Big Marketing Ideas Blog


Monday, August 25, 2008

Audience Frame of Mind

On Monday, August 18th the Wall Street Journal had several reports about advertising during the Olympics. The reports noted that according to a Neilson report (by IAG) ads that emotional ads outperformed the rest.

Well, yeah.

The Olympics are all about emotional and inspirational stories (at least they are supposed to be). The Super Bowl, for contrast, is about aggression and strength under pressure. It’s no wonder that ads like Visa's "Go World" campaign are in the top 5 for the Olympics. They are speaking to their audience in an emotionally and contextually relevant way.

What’s astonishing are the ads that run during the Olympics that don’t attempt to touch us on an emotional level. Some look more like Super Bowl ads.

The key to successful marketing messaging is not just to understand how to communicate to your target audience, but also to understand what frame of mind your target audience is in.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blame the Intern!

Blame the Intern

There are a lot of marketing newsletters out there. IpsumNEWS is a little different. As a special thanks to our loyal (and patient) readership, we're offering free "Blame the Intern" t-shirts.

I wanted the t-shirt to say: "Blame Justin", but we went with "Blame the Intern." Around JDM HQ, it's become part of the office jargon. Blaming a fake intern has its perks, unless you are that fake intern.

Anyway, request the shirt. It's free while we still have them laying around. I think it's cool that ipsumNEWS is the only marketing newsletter with its own promotional collateral, but if anyone asks about your shirt, tell them you voted for "Blame Justin!"

- Ian

Intern/Editor, IpsumNEWS

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Innovative Marketing Firm Launches Online Boutique

Purple Rose of Texas

Dallas, Texas 08/20/2008 (TransWorldNews) Innovative marketing firm, JDM is proud to announce the launch of a Dallas-based Arts and Crafts online boutique. Purple Rose of Texas, founded by native Dallasite, Susan Thomson, is a collection of unique and creative gifts for just about anyone. From custom luggage tags, photo IDs and bookmarks to dog beds made out of vintage suitcases and Mason jar lamps, the range of products was more than enough for get JDM behind this small but distinctive business.

Purple Rose of Texas is a great business with quality products but a very tight marketing budget.

"The goal of the engagement", says Creative Director, Jenee Oxley, who lead the project, "was to develop professional and elegant marketing materials that would create a positive return on marketing investment while still minimizing that investment and therefore any risk."

"I get asked a lot which industries JDM services." Remarks Justin Downey, owner of JDM. "This is a perfect example of how our proven marketing best practices can be applied to any industry—even small distinctive ones like Purple Rose of Texas."

JDM is looking forward to seeing Purple Rose of Texas blossom into a popular online boutique.

About JDM

JDM is a full-service marketing firm providing clients in most industries marketing services that combine proven strategies, innovative tactics and emerging technology. They're developing cutting-edge marketing activities that not just revolutionize marketing, they evolve it.

More JDM news on our Media Center at:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bidding on Radio? Everything’s Negotiable.

bid radioIt wasn’t that long ago that small and even medium-sized businesses hated advertising on the radio. Fundamentally, that hatred grew out of soaring prices and being bumped by the station’s larger clients. What chance does Sally’s Grand Open Ad have against Ford Motors’ new car ad?

Luckily, everything’s negotiable. There are a few services out there that have actually automated the media buy negotiating process. Let’s focus on two of them.

Google Audio Ads

The mighty Google has thrown their hat (and their reputation) into the ring. Google Audio ads focus on a Pay-Per-Click approach to media buys. Advertisers login to a dashboard just as they do their Google Adwords account. They are then presented with the opportunity to bid on remnant media buys with participating terrestrial stations through Google’s interface. With no minimum bids, advertisers can get an absolute a steal.

As Google Audio ads are still very beta, there exists a narrow opportunity to bid against no one. However, that opportunity window will quickly narrow as the bid prices approach an instantaneous market value and then we’re back to square one.

Learn more about Google Audio ads on their website at:

Remember Lending Tree, “When banks compete, you win.”? They based their lending business model on a ‘reverse auction.’ Rather than a single seller setting a minimum bid and many buyers vying for a purchase, Bid4Spots allows the media buyers (that’s us) to set a maximum bid and allow stations to bid ever-lower media prices. After all, the stations are selling next week’s leftover airtime.
The real power of Bid4Spots is the steadily lessening of price rather than the gradual increase. In a
Bear economy, when most businesses are cutting their media spend, there exists a real opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to get a lot of airtime for their money.

More information and a video demo are available on Bid4Spots’ website at:

What’s great about both these solutions is their simplicity. You don’t have to be a Media Buyer or have a station manager owe you money to negotiate and buy offline media like a pro.

Just remember, when everyone’s complaining about the economy, it’s those who stand up and speak when everyone else is hiding in their storm shelters that get heard.

