Sunday, May 23, 2010

Do people really care?

I mean really, people honestly don't care about your service (unless they are full throttle brand loyal to your company;which, isn't the reality these days) okay, maybe in some cases.
The bottom line is, we are looking at what marketers call "the information age", people who probably know more about your product and competition than you do. And why? One word--Google. For example, last night I was boiling chicken breasts from frozen, I didn't know how to do this. So what did I do, went to Google and typed in "How to cook chi", and before I even finished my sentence this amazing tool already knew what I was thinking. There popped up a series of options of how to cook chicken breasts. So what does this mean--well, here is my point: If you're targeting the information age (males and females between the ages of 18-40), you better have some damn good SEO. If I was 18 years old and looking for a skateboard, I would guess that I would go to Google and type in "Kingston Skateboards." And heck, why wouldn't I? Google is simply the easiest tool to find products within my town. I'm sure there have been many blogs surrounding Google as a marketing tool. It's just my chicken breasts experiences made me want to write this blog.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What if Cigarette companies had retail outlets with playhouses for children?

What was your first reaction when you read the headline? Evil, crazy, disturbed? Of course it was, you're a decent human being who knows that encouraging children to spend time in an atmosphere full of cigarette propaganda is horrible, and of course it is. Or what if major cigarette companies like Export A or Belmont had a mascot that aimed directly at children, that would be wrong to. Wouldn't it?

This blog actually has nothing to do with Direct Marketing at all. But after watching "Supersize Me" last night, I couldn't resist not to write about this topic. Did you know that obesity is the number one cause of death in the United States of America. It absolutely shocks me that McDonald's is described as a socially acceptable company within the eyes of many North Americans. And why shouldn't they be. They continue to advertise how much their company donates to local charities. Hell, they even have their own charity.

Stunningly, scientists spoke with four children all under the age of seven. Every children was able to recognize Ronald McDonald. Only 3 could pinpoint a drawing of Jesus Christ and Abraham Lincoln. Wow!

Is it worse to be a pack a day smoker, or incredibly obese? Well, both are extremely harmful to your health. So here is my question.

If McDonald's is allowed to lure small children into a life full of sugar, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Why can't Export A advertise to children to a life full of asthma, cancer and bad breath?

Note: This blog is not an argument surrounding advertising laws for cigarette companies. It's a topic that blows my mind of how McDonald's can get away with what they're doing to the lives of our youth.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Is--$2.00 OFF!--really enough?

Imagine you and your spouse are on a vacation in let's say, for example, Las Vegas. One day, a worker from the hotel hands you a tourism guide that is filled with information about places to see, restaurants and famous landmarks. It's already been discussed between the two you of about what sites you are prepared to visit that are within your budget. As your flipping through the pages you see a coupon for an event that wait for it......$2.00 off.

I mean, really? Are these people serious? This isn't McDonalds.

If you were on vacation, and had a rough idea of sites you were interested in visiting. Would a two-dollar coupon shift your ideas? Keep in mind that a large majority of these events to visit are in the price range of twenty-five to fifty dollars.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Will it Blend

For anymore who is blogging about Viral Marketing. Check out the overall success of a Blender Company who created a video on YouTube called "Will it Blend". The series of videos show their companies spokesperson blending various items to portray the strength of the blenders. Items include an iPhone, marbles, even a rake. This is a perfect example of a brilliant viral marketing campaign that was proven to be extremely successful.

As mentioned in my previous blog. People like being entertained. If you can't grasp an emotion, laugh, nostalgic memory from your audience. You might as well be blending money.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Data Mining

A dentist would be able to detect a cavity in his/her mouth instantly. Why? Because that is there profession. Just like a dermatologist can spot a the difference between acne (and whatever skin problems there are). My friend, who will remain anonymous, called me and I asked if I knew how to unclog a toilet. Being a guy, we're always obligated to fix those 'disgusting' problems. I feel pretty confident in completing the job, but wanted to check some tips on Google just to be sure.

After my search on the process of unclogging toilets (which was pretty helpful I may say) I went to YouTube to listen to a song. On the bottom of the YouTube screen, advertisements were popping offering me 20% off plumbing products. Are Google and YouTube in cahoots? Do I only notice these things because I'm studying Advertising and Marketing? I can picture in my mind right now individuals all over the world finding it amazing seeing advertisements and thinking "Holy crap, what a coincidence. I was just thinking of re-staining my deck", not remember searching for outdoor wood stain.

Was this incident a complete coincidence? Or is the power of data mining THAT advanced?

Friday, March 5, 2010

The rise of the SHAMWOW and Slapchop.

We all know the ShamWow guy (the one who got arrested for prostitution but was still hired to promote the slapchop) from the commercials, telling us we're wasting valuable dollars on paper towels and quality products are made in Germany. Unless you've been living under a rock (or in Amish land), you're aware of the saying "But wait, there's more", or the famous "But if you call now, we'll throw in ......".

Are the ShamWow and Slapchop great products or is their direct marketing BRILLIANT? Would these products be so popular if traditional advertising was used for the awareness of these products? So why use a direct approach? Well, I'll tell ya.

1. Direct marketing is measurable. ROI can be calculated.
2. The ShamWow guy might be the new kingpin of direct television.
3. Television was used for these products because television can demonstrate what the products are capable of doing.

Did you know that thirty million dollars of Shamwows are sold every month. WOW. Everybody has heard of a shamwow, everybody knows who the shamwow guy is. This is a strong indicator that people are still paying attention to commercials; if it's interesting. Just remember, people are selfish; they don't give a @$!$ about your company. You NEED to entertain, engage and create that *shamwow* moment.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


“Imagine you have a packet with 100 flower seeds in it, also pretend you’ve been giving 100 watering cans each filled with just enough water to soak one seed for a few days. It seems as though you can do one of two things.
1. You can plant all of 100 seeds and water each seed one time, my guess is every seed will fail to grow.
2. Or you could plant just 20 seeds and throw the other 80 seeds in the trash, water each of the 20 seeds five time over the course of the week, and you’ll probably end up with 20 flowers.”—Seth Godin

Monday, February 15, 2010

An interesting take on telemarketing.

