Tag Archives: PUBLIC RELATIONS

Powerhouse USA creates Smell-a-Vision : now TV viewers will be able to watch and “smell” their favorite shows

ORLANDO, Fla.—April 1, 2012— Local advertising agency Powerhouse USA announces the creation of Smell-a-Vision. Now television viewers everywhere will not only be able to watch their favorite shows, but they‘ll be able to smell them. The invention is expected to revolutionize the digital TV world as we know it.

David “DP” Preschel, president of Powerhouse USA and creator of Smell-a-Vision, has been dedicated to the fields of advertising and marketing for over 20 years and has finally created the breakthrough that marketers have been striving to accomplish for decades. “We wanted to give viewers a more interactive way to learn about our clients’ products. We have now incorporated a third sense into the viewing experience; all that’s left is to literally put the product in consumers’ hands! We’re working on that next,” he explains.

Preschel has worked tirelessly with the team at Powerhouse USA every night for years until yesterday when he finally discovered the secret to the olfactory viewing experience. When asked for details of the technology behind Smell-a-Vision, he declined to explain the process as worldwide patents are still pending.

Since rumors have spread over the Internet, phones have been ringing off the hook at Powerhouse USA. Those who wish to implement Smell-a-Vision in their advertisements range from car dealers (who doesn’t love that new car smell?) to bakeries, and oddly enough, septic companies. But the most curious call of all has been from political campaigns. “Unfortunately, we’re having trouble developing the musk of Newt Gingrich,” Preschel laments.

Powerhouse USA is a full-service advertising, marketing and promotions agency in Orlando, Florida that has produced over 3,000 television commercials ranging from car dealerships to massage therapy. On April 1, 2012, they introduced Smell-a-Vision to media outlets and television viewers everywhere.

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Creating a Well-Rounded Marketing Media Strategy

If you find yourself questioning the value of traditional media in your marketing strategy because:

  • Digital investment is generating lots of clicks to your website,
  • Your competition recently launched a web or mobile campaign,
  • And your inbox is flooded with promises from digital media vendors to deliver engaged consumers, premium content and targeting technologies at an unbelievably low cost?

The digital age has had an unquestionable positive impact on the ability of advertisers to zero in on consumers fitting their ideal demographic, geographic and psychographic profiles, with the proficiency of a star athelete like Lebron James or Eli Manning to hit their respective targets. But, just as you can’t put Eli Manning on the basketball court or put Lebron James on a football field and get the same results, you can’t expect digital media alone to accomplish all of the media goals and objectives in your marketing media strategy.

The purchase cycle
Big ticket purchases like cars, furniture, jewelry, and medical services are some of the most important retail investments affecting individuals—and the consumer doesn’t want to make a mistake.

Digital marketing is great at attracting audiences concerned with making the best decisions—people who are proactive about their purchasing decisions. And often, those who are proactive about searching are also proactive about engaging. This likelihood to engage means digital should be a core component of any well-balanced media plan. But marketers have a long purchase cycle to consider, during which awareness, information, reassurance and loyalty must be established and sustained to help the consumer confidently choose to invest in your brand above all others offering similar services. That’s where traditional media shines.

A good media strategy takes all kinds
Traditional media and their digital counterparts are vital media engines, and through the basic mechanics of media mix theory1, are inclined to fuel each other in the long purchase cycle.

Here’s a quick breakdown media mix theory, from Media Planning:

  • To reach people not reached with the first medium.
  • To provide additional repeat exposure in a less expensive, secondary medium after optimum reach is obtained in the first medium.
  • To leverage the intrinsic values of a medium to extend the creative effectiveness of the campaign (such as sight and sound on TV, intimate conversation on radio, long copy in print media and precise targeting in digital mediums).
  • Synergism, where an effect produced by the sum of the parts is greater than expected by adding together the individual components.

Traditional and digital media are equally and uniquely important in your media strategy mix and you build an effective media mix that contributes to profitable growth, that includes both traditional and digital media.

