Posts Tagged ‘Ad Age’

OPEN A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE

August 23, 2011

Reading the Ad Age “Small Agency Issue” a few weeks ago, I came across one of the featured company’s philosophies about advertising.  The article said that the agency adopted this philosophy from a quote from a corporate executive (I think it was the CEO of Home Depot but not positive).  To paraphrase (since I don’t remember the exact quote), “advertising is an interruption…so if you are going to crash the party, better be opening a bottle of Champagne”.  Is that what your advertising does?

Let’s face it; our business’s marketing practices still suck!  We are announcing our events and then hoping that consumers will care.  What we should be doing is explaining what’s in it for the guest!  What will their experience be…how will their lives be made better.  You can announce shows that sell themselves.  Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer layups out there. 

From here forward, try opening a bottle of Champagne when you interrupt.  Explain what benefits your guest will get if they purchase a ticket.  Remember that purchase decisions are mostly based on emotion rather than hard facts.  Give everyone a reason to pay attention.

Finally, speaking of paying attention, “Super Early Bird Registration” closes a week from Wednesday, August 31st for the 16th Annual Aspen Live Conference (Dec. 8-11…most travel on 7th).  Right now you can register for only $100.  Our host hotels have amazing rates available…as well as rates on ski and board rentals, lift tickets, and more.  For non-skiers/riders, check-out all the non-mountain activities as well as other vital information, registration, etc, @ http://www.aspenlive.com.  Also you can join the discussion about meeting topics, speakers and other events @ http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/aspenlive.  Don’t be left out another year, register for Aspen Live today!!!

Hope to see you all soon!

Jim

 

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ART AND THE ARTIST

June 29, 2011

I read everything Seth Godin puts out (at least try to).  Not always on the day or week… or in this case even year it is released, but you can bet I’ll get to it.  That’s why we had to have him speak at the Aspen Live Conference 5-years ago.  He truly is as Ad Age dubbed him, “Marketer of the Decade”.  Anyway, just finished Linchpin and Graceful and can recommend them both highly.  You can go to Amazon right now and order them or download them to your Kindle right now.   

What was most exciting (besides the learning of course) is we all know people in his books…especially Linchpin.  Seth describes musician Keller Williams as only a true fan could.  He talks about the contributions of Bob Lefsetz to the music business…his warnings years ago to the labels…and how so many of them are now gone but Bob has just gotten bigger.

Seth describes how agent, promoter, manager and Madison House owner Nadia Prescher succeeds because of her passion for her artists…and the Madison House team broke the mold.  They didn’t follow the rules.  They’re managers and agents…and promoters.    

Seth speaks of both Bob and Nadia as artists.  They do their art for love…because they have to.  It is their calling.  Seth says you are an artist too.  Do you love what you do?  If not, why?  Stop and look around, art is everywhere.  As Godin says, you don’t need to write, hold a brush, sculpt, or play an instrument to be an artist.  You just need to be able to complete what you start without money being the first and only objective.  Seth calls this “shipping”.  Think of the way labels used to ship product.  Same concept here except what’s being shipped doesn’t have to be made in a factory.  In fact it shouldn’t.  It can be made tomorrow at work…right at your desk.

Till then, Happy Reading!

Jim

 

Political Marketing

October 22, 2008

The October 20 issue of Advertising Age announced that Barack Obama was the “Marketer Of The Year”.  His “electorate” were hundreds of marketers (at CMO level), agencies and the like who had gathered for the annual Association of National Advertisers.  Obama not only creamed his political competitor John McCain(who still made the list), he beat out mega-brands like Nike and Apple who are know for their marketing.  It all started (and ends) with passion and world-of-mouth.

In 2003, my friend and artist manager Ann Marie Wilkins called and asked me to contribute money to a politician I had never heard of named Barack Obama.  Because it was Ann Marie, I did it first and then did the research (she manages my friend Branford Marsalis who I’ve been friends with for over 20-years).  Turns out she could not have been more right about Barack and I became what Malcolm Gladwell would call a “Sneezer” or early adopter….and game on.

As Ad Age pointed out, the Obama campaign has won over voters with a mix of “grass-roots appeal and big-media-budget know-how”.  THAT MY FRIENDS IS A MOUTH FULL!!!  To put it in artist and record label terms for those in the music industry, Obama has marketed like an artist on an indie label with major label money and staff.  Of course, it starts with grass-roots and that’s where a lot of us go wrong…by starting big (like Hilary Clinton’s campaign).

Barack Obama started out as a community organizer and boy can you tell.  There are “Ann Marie’s” all over this country spreading the word one person at a time.  In Pennsylvania alone, there are now 80 Obama campaign offices…thousands of kids on the street.  Everyone involved feels empowered and part of the process.  Obama has used a combination of social networking and other 2.0 tactics along with traditional political organizing on the ground, to go for virtual unknown to one of America’s best known brands.

By breaking traditional with typical campain fund-raising and marketing, the Obama Camp has been able to not only out market and probably out spend his competitors (Democrat and Republican), but create a real passionate army of disciples to spread the message.  And that message has been clear from the start and has never changed!  This is another important lesson and what makes a great brand (staying on message).

Of course to reach those voters needed to win the election, mass-media (TV, Radio, Print, Outdoor, etc) was incorporated into the marketing mix.  Again, the campaign’s message stayed the same and the mass-marketing re-enforced everything coming from the street.  The Ad Age article points out that as the economy became most important to potential voters, the McCain campaign changed their ads and messaging.  “While Team McCain threw up ad after ad and tried to carve out a position during the financial crisis, Team Obama seemed to move at a slower pace, content to let Mr. McCain flail and then use his own words against him”  Consistency pays off.

As many have said before me, you can’t really market something you don’t believe in.  Since Ann Marie’s call in 2003, I have been a supporter, “sneezer”, contributor, and sometimes stalker for the Obama brand.  After his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention, many more bought into the brand (mass marketing).  This was followed by great grass-roots marketing, organizing and ultimately fund-raising that fueled the Obama becoming a household name…and the marketer of the year.

See what you can learn from the Obama campaign to help put butts in seats for your next event.

Talk to you soon…

Jim