Archive for the 'B2C' Category

06
Sep
12

Health Care Marketing: Pretty Plus, New Plus Size Children’s Clothing Line

It’s impossible to ignore the childhood obesity epidemic that is evident and growing in the US today. With such a heightened problem at our fingertips, we as a culture are showing our gluttonous opportunistic faces once again.

Pretty Plus is a new clothing line, originating in Sears that tailors to “plus” size children ranging from 3-10 years of age. They offer styles that mirror those of “normal” size children, enabling larger kids to wear the clothing that is in style.

This brand has proven to be a success overnight. So much so, they have intentions to expand into clothing stores such as Old Navy, The Gap and The Children’s Place.

The success of this plus size brand comes with a price. Many people are concerned with the psychological strain the labels of this clothing are putting on the children. There are debates that calling labeling boy’s clothes “husky” or girl’s clothes “pretty plus” is putting a stigma on them from a young age.

Personally, it saddens me that the unfortunate prevalence of obese children can create such a profitable arena for companies, but it is the reality of our world. I commend people such as Michelle Obama with her ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative, Rachael Ray with her Yum-O organization and the NFL’s Play 60 movement, all of which advocate children’s exercise and/or healthy eating to combat children’s obesity.

Being in the advertising world, I praise the Pretty Plus’s marketing strategy of identifying and jumping on a profitable niche market. Being a health care advocate, I see the unfortunate capitalization on the concession of unhealthy children.

Share your thoughts on the new Pretty Plus brand. Do you think a plus size option for children is advantageous or are we moving backward?

15
Aug
12

MOLOSO: Rewarding your loyal customers through mobile and social media

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We’ve heard it over and over again: social media is a great, cost effective way to drive traffic into your business and create better brand awareness.

But what about the people who already know and love your brand? It is time that you show your loyalty customers some love.

First, ask yourself what makes your loyalty customers special and what do you want to accomplish? Do you want them to buy more or buy more often? Knowing your goals and the personality of your target audience is key is determining how likely they will respond to your attempts to reward their loyalty.

Second, do not forget about your social-loyal (SOLO) customers. For example, I am a huge SOLO customer of Dunkin Donuts. I follow them online and as soon as the Denver franchises open I will be a loyal buying customer. Here are a few ways to make your loyalty customers feel special:

Texting: Life revolves around our mobile devices. It has been shown that 73% of Americans send and receive text messages. This is a personal way to reach your loyal customers to offer them exclusive time-sensitive offers, notify them of their membership status and bring them in during your slower hours. Check out these examples:

  • Nail Salon: Monday & Tuesday special: free member only upgrade!
  • Frozen Yogurt: You only need 3 more purchases to qualify for a free 10 oz yogurt!

Facebook, also known as the face of social media, visually advertises your business, and allows you to interact with your followers. Loyal customers want to feel special, and through Facebook you can have conversations with them, give away specialty membership contests and reward loyal customers from their Facebook Check Ins.

Also, do not assume your loyal customers know all of the services you provide. Use Facebook to further advertise add-ons, special events, catering, monthly specials and new offers. If they are following your page, they are interested. They will be excited to know they can get more products and services than they may have thought.

  • Chick-fil-A: they offer their catering information (seemingly less known to the public) and (to date) have 2.4 million people talking about their page, and 6.2 million likes

Foursquare: Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012. Foursquare is an app that lets you ‘check in’ at the businesses you frequent. If you go to one place more often than your friends do, you become the “Mayor.” The race to become the Mayor gives customers incentive to go, and to go repeatedly. You can further emphasize this incentive by offering the Mayor free products, upgrades, discounts and invites to exclusive events.

  • Arby’s Mayor special: they get to sit in the “4Square Mayor Booth” and get to taste test new sandwich offerings. They also get the special badge on their Foursquare profile.

Twitter: Tweeting may have less impact on purchasing behavior, but is a great outlet to educate your loyalty crowd. Customer service via Twitter is also useful because it will reach a vast number of customers and show them that you are concerned with their happiness. Exclusive offers for free products can also be advertised through a link to sign up with your membership or by registering to join your clientele base.

  • Morton’s: Peter Shankman tweeted to his 150,000 followers, “Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, Thanks :)” – and they did!
  • Subway: incredible customer service through conversations with their followers regarding what they like and dislike.

With 12 million Americans using social media daily, you have a high probability that your loyal customers will be reached and appreciative that you have taken the initiative to thank them for being loyal. A little appreciation will keep them coming back, and more importantly, spreading a positive word about your business.

