Sunday, December 20, 2009

Would Your Brand Tee Off With Tiger Woods?

Is Tiger Woods good for your brand? Before this month almost any brand might have said "yes: to a Tiger Woods endorsement. Today, the answer isn't so clear. Accenture has apparently ended it's Tiger Woods campaign. Nike remains a supporter of Tiger. Gillette has backed off.

So, the question is, how would you determine whether to keep Tiger Woods or dump him? David Vinjamuri of writes eloquently about Tiger Woods and celebrity endorsement and I agree with his assessment. Both Accenture and Nike are right. One dumped him, one kept him. Nike is right to kepe Tiger because he represents athleticism and athletic performance. His endorsement is a direct endorsement of the Nike brand vlaue proposition. Accenture had a more difficult decision. Their ad campaign emphasized the ability of Tiger Woods to focus on the challenge and make sound judgements. It's a less direct endorsement of the Accenture brand value proposition. And it certainly reminds the consumer of the recent controversy over Tiger Woods' judgement off the golf course. Read the post by David Vinjamuri - insightful.

Does this define Integrated Marketing?

Integrated Media. I've shared this defintion before, but it's so funny that it's worth sharing again. I first saw this published in Media Magazine:

"integrated agency: n., pl. -cis.(Lat. Integrate, to make whole - integer, complete - (Med. Lat. agentia (agens, effective) 1. An agency that does all the things a regular, ordinary agency does, but with the addition of a superfluous modifier."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Verizon "has a Map for that" taking on ATT and iPhone

I love it when an ad campaign comes along that delivers both competitive insight and creativity in a way that grabs my attention. The Apple "Mac vs. PC" ads are an example, and the Microsoft "I'm a PC" response campaign is also a terrific example. Rarely does a response ad campaign work. I think the Microsoft advertising works well to blunt the Apple ads, but Apple still wins on overall creativity.

However, today I heard the latest Verizon ad and I think it is one of the best recent examples of an effective competitive ad blended with excellent creativity driven by solid business strategy. The Verizon ad targets ATT by indirectly attacking the Apple iPhone (which is tied to the ATT 3G network in the U.S.) Verizon marketing executives and the ad agency wanted to promote the strength of the Verizon network versus the coverage of the ATT network. The ad tells us that if we want to see the Verizon network "we have a map for that" and if you want to compare it to the smaller ATT network "we have a map for that". It's a great play on words versus the iPhone "we have an App for that" spots. Creative. Benefit focused. Simple. That's one way to gain a return on your marketing and advertising budget.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Advertising Metrics Must Change with Advertising Models

Marketing measurement and key marketing metrics will change dramatically over the next 5 years. A recent study on the future of advertising conducted by IBM suggests that "the next 5 years will hold more change to the advertsing world than the past 50 years." These changes wil necessitate changes in traditional marketing metrics. Impressions and reach will diminish in value as metrics while deeper individual lead relationship metrics will evolve and become more critical strategic marketing metrics. The IBM study describes this scenario:

Imagine an advertising world where ... spending on interactive, one-to-one advertising formats surpasses traditional, one-to-many advertising vehicles, and a significant share of ad space is sold through auctions and exchanges. Advertisers know who viewed and acted on an ad, and pay based on real impact rather than estimated “impressions.” Consumers self-select which ads they watch and share preferred ads with peers. User-generated advertising is as prevalent (and appealing) as agency-created spots.

