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Vol. 5 , No. 5     January 31, 2006


In this Newsletter:

  1. Brand Hijack: When Your Brand Has Customers You Might Not Want
  2. Functionally Illiterate Consumers: A Surprising, Sizable, and Neglected Market Segment
  3. Truce! Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing
  4. The Rules of "Green" Marketing
  5. Four Factors That Distinguish Services Marketing
  6. Customer Experience Management vs. Customer Relationship Management
  7. Marketing Challenge: How to Sell Services

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Premium Content

Greg Thomas
Brand Hijack: When Your Brand Has Customers You Might Not Want

At one time or another, your brand image might not only be skewed from its original identity but also adopted or "hijacked" by totally unintended market segments. Imagine that you decide to throw a formal party and most of the people who show up are party crashers. Was your party a success or failure? Well, that depends on the intended purpose of party.

Likewise, in brand management, there are times when we craft a brand identity that targets a specific market segment and everything progresses smoothly. Then one day an unintended market segment decides to hijack your brand. Is brand hijacking a blessing—or a curse?

Get the full story.

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


Harvard Business School Executive Education
Business Marketing Strategy – May 7-12, 2006
Reevaluate your organization's business marketing strategy by examining how successful marketing executives have adapted to changing market dynamics with timely product introductions, innovative approaches to engaging customers and competitive pricing. By delving into the current challenges confronting business-to-business marketers, participants will acquire the know-how to formulate and implement successful marketing strategies in their own business markets.
Please visit here for more information.

Madhubalan Viswanathan, Jose Antonio Rosa and James Edwin Harris
Functionally Illiterate Consumers: A Surprising, Sizable, and Neglected Market Segment

Over 20% of the US population consists of functionally illiterate consumers, yet we know very little about their thinking and behavior.

Why should marketers pay attention to a segment that may seem less than economically desirable? Understanding how functionally illiterate consumers think and behave has many implications for businesses, particularly retail chains and service providers with a large proportion of customers with low literacy levels.

What's more, in economies where self-service, packaged products, and computer technology characterize most retail shops, functional illiteracy is a surprisingly significant issue shaping the bottom line.

Get the full story.

Bill Babcock, Bill Koss and Bill Rozier
Truce! Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing

Most companies have a serious problem: Sales hates marketing, and marketing despises sales. Marketing is having great success generating leads and uncovering opportunity. But sales has no respect for what marketing accomplishes. They take leads grudgingly and when the leads turn into real opportunities they claim those opportunities were already on their radar.

There seems to be an unbridgeable gulf between these teams—they have separate goals, separate cultures, and different fears and motivations. But here is the story of one company that has managed to eliminate much of the typical animosity. Read how.

Get the full story.


A Note to Readers

Look Who's Reading MarketingProfs!

Greetings, discerning readers.

This week, be sure to check out some interesting articles, two of which break new ground for us. One looks at illiterate consumers ("Functionally Illiterate Consumers: A Surprising, Sizable and Neglected Market Segment")—and if you haven't thought about this issue before, you might be surprised at why you should. The second talks about eco-responsible products and how to market so-called green products in "The Rules of 'Green' Marketing."

Also this week, there's a beehive of activity in the corporate offices. We are rolling out another new benefit of membership: the MarketingProfs Member Directory. With 180,000+ members like you receiving this newsletter, it's time members connected directly to one another. Add your profile to the Directory—it's free—and tell us all about your interests, your work experience, your dogs and whatever else you'd like to share.

Start here to see all the profiles in the Member Directory, so far. You can also search for people with specific backgrounds. (Hint: Leave all fields blank if you'd
like to scroll through the entire directory list.)

You may add your profile to the Member Directory at any time. But if you do so by the end of the month (that's tonight!), you will be entered in a random drawing for a $100 gift certificate. So what are you waiting for?

Thanks for stopping by. As always, your feedback is both welcome and encouraged.

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer

P.S.: Wednesday at noon (EST),
join us for our newest virtual seminar, "Inside the Customer Loyalty Laboratory: How Companies Build Lasting Relationships." In this 90-minute seminar, Jill Griffin describes how a loyalty "lab-like approach enables firms to harness their customer complexities, execute seamless company-wide customer strategies, and grow loyal customers and employees in the process." (And, by the way, Jill is one of the 7 featured speakers at our "Finders Keepers" Executive Retreat in Santa Barbara this April.)


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. Book Summary: Return on Customer by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers (Part 2 of 2)
  2. What Your Worst Customers Teach You About Loyalty
  3. Senior Management: The Secret Weapon in Getting Your Brand Noticed
  4. Three Key Ingredients to Effective Direct Mail
  5. Google 2006 and Jagger's Aftermath
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Recent Know-How Exchange Questions/Answers

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  2. Can I Use Ms Outlook For Email Marketing?
  3. Retail Traffic Analysis
  4. Magazine Marketing- Subscription Sales
  5. Determine Success Of Non-revenue Special Event



Jacquelyn A. Ottman
The Rules of "Green" Marketing

If you think your customer isn't concerned about environmental issues, or won't pay a premium for products that are more eco-responsible, think again.

You may just find an opportunity to enhance your product's performance and strengthen your customer's loyalty—and command a higher price.

Get the full story.

Cynthia Coldren
Four Factors That Distinguish Services Marketing

It's been called "selling the invisible"—delivering intangible services as a core "product" offering.

But invisibility, or intangibility, is just one factor that distinguishes services marketing from product marketing. Along with inseparability, variability, and perishability, these four characteristics affect the way clients behave during the buying process and the way organizations must interact with them.

Get the full story.



Want to know how thousands of companies are using online training to increase customer satisfaction and retention, reduce training and travel costs and boost productivity? Join other training professionals who subscribe to the Best Practices for Online Training newsletter. As a bonus, you'll have access to our Webinar for training professionals called "Delivering Cost-Effective Online Training to Improve Customer Retention." Click here to subscribe to the newsletter and access the Webinar.

Leigh Duncan
Customer Experience Management vs. Customer Relationship Management

Many companies equate Customer Experience Management with Customer Relationship Management. But they are not the same.

So what's the difference between them? And why is it important to understand the difference?

Get the full story.

Meryl K. Evans and Hank Stroll
Marketing Challenge: How to Sell Services

How would you sell computer repair services? Fast, friendly, and reliable? That kind of language speaks to the company's opinion of itself, not necessarily what it can do for its customers.

Here's how to position yourself with your clients and customers when you are selling a service.

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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