Category Archives: Traditional Marketing

Case Study – Budweiser vs GoDaddy “Lost Dog” Commercials

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, then you know two things.

First, this is totally about to happen……Super Bowl

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Second, in the world of social media and marketing, two heavy weights went head-to-head with a clear loser!

GoDaddy and Budweiser (the long reigning champion of Super Bowl ads!) had a very different take on the same ad, “Lost Dog.”

While one, GoDaddy, decided to create an ad that enraged dog lovers and pet-friendly people across the country, Budweiser showed their chops as the King of Beers (and advertising) by doing what their audience loves best – good ole’ down home man, dog, horses, and beer.

As of this writing, Godaddy has received such an outpouring of hate posts on social media that they have apologized and pull the ad while Budweiser is the toast of beer towns everywhere.

Here…take a moment to compare the two efforts!

First…the WINNER!

In the OH NO THEY DIDN’T CATEGORY!

Why?  Cardinal rule – market to your audience.  Most women buy beer for their house.  If not women, then the next largest segment, MEN, buy beer for their house, at the bar, and everywhere else.

While dogs have always been a man’s best friend, showing the prized family puppy who is lost only to finally make his way home where he has been sold on a GoDaddy site…well, the anger was coming in 3…2….1….meltdown.

On the other hand, it fills Americans with pride to know that the stronger (horses) protect the smaller (puppy) and everyone is welcomed home in the end with a bath, food, and a beer!  #BestBuds is a winner on all fronts!

A few quick marketing lessons from this throw down:

  • Marketing Lesson #1 – In short, the truth is that humor can backfire on you in a heartbeat and cost thousands of dollars. Know your audience first…and then, know what they find funny. After all, you know what they say about assuming…yes, it waste a ton of money and you lose your audience.
  • Marketing Lesson #2 – Make sure to check and double check with a marketing focus group if you are going to release a commercial before millions of people at the biggest sport event of the year.
  • Marketing Lesson #3 – There are no hostages in social media…only casualties. Check and double check the pulse of the market before you step into the ring with the champ. If you are going to openly mock a brand that practically OWNS a medium, market, or segment, then you need to make sure you are target.

Enjoy the Super Bowl and let us know what you think are the best ads for 2015.

Marketing Pass/Fail Friday: Coca-Cola Case Study

Case Study:  Coca-Cola Share With Campaign

One of the most brilliant marketing campaigns in the last few months was the Coca-Cola Share with Campaign.

As I walked through the stores of my local Wal-Mart, people were digging through chest high bins of individual Coca-Cola bottles looking for their name.  While I am very sure that Coca-Cola did a preemptive study on the most used names in the United States, they took it a step further to entice people to look for the name of their children, grandchildren, and friends creating a great demand for their product.

In truth, there were only 250 names on the list of Coca-Cola bottles (check to see if you are on the list here) – with the additional of general terms like friends, family, team, and BFF.

Understanding that the online market drives more brand recognition that the simple shopper, Coca-Cola went a step further to allow you create, download, and post your own name on a Coke bottle!

Congratulations – it seems Coca-Cola has found their groove again…simply brilliant!

Marketing Pass/Fail Friday: Bark Box “Dog Butt” Case Study

Case Study – Bark Box “Dog Butt” Commercial

Interest enough…I would love to have been in on the meeting when the Marketing Dept suggested that Bark Box spend 30 seconds of a commercial staring at a dogs butt because it is a dog commercial.

While there are mixed results of humor and annoyance, it does give the human element something to look at while they depart their marketing message.

In truth, it might be curiously cute the first time, but after you have seen it – it is a one-trick pony (or dog).

However, it stops people with simplicity and light humor while driving home the message “Bark Box” is about dogs…not humans…and for the humans that agree.

The commercial panders to dogs…and centers their brand around people who put dogs at the center of their focus as well but putting the dogs and people on their team.

Conclusion – Pass

Measure Social Media Success in Six Easy Steps

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Measuring social media success is a very important matter to business minded people. Many people are talking about these because marketing in social media is one of the effective key that unlocks success. A true business minded person really works his way making a blog, making sure that the blog has fresh post every time.

