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Entries Tagged as 'Marketing'

The new phone book is here — where’s yours?

January 17th, 2013 · Marketing, Media

photoNormally at MMG, we caution clients to be careful of the “I don’t listen/watch/do therefore neither does my target audience” trap.

We usually do not represent our target audience and even if we are like them — there are plenty of exceptions to the rule.  And sometimes the exception is you!

But in this case I will say — how you (and I) use our trusty, dusty phone book is probably pretty similar to how the rest of the world responds to them as well.

Mine?  It went from bag on the lawn to recycling bin in one fluid motion.

If you are still spending money on phone book ads — unless you know that your target audience still uses them (pretty much the 65+ crowd), there are better places for your money.

P.S.  And don’t let the “how did you hear about us” question fool you.  TV and the phone book are the usual answer when they respondent either doesn’t remember or doesn’t want to say.

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Are you ready for the attention?

January 8th, 2013 · Business owner/leader stuff, Marketing, Strategy

TRAKDOT-DEVICE2-640x480Let me paint you a picture.

You have a new product that you’re bringing to market in the next 60 days. You have the opportunity to showcase this new product at the world’s largest and best attended trade show for your industry.

You showcase the product and within hours — you have over 45,000 stories on Google about your new product.  And those stories are on sites like cnet.com, LA Times.com, Cult of Mac.com, forbes.com, and gizmodo.com.  Each story sings your product’s praises — talking about how useful it will be, how affordable it is and how cool anyone who owns it will feel.

Each and every story includes a picture of your product and a link to the product’s URL.

This is a dream come true, isn’t it?  It’s the holy grail of product launches. I don’t know about you — but I am getting a little weepy at the thought.

But wait. You see, there’s a little problem.  When you go to any of the 45,000 stories online and you click on www.trakdot.com — you get a 404 page.  That’s right — they debut their product at the Consumer Electronics Show and their website isn’t live.

WHAT??  Someone needs to be fired.  Today.

Trakdot hit a home run only to find out they were playing at the wrong ballpark on the wrong day.  I get it — they’re not ready to ship.  But I can’t even imagine the traffic those 45K stories drove to that URL.  (The story on CNN.com alone was re tweeted 827 times as of Tuesday afternoon) Grab people’s email addresses and send them a $5 off coupon.  Or offer to let them buy a day early if they share their contact information.  But don’t invite them over and then lock the door so they can’t come in!

This example — extreme and painful as it may be — reminds me how often companies go to trade shows without doing their homework.  And it’s not just trade shows.  It’s sending out press releases, doing a mailing to prospects — it’s marketing in general.

Here are some things you can/should do so that you never get caught being this clueless:

Check every detail:  Dial every phone number, enter every URL, drive or mapquest every address.  If you are going to include contact info — be sure it’s accurate, the people on the other end of the number or address are ready/prepped and it’s exactly where someone reacting to the marketing piece would want to be sent.

Anticipate reactions: Ask yourself — when someone sees this (hears about this, reads this, etc.) what might they do?

  • They might share it with others (so we might get even more traffic)
  • They might try to contact us (see check details above)
  • They might want to buy it (make it easy to find/do)
  • They might want to read reviews (share links) or review it (again — share links)
  • They might write a blog post (have Google Alerts set up and know the plan in terms of responding)
  • They might want more information (make sure the website is live, you have fact sheets to download etc.)
  • They might want to inquire about a large/group order (have a directory if they need to reach different people for different types of interactions)

You get the idea… be ready.

Have back up plans in case things go big or go wrong: Sometimes you just can’t anticipate how a market will respond. So have a contingency plan just in case. And you need to have a contingency plan for the incredibly good or the incredibly bad.  What if the product reviews are horrible?  What if United Airlines decides to buy enough to give everyone in their Mileage Plus program one? You need to be ready for either end of the “oh my God” spectrum.

Don’t let any show/publication/holiday or other outside influence get you to pull the trigger if you are not ready:  We all know how big a deal CES is.  But no event is worth looking unprepared or stupid. If you aren’t ready — you aren’t ready.

All of these suggestions are true, whether you’re a 25 year old product or brand new. Marketing isn’t just about the sex appeal, flashy stuff.  At it’s core, it’s a discipline. It’s about getting the details right. And it’s about thinking something through before you jump.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and once the media has “discovered” you, they aren’t going to discover you again.  Be ready or stay home until you are.

 

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Five trade show mistakes to avoid

December 13th, 2012 · Marketing, Sales, Strategy · 5 Comments

Mistake #1: Not having a pre-game plan. Trade shows are one of those things that sneak up on you. You’re going to have to be out of the office for a few days, you need everything shipped in advance and you’re juggling your regular work. But the prep work should be done months in advance, [Read more...]

Could your marketing strategy benefit from an outside audit?

November 30th, 2012 · Marketing · 2 Comments

Drew’s note ~ Here’s some practical advice from the folks at Simple Machines Marketing and we couldn’t agree more.  We often start our engagements with new clients with an audit like Charlie describes: As a marketing strategist who works directly with clients, I’m very familiar with the frustration businesses feel when it comes to marketing. [Read more...]

5 Marketing To Dos to get done before 2013

November 28th, 2012 · Business owner/leader stuff, Marketing, Strategy · 13 Comments

This is the time of year where work grinds to a halt. We have another two weeks or so before the holiday frenzy, parties, hangovers and the general professional apathy creeps in and productivity becomes a dirty word. But don’t give up hope yet.  I think there’s still a few things we can get done [Read more...]

Are you Marketing Smart

October 17th, 2012 · Books, Marketing · No Comments

Marketing Smart by my friend John Gumas from Gumas Advertising is a collection of proven strategies and tips to help you take on your competitors and win! The book is straight-forward, pragmatic and actionable! Be prepared to dog-ear, highlight and nod your head as you read.  You know I don’t love books that tell you [Read more...]

The power of we

October 15th, 2012 · Collaborations, Marketing, Web/Tech · 2 Comments

Today is Blog Action Day*.  What does that mean? It means that thousands of bloggers from over 108 countries will come together today to blog on a single topic.  Ironically — this year’s topic is the power of we. The essence of Blog Action Day, really. Each blogger shares his/her own slant on the theme…with [Read more...]

7 keys to compelling case studies

October 2nd, 2012 · Content Marketing, Marketing, Storytelling, Uncategorized · 6 Comments

Why do case studies work so well? It’s simple really. Everyone loves a good story. And there’s a reason why Aesop and others opted to teach their life lessons through stories that have been told and re-told for many years. Smart parents know this trick too. They teach lessons to their children through stories of their [Read more...]

Marketing in the Round (is your marketing a 360° effort?)

July 13th, 2012 · Books, Marketing, Strategy · 7 Comments

You know those people who modify who they are, based on who’s around or where they are? They behave one way at work, one way on Friday nights and another way on Sunday mornings. I think it’s difficult to trust people who don’t live one, integrated life. We react the same way to brands and [Read more...]

Win a ticket to attend AdAge’s Invite Only event

July 7th, 2012 · Marketing, Strategy · 12 Comments

AdAge is hosting their CMO Strategy Summit in a couple weeks (July 18th) in Chicago. (read more about it here)  The event is by invitation only and you have to be a: Brand Marketers CMOs VP/Marketing Agency Executives with Clients They’ve got speakers (mostly CMOs) from companies like Build A Bear, Cabot Creamery and Virgin [Read more...]