All posts by ngibby

The Marketer’s Milieu (Infographic)

The marketing professional is frequently in a tight spot. Not only do you have to meet the demands of your organization to collect a paycheck, but you’ve got to find and engage an audience that may not care what you have to say. If you don’t get them to pay attention and “like” you, your job is on the line. So, to all those of you who feel like you’re in a “tight spot” as marketers, here’s an infographic that serves as our attempt to show you a bit of well-deserved empathy.


Lies, Inundation and Being Sold: Part 1, The Great Dupe

This is the first in a series of posts discussing several challenges that marketers face in reaching their customers and how to overcome those challenges. This iteration deals with the inability of consumers to trust advertising. Part two deals with the prevalence of advertising. Future articles present solutions to help marketers overcome the challenges described. 


A couple of weeks ago, my brother, a successful endodontist (root canals), heard an ad on the radio for a local used-car dealership. In the ad, the dealership touted that they want to buy your used car and would pay virtually any car owner $3,000 more than the car was worth. Upon visiting the web site, there are large ads , headlines and even a video stating that even if you don’t buy one of their cars, they’ll buy yours. 

As my brother is still hanging onto the car he had in college in the late 90s, he figured that the $3,000 bonus was even more than the car was worth so why not give the dealership a try? Needless to say, the salesman’s rampant backpedaling over the $3,000 deal obviated to my brother what we all suspected—the ad was merely an attempt to dupe potential customers into coming into their dealership. They had no interest in purchasing his well-used vehicle.

Of course, my brother is neither the first nor the last to experience deceptive practices in advertising- and marketing-related activities. It’s no surprise that a recent study by YouGov found that 50% of Americans don’t believe what they see, hear or read in advertisements. It’s also no surprise that said study listed advertisements for cars as the forth least trustworthy category of ads. Furthermore, nearly two thirds (58%) said that there should be stronger requirements for proving claims

The responsibility for this lack of trust in traditional advertising rest squarely on the shoulders of the decades worth of advertisers, marketers and organizations that have resorted to mindless gimmicks similar to the one that duped my brother. It creates a serious challenge for those of us who try to market legitimate products and services using above-board strategies and tactics. It also plays a significant role in a consumer’s nearly involuntary reaction to sales-related messaging, where at best it is simply ignored or at worst resented.

We call on marketers and advertisers everywhere to give up the lies and gimmicks and develop something of real, salient value to their customers.

The next post in this series will explore the prevalence of advertising and how that further challenges the marketing landscape.



Marketing Status of Boise-Area Dental Practices

It’s no surprise that dentists are not immune to many of the problems faced by all small business, particularly when confronting the marketing of their practice. A recent study conducted by Serfwerks Marketing Academy of more than 50 dentists located in the Boise, Idaho metro area, unveiled that, like most small businesses, the proprietor (in this case the dentist) is most frequently the individual within the practice responsible for both making marketing decisions (see Figure 1)and implementing any of the business’s marketing efforts (see Figure 2). Continue reading

Serfwerks Principal Nate Gibby Invited to Judge GrowAmerica Competition

Serfwerks’ principal and co-founder, Nate Gibby, has been invited to participate as a judge in the GrowAmerica Springboard entrepreneurial competition to begin March 13, 2012 and conclude May 21,2012.

The GrowAmerica Springboard competition gives Utah-based entrepreneurs, start ups and other small businesses the opportunity to compete for cash and service prizes to help the grow their business. Companies are split into three categories, including idea, start up and growth. Three rounds of judging will determine the winners from each of the three categories.

Gibby will judge both the second and third rounds to help select those companies who will advance through the competition. The judging duties for the second round include the review and scoring of business plans submitted. The judging of the second round consists of rating three-minute oral presentations and a four-minute Q&A session.

“Utah is full of great entrepreneurial companies and being a part of the competition will be a great experience,” said Gibby. “I look learning more about the business concepts these entrepreneurs bring to the table.”

Serfwerks Presents at SBDC

Serfwerks will be teaching the strategic marketing workshop through the Small Business Development Center at Utah Valley University on Thursday, August 5, 2010.To be held at the SBDC offices at 800 West University Ave., suite MS 239, in Orem, Utah, the workshop covers some of the basics of developing an effective marketing strategy to help marketers and small businesses achieve significantly improved marketing results. Topics covered include: marketing performance analysis, customer segmentation, positioning, branding, competitive analysis, and performance measurement.

