Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’ve had enough of Amazon

I’ve experienced a personal tragedy. My Amazon Prime membership ended today. I’ll get over it of course, but according to Amazon, I have become an apostate. I’ve opted out of the matrix, I’ve refused to be assumed into the BORG. I’ve made my first moves towards disengaging from the Brave New World into which Amazon, Google, Facebook and all the other on-line entities are attempting to move me.

I no longer wish to enrich Jeff Bezos and support his campaign to control every aspect of my life. I no longer wish to enable Amazon. I’ve decided to resist.

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Ad Good As It Gets

A study reported in the January 2010 issue of Promotional Products Business (PPB) tells us that consumer like and want “stuff with your logo on it” and that they remember the nice folks who give them what they want.

This study of American consumers, done in 2009 by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) revealed that 82 percent of consumers exposed to promotional products advertising within a one-year period recalled the company or brand advertised, AND 75 percent could remember the advertising message.

“Promotional products had a far greater recall rate for these advertising consumers when compared to ads they saw or read on television, print media and online advertising in the immediate past two-week period. What’s more, 83 percent of consumers reported that they liked to receive promotional products. (PPB)

While these are impressive recall numbers, what is really exciting is the reaction consumers had to the advertising.  In other words, what actions did they take after receiving the promotional products?

Twenty percent of consumers reported making a purchase within one year after receiving the promotional product, while only 13.4 percent had made a purchase after seeing a print ad in the immediate past two weeks, 7.1 percent had made a purchase after seeing a TV ad in the immediate past two weeks and 4.6 percent made a purchase after seeing an online ad in the immediate past two weeks. (PPB)

What promotional products really excel at though, is in influencing the overall impression of the advertiser, This study reports that  52.6 percent of consumers had a favorable impression of the advertiser after being exposed to promotional product advertising whereas that same favorable impression was received by only 27.7 percent consumers exposed to TV advertising, 33.2 percent of consumers exposed to advertising via print media and 11.9 percent of advertisers exposed to online advertising.

What is the point? When you advertise with promotional products at least 4 things happen, all of them good;

1) The recipient remembers you

2) The recipient wants and appreciates the advertising

3) They will feel positive about you and your company

4) 20% of them will buy from you in the next year

When it comes to advertising, it doesn’t get much better than that!

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Planning for Uncertain Times

2010The old axiom “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail” seems to have a bit of a hollow ring to it after the events of the past 18 months. After all, many making plans based on the predictions from the national media and economists in 2008 were blind-sided by the economic collapse caused by the crisis in the financial sector of our economy. However, it is true that in order to move forward confidently, we must have SOME sort of plan for the future.

However, based upon the recent record of national economists, how confident are you in the recent predictions of growth for 2010? How does one plan confidently in such an uncertain scenario?

In a great column in Business Week, Steve McKee (of McKee Wallwork Cleveland Advertising) gives good advice for small businesses looking to prepare their marketing plans for 2010. For McKee, the answer is: you prepare multiple plans based upon three scenarios:

The economy in 2010 will look the same as 2009.  In this scenario, the key is to focus on share. Prepare your marketing budget to be able to quickly take advantage as your competition goes out of business or cuts back on their marketing.

The economy will get worse in 2010. In this scenario, your main focus will be to keep your business as a viable concern going forward. However, keep in mind that recessions and bad times can have some of the greatest opportunities for those who continue to market and position themselves for when times get better. In this scenario, cut back, but don’t cut out your marketing.

The economy will grow in 2010. During recovery, the temptation will be to grab all you can. Just remember that there can be danger in growing too fast and having your receivables exceed your cash, causing service and/or inventory problems. In this scenario, moderate demand through pricing and payment terms.

For greater insight, I suggest you read the entire article. It is a quick read and will provide you with valuable insight as you prepare your plans for 2010.

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Linked In, Face Booked or Plugged Up?

The big question is no longer: “Should I be on Facebook, or My Space, or Linked In? (or one of the many other social networking sites “out there”)  That question has been answered in the affirmative – for anyone who wishes to remain relevant in the “New Economy” of the early 21st Century. Most “experts” suggest that one should chose 3 of these sites and concentrate your efforts on those three.

The new big question is: “What the heck should I do when I get there?”

I have been asked this question a number of times in the past 6 months. The best answer I have to date is: spend time and learn your way around.

Each of these sites has its own culture, applications and “niche” for your marketing plan. However, there is no “one size fits all” strategy for using these sites in your marketing. The only way to know how to use Linked In for your business is to play with it. Facebook has been used successfully by many to help grow their business, but it took them hours and hours to find what worked for them. These sites can be a great way to connect and get your message out to others; but you gotta “tweet” if you are going to Twitter.

Consider the time spent to be an investment in your education. At least you can attend class at your desk.

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