Category Archives: Marketing

Marketing Campaign Blueprint

Marketing is the manipulation of consumer’s choices through reasoning and emotions. When Economists, Accountants, Physicians and even Psychiatrists have a basic blue-print to follow in their profession; why are marketers left behind? Why is it that the only basic formula marketers have is nothing but a checklist of avenues (5P) but nothing on what needs to be done – like a Marketing Campaign Blueprint?

I’ll tell you why. Even assuming that someone named ‘R’ discovered such a formula that is sure to increase brand awareness, engagement, returns and every other measurable that every employee is responsible for and in doing so wins the Nobel prize (for once Mathematicians are more promiscuous than Marketers. In your face Mad Men!!). By the time ‘R’ walks up to the stage to collect the prize, the conditions would have changed and the formula be no longer valid.

But let’s assume we stop midway. Somewhere between a checklist of variables and the exact formula. Let us assume for a second that we can do that. Have a Marketing Campaign Blueprint with constants and variables to account for the radically changing consumers and environment while still giving enough direction to the marketers for their work.

All we have to do is learn from Anthropology and Psychology to create a marketing campaign blueprint that would not only reach the target customer base but would also engage them with strong, long lasting messages.

Next post covers some of the design principles from all around us that we can take lessons from to engage the consumers in a whole different level.

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Guerrilla Marketing Olympics 2012: Beats by Dre

When Marketing historians (is there such a thing?) talk about marketing Olympics 2012, they may talk about the P&G ‘Mom’ campaign, the Nike ‘Find your Greatness’ campaign or even Visa. But when the Marketing Economists (the guy with the calculator) talk about Olympics 2012, I’m sure they would talk about the guerrilla marketing by ‘Beats by Dre’.

Personally I love this brand. I hope to own a pair someday to listen to their quality and pull off the coolness factor that they bring along with them. Seriously, why is it that everyone who wears Beats headphones on subways and streets is the most hip person you can see? Is it the pride that comes with owning one of the most expensive headphones or is it the fact that they don’t care about it?

Beats by Dre

Beats by Dre

Anyway, the point was trying to make is that they have a high brand awareness factor. One look at the ‘b’ on the side is enough for people to know that somebody’s serious about their music.

How does one use this at the Olympics? Simple – Flaunt it.

Marketing isn’t all about how crafty the message is or how cleverly you send out the message, sometimes the simplest campaigns show brilliance.

Instead of spending millions of dollars on being the official partner and get a small 2×4 poster in the stadium, the marketing brains at beats (Or was it HTC’s idea?) decided to send gear to athletes directly. Its like giving out HD TV sets at comic con, you could see an entire army of athletes flaunting the ‘b’ and giving priceless exposure. Something you couldn’t buy.

That would’ve been great right there, but beats went a step ahead and customized the headphones for athletes to match their country colors making them proud to wear the headphones.

Why does the marketing economist care? Pocket-lint reported that the sales for beats headphones have increased by 116%. (source)
I cant remember the last time a guerrilla campaign brought on 116% increase of sales. That’s SOMETHING.

 

Customized Beats by Dre

Customized Beats by Dre

 

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Guerrilla Marketing Olympics 2012: Nike

Every brand manager dreams to have pulled off the best guerrilla marketing campaign of the season with finesse and profitability. Very few actually do.

Guerrilla Marketing Olympics 2012: Nike VOLT Shoe

Nike tried to pull off the best campaign using its ‘Volt-Shoe’ – the bright green abominations that made it look like every athlete dipped their feet in toxic waste to gain supernatural powers that enabled them to float, fly and therefore win. And it worked. Nike dominated the athletic footwear brands. In fact what Nike did to Adidas, who by the way paid $60 million to become an official sponsor; is illegal even in the most hardcore, enemy crushing video games of this generation. I wonder how much the Brand Directors at Nike are paid to do their job. Blogs around the globe claim Nike has pulled off brilliant ambush marketing in the Olympics (source) and I agree.

The simplicity of the campaign was in the color of its shoe. The Volt did everything it was supposed to do – garishly attract attention to the super feet, to show that no matter which country you’re from; there’s Nike, but more importantly it went on to show that Nike is good enough to be used by the world’s best athletes at the make-or-break moment of their lives.

Nike has always been a rebel when it came down to commitment with the Olympic sponsorship. Back in 1984, Nike ran ads of athletes with the “I Love LA” soundtrack totally crushing Converse in terms of awareness. (source link)

All said and done, I LOVE brands that defy any rule that stifles innovation in the name of Olympic Delivery Authority. Someone asked me what I think creates an environment conducive to innovation – I believe its when you have the urge to defy rules that you start innovating.

