Email Alone Will Get you Nowhere- Diversity is Key!

When the economy went bellyup two years ago, many marketers did what they had to do: Cut their spending and focused the few dollars they did have on the cheapest available options - primarily digital venues.

That's understandable. But now that the economy is showing signs of life, too many are sticking to that strategy, essentially standing on the sidelines as the economic recovery kicks into gear. Worse yet, increasing budgets but not the channels they use to communicate.

If there's one painful lesson that every investor learned when Wall Street crashed, it's that diversification is key to success. So why haven't marketers learned that same lesson when it comes to their communications?

As the result of this mono-venue approach, the digital world has become increasingly crowded- the average consumer receives 14-15 emails a day from companies or brands. That's not good for marketers lookign for engaging ways to get their messages into the hands of consumers.

Consider, for example, that the average household receives about 16 pieces of advertising-related mail per week (Source: 2008 Household Diary Study- USPS) and you can plainly see the potential that direct mail offers. Four times less clutter, an ability to stand out and the ability to put a brand's best case in the hands of your customer.

Beyond the clutter, there's simple math that says the more marketers diversify the communication venues speaking to the customer, the better the impact. A recent study found that 80% of consumers rely on more than one marketing message in multiple marketing venues when making a purchase decision. That makes sense to me. Most of us need to have multiple interactions with a brand before parting with our hard-earned money.

Don't forget the personalized URL, Quick Response code or other links that can be included in the print driven messages that can take your integrated digital marketing to a whole new level in 1:1 relationship building.

Tactical, dimensional marketing messages- cut through the clutter and get you noticed and will earn you a fair share of your customer's wallet-share. Diversify your marketing mix now and you'll benefit in the long run.

How do you REALLY connect with your customer?

By integrating elements of logic, general thought processes, emotions and their five senses you can discover a unique approach to the task of connecting with your customer.

When marketing in an experiential manner your objective is always to encourage such a deep connection with the customer that they respond to your product offering based on both their emotional and rational response levels. Here are a few of the basics of experiential marketing, and how this process can help you succeed when other marketing strategies fail.

Appealing to a variety of senses, experiential marketing seeks to tap into that special place within consumers that has to do with inspiring thoughts about comfort and pleasure, as well as inspiring a sense of practicality. This means that, a marketer, you need to have a firm grasp on the mindset of the prospective target market you wish to attract. By understanding what the consumer is likely to think and feel, it is possible to get an idea of how to steer the customer in a direction that will relate with the product, and entice individuals to act on that impulse to purchase.

In order to engage in experiential marketing, it is necessary to connect with as many of the senses as possible. Striking displays with powerful visual elements, such as websites, and visual media such as print ads should not only be visually appealing, but also conjure up daydreams of locales and reminders of sensations that are enjoyable to the individual. When used to create customer experiences of this nature, a sense of rapport between the product and the consumer is established that helps to make the good or service more desirable with each encounter.

Because experiential marketing connects with the consumer on multiple levels, the strategy is ideally suited for contemporary sales and marketing campaigns. Shortened attention spans demand that any ad campaign make a quick impression, or the opportunity to engage the consumer will quickly pass. While thirty second ads on radio and television once had a great impact, many people now use modern technology to avoid this sort of marketing approach.

This means that ads you place on the internet, in the print media, and on modern billboards must immediately catch the attention of prospective clients and hold that attention long enough to make a lasting impression. Experiential marketing holds the key to making this happen. By appealing to all five senses, and making the connection quickly and seamlessly, this approach to the marketing task ensures that you can still attract and satisfy the needs and desires of your prospective target market.


My 4 year old skips everywhere. It confounds me how in one moment she can be screaming bloody murder with the water works on full steam and the next moment she can be bounding for the next activity, at the height of a joyful prance. I guess this is the definition of true resilience.

It’s not as if it’s harnessed in any way….it’s so natural that it just sort of falls out of her. So, when I, like the smarty pants that I am, try to mimic it, subscribing to the fact that it will manifest the same resilience in my world, well….I just look like damn foolish.