Four key drivers of this change are identified as: Attention (consumer in control), Creativity (user generated), Measurement, and Ad Inventory (increased use of emerging exchanges). How is your business set to handle this change? Will you lag or lead?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Increasing Internet Marketing ROI Via Link Building

Moving from a broad strategic marketing post (see previous post) to something more tactical, do you know how strong the SEO effort is for your brand web site? I came across this web post and it is a simple overview of key issued related to link buidling for SEO. A quick read with references to other sources. Utlimately it's about increasing the ROI of your online marketing efforts.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Levitt and Drucker on Marketing - Old definitions still apply

A marketing definition that is often overlooked:
"Because its business is to find and keep customers, the business enterprise has two - and only two - basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are 'costs'." (Peter Drucker)

Theodore Levitt said it differently, but a nice comparison of the selling versus marketing.
"The difference between selling and marketing is that selling is getting rid of what you have, while marketing is having what people want." (Theodore Levitt)

As you conisder these two comments, here are two thoughts for the day to consider:
1. Are your marketing metrics and marketing efforts tied to innvoation in your origanization?
2. Does your sales team market your products by solving customer needs or are they selling your inventory?

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Jet Blue Tweets Discount Air Fares - New Promotion Approach

Jet Blue and United have starting using Twitter for discount air fare promotions. This is an interesting test of an approach to generate marketing ROI from Twitter. As reported in this USA Today article, Jet Blue is sending out Tweets, typically on Mondays, announcing reduced airfares on unsold seats. The trick is that followers must react quickly to capture these discounted rates. (By the way, love the name "Cheeps" even though it may be too downscale and may cheapen the brand equity.) A recent tweet offered a $9 fare from JFK to Nantucket. It's a hihgly targeted approach to fill underutilized and expiring capacity by offering these discounts to a limited audience without widespread exposure to the rest of the market. There's always a new wrinkle for brand marketers... If you are small business, how might you use this approach to promote your brand in your local market?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Free - Digital Marketing Economics

Chris Anderson, Wired Magazine, has just published "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" suggesting that the declining cost of technology will drives digital products to be free because the marginal cost of product approached zero. The application of Moore's law, which suggests that the amount of memory delivered for a given cost will double every two years (a rough statement of the law, not a quote), to the cost of delivering digital products is one of the foundations for the suggestion that pricing will go to zero because the cost to deliver approaches zero.

It's interesting, because the cost appoaches zero but never acheives zero. Therefore, someone must still pay for the cost of delivering the product. Facebook is free, but the servers that house the data cost money. Google is free, but the it costs money to run the search bots, store and serve the data. The marginal cost of a Google search may approach zero, but it is not zero?

So what is the model? If free to oonsumers, there appear to be only one alternative - third party party payment. Third party payment to cover costs and provide profit margin can come from advertisers (the media model), or from a subset of the consuming market. This subset might be fees to subscribers for premium services. In other words, in order to be free to most a few must pay for a premium offering. A second version might be the blades/razor model, the content is free (or near free) but you must purchase the player/iPod/iPhone/Kindle. In the end, "Free" isn't really free, it's the ability to allocate product to a broad population by charging a few or charging in another manner. What do you think?

Zappos Creates Market Value in Amazon Eyes

Amazon is acquiring for $847 Million. With over a billion in revenue (See Forbes article) and reportedly earning $40MM, Zappos has clearly shown that there is profit is shoes. Not only profit, but equity value as well.

Where does all that value come from? Customer service. Zappos has differentiated itself among all shoe sellers by devoted, passionate, exceptional customer service. they successfully took a near-commodity product category and created brand value by differentiating themselves on service - filling a much needed gap in the online marketplace. (By the way, Amazon values customer service and has been a leader in technology solutions for serice - witness their book recommendations.) The lesson for marketers is to look for unconventional ways to differentiate the entire solution bundle (products and services), and you can create real market value.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Marketers enter the Shark Tank

Time for another reality business show. We've already seen Trump's "You're Fired" and Richard Branson gave it a show. This time it's Shark Tank, produced by Sony. Entreprenuer wannabes meet succesful entrepreneurs to pitch thier ideas. It may be entertaining, but will it paint a picture close to the reality faced by most entrepreneurs trying market their business? Here are some other blog posts about small business marketing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Home Run Derby - a Sponsorship Payout?

