Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Supernatural Promotions

If you walk into the wrong nightclub bathroom these days, you might get a scare. It seems that the producers behind the new show "Supernatural" on the WB have sent special mirrors to nightclubs across the country showing a frightening image of a ghost from the TV show. What do pictures of ghosts in a nightclub mirror have to do with TV shows? It seems that in the copycat world of television, the networks are even copying marketing ideas. ABC last year garnered publicity for such marketing stunts as messages in bottles left on a beach to promote "Lost" (something Mark has written about on this site) and for laundry bags used to promote "Desperate Housewives".

In a recent article in the Los Angeles times, Michael Benson, ABC's senior vice president for marketing, recently was quoted as saying, "If you do things right, you get higher 'talk value,'...It's about creating something that you want to tell your friends about, and show your family members."

Apparently TV execs are finally paying atention to Rule number 3 of Mark's rules of attraction- "Create an exclusive community of super-users". By gaining hardcore audiences from the start, these viewers will actually go out and evangelize the show for them- which is far more powerful than typical advertising ever could ever be. How can you get some "super-users" in your own business? Subscribe to our weekly business update for some tips on doing just that.

Sunday, September 11, 2005
Less is More

Bill Nussey is a man who knows all there is to know about email marketing. As CEO of iXL Inc., a publicly traded e-business consulting firm he grew revenues from $10 million to $120 million per quarter. In his book, "The Quiet Revolution in E-mail Marketing" Bill talks about why with email marketing more is less and less is more. Standard tenants of direct response mandate that the bigger the audience and the higher the frequency, the greater the response. This would seem to make sense. If you e-mail millions of messages, someone is bound to respond. But as Bill proves in his book, sending email too often and to too many people leads to the phenomenon of the incredible shrinking list. Unless your customers are so highly engaged that they want to hear from you as often as possible, the more e-mails you send, the more they will opt-out, stop reading messages, or finally hit the "spam" button. Just because a campaign produces a certain amount of money in one month does not mean it will produce four times as much if you send it four times in a month.

So what's the solution? Nussey talks about what he calls, EBV. If you get a message from your mother, he suggests, can you find that message amid the clutter of your inbox? Most people immediately say "yes." This is because the people whom you know and trust have a high E-mail Brand Value, or EBV. You are able to find your mom's message because her name has value to you. The formula for EBV is:

EBV = existing brand (+/-) relevancy + content value - frequency

EBV can help you understand how your customers perceive your company in the online world, and how that online perception affects your overall brand.

Thanks for the Quiet Revolution Bill, your concepts tie beautifully with the rules of attraction. Chasing customers just doesn't work anymore. Today we must find more ways of getting them to come to us. So if you are considering an email campaign, think again. Perhaps less could be more in your next initiative.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Creative Promotions

I was going through the grocery line the other day and was captured by a most creative promotion.. a mini video CD affixed to the front of the TV Guide. Now TV Guide has become one of the innovators in promotion as far as magazines go. They have employed several of the rules of attraction and consequently in the age of TIVO are still going strong. Several years ago they made a commitment to creating unique covers to their magazine as a way of enticing viewers from varying demographics to purchase the magazine. This promotion featured the television show, Lost. Now mind you Lost is about the worse TV show I have ever seen. In my opinion it is unwatchable. Again that's only my opinion. Nevertheless my hat's off to their promotional company. In fact this is, to my knowledge, the second time the show has utilized a creative promotion leveraging one of the rules of attraction. You can read about my article regarding their first promotion by clicking here. It involved placing messages in a bottle and sitting them in the sand up and down the beaches along the South Bay. Regardless of your industry, product or service using these mini CDs is a great inexpensive way to create attraction. Even if only a small minority actually place the CD in their computer or player, many more will read the message on the label with a higher level of interest than simply a brochure or ad. Think about how you can stand out by using CDs and bundling them with other products, services or other promotional material. For more ideas of how to apply this kind of creative marketing to your business check out our upcoming seminar on Attracting More Business - being held in Long Beach, CA on September 17.

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