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    A good idea is a good idea NOW!™


    Nov 2009

    Studying for a marketing final? Check out these 15 videos!

    Posted by / in Marketing, Tips and Tricks / Link

    Studying solely from the textbook and reviewing lecture notes sucks (except my notes of course)! Many textbook publishers have really useful websites where you can watch video cases, do online quizzes, mess with flash cards and click on related links that unfortunately are either dead, outdated or horribly lame. There are many creative people posting helpful videos that make the marketing concepts easier to understand and even more interesting.

    Pricing Strategies

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    Product Life Cycle

    The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy

    Consumer Market Segmentation

    Postpurchase Behavior

    Post-purchase satisfaction

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    THE CORPORATION [14/23] A Private Celebration

    THE CORPORATION [15/23] Triumph of the Shill

    Brand Experience vs. Brand Promise

    How to Perform Customer Segmentation

    Trademark and Tradedress in Product Package Design

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    Motivating Sequence for Copywriting: AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action!

    London Barber Whacks the Competition

    Selecting the distribution channel.

    Channel Marketing: How and Why?

    I sincerely hope the above videos have helped you review. Let me know how you did!

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    Nov 2009

    5 elements of a great tagline

    Posted by / in Marketing, Tips and Tricks / Link

    I recently went through a rather exhausting exercise creating a “tagline” for a client.  A tagline – you know…those succinct and often memorable statements that capture the essence of the brand.

    Think of some of the classics and soon-to-be classics:

    • A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste® (United College Negro Fund)
    • Don’t leave home without it (American Express)
    • Melts in your mouth, not in your hands (M&M’s)
    • Just do it (Nike)
    • Broadcast Yourself™  (YouTube)

    It seems so simple. One line – two or three words even! How hard can it be? It may seem pretty easy to come up with a tagline, but not one that is destined to become a classic. Let alone one that your customers instantly “get”.

    So how do you create a good tagline without hiring someone like myself?


    Consider the 5 elements of a great tagline:

    1. It is connected to the brand

      Your tagline must make sense. It must be consistent with your company’s vision, culture and values. You can’t do this without knowing who you are, how you’re different from the competition and how your customers see you. If you are just starting out, think about how you would like your customers to see you.

      Lucky Charms “Magically Delicious”

    2. It is “ownable” (aka Randy’s litmus test)

      The tagline should tie into the core of your company. My former boss used to do the same thing with advertising – I call it Randy’s litmus test. He’d ask – “if we switched logos, would this ad still work?” If it did, then we would not use the ad. The same rule applies to taglines: if one of your competitors used your tagline, would it work for them? If it does, time to try again.

      Can Microsoft use Apple’s “Think different”?

    3. It is dead simple

      Simple is so important. You see it everywhere. Memos are simple. Instructions should be simple. Blog posts must be simple! No one has time for complexity – if they do, you don’t want them as customers (they’re too much work)! A tagline that needs to be explained is obviously no good. A long-winded, multiple-sentence tagline is also likely to be ineffective.

      Lay’s Potato Chips “Betcha can’t eat just one”

    4. It is clear

      This is the really tough part. There are a lot of options but finding the one “gem” takes laser-like focus on your brand and how you want to position your company.

      CNN’s “Go Beyond Borders” does it for me.

    5. It is consumer-focused

      It’s not what’s so wonderful about your company or brand but the benefit to the consumer. Consumers don’t care that you’re the leader, the first whatever, the sole supplier, the least hated, and so on – They just want to know why they should buy from you.

      Allstate says it best: “You’re in good hands”.

    Here are some words I would suggest you avoid when brainstorming your tagline:

    • Anything that starts with “A History of…” or “A tradition of…”
    • Anything that ends with “…solutions”.
    • Words like Committeed, Facilitating or Making.

    Here’s my tagline:

    A good idea is a good idea NOW!™

    What do you think?

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    Aug 2009

    Time Management for Entrepreneurs

    Posted by / in Consulting, Marketing, Tips and Tricks / Link

    Many of us start the day with the best of intentions but by dinner time, are not entirely satisfied with our accomplishments. It’s hard to stay focused with emails, phone calls, text msgs, IM, SKYPE, Twitter and FB updates constantly interrupting us. Not to mention blog posts!

    ethnicomm time management for entrepreneurs

    The time management courses that I took while in the corporate world always focused on making a TO DO list. I tried this one particular Monday and ended up moving the list to Tuesday. This was easy to do using the Day-Timer binder – just click open, remove the list, flip the page and insert the list. I did the same thing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday, I felt bad that I did not accomplish most of what I had intended to accomplish.  Knowing that this was a best practice, followed by the masses, I kept at it. By the end of the month, I realize that this doesn’t work for me so I did what I always used to do – successfully I might add!

    1. Focus on the stuff that will get me promoted.
    2. Then, focus on the stuff that would get me fired if I didn’t do it.
    3. Ignore the rest until it fell into either 1 or 2 above.

    This is fine if you are in a position where you can be promoted or fired. But what if you’re running a consulting service that helps companies develop a marketing, sales or web strategy? Or any other entrepreneurial venture where you are the boss and thus determine where you actually spend your time? I have found that the primary focus seems to be on keeping the business going NOT on thinking about the future.  What are YOU focusing on?  With proper time management, you can find time to keep the business going while you work on filling the sales funnel.

    I recently read a Harvard Business Review blog post that I think will do the trick. It is called “An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day” and suggests three steps that one can easily do. The first step, plan your day, and last step, review your day is obvious. What is unique is the author’s suggestion to refocus every hour. Review what you accomplished (or didn’t accomplish) and recommit every hour. As an entrepreneur, I find this to be a great tool. Now, when clients call and say “what have you personally done to grow my business”, I can quickly respond with specifics!

    TimeLeft is a free utility that will help you by quietly counting down and popping up a message every hour. My message is “What have you accomplished this past hour?” Of course I lose 5 seconds reading that 🙂

    Have you found an effective time management system? Please share via text or video.

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