Category Archives: Marketing

The worst voice of the brand *is* the brand by Seth Godin

The worst voice of the brand *is* the brand
By Seth Godin
April 3, 2011

We either ignore your brand or we judge it, usually with too little information. And when we judge it, we judge it based on the actions of the loudest, meanest, most selfish member of your tribe.

When a zealot advocates violence, outsiders see all members of his tribe as advocates of violence.

When a doctor rips off Medicare, all doctors are seen as less trustworthy.

When a fundamentalist advocates destruction of outsiders, all members of that organization are seen as intolerant.

When a soldier commits freelance violence, all citizens of his nation are seen as violent.

When a car rental franchise rips off a customer, all outlets of the franchise suffer.

Seems obvious, no? I wonder, then, why loyal and earnest members of the tribe hesitate to discipline, ostracize or expel the negative outliers.

“You’re hurting us, this is wrong, we are expelling you.”

What do you stand for?

Reprinted with permission from the author

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Using “Constant Contact” to Market Abstract Art

Using “Constant Contact” to Market Abstract Art
By Lynne Taetzsch

(Andrew Spriegel) – I asked Lynne to write this article because not only does she create amazing art but she also does a great job at marketing her work.  Her artwork and art books are collected worldwide.  “Constant Contact” is a paid service provider that helps their customers build stronger customer relationships with professional-looking email newsletters.  Lynne uses “Constant Contact” to promote her business.

(Lynne Taetzsch) When I first started accumulating the email addresses of art lovers interested in my abstract paintings, I kept it as a “group” in my email address book.  But of course, as the list grew, there was no way to send a group email without my message being blocked from many mailboxes.  Plus, as I changed computers and software, it was hard to manage that list.

(Andrew Spriegel – I am one of Lynne’s fans and I have the painting below in my law firm.  The photos are great but the don’t give a true perspective of  the amazing textures and vibrancy of the colors in her works)

(Lynne Taetzsch) Constant Contact came to the rescue.  It offers safe emailing to any size group of business prospects.  People who receive Constant Contact email trust their brand and know they can easily opt out of getting any more emails from me if they so choose.

Constant Contact allows me to maintain my email lists on their site, dividing them into any number of specialized groups.  I have one for “art lovers” for example, for those who have expressed an interest in my art; and another for “art collectors,” those who have purchased my art.  I also have a list for “designers & galleries” in case I want to send a special message to the trade.

Once my lists are up to date on Constant Contact, I can easily send a group email, selecting from any number of pre-designed formats including a newsletter or plain business letter.  I can also insert images of my art and links to any number of pages on my website.  Once I’m completely satisfied with the project, I can then select the email groups I want to receive the message and schedule the date and time to send it.

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How to Promote Innovative Behavior

How to Promote Innovative Behavior
By John Gabrick

For far too long, innovation management has been the poor stepchild of business processes. Relegated to a simple ‘idea submission form’ or similar, ideas have been collected and then thrown into the pot to see what would happen.

With the advent of Web 2.0, innovation management became more social, with many vendors providing innovation communities to “sort through” the best ideas and let the crowd determine the best. While this new philosophy is better than the first, it too, yielded few results. First, getting your ideas from the “crowd” typically does not work as advertised. There are far too many issues involved with sharing your ideas in a public forum, and anything of real value will probably not be discussed. While you may get improvements to your products, you have to deal with volumes of junk, with the realization that you’ll spend a great deal of time finding the gems. Proponents of the “open” social methodologies are hard-pressed to provide any examples of true innovation that came from these methods.

Consider the results of American Idol, the ultimate crowdsourcing experiment. Each week, one or more contestants are eliminated based on the opinion of the audience. However, according to a recent article in USA Today, while the crowd has picked winners that have been successful, they have more often than not picked less than spectacular winners. And, note that the original group of participants, numbering nearly 70,000 for each season, is initially picked by “qualified” judges, further underscoring the fact that you cannot rely on the crowd even to pick the initial list of participants with only several hundred actually being selected to perform on television-or about 0.2%. As a final comment, realize that industry executives (and otherwise small numbers of people) have been picking hit songs and artists for decades-all without the help of the crowd. So, how do you utilize innovation management and social networking to your advantage? By tightly controlling it with a closed process. Seems counterintuitive, but it works. I’ll give you several steps to consider:

