Six Ways to Say “Yum!”

If you want to dazzle the people at your next dinner party with your marketing knowledge, spend time with your teenagers while they plug into the computer. Book an evening at home with your children telling you what they learn from TV and the computer and you will be a big brand expert in the surprising new ways to connect with the market.
1. Traditional TV blended with Web
Notice how your daughter watches Dr Who on TV while peering at her laptop, checking out the website for in-depth, full length stories, usually through an online video ad. Hopefully, she is not also accessing your VISA card to book her trip to London’s BBC studios. Be aware of interactive social media as strong marketers are learning to use this new technology without backlash.
2. Engage Your Customer
Email allows for one-on-one conversations: for example, Rogers emails you a movie discount coupon, which you print out and then rush to the video store. At Loewen & Partners, we email our list of entrepreneurs and fund managers with personalized messages. Check out your kids’ summer camp on-line rating sites. I was intrigued by one camp with several postings saying that the counsellors were too busy making out with each other to organize activities. Bet that won’t be happening this summer!
3. Globalize Your Message
You may have noticed that the world has come to Canada, particularly Toronto, offering perhaps the biggest challenge for marketing. Technology is causing barriers to crumble and the impact will probably continue over the next twenty years. What does this mean for marketers, and for women, both in the office and at home? Americans embrace the saying, “drastic change requires drastic action” and are busy hiring non American CEOs to smash their corporate cultures and traditional marketing plans. PepsiCo, the world’s fourth largest food and beverage company, awarded their CEO position to an Indian woman, Indra Nooyi, who wears a sari to work. How’s that for a take me as I am attitude? Which brings me to my next trend (no, it’s not The Spice Girls who, incidentally, do know how to market because even Rex Murphy dedicated a column to their branding success).
4. Add Girl Power
PepsiCo asked: How could their marketing gain fresh energy and momentum? What is different, unique and special? When you put "fresh eyes" on the question, change happens, and Indra Nooyi is doing just that for PepsiCo’s revenues. Meanwhile, Pier One’s earnings are limping along, perhaps because they have no women on their Board? I know women in Oakville who’d be delighted to help out and would talk marketing plans for the price of a cup of coffee.
Marketers who support the new reality that girl power is here - and it’s not just Scary Spice being cheeky - will be ahead of the pack. I just spent my weekend holed up with high testosterone Bay Street money men judging the Ivey Business Plan competition. Once again, the $20,000 top prize went to a female-led team and as I sat with the Venture Capitalists, they recalled the previous year’s female winner saying, “What a fire cracker!” I have no doubt these fellows would hand over twenty thousand cool ones to any woman who demonstrated she could bring in a sustained revenue stream of $5M. If women want to get ahead in Canada, they need to make the decision from a very young age to live, breath, and die for business.
5. Nod at Career & Mothering
Let’s be honest, many women self-select out of the work world to be mothers. “Where are they now?” articles on MBAs show that even career-oriented women may choose to be at home with their children. The smartest woman in my MBA class is now at home with her two boys and even my sister-in-law went home within months of returning to her Morgan Stanley job after childbirth. Shrewd marketers will understand this female angst over work and babies just as Dove channelled women’s feelings over the media’s use of perfect female bodies.
6. Be Gutsy
If Indra Nooyi can call PepsiCo’s new division Yum!, think of the marketing you could do.
This blog also appears in The Women's Post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOL - wow. I would not have the guts to wear a sari to work. Work matters not all the other identity politics.