Tag Archives: business

The Marketing Brainwash.

the-marketing-brain-wash-the-46-marketing-best-practices-at-outsideviewblog-com-original-image-by-rejaviersurf-at-deviantart-comThere are at least 46 different marketing practices around. There really are! From this set of knowledge one could imagine there would be one that got marketing right. One practice that just nails how marketing should be handled. One practice that gives you the knowledge needed to be a great marketer. But no, there really isn’t.

From Guerrilla marketing and social media marketing to permission marketing, cross-media marketing and shopper marketing the world is filled with marketing definitions, books and guidelines – and of course gurus – on the varied marketing practices. All geared toward telling you the best way to market your business, products or services. All geared towards defining the set of most important tools you should use and the absolute key processes you should set to achieve your targets.

All of them fail to deliver.

The 46 Marketing Practices You Just Cannot Ignore.

The list of different marketing practices that all define the thought process, tools, processes, skills, channels, metrics, etc. is extensive. It includes these 46 marketing practices and activities you just cannot ignore (and most probably many more):

  • Guerrilla marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Online marketing
  • Viral marketing
  • Retail marketing
  • Buzz marketing
  • Direct marketing
  • Search engine marketing
  • Product marketing
  • Brand marketing
  • Loyalty marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Location-based marketing
  • Shopper marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • Drip marketing
  • Database marketing
  • Relationship marketing
  • Industrial marketing
  • Permission marketing
  • Social marketing
  • Services marketing
  • Right-time marketing
  • Real-time marketing
  • Multicultural marketing
  • Affinity Marketing
  • Article marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Cause marketing
  • Close Range Marketing
  • Cloud marketing
  • Communal marketing
  • Community marketing
  • Consumer-generated marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Cross-media marketing
  • Diversity marketing
  • Defensive marketing
  • Multi-level marketing
  • Ethical marketing
  • Evangelism marketing
  • Diversity marketing
  • Megamarketing
  • Reality marketing
  • Next-best-action marketing
  • Undercover marketing

The Marketing Books Bookshelf

This Is The Most Important Marketing Practice!

Do these starts for a marketing book sound any familiar: “previously…”, “you cannot anymore ignore….”, “it has been proven that…”, “modern companies…”, “in todays global competitive marketplace…”, and my favorite, “the best practice organizations…”. I thought they might.

Every single marketing practice there is, if you read about it, is the most important there is. It is the one and only practice without which no modern organisation or self-respecting marketer can live without. The one practice without you and your company are surely doomed to the under-performers’ hell.

All the marketing practices, the 46+, are trying to define and hone your thought process. A noble goal, I should say. They are all trying to give you the ultimate set of strategies, tactics and tools you need and should use to reach your goals. All the while failing to deliver. Failing to deliver, because of their all encompassing, single minded goal of trying to define the thought processes and tools you should use to market, the tools you should use to sell you product.

In defining the toolset you should use to solve your main problem as a marketer – how to sell more – the marketing practices end up severely restricting your toolset. And lets be honest, if you stop and think about it for a while, most of the marketing practices you know, and most of the 46 ones listed above, are defining an extremely small niche of activities.

In reality, any marketing practice defining a set of activities you should pursue is wrong!

Action → Sales = Good Action.

Any action that helps you to sell more is a good marketing action, the best action is the one that gets the best results with least costs. It can be any action. It can be an in-store promotion, an e-mail, an event at a conference, a TV advert, Twitter post or a one-to-one meeting with a client. It can be any action that aims to increase your sales. The increased sales can happen in short term or in a longer term, but they need to increase as a cause of the actions you are taking.

If you derive the set of tools you are using to reach your only true marketing goal from any one marketing practice, you are with utmost certainty missing 99% of the potential you have to reach and engage your target audience. You miss on creativity of your approaches, on the channels you use and on the messages you deliver. You miss the key point it means to be a marketer: to find ways to sell more.

Do not use the predefined thought processes. Do not succumb to the marketing brainwash.

