This Blog has Moved

20.3.07 · 0 comments

Please check out the new blog at marketingenious. Check it out now. You won't be sorry.

BenefitBar is Fundraising at Your Fingertips

20.12.06 · 0 comments

Check out this cool way to raise funds for your organization. BenefitBar is an easy to get toolbar for your Internet browser. The toolbar keeps you connected with important info related to your favorite organization, and they benefit when you search from the built in Yahoo! search engine. This is an innovative way to use the new technology available and leverage the power of Marketing 2.0. I have to disclose that I helped get this set up and designed the logo and tagline. I am not a part of the company but I am extremely impressed with the way BenefitBar team has grown this project. Take a look at the many toolbars they have already created here. If you are looking for a great tool to increase communication with your stakeholders and earn some extra money check out BenefitBar.

Is Blinkx the Next Google?

29.11.06 · 1 comments

There are tons of photo and video files proliferating the web, but most of the search is based on user generated tags. Sometimes tags are manipulated by users to get a better search result for their image. The race is on to use other software based indexing criteria like face recognition and listening to the audio track. Blinkx specializes in searching over 6 million hours of video files on the Internet. They are using innovative search criteria beyond user generated tags. So far Blinkx is leading the way and you can put this cool video wall on your site!

Warning Sign Generator

27.11.06 · 1 comments

A sign of the times. Make yours here: Warning Sign Generator.

Warning Label Generator

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How could you use this Warning Label Generator to make a cool label or sign for your business?

Coke Wakes Up with the Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments II

17.11.06 · 0 comments

On the Marketing that Sucks Blog I mentioned that Coke should embrace the fact that people were making videos about adding Mentos to Diet Coke to create a fuzzy explosion. Looks like they are on the bandwagon and this video contest proves it.

Office Depot - Taking Care of Customers is Good Business

14.11.06 · 0 comments

I just came back from my local Office Depot in Ballwin, MO. Most of you know I hate rebates, but I am not going to pass up the money either. I had an issue with getting the right receipt and rebate form. I dropped by the store today and they took care of the problem. I did not have to raise a stink or ask for the manager. I was not even looking very professional as I just came from playing hockey wearing a baseball cap, jeans and a plaid shirt. Guess where I am going to by buying my office supplies from now on!

5 Steps To Overcoming Cold Call Telephobia From Rain Today

30.10.06 · 0 comments

RainToday provides 5 Steps To Overcoming Cold Call Telephobia. Good advice if you are cold calling. Better advice is to not cold call. Marketing 2.0 has some recommendations.

Red Hot Copy Shows You How To Get Your Readers Attention

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Whether you are writing a newspaper headline, web copy or an email, catching and keeping the interest of your readers is an important skill. I have been reading this free ezine from Red Hot Copy and it has helped me be more conversational and effective in my writing. I recommend you check it out to help your marketing rock too.

Web 2.0 Informational Video

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Marketing 2.0 is dominated by the Internet. Check out this short video about Web 2.0.

Marketing 2.0: Michael Daehn Shows How To Use Video on Your Blog

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Michael Daehn shows how you can use video on your blog by taping part of his Marketing 2.0 speech on Internet Marketing given October 24th 2006 at the Incarnate Word Foundation

Michael Daehn in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

18.10.06 · 0 comments

I'm in the Wikipedia are you?

How to Make the Most of a Book Signing to Market Your Book

17.10.06 · 0 comments

In the new Marketing 2.0 Book I talk about writing and marketing your own book: "Even though you can publish your own book, is it not better to get a publisher to do the work for you? That depends on your situation. Bear in mind that if you have a small market title many publishers are not going to spend much time marketing it for you anyway. Even the big authors are doing more of their own marketing these days performing book signings, commercials, and or appearing on television shows. If you are going to do the promotional work anyway, why not keep the rights and a bigger share of the profits from your title? A couple of things to remember when marketing you own book. First, books are judged by their covers. You may have great content, but you have to get people’s attention first. In most cases people won’t even see your cover if it is in the bookstore, only the spine. You have to make sure your spine can catch the attention of your potential customers, not an easy task. I used a professional designer William Good (www.nexdesignstudios.com) for the second edition of the Seven Keys, and it made a big difference in sales and interest even before I had it published. The second piece of advice is to avoid doing traditional book signings. I remember walking into Borders and seeing a lonely older gentleman wearing a cowboy hat, sitting at a table of his books and holding a pen. There was no one around the table, and I felt sorry for him but did not go over because I really did not want to buy his book about rodeo clowns. Realize that even if the bookstore carries your book and provides a place for signing, they have little time or budget to promote it. If you do something in the store you will need to drum up interest on your own, or create a more substantial event, like a seminar, party or giveaway, to attract attention." Well, Captain Halloween was spotted at Borders signing his new book in full regalia. Book signings can be tough, but if you do them you should go out like Captain Halloween!

St. Louis Publishers Association- Friend of the Local Author

11.10.06 · 0 comments

If you are in the St. Louis area and have written or are thinking of writing a book then you need to check out the St. Louis Publishers Association. This is a great group of people that will help you get your book published, and sold. If you are doing it yourself then you will benefit greatly from the people and resources in this group. Check out the SLPA website for more info.

The Write Way To Market With a Book

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Check out this report by RainToday. This informative reports explains how writing a book is a great way to market your business. I know that writing my first book opened many doors for me professionally and personally. If you have a book in you, now is the time to share it with the world.

RSS Feeds: Sorta Simple Syndication

5.10.06 · 0 comments

This is an excerpt from the upcoming book by Michael Daehn called Marketing 2.0: Sorta Simple Syndication RSS stands for really simple syndication and it is the next leap in Internet communications. It is simple if you have some web skills otherwise it can seem a bit complicated. If you use a start page like My Yahoo! AOL or MSN you are using RSS already. These sites allow you to customize the content you view like sports, weather and news headlines. These pages are getting updated content from various feeds and putting them on your start page for you. Today you have the ability to create your own RSS feed with content from your site. You can allow people to subscribe to your feed that will appear on their start page or RSS aggregator (more on aggregators in a moment). Now you don’t have to be Reuters to send out your news feed to the world. Anybody can make their content available as a feed. For my Marketing that Rocks blog I created an RSS feed using Feedburner’s free service. They gave me the web code to put a subscription box on the blog. When people click on the link it takes them to a page that allows them to subscribe using whatever RSS service or start page they are using. Every time I create a new post on the blog it is distributed through the feed and appears on the subscriber’s page. Are you confused? I know there is some new terminology here, but it is very important that you understand the implications of this tool. This revolutionizes the way people are currently using the Internet. In the past if you wanted to see if my blog or website had updated content you had to go to my site- maybe there was something new, maybe not. Perhaps there was something of interest, and maybe all my latest posts were lame. With an RSS feed you can see my headlines without going to my site. In fact you can peruse the headlines of your favorite 10 blogs in the time it would take you to visit one and look for new content. I know that not everyone is familiar with or feels comfortable with RSS so I also have a box to subscribe to my blog via email. This free email service, available through Feedblitz, sends an email copy of my new posts right to the inbox of subscribers. The question is with the increase of spam and the relative ease of using RSS how long is email going to be an effective way of sending your communications?

