3 Tips for Marketing Your Business to High-End Customers

As any business person knows, there is a huge variety of customers and clients out there. While some businesses and brands want to have a large amount of people purchasing their products or services because they come at a competitive price, other brands are more interested in targeting customers who want to purchase something based on its quality or prestige and care less about the cost. These two groups require very different marketing strategies. If your business is contemplating targeting the later of these two groups, here are three marketing tips that will help your business reach those high-end customers. Continue reading “3 Tips for Marketing Your Business to High-End Customers”

Top Tips for Harnessing The Power of Promotional Products

Promotional products is one of the oldest forms of advertising. However, so is the 0.99 cents concept (read: it’s actually $1!). The reason that these marketing concepts have stuck around for so long, is because they are effective. Of course, it’s crucial to remain relevant and incorporate new, digital marketing ideas into your overall strategy. It must be noted, though, that these new strategies can reach a greater audience when used in conjunction with more traditional tools. We’ve put together our top tips for harnessing the power of the original marketing tool: the promotional product. Continue reading “Top Tips for Harnessing The Power of Promotional Products”

Is your organization ready for agile marketing?

Continue reading “Is your organization ready for agile marketing?”

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

In an independent survey conducted by Business Fundas, where we sent a questionnaire to our 20,000+ strong twitter followers consisting mainly of social media marketers, we tried to find the perceived benefits of social media marketing. The responses of the questionnaire were analyzed for understanding the perceived benefits of social media marketing and the responses of the same are demonstrated in the diagram below.

The survey was administered through not only our twitter followers but also to numerous followers and subscribers of our mailing list and finally 534 responses were collected on our questionnaire, all of who are marketing experts on social media websites and have their own online marketing venture.

The responses clearly portray the perceived benefits of social media marketing campaigns by the marketers.

From our personal analysis, it appears that today, social media marketing can become even more fruitful to reach out markets for small businesses targeting social consumers and probably investments on marketing through social networks like Facebook are more likely to generate better results. Also targeted advertisements in search engine (since that is where most consumers first turn to for information query) are also more likely to impact sales conversion figures.

However, bigger firms are more likely to benefit from greater brand awareness, greater brand recall and greater brand association from investments in social media marketing. So purely from a Branding Exercise,  social media marketing makes sense to larger consumer focused service providers or product marketers.

By the way, did you read our article on how to attain success in Social Media Viral Marketing?

The impact of labels and package design on consumer behavior

When businesses engage in marketing activities, they tend to focus most of their energies on the promotional aspects. What is just as important is the packaging of your product and services in order to improve the perceived value of your brand. Using labeling and packaging to improve your brand value. It is important that labels are used to enhance the brand’s perception and differentiation from other similar products that are available in your market. Label printing offers more than just a printed message. It conveys your brand message and promise to your consumer. Continue reading “The impact of labels and package design on consumer behavior”

How to Market Your Business Cheaply

If you have just started a business, you will no doubt be eager to expand your client base and spread the word about what you do and how you do it. However, it can be hard to do this without having any funds to spend on a marketing campaign. Conversely, it can almost be financially riskier for a business not to market themselves. The good news is that there are literally hundreds of cost-effective ideas you can use to increase your revenue. Continue reading “How to Market Your Business Cheaply”

Best Event and Destination Management Company in Australia

The concept of Event Management in Sydney has gone far beyond imagination and expectations. No longer is it just organizing some gala event or business conference properly. Experienced and established event management companies are coming up with more and more exciting and innovative ideas to combine fun with achievement of corporate goals. There are lots of ways that it can be done depending on what exactly you want, your timeframe and budget. They specialize in business event management; destination management all over Australia; team building activities; incentive packages Australia wide; conference solutions, exclusive weddings; accommodation; and tour options in unique Australian destinations. But to deliver the best of all this, you need a leading Destination Management Company in Australia. Continue reading “Best Event and Destination Management Company in Australia”

8 Ways to stand out at a Tradeshow

When it comes to running a successful booth at a trade show, there is a big difference between standing out and wasting your time. When people visit a trade show, they are looking for something interesting to grab their attention. The difficult part for business professionals is that they have a hard time determining exactly what an interesting trade show attraction is. As you prepare to invest a great deal of your time and money in a trade show, there are eight ways you can stand out and get everyone’s attention. Continue reading “8 Ways to stand out at a Tradeshow”

7 Ps of Services Marketing – Framework Limitations

The 7 Ps of services marketing is indeed a popular framework used by marketing professionals to design the critical dimensions of the strategic blueprint while marketing a service. The services marketing mix is dominated by the 7 Ps of marketing namely Product, Price,  Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence. In fact, the 7 P framework is one of the most popular framework for deciding a marketing strategy for services in domains like banking, information technology enabled services or hospitality and tourism, right from strategy formulation to actual implementation.

However, one needs to be aware of the limitations of this framework while applying it in a business context. So in this article, we will discuss some of the major limitations of this services marketing framework.

One of the major drawbacks of the 7 P framework is that it does not address issues related to productivity in terms of both quantity and quality of service delivery. In integral services management, improving productivity during service is a requisite in overall cost management; but quality, as defined by the customer, is essential for a service to differentiate itself from other providers. These two deliverables are essentially opposite to each other in terms of goals. A firm would want to pursue a strategy involving cost minimization but still quality maximization. Hence a strategy that manages trade-off between such conflicting goals is needed to be optimized.

Similarly, another major important issue is managing the core competencies embedded within a firm. Services are essentially intangible in nature, by its very definition. Processes like service delivery address only a small part of the larger cake. Drawing from the resource based view, the organizational competencies are not matched through this framework, which is one of the building pillars of developing strategic frameworks which are external in nature. The viewing of internal resources in silos is somewhat a barrier for this framework, if used to develop an actionable strategy.