I was just on my way out the door and phone rang.

Telemarketer:"Hey Eli What's up"?
Eli: "Not too much, just on my way out the door. Who is this"?
Telemarketer: "This is Sarah, and I was just wondering if you would like to purchase our food rather than paying high prices at the grocery store"?
Eli: "You know what Sarah. I took a class on Direct Marketing and researching all forms of direct marketing, and I'll tell--you're the first telemarketer who kept me on the phone for more than 10 seconds. Thank you Sarah, but I'll pass".

The telemarketer was able to obtain my attention because for the first few seconds I felt like I was speaking to somebody I knew. You know those awkward moments when somebody calls and you feel bad for not recognizing the voice of your friend. That is exactly how I felt when speaking to Sarah.

Have these people not got the point already. People HATE telemarketers, ask one person who actually enjoys being interrupted by a telemarketer, especially at dinner time (which is when they seem to call 90% of the time). It's not the 50's anymore, people have call display and they can instantly suspect a telemarketer on the phone within the first two words the person speaks. Also, because of the internet, people are looking for products and don't need to be informed on their purchases as much as they used to. So why the hell are businesses still using this approach? Does it still work? It must, I would like to believe that decision makers of big corporations aren't stupid.

If you own a business and are thinking of using telemarketing as a sales strategy, you will probably gain more leads by personalizing your message. This means using your personal database and inform customers on up coming sales promotions or sales. Also, be sure to NEVER call between 4:30 and 6:30, this is when families are having supper, and you never want to anger your current customers.

Never preach to people, inform them on how you can help them.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Scent Marketing. Direct to the brain.

The Pizza Shop in our school just introduced garlic bread sticks (mmm...) we all love the smell of garlic bread sticks, don't we? Every single time I walk down the hallway all I can smell is that wonderful scent of garlic...much like an Italian high classed restaurant. The scent is extremely recognizable. Every time I smell that pungent, sweet garlic and bread smell; all I want are bread sticks from the Pizza shop in our school.

My question: Did they do this on purpose?

Scent marketing has become a popular fad in today's society. Real Estate agents use this technique when showing homes to prospect buyers. The agent will place a freshly baked Apple Pie or cookies on the kitchen counter to give the home a very 'homey' feeling. Does this approach work? For sure has.

I want you to think of anytime you have strolled past a pizza store or bakery in your hometown and been drawn in to purchase.

Can you think of any times you have been lured in my scent marketing. Feel free to post your opinions.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Superbowl. Where nonfootball lovers watch for commercials

This blog is going against all that I believe in. But the fact is, the Superbowl is the one day of the entire year that millions gather around their television to see two things: The game and the advertisements.

Monday, the day after the big event, a majority of discussion around the water cooler is the most impressive or controversial ad the office saw during the Superbowl. Companies pump millions of dollars worth of traditional media to be a part of the most popular event in America, which, in turn; portrays the status of a branding. {A company who can afford to spend a million dollars on a 30 second ad must be doing something write in their business}.

This will be one of my blogs where I can actually announce that traditional media blows direct marketing out of the water. Why? Because millions of people around the world are watching television for a four hour span just to see the advertising. I can think of dozens of occasions of non football telling me they only watch the event for the advertising.

Can you remember any of the hundreds of messages you were exposed to today? Maybe? But probably not. But I can bet that even if you did not watch the Superbowl, through word of mouth, you will hear of at least one memorable commercial from the Superbowl.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Communicating with The Big Boys in B2B.

So what do I mean by "The Big Boys?" These are men/woman with jobs, they carry briefcases to work and highly sophisticated, educated men/woman. What behaviors and traits separate these individuals from the working class hero? First of all, luxurious brands seem to appeal to this bunch because it portrays an image of success--and in some cases--professionalism. So what are the appropriate tools and imagery that will these people tick, think, and buy.
First of all, managers/bosses and supervisors tend to have more knowledge about the product you are trying to pursue them with. This can include: fax machines, telephone services, printers and security systems. Always keep in mind as well that you can offer them a new product or service ONLY if it is better than the object they already have or your company offers better customer service.
Be sure to check in for "Communicating with The Big Boys in B2B - Part II"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Story behind the current title.

You are driving home from work and usually the first thing you do before reaching the driveway is grab the mail. When you get inside you throw the stack on the counter and a first glance it’s easily recognizable what is considered important, and what you know as junk. I bet these exacts thoughts have crossed through your mind when ciphering through the envelopes, “ Gotta pay phone bill, damn creditors, garbage, garbage, hmm a letter from the bank; wonder what the hell they want, garbage.” Well those two things you claimed as being ‘garbage’ are actually your friends.

Lets face it, the market is changing, people are changing and businesses are starting to realize they need to be more honest to their customers. The sleazy salesman who is ripping you off and in your sub conscience knows you’re being taken for is slowly fading away—with exception of buying food at the theatre; haven’t figured that one out yet. The fact is, with cities growing rapidly and organizations sprouting like weeds, businesses are fighting for brand loyalty and repeat business, and will offer GREAT incentives to keep their current customers.

The point of this blog is to inform people to take advantage of the great offers being given to you in the mail. Also, businesses have moved towards sustaining a relationship with their clients, like a friend. They’re no longer trying to take advantage of their customers because they know that 80% of their business derives from 20% of their customers. So take advantage of those offers and stash some savings away for 2012.

Eli Nicholson