consumer marketing

Fast Food Ads Are Often The Opposite of Reality – So Now What?

A little while ago I posted this Tweet, which got some interesting feedback:

Fast Food Ads Are Often Opposite Of Reality – (Not just fast food – misguided expectations are everywhere) @meannie

…And you wonder why there is a gap in what the customer expects versus what they receive. It’s everywhere, even down to the food that we eat. Further, you wonder why customers walk away dissatisfied and loyalty drops over time.

What to do? (more…)

Offer Incentives That Make Sense To Your Customers, Not You

Incentives are always a nice perk for customers. It’s that extra little bump that gets them to buy. Interestingly enough though, if you don’t know what kind of incentive will trigger your customers to buy, you will often be stuck with a very large inventory of leftover flannel blankets (that you incidentally thought was top 5 coolest swag ever).

So if you’re not in the mood to spend a chunk of change having a market research firm figure out what that trigger is, you can at least start with these tips.

Don’t Offer Incentives Based On.. (more…)

Let Your Customers Persuade Themselves – the new sale is the no sale

Here’s a really great post from Michael Schrage for HBR… a reminder that the “sale” has evolved to a “non sale”. How are you evolving your product design, positioning, and sales practices to change with the times?
“Professional service firms are fools if they’re not constantly looking for ways not just to better communicate the value of their work, but to give people things that let them sell themselves on the firm’s value proposition.”
Read more here:

Have you downloaded this free eBook on Marketing in 2010 yet?

Marketing in 2010 (free eBook)

Marketing in 2010_cover

When we talk about brand awareness, consciously or not, we correlate “brand” with one specific phase in the marketing funnel. Many have defined brand as a set of expectations and experiences.
These in turn generate stories we identify with as we develop our relationship with the brand and the company and people who represent it in our minds and interactions over time. Brands that set themselves apart command a premium.
Brand impact in valuation has been a challenging, but not impossible, feat to measure. It’s a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data collected about the brand’s public profile, its present role in creating demand, and its future strength as an asset.
I equate brand with the infrastructure upon which everything else sits. It needs to contain the integrity of a good reputation, the capacity for trust, the flexibility for evolution over time, and the simplicity to be understood and infused with your customers and employees stories.
Applications like sales, product development, engineering, customer support, and all of the other functions you associate with operating a company sit on that infrastructure and borrow from its characteristics.
Brand also includes the environment or context a company builds around itself to operate, its culture.
This is the sum total of rites, stories, and dynamics that bind people, inside and outside the organization. It includes channel partners and joint ventures. It may also include vendor relationships. An important point to consider as the service and media industries continue to consolidate.
Now think about social. Through the tools we have at our disposal we extend the reach of those interactions and experiences. The results flow back into how we think about our products and services (or they should). The stories your brand creates extend it beyond the company walls and, by reflection, deep inside them.
Execution in social media enriches brands and the people or tribes that make them work. It means you are changing the world and allowing the world to change you as a business in commensurate parts, while you interact with it.
What are the ingredients of this exchange that make social operational?

  1. Tribe and networks (people)
  2. Direction or compass (objectives)
  3. Action and outcomes (measurable goals)
  4. Maps (strategies)
  5. Tools and tactics (media)

Engagement and outcome derive from the active – and continuous – participation of individuals and groups in the knowledge flows – within their tribes, and outside them. We constantly evaluate, consider, test, experience, adopt and filter information and ideas while we get them and us done.
How can we use these connection points between ideas and people to change businesses and their stories? This is the question for 2010 – social media becomes operational. Read on.
Thanks go to the generous contributors: Jason Baer, Olivier Blanchard, Danny Brown, Mark Earls, Rachel Happe, Gavin Heaton, Jackie Huba, Jonathan MacDonald, Amber Naslund, Shannon Paul.

Download the free Marketing in 2010 eBook here.

Do You Know Who You Are?

Sounds like a strange question to ask. Of course you know who you are – you are you.

But throughout the day, every day, you are speaking on behalf of your family, your company, your significant other, your friends, your customers, your employees, the shops and restaurants you patron, and maybe a dozen others. When you go out of your way to make a recommendation based on your personal experiences or when you respond to an email representing the voice of your organization, you are not just you. You have now become a guerrilla marketing extraordinaire.

Has that establishment – perhaps unbeknownst to you – equipped you with the information to effectively communicate the right message?

It’s not just about the deal train that is passing through on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Underneath all of the craziness there is a message – a look and feel, a reputation of quality, something – that is being passed along with every piece of communication that reaches your TV or computer screen. Did you get that message?

As a marketer, what underlying message are you trying to communicate to your constituents? Let’s be honest – it’s not about the killer Cyber Monday deal you were able to work out. Consider how many first time shoppers are coming back a second and third time. How can you convey your message so they know who you are and want to come back to get to know you a little more?