Posts Tagged ‘great marketing’



November 27, 2013

Food for thought on this Thanksgiving holiday. As you sit down with friends and family tomorrow to reflect on what you are most thankful for, I hope you will add a satisfied customers to your list. As I say in my book, without a satisfied customer your business doesn’t have anything to be thankful for.

Case in point: My wife and I went out to dinner this past Saturday in Ashland, Oregon. While the food was fine, the service was non-existent. Once we ordered, 15 minutes after sitting down, we saw “our server” once (delivering drinks, our meals were delivered by someone else). We had to get our own silverware, napkins, condiments and finally are check. My problem was NOT with the server (she was new), but with the owners that didn’t train their server to value a “satisfied customer.” Remember, that Thanksgiving dinner you and your loved ones are enjoying comes indirectly from a satisfied customer.  Oh, and I am very thankful for the more than 2,000 people who have been reading my blog since I started it. Happy Thanksgiving.



November 7, 2013

Most people get dozens of email offers daily, but very few direct mail (snail mail) offers. That has made regular mail a much better marketing tool today than it was years ago. But how easy do you make it for someone getting your mailing to keep their address updated?

When you get email spam, by law they have to make it easy to “opt out” by showing this option at the bottom of the offer. But have you ever looked at that mail offer, say a postcard, or a letter from a nonprofit asking for money? If you want to update your mailing address, good luck!

I became painfully aware of this recently because after 20 years with the same mailing address, I had to change it because my private mail box service moved down the block. The challenge was trying to change my junk mail addresses. Yes some junk mail, especially from nonprofits, I wanted to keep coming.

New PowerShift Marketing Tip: Make sure with your direct mail offers that you clearly show how someone can update or delete themselves from your mailing. This is critical if you want to justify the higher cost of mail with good offers to good mail list. customers.



October 7, 2013

I used to read Time Magazine every week. But like many of you, I stopped subscribing to it a decade ago. Now, I am one of the “lobby readers” trying to find it when I am in various waiting rooms. With the failure of US News and World Report as a print and as a digital magazine, I was wondering what is happening with Time?

It looks like it is still growing. Nancy Gibbs was just named the magazine’s new managing editor. She is a long-time veteran of the magazine, joining as a fact checker back in 1985. In various media interviews Gibbs has revealed that Time’s total readership is bigger than at any point in its history as a result of digital readership. Gibbs recently told Ad Age she doesn’t foresee the title going digital-only.

The question remains, however, who is paying for it, as advertisers continue to ditch print. This is the core question facing every magazine and newspaper in the next 12-months. Can a business model be developed that allows digital and print to survive as partners? I just got back from Portland and the Oregonian has launched one of the most innovative approaches by eliminating home delivery on selected days and trying to move more people online.

This week ask yourself what challenges are you facing in the next 12-months and what plans do you have to solve them?



October 1, 2013

This post is aimed at tourism businesses or DMO (Destination Marketing Organizations). I am pleased to announce that my firm will begin publishing a monthly research review, DCG TRAVEL REFLECTIONS in October.

The goal of this new monthly publication is to provide a “Readers Digest” review of research that could help tourism related businesses/destinations do a better job of marketing. It will be short and sweet, including findings from my company’s research (DCG Research), but also findings from other research studies. The goal is to provide information that will make a difference in your marketing. If you would like a free subscription, simply email me:



September 16, 2013

Don’t think you have to have a mobile marketing strategy? Take a look at this research. According to a comScore MobiLens study (March 2013) mobile penetration is nearing 100% of the world’s population with more devices than people. Think about that for a minute. There are now more tablets and cellphones than people!

Of mobile users, 91% own smartphones. Apple (45%) and Android (48%) make up the majority. And 47% of tablet owners access retail content, and over 50% of this audience has a household income greater than $75,000 a year.

These mobile consumers (core market is 18-44 male), are increasingly comfortable with shopping and spending on their mobile devices. This research suggests that mobile extends the desktop retail audience (people that shop online at home via computer) by 45%; therefore, consumers continue their shopping experience across devices, and ultimately driving purchase, by any method.

Interestingly, when in-store, men and women use their smartphones differently. Women are a third more likely to engage in social behaviors, such as texting a friend or family member about a product, while men are two-thirds more likely to scan a barcode or compare product prices.

The two major factors that influence consumers making a retail purchase? Price and social factors. Price is the overwhelming influencer on its own, but price is also the motivation when consumers are looking for or using mobile coupons or signing up for store rewards. Social is the second most influential factor overall. Reading customer reviews, social media, and recommendations are all forms of social influence when purchasing a product on a smartphone.

This week you need to meet to discuss your mobile marketing strategy for the next 12 months. It is critical.



August 21, 2013

As reported by various media, Apple will introduce two new iPhones in September, and it is also gearing up production of a new iPad mini. Apple has decided to shift its iPad screen production to Samsung (a chief competitor) from AU Optronics. I  was curious why AU Optronics, the current maker of iPad mini screens, would be willing to give up this business.

“We cannot take orders because our rate of output efficiency is too low to be profitable,” said a manager at AU Optronics. He noted the company doesn’t make a profit from manufacturing current iPad mini screens. You can’t make money with volume when you lose money on every item.

Now, we all know this, but how often do you keep doing something because you simply won’t admit to yourself that it is not working? Ego, it might be the biggest marketing issue many businesses have today.



August 19, 2013

How do we find the “big win?” That’s a question I am often asked when helping with a company’s marketing. While a big win is great, I tell clients that big marketing bets can turn into big losers. Just take a look at the film industry this summer.

Disney recently warned Wall Street that it will lose $190 million on Johnny Depp’s “The Lone Ranger,” according to Variety. Last year, Disney booked a $200 million write down on “John Carter.” Disney CEO Bob Iger continues to bet big on his “tentpole” strategy, spending more than almost any other studio on movies aimed at creating a blockbuster.

Yes, some bets pay off. “Iron Man 3,” the top grossing film this year ($407 million), was a blockbuster. While I encourage companies to look for the big win, I also tell them they need to continue their investments in doing the little things right in marketing. That’s how you build a company for the future. What are you doing this week to invest in the little things that will make your marketing more powerful?