Showing posts with label marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marketing. Show all posts

Saturday, July 11, 2020

John James vs. Senator Gary Peters: How Money Increases Marketing Reach?

An article by Craig Mauger (July 19th, 2020) entitled James Raises more Cash than Peters in Michigan Senate Race for 4th Strait Time discusses the amount of money earned by two Senate candidates. As the race heats up this money will have an influence on the results of the election through marketing reach. Money creates more purchasing power but it is the marketing message and the use of the money that will have the biggest impact. How can campaign money be used to increase marketing reach and votes?

The Raising of Money

I'm focused more on understanding our political process than I am on candidates and who you should vote for. That really isn't my purpose although I have my own political leanings that are not so easy to define as all this and all that. Its more important for people to understand become aware of how politics impacts our lives and how it influences the direction of our country.

It is also beneficial for people who have an interesting in marketing to gain greater knowledge of how political marketing functions within a campaign and its eventual creation of value for the candidates. In this case the amount of money may have less influence than how it is utilized to create the media channels and messages to reach a receptive voter base.

One candidate raised $5.2 million and the other $6.4 million over April, May and June. The information also shows primary level donations on both sides and a fairly even $18.6 and $19 million total raised for the election cycle thus far. The amount of money raised by each and the type of grassroots low donations means they will need to rely on something else beside the power of money.

First, lets talk about what money does for a campaign. Donations and money allow one to create reach in their campaigns through purchasing power of "air time". "Political marketing has the opportunity to build a marketing framework that focuses on delivering value to a core target market (voters, supporters) and addressing the needs of society at large (Hughes & Dann, 2009)."

Thus money is about reach to one's audience and it allows for the creation of coordinated campaigns of higher resonate value. Yet money isn't the only determinant of whether or not someone will succeed in their campaigns.

Three Stage Political Marketing Model

A three stage model of political marketing can help us better see what is occurring Curmaz & Ykup, 2016). That model includes the political product, the political organization, and the political environment. As the candidates create their campaigns they should keep that in mind as it is going to impact how they use their resources to create reach to their supporters (i.e. customers).
  • Political Product: The candidate, their values, impressions and what they believe.
  • The Political Organization: The party formation, operations, impressions, volunteering and functioning of that party.
  • The Political Environment: The environment in which politics is occurring such as ideologies, values, economics, cultures and traditions. We can consider movements such as BLM, China, employment and COVID in this arena.
Based on this model we can say that each candidate will need to find a message in their campaign that resonates not only with their traditional political followers but also those that sit on the fence or who are questioning their values. The candidates will need to find a voice and match that with other available information in a message with the longest potential reach. The management of their campaigns are likely to have some levels of influence in the ability to get that message out. That means having more volunteers and supporters among the different classes in society. Finally, but not least the political environment and what has changed over the past year with BLM, COVID, Employment Opportunities and more will change the impressions these messages will create. 

A Couple of Other Marketing Ideas

  • Create a few parsimonious messages that can be used as central themes in different media channels.
  • Develop shareable media to attract a larger younger population.
  • Ensure that emotion and logic in advertisement is balance to spark cognitive interest but then agreement that leads to action (pushing the voting button).
  • Don't focus exclusively on self but do focus on important strengths.
  • Consider the value of the blogging community and keeping them in the loop for online content creation.
  • Help people feel comfortable and confident in this changing world by rallying them to something important.
  • Don't waste your time personally attacking your opponents (policy yes but the person no/a couple of exceptions to this) as it leads to intuitive feelings of distrust of the candidates but also the political system itself (doubt that? look at the polls).  Candidates have a greater responsibility than winning.
  • Create messages that help people feel like they are part of the change.
  • As a political product the candidates should be selling solutions that are easy for their customer to understand.
  • Utilize those channels that reach your target voter customer effectively and with the highest ROI.
  • Create multichannel reach where a person hears different advertisements but with the similar/same core message in multiple ways to create embedded memory.
  • Develop marketing strategies, images, and messages that focus on memory recall of target markets.
  • ...and much more!
Durmaz, E. & Yakup, A. (2016). A Theoretical Approach to Political Marketing. Global Journal of Management And Business Research, [S.l.], jan. 2016. ISSN 2249-4588. Available at:

Hughes, A., & Dann, S. (2009). Political marketing and stakeholder engagement. Marketing Theory, 9(2), 243–256.

