Performance Marketing:
Where Business and Entertainment Meet

Focused on Marketing, Advertising and Entertainment


Tax Day

So it's tax day.  I always send in early in the hopes of a speedy return.  But in preparation I review my annual statement from American Express.  Once again I am astounded - could I really spend that much money on food?

This year's review was particularly funny, however.  I gave money to "Obama for America" which was billed to my Amex Card.  And there he was, on the annual summary, in the the category of Other Services.  He was listed right along with my dry cleaner and for some odd reason a beer that I bought at our football stadium.

I'm not sure how American Express drew this unlikely combination of services, but I guess it could be worse for all of them.



So Oprah is back on TV with a show on her network.  We knew she would - the network is nothing if Oprah is not on it.  She is giving a life class and today's lesson was about belief.  Not spiritual belief but belief in yourself and what you can accomplish.  As a younger person I thought I was unsuccessful because I had done nothing that was truly meaningful.  I knew I would never be "Mother Theresa" but a physic had told me that I would influence many people and I believed that.  So, in a mid-stage look back, I felt disheartened. Where was my great gift to the world?  Later a great college friend (who grew up to be an Episcopal Minister) let me off the hook.  She told me you serve the world by doing what you are good at.  That has been a good way for me to find belief.  Focus on what you are good at.  You may not influence millions but you will serve the world. 


Why business silos are death to brands

Shopping is a primary activity for people who are on vacation, so I think we could argue that many retail brands should really be about entertainment.  With that in mind ever wonder why you might see a great print or TV ad – clever, witty, entertaining, and maybe even bold - and then when you go to the retail store or website to purchase the environment is nothing like the ad campaign that was created to get you there. The culprit? Brands are organized by function and don’t communicate with one another.

Many retail brands still do not get Brand 360 where the store or website is the greatest consumer touch point.   Sure stores can succeed with good customer service (efficient, helpful) but what about the way the store/website looks and feels?  Why not link your brand marketing to the store?  Even a few bold graphics could make a tie in.  My belief is that business silos may be an efficient way for a business to organize but silos don’t care at all about the customer and are “death” to a fully actualized brand experience.


A brand extension that works – The Glee Project!


So many brand extensions do not work.  The brand itself may not be not strong enough to support an extension or the category is so crowded that the extension gets lost among  hundreds of competitors.  But in this interesting twist -- from popular television show to reality TV show -- the extension is not only successful in its own right but it supports additional interest in the original show. As a viewer it is fun to get to know three of the creative forces associated with the show - Ryan Murphy, Robert Ulrich, and Zach Woodlee. Watching them work with and critique the young talent is a window into the preparation and operation of “Glee.”  And every week Robert and Zach look more like proud parents, as they watch, encourage and root for their “kids” who wind up in the bottom three, than hard-bitten Hollywood types.  This personalizes the show in untold ways. Kudos all around on this effort.  A strong brand, a strong extension, a more deeply engaged audience.


Social Media on a Shoestring

In order to not become a marketing dinosaur I decided to develop a thoughtful social media strategy for my B2B clients.  This is not an easy task as the benefits are not as readily apparent as in consumer marketing.   In B2B the key decision-maker is likely to be an executive in their company (sometimes the CEO) often in their 40s or 50s.  It is hard to imagine this type of person taking the time to read tweets or Facebook in order to decide what partner they will select to work with in their business. 

And then you have the cost.  Initially my reserach indicated that you would need at least one full-time person to devote to social media to keep up with the inbound and outbound side of things.  I began to discover that you can "try" social media with less of an investment if you have a willing team of participants. First priority is to develop a blog.  This is very important in the ability to move your company up in organic search. But here is where the team comes in.  You need at least 4-6 people who are willing to post once a month.  There is nothing like frequency in blogging.  This will take some time on the part of the team members so sign up people who are willing to commit one hour per month to the project -- and, of course, people who have something interesting to say.  Then find a young staff member who is already participating in social media and have them as the point person on the other vehicles like Twitter and Facebook.

And try to put some "social" in social media.  If you have fun with it people will be more engaged in helping out for the long haul.