Marketing Operations Management

Wireless Power Lightens Up Cereal Boxes | Advertising Lab

Submitted by Sam Moore on Sat, 02/26/2011 - 14:49

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From AdLab comes this news about eCoupled's wirelessly-powered on-package lightup graphics.

Fromshelftohome

"eCoupled intelligent wireless power is so flexible it can actually be printed directly onto packaging. A low-cost enhancement to product packaging, printed coils allow real-time communication from the package to the store shelf, and then to the store’s inventory management system. Product quantities can be identified and tracked, expiration dates monitored, and new stock automatically ordered when supplies are low to help reduce lost sales."

Wait - weren't RFID tags supposed to make that problem go away?

via AdLab

Gizmodo post

eCoupled

Target Marketing webinar: Master Distributed Marketing Challenges

Submitted by Sam Moore on Thu, 05/20/2010 - 13:01

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The good folks at Target Marketing Magazine have asked me to present on the topic of how (and why!) to use online document customization and management strategies to solve marketing problems.

I'll be focusing on how retail, franchisee and sales agent systems can benefit from the ability to customize ads, sales support materials, point-of-purchase, direct mail, etc.

If there's time, we'll look at setting up localized cross-media campaigns, and may even get into personalized URLs.

The webinar's free, but you do have to register:
Registration Page

Google Docs to support 250 MB uploads

Submitted by Sam Moore on Wed, 01/13/2010 - 17:56

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Google Docs will soon be supporting uploads of up to 250MB, in all file types.
Google's Docs and Wave products are starting to look like a real collaboration solution, especially for loosely allied or ad-hoc teams which may not have any need for a real infrastructure of their own (I work with a shifting coalition of collaborators, in just such a scenario).
Does that mean that workflow or asset management within an organization is no longer necessary? I don't think so - I see Google as a better solution at the fringes, where organizations interact, and where the greatest communications difficulties typically are.

In other news, YouSendIt is looking a little green around the gills...

Google release

Brainloaf blog: Intelligent Marketing Technology

Submitted by Sam Moore on Fri, 10/23/2009 - 14:18

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Our friends at Brainloaf, a development shop specializing in Marketing Technology, posted on the subject of integrating tactical technologies with a more comprehensive strategic view - something that is surprisingly lacking in online marketing today.

Here's a key point:

The explosion of possible channels for businesses to reach potential customers has made it difficult to know which will be most profitable. In order to manage multiple, fragmented media channels, you need to have a clear plan on how you're going to spend your money, where to place your media and how to measure your results. All too often in our new fast paced media world, the driving focus is to move and do something immediately. In Social Media, there is a low barrier to entry, that companies approach it as a low cost channel that will yield huge profits. As a result there are many poorly designed and executed ideas. You need to set goals. You need to create a strategy. Then build a plan of tactics to execute that strategy. Did I mention you should have goals and a strategy to reach them?


Not that any of this isn't quite obvious to anyone looking at online marketing today - but when was the last time you heard a programmer talk about strategy like this?

Not for nothing, the main Brain at Brainloaf, Mike Rogers, worked with Seth Godin in a past life. Now THAT makes for an interesting skillset.
Full Post

B.L. Ochman's blog: Dear Corporations: Nothing Else Matters if Your Customer Service Sucks

Submitted by Sam Moore on Mon, 08/17/2009 - 16:05

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B.L. Ochman has a pointed, if brief, article on why customer service is where your business will be won or lost.

When you come right down to it, it's almost always the hourly employees who have actual contact with actual customers who create your bottom line results. It makes great economic sense to empower them to solve a problem with one phone call...
In case some companies haven't noticed, we are in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Customers count. Treat us like you know that. We'll all be a lot happier. And more prosperous.

Full article

I've come across a few other instances of this kind of thing in the last few days. A friend on a music site I'm part of noted that the Intellitouch tuner company cheerfully replaced his broken tuner, even though his kids had stomped it - not the company's fault at all.
As a counterpoint to Ms. Ochman's experience, you can't beat this kind of story. Intellitouch has made a customer for life - more so, an evangelist.
Here's a snippet of a similar, if more widely read, account, from BoingBoing, detailing KitchenAid's remarkable service:

The operator asked for my serial number, asked me to describe the problem, then asked if I could be at some address the next day to receive my replacement unit and ship back the defective one. I gave her my office address, and yesterday at around 2PM, a DHL guy showed up with a brand new espresso machine in its package. I lifted it out, replaced it with the defective one, watched as the DHL guy slapped a return sticker on it, and then he left, leaving me a shiny new coffee machine that I brought home in a cab (two people on the street and the cabbie all stopped me and asked me about this beautiful coffee machine and whether it worked as good as it looked and where they could get one of their own). This morning, I enjoyed a perfect cappuccino with breakfast, and ruminated on just how damned good the customer service from Kitchen Aid had been, and I figured, man, that deserves some public approbation.

Now, that was worth it for KitchenAid - BoingBoing's readership is enormous, and everyone now knows how good KitchenAid is. All because their CS team "got it". Now, what happens in the opposite case? Do you really want some widely-read blogger telling the world how atrocious your service is? Wise up, everybody.

Seth Godin on The CPM gap, or - where to spend money online?

Submitted by Sam Moore on Mon, 08/10/2009 - 13:56

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Here's an insight from the always-worthwhile Seth Godin's Blog.

Consider that conference attendees lavish attention on the marketers & products they've come to see, whereas when we see advertising for those products in other contexts we probably just ignore it - or actively loathe it.

Which of those environments is better for reaching your customers? One where they've made a great effort and perhaps spent some money to come see you, or one where they're actually trying to do something else and you're in their way?

Here's a quote from Seth:

...advertisers treat prospects online as targets, as victims, as people to subject to interruption. Conferences treat attendees as royalty, as paying customers who invested time and money to be there.

And that's the difference. As long as your site is about something else and the ads are a distraction, you'll see CPM rates drop. As soon as you (or the advertisers) figure out that creating online communities aligned with the advertising, where attendance is a choice by the consumer, then you're creating genuine value.

Seth's post

So in building online communications - should we plan on interrupting the audience with ever-more-stupid ads, or should we create an environment they'll be eager to participate in?

Seems to me the proper use of social media for business is to create an attractive gathering place for your customers - one that's aligned with their operational needs, interests, etc - and become part of the conversation. You will then be a host rather than a salesperson.

Or you could just keep pummeling your visitors with banners. How's that working so far?