Mauger, C. (July 10th, 2020). James Raises more Cash than Peters in Michigan Senate Race for 4th Strait Time. The Detroit News. Retrieved

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fishing the Global Market for Higher Returns

Pools of motivated customers exist in the market and companies that can find them are able to tap their customer pools to create higher returns on marketing investment. Access to new customers rests in market research and treaties that open these markets for revenue generation.

Market research allows a company to determine who is most likely interested in their product and where they can find them. A thorough research approach should also include the types of media needed to reach your target market. In the international environment this can take significant time but can improve performance. 

Certain customers will be interested in your products/services more than others. Knowing who they are makes the entire sales process easier as they come to the company “hot”. An organizational will then need to know how to reach them and the marketing mediums that have the highest rates of return. 

Treaties help ensure that trade can actually be conducted. If there is no treaty it may be unlawful or expensive to conduct business in certain countries. Solidly designed treaties provide American companies’ access to new customers but also protect the products/services companies offer. 

Fishing the global market requires a willing partner in government along with intensive market research. Business pushes for expansion of reach and government opens the door. Knowing where the hungriest fish are and having the boat to get there is great but then using the right bait and hook can lure them into biting.  Fishing trips should start with a little research.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What Your Car Says About You?

Cars have personalities in the same way we have personalities. Cars are designed to appeal to particular demographics and seek to emulate the characters of their target market in their design. This is one reason your personal image becomes associated with the type of car you drive and the items you buy. To the outside world, your car becomes an extension of yourself.

There is brand personality and consumer personality. Brand personalities are those values a brand image symbolizes. Brand personalities revolve around personas of excitement, sincerity, ruggedness, competence and sophistication.  When there is mutuality between consumer personality and brand personality the car is said to “suit you."

People with particular personalities are attracted to products with similar personalities (Seimiene, 2012). If you see yourself as a cowboy chances are you will walk past the smart cars and head straight over to the 4X4s. Your idea of fun may look more like “mudding” with Garth Brooks blasting than having a glass of wine with Beethoven playing in the background.

As consumers, most purchased beyond that which is necessary to sustain life are personality driven. If you are a beach going hippie you may just get yourself a VW Bus while if you are seeking status you could option for a sparkling Lamborghini. Of course, if you are more sophisticated with a refined sense of taste there is Mercedes S-Class Sedan with its polished design.

Practicality and finances mitigate this need to enhance our persona. For example, if you are on a budget you might consider your neighbors $500 1990 Ford Escort that leaks oil and has a mammoth dent on the side. An excellent deal if you don’t care about status!

Before you can make appropriate purchases understand what the car says about you. If you are practical and educated, go with a Honda Civic while if you have some money to burn soup up your drive with a Camaro. Keeping your brand image consistent will help others formalize an opinion. The next time you get attracted to this car or that car, stop and ask yourself “why”? You might just find something out about yourself.

Seimiene, E. (2012). Emotional connection of consumer personality traits with brand personality traits: theoretical considerations. Economics & Management, 17 (4).

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Amazon Prime and Prime Pantry Mark Improvements in Personalized Distribution

It wasn't long ago when the only way to buy household items was to trek on down to the store and wait in line wasting your precious hours. For many business professionals and overwhelmed parents it can be difficult and time consuming to take a few hours out of the day to shop. Services like Amazon Prime and Prime Pantry offer an affordable and time efficient alternatives. Their services would not be possible without improvements in the distribution systems that takes advantage of urban density.

This is how it works. For $99 a year you can get access to a huge selection of movies, products, 2-day shipping and other services through Amazon Prime. The 2-day free shipping has mammoth appeal to a new generation online shoppers who like to save cost and time. Within a matter of a few days they have their products at a competitive price not influenced by location differences.

Prime Pantry works a little different but offers a one low cost shipping value of $5.99. Customers purchase a large box of  household items and have it shipped to their house in 1-4 business days. In my case, the order showed upon in 2 days making the service convenient and affordable. I was impressed enough to try it again when I need enough items to fill up the box again.

