15 Marketing Lessons of St. Patrick’s Day

As 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”)!


How to Think and Plan for Christmas in July

Did you notice the number of brands that celebrated promotions this month with a “Christmas in July’ theme?

Do you wish you planned earlier to tie-in to the Olympics in some way (e.g., hold an Olympic Sales Contest for your team) after seeing the barrage of Olympian marketing to date?

If you didn’t take advantage of seasonal sales building opportunities like these, you lack a marketing plan that fails to take advantage of high impact sales events that give customers a reason to buy from you today! And, you’re leaving a lot of sales for your competitors to easily grab.

Seasonal, holiday and special occasion marketing is a profitable marketing strategy. And, here are just a few of the reasons why it’s so successful.

10 Reasons Why Seasonal, Holiday and Special Occasion Marketing is a Profitable Strategy

  1. It Generates Awareness & Excitement. There’s more awareness around these key days/months and generates more excitement.
  2. It’s Message is Urgent, Limited and Motivating. There’s a bigger sense of urgency with limited time offers.
  3. It’s Creates Fond Emotional Connections. Holiday events are emotional for customers as they think of family and younger days and their emotions trigger sales opportunities.
  4. Everyone’s Ready for It – It’s Expected. People are more ‘ready-to-buy’ at these times, they tend spend more too.
  5. It Takes Full Advantage of Gift Giving Time Periods. Lots of people buy gifts at these times, they’re more concerned about quality vs. price.
  6. It’s Easier to Persuade People to Buy. In some cases, customers NEED to buy, so they’re easier to persuade.
  7. It’s Familiar Old School Marketing. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Traditional holiday celebration marketing techniques work great.
  8. It Provides Ample Opportunities to Showcase and Sell Variety.  You don’t have to sell just holiday or seasonal themed merchandise.  You can sell anything.
  9. It Gives Brands a Perfectly Good Reason ‘Why’ to Promote and for Customers to Buy. Theming promotional offers gives a ‘reason why’ for you deal and is not as harsh to your brand as non-themed discounted offers. Holiday and seasonal deals are expected.
  10. It’s So Darn Easy to Plan & Budget. Seasonal sales opportunities and Holidays occur nearly the same time every year which makes it easy to plan and budget. Mother’s Day is always on Mother’s Day right? Don’t forget to schedule an anniversary or birthday event for your business!

Not to rub salt in your marketing wound (but just to accentuate the point), but here are potentially a few more July sales building opportunities you probably missed such as Canada Day on the 2nd,  America’s Independence Day on the 4th, Bastille Day on the 14th, Get to Know Your Customers Day on the 19th, Parent’s Day on the 22nd, or these special occasions American Freedom Week – July 4 – 10, Black Family Month, Make a Difference to Children Month, Social Wellness Month, Family Reunion Month, National Black Family Month and National Independent Retailers Month.

However, there are a lot more you can consider throughout year-end and into 2013. My favorite reference book is Chase’s Calendar of Events – I get a new one every year in 4th quarter.

Plus, there are several other good services – especially online such as Holiday Insights, Brownie Locks and several more to satisfy the needs of niche markets and industries. And, here are 70 sales building ideas (holiday marketing tie-in opportunities) to consider through year-end.

70 Sales Building Ideas to Consider Through Year-End

1 – Girlfriend’s Day
1 – US Air Force Day
4 – Single Working Women’s Day
5 – Friendship Day
5 – National Kids’ Day
15 – Best Friends Day
19 – National Aviation Day
21 – Senior Citizen’s Day
Simplify Your Life Week – 1-7
Rock For Life Week – 4-7
Family Fun Month
Romance Awareness Month
Black Business Month
What Will Be Your Legacy Month

3 – Labor Day
9 – National Grandparent’s Day
11 – Patriot Day
17 – Rosh Hashanah
21 – International Day of Peace
22 – First Day of Autumn
22 – Business Women’s Day
25 – Yom Kippur
25 – World Pasta Day
28 – National Good Neighbor Day
29 – National Coffee Day
Baby Safety Month
College Savings Month
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. – Oct.)
People Skills Month
Self-Awareness Month
Self-Improvement Month

1 – Child Health Day
4 – Improve Your Office Day
5 – National Diversity Day
8 – National Children’s Day
8 – Columbus Day
16 – National Boss Day
20 – Sweetest Day
25 – World Pasta Day
28 – Mother-in-Law Day
31 – Halloween
Financial Planning Week – 1-7
National Customer Service Week – 1-5
Crime Prevention Month
German-American Heritage Month (Oktoberfest)
Polish-American Heritage Month
Positive Attitude Month
Strategic Planning Month
Work & Family Month
Financial Planning Month
Italian-American Heritage Month
Tackling Hunger Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month

