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.


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

Bold Marketing: Travel Website Dares Customers with DNA Testing

The next time you’re facing a challenge that doesn’t have an obvious marketing answer, remember travel company momondo.

They came up with a terrific idea that wasn’t in any typical marketing playbook.

Credit: momondo

Credit: momondo

momondo partnered with an ancestry DNA testing service and created a poignant, emotional, and riveting video about people finding out who they really are – with surprise results, of course.

The powerful marketing idea? People will want to explore and learn more about their true ancestry and heritage. Continue reading

Has Crowdsourcing Gone Too Far?

Have marketers thrown in the towel on making decisions?

Specifically, I’m wondering:

Where is the line between using informed judgment to make solid, on-strategy decisions, and just opening the proverbial office door to say “Hey customer, you decide.”

Credit: Binghamton Mets.

Credit: Binghamton Mets.

The prompt for my contemplation is a re-naming contest initiated by a minor league baseball team in upstate New York.

It’s part of a business and brand overhaul initiated by new owner John Hughes, who purchased the Double-A Binghamton Mets (affiliated with the New York Mets) in December 2015. The team had been owned by a local group for 24 years. Continue reading

Topps Hits Marketing Home Run with New 24-Hour Baseball Cards

This is how to keep a 65-year-old brand fresh and relevant!

Topps, which offered its first baseball cards in 1951, has launched a new card series catering to today’s always on, Internet-connected fans.

TOPPS NOW is a limited edition, 24-hour-only series of baseball cards that’s been available since opening day 2016. New cards are offered for sale based on actual, daily performance.

Credit: Topps.

Credit: Topps.

According to the company:

“The physical cards will be available the very next day to purchase through Topps.com, but for just 24 hours, and will not be available for purchase again.”

“Magical moments will be captured on baseball cards the very next day, giving fans everywhere a chance to own a piece of history almost immediately,” added Clay Luraschi, Topps’ Vice President of Product Development.

This new baseball card product range is a terrific marketing idea. Continue reading

How ESPN’s College Football Megacast Can Impact Your 2016 Marketing Plan

ESPN offered 15 different viewing and listening choices for the 2016 college football championship game last night.

Read on for six business and marketing lessons of Megacast.

What Is Megacast

In addition to its flagship channel, college football fans, general sports fans and the media-technology-curious were able to explore other game experiences across ESPN’s television network, on radio, and/or mobile via the Watch ESPN and ESPN apps such as:

  • Film Room, ESPN Voices, Homer Telecast, Spider Cam, Pylon Cam and more.

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Why ESPN Does Megacast

First, it’s about engaging with the customer. This is a core part of ESPN’s marketing and programming strategy.

Continue reading