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How the Presidential Race Impacts Holiday Advertising

October 2nd, 2012
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At MarketingSherpa, we focus on providing case studies and how-to instruction that provide actionable takeaways for our readers. An overwhelming proportion of this content covers digital marketing channels and topics, such as email, social media, website optimization and more.

Of course, traditional marketing channels still have their place, and today’s post looks at two channels we don’t cover very often – the traditional media channels of television and radio advertising.

Several weeks ago, the Consumer Marketing newsletter article was a how-to guide on the trending tactics and tips for the holiday 2012 marketing season.

One tip featured some of the unique aspects of this year’s holiday calendar and how marketers can take advantage of an extra holiday shopping weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A tip that was not included in the article exploits another unusual aspect of this year’s holiday shopping season – the effect of the presidential race on television and radio advertising.

This tip applies equally to consumer and B2B marketers, and we understand not all of our MarketingSherpa blog readers engage in traditional media marketing. But, for those who plan on television and/or radio advertising over the next several months, this tip provides both a challenge to face and an opportunity to exploit.

JT Hroncich, President, Capitol Media, says the presidential race will impact traditional media buys in two ways – one negative and one positive.

“Thank Barack Obama and for Mitt Romney for your inflated ad budget,” JT states. “Every four years, marketers go head to head with candidates and issues-based organizations for advertising. The number of TV and radio advertising spots tend to decrease, while their rates increase.”

He adds that marketers should be prepared for early spot buys, now through early November, that will be considerably more expensive and harder to get than they are during non-election years. JT says when budgeting for traditional media, expect to spend more for those early spot buys and to consider some late season — mid-November, early December — buys after the season is over. Any unsold inventory can be up for grabs.

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Standing Out on Sunday

August 19th, 2009
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I opened my Sunday newspaper this weekend and noticed an unusual ad stuffed among the many circulars. The ad was a full-sized grocery bag, and it was anything but subtle.

Office Max Brown Paper Bag Ad

Office Max’s promotion runs from Aug. 16 to Aug. 22 and gives shoppers 20% off everything they can squeeze into the brown bag. If you’re thinking how best to fit a new office chair into the bag–don’t worry. All furniture qualifies for the discount, according to the small print. Computers, printers, and a few other items are among the unfortunate few that do not qualify.

I was surprised at the style and creativity of the ad. The bulky brown paper certainly stood out from the rest of the Sunday circulars, and the design looks good. There’s even a pattern down the side instead of the usual blank brown space:

Office Max Paper Bag Ad Side

Have any marketers reading this tried something similar? Or have you seen other companies try something similar in the past? Let us know in the comments…

Entice with Incentives to Drive Traffic to Website

December 10th, 2008
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Most of you know that one way to drive people to a website is by putting the address on everything that might get in front of the eyes of potential customers.

I’d like to provide another suggestion: Give people an incentive to actually go to the website.

If you’re a college or university trying to increase admissions, for example, try including an MP3 card in direct mailings. You could have whatever message or logo you want printed onto the card, which looks like a credit card.

It could say visit our site to receive one free MP3 music download. That gets your target audience through the gates, so to speak. Hopefully they will look around the site while waiting for the song to download.

“This has been incredibly useful for private schools and colleges,” says Fred Snyder, VP of Sales, Eastern Region, for Geiger, one of the oldest and largest privately held promotional products companies in the world.

Snyder provided some background information for a Sherpa report on how to maximize the ROI of promotional products in a tough economy. He also provided this tip!

Retail Lessons for Marketing Overseas

December 10th, 2008
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I had the pleasure of speaking with Dennis Hernreich, EVP/COO/CFO, Casual Male Retail Group last week. We mostly discussed how the U.S.-based big and tall male apparel retailer is expanding into Europe, England in particular, and the lessons Hernreich has gained from the experience.

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Real Estate Commercials: Insights from RE/MAX Creative Director

October 9th, 2008
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Most people in the real estate vertical know that RE/MAX is a top buyer when it comes to television ads. The company spends more than $1 billion annually promoting brand awareness through many channels, including television. Read more…

Social Networks Make It Easier Being Green

August 3rd, 2008
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One of the newer ways of marketing to consumers lies in the idea of being green. It’s pretty simple: If you can convince environmentally conscious folks that you care about running your operations responsibly, that sizable group becomes much more inclined to spend money on your products or services. Read more…

New Yorker Ads Drive Eretail Web Sales

July 29th, 2008
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I was reading a recent edition of The New Yorker, while fiddling away downtime on a three-hour flight. (For what’s its worth, it was the issue BEFORE the now-infamous Obama cartoon cover.) I started perusing the smallish boxy ads that vertically border many of the magazine’s stories. And I was struck by how many small dot-coms were taking up those spaces.

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Yahoo!’s Circulars: Too ‘Old’ to Work?

July 26th, 2008
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There’s been lots of talk for some time about the convergence of online marketing with the print advertising world. Of course, as this blog has discussed in a past entry, there’s the virtual catalog with its ‘thumb-through-the-pages’ technology. And there’s been new ‘online magazines’ debuting in recent years.

Well, Yahoo! has announced a program designed to target online viewers with display ads that originate from the Web versions of retailers’ newspaper circulars. Now, on its face, this is not entirely new. Specifically, grocery chains, drug stores and other retailers have made their circulars available for printable download.

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Birthday Emails — Not Just For Restaurants

July 18th, 2008
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I’ve discovered that the customer loyalty strategy of sending out birthday emails is largely relegated to the restaurant biz. Read more…

Gas Prices Make Free Shipping by Eretailers Even Hotter

July 14th, 2008
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I recently received an email from outdoors clothier Roots with a subject line that definitely caught my eye: “Free Economy Shipping This Memorial Weekend”.

The imperative word in that copy was “Economy.” With gas prices this summer seemingly ready to hamper consumer spirits, it reminded me that free-shipping promos will likely be hotter than ever. Read more…