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american marketing association

passionate dog owners spend as much discretionary income on Fido as they do on their two-legged family members— and savvy marketers know it.

alSO IN ThIS ISSuE patagonia marketer discusses conscious consumerism

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table of contents


american marketing aSSociation vol. 46 | no. 3


Michael Kullman Chairperson of the AMA Board 2011-2012 Dennis Dunlap, AMA Chief Executive Officer EDITORIAL STAFF

Phone (800) AMA-1150 • Fax (312) 542-9001 E-mail Elisabeth A. Sullivan, Editor


Christine Birkner, Staff Writer Hennessy Design Group, Inc., Art Directors ADVERTISING STAFF

Fax (312) 992-3763 • E-mail Richard Ballschmiede, Advertising Sales Director (312) 542-9076 Catherine Eck, Advertising Account Representative (312) 542-9103 Lore Gil-Torres, Classified Ad Sales (312) 542-9033 Sandra Wright, Directory Sales (312) 542-9063





Sally Schmitz, Production Manager (312) 542-9038 Brian Thompson, Advertising Production Coordinator (312) 542-9094 Marketing News (ISSN 0025-3790) is published monthly with four special issues in March, May, September and November (16 times a year) by the Publishing Group of the American Marketing Association, 311 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 5800, Chicago, Ill. 60606-2266, USA. (800) AMA-1150, (312) 542-9000. Circulation: (800) AMA-1150, (312) 542-9000 Tel: (800) AMA-1150, (312) 542-9000 Internet:


POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Marketing News, 311 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 5800, Chicago, Ill. 60606-2266, USA. Periodical Postage paid at Chicago, Ill., and additional mailing offices. Canada Post Agreement Number 40030960. Send Canadian change of address information and blocks of undeliverable copies to P.O. Box 1051, Fort Erie, ON L2A 6C7. Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the AMA, its officers or staff.

Marketing News welcomes expressions of all professional viewpoints on marketing and its related areas. These may be as letters to the editor, Viewpoint columns, or articles. Letters should be brief and may be condensed by the editors. Please request a copy of the “Writers’ Guidelines” before submitting an article. Upon submission to the AMA, photographs and manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed, adequately stamped envelope. Annual subscription rates: Marketing News is a benefit of membership for professional members of the American Marketing Association. Annual professional membership dues in the AMA are $195. Annual subscription rates: $35 members, $170 nonNorth American members, $102 nonmembers and $133 libraries, corporations and institutions. Single copies $10 individual, $10 institutions; foreign add $5 per copy for air, printed matter. Payment must be in U.S. funds or the equivalent. Canadian residents add 13% GST (GST Registration #127478527). Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content (including text, representations and illustrations) of advertisements published, and also assume responsibility for any claims arising therefrom made against the publisher. The right is reserved to reject any advertisement. Copyright ©2012 by the American Marketing Association. All rights reserved. Without written permission from the AMA, any copying or reprinting (except by authors reprinting their own works) is prohibited. Requests for permission to reprint—such as copying for general distribution, advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works or resale—should be submitted in writing by mail or sent via e-mail to Reprints in quantity are available by contacting Georgia Prince, Sheridan Reprints, (914) 793-0460. Printed in the U.S.A.

fEaTurES COVer stOrY

14 You Lucky Dog

Passionate pet owners spend as much discretionary income on fido as they do on their twolegged family members—and savvy marketers know it. here’s how one 57-year-old veterinary practice innovated its offerings and go-to-market strategy to cater to today’s “pet parents” and their furry companions.

18 Cause and effect

to alter unhealthy consumer behaviors, public policy experts could use marketers’ help in crafting more meaningful nutrition labels, contends one Johns hopkins researcher.

24 walking the talk

eco-minded retailer Patagonia caused a stir with its recent “conscious consumption” holiday campaign that told consumers not to buy the featured product. marketing VP rob BonDurant discusses the strategy and shares some early results.



the buzz


core concepts


an effective value proposition communicates the benefits that customers will experience by using your product over another. here’s how to define your ‘why.’

problem solved

Jockey chalks up a win by signing the nfl’s most buzzedabout quarterback to its endorsement roster.

34 ama’s 75 years in marketing history

Jack trout offers a refresh on the fundamental marketing concept that he introduced more than 40 years ago.


10 agents of change

in his first column for Marketing News, consultant Jeffrey hayzlett offers a synopsis of his new book, Running the Gauntlet.

12 worldview

throughout the year, MN will feature guest columns written by experts working across borders and overseas, who will share their perspectives on the practice of marketing in their locales. Up first is U.K.-based Katharine hulls of celebrus technologies, who discusses the borderless topic of Web-enabled customer relevance.

35 ama community meetup

check out the ama’s latest lineup of conferences and events, and learn how you can join the action.

Find out more at

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or Find us on



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thebuzz lETTEr frOM ThE EDITOr

customer relevance


ustomer relevance is the end goal in marketing. OK, it’s not the end goal, but it’s an important one all the same. Let’s put it this way: If you develop a brand, define its position within the marketplace, determine what value it will bring to customers, draft a marcom, advertising or promotional plan that sums it all up and engages target audiences, if you work your marketing magic and in the end, your brand is deemed to be relevant and valuable to your customers and potential customers, you’ve done your job and done it well. Banfield Pet Hospital, the 57-year-old veterinary services brand featured in our cover story (page 14), has managed to remain relevant to its target audience for more than half a century. To do so, it has adapted its offerings in line with the pet industry’s evolution, moving from giving flea baths and rabies shots, to positioning itself as a partner and collaborator to help customers care for their four-legged family members. It has made its marketing strategy an emotive enterprise, connecting with the inherently emotional relationship that most “pet parents” have with their dogs and cats. On page 24, we have an interview with the man behind outdoor apparel retailer Patagonia’s shockingly blunt but certainly on-brand holiday campaign that told customers not to buy the featured product. The “conscious consumption” campaign, which ran during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping frenzy, might have come off as gimmicky, disingenuous

get more

or downright crazy in the eyes of many consumers, but it resonated with Patagonia’s eco-minded customers and potential customers, and continues to generate attention for the brand, helping to shore up Patagonia’s relevance among the environmentally aware. If you’re among the many marketers who are interested in increasing your customer relevance through Web-based data and analytics, check out the guest column on page 12. In MN’s first-ever “worldview” column—a new series in which guest contributors who are working across borders and overseas will share their perspectives on the practice of marketing in their locales— U.K.-based Katharine Hulls of Celebrus Technologies discusses the slow pace of adoption of truly relevant, data-driven, one-to-one digital marketing strategies. We’re always interested in reading insights from industry experts from around the globe, so please feel free to submit a guest column for consideration for publication in our pages. And if you make your column relevant to our readership? You will have done your job well. Best,

Elisabeth A. Sullivan

marketingpower tune in to ama tv, a new online service that comes to you twice monthly with the latest in marketing news and trends, as well as career tips and insights from industry leaders. visit


neW AMA podcast

neW AMA Webcast

AUTHOR SERIES: USERS, NOT CUSTOMERS: WHO REALLY DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS to succeed in the digital marketplace, it’s no longer customers that matter most, but users—anyone who interacts with your company digitally. keep users happy and customers will follow. during this podcast, aaron shapiro, ceo of digital agency huge, discusses why today’s most critical driver of success is usability excellence, and he introduces a comprehensive approach to refocusing every aspect of your operations on users including sales, marketing, hr and organizational structure.

AMPLIFY YOUR IMPACT: HOW TO MULTIPLY THE EFFECTS OF YOUR INBOUND MARKETING inbound marketing helps you connect with new prospects by giving them ways to find and learn about you—without the high cost or intrusion of more traditional, outbound marketing techniques. in this webinar, maria pergolino of marketo and alex pelletier of acquisio will share tips on how to create a wellbalanced combination of outbound, inbound and content marketing; and how to avoid getting caught up in processes that don’t drive results.



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thebuzz CarEEr COrNEr

social networking: how much is enough?

SIMa Dahl ( is a recovered job seeker turned social media trainer, consultant and speaker. subscribe to her monthly ama career newsletter at newsletters.

unless you’ve figured out how to time travel, then you have the same 24 hours per day as i do. it’s not nearly enough time to do half the things i want to do, let alone all of the tasks that i must do, so where does social networking for career advancement fit in? here’s a simple blueprint for social networking success:

stay top of mind by writing on a colleague’s wall or contributing content to a linkedin group. gently remind your network who you are, what you do and why you’re special by making a smart “on-brand” status update. talk about a big project at work, a job you’re interviewing for or an industry event you’re attending.

Choose Your Channel

measure Your rOni

if i were forced to rank the top social networks in terms of which one has the greatest impact on your career, i would rate linkedin first, Facebook second and twitter third. think of linkedin as a local ama chapter meeting: your peers are there, exchanging business cards, sharing knowledge and building their networks. Facebook is more like a backyard barbecue: you’re wearing flip-flops and kicking back, but eventually the conversation will come around to work. and twitter is more akin to a cocktail party: people can be overheard talking about everything from politics to pot roast, but there’s plenty of shop talk in between.

as all marketers know, you get what you measure. start measuring your return on networking investment, or roni. know what it is you’re seeking and which networks are dishing up the best leads. Whether you’re looking for a new job, angling for a promotion or trying to position yourself as an industry expert, track where you’re getting traction.

Be intentional Whichever social network you select, know your purpose from the start. if you’re logging into Facebook to play Farmville, then have at it. if, on the other hand, your goal is to give your personal brand a boost, then your actions will look quite different.

remember that social networking is a marathon, not a sprint. Forging a strong personal brand is achieved not by sporadic bursts of activity, but by consistent, sustained effort over time. Just 15 minutes a week of intentional social networking can have big payoffs. set a timer if you must. Just be sure to set your sights on success. m

Buzz BIT

the importance of being ‘liked’ as more brands ramp up their social media strategies and concoct marketing campaigns designed to garner more “likes” on Facebook, the true meaning of those “likes” is being called into question. a recent survey by san Francisco-based customer experience firm evoc insights found that 54% of Facebook users who “liked” a company’s or brand’s Facebook page were “somewhat more likely” or “much more likely” to purchase from that brand, according to emarketer. meanwhile, emarketer goes on to report that only 1% of fans of the biggest brands on Facebook actually engage with the brands in the social network, based on the findings from a study by the adelaide, australia-based ehrenberg-bass institute for marketing science. the study examined Facebook-based activities such as “likes,” comments, posts and shares, and “found nothing substantial to link a brand’s Facebook presence with loyalty,” emarketer says.

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value proposition

By KIrSTEN KOROSEC | freelance Writer


Why They Should Buy

An effective value proposition communicates to potential customers the benefits that they’ll experience by using your product over another. Here’s how to define your ‘why.’


hat’s your “why”? Why should customers choose your product over the competitors? What value or benefits will customers reap from your offering? Crafting a value proposition requires you to look both inward and outward. Beyond just listing your brand’s attributes, you have to ascertain what effects those attributes might have for customers and how those effects compare with those of a competing product. In other words, your value proposition should encompass—in as short a statement as possible—what your brand has to offer and how its attributes ultimately will benefit the purchaser. “It’s what will happen for your customers if they do what you’re proposing rather than the alternative, such as going to a competitor. Will they save money? Reduce their inventory? Will they save time? Will they be entertained? Will they feel better about themselves?” says Michael Lanning, managing director and chairman of DPV Group, an Atlanta-based consultancy, and the author of Delivering Profitable Value: A Revolutionary Framework to Accelerate Growth, Generate Wealth and Rediscover the Heart of Business, who is credited with coining the term “value proposition” while working as a consultant at McKinsey in 1984. And this statement should inform not only your marketing and sales efforts, but also your internal practices such as business strategies, customer service structure, and even employee hiring and training. “It has to be integrated into everything you do,” says John Jantsch, a marketing consultant and author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide. “You have to live it, believe it, reinforce it.” Here’s how to develop and deliver your own invaluably effective value proposition:

1. Define your ‘why.’

Over and above the products that your company sells, what is it that you’re doing? What’s your higher purpose? From there, determine your company’s core beliefs and bake them into everything that you do, from how you hire and compensate employees to how you develop products and serve customers. Then look outward: How will your offerings benefit your customers? Rather than focusing on what your products’ benefits are intended to be, spin it forward and figure out how your customers’ businesses actually will be impacted by using your offerings.


