About 30 years ago, Paul Simon wrote a song entitled "One-Trick Pony." The song describes a performing pony that has learned only one trick, and he succeeds or fails with the audience based on how well he executes it. As Simon conveys in the lyrics: "He's got one trick to last a lifetime. It's the principal source of his revenue."
Who still sends direct mail? Many of the most successful companies in the U.S. In fact, nine of the top 10 on this year's Top 50 Mailers list are also on the Fortune 500 (including GEICO, which is a part of Berkshire Hathaway), and the one that isn't happens to be one of the world's largest nonprofit clubs (AAA). Once again, Target Marketing has teamed with Who's Mailing What! (WMW!) and its impressive library of current direct mail to track the top mailers of the past year.
Google is a search engine, right? Google Shopping Express makes it look as though the search giant is becoming more of an offline entity, too. In a move uniting search, e-commerce and package delivery, Google is shipping books, groceries, clothing and more that consumers purchase from retailers through the search engine. Then Google delivers the purchases to customers the same day in Manhattan, Peninsula, San Francisco, San Jose and West Los Angeles. Shoppers in Northern California receive overnight delivery.
My American Express Gold Card says: "Member since '64." This is my 50th anniversary as an AmEx cardmember. I remember in 2004 being (1) hurt and (2) offended that I never received a thank-you card from CEO Kenneth I. Chenault for being a member for 40 years. I doubt if I will receive a 50th anniversary card. Chenault is a rude dude. In the average corporate database, how many customers have been active for 50 years? Not many, I'll bet.
In 1902, my father caught a dose of TB of the bone from a tubercular cow at a rented vacation house when he was four. With a shriveled right leg, he spent his life on crutches. He never pushed a shopping cart. Mornings, my father would lie in bed and call the butcher or fish guy, green grocer, the cereal and canned goods people, etc. Borden delivered bottles of milk and cream every two days. I never frequented a supermarket until I was 15.
More than a buzzword, "being human," especially in brand-building and leveraging customer relationships, has become a buzz-phrase or buzz-concept. But, there is little that is new or trailblazing in this idea. To understand customers, the enterprise needs to think in human, emotional terms. To make the brand or company more attractive, and have more impact on customer decision-making, there must be an emphasis on creating more perceived value and more personalization. Much of this is, culturally, operationally, and from a communications perspective, what we have been describing as "inside-out advocacy" for years.
Regardless of what I buy lately, getting inside the package to the actual product is like breaking into Fort Knox. I recently purchased a pair of carbon fiber trekking poles from Costco. They were encased in plastic sturdy enough to survive wind, hail, sleet, snow and a 500-pound gorilla. But since I had no plans to take the poles with me while still inside the packaging, what was the point?
Discount retailers, such as Target, Macy’s and J.C. Penney, have tried various pricing strategies over the years to lure customers to buy more of their products. The primary tool in the competitive arsenal is to offer the best value because they know that customers are motivated to seek out price savings and great deals on frequently purchased products. Seems simple right? Just offer low prices and people will come. That is not necessarily the case, though. Feelings affect our shopping decisions. An economist would say that customers are rational beings who try to get the most value
I’ve been working in digital marketing for over a dozen years. Sometimes, though, when talking to others in digital marketing you would think that traditional marketing channels, such as print, billboards, radio, TV, direct mail, etc., are now worthless. Some say they don’t produce immediate leads or sales and the ROI from multi-channel marketing is difficult to measure. However, just because it’s not as easy to attribute sales to these traditional channels doesn’t mean they are useless. ... And for years Google has been proving by example that it believes in traditional marketing channels
2012 was a good year for us, and we decided to splurge on a joint Christmas present—the commemorative set of 22 James Bond DVDs to celebrate the 50th anniversary. We journeyed to Costco to buy some hamburger and the Bond DVDs. Got the hamburger, but Bond was nowhere to be found.