Monday, October 30, 2006

Direct Marketing to account for 10.3% of U.S. GDP in 2007

MediaPost Communications' Center for Media Research is reporting that DM is making a bottom line impact on the U.S. Economy according the The Direct Marketing association's recent study. It stands to reason that DM does work, as much as people like to knock it most marketers know that without it your marketing mix is not likely to be optimized.

Source: Center for Media Research

The Direct Marketing Association, in presenting the findings from their study, The Power of Direct, at the recent DMA06 convention, said that DM driven sales are expected to slow somewhat in 2007, but not as much as total US sales.

Ken Magill, in summarizing part of the report, notes that direct marketing spending is expected to be $175.2 billion in 2007, up 5.2% from $166.5 billion in 2006. Also, direct marketing-related sales are expected to grow 6.5% in 2007 to $2.064 trillion, according to the DMA.

To read more click

Friday, October 20, 2006

Richard Edelman Knew Better And So Did His Folks

Talk about getting bit in the butt… the waves of news about Edelman’s fake blogs supporting client Wal-Mart just keep coming (More Fake Wal-Mart Blogs, Edelman Fesses up). The sad thing about this entire story is Richard has been on the cutting edge of bloging and always goes out of his way to be transparent in his own blog.

We have a number of friends at Edelman and respect their work. That said this story clearly shows that many folks at Edelman “don’t get it.” Our guess is that now Richard’s group will get it -- and fast.

New communications technology should not be treated as a way to “slip” some messages into the marketplace. Rather, they should be approached with caution so as communicators you can learn how they work and how the community rules built around them work.

Edelman will weather this story, continue to be a leader in blogging and will help others learn an otherwise painful lesson.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Sky Is Falling? Been there, done that

Recently reported by, the analyst at Blackfriars Communications are predicting a bleak year for US marketers...the article said:

"Marketing has struggled because of bad weather and higher fuel prices over the past twelve months," said Carl Howe of Blackfriars.

A key finding of the survey — of 317 senior business executives across the country — was that advertising spending fell to $218 billion this year, of which $38 billion was online advertising.

We thought it might be fun to revisit some other predictions.

The one that sprang to mind first was that the weather gurus at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration earlier this year predicted 2006 would be something like the worst hurricane season in 100 years? (Ok, in NOAA speak it was the “2006 is forecast to be the tenth above-normal season in the last twelve years.”) On August 8, 2006 NOAA released a statement saying the 2006 season is expected to be “slightly less active than previously forecast.”

Other predictions gone bad:

Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility--a development which we should waste little time dreaming about.- Lee de Forest, 1926, inventor of the cathode ray tubeI think there is a world market for maybe five computers. - Thomas J. Watson, 1943, Chairman of the Board of IBM

640K ought to be enough for anybody.- Bill Gates, 1981

With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.- Business Week, 1958

So where does this leave us? Well we like the folks at Blackfriars but are not 100 percent sure their marketing spending predictions are on the mark. From what we have seen this report is based mostly on tradition and online ad spending. These are indicators that are not nearly as accurate as they use to be in the marketing world.

Today emerging media like podcasting, blogs and wikis are creeping into the marketing mix. In addition, public relations, stakeholder communications, experiential marketing and even event marketing all have a great impact on marketing dollars and efforts then ever before.

That leads us to believe the sky is not falling…but that’s just a prediction (but one we hope stands the test of time).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Last week the Internet saw the addition of hoards of information in the form of Simply put, the site has boat-loads of information that every business owner should know. Though areas of targeted to small business alone, a review of the site will find information all businesses, large and small, would benefit from.

For marketers the site provides information on a number of relevant topics. The how-to guides cover a variety of topics, including business-to-business marketing, public relations and strategic marketing, to name a few.

What’s really cool about this site is that you too can become a guru. members are permitted to write the very guides that are turned to by the masses. Are you an expert e-mail marketer? Do you have a penchant for podcasting? Have you wowed you clients with your writing? If you have the knowledge the share, you now have a venue.

Take a spin by, you may find something you didn’t already know. What’s more, you may find you have something to share.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Getting Marketing Messages in the CXO Suite

The Oct. 10th issue of BtoB magazine includes a great article by Roger Slavens titled: "Reaching the elusive, lucrative CXO niche"

Why is this article so great? Well, shameless plug, (1) it quotes Arketi Group Principal Mike Neumeier and (2) the counsel is spot on!

Have a read for yourself.

Writing relevant and challenging columns, blogs and white papers, speaking at industry events, conducting research and sharing case studies all resonate with C-level audiences, Neumeier said. "One of the biggest benefits of thought leadership is that most executives enjoy talking about their company and enjoy sharing their own thoughts," he said. "So if you can engage them in a mental discussion, rather than a feature/function [pitch], you will gain traction and stand a better chance of staying relevant and on their radar."

Source: BtoB magazine (Oct. 10 issue)

Still Doubting the Value of User Generated Content?

Well we would suggest that this latest news totally supports the importance of user generated...

Our suggestion to marketers: Start playing with this technology today, use it in your marketing mix and get creative. Who knows it could pay off (maybe as big as it did for YouTube).

Google Grabs YouTube for $1.65 Billion
Google said Monday it has agreed to acquire YouTube for $1.65 billion in a stock transaction...

Source: Red Herring

Friday, October 06, 2006

Coke or Pepsi? The answer is in...

A Baylor College of Medicine study published in the respected academic journal Neuron has proven that branding matters and strongly suggests that two separate brain systems are involved in generating preferences...WOW!

In this study when tested only on taste (sensory info.) the brain of those tested acted similar regardless of soft drink served -- Coke or Pepsi. However, when the subjects were given visual "cues" (i.e. shown the can) more brain activity was recorded as a result of “stronger feelings” toward Coke…

This seems to prove that branding works!

Want the proof…check out this Abstract…and read the full report if you want to see the science in action!

Coca-Cola® (Coke®) and Pepsi® are nearly identical in chemical composition, yet humans routinely display strong subjective preferences for one or the other. This simple observation raises the important question of how cultural messages combine with content to shape our perceptions; even to the point of modifying behavioral preferences for a primary reward like a sugared drink. We delivered Coke and Pepsi to human subjects in behavioral taste tests and also in passive experiments carried out during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Two conditions were examined: (1) anonymous delivery of Coke and Pepsi and (2) brand-cued delivery of Coke and Pepsi. For the anonymous task, we report a consistent neural response in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex that correlated with subjects' behavioral preferences for these beverages. In the brand-cued experiment, brand knowledge for one of the drinks had a dramatic influence on expressed behavioral preferences and on the measured brain responses.