Jun 192017
 

Zicam Media BuyingThe media buying revolution continues. The American Marketing Association’s “Brilliance in Marketing” segment on Zicam’s revolutionary approach to buying television time comes at the end of the long-standing television upfront market. This 50 year old tradition has already been assaulted by the shift of ad dollars from television to digital. Now sophisticated algorithms paired with big data are allowing brands to buy television like they buy internet. The CEO of the makers of Zicam, M’Lou Walker, told me how they have changed the way they buy advertising in a recent interview in her office.

The growth of digital spending has slowed dramatically. Deadline Hollywood quotes Standard Media Index stats: “Last year’s Q4 revealed “the first glimpse of a flattening Digital market,” with year-over-year sales up 9% vs. 35% in the same period in 2015, SMI says.  That continued in Q1: Digital sales improved 6% in the first three months of 2017 as opposed to 19% in the same period in 2016.”

The new technology could help shift dollars back into television. Digital’s allure is its ability to specifically target people and provide detailed metrics. As television technology develops, those benefits are increasingly available to television advertisers. With television’s proven ability to move the needle, we may soon be looking at ad rush back into television when more companies adopt Zicam’s approach.

Jun 142017
 

Marketing EDGE Marketing Plan CompetitionIt is my honor to judge the 2016-2017 Collegiate ECHO Challenge marketing plan competition held every year by Marketing EDGE. Marketing EDGE is a national non-profit bridging the gap between academic theory and the practical knowledge and skills required in the workplace.  For 50 years, this organization has been bringing together marketing professionals, corporations, academics and students to apply classroom learning to real-world marketing challenges. Undergraduate and graduate students worldwide competed in the marketing plan competition.

Marketing Plan Competition Challenge: Collette

Students developed  marketing plans for Collette, a third generation, family-owned company with offices in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Competing teams researched and evaluated the travel needs of consumers and their expectations for travel experiences today, and for the future. Then they developed an integrated marketing plan with a $5 million budget to entice consumers to travel with Collette. Competitors were given free rein to innovate on the product and the customer experience.

Scoring the Marketing Plan Competition Entries

As a judge, I looked at a number of different criteria across the entries. 50% of the score depends on the quality and use of market research. 50% rests the resulting marketing plan. Success criteria included:

  1. How thorough is the market research?
  2. Is the marketing strategy clear and concise?
  3. How effectively does the marketing campaign drive leads?
  4. In what ways do teams expand/evolve existing product lines and/or create something new and different?
  5. Do the proposed product line amendments flow from the market research?
  6. Is the budget realistic?
  7. How achievable is the projected return on investment?
  8. How well integrated is the media plan?  Does it employ media where the targeted demographic will likely be found?  Does it take into consideration the way the audience plans its travel?

Clear Winners in the Marketing Challenge

Judging will be complete in a few weeks, with the undergraduate and graduate winners announced in mid-July.

Prizes in each division:

  • 1st Place Gold: Team members are eligible to split a $2,000 award.
  • 2nd Place Silver: Team members are eligible to  split a $1,000 award.
  • 3rd Place Bronze: Team members are eligible to split a $500 award.

Teams demonstrating excellence in the following individual categories are eligible for honorable mentions:

  • Market Research
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Media Plan
  • Budgeting / ROI
  • Creative Strategy
  • Executive Summary
  • Visual Summary
  • Innovation
May 272017
 

  • 2017 Marketing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held May 11, 2017 in New York, New York.
  • 2017 Marketing Hall of Fame inductees.
  • Past President of AMA New York Dr. Don Sexton, Professor of Marketing at Columbia University presents the award to Dr. Jerry Wind, Lauder Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Academic Director, SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management
  • Seth Farbman, Chief Marketing Officer of Spotify inducts IBM Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jon Iwata into the Marketing Hall of Fame.
  • Past President Joanna Seddon presents the award to Jim Stengel, the former Global Marketing Officer of Procter & Gamble
  • Lisa Merriam, member of the board of directors for the American Marketing Association New York joins Ogilvy executives at the Marketing Hall of Fame Celebration.
  • AMA New York President Bob Kahn Congratulates Gary Briggs, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Facebook

The Marketing Hall of Fame is the only award which recognizes individual marketers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of marketing.  American Marketing Association New York created this award, hosts the annual induction ceremony, and manages the Marketing Hall of Fame Academy. The Academy, which draws its membership from the corporate, agency, academic and research worlds, selects honorees by democratic vote.

This year, the induction ceremony was held on May 11, 2017, at the ground breaking headquarters (the world’s most connected office) of R/GA  at 450 W. 33rd Street, facing the Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s west side.

