Is This Marketing?

A Service of PromoSta

Super Bowl 2010 & Google

Google, the search super power, ventured into the realm of broadcast advertising at the Super Bowl in 2010. While Google already owns the Lions Share of online search, they may not be the strongest in advertising, or are they?

Brand advertising is relatively unseen during the superbowl where most ads are focused on product, Google told a person’s life story through search terminology and simple computer screen captures throughout their 52 second bit. The story of a man in Paris finding love, a job, and a family through the search engine may be one of the best told stories in an unconventional manner.

Brand advertising, is marketing, creating company awareness. While Google doesn’t need to secure my allegiance (it is the Detroit Marketing Services, home page, ad delivery system, web analytics, and virtual online collaboration system) they have left an indelible mark in our marketing minds, and we hope that it adds to the strength of their product and search dominance.

Superbowl Ad Pricing

Prices for ads in this years Superbowl have been reduced by nearly 17%, that reduction has helped the network sell more ads this year than last year. However, the discount reflects the reality of marketing in this day and age with the recession, even marketers, companies, and advertisers are looking for deals, despite the recurring theme to market a quality product for a realistic price.

Detroit Marketing Services can help you find low cost alternatives to traditional marketing channels if you are struggling to increase market visibility in these challenging times.

Every Outbound Channel is Marketing

Every time you interface with your customers or clients you are marketing whether you like it or not. If you have members of your team making these interactions they need to be informed that these communications must be representative of the company and basically, you don’t want to appear stupid.

Recently I had three examples of this.

Windows 7

Windows 7

I was coerced into buying a new laptop by the friendly sales rep at Micro Center. He told me to buy one before the Windows 7 upgrade was the way to go since the upgrade would be free when Microsoft Released their new version. Of course I took my machine home and signed up in advance for my upgrade from HP. Three weeks after the public release I sent an e-mail to the fulfillment company that had not shipped my upgrade yet. They responded with this:

About your windows media upgrade well we do understand that we have been waiting for this over a month or so, however the processing of the shipment is on first come first serve basis. Currently where working on to solve the issue to give out specific information on the actual time frame for the customers on they’re request. We do apologize for the inconvenience as our team is working 24/7 to resolved this. and just like to add that if your status on the view order page says in process expect the delivery of your package within 10-15 business days.

Now I’m surprised they have the audacity to tell me they are overwhelmed with shipping. I did register for my upgrade three weeks before the release… Did no one check the orders before the release date?

As public relations nightmares go. Ticketmaster pretty much rules the roost in not caring what they are perceived as in the public opinion. I for one have paid in excess of 57% in fees on a single ticket for a concert in the past.. if they weren’t the only player in the game I would be boycotting their service. So when I was able to purchase Phish Tickets to their fall Tour Opener at Cobo Hall i was thrilled I would avoid TicketBastard charges.

Shortly after I “won” my tickets a friend of mine told me he managed to get tickets from Stub Hub for 1/2 price the Phish Ticketing cost.. I felt I had to send an e-mail to the ticket providers since they proclaim they want to eliminate scalping…This was their response:

Dear Fan,

We are aware that tickets are being resold on EBAY, StubHub, Tickets.com, etc. We went to great lengths to cancel any suspect or fraudulent ticket requests before the successful orders were selected.

Please understand that the only way to eliminate scalping is to simply not cooperate with it.

Sincerely,
Phish Ticketing Customer Service Dept

The worst part of this is the additional tickets the band sold through Ticketmaster, and Ticketmaster runs Stub Hub.. So…. If the bands ticketing service want to stop scalping by not cooperating, they should stop selling tickets through Ticketmaster who are taking advantage of their fans….

Finally, When your customer service is a technical support position there are many pratfalls that can get int eh way of the message to your customers. Worst is the typical person with a heavy accent who tells you their name is “Steve”  Worse is when a technical person barely leads your customer to the solution in very short steps over weeks of e-mail communication. This happened with this very blog over the past three months. after the support team had frustrated me as far as I thought I could be frustrated I sent a very nasty e-mail to my “Support person” demanding to be elevated to an English speaking manager… rather than tell me what to do, they just fixed the problem

They could have done that three months earlier and saved me the headache, and themselves an unhappy customer.

We all know that it’s easier to keep a customer than to get a new one… the best way to keep your customers is to remind your employees that all interfaces with the customer have to be informed, positive, and productive. And that is why every message between your customer and your company is a marketing message!

Marketing Detroit

Leo Burnetts entry stars a local celebrity, the singer Kid Rock.

