February 17, 2010

Optimize your Website

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:45 am

In the early ’90s a Website was something of a novelty. As the millenium dawned, it became a must, but it almost seemed sufficient just to have an adequate site. Then, people started to make them better and easier to use. Nowadays, the state of the art is nearly spectacular. But, strangely, companies have been slow to recognize  and apply effective techniques to attract more visitors. Indeed a fine Website is like a smile in the dark . . . it’s nice, but nobody sees it.


February 4, 2010

Politics and marketing are bedfellows

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 6:32 pm


We’ve been watching an awful lot (operative word – awful) of the political stuff on TV lately, and hearing it on radio, and reading about it in newspapers, magazines, e-mails and on the Web.


Yes, it’s captured our attention because, after all, they’re tossing around some pretty important stuff, what with jobs, healthcare, national security and the like at stake.  And in the process, effective marketing communication – the marketplace of ideas – is taking a tremendous beating.


That’s because the conversation (arguments) on all sides (left, right and the middle) has degenerated into shouting, plays on the emotions, and misrepresentations (can you say, lies?). And what of value have we learned through the body politic up to this point? . . .  Very little of substance insofar as the most pertinent issues are concerned.


Paragons or buffoons?


Aren’t these “politician paragons” supposed to be the best and the brightest . . . those whom we are to look to as good examples among leaders and communicators, even role (dare I say) role models? By comparison, methinks maybe we plain folks ain’t so bad at communicating after all!


Indeed, one can’t be an effective leader without first being a good communicator (we recall The Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan), but more to the point of this missive is the fact that without clear communication neither can one be an effective marketer. Regardless of whether we are selling a piece of legislation, or a piece of pie, a convincing level of communication is key.


Yet, for ultimate success, it’s the product and/or service, the subject of the communication, that must be just as valid (Edsel comes to mind). I remember that great adman Bill Bernbach telling a group of us in New York, ”If your product is bad, good advertising communication will only sink it faster!”    


Good communication is . . .


The ingredients of good marketing communication, in no particular order because all are irreplaceable, are:


  • Truth
  • Clarity
  • Relevance
  • Substance
  • Persuasiveness
  • Appropriateness
  • Targeting
  • Timeliness


There may be still other ingredients, but just don’t try to bake the cake with any of the above folded into the mix. Maybe the absence of some of these ingredients is why the potential followers of the politicians are confused and (if you read the polls) seem to be quite negatively disposed toward all sides. The only unanimity of opinion seems to be we consumers don’t want to be force-fed anything (duh!).


Thus, if, for instance, there are to restaurants side by side and close to home, but we are attracted to neither by their communication, we’ll choose another alternative, even though it may be further away or otherwise involves more effort on our part or, even, inconvenience. Consumers, after all, are not stupid. And, lest we forget, they do have choices.


In other words, marketers : Be straight or be gone.