Another limitation of this framework is that it does not provide a mapping between the pricing strategies that needs to be followed, vis-a-vis the productivized version of the service. That mapping is often one of the most important drivers that can create or break the adoption of a service. A mapping of pricing to the critical dimensions (features) of the productivized service draws its theories from the pricing of services, which are often done in silos, since dimensions cannot be identified which are in unision but not over-lapping to the main delivery. Over-lapping dimensions create a perception of fluctuating utility among the consumers, and since these are intangible, the overall valuation of the importance and value of a service, gets impacted in a major way.

Understanding the limitations of any theoretical framework before applying it to practical scenarios is crucial for the success of the strategic plan. Please let us know, what you feel about this article. By the way, did you read about the 8 Ps of marketing, the new age marketing mix?

Marketing Theory – CCDVTP

CCDVTP stands for “create, communicate, deliver the value to the target market at a profit”, a term that has been popularised by Philip Kotler. It is being considered as an emerging lingo amongst marketing professionals ever since it was coined. This has caught the attention since it connects three ideals that are often existing in silos in marketing organizations. This has been identified as the value chain in marketing, among the other important marketing theories and today, surprisingly has become a buzzword in many interviews for marketing and sales jobs.

Creating value is synchronized with product management, whether the product or service is tangible or intangible. The product is what is the core of value creation, for your customers and also for your firm. Product life cycle management is thus one of the crucial activities in product management. Today, services and products need to be managed so as to deliver quality value consistently. There are many frameworks which enable the product management team create consistencies across delivery of the same. However, creating the best product or service offering will result in no value for the producer, unless the same can be communicated. This is where branding exercises are conducted.

Communicating the value of a product or service is branding and brand management. A highly valued product or service which a producer company may perceive, must also be conceived by the user as having similar value or more. Otherwise the whole exercise of creation of the offering through proper product management strategies, falls flat. Branding enables a firm to rely on the pull strategy rather than on the push strategy, and it has been observed that firms generate higher profitability from the pull strategy than from the push strategy.

Delivering value is synchronous with customer management. Value is generated at the point of consumption of any offering, be it a product or a service. Customer value management is the process by which this value may be tapped successfully to create value for the firm. This is the process by which the results of all the effort taken in creation of value is actually realized by the firm and directly affects the top-line of the firm’s financials. It has been seen that through proper customer management, customer satisfaction increases substantially which in turn reduces churn rate and increases revenue from increasing customer satisfaction.

So what do you think of this new mantra in marketing? We would love to know your thoughts.

4 Cs of Marketing – The Marketing Mix

R.F. Lauterborn (1993) proposed a 4 Cs classification to address the growing focus of marketing strategist on the consumer. While the 4 Ps framework for defining the marketing mix has been popular for decades, the four Cs have gained in terms of importance, considerably in recent times.

The 4 Cs consists of CONSUMER, COST, CONVENIENCE and COMMUNICATION.

4Cs_Marketing_Mix_L

The roots of the 4 Cs of marketing can be traced back to the classical 4 Ps marketing mix. However, with the onset of database marketing, the focus has shifted in marketing from a consumer transactional view-point to a consumer relationship viewpoint (and very recently consumer engagement). However, the basic focal strategic issues remain unchanged at its very core.

The details which a manager designing a marketing mix using the four Cs needs to focus on are as follows:

  • Clients / Consumer (customer) is the king. No longer can products be developed and pushed to the consumer in the hope of conversion of a purchase decision. Gone are those days when consumers had to buy products to satisfy needs for a simple lack of substitute. The market is over saturated with great products. Consumer behavior needs to be studied thoroughly from the product development phase itself. The attributes of any product should be almost built-to-order in current times, and substantial inputs should be taken from primary market research.
  • Pricing is crucial. The pricing strategies undertaken by any product development company should keep the perceived value of the product, to the consumer, in mind while deciding a pricing strategy.  Effort should be made to estimate a customer’s  tradeoffs  among  multiple attributes in a product so as to arrive at the perceived total value while  pricing  a  multi-attribute product.
  • Convenience of the service delivery or product purchase location is crucial. The place utility often is a differentiating factor in the success stories of many a promising product. It becomes extremely important especially if the product purchase is a low engagement decision making process, like that of purchase of day-to-day products.
  • Communication is crucial.  As opposed to the initial focus of brand promotion, communication of the brand personally so as create a brand awareness and brand cognition is extremely crucial for a sustainable pull strategy.  Every brand is perceived to have a personality. Communicating the same using proper communication channels becomes crucial for the success of any marketing campaign.

4-Cs-Marketing

While the focus of designing a marketing mix has shifted from the 4 Ps to the 4 Cs, it is extremely crucial to understand that the underlying core remains the same. The major shift has been due to a paradigm change of focus from the product or service design to understanding the customer. This is where a 4 Cs strategy scores over the 4 Ps or 7 Ps strategy.

By the way, did you read our article on the 7 P’s of Services Marketing?

Top Social Media Marketing Channels

In an independent survey conducted by Business Fundas, the top channels as perceived by social media marketers were identified and ranked. For this study, the over 20,000+ twitter followers (and also other social media marketers on twitter) were presented with a questionnaire for understanding the perceived importance of the various media for these marketing experts with a conversion of 1034 respondents for the study. Based on the results, the following results were obtained:

The top social media marketing channel based on our survey results was search engine. It performed extremely well as a channel to improve brand or service or product awareness, as well as a channel to improve conversion rates from potential leads to actual customer engagement.

The results for the best channel for creation of awareness for the service or products are as displayed in the graph below:

As these results indicate, some of the more popular and initially perceived important social media channels like Twitter, Digg, Reditt, Stumbleupon received lesser votes in confidence when it came to actual performance in terms of a channel to increase service or product or brand awareness.

Similarly, the top social media resources to convert potential customers to buyers are as follows:

As is evident from the results of the graph, the top resource, as perceived by the social media marketers in both cases are search engines. This was closely followed by Facebook and Youtube. However, some of the more popular and initially perceived important social media channels like Twitter, Digg, Reditt, Stumbleupon received lesser votes in confidence when it came to actual performance. Maybe since these are perceived as more of a media for capturing interesting sources of stories and / or multimedia, they are losing their importance as channels of social media marketing.