Be bold, be brash, be conservative or be personal. But always, think for yourself and remember to deliver.

The Question: When Should You Advertise? Answered.

There’s one easy rule when to advertise and when to not. One description of advertising that just nails it.

“Advertising is what you do when you cannot be there in person”.

– A Wise Man

Simple. To the point. And True. A perfect way to outline the role of advertising in the marketing mix. Even the General knew it.

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*Who’s the wise man behind the smart words; is it us or is it you? If it is not us or I, and the source is someone else, please let us know. Maybe it is us, it very well could me, yeah I think it’s I.

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Thought of the Day 1: #Business and #Education

thought-of-the-day-image_at_theoutsideviewblog-com_marcweiz-stock-by-madetobeunique-and-gojol23-at-deviantart“For a business, there’s nothing more dangerous than the two degree man.”

 

 

 

 

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This article is a part of the ‘Thought of the Day’ series. Do you have a thought? Let us know.

Did you enjoy this article? If yes, subscribe via E-mail or Facebook with just a simple click at the top-right of the page.

You can also visit us on Twitter, where in addition to the blog feed, we highlight articles and ideas that capture our attention.

You Don’t Need Marketing.

no-marketing-investments-man-with-no-pants-on-theoutsideviewblog-com-stock-used-moonlightdangetsdressed_bysenshistock-3-at-deviantart-com

You don’t need marketing. No you really don’t.

You also don’t need pants when going outside during the winter.

No you don’t, but having a nice pair of warm pants on might be nice, even if just to stop you from dying.

You will surely fare without any pants for a while, you might even enjoy the cold breeze whistling soothingly around your private parts. At least for a while. But given enough time, probably less time than you thought, you will start to feel the cold and then the pain will arrive. Soon, very soon from that, if you can’t find the right pair of pants, you will die.

Have you ever tried how hard it is to get pants that fit you when you yourself have none on?

Do you really want to get to that situation in the first place?

Do you really want to get caught with no pants on?

No you really don’t need marketing, but do you really want to be without any.

Marketing: The Chuck Norris Strategy

WALLPAPER - CHUCK NORRIS

“If your company were to be Chuck Norris, you wouldn’t need to do anything”.

– A Wise Man

  • You wouldn’t need to invest in knowing the market and your customer.
  • You wouldn’t need to invest in researching and producing the solution your customers need when they need it in the way they experience it the best way possible.
  • You wouldn’t need to invest in people designing new ways to catch the interest of your target audience.
  • You would need to invest in reaching your target audience often enough to not only catch their interest, but to keep it and convert it to sales.
  • You wouldn’t need to invest in monitoring the market and the reactions of both your current and potential customers in order to see the effects your actions, and those of your competitors, have had and learn and improve your ways.

No you wouldn’t need to. As Chuck Norris just is. And that is more than any competition can handle.

There is no Chuck Norris here.

The Key to Solving Problems and to the Secret of the World

the-secrte-of-the-world-problem-solving-analysis-consulting-outsideviewblog-com

Solving a business problem is very alike to trying to find the secret of life. Why? Because it all boils down to just one question.

You – like many of us – probably have had days when you are just so close to discovering the secret of life and world. You almost get a grasp of that one idea, which could solve everything, that one mystical secret you see just beyond the edge of your vision. You probably also have experienced a well reasoned and beautifully deducted chain of thought that you yourself, just milliseconds later, proved to be faulty straight from the initial hypothetical thought? At least we have.

Lets for example examine this thought pattern:

a) Why is the earth round?
b) Probably for the same reason all the other planets are round as well.
c) There has to be one force in effect that makes all planets the same shaped – a force that affects all the planets, no matter where they are in the universe.
d) Gravitational pull – that has to be it. All planets are affected by gravity, whether it is the gravitational pull of nearby planets or systems, stars or galaxies. Gravitational pull is still there in some form.
e) Ok, it has to be gravity.
f) But why the round, globe-like spherical form and not a cube, a flat circle or an ellipse?
g) Is a round shape the most natural shape in the world?
h) Could it be the shape everything – energy and mass – is trying to get towards to, a shape everything around us is trying to achieve?
i) Erosion makes things rounder and erosion is also all around us.
j) Is round shape the best shape?
k) Is round shape the shape we all end up to in the end?
l) Oh yeah, earth isn’t round. Dammit.