The 2017 inductees were Gary Briggs, Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Facebook; Jon Iwata, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, IBM; Jim Stengel, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Jim Stengel Company; and Jerry Wind PhD, Lauder Professor and Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School.

Dec 232016
 

NBC News interviewed me about the trolling of the Ivanka Trump brand. Seems like “fake reviews” are joining “fake news” as a thing. The consumer is savvy enough to tell the difference.

As I told NBC, the trolling of all Trump brands is likely to continue as a dissatisfied segment of the electorate works out its issues, from marching in front of the Trump buildings here on the Upper West Side of New York to writing snarky reviews on Amazon. These people in the “bucket of disaffecteds” have few other easy avenues for venting their frustrations. Trolling is an easy way to express unhappiness without effort or risk–but also without much impact.

Trolling Ivanka Trump Brand Ineffectual

The effect of Trump trolling on the brand is negligible. People who buy the Trump brand like the Trump image or the product behind it. Trolls don’t impact that. People who despise Trump will continue to shun the Trump brand. Given the massive level of Trump publicity, consumers are already predisposed to like or dislike. They aren’t going to Amazon reviews to form those opinions. Trolling isn’t going to sway a consumer one way or the other. It has zero marketing impact. Trump brand managers can ignore the phenomenon.

For other brands subject to trolling, finding out what is driving trolls and who is doing the trolling is an important first step. Responding with a calm, measured, fact-infused way puts your side of the story out there. Consumers are savvy. They can spot fake reviews as easily as they can spot fake news. Beyond making sure the consumer has access to the facts, let the trolls troll on. They are frustrated people precisely because their trolling has little impact. Don’t feed that beast.

Nov 292016
 

las-vegas-sunSports team naming is a high stakes job. Doing it right makes creates millions of dollars in brand value. Doing it wrong leads to low recognition and low fan engagement, leading to low revenue and value. Naming the NHL expansion team in Las Vegas the “Vegas Golden Knights” is a missed brand opportunity. (Read part of my interview in the Las Vegas Sun).

The “Golden Knights” name is empty of associations with hockey or Las Vegas. It conjures images of medieval Europe, not a vibrant oasis in the dessert known for fun and risk taking. A name like Baltimore’s “Ravens” is an example of naming done right. It resonates with the city’s history with Edgar Alan Poe, is absolutely unique, and engages fans. The “caw-caws” on game day are a testament to that. A strong brand name would help the team earn bigger licensing dollars and sell more fan merchandise. Golden Knights is unlikely to do either.

team name golden knightsThe value of a brand is worth protecting, which brings up the trademark issue. The Golden Knights name is best known as the name for the U.S. Army Parachute Demonstration Team–but they never trademarked it. Brand names can be shared and used by multiple companies, so Vegas Army Golden Knights now share their name with other teams–The College of St. Rose and the University of Central Florida.

The first goal of a name is to signal a unique brand. A name with no resonant associations makes achieving that goal harder to accomplish. No matter how much money the team spends to build the Golden Knights brand, it will always be bland. Better to call the team “The John Does.”
Suggest some better ideas, like:
  • Antelopes–or indigenous name Tatokes
  • Ozuye–Hopi word for warrior
  • Big Horns
  • Red Rocks
  • Gilas
  • Tohos–Hopi word for mountain lion/powerful hunter
  • Arroyos
Nov 202016
 

national-geographic-thumbnailWhen market dynamics and business strategies change, it impacts the brand. National Geographic, a brand with over one hundred years of history behind it, needed rebranding after the entity split off the non-profit Society form the for-proft National Geographic Partners a joint venture with 21st Century Fox.

Rebranding doesn’t always mean changing a name or logo, and that is the case here. The National Geographic rebranding is more about refocusing the positioning and aligning the growing number of media properties clearly under one “rallying cry.”

The iconic gold border and priceless brand name stayed. What was added was the idea of “further,” which focused the company on progress and the quest for knowledge, science, adventure and exploration across all platforms, including the flagship magazine and travel magazines, television networks, social and digital properties, kids media, live events and even consumer products.
rebranding national geographicThe brand plays a role internally as well, as a strategic filter for future initiatives, as a motivator and source of price for employees, and as a tool for recruiting talent.

National Geographic’s brand now, by definition can go further–“It never ends, it knows no bounds.”

