Bill has posted his Luther-esque thesis on the doors of the blogosphere with this post on 26 reasons why I love marketing. My three favorites:
- The best people I know are marketers
- I understand the phrase “Having a Purple Cow who Zags in a Blue Ocean”
- It’s better then being beat with a bag of oranges
Check out it out share your favorites.
This site has moved. Go to MarketingInProgress.com to read Ads on Napkins now.
I’m a little behind on sharing some great reading, but here are some highlights from the past couple months.
- Finding an extra 15 hours in your week. Seems the Marketing Minute posted all the great marketing blogs out there, and the next question became “How in the world do I find time to keep up with all that?” Here are the answers. Pooping productivity is especially key.
- Turning Points: How I Became a Consultant. Steve takes a look back at the moment he realize it was time to do it himself. The entire post is excellent and enlightening, but I believe this quote sums it up: “If I was going to fulfill my professional desires and drives, and add maximum value, I had to “create it myself,” and not vainly hope that someone else would conform their business to my ideals, or custom-create the perfect position for me.”
- Early Retirement is a False Idol. The norm is to slave away during our “working years” so we can finally enjoy life later because we don’t have to work. However (as quoted in the post): “Why does the idea of work have to be so bad that you want to sacrifice year’s worth of prime living to get away from it forever?”
- Focus on the Goal, Not the Mechanics. If you’re requesting the help of a designer or other creative service, don’t micro-manage the process. You obviously aren’t an authority to begin with, or you wouldn’t be asking for help. Be the champion of the end-goal, make it clear to your partners, and let them, the messengers, craft their message. As Jay Moonah is quoted in the article: “If you are working with an agency, what you need to help your agency partners understand is WHAT you want to accomplish, not HOW they should do it.”
- Here’s $1,000 to Quit. John cites a post on the new-hire policy of Zappos, a growing online shoe retailer. They offer any new employee $1,000 to quit within the first week. Why? Read the post. It’s smart, and probably quite cost-effective.
- Did You Know? – Brand Loyalty. Insightful quick stats on the price and profit of increased usage by repeat customers. Fascinating. For example, did you know It costs 7 times more to get a new consumer for the brand than it does to get a current consumer to make an incremental purchase?
- Not Even Cocktail Napkins Are Safe. Advertising on napkins at bars? C’mon . . . .
Posted in Weekend Reading
Tagged advertising, Bars, Brand Loyalty, Branding, Business, Consulting, Creative Agencies, Design, Graphics, Hiring, Human Resources, Life, Marketing, Marketing Stats, Napkins, Passion, Retirement, Time Management, Web Design, Work, Zappos
Pei Wei Restaurant
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I was at Pei Wei the other night, picking up a much needed and specifically requested order of Spring Rolls for my pregnant wife. I walked in, placed my order, and expected to wait 5-10 minutes. As the checkout procedure comes to a close, the clerk grabs a to-go cup and asks, “Would you like a free drink while you wait?” I gladly take her up on her offer, grab me some Mandarin Green Tea, and wait smiling for my order to be done.
This is a simple, no-brainer tactic that can only help boost Pei Wei’s business. Their cost for that drink? Probably less than 20 cents. But it’s got me moving them to the front of the line anytime I want takeout. It’s made me consider something else as a possible necessity when making the decisions. A necessity that’s going to give them an edge every time.
This site has moved. Go to MarketingInProgress.com to read Albums, Take 2.
After reading back through this post, I see just how horribly I communicated my point. Here’s another shot at it:
When it comes to communication, marketers often default to clear, concise and compelling statements. But maybe we need to give “cool” a more influential role.
What if Led Zeppelin IV was called “Stairway to Heaven” instead?
What if the Beatles’ White Album was actually called “Dear Prudence?”
What if Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill was called “You Oughtta Know?”
And what if For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge was better known as “Right Now?”
Because none of these albums would be as cool.
What seems so apparent with names of classic albums should be more apparent in marketing and product management. Yes, most people are buying Led Zeppelin IV because it contains one of the most enjoyed rock songs in history. But that doesn’t mean you name the album after it. It’s just not as cool. It’s not to say that an album named after a song on the album sucks; it just means it could’ve been made a lot better with a different name.
Marketing forces us to try to communicate clearly and simply to consumers. In the case of the albums above, you could make a strong case for naming Zeppelin IV “Stairway to Heaven.” But what are you communicating? “Here’s a great tune surrounded by 8 other tracks that are also OK.”
You’re missing out, and you’re only communicating a part of your product, not the whole thing.
I’m rambling, but here’s the deal: don’t let “traditional” marketing tactics and philosphies make you strip a really cool product of what truly attracts consumers longterm. Something just feels good when you can talk to someone who knows the Rumours album well, or when someone knows that “Jagged Little Pill” is just a part of a single line in a song on the album.
Take a chance at making your product cooler, even if it breaks a few rules.