In addition, making daily tweets on his account in Twitter and consistently posting status on his friend’s wall etc. are the usual social marketing tactics done daily. Sometimes doing all of these steps are not enough, you cannot really tell if these works effectively and worth all of your effort. If you want to step up your game, and you can admit that your one of those business man who are unsure of the strategies that their conducting.

Six Steps on How to Measure  Social Media Success:

Step 1 – Identify your goals. All you strategies and plans are useless, if you don’t set your goals. It will be impossible to know what your plans and strategies will affect the business. You must need to have realistic, clear and systematic goals in order to achieve your goals. This is the same thing if you want success in you marketing moves in social media. Just like in real life, planning a step by step process and targeting short term goals to reach longer goals are important to achieve success in social media marketing.

Step 2 – Be familiar with web analytic tools. Web analytics will help you measure the success in your marketing endeavors. These tools have a great role in the analysis of marketing in social media. They calculate the amount of website traffic and determine which sites get the most number of visitors. At the same time, demographics of visitors are recorder with the tools, to include duration of website visit, language and nationality of the visitors, conversion rates, unique visits and others. Overall, these tool analysis aids to be familiar with the behavior and activities of the customers, which serves as a guide on what, when and where to improve.

Step 3 – Be familiar with ROI (Return on Investment). This measures and evaluates the efficiency of the investment. You should consider the well-defined and realistic goals for a campaign in social marketing. This includes the increase subscribers, followers and fans to create a large foundation of customers on social network sites. You should also watch out for the number of traffic that you receive in your website. It is also important to increase consumer interaction and engagement. The number of sales if it increases or decreases is also important. The number of conversion should also be checked in order to understand your investment returns.

Step 4 – Create a strategic plan. Creating strategies for your social media is an easy thing to do, utilizing this strategic plan to your advantage, is a different thing. It is then more important that you understand how the strategy you created will be useful to your marketing solutions.

Step 5 – Identify the latest usage of techniques with regards to the combination of marketing in social media. Remember the current social media activities that you are utilizing. Determine the duration of time that you’ve been engaging in the various activity and list down the important channels you are using.

Step 6 – Appoint social media focal person for you business. A person knowledgeable with marketing in social media, who can evaluate and analyze the development of your marketing social media efforts is a huge help. Monitoring your progress, will make you pace on track while informing you where and when to perform changes when needed.

These are the six easy steps to knowing how you’ve fared with using social media. Your business will then have tangible information which you could use for various facets in your business, particularly sales and marketing, and customer relations. Implement these steps and it unloads so many concerns of tracking you efforts!

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Let’s fix your social media campaign!

The average person takes 15 minutes to drink a cup of coffee. I can teach you to make that 15 minutes the most productive marketing minutes of your day…everyday.

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Customer Service Stabbed Marketing in the Office with a Knife

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Do you have a clue what is killing your marketing efforts?  Whether you are a small business or large corporation, it is likely at least one of these customer service issues is planning the death of your marketing dollars!

Recently, I had occasion to travel across several states on business and pleasure.  Traveling provides a unique opportunity to view the world of customer service from the good, the bad, and the ugly.  While noting that the holiday season brings out the worse in both customers and customer service, it was particularly apparent that most companies do not take enough time to think through the rationale of integrating customer service into the marketing department instead, as is traditional in most case, into the sales department.
 
As an even bigger offense, if for some unfathomable reason, customer service is a department unto themselves because the divide between performance and evaluation increases at alarming rates.  Without doubt, more marketing dollars are needlessly wasted each year on ineffective customer service than any other marketing endeavor.  Clearly, the most preventable cases the murder of marketing dollars is easily fixed by addressing these five customer service issues:

Man-Handling:  Many times, service representatives react with overzealous pressure on customers.  Upon asking to be left alone (clearly) to browse for shoes, I was continually followed and addressed by a sales person.  When I requested, pointedly, that the sales lady go away, she did only to be replaced by another salesperson from the same charm school.  As a result, my shopping experience was ruined and I left the store.