  1. Define a specific question that you want answered. Instead of looking for general ideas, you should seek to narrow your innovative efforts. If I walked into a room with 100 people and simply asked them for good ideas, I’d get a range of answers from changing the way I dress (probably a good one), to how to cure cancer. While many might be good, I’d be hard pressed to weed through all of the answers and then appropriately review each one.
  2. Target a specific audience. By targeting, you need to achieve two things. First, you need to go after a group that will have at least some understanding of the question that you want answered-I’m not suggesting that only engineers can answer engineering problems, however, if you are asking people with no environmental or domain expertise, then you’re going to be disappointed. Second, you need to have some measure of control over this group. This means that the audience has to have some incentive to provide you with good ideas, whether it is promotions, recognition, or something else. If you are going after a purely external group of people, then you’re going to have to look more toward the “something else”, because you can’t offer promotions, rewards, or recognition-the most highly regarded aspects of innovation from an internal group.
  3. Get experts to help you. Once you’ve defined your question and begin to get possible solutions, you are going to need experts to help you evaluate them. How else would you be able to credibility analyze the suggestions? And credibility is a big part of the equation. Submitters like to feel that their contributions are fairly and accurately judged. You don’t want the baseball commissioner umpiring a game. Umpires have the experience and judgment (except when it’s your team) to make calls. Can you imagine the problems if you had one of the fans acting as the umpire-which happens in elementary school to everyone’s demise-umpiring a game. The players, coaches, and spectators would be crying foul. It’s no different in innovation.
  4. Leadership. An intangible by critical element of innovation, you won’t have success without it. It ties directly with item #2, ‘Target a specific audience,’ because as mentioned, there needs to be some element of control. Think about the captain of a Navy boat. He (or she) has the authority and respect to make things happen, but also has the ability to provide rewards and promotions. So, on one hand, they can encourage participation in innovation and on the other hand, provide the recognition that comes with success. How do you provide leadership? Well, you could probably write a whole book on that subject, but in essence in boils down to: Does this person really believe that innovation is important, and are they demonstrating the importance with not only words, but also actions.

Can you get innovation without following these steps? Sure, even a broken clock is right twice a day. The problem with not using these steps is that your innovation process will be unpredictable and unreliable, and you’ll have a hard time justifying it. Today, more than ever, it’s critical to have a constant supply of new initiatives to remain competitive. That constant supply is only going to come by following a repeatable process.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved

With over 25 years experience in a variety of industries, Mr. Gabrick is an industry-seasoned professional in innovation business processes. This experience provided an education of unprecedented depths, first-hand exposure to the relevant issues, and ultimately served to fuel his passion to drive positive change related to innovation management, both at the corporate and employee levels. He has been dedicated exclusively to helping organizations to understand, design, and implement innovation processes across the enterprise. For information on his book about innovation, go to www.stepbystepinnovation.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Gabrick

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Innovators and Genius in Ohio: Andrew R. Thomas PhD

Interview with New York Times Best Selling Author Andrew R. Thomas PhD
by Andrew R. Spriegel
January 24, 2010

Where did you receive your PhD?

University of Bucharest, Academy of Economic Studies, in International Business. A substantial portion of the funding was provided by the U.S. State Department under a Fulbright Scholarship.

How did you become an author?

After I left the transportation business, I wrote my first book on global business strategy. I enjoyed the process – as well as having authored – so I wrote another one; and then another, and another…

How many books have you published?

Authored, co-authored, or edited 15.

What awards have you won?

The Berry-AMA Prize for the best book in marketing for 2010 (The Distribution Trap).

In 2008, my book Direct Marketing in Action was a finalist for this same award.

In 2003, The Rise of Women Entrepreneurs: People, Processes, and Global Trends selected as Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge Recommended Book on Entrepreneurship.

In 2002, Global Manifest Destiny: Growing Your Business in a Borderless Economy selected as Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge Recommended Book on Global Marketing.

I am most proud that in 2006, I was selected as the Phi Eta Sigma Student’s Choice Award for Favorite Faculty Member at the University of Akron.

What is the American Marketing Association’s Berry Award?

The Berry-AMA Book Prize for the Best Book in Marketing recognizes books whose innovative ideas have had significant impact on marketing and related fields.  Created by distinguished author and professor Leonard L. Berry and his wife Nancy F. Berry through generous contributions to the American Marketing Association Foundation (AMAF), the prize was awarded for the first time in Fall 2002.

Please tell me about your new book “The Distribution Trap”?

The premise is simple: too many inventions today are left in the hands of others to determine their value in the marketplace. This flawed business approach has enabled Mega distributors to rise up in every sector and control those same sectors. This has lead many innovative products and services to become commodities almost overnight.

What does it mean “marketers of innovations should control the channel themselves”?

To create something requires a huge investment in time, money, thought, sweat, and tears. It flies in the face of reason that once the invention is created, control over the sales and distribution of that invention is given over to a third party, which has no stake and very little real interest in whether it succeeds or fails. It is not logical. But it is what the management “gurus”, business professors, and other thought leaders have told inventors they must do to be successful.

I understand you are quite the world traveler.

I’ve been fortunate to have traveled and conducted business in more than 120 countries on all 7 continents.

How much do you use social networking?

Not much. I do have a LinkedIn account and a Facebook account, although I check them every few days. I prefer a personal visit or a phone call.

If you had to live your life over what would you do differently?

I have never had that question asked to me before. And, I’ve never thought about it, until now. I am totally cool with my life and everything that’s happened to me.

The success rate for inventions is estimated to be less than one half of one percent; I attribute that a high percentage of failures can be attributed to poor marketing.  Would you agree?

I would. From my experience, the way an invention is marketed and sold is so often much more important than the quality of the invention itself.