Do let us know what are your feedback about the social media marketing channels. How do YOU draw traffic to your blog? Is that a sustainable source of traffic or does that depend on daily marketing efforts and link exchanges amongst colleagues to promote your content? Do let us know.

Marketing Plan – Blueprint for Marketing Strategy

Today when so much investments are dependent on the outcome of a marketing plan, the same needs to be scrutinized very deeply so as to minimize the risks of non-performance. One such way is to ensure the proper implementation using a marketing strategy plan or a blue-print of implementation for your strategy. So what is a marketing strategy plan?

Basically, it encompasses all the activities in details that needs to be done to ensure that a campaign is successful.

  • For a marketing plan to be successful, the primary importance is understanding whether its adherence to the main marketing mix (4 Ps) is done in a well planned manner. If your objective is to deliver a service, then the 7Ps of Services Marketing needs to be checked out for planned adherence.
  • If you are focusing on extensive usage of technology, are you having ample focus on how you are leveraging the usage of technology vis-a-vis the competencies within your team? Did you take care of the Basics of Digital Marketing Strategy?
  • Have you given the implementation a thought? Is there a structured sequential blueprint to your Marketing Plan which you are planning to operationalize?
  • What is the targeted returns you are expecting from your campaign? Do a cost vis-a-vis outcome-benefit break up for the entire blue-print stage wise. Does each stage commensurate the Expected Returns on Investments (ROI) figures?
  • Last, not the least, does it go hand in hand with the internal competencies of the team that will be implementing your strategy? A great strategy may fall flat without due importance given to the implementation and the competencies of the team.

Do let us know if you need any clarification. Hope you enjoyed reading our articles. By the way, do check out PrintmeIt.com, they create wonderful flyers and brochures which you can you for your advertising campaigns.

Did you read these related articles? They have drawn a lot of attention from readers of similar articles as this one and had been shared extensively in professional networks like LinkedIn.

Advertising and Marketing Programs for Small and Medium Business

Small and medium sized enterprises typically have very different requirements and capabilities to engage their target audience through Advertising and Marketing programs.  Typically, most of these firms are limited by a heavy constraint in budget and cannot rollout the kind of marketing campaigns as MNCs do. Immediate returns on investment becomes crucial in considering not only the success of the advertising and marketing programs, but also a question of survival for small and medium businesses.

Here are few things your business may benefit from while planning on such a program. Give some thought to them.

  1. Have you selected your target audience? What is your estimated penetration (both maximum and minimum) of the total size of the target consumer segment? What is their estimated consumption pattern. What scope is there in repeated consumption and at what rate?
  2. Have you decided the marketing mix for your program? If not, you should read our article on the The 4 P’s of Marketing – The Marketing Mix strategies as a starter. If you are providing a service, do go through this article on services marketing.
  3. How do you differentiate with your advertising from that of your competitors? What incremental value do you provide to your customer segment? What is the comparative pricing scenario with your competitors and substitute products/services?
  4. Have you done any market research to find out the gaps in the needs of the target segment? Have you designed your product based on the needs of the target segment? A market research is a good risk mitigation strategy, and in very helpful, especially for small businesses, and needs to be done in house.
  5. Have you decided the budget and target returns on that expenditure on the marketing program? Is the estimated expenditure clearly demarked under multiple over heads? Do the estimated returns stand in accordance to your estimated penetration level post program implementation (point 1).
  6. Have you chosen the mediums such that there is a connect between the targeted segment while they are using the medium? Using a medium like Facebook while you are promoting an online dating website may work wonders, but if you use the same for a B2B (industrial) product or even a B2C product like local food joints/products, the same will not work.
  7. Have you thought of the implementation plans such that the intent to purchase may be converted to actual purchases? Many websites showcase items which the consumer gets interested about, but ultimately sale conversion doesn’t happen since the payment/check out options are not easily available on the website.
  8. What kind of strategy do you want to use? Would you prefer a PUSH strategy rather than a PULL strategy? Is your strategy sustainable and scalable in the long run, if you have similar plans. A PUSH strategy by increasing incentives at the point of sales (maybe at the shops/retail outlets) may work best if the target segment is local or the consumption point is locality specific. Expenditures on branding may not be necessary in that case since brand loyalty does not have incremental benefits.
  9. Is your strategy imitable? Can your competitors do what you are doing, better, and beat you at your game? Are you utilizing any capability/resource which is essentially core to your business and which your competitors may not have access to? Have you thought of customer retention services post sales?
  10. Last but not the least, is your marketing strategy in sync with the social and legal framework within which your business is expected to function. Have you checked out the legal requirements.

We hope that these simple guidelines help you to develop a great successful marketing and advertising program for your business. Do write to us if you want any suggestions.

The Most Profitable Consumer Segment

Today, the youth within the age gap of 20 – 30, commonly called the twentysumthing has become the most profitable segment for marketers. After all, this slice of the larger young adult market is nearly 38 million strong (and growing), spends more than $150 billion annually, is predisposed towards early adoption, and the bulk of its brand loyalties are still in a state of flux.   Outperform your competition and you’ll generate immediate gains to the bottom line while building lasting brand loyalties.  Miss the boat and you risk giving away a priceless competitive advantage.

TODAY’S TWENTYSOMETHINGS

To be successful, packaging must address the unique mindset and leading behavioral drivers of today’s young adults.  The market’s psyche is driven by several key factors:

Rapidly Evolving

Young adults are evolving at warp speed in language, lifestyle, usage, consideration set, and attitudes.  What’s cool today, may be passé tomorrow: brands can become obsolete faster than a speeding train.

Market Savvy

Today’s young adults are acutely aware that they are a highly desirable target market.  In a time when advertising has infiltrated pop culture, twentysomethings are well versed with the dynamics of marketing and sales: they’ve “been there, done that”.  Don’t be fooled… the market may look naïve, but it’s composed of highly experienced and enlightened consumers.

