Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We All Scream for Marketing!

Marketing to me is a big hot fudge sundae with a dollop of whip cream with the cherry and sprinkles on top but isn’t that what marketing is all about?  We provide the flavors and toppings to everyday life to entice consumers to crave our ideas.  Ideally buy our ideas and talk about them to every person they know and they know, etc.  Today with the internet, apps and digital advertising we live in the Baskin Robbins of decisions where thirty-one flavors provides several choices and a lot of variety.  Where do we start and how do we begin?   Here are some ingredients for a Marketing Sundae. 

First, the flavors: 

Do you want one scoop, two or three?  What flavors do you want to use, vanilla (social media), fudge swirl (advertising) or cotton candy (packaging)?  You can layer as many flavors as you want. 

Next, the toppings

1. The sauce, the part that sticks with consumers such as hot fudge (tagline) or strawberry (promotions). 

2. Whip cream, this is the added sweetness.  The theme for your idea or product.  Is it a children’s product?  Do you want to have a whimsical  look and appeal?  

3. The cherry on top (branding and gaining awareness). 

4. Sprinkles, this part can represent several different methods.  One way of thinking about sprinkles is related to design.  In the colors you choose and the meanings behind the colors. Such as the color orange.  Orange - vibrancy, energy, sporty and enthusiasm. What message to do want to convey and what are the colors to get your message across to the consumer? 
5. Don’t forget the nuts!  (CRM) - Customer Relationship Management, Creative Radical Marketing, Characters Really Motivate.  Pick your CRM (make it up and have fun!) 

Your order is ready! 

With any recipe you can add your own ingredients or take away and make it your own.  Grab a spoon and dig in! 

Moray Bonneville is a St. Mary’s University alumna.  She graduated with a double major of B.S. of Sales and Marketing and B.S. of Human Resources Management.  Her early marketing experience began at age sixteen as a samples marketer.  She participated on campaigns with MAC Cosmetics, Calvin Klein CK One and Yoplait Breast Cancer for the Cure.  Currently, she works full time as an assistant.  In her spare time she likes to read a variety of books, write and spend time with her family. 
Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Three Tips for Creating Brand Value with a Product that is Co-Branded

1) Leverage Your Distributors Sales Metrics and Satisfy Their Lead Times:
Many great products are made up of many other great products, more commonly known as components.  Yet sometimes these components make a huge share of the end products brand value, and in many cases they are co-branded.  Take for example, a Dell Computer with an Intel i5 processor.  This processor is the biggest part of the computers brand appeal outside of the Dell name brand.  For retailers who sell computers, understanding this in an effort to optimize sales requires sharing information with computer distributors so that they can order the products from manufactures to meet distribution lead times.  Retailers also need to know how well and what their distributors are selling in their respective markets so they can anticipate future sales and plan their marketing accordingly.  This does not mean that a large electronics distributor would share a competitors’ sales data, but it does mean that a distributor would share general information on a new product or model that an electronics retailer was thinking about marketing; some reciprocity is needed to better define the emerging markets and eventual marketing plan which considers the distributors lead time.

2) Market the Two or Three Branded Components of the End Product as One Better Product and Use Verbs:

Whatever co-branded product you are marketing, the end user buys it for its overall package, even though they may favor one branded component over another.  Knowing this means that all of the co-branded signage, displays, fliers, and even web-ads need to complement each other, not dilute each other or distract from each other.  This absolutely makes for a more complicated and challenging marketing mix.  Yet it makes for a more distinct marketing message, and a better customer experience (assuming your product is better than the market standard).  The better than average product you are marketing also brings in a higher market price because of the two or three branded components which in theory offers the customer more features and better performance – a  high end laptop or cell phone for example.  Most importantly, when executing the marketing of this product remember to market the product experience with VERBS, which in the cell phone or laptop space include: PORTABLITY-MOVING, SPEED-TRAVELING, CONNECTIVITY-COMMUNICATING, 3D VISUALS-LIVING AND SEEING.

3) Descriptively Communicate the Synergies of the Co-Branded End Product as a Value Added:

Lets face it co-branded products are often high price products, so customers expect to get more out of them.  This means that to market them you need to be able to communicate the synergies that the product offers.  This is one of the biggest marketing differentiators from products that are simple or single branded.  Take for example a Dell laptop with an Intel i5 processor and Harman Kardon speakers.  The synergies you get include: personalized home theater audio, crisp and fast movie and photo visuals, and the ability to multitask without compromising performance.  The value added is more performance out of one machine so you don’t have to rely on your desktop computer, your old projector TV, or your Sony Boom box - boy have we come a long way from the hand held CD player.