 

Andrew R. Thomas PhD

Title: Assistant Professor of Marketing and International Business
Department: Department of Marketing
Office: CBA 321
Phone: (330)972-7119
Fax: 330-972-5798
Email: art@uakron.edu
Website: http://www.AirRage.org

The Berry-AMA Book Prize recognizes books whose innovative ideas have had significant impact on marketing and related fields.

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Why would you as a firefighter want to use a patent attorney that is a professional fire fighter and an Inventor?

Why would you as a firefighter want to use a patent attorney that is a professional fire fighter and an Inventor?
by Andrew Spriegel
January 12, 2011

Many of the advances made in firefighting and EMS equipment and training have been made by firefighters and paramedics.  So if you are one of the numerous firefighter/EMS inventors, who do you go to write a patent to protect your idea?  Paul Filon, full-time lieutenant and paramedic in the Strongsville Fire Department and a licensed and registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Paul works at Spriegel & Associates, LLC (Patent & Trademark Attorneys) in Hudson, Ohio, http://www.Smart2Patent.com.

In addition to working as an EMT/paramedic for 22 years and a firefighter for 16 years, Mr. Filon is also chemistry specialist and Haz-Mat technician for the regional Haz-Mat and bomb teams.  He is experienced in several technical rescue disciplines and teaches a variety of firefighter and EMS classes.

Spriegel & Associates, LLC is gaining a reputation as working with firefighters, Captain Phil McLean is one of their clients and one of those inventor/firefighter types that owns Sensible Products Inc. (www.senpro.net), in Richfield, Ohio.  Phil and his business partner, retired Fire Chief, Russ English are quality manufacturers of unique holders and bracketry for fittings, adapters, brass goods and tools mounted on fire trucks.  Here is what Phil has to say about working with Paul:

I have worked with Paul Filon on several occasions related to product development. With his Fire Service background and knowledge of Emergency Services it made the development and patent process easy for me and my company as we were developing a new product in the business. He is an energetic worker and has a passion for all the work and all of his professions.  His multi-professional experience was and continues to be an asset to our project.

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The Pet Rock was more than a gag or fad it was a brilliant marketing strategy

The Pet Rock was more than a gag or fad it was a brilliant marketing strategy

By Andrew Spriegel
January 16, 2011

Nothing is as easy or as simple as it seems.  How times have you heard someone say “A guy made millions selling pet rocks.”

Marketing, Marketing and More Marketing

In inventing, retail and service businesses, success or failure often depends on marketing.

Gary Dahl, a Los Gatos, California advertising professional was in a bar in 1975 with his friends who were complaining about their pets.   Dahl, as a joke told his friends that he considered dogs, cats, birds, and fish messy, not well-behaved and they cost too much money,  he had a pet rock.  His “pet” was clean, well-mannered, easy to care for, required no expensive foods required no feeding, bathing, walking, grooming, was well-behaved, had an even temperament, would not grow elderly or pass away or become sick.  They were the perfect pets, and Gary joked about it with his friends.  However, he soon took the idea seriously, and went home and started to write an instruction manual for a pet rock.  The manual was full of jokes and gags that referred to the inanimate rock as a pet.

Dahl quit his job to launch Rock Bottom Productions, the company that sold the pet rocks for $3.95 per “pet”.   Marketing, packaging and shipping the pet rock like live pets, in cardboard, pet carrier boxes, with straw for the rock to rest on and breathing holes.  Large volume sales only lasted about six months, however sales made Dahl a millionaire.

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Innovators and Genius in Ohio – Daniel Moneypenny

Innovators and Genius in Ohio – Daniel Moneypenny
Daniel Moneypenny
by Andrew R. Spriegel
January 14, 2011

Daniel Moneypenny has transformed the English language into a revenue proposition, and he has done so on behalf of some of the world’s most powerful corporations. Daniel is a master of positioning statements, tagline, corporate & product naming, ad campaign development, along with his full spectrum ideation services for Fortune 50 & 100 clients.

Daniel is President and Chief Creative Officer of his branding/ideation firm, Emaginit that he founded over 25 years ago. Countless clients worldwide rely on emaginit for Moneypenny’s unique branding, potent phraseologies, and marketing stratagems. On any given day, he can create 100-200 branding entities for a specific client. These C-Suite clients have provided hundreds of written testaments to the effectiveness of his unconventional approach – from Dow AgroSciences and Pepsi to Time Warner.

Daniel has traveled far and wide developing branding & ideation elements. Exxon says he’s “extraordinarily gifted in turning a phrase into a great advantage.” Citicorp calls him a “man of ambition and integrity.” Procter & Gamble calls him the “Swiss Army Knife” of creative consultants.” Daniel cuts through immense information clutter to reach targeted audiences with a keen ability to connect viable words/phrases to products and new companies. In an over-communicated marketplace, his has an extraordinary skill, one that virtually ensures market share. He led Diebold’s ATM hardware and software branding launches across 26 countries. In addition to spearheading Amway’s branding efforts by developing 47 consecutive successful branding assignments throughout Europe, Japan and domestically. Emaginit continues to build its vast database, that currently holds in excess of 1,000,000 branding entities. He believes that intellectual property will become the new currency. So much so, emaginit is launching its own IP division to insure conception to consumption continuity.

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