Archives for category: Marketing

This morning I decided to forgo my usual morning run due to the unexpected cold that’s made its way to Ewing, and headed over to the gym instead. The horribly boring, dreadful gym. I had to spice it up a little bit, so naturally I brought along the latest issue of Food Network magazine to read while elliptical-ing along to the sound of the White Stripes. I think the people around me appreciated the delicious looking cinnamon buns that glazed graced the pages of May’s Homemade issue.

In my time flipping through the mag (making sure that no one else could actually see my mouth water), I stumbled across an advertisement for a new product from Wendy’s that leads me to believe they’re changing their approach and reevaluating their standing in the fast food market. The new Flatbread Grilled Chicken offered by the national chain is like a grown-up version of what Wendy’s has always wanted to be, at least in my eyes: a more healthful alternative to McDonald’s and Burger King. In some ways, Wendy’s may even be taking a stab at striking up a competition with places like Panera and Au Bon Pain that make quality, healthy options fast.

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Don’t even try to tell me this doesn’t look amazing…

Nevertheless, my time with the elliptical had to end at some point, so I closed my reading material and went about my day, still intrigued by the thought of a healthy, new option at Wendy’s. Now I write to you after a few classes and before a few hours of group projects to share the big news! Try to contain your excitement…

But let’s think about it like this: next time you’re out running errands and fast food is your only option, you’ll thank that girl from Advantageous Advertising because without her you’d be left to your own, burger-craving devices. You’re welcome.

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Despite the fact that this blog is named Advantageous Advertising, I’ve realized that I have to take a moment and discuss the importance of promotional activity in the grand marketing scheme. Over the past few years, companies have been spending way, way more on promotions than they have for the advertising of the very same products. But it wasn’t until reading a few posts on INMA (our favorite collection of blogs for all things marketing and advertising) that I realized how important promotion has become as of late.

Promotional spending can be justified over advertising spending for 3 main reasons:

1) Measurability

It is very difficult to track how many people have seen an ad, how many of those people actively participated and interacted with the ad, and how many of those people actually followed through and purchased the item being advertised. With promotion the guess work is gone. If the company’s goal is increased store traffic, a promotion for that store will either produce the results or it won’t. It’s that simple. If a promotion works, the goal is reached. If a promotion fails, it looks like you’ve still got some marketing to do.

2) Strategy

To be efficient with a promotion, it’s easy to narrow down the targeted segment. Want to increase sales in Oklahoma? Send out coupons and flyers in Oklahoma. Is the store on the corner of Pine Street and Pennington doing poorly? Promote a discount valid only at that location. Get strategic with your promotions and see what happens!

3) Time-Sensitivity

In the age of the internet, once an advertisement hits the media, it can be saved and shared and shown forever. Promotions, on the other hand, last only as long as you want them to. Maybe you’re only interested in offering discounts to shoppers before 1pm. Or after 4. Or maybe just in months ending in “-ember.” No matter what your strategy, promotions are great for managers with a limited amount of time. Once you meet your goal, the promotion can be cut back. It’s up to you.

These are just three of the reasons that promotion is surpassing advertising in marketing dollars spent. Three more reasons not to underestimate the power of promotion!

Recently I have been feeling like everything I’ve ever learned about marketing, advertising, job hunting, career building, living, and breathing has revolved around one thing, and one thing only: building a brand. What is my personal brand? What is my professional brand? What do I want my colleagues, professors, and potential employers to think of when they think of Liz Dinsmore? These are the questions that keep me up at night (I hope this is the worst problem in my life…).

But instead of figuring out how to build my own brand, I thought it could be useful to look around and figure out how products are successfully branded. It seems to me that what makes an advertising campaign a success is its ability to give a product a strong brand identity. Association is everything in marketing. So this is what I found…

Nabisco’s Ritz Crackers are not only a delicious snack, but also a perfect example of a successfully branded product. What comes to mind when you think of Ritz? A game day treat? A casual cocktail party hors d’oeuvres? A post-playground snack for school-aged cuties? If you said yes to all three…nice work! Ritz has branded itself as being the perfect gourmet accompaniment for the social butterfly in all of us via their widely recognized and appreciated “Open for Fun” campaign. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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There you have it, folks. A perfectly branded product. If these ads don’t make you want to run to the nearest store and open up a box of Ritz (or should I say “open up a box of fun?”), I don’t know what will.

