Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rebates Stink

I said I would rather buy an item for $19 rather than an identical item for $20 with a $5 rebate. This is straight math: Estimated time to fill in the rebate form once you have everything ready: 5 minutes. Chances of having everything ready without spending gathering time: 10 percent, tops. What you need ready is: the rebate form, the receipt, the box the item came in, a knife to cut the box, a larger than normal envelope, extra stamps, and a pen. I estimate at least a 10 percent chance of spending 30 minutes to try and gather everything, then giving up and not getting the rebate . Average gathering time is about 10 minutes. Then there is the tracking time, of about 10 minutes spread over the 6 to 8 weeks it takes to get your rebate back, and where you get mad at someone if the rebate doesn't show up. Chances of the rebate not showing up for whatever reason, at least 10 percent. Time spent in chasing down a rebate that does not show, 60 minutes. Time spent in cashing the rebate check: 1 minutes.
So here we are:
5 minutes -- filling the form
0 minutes --gathering times 10 percent
10 minutes -- gathering times 80 percent
60 minutes -- chasing no rebate times 10 percent
10 minutes -- tracking time spread over 6 - 8 weeks.
5 +8 + 10 + 6 + 1 = 30 minutes

Extra stamps cost about 80 cents

chances of no rebate -- 20 percent (10 percent your fault due to gathering difficulties, 10 percent other).
So the rebate sender spends a half an hour for an 80% chance of getting $5 less 80 cents in stamps, and a 20% chance of spending another hour plus for nothing. That is way less than minimum wage.

No thanks.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Eat your words!

I have never seen advertising like this before. But I've always wanted to be able to eat my words.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Marketing works, but only if you have the right product."

Just read this article that suggests that various marketing channels and methods will only work if the product is right. The author downplays the effectiveness of interruptive advertisements such as TV, radio and banner ads, and emphasizes in the future, it will be all about viral or social marketing.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I was browsing through my typical list of websites for the evening and came across this interesting collection of ads.

This one is my favorite

However, this one reminded me of

Mr. Clean from our course
Click title for entire collection.

Difference between product advertisement and Political advertisement

Whether it is a product or politics, options sells everywhere. At the product side, companies do not advertise negative ads and compare their product with the rival firms. You will not find negative advertisement between coke and Pepsi. Whereas political marketing campaign usually go with negative advertisement. There were four negative ads during Clinton’s campaign.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cell phone users outside U.S. secretly tracked the privacy issues mentioned here support the doubts that were raised during the datebook phone service presentation.

Rewards program for coffee

With rolling out their new free Wifi internet access, Starbucks is looking to gather the goods on you in return. Article in title.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

how will GM market remaining inventory?

Today Gm announced closing of 4 truck & suv plants. Gas price is predicted to increase more.So how will GM market the remaining inventory on hand with already declining sales. The only avenue I see is marketing in countries like Venezuela where gas price is 19 cents due to subsidy. This was they can get rid of inventory on hand and focus on smaller cars like in Europe ( as gas prices were always high there)

Monday, June 2, 2008

New Airline Baggage Policy

American Airlines is setting precident for a new policy - charging for checked baggage. It is likely other airlines will eventually follow suit, unless they can recognize how stupid this is.

"Customers who purchase domestic economy class tickets on or after May 12, 2008, but before June 15, 2008, may check one bag for free and check a second bag for $25 each way. Customers who purchase domestic economy class tickets on or after June 15, 2008, will be charged $15 each way for the first checked bag and $25 each way for the second checked bag."

What is your opinion on this?

Here is mine:

- I would like to think I will steer clear of this policy, as long as possible, but there could be the point where the price of the ticket plus baggage is cheaper, so I'll just be annoyed and pay it. But, given that generally airline tickets are the same, I'll likely just go with another airline even for a few bucks more, just to avoid the hassle.
- Up until now airlines have encouraged people to check bags to save cabin space (the upper bins above the seats), but now, to save a buck, people are going to take as much as possible into the cabin. This will lead to crowded aisles as people try to shove their stuff in place, causing delays in boarding and deplaning, which in turn will cause dissatisfied customers!
- Just as people hate all of the hidden fees on credit cards and cell phone contacts, soon they will hate airlines for all of the hidden fees and policies

The policy will drive away business and negatively impact customer service - not too smart, if you ask me.

- April

Top Global Marketers

Who are the top global marketers? According to Advertising Age, there are two parts to the answer: top advertisers by media spend and the international agencies that handle them. The annual report, now in its 21st edition, is referred to as 'the dots'.
Some of the things that I found interesting in review the annual report include:
- Ad spending is tracked by a number of organizations: Neilsen, IBope, PARC, more
- The top spender is Proctor and Gamble, spending over $8.5 Billion dollars worldwide
- Many of the ad networks are owned by the same holding company (see page 3 of globa accounts report)
- Multiple networks will handle the same brand, and in some cases, ownership is broken down by line of the brand; for instance, Ford has 15 different accounts.
- You can view ownership by advertiser or account


Free Gas Cards

The Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, Verizon Yellow Pages caused havoc at the Bragtown Shell. Cars were lined up for hours to receive a FREE $40 gas card, sponsored by Verizon Yellow Pages and given to the first 200 cars. Although people were intrigued enough to start lining up just after midnight, was the promotion effective? Will customers remember that Verizon Yellow Pages sponsored the event or will they only remember the free gas? Would this promotion have been more effective if it was sponsored by a company in the industry of gasoline (such as Shell or Exxon)? If Shell gave me a $40 gift card, I would be more inclined to visit their gas station in the future.