GM’s Super Bowl commercial helped Ford

Super Bowl Ad Aftermath: Ford Boosted By GM’s Fallout?

Playing dirty might be de rigeur in politics, but it seldom helps in selling products—even dusty pickups ravaged by the apocalypse.

That might end up being GM’s tough lesson from its Super Bowl XLVI ad which, to some, spoke less about the strengths of GM products than it did attack Ford’s reputation for durability and longevity.

GM’s Super Bowl commercial helped Ford

Based on traffic and visitor data collected by the shopping and pricing site Kelley Blue Book, more visitors browsed Fordafter the GM commercial—a lot more—even though Ford didn’t have a big Super Bowl ad. Whether looking at the controversy in the days surrounding, or specifically at the window of time during and after the ad aired, Fordappeared to benefit most, if an immediate browsing or shopping of new vehicles was the goal.

Full-size pickup truck visitors on Super Bowl Sunday, 2012 – Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com data shows consumer interest in the Silverado lifting during the commercial airing, leveling off after the commercial and declining after the game, as interest in the F-150 surged, curiously. Despite the Silverado’s lift during the game, Ford’s F-150 still drew a greater share of week-over-week attention from KBB.com consumers.

In comparing consumer interest on kbb.com among the Full-size truck segment, KBB analyst Akshay Anand noted that the share of visits to the F150 surged over 26-percent week-over-week, while the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 saw a 25-percent drop in traffic during the same period.

“Looking at the data for that whole day, Ford did see some lift, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” said Anand.

That leads to how some might have heard the commercial…something along the lines of this: What kind of truck do you drive to the impending apocalypse? If it’s a Ford, oh you sorry sap, you’re just not going to make it.

Advertising 101: Don’t make the competing product your punchline

And that hits hard at one very important factor: brand loyalty. To many, the commercial was less a declaration of the strengths of GM products than it was the buildup to an attack on Ford’s trucks. And it may have sent Ford loyalists to their laptops and tablets to search for reassurance about Ford’s reputation, as their GM counterparts gloated and stayed on the sofa.

“Truck owners tend to be more loyal than those in any other segment,” said Anand, and when a product with that level of loyalty is mentioned negatively in an ad, argued Anand, the response is likely to be one that’s on the defensive.

Other potential explanations: Ford was mentioned bluntly and clearly right near the end of the ad, so is that somehow the name that stuck with viewers? Or does the lesson to be learned really have more to do with etiquette?

It is, after all, one of the first commercials in some time to blatantly call out a competing product without mention of a number or metric as basis.


Online advertising becoming as important as spot TV

According to Q3 2011 research from media buying solutions provider STRATA, clients are becoming just as focused on digital media as they are on spot TV. US ad agencies reported 34% of clients were thinking most about online advertising in Q3, compared with 24% the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the number of clients whose primary focus was on spot TV dropped from 41% to an almost-even 35%.

The online marketing tactics in use by the agencies surveyed did not change much, with online display, search and social media coming out on top, their usage rates stable from quarter to quarter. On social media, similarly, priorities remained the same, with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter the clear leaders, though LinkedIn, in fourth position, gained ground.

The number of agencies purchasing mobile advertising for their clients also stayed relatively stable, at 23%, but the types of ads they were creating began to change. In Q3, display advertising took an even larger lead over SMS. More than half of agencies said they are now creating more mobile display ads for their clients than other mobile formats, compared to just 16% of agencies that are still mostly creating SMS ads.

The mobile devices being targeted by those ads were changing, too. Agencies cut their interest in BlackBerry by half between Q2 and Q3, according to STRATA. Still, Android-targeted efforts lagged behind iOS-focused ones.

eMarketer forecasts display will take 33% of mobile ad dollars in 2012, pushing it ahead of SMS and even with mobile search spending. It also estimates that the iPhone will lose its spot as the No. 1 smartphone in America by the end of this year, when Android’s share will far surpass it.

