Bulldog Marketing

I saw this over at MarketingProf’s Daily Fix. The Gonzaga Bulldogs Women’s basketball team has a clever interactive campaign. The headline:

COACH GRAVES AND THE BULLDOGS REALLY NEED YOUR HELP.

Go to InspiredSeason.com and follow the directions.

(Note: Be sure to enter the number for the phone that’s within reach.)

As Nike says, just do it. You’ll get the full marketing effect. It’s well worth it.

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Get the Circus to Town

Imagine the panic in the circus caravan when the elephant fell off the truck. Imagine the disappointment of local youth if after weeks of anticipation the circus didn’t reach town.

(Yes, in a true story from where I live, a circus elephant actually tumbled from a large vehicle at the bottom of a hill. The paved stretch is called Elephant Curve Road.)

Thankfully, the circus arrived as promised, set up and entertained for several days. Tickets and souvenirs were sold, amazing feats were performed, and everyone went home happy. The circus packed up and went to the next town.

Marketing is great, but if the circus doesn’t make it to town there are no sales – not great.

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The Pink Spoon

I was surprised to learn that Baskin-Robbins has been in business for more than 60 years. The ice-cream chain was a novelty when I was growing up. They offered 31 flavors (one for every day of the month) back when most others only served chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.

Baskin-Robbins also had the pink spoon, a simple plastic implement that was a brilliant marketing concept. You could sample those 31 flavors. In fact, they encouraged it.

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10 Ways to Build Your Marketing Cred

As we enter an economic slowdown, credibility and trust are even more critical to the success of marketing activities and customer relationships. Here are 10 tips for building your marketing cred:

1. Eliminate hype and fluff.

2. Don’t overpromise.

3. Back up all marketing claims.

4. Offer a guarantee.

5. Poke fun at yourself or reveal a weakness.

6. Meet commitments.

7. Use testimonials and case studies.

8. Focus, focus, focus on prospects and customers.

9. Admit mistakes and apologize, when necessary.

10. Be consistent.

Take a close look at your marketing and sales efforts to uncover new opportunities to build credibility and trust.

Fear Sells

Nothing motivates behavior – including buying behavior, whether B2C or B2B – quite like fear. Being a glass-half-full kind of person I wish it weren’t so, but that’s the reality.

Some fear is healthy and legitimate, and some fear is the byproduct of manipulation, feeding on people’s insecurities, ignorance and prejudices.

One thing I know: We’re living in fearful times because of the widening financial crisis and highly charged political season. There are many who will use fear to their advantage and profit from it, some unscrupulously.

I’ve worked on several B2B marketing campaigns in which fear was a legitimate motivator. For example, consider anything that requires security and protection, such as valuable company data. The fear of loss and resulting financial ramifications are a valid entry point for a marketing dialogue.

The point? Fear sells. As a marketer, use it responsibly. And as a buyer, beware.

‘Bailout’ Is Not a Good Marketing Word

The economy and financial markets are a mess, and I realize that words and marketing can’t change those “fundamentals.”

But the word “bailout” has no upside, does it?

Hearing “bailout” over and over and over again is bound to make us feel so bad or mad that we want to publicly hang a CEO upside down (like that magician, David Blaine) until all his millions fall out of his pockets.

It seems to me that one of those shrewd political types would come up with some other term to put a less negative spin on this latest calamity.

Maybe — oh, I don’t know — “financial markets recovery act”?