Blog Archive

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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Beyond Demographics — You Are What You Search

Tim Frank enjoyed a good life as the chief financial officer of Axo Manufacturing. Fifteen years earlier, he and Adeline Lane were assistant controllers when the previous CFO decided to retire. Tim and Adeline competed for the post and, by most accounts, Adeline was far more capable than Tim. But …

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She Has the Gold/Makes the Rules

Shake n’ Bake TV commercial script— “Grandma, can I help you make your special fried chicken?” says 8-year old Sally. “If you can keep a secret…I use Shake ’n Bake now,” says her sneaky grandmother. Sally is shocked: “You DO?”  “Sure. I’ll show you,” says Grandma.  “First we shake,” as …

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UGC: Try it. Don’t Fight It.

Most people would describe Jerry Cortez as a pretty tough guy. Now a successful entrepreneur, he paid for part of his college tuition by fighting in “smokers” — non-sanctioned boxing matches. Jerry is not scared by much. Yet, halfway through my presentation, Jerry started sweating, his pulse increased and his …

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Facebook Live Helps Mom of Six Build Her Business

There’s a house in Boardman, Ohio with a dual personality. Most of the time, it’s a family home. The family includes Colleen Thomas, her husband William, and their six children: Katie, age 16; William Jr., 7; Brooklyn, 6; Savannah, 4; Alexandria, 2; and one-year old Madison. Oh… they also have …

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Should it be an Ad…a Post…or PR?

God says to me with a kind of smile, “Hey how would you like to be God awhile And steer the world?” “Okay,” says I, “I’ll give it a try. Where do I set? How much do I get? What time is lunch? When can I quit?” “Gimme back that wheel,” says …

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Tracey Ramun Joins Farris Marketing

Oct 20, 2017 — Ms. Ramun named Account Manager/Social Media Director Tracey Ramun of Canfield has joined Farris Marketing as Account Manager and Social Media Director. An experienced marketing professional, Ms. Ramun started her career at WFMJ-TV and most recently ran her own branding firm. “We are thrilled to have Tracey,” …

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Jumping from a GOOD Idea to a BETTER Idea

Barbers Jump From A Good Idea To A Better Idea Luigi and Francisco were entrepreneurs living in a small village in Europe during the Middle Ages. One day in the spring of 1163 AD, they were sitting in the castle courtyard trying to come up with a small business idea. …

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How Halloween Became a Marketing Monster

Ok marketers, try this little one-question survey on your friends and their children: What kind of person traveled from town-to-town, usually riding in railroad box cars, working for short periods of time, but always moving on, because he loves adventure and the journey? (Correct Answer: “A hobo.”) For bonus points, …

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Get Past Your Middle with a Marketing Mindset

With the notable exception of Double Stuf Oreos, the middle is the worst part of most things. Consider the middle of your body — your waist — which acts like a billboard advertising “This person has not done a sit-up since high school.” How about the middle seat on an …

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Perception of Your Brand Changes as Your Story Unfolds

They say a story has no real beginning or end — only points at which you start and stop watching. If you began watching on March 30, 1981 at 3:34 pm, you’d see President Ronald Reagan being wheeled into an operating room at George Washington University Hospital.  The 40th president …

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Create a Niche to Get Rich, Happy — or Both

I drank my first six cans of Red Bull over the course of one very long night in Las Vegas in 2001. The Red Bull slogan was “It gives you wings.” In retrospect, “It gives you horns” might be more apropos. Prior to trying Red Bull, I had never heard …

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Two Must-Read Marketing Books

George Farris, CEO and Senior Brand Coach of Farris Marketing, reads at least one marketing or business book a week. He’ll be the first to tell you there are a lot of duds out there, and a lot of books that have very little useful or practical advice or insights …

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Marketing and The One-Man Band

It’s 8:30 p.m. and many of the tourists in this southwest Florida resort town are just starting their evening. But Andres Colin, singer, songwriter and one-man band, is already two and a half hours into his gig on the open-air patio of The Hub Baja Grille. Even though the sun …

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Big and Little Lies in Life and Advertising

I’m a Liar That’s right. I admit it. I lie all the time. I lie so much, they wrote “Liar, liar, pants on fire” about me. As a matter of fact, my pants are smoking right now — and it’s not because I had chili for lunch. Well, maybe the …

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Baseball, Hot Dogs and YouTube

The temperature is a perfect 73 degrees on this early summer evening in northeast Ohio. A gentle wind meanders across the bright green turf of the youth baseball fields in Boardman’s Field of Dreams facility. Seven or eight games are being played simultaneously, and hundreds of parents and siblings of the …

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All You Need to Know about Marketing — in just 30 Quotes

It’s hard to be smart. It stretches the brain — and that hurts. Sometimes, it’s best to use someone else’s brain and just look smart. (I’m good at that.) Luckily, I’ve discovered that pretty much all marketing knowledge can be found in just 30 quotes— which I have provided here …

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When Will a Robot Take Over Your Marketing?

It was Google’s giggle that got to me. Siri’s snicker actually started it, but it was Google’s giggle that made me snap. It happened while I was driving to work last week (although technically, my car was driving and I was riding). I was having a group discussion with my co-workers …

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Making TV with Meridian HealthCare

George Farris (far left)  and Larry Moliterno (far right) posed with actors during a break in taping new TV commercials Farris Marketing developed for Meridian. Larry Moliterno, CEO of Meridian HealthCare, has long been the public face of Meridian and  was featured in the spots.  George Farris of  Farris Marketing wrote and …

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Getting Social with WRTA

Mike McKay and Joe Kuzma of Farris Marketing planning social media strategy with Dean Soroka, HR Director and head of social media at Western Reserve Transit Authority.  Farris Marketing provides content and technique training for clients as part of website and social media site development. …

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How We Got Men to Change Their Underwear

Ask the next guy you see what color underwear he’s wearing. You’d better make that the next guy who you actually know — so it’s a little less awkward. Don’t let the guy check, just tell him to make his best guess. Even ten years ago, assuming you got past …

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Creating Desire to Increase Sales

I’m a rat — a big, fat rat. My whiskers are twitching, my beady black eyes are focused and my leathery gray tail is curled up under me. Right now, I’m excited because I smell something. I think it’s cheese. Oh, I want that cheese so bad. I wish I …

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Find and Cultivate Your Ultra-Customers

Most of the stuff you own is stuff you don’t need. Let me repeat that. Most of the stuff you own is stuff you don’t need. I’m talking like 70% of your stuff. You don’t need it now — and probably never did. In fact, most of us could throw …

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Rebranding Non-Profit Organizations

Joe Shorokey, CEO of Alta Care Group joins George Farris, CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing, to talk about rebranding non-profit organizations — and specifically, Joe’s organization, which had been known as D&E Counseling for over 40 years. They review the pros and cons of rebranding and the biggest obstacles to rebranding — …

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Superhero Marketing For Us Mortals

Faster than streaming video. More powerful than a Donald Trump Tweet. Able to leap annual sales records in a single weekend. Look! Up in the sky. It’s a drone. A boosted Facebook post. Wait… It’s Superhero Marketing! Yes, it’s Superhero Marketing, strange visitor from another planet who came to earth …

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The Power of Surprise in an On-Demand World

I love mashed potatoes. Always have. When I was ten or eleven, I would actually dream about those steaming white piles of creamy delicious Idaho darlings. My potato dreams were not darkened with gravy, nay, they were always topped with shimmery golden butter dripping down those soft mountains of delight. …

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