Cynical

Having been touched by crime, AIDS, drugs, corporate downsizing, and an endless parade of political scandals, twentysomethings expect to be mugged by marketers.  (Sad, but true.)   Product claims are instantly interpreted as hype and greeted with intense skepticism.

Time Crunched

Packaging can, and should, help facilitate faster decision-making.  Young adults live in an accelerated culture where time is a precious commodity.  No matter what their age or socioeconomic status, they are struggling to balance work and leisure.   Products and services that deliver increased productivity or improved quality of life will be duly rewarded.

“Adventure Seeking”

With the advent of the Global Village, young adults are taking full advantage of what the world has to offer in music, food, culture, fashion, travel, ad infinitum.  They love to “adventure seek” and have the financial resources to do so.  Except for a few lucky brands, young adults typically brand surf from one product to the next.  As such, this audience is usually the first to adopt a new product, brand, or line extension.

Culturally Diverse

Today’s young adults are the most ethnically diverse group in American history.  Remember, folks, this is the “MTV Generation”.  A gangster rap video here, an alternative rock video there, Tommy Hilfiger in the inner city, FUBU in the suburbs have blurred the lines that once formally separated one ethnic group from another.  The implications on packaging strategy have yet to be fully understood.

Sophisticated (Sometimes)

The market is incredibly sophisticated across a variety of product categories, but by no means all.  The average young adult may be quite knowledgeable about high involvement categories such as fashion, electronics, music, computers, and entertainment.  In fact, in such categories, their role as Early Adopters and Influencers is nothing short of profound.  Conversely, peripheral categories (read: MOST product categories) are low involvement and, hence, call for split decision making.   “Um, I’ll take that… ah, THAT piece of gum please.”  Packaging can play an instrumental role in young adult purchasing because the market is NOT as sophisticated about most product categories as it would like you to believe.

Also, this segment is strongly categorized for having a very strong network value. Social networks play an important role in this segment.

If you do have a product for this segment, do ensure that you consider these factors while developing your marketing mix and designing your 4Ps or 7Ps as the case may be.

Coco-Cola Goes Crazy for Harris!

Now it’s not very often a fantastic TV ad has the opportunity to make a comeback and bless our screens for a second time, but fortunately Coco-Cola have decided to bring back the ‘Yeah yeah yeah, La la la’ TV ad featuring DJ Calvin Harris. What I love about this ad is how Mother, the creative agency, have injected some much happiness and colour into the creative. The slogan ‘Open Happiness’ fits brilliantly with the look and feel of the marketing activity. I can’t help but feel uplifted and carefree listening to the cheerful music and watching the bright scenery. I also like the cleverly designed machine! The ad is perfect for summer – which conveniently brings me on to their reason for bringing back the ad. So why?

Why bring the ad back?
Coco-Cola initially used the ad as part of their £50m European marketing plan in summer 2009.  After hitting our screens last year Coke have decided to use the ad to promote an on-pack summer promotion. The promotion claims to give away free gig tickets every hour during August 2010. Coco-Cola fans can also enter the hourly prize draw online via the Coke Zone website: www.cokezone.co.uk to win even more prizes! I love how Coco-Cola have been able to effectively reuse their ad material to strengthen their brand’s messages as well as capture a sense of history with the consumer, which they can share together. The new promotion is using a lot of online activity which is encouraging greater engagement with the brand too.

 Why not watch the ad for yourself and see what you think:

 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer !

‘Feel Good’ for summer!

Summer is here – let’s hear a BIG cheer!

Now whether you are getting ready for a cruise around the world, a trip to Paris or simply a few days away to the coast, Boots are keen to let all women know that they can lend a helping hand with the holiday packing process… whether it’s finding the right suncream, insect spray, fake tan, sunglasses etc etc etc Boots wants women all over the UK to ‘Feel Good’ this summer.

Now I really like Boots advertising, this is likely to be partly down to falling into their target market I’m sure, but regardless of my interests I think Boots have got a very clear insight into their target market. This is clearly shown in the Boots summer ad, that has been re-aired on TV this year. The ad includes many humourous clips that women of all ages are likely to relate to. Overall I feel that Boots as a brand is doing something only few companies have dared to do – and that is to stop telling people what to think/feel/do and instead are spreading a positive message that encourages people to feel good about themselves and feel happy in their skin. A big thumbs up to Boots!

Have a wonderful summer!

Emma

Radox says Be Selfish!

As I am due to start my job as Marketing Assistant for the Radox brand in a short number of weeks, I thought it would be a great idea to show you all what Radox current marketing campaign is. The £4.5 million campaign was launched on 16th June 2009, targeting women aged 25 to 44 with busy lifestyles urging them to be selfish and spend time pampering themselves. The message focuses on telling women that “It is ok to indulge”. The campaign’s strength comes, not only from it’s fabulous message, but also from it’s strong portfolio of marketing communications, which I’ll take you through now:

1 – Free book promotion

Best-selling author Kathy Lette wrote a waterproof novel as part of the Radox campaign. The book, All Steamed Up, is designed to read whilst in the bath using Radox products. At the start of the campaign Radox gave away 10, 000 free copies of the new book via the Radox website, and has also given women the opportunity to download the author’s podcast to listen to.

2 – Celebrity endorsement

The brand has used a range of well-known faces to support the ‘Be-Selfish’ message, including:

* Jenni Trent Hughes, psychologist, who has given Radox a strong factual foundation for the campaign. She has highlighted statistics on women, based upon the time they spend on themselves and others around them, making the ‘Be Selfish’ message more credible.

* Nell McAndrew, model, has been used to raise greater awareness of the waterproof novel.

* Kathy Lette, author, wrote the waterproof book and also featured on the Radox website where she was interviewed about her new novel. Kathy was selected as her previous novels mirror the female attitude present in the ‘Be-Selfish’ brand message, which allowed the new brand message to be understood and voiced more effectively.

* Rob Kazinsky, actor, his previous role in Eastenders (BBC1 Soap Opera) as a ‘bad boy’ character attracted a lot of female attention. Rob was a perfect choice for the ‘Clocks going back’ viral, as he is seen as a very attractive man by most (if not all!) of the target audience.

