“marketing message”

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NFL-Super-Bowl-2014FBAd Age magazine shared its annual review of the Superbowl ads last week. The critic’s comments are relegated to the level of craft of the marketing messages and execution, not really about what will be the most profitable or beneficial to the client. They rated Radio Shack as #1 – will be interesting to see how that translates to increases in their sales over the next year.

But who was really the best marketer on Sunday? I would have to say, it was the Super Bowl itself. You can’t argue with their brilliant strategy to reach a vast and incredibly diverse audience. If marketing is about selecting your target audiences and giving them what they want, then the Super Bowl has positioned itself as the ultimate “Sports-vertising” event, bringing in viewers not traditionally interested in football who watch, share, retweet, like, and discuss the commercials for weeks after the broadcast of a single 30-second, million dollar TV ad paid for by someone else, and to constantly refer to it in all media as “the SUPER BOWL ad”. Not a bad return on investment.

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With what some days seems like hundreds of e-mags and marketing news emails going into my inbox in the morning, I admit this headline really caught my eye. Probably the mention of coffee while sorting through emails at 8:10 am, but that’s not really the point.

These are some seriously SIMPLE BUT CREATIVE ideas! Ideas that cross over all media from social, to outdoor, to guerrilla marketing. What makes them so compelling is the true simplicity of the concepts and delivery of the ideas. Check these out, and see if they inspire you to “K.I.S.S.” as much as they have me! And enjoy that first cup of coffee…

http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/63146-six-examples-of-brilliant-marketing-creative-to-enjoy-with-your-coffee

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Two major global advertising players are using the “Proud to be an American” message to promote their products, and not solely to capture Independence Day interest.

When Apple® rolled out its “Designed by Apple in California” ads shortly after the Mac Pro introduction, the content promoted how much creativity and engineering the Apple team puts into their products – presumably the American Apple team. Perhaps this was in response to the backlash that many corporations have been getting regarding their products being manufactured in low-wage countries.

Fast forward to the new motorola® ad (lowercase ‘m’ intended – new branding, new owner and all) running in major publications in the U.S. to promote the Moto X smartphone. The copy, message and imagery is similar to Apple’s ad, touting domestic design and engineering talent from the USA, but the big ‘sell’ includes the phrase “Assembled in the USA”.

For those who can translate marketing-ese, this is a term to promote that a product is made domestically, even if only a portion of the production process is completed here.

The big question is, how does the American consumer view these messages? Does it make a difference knowing that at least part, if not all, the products you purchase are made in America even in today’s global economy? Do ads like these create consumer preference for the brand because some part is American-made?  And, finally, do consumers understand the subtle difference between “Designed / Assembled in the USA”, and “Made in the USA”, or do they feel that advertisers are taking advantage of that subtlety to promote an image that may not be all that it seems?

What do you think?

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As I have been helping my soon-to-be college freshman explore the incredible breadth of college majors focusing on marketing and public relations available to her, I have seen firsthand how diversified this industry is in the digital age we now operate in. Just 10 years ago, Public Relations was more of an add-on to the main strategy but now has top billing in any solid tactical plan with the inclusion of all forms of social media and search engine opportunities.

Managing communications between a business and its audience is the traditional definition of Public Relations. And that perfectly describes how social media and SEO function in this brave new world of marketing.

The  drawback however, is content-overload; sometimes companies are more focused on having constant ‘marketing touches’ to their audience and they ignore whether that message is relevant.  And that is where the ‘old school’ teaching of Public Relations comes back into play – evaluate the message, rank its relevance to the audience, decide which media channel is appropriate, and examine if it even has any positive impact on the organization’s marketing presence.

Content is king” has always been and will continue to be true, but managing all that content in a memorable, actionable and meaningful way is an art form in itself, and puts Public Relations smack in the driver’s seat.

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As a follow up to last week’s post about David Ogilvy’s “How to create advertising that sells,” I wanted to share another gem from the long list of 38 tips.