The Hype Machine and the Death of the Music Mag

29.9.06 · 0 comments

Whoa! This is a cool music aggregator. You can find just about any song you want and listen for free. But it's not P2P piracy- it's more like a test drive with links to purchase the tracks. And the songs are gathered from blog posts from music experts, collectors and fans. So who needs Rolling Stone when you have the Hype Machine.

Mercer Provides Reflections on "The Greatest Salesman in the World"

18.9.06 · 1 comments

Mercer Provides Reflections on "The Greatest Salesman in the World": "The book tells the story of how Hafid had come into possession of The Greatest Secret in the World, and of how he passed this secret along to his successor, who also became a penultimate salesman. Remember the lessons of the ten scrolls summarized below:

1. Today, I will begin a new life (and read daily and remember the lessons of the scrolls). 2. I will greet this day with love in my heart. 3. I will persist until I succeed. 4. I am nature's greatest miracle. 5. I will live this day as if it is my last. 6. Today I will be the master of my emotions. 7. I will laugh at the world. 8. Today, I will multiply my value a hundredfold. 9. I will act now. 10. Pray for guidance."

Marketing Agritourism- Corn Maze Has Stanley Cup Feel

15.9.06 · 0 comments

In honor of the Hurricanes a farm has created a Stanley Cup shaped maze to lure visitors: Corn mazes and agricultural mazes represent a growing trend in the relatively new agri-tourism field. These ventures have become so popular that the subject of the corn maze has been featured in a number of national publications in recent weeks. "'It's one of the most successful agritourism enterprises we've seen,' Koppenhofer said." Another example of marketing smart instead of throwing your money at random advertising.

Sports Marketing- Now with no Trans Fat!

13.9.06 · 0 comments

Aaron McFarling comments on how to use snappy marketing techniques on less than perfect sports performances at Roanoke.com: "Here are a few sports marketing suggestions for those who had a rough weekend. Duke: The snap was good! (Even if the kick wasn't.) N.C. State: Our stadium rocks! (With pleas for Chuck Amato's head.) Florida State: What a comeback! (Against Troy.) Texas: Great drinking school! (To help you forget.) Northwestern: 1-0 against Division I-A competition! (But 0-1 against Division I-AA New Hampshire.) Tony Stewart: Defending Nextel Cup champion! (Until this year's Chase is over.) Dallas Cowboys: Terrell Owens, baby! (And Drew Bledsoe.) Brett Favre: Still chuckin' it! (To the other team.) Andy Roddick: Federer's gonna retire! (In about 10 years.) Virginia: We won! (Against Wyoming. By one point. In overtime. At home.)"

More Examples of Marketing 2.0

12.9.06 · 0 comments

More examples of Marketing 2.0 at BtoBOnline.com: "If marketers would only cede control, they'd find their customers can help them market, support and even help design products, Jarvis told BtoB. ' I get the best support for my Treo from other Treo customers,' Jarvis said, noting that he recently upgraded to the Treo 700p based on a recommendation from a poster at Treonauts.com, an enthusiast blog. 'If you hand over control to your customers, great things can happen,' Jarvis said. 'This conversation is happening about your company with or without you.'" Facilitate, but don't try to control the conversation.

Marketing 2.0- Search engine optimization, click-through rates, consumer generated marketing

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San Diego Business Journal reports: "Search engine optimization, click-through rates, consumer generated marketing — get to know these key terms, because in the next 36 months, two-thirds of TV advertising power will drop, leaving ample room for interactive online ads to take charge." Welcome to Marketing 2.0.

A Head for Niche Marketing

10.9.06 · 0 comments

A great example of micro marketing is the handihead inflatable travel wig stand. They have a head for business.

Fun with the Marketing Funnel- Building Relationships

8.9.06 · 0 comments

The Following is an excerpt from the book The Seven Keys to Marketing Genius:

Fun with Funnels

A funnel is a good way to think of the marketing process. The top is very broad and consists of using mass marketing techniques. Mass marketing includes items like mass mailings, national advertising, billboards, and airing commercials during the Superbowl. The marketing message is sent to a broad audience with little or no discretion. Mass marketing is very expensive, difficult to evaluate, and has a low return on investment. Mass marketing is a stab in the dark, like trying to find needles in a haystack. The next section of the funnel narrows the target audience into market segments. The communications still appeal to a large audience, but they are at least targeted to a specific market segment by means of the chosen media.

Cat Fancy magazine, ESPN, and the Oxygen website each target a specific segment of the market: cat lovers, sports enthusiasts, and women, respectively. Next, we narrow the target audience further into niche or specialty markets. Harley Davidson, Barbie, and Macintosh computers each appeal to a specialty area of the market. The bottom of the funnel is the customized or one-to-one area of the funnel. The consumer being on a first-name basis with the product or service provider often characterizes these markets. Mike the mechanic, Bill the barber, Doc Baker are all one-to-one relationships in which the customer and service provider know each other personally. Through the use of technology and mass customization, these relationships can be available on a wide scale such as in the case of the “My Yahoo!” page.

ROI

ROI stands for return on investment. Every one of the techniques in the funnel will gain customers. The question is which technique will provide the greatest return on investment. A Superbowl ad is sure to create interest and generate new customers, but at what price? The same amount of money spent at the bottom and targeted directly at ideal customers will produce a much greater return on investment. Two benefits of targeting the bottom of the funnel are the likelihood of a positive response and the kinds of relationships that are established. Relationships on the bottom of the funnel are more committed and not easily broken. One-to-one customers form the bedrock, the foundation, for any successful product line. These people are not likely to change to a competitor due to the mutual commitment they feel between themselves and the brand.

Customers at the bottom of the funnel can and should become your best marketing tool. They are positive multipliers that spread the word to friends and family. There are three levels of the one-to-one section: the customer, the referent, and the advocate. The customer will continue to buy the product and not switch to the competition. The referent will continue to buy the product and will tell others about the product when asked (give referrals). The advocate will continue to purchase the product, will actively promote the product, and will convince others to buy it. The goal of every marketer is to gain advocates for the product.

To summarize, the top of the funnel is the most expensive with the least return on investment and the least amount of consumer loyalty, while the bottom of the funnel is the least expensive with the greatest return on investment and the greatest amount of consumer loyalty. Getting consumers to the bottom is the goal. Marketers should always be guiding their consumers to the bottom of the funnel where the costs are less and the relationships are stronger.

