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Friday, February 19, 2010

Ardent Believers

Innovation

All too often, an organization's strategy comes down from the corporate mountain and the Brand comes right out of the marketing department. Both are imposed on the most critical human resources—those at the bottom. How can you get the boots on the ground to become ambassadors of the Brand and the corporate strategy? How do you build an organization of 'ardent believers'?

As a major shareholder in an oil & gas exploration company, I know my way around a board room. It's funny how some things make perfect sense there on a white board, but none in the field. Instead, let’s develop a corporate strategy that’s not so specific as to impede the boots on the ground while still being free of corporate puffery. As my father likes to say, "Folks, everyone can say the word 'Tango'—damn few can dance!"

Once you've got a corporate strategy that's measurable and accountable (read: has dates and numbers not meaningless adjectives), go to the boots on the ground. Ask not what corporate can do for them, but what can they do for corporate. Challenge them to come up with local strategies that mirror the overall corporate strategy. Then reward those who make innovations that help achieve that strategy.

For example, if the corporate strategy is to cut production overhead by $1 million by the end of Q3, then the local managers could devise strategies like, running the power-hungry manufacturing processes at night when electricity is cheaper. Impose an over-simplified, silver-bullet strategy and watch your ego slump along with profits.

Build an organization of innovators and ardent believers by giving those at the bottom the authority to make small but meaningful changes you and your white boards wouldn't come up with in a million years.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

JDM Celebrates 3-Year Incorporation Anniversary

JDM Birthday

Today, February 17, 2010, JDM is celebrating our 3-year incorporation anniversary. A big thanks goes out to all our fantastic clients and our talented marketing team for helping us reach and exceed our business goals during such a hard time in our history.

Over the last weekend of the month, JDM will be having a corporate retreat at the D3 Ranch and It'll Do Golf Resort. We'll be posting photos from the retreat on our Facebook Page. Stay tuned for more Big Marketing Ideas as we look forward to another great year!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Branding Trends for 2010

Robert PassikoffIn Robert Passikoff's, "Top 10 Brand and Marketing Trends for 2010" article for UTalkMarketing.com, he makes a few good points but neglects a larger issue facing brands in 2010. Passikoff writes:

Old tricks don't work/won't work anymore


In case your brand didn't get the memo here it is -consumers are on to brands trying to play their emotions for profit.

In the wake of the financial debacle of this past year, people are more aware then ever of the hollowness of bank ads that claim "we're all in this together" when those same banks have rescinded their credit and turned their retirement plan into case studies.


The same is true for insincere celebrity pairings: think Seinfeld & Microsoft or Tiger Woods & Buick. Celebrity values and brand values need to be in concert, like Tiger Woods & Accenture. That's authenticity.

They won't need to know you to love you


As the buying space becomes even more online-driven and international (and uncontrolled by brands and corporations), front-end awareness will become less important.


A brand with the right street cred can go viral in days, with awareness following, not leading, the conversation. After all, everybody knows GM, but nobody's buying their cars.


What Robert's not mentioning is the erosion of Brands as value-adding, differentiating assets.
Today, competing brands look more alike than ever before and consumers are quickly not caring.

Perhaps branding (traditional branding that is) has become antiquated. In 2010, building a brand that comes out of the marketing department (rather than the organization as a whole and its loyal customer base) is like trying to give yourself a nickname. It just won't stick.


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Monday, February 1, 2010

Valentine's Day Marketing Ideas

Valentines Day Dead CupidLike most holidays, Valentine's Day brings out the worst, most hackneyed and cliche'-ridden marketing programs of the year.

Shame on marketers who want to offer clients a "sweetheart deal" or run a heart-shaped ad with "we love our customers!!!" on the diagonal—note the ever-so-effective triple exclamation marks.


Here's a couple (get it?) Valentine's Day marketing ideas that give cliche' a wide berth.


Marketing Idea :: Be Mine on a Dime

A new bakery sends locals a tiny, heart-shaped box. It contains a single chocolate and a tiny card. The outside copy reads: "Will you be my valentine?" The inside copy reads, "Say yes, I'll give you 15% off any box of chocolates between now and Valentine's Day".


Marketing Idea :: A Call to Tardy Cupids A flower delivery service runs a radio ad on Valentine's Day saying "Okay, so it's Valentine's Day and you've got nothin'. No flowers, no card, no candies - nothin'. Buddy, we're about to save your ." Ad goes on to explain how they have operators standing by, ready to take emergency orders for their "Last Minute Package" - flowers, candy and a nice card with her name and your name pre-printed. Order by 2 PM and receive delivery by 6 PM. This one could be brilliant—albeit logistically tricky.

From all of us at JDM, have a happy, cliche'-free Valentine's day!

 
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