IMKTG REPORT 09.17.02: Set Goals, Use Data; more...
>> "It's a perverse element of human behavior that, the more we move into unpredictable territory, the more we cling to that which we know and we resist that which we don't. That applies to an ... executive allocating his precious media dollars" --Ted Nelson, a managing partner and director of brand planning at Mullen


Good morning execs,

Hope you had the holiday you wanted.
We've updated our site. Check it out. Hopefully
you'll find it helpful in answering any
questions you may have had about what
exactly is it that me and my cronies do.
I've been thinking about getting other
ideas published in my newsletter. Does
anyone have anything to contribute?
My rules are that it has to be intelligent,
no gossip, & no unsupported trash-talking.
Think about it and get back to me. And
what's going on with everyone over at
AOL pretty much demanding Steve
Case get fired with the rest of the AOL
goombahs that made AOLTW one big
AOL-d!ck swinging contest? Come on,
Steve! You built AOL into the #1 ISP
on the planet. Don't tell me you're gonna
let a bunch of print and cable geeks hand
you your lunch!?! I don't really like your
company, Steve, but I'm rootin' for you!
Show those old-timers what us internet
folks are made of. Oh, wooow! I just
did a count of how many newsletters I
read this weekend just to put this report
together for you. You ready for this...
487!!! Back in January, I was impres-
sed just reading a little over a hundred
plus some magazines. Now, I get all
my magazines digitally, and no spam.
I'm reading 2000 other publications
a month folks, just so you don't have to.
At least now I know why my eyes hurt.


CONTENTS: (These are probably the corniest headlines yet... sorry, writer's block)
1. BRANDS&INSIGHTS: Set Your Own Goals
2. CONSUMERFOCUS: Don't Forget, Interpret Stats
3. MEDIA&CONTENT: Credibility, Perception, & the Internet
4. MGMT&OPS: Chat With Your Audience

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1. BRANDS&INSIGHTS: Set Your Own Goals

Going into a presentation of capabilities
shouldn't be a guessing game. If you're
hiring agencies, please do the following
before speaking to anyone: 1) Set your
goals, then your budget. I know you do
it the other way around, but when you do
it like that, your results aren't as good as
they could be; 2) audit your investment.
I bet you just thought that spending mo-
ney would get you results, didn't you?
Naaahhhhh. Most big time advertisers
spend on auditing their use of media, the
same way they audit their finances. If
you're spending on a sales force, direct
marketing, pr, advertising, or branding,
there are metrics you can use to measure
how you're doing. Get them, and know
the standards, since that's the only way
you'll be able to evaluate whether or not
you should even be spending to achieve
your goals. Look at Kmart. They spent
over $300 MM a year, mostly on ads
w/o positioning to any target consumer.
So, after they went bankrupt (!), they
realized they had to pick a positioning,
pick a consumer segment, & actually
track their expenses.

BOTTOM LINE: Don't be scared to
go against the status quo. Sometimes,
the quo don't know. For example, why
are marketers spending about 2% of
their budget reaching Hispanics, when
13% of the population is Hispanic? Why
are marketers still trying to reach young
people, with the dated premise that if they
"get 'em while they're young" they will
remain loyal to the brand for life? Yup,
this belief is dated, since most young
people switch brands as often as they
switch channels. Why do you even
bother going after the 18-49 crowd,
when it's the 49+ crowd that have the
most $$ to spend and are willing to
switch brands too for worthwhile bene-
fits? With so much insight about how
consumers behave and perceive brands,
it's important to consult a professional
about the best way to communicate to
them. But it shouldn't take a pro to tell
you that you should have a goal and
budget before your even ask for help.

READ MORE: (pdf)

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2. CONSUMERFOCUS: Don't Forget, Interpret Stats

39% of drinkers use the term "pop".
39% of drinkers use the term "soda".
And both think that anyone using the
other term is weird, creepy, ridiculous.
Big whoop, right? How is this bit of
insight going to help you create a de-
vastatingly good communications plan
that's going to be next year's Cannes
winner? And works online?!

