Sep 23 2009

Commoditizing creativity?

by Jeff Propper

The reality is, I’m not sure how I feel about this.  I just received an e-mail promo that iStockphoto will be offering logos for a one time purchase.  They are asking designers to submit their logo designs, and are offering $5 to designers who are part of the first 10,000 approved logos submitted by Jan. 1, 2010.  At the end of the day, these logos will be sold one time only, for a purchase price between $150 and $700, and will be customized to fit the buyer’s needs.

For me, the prospect of diminishing the value of something as important as a company’s mark seems ludicrous, but at the same time, stories of how little Nike paid for the swish, or how Twitter’s logo was simply purchased off the shelf from a stock house, gives credibility to the notion that why should a company pay thousands when a few hundred will do?  I’ve also heard stories of how companies were disappointed when they saw other businesses using the same cut-rate logo they thought was their own.  There will always be exceptions to the rule, but I believe you get what you pay for.

I supposed for the art purchasing community this is terrific — 10,000 logos to choose from, and cheap to boot.  The design community appears to want to embrace it, with potential exposure to millions of prospective logo purchasers to buy your logo—once.   I guess you can make a million dollars designing logos; all you have to do is design and sell about a million of them!

I welcome your opinion.

Jun 25 2009

B-to-B marketers, it’s time to go direct.

by Jeff Propper

Most b-to-b marketers understand that for every twist and turn taken by the economy, there exists a specific strategy designed to capitalize on current market conditions. In our recent past, for instance, when economic times were booming, many business-to-business companies chose to establish or enhance their brand identities through image advertising. As we know, this strategy emphasizes building relationships between a business and its target market over the long haul, with sales rising steadily over time. But when the economic pendulum swings in the opposite direction, the “slow burn” of image advertising can become inadequate to sustain a company’s short-term growth.

That’s why for many marketers, the question raised by a sluggish economy all come down to “What can I do now?” In my opinion, nothing beats direct response marketing. Intended to generate an immediate reaction from a business’ target market, direct response marketing exists as a counterpoint to the more patient sensibilities of image advertising. With direct response marketing, a business engages its audience from a more urgent platform, and inspires a quicker purchasing decision. That consumer decision, in turn, translates into a stimulated sales effort for a business, one that can be augmented with a variety of different tactics. For businesses whose survival depends on an uninterrupted flow of sales, adopting a short-term direct response strategy can yield significant dividends.

Beyond Billy Mays

I’m not talking about a B2B variation on the “You-May-Already-Be-A-Winner”-style of junk mail and spam. In reality, direct response marketing should be a deliberate, methodical, and studied form of sales promotion. What’s more, to be most effective, the campaign should begin as an integrated media effort, which could include a variety of advertising vehicles: print, direct mail, email, internet advertising and more.

Stand out. Or stand aside.

Standing out in a crowd is a basic tenet of good advertising. And in today’s economic climate, standing out is more critical than ever. Direct response marketing lets you stand out distinctly in the eyes of your target because it allows you to convey to them how well you understand their needs, speak their language, and can satisfy their wants.

It’s about ROI. (or I’ve found the magic bullet)

The final key to a successful direct response marketing effort is a finely tuned media strategy — one
that begins with broad parameters, and then quickly narrows its focus. For example, to reach a particular target market, your media plan may include an integrated mix of print advertising, direct mail, e-mail, ad banners, etc. As the program develops, it becomes critical to measure each media outlet to gauge its value to your program. The weak elements are discarded until you determine the one or two outlets providing the desired response rate and cost per sales lead. In doing so, your advertising dollars attain the highest return on investment possible.

Need customers? Get direct.

Today’s economic climate demands that businesspeople reassess how they interact with their target markets. For companies intent on remaining competitive — and profitable — direct response marketing offers a results-driven strategy that can help them achieve their goals.

Jun 24 2009

The Posse Has Arrived!

by Andrew DiFiore


The best darn-tootin’ B2B Marketing Posse
West and East of the Rio Grande!