After touting Google+ last week on this blog, it’s only fair that I also mention Microsoft’s efforts in its new Office 365 email program. According to PR Daily, the video below was shown by Microsoft at its annual global sales conference. Actually makes a pretty important point about personal privacy:
According to a CareerCast.com report, choose a career related to health care rather than the media if you want to reduce stress on the job. Remember, that’s their findings, not mine. Not sure how much to put into the analysis, but here are the rankings:
The criteria used by CareerCast.com researchers include 11 different factors that invoke stress. Each factor was assigned a range of points, and a high score was given if it was a major part of the job, while fewer points were given if it wasn’t normally required.
The most stressful job was found to be commerical airline pilot, but four of the top 10 were media related.
CareerCast.com’s Highest Stress Professions:
Commercial Airline Pilot
Public Relations Executive
Corporate Executive, Senior
Advertising Account Executive
Emergency Medical Technician
Real Estate Agent
Audiologist, a practitioner who assesses and treats hearing disorders, is ranked as the nation’s least stressful profession, according to the new report. More than half of the 10 least stressful professions are in the health care field.
CareerCast.com’s Lowest Stress Professions:
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a difference. Researchers found that including 10 words at the end of an advertisement can help a company’s perception with its customers.
After using the statement, the business was rated higher in the following categories:
- Fair price, up 7%
- Caring, 11%
- Fair treatment, 20%
- Quality, 30%
- Competency, 33%
And those magical 10 words: "You can trust us to do the job for you."
Even if you’re not a top-level executive who once stole a deceased man’s identity to build a new life for yourself, you can likely relate to at least one character in "Mad Men" or at least the hit show’s fictional advertising firm. As this season wrapped up, Fast Company gleaned some leadership lessons from the program’s key characters. Here’s an example:
Roger Sterling, Jr. – Sr. Partner, Head of Accounts
The best that can be said of Roger’s work this year is that he managed to avoid having a third heart attack. It wasn’t entirely his fault that the company lost Lucky Strike, which accounted for more than two-thirds of its billings. But Roger committed a grave leadership sin when he decided to keep the bad news to himself, let the other partners learn about it via the Mad Ave grapevine — then lied about flying down to Raleigh to patch things up.
Roger has been distracted and petulant, focused more on his memoirs and his disastrous affair with Joan than the account which was, so far as we can tell, his sole responsibility. Let’s not even mention the racist outburst that nearly scuppered the company’s chance at the Honda account. Had he not been so entitled, he might have seen that American Tobacco was bound to consolidate its accounts over at BBDO someday. The most damning judgment on Roger came from his old partner Bert: “You didn’t take yourself seriously, so neither did they.”
LESSON: No matter how bad the news is, share it with your fellow leaders. They can handle it better than you alone.
If you’re like me, you’re not a big fan of location-based social media. My general view is that unless you’re my child (or dog, in my case), I’m hoping to rob your home or I’m stalking you, I don’t need to know where you are or what you’re doing. However, some businesses have been using Foursquare as a way to engage loyal customers via discount offers and rewards. Case in point, McDonald’s recently gave it a shot and generated as much as 33% more foot traffic:
With so many brands trying their hand at location-based marketing campaigns, one has to wonder: is Foursquare really effective as a platform for bringing in new business? McDonald’s seems to think so; the company’s head of social media Rick Wion recently spoke of the fast food giant’s big wins from a spring pilot program using Foursquare.
At the Mobile Social Communications conference yesterday, Wion shared that McDonald’s was able to increase foot traffic to stores by 33% in one day with a little Foursquare() ingenuity. McDonald’s total cost for the successful campaign was a measly $1,000.
Econsultanty reports that McDonald’s, with Wion driving campaign direction and strategy, opted to try and take advantage of Foursquare Day (4/16) to bring in more business. The company used 100 randomly awarded $5 and $10 giftcards as checkin bait to lure in potential diners. The bait also worked to attract the media’s attention and resulted in more than 50 articles covering McDonald’s Foursquare special.
The campaign worked in both digital and real world capacities. Patrons flocked to McDonald’s restaurants for the chance to win giftcards in exchange for checkins, and 600,000 online denizens opted to follow and fan the brand on social media sites.
“I was able to go to some of our marketing people — some of whom had never heard of Foursquare — and say, ‘Guess what. With this one little effort, we were able to get a 33% increase in foot traffic to the stores’,” Wion explained to conference attendees.
A company of McDonald’s size spends millions on advertising every year, and yet a simple $1,000 Foursquare campaign netted the company measurable success. Of course, the metric here was checkins (not sales), and there were likely several other factors contributing to the campaign’s success, but it’s still a story that many an agency should pay heed to.
McDonald’s is not alone in their Foursquare success. Earlier this year, Domino’s UK attributed social media, and its Foursquare pilot program in particular, as a primary factor in helping the company increase profits by 29%.
But NOT SO FAST, says ReadWriteWeb. The site asserts McDonald’s claims are a bit, shall we say, super-sized.