Unfortunately, often the initial faulty question doesn’t come to you that easily.

Trying to find the solutions to the age-old questions on the universe, life, health and the world is not just quite like, but exactly like, trying to find the answers to a business problem. There is only one way to get the irrefutable truth on what your customers need, is your strategy the correct one or is the product viable for launch. Exactly like there is only one way to find the correct solution to the secret of life, to whom you should marry or how serious the global warming threat really is. There is only one way, and unfortunately it is often very hard to see.

The results from any analysis depend on the hypothesis or the question being the correct one. If you ask the wrong question, you’re bound the get the wrong answer. No matter how brilliant the pattern of analysis and deduction is in-between.

It all boils down to just one question. The question better be the right one.

What is Marketing According to Google and I?

what-is-marketing-theoutsideviewblogThere are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different definitions for what marketing actually is – this variety in definitions does not differ from any business, technological, cultural, social or even religious practice in the world. We all have our own perspective and take on different practices, as well as, the inherent need to define concepts and so make sense of the world around us.

So how to determine what marketing is? Lets take guidance from two of the most brilliant minds in our times:

Fox Mulder of X-Files said, that there is a truth out there.

Will Ferrel tweeted, that When looking for something in Google, if it is not on the first page of search results then it doesn’t exist and my journey ends there.

I gather that the truth to what marketing is has to lie in those first page results of the Google search on ‘what is marketing’. And if not, I’ll always have my own experiences and thought to draw from.

What is Marketing According to Google?

So what is marketing according to Google search – the one source of all answers worth asking for and the Nr 1. creation of the company whose mission it is to organize the information in the world? A search on Google with ‘what is marketing’ gives 1.230.000.000 results. The 11 first hits give the following answers (and let’s not try to fool ourselves, most of us are just way too lazy to venture past the the first page of search results so, as Will Ferrel said, the universal truth has to lie in those first 11 results):

