Blog

September 2012 - PS Insights

MY OH MY OHIO

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A follow-up to our blog the other week about our vote being ignored. Steve did a workshop last week at Mercy Hospital Corp in northwestern Ohio; where both Ohio and Michigan are considered important swing states. He was finally forced to turn off his TV in the hotel room, because every national spot and local avail was a campaign commercial for either Romney or Obama. Regardless of the outcome, we think the folks in those states will be greatly relieved when the elections are finally over. How much advertising can be too much advertising? The goal is to connect with your customers not overwhelm and alienate them!

GREAT CREATIVE

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We’ve got a simple question for you: How come all the advertising you love isn’t yours? That should be your mantra every minute of every day. After all, isn’t your goal as a marketer to get the best work possible — creative work that gets noticed, that gets talked about and that gets results? Take a hard look at the advertising you love and think about what it is you love about it. Then put yourself to that test. Every time you evaluate any work, ask yourself whether you love it as much as all those other campaigns?

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

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We’ve given high praise in the past to a delicious little deli at the corner of 7th Avenue and 29th Street. Their menu and buffet are always fresh—and they’re smart enough to know their customers. The week before the Jewish New Year, the Yemenese owner asked us for the dates of the holidays. Being located in the heart of the old garment district meant that he could expect less business those days and wanted to keep his staffing and preparations in sync with demand. How carefully do you pay attention to your customers’ needs and schedules?

CROWDSOURCING AND SOCIAL MEDIA SYMPOSIUM

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Crowdsourcing and social media are two of the biggest buzzes in advertising today. This year’s AEF (Advertising Education Foundation) Symposium will be on October 10 as a workshop in front of the ANA Masters of Marketing convention in Orlando. Paul is chairing. There’s going to be a rock-star lineup of speakers to address what’s going on and where it’s all going.  So if you’re planning on attending the ANA convention, make a point to come by that Thursday, October 10th, This may seem like a blatant plug. But we know you’ll get huge value out of it.

CALL ME MAYBE

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Today the internet is pre-empting traditional media as the launch pad for new content. A little-known artist, Carly Rae Jepsen (photo), has become a phenomenon because Justin Bieber sang a few bars of her song and it took off on Web Play. Jebsen’s album hasn’t even been released yet, but “Call Me Maybe” is already a smash hit.

SINGLE-MINDED EXCELLENCE

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We used to think of food trucks as the place for water-soaked hot dogs. Today, all measure of gourmet foods are riding into neighborhoods and getting great reviews. We believe their success is directly related to their pursuit of doing one thing extraordinarily well. We guess it proves the old adage, “Build a better mousetrap and they’ll beat a path to your door.” Are you operating at that level of singular excellence?

ONLINE REALITY

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The idea of enjoying the moment now seems to be trumped by recording the moment. Paul went to a fabulous family wedding Labor Day weekend. At one point the table was taken over by PDA activity (and we don’t mean Public Displays of Affection). The race was on both to post the event on Facebook and to “experience” the event online.  We lost Donna Summer this summer. Apparently, we’ve also lost “The Last Dance” to the Facebook recording of it. Are you loving life or living it on Facebook?

CMO / CSO

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What’s more important – sales or marketing? It’s a trick question. Sales, obviously. And there’s the rub. In too many sales-driven organizations, the dynamic tension between sales and marketing is difficult, if not painful. Sales believes EVERYTHING in a company is in support of what they do. As marketers, too often we do a poor job of advancing the power and value of marketing. At its best, marketing is an investment (not a cost). And the return on investment is sales support and sales results that could never be achieved by a crackerjack sales department alone. How much do you value-or undervalue-the supporting departments within your own organization?

ICONIC SYMBOLS

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A new term entered the public discourse at the Republican convention. Eastwooding is now the concept of talking to an empty chair. Thanks to YouTube the “original” can be seen readily and a plethora of mashups and new iterations can as well. Iconic symbols (memes) can burst on the scene today faster than ever. But how we feel about them is as personal as our politics or as pervasive as the source of the message. How do you extend your brands and messages in powerfully iconic and memorable ways?

UNIVERSAL RULES

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People ask us how we can rebrand a company in 48 hours or less. “Don’t you need to do a deep dive into their business?” Well, yes, of course…but, actually, no. The principles of great marketing are universal. No matter what your business is, you need to know your customers, have a powerful positioning and a unique selling proposition. All the rest are details. Do you have solid answers for those three dynamics of your business?