Juicing Up Guerilla Marketing

Purity.Organic is proving that you don’t need a large marketing budget to effectively market your brand.  The organic juice maker went guerilla with their $10,000 marketing budget and decided that in order to garner maximum attention they were going to New York City.

Purity.Organic’s agency placed giant cardboard straws in garbage bins around NYC, which touted the health benefits of its drinks.  The 200 giant cardboard bendable straws were planted in 25 high traffic locations.

The campaign was a success for the company.  The Purity.Organic website traffic grew significantly and consumers have been circulating pictures of themselves online with the giant straws.  Some people even stole the straws, instead of getting upset the company saw those straws as running billboards.

One additional component to the Purity.Organic campaign was an online video called “Those Motherf@#!ers.”  The video features a businessman shouting bleeped out profanities during a phone call, but once he takes a break to sip his Purity.Organic juice he instantly calms down and stops the cussing.

This is another example of great marketing innovation.  $10,000 isn’t a lot of money to get your product noticed, but if you are smart and you maximize your money without spending it all on one newspaper ad, you can not only have fun, but create a lot of buzz for your brand.

For more information about this launch, go to: http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/direct/e3ia2224c3f78e5a3ceba0e529d3c631fb4

Word Of Mouth Spending Grows to $1.5B

Spending behind word-of-mouth advertising rose 14.2% in 2008.  Food and drink brands were the biggest spenders, accounting for 30% of all w-o-m spending.  Word-of-mouth advertising includes buzz, influencers, community and viral marketing.

PQ Media forecasts that w-o-m spending will increase by another 10.2% this year, even with the recession taking place.  PQ Media also believes that total spending is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.5% between 2008 and 2013.

Most of the w-o-m spend was spent researching consumers via online communities like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.  These channels saw a growth of 26.6%, bringing the marketing dollars to $119 million.  By far the most money with $832 million, was dedicated to w-o-m strategy and consulting.  Agencies that specialize in w-o-m grew 18.7% to $197 million.

Getting w-o-m right is tricky, it can either make or break a brand or a campaign launch.  It is not surprising to see that w-o-m consulting agencies have grown as many traditional advertising agencies haven’t had the time or resources to put together an in-depth study on their online, social networking target audience.

For more information on this study, go to: http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090729005726&newsLang=en

Blip.tv Perfect for Budding TV Producers

Blip.tv might be what television of the future looks like.  Blip.tv is inventing a version of a TV network for viewers who gravitate to shows that appeal directly to who they are, instead of the mass audience shows like American Idol.   Audiences can watch dozens of shows in one sitting, as most Blip.tv shows are under six minutes long.  Blip.tv does not charge to host or distribute shows, and it does not ask for exclusivity.  Instead it provides services to producers too small to sell advertising or build a network on their own.  The company splits revenue evenly with content producers, minus a cut for distributors such as YouTube.  Blip.tv’s goal is to be able to accommodate a new world of thousands of start-up web shows that address a niche and are ad-friendly.

With one free upload blip.tv’s 48,000 web shows will be available through various distribution streams, including YouTube, NBC local sites, the Roku set-top box and Vimeo.  Blip.tv also has existing distribution deals with Verizon Fios, Sony TVs, Apple’s iTunes, AOL, MSN, Facebook and MySpace.

Blip.tv’s partnership with YouTube will be extremely beneficial for blip’s advertisers because YouTube will share analytics with blip.tv, allowing it to feed them into ComScore, which will allow for more accurate metrics for advertisers.  It’s part of YouTube’s new willingness to accommodate content producers, as it did when it integrated ESPN and Sony earlier this year.

To learn more about this exciting change in direction for television as well as web tv, go to: http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=138164

How to Market to the New 65 Plus Consumer

In a new Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey, 60% of respondents aged 65-plus said they feel younger than their actual age – in many cases much younger.

  • Among respondents ages 65 to 74, 1/3 say they feel 10 to 19 years younger than their age
  • One in six say they feel at least 20 years younger than their actual age
  • When asked flat out whether they “feel old,” 78% of the 65-74s and 61% of the 75-plusers said “no.”