I guess the whole thing has me looking at resistance a little bit differently. This came to me as I was running this morning, as I’m dedicated to do 3 times a week no matter what! Don’t think that commitment to running wasn’t initially met without resistance either, because it was. It’s not easy finding that time for myself in a busy day, but what I’ve found is that the hour I dedicate to running, thinking without interruption, praying, and writing in my brain makes me about 100X more productive the other 18 hours of my generally non-stop work-filled days.

So, I was running today, which I do with no Ipod, no Iphone, no distraction or friend to chat with, and no expectations and suddenly I found myself attuned to the smell of the late season clover, sound of the secadas, the wind in the leaves as it swept over the miles I could see, the birds chirping, the geese wings flapping above, the bees buzzing to my right, my sneakers as they hit the gravel at an even pace, my breath- all was synergistic. Like a puzzle, it all fit into a nice neat package of a fully realized moment in time.

Then, from out of nowhere a motor revved, a plane flew overhead, and it was an assault to that moment. I couldn’t help to think, because this is what this hour for, about how analogous this was to my business day. All that noise, but such important messages in each succinct piece. Competition of individual messages to be heard in a noisy world, that when listened to, in an attuned moment make complete sense. As a runner, in that moment I could hear it all, including the assault. But in the same moment, I was able to assess the assault, tune it out, and continue my momentum. Of course, just when I thought I had it all under control, I rounded the corner of a steepened hill and I was nearly rendered breathless when met with a wind that would barrel me full force for what would be another mile

It was in this resistance that my mind took me to my work. Ah, I thought, this wind is the negative self speak my clients have when they come to me with viable ideas and no self confidence to implement them. This wind bespeaks of naysayers and competitors trying to knock pricing into a commodity mode. This wind is trying to slow me down until my momentum merely becomes a race in time for a motionless end to my success at mental clarity. But then it came to me, my daughter…prancing along like a pony. Just Skip, the little voice inside my head prodded!

So I did.

And as I skipped, the wind that had been rushing against me fueled my prance and I found I was moving faster instead of slower. As I skipped, I began to giggle and then laugh forgetting entirely that I had been out of breath from the previous 4 miles. What a fool I must have looked like, I mused, at which point I decided to pull out all the stops and put my arms out like an airplane and zoom my way through the last half mile of the trail. When I skipped and zoomed into the parking lot, where I generally show up looking haggard albeit with an unparalleled mental clarity, I arrived joyful…feeling like I could take on another 5 miles. Well, almost. Most importantly I had this revelation about resistance, and how if you take it on like a wrestler in the ring, it can be USED as a piece of the puzzle to get you to your goal. So the next time you feel like you just can’t go that last mile, just approach it differently. What’s there to lose? And man oh man, there’s way too much to gain not to try. So, when you are next faced with resistance either from a colleague or a prospect, just skip!

Note to reader: As a practice, my business is fueled by experience. The anecdotes I often share with clients and seminar attendees have often been the moment of revelation for me or someone I work with. Associative learning is a wonderful strategy to understand new concepts in a rapidly changing world. Learning by anecdote and metaphor enables a level of understanding one might otherwise never get if forced to learn a new language and skill set.

FTC Guidelines for Blogging and Tweeting

Are you left scratching your head how the heck you can comply with the new FTC “Endorsement” Guidelines when sending a “tweet” that is limited to 140 characters?

Do you have any idea how you are supposed to comply with the new FTC Guidelines when doing something as simple as updating your facebook wall, or posting something to your blog?

Well, you aren't alone.

Since the new FTC Guidelines went into effect last December people have had thousands of questions but very few of them were ever answered.

Chicken little might scream the sky is falling, but believe it or not, the FTC has been busy answering those questions on their website.

Go to the FTC Guidelines by clicking this link and scan the hundreds of questions and answers for some of your own.

It really boils down to truth in advertising and practicing integrity and the honor system as the revised Guides – issued after public comment and consumer research – reflect three basic truth-in-advertising principles:

1. Endorsements must be truthful and not misleading;
2. If the advertiser doesn’t have proof that the endorser’s experience represents what consumers will achieve by using the product, the ad must clearly and conspicuously disclose the generally expected results in the depicted circumstances; and
3. If there’s a connection between the endorser and the marketer of the product that would affect how people evaluate the endorsement, it should be disclosed.