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Blog Archive

Only the Strong, Smart and Lucky Win the Business Wars

Political divisiveness is sure getting nasty, isn’t it? American political parties punch it out on every issue — lying, cheating and seeking to cripple the competition. Well let me tell you, American politics are child’s play compared to American business. Some of America’s most recognized companies have surprising back stories. …

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Marketing Sends $31 Billion of TP Down the Drain

The recent pandemic stirred a surge of panic buying of toilet paper, resulting in empty store shelves and even a few fistfights over the few rolls that were available immediately after that. Some people called it a “shortage,” but that’s a misnomer. Americans use about three rolls a week, and …

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I Screen, You Screen…We All Watch TV Screens

Have you ever known someone who appeared to be very normal, but was involved in a very serious criminal activity? I can tell you, it’s shocking and upsetting. At least that’s how I felt when my friend Marty got involved with laundering money for a drug cartel. It seemed so …

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What Will Your Message Be When You Reopen?

Are you ready to watch a movie and eat some popcorn someplace other than your couch? Believe it or not, under the guidelines recently released by the White House, cinemas would be allowed to reopen in the first of three phases. As expected, it will be left largely up to governors to …

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Be Happy for Businesses Thriving During Coronavirus

When I was 10 or 11 years old, my cousin won a local radio contest and was chosen to take a coveted ride on an elephant during the Ringling Brothers circus show at a local venue. “Why can’t I ever win a contest like that?” I complained to my mother. …

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Don’t let your competitors get ahead of you — ACT NOW!

When the COVID-19 crisis winds down and you reopen, it’s not going to be “business as usual.” You’ll be starting over. Customer loyalty levels will be lower, because your customers weren’t being served. No relationships were being built or strengthened. No branding was reinforced. But if you’re ready, you can make up …

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New Farris-Created TV Spot Highlights Service Changes for WRTA

Farris Marketing produced an upbeat TV spot on a short deadline to help WRTA get critical service information out to riders and the public about their upcoming switch to offering only Countywide bus service. With a very short turnaround time, Farris had to think and work quickly while still maintaining …

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Marketers Must Keep Moving During Covid-19

What can marketers do during the COVID-19 health emergency? That’s what every marketing consultant, every member of a marketing department, and every owner, CEO or manager who directs and/or creates marketing for her organization is asking. There is no playbook for this situation, because this specific situation has never been …

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Mike Bloomberg’s $500 Million Marketing Lesson

Lay’s Potato Chips, part of PepsiCo, spent about $100 million on advertising in digital and national TV last year. In return, they received $1.7 billion in sales of the salty snack — making it the top player in the $8 billion potato chip market. Democrat Mike Bloomberg spent about $500 million on advertising his …

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Marketing for Double Invisible Services

I first read Selling The Invisible, a best-selling book by marketing consultant Harry Beckwith, 20 years ago. His book illuminated the difference between selling a product and selling a service. Selling a service can be more of a challenge because you are selling the invisible. The book has become a …

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Farris Helps Whistle & Keg Brand Make Some Noise

Clients Joe and Mike Thomas, owners of Whistle & Keg Brewery and Beer Hall, pose with life-size cutouts created by Farris Marketing for the Youngstown, Cleveland and Columbus locations. The plaques on the cutouts explain how to access Whistle & Keg’s Mile-Long Wall of 50 Taps with WK wristbands and …

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Super Bowl TV Spots — Some Score, Some Fail

26-year old Vanessa watched the TV commercials during the 2020 Super Bowl game so she didn’t have to listen to her boyfriend complain about the lousy officiating. Many viewers watched the spots hoping to be entertained. However, most of the approximately 100 million viewers watched the spots because they didn’t …

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Using Fun and Technology For Success In An Age-Old Industry

There are few types of businesses that can trace their beginnings back as far as breweries, pubs, and taverns. Brewing beer or ale is a process that is 4-5,000 years old, according to most references. Wikipedia says: “Ale was an important source of nutrition in the medieval world. Table beer …

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Gender Roles Have Changed. Has Your Marketing?

As a reader of this blog, you’re interested in marketing and pay attention to what’s going on in our industry. You have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. One thing you would never, ever do is overtly stereotype gender roles in marketing you create. Your ads wouldn’t …

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Has Creativity in Marketing Been Replaced by Effectivity?

There are always situations when creativity isn’t needed to sell something. Maybe you own the only gas station on a 100-mile stretch of desert between Las Vegas and L.A. Perhaps you’re selling beachfront property in Florida after Brad Pitt moves in next door. Or maybe you decide to dump your …

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Marketing to Kids: Not Exactly Child’s Play

“Kid Influencer” is a new term. But asking children to urge other children to convince their parents to buy something is nothing new. It’s been used to hawk toys, toy stores and cereals for just about as long as advertising existed in the U.S. I remember hearing about “secret decoder” …

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Weddings Still Provide Big Paydays for Small Businesses

“Poor Dan,” I said to my wife as I cut into my filet. “This wedding must have cost him a bundle.” Dan is my neighbor. We were attending his daughter’s wedding reception at the historic Renaissance Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Dan and his wife have been our neighbors  for a long …