Getting Digital Marketing Right:Q&A with Google’s Industry Director for Retail Todd Pollak

17 September, 2011

Q&A with Google’s Industry Director for Retail Todd Pollak: Getting Digital Marketing Right

What are a few of the top trends you’re seeing in digital retail this year?
In no particular order…mobile, social, deals and convenience. The cost of walking out of a store is cheaper than it has ever been. For the first time in history, consumers have the ability to save the absolute amount of time and money at zero incremental cost regardless of whether they’re standing in a store with their coveted merchandise in hand. When you have two-parent working families with kids who have more activities, an economy generating flat income growth relative to inflation and rising commodity prices, the pressure to adapt and find efficiencies to maximize your lifestyle accelerates.

Just as retailers are increasing productivity through adoption of technology like CRM, connected stores, recommendation engines, free shipping, site-to-store, etc., the vast majority of consumers are also using technology to steepen their value and efficiency curve and improve their lifestyles. Deals, recommendations, inventory availability and price comparison have become so accessible to Main Street that the traditional ways consumers look to save money more clearly than ever express their true costs of use.

Are digital technologies reinventing the relationship between consumers and advertisers? What does this mean for retailers?
Shopping tools that are always available, predicated on simplicity and elegant design combined with real mobile processing power have fundamentally changed retailing forever.

There are 330 million search results for “my 2-year-old can use an iPhone.” In short, technology is more accessible than it has ever been at a time when inventory, pricing, reviews and recommendations information have reached near 100% transparency for non-perishable goods. Today, we have easy-to-use tools that personalize, organize and filter information like Groupon, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Google.

Consumers’ understanding of these tools is peaking and usage has become more sophisticated overtime.
Retailers should be focused not just on where consumers spend their time researching and buying, but on how best to tailor their tactics based on the transitions people make by device and by location. From desktop at work, to tablets after work on the couch, to mobile in the aisles, focus on transitions in mindset and context. Size of screen and location impact the kinds of information people seek.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask about one of the biggest social media announcements of the year – the launch of Google+. Will you share three tips for retailers looking to leverage the platform?
Social seems to have its most significant impact at the front – through awareness – and backend – through conversion – of the buying cycle. What deals are available? What brands or products do people who are like me buy and when it comes down to the final choice, which brand do people like me buy? It’s still very early days and retailers are investing in the promise of tomorrow.

Today, social signals are relatively one dimensional in that they express interest, but not necessarily intent. In the future, companies that make sense of these connections and influences by understanding their relationships will revolutionize the way retailers merchandise and personalize their stores for each customer.

At Google, our goal is to use social signals to improve consumer experiences across Google properties and partners. In the near term, we’ll enhance the relevance of intent-based queries which are already delivering the most qualified customers on the web to retailers. If someone is looking for barefoot running shoes and their friend endorses a specific result for barefoot running shoes, we believes this will improve engagement for brands, improve the relevance of generic queries and deliver higher conversion rates for our partners.

According to this year’s State of Retailing Online report, search is still the number one marketing acquisition tool for online retailers. I know you can’t tell us what’s in the Google secret search optimization sauce, but what common mistakes do you see among retail clients when it comes to optimizing their site for search?
For multichannel retailers, too many still optimize for an online conversion and view all other paid search visits to the website as waste. Many focus their investments on 2% of their traffic as though the only people who come to a website are online buyers. This happens because the organization views the website as one store, although a very profitable one, and not the gateway to the brand. The stores benefit far more from the website than the online division, they just don’t fully measure online to store activity. The first stop for any consumer – regardless of where they intend to buy – is a website. As long as online divisions are hyper-focused on converting every visit, the consumer experience, which is tied to the whole brand, will be sub-optimal. To create an optimal customer experience, online divisions need to focus less on converting every visitor online and more about the overall customer intention and experience.

The other piece of advice I’d give is to think differently about website visitation by category. People don’t buy sheets the same way they buy blenders so if you’re using the same layouts, information, attribution window for transaction across all your categories…there’s an opportunity to increase topline revenue by optimizing for each category.

As online and offline continue to blur, retailers are hoping to increase customer insight and build relationships between online and the physical world. What tips do you have for retailers looking to leverage this customer data?