What advice do you have for businesses that are trying to reach their loyal customers? Give us your thoughts from the loyal customer point of view on Facebook at Weise Communications or on Twitter @Weise_Ideas.

03
Apr
12

What’s Easter without a little chocolate?

 

ImageThere are few holidays that are not centered around chocolate and/or desserts, and Easter is no exception.

Mars M&Ms has grasped this reality and flung it into a new mobile marketing advertising campaign to drive sales for the coming holiday.

The M&M mobile ads capture attention with phrases such as, “Make every basket complete. M&M chocolates for Easter,” according to Mobile Marketer. Once they tap on the ad, users are educated on how to incorporate the candies into their Easter dessert recipes. It drives the consumer to a mobile microsite where they are greeted by the infamous M&M characters and step-by-step recipes.

The brilliance of the mobile marketing is its capability to drive on impulse. People who receive the ad when they are already out and about have it fresh in their mind that they should not only buy the candy, but they should do so because they have a recipe that they need it for; making the purchase a necessity, not just a desire.

Next to Valentines Day, Easter is the biggest chocolate buying holiday, and these ‘virtual end caps’ are a bright idea for the spring season.

What recipe will you make with the pastel M&M candies? Give in, it’s Easter.

27
Jan
12

Super Bowl Advertising Preview

The average cost of a commercial for the Super Bowl is around $3.5 million this year, and NBC pretty much sold out its ad inventory by Labor Day. With the DVR changing how we watch TV and creating commercial skipping, television advertising seems like a dying media. So, why do advertisers mortgage the farm to get an ad for the Super Bowl?

Fewer events are more hyped, create as much fanfare, attract more interest from celebrities, politicians and average Americans than the Super Bowl. And live is still how viewers like to watch sports with the NFL leading the sports pack in fan base size. Last year’s Super Bowl had an astonishing 110 million viewers – definitely worth mortgaging the farm.

Therefore, we wanted to preview some of the spots that we think will be real highlights this year.

Volkswagen

One of the highlights last year came courtesy of Volkswagen as they unveiled their commercial, “The Force,” which featured a young Darth Vader and a new 2012 Passat.

Volkswagen may have replicated its 2011 success with a memorable ad for the  Super Bowl XLVI. They have a teaser (yes – an ad of an ad) for this year’s Super Bowl commercial, which includes dogs barking the Star Wars theme and is named “The Bark Side.”

As a dog lover, and Vizsla owner (top row-center), I for one am excited to see this ad.

Sketchers
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, will be guest starring in Sketchers third-consecutive Super Bowl ad. With expectations lowered after last year Kim Kardashian commercial, Sketchers can only improve, right?

It turns out that this particular ad features racing greyhounds that lose to a tiny dog wearing Sketchers.

Doritos
In my opinion, Doritos has been throwing multiple game winning touch downs with its “Crash the Super Bowl Contest” for the last couple of years, and this year looks to be no different. Here are some of the top contenders.

Sling Baby
What do you get when you mix a baby in a swing, a mean grandmother and a bratty kid taunting them both? A great commercial.

Man’s Best Friend
Dog-themed entries always grab my attention. This entry features a dog trying to cover its tracks and a human that can apparently be bought off for just a sack of Doritos.

The Voice
A promo for “The Voice” that will be aired during the Super Bowl, for a series that premieres directly after the Super Bowl, will at least create some conversation at the water cooler on Monday. The spot is titled “Vokal Kombat,” so I can only assume that it features Christina Aguilera ripping Adam Levine’s head off, vocally that is.

So, we are interested to know, what commercials are you most excited to see and , more importantly, do stellar commercials make up for a Super Bowl that is heavy on defense or one-sided? Let us know here on The Side Note, or on Facebook (Facebook.com/WeiseCommunications) or on Twitter (@Weise_Ideas).

09
Sep
10

Google Instant: More than Interactive Search

On Sept. 8, Google announced the improved search feature, Google Instant.  Users on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer 8 will begin to see results displayed as soon as they type in queries.

At first glance, this simply seems like a time-saver, Google estimates 2 – 5 seconds saved per search. Really only enough time to sip your coffee. However, there is real value to the consumer, and marketers will need to step up vigilance on search term optimization especially for pay per click (PPC) campaigns.

For the consumer, Google Instant is better than the Google suggestions at the bottom of the first page of results. By seeing results as you type, you are better able to refine your search on the fly.  Google Instant makes interactive suggestions based on where others have been before.