Strong Brands

Companies such as Prada, D&G and Christian Dior have established themselves as top of the line brands. Their strong image allows them the opportunity to penetrate markets outside of their primary focus. Although these three are high fashion brands, they have moved into the mobile market. Christian Dior, a high fashion brand, has recently announced they will be releasing a line of cell phones. Although the average price for a smart phone is $101, Dior will be retailing their new phones for a high $5000 each. Due to the price range, Dior’s cell phones will not be competing with Motorola or Nokia but rather Prada and D&G in the newly created market for brand-name cell phones. Does strong brand awareness allow companies the ability to create new markets?

Buy One Get One Free Deal - on Houses!

I just read this online and had to post it. The prevalent marketing and pricing strategy of offering "buy one get one free" has reached a new level: homes. A housing developer in So-Cal is offering a free $400.000, 2000 sq ft house in Escondido, if you buy a $1.6 million house in San Pasqual Valley. How really effective is this pricing/marketing strategy? At the least, he is getting some free publicity.

Microsoft re-launches advertising under a new brand

In a recent lecture we discussed rebranding, I wanted to share with you a real live example of Microsoft Advertising (a new brand launched only last week).

Justification for rebranding:
Over the past year, Microsoft has both launched multiple online advertising solutions + has acquired new firms i.e. Aquantive. This has left its clients confused to the say the least. New brand will pull together existing products such as Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group (APS), Atlas, AdECN, adCenter, DRIVEpm under “Microsoft Advertising”

Beyond the new logo:
The personality of the brand will be focused around 3 key areas:
1. Performance: media and technology offerings help advertisers and publishers drive superior results;
2. Insight: sophisticated data collection and analytics systems help provide critical insights to our customers about their business;
3. Expertise: talented and dedicated employees (all of you) bring a tremendous amount of expertise around media and technology to help our clients solve complex business problems.

Link to the new brand:

Recent articles on the topic:
On a side note - From the article above, here is something we discussed/demoed in class
“Microsoft also announced plans to further expand its mobile offerings for advertisers to now include mobile search advertisements on Live Search Mobile. For the first time invited advertisers can create keyword campaigns through Microsoft adCenter that target customers on the go while they are using Live Search Mobile. This will be the first time that Microsoft has enabled advertisers to monetise its popular mobile search service. The beta is currently available in the US and will be expanded in the second half of 2008”

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Social Networking Potentials

There is a concept in viral marketing called Social Networking Potentials -- individuals who have enhanced influence over otheres through social communities such as MySpace, Facebook, You Tube, blogs, online bulletin boards, etc. Survey research can quantify the potential of users depending on their responses to a number of variables such as group membership roles, leadership, recognition, contributing to or publishing in various media, and so on. The advantage of using these SNPs to pass on marketing messages is the low expense and the flexibility of such a campaign.

To me this makes sense. It's old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing amplified by the online social communities. Do you think this is a good way for a new product to get a "buzz"?

Those Silly Little Links

So I was reading the news on MS-NBC yesterday and noticed something: A whole bunch of tiny advertisements under the heading “Sponsored Links”. The products I typically see there are for everything from refinancing to weight-loss products to improving computer performance. Pretty much, it’s all of the same spam I used to get in my email before I put the spam-filter on it.

My question is: Who even notices these things? I mean, I see them, but I never think of clicking on them, just like I never clicked on the links in the spam emails that were sent to me. I have to wonder if there is any kind of real revenue generated for the people using this as a means of advertising.

I’m guessing there has to be some effectiveness to this kind of advertising, but I have to also question if the people clicking on the links are really the target demographic of the advertisers. Really, it looks more like a ploy of desperation and complete lack of a marketing strategy. It must have some effectiveness, though… The ads have been there for quite some time.

CMO success at Macy's
An article and interview with the CMO of Macy’s provides great insight into some of the ways in which CMOs are being successful. The CMO is also the head of the online business in this case. He is working with celebrity endorsers and mass marketing specific brands, and at the same time utilizing new and old media in innovative ways to build on the brand. His involvement in the online business means that he is directly involved in building the Macy’s customer experience for the web, which could potentially be a very significant revenue stream in the future. The ‘My Macy’s” initiative works on both local levels through newspapers and local ads, and the on the web. They are also building a strong integration of the online and in-store inventories to simply the purchasing process.