Leo Burnett's entry stars a local celebrity, the singer Kid Rock.

The good folks at Time have set up shop here in Detroit and are covering the city for a year with the innovative “Assignment Detroit” While the project is intended to give the rest of the nation a better understanding of the City of Detroit aside from the misconception portrayed in the mass media during the automotive bailout we find the assignment has begun to fall into the same mire of negativity.. While there has been some interesting articles about the possibilities and potential in this great city.. they have managed to dig up some typical bad eggs that could be found in any major city.. Of course the issue of race was raised by the Editorial Board of the Free Press.

So in an interesting maneuver, Time is making an effort to improve the image of Detroit, and recruit young professionals to come to the city and help with the rebirth. Interestingly they are not making the effort through thought provokling journalism, but through advertising, as a contest among a number of local ad aagencies developing campaigns that will run on the pages of Time Inc. magazines

Several advertising agencies with offices in the Detroit area were asked to develop campaigns; five agreed to take part. Their work is to appear in the Dec. 7 issue of Fortune, due Nov. 23, as well as on three Web sites: cnnmoney.com, fortune.com and time.com. (The value of the ad pages that Time Inc. is devoting to the contest in Fortune is estimated at $400,000.)

While the idea is encouraging in the idea of promotioing our city and bringing us some good publicity, it’s still sad that of the agencies that were invited, some had to turn the project down as they are going out of business, those that could offer their efforts had some time on their hands admittedly.

As marketing goes thi is a nice shot in the arm for Detroit.. Just wish there was more involvement nationwide than just the same standard bearers cheerleading the same message that no one south of the MI border or north of Eight mile really wants to hear.

Read the NY Times Article about the Time Inc. Project here

Recruiting

There are multiple types of marketing. One of the often forgotten audiences is your internal group.

Business owners have a responsibility to communicate to their employees, letting them know what is happening in the company, and what the company offers the employees.

The first communication to your employees starts before they are even hired in the recruiting process.

I only bring this up because a funny thing happened yesterday.. I received an e-mail from a business owner who found my resume on the MichiganWorks.org recruitment site. I have no idea how, it’s only muddled together with a zillion other resume’s neglected over the past 5 years.

This was funny because the recruitment message asked if I was interested in an internship position 45 miles from my home, which was “A great learning opportunity.”

First the message was timid asking if I was interested in the position. It should have been assertive, telling me the position was available and they were interested in reviewing my qualifications.

However, they obviously weren’t interested in knowing anything about my qualifications. Had they researched the resume I went and looked at on the site, they would have seen that y 20+ years in marketing precludes me from unpaid internships.

I sent the recruiter an e-mail telling him as much and thanked him for reading my resume so thoroughly.

His reply, “I’m sure your quick with will take you far.”

I certainly hope this company takes better care in the rest of their business operations than they do in their recruiting process.

Innovative Technology

For those of us who have been a slave to the cubicle either in the present or past, we all have a certain affinity for Dilbert. Scott Adams has a unique way of clearly pointing to the ridiculousness that is corporate bureaucracy.

Well Scott has come across an actual business venture paired with Dilbert.. A few weeks ago, the story line led Dilbert to be fired for using company time to build his own home business. The strip is actually marketing Adams’ dilbertfiles.com.

From a marketing perspective this is genius. The service may not be the most innovative, as there are numerous providers of FTP servers that can be accessed for free or a low cost. However, Dlibertfiles.com promises an added layer of security.

Check it out for yourself.

Not a hand out, a hand up

A start up marketing company in Houston, TX comprised of a father soon team wanted to showcase their viral marketing skills with a self devised campaign to use as a case study. Being good people with a heart, these fellows did something many of us would not, they opened their eyes to the crappy stuff happening around us all the time.

From a  marketing perspective, the Ascendgence Group has succeeded probably beyond what they had hoped with national attention on major news outlets. They have generated national buzz and started collecting donations from people all over the country. They have even received the “No publicity is bad publicity” criticism of homeless activist groups. Finally, their main character, Tim, Has received the gift of a 5 week rehab donation from a Sunray rehab center in Seattle, Washington.

The site: Pimp This Bum is a diary, description of Tim, and how he met the founders of the site. Since the site was launched in Mid February 2009, it has garnered worldwise attention and is already collecting donations for Tim.The site name is offensive in it’s in your face way if presenting the content.

