Don’t Retreat Marketers. Ben Franklin to the Rescue.

What the heck is going on in the business world?

Judging by all the negative stories, one would think that a plague of incompetence has afflicted commercial teams across the country.

However, beyond the obvious blunders (e.g., United and airport security personnel), some of the backlash is a bit perplexing.

Are corporations and their marketing teams failing at higher rates or is something else going on?

I suggest the latter. That’s partly because social media has, for better and for worse, totally disrupted the way so many now get and process their information.

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Why “Pop-up” Thinking Can Boost Your Marketing

What can marketers apply from the “pop-up” go-to-market concept popularized in recent years by Halloween costume stores, and now chefs?

iStockphoto.com

iStockphoto.com

First of all, think about “pop-up” as a business mindset, not just a retail brick and mortar tactic.

Applied this way, pop-up thinking encapsulates a range of important ideas such as customer choice and variety; experimentation and testing; and an agile, asset-light business approach.

For example, writing in The Wall Street Journal, Jane Black highlighted how chefs are using a modified pop-up model to build their brands and make money. A common approach is to join forces with an existing restaurant owner and “take-over” the physical space at a designated time to produce and deliver the chef’s concept. As Black explains, “permanent pop-ups also feed diners’ hunger for all things new.” Continue reading

When Strategy and Tactics Don’t Mesh, You Get Ruth’s Chris Steak for -50%

On Saturday afternoon, the management team of Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Ann Arbor, MI had a bad case of indigestion.

That’s because they faced a week of giving 50% discounts on every check.

Read on for the explanation and marketing analysis, but first the headline.

This is why you need Marketing Discipline. Strategy first, then tactics.

this-is-how-its-not-done


The Promotion

Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Ann Arbor, MI) decided to implement a sports marketing promotion tied to the local University of Michigan football team.

Beginning with Saturday’s game and running for the rest of the season, the upscale eatery would offer percentage discounts equivalent to the Wolverines’ margin of victory. For example, a 17-point win would mean a 17% discount.

The “Score Big” promo would be in effect, after the game, Sunday through Thursday. Continue reading

Smart Differentiation Powers Wholesale Fish Purveyor

You wouldn’t expect to hear “differentiation” and “wholesale fish” in the same sentence.

Until now.

Credit: Red's Best.

Credit: Red’s Best.

Boston entrepreneur Jared Auerbach created a company that brands wholesale fish under the Red’s Best name. He’s combined brand management, technology, a keen understanding of end users and storytelling to craft his go-to-market business strategy: Continue reading