2. Put yourself in their shoes.

You’ve designed the product to serve a specific function: Does it accomplish that goal? What ancillary benefits are the customers likely to enjoy? Based on who your target audience is and what they value, determine the solutions that your product could provide for them. Run tests. Do focus groups. Figure out how your product will impact the customers—both positively and negatively.

3. Talk to your clients.

A lot of companies are already solving customers’ problems, but they’ve failed to communicate those solutions because they don’t realize the full value of the results. Talking to a few of your best customers can help you get to the essence of what your value proposition is. Ask them what they love about your company, what you do that others don’t. “And don’t let them just say, ‘You have great customer service,’ ” Jantsch says. “What does it look like? Get them to tell a story about it.”

4. Make it unique and quantifiable.

Your value proposition should highlight what makes your product different. Don’t make the mistake of highlighting price or any other “specialty” that can be easily duplicated by a competitor. Does your product enhance productivity? If so, by how much? If it’s a new product, what unmet need is it providing?

5. Translate your value proposition into a more meaningful slogan.

Determining your value proposition initially could result in a statement that’s written in “company speak” rather than in terms that your customers will understand, believe or remember. To create a slogan that resonates meaningfully with potential customers, translate your value proposition

into a marketable message that’s suitable for your advertising, social media, website, promotions and sales efforts. Companies often confuse mission statements, marcom slogans or brand attributes for their value propositions, but a true value proposition takes all of those company communications many steps further, Lanning says. For instance, while the mission statement presents goals, the value proposition explains how the company will achieve those goals. While the brand attributes describe the qualities of a product or service, the value proposition explains what results those qualities ultimately will yield for the customer. The DPV Group is known for its thought leadership and prowess in developing value propositions, Lanning says, and those qualities play into the firm’s own value proposition: “Via market-focused consulting and executive education, we help businesses use our unorthodox but proven DPV methodology and framework to creatively discover then rigorously align all functions and processes to profitably deliver truly breakthrough growth value propositions.” “That value proposition is not about us. It is about the … business results that clients derive from working with us,” he says. “As [former Harvard marketing professor] Ted Levitt said, ‘The world wants holes, not drill bits.’ ” Make your value proposition about the holes—aka the results—rather than the means of creating them. m Kirsten Korosec is a freelance writer based in Tucson, Ariz.

•com For more on value propositions, visit

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case study

By Christine Birkner | Staff Writer



Jockey chalks up a win by signing the NFL’s most buzzed-about quarterback to its endorsement roster The Problem

Jockey’s Facebook fan base grew by 2,000% once Tim Tebow was signed on as a spokesman.

Disney World got its annual post-game endorsement from the Super Bowl champs last month—with Eli Manning declaring his celebratory plans to visit Mickey Mouse amidst a hail of confetti—but apparel maker Jockey arguably deserves the championship sports endorsement title for its prescient signing of 2011’s hottest NFL athlete as its star endorser. Love him or hate him, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was one of the most talked-about sports figures of the past year, rated as “America’s favorite athlete” in the ESPN Sports Poll in January and generating the most daily social media mentions of any NFL quarterback from September 2011 through January 2012, according to Charlotte, N.C.-based social media monitoring company General Sentiment. And Kenosha, Wis.-based Jockey International Inc. got to ride the wave of Tebow’s 2011 successes from start to finish—having signed Tebow to a multi-year deal to be the spokesman and face of its Staycool underwear collection in July 2010, before the former Heisman Trophy winner had even taken the field for the Broncos. Signing Tebow before he became a household name “was a little bit of luck,” says Jockey CMO Dustin Cohn. “But we were not as surprised as the rest of the public that he was so successful and so wellliked. He’s truly a great guy and a very genuine person, and he’s the kind of person who makes the people around him better.” Jockey has featured Tebow in various marketing events, in TV and print ads, and on billboards. And when Jockey saw how much attention the QB was bringing its brand during the 2011-2012 NFL season— with Tebow as a spokesman, Jockey’s Facebook fan base grew by 2,000%, Cohn says—the company wanted to capitalize on the “Tebowmania” to generate even more attention. “[We wanted] to be part of the Tebow conversation and create buzz around the Jockey brand, especially among younger consumers, and build that brand relevance. One of the reasons we love marketing with Tim is to bring in a younger consumer, male and female. Tim creates buzz for us among that younger consumer and helps us drive that brand relevance with them,” Cohn says.

The Fix

Before the playoffs began in mid-December, the company launched the Jockey $1 Million “Super” Challenge sweepstakes, a corporate “bet” that if Tebow’s Broncos won the Super Bowl, Jockey would give away $1 million worth of awards and gift cards to participating


consumers. Consumers who purchased Jockey products online or visited Jockey’s website could enter to win a grand prize of $15,000, or to be one of 40,000 fans who would win a $25 Jockey gift card. The company also offered weekly football-related discounts and promotions on its online merchandise. Jockey promoted the campaign on its blog, on its YouTube and Facebook pages, and on Twitter under the hashtag #IfTebowWins. To encourage sweepstakes participation, Jockey posted football-related discount codes on its Facebook and Twitter pages, and media mentions also boosted awareness, Cohn says. “Our biggest outlet was the media. The combination of Tim Tebow and an underwear brand like Jockey gets some attention for sure and … the fact that the brand was willing to put $1 million on the line really became a lightning rod for us.” Jockey, of course, lost its “bet” when Tebow and the Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs with their loss to the New England Patriots on Jan. 14, thereby ending the $1 million giveaway, but Jockey had a backup plan in place: Starting the next day, it posted a promotion on the sweepstakes’ landing page offering coupons for $10 off purchases of $50 or more. Tebow’s value as a spokesman didn’t diminish despite his team’s falling short of the big game, Cohn says. “Tim is a winner on and off the field, so even though the season’s over, people are talking about him and are interested in him, and we’ll continue to leverage him as a platform for Jockey.” Even after his team was eliminated, Tebow generated six times more mentions on social media than any other NFL quarterback, according to General Sentiment’s research. “He’s going to have a lot of staying power. Next season, people will be talking about [whether] he can create the magic he created this season,” says Steve Kwon, a research analyst at General Sentiment. “As long as the Denver Broncos are winning games and in contention in the playoffs, Tebowmania’s going to stay around.” Echoes Darin David, director in the sports marketing group of The Marketing Arm, a Dallas-based agency: “People may be worried that he’s a one-hit wonder. We’ve seen NFL players in the past like [’80s Chicago Bears star] The Fridge who splashed onto the scene and faded, but it seems like in the next year, [Tebow] will be there and be one of the more sought-after spokespeople this offseason.”


Jockey’s sweepstakes generated 100 million media impressions and grew Jockey’s social media following by 40%. Sixty percent of

consumers who visited Jockey’s website during the sweepstakes entered to win, amounting to 60,000 entrants, according to Cohn, and all of their e-mail and mail addresses were added to Jockey’s marketing database for use in future direct marketing campaigns. This spring, Jockey will continue to feature Tebow in TV, print, digital and in-store ads for its Staycool line and for its new sports underwear collection. The promotions for the new collection include a cross-promotion with ESPN in which consumers can win a trip to ESPN’s ESPY Awards in Los Angeles and a meeting with Tebow. Cohn looks forward to Jockey’s continued partnership with Tebow. “We wanted to work with him because he’s authentic, he’s credible, he’s a winner and he has an incredible work ethic. All of those traits are very consistent with the Jockey brand,” he says. Brands don’t typically seek out partnerships with athletes so early in their careers, but Jockey definitely scored with its Tebow tie-in, David says. “Even if you’re a college football star, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be that great in the NFL. It’s a little risky. Who knew he would be able to put his name out there the way he did this year? I applaud [Jockey] for being out front on that. It was a wise move to capitalize on that with the sweepstakes,” he says. As for the Tebow haters, any negative social media buzz shouldn’t negatively impact Jockey, experts say. “He’s polarizing. Some people don’t like the over-the-top enthusiasm he has. [But] off the field, he’s very well-spoken, so I think he’s won over a lot of people,” David says, adding that Tebow ranks among the top NFL players on The Marketing Arm’s DBI Index, which determines a celebrity’s ability to influence brand affinity and consumer purchase intent. “You have to take the bad with the good with someone like Tebow,” Kwon says. “Though some people will be turned off by this, overall, if [Jockey] didn’t have Tebow sponsoring their product, they wouldn’t be getting this buzz.” m Company

Jockey International Inc. Headquarters

Kenosha, Wis. Results

100 million media impressions; 60,000 sweepstakes entrants; social media following increased by 40%

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agents of change

By Jeffrey Hayzlett


Change Agents: An Introduction

Jeffrey Hayzlett is a global business consultant and author of The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing? and Running the Gauntlet: Essential Business Lessons to Lead, Drive Change, and Grow Profits. Previously, Hayzlett was CMO of Kodak. For more insights from Hayzlett, check out his regular contributions to AMA TV at, or follow him on or at


Editor’s note: This column marks the first of Jeffrey Hayzlett’s contributions to Marketing News. Here he sets the stage for the change-agent-based insights that he’ll share in the future by offering a short synopsis of his latest book, Running the Gauntlet: Essential Business Lessons to Lead, Drive Change, and Grow Profits.


riving change in any business is going to be tough. Trying to convince the naysayers alone can sometimes feel like defeat, but I implore you: Look beyond the obstructionists who refuse to recognize that change is required. Push, and then keep on pushing. To be an agent of change, you must not relent. First, let’s be clear on what an agent of change really is. It’s not just adapting to new technologies in the marketplace or changing for the sake of change. As a change agent, you know that your company must adapt or die, so you strive to achieve a better result, not just a different one. You can’t forget who you are and what you stand for, and risk destroying your value proposition. Changing for the sake of change will result in you taking steps that ignore all of the tools that you have to sell your product or service, failing to reach the customer on the most personal level and creating plans that are bigger than necessary. Successful and smart marketers understand that you need to approach the gauntlet of change cautiously. (Or, in cowboy parlance, never approach a horse from the back or a bull from the front.) Start with baby steps and be clear on where you’re heading. Determine what kind of change you need. What is it you want to get out of the business? If you can’t see the end goals yourself, talk to other leaders or bring in a change agent from the outside who can look at things with fresh eyes and a different perspective. A very simple first step to effect change in your business is to reflect on the presentation and mood of the company. Presentation is one of the key areas that change agents attack first to transform a bad mood because you can’t be cool and look like Elmer Fudd! Start from the inside. I like to literally clean a business when I start working there, the floors, walls, ceilings—heck, even the bathrooms. Presentation is the easiest to change and the easiest to dismiss or ignore. Simply put, bad mood can ruin a company faster than bad business. For marketers, mood is everything. You change the mood, you change the attitude, you change the culture. Consider how you feel

Look beyond the obstructionists who refuse to recognize that change is required. Push, and then keep on pushing. To be an agent of change, you must not relent. in new clothes: You can’t help but feel better and more confident, so look neat, fit your brand promise and improve your confidence starting from within. Don’t just focus on your department, though: Address presentation company-wide and ensure that your team—and everyone else—knows that you’re paying attention. The mood that you instigate within your business will naturally transfer to your branding and external presentation. Take your social media presence, for example: What do your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ profiles look like? Do your people represent your company online with inappropriate photos that don’t represent your brand value or do their profiles have professional corporate headshots with your logo? Taking pride in employees’ personal presentations will reflect well on your overall brand position, so lead by example and set the tone for the rest of your team. Beyond social media, consider making simple cosmetic changes to your business that can speak volumes and naturally carry the momentum of change throughout your

organization. Consider updating your logo to reflect the products or services that you’re selling. When I was CMO of Kodak, our branding still reflected the consumerfocused, film-era-based company that we were rapidly moving away from. The business was moving from traditional to digital, and fast, so we needed to update our corporate image to reflect that. Show your customers that you are committed to the evolution of your business. Remember, driving change is going to feel like running the gauntlet, so recruit an army to stand behind you and support the changes that you’re trying to effect. Stand by your beliefs, know your path at all costs and make sure that you have the right tools to fight for your cause. Start small, pay attention to the details and make the change happen. If the clock on the wall is set incorrectly, don’t complain that the time is wrong. Step up and change it. That’s how change in business gets started: Someone sees a need, takes the challenge personally, and acts. m

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web-enabled customer relevance

By Katharine Hulls


Customer Relevance Comes of Age

T Katharine Hulls is the vice president of marketing at Celebrus Technologies Ltd., a customer analytics solutions provider based in Newbury, England. Previously, she held marketing roles at Experian, Gartner and SPSS.

he challenge for marketers is getting tougher year on year. Customers now expect to be not only treated as individuals, but also engaged with highervalue offers that are truly relevant to them. Meanwhile, the sustained economic downturn has led to demands for measurable results and return on investment. In theory, the digital model addresses all of these issues. Indeed, the advent of the Internet and e-commerce activity was heralded as the chance to deliver measurable one-to-one marketing and personalized customer experience on a global scale as far back as 1994. The reality has been somewhat different. Very, very few organizations have even attempted to embrace one-to-one marketing and even most of those that have—such as Amazon and Tesco—are, in reality, still using aggregated and trending data rather than true, individual customer information. So what happened? Why has the vision of Web-enabled customer relevance not yet been realized?

