Marketing Speak, Defined

MarketingProfs has created a fun new microsite called Marketing Additctionary where marketers can add to an urban dictionary-esque wiki with fun definitions of trendy terms.

Though I've yet to contribute any marketing-related quips, I am a fan of this one:

web 2.0-verload: noun, When it all just becomes too much. Examples: (1) when you get bombarded with so many kinds of web apps that are supposed to be useful that you can't keep up with what's really useful, or (2) when you sign up for all those private beta invites... and then when you get the invites weeks later, you don't remember what those apps were or did.

And here's the current most popular word:

Twiggles: noun, A fit of laughter by something someone said on Twitter.

The wordoff, where you can vote for your favorite of two words, is another fun feature. There is also a "Challenge" area where someone provides the definition and you create the word. Hours of marketing entertainment!


Middle Finger Marketing

I really enjoyed this post from Greg Verdino's blog where Greg reflects on how big-budget marketing moves like slapping your name on a sports arena can actually create animosity among your customers.

In his real-life example, Greg had just gotten off a flight where staff was overworked, space was limited and bags of peanuts no longer flow freely from the carts of perky flight attendants.

We can all accept these little sacrifices in a time where most businesses are struggling to keep afloat. However, upon hopping in a cab Greg came face to face with an arena sponsored by the very airline that served up a down-graded customer service experience. This, says he, is middle finger marketing. Spending the big bucks on flashy branding projects instead of on the customer experience - right under our noses!

Think about it, in these time there is probably more value in creating a buzz-worthy customer experience that will generate free word-of-mouth advertising from a trusted source (our own friends and family!) than shelling out to sponsor an event that most of us can no longer afford to attend.


The Problem with Mustang's 'Pony Girl' Brand

Mustang is launching 'Pony Girl,' an effort to market their brand to teen and tween girls with pink pony mustang designs, butterflies and other girly icons. The images and inspirational slogans will be featured on tees, jewelry, home decor and more. Fun, right?

Well, maybe.

Mustang will have to overcome a few SEO challenges, like the fact that when you search for "pony girl mustang," you get pictures of scantily clad women posing by cars and a YouTube video of a stripper by the same name. I won't even get in to the potential of clashing search terms with Atlanta's most popular strip joint, The Pink Pony. Perhaps they will have some trademarks set up that will help force others not to use their key branding terms. All I know is the current results are certainly not very tween-friendly.

Image via BrandWeek.


Black Card Offers Luxury to the Masses. Hmm...

The Black Card has been the ultimate status symbol of late. VIP shoppers from hotel tycoons and rappers flash their limitless plastic (oh, sorry, no plain ol' plastic for these guys - the Black Card is made from carbon. Fancy.) and order up some more Dom.

Funny this is, it seems now everyone can get in to this elite club. Or at least 3,000,000 of us. And how do we know this? They are advertising the exclusive privilege in magazines. I think the Black Card has, how do you say, "jumped the shark."

via Seth's Blog.


When a Man Makes a Commercial for Women

Ok, I have no proof that men were behind the new Schick Quattro campaign, but it is my feeling that a woman couldn't have designed this ad.

I mean, really? Those ridiculous bushes changing in to suggestive shapes? I wouldn't call myself a feminist, but at some point I have to draw the line!

View images of the also-risque print ads.


Pay Your Subscribers Some Respect

Today, I received an email offer from a retailer for an online game where I can win discounts. I don't shop here frequently, but ok, I'll bite. Let's see what this is all about. So I click through (score one for the retailer's email marketing manager).

Upon clicking, I'm delivered to the promotional microsite for their new game/contest. The site prompts me to enter my email. This is mildly annoying, since I just clicked through from an email and it would have been simple for the website to recognize me or at the very least, pre-populate my address to save me a minute of hassle. Still, I am not deterred. In this economy, we'll all do a little more than usual for a great coupon. So I enter my address and continue on.

Do I get to play the game? No. I am now greeted with an even longer form! Keep in mind that I have purchased something from this retailer before. Online. Quite recently. So not only am I a registered user, but they already have my address and all of the other information they are requesting. In fact, notice they give me the option to register for their e-newsletter list, which I'm already registered for (that's how I got here!). At this point, I decide it's not worth it and abandon the form.

Why do marketers continue to make it so difficult to interact with their brand when technology should make it so easy? The example above is a clear case of what not to do. When you create landing pages or microsites, use caution and balance friction with incentive, or you'll surely notice high abandonment rates.


Big Brand Makeovers Visualized

I really enjoyed a piece on WalletPop which takes us through a number of popular brands who have recently revamped their image. This kind of change often causes a controversy and in extreme situations, we've even seen brands being forced to revert back to their old look (as with the Tropicana uproar).

With the internet and outlets like blogs and Twitter becoming so widely used, the power is in the hands of the people. Remember my post about how Discover Card's campaign struck me as insincere? After I wrote that I noticed in my analytics report a flood of views from an ad agency that just happens to represent Discover. Anyone notice how the new commercials address this consumer skepticism? I'm not saying, but I'm just saying. Embrace the power.

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