1 – All Saints’ Day
8 – Election Day
11 – Veteran’s Day
13 – World Kindness Day
17 – World Peace Day
22 – Thanksgiving
23 – Black Friday
24 – Small Business Saturday
26 – Cyber Monday
National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week – 11-17
National Family Week – 18-24
National Write A Business Plan Month
National Adoption Month
Military Family Appreciation Month

9 – Hanukkah Begins
21- Humbug Day
22 – First Day of Winter
25 – Christmas

As a small businessman, I know how overwhelmed small business owners are with daily activities.

So, what’s the old saying about, “How do you eat an elephant?’ One bite at a time!

With a myriad of marketing activities to consider, your best first step is to create a marketing calendar with a foundation that is holiday and seasonally based.

Believe me, it’s always easier and more profitable to drive natural, seasonal sales peaks higher than it is to lift a valley. bet your hard earned money on it. I guarantee it.

Please note: When you research the marketing resources noted above, you’ll see that there are a ton of promotional themes you can choose from, but don’t get overwhelmed by the huge selection. Plan far in advance, select a few (net – a majority of ideas from a source like Chase’s won’t apply to your business), but execute them well.

In addition, there are lots of ways you can celebrate and drive consumer excitement such as:

  • Offering product discounts
  • Offering a BOGO – Buy one get one free or at half price
  • Buy something and get a free gift
  • Offer holiday themed merchandise or services at full price or promotional price
  • And more…

Please use the remaining days of July NOW to plan for Christmas – you’ll start seeing merchandise in stores in September – and get started now to plan the rest of your 2012 seasonal and holiday marketing calendar and 2013 too.

You’ll be happy you did.


The Marketing Man Who Hates Advertising

The headline in this post comes from a comment that great client and friend of ours said about me a few years ago.

And, he’s repeated it to me on a few other occasions too.

He said, “As someone who’s been in marketing as long as you, why do you hate advertising so much?”

I answered – and continue to defend myself – that it’s not that I hate advertising, it’s just that I hate bad advertising that’s created to try extort people into believing in or buying unremarkable products and services.

It simply doesn’t work. And, it gives my profession a bad name.

Remember…if you put perfume on a pig…it’s still a pig!

The facts support my argument that there has been a crisis going on in mass media for years and most advertisers simply continue to do the same sad things over and over again.  That is, they spend too much money on TV advertising when they should invest those dollars in creating remarkable high-value products and services.

For example consider these facts*:

  • Only 14% of people trust advertising
  • Only 18% of television commercials achieve a positive return on investment
  • The average ROI is just 54 cents per every dollar spent on TV ads

Now, let’s talk about the biggest joke and general waste of advertising dollars – the Super Bowl.

Just another advertising effort that gives my profession a bad name.

I dread tomorrow listening to all of the so-called Advertising experts and pundits on the national news and talk shows discussing which ad was ‘cute and funny.”  Ugh!

For years, I’ve said that advertising on the Super Bowl is a waste of money. It still is a waste.

Back in 2008, E-Trade premiered commercials during Super Bowl XLII featuring a talking baby (the now infamous E-Trade Baby) in front of a Webcam pontificating about investing and finance in an adult voice. The campaign continued into the Super Bowl XLIII piling on with communications on other channels such Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

And, it continues to this day. Why?

It has to be because it’s ‘cute and funny‘ because it hasn’t done anything to build sales and/or turn around its stock price.

For proof, check out this screen capture I took last night comparing the Dow Jones average (blue)  vs. Schwab (green) and E-Trade (red).  Still laughing?

Now back in 2008, I predicted that the E-Trade baby would rock in advertising recall and likeability and I was proven right. The 2008 E-Trade baby Super Bowl ad campaign earned high marks of 7th most liked, 3rd and 8th most recalled.

However, after the premiere of the E-Trade Baby campaign, I cautioned clients that now that the seed is planted, the E-Trade brand needs to ‘show and tell’ how it has helped real people more effectively perform with personal investing.  They would need to show proof! And, to this day I say, “Where’s the proof?”

There is none and that’s one big reason why their stock is performing poorly vs. other averages. The E-Trade marketing folks must be getting away with this charade by saying, “But, look at our Ad recall numbers! Look at how many golfers know the word ‘shankapotomus.‘ 

To that rationale, I say, “Who cares!”