Aggregate Data

The collection of Web analytics to date has been an IT-led project, with a primary objective of delivering business data and an emphasis on Web performance and building better websites. With no customer data that can be attributed to individuals, Web analytics have offered only limited value to the marketing team—yet rather than push for better, more relevant insight, many in marketing have shied away from the perceived complexity of leveraging Web analytics to deliver customer relevance. This attitude is now changing fast as farsighted organizations begin to recognize that technology has finally caught up with the vision and can now enable one-to-one marketing and true customer relevance. These organizations are leveraging the latest generation of data capture technologies to evolve data capture from the Web server to the client device, providing data about customer interactions—their actions, responses and behavior—rather than just the hits, clicks and page impressions that deliver limited value to marketing.

Customer Insight

The key benefit of online customer analytics is the provision of a complete understanding of the customer experience. Organizations can understand not only what each customer has purchased, but also what products were searched for and what products were looked at. They can track why baskets were dropped—such as “out of stock” events—and, critically, whether the customer then revisited and purchased the


item in a different color or size, or opted for a similar item. Understanding the complete customer journey and having insight about previous visits by the same specific customer enables companies to create a full history from the first site visit through all subsequent ones. Along with providing an incredibly rich source of customer data, this deep insight into the full customer journey enables a complete understanding of the role and impact of all marketing activities in leading a customer through the sales cycle, rather than relying on the standard “last click” analysis. Moreover, real-time data and technology enable companies to assess what a customer is doing right now, as well as his previous behaviors, and tailor an offer accordingly—for example, by replacing a website banner with a relevant promotion whilst the page is loading. You can’t get more relevant than that.

Realizing the Vision

At the vanguard of this shift from businessfocused Web analytics to customer analytics are organizations with a strong history in database marketing—most notably mail-order companies that understand the importance of in-depth customer insight to support tailored marketing. Adding online customer analytics to the existing customer data warehouse has enabled JD Williams, one of the U.K.’s largest catalogue shopping companies and a Celebrus client, to not only gain new insight into each of its 6 million customers, but also actually transform that into real-time online offers. Indeed, the company has rapidly evolved from using customer information to gather insight to actually driving communications and, of course, measuring the value of the new level of engagement. Greater understanding of what drives customers online also enables a re-evaluation of promotional activity, such as natural and paid search. For another Celebrus client, insurance company Hiscox, evolving campaign attribution from last click to full customer journey and understanding the influence of specific Google AdWords on customer behavior at each stage of the lifecycle has enabled a reduction in search spend by 10% without reducing online sales.

Proving the Case

While the technology is in place, barriers to adoption remain. The shift towards oneto-one online marketing marks a significant departure from traditional marketing activity. Success requires a multidisciplinary team that includes not only creative marketing experts, but also data

specialists, analysts, IT security, legal and finance. This is a big change and one that demands a radical review of activity that is, to be fair, some distance from the creative and communications skills that traditionally have characterized marketing expertise until more recent times. Indeed, there is a risk that marketers will be tempted away from achieving true customer relevance and one-to-one marketing just at the time that technology truly enables this utopian vision by the massive interest in social media. Developing campaigns to engage consumers via Facebook and Twitter plays directly into the heartland of creative marketing activity, but it also can be used as a way to get marketers truly excited about the value of data and the importance of a deeper, broader customer understanding. Complex analytics and creative marketing in one, perhaps? Of course, the big issue for marketers in 2012 is return on investment. The vast majority are struggling to justify a social media marketing spend that offers no compelling return. In contrast, leveraging real-time, highly detailed online customer analytics information effectively can deliver ROI within just a few months—from an effective re-allocation of marketing spend to improved sales as a result of delivering truly relevant and personal customer offers. Nearly two decades since the concept of one-to-one marketing was presented to marketers, the technology is now available to realize that vision. Online customer analytics is now being used to transform customer engagement through personalization and relevance, and drive quantifiable additional value from the marketing spend. One-to-one marketing has finally come of age. Now it’s up to marketers to ensure that they know how to use it. m

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if you’re a dog owner, chances are that you spend just as much discretionary income on Fido as you do on the two-legged members of your family—and savvy marketers know it. here’s how one 57-year-old veterinary practice has innovated its offerings and go-to-market strategy to cater to today’s “pet parent” clients and their four-legged companions. By ChrISTINE BIrKNEr | staFF Writer



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t used to be that Fido was relegated to the doghouse, or at least to an old blanket crumpled in the corner. Now he sleeps with you in bed—or on a fleece-lined Tempur-Pedic Dream Lounger dog bed that you bought from Orvis and paid more than you did for your own decades-old mattress. Pampered pooches (and fortunate felines) in the United States are a consumer segment unto themselves, and their purchasing power is growing. Sixty-two percent of U.S. households, or 72.9 million homes, own a pet, and the number of dog-owning households reached a new high in 2011—46.3 million, up from 45.6 million in 2008—with 40% of U.S. households owning two or more dogs last year, according to the American Pet Products Association Inc. (APPA), a Greenwich, Conn.based nonprofit trade association for the pet products industry. Pet spending in the United States nearly doubled in the last decade, reaching just over $50 billion in 2011, up from $28.5 billion in 2001, the APPA says. And pet products are expected to be a $67.7 billion industry by 2016, according to global consumer research firm Mintel Group Ltd. Dog and cat owners also are spending more on veterinary services: an average of $248 on routine vet visits and upwards of $400 on surgical vet visits per pet in 2011, with total vet care spending in the U.S. jumping from $13 billion in 2010 to $14 billion in 2011, according to the APPA. The pet industry’s rapid growth is a response to a big shift in consumer behavior, as more Americans go from thinking of pets as, well, pets, to considering them to be members of the family. This behavioral shift can be largely attributed to the generational and societal shifts taking place amongst U.S. demographics, says Dara Foster, founder of the New York-based boutique dog collar company Dara Foster New York and pet fashion website “A lot of single women and men and couples who don’t have children are experimenting with pets as their baby now. Baby boomers are empty nesters and they’re looking for that child replacement,” she says. Sure, there have always been passionate pet owners, but now 81% of dog owners consider their dogs to be members of the family, according to a May 2011 survey by Parsippany, N.J.-based Coyne Public Relations, whose clients include Milk-Bone, 9Lives, Snausages, Pup-Peroni and Kibbles ’n Bits. Seventy-seven percent of survey participants admitted to talking about their dogs as if they are human family members and 54% considered themselves to be “pet parents” instead of “pet owners.” More than 80% of pet owners know their pets’ birthdays and have celebrated at least once, and 77% have bought their dog birthday presents. “There’s been such a shift in the mindset of consumers and the way they feel about their pets. Dogs aren’t sleeping in doghouses anymore; they’re sleeping in the bed,” says Jennifer DeNick, assistant vice president at Coyne PR. (Or on the aforementioned $350 memory foam dog bed.) In response to the pet industry’s exponential growth, business has been booming for pet marketing firms such as Tarpon Springs, Fla.-based Fetching Communications. Fetching has experienced double-digit growth percentages every year since 2003, according to President Kristen Levine, who says that the “pets as consumers” trend has been building over the past 15 years. “Americans’ love for pets has accelerated pet spending since 1997,” she says.


Can Teach an Old Dog…

All of this is good news for Banfield Pet Hospital, a Portland, Ore.-based veterinary care clinic operator that opened its doors in 1955 when founder Warren J. Wegert, a veterinarian, wanted to offer “humanquality” medicine and healthcare to pets in Portland. Vet services have evolved beyond the rabies shots and flea baths of the 1950s as pet owners have become savvier about veterinary health and are bringing their pets in for regular checkups and teeth cleanings, and even investing in health

insurance for their furry friends. As the veterinary industry has advanced, so to have Banfield’s services, says Stacey Osborn, the company’s vice president of marketing and communications. “We believe in the wellness plan and the benefits it gives to pets. It’s like with humans. If you go in and get your teeth cleaned twice a year, you’re willing to keep your teeth clean for the rest of your life,” she says. In 1988, Banfield created its signature service, the Optimum Wellness Plan, a preventative care package that includes two checkups per year, blood tests, vaccines and de-worming. Prices range from $21.95 to $49.95 for an adult dog and $17.95 to $39.95 for an adult cat. Sales of Optimum Wellness Plans have increased by 15% over the past five years, according to the company. In 1993, Banfield began opening clinics in PetSmart stores. In 2007, Banfield was purchased by McLean, Va.-based Mars Inc., which also owns pet care brands such as Pedigree and Whiskas. Today, Banfield’s 2,400-plus veterinarians treat 2.5 million pets per year in 800 hospitals in PetSmarts around the country, and also in four standalone locations: the original clinic in Portland and clinics in Denver; St. Paul, Minn.; and Mexico City, Mexico. And for those owners who take their pets on vacation, Banfield provides guests of Loews Hotels a free examination and 15% off services for their pets at the nearest Banfield location. Through the partnership with New York-based Loews Hotels, which operates 18 hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Canada, Banfield also offers pet-toting hotel guests the use of food bowls, beds, treats, room service and dog walking services. “Banfield is still in the process of building awareness around the United States, and we felt Loews was a great partner. They [want] to ensure that they’re attractive to pet owners and they care about pets like we care about pets,” Osborn says. Banfield declined to disclose financial information because parent company Mars Inc. is privately held, but Osborn says that revenue has continued to grow year over year.

“There’s been such a shift in the mindset of consumers and the way they feel about their pets. Dogs aren’t sleeping in doghouses anymore; they’re sleeping in the bed.” JENNIFER DENICK, COYNE PR


Fetching Proposition

To market its services, Banfield works with Phoenix-based PetSmart Inc. to target the retailer’s clients and target audiences including busy moms, sending e-mail blasts to PetSmart customers and distributing bag stuffers that emphasize the convenience of Banfield clinics, which are open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In October and November 2011, Banfield tested TV and radio ads and billboards in the Raleigh, N.C., Richmond, Va., and Portland markets to build awareness about the clinics’ preventative care focus. Once the results are in on how these ads fared, Banfield will continue to test ad strategies in additional markets around the country.


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Four-legged fashion

Brands across the style spectrum are jumping into the furry fray. Old Navy, Harley-Davidson, Paul Mitchell, Cynthia Rowley, Ralph Lauren and Coach all stock stylish pet clothing and products. Want a bridal dress, Halloween costume or mullet wig for your dog? No problem. Celebrities as diverse as Martha Stewart and Poison front man Bret Michaels have launched pet style lines. Dara Foster, founder of the New York-based boutique dog collar company Dara Foster New York and pet fashion website, who designed a line of pet products for Bed, Bath & Beyond and dog dresses that mimicked celebrities’ red carpet looks for a segment on The Wendy Williams Show, says pet products have “gone far beyond basic necessities into indulgence because we love pets so much and they invoke this visceral response.” Beyond pet fashion, there are plenty of pet product makers profiting from all of this puppy (and kitty) love. Business is booming for Tobi Skovron, founder and CEO of Melbourne- and New York-based Pup-Pee Solutions, which sells the Pet Loo, an indoor toilet for dogs made of synthetic grass. According to Skovron, the Pet Loo’s sales grew by 47% in 2010 and 53% in 2011. “People are having kids later in life and the void is being filled by a pet. As a result, we’re having success. [The growth] is incredible. It’s a huge business, a huge industry,” he says.


