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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

St. Patricks Day Logo 138x140 custom 15 Marketing Lessons of St. Patricks DayAs a 50 percenter of Irish blood and a serial marketing professional, I thought I’d offer you dear reader, my 15 Marketing Lessons of St. Patrick’s Day to help you find your little pot ‘o gold at the end of a rainbow!

And, I’ll offer them quickly because I shouldn’t even be working this hard today as I’m 17 days away from – and preparing for – St. Patrick’s Day which is one of my many “high holy days” - and there’s a Guinness pint with my name of it at my favorite Pittsburgh Irish pub (Riley’s Pour House) and it’s getting warm! So here you go!

1. Green Marketing Lesson One – Making Money. Always keep money (making it or saving it) front and center of any marketing campaign. If you know anything about the Irish (and I do growing up in a large extended family), the majority have experienced challenging economic times and know the value of a dollar. So, incorporating zero based budgeting into your marketing processes will help you become more creative and help you do a lot more for less. 

2. Green Marketing Lesson Two – Sustainability. These days when you hear brands talk about sustainability, it’s related to the environment, but the basic pure definition of sustainability is “the capacity to endure.” Using the same color in your marketing communications reinforces your brand, makes your marketing work harder for you and enables your marketing to endure.

3. Green Marketing Lesson Two – Color. Design and color can help you communicate a great deal. Red – hot, stop; Blue – cool. etc., Keep in mind that all colors also come in a great deal of shades so don’t be boring and predictable.  Green has about 50 unique shades.

4. Create Multi-Sensory Emotional Appeals (e.g., appeal to people’s five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). In a prior post about, “Marketing with Sound,” I discussed the awesome power of sound, but you should also consider all of the ways you can appeal to your customer’s five senses. St. Patrick’s Day appeals them all with color, strong visuals of parades, people having fun; taste of ethnic foods like corned beef and cabbage and drink (pints of Guinness and shots of Jameson) etc.,

5. Appeal to One’s Ethnic Heritage. There’s nothing wrong with appealing to people’s ethnic heritage – net, different strokes for different folks.  In fact, it’s a growing and popular strategy due to our mobile society, immigration, single parent households etc.

Some of this strategy’s keys to success include knowing your market well, being aware of unique cultural nuances, being respectful etc.  Disney’s Epcot Theme Park’s World Showcase is a great example of ethnic marketing, but Denny’s Restaurants’ old Pancake promotion is not.

6. Be Inclusive with Your Marketing. As much of an Irish heritage appeal the holiday provides, St. Patrick’s Day is all-inclusive and welcomes everyone to celebrate – everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

7. Special Event/Thematic/Celebration/Holiday Marketing. Giving a unique thematic association to your marketing messages makes it easier for your customers to understand you and more immediately recognize you too. Tie-ing in to a major holiday celebration gives your promotion authenticity and a “reason why” you’re holding a sales event.

8. Limited Time Appeal.
Having a hard date against a campaign creates urgency, excitement and traffic. Pretty obvious statement, but many marketers leave far too many campaigns without a clear end date and a sense of urgent appeal.

9. Spokesperson/figurehead/celebrity/image appeal. Having a Saint as your celebrity figurehead ain’t too shabby, but it’s the consistency of using the same appealing celebrity with a unique story is what works.

10. Iconic Marketing – Shamrock – brand, sell, profit. Mickey Mouse’s Ears, Ronald McDonald’s big red shoes, McDonald’s Arches and more.

Shamrocks do the same for today’s holiday – it’s the day’s badge of honor and identification. What’s your badge ID?

11. Rule of Threes. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the common Shamrock to teach the Celtic Pagans about the unique Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – 3 in 1 Godhead.

However, the “rule of three” symbolism in the good man’s teaching is relevant today as well because people’s minds are noisy and limited. Using the rule of three enables you to get them to remember you and buy-in a presentation or product mix selection. Small, medium, large; gold, silver, bronze; 3 bears; 3 blind mice; 3 Stooges (see more examples/proof here) – trust me – the rule of three rocks.

12. Be Positive. You won’t find a more positive group of people that the Irish. Despite all of their “Troubles” who else tells you that you can find a pot ‘o gold at the end of a rainbow? At Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade this past Saturday, people throughout the day referred to the cold constant rain as nothing more, “a little Irish mist!”

13. Be Nice. You’d be hard pressed to find a nicer bunch of people than the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day too.

14. Have fun and don’t take yourself so seriously. In this age of “political correctness” the Irish are for the most part a happy and fun bunch and most Irish demeaning jokes bounce of them like water on a duck.

15. Plan Your Luck by Working Hard. In my opinion, “the luck of the Irish” is based on hard work – simple as that. You’ve probably heard the saying, the harder you work the luckier you get!” Well, its true. The majority of Irish are no strangers to hard work and I believe – all things being equal – people that work harder and smarter than their peers will meet with more profitable success in a shorter period of time.

Got to run, my pint is getting warm.

Slan (Gaelic for “farewell for now”)!

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Spiderman cleaning windows 300x199 A Great Demo of How to WowIn our client strategy sessions, we always discuss “How to deliver a ‘WOW’” because most brands don’t take the time to think how they can create brand buzz – or, believe they can!

Every brand has a ‘WOW” within them – cost effective ones to be nurtured with thought and care – that will effectively separate themselves from their competitors and carve out a unique branded value proposition, awareness etc.

For example, here’s a ‘WOW’ case study right in our own backyard by a small family owned window cleaning company based in Pittsburgh.

Their idea is a cool and commendable story. The idea was a simple lift of one that a firm executed  in another country.