Take it from the Top

Why would anyone market to a mass audience at the top of the funnel? There are three reasons marketers come in from the top of the funnel: lack of education, sloth, and lack of opportunity. The majority of people marketing products do not know anything about the marketing funnel. If you know anyone that needs to be a more effective marketer, I urge you to advocate this book to him or her. Millions of dollars are spent because that is just the way things have been done in the past, or that is what companies see from their competitors. If you want to lead the market, then innovate instead of imitating.

On the other hand, some people are too lazy to work on building these types of relationships with customers. Often it is easier to pay for a television commercial or a billboard than to figure out how to establish one-to-one relationships with thousands of target customers.

The final reason is lack of opportunity. Sometimes when marketing a new product, it is necessary to enter the market from higher up in the funnel. If this is the case, steer your customer relationships down the funnel as quickly as possible. For example, if you must enter the market by means of a national newspaper advertisement, link the ad to a customizable website or some other tool that allows the relationship to develop further and reduces the need for future mass marketing efforts. Word of Mouth

Many of my marketing students say they want to use “word of mouth” to market their product. They have the right idea - get people talking about and recommending the product - but is it that simple? Can I just say “I’ll use word of mouth,” and it magically starts to occur? I say to my students, “That’s a great idea. How are you going to create this phenomenon and what are people going to be saying?” It takes planning and strategy to get the ball rolling. Marketers have to provide the something for people to talk about. Though creating advocates takes hard work and commitment, if you follow the seven keys outlined in this book you should have no trouble gaining them for your product. You will have a product with a distinct advantage (Key 1), and you will be clearly communicating that message (Key 5). Daehn’s Marketing Question

For any marketing decision, determine whether it is the best use of funds by asking, “Will it gain the maximum exposure to the target audience that builds relationships while avoiding wasted expense?” If you are spending your own money, you do not want to waste marketing dollars getting your message to the wrong people. If you are spending someone else’s money, you have the responsibility to use it to create lasting, protected relationships with product advocates. To achieve maximum success during the marketing process, continue to ask yourself the “Daehn question.”

That’s a Keeper

It is far less expensive to keep a customer than to get a new one. The best way to keep customers is to provide good customer service. It also is the best way to increase the return on investment. Many companies make the mistake of throwing dollars at the acquisition of new customers while ignoring current customers. A few dollars spent on customer retention through improved customer service, customized communications, and customer recognition programs will pay higher dividends than another mass marketing campaign to gain new ones.

The ROI on PPC vs. Affiliate Marketing

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My friend Damian Raffele (AKA D-Dog) shared this very cool site with me called Marketing Experiments Journal. They have an interesting article on The ROI on PPC vs. Affiliate Marketing. People told me I was crazy to rely on affiliates for CMPUniversity and to give them such a big commission, but the research of this experiment proves my point. Given the choice I will invest in people and the power of building relationships (key 5) every time.

8 unexpected (yet unforgettable) follow-up techniques

6.9.06 · 0 comments

Approachability expert Scott Ginsberg shares 8 unexpected (yet unforgettable) follow-up techniques. The best thing about these ideas is that they share an authentic part of you and builds your relationship (Key 5) with people in a way that form letters and ezines never will. With the availability of low cost mass communication the people that will stand out are the ones that put in the extra time to truly personalize and talk to fewer people.

Marketers- Nobody Cares About You, Your Product or Your Company!

1.9.06 · 0 comments

People are looking for an authentic voice. Nobody wants to talk to a machine or people that talk (or write) like machines. You have a very short window of opportunity to get your message across so make the most of it. It makes sense since a powerful principle of marketing is to build relationships (key 5). Relationships are person to person so the more personality you have in your writing and marketing communications the better. Do you like to sit and listen to people talk about themselves? “I did this and then I did that, and oh ya I’m really good at this too.” Now look at most advertising and web copy, it is inward focused on how neat the company or person writing is. Is this fun to read? Before I was married 8 years ago the pre-marital counselor had my wife and I practice “I” messages. Stuff like “I feel hurt when you say that,” instead of “you always say hurtful things.” Good advice and it takes away some of the negative feelings when communicating. This does not work when speaking to your customers. You must do the exact opposite and use “you” messages if you want to communicate effectively. What if the previous sentence said “when I communicate I always use you messages?” Is it as powerful? Does it get in your head the same way? You want to get into your customer's head and out of yours. You know what you are about, they don’t. The challenge in marketing is to communicate yourself better than your competition. When you go online and do a search you are looking for answers. You type in problems and are looking for someone to solve it, whether it’s how to spell something, find restaurant, or get your plumbing fixed. So when you are creating your copy or website set it up in a way that it is providing answers and solutions to people’s problems.

Wolfmother Rocks!

29.8.06 · 0 comments

The band Wolfmother rocks. They remind me of the 60's and 70's music I listened to growing up in the 80's. I am tempted to go buy a CD for the first time since Incubus. How do I know I like 'em? I first heard them on TV and then was able to listen to them on their website. Though I could get this music for free, I like these guys enough to pay them for their art- what a novel concept and perhaps good marketing.

On Critics...

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Robert Stover of Strategy Matters has some good advice On Critics... If you listen to the critics you will never be successful. They are there to keep you down, in-line, protected and from making them look stupid for not doing it first. You know your product rocks, and your marketing rocks, so what are you waiting for?

Create Your Own Fun Marketing Animations with DFILM

28.8.06 · 0 comments

You can use DFILM to create short flash movies, greetings or commercials. Be creative and have fun with this new tool.

If Your Gear Stinks- Head to Gateway Esporta

16.8.06 · 0 comments

I play hockey and my equipment smells terrible. The problem is that you can't wash skates, helmets and hockey gloves in the washing machine. It does not get them clean and it tears up your stuff. My friend Kevin Horner at Gateway Esporta has the solution. He has a special machine that won't hurt your gear and it gets down deep into the padding to kill the germs and stink. To market his system, Keving put some flyers and keychains into the goodie bags at the PuckFest hockey tournament, and he has a website. Check out the video to meet Kevin and see some bonus footage where Kevin takes us behind the scenes to see the magic machine that does the cleaning. Thanks Kevin!

Snakes on a Plane and Butts in the Theatre

15.8.06 · 0 comments

Mercury News reports on how the producers of Snakes on a Plane took advantage of web 2.0 to give the people what they want: "This is like the ultimate interactive movie,'' said Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations, a box-office tracking service. "Hollywood usually recruits focus groups for test screenings. New Line has taken this a step further: The audience has been able to effect change in a movie from home via the Internet.'' And there is no pre-screening for the critics because it was not made for the old media: "Ellis said the critics can blame him for the no-advance-screenings mandate, which has been read as a sure sign that, as Ellis puts it, "Our movie sucks.'' (An eight-minute clip was shown at a comic-book convention in San Diego in July.) "This isn't a critic's movie, it's a fan's movie,'' Ellis said. "I really wanted to give it to the fans first.'' The critics may think it sucks, but who cares in the 2.0 world? The marketing definitely rocks. Just remember copycats that part of why there is a buzz is because this is not the norm. I'm sure blog marketing of movies will be the next big thing, but they will not have the effect of this first one- especially if the movie really does suck.

