Category Archives: Creative Strategy

Maxwell House Proves the Importance of Never Resting on One’s Laurels

Coffee lovers around the world are certainly familiar with Maxwell House, and though it’s not my personal favorite coffee—I’m looking at you, Peet’s—I’ve certainly gotten through many-a morning sipping it. Though a household name, Maxwell House decided to cut its advertising budget to $7.8 million last year, a substantial decrease from the $38.4 million the Kraft Foods-owned company spent in 2010.

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But the company apparently learned a lesson quickly: In marketing, you can never rest on your laurels and must always strive to push the envelope and continue to be aggressive. Having seemingly learned its lesson, Maxwell House recently announced that it plans to spend between $20 million and $25 million on its marketing efforts this year. What’s more, the company has high hopes for its investment as it plans to “grow [the advertising budget] through growing sales, reinvesting it back in the business,” according to Chris McClement, senior director for Maxwell House.

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Three Reasons Your Marketing Employees Need to be Smarter than You

customertileSome of the most influential entrepreneurs and business tycoons out there—think Steve Jobs, Thomas John Watson, Sr., and David Oglivy—have revealed the secret to their success: Staff your company with employees who are smarter than you. Be comfortable being the “dumbest” person in the conference room. Don’t be afraid of that powerhouse employee who encourages you to challenge the status quo and redefine existing business practices.

Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do,” contends Malcolm Forbes, former publisher of Forbes.

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What’s Sweet for You is Sweeter for Sprinkles: The Marketing Strategy Behind the Company’s Cupcake ATMs

For anyone who has ever been in “The City that Never Sleeps,” you can certainly relate. You are coming back from an event late at night—be it a Broadway show, a night out at the bar, a high school reunion… you name it—when your stomach starts grumbling. You begin to mentally scroll through a list of possible diners, delis and food carts that may still be open at this ungodly hour. But the truth is you don’t want to consume your calories in Big Mac form. Rather, you want something delectably sweet.

Big Apple desert aficionados everywhere are delighting in the fact that Sprinkles Cupcakes, the innovators of the world’s first cupcake bakery, has brought its 24-hour Cupcake ATMs to the Upper East Side. The company already boasts ATMs in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Las Vegas—all of which have attracted attention from A-list celebrities like Jay Leno and Wolf Blitzer as well as countless media outlets. New Yorkers couldn’t wait to get their hands on these yummy treats.

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Give Your Content Marketing Strategy its ‘One Shining Moment’

Tonight’s the night—the NCAA championship game where either a No. 7 or 8 seed will walk away with the national title. This past Saturday night we watched a riveting game between UConn and Florida and witnessed Kentucky win yet another thriller, this time besting Wisconsin by a point. Now it all comes to a head tonight when UConn and Kentucky will go head to head for the title.

After the winner is declared, however, another March Madness tradition will take place: “One Shining Moment.” The song is annually played as the winning team’s players cut down the nets to a Montage of highlights and best plays from the tournament (watch last year’s “One Shining Moment” video below). There are some interesting gems that can be extracted from this video. Ready to take some post-March Madness inspiration and apply it to your company’s content marketing strategy?

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What Marketers Can Learn from the Wu-Tang Clan

Many of those who are familiar with the Wu-Tang Clan might not know much about what they are, but certainly know what they ain’t. But now, listeners can add the moniker “ingenious marketers” to the list of phrases that could be used to describe the hip hop collective.

WuTangClanThe New York City-based rap group recently announced that it will sell only one copy of its “secret album,” tentatively titled “The Wu—Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.” Before that copy ultimately ends up in the hands of a collector—who will either hoard the music or share it with the world—fans will be able to hit “tour dates” across the country and fork over $50 to hear the 128-minute album’s 31 tracks. Continue reading →

Lame or Legit: Twitter Adds Photo Tagging

Warning: I might go on a rant during this post.

I’m still deciding whether I should like the fact that Twitter is launching a photo tagging feature or cringe because of it. I have been a Twitter user for less time than other popular social sites, but I am quickly turning into a Twitter-aholic for a few reasons—photo tagging not being one of them.

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Calling All Marketers: Is Your Job Starting to Feel Easy? Uh Oh…

shutterstock_179538596As a marketer, do you come home exhausted at the end of the work day? Do you find yourself looking for compelling marketing messages and branding concepts in all facets of life—whether you are watching a TV commercial or attending the opening reception for a museum exhibit? Do you feel like your job is hard?

If you answered “no” to any of these three questions then perhaps you need to ask yourself another one: Are you truly an industry-leading marketer or are you just doing enough to get by?

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Is Content Marketing Fashionable?

fashIt’s not every day that you see the words “content marketing” and “fashion” together— but as we all know, stranger things have happened (Lady Gaga’s SXSW performance anyone?). The fashion industry has embraced content marketing with open arms. After all, designers are natural storytellers. From Burberry to ShopBop to Anthropologie, familiar names in the fashion world are using this avant-garde marketing strategy to engage with readers and boost brand loyalty. So is content marketing fashionable? The answer: Yes!

Don’t believe me? Below are three famously fashionable brands that have perfected the art of content marketing. (Take notes!)

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Tipoff is Here: Do You Have What it Takes to Play till the Buzzer Sounds?

shutterstock_90617275With the play-in-games behind us and all 68 bracket spots filled up, now the fun really begins.

Today, 16 teams take to the court to inch one step closer to the Sweet 16, and millions upon millions of fans from across the country figure out a way to squeeze in pressing work meetings with live streaming from their desks. (Did you know the groundswell of excitement surrounding college basketball and brackets costs $1.2 billion for every unproductive hour at work?)

March Madness is officially here and every company can actually learn a thing or two from the tournament about best practices and corporate mindset.

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Yes, 311 is Still Around, Their New Album is Great & Their Marketing Strategy is Even Better

These days, unless you’re Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga, odds are you’re not going to sell a lot of records. Whereas the Backstreet Boys sold 9.4 million copies of Millennium in 1999—the most of any artists that year—Justin Timberlake topped the charts in 2013, selling 2.4 million copies of The 20/20 Experience.

311_AustinKeep in mind that those numbers represent the highest-selling albums of the entire year. One can only imagine how many copies the average album sold.

Musicians used to depend on album sales to support their livelihood, but in the age of the Internet and easy digitally sharing, it is reasonable to conclude that people are simple sharing (read: stealing) music from these artists rather than buying albums. Because of this, musicians are increasingly depending on their live act to serve as their main source of income. Continue reading →

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