Banfield also garners publicity and boosts customer loyalty through its website and media and pet blogger outreach. The company has a content marketing strategy that includes pet wellness articles and videos on its website, along with an “Ask a Vet” feature—all of which are intended to prompt owners to think about pet health and schedule a clinic visit if necessary, Osborn says. Website visitors also can sign up to receive e-newsletters with advice on protecting their pets from illness and providing proper nutrition. “It’s a natural reaction for consumers to go to the Internet first when they have a question. We’re very cognizant of that [in putting together] our website. We give tips on how to ensure you’re caring for your pet properly. We’ll also say, ‘Please talk to your vet,’ because like with human healthcare, every case is unique and a doctor would be the most qualified to make diagnoses and give advice,” Osborn says. In 2011, Banfield took its content marketing strategy a step further by offering up custom research and thought leadership with the launch of a series of reports called “The State of Pet Health,” a compilation of medical data and disease trends for about 2.5 million dogs and 450,000 cats treated at Banfield locations. The report was distributed to pet bloggers and media outlets around the United States. “[The report has] been referenced hundreds of times because of the credibility we bring to it,” Osborn says. In an attempt to humanize the brand and engage audiences, Banfield is the official veterinarian of the annual BlogPaws pet blogger conference, an event hosted by the BlogPaws online community, and sponsors the dog park there. The vet services company also sends media outlets and pet bloggers an annual list of the most common names for pets (Bella, Max and Buddy topped the list in 2011) and other timely, buzz-worthy pet statistics, such as the number of pets named Kate and Prince William leading up to the Royal Wedding in 2011. These press releases drive traffic to Banfield’s website and boost awareness for its services, Osborn says. Because most dogs and dog owners are social creatures, the vet services company has a social media strategy in place as well. Banfield currently has about 34,000 Facebook and 1,500 Twitter followers, and features pet birthday photo contests on its website, Facebook and Twitter pages. Foster, the pet boutique owner, says that social media is an ideal platform for connecting with pet owners. “Having that two-way dialogue with the [pet owner] is the No. 1 way to build trust. Playing up how cute pets are is a new marketing niche … and pushing that through social media is changing the way pet brands are able to gain consumer loyalty,” Foster says. “If you push the cute button, it drives the [service] home.”

Total vet care spending in the U.S from

$13 billion in 2010 to $14 bill

American pet products association

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Sharing the

Puppy Love

To bolster its brand image, the pet care provider participates in community outreach and several charitable programs, including “doggie dash” pet marathons and pet expos, as well as educational exhibits with mini-veterinary hospitals at 12 children’s museums and seven zoos around the country. “We’ve had a lot of feedback from our zoos and museums saying they love our partnership and we’re one of the most popular exhibits in their museum,” Osborn says. Banfield’s FutureVet program— classes that teach children what it’s like to be a vet—also generates goodwill in the market, Osborn says, and FutureVet graduates receive a free Banfield office visit for their pets. The company’s charitable programs are run through its Banfield Charitable Trust and include a pet advocacy grants initiative that helps pet-focused organizations and families that can’t afford emergency care for pets; Seasons of Suppers, a food donation program that works in conjunction with Meals on Wheels; and Pet Peace of Mind, which ensures that pets aren’t taken away from elderly customers if they enter hospice and that someone will take care of their pets if they pass away. Banfield also sponsors a Pet Adoption Rewards Program with 1,500 animal shelters in which participating customers receive discounts on Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans. “It’s a way for us to get the word out about wellness plans and help new pet parents know all the things we have to offer,” Osborn says. Although Banfield can’t measure the ROI of its charitable programs, “it’s just the right thing to do,” Osborn says. “We wholeheartedly believe in making the world a better place for pets by not only providing fantastic medical service, but being charitable where possible.” Catering to today’s “pet parents” means that pet marketers have to take a much more emotional approach to the marketplace, rather than simply a pragmatic one. Dog food is no longer a pejorative term, as dogs now dine on kibble made from lamb, barley and salmon. They’ve moved on from being sprayed off with a garden hose to being bathed in essential oils. Pet owners now lavish as much love on their pets as they receive in return—and pet marketers like Osborn are helping them do so. “There’s so much emotion involved, and we take that to heart with every pet we treat,” she says. m



dog owners consider their dogs to be members of the family

the U.S. jumped

$14 billion in 2011.

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CAUSE Effect Nutrition labels might be informative, but they’re not worth the package space if consumers don’t understand them. One Johns Hopkins researcher explains how public policy experts could use marketers’ help—and messaging prowess—to alter unhealthy consumer behaviors and develop a solution to America’s obesity epidemic.

By elisabeth a. sullivan | editor



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he link between marketing and public policy stands in stark relief against America’s struggle with obesity. For years, critics have questioned the potency of marketing messages aimed at younger audiences that promote sugary cereals, high-fat and high-calorie foods or otherwise less-than-optimal consumables. At the same time, advocates have championed marketers’ ability to help promote healthier consumption behaviors and encourage consumers to balance their caloric intake with more active lifestyles. Marketers wield considerable power over what consumers choose to consume—and public policy experts such as Sara Bleich want to harness that power to help alleviate the obesity problem in the United States and beyond. Bleich, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, is working to help check obesity and related diseases by researching, as her bio says, “the intersection between public policy and obesity prevention/control,” including “novel environmental strategies to reduce caloric intake.” Marketing, she says, plays a central role both in her research and in possible remedies to the country’s obesity problem. Late last year, Bleich and co-authors Bradley Herring, Desmond Flagg and Tiffany Gary-Webb released the results of a study that examined the effect of store signage on teens’ purchase of sugary beverages. The study involved 1,600 beverage purchases made by 12- to 18-year-olds in four corner stores in Baltimore. The article, called “Reduction in Purchases of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among Low-Income, Black Adolescents After Exposure to Caloric Information,” was published in the American Journal of Public Health and garnered considerable media attention, partly because it deals with the hot-button issue of obesity but mostly because it presents a noteworthy finding: that consumers’ purchase decisions might be influenced by products’ nutritional information that replaces the traditional calorie number with what Bleich calls the “physical activity equivalent.” Marketing News caught up with Bleich to discuss how her consumer behavior research was carried out and what the findings might mean for food and beverage marketers.

Q: Why did you decide to study the power of messaging regarding sugary, high-calorie drinks, in particular?

A: We know that people generally don’t have a good understanding of the amount of calories that are in the food that they eat, and Americans typically have low numeracy skills and poor skills when it comes to calorie literacy. Basically, they don’t have a good sense of what’s in the foods that they eat in terms of calories and they’re not good at doing mental math. Since health reform is going to require that if you’re a chain outlet with more than 20 stores, starting in the middle of this year, you’re going to have to post calorie information, we thought, Well, maybe the current standard, which is calorie counts, won’t be the most effective way to get people information. What we wanted to do was test three different ways of giving them information, the first being absolute calorie counts and then two others, which are much easier for people to understand without doing any mental math, and look at the effect on sugar-sweetened beverage purchases. And we specifically focused on sugar-sweetened beverage purchases [because] when it comes to thinking about dealing with the obesity problem, there’s a close link between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and obesity. It also, in terms of a category, is very easy to isolate beverages and try to get people to consume less of them, whereas obviously food is something where it’s a little bit harder. But if you can get someone to not buy soda and maybe buy water, you can actually pull a lot of empty calories out of their diet pretty easily.

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Nutrition Tips in the Chip Aisle In an attempt to participate in consumers’ nutritional education with an industry-led initiative, several grocery store chains now feature third-partyprovided nutritional ratings systems on their shelves to help guide consumers toward healthier choices within product categories. One such system, developed by Braintree, Mass.-based NuVal, takes into account more than 30 nutritional elements such as protein, calcium and vitamins, as well as sugar, sodium and cholesterol, and uses a point system to signify that higher-rated products are the healthier choices within the given category. The NuVal System currently is offered in stores such as Meijer, Kroger and Pick ’n Save, among others.

Q: How did you decide on the messaging to test? A: We knew we wanted to do absolute calories, which is the current standard, and then two different types of relative information, so we just sat down and brainstormed and figured out, Let’s do a percentage of daily intake, which is another way that we often see calories represented. And then the third was the physical activity equivalent, which is just novel and we thought that it would be more meaningful to people than both absolute calories and the percent daily value. In terms of how we picked jogging as opposed to yoga or dancing or basketball, or a million other things that we could choose from, there’s research that suggests that negative messaging is a little bit more powerful than positive messaging, so we purposefully did not pick something like dancing or basketball, which may have been attractive to our target population, which was black adolescents between the ages of 12 to 18. We chose jogging, which may be perceived as a little bit less desirable. We calculated, for the average 110-pound adolescent, how many minutes of jogging they’d have to do to burn off a 250-calorie bottle of soda and that was about 50 minutes. And that [physical activity equivalent] sign was the most effective at reducing sugar-sweetened beverage purchasing. [Editor’s note: The study found that the signs listing the “absolute calorie” and “percentage of daily intake” information reduced the likelihood of sugar-sweetened beverage purchases by 40% compared with the baseline of no signage, while the “physical activity equivalent” sign reduced the likelihood of such purchases by 50%.]

Q: You tested this in corner stores in Baltimore. How was it

logistically set up? You had the signage in there, and then did you have field researchers watching kids come in and gauging their reactions when they saw the signs? Did you have video set up or were you interviewing them?

A: I’ve been asked this question so many times and it’s a good question.

Menus Are About to Get a Whole Lot Lengthier Nutrition-related federal legislation introduced in March 2010 is about to take effect, requiring restaurant chains—and vending machine companies—to make calorie counts and nutritional information readily available. As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, restaurants with 20 or more locations must list calorie information for their standard menu items on all menus—including drivethrough menus. Restaurants also must have other nutritional information available for consumers who request it, including a listing of the product’s total calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, sugars, fiber and protein.


What we did is, basically, you walk into a store and you’re a customer, and there are these walls of beverage cases. On the beverage cases is an 8 ½-by-11-inch sign. There’s one type of sign, but there could be multiple signs if there are multiple beverage cases. But basically, it’s at eye level, it’s 8 ½ by 11 and it has a message on it, and it’s one of three messages, which are randomized across the stores and you’re only going to see one message at a time. So you walk into the store, you go to open up the beverage case and the sign is right in front of you, and you make your selection. We had a research assistant sitting in the store in sort of an out-of-the-way place with a full, clear view of the counter and, for a random sample of adolescents who were purchasing beverages, he would record the beverage that they purchased. We purposefully did not intervene and say: ‘Are you, a.) black, b.) between the ages of 12 and 18, and, c.) what did you purchase?’ because we knew that the minute we started asking questions, it would mitigate the effect of information on purchasing, so we simply observed. And in the instance where an adolescent was buying two different beverages, we simply recorded the one that hit the counter first, but that was a very rare occurrence. That research assistant was consistent across all the stores and he would just observe the purchases and record them, and then we’d analyze the data later. The other thing I should add is that to ensure that we’d get our target population, the stores had to be in zip codes that had at least 70% black population and they had to be located within walking distance—so less than five city blocks—of middle and high schools because that was the target age group.

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Q: What was the timeline for the study? A: It was about six months. It started in May and ended in October. It was a total of four stores and we started data collection at two of the stores first, had about a month or so of overlap time and then concluded with the second two stores. The primary reason for that was because of possible issues of seasonality because it could be that people drink differently in the summer than they do when it’s a little bit colder outside, so we adjusted for all of that in the models but purposefully staggered the data collection periods.

Q: And the results were quantitative, mainly? You were really

just gauging what sold after people encountered the signage?