Albert Pujols didn't win the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game festivities last night. The event was won by Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers, son of former major-leaguer Cecil Fielder. But the real question is, did the marketers win? Pepsi, State Farm and others were the paying sponsors. Did they generate a favorable ROI on their All-Star investment? Probably not, at least in terms of direct sales. But direct product sales was probably not the goal. Brand association with this high-energy, contemporary event (the Derby is still relatively new, and more exciting than the game itself) was the goal. In turn, this association and other sponsorships align these brands with the values of the audience. That is, they associate the brand with contemporary, high-energy, mainstream "American" events. This alignment impacts brand choice over time. This alignment impacts trade relationships as well, especially when a buyer is making a choice to promote a brand (Coke vs. Pepsi). So, Albert Pujols may not have been the big winner last night. In the end, I think the sponsors came out ahead.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Twittering for Brand Marketers

Well, it seems that it's been all Twitter in the news lately (or Michael Jackson). Brand marketers are still trying to figure out how work with Twitter. Many wonder if it's worth the effort at all. With the evolution of Web 2.0 social media tools, brand conversations are happening faster and in more places. This challenges marketers who traditionally spend time trying to manage communications rather than planning and participating in the engagement.

Here a couple of real-world things a brand marketer might try if you are still trying to dip you toe in the waters of Twitter.

1. Set up a Twitter account. (Obviously, you can try the water if you don't go to the pool.)
2. Log In, watch and listen. Then post a few messages. (Step into the shallow end.)
3. Begin to Follow others. There are several ways to do this, but two very easy methods include:
A. Use the Search tool on twitter to find people you want to follow.
B. While logged into to your Twitter account, open another window in your browser and type in using the name of the person you want to follow. For example, to follow me, type When you get to the Twitter page of the person just click the "Follow" button under the photo.

Don't know who to follow? For marketers, try following your competitors, key industry players, and bloggers that you like. Seth Godin is one of the more popular marketers to follow. Follow me if you like.

4. Auto Follow. You can easily set up your account Settings to automatically follow those who follow you. This helps start the potential for dialogue. Once you do this, you are ready for the main part of the pool.

This is not intended as a full training guide, just a push to help you get started. For marketers, it's very easy to move from this point to hosting your own instant "focus group" on Twitter, engage with loyal users, and track key issues.

Good luck!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Seth Godin interviewed

As a quick followup to the previous post, Seth Godin is interviewed by Thomas White on Business Matters radio show. Worth listening.

Monday, May 25, 2009

New Writing and Publsihing Models - Comment on Godin

Seth Godin recently posted a comment about the need for publishing models that allow writers to benefit from their writing. With digital publising eleminating the historical barriers of printing and publishing content, anyone today can publish their thoughts and writing. (Heck, look at this blog post itself.) For the serious "professional" writer, it now becomes more challenging to stand out from the mass of citizen writers, and even more difficult to earn a living writing in the tradtional manner. Godin posits that new publishing models will evolve to allow writers to be compensated. I suggest that new writing formats may be the solution rather than new publsiing models. Perhaps a combination of both.

For those in marketing, what are the implications? Fewer copy writers? Ability to write your own copy? More or less ways to interact and communicate your brand mesage?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

No such thing as bad, as long as you can Sell

A statement made by Gill Wagner last week has been sticking in my mind. Talking about sales and marketing in the current economy, Gill said, "There's no such thing as bad, as long you can sell." Too many marketers and sales people are bemoaning the poor state of the economy, but those that keep their eye on the prize continue to do well. Is your brand strong? Is your sales team motivated? Lots of opportunity for those that are willing to push the ball forward. Agree?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Five New Rules of Marketing

In an article by Jack Neff in Ad Age, he reports on a presentation by Simon Clift, CEO of Unilever discussing the role of brands and how social media impacts brand strategy. Below are the five new rules for marketing by as presented by Ag Age. Good stuff.

Five new rules for marketing
The flat-earth, digitized world described by Unilever CMO Simon Clift is one in which the marketing norms have changed. Here are Ad Age's "New Rules."
Listening to consumers is more important than talking at them. As Mr. Clift said, "We may be ahead of our competitors, but we're most definitely behind consumers." The consumer is not a moron, she's the person defining your brand.