We do a ton of hospitality work. And, I bet you that we’d drive huge recall numbers by putting a dead body in the front window of any one of our restaurants with a banner stating, “People are dying to dine here!” I’d also bet that sales would rapidly fall.

There’s an old saying that, ‘The only person who likes change is a wet baby.’

I agree and also agree that the E-Trade campaign (and possibly product/service too) needs to be changed if it ever hopes to have happy investors.

Enjoy the game and make efficient use of your day today by getting a something to eat or drink or go to the bathroom during the commercial breaks.

*Source: Justin Kirby & Paul Marsden (2006).  Connected marketing.  Oxford, UK:  Butterworth-Heinemann. xix


Speak for Yourself

I’ve always been amazed (OK and maybe a little bit jealous) at the amount of money that brands dish out to celebrities to be their spokesperson/s. I’ve yet to see a demonstrative ROI case proving that a celebrity spokesperson contributed to a brand’s success.

Don’t get me wrong, if a celebrity truly uses the product and is successful, a brand can reap huge awards (e.g., Michael Jordan and Air Jordans). However, if a celebrity is not a visible user and is used as mere off the shelf talent, why bother with the added expense? Instead, use someone far less expensive – and just as effective – and make your product the hero.

I bring this up because the Aflac duck lost its voice yesterday after it fired comedian Gilbert Gottfried – the voice of the quacking duck (not in Japan though) for tweeting jokes about the earthquake and tsunami that has rocked Japan and its poor people. God bless them.

Here’s a brief statement from Aflac’s news release. “Gilbert’s recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac,” Michael Zunda, the company’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

What a jerk – Gottfried that is!

I feel for Zunda, but he should know better. There are thousands of voiceover talents that could nail that Aflac quack for far less dough.

How would you like to have a ‘spokesduck’ voice like Gottfried making jokes about a cataclysmic event that killed nearly 2,500 people to date and projections are that possibly 10,000 are feared dead.  And, tens of thousands are homeless.

Again, what a jerk!

And, how about this fact? Aflac, does 75% of its business in Japan!!

Gottfried (the coward) hasn’t apologized or responded yet for his classless tweeted jokes such as:
  1. “I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘They’ll be another one floating by any minute now.’”
  2. “Japan called me. They said ‘maybe those jokes are a hit in the U.S., but over here, they’re all sinking.'”
  3. “I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said ‘is there a school in this area.’ She said ‘not now, but just wait.'”

I’m sure Aflac is a class act company.  In fact, they’re giving the International Red Cross 100 million yen (U.S. $1.2 million) to aid in disaster relief. However, this ‘brand stain’ could have/should have been avoided because Gottfried has a history of classless behavior.

For example (per the New York Times), three weeks after 9/11 at a Friars Club roast for Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, Gottfried said that he had tried to catch a plane but couldn’t get a direct flight because “they said they have to stop off at the Empire State Building.”

Again, what a jerk!

Any parent will tell you that no one can babysit their kids like them. No matter how terrific their parents or neighbors are to their kids, parents do it better.

Similarly, no one can babysit your brand like you can – remember that.

For me, when it comes to spokespeople, give me a Frank Perdue of Perdue Chicken – or someone like him – any old day! Silent mascots like Mickey Mouse work wonders too!

P.S.: Hey, if you’re looking for a job and can quack like the Aflac duck, there is nationwide casting call to find a new voice of the iconic spokesbird! True.
P.S.S.: See interesting slideshow of top Celebrity Spokesperson Fiascos.


Don’t Waste Your Marketing Dollars

The famous merchant John Wanamaker (b-1839 – d-1922) is credited with saying, “I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I can never find out which half.”

I’m sure he meant what he said over 100 years ago, but I’d bet if he was living today, he’d certainly would not be wasting 50 cents on the dollar with his ad campaigns with the various ways you can prove the impact of marketing investments.

The sad thing about Wanamaker’s quote is that marketers today continue to use it and hide behind it. See my Super Bowl Ad Blog rant from yesterday.

Speaking of quotes, I’d like to quote some troubling facts about the crisis in mass marketing per the book – Connected marketing: the viral buzz and word of mouth revolution edited by Justin Kirby and Paul Marsden — Oxford : Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006.

