Archive for September, 2010

Groupon: Bad for businesses?

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on September 30th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

There's no denying that social buying is hot right now. Groupon success stories of insane proportions -- including a $4 million one-day deal with the Gap -- have prompted a significant surge in look-alike social-buying services, some of which are targeting specific demographics, like moms.
But wait a minute. We know consumers love social buying. Who doesn't love a good deal? But what about the businesses themselves? Do the data support brands' current overwhelming desire to leverage these new promotional opportunities?
A new Rice University study concludes that Groupon is more beneficial for consumers than it is for businesses. According to the study, Groupon promotions were profitable for 66 percent of the businesses surveyed, but unprofitable for 32 percent. More than 40 percent of the respondents indicated they would not run such a promotion again.
According to the study, promotions are most beneficial for businesses when structured in a way that does not cannibalize sales to existing customers. Among the service businesses studied (restaurants, educational services, tourism, and salon and spa), restaurants fared the worst with their Groupon experiments, and salons and spas were the most successful.
Be inspired. To learn more about social buying and other emerging marketing strategies, attend the iMedia Breakthrough... Read more

Sales Funnel Dead at 110

Posted by Daniel Flamberg on September 30th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

The sales funnel, the oldest, most illustrated and beloved marketing paradigm passed away today of old age. Originally, constructed to approximate the rational buying sequence for B2C and B2B customers, the Funnel leaves no immediate heirs.
Shopping was never really linear. Prospects take multi-directional, multi-dimensional and idiosyncratic paths to surface needs, identify buying criteria, list potential solutions and fall in love and purchase. Easy digital access to product information, testimonials, video demonstrations, user-generated or professional reviews, peer opinions and comparative pricing tools creates a more dynamic, unpredictable and emotional landscape than the Funnel ever portrayed.
The implications for marketers and merchants are that marketing strategy, messaging and media must shift. The number of inflection points has multiplied. Rather than aim messages or media units at a particular point in a reasonably predictable cycle, marketers now have to array their brands in ways to cover a much larger, expanding and morphing digital Main Street or mall and interact rather than interrupt.
A shift in consumer behavior to digital channels was documented in a recent study of more than 2000 US shoppers, titled “2010 New Shopper Journeys Survey,” conducted by Carat and Microsoft Advertising
The two big take-aways are
1. Brands have to engage customers across 3... Read more

Why the creative exodus?

Posted by Julie Roehm on September 29th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

"Chief Creative Kevin Roddy Leaves BBH" -- Just the latest ad agency chief creative departure in a long list over last few months. The list is pretty long. Gerry Graf, Ty Montague, Rosemarie Ryan, Alex Bogusky, Eric Hirshburg, and Eric Silver. Several articles have been written pontificating on the reason for this exodus. Ad Age has been pretty vocal. One of their articles  offered ideas ranging from the economy to business-as-usual, to high maintenance creatives. All have some plausibility.
Another article was a bit more interesting.  This one was written by a creative who had been witness to more than one such agency resurrection via the hiring of a chief creative officer. His insights were a bit more telling, and to a former client and current consultant like me, much closer to the likely reason. This writer suggests that the problems reside with the leadership of the agency, the culture of the agency, and/or the clients of the agency, some of which a new creative chief can help solve, but certainly not on their own.
To be fair, most of the creatives who were mentioned above had long tenures with the agencies they chose to leave. Still, the crux of the problem is... Read more

Get prepared for Q4 2010 – What DR Focused Online Retailers Should Think About This Season

Posted by Katelyn Watson on September 28th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

When it is all over, and it is time to analyze all of the charts and graphs behind your Q4 media plan, here are some tips to ensure the sales follow the media strategy you intend, so that when impressions and spend is up and to the right, sales follow. There are a lot of tips that can help you maximize ROI without having to take on any additional huge initiatives. If you aren’t doing these things, you should think about them for Q4 2010, or any super seasonal time frame, for that matter.

Confessions (and marketing contemplations) of a Disney nerd

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on September 28th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Let's get this out of the way right off the bat: I'm a giant Disneyland dork. When it comes to "the happiest place on Earth," I totally drink the Kool-Aid. Since buying my first season pass four years ago, my devotion to the park has grown to the point where I frequently have to downplay (if not outright lie about) the amount of time I spend within those magical gates. (Yes, I actually believe they're magical. Stop judging me.)
But I digress. My borderline Mickey obsession notwithstanding, Disney's latest social media play brings my professional respect for the company right in line with my personal feelings of reverence.
As part of its newly launched "Let the Memories Begin" campaign, Disney Parks plans to make real-life park goers the center of its TV, print, and online marketing. Visitors are encouraged to upload their favorite memories -- be it in text, photo, or video form -- to a new online destination, But perhaps more exciting, starting in January, park visitors who have their photos taken by Disney PhotoPass photographers during the day will be featured during a nightly show within the park.
Making customer stories the center of a marketing push is nothing new.... Read more