Archive for June, 2009

Spread the word! It’s all about word of mouth.

Friday, June 26th, 2009

When it comes to making an impact on consumer buying decisions, word-of-mouth (WOM) matters. In fact, a recent study demonstrated just how much it matters. BIGresearch’s “Simultaneous Media Usage Study” (SIMM12), explored how U.S. consumers believed word-of-mouth influenced their purchases in various product categories.

While some categories were reported as being more highly impacted than others, the lowest (more…)

Yes, Price Matters – Duh!

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

You can talk all you want about the “value proposition” and about how consumers don’t *really* make purchase decisions based on price, but when it gets right down to it, guess what – they do. Don’t you?

All else being equal (ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL in the opinion of the consumer, whose opinion is the only opinion that counts), price matters. Of course it does. Why would (more…)

Who Really Participates in Social Media?

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

As I join more and more LinkedIn groups I’ve been interested in exactly who participates in these groups and, more to the point of this blog, who doesn’t.

For instance, I recently joined the Health Care Executive Network which has 3421 members. I immediately started looking for some of the health care executives I’ve worked with – both as director of corporate communications within a large health care system, and as a consultant/journalist who has interviewed and interacted with many health care executives.

I didn’t find any of them among the members. So I began to search for health care professionals who were more at my level in the organization – directors. Nope, not there. My first reaction was: “Wow, I’m obviously more ‘with it’ than they are – I’m on social media and they’re not.” But, that thought was rapidly followed by a more realistic one: “Maybe these executives just don’t think social media matters (more…)

Crossing the Line Between PR and Marketing

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

There’s a raging – and quite interesting – debate taking place in a LinkedIn forum I participate in on the relationship between PR and marketing. I’ve found it especially interesting since I recently was engaged in the same debate while teaching PR courses at a local university.

Surprisingly to me, there is a group that believes quite strongly that PR *is not* part of marketing. That it is a separate and distinctly different function within an organization. That’s “crazy talk” to me – (more…)

Overpromise – Under-deliver?

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Apparently KFC’s recent launch of a grilled chicken sandwich so exceeded expectations that KFC ended up damaging relations with consumers, the media and franchisees, according to a recent item in Public Relations Tactics (a PRSA publication). (more…)

Pay for Performance – Good Idea, or Not…

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

I just read a piece in The Economist about a movement to pay advertising agencies for value, not hours, and how this trend is catching on. Currently, the American Association of Advertising Agencies estimates that about 10 percent of compensation agreements are value-based, according to this article. (Not sure that figure supports the suggestion that this is a trend that is “taking off”…)

Anyway, my initial reaction in reading this was: “Well, why not? Why should agencies just be paid for being “creative,” and racking up what can be enormous fees? (more…)

Think Carefully About Suboptimizing Your Brand!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

One of the keys to establishing a strong and meaningful brand is consistency. A surefire way to become inconsistent is by “suboptimizing” your brand by focusing on the parts, rather than the whole. Or, in other words, by having a tough time deciding “who you want to be.” (more…)

Your Best Customers Are Your Best Customers

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

We’ve all heard it before, but somehow in our ongoing quest to add *new* customers, we have a tendency to forgot to focus attention on the ones we already have.

Datran Media, an e-mail services company, recently asked marketers to rank what advertising goals they considered most important for 2009. The results were: (more…)

Should You Hire Employees Who “Fit” Your Culture?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

The concept of “cultural fit” is a trendy one these days. But, is hiring for “fit” a good idea?

In 1999 I wrote an article for HR Magazine on hiring to fit your corporate culture. My thesis at the time was that doing so was a “slippery slope” in terms of ensuring non-discriminatory hiring practices. After all, (more…)