Marketing Failed? You Still Have to Pay.
July 16, 2014

Marketers often assume agencies and vendors are 100 percent successful on all of our marketing initiatives. And yeah, our reputation is everything, so failure is not an option. If you're like many of us, you do everything within your ability to ensure success. The truth is, no one has 100 percent success every time. Unique situations always present themselves. Maybe your product or service just doesn't have enough value or the condition of the market changed. One thing is certain, unknown environmental factors, regardless of market research, will present uncontrollable variables that affect the outcome for every marketer's goals. It's not often, but it happens.

Scions of Local Search
April 1, 2014

Andy Barton, Scion digital and interactive marketing manager, agrees the Torrance, Calif.-based Toyota brand had astronomical search engine marketing issues back in June 2012. That's when Scion leaders, national and regional, met to figure out how to drive increased traffic and leads to dealers and found "key gaps" in the brand's search results—specifically for local terms.

Got $1 Million? Pinterest Would Like to Sell You an Ad
March 21, 2014

Pinterest hasn't brought its ads to market yet, but it's swinging for the fences in terms of what it hopes to charge for them. The social-bookmarking company is asking for hefty spending commitments between $1 million and $2 million from prospective advertisers, and it's looking to price CPMs between $30 and $40, according to three executives briefed on Pinterest's ad pitch. The pricing makes it clear that Pinterest intends to have a premium ad offering, similar to Instagram—at least for now. Instagram tested its first ads last fall with brands like Burberry, Levi's and Lexus and has emphasized

Toyota Realigning Marketing by Product, Rather Than Discipline
February 18, 2014

"We want to realign for today's market, with more emphasis on analytics and big data use. We are spending more time on digital, social and mobile. We need to focus more on the elements our guests find important." As a result of the changes, affected marketing employees have three choices: Apply for one of the new marketing positions. Apply for a job elsewhere within Toyota Motor Sales or Toyota Financial Services. Apply for a voluntary separation agreement.

Instagram Provides Peek at Ads
October 28, 2013

Earlier this month, Instagram announced it would begin introducing advertising into its feed. Thursday, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing network offered examples of what the ads—which have yet to launch—will look like. Similar to ads from its parent company, Instagram ads will be labeled as sponsored, in the spot where the time stamp for photos usually appears. Users who wish to hide ads can tap the button with three periods, which will enable them to provide feedback on why the ads were not interesting to them. Instagram said it will launch advertising with a handful of partners, naming Adidas, Ben & Jerry's,

Secrets That Will Improve Your Mobile Ads' Clickthrough Rates
August 8, 2013

Jumptap teamed up with Dynamic Logic and Celtra to analyze thousands of mobile ads to determine what small details make mobile campaigns work and which ones make them flop. Everything from the number of words an advertiser uses to how many colors are featured in the ad directly correlates with clickthrough rates. For example, having a person in a consumer-tech-related ad increases CTR by 72 percent. The fewer colors you have in an ad, the better. Try to keep it to less than three. Here's what the "Jumptap/Dynamic Logic Ad Creative Study, Q1 2013" says you shouldn't do.

3 Direct Mail Pieces That Push the Envelope
February 5, 2013

Creative direct mail can have a life far beyond the first recipient. In an Internet era, people go on Facebook and Reddit and Twitter to share the direct mail piece that turned their heads. Here are some recent examples that I found particularly interesting, and that go to show that a little creativity can have a lasting effect in an increasingly digital world. 1. BMW "M-print" I found this example extremely creative, in that it gave a new twist on variable print and personalization, as the car literally made thousands of unique impressions, and likely made exponentially more "impressions"

5 Amazing Ways to Integrate Video Into Your Direct Mail
November 13, 2012

Direct mail is great. It has proven effectiveness, it’s tactile and it holds a certain sentimentality that cannot be matched. Video has been the hottest technology for years and shows no signs of slowing down. It has been said that direct mail could suffer as a standalone marketing medium, but when made part of a multichannel strategy (through integration with email, social media or video), it actually can become stronger than the sum if its parts. Here are some ways to integrate video with Direct Mail

Toyota: A PR Catastrophe Made Worse
March 5, 2010

The In the News story at right is a stunning admission by the president of Toyota—a dozen words that describe his giant corporation being totally out of control:

Some people just got too big-headed and focused too excessively on profit.

Who are “some people"?

Let’s call them a cabal, which the OneLook Dictionary defines as “a clique (often secret) that seeks power, usually through intrigue.”

Since 1999, this cabal has been responsible for a reported:

  • 2,262 instances of unintended acceleration
  • 815 crashes
  • 52 deaths.

“We did realize that it was not good that pedals were not returning to their proper positions,” said Toyota’s quality control chief, Shinichi Sasaki, “but we took some time to consider whether we needed to take market action.”

Parse that. “We did realize ... but we took some time ..."

The message here to all businesspeople—from lone wolves to the CEOs of giant corporations:

For Pete’s sake, if you're CEO of anything, don't hide behind the words “we,” “us” and “our.” Don’t use them in copy. Don’t use them in speeches.

“We,” “us” and “our” are code for, “It wasn’t my decision alone, so I don’t have to take responsibility.”

Or, in the words of the late Freddie Prinze Sr., "Eez not mai yob."

When the Philippines fell to the invading Japanese armies in 1942, Gen. Douglas MacArthur didn't say something half-baked and corporate such as, “We shall return,” or “America shall return”—meaning if the Japanese won the war, it wasn’t his fault.

He electrified the world with three iconic words:

“I shall return.”