* Sara Cox, radio DJ,  was chosen to speak to the target audience about how hectic life can be, as a working mum, and how she values the idea of ‘Be Selfish’ time. By relating to the target audience the customer doesn’t feel like they are being sold an idea, instead they feel they own the idea and will be more happy to interact with Radox.

3 – Website & Social Media

Radox rebranded their website www.be-selfish.co.uk and dedicated the new site to educating women on how to be selfish and spend more time relaxing. The website allows the customer to spend time with the brand too which will help to reinforce the brand message and values in the customer’s mind. Another great addition to the communications, are also Facebook pages people can join, and write down points of view and opinions if they wish. I think this is a great way to talk to the customer in a relaxed way, and strengthen customer relationships further!

The website is very interactive and includes:

* Mobile downloads, Rob’s sexy reminder for the clocks going back, Time saving tips, A prize draw for two at a spa, ‘Calm and collected or ready to erupt’ quiz and more…

4 – Magazine ads

A number of ads have been designed combining minimal wording with bold colours and pictures to instantly capture the interest of the audience. They have placed in a range of magazines (including celebrity, fashion and interior design) to ensure effective reach of the intended audience.

5 – TV/ Cinema ad

A 30 second TV ad was created showing a woman viewing time differently. The ad has also been shown in cinemas too, before films with a high female attendence.

I really like this campaign, as I feel it is such a powerful message that can promote so much good (ie. happiness and healthy wellbeing). The word ‘Selfish’ isn’t used in a negative way, it is simply used to show women how easily they can forget to look after themselves, and urges them to give themselves some much deserved TLC! I would love to know what you think about the campaign, and if you use the products and have any comments you would like to share feel free!

Have a wonderful day,

Emma

Walking on Water with Hi-Tec

Hi-Tec the sportswear company has attracted over 4 million people on YouTube through a hoax viral campaign. The 3 minute viral, created by Amsterdam-based ad agency CCCP, shows three men walking on water whilst practicing ‘Liquid Mountaineering’.

Hi-Tec’s head of marketing, Simon Bonham said “The idea was to take a traditional form of marketing and totally turn it around on its head, in the process capturing the fun, spirited side of our brand.”

I think that the viral is extremely clever, as there is a lot of subconscious reinforcement of the brand occuring whilst the viewer is being entertained (i.e brand values based upon what the men are saying). I instantly fell in love with the campaign, it is inspiring and shows how creative advertising can be – very exciting!

Have a wonderful day,

Emma

LOreal gets into a Spot of Bother!

Now many of us watch ads with a pinch of cynicism at times, thinking “Are those eyelashes really real?”, “Is it possible to have such smooth skin?” etc. This is exactly why LOreal has just recently clocked up a number of complaints regarding the true state of Cheryl Cole’s hair.

The ad campaign features Cole talking about how the product makes her hair feel “full of life”, and this angered a number of people due to the fact that Cole’s hair has been styled with hair extensions. The 40 viewers who complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) believed that it exaggerated the benefits LOreal Elvie products can have on hair, as Cole used extensions in the ad to get her look.

After analysising the ad the ASA concluded that the “ads did not misleadingly exaggerate the effects of the product”, but what do YOU think?

Personally, I feel this is the area of marketing that can ruin people’s perception of marketers, leaving them looking like con-men/women who are simply after money, money, money- But we are not all like that I can assure you! The ad is yet another company jumping onto the ‘beauty ideal’ bandwagon which the fashion industry created to make people feel scared of being themselves and pressured to look a certain way. I don’t agree with it, and feel that products should sell themselves in a credible and genuine way. Putting extensions in the woman’s hair on the ad isn’t showing the effects of LOreal products, it’s showing how great their hair stylist is.

There should be more companies ready to listen to the customer and deliver what they want and need, the focus should be on making the customer feel great, not the model in the ad!

Have a wonderful day,

Emma

Win their Hearts & Success will Follow

In a world full of media messages and news, the task for any marketer nowadays is to successfully cut through all of the ‘noise’ and reach their customer. Many businesses used to believe that the main way to sell a product or service was to create long fancy names alongside complicated terminology, and the customer would fall at their feet begging to buy the new product or service. Now whether that worked for a time is debatable, but to operate like that in today’s marketplace is suicide!

Customers don’t want to be preached at, they want to be romanced & feel special! The task for the marketer nowadays is to communicate with the customer and KEEP that connection fresh and up-to-date. It’s not all about selling selling selling, the focus has turned now to creating good quality customer relationships to allow the customer to fall in love with the brand/company. Once they are hooked onto the brand then they become advocates of the brand, and encourage others they know to use the product or services (which is a valuable tool for any company!). So how do we do this?

Well it’s all about passion. The brand needs to have passion for what they are doing and create their own buzz around themselves. A good way to do this is the creation of promotions or ad campaigns that create a talking point to get people excited about the brand and what is being sold. It’s all about enthusiasm, passion and genuine belief in the product or service. After all if you don’t like believe in the product, why would anyone else?!

These regular promotions and forms of communication with the customer (this needs to be unrelated to selling at times to ensure the customer feels appreciated and cared for by the brand, and not used purely as a money making tool) will keep the brand appear interesting and valid in people’s lives. If there is no enthusiasm or activity a brand can go stale and once customers lose interest they are ever so hard to win back!! So keep professional but do so in a passionate and enthusiastic way!!