Great Resources For Selling And Marketing Professional Services - RainToday

13.8.06 ·

RainToday today has lots of free tools and resources for marketers- particularly if you are selling services. I just read a couple of their ebooks and these were the highlights for me: Alan Weiss Promote the Value of the serviceDon’ commoditize your service by focusing on price. Focus on ROI- how will your service be of value? Keith Ferrazzi Do your homework on the person you are meeting with. Make a personal connection with them- that is what they will remember. Larry Bodine Charge for initial meetings and proposals -Filters out people looking for free advice -Narrows your audience to serious clients -Puts your image at a premium- you only work with the best Mike SchultzDon’t over think it! Do your homework and then get started. Vickie Sullivan -Narrow your focus and amount of content you give in speeches. Give them a taste. -Don’t focus on what a star you are or tell stories only about yourself. Tell success stories about others -Only take good speaking opportunities Dick Jacques Stats on the impact of selling books I like this site because the info is from sharp professionals and put into a quick and easy format. Check it out...

Larry the Goalie Drives the Zamboni

4.8.06 · 0 comments

Check out the new promo for PuckWear (www.GetPuckWear.com). Larry the goalie is driving the Zamboni with his full equipment on. He's wearing everything- even skates and a helmet. He says it's for safety, but I think it's because he likes to play right after he does the ice.

My Trip to Borders

2.8.06 · 1 comments

Barnes & Noble and Borders have both experimented with discounts for book club members. The new Borders Rewards program is free and very cool. Take a look at my trip to the store...

Will You Pay More for Payless with a New Logo?

1.8.06 · 0 comments

Payless Shoes has a trendy new logo to go with their new focus on a younger crowd. I had to check it out after taking this picture. They still have the deals, but they also have some brand names like Champion and Airwalk for guys (I didn't look at the girls shoes). The clerk said they are focusing more on a younger crowd with their products and promotions. Not a bad idea since there are so many shoes stores around town. Pick a target any target and go for it. So how have sales been since they got the new logo "pretty good, I think it has helped maybe a little I guess, I think," said the clerk. Next task- change the name to one that does not focus on price.

Palm Blogging Allows for on the Spot Video Blogging

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Michael Daehn figures out he can record video on his Palm and explores the possibilities of on the scene reporting for his MarketingThatSucks.com and MarketingThatRocks.com Blogs.

Sam's Club's Big Carts

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Sam's Club has Bigger Carts- an on the scene report:

(can't see the video, go here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km-fADVnFxw)

Marketing Jobs Rock- Increased Demand for Smart Marketers

28.7.06 · 1 comments

Monster reports Economies New and Old Are Creating Marketing Jobs : "Which marketers really have their pick of the jobs? The ones who know how to bring together a complex marketing effort that spans old and new economies. 'There's a big opportunity for people who are skilled at integration across multiple channels, like online and point-of-sale,' says Hanft. " Here comes the horn toot for CMP University. Not only does CMPU teach you fundamental marketing principles that apply in any industry, you take the course online which enhances your web savvy. What a great combination! Thanks to Will for sending this- And why were you looking on Monster, don't I pay you enough?

Gamershare: Another challenger to Traditional Distribution Channels

27.7.06 · 0 comments

Gamershare, another challenger to traditional disribution channels launched today. You can swap your games with other people who either don't like or have played their games already. Is this bad for video game makers? The intuitive response would be yes because people can trade games instead of buying new ones. But the increase in buzz and sharing of information about games (a feature on the site) is likely to boost interest and sales of games overall. You have to buy games to swap to get started, and if you really like a game you may just buy your own unscratched copy. It also opens the door increased sales collateral products and guides. Another benefit is the ability to offer more games that fit niche markets and take advantage of the economic opportunities of the Long Tail. Like it or not- this is the way things are going in our 2.0 world. Adapt or lose market share.

Behind The Book Cover- The Making of the New Seven Keys To Marketing Genius

23.7.06 · 6 comments

Maybe you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but most people do. And if you are creating a marketing book it is doubly important to set the standard. I created the cover of The Seven Keys to Marketing Genius: The Complete Guide To Increasing Your Marketing IQ myself. I had the book written for about 4 years and kept procrastinating over various issues. One of them was the cover. So I designed, and re-designed, and redesigned the cover and created this vision of lovliness to your left. Not bad for a first go at it. I'm glad I went ahead and published the book and stopped waiting for everything to be perfect, or for one of my designer friends to have the time to work on it for me. My life has changed since I published this book (as opposed to when I had written it and had not published it yet). Many doors have been opened to me and I have received great reactions from people when I pull out a book with my name on it. I was blessed to have my good friend William Good of Nexdesign Studios design the cover for my follow up book: Marketing The Church: How to Communicate Your Church's Purpose and Passion in a Modern Context. As you can see, this one looks much better and more professional. People are impressed I wrote a book, but now they are doubly impressed because it looks like a real book too. I recently launched CMP University (an online marketing certification course) and I am using the Seven Keys book as the text. I have also been talking and sharing my first book with more people. The thing is I am a little embarrassed by the cover. That brings us to this past week. I was able to "kidnap" my buddy Will once again to design this sweet new cover. You can see him at left working on it. I am very excited about the new cover and am also inspired to add some more content, especially on the use of Internet marketing. Don't worry, I won't procrastinate this time. I am excited to get this stuff written (it's already in my head) so I can publish the book with my new cover. So here it is in all it's pristine glory. Let me know what you think. (Click on the images to enlarge)

How to Be That Guy- A Rockin' Book by Scott

11.7.06 · 1 comments

Scott Ginsberg just released his latest book called How to Be That Guy. Actually, it does not go public until August 1st. But guess what, I'm a PC (privileged character)! Scott sent me an advance copy- it looks sweet, I can't wait to dive in. Scott of course is an expert in approachability and the world's foremost authority on nametags. That's because he has been wearing a name tag for over 5 years! Reading Scott is a paradigm shifting event. Be prepared to look at the world, and yourself in a whole new light. His work is especially valuable if you are in marketing or part of any networking experience. Not sure what to do at your next event- hire Scott to speak, or at least read his book for some good tips on how to get people talking. Thanks for the book Scott- Gotta go read now! Hey, check out the cool mailing label- Scott thinks of everything!

Dan's Waffle Tape Blog

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My friend Dan sells Waffle Tape . Not very glamorous, but we use it everyday. It's the reflective roadway tape that is replacing the old fashioned paint. I guess you could say that paint's day is fading. Dan created this simple blog site to keep his customers up to date. Nothing fancy, but if people type waffle tape into Google in the future they should find quick access to Dan who is happy to provide a sample. If Dan can do it, why can't you do something for your business, no matter how big or small? PS- I'm hoping Dan shares some of his sales techniques as he is one of the top salesmen for his company.

