Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

If you walk around Toronto, Vancouver or any other Canadian city today, or any other day in late October or early November in any given year, you’ll notice something. Most people walk down the street, into business meetings and pretty much everywhere with poppies attached to their clothing.

PoppySo what do the poppies represent? They’re a symbol of remembrance. Just like November 11 is Veterans Day in the US, in Canada it’s Remembrance Day. Both serve the same purpose – remembering those that fought for their country during World War I and II. But the way this day is seen in Canada is different. (more…)


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It’s not coincidental I’m posting this today, March 23, when there are two major nationwide giveaways. Of course, free is good for us customers. But getting customers in once when you are giving something away for free is one thing…getting them to come back and pay for it next time is another.

So first, to the free offers. Starbucks is hosting free pastry day at its US and Canada stores. Download the coupon to receive a free pastry until 10:30 a.m. with the purchase of a “handcrafted” beverage. They’re also using the event to promote the other ways in which their pastries are “free” – that would be, free of artificial ingredients.

Ben & Jerry’s is hosting their annual free cone day. Anyone can come in and get a free cone between noon and 8:00 p.m. No coupon or purchase is required (though you can probably guarantee you’ll have to wait in line!). Ben & Jerry’s has been doing this for years – as a thank you to their customers.

The intent is clear – besides the good PR, they’re hoping you’ll like it so much that you’ll come back to pay for more. (more…)

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It’s important that companies be consistent in their practices. This includes in the products they offer, the procedures that apply to customers and their marketing programs. If I, as a customer, don’t know what to expect – which is exactly what happens if a company keeps changing things – then I’m likely to go somewhere where I know what I’m getting.

Let me explain through some examples of inconsistencies that have been apparent to me. (more…)

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If a company wants to thrive, it’s important to understand what their customers want. After all, giving a customer just what they want is among the best ways to create loyalty, trust and effortless word-of-mouth marketing. This is also a great way to encourage repeat customers to increase their spend over time.

And the best way to give a customer what they want is to understand their motivations and how they truly feel. If you empathize with the customer, it’s much easier to know their wants and needs. An athlete, or someone who can truly empathize with athletes, is going to be better at creating an improved running shoe than most. A gamer knows the kind of features needed to make a new video game system a big hit. (more…)

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One would assume that most people think about something before they do it. But we all know what happens when one assumes – you make an….well, you know the saying.

So when I saw the story about Air Force One completing a low altitude flight over New York earlier this week, the thing that went through my mind was: What were they thinking? The “they” in this case was the White House Military Office, and specifically, the director of that office, Louis Caldera, who approved the operation. And I think the answer is this: they weren’t thinking.

This PR stunt was meant to capture pictures of the 747 that is known as Air Force One when the president is aboard, flying over New York City. In particular, the Air Force was hoping to get pictures of the plane with the Statue of Liberty.  Two F-16 fighter jets accompanied the plane.

Anyone who had actually bothered to think about it for all of two seconds could have determined what New Yorkers reactions would be. (more…)

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Welcome to my blog, Successful Marketing Communications: A Conversation With Customers.

Over the past few years, marketing and communications has changed a lot. That might even be a large understatement. And there are a lot of reasons for this: improved technology, the use of customer data, and fickle customers, just to name a few.

To keep up, companies have had to change the way they communicate. Those that haven’t might be able to survive in the short term, but not in the long term. With retailers and manufacturers trying to match and/or outdo each other, just having a great idea for a product or promotion doesn’t cut it anymore – there needs to be more. (more…)

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