This simple ‘WOW’ paid off big time too. The brand made a more favorable impression with clients, prospects, employees and for its potential little customers that will last a lifetime. In addition, this ‘WOW’ landed the company and its owners on the front page of Pittsburgh’s major daily papers, 6PM and 11PM TV news and more. Do you have a ‘WOW’ cooking NOW?  If not, why not? You can do it and get people buzzing about your brand!
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10 ps of marketing 10 Ps of Marketing Throughout my career, I’ve used the original four (4) Ps (Product, Price, Place (Distribution), Promotion) with great success and the formula works quite well to this day.

However, over the last 10 years, I’ve added a few more Ps to my list.  These additional Ps have helped me provide a more thorough Marketing Audit and effective marketing mix. The 10 Ps have uncovered additional sales building opportunities and cost savings for our brands.

Here is my entire list of 10 Ps and a few related questions (certainly not an exhaustive list) to ask of your brand. Good luck with your answers!

10 Ps of Marketing

  1. Product – Discuss and review needs and opportunities pertaining to design, technology, usefulness, convenience, value, quality, packaging, branding, sizing etc.
  2. Price – Discuss price strategies such as cost-plus, loss leader and more. See ‘How to Get Your Pricing Right.’ And, discuss potential cost increases (cost of goods, labor, insurance, taxes) and sales impact.
  3. Place – Discuss and review needs and opportunities with regard to retail operations, wholesale, mail order, internet, direct sales, multi-channel, USA vs. Europe, headquarters etc.
  4. Promotion – Review special offers, BOGOs, advertising, endorsements, direct marketing, free gifts, Groupon etc. See ‘Think and Plan for Christmas in July.’
  5. Promise – Discuss and review whether or not you’re truly delivering on a unique brand promise.  And, if you don’t even have one – get one.
  6. Positioning – Discuss and review ways in which your customers position you (it’s all about them and their beliefs not yours), where you want to be positioned (e.g., low cost provider) and plans to get there.
  7. People – Review needs and opportunities regarding culture, employees, interns, management, customer service etc.
  8. Performance (Proof) – Discuss and review ways you can prove your brand promise. Are you using testimonials, have you won meaningful awards. Success begs Trust – how to you prove your trustworthiness?
  9. Process – Discuss and review checklists and critical paths of making things, delivering things, hiring people.  Look for ways to speed up processes and decrease error rates.
  10. POW – Discuss and review unique ways to surprise and delight customers that make you special in their eyes. Work to bulletproof your dramatic difference.

I hope you find this exercise helpful in building your brand and helping you to uncover sales building and cost savings opportunities!

Good luck!

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online yellow pages directory 293x300 60 Free Local Business Online Directories A great profitable step to take on your way to total local market domination is to take advantage of all of the FREE and EASY ways to help customers find you.

Forget the old days of advertising in the Yellow Pages with a ‘big ad is better’ mentality. If you’re still a believer in that strategy, you’re just going to lose your hard earned money – maybe even your business – a little bit faster.

As a local business – small or large – attracting new customers will always be a challenge so you need to work hard to keep your name profitably visible.

For the majority of people today, opening up a local Yellow Pages book to find a business is an outdated, antiquated – if not non-existent – method for of search!

Today, we simply Google to find your business – and you better be there at the top of the page!

Today, there’s a great, free and easy way for local businesses to get found on the Web and that is, by completing their profiles in online directories  and claiming their turf. And, it seems these directories continue to pop up online.

It’s pretty simple to add a listing, but if you’re only listing with Google – as powerful as it is – you’re missing out on lots of opportunities to get found by people who are interested NOW in what you’re selling.

Did you know that 82% of local internet searches follow-up offline with an in-store visit, phone call or purchase? Well, it’s true.  In fact, check out this Local Web Infographic for more insights.

Every online directory you submit your Business to gives you one more chance to step up to the plate and hit a home run with your customers.

Over the past few year or so, we’ve come across over 60 free online directories to date (see below), and wish you much success in using the list to help you get found.  If you come across any others, please let us know so we can add to our list.

60 A to Z and Free Local Business Online Directories

AOL Patch Sites American Towns Axciom Best Deals on Best of the Web
Bing BizJournals.com Biznik Brownbook ChoiceVendor.com (TBD – bought by LinkedIn)
CitySearch CitySlick CitySquares CityVoter Dex
Discover our Town Foursquare Genieknows Google Places HopStop
Hotfrog Infignos InfoUSA Judysbook Justclicklocal
 Kudzu  LinkedIn Local.com LocalCompanySearch LocalEze
Localndex.com Local Pages  Local Site Submit Magic Yellow Mapquest
 Manta  MatchPoint  Merchant Circle Metrobot MojoPages
 Myhuckleberry Navteq GPS Outside.in RelyLocal ShowMeLocal
Supermedia
(Yellow Pages)
TeleAtlas ThinkLocal Topix Twibs
UsCity.net USYellowPages Whitepages Yahoo! Yellowassistance
 Yellowbook Yellowbot YellowPages.com Yelp Ziplocal
Zipweb Travelocity* UrbanSpoon* *Note:Hospitality Angies List – Service Providers

Here are three final key points.

First, to see where you rank now, go to this GetListed.Org link.

Second, you might get tired filling in all of these online directory forms, so check out Firefox’s Auto-Fill add-on link to help save you some time.

Third, if you still don’t have the time to complete online directories for your business/es and keep them up-to-date,  check out companies like BrandMill or others such as Yext.Com who will charge you a small fee to keep you updated in online directories.

Good luck in getting found more often!

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