Blog Archive

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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Are Magazines Still a Viable Media Option?

“The report of my death was an exaggeration,” wrote Mark Twain when asked by correspondent about rumors that he was on his deathbed. Likewise, the reports of the death of magazines has been exaggerated. In fact, magazine readership is up, says Statista, online research specialist. There were 225.2 million magazine …

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Influencer Marketing Is Hot — Will It Work for You?

How many types of marketing have you tried in the past ten years? Did you invest time and money into Social Media marketing? How about Google AdWords? Word-of-mouth Marketing? Did any of those make you rich? If you tried using any of these marketing tools without a complete strategy, careful …

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Is “Clickbait” Really Bad… or Really Good?

Clickbait is like that snack you know is bad for you, yet once you start eating it, you can’t stop. It’s like binge-watching “Breaking Bad” till 2:00 am, even though you have a big presentation the next day. It’s like blowing your budget on a suit and shoes when you …

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Next Growth Market: The Wealthy

Have you noticed? Billionaires are everywhere. We’re practically tripping over them. According to Wikipedia, as of 2018, there are over 2,200 U.S.-dollar billionaires worldwide, with a combined wealth of over $9.1 trillion, up from $7.67 trillion in 2017. According to a 2017 Oxfam report, the top eight richest billionaires own as much …

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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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