Learn more about
radio marketing on JDM’s new website and about investing in marketing in a down economy on our post: “Under Dog Marketing in a Down Economy”.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Look for the Capo D'Astro Bar

Differentiation is a process of discovering what your business and its products can say that no one else can. Ease-of-use or customer service, for example, is what everyone says. The key to successful differentiation is to look for the "Capo d’astro Bar."

The story of the Capo d’astro Bar goes something like this:

In the sixties, a faltering piano company was looking for a way to increase sales. The problem was, the public perceived owning your own piano as grand luxury reserved for the rich and famous or the immensely musically talented.

The failing piano company hired a prominent copywriter to put together an ad. He was escorted into the client’s showroom by the National Sales Manager. In an elegant setting sat their pianos.

"They sure do look alike," he commented.

"They sure do. About the only real difference is the shipping weight. Ours are heavier than the competition."

"Heavier?" I asked. "What makes yours heavier?"

"The Capo d'astro bar."

"What's a Capo d'astro bar?"

"Here, I'll show you. Get down on your knees."

Once under the piano the Sales Manager pointed to a metallic bar fixed across the harp and bearing down on the highest octaves. "It takes 50 years before the harp in the piano warps. That's when the Capo d'astro bar goes to work. It prevents that warping."

"You mean the Capo d'astro bar doesn’t do anything for 50 years?" he asked.

"Well, there's got to be some reason why the Met uses it," the Sales Manager casually added.

"Are you telling me that the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City uses this exact piano?"

"Sure. Their Capo d'astro bar should be working by now."

On the copywriter’s way out the sales manager added, "About the only thing the Met takes with them is their piano."

That quote was the headline of the first ad. The copywriter had found their key differentiator. Pianos weren’t for the rich and famous or even the immensely talented. They were family heirloom designed and produced from the beginning to be passed down from generation to generation.

The resultant ad campaign increased sales so significantly that it created a six year wait between order and delivery.

The point is, a key differentiator is something you can say that no one else can. Promote it and you’re unstoppable. Remember, no matter what the product or service, we promise you, the Capo d'astro bar is there—even if you have to look really close.

More marketing tips and campaign strategies can be found on JDM's new website

Friday, August 8, 2008

Marketing as an RSS Conversation


There has been some uncertainty around how RSS or “Real Simple Syndication” can be applied to marketing. This confusion is really a miss-understanding of how today’s most savvy marketers engage in a conversation with buyers, rather than shouting their value statement over their competition.

Here's the power of RSS. Essentially, you’re asking prospects to opt-in to having your marketing message interrupt their day. This goes a long way toward having a truly interactive, value-exchanging conversation with your target buyers. This will quickly differentiate you from your competition, help you to retain customers, and shorten the sales cycle.

How can RSS be used today and in the future?
  • Primary delivery channel for newsletter content
  • Contextual Advertising based on the feed’s channel
  • Sponsored Items in the feed
  • Press Room Subscription for Journalists
  • Software/Policy Updates
  • Technical Support Notification (scheduled maintenance, etc.)
Unfortunately there’s nothing "simple" about "real simple syndication." In fact, beyond the technology knowledge needed, you need to start with something worth syndicating.

More information about RSS technology and "Marketing as a Conversation" is available on JDM's website.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Search Engine Innovation

innovative search engine

Ask anyone which search engine they use to find information on the Internet and they will almost certainly reply: "Google." Market research tell us that people actually use four main search engines for 99.99% of their searches: Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and (in that order). What could be holding out the .01% of the market?

What’s interesting is that there are actually hundreds of thousands of search engines holding on to the last 100th of a percent of the market. They have stayed alive because they are the innovators. Let’s take a look.

Innovative Search Homepage

The first thing that almost everyone sees when they go to search the Internet - the ubiquitous Google homepage. That famously sparse, clean sheet of paper with the colorful Google logo is the most popular Web page in the entire World Wide Web. For millions and millions of Internet users, that Spartan white page IS the Internet.

Staring at an almost blank sheet of paper has become, well, boring. There’s room for innovation. Take Ms. Dewey, an experimental campaign from MS and the guys at McCann-Erickson, for example. While some may object to her sultry demeanor, it's pretty hard to deny that interfacing with her is far more visually appealing than with an inert white screen.
Artificial Intelligence on Your Cell Phone

A second arena is sometimes referred to as Natural Language Processing (NLP), or Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is the desire we all have of wanting to ask a search engine questions in everyday sentences, and receive a human-like answer (remember "Good Morning, HAL"?). Many of us remember Ask Jeeves, the famous butler, which was an early attempt in this direction - that unfortunately failed.

