Friday, June 26, 2009

1st key to selling...Interact first, sell second.

The panhandler's secret

When there were old-school parking meters in New York, quarters were precious.

One day, I'm walking down the street and a guy comes up to me and says, "Do you have a dollar for four quarters?" He held out his hand with four quarters in it.

Curious, I engaged with him. I took out a dollar bill and took the four quarters.

Then he turned to me and said, "can you spare a quarter?"

What a fascinating interaction.

First, he engaged me. A fair trade, one that perhaps even benefited me, not him.

Now, we have a relationship. Now, he knows I have a quarter (in my hand, even). So his next request is much more difficult to turn down. If he had just walked up to me and said, "can you spare a quarter," he would have been invisible.

Too often, we close the sale before we even open it.

Interact first, sell second.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Girls....Love you guys:)

Miller MGD Sponsorship rewards the 64th place finisher!

Hooray for 64th Place! MGD 64 Rewards 64th Place Category Finishers At Inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

To celebrate its first year as the official beer sponsor of the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, and add a little fun and excitement for runners, MGD 64 today announced it will award an exclusive prize pack to the 64th place finisher in each age category.

MGD 64 prize packs will be awarded to the male and female 64th place finishers* in each of the thirteen age categories. Each winner will receive a gift basket full of fun items including branded apparel, a pedometer, a subscription to Competitor Magazine, Inside Triathlon, Triathlete Magazine or VeloNews, and other great items.

"MGD 64 is the perfect beer for social and active beer drinkers with on-the-go lifestyles. Celebrating the 64th place finishers is a fun way we can reward runners who are literally on the go," said Tristi Pfeiffer, MGD 64 marketing manager. "Whether runners place first or 64th, everyone can appreciate the fresh, crisp taste of MGD 64."

In addition to awarding prize packs to the 64th place finishers, MGD 64 will have an experiential area at the pre-race Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Health & Fitness Expo where consumers can learn more about the 64-calorie beer that's "as light as it gets." MGD 64 will also host a stretching area at the post-race Finish Line Festival where participants and supporters can gather to cool down, stretch out and listen to live music.

Legal-drinking-age runners are invited to celebrate their achievement with a free, refreshing bottle of MGD 64 at the Finish Line Festival.

"Our partnership with MGD 64 is a great way for us to provide our participants, as well as their friends and families, with the best light beer available," said Megan Young, event manager for the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle. "We utilize our Expo and Finish Line Festivals to provide health and fitness products and information for our participants. This is a great setting for a brand such as MGD 64 to introduce its fresh, crisp taste to thousands of people who definitely have something to toast after finishing the race."

With just 64 calories and 2.4 grams of carbohydrates, MGD 64 has steadily grown in popularity with calorie-conscious consumers since it launched nationally in the summer of 2008. This is the brand's first year as the official beer sponsor of the eleven-event Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series which hosts races in Nashville, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Virginia Beach, Philadelphia, San Jose, Denver, San Antonio, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

*Only participants 21 years and older are eligible to win the MGD 64 prize pack

Friday, June 19, 2009

Leverage Gen Y Workers To Support Your Brand

Marketers can take full advantage of Gen Y's unique situation in the workforce. Members of this demographic can add value to their companies by being corporate citizens and brand ambassadors. They are marketing tools that can be leveraged by their own marketing organizations to reach customers, prospects, the press and various other stakeholders. As long as they maintain a positive reputation, their companies will benefit, and they will have better careers as a result.

Smart marketers understand that Gen Y workers can provide value to companies by leveraging their social networks. They can also protect the corporate brand and help employers recruit top talent fairly easily because they're constantly connected. Many Gen Y members have even labeled themselves as "social media experts" because they are tech savvy and are using web 2.0 tools outside of the workplace to communicate with peers. Marketers are realizing that they need dedicated resources for their own social media programs.

Aside from recruiting Gen Y, companies are looking at their current workers and asking some of them to start exploring this new territory. As the shift in communication turns from advertising and traditional marketing to new media marketing, it's critical to engage Gen Y and ask for marketing support. In today's digital world, the more connected you are, the more successful you can be.

