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I just looked up MARKETING on Wikipedia. I have a headache. Here’s what Wiki says;

Marketing is the process of exploring, creating, and delivering value to meet the needs of a target market in terms of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize in advertising; operation of advertising campaigns; attendance at trade shows and public events; design of products and packaging attractive to buyers; defining the terms of sale, such as pricediscountswarranty, and return policy; product placement in media or with people believed to influence the buying habits of others; agreements with retailers, wholesale distributors, or resellers; and attempts to create awareness ofloyalty to, and positive feelings about a brand. 

That’s one sentence. It has one period, which comes after the late and singular appearance of the word “brand.”

Maybe we need something simpler and more memorable. How about this:  Marketing is an ARC:  The business of Acquiring, Retaining, and Cultivating CUSTOMERS.

Acquire:  Attract customers you don’t already have.

Retain:  Keep the customers you have, work to keep them satisfied.

Cultivate:  Grow spending and engagement from the customers you have.

What do you think?

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I came across this “baby” at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in DC last week. https://geogallery.si.edu/10002811/rosser-reeves-star-ruby

The Rosser Reeves Star Ruby was donated to the Smithsonian by Mr. and Mrs. Rosser Reeves in 1965. Rosser Reeves was an American advertising executive and pioneer of television advertising. His ads were focused around what he coined the unique selling proposition (USP), the one reason the product needed to be bought or was better than its competitors. These often took the form of slogans such as M&M’s “melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

Don Draper, the main character in Mad Men, is based on Rosser Reeves. It was Reeves who created the “It’s Toasted” slogan for Lucky Strike cigarettes. In “Mad Men,” Don Draper saves the Lucky Strike account with his last-minute “It’s Toasted” pitch.

Now, here is where it gets local. Rosser Reeves son, Rosser Scott Reeves, Jr., was our neighbor right here in Little Rock. Not only was Reeves Jr’s dad the real-life Don Draper, but his uncle was the even-more-famous David Ogilvy. Talk about a marketing pedigree!

And that’s how I’m three degrees of separation from Don Draper.

Rosser Reeves Star Ruby at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC

I thought I’d try my computer’s ability to take dictation, using Microsoft Word’s Dictate function and the speech recognition tools of my new computer and Windows 10.

I carefully and slowly recited, with painfully obvious pronunciation, the lyrics to an old classic. (No, I didn’t sing.) Here’s how it came out:

like the rolling stone by bob Dylan once upon a time you expressed so fine through the bombs and dined in New York flying that didn’t you?  People call, Sadie where doll, you thought they were all kidding you.  You used to laugh about everybody that was hanging out.  Now you don’t work so well do know you don’t seem so proud about having to be scrounging for your next meal.  How does it feel?  How does it feel?  To be on your home and what rolling stone a complete unknown with no direction home.

Mediocre, at best. Good thing I didn’t try “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” If anyone has suggestions on how to make this work better, I’m all ears.

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Kroger sells a product they call “Fat Free Half & Half.” Half & Half is supposed to be half cream, half whole milk, with a butterfat content of about 12%. TWELVE PERCENT. What’s the story, Kroger?

I invite spokespeople from Kroger, all members of the dairy industry, and anyone who has ever tried this product to comment.

If you don’t live in Arkansas (and there’s a good chance you don’t) you’re missing the fun of Arkansas advertising.  Today in my fair city of Little Rock I was listening to a local radio station and the spokesman for a Chevrolet dealership pitched the Impala as “the car for the man who’s not trying to impress anybody.”

I doubt that’s what the folks in Detroit had in mind for copy, but you have to admit it’s unique. Not unique in the way Rosser Reeves intended for a USP.  I’d bet nobody else positions it the way we do in Arkansas.  The 2014 Impala. Shown here in Razorback Red.

The 2014 Chevy Impala. It's nothing special, and that's what's special about it.

The 2014 Chevy Impala. It’s nothing special, and that’s what’s special about it.

 

Conroe store ACADEMYIts name is simple, its logo features a capital A, but too many people call it “Sports Academy.” WRONG!!  It’s Academy Sports. OK, officially Academy Sports + Outdoors (with a plus sign).  Maybe people confuse it with Sports Authority, a smaller competitor with little to no retail presence in my neck of the nation.  Drives me nuts. It’s a good store with good stuff.  Get it right.

Have a nice day, and enjoy the 4th of July weekend, States United of America.

 

 

I feel like the kid who just found out about Santa Claus, or, in keeping with the season, the Easter Bunny.  My illusion has just been shattered.

Ozarka® water is not made in Arkansas.

I just assumed it was.  But what do I know, I live in Arkansas.  Nonetheless, I was just being logical, or intuitive, at least.  “OZARKA” sounds like it’s from around here, our “Natural State” of hot springs and rolling hills and trout fishing.  And the Ozark Mountains.

2014-04-15 Ozarka 2

Ozarka’s packaging boasts it’s made in Texas.  Texas?  Texas water?  Is that supposed to be good? I grew up in Houston.  I think the tap water in Little Rock tastes better. And there’s no such place as Hot Springs National Park, Texas.

Pull back  the curtain, Toto.  Egad, the Wizard of Ozarka is just one of many brands pumped out by Nestlé Waters North America.  Thus we have an Arkansas-sounding label coming from the Texas operations of a North American company based in Switzerland. Yodelayheehoo.

2014-04-15 Ozarka 1

Oh well, it’s just water, the commodity that’s increasingly never common.  Last time I checked, a liter of Evian was selling for $1.99 at the local Kroger.  A liter of Kroger’s store-brand water was 69 cents.  That’s a 188% premium for Evian. Some people take this brand thing way too seriously.  And the marketers smile.

Tide Cleaners

It’s as difficult to grasp as seeing Michael Jordan wearing a minor league baseball uniform.

Tide, the iconic Procter & Gamble brand of heavy-duty laundry detergent, is now a dry cleaners.

https://www.tidedrycleaners.com/WebPages/Home.aspx

Their website says, “We’ve been in your home for over 60 years. It’s about time we got our own place. Discover a fresh approach to dry cleaning…We combine GreenEarth® technology with amazing stain removal, color maintenance, and a clean so fresh you can smell it. All to bring your clothes back to life with an experience you’ll love from your very first visit.”

A bold move in brand extension.  It will be interesting to see how this goes.  Will consumers, awash in a mix of mostly local and regional dry-cleaning brands, move to something so popular yet so foreign?  Will Tide lead the pack?

Tide Car