So, how should marketers address people who are old, by conventional measures, but whose self-perception and physical condition doesn’t match up? One school of thought promotes using images that reflect the target market’s age less 10 to 12 years.  Another is to practice ‘ageless’ marketing, while being sure the ad reflects your understanding of the values and stage of life of the targeted populations and how the product and service meets their needs.  Another important role to the 65 plus consumer is the role of them being a grandparent.  Per the report, 65-plusers value becoming a grandparent more than anything.  They also look forward to having more time with family and then spending time with grandchildren as they age.  So these are key points that marketers can also tap into to evoke an emotional response.

For a more in depth look at how to market to this demographic, go to: http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/client/e3i4d0a69ad29e1cca5bb846e33310e9dcb

A Nation of Trackers

Americans are slowly becoming a nation of trackers.  With the new technologies available, you no longer have to play the guessing and/or waiting game when it comes to getting what you ordered.  In the early days of tracking (1995) UPS had around 100,000 online tracking requests.  By last December, UPS was up to over 27.3 million tracking requests per day.

As companies begin to roll out more advanced and functional websites and more people shop and order online, people no longer want to be surprised when their package, food, etc are going to be delivered.  For example, Domino’s spent a lot of money to launch their online delivery service.  I was always worried about ordering my pizza online because I wanted to make sure that someone was going to see my order and actually make the pizza.  But then last year, Domino’s rolled out it’s Pizza Tracker which utilizes the same technologies as UPS and FedEx to send out constant updates to consumers about the pizza’s whereabouts.  Domino’s sees this technology as more than just a marketing tool, but as a window into the world of Domino’s online consumers.

More and more companies are adding tracking to their websites, it started with the delivery services (FedEx, UPS) but has now moved to Flight Trackers, Bus Trackers, Spending Trackers, Food Trackers and Kid Trackers.  To read about how each of these different tracking technologies work and how they benefit the consumer and the business, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2009-07-26-pizza-products-tracking_N.htm

Navigating the World of Online Music

There’s nothing better than a little music to help get you through the work day, and being that it’s Friday, what a perfect day to feature 10 sites that offer online music.

Subscription services

eMusic, is a paid subscription site that allows users download a 24 songs per month for $11.99.  Bonuses: free song previews, new users get 35 free downloads

KaZaA, the former peer-to-peer file sharing site now charges $19.98 per month for unlimited downloads from a catalog of 1 million songs.

Rhapsody lets users play any of its 6 million songs on demand for $12.99 per month.

Napster used to be free, but ran into a little legal drama, but now its back and it offers a $5 monthly plan that gives you access to stream over 7 millions songs on demand, as well as the ability to download five music files per month.

Free Online Streaming

Pandora allows users to create their own radio stations simply by typing in the name of a song or artist they love. Pandora then analyzes the song and plays songs similar stylistically.

MySpace Music features bands blogging, promoting new albums and offering up full versions of their songs for users to play on demand.

Social Music

Blip.fm turns its users into micro-blogging DJs.  Blip fans post songs they’re listening to and make comments on sites like Twitter.  Site users can tune into anyone’s radio station to learn about new music and to keep tabs on friends’ moods.

imeem combines social networking with music discovery.  Users can stream music from the site for free and then can share tracks with their friends.  Think revival of the mixtape via 2009.

Other Takes

The Hype Machine is a site that looks for song files posted to music blogs, then stitches together the week’s coolest tracks in a single feed.  The service is free.

Hopefully one or more of these sites will get you through the workday and kickstart your weekend.  For more information, go to: http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/07/23/online.music.kazaa/index.html

Inbox backwards = xobni

Xobni (xobni.com) is a free Outlook plug-in that saves you time finding emails, conversations, contact info and attachments.  The software allows you to locate messages instantly because Xobni indexes your email automatically upon installation, which makes searching for words or phrases in your email lightning fast.

Xobni has five defining features: Lightning-Fast Search, Finding Attachments, Staying in Touch, Threaded Conversations, Discovering Connections and Email Analytics.

Let’s look deeper into Xobni’s Lightning-Fast Search.  The search feature helps users look for emails 50 times faster than Outlook.  Xobni claims that the email appears instantly as you type.

The software also splits the search into two categories – people and mail.  Xobni believes that users have an easier time remembering names over keywords.

