Marketing Black Friday Stupidity
As a marketer, I've never quite been able to get my head around Black Friday.

This is supposedly the day that most retailers finally make it into the "black" or profitability.

First of all, if you have a Brand – any Brand – that traditionally doesn't make a profit until 11 months into a calendar year, then there is something seriously wrong with your market offering, value proposition and more.

Why anyone would invest in that business model makes no sense to me.

Secondly, to totally prostitute your Brand for a few hours of one morning for one day offering ridiculous loss leaders which bastardizes your Brand, taxes your employees and has now turned deadly as it did for a Walmart in Long Island, should send you a clear message that you need to step back and re-evaluate things.

On a personal level, it saddens me to think about the state of people's greed and reckless consumption habits during a special time we should be giving thanks. In fact, the only thing we should be spending is our time with family, friends and those less fortunate than ourselves.


Reheat Tasty Marketing Leftovers

Microwave Marketing LeftoversRight after Labor Day, I started to work on my 2009 marketing plan for my business and while plans are still underway, I thought I'd offer you a few quick tips to enhance or kickoff your own planning.

In fact, today is a great day because the traditional Thanksgiving Day leftover meal is a perfect marketing metaphor.

I'm sure many of you cooked some good and not so good turkeys this year, but isn't it amazing how many tasty things you can create the day after Thanksgiving (without the stress) like soups, sandwiches etc.!

Likewise, you can quickly lay a great foundation to your new marketing plan by carefully assessing the Turkeys you cooked in the past and asking yourself some easy questions such as:

  • Which marketing efforts were beautiful Turkeys (homeruns)? What can we add/subtract to improve?
  • What Turkeys were not cooked (or overcooked) enough and how could we improve them?
  • Should we simply save time, money and aggravation and eat out next year (outsource)?
  • Should we only serve white meat (reduce market/product offerings)?
  • Should we serve turkey more frequently – not just on Thanksgiving (repeat campaigns, sales)?
  • Should we only invite close loved ones to our celebration (fire annoying customers)?
  • How can we make our preparations less time consuming and less stressful (critical path method)?

Simply put, ask yourself these kinds of questions and start your planning process now and turn more of your work days into memorable holidays!


Happy Thanksgiving


"Now…our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name." (KJV) Chronicles 29:13

May the grace and glory of the Lord be with you and your family on Thanksgiving and always!


Email Marketing Delivers $45.06 ROI

Email Marketing is still the King!

According to the  Direct Marketing Association's Power of Direct Economic Impact Study (October 2008), every dollar spent in email marketing delivers a $45.06 return on investment! And, every dollar spent on non email Internet marketing delivers $19.94!

Here is a bit more detail and opinion by Ken Magill in DIRECT.

If you're looking to save and make more of your marketing investment payoff, work on bullet-proofing your email efforts instead of jumping into the latest and greatest new marketing flavor of the month.


Social Media For Good – Charter for Compassion

This effort by the Charter for Compassion is a fantastic demonstration of the strength Social Media and I hope and pray their good work succeeds. What an uplifting example of the power of marketing, of the Internet and of individual concerned people. I love the fact that you can view the video in multiple languages.

To quote their YouTube site, "The Charter brings together the voices of people from all religions. It seeks to remind the world that while all faiths are not the same, they all share the core principle of compassion and the Golden Rule.The Charter will change the tenor of the conversation around religion. It will be a clarion call to the world."

It's an excellent example of social media marketing at its finest and kudos to Director Jesse Dylan and Producers Priscilla Cohen, Theresa "Sparky" Pomeroy!


Veterans Day Salute

I never served in the military as my father and countless relatives have, but I am no less patriotic.

I truly admire, respect and owe debts of gratitude to those who served our great nation and provide us the freedoms we enjoy. 

Ceremoniously, I'm posting this tribute on the 11th hour of the 11th
day of the 11th month, when the Armistice Treaty was signed and say, "thank you" to those of you who served.

In this crazy marketing world which seems to take advantage of holidays and over-commericalizes them, I'm happy to say that Veterans Day seems to get a bit of a break. Today should be a day of reflection and remembrance.

Today, most all Americans say they support our troops as I do, but this year has been different for me in that, instead of just talking about it, I've been taking action in a number of ways through pro bono work, donations and more. I'm not looking for any pats on the back, but suggesting we all stop talking about things, take a little action and get involved.

I'm happy to say – and honored that – I have client, The Priory Hospitality Group in Pittsburgh who walks their talk.  They're offering a free Winter White Wedding to a western Pennsylvanian veteran of the Iraqi, Afghanistan Wars.  Here are the details. If you know of someone, please pass along the good word.  Deadlineto enter is December 15.


10 Marketing Lessons from Brand Obama


I try to stay apolitical in this Blog, but WOW…how can a marketer not comment on this landmark Presidential campaign? What a unique game-changing marketing performance and case study! What a two-year marketing ride choosing between Brand McCain and Brand Obama.  No matter if your guy won or lost, you can learn a great deal about marketing by scrutinizing why Brand Obama was the brand more Americans preferred.

The main reason why Obama won was that he/his brand was uniquely different!!

However, here are 10 more reasons why Barack Obama’s marketing campaign rocked America’s house:


1.    Brand Obama stayed on the singular message of CHANGE!
2.    Brand Obama was a better storyteller. His oratory skills were spectacular and his messaging was focused and clear. His classic speech on race…WOW, it doesn’t get any better than that.
3.    Brand Obama’s internet marketing strategy was superior. Viral media, engaging media all excellent.
4.    Brand Obama built a bigger permission based database which led to record donations.
5.    Brand Obama reached beyond its base to be inclusive and nice to others to convert
6.    Brand Obama was clear and calm. Any leader can row a boat when its calm, but can they do it when the water is rough? Obama showed a calm demeanor through the entire campaign and people were looking for calm, cool leadership and not the cowboy arrogance of Bush.
7.    Brand Obama executed better – flawlessly. He never seemed to make a mistake.
8.    Brand Obama worked to pump up the pumped up. He reached out to other groups unlike his base, but they were interested in change.
9.    Brand Obama attacked actions not the person. People respect those who do not attack ther person, but rather his/her actions.
10.    Brand Obama satisfied customer’s main need to fix the economy. In mid September when the race was getting a little tight and the banks started to collapse, McCain said, “The fundamentals of the economy are strong!” Well, Obama’s team jumped on the statement which showed he was a bit out of touch not recognizing the famous line of the Clinton campaign, “It’s the economy stupid!”

Here’s a good New York Times story that adds a bit more texture to my argument…Hail to the new Chief! “Yes we can” learn terrific marketing lessons from this campaign. God bless America.