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Big Oil Marketing Gets D-: Reputation Is the Bottom Line

The stony silence of oil company CEOs in the face of criticism of record profits—at the same time that record prices are being seen at the pump globally—is emblematic of a corporate goal that is not in synch with the needs of its consumer constituency. Read more.

Marketing vs. Sales: In-fighting No Longer an Option

Marketing professionals and sales teams are joined at the hip, and now, more than ever, keeping the relationship harmonious and productive is crucial to success. Read more.

The Ghosts of Marketers Past

The late linguist and former President of San Francisco State University, S.I. Hayakawa once characterized the great innovations of history as "free gifts from the dead." According to Hayakawa, we are the direct beneficiaries of all the accumulated knowledge of the human race to this point. Read more.

When a Big Player Moves, You Must Too

Attention shoppers! Google is entering the payments business. The search behemoth recently acknowledged publicly that it is testing and will soon launch an Internet-payment service called GBuy. A major competitor, PayPal, a subsidiary of eBay and the largest Internet-payment company with 24% of US online payments, found out a while back and immediately perceived GBuy as a competitive threat. Read more.

Can Marketers Encourage Saving The Way They've Driven Spending?

Here's a college entrance exam analogy puzzler to consider: uncertainty is to security as consumption is to...savings. Savings is security, but the trouble with saving money is: we don't do it. That's the bad news. The good news is that marketing can change that. Read more.

No Need to Swipe That Card

Contactless card payment products represent the greatest opportunity to impact the consumer payment experience at the point-of-sale since the introduction of the magnetic stripe 30 years ago. Read more.

America's Running of the Bulls—Merchants Call It 'Black Friday'

America has its own version of "The Running of the Bulls" at Pamplona, Spain. It's called 'Black Friday.' This year Wal-Mart and other discounters slashed prices to the point where they created a near frenzy on the traditional starting day of the shopping season, the Friday after Thanksgiving. And the television images were proof of the spectacle. Read more.

Chief Marketing Officers Become 'Chief Measurement Officers'

To CEOs, CFOs, and analysts, marketing is often thought of as the blood-sucking vampire of the corporate budget. Consider... Read more.

Bottom-Up or Top-Down... What is Your New Product Strategy?

Cities throughout America are suddenly getting offers they can't refuse from outfits like Google, which recently proposed wiring the entire City of San Francisco for Wi-Fi—gratis. Other firms are getting into the act as well. For example, Earthlink and the City of Philadelphia just inked a Wi-Fi freebie for that metropolis. Minneapolis and Sacramento are also in various stages of discussions with Wi-Fi providers. Read more.

Marketers Walk a Fine Line in Disaster Relief

Two headlines in the September 7 San Francisco Chronicle demonstrated in black and white the sensitivity required by corporations in making business and relief decisions in the wake of a disaster. The first article, reprinted from the Washington Post, read: "Wal-Mart at forefront of gulf disaster relief." The subtitle: "Retail chain's image gets a boost as it jumps on deliveries." Across the page was a story by a Chronicle reporter headlined: "U.S. gas prices finally hit plateau. Read more.

Marketing as Dating: It's 11:00pm. Do You Know Where Your Value Proposition Is?

Nearly everything we say or write contains one value proposition or more, including personals ads like the example above, resumes and cover letters, even the clothes we wear suggest a value proposition. Read more.

Going Beyond 'Best Practices'

To be successful in sports, you've got to have "game"— a great offensive ability. In business, many organizations play only ‘defense.’ And while defense is important, it's reactive and is based on what competitors are doing. Read more.

15 Years to Save 15 Seconds: Mapping the Road for Your Product

Have you been waiting in line 15 years to pay for your meal at a fast food restaurant? The major payment card companies have. That's right. Since the start of pilot tests in 1990, American Express, MasterCard, and Visa have attempted to penetrate this and other cash-dominated industries such as movie theatres and convenience stores. Read more.

Building a Competitive Intelligence Capability: What's Your 'CIQ?'

Quickly! What is the one thing all executives dread more than taxes, regulators, or missing quarterly forecasts? Answer — a jolt out of left field, a "haymaker," a cheap shot they didn't see coming. In short: a competitive surprise. Read more.

Reputation Marketing: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons and License Plates

Here’s the latest counter-intuitive marketing trend: go to jail — improve your reputation. Read more.

On-the-fly Media Present New Opportunities: Reaching Out in Real Time

Parents of pre-teens who like Barbie dolls, brace yourselves: any day now, you’re going to be asked for a Barbie cell phone. "Fine," you’ll say, thinking it’s not a real cell phone. Think again. Read more.

Marketing to the Newest Global Consumer Segment

As demographic measurement and psychographic research become more advanced, marketers are chopping groups of consumers into smaller and smaller pieces, identifying specific needs withn those life segments, and then linking the life segments in an integrated strand—almost from cradle to grave. Read more.

Buying Time with Your Gift Card

Remember the hit song from the cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" called "Time Warp?" With its joyous chorus "Let's do the time warp again," audiences would rise to their feet and thrust their arms in the air and wiggle their fingers. Read more.

Measurement Must Drive Your Marketing Program

That’s how long Chief Marketing Officers at the world’s top 100 companies remain in their jobs on average according to a recent survey by the executive search firm Spencer Stuart. Read more.

Marketing Signposts

Consumers became savvier, more cynical, more independent, and more immune to traditional marketing techniques in 2004, using technology to deliver—and screen out—more choices. Read more.

Politics and Marketing: What Candidates and Product Marketers Learn From Each Other

Here are a few tidbits that illustrate the blurring of lines between politics and marketing: in a Consumer Intentions and Actions Study conducted by BIG Research, a polling company, it was found that the majority of Wal-Mart shoppers support George Bush in the upcoming US presidential election. The study also found that the majority of shoppers at Best Buy electronics stores support challenger John Kerry. Read more.

What to Look for in Marketing Plans This Budgeting Season

It's "deja vu all over again" this budgeting season; a flashback to the 1990s when your biggest rivals in the struggle for corporate resources were the Chief Information Officer and the "geeks" in Information Technology. Read more.

A Brand is Born

Whenever an Olympic athlete bows his or her head to receive the Gold Medal, a brand is born. Some athletes are feisty, others irreverent, and others are truly the boy or girl next door. Each personality type has a market to appeal to and exploit as they continue the arc of their careers. Read more.

As Economy Recovers, Opportunities For New Markets and Products Abound

After nearly four years of slash-and-burn cost-cutting, the U.S. economic recovery is awakening corporate America to opportunities in non-traditional markets. Read more.


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