ManagementToday.com offers some thoughts on how to keep your advertising effective. Some valuable suggestions here:
4. Focus on faces
The face is the center of our being, the barometer of a person’s health and beauty. It’s also how we evaluate whether we like somebody, and the place to check if we distrust what we’re being told. Fake smiles don’t fool us; everybody’s a natural facial coder. For instance, ‘surprise’ that lasts for more than a second isn’t genuinely felt surprise; it’s canned, another case of ‘spin’ and is intuitively rejected. Our results show that the casting alone can account for a 30% swing in consumers’ emotional response to an execution that is otherwise identical in format and messaging.
5. Make It memorable
Ad agencies too often set a pace that feels like a blur to consumers. Their clients can meanwhile be foolishly blind to the need for an ad that achieves an emotional peak. People notice change; a solution where the ‘pain’ of the status quo isn’t conveyed adequately means the solution isn’t perceived as valuable and the storyline just drones on.
6. Relevancy drives connection
‘Us’ and ‘me’ is everything; attachment and self-esteem are the motivations that work best. Differentiation from rivals doesn’t by itself deliver anything on behalf of your target market. In Latin, the words ‘motivation’ and ‘emotion’ have the same root, i.e., to move, to make something happen. Without emotional engagement, you’re dead.
7. Always sell hope
Meaningfulness is the key to sustained happiness. Create a powerful context, a way to enhance confidence and security, or else you’re merely selling a product or service instead. When we’re happy we embrace a branded offer, and are inspired to solve problems at a clip that’s as much as 20%faster (with superior results). In other words, happiness isn’t ‘soft’.
8. Don’t lead with price
Price has only to be heard to be pigeon-holed, short-circuiting the emotional connection. In contrast, value gets assessed over time, based on the build-up of brand associations and experience of the offer. Make money by building a relationship. Loyalty is a feeling, after all, and when it comes to price it depends on overcoming people’s natural aversion (disgust) about surrendering cash to purchase a company’s goods.
Ever heard of a Groupon? Well, you have now. See how GAP’s week got a whole lot better when results from its discount push started rolling in last week:
Groupon is having a smashing day, likely generating over $4 million in net revenue, thanks to a deal with the Gap.
Today’s Groupon gives users a $25 discount at the Gap if consumers spend over $50 at the store. If you think it sounds like a good deal, you’re not alone.
CEO Andrew Mason tells us that as of 4:43 ET, Groupon has sold over 300,000 Gap deals. That puts Groupon’s gross revenue for the day at $7.5 million ($25X300,000).
Mason wouldn’t say how much Groupon keeps, but previously we’ve heard it’s around 50%. So, Groupon’s net revenue could be $3.75 million already, and the day’s not over yet. It will keep selling deals and it will generate much more than $4 million today.
TechCrunch thinks Groupon could do 700,000 sales today for gross revenue of $17.5 million.
You know them. You love them. They’re the people that have driven commerce in America for decades: Ad icons. Wallet Pop recently remembered its Top 10 icons of all-time. Sadly, no mention of the "Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell" guy. Here are a couple of gems:
6. The ‘Where’s the Beef’ Lady
"Where’s the beef?"
This campaign for Wendy’s fast-food restaurants starred an 81-year-old played by Clara Peller who was used to highlight Wendy’s massive amounts of meat in their burgers. By 1985, Peller was fired from Wendy’s after declaring that she had "found the beef" in an advertisement for Prego Plus spaghetti sauce. She then made a few guest appearances on television shows, but died at the age of 85 in 1987.
7. Life Cereal’s Mikey
"He likes it. Hey, Mikey!"
From 1971 to 1987, Life cereal ran an ad starring three young brothers, the most famous of which was Mikey, played by John Gilchrist, who portrayed the usually-picky eater as loving Life cereal. Gilchrist also appeared in more than 250 commercials for such products as Pepto Bismol, Skippy peanut butter, and Jell-O. Today, contrary to the popular rumor that he died from a diet of Pop Rocks and Coke, he works as a radio advertising executive.
One thing we can all agree on: entrepreneurship and innovation are the backbones of a thriving society. But in order for success to be achieved, trial and error must always take place. The Huffington Post provides a look at some inventions that never quite took off. See them here.
My favorite is probably the Sun Pod:
Thankfully this 80’s prototype never caught on. In theory it was for those seeking peace and quiet on the beach, but in practice it would basically be a human oven.
A release from eMarketer.com contends that Ball State University students who received ads on their mobile phones were not very enthusiastic about it. (I say if you want people to get jazzed about marketing again — especially on their personal communication devices — then it’s time to bring back The Noid.)
A Ball State University study of a primarily female group of college students found that a majority of them had seen ads on their phones, including 51.2% of smartphone or touchscreen phone users and 61.3% of feature-phone users. Text ads were most prevalent.
Their reactions to ads were highly negative. More than 40% were annoyed to get an ad, compared with just 1.2% who were pleased and 17.6% who were neutral. Even more dramatic, nearly three in 10 said they were less likely to purchase a product after seeing a mobile ad for it. Slightly fewer reported their purchase intent was unchanged, but only a small number said mobile ads encouraged them to purchase.
A substantial minority of respondents (44.3%) would not be induced to receive mobile ads under any circumstances, but 37% were willing to accept them for something free in return. Free ringtones and music were the most popular exchange. In addition, almost two-thirds of all respondents said ads would be OK if they got paid to see them, and the largest segment of that group wanted at least $1 in return for each ad viewed.