Archive for the 'Marketing Observations' Category

The Marketing Power of Dogs

According to a recent Harris poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans have a pet. Seven in 10 pet owners have a dog. Furthermore, 93% of dog owners consider their pet to be a part of the family.

Take a minute to think about what that means. It means that those 93% of dog owners consider their pets to be a major part of their lives. How major? Again, according to the Harris poll, nearly 70% of pet owners let their pets sleep in their bed. Another 65% buy their pets a gift for Christmas. In essence, many dogs enjoy the type of lifestyle afforded to the humans in their family.

How can you benefit from these findings? You can set yourself apart from much of your competition, if you or your business makes a point to embrace dog owners.

Run a grocery store or market? Consider letting dog owners bring in their pets while they shop, and promote the heck out of it.

Own a business? Let your employees bring their dogs to work or provide an onsite dog-sitting service, and promote the heck out of it.

There are many possibilities.

Dog owners, like their pets, are faithful. If your market let’s them bring in their pet, they’ll start shopping at your store versus the one down the street. If your business lets employees bring in their dogs, that a great way to increase employee happiness – thus reducing turnover and snagging better employees than your competition.

Now I’m fully aware that there are limitations and you have to work out the details. But imagine the new market you open up to yourself – a large (two-thirds) and faithful market. It might be worth the effort!

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Why do companies fear social marketing?

Why do companies fear social marketing (using blogs, social networks, and feeds)? The answer is fairly simple; they see it as unchartered territory. This is according to a recent Coremetrics survey of marketers. 

But you know what? Those marketers are wrong.

Social marketing and its mediums (again blogs, social networks, and feeds) is simply word-of-mouth marketing taking on a new form. 

Are the forms new? Most certainly. But the function of the forms is not new. People have always and will always look to the “influencers” and early adopters to see if they recommend a product or service.

So, if the word-of-mouth function has been around for decades and marketers have been using it for decades, then why is there this big fear or hesitation to get involved? 

Fearing what’s new and being afraid to try new strategies and tactics causes a company to become ordinary.

If you ask me, it doesn’t make sense.

Halo 3 Believe: an amazing marketing campaign!

 

Halo 3

Videogame fans around America, including myself, are waiting with bated breathe for September 25. That’s when the most anticipated videogame in history will be released – Halo 3. The videogame has already broke records within the industry by officially becoming the largest selling preorder title in history.

What’s the cause of all this commotion? Well, one thing is for sure, the two previous games in the trilogy rock! They have an incredible story line and intense action. Quite simply, they’re great products. But there is something more to it. The genius marketers are also responsible for the hype. One way they do this is by strategizing when to release teaser trailers for the game to stir up the fans. Another way is by brainstorming new ways to generate hype and buzz – which they have done very well. Take their latest project, the Halo 3 Believe campaign. This is one of the best, if not the best, buzz generating websites I have ever seen!

The team commissioned artists to create a huge, physical, 3-D diorama of a battle that will take place in the upcoming game. The diorama is incredibly detailed and beautifully crafted and painted. Next, they used a video camera and recorded a walk through of the diorama. Finally, they created a website, uploaded the video, added some clickable links and created something that is breathtaking and very much buzz worthy.

But they didn’t stop there.

They add testimonials from live actors, put human emotion into those testimonials, and created a mini plot for the site. All of these elements together create a sense that the battle was real, that it really happened. It causes fans to become emotionally attached to the characters of the game. It creates buzz that gets spread through blogs and forums. It gets people excited. It sells games.

And videogame fans are eating it up! Here’s the video:

Experience the website for yourself by clicking here!

I wonder if the marketers had a hard time convincing the higher-ups to jump on board this idea. I mean think about it, it had to be a hard sell. I can imagine the managers looking confused saying, “You want to spend twenty thousands dollars to create an actual model of a videogame?” That’s an uncommon idea.

But all of us marketers should know, it’s the uncommon ideas that tend to generate the biggest response.

How to increase ROI

If you’re looking to boost ROI – and really who isn’t? – you’ve got five choices:

Pull in higher-value customers
Improve the rates at which prospects turn into customers
Boost overall sales volume
Retain more customers
Cut your marketing expenses

    Well, make it four choices. That last one isn’t much of a choice at all, is it?

    Courtesy of Tom Abrahamson

    Customer service reps are special people

    It takes a special person to work on the front lines of customer service. The unique person must have qualities such as patience, understanding, a great attitude, and answers.

    I was reminded how special the customer service reps in my company are at a recent staff meeting when they gave a brief Q & A on their role in the company. They have to deal with customers of all types, from the disgruntled to the fanatic. They have to have the answers to almost every possible question, from the impossible to the utterly ridiculous – questions that I would want to laugh at.

    Unfortunately, those qualities that make an exceptional customer service rep are rare. We’ve all experienced the customer service rep that isn’t patient, could care less about your problem, and has zero answers. When this happens to us, we become very frustrated and it mars our experience with the company.

    Yes, it takes a special person to be a customer service rep.

    Now think about this; while you might not have the title of customer service rep or work in the customer service department, you still play a role in customer service of your company. Your actions, whether dealing with an outside vendor or writing and designing the company website, reflect on the company and how it values its customers.

    How can you improve your customer service?

    How blogging spawns business

    A UK blogger, known as Adnan, is the author of Blogtrepreneur, a blog that focuses on entrepreneurship. Through trial and error, networking, and learning from blogging professionals Adnan increased his readership and is now considered a blogging guru. Now bloggers come to him for advice on how to improve their blogs. The demand for Adnan’s advice caused him to create a new business called BlogLouder, a blog consulting company.

    Adnan is currently holding a contest where the winners can get free advice.

    Make your marketing extraordinary: an example

    This is one of the best coupons I have ever seen. This is a great example of taking an ordinary marketing tactic and making it extraordinary.

    Thanks for the hat tip Tyler!


    Who am I ?

    My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

    Blog Recognitions