Here are just a handful…

  • 3000 Ads Reach People Daily
  • 256% Increase in TV Ad costs (CPM) over 10 Years
  • 117 of ‘02 Prime TV Spots = 80% of Adults – 3 in ‘65
  • 100% Increase Needed in Ad Spend to Add 1-2% in Sales
  • 84% of B2B Ad Campaigns  = Negative ROI
  • 54 cents = Ave. Return in Sales per $1.00 spent on Ads
  • 18% TV Ad Campaigns =  Positive ROI

And, here’s a few more…

  • 90% – People Who Can Skip TV Ads Do
  • 80% – DVRs w/Ad Skipping Tech 2008
  • 69% – Interested in Skip/Block Ad Tech
  • 95% – Failure Rate for New Product Intros
  • 65% – Are Bombarded w/Ads
  • 56% – Avoid Brands Who Over Promote
  • 14% – Trust Advertising

The book was published in 2006 and most likely researched and written over the prior few years making the data at least six years old.

So, do you think any Super Bowl ad last Sunday returned a profit on its $3 million dollar investment? If so, do you think they can prove it?

Now, can you see why these Super Bowl ads offend me as a marketing professional?


10 Profitable Groupon Marketing Tips

I’ve been a fan of Groupon since one of our Pittsburgh restaurant clients launched the city’s first promotional campaign. And, I’ve become a bigger fan since other hospitality clients have achieved success and after discovering that Groupon founder Andrew Mason is a Pittsburgh (Mt. Lebanon) native – you go guy!

If you read the marketing trades you’ll find some complaints about the lack of profitability of using Groupon as a marketing tactic, but I’d bet that those complainers were not prepared to take advantage of the popular loss leader strategy.

Here are ten profitable Groupon marketing tips.

1. Say “NO” if you’re below. Below average that is. In short, you do not want to feature your brand in a Groupon campaign if you don’t “bring it.” That is, if you sell lousy food (even marginally or mediocre OK), have poor service etc., you do not want to do Groupon! If you do not “deliver the goods”, Grouponers may simply put you out of business earlier than you would normally through negative reviews online etc.!

2. Get buy-in to prevent crying. Far in advance of your scheduled launch, talk through the campaign pros/cons of Groupon with your staff. Get their buy-in early on and clearly explain why everyone needs to be engaged in this huge loss leader effort and why you’ll need all hands and minds on deck to flawlessly execute the campaign. Tell them, “what’s in it for them!”

3. Map your cap. Cap the total number of deals you provide to Grouponers. This creates urgency and protects margins since the offer deadlines are long. Plus, you need to make sure you can handle the traffic.  Sure you want to make short term money – you always do – but your eyes need to be on the prize of repeat business!

4. Don’t wreck your average check. Make sure your deal/offer does not match you average check/purchase to allow for upsell and add-on sales opportunities. And, a lower price tag protects you as well on total customer acquisition costs. Keep in mind that you’re earning around 1/4th of what you’d usually make in an average sale which means you’re losing 3/4ths on virtually every sale.

5. Don’t laugh – add staff. Trust me – make sure you add staff to handle increases in store traffic, phone calls and web hits during and after the sale. You’ll need it!

6. Right your Website. It’s highly likely that your Web site has never seen the kind of traffic it will see on your Groupon day. Make certain your brand’s value proposition is clear, meaningful and relevant throughout your Website and especially on your home page because it’s going to get pounded. And, fix your typos, broken links etc., – net, clean it up! Also, monitor your Groupon comments on your “game day” and answer questions there as well on your social media channels.

7. Up-sell, cross sell and do well. Train your customer facing personnel to up-sell and cross-sell and guide all Grouponers to more profitable add-ons. However, make sure you have lots of exciting ones to offer too.

8. Train to explain. Carefully review (and test their knowledge) your Groupon procedures and rules of the game with all team members so they in turn can explain the campaign to customers, friends and family. You need to do this crucial step to ensure viral communications and no surprised/unhappy customer experiences. Make certain everyone is happy to take Groupon customers and consider putting someone in charge to answer escalated questions and make on the spot decisions to satisfy customer concerns.

9. Retain and gain. Since Groupon does not give up its email database and/or the contact information of customers who take advantage of your offer, it’s critical you have a system (recording system and/or additional incentive for customers/staff) in place to capture valuable new customer contact information (e.g., email addresses, mailing addresses, cell phone numbers, birthdays etc.,). You’ll also want to track your success with regard to add-ons, average check/transaction, redemption rates,  repeat business and more to determine your success and key learnings should you do it again – consider a customer survey too!

10. Show how to WOW now. A ton of your Grouponers will be new customers (and might be bringing other new customers in with them) and may be unfamiliar with your unique value proposition, but you have a great – maybe once in a lifetime – opportunity to WOW them, make them repeat customers and spread your good word. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity. Be a servant leader and SERVE lights out!