Cow-Towing:  For some service reps, good customer service is equated to bowing and scraping before the buyers.  The buyer feels horrible that the company or the service individual is fawning over them like an entourage following the diva of the week around the store.  With a strange mixture of discomfort and annoyance, the customer exits the store as quickly as possible.

Passive-Aggressive:  Interestingly enough, in the past few weeks, I have encountered this behavior in several professional settings. When asking for a call number in the library, the Librarian literally snatched the paper from my hand to go get the book from me with a curt, “that is my job!”  As I stood in shock staring at her back, it seemed an odd sense of customer service that resounded of policy filtration.  In another case, I was seriously asked, “What do you want?”  Looking around a large, brand name bookstore, I humorously ordered, “a double cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate shake.”  In both instances, marketing dollars are wasted as customer service is isolated from the rest of the company structure.  NOTE TO CUSTOMER SERVICE WORLD:  The customer does not care if YOU are having a bad day, so that excuse does not fly for me.

Know-Nothing:  In contrast, customer service employees that know nothing about the product or services offered by a company are the worst waste of marketing money.  When customers fill the store seeking details about services or directions to products, a customer service representative should at least have general knowledge.  If the product or service base is so large that no one could have a strong working knowledge, the product specialist should be assigned to aid the customer.  I watched as a bookstore employee advised a beginning PhotoShop7 (yes, I know….groan from the audience….PhotoShop7!) to buy the PhotoShopCS3 Bible because it was about the same thing.  Needless to say, I stepped in to advise her to look online for a copy for a Dummies or 24-Hour book appropriate to her version of Photoshop.  “What’s the difference?” she asked me politely.  “About $75, years of needed Photoshop experience, and the frustration of trying to follow a book that does not represent your software,” I replied with encouragement.

Techno-Interruptus:  Shopping for a new cell phone urged me to add one more criminal act of marketing murder to the sphere of customer service.  Although I do admit that technology is a wonderful thing for business, it might well be the worst thing ever created for customer service.  Encountering service reps texting or talking about a party on their cell gives the worst impression of a company and completely sends me toward the door.  If that customer service rep adds a deep resounding huff of “you are bother me” to the mix, then I might ban the store from coast to coast from my shopping experience.

In most cases, customer service initiatives can enrich the return on investment for every marketing dollar spent by a company.  Marketing expenditures can lead to increased sales and heightened positive brand awareness with the help of informed customer service force as part of the marketing team.

Four Worst Email Marketing Errors

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At least once a week, someone writes to ask me why their email list is dwindling in readership and subscription rates are dropping.  Almost without exception, the answer can be narrowed down into one of four mistakes.  Although it seems to be in fashion to let the instant connection of social media bleed over into email marketing efforts, this mentality poses the problem of overexposure and violation of spamming laws. 

In both instances, avoiding these email marketing blunders can help reach customers and avoid losing potential sales:

1.  Customer Centric Information:  The most common unfounded belief is that customers are waiting to receive an email about what YOU are doing.  So many times, business owners focus their newsletters and emails around promotions and marketing of events.  In truth, giving readers information to help them solve a problem or answer a question makes you an expert in the mind of your customer.

2.  Permission is Precious:  The worst offense any business owner can make when using their email list is forgetting that email is not the same as social media, even if that is how you gained permission to use someone email for contact.   If you want to keep your email marketing list strong, then ask yourself these important questions before you hit the send button—

  • Does it serve a purpose for my customer or is it just marketing for my business?
  • If I had to call my customer on the phone instead of send an email, would this message be adequate reason?
  • Would I be annoyed, as a customer or business owner, to receive the same email in my inbox? 
  • Would I stop to read it and start to anticipate the next email?

If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding NO, then take a few minutes to consider how to correct the problem before sending the email.  By remembering that every person on your email list can remove their name by simply clicking a button or report you to your email provider for spamming, the goal of providing quality email marketing messages mixed with strong informational content will keep your readers both interested and involved.

