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In This Issue
Marketing's Job #1
Price, Service, Quality: Pick 2
If We Could Just Go Viral
Tag Lines
The Best Long Format Ad
More Information 





Marketing's Job #1 Is To Increase Sales

Increase sales

What else did you think was more important? Many people believe Marketing is really about lead-generation or promotion or brand building. All of those may be true, but they are activities. The real goal of Marketing is to increase sales, and there is one key result Marketing must produce to make that happen.This month's paper discusses this issue.

 Marketing's Job #1 Is to Increase Sales

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Customer Manufacturing Update
June, 2011

Dear Mitchell,

 

Here is your June Customer Manufacturing Update. What is Marketing's primary job? Surprisingly, this is actually a debate many people have. We don't think it is actually debatable. This month's white paper considers this issue.
Price, Service and Quality: Pick Two
  

Singapore Airlines Logo

The idea that you can have only two of the choices between price, service and quality has been an oft-quoted aphorism for decades. It has allowed some companies to justify their inability to compete. Or has been the basis of unfortunate pricing strategies. 

 

As we wrote in our paper Value Priced: Achieving Profits at Any Price Point, price needs to reflect the value received by the buyer. If you remove all costs that don't add value, it is amazing the level of "quality" and "service" you can provide, while maintaining low costs. Singapore Airlines is a prime example. 

 

Condé Nast awards a World's Best Airline award annually. Singapore Airlines has won it 21 of the last 22 times. Skytrax named it Airline of the Year three times in the last decade. Their level of service is legendary among travelers who will usually select Singapore Airline when possible.

 

In spite of this, Singapore Airlines is one of the lowest cost operators in the industry. According to the IATA study their cost per seat kilometer is 4.58 cents, by far the lowest of any full-service airline in the world. In truth their costs were lower than many so-called budget carriers as well.  

  1. Their fleet is newer and kept newer than most other airlines. (Newer planes are in better condition for the customers and have lower maintenance and operating costs to Singapore Airlines)
  2. They invest heavily in training their people. (As Jan Carlzon learned many years ago when he turned Scandinavian Airlines around, it's about your people and those "moments of truth.")
  3. They staff their flights were more crew than other airlines to allow for better service, and use a bonus-based pay plan to reward their employees. This and the training help keep their staff looking for ways to cut waste.
  4. Administration costs are kept low. As I learned from my years with Teledyne, you can run a very large corporation with a very small corporate staff if you remember where the value is supposed to be added.

If you want to be a profitable leader in your market, you just have to focus on what matters, remove costs that don't add value and then your customers won't have to "pick two." Easy to talk about, harder to do ... consistently. But then, that's what provides the competitive advantage. 


If We Could Just Go Viral... 

 Viral Marketing

Word of mouth (now called viral marketing because "mouth" is only a small piece of the communication method today) marketing is highly effective. Making it happen is everyone's holy grail. We have participated in countless conversations with customers that start, "How can we get this to go viral?"

 

Good question.

 

Several so-called experts claim to know how, but if they really did, they would make a lot more money than they do by using it themselves or taking a piece of the action. It's like the touts who tell you which horse is the sure thing in today's race.

 

Ad Age published the top ten viral ads of all time. Positions 2-9 are held by major brands with big bucks advertising budgets. However the #1 position is held by a company that made itself with one of the best viral ads of all time: Blendtec and its Will it Blend Campaign. Mitch owns a Blendtec blender because of that campaign. So do LOTS of people.

 

Going viral takes some amount of luck and some amount of creativity. The mix is unknown and probably unknowable. However, that won't stop the experts from claiming to know the secret. Just remember that in the California Gold Rush of the late 1840s, it was the suppliers to the gold miners who made the most money, not the gold miners.

Tag Lines: Let's Get Emotional

Lose-lose

 
 Emotions

Al Ries had a great article in Advertising Age magazine about emotion and slogans. Pundits have suggested for some time now that brands need to make an emotional connection with the user. Many companies have created a social networking strategy to help build that elusive emotional connection. Fine.

 

However, in parallel with this attempt to build an emotional connection, brand marketers are working hard with their advertising agencies to create shorter and shorter tag lines, most of which are either pointless or obscure at worst, or lack emotion at best. Al makes great points on this entire subject in his well written article.

 

We are proponents of short tag lines. In fact, in Mitch's first marketing book, It's Not Rocket Science, he used the rule of thumb he learned from long-time marketer, Ron Denchfield, that tag lines needed to be six words or less. While we have never been hard over about the six words, it is an acceptable goal. (Many of the great tag lines Ries cites are close to that length.) Today it appears marketers are trying for 1-3 words. Hard to make a sensible connection in most cases, much less an  emotional one.

 

Ries ends his article with this appropriate line: "How long should a slogan be? It should be long enough to reach an emotional connection in the consumer's mind."

Possibly the Greatest Long-format Ad Ever
Positioning The Battle For Your Mind
  

Long format ads are generally longer than one-minute and often associated with direct-order television. However, there can be many other uses of long-format ads, especially in today's Internet society. Our friends Abe Walking Bear Sanchez and John Younker shared this Ford long-format ad with us. (It is a few years old, but we did not see it originally.) It is clearly not a direct-order ad, but we think you will agree that it is a strong message from Ford ... especially 4 years ago before they did NOT take any government bail-out money.

 

 


We appreciate your feedback to help improve these

Updates. If there are others you feel would benefit from this issue, use the Forward email link just below on the left.

 

Sincerely,

 

MGSig

Mitchell Gooze

Customer Manufacturing Group, Inc.

www.customermfg.com

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