You can't hide the corporation behind the brand anymore -- or even fully separate the two. Even this editor's creaking computer only took 0.13 seconds to show that Philip Morris is owned by Altria Group. Welcome to radical transparency, where bad corporate behavior will damage your brands, and vice versa.

PR is a primary concern for every CMO and brand manager. If "marketing" and "PR" are not the same department, tear down the wall. Spend time deciding whether PR is underleveraged in your organization.

Cause marketing isn't about philanthropy, it's about "enlightened self-interest," as Mr. Clift puts it. That doesn't mean it doesn't count. Don't be ashamed of your profit motive, because great branding and doing good are increasingly one and the same.

Social media is not a strategy. You need to understand it, and you'll need to deploy it as a tactic. But remember that the social graph just makes it even more important that you have a good product. Put another way: The volume and quality of your earned media will be directly proportional to the impact and quality of your product and ideas.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Twitter Exceeds NY Times - Marketers should follow new models

The following quote appeared in today's SmartBrief eNewsletter: "...I will mention in passing that the CEO of Reuters spoke out last night, raising the question of why does the Times still need 6-700 journalists? Tom Glocer, chief executive of Thomson Reuters, is quoted by Gillian Reagan of the New York Observer, as arguing that newspapers like The Times should trim costs and focus their coverage. “That view that ‘I am The New York Times and I do everything’—I think that’s not the best way to run a newspaper,” he said. Meanwhile, Tweet by Tweet, asuming Compete has its data trends right, that little bird is fluttering right past The Times on the web’s list of top sites, and you might say, leaving the old business modelers wondering, “What exactly was that thing that just blew by us, anyway? A bird, a plane, or…”

Media is changing. Models are changing. Marketers should experiement with these formats to learn what works for their own brands. Ultimately, for marketers, return on investment from these new media tools will require new marketing tactics rather than old tactics applies to new media.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Brand managers triumph on Trump

Any fans of The Apprentice out there? I don't watch regularly but happening to see the last half of the show on Sunday evening. Social media has infiltrated reality TV. Very strange. Two teams are challenged by Trump to create a viral commercial for All dishwash detergent. Both teams fail miserably based on the judging of the brand marketing team for All. One team took a "tease them with sex puns" apporach while the other used a "be outrageous" approach. Is this really the answer to going viral on social networks? If so, marketing has devolved. Neither team focused on their targetg audience of middle income Moms. If viral marketing is only about being juvenile then the tactic will be short-lived. Thank goodness that All brand team was smart enough to reject both videos. Trump went on to fire 2 people instead of 1 this week. The lesson for marketers (if there was one) is that social media doesn't mean abandoning your brand personality or brand standards. Return on marketing investment may be achievable in social media, but not at the expense of core brand principles.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Newspaper vs Online Advertising - Hilarious

Marketers wondering about the future return on marketing investment between newspapers and internet advertising investments will love this hilarious interview between Mr. Colbert of Comedy Central and the head of the NAA (Newspaper Association of America). Be sure to watch through the exercise where the Colbert hands him three newspapers and challenges him find the current Dow index and the current temperature while Colbert does the same on his iPhone. Is the future of the newspaper in doubt.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coke Ads a Zero?

I really dislike the current Coke ad campaign from Coke Zero. The ads feature a pair of actors portraying Coke brand managers upset with the Coke Zero brand. The ad campaign has succeeded at delivering the message that Coke Zero tastes like Coke. For that, nicely done. But I wonder about the damage being done to the core Coke brand by portraying the Coke team as a couple of buffoons. I'm certain that Coke management has tested and measured the brand impression impact on both Coke and Coke Zero. But for this consumer, it's left a bad taste.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Consumers, Producers, and Marketing Change

There is a change happening before our eyes that will impact the way marketers view their role. It will change the way marketers define and measure return on marketing investment. This fundamental change in society is the evaporation of the distinction between consumers and producers.

