Is Your Business Engaging-Best Marketing Practice

When we think about successful marketing most people will talk about advertising campaigns. The ad about the Meerkat for example. Funny ads are remember or those with a story that runs and runs. Nescafe was the first brand to run a ‘story ad’. This is where boy meets girl and the will they, won’t they story runs through the ads. Funny and interesting now the trick for marketing is to take that interest and create something more. Current marketing practice is using more humour to differnentiate in a crowded market

The advert is the start of the conversation. If there is no reply then it is one sided. Imagine you are in the shopping centre stood on a box with a megaphone, trying to sell your stuff. The reaction would be to avoid, or laugh. That is hardly good communication. So ads create that first impression. The task now is to go much further.

Businesses who take communication to a whole new level ask for a response. That response creates two way communication and engages the consumer. Then you have buy in and that is a whole new ball game. Consumers are interested in your business and can relate to it. You are not shouting over a megaphone, trying to be louder than the competitors. You are working with your consumer. That gives the consumer more power and they can then shape the products or services they want. The marketing term of co creation is built on consumers engaging with your business. The development of Twitter, Facebook etc are tools to make this happen. UTube relies on consumers to create the business.

The question is now, how far will your business go in engaging and allowing your consumers to shape its future? If you are a marketing student consider which businesses engage with their customers the most. This is an example of best marketing practice, the marketing lessons are to build that two way process and look through the customers eyes

Marketing Case Study- Can the High Street Survive?

Much has been written in the press about the recession and its effect on spending. There is no doubt that there has been a major slow down and decrease in consumer confidence. So, the question is how can retailers survive? This is a topic that will be seen in a marketing exam or business exam this year.

One way is to cut prices and bundle products together. So a typical offer is to buy a shirt and get the second one half price. However there is more to it. Look at the thousands of people who go shopping and the numbers that return home with bags. They look and some buy and some walk away.

If you are a marketing professional or marketing student,look at the way in which you can excite customers. The marketing lessons are to offer something of interest. It needs to be up to date, not too expensive so buyers can justify it and ease to match into an existing wardrobe. So your display would be Key Trends for Autumn. If you read the millions of fashion pages in magazines that is the story. Yet shops have rails of stuff and you have to work out what goes with what. So outfits or rooms where you can see how it all works together.

Take the marketing case study of Next. The online directory shows, trends and rooms. It is easy for the consumer to see how that wil work for them. You can also shop by product such as shirts or tops. Try then to reflect how someone lives. So is it Saturday night outfit? Smart business suit. Or maybe something you can wear for both?  If you watch the house makeover programmes they style a house so somebody can see themselves living there.

The lesson for marketing students, is to excite the consumer, show what is new but not too different. Make choices simple so that consumers can see themselves in that skirt or buying that latest shade of bedding. By doing this we are removing the risk. The key point is to ask what stops someone from buying?  Typically it would be cost or will this look right on me? What will my friends think and will it work with that shirt I bought last week.

The marketing questions are to understand the need to really get inside the mind of the consumer and not just think about shifting rails of product.

Marketing Lessons in the Recession

The posts on the blog show how marketers are developing some really clever ways of creating interest for their business. The earlier posts with videos on Lego and T- Mobile, for example show innovative ways of gaining attention.

The lessons and challenges for marketing in the recession are:-

To stand out from massive competition. Some competitors will cut price, that is tempting but will cheapen the brand and lower the profit from each sale. Try to offer better value and bundle products such as buy your house insurance and buy car insurance at a discount.

Ensure that the customer is loyal and sees your business as a solution to their problem. Remember people buy the benefits not the product. Its not that the speed of the processor is or the size of the engine is. What does that mean? So I can access internet quicker, use less fuel in my car etc

Add real value for the customer. Make life easier, so you can connect the phone to the PC, downlaod pictures and print in one click.

Be clear who that customer is, don’t try to target everyone. If you are selling clothing, is the customer the younger trendy girl who wants something different and new every week. Or the classic buyer who buys one or two key pieces each season. Is it the techie guy who wants all the latest in mobile phones or someone who just wants emergency calls.

So the lessons are to offer a really fabulous deal and to keep that customer happy but the competitor scared

The Value of Sponsorship

There has been a great deal of debate over marketing spend during the recession. It seems that advertising spend has declined. Recent GroupM research found although global advertising spend is expected to fall 5.5% this year to £253bn but sponsorship will see a year-on-year increase of 2%, the only discipline to see growth. The reasons are interesting. Sponsorship of football for example will give the sponsor may hours of prime time coverage. Especially if you sponsor one of the top teams. Cost of sponsorship have declined and it is a buyers market at the moment.