Have a wonderful day,

Emma

Adding a New Dimension to Marketing

Now today I have brought you a new World Cup themed ad campaign with a unique difference…

I’d like to introduce you to Sony’s 3D TV ad campaign that will grace our screens 11 June. The ad is scheduled to coincide with the with the World Cup’s opening match between South Africa & Mexico, conveniently the Sony 3D TV’s will go on sale the day after! (12 June). This is an excellent example of how to best plan your timing, to enhance the impact of the ad message. The product now serves a purpose other than replacing an old TV, it will give the viewer the best World Cup experience! (well that is at least what Sony hopes you believe)

The TV campaign, created by ad agency Anomaly, displays a number of striking clips in between a football game being played. The montage of strong, punchy images creates a dramatic and interesting experience for the viewer, which subconsciously stirs emotions felt during a football game (such as the heighted intensity when a goal is to be scored, the intense interest when a pivotal tackle is happening etc.). The ad is shot in a fuzzy ‘fake 3D’ to generate more interest into the new Sony 3D TV product range. During the ad Sony tells the viewer “not to adjust your set” and suggests that “maybe it’s time to buy a 3D TV” – A very witty & humourous message, that is also very to the point!

I think that this ad will be very effective at capturing the target audience’s attention. I believe that a lot of men, in particular, will watch the ad and feel very excited about the games that are to follow. This excitment is likely to lead them on to buy a new 3D TV, as they will not want to feel deflated at the prospect of watching the World Cup on a normal 2D screen, after Sony has told them all about the potential of 3D TV! This type of advertising focuses heavily on making the new upgrade seem very eletist, similar to Sky’s HD, suggesting that you are missing out if you do not have the latest advance in technology.

To get a sneak peak of this new ad simply follow the link below to Media Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/video/2010/may/21/sony-3d-tv-ad

Have a wonderful day,

Emma

Work, Rest, Play for England!

As promised I have another World Cup themed ad campaign to show you…

Last October it was announced that Mars would have a five-year partnership with the Football Association. So following this news Mars has teamed up with ad agency AMV BBDO, to bring the nation a TV campaign with a definite football feel.

The TV campaign features John Barnes, an England footballer, rapping to New Order’s World In Motion. The ad is very upbeat, with plenty of energy & humour. The ad instantly brings a smile to my face & I’m sure there are thousands of like minded viewers who feel the same!

The ad begins with a guy laying in the sunshine listening to some cheerful music on his stereo.  He is then interupted by John Barnes who is carrying a Mars cassette & begins to rap to the music. There is plenty of green grass & beautiful weather in the ad to give it a happy, summery feel. This happy feeling continues when Barnes begins to dance to the music in a very humourous way! When Barnes begins to dance & rap to the music the viewer is glued to the screen, which allows Mars to effectively deliver their football message.

All the different elements within the ad are thought through, to ensure that once all the parts are combined together (i.e. the slightly dated music & clothing, lots of smiling etc.) the product is a very light-hearted and care-free campaign. It is also great to note that, during the ad the viewer can see many people wearing football clothing, and the colours chosen for the extras in the background follow with the white & red on the English flag. The fabulous thing about these extras is that they were the winners of a competition Mars ran earlier this year to appear in the TV ad campaign. I think that this ad is brilliant, and not only is the ad viewable of the TV screen, there is also an extended version available to view online at www.marsbar.co.uk!

Mars has demonstrated what a well thought through ad looks like, it is extremely clever, really fun & encourages everyone, even those not so keen on the sport, to get involved with the World Cup & support the English team!

More World Cup campaigns will be coming your way soon…

Have a wonderful day,

Emma

FIFA 2010 the other side

Madness. That’s the only word to describe FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa. Making the headlines have been the big strikers, players who in days will become larger than life personalities & coaches with their strategy. All of a sudden football fanatics have left hearing Pink Floyd or Metallica and drudging themselves downloading the Kaans football song. From T-shirts of once favorite footballer to wrist bands and bandanas. People debating their hearts out over football statistics. Its all happening here. When wise men proclaim of football being the religion I can evidentially understand why.

The world cup for the first time is being hosted on African soil. More reason for South Africa to rejoice over Morocco & Egypt who also were in the run to host the world cup. But lets look at the other side of this entire event. The side less talked about, the economic side.

FIFA 2010 the other side

In choosing South Africa to bring the World Cup to Africa for the first time, FIFA was not only looking at what the country already offers – world class transport, telecommunications, tourism and sporting infrastructure, and people renowned for their passion and hospitality. They were looking ahead.

South Africa is reported spending in the tunes of R5 billion on building and renovating the ten stadiums where the games are to be staged and R5.2 billion on airport up gradation and R3.5 billion on improvement on road and rail network. The country has also put in significant efforts to ensure that the Gautrain, a high- speed rail link between Johannesburg, Pretoria and Johannesburg International Airport is completed.

Consulting reports speculate that the World Cup will inject approximately R21.3 billion into the South African economy, while generating as estimated R12.7 billion in direct spending and create an estimated 159000 new jobs. This sure is to do South Africa more good than just for the game.

With the estimated 3 million visitors for the tournament, the tourism industry will be on a all time high. This apart all the infrastructural developments carried on are benefiting the various constructions and engineering companies in the region. They all will get a slice of the cake.

The huge injection in the economy has been good but what is more meaning full is the indirect benefits that the region will experience. This will help in a sustainable economic lift in subsequent years. This event will change the perception that a large number of foreign investors hold of South Africa and Africa as a whole. This event will not only contribute hugely to South African socio economic growth, but to the development of the continent as a whole.

This merely is not just going to a sporting event where 90 minutes decide the fate of a team. Where impulse run high, adrenaline starts pumping when at the last minute the striker takes a shot at the goal. Beyond all this high tension entertainment that will merely last for 1 month is a strong economic connotation. It is a way to bring economic prosperity to a country or more so a continent as a whole that has been neglected for ages now.

A Sparkle of World Cup charm

Now I’m no fan of football, but what with a certain sporting event coming up soon, I thought that this would be a fantastic time to have a look at how companies are using the World Cup event to their advantage to persuade customers to purchased their product/services.

I have already seen many ad campaigns with a World Cup theme. I think that incorporating football into the ad will allow companies to highlight their unique marketing messages very effectively. It allows companies to be affiliated with the World Cup, which will in turn allow millions of people to see and interact with their brand on an international level.