To register for the workshop, please contact the SBDC at:

Marketing De-mystified Workshop

Developing marketing strategies for marketing results
August 5, 2010
800 West University Ave, Orem, UT
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 pm.

Automobile Owners Unite

At Serfwerks, we are presently assisting a client by researching the attitudes and behaviors of automobile owners regarding the maintenance and repair of their vehicle(s). As such, if you own a car, we need you. Please take a few minutes to take a brief survey to gauge your thoughts about car maintenance and repair. Your opinion will be a huge contribution toward helping us make our client successful.

You may access the survey here:

We thank you in advance for your valuable time and opinions.

Serfwerks Presents at Chamber University

July 9, 2010, SALT LAKE CITY—Serfwerks has been selected by the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce to present at its monthly Chamber University series on July 15th at the Zion’s Bank branch located at 462 W. 800 North in Orem, Utah. The 90-minute presentation titled De-mytified Marketing covers the basics of developing an effective marketing strategy to help marketers and small businesses achieve significantly improved marketing results. Topics covered include, performance analysis, customer segmentation, positioning, branding, competitive analysis, and performance measurement. Chamber members and attendees will learn how to quantitatively analyze the performance of their marketing efforts, identify opportunities to compete more effectively, and use marketing tactics to significantly improve their marketing results.

To register for the event, visit the Provo • Orem Chamber of Commerce’s web site at Breakfast will be provided.

Marketing and Brain Orientation

One of the perennial dilemmas when approaching an organization’s marketing strategy is the type of appeal (e.g. factual/evidence-based, emotional, etc.) that should be made to the target audience. After all, the strategy can have a huge impact on the response. For example, in the early 80s Pepsi always seemed to win it’s head-to-head taste tests with Coke in its Pepsi Challenges. However, for as much as the anecdotal evidence suggested that Pepsi was preferred to Coke, it never could eclipse it in sales. According to Beverage America’s 2008 report on soft drinks, Coke has 12% more market share than Pepsi). Of course there are many issues contributing to Pepsi failure to overtake the leadership position in the Cola Wars, one of which is the wrong marketing approach.

According to Hall & Stamp’s (2002), studies suggest that facts are meaningful to left-brainers and right-brainers are best sold using energy, personal relationships and emotion.

Additional research of business executives found that left-brain people respond best to presentation where the salesperson was more serious, very knowledgeable, and highly organized, with clear command of the facts and specific recommendations…Right-brain people responded best to sales approaches where the salesperson was more humorous, animated, relationship-oriented, and focused on their personal needs more than their own company’s needs.

Continue reading

Forecasted Market Share

According to studies by Kalyanaram et. al., Urban et. al, and Urban et. al., forecasted market share for consumer packaged goods and prescription anti-ulcer drugs divided by the first entrant’s market share roughly equals one divided by the square root of the order of market entry.

In other words, those who aren’t first to the market have significantly less market share than the first entrant into the market/industry.

The lesson to be learned is that being first counts for a lot.

See Hanssens, D., ed. (2009). Empirical Generalizations About Marketing Impact, Marketing Science Institute. Cambridge, Mass.

Marketing Losing Its Mojo? Not So Fast

In a recent article published by Mediaweek, author Denise Lee Yohn postulated that the drive toward social media and analytics by CMOs was causing marketing to lose its creativity. Lee Lohn wrote:

All this focus on social media and analytics seems to be sucking the creativity out of marketing. Time was, brands developed big ideas and delivered and communicated them in unique and creative ways. Now it seems marketers are only interested in tactics and metrics…Certainly media and communications have changed, so a big TV spot or newspaper campaign probably isn’t the right approach for transformational marketing.  But lately it seems the pursuit of breakthrough marketing creativity has taken a backseat to work on more predictable and achievable efforts.

While there is no question to Lee Lohn’s notion that creativity plays a vital role in the effectiveness of marketing, the concerning part about Lee Lohn’s article is that it positions creativity as the finality of the marketing process. Continue reading