The two services are only possible through improvements in supply chain distribution. Home delivery is now an affordable option for people who don't have a lot of time, or who simply find it convenient to shop on line. If you are a busy parent with a household of children or you are a busy professional engaged in renaissance activities you are likely to use the service more.

For a new class of people who live in urban areas and don't own a car Amazon Prime and Prime Pantry complement their chosen lifestyles. They enjoy freedom from auto expenses by taking public transportation and shopping online. Services like Amazon affords them the opportunity spend their free time with friends, family, or recreational activities.

What makes all of this possible is the developing of shipping warehouses in major metropolitan areas. Without the ability to distribute products quickly and within a short time frame the company wouldn't be able to offer this service or grow additional interest among consumers. The locality of Amazon warehouses, and their investment in efficiency, is paying off in the market in a big way.

The distribution process is matching customer preferences closer by better bridging the gap between customer wants, e-commerce, and physical delivery.  Allowing customers to avoid annoying lines, purchase online with their debit card accounts and having the products show up in a day or so appeals to a wide swath of families and young professionals. An entire generation of people are being socialized to the merits of shopping through a few key strokes while spending their time in more enjoyable pursuits.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

How the Internet has Changed the 4 Ps of Marketing

The 4 P’s are  a big part of marketing and have not lost their luster  as a guide in the online world.  The basic principles of Product, Price, Place and Promotion fits as easily in the virtual world as it does in print media.  The changes have been subtle but profound as marketing experts went through a transition from thinking about physical space to virtual space.
On the Internet time and space no longer have same meaning as in the physical world. Products can be sent across the world, the business borders between nations are reduced, and the world is more integrated. Marketing changes to meet those new demands.
Product: There is no substitute for a solid product.  In the online world how that product is displayed and described can have a large impact on customers abilities to understand it.  Using an easy to understand description and pictures can make a big difference in helping customers visualize how the product will help them.
Price:  The price of products is more competitive online due to easy comparisons at the click of a mouse. Physical locations have the ability to create price differentials but online products are compared instantly. Shipping costs are no longer a major expense with services like Amazon Prime.
Place: Even though the office may have a physical place the webpage has no place in particular. This means that someone can access the information and purchase products from almost anyplace on the globe. Where the business ranks on search engines will determine who and how many people frequent the site.

Promotion: In the online world promotion is about finding ways to draw in and connect to customers. Social media marketing, content creation, and pay-per-click ads are common methods. Businesses either purchase displays or create organic traffic through consumer comment and interest.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Service Logic That Solves Customer Problems

The process of developing a better service logic approach requires more than wishful thinking and running the same process over and over in hopes of doing something new. Organizations that focus on integrating their service concept throughout their operations will be rewarded through greater market relevance and customer support. It is helpful to encourage customers to be co-creators and then developing operations around their needs to ensure focus.

Integrated service frameworks relies on taking customers suggestions based on their problems, using their input to develop a salable solution, and then integrating the information throughout operations. The lens of understanding requires the company to think through customer problems and service solutions to successfully move to the next level.

Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) offers insight into organizational needs to solve customers problems while service-dominant logic (SDL) focuses efforts on the customers needs. Using jobs-to-be-done with service-dominant logic in the viewing of firm marketing programs offers a much higher customer oriented outcome (Bettencourt, et. al. 2014). The design of the operations and marketing process should be based in solving problems.

This provides a much stronger framework for seeing how operational designs do not often coordinate well to a final product or solution. Customers don’t concern themselves with the internal mechanisms of the company but do become acutely aware when a service mistake costs them time, money, or a good time. Upset customers don’t often come back but they are often willing to share information to either the company or other customers.

Understanding customers and drawing them into finding solutions that help the organization to better align its offerings to solving marketing problems is better than shooting blindly at a market opening. The customer provides a gentle hand and will tell you what they are looking for and how to market to them. Organizations must only adjust their data gathering and strategic processes to the customer's needs.

Once the information and product is obtained from the customer it is beneficial to revisit the operations for improvement and better focus on customer needs. It is a feedback process that helps companies take in information, analyze that information, and then adjust operations to meet the market needs and improve sales. Living and breathing organizations that adjust to market problems will outlive their more stagnant cousins through greater market relevancy.

Bettencourt, L., et. al. (2014). A service lens on value creation: marketing’s role in achieving strategic advantage. California Management Review, 57 (1).