3.  Time is of the Essence:  Many business owners’ loose subscribers merely due to the amount of email they send to their list.  Sending email two or more times a week can lead to overexposure and be a huge reason that email recipient lists drop in numbers.  Instead of sending several emails a week, it is better to schedule your emails on the same day of the week and set a time for delivery.  For example, print out a calendar and mark all important marketing events.  Then, back up several weeks and plan to send email blasts on consecutive Tuesdays very early in the morning.   By sending on the same day every week or month, you teach your customers to anticipate your email connection instead of resent it.

Note:  Studies show that email promotions sent out early Tuesday morning achieve better results because Tuesday is a breather day in the work / activity schedule for most people and early morning puts your emails at the top of the inbox.

4.  Your Partner, Your Problem:  Partnerships have become very common place between small businesses.  Although cross promotion can be very valuable in reaching out to new potential clients, it is vital that the “special offers” be more valuable to an email list than to the business owner.   By sharing partners with your email list, you endorse the services or goods of your partner to people who trust you.  If you send them an offer that is not specific to their needs or solves a problem they encounter, then they will click the unsubscribe button.

Although many business owners slip into the mentality that the loss of subscribers is acceptable because they are not interested enough to purchase, this is a waste of marketing dollars and can cost the restriction, or possible loss, of an email marketing database.

Plus, without argument, eliminating these four errors from your email marketing will help you achieve your real goal in engaging in email marketing:  increased customer loyalty and higher sales conversions.

Social Media: The Sexual Predator

As a marketer and web designer specializing in social media marketing, I have one rule that is never broken. No personal pictures of children. I would rather lose a client because I know that the web is a scary place filled with anonymity and people with no value for children. While parents protect their children from those hiding in the shadows of secrecy in real life, many parents unwittingly expose their children to thousands of sexual predators and molesters who are simply a click away.

If there is one message that I would love to give every parent who engages in social media or marketing for their business it would be: the web is not your friend!

Here are six NEVER DO things for social media and websites to protect your children:

1.  Never use pictures of your children as your profile picture. So many parents use pictures of their children instead of themselves as profile or avatar images. While I appreciate the need for parents to retain obscurity, think about the exposure of your children and their image to mass populations of people.

2.  Never put pictures of your children on your website or blog. Perhaps the most accessible way to gain pictures, a website or blog surrenders pictures with just a right click and SAVE AS. Posing a double threat, many website and blogs are directly traceable to a location by phone number or direct address.  Might as well place a google map on your child with a large YOU ARE HERE arrow.

3.  Never share pictures over social media.  Having seen people post a link to vacation pictures or family fun on Twitter or Facebook, the warning light bulb burns white hot upon the realization that thousands of unknown people exist in each account. Even in the strictest of social media sites that require you to validate your “friends,” people can sneak in to your connections. Further, when connections comment on your photos, your photos show up in the highlights of their connections! In certain social media, your pictures can be shared and re-tweeted to a whole new group of people without your knowledge.

4.  Never send pictures over email. If you send pictures of your children to company email addresses, then they go through a server administrated by people. As email can easily be viewed, saved, downloaded, and forwarded, grabbing these pictures of your children is not difficult. Most servers automatically scan downloads and attachments for viruses and generate reports to administrators.

5.  Never forget that someone does not have to touch your child to exploit them. When placing the pictures of your children in any online electronic format, never forget that you are exposing them to exploitation by one simple right click. In the thousands of people on the internet and in social media profiles, consider the chances that one of them is either a pedophile or sexual predator. The chances are very good!

6.  Never let innocence block your view of the truth. So many parents see their children with innocence rather than the potential for exploitation. Innocent pictures of children in the bath tub or playing in the backyard sprinkler are graphic to a sick mind. Although it might be painful to think in that manner, there are many consequences more painful than protecting your child by seeing the truth.

People often protect their financial information more stringently than their children because they feel safe in tucking their children into bed at night.

Not quite…in reality, it takes less than 10 seconds to right click on a picture and upload it to a new webpage. In those 10 seconds, a charming picture of a 7 year old girl in her new bathing suit splashing around in a pool can hit a child pornography website and be up for sale to thousands of pedophiles for a few dollars.