Xobni’s search feature also links to your Yahoo! email account and allows you to search your Yahoo mail outside of your Yahoo mailbox.

Xobni also pulls contact info from email signatures, message bodies, Outlook contacts as well as from their partners: LinkedIn, Facebook, Hoovers, Skype and Yahoo.  This feature makes pulling up a phone number, company name, and title extremely easy.

The last important feature in the Search function is that Xobni also searches the email domains of every person you communicate with.  So when you are sure that the contact you are looking for comes from a certain company but you just can’t remember their name, Xobni will post the results in order from the person you’ve emailed the most at a certain company to the least emailed.  If you click on the results it will allow you to open a Hoover’s extension to see their company’s corporate profile.

To find out more about Xobni’s other amazing features: Finding Attachments, Staying in Touch, Threaded Conversations, Discovering Connections and Email Analytics, go to their website at www.xobni.com

E-Book Advertising

Forrester research estimates that by 2013, over 13 million US consumers will use some kind of e-reading device.  Amazon’s e-reader Kindle is the current leader as it has sold more than 1 million units since its 2007 debut.  Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple and Google are also all looking to create their own e-readers to rival Amazon.  Knowing what a large, untapped advertising market this is, it was only a matter of time until marketers figured out a way to get their message to consumers through these e-books.

There are several methods that advertisers might take in order to advertise to the e-reader consumer.  The first is sponsored books.  ITaggit, is a web property that helps collectors organize and track the value of their collectibles.  They are going to sponsor 30 Wowio Classics.  The first page of the sponsored book reads: “ITaggit is proud to sponsor this e-book for [registered user]” and it includes a link to ITaggit’s website.  This is the only advertising that is in the book.  Verizon Wireless also sponsored Wowio Classics but they gave away books as thank-you-gifts for subscribers who went to paperless billing.

The second plan of attack for marketers is offering customers full-priced books or they can purchase the books for half price but the discount books will be partially underwritten by the advertisers.  For people that can focus on the book without letting the constant advertisements on their screen obstruct the story, this could be a very good option.

Every idea at this point is experimental.  The success of the two advertising opportunities listed above will depend on the consumer as well as the advertiser’s ability to seamlessly integrate their message without alienating the consumer.  For more on this new e-book advertising opportunity, go to: http://adage.com/article?article_id=138030

Boomers: Still Spending

A new report by IRI, details how the consumer packaged good industry is poised to grow as the Boomers generation gets older. The study evaluated three different Boomer groups shopping habits, the groups were broken up into: Truman (53-62), Kennedy (44-52), and LBJ (34-43).

Some of the findings include:

  • 66% of Trumans purchased store brands
  • 83% of Trumans gave store brands “excellent” quality ratings
  • 70% of Kennedy Boomers gave store brands “excellent” quality ratings
  • 73% of LBJ Boomers gave store brands “excellent” quality ratings
  • Top private label products for Trumans are nuts/seeds/corn nuts, ice cream and chocolate candy

IRI believes that the Boomer group represents a $50 billion growth opportunity for consumer packaged goods companies in the future.

For more on this report, go to: http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/direct/e3id7516b3f87ca901dfd066b2394569a67

Social Network: Tumblr

Tumblr is an emerging social media site that marketers are becoming more aware of.  Tumblr is a blogging platform that aggregates online content on a particular theme.  The great thing about Tumblr is that it isn’t an obvious marketing application, but IBM, EMI and Universal Music have all created tumblelogs that helps them control their message online, reward fans and in one company’s case (IBM), position itself as a thought leader on a given topic.

Marketers are able to provide links via blogs, but Tumblr makes it easier to aggregate content like news articles and video.  The site has a “follow” function, similar to Twitter, and a “like” feature similar to Facebook or Digg.  Users can also take a tumblelog and reblog the post onto their own Tumblr page, making the story more viral.

Companies are drawn to Tumblr because it is a way for marketers to control their message, but also allows companies to reward their most loyal consumers by offering them a platform to discuss their opinions.

To read more about Tumblr and how IBM is effectively utilizing this upcoming social media site, go to: http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/direct/e3ibdf529f18374f6c94a8e9a9a8af1b137