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Vol. 4 , No. 27     July 5, 2005


In this Newsletter:

  1. The Best Book of 2005: Managing Customers as Investments
  2. How Market Filters Cut Through Consumer Clutter
  3. Why White Papers Make for Great Marketing Collateral
  4. Creating a Real Urban Buzz
  5. How NOT to Launch a New Product
  6. Marketing Challenge: 3 Steps to Becoming an Industry Guru


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Premium Content

Roy Young
The Best Book of 2005: Managing Customers as Investments

How can you manage marketing so its business impact is apparent to the CEO? How can you put marketing at the center of the CFO's agenda? And how can you ensure that marketing is understood by all general management as a long-term investment, not a short-term expense?

Answers to these critical questions are offered in a valuable new book by Columbia Business School marketing professors Sunil Gupta and Donald Lehmann. The book shows you how to integrate the marketing world where the customer is king with the financial world where cash—discounted, of course—is king. If you want to learn how to increase the power and business impact of marketing in your organization, read it—no, study it!—now.

Get the full story.

Please note: This article is available to paid subscribers only. Get more information or sign up here.

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Lisa Johnson
How Market Filters Cut Through Consumer Clutter

In a world that's increasingly inundated with massive choice, filters are a critical market phenomenon. Consumers rely on trusted filters to sift through the raw data and identify the top picks.

As a result, many savvy brands are learning to build filtering mechanisms into their brands, their products and Web sites, while also giving consumers a forum to voice their opinions and provide recommendations to others. Here's how.

Get the full story.


A Note to Readers

Q&A With a Small Business Owner

Laura Mitrovich is a former advertising executive who left interactive media buying for the rewards of owning and operating her own small business. She is now the president of Casco Bay Candles. Mission control is in Hampton, New Hampshire, from where she struggles with many of the same issues that plague many small business owners.

Q: So, Laura: You left a fabulous career in interactive media to essentially join the ranks of your clients on the buyer side of the equation.

A: I did. Along with 80 of my closest friends, I was laid off from my wonderful high-tech analyst job back in 2001. From that point on, I decided my fate was in my hands. I took a kitchen operations class at a local technical college, thinking I'd want to get into food service. Deciding it was the hardest work I'd never want to do, and not wanting to kill anyone with my cooking, I came across soy wax on the Web one day whilst surfing. That was all she wrote.

Q: What's the best part about being on the client side?

A: The best part about being on the client side is getting pitched by ad sales reps who have no idea of my extensive background in advertising. I start asking rudimentary questions like, "What's this 'M' mean?" Suddenly, they're all on fire, it's showtime!

The true, good part of knowing what goes on behind the scenes is that I am able to separate the professionals from the con artists. One Web site targeted to retail buyers tried to pitch me recently with its impressive traffic numbers—as measured in "hits." I let the rep go on a little while and then let her off the hook, telling her about my background. She immediately changed "hits" to "visits." I let her know kindly that there were no take-backs. I had to pass on her offer.

Q: What's the best way for the average small business to do what you can do intuitively—discern the true professionals from the con artists?

A: Go online and do research! Read what you can from marketing-oriented sites. Honestly, MarketingProfs is an unbeatable reference tool for both the novice and the advanced marketer. You don't have to have years of agency experience behind you, everything you need to know is online.

My peers (customers, vendors) are also an unparalleled resource for me. Those who've been in business longer than I are bound to have been pitched by or done business with most of the same folks as I do now. I listen to their hard-earned experiences.

(continued below)


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. Building the Better Guest Experience
  2. Putting Spring in Your Ka-ching: 10 Direct Mail Tips
  3. The Evolution of the Press Release
  4. New Email Marketing Rules in the European Union: One Year Later
  5. Are White Papers Just for Technical Marketers?
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Recent Know-How Exchange Questions/Answers

  1. Increasing Our Brand Equity
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  3. How Do I Get Stores To Carry My Food Product?
  4. How Do I Market a Food Product?
  5. Finding Resellers For My E-newsletters
(continued from above)

Q: Where do you expend your marketing energy, as a small business owner wearing many hats?

A: My advertising has to be focused and tactical. Keywords on search mechanisms, particularly Google, are increasingly important. Also, free press. It sounds obvious, but nothing will lift your sales like a placement in a magazine or newspaper. I avoid promotional opportunities; we get no return on the "donation" of our candles, and it does nothing for brand recognition/recall. Consumers just don't buy into a brand—when it's handed to them at no cost—with quite the same energy as when they pay for them.Q: So what's the worst part of being on the client side now?

A: A dearth of tchotchkes! I'm serious! Really, the worst part is being pitched constantly, particularly by reps who haven't done the simple research to know that my businesses are small, very small. Our advertising budgets are, well, thin, to put it charitably. I don't have lavish, brand-oriented budgets to blow; my advertising has to produce measurable, substantive results. I just might bite if you can demonstrate effectiveness. Otherwise, I thank you for playing. Here's a nice parting gift: a deeply fragrant soy wax candle!


Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer





Manoj Aravindakshan
Why White Papers Make for Great Marketing Collateral

If there has been one constant in the ever-transient paradigm of marketing on the Internet, it is that "content" is the key to attract a steady stream of the uninitiated as well the converts.

Good white papers serve to generate awareness about a product/service/organization, and more importantly, cause people to inquire and potentially buy the product/service in question.

Get the full story.

Karl Moore and Laura Mingail
Creating a Real Urban Buzz

Buzz, the love child of strategic marketing and public relations, has been key in establishing street credibility for brands targeting the billion-dollar urban lifestyle market worldwide.

This market is not an urban myth. It is arguably the top luxury lifestyle to which the youth market aspires.

If you're looking to grab buzz for your own brand, here are some key pointers for reaching urban markets.

Get the full story.

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Joan Schneider
How NOT to Launch a New Product

Successfully launching new products gets tougher every year. In the past decade, the number of new consumer products hitting the shelves has skyrocketed by 59 percent, making it much more difficult for new products to win consumer attention.

If you've built a better mousetrap and plan to introduce it into this tidal wave of new products, it is more critical than ever to carefully plan and execute your launch using a strategic approach.

Here are seven classic mistakes companies make when developing new product launch campaigns. Avoiding these pitfalls will greatly increase your odds of success.

Get the full story.

Meryl K. Evans and Hank Stroll
Marketing Challenge: 3 Steps to Becoming an Industry Guru

Creating demand for your speaking services can be challenging. This week, read the three more important steps for creating interest in your speaking services.

Also this week, supply your advice to: how do you effectively "educate" your clients about the online sales process?

Get the full story.


Publisher:Allen Weiss

Content: Ann Handley

Strategy and Development:
Roy Young

Director of Premium Services
Val Frazee

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