Sickening? Yes.

Are you ready for worse? Social media pages and websites often have exact locations connected to the parents’ profile. Even more directly, many social media profiles have websites that list as a location and phone number on the website or in a domain search. In less time than it takes to post that innocent picture to share with family and friends, a child molester can find the exact address of your child. When posting pictures of children, many parents post their names and ages with the picture.

Is there anything more persuasive for a child than a person who knows their parents name as well as their own? It is quite an advantage for sexual predator.

After watching a recent episode of Raising the Bar, it was very clear that my own experiences with parents reflects the comfortable naiveté of reality in how often people forget that the web is not their friend because we have grown up with the web as a part of our lives. I suggest this episode to every single person responsible for the well-being of children who uses the social media or the web as part of their connection with family, marketing for a business, or expansion of a social network.

Raising the Bar http://www.tnt.tv/dramavision/?oid=49111&eref=sharethisUrl.  

Remember: The web is not your friend!

Social Media Mission: Come one, Come all

Advertising, Blogging, Business, email marketing, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, project managers, return on investment, roi, social media, social networking, twitter, Viral Marketing, virtual assistants, wordpressIn my new capacity as Social Media Marketing Examiner (http://www.examiner.com/x-8932-Social-Media-Marketing-Examiner) for Examiner.com, my task is to write several times a week on the benefits and pitfalls of social media marketing.

Cue scary music (DUM DUM DUMMMMM is heard the background!)…

So, here is our mission if we chose to accept it:

The rules are several times a week I have to post something informative yet bite-size for readers to enhance their understanding of social media and marketing!

I am so looking forward to this ride into social media marketing.  Join me wont you?

Our first trip…for your enjoyment…is called Twitter Talk 101.

Let’s see if we can get some REAL answers and please…and talk back to me.  Let me know what I can answer or help you understand.

Top Marketing Mistakes: Don’t Let This Happen To You

Advertising, Blogging, Business, email marketing, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, project managers, return on investment, roi, social media, social networking, twitter, Viral Marketing, virtual assistants, wordpressWelcome to the New Magic Marketing USA

As the year draws to a close, we are focused on evaluating our progress and measuring our growth.  Commanded by the highest marketing laws, we know that monitoring progress against goals while factoring ROI (return on investment) insures the highest opportunity for success for any business.  And…marketing is no different!

The most interesting part of what we found is that our marketing materials were so outdated that we barely recognized our old service line, branding, logo, and slogan.  Although we take measuring our goals and adjusting our services very seriously, our marketing materials (like this blog!) had fallen behind the times in an effort to serve our clients.  No excuses…we just were not representing ourselves in the best marketing light possible.

And then, I started to wonder how many other business owners are guilty of just the same thing.  Over three years of growth, we have added powerful marketing services like blogging and social media, but our marketing materials did not say that.  We have expanded our marketing and advertising offerings to include Project Management and Virtual Assistants trained in electronic distribution services, but…you guessed it…our marketing materials did not say that either. 

In short, we started the last quarter of this year with a goal of redesigning ourselves so that we can begin with a new outlook on our business and what we provide to our clients. 

Here is our marketing challenge for this month:  Take a look at all of your marketing materials with a fresh eye and ask these seven questions:

  1. Are my branding, logo, and slogan consistent with my marketing message?
  2. Are all of my services and products represented in a tight sales package?
  3. Are there place that we are spending money on traditional advertising or marketing when we could go electronic to reach a larger audience for less?
  4. Does my website provide a doorway or a road block for potential clients seeking information about my company?
  5. Are there marketing expenditures that I wasting money on because I don’t want to take the trouble to find a new route or discontinue the service?
  6. Are my marketing materials helping me achieve my marketing and sales goals?
  7. Am I readily able to measure the return on investment of each marketing dollar?

Really take some time to dig into your marketing expenditures and your marketing materials.  Either way, your marketing materials will contribute to your ability to “Leave Your Mark.”  Leaving a positive mark gains clients, increases sales, and grow your business.

Visit us today….join our group…and Leave Your Mark.