A: Exactly. Our denominator was all purchases and we were looking at the percentage of sugar-sweetened beverage purchases.

Q: Was the researcher taking note of whether the customer looked at the signs?

A: We qualitatively talked about this. Weekly, we’d check in and he’d tell me about the signs. … [The research assistant] certainly said that adolescents noticed the signs, but again, we purposefully didn’t stop them and say, ‘Did you notice the sign and did it affect your purchasing behavior?’ We simply observed the purchase. But we have been funded to do this study again and in that, we will both be doing focus groups on the front end to ask adolescents—this time including Hispanic adolescents, too—‘What sorts of things are most effective? Is it a physical activity equivalent? Is it the number of teaspoons of sugar in a can of soda?’ Then on the back end, we’ll do exit interviews among a sample of adolescents and ask them, ‘Did you see the signs and how did it affect your behavior?’

Q: Are you also going to test whether this kind of signage or messaging would work on a label versus on a sign?

A: I think, logistically, that would be very hard because that would require a partnership with Coca-Cola or some other bottling company and I would imagine that they would be somewhat hesitant to allow us to do that. I mean, if they would, I would love to, but I think that would be somewhat tough. But it’s something that would be interesting to try. Another thing that we will look at in the follow-up study is we’ve [already] observed: Signs are posted and what’s the immediate effect on purchasing behaviors when it comes to sugary beverages? But there could be some post-intervention effects, such that the signs come down and for three to six to nine months out, people are still being affected by what they saw previously, and we’ll also test that post-intervention effect in the follow-up study.

Q: If we’re going to extrapolate on these findings and guess at

what kind of lasting consumer behavioral changes might take place, what do you think such signage would do? Do you think that this will increase consumers’ food literacy and nutritional literacy so that they might reconsider imbibing so many sugary beverages a day? What are you hoping that this kind of educational tool will result in?

A: My sense is that this sort of information is not necessarily educating the consumer, but really it’s making information more interpretable. Right now, anything that you buy that’s packaged has calories on it—cookies have 200 calories, a bag of chips has 300 calories—but if you don’t have a good sense of, a.) how many calories you should have in a given day and, b.) what the tradeoff is in terms of how much exercise you have to do to burn that off, I don’t think people realize how much they’re consuming.

What I hope this type of information will do is it will cause people to pause and say: ‘I’m going to have to run for an hour and a half to burn off a bag of chips? Maybe I’ll just forego the bag of chips. Maybe I’ll get something that’s lower-calorie instead.’ By increasing the transparency around the, sort of, tradeoff between consumption and expenditure, I think it would make it easier for people to make more educated decisions about their consumption.

Q: How about from a marketplace perspective, though? Are

you hoping, ultimately, that marketers will start to change their labels to be exercise-related rather than calorie-focused, or are you hoping that this will inspire more of a public service announcement approach across the industry in which this kind of educational messaging will be pumped out?

A: I think both would be wonderful. A challenge that we have in private industry is that the way that nutrition information is reported varies quite a bit by product line and by the type of item that it is. The way you see things on a can of Coke may be different than you see things on a box of sugary cereal. … One thing that would need to happen that’s going to be really important is that assuming that we were able to provide calorie information in the form of a physical activity equivalent, it would have to be something that’s standardized across the different products because if you see minutes of running in one place, minutes of yoga somewhere else and minutes of basketball in a third place, my guess is that it may lose its meaning with consumers. But if it’s the same message consistently, I think that could actually have an effect. We have to figure out, what kind of physical activity is most meaningful when it comes to changing behavior? My guess, from the literature and from this study, is that it’s probably something that’s more on the negative side because if you pick something that people enjoy doing, they’re going to say, ‘Oh, well, I’ll go dancing for an hour and burn off that piece of pizza.’ But if they have to run or do sit-ups or push-ups, it’s not really as desirable. I guess that’s the first thing. The second is that there’s obviously logistical concerns. If you’re putting on a can of soda ‘150 or 250 calories,’ that takes up a certain amount of space. If you then want to try to say, ‘This is the equivalent of 50 minutes of jogging,’ that’d take up a lot more space, so I think you have to figure out the best way to present this information. And if you standardized it across all of the different product lines, I think that would allow you to condense it even more because people would be used to seeing that information presented in a certain way. But I would say that, in the case of chain restaurants, the information has to be posted by the middle of this year per federal legislation, so from a public health perspective, how can we maximize something that, from a legislative perspective, is going to happen? I think that what this study tells me is that simply using calorie counts is probably not the most effective way to alter behavior.

Q: Based on studies like yours that show that exercise-related messaging could be effective, do you think that the federal government is going to step in and mandate that that sort of language be used on labels or would it be an industry-led initiative?

A: I would be surprised if there were legislation largely because I think the industry could make the argument, which is compelling, that the information is already there and it’s already required to be there. You turn this package over and it says how many calories per serving are in something. There’s been a lot of industry-led initiatives when it comes to anti-obesity, anti-calorie things over the past four or five years and I think a lot of that seems to be an effort to, sort of, make sure that the heavy hand of government doesn’t come down or to stay ahead of it.

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Food Label Literacy


of respondents to a global study conducted by Nielsen have trouble understanding nutrition labels. In the U.S., while the food label literacy rates compare favorably with that global average, more than four in 10 consumers (42%) still report having trouble understanding the nutritional information on packaging.


33% 58%

of respondents

trust calorie counts to be “always accurate” and

say that

they’re “sometimes accurate.”

When it comes to more ambiguous nutritional claims such as “fresh,” “all-natural” and “heart-healthy,” approximately


of consumers doubt

their veracity.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Food Labeling Trends was conducted in March and April, and August and September of 2011, and polled more than 25,000 respondents in 56 countries.

Sure, I think we could see different companies thinking about ways to put information on product labeling by pulling stuff out of the bag that’s supposedly useful to consumers. I would say that if you are PepsiCo, for example, maybe you could think about looking at your product line and saying: ‘A bag of Fritos would be 50 minutes of running, but a bag of ‘x’ would be 20 minutes of running. Why don’t you instead choose a bag of ‘x’?’ By using the substitution effect, it would be cost-neutral in the sense that you’re not losing consumers; you’re just driving them to a different product line. I think the key with any of these types of studies where you’re trying to change consumer behavior is that from a public health perspective, we’re excited when people change what they do, but from a private industry perspective, it’s got to be cost-neutral because if it’s the case that I put these signs up in stores and people choose not to buy anything, then the stores aren’t going to want to participate. What we found is that sugar-sweetened beverage purchases went down, but then water purchases went up. We don’t know, exactly, whether or not it was perfectly cost-neutral, but what the results suggest is that if you’re thirsty, you’re going to buy something, but that information will sway what that something will be.

Q: What role, ideally, would marketers play in this effort to

reduce consumers’ caloric intake? As you’re talking about here, it’s a profit question and changes might impact bottom lines if Coke, for example, all of a sudden does have to put this messaging on its cans to dissuade a consumer from buying the product. That’s obviously not appealing to Coke’s interests, yet marketers certainly have a role to play in fostering good public health.

A: I’m one of those people who think that private industry is not the devil and that there’s lots of things that public health [organizations] could do to partner with industry and think about, what are some ways that we can marry the interest in maximizing health on the public health side and the fiduciary responsibility that private industry has to maximize profits for their shareholders? How can you marry those two objectives and find things that actually work? …


What should happen is that these sorts of messages should be tested in a larger audience using focus groups and other sorts of mechanisms to figure out, what is the most effective way to influence people and influence different types of people? We focused on a small swath of the population, black adolescents. My sense is that this is a group who’s at very high obesity risk and may or may not have strong concerns when it comes to calories and exercise and that sort of thing. If you took a swath of the population, say, middle-income white women for whom those concerns are very strong, and you gave them this sort of information, I think the effect would be much, much larger. So I think the role that marketing could possibly play is thinking about how you take these sorts of interventions and do them on a grander scale, and then spin them in a way that’s really effective. I have no background in marketing, so who knows if someone could come in that has a lot of expertise and make these signs a million times more effective by just changing a few words, or changing the colors or changing the images and that sort of thing? … People are not stupid, but messages have to be simple and easily understandable in a very short amount of time when you’re about to make a purchase. Where research needs to go and what marketing can possibly do is to think about how you take this complicated information, when you’re combining items on a menu or having combo meals, and give it to people in easily interpretable formats. Just telling them these broad calorie numbers is not very meaningful to the average person.

Q: Is the marketer’s job done when the communication

has been effectively made? Corporations can change their messaging, their labeling and packaging methods, and then can they stop there? Or should they be investing in other public service or public policy initiatives to try to get people to be healthier?

A: Is it the case that you stop once you get information to consumers and you allow them to run with it? From a marketing perspective, if you have a good message, you’ve done your job by putting it out there. I think the bigger question is, what are you putting out there?

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“It’s not going to fix the problem of obesity, but more transparency about what we’re eating and helping people make better decisions at the point of purchase can be effective, so I think marketing has a huge role to play.”

I do think that more effort should be made to think about how you change the messages to create healthier environments. Obviously, marketing can’t change the fact that there are lots of convenience stores or lots of fast-food restaurants, but marketing can change how different product lines are marketed and to whom they’re targeted. Again, I strongly believe that if you are one of these big multinationals like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, you have a very diverse product line, so simply encouraging people toward the healthier side will, hopefully, not hurt your bottom line. It will just diversify what people are actually purchasing. … I think the key is using marketing to actually change demand—we know it’s possible, that you can actually induce demand—and try to help people and steer them in the right direction when it comes to healthier eating. … What’s going to have to happen is to do the good public health research, we have to figure out what the most effective messaging is and that’s going to come directly from marketing. That’s an area where I have no expertise, so we’re going to have to collaborate in terms of figuring out the most convincing way to tell people. The punch line that I try to get across is the reason that we are getting bigger as a country and across all developed countries is not because, on average, we’re exercising too little. It’s because we’re simply eating too much. So how do you pull some calories out of the diet? I think that these messages can move us in that direction. It’s not going to fix the problem of obesity, but more transparency about what we’re eating and helping people make better decisions at the point of purchase can be effective, so I think marketing has a huge role to play. m

•com To access a related article in the AMA’s Journal of Public Policy & Marketing called “From Nutrients to Nurturance: A Conceptual Introduction to Food Well-Being,” visit

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Walking the Talk

Eco-minded retailer Patagonia caused a stir with its recent “conscious consumption” holiday campaign that told consumers not to buy the featured product. Marketing VP Rob BonDurant discusses the strategy and shares some early results.

By katherine ling | freelance Writer



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L Photo courtesy of Patagonia (M. Schaefer 2012).

ast fall on Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year, Patagonia customers opened their e-mail inboxes to see these words in the outdoor apparel retailer’s promotional message: “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” The ensuing message read, in part: “Cyber Monday was created by the National Retail Federation in 2005 to focus media and public attention on online shopping. But Cyber Monday, and the culture of consumption it reflects, puts the economy of natural systems that support all life firmly in the red. … “We ask you to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else. … “The environmental cost of everything we make is astonishing. Consider the R2 Jacket shown, one of our best sellers. To make it required 135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60% recycled polyester to our Reno warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product. This jacket left behind, on its way to Reno, two-thirds its weight in waste. “And this is a 60% recycled polyester jacket, knit and sewn to a high standard; it is exceptionally durable, so you won’t have to replace it as often. … But, as is true of all the things we can make and you can buy, this jacket comes with an environmental cost higher than its price. “There is much to be done and plenty for us all to do. Don’t buy what you don’t need. Think twice before you buy anything. Go to, take the Common Threads Initiative pledge and join us in the fifth ‘R,’ to reimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.” The e-mail message—and a related full-page ad that Patagonia ran in The New York Times for Black Friday—came on the heels of an ad campaign that told consumers to “Reduce what you buy,” and prompted a whirlwind of media attention and online chatter about whether the message would hurt Patagonia’s sales or help secure customer loyalty, or would simply be perceived as a marketing gimmick. Rob BonDurant, vice president of marketing and communications at Ventura, Calif.-based Patagonia Inc., recently told Marketing News that the campaign has more than paid for itself with the amount of interest that it has generated for the brand and its Common Threads Initiative, a sustainability effort intended to prompt consumers to think twice about the environmental impact of buying any product and to encourage companies to be transparent about how their products are made. If the “Don’t Buy This Jacket” message boosts sales, that’d be an ancillary benefit, BonDurant says. The campaign’s goal is to get consumers who aren’t yet familiar with Patagonia and its sustainability-minded practices to take note of the company’s culture and eco-minded business strategy, and to prompt more consumers to shop and live sustainably. What follow are excerpts from Marketing News’ interview with BonDurant. To see more of his insights, check out the March 1 issue of Marketing News Exclusives at

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Q: What was the strategy behind this direct marketing effort?

