Category Archives: Advertising Campaign

Marketing Proverb: The best time to plant a tree

plant your marketing seeds today

The Chinese Proverb about planting trees goes something like this:

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is today.

This saying applies to so many realms of our lives, our businesses, and our marketing.  If you had planted a tree 20 years ago, you’d be enjoying the shade and fruits of your labor.  But what if you didn’t plant a tree 20 years ago?  Wouldn’t the second best time be today?

Plant your marketing seeds today

So many of the clients whom I meet with plan their marketing in a reactionary mode.  Need sales…react with marketing.  They are so busy working in their business…that they forget to work on their business.

What I try to explain is that by planting marketing seedlings now, you might see fruit (sales) in as little as three months.  If you persist in your marketing seedlings, your current-month-mode can work toward a great-year-mode.

What marketing seeds can you plant today?

  • The best time to update and organize your customer list with email and contact information was 6 months ago.  The second best time is today.
  • The best time to do a needs analysis with a key customer was 3 months ago.  The second best time is today.
  • The best time to do create a website or blog was in 2005.  The second best time is today.
  • The best time to strengthen your relationship with the top 20% of your customers was last year.  The second best time is today.
  • The best time to write your 2008 marketing plan was last October.  The second best time is today.
  • The best time to organize your logo, pictures and business graphics in one spot so you have everything you need to quickly create stunning marketing materials was a year ago.  The second best time is today.
  • The best time to ask all of the people you did business with last year for referrals was last year.  The second best time is today.

Do business like you plan to stay in business

Be proactive with your marketing.  The sooner you start your marketing with long-term in mind, the sooner the benefits will show up short term.  What are you waiting for?

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Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency in Elk River, Minnesota. He plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. Mitchell is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

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Improve the way you market to women

marketing to womenWhether you market to businesses or consumers, improving the way you market to women will have a dramatic impact on your bottom line.

Consumer goods

Women influence nearly 80% of all consumer goods purchases. According to Entrepreneur Online:

Saving time, offering convenience and providing good service are paramount considerations for most female shoppers. Because three-quarters of women ages 25 to 54 work full or part time while remaining largely responsible for their households, they appreciate businesses that help them save time when shopping and products or services that make life more convenient. Savvy retailers adjust their store hours and locations to meet the needs of their customers.

 Automotive

The trend doesn’t stop with consumer goods.  Women have a huge impact on the automotive industry.  From AOL Online:

Women have become increasingly influential when it comes to the automotive world, in everything from car design to advertising campaigns to what happens when you show up at the dealership. So what do women really want when buying a new car? And how are automakers responding to this turning tide?

According to Marketing to Women author Marti Barletta, women seek more advice from an auto authority (57%) before buying a new car; they spend more time in the purchasing process than men (17 weeks versus 15) and women shop at an average of three dealerships for best price and treatment.

Real Estate

Bernice Ross from Inman News says that single women are today’s prime real estate niche:

Women are rapidly becoming the silent majority in the real estate marketplace. While everyone pays attention to the needs of the “typical family,” very few people are addressing the specific needs of single female real estate buyers and sellers.

Which of the following groups buys more condominiums: married couples, single men or single women?

The answer is single women. Not only are single women buying more condominiums, NAR reports that 22 percent of all home purchases are made by single women as opposed to only 9 percent for single males. In other words, single Gen X and Gen Y women are buying more than twice as much real estate as compared to Gen X and Gen Y men.

The bottom line…women wield the influence.  Smart marketers know this, and are developing ways to make their marketing women centric.

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Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency in Elk River, Minnesota. He plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. Mitchell is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

Drunken Irish…and other memorable quotes from Jesse

jesse ventura quotes

When I think of Irish (today being St. Patty’s Day), I think of Jesse Ventura. Why? Well, one of my favorite quotes from the lovable former Minnesota Governor occured in 1999 when Jesse appeared on the David Letterman show:

“Whoever designed the streets (in St. Paul) must have been drunk. I think it was those Irish guys, you know what they like to do.” – Jesse Ventura on Late Night with David Letterman

Today’s blog is dedicated to this fellow baldie’s other memorable quotes.