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Balzac's Coffee

Ever since man discovered coffee beans, he has tried his best to improve the concoction. If you are in Toronto and crave for the perfect cup of coffee with the perfect ambiance to enjoy it in, you must find yourself in Balzac’s Coffee in the distillery district.

How good is their coffee you ask? It is so good that I doubt if they drank this instead of wine during the last supper. So good that I fear it might start a war between countries that have it and countries that don’t. It is so good that I wonder if Starbucks Management have surveillance on Balzac to track its success. I swear I saw some shifty eyes and some camera’s the last time I went there.

As an MBA (Marketing) student, I have been taught to observe the intricate aspects of the experience that defines the brand. So What defines Balzac’s Cafe?

First it is the smell. Regulars at the Distillery district would often find a full-grown man floating in the air drawn to the smell of perfectly roasted and brewed coffee. I swear I feel a couple of pounds lighter every time I smell the heavenly aroma.

And then you step into the café to be transformed into another era. Right from the decades old posters to the antique coffee grinders to the chalkboard menu – everything screams of the perfect getaway café. My perfect spot in the Distillery District café is upstairs on the landing – cut off from the first floor overlooking the ground floor, it is the perfect place for coffee and people watching.

It is a shame that its market awareness is bordering dangerously low. It is frequented by people with offices in the distillery district and some tourists who stumble across the café looking for a cup of java. It is not an alternative to Tim Hortons or Starbucks.

Balzac is a Destination Brand

Balzac’s Cafe operates in a whole different league and should be branded as a destination brand. People travel miles for a Tiffany’s store or even the 360 restaurant on CN tower for the experience and the destination. Balzac has the potential to be a destination coffee café but it needs more market awareness. Can’t wait for the new stores in downtown Toronto.

Their recent influx of marketing for this great chain has been due to its pitch in Dragons Den on CBC.

You can find the video of the pitch here.

I do believe that there are good times ahead for my favorite café with Diana Olson working with Arlene Dickinson of Venture Communications & Bruce Croxon of Lavalife. I would love to see Balzac’s being transformed into a destination brand for its customers to look forward to.

Balzac’s need to have their marketing strategy defined and in place. Everyone wants to be associated with a café with heritage. Starbucks has been well-known to pull off some of the best media campaigns (I’ve written about it in my earlier posts – 1, 2.) to create awareness – not that it needs any, and to attract new customers who would one day become loyal brand advocates.

With the budget constraints of a small operation (Balzac’s sale are $ 3.2million), it would be wise to design an integrated marketing campaign that uses social media to create a buzz around the destination and follows it up with some in-store campaigns. I am sure that once consumers visit the store they would become repeat customers. The question is how do we create awareness to drive people to Balzac’s Coffee Roasters?

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10 Great Magazine Ads That Don't Just Sit There Looking Pretty

<This is a re-post of a great post on adweek. No commercial intentions behind it.>
1


Hit the front end of the Peugot on the opening page, and an actual airbag inflates on the spread inside. Ad agency Loducca made 50,000 of these things for a Brazilian magazine.

The Talking Ad2


QR codes got dictators talking in a recent print ads from the free-press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders. You scan the QR code with your iPhone, then place the phone over the leader’s mouth. The mouth starts talking—but it’s the voice of a journalist discussing media censorship in that country.

The Solar-Powered Ad3


This print ad promoted green energy by being solar-powered itself. In the magazine, it’s just a black-and-white sketch. But held up to sunlight, it blossoms into full color.

The Bottle-Opener Ad4


Follow the instructions on this ad, and you can use the flimsy piece of paper to open a bottle of Carlsberg. Useful!

The Edible Ad5


Volkswagen cooked up a lovely little ad you can eat, and placed it inAuto Trader magazine. The ingredients are listed on the side as “glutinous rice flour, water, salt, propylene glycol, FD&C colour, glycerine.” OK, kind of gross.

The Bra-Tightening Ad6


This Wonderbra ad lets you do a little imprompu boob cinching—a nice little pick-me-up when you’re in the middle of a boring article.

The Bubble-Gum Ad7


Simple and fun.

The Test-Drive Ad8


This Norwegian ad for Volkswagen showed a long stretch of road (in summer and winter versions) and told readers to download an app that lets you “drive” a car on the road by hovering your iPhone over it. You could test three different features of the vehicle—lane assist, adaptive lights and cruise control.

The Sunbather’s Ad9


Just what you need—a suntan-lotion ad that comes with a handy way to completely cook your face off.

The Sticky Ad10


A fertility clinic in Australia placed an ad in FHM that caused the magazine’s pages to stick together. When unstuck, the pages revealed a woman posing in lingerie, along with the line, “Don’t waste your sperm.” The message being—donate it at the Repromed fertility clinic instead.