  1. “Noun: The action or business of promoting and selling products or services”. (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&q=marketing&tbs=dfn:1&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=Y8SJTpPuL4TE0QXiq6DtDw&ved=0CB4QkQ4)
  2. Tutor2u.net (http://tutor2u.net/business/marketing/what_is_marketing.asp) gives the following definitions and explanations:
    1. “The all-embracing function that links the business with customer needs and wants in order to get the right product to the right place at the right time”
    2. “The achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition”
    3. “The management process that identifies, anticipates and supplies customer requirements efficiently and profitably”
    4. “Marketing may be defined as a set of human activities directed at facilitating and consummating exchanges”
    5. Which definition is right? In short, they all are. They all try to embody the essence of marketing: Marketing is about meeting the needs and wants of customers;
Marketing is a business-wide function – it is not something that operates alone from other business activities;
Marketing is about understanding customers and finding ways to provide products or services which customers demand”.
  3. From the Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing): Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments. It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves.
  4. According to the marketingteacher.com (http://marketingteacher.com/lesson-store/lesson-what-is-marketing.html): “There are many definitions of marketing. The better definitions are focused upon customer orientation and satisfaction of customer needs.
    1. Marketing is the social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others. (Kotler)
    2. Marketing is the management process that identifies, anticipates and satisfies customer requirements profitably. (The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)). The CIM definition (in common with Barwell’s definition of the marketing concept) looks not only at identifying customer needs, but also satisfying them (short-term) and anticipating them in the future (long-term retention).
    3. The right product, in the right place, at the right time, at the right price (Adcock)
    4. This is a snappy and realistic definition that uses McCarthy’s Four Ps: Marketing is essentially about marshaling the resources of an organization so that they meet the changing needs of the customer on whom the organization depends. (Palmer). This is a more recent and very realistic definition that looks at matching capabilities with needs.
    5. Marketing is the process whereby society, to supply its consumption needs, evolves distributive systems composed of participants, who, interacting under constraints – technical (economic) and ethical (social) – create the transactions or flows which resolve market separations and result in exchange and consumption. (Bartles). This definition considers the economic and social aspects of marketing.
  5. The tenonline.org gives a descriptive and easy to understand definition of marketing with especially entrepreneurs in mind (http://tenonline.org/art/mm1/9301.html). To cut it short the punch line is: “marketing is everything you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers”
  6. At number six on the search results is one description from about.com (http://inventors.about.com/od/fundinglicensingmarketing/f/Marketing.htm): “Marketing is an activity. Marketing activities and strategies result in making products available that satisfy customers while making profits for the companies that offer those products”.
  7. About.com occupies also the seventh position (http://marketing.about.com/od/smallbusinessmarketing/a/whatismarketing.htm), and on that they say: “Marketing is the process of teaching consumers why they should choose your product or service over your competitors; if you are not doing that you are not marketing. It’s really that simple! The key is finding the right method and defining the right message to use to educate and influence your consumers”.
  8. The first video on the list is at number eight. The philosophically toned, maybe a bit lengthy video from the ‘Gypsy Bandito’ discusses marketing from various angles. It starts by explaining the concept of the market and moves onwards to the concept of marketer, etc. before discussing the various aspects and perspectives of marketing itself.
  9. An Article at the MarketingProfs (http://www.marketingprofs.com/2/whatismarketing.asp) ends by defining marketing the following way: “Marketing is, in fact, the analysis of customers, competitors, and a company, combining this understanding into an overall understanding of what segments exist, deciding on targeting the most profitable segments, positioning your products, and then doing what’s necessary to deliver on that positioning”.
    1. Max Kalehoff at attentionmax.com (http://www.attentionmax.com/marketing) answers the question of what is marketing by: “Marketing is the art and science of creating, delighting and keeping customers, while making a profit and building enterprise value. Marketing integrates, formally or informally, many disciplines and every organizational function. Marketing should embrace the highest ethical standards, respect the environment, and strive to make the world a better place”.
    2. Last, but not least, the last entry on the first page search results, the davedolak.com uses the definition of the American Marketing Association from 2007: “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

    I agree with many things said and described, even though the more theoretical takes by the likes of Bartles or Palmer don’t really get my support. Their definitions are just way too complicated to act as any kind of a guideline for any type of activity in any type of forum outside of the educational institution.

    On a side note, a detail that is highlighted a bit differently in the article of Max Kalehoff, a seeminly normal guy like many of us, is that he emphasizes that an organization should always define what marketing means for it, in order for the marketing function and all the related functions to work effectively. I agree with that with 100%, even though it often means that the end result will not live up to the full potential of what the marketing as a practice can or should encompass.

    What is Marketing. My Take.

    As with any practice, marketing has a myriad of different theoretical takes on what it is and what it should be. Working with marketing the past decade in national and multinational companies has let me evidence the many different views the CEOs and companies have on it. The most common observation being that marketing is usually given the function of advertising or promotions. This is true even when the top executives would speak of the larger role of marketing. On theoretical level the larger role is spoken of, but in reality and in practice, advertising or the promotions part of Kotler’s 4P’s (or of the modern 7P’s) is more often than not the sole function the marketing department is given. That function and role is quite different to how I see marketing.

    How I see what marketing is, is very close to the key definitions on the first page of Google search. I would also argue, that it is very close to how the leading customer focused marketing organizations are seeing it. As always, the meaning behind all the easy to understand, key definitions is the same, just the wording differs.

    As there is always room for one more interpretation of the world around us, for one more definition for marketing, here is my take on it: Marketing is figuring out what needs to be done in order for You to sell more and then doing it.

    You can always try to prove me wrong.