Kit Kat – Cross Your Fingers Campaign

This ad campaign is based upon such a clever idea. The well-known Kit Kat product is made up of chocolate fingers, and the campaign effectively associates the product directly with the World Cup fan crossing their finger’s for luck. I love the simplicity of the idea, it’s great. Nestle is also running a promotion which is allowing the company to interact even more with the nation.

Stay tuned for more World Cup Campaigns…

Have a wonderful day,

Emma

Marketing using Technology-The Sales and Marketing Productivity Systems

Over the past three decades, subtle changes have taken place in the theory and practice of marketing which has been reshaping companies. These changes have also been evident in marketing and management related information systems. The transaction based view and relationship based view of marketing is no more. Today, it is the era of information marketing or as popularly called database marketing.

More and more companies are contemplating the need to control an ever larger and rapidly changing market  structure and the competitive environment. The information processing requirements of companies are expanding  as their industries become more dynamic and volatile. To handle the increasing external and internal information flow and to improve its quality, companies will need to take advantage of the opportunities offered by modern information technology (IT) and information systems (IS). Information System is the intersection of  technology (IT) with the processes and people that drive the business.
Managing marketing information by means of IT has become one of the most vital elements of effective marketing.  By collecting and sharing marketing information and by using it to promote corporate and brand image, IS offer new ways of improving internal efficiencies of the firm. Information systems allow dynamic marketing  communication between personnel in corporate planning, accounting, advertising and sales promotion, product management, channels of distribution and direct sales. Information technology-based marketing database systems (MkIS) have been in vogue for a pretty long time without getting the importance it deserves, especially from the SMEs. Research has indicated that it is the bigger MNCs which have embraced technology for marketing earlier. Traditionally, MkIS has been seen as a system to support marketing management in its decision making. However, it has been found out that the impact in terms of  percentage on sales, have been much more for SMEs. In addition to the management perspective, MkIS can be an essential tool for the entire marketing organization. Some  researchers have classified IS in marketing by the tasks for which they are customarily used.

Few such systems are gaining popularity day by day, thanks to the marketing of the benefits by IBM, Oracle and SAS. One such of the more popular systems, an emerging concept of marketing and sales productivity (MSP) systems, consists of four subsystems: salesperson productivity tools, direct mail, telemarketing and sales management, is getting popular day by day. However, these new, more operational, IS are yet to realize their potential in the context  of the MkIS concept.

Marketing Systems

These sales and marketing productivity tools combine many of the features of database, catalogue and contact management softwares with often a unique opportunity management and quotation module. Also, they combine the rich features provided by decision support systems made for sales forecasting and planning. Research has indicated that sales are often boosted by as much as 30% by adopting an MSP system such as these.
These new generation information systems controls every aspect of your marketing and sales from cold prospecting to even confirmed orders or e-fulfillment. These even help to integrate and co-ordinate sales and marketing activities for sales pipeline tracking and maximize potential return. These systems are expected to encourage best practice and introduces customer focused methodology to the business. These also enable telesales prompts that develop cross selling opportunities which affect the overall sales by often as high as 80%.

It is time for every marketing manager to rethink, how to drive his sales using the information at his disposal and rethink the entire sales strategy.

Marketing Strategies: Selling Sand In The Desert

Have you ever heard the saying: “A bad salesman couldn’t sell water in the desert”?

Honestly, there is a lot of truth behind that statement. Personality plays a huge role in your effectiveness as a marketer. If others perceive you to be untrustworthy, incompetent or lacking confidence, they won’t want anything you have.

Marketing is all about connecting with your target audience.

It has very little to do with the product. There is always going to be a fan base for what you are selling. It’s just a matter of making a good enough impression on your prospects.

You may have what they want, but if they don’t feel comfortable purchasing from you as a result of your personality, they WILL seek out your competition. Don’t let this happen. Ensure your future in the world of marketing by developing your people skills and understanding how your prospects want to be treated.

So do you think a great salesman could sell sand in the desert?

Absolutely.

A great marketer has great sales/conversion rates because they have both charm and knowledge when it comes to making connections and forming relationships with people.

Marketer or not, you know how you would want to be treated by a salesman. If you don’t like being called various times a day with offers and business opportunities, don’t do it to your potential clients. Before you contact your prospects, take a moment to think about your approach. Questions whether or not you want you would appreciate this same contact from a sales representative.

Self branding and attraction marketing are what separate the Top Earners from everyone else. You know who they are, you see their face and you’ve heard their story. Their personality and marketing experience has allowed them to form strong, personal relationships with people they’ve never met. Their prospects appreciate their character and guidance and trust their recommendations.

Take the first steps towards ensuring your future in the world of marketing by doing the following:


1. Re-evaluate Your Marketing Techniques

Examine how you’ve been marketing lately. What’s been the most effective strategy for you? Why do you think that is? Double check to see if you are doing anything you wouldn’t appreciate having done to you.

2. Find A Mentor

Find someone in the industry who’s achieved the level of success you’re striving for and listen to their trainings and advice. Find out what they did when they were first starting out in the business. This will also introduce you to new marketing techniques to implement.

3. Choose 1-3 Strategies to Master

Depending on your time freedom, elect 1-3 marketing strategies and learn all you can about them. Once you master a technique and all of your systems are in place, learn something new. There is always going to be something new to learn in the world of marketing, but there are the basics.

Oasis, what is the message?

Monday morning and I happen to be starting today’s post on negative, sorry! But after seeing the latest Oasis add I realised that even some of the more popular products and companies can indeed get their marketing wrong. Mistakes really don’t discriminate against anyone!

Oasis is a fruity soft drink product that was bought by the Coca-Cola Company in 1990. The company set out to design their ad campaigns to target adults, focusing on the idea that Oasis is an alternative to drinking water. But in reality has the brand got it’s message right?

One ad that created a lot of complaints was the Oasis Run Cactus Kid Run campaign. Many felt that the ad condoned teenage pregnancy and under-age sex with the viewing of the teenage girl pregnant with the cactus baby. Not only does the ad upset many viewers, the message the has been used to strengthen the brand (i.e. A drink for people who don’t like to drink water) is used in parculiar ways that lack strong creative thought. For example, within the Run Cactus Kid Run Ad there were many references to other films, which were poorly executed.

