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Survey Your Customers – Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s Dumb Marketing Move goes to Deep Spring, a product of Coca-Cola.
Sometime what one considers a “dumb” marketing move is really a result of a management that doesn’t pay attention to its business or worse has a lack of a communication channels that consumers, trade customers or their own employees can’t make them aware of an ongoing problem with their product or service.
These thoughts went through my mind when recently on a business trip to Australia the following scenario took place.
I was staying at Jupiter’s Casino Hotel in the Gold Coast, an upscale establishment and I was fortunate to be staying on their “Executive” floor which had certain benefits such as continental breakfast, the availability of snacks during most of the day and non-alcoholic beverages all day long. It was the latter where the tale began. I went to the refrigerator in the late afternoon and took out what looked like a refreshing fruit based drink named Deep Spring – Orange and Passion Fruit. I took it back to a table with some snacks and sat down to relax and enjoy the great view. I tried to twist the cap off but after 5 minutes of trying gave up. Now I am 5’11”, 200+ lbs, exercise on a regular basis, consider myself relatively strong, so it was a little embarrassing to ask the petite hostess for help. She then told me, as she got out a tool to open it that everyone has the same problem. She said it is literally impossible to open without a handy tool.
What surprised me is this is a product of Coca-Cola, one of the more astute marketers of beverages. But for whatever reason they don’t seem to know about this situation or if they do they are ignoring it. Thus they get ore “Dumb Marketing (or Management) Award”.
Lesson Learned: You want your company to be user friendly! Don’t forget to survey your customers on customer satisfaction. You might be surprised what you find out about your product or service. You might want to keep it anonymous to get the true feelings of your customers.
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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Getting a Deal on New Shoes Brings You Back for More – Smart Marketing Move

This Smart Marketing Move goes to Famous Footwear.

In my search for new sneakers, I noticed that Famous Footwear was having an end of year sale.  I went in and found shoes that I needed for running. This was right after the holiday rush and before New Year’s, so they were entering a slower time of year for sales.

After I paid for everything, the sales associate handed me a something that said “Famous 5 Bucks” with my receipt. As he was handing it to me, he explained that I can get another pair of shoes but for $5 off after the New Year. I was pretty excited because I just got a fantastic deal on this pair of shoes, now I have a chance to save more at a later date.

What did they do here? They gave me a reason to come back in, with an expiration date. They are building trust and loyalty, plus it just made me happier. Honestly, I don’t think I ever bought from Famous Footwear before this purchase; so I had no idea about these “Famous Bucks”.

Here’s what part of the back says: “Customers receive $5 in Famous Bucks for every $50 spent.” Then there are directions on how to use them, but the back reveals that this is an ongoing campaign for them. I thought it was just because we were entering a shopping slump in the retail industry, but it wasn’t. They continue this throughout the year, bringing people back into the store and helping them save a few bucks.

Lesson Learned: Once you complete a transaction – online or brick and mortar store, what are you doing to keep the customers you already have? It costs 50% more to get new customers than to keep one. Learn from what others are doing like Famous Footwear, especially during the holiday season since everyone is hustling around in stores. Offer a discount on their next order, give them a referral card so that they can refer their friends and they both get a gift or discount. Just don’t forget an expiration date! Think creatively and you’ll gain something money can’t buy, loyalty.

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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Warning: Nickel and Diming Your Customers Hurts You More Than You Think – Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s Dumb Marketing Move goes to Spirit Airlines.

I’m sure as soon as you read that this was about Spirit Airlines, you know exactly what I’m going to be talking about. They are now charging for carry on items! In a climate where everyone is hurting, we understand that prices need to be higher for services but customers were just getting used to the idea that they had to pay for their regular luggage. This has blindsided many people and even if they don’t fly with Spirit they are talking about it and not in a good way.

Spirit Airlines has forgotten that they are in a competitive environment and that they aren’t the only kids on the block. I’ve only flown Spirit once in my life, and that was when they just started charging for luggage. I was utterly shocked I had to pay $15 for luggage. It was an inconvenience and it should have been included in the ticket price. Their carry on fees are now $20 in advanced ranging all the way up to $45 at check in on way!

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but that’s a lot of money and a lot of hassle for a carry on, especially after spending at least $90 on a flight (at the bare minimum). I did receive an email from Spirit April 15th, which was at least a week after they announced this change. They are claiming that there will be lower fares, and lower checked bag fees. It’s hard as a customer to see how they will achieve these benefits.

Spirit has not thought this move through, other than the monetary gains. They are nickel and diming people and no one likes it. This new addition will cause a lot of stir while people are checking in, unhappy customers, and more regulations on an already strict system. In an economy like ours today, customers are not as loyal as past years and they will gladly change which airline they fly with for a cheaper flight.
On the Flip side, Southwest is banking in on their mistake. Read Next Week How SouthWest used their competition to enhance their image.

