Blog Archive

Will Social Media Stars Outshine TV Stars?

Michael Scott, sales manager of the Scranton, PA office of paper seller Dunder Mifflin, wanted people to know he was not perfect. “Guess what, I have flaws,” said Scott. “What are they? Oh, I don’t know. I sing in the shower. Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering. Occasionally I’ll …

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Unscrew Your Marketing Strategy with Focus

Is your marketing achieving decent results but getting messy and unfocused? One month you’re trying to get more sales for a specific product or service line. Next month you’re trying create awareness of the CEO’s new initiative. It seems that every department or division head is clamoring for more attention …

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Do Celebrity Endorsements Really Work?

If you watch a prime-time broadcast network show or NFL game, it’s almost impossible to avoid seeing multiple Capital One credit card commercials with Samuel Jackson doing his tough-guy act and asking sarcastically, “Now what’s in your wallet?” It seems like it’s on 30 times an hour. Jackson has now …

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Risk of Loss = Greater Response

The most important marketing lessons are often taught in everyday life. I learned about the power of risk avoidance from my high school football coach. Halfway through my senior season, our team was undefeated. We were on course for a league championship and state honors. Yet even though we were …

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Has the Retail Industry finally died?

It’s not fake news if you see it with your own eyes. And for the last couple years, you’ve seen many store closings in your hometown, local mall and shopping centers. And you’ve seen multiple news reports of major retailers closing doors in record numbers. High profile giants like Macy’s, …

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JOE FRESH: the Brand, the Business and the Barber

The local barbershop used to be an oasis for men and boys. There was always a football or baseball game on TV, the bottles of pop in the coke machine were ice cold and you could look through two or three years-worth of Sports Illustrated magazines — including the famous …

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Using AI in Your Marketing is Effective — But is it Ethical?

“Should advertising be abolished?” That’s the title of the final chapter of  Confessions of an Advertising Man — a book by advertising genius David Ogilvy and published in 1963.  At one time, Ogilvy wondered if consumers seeing advertising had almost no other choice but to “obey” and buy the product …

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The Forgotten Key to Building Your Brand and Business

Have you ever played “branding baseball?” I sometimes initiate a game with attendees at my branding workshops to warm them up and get them involved.  Volunteers get three swings at the correct answer to “What is your brand?” The first inning typically goes something like this… “Our company name is …

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Should You Use Humor in Your Advertising?

Stop reading if you know this joke….  A man goes to the doctor with a carrot in his nose, cabbage in his ears and ham over his eyes. “What’s wrong with me doc?” He asks. The doctor replies “Well, it looks like you’re not eating right.” Did you stop reading? …

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Innovation Helps Marketers Blast Off with Billions in Sales

What products come to mind when you hear the word “innovation?” Computers? Cell phones? Cars? How about non-dairy milk, fish, and bottled water? Done laughing? Good, because as the following stories illustrate, several stagnate brands in these categories made billions of dollars in new sales and with innovation in their …

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Helping Customers Will Increase Sales

I was filled with the fire of righteous indignation. “How DARE they charge me for a Starz Network subscription?” I said to my computer screen. “I never signed up for that!”  Even though I somehow justify $200-400 worth of purchases from Amazon each month, when I spotted a $9.95 charge …

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Is TV Advertising Moving to the Web?

“I knew I was in trouble when I opened the box,” said Jimmy Franklin. Jimmy is a friend and marketing consultant. During the week, his day is filled with words, meetings and computer screens. On weekends, he likes to balance that “invisible” work with something he can do with his …

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Get Growing with Strategic Foresight

“Your Toe Fungus Could Fester with the Wrong Product” reads the headline of an ad in Parade magazine. It was for a product called Fungicure. My first thoughts were, “Who wrote that headline? Whom did they interview? What research did they conduct?” I’ve developed my share of embarrassing product marketing, …

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Look Into The Future of Your Brand

What does the future look like for your brand, your company or organization? Rapid change in many markets is the new normal in the last ten years. It’s time to look around, look ahead and prepare. Over a decade ago, the Apple iPhone didn’t exist. But thanks in part to …

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FEAR: Is it an Effective and Fair Marketing Tool?

Do you think the 2016 presidential election campaign was divisive and brutal? Believe it or not, nothing stated in the 2016 debates or tweets was as harsh as a 60-second TV commercial that was broadcast September 7, 1964 — by the campaign of President Johnson. Just two years after the …

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Big Boxes Go Bust as Subscription Boxes Boom

Do you remember looking forward to going into the “toy aisles” when you were a kid? The toy aisles were always an oasis of relief from the boredom of shopping with your mother in a department store. As soon as you were inside Kmart, Sears or other department store, you started …

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Scary Skeletons and Other PR Tactics

The King Air Turboprop used up every bit of the airstrip as it landed at tiny Elkton Airport in North Lima, Ohio. I could see the nose of the aircraft dipping as the pilot pumped the brakes. The powerful beast wanted a few hundred more yards to shed its angry …

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Brand Loyalty and Affinity: How Early Can it Start?

This wasn’t an ordinary basketball game. The Rockets and Cavs were both undefeated and playing for the lead in the league standings. The fans were excited and vocal as they watched their favorite players jog onto the court. Each player wore the uniform, colors and logos of their respective team. …

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The Art of Retaining Customers

Have you ever tried to cancel satellite TV or radio? I canceled my satellite TV service recently and I can tell you… it’s a real challenge. If you try to end your service, you’re in for a long conversation during which you have to alternately defend your position and turn …

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