Marketing Tag

Out of control e-mail chains. Confusing shared spreadsheets. Files carelessly strewn about multiple cloud storage accounts. If your marketing team isn’t using project management software, you’ve probably encountered these problems at least once…if not every day. E-mail, while a go-to for convenience, is not agile when it comes to keeping a team of employees on the same page. And trying to manage the unpredictable situations that crop up in marketing – like a client’s change of mind about details of a project – can quickly turn into a nightmare without a central hub to get the word out to the whole team fast. That’s where project management software comes in. This kind of software reliably tracks progress on tasks and projects, hours spent, budget, reporting and allows teams to communicate in one central place.

Summer seems like it should be a slower time, and so I thought I would write about a skill that we all need to add more of - patience. Many people struggle with entrepreneurial impatience.  And that's not always a bad thing. It's often our sense of urgency that drives business growth in the first place, right? Plus, I think that part of the psychological makeup of many entrepreneurs is a minor case of ADD, or in my case, ADHD with an emphasis on the H. Renowned psychiatrist Dr. Dale Archer even called it an entrepreneur's "superpower" in a 2014 Forbes article.  Whether or not you have a diagnosis of ADD, impatience can often be fatal, particularly where marketing is concerned. entrepreneurial impatience We often try something once, or for a short time, and when there are no immediate results says “Well that doesn’t work.” It’s like lifting weights one day and expecting a tricep cut to develop overnight. I’m not suggesting that we all go out and spend a bajillion dollars on advertising. But I do think that in order for promotional tactics to work you have to learn to wait a bit. Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if maybe your own sense of urgency has turned into a bad case of entrepreneurial impatience: 

As Disney approaches its hundredth anniversary in 2023, the company is celebrating the success of its new "Star Wars" franchise. "The Force Awakens" broke the previous $760.5 million box office record held by "Avatar" early in January, and at over $2 billion internationally, it's nipping the heels of "Avatar's" global record. Four other Disney movies currently sit on the international box office top ten list: the first two "Avengers" movies, "Frozen," and "Iron Man 3." As these cinema successes illustrate, Disney's corporate face has shifted from Mickey Mouse to science fiction and fantasy, superheroes and princesses, enabling Disney to adapt to today's markets. Here are a few other brands that have stood the test of time by adapting while staying true to themsleves.


[caption id="attachment_11900" align="alignleft" width="120"]. .[/caption] One hundred thirty years after its introduction in 1886, Coca-Cola's $78.423 billion dollar business remains the third most valuable brand in the world, behind Apple and Google. Since its inception, the Coca-Cola logo has used the same trademark script, preserving the brand's identity. But Coke has also been innovative, starting by being the first soft drink company to bottle its product. Since 1916, the shape of Coke's bottle has set it apart from other brands. Coke also pioneered the use of free sample coupons. Later Coke set its mark on TV marketing with memorable ads like "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" and Mean Joe Greene tossing a towel to a young Steelers fan. In 2009, Coke's "Open Happiness" campaign brought the brand into the digital advertising age. Coke is continuing to thrive, airing Super Bowl ads every year and enjoying a strategic partnership with McDonald's, the world's ninth most valuable brand.

Ketel One

In another segment of the beverage industry, vodka producer Ketel One has been around even longer than Coca-Cola. Hailing from the historic Dutch spirits distillery center of Schiedam, Netherlands, Ketel One has remained in the Nolet family since its beginning in 1691. The Nolets' business thrived during the 1700s when the Netherlands was the world's major sea power. By the 1800s, the Dutch had lost control of the sea to the British, and the 1900s saw the invention of the column still, which drove most distilleries out of business. The Nolets' business faced a new crisis during World War II when the Rotterdam Blitz destroyed the area around the distillery. Between this devastation, technology changes and mergers, the Nolet Distillery was the only distillery left in Schiedam in the post-war years. In order to adapt, the Nolet family shifted from producing a wide range of spirits to focusing on a few high-quality spirits. Discovering that only three major vodka brands were available in America, Carolus Nolet decided to introduce a high-quality vodka to the U.S. in 1983. The Nolet family marketed Ketel One to bartenders in San Francisco through personal networking and the Youngs Market distribution network, and they soon built a strong network of bartenders, bars and restaurants. After selling over a million cases, Ketel One launched its first ad thanking its customers in 2003. By 2008, the brand sold two million cases a year. Today it continues to grow through social media, with over 18,000 Ketel One Vodka Twitter followers.


Nearly 105 years after its founding in June 1911, IBM ranks just behind Microsoft as the world's fifth most valuable brand. IBM initially grew out of the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, which produced electric punched card equipment for rapidly performing tabulations and computations such as U.S. Census tallies. CTR became the International Business Machines Corporation in 1924.

Lego Marvel AvengersEven for the biggest brands, launching a new video game can be a significant challenge. In a market where any game competes against thousands of other titles, many with long life cycles, it’s tough to get consumers’ attention – and money. And this is not a new phenomenon. As the popularity of video games has risen over the past 40 years, so have the number of titles available at any given time. Recently, one particular marketing and advertising campaign for Lego Marvel Avengers stood out among the rest as an excellent example of integrated marketing communications at work. The game’s success earns it one more accolade, our IMC Campaign of the Month. Lego Marvel Avengers was released on January 26, 2016 by TT Games. TT Games was careful to coincide its television advertising with cartoons that targeted the key demographic – primarily younger consumers who have both an interest in Lego toys and superheroes. Cartoons presented a perfect vehicle to hitch to Lego Marvel Avengers ads. With compelling previews of game play and live action shots from the latest Avengers movie, the television spots had kids eagerly awaiting the release of the game in January.