Lesson Learned: When raising prices, in any business, take into account how your customers will react. Also, get a plan together to soften the blow or include the price in a package deal rather than having everything paid separately like Spirit does with flight, checked baggage, and carry ons.

_______________________________________________________________________________

“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Picking a URL – Dumb Marketing Move

What does your URL say about you??

Well, today’s DUMB Marketing Award goes to whorepresents.com for their URL!

They may have had something in mind when they obtained this URL, but what does it spell out? As a simple web-surfer I see WHORE Presents. Just imagine, they’re getting a lot of traffic to their site that isn’t relevant because they aren’t in the whore business but some might think they are with that URL. They might even be losing money from their pay-per-click ads from people misreading their website.

It actually spells out WHO Represents. Here’s their logo.

Well. it makes a little bit of sense once you see the logo. At least they were smart enough to capitalize the R. Overall, I think this is a dumb URL and yes, URL’s are part of your marketing mix.

Lesson Learned: Pay attention to how things might be misread in print, internet and everything in between. Your URL is like naming your kid, you don’t want them to be teased, and you definitely don’t want your URL to make the DUMB Marketing Move list.

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Billboards, You can Mess it up Easily – Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s Dumbest Marketing Move goes to……I don’t know! We don’t know what company this is on the billboard. (pictured below).Maybe they thought it was a clever billboard, but they are really missing the boat and it was an expensive trip. PLEASE LET US KNOW WHO THIS IS IF YOU KNOW. We will send them a dumb marketing move certificate in honor of this award!

Four major flaws in this billboard are that there was no logo included, no contact info or website, too much copy and it required too much thinking. Billboards are one of the hardest forms of advertisement out there and this billboard brings that point home. Billboards require the most creative thinking in copy writing. You must be succinct, saying what you need to say in a few words. You have less than 3 seconds to get your point across to your audience, even if they’re only driving 35 mph.
Lesson Learned: Keep your copy short, dummy proof it, make it obvious what it is for, and use a visual! Visuals on billboards speak louder than words, unless your words are clear and concise. Here’s an example of a good billboard, which was picked because off the top of my head I didn’t know this logo but the message still came cross loud and clear

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Keep Customers Loyal – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to Restaurant.com

Like many new websites, they are offering discounts to local restaurants. But they’ve come up with a unique and, I might add, an out-of-the-box way to spread the word about their business and the businesses that they represent.

They are giving away $40 million worth of gift certificates by Dec 31, 2010. Yes $40 million. They are calling this program Feed it Forward. These gift certificates are only in $10 increments. The only way that people will receive this $10 gift, which is free to give and free to receive, is from their friends sharing with them. This can be through email or Facebook. So think about it, that means if they reach their goal of $40 million that’s 4 million people! They are building a new customer base and gaining their emails, and it’s also creating more loyal customers because they were able to share something with their friends at no cost. That’s also more exposure for the restaurants involved.

This is their description: Filling hearts and stomachs – Feed It Forward™ 2010. Feed It Forward™ is a free way to build community and lift people’s spirits by giving the gift of $10 Restaurant.com Gift Certificates. Simply let us know who you want to give to and we’ll take care of the rest. You can give up to 40 $10 Restaurant.com Gift Certificates every day through December 31. It’s a great holiday gift for everyone on your list. And the best part is – it’s FREE!

 

I can give away 40 $10 gift certificates to my friends and family at no cost, EVERYDAY until Dec 31st. Wow! What a great way to get press, and for their company to grow through word of mouth. They are also all over the web, bloggers and more. They definitely get the Smart Marketing Move of the Week! 

Lesson Learned: You don’t have to give away $40 million in gift certificates to be recognized but what can your company do that creates a BIG impact for $5-$10 a customer? Think WILD and outside-the-box, trim down your idea if necessary. Keeping your customers loyal costs much less than trying to find new ones.  

Editors Note: I used my $10 gift on Wednesday and 2 other tables were using them! Talk about a boost in business this restaurant more than likely wouldn’t have had otherwise!

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Cross Promotion – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move of the week goes to TWO companies, Doritos and Pepsi.

They have joined forces in radio commercials while both introducing a new sub-product. Pepsi now has Pepsi Max – Cease Fire, and Doritos now has 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burn flavors. The commercial went something along the lines of a male calling into 911 because the Doritos he just ate were so hot, so 911 instructed the gentleman to use Pepsi Cease Fire, with lime, to cool him down. It got the point across and got my curiosity. Exactly what they were going for in this commercial!

They even took the cross promotion further. They’ve included each product on their packaging. Smart! Although they are both owned by the same larger company, in consumer’s minds they are separate and that’s an even better reason to marry the two.

Lesson Learned: Cross Promotion can be a powerful source that is untapped. Even a small business can take advantage of this by partnering up with another local business where you will both benefit. Start thinking of your customers, where they shop, what they do and see if any businesses are interested in starting up a cross promotion. It could be your secret weapon.

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