Tomorrow, Feb. 12th, is my birthday and I’m looking forward to it. After working on my new book for most of the day (deadline getting nearer), I’m going to the theater to see Billy Elliot, the musical, and then dinner with my mom. Should be very nice.
I will also check the mail and find some thoughtful cards from my pals and relatives. And I’ll get a handful of calls, emails, Facebook posts or text messages from my digital buds. All is good.
Then the marketing birthday wishes start to accumulate. I always find this interesting, because every year the number of cards and gifts increases. These range from hand signed cards from companies I’ve never heard of and don’t do business with, to free dinners, gift cards and special deals from companies I do patronize.
It’s always nice when someone or a company remembers your b-day, even if it is a computer.
Jocelyn the co-founder of Oddpodz also has a b-day this weekend, on the 13th of February, hope it’s a great one!
Do you have a way to remember your customers’ special days? It can be a fairly low cost, high value touch point.
Be sure to check out: Don’t ever think about calling me a senior or reminding me that I’m over 40.
Friday evening I went to the opera in St. Petersburg, Florida at The Palladium. The Palladium is a gem, full of charm and historic architecture. The theater was built in 1925 as a church and later transformed into a community performing arts venue now run by the St. Petersburg College.
The opera was Verdi Rigoletto, a story of love, passion, betrayal, revenge and tragedy.
I love opera. It’s so intense. The majestic voices, the opulent costumes, the suspenseful drama, the entire experience is artistic and emotional.
The Palladium, compared to other rooms I’ve been to, is very small for an opera. Yet the characters and the behind the scenes team delivered the same incredible rush of entertainment value as the big opera houses in New York, London and Houston.
The evening and performance exceeded my expectations by 10 fold. The cast and orchestra had the talent which is certainly vital part of the experience, but supporting their theater and musical skills was a well executed package of equally as dramatic and very scaled-up visual components.
Scaled-up is important strategy beyond an operatic performance. It applies to brands, our stories and the experience we all deliver to our buyers.
Here’s how the production of Rigoletto did it, creating a moving, memorable experience that will be treasured for a long time with the audience.
- They used the full space (left to right, top to bottom) to project massive black and white images behind the stage. They were big and bold and transformed the mood of the room instantly.
- The costumes were also scaled-up, exaggerated and all toned in a consistent palate of black and white with a splash of subliminal blood red preceding the tragic ending.
- The scenery was also scaled-up, over-sized and poignant. And of course, the volume and magnitude of their voices was thundering even in the most peaceful scenes.
Think about how you can scale-up some elements in your experience to make a grander impact and more lasting memories. These ideas can work in office lobbies, retail and hospitality businesses.
1) Enlarge your wall graphic communications.
Dinky art or framed publicity on big walls, often says small potato. Big impressions can imply confidence and that success lives here.
2) Add a high tech aspect to your messaging.
Projected images can be applied to entry ways, ceiling and floors. Incorporating technology can say innovation, creative thinkers, that’s us.
3) Introduce props to an environment and showcase them.
An over-sized product model, a character or even your logo – as a dimensional item can be a powerful aspect of the experience.
4) Garb your team with a strategic uniform or dress code.
Apple computer’s retail staffers all have a common look, that says: hip and creative, to a cosmetic company that sports hot pink lab coats to project a scientific/fashion image, to the Geek Squad’s special agent cool, nerd attire.
What’s your next act?
For more up-scale elements, view: The 5th element to a successful marketing mix.
3 marketing tips to build your brand with college market.
1) Summer can be a slow season for many college campuses, but schools which operate on a quarter system will be in session through June. This is a perfect time to try a pilot campaign for just a week, so you can make tweaks over the rest of the summer and run a full program during Fall semester.
2) Student organizations begin planning for the academic year in July. They begin scheduling guest speakers, laying out meeting calendars and planning events. This is a good month to start contacting student organizations. Don’t waste your time trying to reach every student group on campus; target organizations strategically. Choose student organizations that have membership or a message relevant to your business. Run an MCAT test prep course? Talk with pre-med students or groups like Phi Delta Epsilon.
3) During the school year keep your eyes open for opportunities to partner with other campus reps. Would your headphones pair nicely with the mp3 player offered by another rep? Maybe you sell computer accessories that compliment the laptop another rep is exhibiting. Consider sharing booths or tables with other reps to save on event costs and to make your demonstration more interactive, and more attractive, to students.
4) The success of a campus rep campaign depends on the rep you hire. A great creative team is important, but if you have a bad rep you just have a marketing plan sitting on your desk, it has no legs..no one carrying your message! Don’t let all your creative work go to waste. Put more time into recruitment, training and rep management and your campaign will yield better results. You can do this internally, or you may wish to team up with a company which specializes in campus rep services.
Tips provided by Adam Grant, CEO of Campus Commandos. www.campuscommandos.com
Note: While Jerrilyn focuses on marketing to women, this insight could apply to men also.
Ladies, as the chief of our households, we decide which brands to buy at the grocery stores. We search online (newspapers too) for coupons to save on them to stretch our budget. We don’t stop buying milk, eggs, bread, butter, etc., for our families just because our budgets are tight. They are the staples in our households.
Advertising and marketing are the staples for our businesses. Just because money is tight, we can’t stop doing them. We just have to find a more affordable way to do them. Burger King, McDonalds, Nike, LA Fitness, Sears, and more can teach us a lesson when it comes to marketing in a slow economy.