Why are Bond films so successful? First, you start with an incredible hero brand. Enter the dynamic James Bond -- a man with a hypnotic and cheeky personality loved by both men and women. He owns the coolest gadgets and cars on the planet and saves the world from destruction and terror. What more is there to love? Throw in a far-fetched espionage script with exotic cinematography set in stellar locations coupled with electrifying stunts. And finally, no Bond film is ever complete without a creepy assassin and an uptight British supporting cast. Energy, suspense and sheer entertainment -- therein lies the secret sauce. (No, not the martini.) For more than 50 years, this recipe of success has not changed. And why should it? The Bond brand has kept its core audience and gained new fans along the way. Producer Albert R. Broccoli figured out how to make a ton of gold bullion and keep people coming back 50 years later, despite repackaging the lead a number of times. Here are five things Agent 007 can teach us about branding:
  1. Know your audience. Cater to them and give them everything they expect and love from your brand. Don't mess with your brand. Think Coca-Cola -- don't mess with a good thing.
  2. Keep the message simple. Don't convolute your product message. You can't be everything to everyone, so keep it simple. Brands like Dove, Apple, KFC and Tiffany & Co. all stay closely aligned with their brand purpose and so should you.
  3. Stick to your core product design. We like the tux, we want a catchy theme song, and we relish the villains. Like Bond, stay with what works for you.
  4. Deliver an indelible brand experience. Make your customers feel and appreciate what you do at every touch point. Make them ambassadors of your brand. (Me writing this blog post is an excellent example!)
  5. Keep the brand fresh. Although you have to know what works, you also must ensure your brand is relevant for current audiences. You may be 50 years old, but you've got to keep it fresh. This is what we mean by a "transformative" brand. (Thank you Adele for singing Skyfall.)

PEMCO may not be the best known insurance agency in the country. In fact, it's a local outfit in the Northwest, ranked 6th in consumer awareness behind giants like Geico and Allstate. But with a keen understanding of their ideal buyer, a bright idea and a clever deployment of integrated marketing communications, PEMCO put themselves on the map at a time when even the biggest brands scramble for their share of the spotlight. PEMCO went viral just before the Super Bowl XLVIII. For many years now, PEMCO has shown a remarkable grasp on the personalities of their buyers, right down to idiosyncratic quirks that make Pacific Northwesterners memorable and in regional esteem, lovable. In 2007 they launched a lighthearted campaign centered around the many personas found in the Northwest, to such widespread success that consumers suggested their own ideas for characters with distinctly local flavor. It's therefore no surprise that PEMCO was aware its audience is passionate about football, or more specifically, the Seattle Seahawks. As we've discussed before, "thou shalt know thine audience" is one of the core commandments of IMC.

For today, I'm giving you an easy task. How will you measure your progress? Looking back at Day 4, measuring Example A might be a monthly sales review. For Example B, perhaps you will review the number of new clients (or maybe even proposals you've generated?). Example C is even easier - just download your Google Analytics reports. Here are a couple good axioms for measurement:
  • If your transaction volume is low, measure things (like proposals) once a month or so that lead to sales.
  • If your transaction volume is high, you may need to measure weekly, or even daily.
Easy peasy! Stop saying this is too simple. When it's done well, marketing is simple, but effective. Guess what? You're one week closer to your 2015 marketing plan! Here's a roundup of what we covered in steps 1-5.

IMCI'm always amazed at the ability of PR people to accomplish things in about a third of the time it would take the rest of us. But I think it's a necessity. News moves practically at the speed of light these days. Trying to stay ahead of that cycle (which is what public relations professionals have to do) takes a giant amount of energy, alacrity and mojo. I was incredibly honored to be asked to speak at the PRSA International Conference yesterday. True to form, the staff asked me to present an overview of Integrated Marketing Communications, or IMC. In an hour. I did a webinar version of this talk in August, and the general consensus after that session was they wanted less "what and why" and more "how to." Makes sense right? There's very little time to look at the pretty train and enjoy the comfortable seats. No my friends. The train has left the station and PR people are leaping on the roof, dashing into the cars and at times hanging onto the caboose with their fingertips.  I love that energy! I'm not entirely sure I delivered what they needed yesterday. Technology was not on my side and I probably tried to present way too much information. (Here it is on Slideshare if you're interested) It's hard to say. Here's what I'm really hoping they took away from all my mumbo jumbo:

downloadThe power of marketing has really been proven by the amount of awareness, funding and treatment advancements in breast cancer since this whole pink ribbon thing started. All the #pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month may seem a bit tiresome, at least it was to me until I reaped the benefits this past summer. And it brought home to me the fact that marketing is a GOOD thing. That marketing drives the conversation and helps promote not only sales (which is good for the economy) but awareness and funds to help save lives. In May of this year I went in for a routine mammogram at the University of Minnesota Breast Center. Although I hadn't had one since a false positive several years earlier, my mom was being treated for lung cancer and I felt it was time. Also, I had a weird burning sensation in my left breast. One diagnostic mammogram and subsequent biopsy revealed I had high grade DCIS, which some call Stage 0 breast cancer and others precancer.