Posts Tagged ‘marketing’
Friday, May 11th, 2012
It is interesting when election year comes around, integrity seems to fly out the window. Why is it that political marketers use a different playbook? Falsehoods in political advertising are so prevalent we now have Factcheck.org and Flackcheck.org, both projects of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. And PolitiFact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning operation of the Tampa Bay Times.
Factcheck.org is aimed at reducing the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics – they watch and listen to ads, debates, speeches, interviews and then report of the factual accuracy.
Flackcheck.org debunks false political advertising and reviews how the media reports on political campaigns. They are also reminding broadcasters of their right to reject or require changes in political ads aired by super PACs. (Candidate-produced advertising cannot be refused or censored even if it is inaccurate or defamatory. What? Yes, this is a federal law.)
And then there is the Fact Checker column in the Washington Post. The author Glenn Kessler, has recently issued a challenge to both Former Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama to “give a least one campaign speech, on a substantive policy issue, lasting at least 15 minutes, that does not contain a single factual error or misstatement. That means no sugar-coating of your record, no exaggerated claims about your opponent’s record, and no assertions that are technically true but lack crucial context.”
Fraudulent and deceptive marketing and advertising is not acceptable for any other product or service, just ask Reebok who is to refund $25 million for false advertising of the EasyTone and RunTone shoes.
Hopefully, in our lifetime, political marketers will be held to the same standard. What do you think?
Tags: advertising, marketing, Political Advertising
Posted in 2012 | No Comments »
Monday, January 31st, 2011
Have you measured the status and effectiveness of your company’s brand lately? Answer “Yes” to any of the following questions, and you need to consider new strategies and tactics to keep your brand fresh, relevant and profitable in today’s marketplace.
1. Do you depend on a loyal customer base with few new customers acquired each year?
2. Has your brand identity been consistent over the years, yet never updated?
3. Is social media a mystery to your company?
4. Is consolidation changing the face of your competitive environment?
5. Have distribution points changed for your products?
6. Do you feel that your product is slowly being usurped by new technology or offerings?
7. Have your consumers changed consumption patterns since the recession?
8. Do you have one “star” product outpacing all others?
Over the next few months, I will be discussing these topics and providing insights and suggestions on building brand and market share. Stay tuned.
Tags: brand building, consumer experience, consumer perception, marketing
Posted in 2011, Strategy | No Comments »
Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
In the early 1990s, while studying the brain activity of monkeys, neuroscientists discovered specific neurons would fire in a part of the brain’s frontal lobe with specific activities. What they also found was the same neurons fired in the monkey who was just watching the action. Mirror neurons let the observer experience at least part of the action taking place.
More recently in Daniel Goleman’s book Social Intelligence he says our brain is designed to make connections. If someone is angry with us, we have a similar reaction. If someone smiles at us, we become happier. “The fact that we can trigger any emotion at all in someone else–or they in us–testifies to the powerful mechanism by which one person’s feelings spread to another.”
Human actions and emotions register in others and in a profound way provide the power to change those that observe. How companies look, act and communicate with customers, then, has a great effect on their brand equity. An empathetic voice, a smiling face, and confident actions will go a long way in building trust.
This research reminds me how important it is in marketing to paint a picture and tell a story to customers – to make an emotional connection. And how easy a positive connection could be lost with a negative interaction.
Tags: brand development, brand equity, consumer experience, marketing
Posted in 2010 | No Comments »
Monday, April 26th, 2010
Culture has a great influence on how people communicate and process information. The Japanese culture is clearly steeped in tea. So how much of a challenge has it been to sell coffee in this country? In the 1970s Nestlé first asked this question. They hired Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, a market researcher and psychologist to help them determine the answer. What Dr. Rapaille found was that the Japanese had no connection or “imprint” to coffee. Without personal or cultural reference to the product, any attempts by Nestlé to sell to adults would likely fail.
So, Nestlé began by introducing coffee flavors in candy for children, to create an “imprint” so later in life these individuals would have a positive emotional response to the idea of coffee. In 1970, coffee sales in Japan were nearly non-existent; today Japan is the world’s third largest importer of coffee.
Speaking of culture, candy and Nestlé, the BBC reported the popularity of the KitKat bar among Japanese college students at exam time. Was it the green tea or cherry blossom flavor that boosted sales? Not entirely. It seems that the name KitKat is close to a Japanese expression “kitto katsu” meaning “I hope you will win” and used by students to wish each other luck before finals.
KitKat bars not only taste good, but are a good luck charm. What a perfect blend of culture, communication, and candy! Delicious.
Tags: consumer experience, consumer perception, marketing
Posted in 2010 | No Comments »
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Yesterday while reading the ever serious Harvard Business Review, I really quacked up.
A piece expertly written by the CEO of Aflac, Daniel P. Amos entitled “How He Fell for the Duck“ was the culprit. It was about how he fell for the duck, how the duck grew the business and how the duck went global. It reminded me how important it is to approach marketing with an open mind.