Aug 122016
 

Marketing history is dotted with examples of companies who have been successful entering a “saturated market.” The secret to winning is carving out a niche. Entering a crowded and competitive market is a good strategic option. I provided the San Fernando Business Journal with insight into such a winning scenario. Existing markets have large numbers of consumers and proven demand. “Going into a well-developed market and carving out a niche in an existing market can be less risky and expensive for an entrepreneur than doing something totally new.” Selling a new angle is easier, faster and cheaper than trying to introduce a brand no one has heard of for a product no one has heard of.”
San Fernando Business Journal Niche Market

Aug 022016
 

Rio_Olympics-2016-Gold-MedalCongratulations to Scott Lange for a successful panel discussion at the Marketing Executive Networking Group on marketing, media, trademarks, sponsorship, ambush marketing and branding and the Olympic Movement–particularly the upcoming Games in Rio.
Download the presentation
Meet the panelists

Jul 192016
 

Zika • Recession • Security • Doping Scandals • Brazilian Politics & Public Apathy

I will be on the panel of the Marketing Executives Networking Group’s panel discussion on the marketing challenges of the Rio Olympic Games

RSVP by Thursday, JULY  28, noon at http://members.mengonline.com/e/in/eid=421 
Photo I.D. required for building entry.

Many issues are plaguing the Rio Olympic Games, which commence August 5th.  The stakes are high – this is South America’s first Olympics – but problems still loom large.  Rio is even canceling school because it doesn’t have a solution for the traffic.  “No question, the country is facing the ‘perfect storm,'” noted former International Olympic Committee Marketing Director Michael Payne.  Additionally, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced updated Rule 40 guidelines limiting branding of athletes, coaches, trainers and officials to prevent over-commercialization of the Olympic Games among other goals.

What’s a marketer to do? 

MENG member and Sports Marketer, Scott Lange, will lead a lively panel discussion on the Olympic Games, covering both issues specific to Rio and perennial Olympics questions such as the value proposition of sponsorship and media coverage.  Joining him are sports marketing and media experts, Ray Katz, who worked for the NFL, other major leagues and sports agencies; former head of programming for CBS Sports Jay Rosenstein, who started his career at Time Magazine reporting Olympics cover stories; and Lisa Merriam, who worked on sponsorships at the Torino, Beijing, and London Olympic Games.  Together, they will cover topics such as

What do Olympics sponsors actually receive when they invest in the Olympic Games?

What’s the best way to maximize ROI?

What makes the Olympics so important for media, corporate sponsors, fans, athletes, and participating countries?

What happens when non-sponsors use guerilla tactics to borrow interest in the Olympics?

…and other salient topics…

Our August 1st meeting is extra special because it will be our last with our generous, long-time host, Lee Hecht Harrison.  So come join us for our final party at 230 Park Avenue.

WHEN:        Monday, August 1, 5:30 – 8:00 PM (just 4 days before the Rio Games open!)
                        Panel begins at 6:15 PM

WHERE:     Lee, Hecht, Harrison, 230 Park Avenue (Helmsley Building, between 45th and 46th Streets)

FEES:           Members & LHH    $10 until noon July 28, $20 late registration

                       Guests                       $20 until noon July 28, $30 late registration

Refreshments will be served.

RSVP by Thursday, JULY  28, noon at http://members.mengonline.com/e/in/eid=421 
Photo I.D. required for building entry.

Scott Lange 
SVP, eTeam Executive Search

Scott built his career promoting and securing marketing partnerships for large scale televised events such as the the New York Road Runners/NYC Marathon®, NYC 2012 Olympic Bid, the Ford NYC Triathlon, and the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational.  His partners and clients have included organizations such as AT&T, Asics, audible.com, Cingular, Coca-Cola, Ford Motor, GEICO, JPMorgan Chase, Jaguar, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, MINI, Nike, Coca-Cola, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.  As an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Tisch Institute for Sport Management, he taught sports marketing and corporate sponsorship for 5 years.  Scott has also been an entrepreneur: a co-founding board member of the Leverage Agency, a sports and branded entertainment marketing agency, and co-founder/President of National College Television, the first ad-supported satellite TV network for college students.

Ray Katz
Managing Partner, Source1 Sports

Ray Katz is a sports business, media, and marketing executive with over 25 years of experience, with leadership roles at the NFL, NY Knicks, and NY Rangers as well as at agencies such as Young and Rubicam, OMD, the Leverage Agency, and Source Communications.  Ray is an expert in evaluating, measurement, analytics, creating/packaging, buying and selling sports sponsorships and media.  In addition to his business career, Ray has been a distinguished professor at the Sports Business Masters level for over 20 years and currently teaches marketing, media, finance and foundations at Columbia University. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and earned his Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Marketing at The Wharton School of Business.

Jay Rosenstein
VP, Headline Media Management

Jay Rosenstein is Vice President, Programming for Headline Media Management, responsible for developing and representing sports and entertainment properties as a seasoned television negotiator. He has had more than 35 years of sports television, marketing and public relations experience, serving 15 years in executive positions at CBS, including seven as VP in charge of programming at CBS Sports. At CBS, Jay was responsible for acquisition, scheduling and administration of all network sports properties including the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Olympic Winter Games. Following CBS, Jay served as SVP, Director of Sports & Events at Cohn & Wolfe, with clients such as Eli Lilly, Xerox, BMW, Guinness and the NHL.  Jay later ran programming for WeMedia Sports, which produced TV and online coverage of the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games. He is currently an adjunct professor at NYU’s Tisch Institute for Sport Management, Media and Business.