Jeremy Swenson, MBA, is an experienced marketer, marketing manager, communicator, sales person, and business analyst/academic.  He has extensive product experience with mortgages, loan/lines, checking accounts, savings accounts, money markets accounts, pay day loans, CDs, property and causality insurance, playing jazz, and even some basic experience auditing employee benefit programs.  Additionally, his background includes federal work experience as a Rural Associate Carrier with the U.S.P.S., and as an Enumerator with the U.S. Census Bureau (Dept. of Commerce) in 2000.  He has been active with the MN AMA since 2009 and serves on the Social Media/Marcom Committee.  You can reach Jeremy at jer.swenson@live.com. 
Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Utilizing the Brand Advocate

Brand advocacy has become big business in the last few years. With the increasing infatuation with celebrity, the influence of social media, and the era of “consumer power,” brand advocates have risen to become a powerful ally to the marketer.

Brand advocates are people who talk favorably about a brand and create positive word-of-mouth messages to other people. They create buzz, give support, and maintain exposure for a product or service. They are people of influence and they are able to use many different outlets to voice their reviews, opinions and thoughts on a brand.

Below are some tips that I have highlighted for finding and attracting more brand advocates. I have also included some interesting statistics from a study done by BzzAgent and the University of Rhode Island College of Business Administration on brand advocates. The complete study is summarized in an ebook titled, "A Field Guide to Brand Advocates: Practical Insights for Marketers," which can be downloaded at http://u.bzz.com/FieldGuide.

1.  Finding people of influence.
First and foremost you need to decide who and what will be most influential for your brand and what is realistic. Getting Jennifer Aniston to tweet about your homemade lip balm is probably not the right goal. You can find people of influence on many different levels to interact with your brand. A popular and respected blogger or discussion moderator for example, are good choices. The key is to find a person with a lot of influence and reach within your target audience. Brian Bond, vice president of marketing for SwarmBuilderBond says “you want to find the people who have the largest reach and the biggest influence in groups and organizations that would use your product.” Your brand has a target audience, and your advocate should too.

2. Give them something to talk about.
If you can, give your advocates product samples, event passes, discounts, etc. Experience with the product will help advocates create a more personal and meaningful review, which in turn will be shared with others. In fact, advocates are 75% more likely than average web users to share a great experience about a product. They are also three times more likely to share product information with someone they don’t know.

3.  Chatty Cathy’s on social media
Advocates thrive on the social-media frontier. They are two-and-a-half times more likely than typical web users to use social networks to meet new people, four times more likely to use discussion boards and three times more likely to blog. They’re a pretty vocal bunch. 

4.  Use the everyday advocate
Regular, satisfied consumers often have the best and most convincing reviews of a product. Re-tweet their messages, feature their comments on your Facebook page, blog and website. The everyday advocate is highly accessible to you, and trust-worthy to your consumer.

Ashley Haugen is a Gustavus Adolphus College alumna. She has had Marketing experience working with such organizations as the LOFT Literary Center, the Gustavus Marketing Department and the Ordway Center for Performing Arts.
Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

MN AMA Welcomes It's New Board of Directors

Congratulations to the new MN AMA Board of Directors, which took over for the new fiscal year on July 1st. In the coming year, our members can look forward to new events and new programs designed to accelerate your career, increase the depth of your knowledge and put you face-to-face with the movers and shakers of the Minnesota marketing community.   We’re looking forward to a great year!

Danielle Luffey - President

Ann Kline - President Elect

Andy Chollar - Immediate Past President

Barrie Berquist - AVP Annual Conference

Clark Gregor - VP Collegiate Relations

Haley Kurtz - AVP Collegiate Relations

Laura Kalies - VP Finance

Erin Liddy - AVP Finance

Rob McChane - VP Marketing Communications

Kaitlin Carter - AVP Marketing Communications 

Heidi Theede - VP Membership 

Carie Schaitberger - AVP Membership

Laura Bates - VP Programming

Andrea Timmerman - AVP Programming

Melissa Halling - VP Sponsorship

Ben Crowe - AVP Sponsorship

Chuck Swennson - Director At Large - Executive Engagement

Please join us in welcoming this new group of leaders to the MN AMA board of directors!

Bookmark and Share