Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Market Sexmentation

Have you seen the recent Carl's Junior ad featuring the schoolteacher who does a dirty dance for the class?

I guarantee she would never pass for MY homeroom teacher. Apparently this is the burger chain's latest promotion for their new Patty Melt (a patty with two flat buns) featuring the rap song I Like Flat Buns. This isn't the first racy exposure from Carl's. Remember Paris Hilton? If getting attention is the goal of this campaign, I'd have to give them a passing grade. The Tennessee Education Association demanded that they pull the ads and they have raised the ire of many in the advertising community.

Let's be honest, alienating the people outside of your target audience is a byproduct of controversial ads Often times campaigns such as these are aimed at highly profitable market segments such as teens. We may not realize it but teens spent $139 billion on consumer products just last year. So in essence this is just an ad campaign that is highly targeted to a very affluent, albeit young, audience. Carl's is just practicing well crafted market segmentation. Or is that market sexmentation?

Wikipedia defines "market segmentation" as the process in marketing of dividing a market into distinct subsets (segments) that behave in the same way or have similar needs. Because each segment is fairly homogeneous in their needs and attitudes, they are likely to respond similarly to a given marketing strategy. That is, they are likely to have similar feelings and ideas about a marketing mix comprised of a given product or service, sold at a given price, distributed in a certain way and promoted in a certain way.

Oh yes, these teens have similar feelings alright!

So what do you think? Did Carl's go too far with this ad? Should teachers be offended? Or is it just a funny commercial?

Take a look at the video here and give us your comments.

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Friday, October 19, 2007
Supply Chain Management: We better HOP to it!

We may be paying 30 to 50 cents more per six pack and several microbrewers will not survive the year due to the recent shortage of hops. Bad weather and poor planning left growers short on supply ratcheting-up the price of the little flowers that make beer taste good. All this goes to show that even small business players need to be concerned about supply chain management. Are you in touch with your suppliers issues? What contingencies do you have in place to ensure that you have the raw materials you need to ensure your market success? If not, you better hop to it!

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Saturday, October 13, 2007
Bernanke IS a Drag!

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke warned this week that the slump in the US housing market will prove to be a "significant drag" on economic growth. If that news isn't bad enough for you he followed-up with his brilliant observation that that economic confidence is still fragile. Of course it is Ben and we're all counting on YOU to give us some confidence. Cutting interest rates is a symptomatic cure. It's hard enough for small business operators to succeed in a highly competitive arena. Confidence is our most valuable asset. Isn't it about time that our economic leaders gave us some tools for growth rather than predictions of gloom and doom. Quit being such a DRAG Ben.

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Monday, October 08, 2007
Virtual Workforce

Mere virtual assistance is passé. Small business operators must commit to a future virtual workforce. Better get on-board now!
Why engage in a virtual workforce?
1. Avoid intrinsic employee costs such as workers comp, insurance and benefits.
2. Reduce compliance and entitlement issues
3. Eliminate time wasters associated with the traditional office social structure
4. Enjoy more freedom, independence and a "blended (work/personal) lifestyle"
SBA Network does over $1 million in sales with only ONE employee, NO office space and 6 virtual members.

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