A: It was really a comment on consumption for

Rob BonDurant, Patagonia's vice president of marketing and communications

the sake of consumption. As a company, we have always been absolutely fascinated and committed to this idea of quality in place of consumption. We build our ethos around that because of where we came from. … In 1972, before [Yvon Chouinard] founded the company, roughly, [mountain climbers] would pound nails into rocks that would leave marks and it would lead, ultimately, to degradation to the environment and against the very reason to go to these wild places. So he built these tools that you could pull out and remove and left no marks whatsoever. … He caused a disruption that changed the way we look at the rock climbing industry forever. … Because we don’t even consider ourselves a marketing company—we consider ourselves a company that makes products that solve problems—we are able to do things other companies can’t. … When we began discussing this Black Friday/Cyber Monday thing … for Black Friday we are told to go out and consume a resource that is not renewable and we just couldn’t really live with that. We decided to be exactly who we are and say: ‘Hey, look: Only purchase what you need. We want you to be aware of what goes into the products that we make so you can make an educated choice about when you buy those products.’ … That, in and of itself, was our counter to the myriad of discounts, offers, sweepstakes and tchotchkes, and traditional marketing tactics that are meant to pull us into retail stores and aren’t necessarily going to improve the quality of our lives. They are temporary. … The message, ‘Don’t buy this jacket,’ is obviously super counterintuitive to what a for-profit company would say, especially on a day like Black Friday, but honesty is what we really were after. As a measurement tool, I needed to see that we created a dialogue. I mean, we only ran one ad in The New York Times and that one ad has actually generated so much PR that, literally, the interview process that we have been going through, that I have been going through since that very day, has gained steam. So it has more than paid for itself in value and it has gotten a dialogue going. Q: Who were you targeting in this message?

A: This was a message that was meant to go out to a much broader constituency than ours alone. To that end, we expected that when we put something out on Black Friday in The New York Times and then backed that up with messaging in our retail stores, on our website and in a flight [of ads] on, that we would have this very succinct, very sort of counterintuitive message out there. For me personally, I knew it was effective when I went to visit my folks over Thanksgiving down in Florida, who live in a nice home on the


golf course, and the next-door neighbor drove his golf cart over. I didn’t tell anyone we were running this [campaign], and he had the ad in his hands and he looked at it and said, ‘You Patagonia guys sure are different.’ This is not one of our core customers. That is how I knew we had reached an audience that was very different than ours. And not that I was looking to acquire that particular customer: What I’m trying to do is to get the conversation and dialogue going to improve business [sustainability]. If there is a halo effect and it keeps Patagonia top of mind, we will take it. We are not a marketing company and I don’t really consider myself to be a marketer. We very much don’t use marketing as a vehicle to drive business. We use products as a vehicle to drive business. We use word of mouth, recommendations, public relations and, only as a last resort, a little bit of advertising to get our messages out there, and to be opinionated and have a point of view and, hopefully, one that is positive in future thinking. Q: Were you concerned at all about sounding preachy or people dismissing the ad as the luxury of a company that sells high-end goods?

A: Yes and no. The concern was that if we don’t

walk our talk, if we don’t live our communication, then we are actually just a marketing company after all, that we are actually full of s*#t and ultimately doing what the naysayers would accuse us of, and certainly did accuse us of, which is using this message to drive sales. It is the forbidden fruit message. I didn’t read this, but this is what I garnered from some of the social media that I was reading that was negative. Once you say: ‘Don’t push the red button. Don’t eat from the apple,’ man, you can’t resist that forbidden fruit. That wasn’t our intention at all. Our intention was to stop you in the sea of ads that said, ‘Discounts,’ and, ‘Off-price,’ and, ‘You can get more,’ and do it in the headline. Then if you read the body copy, which is extremely long and counterintuitive to what you would want in a newspaper especially on this particular day, you get this fuller, deeper story. And that is what really moves people. People who were far against us, I didn’t expect them to move towards the middle. The people who love us, I expected would write us and tell us how brilliant this was. We got that. It’s the people in the middle who are open to ideas about how we shift business through consumption, through this idea of evolving capitalism and conscious consumption that we wanted to affect.

Q: You were just certified as a ‘B Corporation’—a type of for-profit corporation in which the company’s governing body can consider social or environmental objectives ahead of profits— but you still need to make sales. Were you concerned about how this campaign could affect your sales, and how did you convince your CEO and CFO to do this?

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A: Of course, we are always worried about sales for Black Friday, especially because we are largely a fourth-quarter business. We make products for cold weather and that’s what we are most known for. It is an incredibly important period of time for us, in which we will do up to 40% of our annual volume in two months alone, so if we falter, then yes, we are concerned. But what we said is bullet-proof because it is what we believe in. It is the way we run our business. Every aspect of how we run Patagonia is really speaking to that ethos and it’s the heart of our culture, so it wasn’t difficult for the CEO or CFO to get on board once we sort of outlined the stroke of the campaign, the expected results, the action plan, the post-campaign and then, ultimately, the return that we can get from the level of dialogue we create either via public relations or social media and, of course, the interviews we are doing now. Since Black Friday, there has been an interview request coming in every day, and that is just from one ad in one newspaper, so the messaging is absolutely of strength and relevance—an eyebrow raiser. People want to know more about it and they are sure to get into it. They can hopefully discover more about our company and the way that we run our business so that we can inspire the other businesses to choose sustainability and not feel that that is a choice against profit.


patagonia's full-page ad, which ran in The New York Times on black Friday, was intended to “stop you in the sea of ads that said, ‘discounts,’ and ‘off-price,’ and, ‘you can get more,’ and do it in the headline,” bondurant says.

Q: patagonia has different goals and is a different company. could other companies replicate this campaign?

A: If it is a marketing campaign, no. If it is a way they live their lives and do their business, absolutely. Since we have to put it in a box here, this was not a marketing campaign. This is a message that we had been sending for decades, I mean literally for decades. We just hadn’t put it in an amplified voice and stuck it in The New York Times on Black Friday. … The key to the whole effort [is]: Put your money where your mouth is, or where your marketing dollars are, and support a model that is built around the concept of sustainability. That means you can’t just apply it to your messaging or to a particular window of time. It has to be done 24 hours a day, 365 days a week. For me, it’s a challenge of, OK, we are a direct marketing company. We send out six catalogs. We send them out, roughly, over 30 to 45 days. That is a tonnage of paper. How can I continue to deal with what direct marketing requires, which is direct communication in your mailbox, without increasing my paper count? How can I acquire more customers without increasing my paper count? That requires not just a catalog paper policy, but also a company-wide paper policy because if half the company is printing their horoscopes out on the printers and I am busting my hump trying to figure out how to increase our order base without actually increasing our paper, we are not walking the talk.

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So again, it is putting everybody in the mix and having ownership not at the senior level, but at the staff level. At a company meeting, I want staff to stand up and say, ‘This is how we made our department paperless.’ That will inspire one other department to do that and that is what we are doing. As a result, we are getting much more refined in how we do our mailing and we work with 501(c)(3) nonprofits to ensure the paper we print is sustainably harvested. And to this day, we have not increased our paper usage by more than one pound in the last five years because this is what we focused on, but we have grown the company annually over the last few years by over 30%. … It is not just enough to make good products anymore. There also has to be a message that people can buy into, that people feel they are a part of, that they can be solutions-based. That is what the communication efforts are really all about. Q: What does your retail strategy look like—and given your environmental mindset, are you going to move away from catalogs?

A: We have going on about 100 retail stores on a global basis, a very robust e-commerce business and a website that has now shifted to become the centerpiece of what is going on at Patagonia anytime you want. The lights are always on at the website. It does not close like a retail store. You don’t have to get it in your mailbox; it will come to you. You can get it via e-mail, RSS, however you want to get it. We are shifting the catalog itself. The catalog can only represent, at any given time, maybe only 40% of what is available on the Patagonia line, so what we have done is we have shifted our thinking away from our catalog being the standalone vehicle—our soapbox, if you will—and stood up to say what was important to us: to the catalog being a push and offer vehicle to inspire you to go online or to go into brick-and-mortar stores. So yes, our catalogs are shifting. Are they going to become extinct? Not in the next year, not in, maybe, the next two years. But we will slowly decrease our paper usage; we will slowly move people into the medium they are actually transacting on. Over 80% of people we send the paper catalog to buy online. If that is the way that people look at the catalog, we will build it along those models until the point that, hopefully, we can exit that arena completely. I am not sure we ever will. That is a little bit of a crystal ball I wouldn’t feel comfortable pulling right now. But especially as a company that is known for their catalog, it is one of those things that I have to pay very close attention to and I have to honor how deeply the Patagonia catalog culture has been built.


Patagonia's Common Threads Initiative is an environmental effort that encourages customers to practice conscious consumerism, reducing purchases and repairing, reusing or recycling belongings.

Q: What percentage of your communication is direct marketing?

A: In terms of our distribution, we are 50% wholesale, so that is going to a reseller like REI, for instance, one of our bigger accounts, and 50% is direct. That would be through catalog, through social media, the e-mail program, e-commerce and what we do in terms of our retail stores. Probably 80% of our communication is direct marketing because of the fact that those businesses are mature and robust, and because we have such a big database of people that we can reach and a profound database of potential prospects. I have already got all the climbers I am going to get. … Now it is, How can I reach the people that we didn’t reach previously through conventional mediums that are sport-specific, to find people who are aligned with our values, our goals of the company? … [In our direct marketing,] 60% is product and 40% is messaging, environmental, photography and all the rest of it. I have got a lot of freedom to be fairly robust, to have a story unfold over a catalog or e-mail, or a video or a podcast or whatever you may choose for the media to view it on.

We have one customer. We don’t have a wholesale customer or brick-and-mortar customer, or a catalog customer. We have a Patagonia customer. Wherever they want to consume Patagonia, learn about Patagonia and understand Patagonia, we want to be ready and waiting for them on their terms. That is not a catalog strategy anymore. A catalog shows up in your box once a month, at best, and is disposable. Nowadays, we demand that companies give us their information when we want it. If that means 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning, then fine. That is when we have to be ready and willing to say: ‘How’re you doing? Good morning. Let’s talk.’ m Katherine Ling is a freelance writer based in Fairfax, Va.

•com For more insights from Patagonia’s Rob BonDurant, check out the March 1 issue of Marketing News Exclusives at

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2012 Directory of

Interactive & Direct Marketing Services The 2012 Marketing News Directory of Interactive & Direct Marketing Services showcases suppliers to marketing professionals with purchasing power in this area. Each listing is a paid advertisement. The information contained in each listing was provided by the advertiser. If you would like additional information on any item listed, please contact the company directly. To receive information on listing your company in next year’s directory, please contact Sandra Wright, Marketing News, 311 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606-2266, (312) 542-9063, email: AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO THE 03.15.12 ISSUE OF MARKETING NEWS. COPYRIGHT 2012 BY THE AMERICAN MARKETING ASSOCIATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Interactive & direct marketing

services Index to THE DIRECTORY of

Interactive & Direct Marketing Services FULL SERVICE INTERACTIVE MARKETING


Note: The listings in this index and the directory are in alphabetical order by company name.

LIST BROKERS: B-TO-B World Innovators, Inc.






World Innovators, Inc.

Ethnic Technologies, LLC

Ventura Associates, Inc.


CONSULTANTS Ethnic Technologies, LLC

PacNet Services Ltd.



Decision Analyst

PacNet Services Ltd.