Why RSS Feeds Rock My Marketing

6.7.06 · 0 comments

Robin Stanton explains Why RSS Feeds Rock My Marketing: "And while we were looking for the next big thing, did the small publishers outdo us with RSS feeds? Yes, I believe they have. From looking at the statistics above and seeing some of the sites that were listed on Google, a lot of the sites were geared toward the teen/young adult audience and male audiences." I'm proud to be one of those under the radar guys. How are you using web 2.0 to your advantage?

PuckFest- St. Louis's favorite Hockey Tournament Returns

20.6.06 · 0 comments

My friend Greg and I put together a hockey tournament last Summer called PuckFest. We had a great time and the guys loved it. Unfortunately we lost several hundred dollars. The good news is we are doing it again this weekend (June 23-25th) and have 12 teams. We may even make enough money to pay for our pick up hockey or buy some hockey tape. What I learned form doing this tournament is that if you are really passionate about something, like hockey, it is easier to do a good job and market it. Greg and I tried to make a tournament that we would like to be a part of and it was a great success. We also have a great group of guys playing in the tournament. If you are around the St. Louis area this weekend, check out the tournament for free. We're no Hurricanes, but we try hard. There is a press release that just came out if you want to read more: Press Release: PuckFest - St Louis' Favorite Hockey Tournament Returns Remember the immortal words of Badger Bob, "It's a great day for hockey!"

Nacho Marketing

16.6.06 · 0 comments

When it comes to marketing Jack Black Gets Serious: "Black has also been heavily involved in the marketing of the film, contributing to podcasts and filming confessionals on the set before even making the press rounds. It's just somebody in marketing at Paramount was like, 'All the kids are watching the iTunes iPodcasts. We need to get in on the latest technological way to...' " Do you sell to the kids? Are you podcasting? Guess what, it's not about the technology it is about the authenticity. That's why Jack Black is popular even before the podcasts, it just helps his case. That's also why blogs are popular, but only if they are made by a real person that has something interesting to say.

Choose Your Words Carefully

3.6.06 · 0 comments

Sally Bacchetta advises to Choose Your Words Carefully: "Precision is habit-forming. As you choose your words more carefully you will become more attuned to the nuances of language, and your writing will be clear and powerful. Choose wisely and you will achieve more with less: less words, less time and less demand on your reader." This is an excellent 3 minute summary of how to write better copy.

The Magic Eye- They Know it When they See it

1.6.06 · 0 comments

Seth highlights a great frustration of mine when working with clients: Lots of marketers (and most of their bosses) like to say, "I'll know it when I see it." That's why they want to see three or five or twenty executions of an ad. Or ten or fifteen mockups of a car or a facade. That's why marketers put their staff and their freelancers and their agencies through an infinite loop of versioning. "I'll know it when I see it." Actually, you won't. Here is a typical scenario with my clients: First: Clients say they are not picky and go ahead and design a website, logo or brochure. I ask for some clarification as to what they are looking for- what do they want to communicate, what colors do they like, what style is appealing, etc. They usually say they don't have time for all of that and just go ahead and update or create a look. Second: They do not like what I created- or they like it with a few changes, which turns into multiple changes. We spend much more time than we would have by answering a few important questions BEFORE designing. This process goes back and forth with multiple tweaks until finally they see what they like. It makes more sense to start with a blueprint- to have some concrete ideas of what they are looking for and why before designing a campaign. It is like building a house, deciding if it looks right and then remodelling. Part of this is my fault because I take the customer is always right approach and give in to their demands. I have said that if they are going to do this without planning, at least I will do a great job and give them some guidance. The good news is that this has birthed a new idea called CMP University (Certified Marketing Professional University). This is a five week course that allows my clients and others to immerse themselves in marketing for 5 weeks, write a working marketing plan, and then design impactful marketing campaigns. The cost is less than half of what clients usually pay me to write a plan for them. Instead of buying fish, they are learning to do it themselves. I mostly work with entrepreneurs and small business owners so this course is geared to their needs. All of the major points of marketing are covered, but in a practical immediately applicable way. The Beta launch is July 1st, 2006. Check out the website for details on how to apply.

Genghis Khan Rocks Again

30.5.06 · 0 comments

The Independent reports on the new Genghis Khan rock opera that is sweeping Mongolia: "Genghis has already been used to sell vodka, chocolate, and hotel rooms but the rock opera's composer, Taraa, insists the use of his life story is not a marketing ploy. 'We are very proud of our heritage. We need an intellectual product with a Khan label.' " Marketing is all about targeting you audience, and these guys certainly have the ear of the Mongolian population.

Marketing Lessons from TJ

21.5.06 · 0 comments

I just spent $150 at Trader Joe's (we are having a party). I think that is the most I have ever spent on groceries. When I got home I noticed this post from Seth godin on why TJ's does so well. He says the 3 reasons are that TJ customers care about what they buy, have big mouths, and they are able to get great prices on private label brands. My wife and I are big TJ fans. There was one by our house in CA where we would shop every week. We were bummed when we moved to St. Louis and there was not TJ's. When we found out they were opening one a few miles from us last year, we were there early on opening day. The lines were down the aisles of the store. I heard the guy in charge of marketing for Dierbergs say that everyone was going to TJ's to buy their $3 wine. That is a popular item, but there is more to the story. I think Dierbergs is the best traditional grocery store in the area, but they are not TJ's. I agree with Seth's list, but I would add that you feel good when you shop at TJ's, like you are part of a club and are welcome (contrast this with Dierberg's closed door policy). The workers are friendly and will stike up conversations. This might have something to do with them getting paid more. More pay does not make better workers, but it will help to attract and retain better people. Add this friendly atmosphere to cool products with great prices and it is no wonder TJ's is doing so well.

Churches Push the Envelope on the Web

18.5.06 · 0 comments

Some churches are exploring new possibilities in how they deliver messages technologically, and what content they use to grab attention. Marketing The Church: The Seedy Side of Indy

Toothy Office Attracts Niche Customers

15.5.06 · 0 comments

Take Dr. Sedighi's Office Tour to see all the cool stuff he has for kids. The tikes are relaxed, which relaxes the parents and allows the DDS to do his job, and get repeat visitors.

Labyrinth Enterprises

12.5.06 · 0 comments

This is niche marketing at its finest: Labyrinth Enterprises.

Ben's Pen

7.5.06 · 1 comments

Ben had a pocket full of pens. "Hey, nice pens," I said. Thanks, you want one?" Ben said. "Hey, I could use a pen, thanks!" I responded. And then we had a nice conversation about Ben's new business and marketing. I even told Ben I would mention him on my marketing blog. What is cool about Ben's pens is not the pen- just about everyone buys pens to give away. What was cool was that Ben had a big pocket full of them and it was real conversation starter. It made Ben approachable as my friend Scott would say. I saw Ben again the other day- he was all out of pens. That is no surprise to me, Ben, none at all! I'm not even sure this is the right website, but it's the same domain as the email: Advance Look Building Inspections & Environmental Testing. Here's what the pen says: Advance Look Building Inspections Mark and Ben Muehlstein 636.230.3654 Mark@advancelook.net Good luck on the new business guys!