Enter ChaCha. With ChaCha, pose any question that you wish via online or via text message on your mobile phone, and a ChaCha Guide appears in a Chat box and dialogues with you until you find what you are looking for. There's no time limit, and no fee though it’s still very beta.
Meta-Metasearch Engines

When you perform a search on Google, the results that you get are all from Google’s index and cash of the web. But metasearch engines allow you to search not only Google, but a variety of other search engines too - in one fell swoop. There are many search engines that can do this, Dogpile and Webcrawler, for instance, search all of the "big four" mentioned above (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Ask) simultaneously. You could also try Zuula or PlanetSearch - which plows through 16 search engines at a time for you. A very interesting site to watch is GoshMe. Instead of searching an incredible number of Web pages, like conventional search engines, GoshMe searches for search engines (or databases) that each tap into an incredible number of Web pages. As best we can tell, GoshMe is a meta-metasearch engine (still very Beta).
The Last Question

Issac Asimov, the preeminent science fiction writer of our time, once said that his favorite story, by far, was The Last Question. The question, for those who have not read it, is "Can Entropy Be Reversed?" That is, can the ultimate running down of all things, the burning out of all stars (or their collapse) be stopped - or is it hopelessly inevitable?

The question for this age is‚ "Can Google Be Defeated?" or is Google's mission "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" accomplished?

Perhaps the place to start is by reading (or re-reading) Asimov's "The Last Question." I won't give it away, but it does suggest an answer.

Of course the launch of these innovative search engine ventures doesn't always live up to the hype. Check out: HRmarketer's blog posting: "cuil's Opening Week"

Monday, August 4, 2008

Closing the loop between Sales and Marketing

There has been a fragile truce between sales and marketing ever since the two crossed paths. It’s easy for sales to blame marketing for not passing off leads qualified enough for them to be closed and equally easy for marketing to blame sales for not closing (or even using) the leads they passed along.

Enter sales force automation. Sales force automation, or SFA, refers to technology which can coalesce marketing’s and sales’ database into a single, trackable, accountable, and structured source.

There are droves of SFA tools on the market and any number of classes, but JDM recommends for most of our clients. SFA tools like are powerful technologies, if they are implemented carefully and utilized efficiently.

For more information on Sales Force Automation, see JDM’s marketing services page. But before you can champion an innovative technology initiative like this, we invite you to review “The Top 10 things you must know about sales people.” edited from Robert Moreau’s B2B Marketing Best Practices Blog.


1. ALWAYS keep in mind that sales is about closing deals, not about getting leads! If leads turn into sales you win with sales. But they don't get paid for working early pipeline leads, only for closing deals!

2. Sales will ALWAYS focus on the latter stages of the sales pipeline. If you want to get sales support, make sure you clearly state how you will help them build their EARLY pipeline so they can FOCUS on the latter stages of the pipeline.

3. You only get one bite at the apple! This is absolutely true in larger sales organizations. If you roll something out to the sales team and a couple of the top performers don't like it, it has bugs, or it is not supporting by the VP, you risk losing traction on the whole initiative before it even starts.

4. Sales people like spiffs! Just like gifts at Christmas time, sales people like to be given things. Just look at the rewards structure set up in most sales organizations. Don't expect a sales force to just jump on board unless there is something in it for them INDIVIDUALLY!

5. Sales people live on individual accountability! Even the most senior sales executives will tell you that if a sales person is making their number, chances are they are happy with them. Sales people are skeptical of things "the company" is doing to help them, so be clear, concise and keep what motivates sales people at the top of your mind.

6. They "believe" the best leads come from their contact/customer install base! Even if you believe this not to be the case, don't even try making that argument with your sales team. Sales people pride themselves on their ability to develop and sustain relationships. In their mind, they don't need help! No matter how creative, personalized or unique you think your marketing teams communications are, to a sales person it is probably just "noise".

7. Involve sales early in the process. We don't mean in the technology selection process, but in developing your business requirements for the technology. If they feel a part of this, you stand a much higher probability of multi-department adoption of any initiative.

8. Be prepared for initial pushback! Know going in that the initial reaction from sales will probably be "marketing wants another $100K to launch an initiative that will not help us, but drive more awareness, increase our admin time, etc". In the sales world, there is a saying that the sales process doesn't really start until you hear the first "no". Don’t think it will be any different for you.

9. Commit to the end result and remind, remind, remind. Sales people have a very short attention span. If your initiative is going to take more than a quarter (and it will) be sure you ask to have some time each quarter to provide a status report.

10. Be patient! Be targeted with your communications, add it to the corporate intranet, and remind them that it is there and why they should take the time to read it. You will not get overnight support, but by getting a few sales people to see the value, and further more to realize the value first hand, eventually, they will follow if it makes sense.

Learn more about integration, SFAs, and evolved marketing on our website:

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