So I’m taking a lesson from Nabisco and applying their strategy of branding to my own personal and professional brands. I want to be recognized for my organization, attention to detail, and strong communication skills (that’s not too much to ask, right?). All it will take is for me to figure out how to present those qualities to the rest of the world…unfortunately I don’t think I’ve reached a point in my career where a multimillion dollar ad campaign is the way for me to do so…

 

I’m sure you’re all familiar with Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark ad that ran during the black out that defined this year’s Superbowl. And some of you may have heard of Oreo’s Cookie vs. Creme debate that skyrocketed their social media presence and took Instagram by storm. But has anyone heard of Oreo Skies? The mobile app for Nokia Lumia phones sponsored by Oreo to ignite brand recognition and excite consumers about milk’s favorite cookie?

App-users can navigate the galaxy and view the constellations through a kind of “augmented reality.” Oreo worked with Harvard University’s Robert Kirshner to collect all sorts of facts about the stars, planets, and other galactic phenomena you have access to through Oreo Skies. Occasionally, a shooting star will zip by carrying Oreo offers, incentives, and even special recipes!

Once you fall in love with this app, Oreo’s goal is to have you share the love with your friends and family by recommending it and passing it along. Once everyone you know is connected to Oreo Skies, you can send them messages in the stars! You simply type out a message to, for example, your second cousin once removed named George but whom everyone calls Mike, and he’ll receive it in no time! What’s more? Your greeting will look like a star in the sky that must be twisted open (like an Oreo, hehe) to reveal the message.

It’s fun little details like the shooting star promotions and twistable star messages that really make this a marketable app. Oreo’s goal is to boost sales in 2013 after a disappointing 2012…so by creating Oreo Skies, they are not only updating their image, but they are also continuing to utilize the social media outlets that have treated them so kindly in the past.

Keep doing what you’re doing, Oreo!

Everyone with a Nokia Lumia should check out the app and let me know what you think!

Best,
Liz

Hello all!

On Saturday, a man by the name of John Militello, the Head of Creative Innovation at The Zoo, Google, and YouTube, gave an incredible presentation about how Nike was able to produce such a successful campaign last summer during the Olympics. Nike’s Find Your Greatness spots were innovative and took a new approach to capturing the attention of athletes around the world.

These ads grab the attention of sports fanatics, health nuts, and even the most uncoordinated among us because of Nike’s infamous mission statement: “If you have a body, you’re an athlete.”

So now I leave the rest to you. Below are a few links to the YouTube videos Nike has posted from their campaign. Keep their mission statement in mind while watching and think about how clearly Nike alludes to the Olympics without a single reference to the games themselves. Enjoy!

Great.

Greater.

Greatest.

Thursday marked the conference kick-off. There were activities galore, and it was important for the group of us to take in as much as we possibly could. At 5 o’clock, the six of us from The College of New Jersey participated in the annual Social Scramble. We got to meet other collegiate AMA members from all over! I even met a student studying abroad in Boston all the way from Italy! This was a fantastic way for members of all the chapters to introduce themselves to each other and get a little more comfortable. Definitely gets a thumbs up from me!

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Members from TCNJ’s AMA looking very official with our name tags!

After this fun social event, we filed into an auditorium for the official start of the festivities. The keynote speaker on Thursday was a man by the name of Jeffrey Hayzlett, former Chief Marketing Officer of Kodak. Not only is Mr. Hayzlett a very successful businessman, but he is also a self-proclaimed cowboy who will always be seen in his signature leather cowboy boots.