Another ad campaign that was equally odd, was the Oasis Ruberduckzilla TV Campaign, where the Rubberduckzilla doesn’t like water and terrorizes those who do. It is clear in this ad (as well as others) that the brand is trying to take an international platform and include many cultures and nationalities. But whilst trying to be so inclusive the company is actually making many viewers feel confused and excluded, due to ads not having a localised feel which is very important when tackling the international markets. Without tailoring the ad specifically to the country or culture the brand risks isolating and confusing many customers, which is something I feel the brand is sadly doing.

I have tasted the product range and the drinks are very refreshing, so it is such a shame the brand that has such a good product is not creating effective marketing. After undertaking market research for the opening of a new cafe, I discovered a trend that suggested that females are more likely to drink Oasis than males, as males are more inclined to drink energy drinks. With this in mind, it would be a good idea for the company to rethink it’s target markets so that they can begin to produce creative ads that are loved and appreciated.

The ad that made me want to write this post, the latest Oasis ad, was one that I viewed yesterday. Not only has the brand changed their message, they have also included music that I feel would appeal more to younger children. The strapline ‘Fruity Drinks & Luchtime Dreams’ is one that I don’t understand, which is concerning if I am part of their target market.

I am disappointed that a company such as Coca-Cola is producing marketing material of this poor quality, and am hopeful that the brand may change it’s marketing direction in the future.

Have a wonderful day,

Emma

Specsavers Seeing Perfectly Clearly!

Now I’m sure everyone has heard of Specsavers… This business that was setup over 25 years ag0 (1984) by founders Doug and Mary Perkins. It was only in the early 1980s the business was able to begin advertising their products. This was due to the UK Government deregulating professionals, including opticians, allowing them to advertise their products and services.

Naturally Specsavers seized the opportunity and opened their first Specsavers, value-for-money, quality eyecare opticians in Guernsey and Bristol, followed shortly by stores in Plymouth, Swansea and Bath. They aimed to offer a wide range of stylish, fashionable glasses at affordable prices for everyone. They wanted the company to be seen as trustworthy an optician as a local independent but with the huge buying power of a national company that meant savings could be passed on to the customer.

The company has grown rapidly since, thriving with its joint venture partnership approach to eyecare. It hit the milestone of 100 stores in July 1988, 200 in 1993, 300 in 1995, 400 in 2000, 500 in 2003, 600 in 2004 and 700 in 2005. The first Netherlands store opened in 1997, the first Swedish in 2004, and 2005 saw the first in Denmark and Norway. In 2006 the first store was opened in Spain, and in 2007 the company began supplying in Australia whilst opening the first store in Finland. In January 2008 Dame Mary Perkins opened the 1000th store in Roosendaal, Holland, followed by the launch on the first three Specsavers stores in Australia in March. By July 2009 there were 173 in Australia plus 24 in New Zealand.

historyFor the past eight years it has been voted Britain’s most-trusted brand of opticians by Reader’s Digest. The current straplines ‘Number One Choice For Eye Tests’ and ‘Number One Choice For Contact Lenses’ reflect its position as market leader. Specsavers’ range includes Tommy Hilfiger, Red or Dead, fcuk, Bench, Quiksilver, Roxy, Jasper Conran and Missoni, as well as the market leading Osiris designer brand. Our frames are developed using the latest innovative manufacturing and design techniques from the highest quality components and raw materials available. The full range of over 2,000 size and colour options is structured around a comprehensive features and benefits pricing structure, starting from £25 through to £169. Our own lens manufacturing laboratories – three of the largest in Europe – supply the latest high-tech lenses in volume at the lowest possible cost. All Specsavers frames come with free Single Vision Pentax lenses as standard.

Specsavers is also the retail market leader in contact lenses, with its own brand of easyvision monthly and daily disposable lenses, and has also driven the use of continuous-wear lenses. Currently one out of every three UK contact lenses wearers chooses Specsavers. Furthermore, Specsavers is the largest provider of home-delivery contact lenses in Europe through its Lensmail service.

Specsavers is bringing its core offers to its rapidly expanding hearing service, which is now doing for hearing what the retailer has already achieved in optics – dramatically reducing prices and waiting times and making audiology services more accessible for everyone. Specsavers is already the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offers a hearing service from over 400 locations.

The company continues to expand. From just two staff working at that table-tennis table, there are now more than 500 based at Specsavers’ headquarters in Guernsey and around 26,000 worldwide. The company has more than 1390 stores across the Channel Islands, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Laughter really does seem to be the best medicine!

Over the past few weeks I have paid close attention to current TV campaigns, focusing on how they communicate with their audience. Now in simple terms, marketing aims to communicate with a target market, to inform and hopefully turn a prospect customer into a loyal advocate of the brand. With this in mind, what I find interesting is that the method many companies are is using to raise the profile of their brands. Humour.

There is a trend present in TV campaigns, showing that the aim of a TV ad is no longer simply to allow the target audience to absorb the relevant product/service information, but for the audience to take something extra away with them, additional brand value. This is why many companies use TV as a great opportunity to not only inform but also entertain their customer base. Of course this has been a method that has been popular for many years now, but what with the rise in financial and social difficulties it appears that customers are becoming more drawn to marketing that has ‘feel good’ worth and elements of escapism. Consequently many ads are becoming increasingly more creative, to cater for this need to create laughter and smiles!

Below are a two examples of TV campaigns, where the companies have each gone through a very creative idea process to ensure they entertain their customers. The Halfax ad has gone beyond the realms of banking to ensure the customer creates a bond with the brand first. The Specsavers ad is a great example of how a simple, yet effective, strapline can be used to create new and exciting stories within advertsing. I hope they inspire and also raise a smile or two!

I also came across this funny viral that I wanted to share: Subway. Although the production is fairly limited, the delivery of the voice over and the joke within the story itself work really well!

Have a wonderful day!