Monday, January 19, 2015

Can Social Media Marketing Raise Firm Value?

Do social networks have value? Relationship management tools have found to raise the value of 10 luxury hotels through the use of social network marketing (Jung, et. al., 2013). The study focused relationship marketing through social media networks but does help define the advantages that relationship marketing can offer for businesses. Marketing will also have the benefit of influencing behaviors and thoughts in an online world.

Consider how most people view a product or service through the lens of social evaluation. If their friends like a particular product they will likely be open to making a purchase themselves. If the product is extremely popular the value of such products rise and market demand increases. Social marketing is one method of encouraging greater interest in products and services.

In many ways, much of economic behavior is based in social perception of products and services. Most items we purchase on any particular day are not necessities but have social value that raise their economic value. For example, there is value in the trendiness of a particular car beyond simply driving to and from the grocery store.

Social marketing helps create that value. The purpose of social network marketing is to 1.) maintain contact with customers; and, 2.) influence the social perception of products and services. It is typically conducted through the use of social media sites, company websites, forums, and just about any other place where people gather.

Customers who are frequent users of certain products and services naturally want to stay in touch with those companies that help them create their identity. For example, an outdoor enthusiast who is engaged in multiple online outdoor forums may want to stay in touch with a company that produces new outdoor products. Such a person would be interested in the latest and greatest editions.

New products have natural interest among key social circles of heavy users. Providing information that offers a positive perception of products and services can raise their overall status in the minds of consumers. Press releases and focused discussions can help create that perception if the company leads the conversation.

Social marketing is a relatively inexpensive process at its most basic level. For small business it only requires someone to join and engage online communities where such topics are being discussed. Corporations may need to develop their own social circles and provide solutions to existing circles that may be interested in their products and services. Future development and refinement of relationship management tools has the potential to increase sales and raise firm value.

Jung, T., et. al. (2013). Online social networking: relationship marketing in UK hotels. Journal of Marketing Management, 29 (¾).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Symbolism and Sales that Create Repeat Customers

Businesses create impressions through their servicescape, image, products, and music. An environment can be appealing because it creates an impression that taps into something within our culture and backgrounds that helps customers have positive experiences and feelings. Businesses will often use cultural context to create backgrounds and icons that make them stand out from their competitors.

Near Balboa Park in San Diego is a little gem of a business called Cafe Bassam that carries the charm of old England and colonial India. Antique hardwood, polished silver vases, seasoned bottles of wine and likely the largest selection of tea around. Tables are small and the atmosphere is hurried in an effort to create an authentic experience. Raw tea is out in the open to create the decor that this is a traditional tea shop.

Upon entering you will notice its popularity with trendy people of every background enjoying the experience. A few may be clicking on their laptops, another ruffling the New York Times with disdain, young lovers chatting over their upgrade from lattes to their new found interest in tea. Each has their own background but all are attracted to a place that has a similar cultural strain that appeals to all of their repeat customers.

Cafe Bassam covers a particular timepiece in history and carries with it an interesting piece of history. When businesses create atmospheres that have universal appeal within a dominant culture it will have appeal among a wider section of society. It is like a strain of cultural similarity that touches the customers impressions and images  that leads to a higher possibility of a positive impression.

Consider the very essence of culture as being a stream of conscious whereby each culture being unique by the way in which groups of people define their existence. These definitions come with natural images, symbols and artifacts that come to represent the culture but also how to interpret that culture. Businesses that use those artifacts that tap our collective understandings win big through customer loyalty.

Not all people will experience that cultural understanding the same way but will nevertheless feel an attachment to the display of cultural symbols in a cohesive environment. Associations with past memories, popular media, historical understandings and impressions will mix with their current experience to create the total satisfaction. In other words, the positive nature of an environment must match the positive experience in that environment to create successful customer experiences that influence future buying behavior.

There may still be some skeptics out there about symbolism and sales. Look at the picture above and notice the sailboat and the solid wood card index. The boat represents travel, sophistication, money, and education without our culture. The card index is of a romantic era connected with prosperity. Together one might generate an image of sophistication, wealth, opportunity, and expansion that was associated with the East India Company.

