Blog

April 2010 - PS Insights

YOUR NAME HERE

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Your name here. Your brand here. If your brand or brand name is interchangeable with a competitor in your marketing communication, something is wrong. It’s either time to change your name or challenge what you have to say. If anyone else can say what you do, what is going to differentiate you and make your brand meaningful and distinctive to your customers? Generic sell – even in an engaging piece of commercial advertising – will sell your competition or nothing at all.

THE IDEA IS GOD, MEDIA ARE AGNOSTIC

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Media are just the way you put your message and your Big Idea in front of your desired audience. Once you’ve got your Big Idea, it will inspire you by its very nature what media to use to engage your audience. So stop fretting about “social media,” “new media,” “digital media” and all the other alternatives. Just keep your eye on the prize: The Big Idea…not the new shiny media object. Once you’ve got the idea, the rest of your job becomes much easier. But if you haven’t got a Big Idea…if all you’ve got are a lot of clever platitudes and promises…then you’re going to flounder and fail when it comes to whatever medium you choose.

CUSTOMIZE

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Custom-me-ation. Ask BMW Mini. According to their president, over half of the 250,000 Minis sold to date have been customized by their owners. If you go to Mini’s Website you can pick your model, pick your color and then go crazy with custom paint (“flag on my roof? Sure!”), custom wheels, custom mirrors, custom lights – just about every feature imaginable. And all of it goes straight to Mini’s bottom line. Or take Converse. You can go to their Website and load any picture you want onto the neutral “canvas” of their Chuck Taylor hightops. Again, for an extra price. So take a look at what you have to offer…and start figuring out how you can offer your customers what THEY want, not what YOU want to sell them..and you’ll sell them more and make more.

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

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Really and truly. It’s never the crime, it’s the coverup. You can make a mistake or do something the public doesn’t approve of – and there’s an excellent chance they’ll forgive you (“It’s much easier to ask forgiveness than beg permission”). But if you try to bluff your way out…if you lie and try to cover up…you’ll always be found out and you’ll tarnish the reputation you worked so hard to build. Ask Tiger Woods. Ask Toyota. In fact, it’s easy to think of people or brands that tried to keep lying; it’s much harder to remember the names of the people and brands that came clean quickly and throroughly. So stop trying to be clever, cute or deceitful. It just doesn’t work.

ENERGIZE

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Who are you to your customers? Do you bring excitement, energy and anticipation to your selling message? Unless you’re a funeral home, you should be thinking “Just Do It” as a role model. Pump up the volume and pump up the energy. Get excited about your marketing and your message and your customers will, too.

START OVER

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The old media plan isn’t going to cut it anymore. Two years ago we were on the road with our most popular talk, “Branding 2.Oh! Blogging, Vlogging & Slogging Your Way Through The New Marketing Jungle.” Marketers all wanted to know about the “new media” and what was going on in the digital sphere. Now our most requested talk is “Integrated Marketing.” Major marketers drank the Kool Aid and accept the new media as a given. Their job now is to figure out how to integrate it with the traditional media buy. The answer? Blow it all up and start with a fresh, blank sheet of paper. It’s all part of the whole – and you’ve got to embrace it.

CONNECT

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Customer engagement is like a successful marriage: You’ve got to be willing to build a great relationship. Customers aren’t going to just sit back and wait for your message anymore. They’re active – and actively engaged – in your entire marketing effort. You’ve got to take a pro-active approach to dealing with, working with, relating to, encouraging, talking to and connecting with your customers. That’s the new world that’s out there and there are no shortcuts. You’re not going to be able to just run some ads and expect your customers to “stay loyal.” So do the kind of work you would do to keep a marriage healthy. Connect. In every sense of the word.