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The Secrets of the Marketing Wizards

My Uncle Fred was the first true marketing wizard I ever met. As the proprietor of Farris Food Market on the east side of Youngstown, he knew how to cast a spell. I was seven years old, but I noticed his craft and I had lots of questions. “Why does …

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Ownership Makes Celebrity Endorsements Stronger

Celebrity endorsements have been on the rise since Hall of Fame baseball player Babe Ruth began promoting “Babe Ruth Underwear” and “Ruth’s Home Run” chocolate in 1927. In the last 10 years or so, TV and movie stars have jumped on the bandwagon that used to be reserved only for …

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So, You Want to Star in Your TV Spots and YouTube Videos

You have a great idea for the content of a YouTube series that could boost your business. Or maybe your business and budget are suited for the mass market and you’re planning a TV advertising campaign. Who better to get across your message than you? Your spouse and kids think …

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Same Marketing Mistakes Made with Big and Small Budgets

Marketing is marketing. The same principles apply no matter what the budget. You need to understand your audience, target the most likely prospects, use the right media to do so, and develop a message that will stand out and connect with prospects. If you’re using direct marketing, you’re trying to …

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Should You Be Using Branding or Direct Marketing?

What type of marketing are you currently using — branding or direct marketing?  Which should you be using? They both get results, so first decide upon the result you want. If you want to change the culture, or create an image or a favorable impression that may lead to a …

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Marketing When the Owner Is the Only Employee

It’s hard to imagine the economic power of small businesses in America because they are…well, ”small.”  Individually, they don’t attract much attention. But day after day, small businesses represent the fulfillment of dreams, income for their founders and a big part of our economy. When President Trump issued a proclamation …

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Farris Creates New TV Campaign for the Public Library

A new TV spot campaign called “Voices of the Valley” has been created by Farris Marketing on behalf of The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County. In each 15-second spot, individuals of many ages and from many different walks of life explain how they use the Library and how it …

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159 Types of Marketing

Did you know that there are 159 different types of marketing? From traditional advertising like TV and direct mail to social media, geo-fencing and digital marketing — and so many more. Take a look at the list below — but keep in mind that choosing the wrong marketing approach will …

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Generating Ideas for Your Social Media and Digital Marketing

Imagine you’ve come up with a social media or digital marketing idea that gets your company’s customers really engaged. Followers are liking and sharing your posts, and sales are surging. Suddenly, you’re a hero. The boss has you make a presentation to the board of directors. Your presentation is sharp, …

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Millennials Are Not Next Great Marketing Opportunity

What might the next great marketing opportunity be? Take a look at couples from two demographic groups and their relationship with a third group. The first couple are Millennials. They’re in their late 30s — both work, have a good income but a big mortgage, along with home maintenance, car …

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Green Marketing: Big Deal or a Little Bit of Bologna?

“Always shop in air-conditioned comfort,” reads a line of type at the bottom of the newspaper ad for W.T. Grant Co. stores that ran in the El Paso Times (Texas) in 1959. I’ve seen that line in lots of old advertisements. My first thought was, ‘What’s the big deal? How can …

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Makenna Ozenghar Joins Farris Marketing Team

Farris Marketing is pleased to welcome its newest employee, Makenna Ozenghar. Ms. Ozenghar will serve as an Account Manager and Social Media/Digital Marketing Specialist. Makenna Ozenghar received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2019 from Capital University in Columbus, with a double major in Communications and Public Relations and a minor in …

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Make More Sales by Making It Easier to Buy

The grocery store manager looked at me and said, “Farris, you’re on ‘put backs.’ Start with that cart.” He pointed to a shopping cart overflowing with groceries, meats and dairy products. It had growing pool of melted Neapolitan-flavor Borden’s ice cream underneath. “And, clean up that ice cream.” he added. …

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Who is Still Shopping in Retail Stores?

I took a straw poll yesterday. I wanted to know what portion of the retail business in the U.S. was now online.  By the way, do you know why it’s called a “straw” poll?  Wikipedia says it may allude to a straw (thin plant stalk) held up to see in what direction …

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TV Ads or Digital Marketing: What’s Your Best Bet?

The Gambler was a hit song released in 1978 by country singer Kenny Rogers. Within the lyrics, an old gambler gave advice to a younger man. The popular lines referred to knowing “When to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.” But the real message was that “Every hand was …

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Why Is Chick-fil-A Better at Everything?

What would you do? You’ve been shopping all morning with your spouse, going from department store to furniture store to home improvement store, looking for things for your home. Now you’re both hungry. But you have much more shopping to do, and neither of you wants to take the time …

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How to Write Marketing Messages That Really Work

Novelists dream of getting on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Screenwriters picture themselves winning an Oscar and sharing the stage with Robert DeNiro. Songwriters may imagine the applause as they hear their name called at the Grammys. But those of us who write marketing messages imagine the smiling …

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Did Delivery Apps ANSWER a Need or CREATE One?

One of the reasons for the global success of McDonald’s is the low price of its food. If the regular menu isn’t cheap enough, there is plenty of selection on the dollar menu. Another reason for McDonald’s success is speed. Whether you go through the drive through or stand at …

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