Mr. Hayzlett was the perfect guy to start the event. He worked the crowd and gave us wonderful advice for our future careers in marketing. My takeaway from his talk was to be a clock changer. Now as odd as this may sound, it is important to think about what I mean by this…so I’ll give you a little background on Mr. Hayzlett’s favorite kind of people: the clock changers.

When he was first offered the position as CMO at Kodak, the first thing he planned to do was hold a meeting for the people he would be working most closely with. From head designers to market researchers and everyone in between, Jeff wanted to get to know his colleagues. He arrived in the meeting room about 20 minutes early so he could personally greet everyone in attendance, but before it all began he had something else planned as well. You see, Mr. Hayzlett noticed a nice, big clock hanging on the wall above the meeting table. Before anyone arrived, he took the clock off the wall, set it 20 minutes fast, and then replaced it right back where it came from. As people started filtering in, he would watch them all look at the clock, look at their watches, and then look at the clock again. As more people arrived they would agree that the clock was 20 minutes fast and that “something must be done!!” (rather enthusiastically I imagine)…but no one ever did anything about it. In fact, this went on for 2 full months. Two. Months. Until finally a young woman pulled over a chair, climbed up to the clock, fixed the time, and replaced it on the wall. She was a clock changer, and the next day, Mr. Hayzlett gave her a promotion.

He wasn’t talking about literally changing clocks. What Jeff meant by all this was that we won’t get very far in business, or in life for that matter, if we don’t take initiative. It’s important for each and every one of us to get up and do something about things that need to be fixed. If something is wrong, speak up.

In the marketing industry, communication is crucial. Ideas for campaigns or new marketing strategies must be shared on multiple levels, with many different people, with various outlooks on the subject. By speaking up and voicing your outlook, it is very likely that others will take on a new perspective on the problem at hand.

So take initiative. Be a clock changer. Don’t worry about speaking up, worry about what may happen if you don’t.

So remember a few weeks ago when I told you all about how great AMA is because of all the opportunities it provides to students and professionals? Like the conferences and networking sessions? Well guess where I am right now…

New Orleans!!!

I’m currently attending AMA’s international collegiate conference down in Louisiana with 5 other members of TCNJ’s chapter of the American Marketing Association, and we couldn’t be having a better time.

The trip began at 4am on Wednesday morning (what is it with these early wake-ups and AMA?!) when I got a ride to Newark airport for my flight to NOLA. After about an hour’s worth of delays, we finally made it up in the air for the 3 hour trip. Just as any other co-ed, I fully intended to be extremely productive on the plane. I figured I could get a good amount of work done and be able to enjoy my time away from classes…sounds nice right? Yeah…I tried that whole “be super efficient with your time so you don’t regret it later” thing, but at the end of the day, a girl’s gotta sleep!

We arrived at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport around 11:30 central time, collected our baggage, hailed a cab, and made our way over to the hotel. Then it was time to explore! We had the rest if the day to soak in the city! Lucky us, right?

Gumbo was had. Pictures were taken (you’ll be seeing those soon). The French Quarter was walked. The Mississippi River was enjoyed. New Orleans, or phonetically, N’awlins, has been nothing but wonderful since the start!

Tonight we begin the conference with a parade of chapters and a few words from a keynote speaker which I’ll tell you all about shortly! I can’t wait! But until then…

Cheers!
Liz

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Show Your Expertise

Chances are you know a lot more about your company, product, or service than your customers do…show them that! Offer information to papers and media outlets. Don’t worry about being quoted at first, if you build a good rapport with news stations and noteworthy reporters, eventually your business will become a go-to source of information for other experts in your field.

Tweet, Tweet!

Twitter is cheap. Tweeting is easy. What else is there to say? Build your base of followers by offering promotions in weekly tweets. Keep your customers involved by asking questions and tweeting multiple times a day. The more interactive your tweets, the more interested consumers will be. All small business owners repeat after me: “Twitter is marketing gold!!”

