Please Keep Giving Us Quick Fixes

t_newhard_kPlease check out the following article and tell me whether you know more about marketing or not:

Are you back? I should say that this author may have had the best intentions in writing this article or perhaps it is another way to sell ad space. There is a difference between knowing tactics and knowing marketing. The author says these tactics are “must-try,” but some of these “tactics” cost several thousand dollars. It would be great if we all had $5,000 to “just try something out,” but most businesses don’t.

Let me tell you something about project management. Project management is a discipline of business that has been well studied. One of the most basic principles of project management is the principle of constraints; every project has constraints. Nearly all project managers acknowledge the existence of 3 project constraints: Time, Scope, and Cost (Budget). Constraints limit what is possible because time and money are finite (scope limit is usually bound by time and money, but imagination usually makes scope seem limitless). If one increases scope one must increase time or cost. If one decreases time and keeps scope the same, one must increase cost. One cannot simply wish for something and have it happen without compromise or consequence – there are real world constraints in play.

Like project management and most other things in life – there are no quick fixes in business and marketing. Continue reading

Marketing’s Biggest Secret

Marketint_newhard_kg’s biggest secret is that it’s all about the money. Some things are about awards, creativity, beauty, or buzz – but marketing isn’t one of these things. Marketing is a business function and like all other business functions, marketing exists to make that “dolla.”

To illustrate the absurd exceptions many smart people make for marketing, please allow me to share a hypothetical situation:

Imagine you are on the board of a company that sells widgets. It is time for your annual meeting and you, along with the rest of the board members and senior officers of the company, sit in a large conference room at a nice hotel. You have just finished lunch, it was delicious, and you are just settling back into a comfy leather chair to listen to the company’s CFO talk about last year’s financials. With the aid of a beautiful looking PowerPoint the CFO proceeds to explain metrics like the hypothetical future value, bank opinion index, and economic buzz forecast. He also mentions the two awards the company won: Most Creative Use of Money (from an industry magazine) and Most Innovative Investment Portfolio (from an industry group you pay to be a member of). He then concludes that all of these things resulted in a successful year because the firm turned a profit of X amount.

While everyone stares, mesmerized by the sheer beauty and grandeur of the presentation, you realize that your CFO has not actually told you anything useful. Hesitantly you clear your throat and say, “Mr. CFO, do you expect us to buy into these meaningless metrics? How do they explain anything?” To which Mr. CFO responds, “We clearly made a profit last year, so we can correlate the good performance of these metrics with the good performance of the entire company.” Puzzled, you stare back at your CFO and wonder if he has lost his mind. Continue reading

Serfwerks to Develop Web Site for Heritage Properties

Carlsbad, Calif.-based Heritage Properties has contracted with Serfwerks to develop its new Web site. The new web site will connect individuals and families with single-family homes available to purchase or rent in the inland region of Southern California. The site will feature a property management tool that will enable Heritage Properties to manage its portfolio properties. It will also feature an LMS search as well as loan and rental applications for prospective buyers and renters.

The New Standard for Rating Super Bowl Ads

IMG_2695Every year after the Super Bowl, throngs of media outlets, advertising pundits and media consumers rate the ads. There appears to be no consistent standard by which the ads are rated. The standards seem to range from the highly subjective (e.g. whether the individual or entity judging likes the ad) to the slightly more objective (e.g. having a sample of viewers rate how much they like ads). One local advertising agency went as far as to hand out awards with witty names based on penalties in football such as the “Illegal Use of $$$” and “Should Have Punted.” Continue reading

The Benefits of Super Bowl Ads

t_newhard_kAccording to Nielsen, about 90 million people watch the Super Bowl every year and it is fair to say that advertisers have a captive audience based on the hyper Super Bowl commercials receive. I’ll admit that I did not fast-forward past any commercials until the second half of this year’s Super Bowl. When one watches Super Bowl commercials, one expects to be entertained. But, at a cost of $3.01M (USD) per 30 second spot – what are advertisers hoping to get out of all of it?

Product Life Cycle Basics

The product life cycle describes the natural progression of a product throughout its lifetime; from the time that it is introduced – to the time it becomes obsolete or unprofitable and is pulled. In sequential order, the product life cycle progresses as follows: Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Saturation and Decline. The roles of marketing and advertising change at each stage of the product life cycle.

In the first two phases the producers of a product are very concerned about using marketing and advertising to get the message out about their new product. They want to hit their target markets and they want to inform those markets about the benefits of using their product. As a product becomes mature its producers will need to differentiate it from its competition. They may try to do this by introducing new features or appealing to a particular segment of their target market, a niche. At the saturation and decline phase a product’s producer may look to spread into emerging markets domestically or abroad in order to start the product life cycle all over again. If they cannot do this successfully and the product does not live up to a certain level of profitability – the product “dies.” Continue reading