For decades our society has been based on the proposition that a limited set of producers distribute and make available products to a large set of consumers. We might target a segment of the broader consumer market, but typically we operate in an environment where a scarce number of producers create and sell solutions for a larger group of buyers.

So what happens when technology allows inidivduals to become producers? Ten years ago a business needed to go to a web firm to build a web site. Today, any person can create a web site or a blog instantly and at no cost. Ten years ago a limited number of publishing firms decided what authors words were published. Today anyone can self-publish. The barriers to entry are diminishing in many categories.

As a marketer, how will you respond and measure performance when your consumers can also become producers? Do you measure the production of media content that consumers produce about your company or product? Do you evaluate whether that publsihed content is positive or negative? Do you attempt to pariticipate in the conversation?

One last thought. We talk about citizens as consumers. When everyone becomes both a consumer and a producer, will the language change?

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

eMail death?

Has anyone noticed that the "killer app" of the 1990s (eMail) isn't really used at all by anyone under 21? 'nuf said.

Social Media and return on marketing investment

Is social media a useful place for a brand marketer to spend time? Is there ROMI from the effort? Aside from the occasional measurable promotion most social media today has limited short-term return on marketing investment. However, I content that brand marketers should participate in the so-called social media experiment in order to gain the long-term return on marketing investment. Or, any individual might choose to sit on the sidelines and learn from the investment of experience by other marketers (How many advertisers learned the ropes of the :30 TV spot on the backs of the investment by P&G, Kraft, and others?).

The current social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) all represent new technological tools that facilitate alternative forms of communication and interaction. We are in the cultural period of turmoil in which the technology has given us capbilities and we are still learning how to best use these new found skills. Like a child learning to walk, then run, then dance. We have yet to learn how to dance.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Charisma and Leadership

"Charisma doesn't make you a leader, leading gives you charisma." Read this short interview on CopyBlogger.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Economic Stimulus, Brands, and the Social Contract

Our economic woes and the ongoing efforts to stimulate the economy strike me as having some comparisons and learning for corporate brand marketers. The private sector is experiencing major balance sheet issues with tight credit markets freezing the system. While political diffferences about the form exist, nearly all economists agree that some form of governmental stimulus is necessary. In essence, the government is forming a social contract with the private sector that says that government will take a balance sheet hit (increased deficit) to feed the private sector needs for this year and beyond. In return, following the end of the recession the private sector will need to help the government improve its balance sheet by reducing the deficit.

For corporate brands, this is in some ways like brands seeking corporate marketing investment to fund brand revitalization with the promise of generating future profits for the organization. As a brand leader, think about the nature of the organizational contract that your brand is making with the company. Show the company the long term return on investment proposition that you are advocating for the brand.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Integrated Agency defined

Love this humorous definition of an Integrated Agency recently published in Media Magazine:

"integrated agency: n., pl. -cis.(Lat. Integrate, to make whole - integer, complete - (Med. Lat. agentia (agens, effective) 1. An agency that does all the things a regular, ordinary agency does, but with the addition of a superfluous modifier."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Flip Mino Camcorder - MarketingWitz design

Flip Mino Camcorder with Personalized Design - Available only at Can personalization create marketing demand? Check out this unique Flip Mino design. The design was created by MarektingWitz. (Really!) The Flip Mino camcorder combines remarkable video quality in a pocket-sized package. Now personalizable - create yours

eMail Marketing ROI resource

If you are interested in maximizing the return on your e-mail marketing investment, take a look at the latest email marketing metrics report from MailerMail. They've been publsihing this report for several years and there are many fact-based finding that will improve your marketng ROI, such as optimizing the day of week, he subject line length, etc. Other excellent e-mail marketing sources: Constant Contact, Vertical Response, MarketVolt.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Media Companies Tips apply to Brand Marketers

Great new article on 10 Basics Media Companies Can't Afford to Ignore in Ad Age, but items like measuring up your business, managing inventory, deveoping creative solutions, and partnering for innovation all apply too businesses well beyond media companies. It applies to brand marketers as well.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Denny's Grand Slam a Home Run?