The Banana Effect

the-banana-effect-retail-chiquita-private-labeltheoutsideviewblog

Small things can have big effects. A smile to a girl living at the neighbor ends up to a loving marriage with two kids, a carelessly dropped banana peel on the street results in a massive brain damage for a passerby, or a cancelled plane ticket saves you from a fatal crash – the butterfly effects of the real life.

If a movement of a butterfly’s wings can result in a tornado at the other side of the world, can a small decision at a retail store result in a bankruptcy for a multinational company? In the real life? That’s the question I raised after a near store experience.

The Incident

Today, on a quick routine pop-up to the small convenience store around the corner I fell head first into a banana – incident.

On the store shelf were the standard Chiquita bananas you can find in many, if not most convenience stores, but only the price tag and a scale number* for the usual second variant here – the Fair Trade bananas. Going around the corner to ask the sales clerk what is the scale number I should use, I got the somewhat bored ‘why are you asking’ look accompanied with the following discussion:

Me: “What’s the scale number I should use to weight the bananas? I noticed there was only a price for the Fair Trade ones, but You only had Chiquita bananas on the shelf”?
The sales person: “Chiquita bananas don’t have a scale number in the system”.
Me: “Aren’t the Chiquita Bananas much cheaper?
The Sales Person: “Well, not that much”.
Me: “Should I use this number then or should you go and change the scale settings?”
The Sales Person: “Well, we can give a small discount on the still”.

And that was it for the discussion. I got the small discount, walked out, and looked back at the incident with some confusion.

The encounter got me thinking about the sales of Chiquita. And of course about the correct course of action for better customer service and experience, but that’s a topic for another occasion.

 

The Vicious Circle of Bananas

If given a bit of lenience for this though pattern of causal effects and time, the seemingly small decision to not put a scale tag for the Chiquita bananas could have an extremely adverse effect on the business performance of Chiquita.

Why?
Because,

The sales for Chiquita bananas go for the Fair Trade bananas

      = Measured lower sales for Chiquita and better sales for Fair Trade in the system
      = Poor results in retailer business and assortment review for Chiquita
      = Chiquita loses space and assortment

= Chiquita sales decline, profits go down and people get fired.

And all of this due to a small missing scale tag.

Of course, or at least hopefully, the end result will not be as grand or menacing as the cause-effect relationship would suggest, but it highlights the importance of having the details correct at the store level. The much advertising saying of ‘retail is detail’ proves to be true again. Even with the banana effect.

 

Who’s to Blame on the Downfall of Chiquita?

Most of the time the simple reason why the seemingly small things are left undone is due to people not fully understanding the impact their decisions have on the business – whether it is the placement of goods on the shelf, the price markings on the product or the missing scale numbering, if talking about it in the retail store context. And I’m not saying that there aren’t ‘more important things’ to do at the store level, there always are, but still all things, no matter how small, have to be done at some point – and if these things have an effect on sales, preferably done sooner than later. As a previous boss of mine said, “it’s a matter of career choices”, and in retail one has chosen to get into to the details – always.

Who’s to blame on the upcoming downfall of Chiquita then? The management of the retail chain, the management, the management, the management. And communication. Of the management. Don’t blame the banana. Blame the management.

That’s the Banana Effect. You can always try to prove me wrong.

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

sex-drugs-rocknroll-theoutsideviewblog

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
That’s What We Do.

It is the launch that defines the product. It is the launch that has the most potential to set you to a clear path towards your objectives. It is the launch that makes or breaks you. It is the launch that defines you.

This is the launch, and we go at it with cannons blazing.

For this gun toting, volcano erupting, lip sealing, titty bouncing launch of The Blog – Our Blog, The Outside View Blog – we delved deep into the archives of the mind, body, soul and the world wide web, and produced for you the epitome of internet content: Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll.

As a homage to Benetton returning to its roots and to the controversy their new campaign – Unhate – is generating, we have for you The Kiss. In this case: Men Kissing Each Other.

But we didn’t stop there with the Sex. We also put in the same Men Spanking Each Other and a Nude Woman and Boobs. A 100%-proof way to get classified as X-Rated or NSFW; and to draw more interested parties in.

