“There will always be a time in your career where you need selling skills,” my professor remarked at the beginning of the semester last August. The Leeds School of Business is one of 50 or so business schools across the country that added a “Professional Selling” course to their marketing degree roster. I was one of a lucky few that got to experience this kind of class for the first time.
“By seeking and blundering we learn.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Everybody flubs up. The best marketers learn from their mistakes. I’ve been holding onto something for a long time. It’ll be cathartic to let it out, after I share my takeaways on two other blunders. Maybe then mine won’t seem so bad?
In a recent job interview, the hiring manager asked the golden interview question, “When is a time that you failed?” I smiled at my interviewer as I sat back in my chair, eyebrow arched, and coolly answered, “just last week.” I then relayed what I learned from failing at a simulated brand management role during my Senior Seminar Marketing class at CU Boulder.
What did you think of REI’s announcement about closing on Black Friday and paying its employees to stay home? Marketing gurus lifted eyebrows and praised the marketing “stunt” that got their CEO on the CBS This Morning, among other high-profile media outlets. Several companies followed suit. I’m sure a bean-counter crunched the numbers of the cost of closing that day compared to the number of additional business and loyalty they hope it will generate.
As I walk out into the adult world this December, degree in hand, I will soon join the job hunting, apartment scouring, herd of rapidly aging Generation Y kids (you know, the Millennials).
At a party this summer, I heard two atheists talking about how they loved the pope and even shared his quotes on Facebook. Many articles show Pope Francis approval rating higher than top Democrats, Republicans. I thought, “Hmmm, this guy knows how to market himself!” What are his secrets?
On a recent hike, I came across a college girl wearing a T-Shirt proclaiming, “Science is the new rock ‘n’ roll.” It made me ponder whether there might be an existing — or potential — connection between powersports and girls who study science, technology, engineering and math: STEM girls.
A year ago, Marvel released a Spider-Woman comic cover that still bothers me to this day. This particular drawing (left), done by Italian artist Milo Manara sparked so much controversy that Marvel had to cancel it and issue an apology. People lashed at the cover for being “sexist”, “provocative” and “disturbing”. The image depicts Spider-Woman in traditional red and yellow garb scaling a building in a rather revealing pose. Many compared it to Nicky Minaj from her equally provocative music video “Anaconda”. Others mocked it through many social media avenues as having “poor taste”.
Recently, a lively LinkedIn discussion caught my eye about the increase of cuss words in marketing. Then, a moto-journalist friend started a Facebook thread about swearing, which prompted some agreements that there’s a time and a place for it. Others said it wasn’t acceptable anyplace. What do women REALLY think about cussing, both in marketing and work environments? Do you have any idea what the majority your female customers — or prospective customers — think?
In an attempt to attract new readers to their ever growing fan base, Marvel Comics will officially be re-launching 45 new comic titles in the fall. Of these, 11 appear to be female-lead, such as Spider-Gwen. As an avid Marvel fan and comic reader, I find this move to be a little forced yet still empowering.
First impressions make it — or break it. You won’t close a sale unless you start the conversation the right way. Everyone remembers the line in the movie Jerry Maguire when Tom Cruise tells his love, “You had me at hello.” Female viewers sighed a collective “aaaahh” and smiled knowingly.
Ten months old. How many kids fall in love with two wheels that young? Not many, but imagine if they did? I met little Brently at a Strider race. His (smart) parents put a balance bike under him as soon as he was walking.
Liz Keener’s recent article, Are bikini bike washes limiting your customer base, sparked many comments, including this lively discussion on LinkedIn. I decided to dig into a few articles with research on the subject. I’ve also included a few questions for you to ponder at the end.
If you think “marketing ethics” is an oxymoron, skip this column. I’m a guest lecturer at the local university and encourage these marketers of the future to promote the positive instead of the dreary negative. Take a look at your marketing efforts and consider these three ideas to … “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier” (bonus points to anyone who guesses the author of this quote).
“All 50-year-old women want to look like they’re a hot 20-year-old,” stated a marketing friend once when I questioned the plethora of young, model-looking women in ads. “Really, say’s who?” I challenged him and referenced research I’d read—and led—contradicting his assumption.
Ah, the E word: Empowerment is “new” again? Years ago at Harley, we talked about using imagery and messaging to convey this powerful sentiment. At times, though, we lamented that we were sick of hearing the actual buzzword, as it had been so overused. Imagine my surprise when I read, Is Women’s Empowerment Marketing the New ‘Pink It and Shrink It’?, which highlights ads such as the “Like a Girl” and “I Will What I Want” campaigns.
Recently, a funny video circulated through social media circles pointing out Thoughts Every Woman Has in Target. As a woman, I laughed many times, remembering some of my trips to Target in which I was supposed to just pick up one item, then ended up at the check-out an hour later with a my hands full. As a marketing to women expert, the short video highlights several differences between how men and women shop.
With just two weeks until Christmas, your time and resources are limited. Try one — or all — of these three quick ideas to generate even more last-minute holiday sales.
The first question in marketing to women is, “What type of woman are you targeting?” Segmentation by demographics is one way, but discovering her core personality is the best. One option is to evaluate where she sits on the “girly” vs. “tom boy” spectrum, or how much she leans tomorrow more feminine or masculine views and communication preferences.
Yes, I’m a PANK — Professional Aunt, No Kids. And like 76 percent of PANKS, I spend an average of $500 on kids I never birthed — nieces, nephews and rugrats of friends. How can you get a piece of the $9 billion pie that more than 23 million PANKs are spending each year, especially with the holiday season coming up?
What is the cost of not having a clear marketing strategy, and how does it impact your business, whether you’re a brand or retailer? I’ve estimated costs here, but the goal of this article is to make you think about what it means to your bottom line. The common response I get when I ask brands or retailers what type of woman they’re targeting is, “All women use my products, so we don’t want to limit to just one type.”
Sure, you know parents spend bucks on back-to-school items for their kids, but what about grandparents? An interesting article, “Boomer Grandparents Make Back-to-School Fashionable” cites a study that boomer grandparents spend more on back-to-school items than parents of school-age kids.
Recently, Harley-Davidson announced its “possible” entry into the electric moto-market, spurring a boatload of publicity about electric vehicles. Whether you have electric or hybrid motorcycles, ATVs, or boats in your showroom now, you most likely will in the future. Are you ready? Use these strategies to attract women and close the deal.
I started my career at a dealership and remember sometimes thinking, “Why doesn’t the corporate office do THIS to make our lives at retail easier?” When I moved to the “mother ship,” I better understood the challenges of aligning corporate and retail goals, resources and training.