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Archive for the Marketing Category

Do You Believe in Boomers? You Should!

Do You Believe in Boomers?  You Should!

Marketing to boomersIt’s no secret that corporate America is focused on millennials both in their marketing and in employment.  After all, we’re told, they are the future.  We’re supposed to follow the needs and wants of this sanctified group with the ridiculous assumption that their lifestyles and buying habits will never change.   As the infamous Mike Fleming would say, “that’s crazy talk!.”

Now, I have nothing against millennials.  I just can’t understand the blind love affair with them since it’s generally tossed the rest of the market into the ranks of 2nd class citizenship.  Oddly enough, it seems that the monotlith of big agencies can only sing the praises of one demographic at a time.

Well, the shoe’s on the other foot now.  Avenue A   is a relatively new agency that was started by not-so-new creative agency folks and one of their focus areas is marketing to the over 50 crowd.    The reason for their focus is not that they’re over 50.  It’s that it just makes sense to market to a large group of people with money to spend.  These Baby Boomers are the millennials of 30 to 40 years ago.  Oddly enough, they were the ‘me’ generation back then.  Here’s a taste of Avenue A’s perspective:

Since we all look to Hollywood to tell us what we should think, you should know that baby boomers are Hollywood’s new hot market.  “…films that cater to grown-up tastes are becoming a valuable commodity for studios looking to tap into a growing demographic: ticket-buyers age 50 and up who still adhere to the ritual of seeing the latest releases on the big screen rather than streaming via Netflix or renting from services such as Redbox.”  Here are a few of Hollywood’s favorite boomers.  Think about how much richer they make our lives.

Liam Neeson, 60

Meryl Streep, 63

Susan Sarandon, 66

Tommy Lee Jones,  66

Helen Mirren, 67

Diane Keaton, 67

Robert DiNiro, 69

Morgan Freeman, 75

Maggie Smith, 78

Judi Densch, 78

Marketing to the over 50 crowd is not a case study for adult diapers, wheel chairs and blood pressure medication.   They’re pioneering a new lifestyle as experienced, appreciative, gracious contributors to our quality of life … and avid purchasers of a vast range of products that are inadequately marketing to (and by) them.   But, age is not the only determinant of your designated demographic.  Check the Pew “How Millennial are You” Quiz.  I rated as a millennial in spite of my chronological baby boomer status.




Who Wins the Marketing Vs. Sales Battle

Who Wins the Marketing Vs. Sales Battle

The marketing vs. sales battle has been going on for ages.  And, there are no winners.

As part of the marketing department in a number of large corporations, we marketers consistently heard sales folks telling us that “nothing happens until it’s sold”.  On the other hand, marketers always felt that “if it doesn’t get sold, it’s marketing’s fault” and “if it does get sold, it’s because of the sales teams’ hard work”.   Forget about ‘holier than thou’ attitudes and ‘woe is me’ thinking.  It doesn’t help anyone.

So, who is more important?  I think the best answers are.

(a)    Neither

(b)   Both

(c)    All of the above

It does indeed take a village.  Marketing and Sales need to be working together.  If they are, the business will get the best of both worlds —  the longer time frame and broader market view of marketing combined with the shorter time frame and drilled down view of the market of sales.  Both marketing and sales should be working shoulder to shoulder to reach the highest sustainable top and bottom line while building a foundation that will support the organization down the road.  That’s a win-win.

That win-win village of collaborative marketing and sales teams uses information as currency.  If you’re going to have a solid alignment of sales and marketing objectives and a common understanding of where you’re driving the organization together… you’re going to need to keep those lines of communication open.   Marketers need to understand they they need to include sales before marketing objectives and programs are set.  They need to be willing to explain why they’re doing (or not doing) certain things.  And, sales teams need to be willing to explain their needs and challenges when they’re still mole hills.

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”  Zig Ziglar



Naked Branding Could Change The World

Naked Branding Could Change The World

Most companies have two brands.  One is the (cool) brand you promote.  And the other is the brand you live and breathe everyday.  Social media provides a great opportunity to provide brand transparency and help to create authenticity in branding.  At that point, companies can have one brand.  They can stop telling everyone how wonderful they are and  start BEING wonderful.

The Naked Brand documentary  talks about the amazing potential of this new advertising and branding model and a video sampling of the film appears below.

“Corporations have incredible influence on the world we live in and that’s given them free reign to pollute, collude and mislead us, but advances in technology are rapidly making them accountable not just to shareholders, but to everyone. The Naked Brand is a story about how corporations can help save the planet one small step at a time. It’s an introduction to a bright new future where companies tell the truth and work hard to create better products and a better planet.”

The Naked Brand. Simply genius.

Watch the brief video here. It’ll inspire you!

The Naked Brand – Official Trailer from The Naked Brand on Vimeo.

Is Small Business Getting Too Big?

Is Small Business Getting Too Big?

Big Small BizIs is possible that small business is too big?  The latest reports from the Small Business Association claim that 99.7% of non-farm businesses in the U.S. are small businesses.  Sounds pretty big to me.

When the SBA began, small businesses had to have less than 250 employees.  Today, as most believe, a small business must have less than 500 employees.  That’s just not the case.

The guidelines for defining small business vary by industry.  The maximum number of employees can be as high as 1,500 and annual receipts as high as $35.5 million.  And, the SBA just tweaked the guidelines, adding more than 20,000 new firms to that not-so-exclusive small business list.  Small businesses can be s small retailer with with 12 employees or an aircraft R&D company with 1,500 employees.  It can be a local car rental business earning $35.5 million, a soybean farm earning $750k or a web design agency with $83,000 in receipts.

For me as a marketer, the utility of targeting small business as a niche declines significantly as the niche balloons into a majority.  There are thousands of folks out there claiming they’re small business specialists.  “We have 20 years of experience in small business marketing.”  “We’re the pre-eminent online marketers for small business.”  “Home of the small business advertising agency.”

When 99.7% of the country’s businesses are small business, it isn’t useful to target small business.  What do these 28 million businesses have in common?  Nothing in my mind.  Small business has simply outgrown their niche.  Funny to think that the SBA who was designed to help small business people may have accelerated the demise.

Either we, as marketers, need to create new definitions for ‘small business’ or the S.B.A. needs to think about their very complicated guidelines.


Small Business - Niche or Not

USA is #1 in Country Brand Ranking

USA is #1 in Country Brand Ranking

worldThe U.S. is the #1 brand on planet earth.  Odd statement, but according to Bloom Consulting who just issued the2012 Country Brand Ranking it is true.  The company implements a unique methodology using variables in order to position the countries based on facts and mathematical algorithms.

I’ve taken a cursory glance at their website to try and figure out how these figures are amassed and analyzed but I’ve not been able to get any great insight.   Data certainly does push the world these days.  Politicians and marketers love to quote numbers.  And much of it is poorly conceived and coarsely analyzed.   I post this study in solidarity with the big and small data out there that is being misquoted and mis-characterized as you read this.

I hope that your reaction will be like mine.  For me, just knowing that Luxembourg wasn’t able to grab out #1 spot will help me sleep much better tonight.


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