Brand monitoring

Most companies aren't paying for blog monitoring services such as Buzzlogic or Radion6 and many aren't even using free services, such as Google Alerts. Keeping track of brand mentions, whether it's your CEO, your product or your company, is required. Word-of-mouth marketing online moves very fast and what starts off as a mere tweet can spawn a blog post and then a YouTube video and then become the front page story in the New York Times.

You should engage Millennials, who are already paying attention to conversations that are happening online, and ask them to monitor and report on brand mentions. Gen Y folks are more familiar with the online tools that allow you to listen well and can leverage that familiarity to prove themselves critically useful to their companies.

Marketing for free

Marketing budgets are on the decline, but companies still need to get their messages out to the marketplace. Traditional forms of advertising are clearly out of budget, but new media costs only your time. Gen Y members have been using social networks, such as Facebook, before they were even available to the masses, which means that their "friend" list is much greater than other generations.

Also, many have blogs that are related to their current industries or positions at their companies. Their blogs help position them as thought leaders and community activists, and as they build out their subscribe lists, they have more people to market to.

A blog is one of the best ways to build a brand for yourself -- whether it's for your ideas or products-Marketers should engage Gen Y when they need to push out a message to stakeholders by asking them nicely and simplifying the message so it's consumable by that audience.

Referral recruitment

Companies are hiring right now, but they not for advertising positions. Instead, they are using the power of referrals to track down the best talent out there. Marketers can take advantage of the interconnectedness of Gen Y members when they are looking to hire talented people because they already surround themselves with them.

One request can turn into three potential hires within an hour because of the speed at which Gen Y communicates with its peers. Whether it's a text message, a tweet or a Facebook post, you can get the best talent without having a marketing budget.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who has the best "Brand Equity"

Got Brand Equity?
Here's how Harris Interactive ranked brands in its 2009 EquiTrend brand equity study:

1 M&M's Plain Chocolate Candy

2 Hershey's Kisses Chocolate Candy

3 Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

4 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Chocolate Candy

5 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Candy Bars

6 Kleenex Facial Tissues

7 Campbell's Soups

8 Google

9 M&M's Peanut Chocolate Candy

10 Crayola Crayons

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Good Sponsorship Buzz?

I worry about a conflict of interest that might occur in the next several months, should MSNBC's "Morning Joe" -- now promoted as "Brewed by Starbucks" -- have to cover a specific caffeine-infused story.

The show, hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, who now can be found drinking Starbucks' coffee on-air, will be put into a bind. Will the TV director look to frame out any Starbucks-logo-ed cups should an uncomfortable situation crop up?

That's the problem -- even if everyone swears there isn't one. NBC might do everything right, but it'll always have the appearance of a conflict of interest. This isn't the first time there's been a Starbucks association. During last year's political season, "Morning Joe" originated from many Starbucks locations.

Of course, any advertiser involvement in a news operation is a tricky affair. Keeping the lines clear between church and state -- editorial and business -- has always been an uneasy balancing act between editors and business executives. Local TV news reporters have done in-depth pieces about a less-than-scrupulous' local automotive dealerships, and newscasts have paid the price with lost local automotive advertising business.

TV news executives make sure stories about plane crashes aren't followed by enticing TV commercials of people jetting off to Florida or other vacation spots.

In the old TV days -- the 1950s, specifically -- did any of those cigarette-sponsored network newscasts, complete with on-air hosts puffing away on products, even approach fringe health issue stories about tobacco?

Nowadays, product placement deals for TV news have been virtually taboo. Instead, such shows have standard 30-second commercials from pharmaceutical and financial companies that buy broadcast and other TV news programs to grab the dominant older TV news viewer.

So, let's say coffee might be good for your health -- or maybe not. Keep a close eye on any future coffee-related news report, and what becomes of the Starbucks-sponsored "Morning Joe" TV billboard, or a Starbucks mug sitting on the anchors' desk in plain view.

Perhaps nothing. If Starbucks is sincere about its reportedly $10 million association with the perfectly and "organically" titled TV news show "Morning Joe," I'm sure it realizes what a coup it has.

In the wake of any controversial coffee-related story, I expect only to hear the sip of a venti latte coming from Starbucks executives. Of course, snarky TV viewers may offer up the sound of a different gulp.