Perhaps you need a more concise example. You may have noticed that during the holidays malls spend a lot of money on Christmas displays and traditional bright colors. Holiday music plays in the background, a Santa is taking children's Christmas wishes, and the smell of cinnamon is everywhere. All of these artifacts and symbols create positive feels based upon years of previous positive experiences. This is one reason why we love the holidays.

Creating an environment that helps tap previously developed positive cultural experiences can help in generate stronger business. It is more likely that a business will create positive impressions if they are building off of previously symbols associated with positive feelings. The way in which the environment can bring together these difference symbols with the actual products and services the business offers will make a large difference in creating repeat customers. As you know repeat customers will not only come back more often but also buy more on each visit raising the per purchase value.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sea Shells-Tips on Using Sensory Perception to Improve Sales

The smell of salty sea permeates the nose while the hum and hiss of the waves is subtly blanketing the distractions from the outside world. Foam bubbles among the rocks leaving little foot prints as they sway in and out with each ocean movement. Sea shells creating a colony of travelers  As your toes feel the powder of the sand and the cool water rushes around your ankles you peer out over the horizon to see cranes diving in the water in search of today's meal. The breeze parts your hair and reminds you that life is always present. 

San Diego is a popular destination full of sensory perception. In fact, so popular that it draws 34 million visitors a year (As cited in UT Sand Diego).  They come from all of the world to play in the ocean, eat at the restaurants, attend games, soak up the weather, enjoy the night life and bask on the beaches. San Diego's attraction as a tourist destination is based upon how the environment activates the sense and creates memories that foster positive changes in mood.

The seaside paragraph writing is an example of how written language encourages feelings, thoughts, and impressions through activating our senses much like as the tourist experience of San Diego. The input of hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste help us understand the world around us and lead to positive impressions and moods. The same mechanics that help us "remember" and "feel" positive experiences can also be used to generate additional sales.

You may consider another more focused example. The sights, smells, and general impressions of homes in the real estate market impacts the likelihood of a positive sale (Blake, 2002).  The first impression, clean walls, the smell of apple pie in the oven, and decorated furniture raise the value of the whole home. The opposite is also true. Dirty walls, musty smell, and lack of furniture can make a home look like a poor habitat that leads to lower market value. 

Business that desire to create inviting atmosphere where patrons are more eager to return, or make purchases, should consider incorporating sensory perceptions within the customer experience. Hotels develop an inviting lobby while cars try and put in place the "new leather" smell. Each sensory perception has some advantage in creating long lasting impressions that can lead to higher or lower future sales. 

This doesn't mean that you should just overload people's sense. Businesses should understand which senses contribute to the experience and which are overloading the customers and making a poor impression. Light background music in a doctor's office is very different than hard rock (or electronic) unless your demographic is between 20-30. At some point, it becomes taxing for people to continue to stay in a sensory overloaded environment and they will seek to escape. 

There are companies that do this right. Some coffee shops will match the visual impressions of baked goods with the smell of coffee or cinnamon. A pub may decorate with items of interest to male sports enthusiasts while providing the smell of charbroiled meat. Fine dining restaurants may focus more on a sleek design and international music based upon current trends. 

The key to using sensory perceptions well is to understand your customer base and match it to your customers needs. If your customer base is in search of housing in a family neighborhood then providing items like apple pie, clean yards, and pointing out local parks would be of benefit. If the customer base is more trendy then modern music, community interaction, popular aromas, and a perception of exclusivity should abound. 

Sensory perception is part of what makes us who we are. Our brains, and their focus, determine which pieces of information sensory perception will understand and which it will ignore. Offering sensory perception to your customers should be based in what they are currently thinking and seeing out of the situation and enhancing the impression to its highest end. Such impressions eventually create memories and feelings that can help people "connect" with the company and buy more items in the future. 

A few tips on using sensory perception to improve sales:

1. Think of first impressions and how the senses get enacted.
2. Subtle impressions may have more power than overbearing stimulus.
3. Define your target market and design your sensory perception around their needs. 
4. Sensory stimuli should heighten the experience and raise the value of the product.
5. Use combinations to create a stronger impression. 
6. Stimuli should created positive feelings and memories.

Blake, T. (2002). Sale of the Sensory. Journal of Property Management, 67 (6).