Good Morning execs,

last week i made some opinionated
comments about the "meaning" of MLK
day for african americans and although
i didn't expect much of a response, i
was wrong. a reader noted that altho
my encouragement for corp. support
of af. am. consumers should be year-
round, my comments about their per-
spectives regarding the holiday were
incorrect, since significant cross-sec-
tional surveying by other research
firms indicate that af. ams use MLK
day to reflect on the collective achieve-
ments of the af.am culture and people.
i'd like to note the truths of this reader's
response. just because we don't see it
doesn't mean it doesn't happen. With
over 36.4 million af. ams in this country,
& at least a third of them still able to
remember how af. ams were treated
when Dr. King made his accomplish-
ments, it is important to take into con-
sideration the possibility that our corp
views aren't necessarily the only views
when compared to a specific consumer
group's views. therefore, rather than
focus on any specific group of people,
i'd like to clarify my point of view on
associating your brand with any major
national holiday when your goal is to
appeal to a specific target audience. first,
make sure you have all the facts. under-
stand the consumer and their perspective
as a group, the individual can be targeted
as your campaign develops. second,
address reality, not your corporate goals.
not everyone cares about your brand,
so don't try to sell it to everyone. be
specific with your association. third,
if you're going to get involved in major
holidays, it is important to take the ut-
most care in observing all sensitivities
involved with the holiday. remember,
your opinions never matter when you
want to sell yourself, only those of the

CORRECTIONS: last week, i mentioned
Telemundo started Telefutura. a reader
noted it was actually Univision. i'm slippin'
in my old age. thanks Julio.

1. TRENDS: niche is in, baby!
2. MUSIC: napster changed the value of music.
3. EMAIL: more strategies + data for 2002.
4. ROUNDTABLE: when your employees shop your clients to your competitors.
5. THEWEEK: wrap up of last week.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios trends ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

1. TRENDS: al berrios believes that there
are two fundamental truths online: 1. niche
content will command consumer time, 2.
the internet is about interaction. this article
proves at least one correct: "Advanstar
Healthcare Communications, a division of
Advanstar Communications Inc., announced
Wednesday that it has formed an alliance to
publish a Chinese language edition of
'Ophthalmology Times'. The magazine,... is
targeted to China's 22,000 ophthalmologists,
according to Ray Lender, general manager
of Advanstar Healthcare Communications.
The magazine will have an initial controlled
circulation of 7,500.

BOTTOM LINE: consumers, especially
professional consumers, are exposed to too
much media and content. there's just no time
to take it all in. so rather than read it all, or
even general info, they enjoy content that's
focused on their jobs, hobbies, and life. who
said that didn't apply online? the old models
of Yahoo style portals where there's something
for everyone have been dead for months.
as a matter of fact, because of this oversatu-
ration of content, consumers find that getting
exactly what they want is easier online than
through any other medium.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios music ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

2. MUSIC: Napster changed the value of music.
yes, get over it. the music industry will change,
too. you know how the music industry is, they
put one good song among a dozen crappy ones
so that they make money off their investment,
the artist. but with the ability to only get what
they want, whenever they want, and usually for
free, value, not how it's distributed, is what has
really changed for music content. and Napster,
Gnutella, Aimster, and Kazaa surely won't be
the end.

BOTTOM LINE: yes, we have to protect the
artist and their right to own their content. but,
since we already know that consumers are
willing to pay for MP3s, i think it's safe to say
that good artists will always be successful. so,
what's going on, then? well, if you're an industry
pro, i don't have to tell you, that the real case
here is the big labels losing their stranglehold
over the industry. and they will lose it when
their product, music, loses the inflated value they
place on it. pay close attention folks, when the
value of music changes, so does the industry,
including how they're discovered & marketed.
(yes, i know there's so much that can be said
about this topic. please feel free to write in with
your opinions.)

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios email ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

3. EMAIL: more strategies. when sending
remember your recipient's inbox is always
full, so make sure your emails are efficient
(include similar offers in one email), are
relevant (if they bought only one product
from your site, don't send them offers for
your entire inventory, since they're obviously
not interested), are concise and to the point
(since no one wants to read 8 paragraphs
before getting to the part about your sale.)