LIST BROKERS/MANAGERS/ COMPILERS Ethnic Technologies, LLC Leon Henry Inc.

MARKETING Research Services MRSI (Marketing Research   Services, Inc.)

RESEARCH Decision Analyst Ethnic Technologies, LLC

SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING Enrollment Marketing Solutions, Inc.

LIST SERVICES Enrollment Marketing Solutions, Inc. Ethnic Technologies, LLC Leon Henry Inc.



Interactive & Direct Marketing Services D

e e

Decision Analyst 604 Avenue H East Arlington, TX 76011 Phone: (817) 640-6166 Fax: (817) 640-6567 Email: Web: Contact: Rod Carver, Director Database Marketing Traditional database marketing works on the assumption that "my next customer will look pretty much like my last." While this assumption has some merit, it misses whole classes of potential customers. And, because it looks primarily backward, it leaves you vulnerable when the market changes. Decision Analyst's Database Analytics Services Group merges traditional database analytics and modeling with state-of-the-art marketing research to help our clients achieve a broader, forward-looking view, allowing new positioning and new messaging to be developed and new targeting attributes to be extracted (even from "tired" or saturated databases). The result is reinvigorated response rates, heightened customer loyalty, and enhanced revenue and profits. Database Analytic Services at Decision Analyst offers the following analytical, modeling, and consulting services:   • Database Intelligence   • Marketing Research Services For Database Analytics

Enrollment Marketing   Solutions, Inc. 707 W. Helen Rd Palatine, IL 60067 phone: (847) 202-7343 fax: (847) 202-7342 email: info@ web: www. contact: Elizabeth Kistner, President Enrollment Marketing Solutions, Inc. is a Higher Education marketing firm specializing in enrollment management. We have designed and employed customized enrollment campaigns that include undergraduate, non-traditional, graduate, eMBA, continuing education, online learner, certification, adult learner, as well as professional studies. From devising strategic marketing plans to organizing enrollment management activities, Enrollment Marketing Solutions implements higher education marketing in line with your institutions objectives. Services include: Direct Mail/Email Marketing, Lead Nurturing through managing automation, Cost Per Lead, SEO/SEM, Mass Media, and Social Media., Inc.

  • Analytical Sciences

32 S. Middleridge Rolling Hills, CA 90274 Phone: (310) 265-4608 Email: Web: Contact: Janet Westergaard

  • Marketing Optimization. started building an online research

  • Innovation Services For Database Analytics


panel in 1995. It was one of the Internet’s first and continues to be one of the best. Specialty panels (teens, mothers, children, business owners, IT professionals, medical conditions, etc.) are also available.

preference mailing, telemarketing and email lists.   • Ethnic, Religious, Language Preference and Gender data appending and enhancements.   • Hispanic country of origin down to 21 subsets.   • 4 levels of Assimilation Index for Hispanic and Asian ethnicities.

Ethnic Technologies, LLC 600 Huyler Street South Hackensack, NJ 07606 Phone: 1-866-333-8324 Fax: (201) 440-2168 Email: Web: Contact: Candace Kennedy, Director of Marketing and Sales Ethnic Technologies, LLC is the Global Leader in Multicultural Marketing, Research, database enhancements and modeling. The EthniCenter® from Ethnic Technologies is the result of over 40 years of continuous ethnic, religious and language preference research. Our software segments databases by Ethnicity, Religion, Language Preference, Assimilation Index, Hispanic Country of Origin and Gender more accurately and comprehensively than any other approach. Our analytics and modeling team supports clients with ethnic and gender data appending services and mapping, thus providing marketing professionals with an overview of emerging and existing opportunities. Marketing professionals can also acquire ethnic mailing, telemarketing and email lists for the United States and Canada. With Our "Challenge Guarantee" E-TECH is the Platinum Standard for all Ethnic Marketing and targeting programs E-Tech offers the following services:   • Hispanic and 172 other ethnic mailing, telemarketing and email lists.   • Spanish Speaking and 79 other language

To learn more about our products visit E-Tech's web site or contact our sales department.


Knotice 2526 South Main Street, Suite 705 Akron, Ohio 44311 phone: 1-800-801-4194 Fax: (330) 922-0859 Email: Web: Contact: Becky DeRosa, Senior Account Specialist Additional Locations: Seattle, WA Knotice helps marketers coordinate communications across channels, uniting your data within a single on-demand platform, making it accessible to maximize the ROI of campaigns, with cross-channel execution and actionable analytics. Manage email, mobile, site personalization and/or direct display campaigns from a single log-in. Knotice also offers agencystyle support, including strategy, design, execution and analysis. Enjoy greater control over your direct digital marketing with advanced solutions from Knotice. Efficiently add mobile to your multi-channel mix. Quickly create highly targeted, customer-focused campaigns based on real-time data for increased message relevance, greater value, and impressive results. Learn more at

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Interactive & direct marketing



Interactive & Direct Marketing Services l




Leon Henry Inc.

Maritz Research

PacNet Services Ltd.

Radius Global Market Research

200 N. Central Avenue Hartsdale, NY 10530 Phone: (914) 285-3456 Fax: (914) 285-3450 Web: Email: Contact: Gail Henry

1355 North Highway Dr. Fenton, MO 63099 Phone: 1-877-4MARITZ Fax: (636) 827-8605 Email: Web: Contact: Tom Evans, Marketing Manager

120 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10011 Phone: (212) 633-1100 Fax: (212) 633-6499 Web: Email: Contact: Chip Lister, Managing Director

Since 1956, Leon Henry Inc. has been at the forefront of insert media. Over the years, our services have expanded to include mailing list brokerage and management, as well as remnant space, FSI and card deck advertising and webserts. An experienced staff of professionals, as well as two Florida branch offices, are ready to share our direct marketing knowledge with you. The Leon Henry Brokerage team strives to intelligently and efficiently target your market and your customer. Our reputation, research capabilities, negotiation skills and customer service work to your advantage. Contact us to see how we can make a difference in your next marketing campaign. The LH Management Division team maximizes your company's profits by selling insert space in your shipments (or deliveries) or increasing rentals of your mailing list. We can positively impact your bottom line. Contact us to discuss our insert and list management services as well as how to generate new customers online with Leon Henry Interactive.

As one of the world’s largest marketing research firms, Maritz Research, a unit of Maritz Inc., helps many of today’s most successful companies improve performance through a deep understanding of their customers, employees and channel partners. Maritz Research offers a range of strategic and tactical solutions concentrating primarily in the automotive, financial services, hospitality, telecommunications, retail, and technology industries.

595 Howe Street, 4th Floor Vancouver, BC V6C 2T5 Canada Phone: (604) 689-0399 Fax: (604) 689-0313 Email: Web: Contact: B  rendan Mahar, VP Business Development

Luth Research 1365 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: (619) 234-5884 FAX: (619) 234-5888 Web: Email: contact: Candice Hinds, Vice President of Business Development Dedicated to excellence and innovation, Luth Research continually develops new ideas and adopts cutting edge technologies to meet the needs of today’s market research industry. Combining tailored data collection methodologies with personalized service, Luth Research offers a comprehensive array of quantitative, qualitative, and knowledge enrichment services to support the most complex research requirements. Three state-of-the-art focus group suites, 110 CATI stations, an on-site programming team, and SurveySavvy™, an online community of business professionals and consumers around the globe, ensure quality solutions that are scalable, secure, and flexible. Luth’s data quality management system, vSavvy™, unites cutting edge applications with time-tested rules and procedures to ensure high quality in online research results.

MRSI (Marketing Research   Services, Inc.) 720 East Pete Rose Way Suite 200 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 Phone: 1-800-SAY-MRSI Fax: (513) 562-8819 Email: Web: Contact: Todd Earhart, President

Worldwide Payment Processing: PacNet offers response lifting international payment services that make it easier for you to do business across borders no matter where in the world you are based. Accept locally relevant payment types from your international customers – not just credit cards, but checks, direct debit, and bank transfers, as well. Don’t worry about refund processing; PacNet’s got that covered, too. Whether you take orders by web, mail, telephone, or all of the above, you can sell in multiple markets, using multiple sales channels, and still receive funds quickly in the currency you need. Contact us today and see why PacNet has been the leading payment processing company for international direct marketers for over 17 years.

Radius Global Market Research is one of the largest independent custom market research companies in the world. We’re skilled at analyzing complex development, marketing and communication issues and providing insights and solutions that lead to more customer engagement and bottom-line profitability. Radius offers a range of cutting-edge quantitative, qualitative, online and advanced analytics research services. No matter the scope of your project, our senior talent provides the highest level of strategic thinking and hands-on attention. Our experience spans industries including consumer packaged goods, financial, food service, health care, media and technology. Radius enjoys long-term relationships with leading organizations around the world that appreciate the difference we bring: Clear thinking for a complex world.

The Directory continues on the following page

Whatever your online research needs, MRSI and our iResearch® line of online research tools can help. MRSI has helped clients solve business challenges since 1973. Clients trust us because we know marketing research, we know their industry and our responsiveness makes the research process seamless. Plus, with over two million surveys for over 2,000 studies within the last few years, MRSI has the online research experience necessary for success. Our extensive online research experience spans industries from consumer products to healthcare to financial services and across audiences such as consumers, children and teens, professionals, and high-income respondents. MRSI’s iResearch powers tools including Concept Highlighter®, iShelf® online shelf testing, ConSelect® online concept testing, and ProSelect® online product testing. MRSI is your trusted source for online research. All of the listings in the directory are paid ads. The information contained in each listing was provided by the advertiser. To list your company in next year’s Directory, please contact Sandra Wright, Marketing News, 311 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 5800, Chicago, Illinois 60606, (312) 542-9063, email:

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Interactive & direct marketing

listings for the directory of

Interactive & Direct Marketing Services t

Toluna 21 River Road Wilton, CT 06897 phone: (203) 834-8585 fax: (203) 834-8686 email: web: Contact: Janice Caston, AVP Michael Anderson, Head of Sales Toluna enables organizations to generate valuable customer insight by combining its online market research panel and industry leading technology. Toluna provides a comprehensive proven, scalable solution that enables companies to answer questions of their target audience quickly and efficiently. Toluna leverages a unique approach to respondent recruitment and engagement with its online ‘community’ and proprietary respondent


engagement methodologies and guarantees that the data clients receive is of the highest quality. Further, Toluna provides the industry’s leading technology suite, enabling hundreds of market research organizations and agencies worldwide to create surveys, manage panels and build online communities. Toluna’s products include PanelPortal™, AutomateSurvey™, BrandSpector™ IVR™ and QuickSurveys™. Toluna has offices in the US, Canada, UK, France (headquarters), The Netherlands, Romania, Germany, India, Australia, Japan and China.


Note: The advertiser-paid listings in this directory are in alphabetical order by company name.

Email: info@ Web: Contact: Marla Altberg, President (ext. 3003)

Email: dpeterson@ Web: Contact: Donna A. Peterson, Executive Vice President

Full-service sales promotion agency with particular expertise in creation and administration of online and traditional sweepstakes games and contests. Also provides fulfillment, database management, tie-ins, co-ops, interactive, social media, multicultural, creative and direct marketing services.

World Innovators is a List Brokerage and Direct Marketing Consultation firm that was founded in 1980.


Ventura Associates, Inc.

World Innovators, Inc.

1040 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10018 Phone: (212) 302-8277 Fax: (212) 301-2587

22 Bacon Road Roxbury, CT 06783 Phone: (860) 210-8088 Fax: 860-210-7829

With 32 years of knowledge and experience we have become a the leading B to B list brokerage company offering superior customer service as we assist our clients all over the world. Whether you are looking for Semiconductor Manufacturers in Asia, Electrical Engineers in the U.K., Food Processing in the U.S or CMO's Worldwide we may assist you. The pressures of Faster, Better and Less Expensive are not going away and World Innovators tries to find you lists or other marketing avenues with the best ROI. Call us today to see how we may assist you (860) 210-8088.