The consumer has changed and as a result, retailers must structure themselves for the 21st century.

First, align your organization to optimize for delighting the consumer regardless of the channel. From the CEO down, the whole organization must commit to the idea of a single profit center where everyone is fairly compensated and media is optimized for any conversion regardless of channel. In short, start by eliminating internal friction. This is a must do, because consumers don’t see any difference between your stores and your website. Creating separate PnLs that compete for resources, media dollars, etc. creates confusion for the consumer and damages a brand. Most of our testing demonstrates that the stores benefit far more from a visit to the website than the .com.

Second, invest in continuous testing. I’m always surprised when retailers expect a single test with a positive or negative outcome to change a media mix that’s been built over 10 years. Make a long-term commitment to solving this because you have to believe that eventually 20%+ of commerce in the U.S. will happen online.

Third, invest in a single view of the customer. That means breaking down the data silos between stores, website analytics and online transactions. This will enable top line revenue growth for your company by truly understanding the lifetime value of your customers.

How are you seeing locality play out in the current customer shopping experience? 
Location is still one of the most important factors for a traditional retail business. Today’s consumer wants instant gratification as a result of technology. Price transparency and inventory availability make local shopping more important than ever before. Your customers expect that they only have to drive to your store if you have what they need, when they need it.

I don’t think that retailing has changed all that much. The foundational things still apply, but technology that can identify a customer’s current location presents all kinds of interesting opportunities to encourage a visit that never existed before.

Mobile is accelerating the importance of a local strategy. There are over 100 million Google mobile maps users in the U.S. Some of our best performing ad units on a mobile device are brand searches and click-to-call. Consumers use their phones as shopping tools to save time looking for your store locations and calling for information. In fact, we have data that shows that mobile queries peak at the same time that offline sales peak. Those consumers who are a bit further ahead of the curve know they can find inventory availability and pricing information by store location on the web as well.

The easier the tools are to use, the smarter we become about who the shopper is and what she likes, the more opportunity there will be for advertisers to design an exceptional and personalized shopping experience for their customers.

What do you think the 2011 holiday season holds for retail? 
Long lines and aggressive shoppers have been hyped by the media for the past three years. True or not, this stuff sticks with people. As a result, a greater share of transactions will shift to the web again in 2011. Shoppers will buy earlier and deal sites will see gains as consumers hunt for values. Increased use of technology in the aisles as a shopping assistant, as well as mobile and tablet usage will see exponential growth.

What is the number one recommendation you’d make for retail companies as they begin their holiday planning?
Don’t build another microsite. Increase your presence in social communities where consumers already spend time. You’ll activate a lot more users and benefit from network effects.

Survey: Most consumers aren’t willing to pay extra for eco-friendly

A global survey of consumers has found that people are generally more worried about packaging waste, pollution and pesticides than about climate change. But the same survey by Nielsen also found that most consumers aren’t willing to pay extra for products which are eco-friendly.

Nielsen’s 2011 Global Online Environment & Sustainability Survey included data from 25,000 Internet respondents in 51 countries. The latest findings, which were compared to 2007 and 2009 results, show that while 69% of global online consumers say they are concerned about climate change/global warming (up from 66% in 2009, but down from 72% in 2007), concern for other environmental issues are taking a higher priority in the minds of consumers and are rising with greater intensity. Three out of four global consumers rated air pollution (77%) and water pollution (75%) as top concerns, both increasing six percentage points compared to 2009. But the areas where concern is mounting fastest among 73% of global online consumers is worry over the use of pesticides, packaging waste and water shortages, with reported concern increasing 16, 14 and 13 percentage points, respectively.

“There are many possible reasons for declines in concern about climate change/global warming. Focus on immediate worries such as job security, local school quality, crime and economic well-being have all diminished media attention for climate stories in the past two years. In the face of other pressing concerns, a public ‘caring capacity’ for climate change has been tested,” said Dr. Maxwell T. Boykoff, Senior Visiting Research Associate, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford. “Without continued attention paid to global warming/climate change in the media, such concerns may have faded from the collective public conscience.”