Zamtastic!

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Talk about the perfect ad to catch my attention! As a former Zamboni driver and current hockey nut I had to click on this. Too bad it just took me to a Canadian car site that had nothing to do with Zambonis )-:

Marketing that Rocks and Pops

5.5.06 · 0 comments

Remember Pop Rocks candy? Rumor has it if you eat a handful and take a drink of soda your head will explode. Well it is the 30th anniversary so let the celebration and marketing begin. And don't even think about eating them with soda you daredevil.

Marketing that Sucks- You In

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Tim Beyers explains why he thinks Google Really Is Evil . Their contest centered around the Da Vinci Code has him Googling beyond what he feels comfortable with. Google has masterfully created an interactive promotional campaign that involves the audience in the message. This is not Marketing that Sucks, but marketing that sucks you in- that's the good kind.

Why Don't Ad Agencies Advertise?

4.5.06 · 0 comments

Simon Sinek asks Why Don't Ad Agencies Advertise?: "Considering that agencies recommend their clients spend 10% of their revenues on marketing, the big four are spending .01% of their combined $29.3 billion in global revenue. Mull that for a second or two." People waste tons of money on marketing because they don't truly understand the process. What they see is the big dollar mass market campaigns like TV, Print and radio. Before spending a dime on promotion (like ads) you must find your advantage, define your purpose and create an image. Your promotions must be focused on building relationships. To see if it is working you must gain feedback, then make changes based on the information you gather. These are the Seven Keys to Marketing Genius.

Trade Show Tactic

28.4.06 · 0 comments

Seth relates an Oreo confusion story (don't get me started on line extensions) but ends up giving great trade show advice- Seth's Blog: The paradox of pictures

Copy That

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Many of my clients are worried about someone stealing their Idea. Paul Graham has an eloquent answer to this problem that I heartily agree with.

AMA Houston Crystal Awards Sponsorship

21.4.06 · 0 comments

The theme of this year's awards is Marketing that Rocks. I can be a sponsor for as little as $500. Should I try it? AMA Houston Crystal Awards Sponsorship Or maybe I should sue for copyright infringement.

NHL Shoots and Scores

15.4.06 · 0 comments

I know I have been harsh on the marketing efforts of the NHL, but that's only because I love hockey and the NHL. So here's something cool they did. I received this e-mail reminding me that NHL action is going to be on TV today. The email is simple, with large easy to see graphics featuring 3 great games with pictures of the star players. Only information I need, in an easy and enjoyable format in a timely helpful manner that acts as a useful reminder.

Brands That Rock: Learning How To Market from Rock and Rollers

13.4.06 · 0 comments

This Brands That Rock book looks interesting: "Stephan and Blackwell also examine how businesses, from Victoria's Secret and Wal-Mart to Cadillac and Kraft, have implemented rock and roll strategies to become adopted by culture and secure fans in their own right. Filled with fun anecdotes and interviews from industry insiders, Brands That Rock will relate to managers who grew up with classic rock, showing them how build iconic brands, and delight fans decade after decade. " It is always a good to look at your industry or discipline from other perspectives. Thanks to Bob Baker for suggesting this book.

More on Microchunks

11.4.06 · 0 comments

Business 2.0, my favorite magazine, has this article on how Time Warner can fix their distribution model by unbundling their media into microchunks- a theme on this blog of late: 5 ways to fix Time Warner - April 1, 2006 And I have been thinking about the PEZ illustration- while PEZ is yummier, I think Legos may be a better illustration. It is not just about breaking content into smaller parts, it is also a matter of encouraging and facilitating rebuilding by consumers into their own structures.

Marketing the Rock

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Rock Ishii, Tiger Woods golf ball designer is getting press from Nike's new campaign promoting the designer. I'd like to see the guy that designed my lycra/cotton blend Froot of the Looms. Now that hits close to home!

Marketing Carved Rock

10.4.06 · 0 comments

Whoa, these are cool! It's opening day at the new ballpark here in St. Louis and Cardinals fans are flocking to the New Busch Stadium. A local company produced carvings that decorate the park. Take a look: BirdOnBat.com - Decorative, hand-carved stone medallions for St. Louis Cardinals' New Busch Stadium. The creators are also doing a brisk business by providing replicas to fans. Go Cardinals!

Marketing in the Rockies

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Marketing is not just for Oreos and Budweiser. Good communication is necessary for non-profits, community groups and governments as well. To save water, a city in Colorado launched an awareness campaign as explained in the Denver Post: "For example, in 2002 during the peak of the drought, the city of Fort Collins spent $150,000 marketing water conservation. Citizens responded by conserving 3,000 acre-feet of water, 10 percent of annual use. Thus, it cost $50 per acre-foot to save that 3,000 acre-feet of water. Put in context, the new dams will cost between $800 and $2,000 per acre-foot, and buying water on the open market will cost between $5,000 and $15,000 per acre-foot. " How much is that per bottle?

Drinks and Handshakes

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If you live in the St. Louis area, Jean Evans is sponsoring a free networking event with finger foods and libations. Sounds yummy and you might do some business too!

The Pez Dispenser - Unbundled Microchunks Explained

6.4.06 · 3 comments

OK, if you are like me and slept in instead of going to Economics class then check out this explanation of microchunks that puts the hay down on the barn floor: Know More Media: The Pez Dispenser - Unbundled Microchunks (Yoda Pez added for my friends at Know More Media ;-)

Everything You Wanted to Know About Media 2.0

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The Bubblegeneration Strategy Lab has a detailed economic explanation of what Media 2.0 is and how it effects your business. Some highlights: "Don’t use the property rights metaphorAs an excuse for strategyHere’s why:The property rights metaphor:Only I have the right to use/benefit/exchange this piece of land. But what if you let others in……and they build you a house? This is where the property rights metaphor ends up in a Media 2.0 world. This is what the economics of micromedia and peer production imply. The property rights metaphor itself is a block to thinking strategically about Media 2.0 economics." "The three sources of Media 2.0 value creation…Revelation, Aggregation, and Plasticity…Give rise to fundamentally new kinds of economies: Distributed economies of scale Coordination economies Production economies of scale and scope which require radically different product strategies: Openness Intelligence Decentralization Connectedness In order to realize these economies and produce the dominant Media 2.0 strategy……The snowball effect, and realize increasing returns to adoption within the niche…which is a total inversion of the dominant Media 1.0 strategy-the blockbuster effect." Check out the full article and Powerpoint for a well thought through thesis.