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recruitment classifieds The Recruitment Classifieds section accepts both display and straight classified advertising. Marketing News reserves the right to reject any ad at any time. Questions about advertising? Just call 312-542-9063 or email

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Marketing News Advertising Department 311 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 5800 Chicago, IL 60606 or fax to: (312) 922-1394 or 922-3763. Ads may also be emailed to

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All straight classified ads must be prepaid by check or

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on the envelope and be sent to the above address for forwarding

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to the advertiser.

display classifieds:

straight classifieds:

marketing research Marketing Analyst. 1. Work

under the direct supervision of Marketing Manager, and report to Marketing Manager on a daily basis. 2. Develop company's marketing strategy focusing on Internet or website media to increase company's awareness and service. 3. Create new campaigns on search engines properties including Google, Yahoo, MSN/Bing. 4. Evaluate and report performance of all paid search campaigns. 5. Manage and optimize the existing Internet marketing campaign components including keyword

All position wanted ads must be prepaid by check or

strategy, ad copy, bid prices, cost per conversion, cost per click, etc. 6. Recommend new content for Web site. Employer: Universal Cargo Management, Inc. Total hours per week: 40 Hours. Work Schedule: From 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Work Site: 10825 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. Minimum requirement: Master’s degree in Business Administration. Wage Rate: $38,064.00/Year. Submit resume to: Recruitment and Employment Office, UNIVERSAL CARGO MANAGEMENT, INC., Attn: Job Ref #: UNI81651, P.O. Box 56625, Atlanta, GA 30303.

Business Development Specialist — Master's in Bus./

Mktg, or eqv't. Send resume to Merry Heart-Tally Ho LLC, Attn: Adriane Dalupang, 199 Powerville Road, Boonton, NJ 07005. Senior Market Research Analyst, NY, NY. Eval/advise/

research/analyze operations, performance, costs, pricing/ promotion of products, & trends in related industries. Utilize knowl in South East, Indian mkts & bus envrmt. Bach degree or foreign equiv in Bus Admin or rel field + related exp. RES: D&H Ladies Apparel LLC, 25-27 West 36th St., NY, NY 10018.

ALL BLIND BOX REPLIES to print ads should include the number

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& affordable MR services including: tabulations, SPSS programming, coding, data entry, report proofing, discount business reply, CATI & online surveys. A la carte or full service. UGA Graduate, 14 years experience, references. Call Jeanne Eidex at (770) 614-6334. Qual/Quant Analysis & Reporting Services: No time?

Let us help. Experienced researchers available on a per project basis with 60 years combined research experience. Call Helen @ (610) 489-0509.

Advertising in the Recruitment Classifieds section in Marketing News produces results! If you are looking to fill a position in Marketing, Marketing Research, Marketing Management, Product Management, Marketing Education, Sales or Advertising we urge you to try us. More than 22,000 career-oriented candidates can see your ad in Marketing News. Call (312) 542-9063 or email and we’ll tell you how easy it is.

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Quick source for contacting the suppliers in the 03.15.12 issue of Marketing News. Act-On Software...................................... p. 13 URLs:

Burke Institute . .........................................p. 2 Ph. 1-800-543-8635 URL:

E-Search .................................................. p. 23 Ph. 310-265-4608 URL:

Luth Research .........................................p. 11 Ph. 1-800-465-5884 URL:

Maritz Research...................................... p. 36 Ph. 1-800-446-1690 URL:

Marketing News ..................................... p. 32 Ph. 1-800-AMA-1150 URL:

PacNet Services Ltd. .............................. p. 31 Ph. 604-689-0399 URL:

Radius..........................................................p. 7 Ph. 212-633-1100 URL:

Toluna......................................................... p. 9 Ph. 1-866-296-3049 URL: MArch 15, 2012 | marketing news

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expert perspectives

ama’s 75 years in marketing history



Positioning Myopia Jack trout speaking at a recent seminar in beijing

JaCK TrOuT is president of trout & partners ltd., an international marketing consultancy based in old greenwich, conn. he has consulted for companies such as hewlett-packard, southwest airlines, merck, procter & gamble, and papa John’s, among many others. trout has authored and co-authored several books, including Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind; The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing; Differentiate or Die; and Big Brands. Big Trouble. his most recent book, Repositioning: Marketing in an Era of Competition, Change and Crisis, was published in 2009.

Editor’s note: In 1969, noted marketing strategist Jack Trout wrote an article in which he introduced the industry-changing concept of “positioning” and subsequently co-authored a book with Al Ries on the topic. Forty years later, Trout released a book that moves the ball forward, called Repositioning: Marketing in an Era of Competition, Change and Crisis. In this exclusive column for Marketing News, Trout distills some of his insights down to demonstrate positioning’s continued importance to the marketing discipline.


ver the years, “positioning” has become a highly used word in marketing, but as I watch what companies say, I wonder if anyone understands what I’ve been writing about these many years. That said, maybe it’s time to clarify things: Positioning is how you differentiate yourself in the mind of your prospect. It’s also a body of work on how the mind works in the process of communications. The first words on this subject go back to 1969 when I wrote an article in Industrial Marketing magazine entitled “Positioning is a game people play in today’s me-too marketplace.” (Here’s an untold secret: I chose the word “positioning” because of a dictionary’s definition of strategy: “Finding the most advantageous position against the enemy.”) Since then, I’ve written a number of books on the subject, but let me boil it down to the five most important elements in the positioning process.

1. minds are limited.

Like the memory bank of a computer, the mind has a slot or position for each bit of information that it has chosen to retain. In operation, the mind is a lot like a computer, but there is one important difference: A computer has to accept what you put into it; the mind does not. The human mind rejects information that does not match its prior knowledge or experience, but it doesn’t have much prior knowledge or experience to work with. In our over-communicated society, the human mind is a totally inadequate container, so you must be very careful with your message and be aware of what is already in the mind about you and your competitors.

2. minds hate confusion.

What’s the secret to being remembered? To keep it simple. We tend to think of boredom as arising from a lack of stimuli, a sort of information underload. But more and more commonly, boredom is arising from excessive stimulation or information overload. It’s a problem of complexity. Information, like energy, tends to degrade into entropy, into just noise, redundancy and banality. To put it another way, the fast horse of information


outruns the slow horse of meaning. Complicated answers don’t help anybody. Every executive wants information because the difference between a decision and a guess often comes down to information, but today’s executives don’t want to be buried alive in printouts and reports. So it is with your marketing.

3. minds are insecure.

Minds tend to be emotional, not rational. Why do people buy what they buy? Why do people act the way they do in the marketplace? According to psychologists Robert Settle and Pamela Alreck in their book Why They Buy, customers don’t know, or they won’t say. When you ask people why they made a particular purchase, the responses they give are often not very accurate or useful. That may mean that they really do know, but they’re reluctant to tell you the right reason. More often, they really don’t know precisely what their own motives are. My experience is that people don’t know what they want. (So why ask them?) More times than not, people buy what they think they should have. Do most people really need a four-wheel-drive vehicle? (No.) If they did, why didn’t they become popular years ago? (Not fashionable.)

4. minds don’t change.

A general feeling in the marketing industry has always been that new-product advertising should generate higher interest than advertising for established brands. But it turns out that we’re actually more impressed by what we already know (or buy) than by what’s “new.” With thousands of different commercials across hundreds of different brands, you can pretty much rule out “creativity” as the difference in persuasion. A book entitled Attitudes and Persuasion, by Richard Petty and John Cacioppo, spends some time on why minds are so hard to change: “The nature and structure of belief systems is important from the perspective of an informational theorist because beliefs are thought to provide the cognitive foundation of an attitude. In order to change an attitude, then, it is presumably necessary to modify the information on which that attitude rests. It is generally necessary, therefore, to change a person’s beliefs, eliminate old beliefs or introduce new beliefs.” And you’re going to do all that with a 30-second commercial?

5. minds can lose focus.

In days gone by, most big brands were clearly perceived by their customers. The mind, like a camera, had a very clear picture of what its favorite brands were all about. When Anheuser-Busch proudly proclaimed that “This Bud’s For You!” the customer

knew exactly what was being served. But in the past decade, Budweiser—and Miller and Coors—have flooded the market with regulars, lights, drafts, clears, coldbrewed, dry-brewed and ice-brewed beers. Now the statement “This Bud’s for you” can only elicit the question, “Which one do you have in mind?” “Extending brand equity” has become all the rage, as companies like Coca-Cola talk about concepts such as “megabrands.” But such line extensions just exacerbate consumers’ loss of focus. In our 1972 Advertising Age articles, Al Ries and I cautioned companies not to fall into what we called “the line extension trap.” For years, we were the lone voices railing against line extensions. Even the Journal of Consumer Marketing noticed this: “Ries and Trout stand alone as the only outright critics of the practice of brand extension.” (Our minds don’t change.) That’s until the Harvard Business Review rendered their verdict: “Unchecked product-line extension can weaken a brand’s image, disturb trade relations and disguise cost increases.” Keep it up, guys.

stand for something: Be a well-focused specialist.

In an increasingly competitive world, the well-focused competitor is usually the winner. The specialist can focus on one product, one benefit, one message, which enables the marketer to put a sharp point on the message that quickly drives it into the mind. Castrol can focus on its oil for high-performance small engines. Pennzoil and Quaker State are marketed for all types of engines. Another weapon of the specialist is the ability to be perceived as the expert or the best. Philadelphia is the best cream cheese. (The original, so to speak.) Finally, the specialist can become the “generic” for the category. Xerox became the generic word for copying. 3M’s Scotch tape became the generic word for cellophane tape. And now an online search comes down to, “Google it.” Even though the lawyers hate it, making the brand name a generic is the ultimate weapon in the marketing wars, but it’s something only a specialist can do. The generalist can’t become a generic. Nobody ever says, “Get me a beer from the GE.” While America has to re-learn positioning, China has decided to learn it. Recently, Peking University in China has put my positioning strategy material into its business school curriculum. China is moving from manufacturing to marketing with a vengeance. Look out, world. m

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amacommunity Applied Research Methods Las Vegas, April 16-18 Applied Research Mehods is an intensive, customized learning experience focused on practical applications and readily implemented solutions in marketing research. During this three-day event, tutorial sessions provide a structured overview of the selected topic area; identify important methods and applications; compare and contrast the given methods and applications for strengths and weaknesses; and use practical applications as an expository tool.

Jacqueline Dawley, insight analysis

the featured tutorial sessions include: Market Segmentation Basics Jacqueline dawley, president, insight analysis Conjoint and Discrete Choice Techniques: An Introduction and Comparison michael mulhern, president, mulhern consulting Hidden Truths, Hidden Treasures: Qualitative Moderating and Observational Research Techniques carol shea, principal, olivetree research Today’s AMA! the 2012 international collegiate conference kicks off in new orleans on march 22. the 34th-annual event focuses on the theme, “marketing: always evolving,” and features a keynote presentation by google's John militello. registrations are accepted on-site. (pictured here: energetic attendees at the 2011 international collegiate conference.)

Linear Regression: A User’s Guide with Application Examples susan devlin, principal, the artemis group to register, visit


take control of your career: visit or call (800) ama-1150 to register Successfully Managing the Creative Process Minneapolis, May 16-17 This training series is designed to give managers a solid framework that they can use in real-world situations to develop and provide strong creative direction, to guide and steward the creative process, to evaluate whether tactical directions are strong and to present creative ideas to their management. This program focuses on the underpinnings of effective creative: objectives and strategies. Additionally, it provides hands-on experience in developing and evaluating strategic alternatives. to register, visit

E-mail Marketing Boot Camp Whether you’re starting from scratch and want to follow a best-practice approach, or you’re a seasoned e-mail marketer looking to make subtle or substantial improvements to your e-mail campaigns, this course has something for you. You will learn how to create an effective e-mail marketing strategy, formulate integrated campaigns, set targets and objectives to creating well-designed e-mails with engaging content, and ensure deliverability.

April 11-12, Pittsburgh to register, visit

Personal Branding Within the Corporate Workplace Personal branding is becoming recognized as a necessary and valuable strategy for professionals across all industries. This workshop will provide insights and examples from professionals across many industries who have enjoyed significant career achievements while adding tangible brand value to their employer.

May 10-11, Chicago to register, visit

Find out more at

marketingpower .com

or Find us on



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Marketing News March 15, 2012  

The American Marketing Association magazine.