We also put in the Drugs. As we weren’t sure whether the current trend is more towards Pills or Needles, we put in both. You can only imagine, whether what you see is heroin, smack, skag, or junk; cocaine, snow, flake, coke, or blow; barbiturates, yellow jackets, reds, blues, amy’s, or rainbows; street methadone; alcohol; ketamine or special K; benzodiazepines; amphetamines or greenies; tobacco; buprenorphine, bupe or subbies; cannabis, hashish or marijuana; 4-MTA; ecstasy; LSD; methylphenidate or ritalin; anabolic steroids; GHB; alkyl nitrates or poppers; or khat. Imagine, as we really can’t tell you.

We put in Famous Stars: Darth Vader from the Star Wars Movies is there too. How cool is that!

We put in a beautiful image from a new Twilight. And not just a scene from any Twilight Movie, but a real image from the moment of Breaking Dawn at the most serene moment during the Twilight. Beautiful isn’t it.

Following on the trails of ad agency Kitten Factories and to pursue the huge trend of Catvertising, we have Absolutely Adorable Kittens Staring. We have not one, but two Cute Puppies Playing. But to really stand out, we also have Sweet Pretty Hearts.

Furthermore, if you look closely, you can see a surefire sign of Rock ‘N’ Roll. And yes, we think this post is Rock ‘N’ Roll too.

Isn’t this the perfect first post, the best launch post ever?

We also thought that you might want to see the men kissing each other, men spanking, nude woman, boob, titties, fun bags and other NSFW and x-rated images, as well as, drugs (both pills and needles), rock ‘n’ roll, Darth Vader from Star Wars and the amazingly beautiful image from twilight – the breaking dawn, the two cute puppies, absolutely adorable kittens staring and the sweet pretty hearts as a larger version. Just not to miss any single detail. (it’s below, you know)

sex-drugs-rocknroll-theoutsideviewblog

Really, what more can you ask?

Ok, you could say that we’re missing Stolen Pre-Release Footage of the Apple iPhone 5, The First Look at the New Apple iTV, The Beyonce Knowles and Jessica Alba Sex Tape and Paparazzi Shot of Ashton Kutcher Cheating Demi Moore. Not anymore. Too bad we didn’t fabricate videos on those too.

But here’s the original catvertising video by the catvertising video producing company Kittywood Studios, as videos are a must in todays fast changing global economy (really.), and so no self-respecting blogpage can be without them. The video is filled with kittens, you know. So we know everybody will like it, and us, better because of it. Well, except puppy loving kitten haters, but we trust they are in minority.

You could also say, that we didn’t tell you what we do and why should you read and follow us? That is true.

So far we’ve missed the most important point a real launch should give you: the reason. We might have gotten your Attention, which is a plus, but we strongly believe we missed many readers with the above rant and didn’t capture your Interest – the text is way too long for most. Also, raising false hopes or misleading your perceptions too far might mean that we can’t get you to Act – to come back, to follow us or to tell your friends about us – or at least that doing so will be more difficult. Yes, we believe in the AIDA model. Yes, we hope you come back.

Most launches fail to deliver on the business objectives set for them. Is it the fault of the launch actions? Is it the fault of the products launched? Or is it the fault of the too optimistic goal setting? Our experience tells us, that it is a combination of all, but with the objective being the absolute key to success. Set it too low, you undermine yourself. Set it too high, you will only get disappointed. You cannot ever truly succeed, unless the expectations set are realistic. If objectives aren’t clear, a launch will fail.

We write about marketing, design, technology and society. We have clear objectives. We will improve our product continuously, and you are more than welcome to help us to improve.

On occasion we might be controversial, sometimes we will be stupid and boring, hopefully we are able to be insightful and professional, originality would be great, banality not so much, and if we are funny, we are glad.

For further information

As this post will get lost as the site content gets richer. We have set up a permanent section where you can quickly soak in what we are all about. So please see the About section for more details on us, on our viewpoints to the topics, on the content we create and on how you can contribute.

Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll till next time. You can always try to prove us wrong.