For example, I typed in ‘ex’ and as you can see Google Instant delivers Expedia as my first option.

BEWARE! Marketers need to be concerned with the rest of the Google changes.  In preparation for the launch of Google Instant, Google quietly updated their keyword tool. This generated numerous reports of huge drops in search traffic numbers.

According to Gary Adam Shannon of searchenginewatch.com, the (exact) phrase [golf clubs] used to report an estimate of 165,000 monthly searches two weeks ago:

As of right now, the (exact) phrase [golf clubs] reports 33,100 monthly searches.

If you are currently running a PPC campaign, you must re-evaluate your search terms based on the changes Google has implemented.  This will impact website planning, SEO efforts and embedding keywords in websites.

Additionally, a faster, more streamlined search means less opportunity for long tail searches. This will drive up the PPC cost for popular search terms. Online marketers are going to have to go back to the basics as it relates to managing the search engine.

Let us know what you think of Google Instant and if you have seen a drop in your search traffic.  Follow Weise Communications on Twitter for more updates.

08
Sep
10

We’re Weise…and we approve this message

Election Day is November 2nd and in the next two months, traditional advertising vehicles will be bombarded with political advertising. Expect to see more TV, radio, outdoor and print advertising advocating a specific candidate, issue or initiative.  Even though this is a mid-term election, there are so many congressional (both senate and house) and governor elections, traditional advertising channels will be inundated with political advertising.

There are two major impacts for marketing professionals:

  • Inventory of available advertising space is extremely low
  • People will become numb to advertising due to the political ad messages

Studies have shown that negative advertising moves the polls for and against candidates more than ‘what I stand for’ advertising. The fact that people tend to retain negative information longer than positive information is another reason why negative political advertising is so effective. Since it is effective is shaping opinions, we know we will see negative ads.  We always do.

Prior to Election Day, advertisers should consider alternate advertising vehicles.  For example, focusing on a vertical market segment.  If you are trying to reach men, focus on sports related media like Sports Illustrated or ESPN.com.

However, all is not doom and gloom as advertisers take for granted that the public’s dislike for political ads will spillover to product ads.  It is our opinion that there is a contrast effect for product/service advertisers. Exposure to negative political ads impacts the consumer feelings about politics – product/service ads are unaffected by these feelings. In comparison with political ads, product ads appear even more attractive and credible.

Advertisers create entertaining, emotional and humorous ads positioning products/services in the most attractive light. Positivity is the face of product/service advertising. In contrast, political advertisers typically anger, disgust and repulse their audience.

Advertisers should prepare for November 3rd (the day after Election Day) with renewed effort.  The inventory will be available and the public will be more receptive to your message.

Let us know if you agree with us and follow Weise Communications on Twitter where we approve our tweets.

24
Aug
10

Franchise Marketing: Social Media Policies to Avoid Creepy Behavior

An account coordinator in our office experienced a highly questionable encounter with an individual at a franchised barbershop. I am not going to mention the specific name of the company, I think it will be sufficient to say it’s a franchise. It’s a barbershop. There are locations in Denver. That only leaves four or five options. Any of them could be a culprit.

The issue at hand concerns an employee using social media to directly contact customers. Here is how the situation unfolded:

“Yesterday I went to [name deleted] to get a “fresh cut.” Upon entering the store I was asked for my first and last name. I gave it to the girl without objection, but wondered why she needed both. I understand needing a name to call you when they are ready and occasionally people have the same first name, but there were only three other people in the shop and I was the only one waiting. I got my haircut, said goodbye to the receptionist and walked out.

“Last night I received a Facebook message from the receptionist asking if this was the same person that was at the shop. She wanted to connect on Facebook and get to know me.”

Creepy. Stalker-like.

This incident raises a lot of questions about the ethics of employees using social media to connect with customers. How does a Franchisor dictate the appropriate social media behavior of employees in stores that are “individually owned and operated?” Even if social media guidelines are in place, are they available and known by all of the employees in all of the stores nationally and internationally? Are the rules enforceable and do they address this type of behavior?

These are issues for franchisors to consider when developing social media policies. Protection the brand is more than just making sure tweets are appropriate and the right logos are used. The BRAND is seen in every detail of employee interactions with customers. Allowing one employee to go rogue with the use of social media can create a huge issue for any company that could destroy even the most well-established brand.

What do you think? Was this behavior appropriate in a world of blurred social boundaries? What does your franchise system say about social media interactions with customers? Tell us here.

To find out more Weise Communications and how we handle social media, follow us on Twitter or check out our Facebook account.




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