“#3. Brand Image: Every advertisement should contribute to the complex symbol which is the brand image. 95% of all advertising is created ad hoc. Most products lack any consistent image from one year to another. The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand gets the largest share of the market.”

The Takeaway: Regardless what kind of business you are in, you have a brand image. Even if you don’t really promote it. Your brand is how the world around you defines you. That is why it so critical to be a good steward of your brand, and protect the message you want to send.

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For most of recent memory, panic about advertisers leaving the stalwart network and cable advertising in droves to move their budgets into social media have been the ad industry’s words of warning.  However, a recent article in the New York Times tells a different story of how traditional media can successfully partner with, rather than compete with, social media.

Which is how it should be, right?

Marketers ‘get’ that one tool does not make a marketing strategy, but rather, works with all the tools to get the most bang for the client’s buck. It’s good to see that even on the mega-million ad budget front, everyone is learning to play nice together!

Check out the article “TV Networks Expect A Jump In Spending On Commercials“.

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These were the wise words from a respected boss years ago. He was speaking to the issue of improving sales, but as Omni advises clients on marketing integration WITHIN the workplace as well as outside of it, we find this maxim to hold true as a leadership goal. When leaders can keep ‘their face in the place’ and engage their team, it can reap big rewards.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review supports this, and explains that it is not just about in-person, all-staff meetings, but reaching out in a variety of ways to help keep the connection between leadership and staff strong. Some ideas include regular emails to staff from senior team members,  a leader’s blog or tweets, and just being present in the place and acknowledging the team. Maximize those marketing moments, and remember, those moments can be small but mighty!

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Denny's Diner Marketing Strategy

Just saw this headline from AAF SmartBrief: “Denny’s embraces its diner image”,  and I celebrated! A company that proudly markets itself for what it is, not what it wishes it could be – this is truly a marketing moment.

With the bountiful big-name coffee houses and family-friendly restaurants on every corner of the country, to have a long-standing brand come to accept their unique point of differentiation is something to behold. They are now promoting the diner experience. It’s not for everybody, but it is truly special to their core audience.

Marketing works when companies don’t try to be all things to all people. Whether you like the Denny’s brand or not, you have to give them credit for focusing in on what they do well, and being true to their unique value proposition. It would make my old marketing professor smile, which would have been a rare occurence.

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I read an interesting article this past week by Matthew Boyle in Business Week (“The Accidental Hero“) about a Subway franchise stumbling upon a great sales idea and the process they undertook to take the idea to upper management for use in a national launch.

The intriguing aspect was the guerilla-style marketing approach of the franchisee to handle the challenge of a sagging economy and slow sales by simply reducing their footlong sub cost to $5…  For his insight, he and other franchisees who followed suit achieved record sales, increased profits, productive staff. Sounds good, right? An easy sell? For the public, yes. Long lines at the stores to get the sandwich.

It took a little more convincing of the franchise leadership before being rolled out nationally. Certainly the process defied many standard marketing protocols – no research to back up the program rationale, advertising campaigns that came after the launch of the sales promotion in many locations, not one that coincided with them. And yet, it has propelled the chains’ sales into the stratosphere. Partly because the franchisee was willing to take a risk, and while he did not conduct exhaustive studies first, he did comply with the first golden rule of marketing – KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. He knew that an inexpensive sandwich you could share with a friend or save half for dinner later was a novel but realistic way that consumers are saving money in a slumping economy.

Sometimes a good idea is just that – a good idea. While I am the first to promote marketing as a tool to grow business, and spending time making a strategy, you have to have a good product AND a good strategy to make it work. And no amount of scientific analysis will make a bad product sellable. No amount of creative, ground-breaking advertising will make a bad product succeed over time, especially if the ad concept is more intriguing than the product. (Think of most Superbowl ads — memorable ads, but what were they selling again?)

Kudos to Subway for coming up with a winner, despite the novel approach to getting there. And uber-kudos to the franchise owner (Stuart Frankel of Florida) who followed his marketing instincts without all the hoopla.

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