Friday, November 28, 2008

Online Coupons: Who Knew?

Fascinating article in The Times today about the explosion of online coupon sites where consumers can pick up “codes” that save them a lot of online shopping dollars. Sites like these are drawing folks who’ve never used coupons. Shoppers in-the-know suggest that people browse key-word search, using the name of an online store and the word “coupon.”

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mintel Is Fun to Visit

Consumer researcher Mintel features rotating ads of new consumer products on its landing page .. which is only part of the story. When I visited Mintel this morning, all the products spoke to the company's forecast on five main ways consumers are likely to adapt and make the best of 2009. (see Wise Marketer's Key Consumer Trends for an Uncertain 2009.) To wit, see how Mintel tied its top five consumer concern concepts into five featured advertisers.
1. Consumers in Control: Mirian Newman's "Incredible DIY Kit" for wash-off, on-the-go, nail colour.
2. Simplify and Purify: Tide Total Care, a new detergent designed to make clothes last longer. 
3. Rebuilding Trust: Josh Galecki, founder of Loop Apparel, the ultimate in consumer personalization. 
4. Trading Down: Capitol One's free checking account with great rewards.
5. Playfulness: Fun and happy in-store shopping experiences like Selfridges' Bollywood and Brazil events.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


An article by Bob Kelly in the September/October issue of Contact Professional talks about Speech Analytics. This new technology enables telemarketing contact centers to record all interactions. The speech data is then run through speech analytics tools to look for particular patterns or repeated words (for example, “wished” or “broken” or competitors’ names) that customers are using throughout the calls. Kelly notes that, “Coupling speech analytics with call recording helps contact centers easily identify required fixes for product offerings or business process.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mob Marketing

The baynote blog alludes to a “sea change” that happened in the early days of web content management. As the story goes, in 1998, content developers spent a lot of time talking to journalists, analysts, and customers about putting web publishing in the hands of internal content experts rather than webmasters infamous for creating a "bottleneck" in the flow of content. The webmasters were kicked aside, but that led to a new bottleneck born of content overload formed from tons of web junk whose utility couldn’t be measured. Baynote says complex search engines, analytics, and profile-based personalization hasn’t fixed the problem, either. The future, says Baynote, lies in turning content development over to the Mob. An outstanding example of this is Fertility Friend, an extraordinarily useful website where staggering amounts of data and research are willingly offered up by the "Mob of Women Trying to Conceive." I don't know what Fertility Friend does with the hundreds of thousands of ovulation charts patiently and generously shared by its users, but you better believe this approach to web content and use sets the standard. The Mob Rules. Thingaboutit.

Monday, November 17, 2008

MarketingProfs Worth The Money

I'm not employed by MarketingProfs and I'm not getting a commission, but I do recommend their premium membership (currently $199). I just downloaded three free research reports on email marketing. Profs is tagging their value at over $400. I don't know about that, but I do know that for somebody employed in or writing about marketing there's no better one-stop resource -- some sites may be as good, but none are better. Oh, and I can research a boatload of stuff and attend 45 online seminars for free. It's pretty unbeatable.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gekko Fun, But Not the Workhorse

At the Best of Direct ceremony on November 13, the Educational Foundation of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington handed GEICO the coveted Sisk Award for Direct Marketing Vision. In accepting the award on behalf of GEICO, Amy Fuhrman treated the attendees to a video composite of gekkos, cavemen, famous people "standing-in" for GEICO customers (Little Richard appeared to be the crowd favorite), and squirrels having a happy fist bump. Despite the t.v. ads' enormous popularity and appeal, Fuhrman noted that direct mail remains the "closer" in GEICO insurance sales, accounting for about 35 percent of new dollars. In 2008, GEICO mailed 20,000 cells in their direct mail campaigns and processed 565 billion records in database updates and campaigns. Today GEICO is the fastest growing auto insurer, the number one internet insurance company, and the third largest auto insurer in the U.S.
   Direct mail, baby ... it works.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pitching to the Cohort

Freelance copywriter extraordinaire, Bob Bly, has drilled down to what he calls the “grumpy old men” cohort. Bly says GOM are a primary market for many products and services sold through direct response, both offline and online. Naturally, Bly recommends tailoring DM copy to the needs, desire, and concerns of the GOM market; for example:
  1. Find out what irks GOM and suggest ways to resolve it (because, yes, they’re grumpy).
  2. Help GOM find low-risk ways to make money; they fear losing.
  3. Show GOM how to hold on to what they have.
  4. Offer GOM a positive message; scare tactics can backfire.
  5. Emphasize how your product or service can help GOM live independently.
  6. Appeal to the GOM’s sense of frugality.
  7. GOM have a sense of entitlement; speak to it.
  8. Before you write a word, conjure up a GOM you know.
  9. Make sure a GOM signs the letter.
All this insight, of course, is what makes Bly -- a self-acknowledged GOM -- a copywriter to imitate. Download the full article at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Smart Conference Marketing

The DMA featured a nifty item on its sign-in page for the DMA08 Conference. The landing page read: “Need to justify the show to your boss? Then run your own justification report to see if the topics, companies, products, or people who are of value to you and your organization will be at DMA08." To retrieve the "justification," all you had to do was "... tell MyDMA08 what you're looking for from the event—a list of companies, products, sessions, or people who are of immediate value to your business." That involved providing name, job function and email address, of course. (Data gathering anyone?) Voila! The justification report returned a list of pertinent stuff you'd need to garner senior management sign-off. Based on stated areas of interest, those who signed-on continued to receive periodic emails with info on exhibitors, people to meet, products to see, and recommendations delivered up until the date of the event.