Marketing that Cracks

5.4.06 · 0 comments

OK, I know I'm not supposed to say crack when referring to chiropractors, but it does make kind of a cracking sound when they adjust you. Dr. Michael Dorausch, D.C. introduces us to a motivated and innovative Chiropractor in LBCA on his blog Planet Chiropractic - Serving Chiropractic Worldwide. And if you are in the St. Louis area, check out my D.C. Dr. Ray.

Branding Rocks in the New Europe

20.3.06 · 0 comments

Anne Holland Explains: "The hottest area of marketing now is -nope not the Internet. Branding rules. Branding is the killer app that rocks the Eastern European business world. "

Movies that Rock

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MSN lists their picks for Top 10 Rock Movies. I'm wondering what happened to Pink Floyd's The Wall. What do you think?

"All Marketers are Liars" - Seth Godin speaks at Google - Google Video

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Want to see the foremost expert on marketing for free? Check this out: "All Marketers are Liars" - Seth Godin speaks at Google - Google Video Make sure you have your notebook ready because Godin has some paradigm shifting statements that will greatly effect your ability to change and improve how you communicate with customers. And if you are wondering if Godin shares his best stuff consider one of his latest blog posts: So, the question: should you put your best song on the free CD? If it's your best song, and it's free, then no one will pay to get it from iTunes. And if it's the best song on the album, maybe no one will buy the album since they already have the song. It's easy to argue that you should hold back the best song, make people pay for that. Until you realize that the >>> button on my CD player works great. If you do marketing, watching this video is probably the best use of your time today.

Judging a Blook by its Blogger

19.3.06 · 0 comments

Media Life Magazine published this article on the new trend of turning blogs into books. And I thought I thought of it first. If you follow the old saying for writers to make sure you write a least a page a day it makes sense for the blogging medium. Blogging is a way to keep track of your vital thoughts and comments that you can then go back and put into a coherent thesis for publication. I am amazed as I look back on my blog posts a few weeks ago and realize I had already forgotten what I wrote. Coming soon Marketing that Rocks the book and Marketing that Sucks the book, or I guess I should call them blooks.

The Power of Packaging

14.3.06 · 0 comments

Even Microsoft is realizing that Apple's approach to packaging is much better than their own in this Microsoft created parody.

Seth Enlightens Us About Authenticity and Marketing Appeal

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Marketing guru Seth's Godin gives his treatise on authenticity with a cool coffee drinking bell curve illustration. I would add that people's need for authenticity is relative to the person and the product. For example, I'm not much of a coffee nut so I don't really care how authentic the coffee experience is, as long as I can get a cup when I need it. On the other hand, I am much more picky about my beers, what they look like, taste like and where I drink them. There is a generational difference too. My generation (Gen X) and those after me tend to look for authenticity everywhere, even in the brands we buy. Maybe it is from being marketed to our whole lives, but younger generations tend to be much more sensitive to authentic marketing. As usual the task falls on the marketer to determine what the audience is looking for and deliver the goods the way they like it.

Schmoozing

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Here I am schmoozing with up and coming superstar Scott Ginsberg, that guy with the nametag. We are holding our latest books and dreamily pondering the day when we too will be featured on the Borders best seller wall behind us.

When Sucks Rocks

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Gismoz and Gadgets has won several awards for using the "S" word in their marketing: "The harsh words egismoz has for big box stores are being heard. egismoz recently won six Gold Addy Awards from the Ann Arbor Ad Club and a Silver Caddy Award from the Detroit Creative Directors Council for their Look What I Got campaign and with the new Big Box Stores Suck advertisements, Bond expects even more industry recognition." I'm sure the Marketing that Sucks blog is next on the list.

How to tie into the right niche market

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Ian's Shoelace Site shows you how to pick a topic/target and work it for all you've got. And it is a real eye opener on how to tie your shoes the right way.

Niche Marketing at its Finest

9.3.06 · 0 comments

All Sports Weddings has gotten a leg up on the competition with these sports themed wedding garters. They have just about every team and sport. This is a great example of how to find a target niche and go at it full force.

Napsterization: The Content Crisis

8.3.06 · 0 comments

Napster was a huge paradigm shift for marketers- turning the distribution model on it's head. Technology has created disintermediation, which means the mediators who made millions by controlling content were left out in the cold. The same process is happening in every industry that relies on the control of information for their livlihood. This article by Demir Barlas describes what is happening in publishing: "Today, content distributors are afraid of public choice and want instead to beat it into temporary submission with advertising. This is not a secret strategy. Hollywood executives talk quite openly about 'saturation' marketing aiming only to get a handful of gullible viewers in to see a terrible movie on its opening weekend. If enough rubes see the movie, it doesn't matter that it sucks, or that no one will remember it in three weeks' time. It's all a hustle. Except on the Internet. Here, you choose. Google Books and Amazon actually do put the world's literature on an equal basis, and this is what probably bugs the hell out of Newton. He wants a kind of Nineteen-Eighty Four world in which a handful of oligarchs control screens, minds, and programming, and the Web is like that hammer-throwing woman in Ridley Scott's Apple commercial from 1984." Beware Doctors and Lawyers- your next and I can't wait to see what you try to do about it.

Suck Free TV

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The campaign for Suck Free TV is very creative. You have to admire the idea that sucking is a bad thing and using it as a rallying cry (just like the Marketing that Sucks blog).

People Aren't Interested in You or Your Company

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Sad, but true: People Aren't Interested in You or Your Company. David Rosam tells it like it is in this short, and accurate article. A must read for anyone writing copy for the web, flyer or brochure.

Rocks that Market

6.3.06 · 0 comments

Presence Incorporated goes the extra mile for their clients, even if it means writing by hand on 10,000 rocks.

Websites Make Speedy First Impression

5.3.06 · 0 comments

According to a study reported on the BBC News, web users decide if a website is good in about 1/2 a second. You need to make sure the first thing people see is a great hook for qualified viewers that can lead them to the rest of your site and then to your organization. This is usually going to be a visual image that gets people's attention, and then leads them to read your headlines and copy. Bottom line: make sure your site has visual appeal backed up by great copy.

