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July 2009

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Award Every Year or No Award At All

July 31, 2009

So what's worse than not having an award to show your superior product or service? Having an award from 2004... and none since.    I went to a car dealership to get my car serviced. Hanging on the wall was a certificate of excellence from 2004. Impressive in 2004, I grant you.  I looked around the wall to see if there were any more recent awards and did not find any. My thought was, well, are they no longer providing excellent service? Where's the 2007 Mark of Excellence? What about 2008? I guess they're slackin!   I think what's worse than not showing any award is displaying an award that is dated back several years. Of course the best case scenario would be to line the wall with an award for every year, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Now I'm impressed.   As it turned out, their service did indeed fail in my book. I was told that I could pick up my car after hours and it would be in front with the keys in it. I arrived and the car was not there. I went in and the only person I could find told me the service people went home and he couldn't help. My car was in the garage on the lift. Now I see why they haven't had an award since 2004.   Jan Pierret  

ITEXPO on Twitter

July 30, 2009

There's so much going on at ITEXPO West.  Of course there is the extensive roster of sessions on Internet Telephony and more.  In addition to a Sipera-sponsored workshop on UC Security, we've added a  Machine to Machine (M2M) Evolution event.

Keep in touch with others and stay up to date at  http://twitter.com/ITEXPO

Lorna Lyle

Email Gone Horribly Wrong

July 28, 2009

Some email mistakes are worse than others.  Apparently a glitch in a server sent all 4,800 recipients every unsubscribe email sent by members wanting to opt out.  End result: having to delete the entire customer list and starting over.  The sender tried to remedy the situation immediately, but the damage was done.  While some recipients were understanding, others replied with profanity-laced rants.  Morals of the story: check your list, hide your distribution list, make it crystal clear how to unsubscribe, and address a problem immediately.

I would add: do internal testing first, and make sure those in charge of the server know it's working properly.


Does your marketing Snap, Crackle and Pop?

July 21, 2009

  I just read a great article from The New Yorker, "Hanging Tough" by James Surowiecki, about the marketing spend between two leaders of cereal during the Great Depression. 

launched a new cereal, Rice Krispies, with heavy promotion. Kellogg doubled its ad budget as they promoted aggressively. Their "Snap, Crackle and Pop" campaign exploded on the scene across the country and saw tremendous success. While the economy was crumbling, Kellogg's marketing push gained market share and realized a thirty percent increase in profits.  
Meanwhile, competitor Post, did exactly the opposite, slashing their marketing budget and cutting back on advertising and promotions. As you can imagine, they did not fare as well and Kellogg emerged as the market leader. 
Increasing ad spend during a recession provides consumers and business leaders with the reassurance that said company is strong and thereby establishes trust in the product. Advertising proves which companies are strong. In fact as the weaker companies continue scaling back, it creates an even bigger "pop" to those companies that do advertise.  "When everyone is advertising, for instance, it's hard to separate yourself from the pack; when ads are scarcer, the returns on investment seem to rise," pointed out Surowiecki. 
TMC President Rich Tehrani's advice on marketing in a recession, "In order to take market share you must increase mindshare and marketing."  He continued in his blog post, "In This Recession, Would You Buy from Your Company?",to compare the philosophy behind waiting for sales to pick up before investing in marketing as waiting to throw a log in the fireplace until you feel heat. Obviously you'll end up standing in the cold just as you'll be left out in the cold by reducing or eliminating marketing. 
There's no better time than right now to invest in the future of your company. Spending on advertising shows the strength of your company and establishes brand awareness, the essential key to building the trust needed to close the deal. Particularly during a recession, business leaders are even more scrupulous with their money and they need to trust the brand they purchase for their company.
Advertising in today's market is critical to the success of your company, will make the biggest impact, and perhaps will provide the best ROI your marketing dollars will ever see. 
Jan Pierret  

KFC Grilled is Sizzling

July 16, 2009

KFC's big switch to KGC seems to be a hit. Yet people seemed surprised? It seems like the most natural progression and I only wonder why they didn't do this ten years ago.   McDonalds made the transition to healthier food options which include grilled chicken, salads and even apples. So why would grilled chicken be a mistake for KFC?    KFC's launch exploded on the scene with an offer for free chicken made on Oprah resulting with a fury of people flocking to KFC.  The unfortunate hiccup was that the stores found themselves ill-prepared for the onslaught and were forced to turn people away.     KFC seemed to overcome the big Oprah giveaway fiasco but was it really a fiasco? KFC upheld their promise and offered rain check coupons for the free grilled chicken deal. It was the best PR they could have received that had the world buzzing about their new product. Good or bad, people were talking. I think one of the most talked about product launches in fast food that I can remember in fact becoming Twitter's most trending topic of the day as reported by Ad Age.    Other advertising initiatives that followed included celebrity endorsements and product placement on shows like Gary Unmarried. And now new packaging.   Introducing the Grilled Chicken lunch box.

Mother Nature's Marketing

July 14, 2009

OK, there are dairy boards and beef councils.  Where are the Brussel sprouts advocates?

The article below describes "superfoods."

While I try to eat many of these, I'm only human and find it hard to resist the occasional processed food.  What's Thanksgiving without the pumpkin pie? Valentine's Day without chocolates?

And it's difficult to turn down the bagels and donuts that are a Friday morning perk here at TMC!

The article shows that maybe Mother Nature's marketing takes the form of unspoken testimonials about lives without heart disease. 

How many of these do you regularly consume?


Rather amazing when you consider the money and effort spent on promoting and advertising food we shouldn't be consuming except occasionally.

Lorna Lyle