Marketing Whims For 3/23

Apparently, Sony wants customers to pay $50 to remove “crapware” from its TZ2000 PC before they take delivery of it.

My take: I missed the announcement that Sony had hired a former bank executive to run marketing.

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DM News reports that “lingerie retailer YumDrop has selected social commerce services firm PowerReviews to power customer reviews on its e-commerce site.”

My take: Online lingerie buyers don’t want customer reviews — they want customer pictures. But that’s just my guess.

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Target Marketing’s annual survey of marketers revealed that direct mail delivers the strongest ROI for customer acquisition and second strongest ROI for customer retention (behind email).

My take: The direct mail-naysayers can take all the potshots they want — the marketing community has spoken. I would, however, like to see Target Marketing add WOM marketing and social media to their list of methods next year. Cumbaya marketing — the darling of some of you (you know who you are) — didn’t make the list this year, and hopefully never will.

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Amtrak sent me (and the other 117 people who mindlessly didn’t opt-out) an email informing me that May 10th is National Train Day. Apparently, there will be raffle drawings, concerts, and activities for the whole family.

My take: Sales of your product or service flagging? Declare a public holiday around it! This could be a boon for financial services firms. I think we can solve the credit crisis by making June 23 National Refinance-Your-Mortgage Day. And let’s make July 17 National Apply-For-A-Credit-Card Day. Side benefit: Card issuers could save billions of dollars by not having to send direct mail offers the rest of the year!

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6 thoughts on “Marketing Whims For 3/23

  1. “Online lingerie buyers don’t want customer reviews — they want customer pictures.”

    Oh, goodness. That’s a little…salacious. If I were buying lingerie online, I wouldn’t mind some actual reviews. (I never buy clothes, except t-shirts or additional copies of things I already own, online. I don’t trust that things will fit or look good.) There are things that pictures don’t say.

    At the risk of TMI (too much information): does it pinch or bind? do the colors bleed in the wash? is the sizing accurate? is the color accurate? is the manufacturing shoddy? is there enough support? etc.

    Even if one is buying for (ahem) someone else, that seems like it’d make for a better gift-giving experience than all the amateur photos on earth.

    And if someone’s just surfing for photos, they aren’t part of the actual customer market, are they?

    Anyway. I probably just put waaaaay too much thought into that.

    (Also, I wish Amtrak would put some of that Train Day (!) money into fixing train service on the west coast.)

  2. Ron checked out that Target Marketing piece – it looks like 64% of the sample spent a measly <$500K on their annual direct marketing efforts – across all media… TOTAL…
    Not to mention that the sample consisted of mailing to their subscriber list… So not sure how valid [or interesting ]this study is…

    The one thing in that report that I did find interesting was that “According to respondents, podcasts, webcasts and mobile marketing are the hot vehicles right now, posting adoption gains of 325 percent, 262 percent and 85 percent compared to last year’s usage.”

    It’s funny when you see adoption increases of 325% etc. Ergo, “last year 1 respondent out of a thousand said “podcasts” compared to the 4 who said so this year”… thus, podcasts are “hot right now”… of course…

    I’ve similarly used such fuzzy math to make my points in the past – but it still ain’t right….

    But that’s not why I called attention to those “stats”… I brought them up because I wonder – who are these marketers who using the “hot” media right now… and what in God’s name are they doing with these hot media.

    I was at a recent industry conference and an old friend asked me “so is anyone actually making money off of social media?” I thought it was a great question that applies just as equally to other “hot” media like podcasts, mobile marketing and webcasts… Seriously, how the hell are podcasts helping marketers? There’s just no way, man. Hoping you’ll share your thoughts on that sometime soon.

  3. Ron,

    Target Marketing’s report did not include WOM marketing because, um, it makes money with direct mail.

    Credit uinons are still getting a measly 1% return on direct mail. That’s a 99% failure rate! I have an idea for a new product that I’ve run by a few marketing audiences lately and it’s gaining a lot of attention. A mailbox with a shredder (and recycle bin to catch the debris of course). You don’t even have to carry the crap inside!!

  4. @Denise: As long as you confuse response rate with ROI (a 1% response rate does NOT equal a 1% ROI), there’s nothing for us to discuss.

  5. Ron:

    Business leadership teams which are too decentralized, and not “on the same page”, tend to confuse clients and potential clients through “bass-ackwards” policy implementation, such as Sony’s regressive $50 surcharge for removal of unwanted laptop bloatware apps. Anyone recall the old proverb, “the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing”.

    This reminds me of the shameless bragging by Credit Union 24 and Co-Op Network about their “surcharge free ATM” networks. A heck of a lot of ATM cardholders from “non-participating” credit unions or from small banks have come away with a bad taste in the mouth after paying a $2 fee to use a credit union’s so-called surcharge free ATM. CU24, Co-Op and similar alliances actually are “selective surcharge” networks; only a tiny number of CUs actually offer 100% surcharge-free access to all cardholders.

    Marketing and business leaders need to quit communicating with forked tongues! A business should avoid over-promising and under-delivering on its marketing promises.

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