I’ve compiled a list of my other favorites. Whether he was sticking his foot in his mouth, or just telling it like he thought it was, I have to admire Jesse, because you ALWAYS knew where he stood on an issue:

Jesse Ventura Quotes

“Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people’s business.” – Jesse Ventura, in a November 1999 issue of Playboy Magazine

Jesse Ventura - Ain't got time to bleed

“I decided to run for governor because I got mad… I want to make government more directly accountable to the people.” – Jesse Ventura

jesse ventura wrestler“I asked Dalai Lama the most important question that I think you could ask – if he had ever seen Caddyshack.” – Jesse Ventura

“Wrestling is ballet with violence.” – Jesse Ventura

I also believe that government has no business telling us how we should live our lives. I think our lifestyle choices should be left up to us. What we do in our private lives is none of the government’s business. That position rules out the Republican Party for me.” – Jesse Ventura

Jesse Ventura - boa

“If I could be reincarnated as a fabric, I would come back as a 38 double-D bra.” – Jesse Ventura

“Congratulations, you have a sense of humor. And to those who didn’t: Go stick your head in the mud.” – Jesse Ventura

Jesse Ventura Wiki Facts:

Jesse Ventura (born July 15, 1951), also known as “The Body”, “The Star”, and “The Governing Body”, is an American politician, retired professional wrestler, Navy UDT veteran, actor, and former radio and television talk show host. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004. He is also a 1-time AWA Tag Team Champion.

In the Minnesota gubernatorial election of 1998 he was elected the 38th Governor of Minnesota and served from January 4, 1999 to January 6, 2003 without seeking a second term.

In January of 2008, the Associated Press reported that a new book authored by Ventura, titled Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me is scheduled for release in April. In it, according to the report, Ventura suggests that he is a potential presidential candidate for 2008.

What does any of this have to do with marketing?

Great question. Jesse was different. He was the anti-politician’s Politician. As a marketer, he knew how to get attention, how to create headlines, and how to be truthful. I think we can all take a page from the Jesse Ventura book on marketing.

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Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency in Elk River, Minnesota. He plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. Mitchell is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

website: http://www.258marketing.com
email: chris@258marketing.com

Do Not Mail List: How would it affect your marketing?

I think it’s not a matter of IF…it’s a matter of when

In 2007, a number of states had introduced do-not-mail bills. These states included Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Washington. Several other bills – in New York, Virginia, New Jersey and Washington – offered some sort of related proposed legislation, such as the creation of a no-mail registry for certain senior citizens and people suffering from mental illness, plus a ban on credit-card solicitations to people under the age of 21.

On one side…the Direct Marketing Association and the United States Post Office. On the other side, many of the green organizations to save the trees.

To this point, none of the bills have gained traction. And the direct mail community is keeping a very close watch on do-not-mail bills that have been introduced to state legislatures this year. Lobbyists will fight this one long and hard. But I see the future of direct mail in the same vein as smoking legislation. First one state, then another, and another. Then momentum swings as polls indicate…and politicians are swayed. Mark my words…a do-not-mail bill is coming to your state someday.

From a marketing standpoint

As a business owner, how would the loss of direct mail affect your marketing? Well, you’d have more money to market other ways. You’d need permission to market to people. My suggestion for 2008: Work on implementing permission marketing strategies long before they are legislated to you.

Wikipedia defines permission marketing: Permission marketing is a term used in e-marketing. Marketers will ask permission before they send advertisements to prospective customers. It is used by some Internet marketers, email marketers, and telephone marketers. It requires that people first “opt-in”, rather than allowing people to “opt-out” only after the advertisements have been sent.

Want to know more? If you haven’t read it yet, check out one of my favorite marketing books from Seth Godin: Permission Marketing: Turning Friends into Strangers. It’s exceptional marketing material.

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Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency that plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. He is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

website: http://www.258marketing.com
email: chris@258marketing.com

No low-hanging fruit in 2008: Survival marketing tips

low hanging fruit

If you’re a business owner or salesperson, the days of easy sales are over.

From WiseGeek.com: A fruit-bearing tree often contains some branches low enough for animals and humans to reach without much effort. The fruit contained on these lower branches may be not be as ripe or attractive as the fruit on higher limbs, but it is usually more abundant and easier to harvest. From this we get the popular expression “low hanging fruit”, which generally means selecting the easiest targets with the least amount of effort.

Low-hanging fruit. Ready to buy. Easy money. Not in 2008. News media continues to pummel us with messages that we are in tough economic times. Duh! And as a business person, you sense that money is tight. Consumers and businesses are watching their budgets. What are you going to do to survive?

Three survival marketing tips to carry you forward

1) Stop dwelling in 2004. A lot has happened since then, and it’s long gone. You need to commit to a new mentality. Don’t do the same advertising and marketing you did in 2004, because everything has changed. Accept that. You’ll need to market differently in 2008.

Newspaper circulation is down. Reevaluate your print advertising. Television is fragmented. Reevaluate your broadcast advertising. Yellow pages readership is declining. Reconsider your spending here. People are spending more time in front of their computers. Reconsider your internet marketing presence. People are time-crunched. Consumers are given more choices. What was good enough marketing to get you where you are…is not good enough to carry you forward.