Best Said By Kevin Dolan

“As we have worked with Tim and his friends on the street over the past two weeks I have had an awakening that I hope we can share with others through this project. We knew that the same campaign with a sincere appeal, and a website like “helpthehomeless.com,” would be ignored. We knew that if we insulted people’s sensitivity or appealed to their humor – on a subject as sensitive as this we would get their attention. Then when they came to the site to see what a horrible thing or funny thing we were doing, they would immediately be introduced to Tim Edwards. They would quickly see a warm funny, sensitive, intelligent homeless human being. Someone they could relate to – someone they would like.”

As a marketing professional here in Detroit, I’m keenly aware of the challenges of homelessness, and am moved by the efforts to bring this to public light through their site.

Detroit Marketing Services and IsThisMarketing.com salute the Dolans and Ascendgence. We’ll be making a donation, won’t you?

Improve your message – Using video on your website

When marketing your products and services to customers and potential clients, it is easier for your audience to digest the information through video.

For example, a simple rich media presentation of Detroit Marketing Services gives a better overview of the full scope of service without trying to explain, illustrate and capture a reader for the full content of the website. A video overview can be as effective for your business as well.

Text on a page can be misunderstood when your clients view your website or static brochure.  Interruptions inevitably happen in our busy lives, and distract from the message of the written word. Internet video can deliver an impactful message in a short investment time from your viewers.

Internet video is far more viable as more people are connected at high bandwidth, and there are easier delivery methods for your video.

Developing a professional video is not as expensive as it once was with the integration of low cost software for editing and optimizing video files, and low cost digital video equipment. While it may be tempting to grab the family video camera and film a quick company video, it is better to hire a professional. Of course we suggest Detroit Marketing Services, but shop around there are plenty of professional providers, and you should feel comfortable with whomever you choose to showcase your company.

Remember your company video is a representation of your professional service and your delivery should also be professional in appearance. While innovative for it’s time, The Blair Witch Project was nearly unwatchable for all the shaky camera angles, and amateurishness of the videography.

Once you have a video produced, the best solution for providing it on your website is youtube.com. You can create a profile on youtube to host your videos, and provide inbound links to your company website.

This technique does two things for you:

  1. It provides less load on your webserver with video files that can be embedded in your page but run off the youtube server.
  2. youtube is owned by google, the holy grail of search engines and adding content through their services, and inbound links from them to your website helps in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Now that you have a new channel for telling your clients and prospects about your services promote it!

How Not to Manage Public Relations

In a suffering economy with unique business challenges facing all businesses, protecting a company’s image through your PR department is one of the most important directives you can have.

Compuware Detroit

Compuware Detroit

Compuware Corporation in Downtown Detroit has just announced earlier this week a round of 250 layoffs. In that same week they have announced they will hire convicted felon Kwame Kilpatrick, disgraced ex-mayor of Detroit. Read more here

Kilpatrick will fill an “Account Executive” position in the Dallas area for Compuware subsidiary Covisint health care division. Kilpatrick has no computer, healthcare, or sales experience. Kilpatrick has only been out of jail for two weeks, and has not been approved by his probation for transfer out of state. Kilpatrick is still under Federal Investigation regarding corruption charges throughout the Detroit area throughout his administration.

It appears that Pete Karmanos layed off his PR staff in the initial 250 earlier this week. There are many businesses that are offended by the manuver and many more who have threatened to purchase their software elsewhere.

Laying off hardworking employees and hiring felons is not good PR… Keep that in mind when you are making your plans for tightening our budget in these challenging times.

Update Feb 15: Mitch Albom Published a nice piece summing up the bad image this creates for Compuware here in the Free Press

Product Placement

Transformers Bumblebee

While the Detroit Big Three have had their recent woes based on slumping sales, a trend that has befallen pretty much all business worldwide, they have a few tricks up their sleeve to build up some new market share. The next Transformers movie will feature GM Products heavily in the base models of the alien transformers.

While product placement has become a prevelant use of marketing products as “hip” “Cool” or simply to associate those products to other successful ventures such as television shows, movies, or collaborative advertising, sometimes it detracts from the overall coolness of the original medium.

Bullet Holes in a new Caddy

The first to come to mind would be the Matrix Movie Trilogy. Remember the first installment and that wicked 1965 Lincoln Continental they drove around in the Matrix Proper? If I had the ability to drive whatever, a ’65 continental would be close to the top of my list…

After the franchise proved successful, it was courted by our friends at GM who polluted the second and third installments with brand new cars fresh fro the showroom floor. While I found them better depicted blown to hell, and riddled with bullets, i was still offended the original Lincoln got parked somewhere.