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

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

Basketball-Playing Cop Demonstrates Power of Touchpoint Marketing

Everything can be marketing and everyone can be a marketer.

Officer Bobby White and neighborhood basketball players. Credit: Gainesville, FL police department.

Officer Bobby White and neighborhood basketball players. Credit: Gainesville Police Department.

Consider the unlikely example of Officer Bobby White from the Gainesville, FL police department. The policeman responded to a complaint of kids playing basketball too loudly on a residential street. Maybe the neighbor who called police should have been investigated, but I digress.

What does this police story have to do with marketing?

Everything. As you’ll see in the video below, Officer White produced more in a few minutes than any multi-million dollar community relations campaign the town of Gainesville could have commissioned. Continue reading

Personal Branding Helps NFL Player Move Forward

You’ve heard the saying: When one door closes, another one opens.

There’s more to it, of course.  For instance, if you blew-up the door on the way out, your task will be much harder.

When it comes to life- and career-management, there’s really only one thing we can control — and that’s our own actions.  Who knows what curve-ball is coming next, but how we respond is on us.  What we do in those times of challenge reflects how we’re perceived, helps define who we are, and impacts our future prospects.

Steve Weatherford New York Giants Farewell. Credit: screen-grab from YouTube video.

Steve Weatherford New York Giants Farewell. Credit: screen-grab from YouTube video.

Take the case of NFL punter Steve Weatherford, formerly of the New York Giants.

Continue reading