Blog

May 2011 - PS Insights

E*TRADE BABIES

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E*TRADE Babies. One of the most beloved campaigns on the air. And most people even know they’re for E*TRADE. That’s the good news. We marvel at the production values and their latest antics. But beyond name recall, how is E*TRADE separating itself from the competition? Cute sells – but only just so far.

FOLLOW YOUR PASSION

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Follow Your Passion. It doesn’t have to be your career, it can even just be your hobby. Our partner, Norman Siegel, is an award-winning, hall-of-fame art director. He’s also a member of the American Society of Aviation Artists. Two of his paintings will be featured in the exhibit “Portraits of Flight” which is the premiere exhibit opening the new Art Gallery at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York City. The show starts Sunday, May 29th as part of the Fleet Week celebrations. We invite you to stop by and see the show (and his work), and pursue your own passion every day.

EXPERTS

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Experts. They’re different from consultants. One we respect – the other is pond scum. Make sure you know the difference; and only hire experts.

PEOPLE MAGAZINE

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People Magazine. One of the great social pop indicators on the market. Steve likes to tell the story of giving his teams the quiz every year of the People Magazine 25 Most Intruiging People of the Year. If his team couldn’t identify or didn’t know at least 20 of the 25, he would force them to subscribe. Being current with the pop culture is a necessary tool every marketing creative person should have in her arsenal.

THE BEST KILL

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The best kill is the early kill. Once you’ve moved from the idea stage to the development stage, you’re investing time, money and energy. Be careful – that makes it so much harder to evaluate the project and back away from a product or service that may be fundamentally flawed. Be vigilant at every step and if the idea becomes problematic or doesn’t build momentum, run a stake through its heart and move on.

TRENDS

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Are you keeping up with them? Do you even know what they are? If you’re a marketer, knowing what’s on the horizon is vital to your professional mojo. Knowing the latest trends should be integrated into your marketing output: the look. The feel. the sound. Every aspect of your communication. Stay current – and stay ahead!

RETAIL BRANDING

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Retail Branding. Too often those two words don’t go together. They should. Retail is not just about shopping, it’s about brand affinity and lifestyle connection. Next time you go to the store, think about what retailer you’re going to – and why. Then take a lesson from Frank Perdue and Kleenex: there’s NOTHING that can’t be branded. And there are a few things that can’t be marketed to motivate you to become a loyal customer.

MORNING SCALES

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Steve has a morning ritual. He calls it his “daily scales.” As a writer, he starts the day with his crossword puzzle (NYTimes) and word strength puzzle (NYPost). Along the way he may actually pick up some news (but we digress). What are your “morning scales?” How do you start each day refreshing the talents and strengths you’re going to exercise throughout the day?

ANIMALS IN ADVERTISING

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Cute. Attention-getting. Furry. Memorable. But what are they doing for their brands? Like a YouTube video, people tend to remember the animal activity rather than the brand and the benefit. Choose your animals wisely and make sure they’re pointed directly at the branded proposition and what’s for sale

PROCUREMENT

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Procurement is a relatively new function in the marketing business. Not the most elegant name and not the most respected discipline. The good news is more and more procurement people genuinely want to understand the intantigbles of marketing and creative. They will be the winners for their companies. The procurement people who view their job as “counting beans” will get a better price, but far less value.