BOTTOM LINE: Are you using your
stats and insight into your consumers
in a way that yields the most results
for your brand? For example, the first
thing I'd want to know with the data
above is where did it come from, who
did it, what was the size of the popula-
tion, what were the questions, the
methodology, and the time conducted.
Then I'd be curious as to a psyche
interpretation of the results. Afterall,
what good is a number if it doesn't
help you connect with the consumer?
Are you aware of your consumer's
"behavioral tendencies in every day
situations" instead of at a specific
period in time? For the record, the
rest of this population uses the word
"Coke" even when the beverage isn't
a Coke. Now, what are you going to
do with that?


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3. MEDIA&CONTENT: Credibility, Perception, & the Internet

OK, media buyers, if you need to make
a buy for a political candidate and you
had a Bloomberg-sized budget, would
you choose New York Times or Catho-
lic Digest, on the check-out counter?
Naturally, the credibility that the Times
offers is helpful, but, did you know that
Catholic Digest has a greater Involvement
Index than most major magazines? An
Involvement Index, published for the first
time this year by Folio, and commissioned
by Reader's Digest, says that the time,
attention, and loyalty a reader gives to a
publication makes the ad work more than
a pubs credibility. Obviously there's going
to be nay-sayers, but a closer look at this
thing called credibility may be worth a
closer inspection. Stanford has 10 guide-
lines for what makes a website credible
based on what average people have
revealed. And when a site or any pub
follows these guidelines, what they'll
actually have accomplished is the percep-
tion of credibility. And if it's just a matter
of adhering to these guidelines, then it
stands to reason that any pub, regardless
of age, size, or marketing budget can
gain credibility in the eyes of the average
consumer. Take TV and the internet
for example. Obviously, people rely
on TV to be a credible source of news.
But the internet, which has been around
for less time, is just as credible, based
on the amount of people that have logged
on since it's birth. It's perceived to be
so important that 48% of 45.1 million
Americans have both a TV and computer
with internet access in the same room,
with 47% surfing and watching TV at
the same time. Remember when the
TV was the center of the American
family home?

BOTTOM LINE: Buy what your con-
sumers perceive to be the most credi-
ble, not just what you read every mor-
ning. If your online budget is $1 MM,
why would you only go to Yahoo, when
there are a million other communities
out there that consumers live and die
by? What, are you intimidated by the
size of the internet to look for anything
else? Are you too lazy to bother with
contacting smaller niche sites? Are
you interested in clickthrus more than
whether or not a consumer is actually
being converted or branded? Half the
US is online and they all don't visit
Yahoo, MSN, and AOL. Unlike TV
when it first got started, just being able
to reach the entire country doesn't mean
that the entire country will log on. And
with credibility being just a matter of
perception, a small message board or
chat room is just as credible as the largest
financial analyst, law school, or political
newswire to the loyal users of that com-


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4. MGMT&OPS: Chat With Your Audience

This is getting too easy. Every week
it becomes easier and easier to defend
the internet as a viable medium to reach
consumers. As I'm sure you've read
everywhere, now the web can reach
your business decision makers better
than any other media, since they spend
so much time online from work, and less
time using other media. Ain't that swell.
We've even learned that women are
getting online faster than men now from
work. In addition to that, Pew Internet
just released a study on 2,054 college kids
that says that about 90% of college kids
use the Internet for downloading music
(60%), chatting (26%), socializing, like
on the phone (42%), with friends (72%).

BOTTOM LINE: It is now possible to
reach every consumer segment online
with any goal, on any budget. You are
no longer relegated to using traditional
mass media as your only method of
reaching a lot of people. But I'm not
telling you something you don't already
know. What I feel is most important
to point out is that the internet isn't
merely a medium. It's a community.
And it's up to you to figure out what
part of the community you want to
interact with, not pop ads in front of.
And don't forget, in order to interact,
you have to use the same tools your con-
sumers use, like email, chat rooms, and
message boards (blogs). So if you
don't have your iMarketing campaign
in place yet, let me know and I'll make
sure you reach your consumers more

IQ DAILY BRIEF: Sept. 9., 2002, (pdf)
More women working the Web, By Frank Barnako,, Last Update: 10:30 AM ET Sep 13, 2002
Internet 'required' for collegians, By Frank Barnako,, Last Update: 10:13 AM ET Sep 16, 2002

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