Category Archives: Featured

MAP Consulting LLC’s most recent featured article

Emotion Through Fried Brakes

When it comes to creating an emotional brand experience, forget copy, taglines, imagery and brand iconography.

There’s nothing like touching and feeling a product first-hand. Tasting the product is even better.  Especially when that taste is vaporized rubber and burning brake pads.

Of course you have to be a gearhead, enjoy automobiles and love driving.  That’s why Audi’s Driving Experience is perfect in terms of targeting and likely a big success in generating sales.

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The Incremental Giveth… and Taketh Away

De-averaging your marketing investments and paying close attention to how your incremental marketing investments pay off is a post I’ve been intending to write for a while now.

The good folks at Rimm-Kaufman group, however, saved me the trouble with yesterday’s excellent PPC Averages can Hide Incremental NightmaresPlease take the time to read it.

As I was reading it, I started to think about applying LTV to the methodology.  When you think about making decisions based on LTV, the story becomes even more clear.  All will be revealed (with a graph!) after the break.

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An Olympic Sized Marketing Problem for China?

XHZLC40 Fire Escape MaskAre the Beijing Olympics headed for an opening ceremony marketing problem? Today’s Wall Street Journal raises the specter of athletes wearing masks to the opening ceremony and causing China to lose face. Other blogs and sources are starting to pick up on this.

What if 10 or 20% of the athletes in the opening ceremony parade walked in wearing face masks to protect themselves from the pollution and, ultimately, their chance at an Olympic medal? What does that say about the Chinese government? Do you want that imagery tied to your brand, after paying tens or hundreds of millions to be the official X of the Games?

Do you have a contingency plan in place? What will you say when images of mask-clad athletes in the murky Beijing air, in front of your expensive banner, are transmitted to the world?

Just a thought and one I haven’t fully wrapped my head around yet. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Creative Commons License photo credit: upton

Should 90% of CMOs be Fired?

GuillotineOK, as a CMO you’re going to be fired in ~23 months anyway.

But a recent study, carried out by Marketing Management Analytics, Financial Executive and Ed See, makes me think that more senior marketing executives should double-check the shine on their resume and perhaps consider a few more networking lunches in the near future.

A very brief summary of that report found in Ad Age frightens me and brings to mind a few courses of action that you can take today, if you find yourself in a similar situation.

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Can Marketing Cure What Ails You?

Eye Protection
A recent article in the New York Times got me thinking about the psychology of marketing again, and how some basic principles are used or under-used in social media marketing.

Warning: Habits May Be Good for You” explores how an anthropologist turned to marketing experts from CPG companies like Procter & Gamble to help increase the incidence of hand-washing with soap after using the toilet in the nation of Ghana to improve the health of children.  Obviously, this was an important effort and I was encouraged to see marketing practitioners as instrumental in helping achieve success in this endeavor.

As I was reading the article, it struck me that many of the techniques used are found in Robert B. Cialdini‘s classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. I’d lent out my copy a few years ago and, thankfully, had to buy a new version which includes an epilogue written by Dr. Cialdini in 2007.  My re-read then triggered a few thoughts on social media.

If the social media crowd can stop navel-gazing long enough to do some quick research and scientific work, boy will money be made. [More after the jump.]

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Following the Social Media Money

Bruno Psysapiens Bezerra com o boo-virusWhat’s the value placed on a social media marketing campaign by the marketers that develop the campaign?  It’s hard to tell, because one typically can’t get access to the key metrics associated with the campaign, particularly sales attributed to the effort and ROI.

I was intrigued by a new social push by Sony Ericsson for the Z750a flip phone, created by their agency, Iris.  The campaign is titled “Bringing Purple Back.”

Well, neither Sony Ericsson nor Iris would give me any objectives for the campaign.  Neither was any information or speculation found on unofficial Sony Ericsson blog sites about the campaign.

Being an inquisitive guy, I decided to use the crude but effective research technique of following the money to learn more.

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Marketing Plans or Preparation? There's a Difference.

finest laid plans

You plan for offensive operations, while you prepare to play defense.  You’ll find this concept in both warfare and sports, and it’s applicable in business as well.

I much prefer playing offense, because that’s where you score and generate revenues. A strong business offensive plan also limits the amount of places you’ll need to prepare to play defense, freeing up more resources for–you guessed it–playing more offense.

What’s an example of planning as opposed to preparations in a marketing context?

A great example can be found in the United States Postal Service and the annual postage increases.  If you’re using direct mail as a marketing channel, you can be sure of two things:

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I will never forget

Omaha beachToday is the 64th anniversary of D-Day. I am appalled that none of my daily mainstream media reads (New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today) this morning had anything commemorating the event.

On June 6th, 1944, the brave men of the Western democracies began the liberation of occupied Europe in one of the most audacious and complex military operations the world will ever know. They beat back the forces of evil and tyranny and, through their sacrifices, helped give us the lives of peace and prosperity we enjoy today.

I was born over twenty-three years later, yet I will never forget.

There are countless stories of bravery and leadership, such as that of Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., who insisted on arriving in the first wave on the beach to provide morale to the troops. He led men up the beach wearing a knit hat, supported by a cane and brandishing a .45.

Or Brigadier Lord Lovat, who together with his piper Bill Millen led his men into battle armed with bagpipes and a knife. You’d follow men like those into Hell itself.

What does all this have to do with Marketing? Only as a reminder that:

  • Things never go as planned. (So be well-prepared and know your mission cold.)
  • You can’t be too prepared, because of the things that will go wrong.
  • Personal leadership, at all levels, is the key to overcoming chaos.

Today, I’ll remind my children of the importance of this day and begin re-reading Stephen E. Ambrose’s terrific history of D-Day. I’ll also read Ronald Reagan’s famous speech at the 40th anniversary a couple of times.

What will you do?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Zigar

What's the ROI on gold-plated customer service?

L.L. Bean boots.  By redjar, April 24, 2006, Flickr Today’s article is a reminder that customer service, when done correctly, isn’t an expense.  It can be your #1 marketing tool and put a wide moat between your business and your competitors.

L.L. Bean is the standard against which your phone support should be measured.

From their website:

Guaranteed.  You Have Our WordTM.

Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way.  Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise.  We do not want you to have anything from L.L. Bean that is not completely satisfactory.

Unlike a lot of companies, L.L. Bean really lives by their guarantee.

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Duran Duran, luck and marketing

Simon LeBonAt one point during my college days I wanted to be an A&R guy for a record label.  My reactions to smoke-filled clubs and early-to-bed habits caused me to rethink that career option.

But music, and the marketing of it, has remained a lifelong interest.

Last night, my wife and I saw Duran Duran at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD.  This was her 11th or 12th time and my 10th time to see the band.

When you go to a Duran Duran show, you know you’re going to see a great performance, an enthusiastic crowd and hit after hit.

What I didn’t expect was a textbook example of creating and maximizing a marketing channel, and an example of how big a part luck plays in everything we do as marketers.

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