With all the discussion about the best Super Bowl spots, I wonder which ones really generated the greatest return on investment. Some, like the Doritos spots, were wonderfully creative, but you have to push a lot of retail displays and pull a lot of consmer sales to generate a return on a $2.5-$3MM investment. Some, like Go Daddy, may not have creative that you appreciate but have an immediate call to action that allows measurable results (how many new domains sold this week versus the week prior?).

So what about Denny's? Free Grand Slam breakfasts on Tuesday after the Super Bowl. Postive ROI? One news report suggested that $2MM in free breakfasts were served. I don't have their data, but I suspect the cash cost was far less that the retail value of the free breakfasts. Even if it was $1MM, bringing the total cost of the ad plus meals t $3.5-$4MM, did the exposure and trial generation create enough new customers? I don't think so. When I drove past the local Denny's on Tuesday morning there was a line down the sidewalk (in 15 degree weather, too!). I can't imagine that the dining experience was very pleasurable with the hectic environment, crush of visitors and a burdened kitchen. Would that make you a loyal customer? Not me. (Not that I would wait in line for a free pancake...)

So, was the Grand Slam a Home Run? Let me know what you think.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Value of Education - Seth Godin asks

Seth Godin asks "What is school for?" and offers 27 wide-ranging answers. It's an interesting question because it questions the role of educatio in society. For marketers, the question might be addressed from the perspective of defining the benefit being sold by educators. Is the return on educational investment measured in the overall productivity level of the population of a society? Do better educational systems generate greater GNP? Is this the beter metric, or would it be better to compare relative IQs or MENSA qualifications across societies? Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, has written about the application of his approach to evaluating differentiators of great businesses to the non-profit sector, with interesting insights about how the core 'flywheel' model shifts in non-profits.

My suggestion for #28 on Seth Godin's list is: #28. Learn to think critically. As a parent investing in the college education of a child who has chosen to major in Classics (not the major with the highest level of "I got a great job upon graduation" results), I firmly believe he's becoming a better human being able to think critically about the world around him. I suppose this also implies that I believe that better thinking among people will ultimately lead to a better society.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tweet Tweet Tweet...Metrics?

Lots of talk about Twitter for marketers these days. Is there a return on investment model for marketers using Twitter? Haven't seen it yet. As a tactic, it can work well as a tool to engage in the conversation with consumers about your brand and, more specifically, about issues relevant to your brand and your consumers. But is it any more measurable than pr, advertising, or other tactics? Is direct response for link activity really the way to measure the impact of tweeting acivity?

I love the innovation of Twitter as a new form of communication. As a marketer, it's as interesting as the innovation of email marketing, followed later by IM, as tools for digital communication. If you have a developed a useful metric (not platitudes, actual metrics) for measuring the marketing benefit of using twitter for brand building, I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Future of local news

I came across an excellent article by Sean Carlton on CLickZ discussing the future of newspapers and print media in the digital age. Much has been written on this topic over the past few years, but this article provided the most concise summary of the comparative strengths of each media source. Local news will thrive. Print will be a part of the communication, but digital offers incredible opportunities to innovate the delivery of local content. Ad supported online local news will likely be part of the solution and this directly relevant content will become a source of ROI for marketers seeking to reach consumers on a local level.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Evaluating the ROI of Blogging

Just a short post today. I really enjoyed this Blog post by Terri Holley of Creative Blog Solutions on the small business community. She writes about the ROI of blogging.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Best Inauguration Events

It's 2009 and the first major event of the year is the Inauguration of Barack Obama as President. Inauguration events will be everywhere, from the many Washington, D.C. inauguration events to online Presidential inauguration blogging. The question from MarketingWitz today is: What are the inaugural marketing events that your business might be implementing to drive business this month? Leave your answers here at