Sponsors are looking for proof that there is a payback. This can be difficult to judge and here companies are looking for direct links between sponsoring a football team and meeting longer term brand building objectives. It is a little easier to tie sponsorship into shorter term tools such as specific product promotions.

The difference is that with sponsorship we are actively watching the sport and can spend hours at a time watching the game with the sponsors’ brand in full view. If the sponsor had to pay for 90minutes of advertising that would be a huge cost. The issue is that many people avoid adverts. Especially since the development of television recording such as Sky Plus. Whereas with the sponsorship we are not avoiding adverts.

The recession has much to answer for and that is shaping the marketing budget and the increased focus on marketing metrics and ROI

Building the Manchester City Brand- Free Marketing Tutorial

Nouveau riche Premier League club Manchester City has been splashing Abu Dhabi United Group’s cash this week as if it was burning a hole in their considerable pockets.

Tevez and Mark Hughes
The last seven days have seen City bring in Carlos Tevez from neighbours Manchester United, all but sign Arsenal forward Emmanuel Adebayor and an audacious attempt to prise Chelsea captain John Terry away from Stamford Bridge – all moves that signal the club’s on-field ambitions.

Off the field, the executive team is also looking to capitalise on the team’s increased exposure with marketing nous.

The latest stage of rebuilding brand Manchester City came with the appointment of digital agency iCrossing to manage all natural, paid search and social media for the Eastlands-based club.

The appointment followed the June relaunch of their new Poke created website, which will feature video content developed by Big Brother producer Endemol.

Personnel wise, the club has been gearing up for a marketing push by hiring Chris Kay, former head of account management at Fallon, as head of marketing and former Aegis man David Pullan to lead brand development.

City were also quick to snap up a global brand as shirt sponsor, signing a reported £40m deal with airline Etihad earlier this year, after incumbent Thomas Cook decided not to renew.

Pullan says the recent appointments are about “employing some traditional marketing rigour”, adding the club needs the “key marketing elements in place” to build global recognition of the brand.

To this end, the club has also appointed strategic marketing consultancy Flamingo International to explore, Pullan says, how City can “connect” with markets around the world.

Julian Ireland, planning director at iCrossing, says its task is “maximising worldwide interest” in the club’s “assets” such as newly signed Argentinean Tevez.

City have some way to go to match local rivals Manchester United, widely recognised to be the benchmark in this area. Manchester United has “official partnerships” with brands around the world with the aim of maximising global revenue. The Reds also have a number of superstores selling branded merchandise in South East Asia and this week announced the opening of their first café in India.

Elsewhere, Chelsea have diversified into hotels, restaurants and a travel company using the Chelsea Village brand since the West Londoners became the last English team transformed by a billionaire’s benevolence in 2003.

Antony Marcou, managing director of sports marketing agency Sports Revolution, says although the club “has been making all the right noises” by appointing marketing expertise, it still has considerable ground to make up on the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United when it comes to international recognition.

“The club needs to build the brand on the ground through opening retail operations in places such as South East Asia so fans can get close to the brand,” he says.

The latest Deloitte football rich list confirms the mountain City have to climb. The club generated £82.3m in revenues during the 2007/2008 season, significantly behind English rivals Arsenal on £209m, Chelsea on £212m and Manchester United on £257m and way behind leaders Real Madrid on £289m.

City are busy building a roster of on-field marketable “assets” that in turn should bring on-pitch success, which Pullan recognises as the “key driver” to building the Premier League club’s global appeal. The club’s paymasters are certainly not lacking in ambition or resources to achieve their previously stated aim to be one of the “biggest football brands on the planet”.
Source Marketing Week

Marketing Lessons Building a brand is essential to differentiate an organisation and sport is not different. Man City are now building the equity in the brand. They will thne be able to extend into a wider range of merchandise. This will all help to boost revenue in a very competitive industry

Multi Media Tasking- Free Marketing Lessons

As consumers increasingly watch TV and use the internet simultaneously, marketers must think creatively to get their brand messages across to the surprisingly wide spectrum of media multitaskers.

Picture the scene. We are on the sofa, watching tv on an evening. This is unlikely to be our only activity. We maybe playing a game on the Wi, or emailing, Twittering etc. We have the attention span of a nano second. The days of watching an advert on tv and giving it our full attention are long gone

We are much more likely to buy online and use comparison websites to tell us which hotel to stay in. We tend to believe Trip Advisor etc much more than the corporate site of the hotel.