How to Win a Price War

2.3.06 · 0 comments

Feature Article by Michael Daehn

Download the PDF More marketing articles

How to Set Your Price Any economics student can tell you that price is a matter of supply and demand. The market will bear a certain price point and settle into equilibrium. This is not very helpful when trying to determine the price for a new product. Price is a very confusing area of marketing for many people. The reason is probably because price is one of the most misused and abused marketing tools. Traditionally, there are three ways to set the price for a product:
  • Competitive Parity- Charging the same price or average price of the competition
  • Standard Markup- Always adding the same percentage markup to the cost of products (i.e., cost plus 50%)
  • Zero-Based Pricing- Receiving a small margin per item with a high volume of sales
The problem with all three of these methods is they do not take into account the customer’s perceived value of the product. Let’s assume you are going to sell hats. The hats cost you $10 to make so you decide to sell them for $15. What if the people buying your hats only think they are worth $5? You are in big trouble. You cannot afford to sell hats for less than they cost you to make, but if that is the perceived value to your customers you will not sell any at $15. On the other hand, what if customers love your hats and would actually be willing to pay $20 per hat? You are cheating yourself out of $5 per hat. So how do you know what people will pay? Do the research before going to market. Either hire a market research firm, or do it yourself if you are on a budget. If people are willing to pay less than your cost to produce the hats, you will be avoiding disaster by knowing this information ahead of time. If people are willing to pay more than your perception of a fair price, you can be even more successful than you imagined. Price Wars Your price must be based on the perceived value to the customer. Price is a double-edged sword, and many companies find themselves falling into the trap of competing on price. Price is NOT a competitive advantage by definition because it can be copied easily and immediately by the competition. Price wars with the competition hurt everyone. Customers will be happy at first because they will get better deals, but be disappointed in the long term when prices go back up or their favorite company goes out of business. Price wars destroy the perceived value of the product in the marketplace. Even if your company wins the price war by undercutting the competition, customers will feel cheated when prices return to normal levels. I went to McDonald’s to get my 39-cent hamburger the other day, and to my dismay what had been 39 cents the previous six months is now all of a sudden 79 cents. I felt cheated, but if they had not been 39 cents the week before when I bought them, I would not have felt that paying 79 cents was a big deal. Like millions and millions of other people, I have been going to McDonald’s since I was a child. A few years ago they panicked and jumped into the price wars with their competition. This was a mistake. By creating their own “value menu,” they started looking like everyone else. There is now nothing special about going there because they are just like their copycat competition. I just heard on the radio that McDonald’s is closing almost 200 locations. It does not sound like the low price strategy is working. Low price is not a valid competitive advantage, yet companies spend millions of dollars saying they are the low price leaders. Low price has no distinguishing characteristic about it, particularly when everyone is saying the same thing. Companies are also telling their customers to shop based on price. Therefore, if their competition has a lower price, they should go to them. Let me repeat, companies are paying for advertising that tells their customers not to be loyal, but to shop based on low price! Besides encouraging a price war and creating disloyalty, this violates Marketing Key 5: Building Relationships. By telling people that the lowest price is the best criterion for choosing a product, companies are discouraging customer loyalty based on reputation or quality of service. This practice is so prevalent that it is no wonder many people are confused about the proper place of price in a marketing plan. The good news is that after reading this, you now know better than your competition. How to Win a Price War The answer to how to win a price war is to not get into one in the first place. If you find yourself in this situation, find a competitive advantage aside from price to promote then differentiate yourself and focus your marketing promotions on the advantage instead of price. Download the PDF More marketing articles

A Bear of a Divorce

1.3.06 · 0 comments

In the Seven Keys to Marketing Genius I caution about partnering with others. Not that strategic partnerships are a bad idea, but they should not be entered into lightly. A partnership is like a marriage. Take the case of the Brown Bear Car Wash. They were making big money by partnering with gas station chains, but saw their family name and business deteriote. Money isn't everything. According to the article: Taking back the company has been a huge endeavor for the Odermats and their employees. You have to wonder how many people would take back a company that had such internal problems when they could just sit back and collect money from a profitable lease agreement. "Some people wondered why we would want to take the company back given the terms of the lease, which were lucrative for us," Lance says. "We told them money's not everything, but Brown Bear is everything to us." Partners beware.

Does the Marketing Buzz for Origami Suck or Rock?

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This post by Nate Anderson asks the magical question. Origami is Microsoft's answer to the ipod. Anderson says: As for whether Origami "sucks" or "rocks," we'll reserve judgment until we've seen the final specs (and find out if it will be a unit or a platform). With Microsoft promising that the new product will "change your life," they have certainly set the bar high. The next few weeks will show us whether they can deliver, and whether the marketing campaign was a good idea—or a good idea gone wrong. Check back to see if this gets filed under Marketing that Sucks or Marketing that Rocks.

When the 'Bubble' Bursts

26.2.06 · 0 comments

The release of Stephen Soderbergh's new film Bubble upsets the traditional distribution model for movies. He released it simultaneously in theatres, on cable pay per view, and on DVD much to the chagrin of theater owners. Movie houses are afraid that this new method of distribution will leave them out in the cold as people will opt to watch films at home instead of at the cinema. They may be right, but can they really stop this progression? Their sister industry- music, saw itself "Napsterized" as people cut through the mediaries as soon as they were given the tools to do so. The recording industry lost money and credibility with consumers by trying to hang on to their power. Soderbergh's model may not be the solution, but at least he gains some credibility with fans for giving them a choice.

Mass with Class

25.2.06 · 0 comments

Target is attracting fashion aficionados that used to shun the big chains with their classy and chic offerings. Another example of price not being a legitimate competitive advantage and why it is a good idea to avoid price wars. In this case low price usually works against the chain, but now the fasion elite are looking past the low price due to great offerings.

Written Any Good Books Lately?

24.2.06 · 0 comments

More business people are writing and publishing their own books and see great returns not only in book sales, but increased business through publicity. This article in Inc tells how some people are doing it. Scott Ginsberg mentioned this trend on his blog a few days ago and has his own pointers on how to use your book to promote your business.

Another Reason to Like Feedburner

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Not only should you copy feedburner's copy, but follow their lead in customer interaction. I got this email from their director of marketing after making a blog post about them: Michael - Thanks for sending this along. Funny thing, I had already seen your post earlier today. Some people like the copy and others not so much. But I think overall the feedback has been mostly good. I appreciate the shoutout on your site. We often like to point to blogs that leverage FeedBurner services. Let me know if we can include you among the other folks in Publisher Buzz: http://www.burningdoor.com/buzz/In the meantime, we'll continue to try to follow the "Marketing that Rocks" mantra and hopefully never make it into your other blog. ;) Cheers, Traci --Traci Hailpern Director of Marketing FeedBurner That's great customer service and builds relationships. Oh and did I mention I am not a paying customer for any of their services? ...at least not yet.

The Stories They Tell

21.2.06 · 0 comments

In the movie Stripes, Bill Murray explains why guys in the Army always get the girl, "it's the stories they tell." The Olympics are doing the same thing. NBC told the story of speed skater Chad Hedrick the other night. I wanted to see some hockey action, but instead they started telling this guy's story of how he grew up at roller skating at his Dad's rink and his many years of rollerblading. I got caught up in the story and wanted to see him win. The next thing I know I'm watching the long track races and I realized these races are like 6 minutes a piece and I am watching them. A few minutes ago I could care less. By creating a compelling story I was converted from disinterested to engaged. Marketing Guru Seth Godin's new book called All Marketers are Liars is about this very topic. Our job as marketers is to do the same- communicate a message through great story telling.

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