Lisa Merriam
President, Merriam Associates

Lisa Merriam led the branding initiative for Johnson & Johnson’s sponsorship of the 2006 Torino and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and helped develop their sponsorship brand story.  On the tactical side, she worked with a BMW dealer group to leverage BMW’s performance story at the London 2012 Games.  Currently a brand consultant, Lisa’s background includes agency experience at McCann-Erickson, Ogilvy & Mather, FCB, Mother, Brandworx, Verse Group, and others.  Her volunteer initiatives include the Navy SEAL Museum, Naval Special Warfare Historical Foundation, Moms Who Kick Martial Arts Women Fighting Cancer, and the New York American Marketing Association.

 

Jul 112016
 

Rio olympics sports sponsorship roiOn the eve of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, sports sponsorship for brands is drawing greater interest. Will pollution, crime, political bungling and Zika impact ROI? Probably not. Getting the highest ROI for event sponsorship depends “activation”most of all—and that extends far beyond the event itself.

If all you are getting for your sports sponsorship is your logo pasted on a few communications, you are missing an opportunity and surely are not getting your money’s worth.

Event sponsorship should generate returns in the areas of:

  • Increased exposure
  • Enhanced reputation
  • Conversions—selling product

To win across all three areas, you must “activate” with a solid strategy and tactical follow-through.

Establish Sports Sponsorship Brand Strategy

Your sponsorship strategy begins with the “why.” You must have a compelling story of why your brand connects to the event. I helped develop Johnson & Johnson’s sponsorship strategy for its first-ever  Olympic Partners Program worldwide sponsorship of the Beijing Olympic Games. For many sponsors, their Olympic sponsorship story is obvious. Nike is about athletic achievement. Coca-Cola is about enjoying the events. For Johnson & Johnson, maker of diverse products from baby shampoo to replacement hips, the story wasn’t immediately obvious. After considerable research among all stakeholders, the company adopted the story En Ai Er Shung—“Because we care.” Caring for people became the powerful unifying narrative relevant to every brand from Tylenol to DePuy to Splenda. Getting the “why” of the sponsorship right is what enhances your reputation and what underpins all tactical execution.

Spread the Story

Once you know your why, you must get the word out. Obviously put the logo everywhere. Wherever you can expand the story with at least a tagline, do it. Then go beyond the logo and tagline, to long form narratives, imagery, graphics and more. Think about everywhere your company touches audiences, internally and externally. Include the story on signage, marketing materials, vehicles, uniforms, email signatures, even invoices. The more you tout the sponsorship, the bigger your exposure benefit. The old novelist’s saw of “don’t just tell it, show it,” has relevance here. Create stories that dramatize the why of the sponsorship. Johnson & Johnson brought the caring message to life through dozens of initiatives, such as the Sight for Kids Program that provides vision screening, education and care to the children of migrant workers in rural China. Make the “why” more than a tagline—turn it into real life actions told through every possible sort of media.

Promote the Sports Sponsorship

Doing good is rewarding, but companies need to realize business goals as well. Developing customer-facing promotions and activities is the key to driving sales and profits. I had the opportunity to work with a BMW dealer group during the run up to the London 2012 Games. The BMW Olympic sponsorship strategy focused on a story that linked advanced technology to performance. They created the “Drive for Team USA” program that offered a special  performance test drive experience, a $1,000 new vehicle purchase allowance, and a $10donation to Team USA for every test drive taken. I cannot reveal the specific dealer group results, however, the program nationally led to 26,535 test drives, 25% of which converted into new vehicle sales, for a return of some $150 million. Turn the purpose of your sponsorship into a practical program to stimulate sampling, demonstrations, education programs and other lead and sales generating programs.

Involve Your People

Your best sponsorship ambassadors are your employees.  Make sure they understand the “why” of the sponsorship and the goals you hope to achieve. Spark their creativity by sharing best practices by other sponsors. Then ask them to help. Employees are a great source of ideas, big and small. Ideas can be as specific as ways a particular person or department can contribute, to as large as national programs. Educated, motivated and engaged employees are what can truly turbo-charge your sponsorship.

Keys Sports Sponsorship ROI

Winning at sports sponsorship takes many of the same qualities athletes need to win in sports themselves:

  • A compelling motivation
  • Ubiquitous and consistent effort
  • Sustained from start to finish line (and beyond!)
© 2014 Lisa Merriam