What’s in it for your customer

Carrot-n-stick Face it. You are a selfish, self-centered son-of-a-gun. And, so is your customer.

The majority of your thoughts every day surround you and are about you.

Thoughts like, “What’s in it for me (WIIFM)?”  And, “How can I benefit from purchasing Brand X?”

You’re consumed by the very thought of YOU!

Realize that you’re human and so are your customers – they’re not numbers.

To really succeed in business today, Brands more than ever need to do less chest-pumping and more customer humping.

Yes, use Social Media tools to connect and create a dialogue with your customer to find out how you can best serve her, but every now and then, put down your mouse and use your ears to really listen.

I’m sure you have a marketing system that pumps, but do you have one that humps?

That is, do you have a customer lisenting-based marketing system that leads to actions that help answer your customer’s WIIFM questions?

You better…do you hear me?


Burger King Marketing Hacks

Have you seen this disgusting, stupid and terribly weak ad from Burger King?

Whoever approved this ad (from BK and Nickelodeon) should be fired and whatever Agency team produced this ad should be fired too – they’re an insult to my industry.

Of course, there have been a ton of complaints about the sexually offensive nature of the ad – especially since it ran during the NCAA Men’s Championship basketball game – and I agree, however it’s also so simply stupid. Setting the sexual nature of the ad aside, I’m offended as a marketer because the ad is so bad on so many levels and wasted such an enormous amount of money during a premiere sporting event.

Here’s a free idea BK, how about cleaning up your restaurants. They’re filthy just like your ads.

The corporate hacks at these irresponsible companies say that this ad was targeting adults…Oh, so no kids are watching a family show like a college basketball game – especially the biggest one of the year? Give me a break and stop insulting me.

Not to take anything away from my many good and talented friends at McDonald’s (in the efforts of true transparency, I’m a former McDonald’s marketing executive), with so-called competitors like BK they can fall out of bed and easily whip BK’s %$#!

You can talk to your financial advisor all you want, but trust me, buy McDonald’s stock and buy your kid a Happy Meal.  You’ll be very happy you did and you can thank me later.


Kerrygold Cheese and Butter

Kerrygold-irish-butter-bloc If you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who visit Costco on weekends and like cheese as much as I do, check out this Web site from Kerrygoldread here about how their unique cheese and butter is made and I’ll bet you buy some.

Ireland’s Kerrygold beautifully positions their unique story about of how their country is made for cheese and butter…

The temperate, year-round weather and moisture-bearing southwesterly
winds create a smorgasbord for our cows who dine on rich, fertile grass
in the rolling, green pastures that dominate our countryside. We rely
on a cooperative of small dairy farmers with centuries of cheese-making
traditions to turn the rich, sweet milk that is produced into the
finest cheese and butter in the world.

In their “Benefits” section they simply state that:

There’s not much point in taking the purest rain, the most natural
green grass on earth, herds of contented cows, and centuries of
long-standing family traditions and messing it all up by mixing in
preservatives, hormones and unnatural additives into the process.

So we don’t. Ever.

Here is what you do get:

  • Cheese and butter made from grass fed (not grain fed) cows. That
    means a golden yellow hue from the presence of natural beta-carotene, a
    powerful antioxidant, and a higher concentration of Conjugated Linoleic
    Acid (that’s good).

When you finish reading through Kerrygold’s web site, ask yourself this question, “Is my brand story this compelling, honest and true?” Do you see a little “Green Marketing” at work here?

I’m sorry to say that I never thought about the benefits of grass fed cows vs. grain fed cows. However, today I’m a believer, raving fan and pro bono PR guy for Kerrygold and if you try their products you’ll be one too. I guarantee it.

P.S.: Try their Dubliner cheese and butter first and you’ll be hooked for life! And, you’ll agree that they deliver on their brand promise.


A Big Fan of TED

I’ve been a big fan of TED for a long time and have always gleaned incredible insight from their many and varied expert speakers and encourage you to check it out.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and began in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from
those three worlds and has become much broader to date.

TED’s annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating
thinkers and doers, who are “challenged to give the talk of their lives
(in 18 minutes).”

And, they don’t disappoint! Plus, it’s free to you and me!

Every week talks are added – there are more than 200 in their archive for you to select and enjoy.

I guarantee you’ll learn something new and fantastic!

For example, here is one of my favorites from Sir Ken Robinson who puts forth a case for creating an education system that encourages and breeds creativity.

I came across this talk while looking to help an education client of mine. However, you don’t have to be in education to get something from Sir Ken’s talk.

If you do any public speaking at all, you’ll benefit immensely because he’s one of the very best!



Email Relevance

People are so inundated with commercial marketing messages these days, that relevance has become ever so much more important as this chart from MarketingSherpa points out.

RELEVANCE SHERPA chartofweek-03-17-09-lp

Before you take on the next latest and greatest online marketing strategy, tool or tactic, step back into your email marketing efforts to make sure you’re sub-segmenting well and that your key messages are relevant to your audiences. If you don’t, you’re simply wasting time and money and encouraging people to unsubscribe from your email lists.


Radical Green Marketing

Last week, I attended a Green Marketing Summit given by the Pittsburgh American Marketing Association and learned some interesting new trends and developments in Green Marketing from:

  • Jacquelyn Ottman, Founder, J. Ottman Consulting
    who has a great book on Green Marketing and discussed her, "Five Simple Rules of Green Marketing," the "Triple Bottom Line" of sustainable development and how to use credible green marketing strategies to turn its risks into genuine business opportunities. Ottman is a Green Marketing expert and gave a super presentation.
  • Gary Saulson, Director of Corporate Real Estate, PNC Financial Services Group and their industry leading and trademarked "Green Branch." Gary discussed the positive economic and productivity impact of Green (Sustainable) Buildings and why building green makes sense for corporate America. He provided details on the design and construction of PNC's Firstside Center, one of the largest certified green buildings in the world, and the collaborated efforts to obtain a LEED Silver Certification.
  • James Bogdan, QEP, LEED-AP Manager, Sustainable Design & Green Building Initiatives for PPG Construction
    who discussed, "Beyond Environmental Claims: Driving Transparency from Product Manufacturers." James talked about some of PPG's Green initiatives and how several company's eforts and/or products claiming environmental benefits are being scrutinized. Such claims are requiring manufacturers to invest in research that qualify or quantify their benefits.

I'm certainly going to dive deeper into Green Marketing for several of my hospitality clients because it's the right thing to do and people are becoming more interested these days in how the firms they interact with interact with the environment.

However, don't you think this company is taking Green Marketing a bit too far?



Bravo and May God Bless Them!

It’s amazing how real visuals and a simple clear message presented in a personal and fun way can drive results.

I sure hope this isn’t a one time gig for the Catholic Church.

Just goes to show you that if business as usual isn’t building your business you need to take a different approach.

I’d love to know how it did for business. It’s certainly driving word of mouth buzz

P.S.: But wait there’s more from this new book about the history of infomercials.