Greetings on the first Tuesday of April. It’s April Fools Day everyone.
What’s the origin of this Day of Pranks? It’s unclear according to the Museum of Hoaxes, but its generally accepted that…
  1. the celebration is most likely a rite of spring
  2. it was well established by the mid-16th century
Over 500 years of pranks. I can’t decide my favorite of all-time. It’s probably a toss-up between the Taco Liberty Bell and the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest (see picture above). For the rest of the top 100 pranks click here.
As for my personal favorite, it’s a simple gag that involves an empty plastic water bottle. When no one is looking, simply slip the empty bottle behind the back of your neck with one hand. Complain of a kink in your neck. Take your other hand and grab your chin. Mimic cracking your neck while you squeeze the plastic water bottle. Need a tutorial? Here’s aYouTube video that demonstrates the prank.
Anyhow, happy spring…
Enjoy the Newsletter!

Future of Marketing: A Little Less Campaign and a Little More Action

This is taken from a post in Forbes.com. It’s my first article as a contributor:

Each year the fall rolls around. Summer tans have faded. Marketing planning begins. Here’s the sequence: Agencies get briefed, ideas are presented, concepts get developed, creative gets shot, media gets bought, ads run, results get measured, and (maybe) awards get submitted. Celebratory dinner with the requisite toasts and back slapping. Fall rolls around again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This is traditional marketing. A phenomenon that Seth Godin labels the TV-industrial complex. The only problem is that it doesn’t work as well as it used to. Or in some cases it doesn’t work at all.

Who’s to blame for the campaign based mentality? Is it the brand or is it the agency? Who is going to break the cycle of TITWWADI (This Is The Way We Always Do It)? When is this Einsteinian version of insanity going to stop? It’s hard to blame the agency. You can’t expect them to change if their entire business model is predicated on not doing so. Perhaps it’s up to brands to break the cycle.

Are there companies willing to change? Maybe the Price is right. In a recent Forbes interview the CMO of CVS Rob Price describes how they are making the shift:

“We’ve gone through a real transition. In the seven years I’ve been here, we’ve moved from being more of an Advertising and Promotions department to really being an Insights to Action function.. That changes your focus substantially. But of course we still do the advertising, marketing and promotional accountability, that’s our functional expertise… We’ve reduced degree of traditional advertising that we’ve done. Because we’ve found, and maybe it stems from our advertising roots. Advertising is about frequency and reach. Well, we have 35 million people coming into stores every week. Tens of millions with our mail-order pharmacy and  with our prescription benefit management. So if you monetized, if you put into traditional advertising terms, all of those are exposures or impressions. The media in our operating environment is thousands of stores, hundreds of thousands of people, serving millions of customers, creating billions of interactions. It’s very large numbers and we’ve decided to harness the energy of the marketing team in collaboration with IT, Store Operations and Digital.”

Read the full post (including lessons from Steinway and Elvis) by clicking here

This month I’ll be speaking in Sydney, Calgary, Greenville and Virginia Beach.
April 7 – Customer 360 Keynote (Sydney)
April 16 – Alberta Motor Association Keynote / Workshop (Calgary)
April 23 – East Carolina University Keynote (Greenville,NC)
April 29 – Liberty Tax Webinar (Virginia Beach)
I’m heading to OZ this week for the Customer360 Symposium. I’ll be giving the opening keynote on thePsychology of the Customer Journey. The event takes place just outside of Sydney in the majestic Hunter Valley.
We’re exactly one month away from the launch of the last book in the Goldfish trilogy:
On May 1st, What’s Your Golden Goldfish will examine the “little extras” for your Top 20% of customers and employees. The concept is based on Pareto’s Law. The law of “the vital few and the trivial many.”
In order to promote the launch of the new book, I’ve put together a special offer:
  • Buy 30 copies – You will receive a 30-minute presentation via Skype or Google Hangout.
  • Buy 50 copies – You will receive a one-hour webinar.
  • Buy 100 copies – You will receive a keynote or two-hour workshop. (travel not included)
  • Buy 200 copies – You will receive a keynote and a two-hour workshop. (domestic travel included)
The content for the webinar, keynote or workshop is optional. You can choose PURPLE

(cx/ differentiation / retention), GREEN (employee engagement / culture), or GOLD.
Let me know which option you are interested in. Call me at +1.919.360.4702 or e-mail me atstan@9inchmarketing.com
Here’s an example of a recent keynote:
Speaking Demo - Stan Phelps
TODAY’S LAGNIAPPE (a little something extra thrown in for good measure)
Although I’m not a huge fan of campaigns, this may be one of the best integrated ones I’ve seen in awhile. It’s called, “Do It For Denmark” by Spies Travel.  Check out the two-minute video below or my full post on this clever effort:
Do It For Denmark!
Do It For Denmark!