BOTTOM LINE: yes, emailing consumers
is expected to double to 100 billion messages
per year this year. why, because it works.
(some 80% of all consumer purchases were
influence by a relevant email last year, says
JMM). no, don't send your email out just
yet. the average experienced email user gets
about 33 emails per day. do you think they
read them all? do you? so, why waste their
time, and in the process, devalue your brand?

with all due respect to the source for this
section, i forgot to record the email newsletter
where i retrieved this data. my bad.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios roundtable ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

4. ROUNDTABLE: the current advertising
agency model is severely flawed. i've been
saying this since day one. and it persists.
there's just too many egos and too much
money at stake. it's not about the work
obviously, since agencies hire people not
on the strength of their merits, but on who
they know: reported by Kathleen Sampey
and Andrew McMains, from adweek.com:
"Heineken has dismissed Lowe, its agency
since 1998, sources said.(P) Two months
ago, Lowe's worldwide account director
on Heineken, Michael Silver, was said to
be shopping the account to other agencies...
Silver has had a tight grip on the account
since it was at Wells BDDP, and he was
instrumental in moving Heineken from there
to Lowe in 1998." WOW! doesn't that
just piss you off? employers spend so much
money on an employee, you give them
benefits, experience, a nice office, a staff,
and this is their payback?! i've stated be-
fore that this isn't entirely the employee's
fault, after all, the agency did hire this person
on the strength of his relationships with a
client. i've also stated that this is the client's
for interfering with the agency business
to the point that their creativity has been
squished. if only agencies would stand up
for their agency's resources rather than cater
to clients so willingly. just how many new
business people can any company possibly
have at an agency before there are no more
people doing any of the actual work? and
exactly how much is it worth an agency to
pay for this sort of package? you pay the
client's cousin's best friend $150K to work
for you, pretend to like him, give him nice
toys, and give the client a big discount, to
boot?! then he leaves b/c he didn't like it
that the company actually doesn't revolve
around him, in the process taking "his" client
with him, leaving you with the dreaded decision
of firing a staff that is no longer needed because
the client left and you can't afford them. this
doesn't make any sense, does it? or is it just
me? holla back.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios theweek ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

THEWEEK: Kmart files for chapter 11,
w/plans to close stores & get out of leases;
wannabe GE, TYCO, splits into 4 to avoid
ENRON-esque accounting issues; Enron
scandal in full swing as it takes first life
with suicide of ex-vice chairman & the
Bush admin against the wall on their rela-
tionship with the energy co.; b2b search
company Northern Light acquired by e-
services patchwork divine, inc.. watch out
for divine, folks, their strategy is big, as evident
by their deal with Yahoo to launch a fee based
document search. yes, Google does this for free;
Carat Interactive acquires interactive marketer
Lot21 and CRM specialist Vizium; the nightly
TV news anchor wars are also in full swing as
Paula Zahn hops from FOX to CNN, Greta
Van Susterand hops from CNN to FOX,
Connie Chung hops to CNN from ABC,
Larry King gets $40MM to stay @ CNN, &
CBS news raids MTV news ranks for younger
faces; with the star power and success of
movies like BlackHawk Down, The Animal,
the Glass House, Tomcats, America's Sweet
Hearts, and with Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson,
and Bruce Willis all lined up for upcoming
movies, Revolution Studios, with it's low over-
head and marketing prowess is a good example
of the future of film. Keep your eyes open
with this one, folks; "according to [a new study
reported in Scientific America], Chinese-
Americans take in less nicotine per cigarette
and metabolize it more slowly than do Latinos
or whites, which could help explain why Chinese-
Americans have a lower rate of lung cancer
than other groups do".

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios iMarketing ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

Disclaimer: The recommendations, commentary and opinions published herein are based on public information sometimes referenced via hyperlinks. Any similarities or likeness to any ideas or commentary from any other sources not referenced is purely coincidental. al berrios & co. cannot control any results occurring from advice obtained from this publication nor any opinion(s) conveyed by any reader of this publication.

(c) 2001-2005. All Rights Reserved. al berrios & company, inc. Published by al berrios & co. This Report may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form without written permission from al berrios & co., subject to penalty.


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