Archive for September, 2009
Dan Neil is one of the most talented writers I’ve ever come across…..and he typically writes about cars. Somehow he manages to weave philosophy, the arts, automotive history, and the magical hold that cars have on so many of us into most of his reviews. I’ve followed him for years and he’s the only commentator on the automotive industry, that I know of, who has referred to Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Hegel to help illustrate the principles supporting design theory. He writes for the LA Times and if you get a chance, (and you love cars) you can check him out at the LA Times online.
In the article below he writes about a fascinating spot that Burger King is priming for: NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart will publically declare his love of the Whopper while hooked up to a polygraph. Most of us don’t really believe that celebrity spokespeople really use the products they endorse or that they shop at Target but we accept the possibility that they might as part of our pact with not only the celebrity but with the advertiser. We suspend disbelief.
Mr. Neil’s article is ripe with social commentary regarding advertiser/audience relationships, and the effects the recession is having on that dynamic.
You can read the Dan Neil’s article here.
By Brian Tracy
Everyone likes to buy, but no one wants to be sold. People don’t like to feel that they are the recipients or the victims of a sales presentation. Most customers are independent in their thinking, and they don’t like to think that they are being manipulated, pressured, or coerced into doing anything. They like to feel as though they are making up their own minds based on good information that has been presented to them.
The best salesperson is perceived as a helper who assists prospects in getting what they want and need. Remember, it is the perception of the customers that, more than anything else determines how the customer behaves toward a salesperson. You must do everything possible to appear to be helping rather than selling.
Want to test an email campaign to your shopping cart abandons without using a lot of time and resources? Here’s a down-and-dirty campaign conducted by an ecommerce site selling gourmet teas to consumers.
Although Adagio Tea has a below-average abandon rate (just 35% compared to the industry average of 59.8%), the team wanted to see if they could get the rate even lower.
The ecommerce site, whose average order is $35, attracts a loyal, baby boomer, NPR-listening, mostly female crowd who tend to respond to emarketing as well or better than most demographics.
Tech Chief Ilya Kreymerman was charged with creating an in-house email program to try to convert these abandons into sales. As a smaller ecommerce site, he didn’t have endless resources to create and test the campaign. It would have to be a quick-and-easy campaign to implement.
This article, written by, Ina Fried, discusses lawsuits filed by Microsoft against companies that are downloading scareware and spyware through ads running on their network. This is a growing problem as premium publishers turn to networks and advertisers of dubious quality because Tier 1 advertisers are buying less of their display inventory. It may be time for publishers like MSN, and The New York Times, to create a set of criteria, (a code of ethics, if you will), that an advertiser or network must meet in order to run ads on their networks.
The damage to their brands is greater than the money earned, and the quotas met, by selling inventory to anyone.
You’ll find the full article here.
According to the 2009 Promo Premiums and Incentives survey from Promo Magazine, 38.6% of the companies polled in this year’s survey said they offer a promotional incentive program to customers or sales prospects, down slightly from the 42.1% who ran such programs last year.
That slippage in promotional program offerings was echoed through three of the four industry verticals tracked in the survey:
* 48.6% of goods manufacturers polled in 2008 ran a customer incentive program, but this year, only 42.4% of those respondents said the same. (9% in this category “do not know”)
* Retailers offering customer incentives declined to 50% of respondents this year from 52.9% in the last survey
* Marketing agencies offering such programs slid from 34.3% in 2008 to 31.9% this year
* Providers of branded services showed a slight increase in customer incentives in this year’s survey, up to 50% from 47.5% last year.
* 60% of those with no current incentive program for customers said they had no plans to offer one in the next year, says the report. 17% would launch a premium program, and 22% are undecided. A vertical look at those who say they’ll institute such a program in the coming year shows that goods manufacturers dominate (25%), followed by retailers (21.4%).
The largest proportion of respondents to this year’s Promo P&I Survey (15.5%) said they expect to spend less than $5,000 on customer promotions this year, comparable to last year’s result of 13.6%. However, while the 2008 P&I Survey found only 6.4% forecasting $5,000 to $24,999 for premiums, this year the $5,000 to $24,999 category almost doubled to 11.8%.
And marketers expecting to spend $25,000 to $99,999 more than doubled to 6.4%, equal to the percentage who expect to spend nothing this year.