How to Get People to Join Your Cause or Brand

Social Cause MarketingThere’s an old saying in cause marketing which is, “People don’t join causes, people join people with causes.”

That is, if you’re a good friend of mine, and if I’m stricken with cancer and involved with one the American Cancer Society’s initiatives such as Relay for Life, chances are you will be more in tune with ACS messages and offer to help (donate money and/or time).

The same goes for Brand marketing these days too – more and more people are joining Brands which are in tune with their causes!

Brand marketing is taking on a whole new meaning which is simply put, “marketing with meaning.”

In this 24/7 age of corporate misconduct (AIG, Wall Street, Enron, BP) and citizen journalism, it’s an absolute “greens fee” for companies to make more meaning by being good corporate citizens and doing more (See Philip Kotler’s Values Based Marketing Model) for their employees and customers.

The chart above is from Ann Marie Kerwin’s article in today’s Advertising Age, How to Get the Social-Media Generation Behind Your Cause which outlines some key steps and  which also links to TBWA Chiat Day’s Eliza Esquivel’s Social Activism 2.0 whitepaper – good stuff.

Marketing with real meaning and brands that truly stand for something other than self serving profits will survive and thrive in the next decade and beyond. Those that don’t won’t be as profitable and/or won’t survive.

Here’s an example of great cause marketing by one of my client’s the Priory Hospitality Group and their announcement of a free Winter White Wedding for a veteran of the Afghan Iraqi war who’s from southwestern Pennsylvania.

See the video interview of The Priory Hotel’s John Graf here from KDKA TV’s Pittsburgh Today Live – we’d appreciate it if you pass the information along to a western, PA veteran.

Now in its 3rd year, the Priory’s generosity has been joined by several other area brands. One of the major reasons why the Priory’s business keeps growing is because they are genuine, caring community partners and employers.

Follow their example for success and make your little patch of the world a better place and watch your business grow too!

I haven’t been to a BP gas station since the Gulf Oil Spill and don’t plan on visiting one in the future. How about you?

Note: Super good book by Bob Gilbreath, The Next Evolution of Marketing: Connect with Your Customers by Marketing with Meaning.


$6 Google AdWords Campaign Lands Dream Job

For anyone looking for a new job (pay attention college grads) or trying to get that next big sale and running into a roadblock because you can’t get the attention of a key decision maker, check out this brilliant job search strategy by copywriter Alec Brownstein.

  1. Brownstein used Google AdWords to target Ad Agency Creative Directors on Madison Avenue in New York
  2. He bet 15 cents per click that these Creatives were no different than the rest of  us self absorbed people who Google ourselves
  3. What the CD’s saw when they Googled themselves was a personal ad from Brownstein – BRILLIANT!
  4. Young & Rubicam offered him a job!

Note: Brownstein’s Google Job Experiment YouTube video has been viewed over 500,000 times!  Rock on Alec!


You Take Dollars to the Bank

…not percentages.

Following yesterday’s post about testing, someone asked me about testing promotional offers and wanted to know which has more appeal, a dollar off coupon or a percent off coupon.

After saying, “Test them both,” I told him that in my experience a “dollar off” promotion typically outsells a percent off promotion. Dollar offs, BOGOs (buy one get one free, cash rebates etc.,) rock harder than a simple percent off promotion.


One big reason.

Money talks and you know the rest.

It’s far easier for busy people (aren’t we all) to understand the value of a dollar figure vs. calculating percentages.

But hey, don’t take my word for it

Check out this Marketing Sherpa article which supports my view and highlights how one brand’s test proved that its dollar off promo delivered 170% more revenue.

Test people test.  And, always remember you take dollars to the bank not percentages.

AMA Pittsburgh Marketer of the Year

Over the next two days, we’re participating in two separate presentations to the Pittsburgh American Marketing Association at the Duquesne Club downtown and to students at Chatham University.

My client John Graf – co-owner of the Priory Hospitality Group – and I are co-presenting and will review the success of our Winter White Wedding program which has driven first quarter wedding bookings by 400% and continues to rock – it helped us win the Pittsburgh American Marketing Association’s Grand Marketer of the Year Award!

The Priory’s Winter White Weddings are a true testament to the success of  “Blue Ocean Strategies” that profitably transform brands by pursuing low cost brand differentiation that makes your competition irrelevant.

To help you sail in Blue Oceans, click this link to review the Priory’s PowerPoint deck:
AMA Pittsburgh Marketer of the Year Priory Hotel 3.16.10