Perfect Your Pitch

What is your company best known for? Are your advertisements hilarious? Do you throw an annual party for your regular customers? How about a loyalty program with special perks? Find what works for your company and run with it. If you perfect your schtick, your customers won’t have any trouble remembering what your company is all about.

Calling All Celebrities!

Fact: Customers flock to celebrity endorsements. Build a trustworthy name for yourself and then work on contacting local, well-liked celebrities. After all, if someone famous likes your product it must be great, right? Right.

Get Back To Your Roots

Sales dropping? Losing customers? Take another look at your product. Are the people you’re targeting the people buying your product? Take the time, effort, and money (yes, money) for thorough market research. Combine focus groups and surveys to get the qualitative and quantitative data necessary to better market your services.

These are my 5 top recommended ways for small businesses to market themselves. If you’re looking for a more thorough list, take a look at this fantastic Forbes.com article!

Until next time,

Liz

Hello again!

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ll do my best to make my next few posts worth the wait!

Today is my first day back from a quick trip to the beautiful…warm…and sunny San Diego, California! The weather was perfect, the company was great, and the trip was a blast. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my spring break.

So when I say “quick trip” I mean: “seriously, super fast trip.” We left from Newark Airport on Saturday night, got to San Diego, went to the zoo, drove up to Disneyland, and came back on Tuesday. Just enough time to get a bit of sunburn and a few great pictures!

Like this one! This was Sunday morning's sunrise. Totally worth the early wake up!

Like this one! This was Sunday morning’s sunrise. Totally worth the early wake up!

On Monday we spent the day at the one, the only: Disneyland! It was during my trip there, however, when I started to think about how on earth Disney can keep park attendance up even in the midst of the economic recession. Tickets are getting more expensive by the day, it seems, and yet Disney parks are always packed! How could this be? The answer I came up with is related entirely to their brilliant marketing strategy. Disney bases their advertising on the idea that memories begin within their parks. Take a look at this video and think about what they’re realllly selling:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zVKOSaBGPQE

Cute, aye? Disney knows that too. They have taken the stance that a lifetime of fun and memories begins with a family trip to Disney. The rides, the characters, the atmosphere. They all add up to childhood memories. That being said, when parents watch this great commercial with its home video footage and genuine kiddie-sized smiles, they get the sense that no childhood is complete without a trip to Disneyland: The place where dreams come true.

That being said, next time you find yourself with a strong urge for Mickey Mouse shaped anything (glasses, oven mitts, ice cream bars) think about where that urge is coming from. Could it be that Disney’s advertising campaign has worked again? Is it the idea of creating lasting memories that strikes your fancy? No matter what it may be, let’s give a big round of applause to the folks at Disney and their consistent imagination and creativity for bringing in customers no matter what the economy looks like.

 

While flipping through the pages of Food Network Magazine’s latest issue, I couldn’t help but notice the wide variety of advertisements filling its pages. I was getting hungry just looking at the ads alone…

So, my friends, I present to you (in no particular order) the 4 most interesting ads in this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine:

Delicious looking fro-yo and a hilariously Greek anecdote. Classic Ben & Jerry's.

Delicious looking fro-yo and a hilariously Greek anecdote. Classic Ben & Jerry’s.

Fresh, clean, and creative. I wouldn't have my green beans any other way.

Fresh, clean, and creative. I wouldn’t have my green beans any other way.

As if Lindt truffles didn't look good enough already...let's show them overflowing with chocolate. All other chocolate ads will now be compared to this.

As if Lindt truffles didn’t look good enough already…let’s show them overflowing with chocolate. All other chocolate ads will now be compared to this.

I never imagined I would see iguanas in an ad for a commuter-friendly coffee cup. On second thought, I never imagined I would see iguanas in an ad, ever...I stand corrected.

I never imagined I would see iguanas in an ad for a commuter-friendly coffee cup. On second thought, I never imagined I would see iguanas in an ad, ever…

Now that I’ve shown you some interesting ads from my magazine reading experiences, I would love to see what you’ve come across! Comment below with any ads that have struck your fancy recently!

Bon appetit!