Not that a duck, or for that matter a gecko is right for every client’s marketing campaign, but being safe usually is not a big winner either. In marketing moving forward with calculated risk is a good thing.
Calculated? Think of a game of bridge. It is defined as a game of skill and chance. Decisions are made based on the players’ knowledge of what has already transpired and their tactical abilities. The style and demeanor of each team factors into the play, and of course the luck of the draw. In marketing we are faced with much of the same challenges.
1. Know the market – What has already transpired and what is the projected environment?
2. Recognize the advantages – What makes your company/product/service special?
3. Study the consumer – What are their motivations and why are they relevant?
4. Set objectives – What are the desired results of the campaign?
All these questions help assess risk. But how much risk should you take? Mr. Amos said, “Don’t risk a lot for a little; don’t risk more than you can afford to lose; and consider the odds.” The duck debuted on New Year’s Day 2000. If you are risk adverse, play it safe. Puppies and cute babies are always a sure bet.
Tags: advertising, global marketing, marketing, risk
Posted in 2010 | No Comments »
Monday, April 28th, 2008
According to research conducted by two Princeton economists, two heads are better than one. Experiments were conducted between groups and individuals solving the same problems. They found groups outperformed the individuals. Groups were also not any slower in solving the problems.
Janus is the name of a Roman God with two heads. It is also the name of a two-headed turtle that lives at the Geneva Natural History Museum. The fascinating fact is that Janus’ two heads work together.
John Morgan, assistant professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton said. “Our results suggest that even in complex environments, groups are not paralyzed by indecision. Moreover, groups use the data they have on hand to make timely — and better — decisions.”
A professor at Northwestern University challenged an engineering class to tell him how a cat is like a refrigerator. Panic ensued as the engineers froze. Then the professor had the students get into groups of three. Remarkably, the minds began to thaw. The results: “They purr.” “They smell.” “They are hard to get rid of.”
In approaching creativity in marketing, groups are essential. And the more diverse the better.
Mix it up.
What could a mechanic, a lawyer, a database expert, homeowner, graphic designer, salesman, contractor, internet geek, and psychologist have in common? Together, they make up a team created to understand how homeowners look for, interact with, and purchase new home appliances. Individually, each brings an area of expertise. As a team they define an experience.
Groups in marketing are the best way to find simple ideas that make a huge difference in a consumer experience. When the consumer experience is well defined and filled with relevant insights, the marketing is also more relevant. And better equipped to impact the bottom line.
In mythology, Janus symbolized change and transition – being able to see into the past and ahead to the future. In business, putting more heads together will not foretell the future, but two heads are still better than one.
Tags: consumer experience, creativity, marketing
Posted in Brand Adages | No Comments »
Monday, January 21st, 2008
For the past seven years, The New York Times Magazine has published the “Annual Year in Ideas” to highlight some of the most interesting ideas, perspectives and innovations from different disciplines during the year.
One entry was particularly telling and relevant to marketing. “Two-Birds-With-One-Stone Resistance.” Psychologist Ayelet Fishback of the University of Chicago conducted an experiment that showed connecting one tool or method to multiple goals weakens the mental association between the tool and any one goal.
In one study, participants were informed that jogging both strengthens muscles and increases the body’s level of oxygen. When researchers reinforced the idea of strengthening muscles, participants illogically decided that jogging was less effective for boosting oxygen.
In another study, test group participants were shown a pen and told about its dual function as a laser pointer. Later, they joined a control group to complete a short form and were given the choice of the laser pen or a conventional pen. Of the participants in the test group 17% selected the laser pen, in contrast 50% of the control group chose the laser pen.
Knowing that the pen had more than one purpose made the students reluctant to use it. Fishback explains, “Once you associate the pen with another function, that same pen doesn’t come to mind as easily when it comes to writing.”
So, it is not possible to communicate two or more things with equal effectiveness and doing so could be damaging to the message of a campaign.
One Brand. One Voice.
Messages bombard people everyday – watching television and listening to the radio; driving through the city and driving a shopping cart: reading the newspaper in a kitchen or online; in airports, restaurants, movie theatres, malls, and at ballgames; through text messaging, e-mail blasts and sky writing. It’s a wonder that any messages get through at all. That’s why the messages that are the most successful are the ones that are simple, clear and single focused.
Bill Bernbach founded DDB Advertising in New York in 1949. He said, “Our job is to simplify, to tear away the unrelated, to pluck out the weeds that are smothering the product message.”
It may be tempting to try to kill two birds with one stone, but as research shows it just doesn’t work. In fact, it could confuse consumers into selecting the competition, because they can’t remember your brand, your voice, or your message.
Tags: advertising focus, brand development, brand strategy, innovation, marketing
Posted in Brand Adages | No Comments »