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.

Friday, January 21, 2005

What do you expect?

The next time you create a new, exciting, cutting edge advertising campaign, take out a note card and write down the promise that you have created for the customer.

What are you saying the customer is going to get out of the experience if they do what you want them to?

Ok, now set the campaign aside.

Go and do business with the customer that you created the campaign for (make sure you take the card with you). Visit their store, go to their website, call them - whatever - interact with the client as a customers and see if you fulfill the promise you just offered up to the world on behalf of your client.

If you find exactly what you promised - home run. Place the media buy and let's sell some stuff?
If you didn't get what you said you would, you have a problem.

What if your advertising promises top notch service and a customer receives fair service?

What if hundreds respond to the campaign you created? Great - sales go up while the campaign is running!

The Client is happy.

Customers are disappointed. They do not become repeat customers. They do not respond to your advertising the next time it runs, and so the downward spiral begins.

Your advertising actually reduced sales in the long run because you prompted trial and offered a promise that wasn't delivered.

Uh! Oh! - effective advertising actually reducing sales.

Now that's a point to ponder.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

'Report SPAM' - Please Do NOT Hit That Button

So you still don't believe that it is getting tougher and harder than ever before to get your important promotional messages to your audience? Just check out the following message excerpt. This is part of an e-mail message that I received this morning from a company that I gave permission to send me stuff online. In other words, I am interested in what they have to offer.

AOL USERS: Please do NOT hit the "report spam" button. When you hit the "spam" button, you effectively stop 2,500 other "interested" AOL users from receiving our Newsletter. So PLEASE, simply reply to this message with "Remove" in the subject line-and your address WILL be deleted, we PROMISE.

It sounds like if this company gets on AOL's no-no spammer list, they stand to lose thousands of prospects. To me, it sounds desparate. It sounds like they are begging & pleading. It sounds like a sign of the times of internet marketing, doesn't it?

Ask yourself today: how am I dealing with issues like SPAM filtering and permission?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

It's a Boy!

Lisa and I found out today that we're having a baby boy!


We have a wonderful, three-year-old daughter, Chloe. I've become accustomed to being Daddy to a daughter. Plus, on my wife's side of the family tree, there hasn't been a baby boy in almost 50 years. Five daughters. Four grandaughters.

Finally ... a boy!

What a blessing!!

Someone asked me how I felt. Here's a stab at describing it:


Saturday, January 08, 2005


Bose got me.

They got me with a combination of a newspaper insert, a compelling offer, a nice website and outstanding customer service. I ordered a Bose Wave Radio (tm) system for my parents as a Christmas gift.

The idea that my folks would enjoy a Bose had been rumbling around in the far, dusty back corners of my mind for several months. Coincidentally (or not?)- around the middle of December, I noticed a Bose insert in Parade magazine, which comes in my Sunday newspaper every week. The insert was unique in size and simple in design. It more or less fell out of Parade. I stuck it in my briefcase with the thought that I should take a look at it sometime. (They made the flyer small enough for it to be easy to keep and tote around, even though I was not yet ready to buy.)

Several days later, it was gift-buying crunch time, and I was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping online. I still needed to purchase Christmas gifts for my parents. Recalling the Bose flyer, I pulled it from my briefcase and read it. The flyer communicated a compelling offer: order by December 21 and receive your Bose in time for Christmas! I became more interested. So, I logged onto the Bose website to check out the product's features and pricing. The site was easy to navigate and provided me much of what I needed to satisfy my curiousity questions.(Bose had systems in place to enable me to learn and understand the product and pricing.)

I was almost convinced--almost ready to pull the trigger. But I needed to talk to a human being to be reassured that the gift would ACTUALLY arrive on time. I picked up the phone and called Bose's toll-free customer service number and was shocked to speak to a friendly, knowledgeable American (Boston accent). He assured me that the Bose Wave Radio would arrive on December 24. When he told me that I would receive free FedEx rush delivery, I surrendered my credit card information and made the purchase. Several minutes later, I received an e-mail confirmation of the purchase.
(They had excellent sytems and people in place to handle customer service, ordering and fulfillment.)

This was no small purchase for me. The gift would cost over $500. But I knew that it was perfect for Mom & Dad. The clincher was the top-notch, professional integrated marketing system that Bose had in place to support and promote the product. From the first step in my buying process to the last, Bose excelled. My highest compliments to the marketing geniuses at Bose! WOW.

Oh ... and by the way ... my parents loved it.

Network Solutions

Now this is encouraging!

The other day I received a nice, brief & wholly unprompted "Thank You" message via e-mail from Network Solutions. As a marketing professional, I frequently register domain names for clients and for my own business/publishing pursuits. Most of the time, I use Network Solutions.

Certainly, this is not an earth-shattering thing, but it was just nice of them to say, "Thank you."

Here's what the message said:

Dear Network Solutions® Customer:

You may not hear it enough, but we want to make sure you hear it from us – thank you! It’s truly been a pleasure having you as one of our valued customers.

Network Solutions looks forward to helping you reach your online goals in 2005 with great customer support and new and enhanced services.

Again, thank you for allowing us to serve you and have a happy and prosperous new year.

W.G. Champion Mitchell
CEO, Network Solutions, LLC