Category Archives: Uncategorized

The World’s Most Advanced Mathematical Model: You

A few days ago, I had the privilege of recording an episode of the Inspiring Action podcast with my old fellow traveler Mark DiMassimo (I’ll share a link when it’s published).  Among other things, I discussed simple ways to bring data-centered thinking into marketing without making yourself or your team crazy.  Then Mark asked me a simple yet insightful question that honestly had never occurred to me: what did I mean by mathematical model?

OK, I would have preferred “what can you tell us about the rumors of your hook up with Sofia Vergara?” or “what was it like crushing a grand slam to win the World Series?” but the question forced me to articulate something most people gloss over.  We often talk about “the model,” but what does it actually entail?  If I wrote more clickbait headlines, I’d say “the answer will astonish you.”

Heavy duty mathematical modeling requires a sophisticated statistical approach backed by computing power and software know-how.  However, everyone reading this post has access to his or her own surprisingly effective model: your own brain.

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Groannnnn….mathematical modelsssssss…

In short, you think in math even when you don’t think you do.  Surfacing this sub-conscious math can make you a better marketer.

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RT, RU kidding me?

Oh, Vladimir Vladimirovich, what shall we do with you, you latter-day Ivan the Terrible?

Here’s a headline from Russia Today (RT) last year:

20% of American workers have lost their job during last 5 years

That sounds terrible!  Rough times all around, but still…wait, what’s this?  There’s a link to the original study?  By the decidedly non-Red (OK, Scarlet) Rutgers University (RU)?  Whatever does it say?

20 percent of workers laid off five years are still unemployed, seeking jobs

I’ve written extensively about why you should always look for an original source.  I’m just going to point to this article now.

Stupid Simple Marketing

It’s not always that hard, people:

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Trader Joe’s already has a great sampling policy.  They’ll let you try anything in the store.

Gluten-concerned people are now numerous enough to warrant a mention on labels.

Put ’em together, and you have a super-simple marketing platform for an engaged audience.

Boom.  Well done.

Talkin’ Baseball. And Cohorts.

Longtime New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott recently wrote an article outlining his ideas for restoring baseball’s popularity.

I’ve written at length on the subject, but Stu’s piece has me thinking: are we too late?

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Does B&H Photo Really Hate My Wife?

Short answer: no, of course not.  However, they could have used a little human common sense rather than rely on responsive design alone to make their emails more relevant.

Let’s back up.  As an avid, if not talented, photographer, I subscribe to emails from Adorama and B&H Photo, two large photo retailers based in New York with a well-earned reputation for value, service and selection.  Really, you CANNOT find a better place to buy cameras and assorted equipment than those two.

Yesterday, I received this email from B&H:

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They remembered Mother’s Day with a large graphic pointing to their Mother’s Day sale items.  How nice.

HOWEVER…

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Marketing Winners and Losers at the NY International Auto Show (Part 3)

Manufacturers put on exhibits at auto shows because they want to sell cars to adults, but sometimes they recognize another key attendee group: kids.  Subjects of “My Super Sweet 16” aside, the kids don’t buy cars, of course, but they do have immediate value to the exhibitors for two reasons:

  1. Kids attend the auto show in droves ($7 tickets help) and drag adults with them.  As in, adults who potentially buy cars
  2. Kids actually influence car purchases to a large degree

While a lot of brands offer kid-friendly exhibits (Jeep had Camp Jeep and other booths had video games), not as many have anything specific for the kids.  Let’s look at one that did have something for the kids, Ford Trucks, and what they did well and not so well.

Good: Hands-on brand experience

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My Research Assistants

Ford Trucks let kids 12 and under built snap-together models of their halo truck, the Raptor.

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Get Your Mind out of the Gutter and into the Toilet

When we set out to solve marketing problems, we often try modeling, as in “how would another brand solve the problem?”  More often than not, I think we use sexy brands–Apple, Nike, Starbucks and so forth–because they usually get their marketing right.

However, I suggest that you stop thinking about what’s sexy.  After all, most marketers don’t have the resources of these brands nor can they always take the big risks that those brands have taken.

So, instead of sex, try toilets.

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Challenge Accepted!

As in, ask yourself, “what would we do if we were trying to sell toilets instead of our brand/product?”  Turning your strategy exercise into an exercise of selling toilets has three key advantages:

1.             Toilets have clear use cases.

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Dungeons & Dragons & Data

I have a confession to make.  For the past few years, I really haven’t practiced analytics.  Instead, I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons with marketing data.

Even if you looked down on the lumpy, socially-maladjusted kids who played D&D, you should think about playing the game with your data, too.

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Better cover than Marketing Analytics for Dummies
image courtesy of Wikipedia

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