Archive for December, 2011

“The 10 Most Watched Ads of 2011 on YouTube”

Posted by joe

The title of this article from Adweek says it all “The 10 Most Watched Ads of 2011 on YouTube” (December 21, 2011). We featured several of these on Learn the 4 Ps over the last year.  This might give you something entertaining to watch over break.

Is big brother watching you shop? The science of retailing

Posted by joe

A couple of interesting stories about how retailers utilize high-tech analytics to better understand customer shopping behavior. I heard “The secret life of discounts” (Marketplace radio, December 16, 2011, link to listen or read the transcript) as I drove to the airport last night to pick up my daughter who was coming home from college. There are some examples about how stores use analytics to try to remain profitable with consumers conditioned to buy only at a steep discount.

In “Big Brother is Watching You Shop” (Bloomberg Businessweek, December 15, 2011), you can read about retailers using in-store video cameras and tracking your cell phone to better understand how you move through a retail store. Analyzing video from a Miami store allowed Montblanc managers to more strategically locate merchandising, signage, and salespeople. The result — a 20% bump in sales. Other retailers follow customers’ cell phone signals to track and map movement through stores. This of course is raising privacy concerns.

What else could stores learn by carefully analyzing video of consumers shopping?  Does it bother you that your cell phone signal allows you to be tracked while you shop?

Pulling it all together — the Philadelphia Cream Cheese case

Posted by joe

Marketing is most interesting when you can see many of the concepts you learn tied together.  This article, “Philly Cream Cheese’s Spreading Appeal” (Bloomberg Businessweek, December 12, 2011) shows how some of the different elements you have been learning about in marketing can be tied together – with successful results.

Sales of Philadephia brand cream cheese were pretty much flat (mature or decline stage of the product life cycle) for most of the last decade. Then Kraft researchers (market research) noticed that heavy users of the product were using cream cheese (consumer behavior) as an ingredient in their cooking — not simply as a spread for bagels. Starting in Europe back in 2008, Kraft’s brand managers tapped into social media and the Internet to gather and share recipes using Philadephia brand cream cheese, they promoted it on cooking shows and with contests (Promotion). In the U.K. the share of customers using cream cheese as an ingredient (effective repositioning) has almost doubled to 37% — and sales are up 20% in Europe (results).

This is a great case study of a successful brand revitalization.  Check out the article for more details on the strategy.

Do creative resumes work?

Posted by joe

There are more and more examples of creative resumes?  Mashable has posted a couple of sets of examples with “10 Creative Social Media Resumes To Learn From” (May 20, 2011) and “7 Ingenious Resumes That Will Make Your Rethink Your CV,” (June 16, 2011).  A couple of specific examples from these articles include Graeme Anthony’s CVIV below and Nadia Kouri’s resume which appears to utilize a service called Beyond Credentials.

Here is my take.  I think that this type of resume might be a nice addition to a traditional resume and cover letter — especially for marketing majors and possibly CIS majors who do the programming themselves.  You could provide a link to one of these in your paper resume and cover letter.  Let’s think about the ties to marketing strategy planning and the personal marketing plan.  First, we need to understand how your customers (potential employers) conduct the hiring process and what they are looking for.  Many accounting firms probably are not looking for creativity — at least not this type.  You also want to think about how you are positioning yourself to potential employers — are you trying to demonstrate creativity, artistic or design skills, or an in-depth understanding of social media?  These types of resumes might offer a perfect forum.  The cover letter and paper resume may still be the way to attract attention, but these additional tools might both differentiate you from the pack while also obtaining future employers’ interest, desire, and action. Also, if you are going to do this — take your time and make it high quality.  Mistakes in spelling or grammar, a cheap looking website, or other issues might send the wrong message and do you more harm than good.

What do you think of these approaches?  Should students use them?  How?  Have you seen any other good examples?

Coke Pulls White “Save the Arctic” Cans After Market Confusion

Posted by joe

It sure sounded like a great idea.  Here at Colorado State University, we got to hear the whole plan in a speech by Coke CEO Muhtar Kent.  The idea, draw attention to global warming and the plight of polar bears.  The bears have been a Coca Cola holiday symbol for almost 100 years — so the actions also fit with the brand’s heritage.  Coke did this by changing the iconic red cans to white for the holidays.  It sure sounded like a good idea.  Unfortunately, the new cans confused consumers — especially Diet Coke drinkers who confused the white can with their familiar silver Diet Coke cans.  This article, “Bad News, Bears:  Coke Pulls Back on White Cans in Holiday Campaign to Save Polar Bears” (brandchannel, December 1, 2011) describes many interesting elements to the story.  For example, by monitoring social media, Coca Cola marketing managers heard complaints early.  This case is also a demonstration of a low involvement product that consumers buy out of habit.   In the end, it probably marks a mis-step by the soft drink giant.  But I would say, if you take chance, you will make mistakes sometimes.  And this whole outcome, like the New Coke introduction 25 years ago, may yet generate positive publicity for the brand.

What do you think?  Should Coke have pulled back on the cans?  Was it a good idea in the first place?  Was this risk foreseeable — or just part of the risk of being an aggressive and creative marketer?

New Belgium and Kim Jordan

Posted by joe

Here in Fort Collins we are proud of the success of local craft brewer New Belgium Brewing.  Driven by the popularity of its Fat Tire brand, the company has grown to be one of the top 2-3 craft brewers in the United States.  The company has largely eschewed television advertising and focuses a great deal on events and print advertising.  The company’s culture and commitment to sustainability are admirable — and make it the dream job of many locals.  So it was great to see the local brand get some national publicity in this article in Bloomberg Businessweek, New Belgium and the Battle of the Microbrews” (December 1, 2011).  The article provides some background on the craft brewing market and provides a nice example of a woman entrepreneur, Kim Jordan.

Are you familiar with New Belgium’s marketing?  If not, and you are over 21 years old, check out the website.  What do you like about their marketing?  What could be improved if you worked there?