2) Find a specialty. In marketing, it’s called a niche. In advertising, it’s called your Unique Selling Position. It’s the thing(s) that makes you different. Why are you special? If you are a real estate agent, your niche is not first-time home buyers. Go deeper than that. Where do they live now? Where do they want to move to? Married or single? Kids? FICO score? Be specific.

If you’re a company that thinks expanding product or service lines is the easy ticket to increased sales, you need to rethink that proposition. Be better at fewer things. We are entering an era of specialization. We can thank the internet and keywords for that.

3) Increase your networking skills. Commit time in 2008 to broaden your business network. Ask business people to meet and discuss how you can help to increase each other’s business. Join a BNI chapter if you haven’t already. My membership to Star of the North BNI was responsible for over 40% of my new business development in 2007. BNI is the world’s largest referral and networking organization. Find a chapter near you.

With networking, whether it’s the local builders association, a BNI chapter, or the local chamber of commerce, you get out of your membership what you give. Don’t expect to sign up and reap rewards. It doesn’t work that way. A spot on the roster is worthless…until you get out, meet people, and exchange business.

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Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency that plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. He is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

website: http://www.258marketing.com
email: chris@258marketing.com

The Marketing Magic of Brett Favre

The Marketing Magic of Brett Favre

Brett Favre marketing magic

As a Vikings fan, I have due respect for Brett Favre. He’s been the Purple’s nemesis for the last 17 years. And when he announced his retirement this week, tears were flowing in the land of Cheeseheads, while Vikings fans were breathing a sign of relief.

But one of the things I have come to respect, besides Favre’s on-field records, is the marketablility of Number Four. He has been, and will continue to be a marketing machine.

Favre’s commercial endorsements

Include on Favre’s marketing resume endorsement deals with Prilosec, Sensodyne, and Wrangler. In fact, Remington Arms announced in January 2008 a multi-year marketing relationship with the Packer’s former quarterback.

Hey football fans…he’s not going anywhere. You’re going to continue to see Favre’s commercials during NFL games. Favre will continue to represent Remington in their national ad campaigns and other special events, with a focus on wildlife conservation, hunter safety and youth programs.

This is marketing brilliance. I would guess Remington is perfectly fine with Favre’s retirement announcement. More time for hunting, right? My guess is that he gets a few other endorsement offers coming his way before the start of the NFL season.

Favre’s merchandise

Here is an amazing statistic. Brett Favre’s merchandise was close to $1 million in sales at the Packer’s retail shop and Web site in 2006. That’s only going to go up in 2008, as football fan’s surge to get the jersey of their favorite Packer of all time.

From a memorabilia standpoint, Wisconsin papers are reporting this week that sales of Favre memorabilia is hitting a big spike. Reebok, the maker of Favre’s Number Four jersey, is increasing production. And why not? Favre’s jersey is their all-time best seller.

Even on Ebay, on March 5th, there were more than 200 newly listed Favre-related items. Seems like there are lots of enterprising Ebay sellers…and I think there will be plenty of demand from buyers of the future Hall of Famer’s bling.

From a marketing perspective

Aaron Rodgers is Packer QB heir-apparent. And nobody will care that he wears Number 12. Packer fans will still be standing in line for the Number Four jersey. In fact, I believe Favre’s merchadise will be the number one seller for Packer fans in 2008. Maybe even in 2009. Favre is a brand. He’s not retiring completely from football – the legacy in the record books is written, but the marketing magic of Number Four will continue.

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Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency that plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. He is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

website: http://www.258marketing.com
email: chris@258marketing.com

 

 

 

Marketing: Don’t be a turkey and play follow the leader

Dont be a turkey

What makes you think your competition’s marketing is working for them?

I talk to clients often about monitoring the competition. They clip out newspaper ads and keep direct mail pieces of the ads that their competitors are doing. However, one of the biggest mistakes people make is advertising in publications just because their competitors are in them.

Don’t be a turkey.

Don’t think that all your competitors are there because their ads are producing great results. They’re more likely to be there because everyone else is and most of them won’t have a good system to tell whether their ads are working.

A newspaper and yellow pages sales tactic you need to know

If a newspaper or yellow pages can get one or two of your competitors to advertise, they will call you up and tell you how you’ll lose out if you don’t advertise too. In fact, this is a well known sales trick used by the people selling ad space. Yellow pages and newspaper reps do it all the time.

What they fail to mention is that your competitors probably never test their advertising, often haven’t got a clue how to market and are only advertising because they are playing follow the leader. This is a highly effective way to sustain the advertising industry.

It’s not a great way for you to run your business.

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Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency that plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. He is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

website: http://www.258marketing.com
email: chris@258marketing.com