Tag Archive: ad


Marketing the Fringe

Here is a picture of my trusty bag of protein powder; what is the first thing you notice?

What really stands out to me (as they’re in bright bold colors and big font) are the “5lb. value size” and the “New & Improved Flavor” banners…even before I realize that it’s protein powder!

Actually, if you scan the bag, there are many references to the flavor (The top of the bag says “New & Improved BETTER TASTE!”, and, if you look closely, that medal at the bottom is also referring to the taste).

So, why so much hype about the taste? After all, the main point of the protein powder are the nutrients which cause the results, not the taste…

The answer is simple: because protein powder is protein powder. If you want people to buy yours vs. the other guy’s, you need to market the fringe.

If you walked into a store and had to choose between several identical containers of protein powder, each from different manufacturers, and they all only boasted about the nutrients in their protein formula and not about any of their peripheral traits, you’d be much more hard pressed to make a decision as to which one you would buy.

Now, the beauty here is that this same principal can be applied to a plethora of other situations:

  • What makes your fertilizer better than the competitors’ fertilizer? People expect fertilizer to be fertilizer, so saying “our fertilizer makes your lawn greener” is often a futile attempt. Is your fertilizer safer for the environment, your kids, or your pets?
  • What makes your restaurant better than your competitors’ restaurant? Again, folks expect your food to be good, so “our food is better” is seldom effective. Is your theme or atmosphere better? Is your method or approach to service better?
  • …and what makes you better than your co-workers? Your boss still expects you to get your work done, so what is it that really makes you different? Do you have a positive attitude that can’t be defeated? Do you have a knack for drawing people together? 

What is your fringe that needs to be moved to your advertising forefront?

Spotify – Fail

Really, I don’t know how many times I can talk about designing personalized ads for folks if you have enough information to do so!

Moreover, I don’t know why companies haven’t yet gotten this through their thick skulls.

Today’s offender is none other than Spotify:

I was doing my morning workout with my Spotify “Angry Workout Playlist” in the background (This playlist is a tasteful arrangement of compositions by artists such as Rise Against, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Static-X, Mudvayne, etc [Don’t judge!]), when an ad came on.

Now, I understand that I’m going to get advertisements (as I have a free account), but this was no ordinary ad: This was an ad for Pier One.

Now, I believe that, if you met a person on the street who was listening to the type of music on my workout playlist, you would not offer them a pamphlet from Pier One (you’d probably be more likely to offer them a Guitar Center magazine).

Why, then, is it ok for Spotify to do this when Spotify has this same knowledge of me (and even more, as Spotify knows my facebook account in addition to my listening preferences, so they should be certain that I am not in Pier One’s target demographic).

I suppose what irks me the most is that ads like this are nothing but destructive. They do not make any additional sales for Pier One and they do not increase my customer satisfaction with Spotify.

If you have the info – Customize!

This post was inspired by upsidedownturtle – please keep the suggestions and ideas coming everybody! I really appreciate your thoughts/feedback; that’s why I started this blog in the first place!!!

My wife keeps getting phone calls from Western Michigan University’s Alumni Association asking for money; even though she’s asked to be removed from their calling list several times.

Upsidedownturtle’s husband keeps getting phone calls from the University of Michigan’s Alumni Association, first engaging in spurious small talk, and then asking for money (they’ve even gotten these calls on Sunday nights)! They have also asked several times to be removed from the calling list, but to no avail.

There are a couple of trends I’ve noticed when discussing telemarketers with my friends:

  1. No one that I know of has actually taken these folks up on their offers
  2. Everyone has tried to get removed from the associated calling list
  3. Very few folks have actually been successfully removed from said calling lists
  4. Every person feels as if their privacy has been invaded by these phone calls

Now, I understand where telemarketing came from. For a while it was the only option for any sort of “personal” contact with customers, but, with the options available today, why the heck are telemarketers still as prevalent as they are?

Nowadays you can send a custom e-mail to your customers with ads, sales, and features which are custom tailored to their specific interests. When this is done well, your customers will actually thank you and look forward to your e-mails (Etsy does a good job of this; my wife actually looks forward to getting her weekly e-mail from them, and she even makes an event out of going through the e-mail and adding new items to her wishlist).

The mind and expectations of today’s consumer has also changed. We don’t want you to invade our privacy; we want you to work for our attention, and we want to look at your ad on our time (if we look at your ad at all). Yes, this requires more effort on your part; you can’t just read us a script and expect us to invest our  money in you. You need to invest some time and effort into crafting an ad that is tailored to us, as individuals, and design it and deliver it in a way that makes us want to play along.

Yes, you will have fewer views (more people may initially answer their phones than click on your ad), but the customers that you get from this form of advertising will undoubtedly spend more money and time with your company (and not actually be turned off from your company by your mode of advertising)!

…and, just for fun, here’s another blog from Seth Godin about Permission Marketing!

Hot and Ready

Hot and Ready.

It’s not just an ad/marketing strategy: it’s a promise. Once you say it, you have to do it, or your trustworthiness is shot.

A friend of mine recently shared his most recent Little Caesars experience: He wanted to pick up a Hot and Ready pizza, but, when he showed up, there was no pizza ready (…so it goes without saying that it also wasn’t hot).

I’m afraid that his story is not unique. I’ve actually had it happen many times.

Yet another lesson in keeping your promises (and what happens if you break them).

Don’t let your marketing guy make a promise that you can’t deliver on (pun fully intended),  and don’t fail to live up to your promises!!!

My wife and I were watching Hulu on our TV yesterday, and the video stream stopped to buffer.

Instantly, because of the silence, my wife and I simultaneously looked over at the TV.

Suddenly it occurred to me: sometimes we’re obsessed with CLUTTER! Our commercials and videos are ‘word-crams’ and ‘info-crams’ because we struggle to push information into an already overstuffed consumer.

Maybe, instead of worrying about all of this chaos, we just need our customers and consumers to see our brand or our company name and reflect on it internally for a second.

Imagine that your ad comes on TV, the audio cuts out, and the viewer is just left with a blank screen and your company logo.

…you’re practically screaming at the top of your lungs (and much louder than your competition) without even making a sound.

Hilarious advertisement. Like pretty much anything by Vat19.com, this is the new age of advertising. People are bombarded by so many facts and pieces of data every day that traditional tactics don’t stand out anymore. Gone are the days when advertising and marketing are all about facts; in are the days of branding image and entertainment.

Simply Fulfilled

DollarShaveClub.com just launched last week, and their video (which only cost about $4500 to produce) is pure advertising genius. It’s absolutely perfect for their target market.

WARNING: This video contains a bleeped out f-bomb, as well as a few other more mild cuss words. So don’t blame me if your kids repeat anything… Enjoy.

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