The USA recorded one of the steepest declines in concern about climate change/global warming among global markets over the four-year period from 2007 to 2011, dropping 14 percentage points. Today, less than half of Americans (48%) say they are concerned about climate change, which contrasts sharply with reported concern across the regions of the world: Latin America (90%), Middle East/Africa (80%), Asia Pacific (72%), and Europe (68%). Among the 21% of Americans who are decidedly not concerned, 63 percent indicated they believe natural variation — and not people — causes climate change/global warming.

Overall, 83% of global online consumers say that it is important that companies implement programs to improve the environment, but only 22% say they will pay more for an eco-friendly product. Willingness to pay extra for environmentally-friendly goods is highest in the Middle East/Africa, where one-third of consumers are willing and lowest in North America, where only 12%  of both Canadians and Americans say they will pay extra for eco-friendly products. Many consumers reported a personal preference for eco-friendly goods, but large percentages of respondents report setting aside this preference and buying whichever product is cheapest, including 48% in North America, 36% in Middle East/Africa, 35% in Europe, 33% in Asia Pacific, and 27% in Latin America.

Global consumers have mixed feelings about the environmental impact and benefits of particular sustainable practices. While 64% of consumers, globally, indicated they believe organic products are good for the environment, there is wide regional disparity of opinion. 80% of Latin Americans and 72% of Asia Pacific respondents think organic products are environmentally-friendly, but fewer people are convinced in Europe (58%), Middle East/Africa (57%), and North America (49%).

Among other environmental and sustainability efforts manufacturers have taken, recycled packaging and energy efficient products are seen as the most broadly helpful. Fully 83% believe that manufacturers using recycled packaging and producing energy efficient products and appliances have a positive impact on the environment. Fewer consumers are convinced of the positive environmental impact of local products (59%), fair trade products (51%) and products not tested on animals (44%). Belief in the positive impact of “local” products is highest in North America, where 65% of consumers reported believing local goods have a positive impact on the environment.

The Nielsen Global Online Environmental Survey was conducted between March 23 and April 12, 2011 and polled more than 25,000 consumers in 51 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%.

TRADE SHOW RULES OF ENGAGEMENT


  • RULE #1: Avoid Being Blackmailed. Trade show organizers often try to sell pricey booth space by raising the specter that your customers will think you’re going out of business if you don’t show up. Ignore them and decide to attend only if you think it’s useful or cost-effective.  If you’re worried about customers thinking you’re in trouble, rent a suite in a nearby hotel, and hold a big party.  It will cost about 1/10th as much and have more impact anyway.
  • RULE #2: Ignore Marketing’s “We Gotta Be There.”Marketeers love ALL trade show because they can run up the expense account and network (i.e. job seek and/or sleep with) with other marketeers. Nothing wrong with that, but it might not be the best way to spend your marketing dollars.
  • RULE #3: Don’t Expect Many Good Leads. Most trade shows are fairly worthless when it comes to generating sales leads, because the bulk of the attendees are either other vendors, the customers of those vendors, or your current customers.  Usually the actual sales leads are pretty slim pickings.
  • RULE #4: Expect to Pay a LOT Per Lead. It’s not at all unusual to pay as much as $100,000 to attend a big trade show booth, and come out of the trade show with around less than a hundred usable leads. And some of them, of course, won’t convert.  Run the numbers and make sure that it’s worth the effort.
  • RULE #5: Use the Show To Reward Your Customers. The main point of being at a big trade show is to schmooze your current customer base and make them feel special. You get a lot of face-to-face time that can strengthen your relationships.  That’s got value and can be strategic, so it may be worth it go, even if you don’t expect to get a lot of leads.
  • RULE #6: Spend Some Time Doing Competitive Research.Trade shows are an excellent way to find out what the competition is releasing in the future, who they’re positioning it, and how they’re approaching their customer base.  Don’t waste the opportunity.  Hint: Have a debriefing after the show to discuss what everyone learned.