They changed their pricing, created less expensive products and services without bells and whistles, quadrupled their marketing and advertising, combined physical space to reduce their overhead, and much more to ensure they keep their market share. You are probably saying to yourself that you can’t afford to spend any more money than you already are on your marketing and advertising.
Guess what? Yes, you can and it won’t hurt. :-) You can even find a way to actually reduce your costs by 20% or more. If you’ve been reading any of my posts, you know that I’m referring to cross marketing and promotion.
Let’s start with your business cards. Team up with two or more complementary companies to create joint business cards. It will make you look bigger and smarter by offering your clients and prospects access to products and services that complement yours. This is perfect for PR, marketing, and advertising specialties consultants who are networking mavericks. They can promote each other at all of the numerous monthly events they attend.
Next, let’s give your blog a cross marketing makeover. If you are currently paying to have someone maintain your blog, host it and or in the process of having one designed, you can team up with 5 or more complementary companies to develop an industry specific blog that makes you look like a genius. You will save money every month while boosting your credibility. I recommend Promembershipservices.com if you need a blog designer.
Now, let’s give your products and services a makeover. Come up with a product or service that can be provided in a group setting. Coaches have perfected group coaching sessions and membership web sites. Come up with your own unique concept for a business club or membership site. It will benefit your current clients who’ve slowed down spending money with your company. Get them excited about your company again. You will also attract new clients.
Finally, make your Facebook page bring in sales. Team up with 5 or more of your business associates to create a joint Facebook page that sends traffic and sales to your individual sites as well as your Facebook pages too. Big companies give away items on a daily basis to engage with their followers. You and your associates can take a page from their marketing book. Purchase Facebook advertising together to get premium traffic. You can take it one step further and purchase LinkedIn advertising to drive traffic to the page.
These are only a few ways you can utilize cross marketing and promotion this summer. Whatever the time or cost investment required to market and advertise your company, you can reduce it to make it more feasible in this rocky economy. Make a list of what it takes to successfully market and advertise your company to boost its sales. Then plug in your business associates.
Georgia businesswoman Jerrilynn B. Thomas is the founder of Marketing 2 Women International. Jerrilynn’s specialty is facilitating cross marketing partnerships between complementary business and professional women to help them increase their female client base while saving time and money on their marketing. Her services are very exclusive. She works with women in select business 2 business fields and limits the number per state and international areas. Visit Womenpartner.com to see if your business is a fit for her expertise.You can follow her on Twitter @WomenPartner, Linkedin.com, and on Facebook.
Seems like there is no shortage of new expenses, rising costs, and life challenges as we all try to survive and be happy together on planet Earth.
Like you, I’m annoyed by the rising cost of everything, while our income seems to hold steady at the same amount. Gas keeps going up, airlines add luggage and beverage fees. What will be next? Oxygen mask rentals should the cabin pressure drop?
Ok, we can whine, or we can turn these current affair irritations into something that can make your brand look like a nice guy, building deeper relationship with your buyers.
Good examples of turning a negative into a positive promotional idea.
Kimpton Hotel Group, “They got your bag,” with the “We’ll pick up the tab and issue a room credit” promo. Just show them your luggage charge receipt and cover the fees. Valid as of this posting, until September 9, 2008.
UPS – As fuel costs started rising last year, this media savvy company issued a PR release and earned millions of dollars of nice-guy publicity points via news sources everywhere. The news angle was that UPS ships and transports daily for millions of people; they shared fuel economy tips that can give everyday Joes a little more bang for your fuel buck.
Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep®, – As fuel prices continued to rise, the Let’s Refuel America Program helped stabilize the cost of fuel with a simple solution; locking in the price of unleaded or diesel fuel at $2.99/gallon for three years. Program participants used a special card linked to their MasterCard or Visa credit card account. The card was used to purchase enough fuel at $2.99 per gallon to travel up to 12,000 miles per year in each of the next three years. To qualify, you had to purchase or lease an eligible Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep® vehicle from May 7 through July 7, 2008 and have a valid MasterCard or Visa credit card.
These issues are top of mind with consumers and the media. If you can craft a value proposition and still be sensitive to the real-life challenge at hand, a tie-in can be a win/win. Consider leveraging timely situations as PR angles, promotional incentives, or as an event where you give back to the community.
Have you seen any great marketing ideas where a brand turns a bad economic condition into a feel good promotional idea?
About the author: Karen Post, a.k.a. The Branding Diva® is an international authority on branding, marketing, and entrepreneurial matters. She is has been featured as a business expert in print publications; on TV, radio, and on Web channels. Karen authored the best-selling book Brain Tattoos, Creating Unique Brands That Stick in your Customers’ Minds and she is co-founder and CEO of Oddpodz.com, an idea engine for creative professionals and business. Her work has benefited large and small organizations in the United States and around the world.
Power packaged-good brands have earned a place in marketing history. Once an industry where brands were built with 30-second TV spots, and where generations of families passed down the trusted brand; today it is a whole new ball game. Shelf space is expensive and limited and consumers have over 3000 choices every time they enter a store. Their brains have limited attention and their hearts even less loyalty.
To compete and win, CPG marketers must embrace a new world of connecting to consumers and buyers. The days of pure hard selling are now balanced with conversations that offer help, education, and category expertise. Instead of buying your way into their minds, the CPG company must think about earning attention and deserving loyalty. Disruption is now annoying and engagement is how you build lasting relationships.
Below are five trends cited by in an Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) report on CPG; followed by some commentary reflecting real-world market observations and idea opportunities.
1) Trip-Based Merchandising
2) Solutions Merchandising
4) Merchandising as an Educational Platform
5) High-Tech Merchandising