Peeps is 55 years old: Production of one billion per year

This comes under the category of I wish I had invented it

Did you know that there are over one billion of the marshmallow Peeps produced each year? Unbelievable. 49.6 million is sales in 2007. What can we learn about marketing from this company? Two things:

1) Be unique. There is only one company that makes Peeps…and they’ve gained market share because they are known for doing something well.

2) Be consistent. Peeps customers know exactly what they are getting everytime they open a package of this marshmallow treat.

Peeps facts:

Ingredients: Mostly sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin, same as most other marshmallow candies. They do have trace amounts of flavoring, coloring, wax, unpronounceable preservatives and such.

Calories: About 32 per Peep (and can anyone eat just one?)

Colors: Yellow was the original. Since Peep Season 1998, Peeps are available in yellow, white, pink, violet, and blue. Blue was added for the 1998 season. Violet first appeared in the 1997 season.

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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.

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.

Sharpening your Marketing Saw: What can you do?

sharpening the marketing saw

Stephen Covey talks about this anology in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:

What are you doing?’ you ask.
‘Can’t you see?’ comes the impatient reply. ‘I’m sawing down this tree.’
‘You look exhausted!’ you exclaim.
‘How long have you been at it?’
‘Over five hours,’ he returns, ‘and I’m beat! This is hard work.’
‘Well, why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?’ you inquire. ‘I’m sure it would go a lot faster.’
‘I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,’ the man says emphatically. ‘I’m too busy sawing!’

When it comes to business, we’re all busy.

I ask clients who don’t blog, or do newsletters, or update their website, or develop a marketing plan…why? The answer is always honest. And it’s almost always the same. They are too busy. They are too busy working IN their business to work ON their business.

What can you do to sharpen your marketing saw? Here are four thought- starters:

1) Commit to organizing your database. Your database of customers is the single most important thing you have as a business owner. Once you have a contact management system or some sort (computerized, with name, address, phone, email), exportable to an excel spreadsheet, you’re set.

Y our database is part of the foundation of all the marketing you do. And probably most of the referrals you get.
2) Reading good literature. The average American reads four books a year. Don’t be average. Reading will give you insight and perspective. I am currently re-reading one book: Permission Marketing (by Seth Godin) and reading another: The God Questions (by Hal Seed and Dan Grinder).

3) Brainstorm Brown Bag. Set aside a lunch hour (once per month) for a brainstorming session at your office. Everyone brings their own lunch. The challenge is pre-determined…what new ideas can we use, what’s working, how are you handling this objection. You get the idea. Hint: Rule one of brainstorming…no idea is judged during the session.

4) Seminars and workshops. Most of us do professional development or continuing education. That’s great. But also try something outside the norm of your business life. You can probably relate it back. I recently took a 4-week meditation class from Kelly LaVine that was outside my “norm” and really enjoyed it.

Abraham Lincoln said this: Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. He was a pretty smart guy.

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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.

Real Estate Marketing: 5 creative mailings

I had the opportunity to spend about 2 hours today with a group of Re/Max agents in Rogers. A very energetic group of entrepreneurs who were focussed on what they had to do in the current housing market.

In the marketing/brainstorming session, I encouraged them to continue to do their monthly mailings. However, I suggested that they try to position themselves a little differently in the eyes of their clients.

How? Well, I know from personal experience that any time I receive a stack of mail…what do I open first? Something that piques my curiosity. If there is an odd shaped package…or odd shaped letter…it gets my attention.

So, carrying this one step further, I brought some cheap “inserts” that could be sent inside the envelope, accompanying their letter. Here are some of the fun headlines we came up with, using things that only cost pennies each:

  • Safety Pins – “Don’t get stuck with that high interest payment.”
  • Stick matches – “This is a very hot market now for buyers.”
  • Plastic knives – “Here’s a sharp idea for home sellers.”
  • Packet of seeds – “I want to plant a quick real estate idea with you.”
  • Band Aid – “We can help you — find a great real estate deal.”

Just a few ideas to have fun with your mailings. Be creative.  Think outside the box. It positions you well in the eyes of your customers.

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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

Got Google Juice? The good, the bad, and the ugly factors.

google juice

Every business website needs traffic.

You need Google Juice. Why? Because Google is king, representing 70% of all traffic driven to your website.

It is theorized that there are probably more than 200 factors that account for how a website is ranked by Google. Search engine optimization experts don’t have the answer yet. However, here is a list of the good – and the bad – factors that will affect your Google Juice:

Ten Good Google Juice Factors

  • Keyword in URL (resource for key word search: Google Ad Words)
  • Keyword in domain name
  • Keyword in title tag
  • Keyword density in body text
  • Keyword in H1, H2, and H3
  • Links to internal pages
  • Internal Link validity (resource for checking this: free link checker)
  • Freshness of pages
  • Page Rank
  • Quantity and quality of Backlinks

Seven Bad Google Juice Factors

  • Server is often inaccessible
  • Text presented in graphics only form
  • Link farms
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Traffic buying
  • Link buying
  • No links to you (Here’s what I use: Backlink checker)

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. But as a business owner you should start here if you want to get a little more Google Juice.

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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

Yellow Page Advertising: 4 Need-to-knows

 yellow page bad ad

Yellow page advertising representatives are the best trained advertising salespeople in media sales

It’s a fact.  They are good.  They are persistent.  They motivate by fear.  But think about these four things the next time your yellow pages ad is up for renewal:

Most people are right-handed. They hold the phone book in their right hand, and use their left hand thumb to flip through from back to front. So what’s so great about having the biggest ad in the front — when most people see the smaller ones in the back of the section first?

According to the Yellow Page industry, Americans look in the Yellow pages about 3.6 billion times per year. Sound like a lot? That’s only about 14 times a year a person.

Beneficial Finance always advertised, “If you’re within the sound of my voice, there’s a Beneficial office near you. Look for us in the White Pages.” Smart move — a listing in the White Pages is free — and consumers choose among competing locations instead of competing companies.

Yellow Pages advertising is sold as “bigger ads are better” or “color is better.” The best marketing strategy is for people to never have to go to the Yellow Pages.

Which book should I choose?

I get asked this all the time.  Every yellow pages representative will throw numbers and statistics at you.  As a business owner, it’s a tough decision.  My advice:  If you want to cut back on your yellow page advertising, there are two primary books you need to be in.

The most important YP to advertise in…is your primary (biggest) circulation directory for the area.  In my area (Minneapolis)…it happens to be Qwest/Dex for Minneapolis.  70% of residents use that.  Your local utility directory is the second most important.  So…put 70% of your budget in the primary, and the balance in the utility directory, and call it a day.   The rest of ’em are fighting for market share…and readers.

PS.  Make a three to five year plan to scale back on YP.  Divert YP resources (budget) to online.  It’s headed that way.

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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