The media multitaskers buy more online compared with those who do not media multitask and are more likely to change their mind about a brand following online research. The EIAA calls this generation of multitaskers “super consumers”.

This is not just for the younger age group. Media multi taskers has increased dramatically in the 45-54 age group. This groups are more internet savvy, they join groups, shop, chat, and play games such as bridge

‘Media multitaskers’ minds are ripe for moulding, according to the study. Almost half (48%) of multitaskers admit to actively changing their mind about a product compared with 36% of non multitaskers’. Marketing Week

This consumer changes their mind but is also more open to new ideas and brands. So the marketers need to focus on the brand building and benefits to the consumer. The more involved the purchase the more difficult this becomes. We might happily try a nee fmcg product but tearing us away from a brand we might have bought over and over such as a car.

Use of multi taskers and multi media are key to the success in marketing in the current climate. Research is conducted in much greater depth and we chat on line. Happy to pass on our views and share the good the bad and the really ugly, in glorious colour

Marketing Lessons For a marketing assignment or marketing exam, build the multi media strategy, focus on delivering the brand values, don’t just promise fabulous experiences, make sure that happens. The online presence the growth of social media simply cannot be underestimated. Companies that manage this well will surely reap the rewards

Waitrose and John Lewis- Free Marketing Update

LONDON (Reuters) – Retailer John Lewis Partnership on Sunday said it plans to start selling non-food products from its John Lewis department stores through its Waitrose supermarket’s website.

The move will expand Waitrose’s range of non-food items online, allowing it to compete more closely with rivals Tesco (TSCO.L), Sainsbury (SBRY.L), Morrison (MRW.L) and Asda, the company said.

“Working in collaboration with John Lewis and having their products as part of our range will… give us a real opportunity to rival our four main competitors,” Waitrose managing director Mark Price said in a statement.

Waitrose will from Tuesday sell John Lewis and Waitrose-branded kitchen and homeware products through its website as part of an effort to foster closer collaboration between the two businesses, the company said.

On Thursday, John Lewis’ store at the Bluewater shopping complex in Kent, south-east England, will open a Waitrose-branded food hall, increasing the collaboration between the two businesses, it added.

Marketing Lesson The challenge is to bring these two businesses together and to generate synergies. The branding will enhance the overall values and the similarity of consumers for both brands. It will be interesting to see if this affects the competitors as there is a marked difference in the position of John Lewis/ Waitrose and Tesco and Asda.

Marketing Strategy Tutorial

We all know those rainbow coloured plastic shoes. Ugly they maybe but they are worn by young and old alike. Indestructible is the name. So, why did Croc use reality TV- the Apprentice in the USA to campaign to donate crocs to charity?
Let’s look at the growth of the business first. The company is young and in 7 years sold 100 million pairs globally. A success indeed but the challenge is not to sell the first batch of products but to build the business. It is all in the value offered to the customer. The problem was that Croc went mass market. They were copied, rapidly becoming a  cheap commodity. Croc lost £113 million last year and cut jobs. It has generated 1.4 million Facebookers who are campaigning to abolish Crocs.

Ugg boots faced a similar issue. They have managed the brand better and moved to focus on a niche and refresh with new boots, which fortunately for Ugg need replacing.

Marketing lessons. For the marketing assignment you could examine that Croc needs to think long term about the brand and how it can be positioned to offer value. It could have focussed on the childrens market and moved into games and toys or clothing. That would have removed the ability to commoditise the product so that it is copied in every pound store around the country. For the marketing exam use the segmentation aspect to show how Croc needs to target its market

Can Twitter Survive?- Marketing Strategy Tutorial

In just 3 years Twitter has become a phenomenon and is at the fore front of changing how we communicate. It is real time, and is enjoying the fastest ever growth for a website. It has increased staff to 50. This year has seen it overcome the expansion in technology that is needed to grow so rapidly

Biz Stone, its co founder comes from a series of social media businesses such as Blogger. He believes that Twitter has only touched about a minute percentage of its potential. He reportedly refused a bid from Facebook for around $500m.

Why then is he so confident that Twitter can turn growth into a long term business? It seems that its ability to influence large groups of people is the key. Take the recent impact on the Iranian elections, its use communicating the earthquake in California in 08.

After a year of rapid growth he can now plan to build the business long term. The use of Twitter by corporate businesses is the key to monetising the business. Dell and JetBlue have had a great deal of success in using the platform.  Corporate accounts are interested in effective communication. The information that Twitter holds on its users and the statistical insight is the key and something that businesses will pay for. From here understanding users needs more and more will give Twitter the opportunity to build a long term business.

Marketing lessons. Business growth, monetising and branding