Back during the Great Recession, Kellogg's turned convention on its head and - gasp! - marketed their way to market leadership. Only a handful of savvy companies followed the Kellogg's example over the last few years .....which begs the question: with so many MBA-laden marketing departments, why don't more companies go on the offensive when times are tough?
Despite a dip in consumer confidence last month, there are signs that the economy is clawing back. From Dick's Sporting Goods (up 11%) to Hermes (up 8.5%), sales are rising for numerous retailers. WIll this finally mark an end to so much bad marketing on air these days?
The vast majority of marketing today pitches one of two angles: promotions or product features. So what? What's the benefit to the consumer?
Overall beer sales in the US are down. I guess it doesn't surprise me given that all Bud talks about is "drinkability" and Coors pushes its cold-filtered brewing process. So what??
Last year, while US beer sales dipped double digits, Dos Equis was up double digits. The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign is smart, clever and convincingly says that people who drink Dos Equis are more interesting. Who wouldn't want to be like him?
(As an aside, the latest tv spot/viral video has one of the funniest lines I've heard in years: "At museums, he's allowed to touch the art.")
Mandarin-Oriental Hotels is doing an exceptional job of marketing "discovery" to high-end travelers (from whom they generate 40% of total revenue) through a robust social media effort. What's really effective is that they're providing destination-specific information by property and building property-specific communities through Facebook and Twitter. Their content highlights lifestyle interests and interesting information that their targets crave - all accessible via mobile phones. And while they're discreet, they never miss an opportunity to link back to their reservations page and ask for the business.
Be it online communities who more frequently define the benefits they view in a product or promotion aggregation sites like Groupon, et al, marketers are more pressured than ever to define the parameters of a brand's perception. Let's hope that the cautious optimism in the economy continues(!) and that more marketers recognize that it's better to lead than follow.