Marketing Genius from Maple Creative

Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The Six Patron Saints of Graphic Design

This is the funniest, slickest example of marketing/design-related humor that I've seen in quite some time!
All hail the Patron Saint Pantone!

The Six Patron Saints of Graphic Design

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Advertising agency billings more heavily scrutinized

From the Wall Street Journal - March 29, 2004...

A front-page story proclaimed that ad-agency clients are scrutinizing agency billings more vigorously than ever. Clients are questioning hourly bill rates and monthly retainers with respect to the value delivered and ultimately the results generated by those agencies. The story went on to say that clients today want to pay for results.

Well that's no surprise!!

At Maple Creative, we say, "Bring it on!" As a marketing firm, we begin our work by defining tangible, measurable results and then working with our clients to achieve those results.

We're ready! Compensate us for the results we generate for your business.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Graco Hit a Marketing Home Run

When I woke up Sunday morning, I was not planning to purchase a new high chair. A combination of our new baby beginning to eat food that stains our light colored chairs and advertising that hit a hot button and off we went to Toy R Us for an unplanned (but needed) purchase.

Graco got the sale with the following: list the high chair found at the link above in Parade magazine as a Good Buy, have their retailer give me about $20 off the purchase price in this week's sales flyer.

BAM! We're sold.

Here's the kicker: while I was in the store I noticed that Graco has conveniently created strollers that are just the right size for my five year old daughter's dolls. If it isn't obvious to you, if she uses Graco now, what do you think she'll use when she's a grown up?

We didn't get the Graco Baby Doll Stroller, or the Little Dirt Devil sweeper, or the Barbie that has a MasterCard - just an FYI.

Plague Of The Handwritten Signs

I see Brand damage all over our city/town. Handwritten signs trying to inform me about a clothing store sale in the mall, a craft fair at a craft store, wireless service for sale, pizza - arugh! #1 - I can't read them. #2 If you argue that sales go up when you put the signs up, then imagine what would happen if we actually put the message in a format that people could read it.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

MediaDailyNews 03-28-04

MediaDailyNews 03-28-04

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Purple Turkey (from Seth's Blog)

Great coverage about Cabelas in the NY Times, as noted by management guru Seth Godin in his blog:
Seth's Blog

Cabelas is coming to West Virginia. Wheeling, WV to be precise. This is an incredible economic coup for WV. Admittedly, I was "on the fence" for a couple of months about the Cabelas project. The project has been a favorite "punching bag" for the Gazette and those who are inclined to bash Gov. Wise's administration.

Is the Cabelas project a one-for-one replacement of those once-proud steelmaking jobs? No.
Was the deal-making process perfect? Was the process free from missteps? No.
Is it the panacea? No, of course not.

Is it a helluva good deal and one of the best opportunities the state has seen in a long time? Yes!

I'm not going to recite the impressive economic numbers (sales, payroll, taxes, etc.) of the Cabelas project. I happen to believe them.

The doubters will always dispute those numbers ... much like they did in 1995/96 as a huge, transformational project was coming to fruition in Beckely. Like Cabelas, it was new, different. Like Cabelas, it was anchored on toursim and retail--not manufacturing. Like Cabelas, it employed public funding for infrastructure. Why--they screamed--would then-Gov. Caperton waste $30+ million on funding for a new interchange off the Turnpike and other infrastructure?!?

I will not recite all of the harsh criticism and the cries of lunacy.

Instead, I will present one word. This one word, today, stands on its own as a shining star model of success and forward thinking. This place (in Beckley, West Virginia) is visited by millions and is now copied by most every other state. This one place is ...


Thursday, March 25, 2004


Top of my reading stack: Wired

Wired magazine is consistently one of the best reads, in my humble opinion. The range and depth of articles is unsurpassed. I'm consistently exposed to new concepts and trends. In essence, I learn stuff by reading Wired.

Computer viruses and who finds the patches or fixes for them
Grid computing
MIT's open directory curriculum project
Genetic research
Computer gaming

Plus, the ads in Wired are first-rate and they have a great monthly hot/not ranking.

What's new: RSS

If you haven't yet heard of RSS, you will soon. RSS is an acronym that stands for "Really Simple Syndication."

RSS is a format for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites, including major news sites like Wired, news-oriented community sites like Slashdot, and personal weblogs. But it's not just for news. Pretty much anything that can be broken down into discrete items can be syndicated via RSS: the "recent changes" page of a wiki, a changelog of CVS checkins, even the revision history of a book. Once information about each item is in RSS format, an RSS-aware program can check the feed for changes and react to the changes in an appropriate way.

RSS-aware programs called news aggregators are popular in the weblogging community. Many weblogs make content available in RSS. A news aggregator can help you keep up with all your favorite weblogs by checking their RSS feeds and displaying new items from each of them.

I recently signed up for RSS at Yahoo and made it my start/homepage for Internet Explorer. It's been a great way for me to get the news I want delivered to one screen. I feel like I am better informed than ever!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Harsh Reality #2
Last year the workplace attrition rate reached 13.2%, the highest rate since 1997. (Bureau of National Affairs)

Harsh Reality #2a
It takes an average of 76 days to hire a full-time employee at an average organizational cost of $13,000. (Saratoga Institute)

For a small business with 50 employees, you will lose seven of them this year. Uggh!
This will cost you $91,000! Whoa.

Now--what are you going to do about it?

Green ... Grass Green

Observation: (Trendspotting)

The hot, new color is green. Grass Green. Think Ralph Lauren Polo cologne. Think the Izod LaCoste logo (alligator). Think Wimbledon.

Mark my words.

The Impact of Public Affairs Management and Public Opinion

Those who may be inclined to think of PR as fluff need only look at the recent decision by McDonalds and other fast-food companies to eliminate “super size” menu options. A groundswell of public unrest surrounding the ever-worsening health issue of obesity was principally and tangibly responsible for the firms’ decisions to quit promoting super-size portions. The movement was capped by the release of an “indie” film (released at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival), entitled “Super Size Me.” Incidentally, the film was produced and directed by West Virginia native Morgan Spurlock. The film chronicles a month-long project in which Spurlock consumed only food from McDonalds and experienced significant, negative health consequences. Not surprisingly, the company stated that its decision to eliminate super-size menu items had nothing to do with Spurlock’s film.

"If there's one thing we could accomplish with the film, it is that we make people think about what they put in their mouth," Spurlock said. "So the next time you do go into a fast-food restaurant and they say, 'Would you like to upsize that?' you think about it and say, 'Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll stick with the medium this time.'"

Did Spurlock’s one-man, issue advocacy crusade work?

You decide.