privilege of following up, are we wasting permission?”

“Does launching this product to an audience of stangers waste the attention we’re going to have to buy?”

Attention is a bit like real estate, in that they’re not making any more of it. Unlike real estate, though, it keeps going up in value.

3 Blog Tips & Rules

#1: If you are in Fort Wayne, Indiana, join the Social Media fun folks for the monthly Social Media Breakfast Tuesday from 7:30 to 9am. Details are here: http://smbfw006.eventbrite.com/

#2: Realize that there are very few rules. Except stealing other peoples stuff, but that is true in all areas of life.

#3: Have Fun. Fuel Your Blogging shared these ideas recently:

7 Places to Have Fun On Your Blog

Posted: 19 Jul 2011 08:49 PM PDT

Have Fun Blogging

I’m A Bandit Goat Bounty Hunter

Taking yourself too seriously when first starting out as a blogger can be detrimental to the development of your voice and style as a blogger, so instead of trying to fit in with the pros, cut yourself loose from your readers, which probably haven’t populated yet, and have a little fun. Even if you’ve built a bit of a readership, try new things with your blog, express yourself, and see what works … your readership will understand and encourage your direction so long as it’s relevant.

Get started in the following areas of your blog, as they provide the most opportunity for expression and fun:

1. The Header

As one of the first area of your blog a visitor sees, the header is a great place to create a positive first impression. It’s also a great place to have some fun. Whether you feel like switching out your professional looking blog name for a fun alterative or even create a fun name for your blog, this is the place to do it. Obviously, the latter might be more tuned for those just starting their blog, but it’s never too late to add a tagline in effort to further diversify your blog from the others in your niche.

Caution, this happens to be one of the first places search engines see when crawling your blog, so going wild may result in altered rankings.

For those with two main areas in the header (one for the actual logo and the other for advertising or widgets), you could opt to include something fun where you’d place ads or widgets. This is a great place to tell your readers something about your blog or yourself that they might not have a chance to find out if they bounce before visiting your about page — something even the serious bloggers should consider.

2. The Sidebar

Like the header, this area of your blog is one of the first areas the visitor will notice when first visiting your blog. In addition to being the first places visitors go, this is usually accessible no matter where your visitor is on your blog, so providing something fun for your visitors in the sidebar is a sure way to be sure they see it.

A simple message near the top, random facts, or hidden treasures might be a fun way to use the sidebar in effort to make your blog more fun, but it all depends on your niche and style.

Has anyone been experimenting with this — what’s working?

3. The Post Footer

The post footer has become a great place to find out more about the blogger moments after finishing a post, and from what I’ve seen, it’s also where most bloggers inject their voice and humor into their work.

The key here is to surprise the reader by saying something he or she might not expect after reading your post. So if you write a killer post all about social marketing, then reveal you rescue space monkeys in your free time, you might just inspire a giggle from the reader, and thus become more memorable as a blogger.

That said, it’s crucial to be original and awesome … even the example above is a bit on the nose. Get creative and have some fun.

4. Image Captions

While image captions provide a great way to further enhance your search engine optimization, they also enable the blogger to inject something the reader might not expect during the time with your post. It doesn’t have to be funny per se, but rather provide another angle (a more causal voice) regarding your topic.

A great example of this can be seen at TentBlogger — John’s got a good sense of humor and usually provides a little something in the captions that other bloggers might overlook.

5. 404 Page

The 404 page is probably one of the most popular places to have fun, second only to the about page. The 404 page shows whenever your visitor somehow manages to navigate to a url that doesn’t exist.

Creating a custom 404 page is super important, as it can help prevent a visitor from bouncing away in frustration that he or she could find the page desired. There are two routes you can take: create a page that actually helps the user find what he or she was looking for, or a funny page users will remember.

Check out this lot of funny 404 pages if you’re interested in doing something fun … or consider doing something that combines the best of both worlds, like the Copyblogger 404.

6. Contact Page

Have fun on your contact page — the majority are … just boring, including my own at CreativeBlogger. We have the challenge of keeping it helpful and easy for those actually interested in contacting us, yet doing something a little different so the visitor remembers us.

7. About Page

Last but not least, we have the about page. This is where bloggers have the opportunity to really shine with their personality, voice, and style, but it’s all too common for bloggers to model their pages after the major leaguers and miss out on that opportunity to express themselves in a fresh way.

This is where you have to be bold. Convey yourself effectively to your visitors, but remember to include some notes that will diversify you from the rest of the crowd — similar to the post footer. Provide the visitor with something they won’t expect. Talk about what you did before blogging (narwhal wrangler, bandit goat bounty hunter, professional zombie hunter) … just have fun with it!

How Are You Having Fun On Your Blog?

And there’s always the actual content of your blog, but you knew that! I’m interested in learning more about your approach to creating a fun environment for your visitors — post a comment with some tips for those interested in having fun on their blog.

image credit: SigNote Cloud

Give Them The Power

Today’s sales tip from Michele Miller is for the bosses:

Are You Choking Your Employees Off From Experiencing Success?

Posted: 12 May 2011 01:47 PM PDT

I had to smack around a client the other day.

Well, maybe not smack around. But it did involve shaking my finger and saying things like, “Stop it.”

It all had to do with what I’ve written posts about in the past: giving your employees the authority to grow your business.

I was in a meeting with the client, who owns three retail stores in a large city. During our afternoon meeting with the management team, I inquired as to how the employee authority program we set up is going.

One of the managers brought up a situation in the store she manages, discussing a family who shops there regularly. The family has a unique situation in that the father recently returned from service in Afghanistan, where he was injured and is now undergoing extensive rehabilitation.

“The family is really great,” the manager told me. “I really admire the mom, keeping it all together. Some days she looks so frazzled. We thought maybe we could do something for them, so I came up with the idea of a gift certificate to a nice restaurant so that she wouldn’t have to cook for one night.”

“Great idea,” I replied. “So, how did it go?”

“We didn’t do it.”

“You didn’t do it? Why not?”

At this point, the manager innocently glanced over at the boss. “Well, we talked about it and asked Mr. BossMan what he thought. He didn’t really care for the idea, so we didn’t do it.”

Here is where the finger shaking started.

An employee authority program will NEVER work unless the employee has complete authority.

Have a great idea to make a customer feel good? Does it fit within the monthly budget prescribed for customer feel-good marketing? DO IT.

Don’t think it to death. And above all, DON’T ASK THE BOSS FOR PERMISSION.

JUST. DO. IT.

It is the BossMan’s responsibility to “cut the cord” with management and staff on customer satisfaction marketing. Any boss worth his/her weight has to constantly drill employees on how great they are, and how much trust there is to do the right thing for customers.

This is a marketing idea that costs little and can be budgeted using marketing dollars. It requires little from BossMan other than reminding employees that they have the authority to solve problems or make a customer’s day a little happier.

You see employee authority programs in use all around you. Starbucks. Zappo’s. Ritz Carlton Hotels. Yes, they’re big companies. How do you think they got that way?

Seriously. Think about it. THEN DO IT.