With today’s FCC’s approval to allow broadband WiFi to use TV channel white space spectrum … companies like Google will now have an even bigger advertising audience.
Google was one of the first to promote the idea to the FCC in 2008 of using so called white space for broadband WiFi . The changeover from analog to digital TV created channel space that no longer was being used for TV signals.
These WiFi broadband channels will have a range of about 50 miles and be able to penetrate buildings in the much the same way a TV signal can. The amount of channel space available makes it feasible that the whole nation can be blanketed with “Super WiFi”.
A company like Google with it’s Android mobile platform software, its dominance in Internet search, the Chrome browser, and a large dark fiber network it owns, can now provide broadband to everyone and access a much larger market to show its advertisements to.
It’s very similar to the free service advertiser based business model TV networks started out with.
In a somewhat ironic sense of marketing one-upmanship, KFC, noted for Colonel Saunders and his southern fried chicken recipe, has gone for the fences hitting upon a strategy of using buns to sell a bunless sandwich.
In this case the buns carrying the Colonel’s face and advertising a high calorie sandwich are of the female kind … carried inside the sweat pants of university students across the U.S.
Needlessly to say the marketing target is young men willing to gulp down a double down burger concoction consisting of bacon, cheese, and a special sauce squeezed onto two chicken fillets … but with no bun. Total calories about 540, and over half of them fat.
There are two versions, one fried and one grilled. The grilled version has less calories but a whopping 1760mg of salt. Some health groups were up in arms over the new product when KFC introduced it in April. Sales hit 10 million during its mouth watering trial.
The moving campus billboards will be well paid to wear the red sweat pants advertising. $500 per recruit … you do the math about how much per bun. KFC isn’t saying how they are going to choose their new ambassadors to good taste.
The Cadillac division of General Motors has suffered its own shakeups just as the rest of the auto maker has after going through bankruptcy, a government bail out, and even being led by an Obama appointee or czar as they are called.
In the last three years the division has used 3 different ad agencies and two marketing heads. The interesting thing here is that in spite of the turmoil the GM luxury brand has seen its sales increase.
One of the sparks in its resurgence is that since May dealers have been able to lease vehicles again … with 24 month contracts. There was a period of about a year when no leasing was available and now sales have surged 50% year to date since August.
GM has also seen a leap of 60% in 2010 Buick sales and now has decided that Buick will be its flag ship to take on the Asian competitors and Cadillac will target the luxury liners from Germany.
Cadillac has also settled on a new marketing jingle “The New Standard Of The World”.
New marketing head Joel Ewanick who has been at work since May is over seeing new ads appearing for the CTS-V showing it racing around Germany’s Nürburgring test track in record setting time so it can be billed as the world’s fastest production sedan.
They are also making a station wagon version of this sedan who’s ads will appear shortly. It will haul a lot more than just groceries. In fact in the specs I’ve seen, it will hold its own or even out run a Mustang Shelby 500 in the quarter mile. Maybe that’s a marketing angle the new guys at Cadillac should think about for the domestic market.
Ever since colleges and universities discovered banks were willing to pay them big bucks for turning over the names of their students to them, they’ve been doing just that … and earning millions of dollars.
The banks will pay them for financial services that students need like opening a bank account, getting a credit card, or using the ATM machine in the college dorm. Once the school in some way identifies one of their students to a bank, and the bank markets to them and gets their business, the school can receive payments in the form of lump sums, or monthly payments, bonuses per diem, and royalties.
The banks sometime pays the school just to get access to the students mailing list. If that isn’t allowed then there are work arounds to avoid the rules and student ID #’s may be matched to bank accounts and credit cards.
In the case of the University Of Colorado there were rules in place to prevent outside access to the student’s mailing list. However through the schools credit union, students, staff, and teachers were pitched the idea of getting a bank account which tied into their ID number. The school got paid a yearly royalty of $13,000 from the bank for access to the mailing list.
ATM machines payoff $300 monthly plus a 5 cent bonus on every transaction.
Schools defend their practice of turning over student information and getting paid for it as something that doesn’t hurt the student because these are services they need anyway. Schools justify their practices by saying practically everything they do costs money and they need the revenue. Even student unions or the university’s alumni foundation share in the wealth.
Critics argue that by joining forces with a bank and marketing these services to the students … that it only encourages them to spend more money and to get farther into debt.
The Justice Department claimed in court documents that the company had:
- Concealed information from federal drug regulators about its testing of a drug called Levothroid.
- Distributed Levothroid in quantities far exceeding amounts that federal drug regulators permitted.
- Failed to advise the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that Levothroid no longer qualified for coverage by government health care programs, causing false claims to be submitted to those programs. Levothroid is used to treat thyroid conditions.
In their agreement with the Department of Justice Forest Pharmaceuticals will plead guilty to obstructing justice and distributing an unapproved drug. The company also promoted the anti-depressant drugs Celexa and Lexapro for pediatric use despite limited approval only for adult depression.
The government also says that in the company’s off-label promotion of Celexa for pediatric use it instructed its sales representatives to promote the use of the drug in sales calls to physicians. It also hired speakers to talk to pediatric specialists about the benefits of Celexa for children and teens.
The settlement will also settle civil claims against the drug manufacturer that they not only illegally promoted the anti-depressant drugs Celexa and Lexapro for use with children but offered kick backs to pediatricians to write prescriptions.
The company will pay $149 million to settle the civil case. $150 million as a criminal fine, and forfeit another $14 million in assets.
Lexapro had sales of $2.3 billion in the company’s 2010 corporate year.
Cyber crime is a growing problem on social networks. Online security experts say some Australian companies are blocking access to Facebook and Twitter because of their fear of malware infections, amongst other problems.
This is in spite of the positive results that word of mouth marketing on the social networks can create for a company. Unfortunately the sharing that goes on in Facebook or in Twitter Tweets can also share some undesirable elements with corporate networks.
Panda Security specializes in corporate network security and from a survey of companies it did in July has come out with what it calls the Social Media Risk Index.
The data collected from 315 small and medium size businesses indicated 33% of them had been infected from a virus or malware passed to them from a social network. 23% had employee privacy violation issues resulting in losses of sensitive information. One third of those infected also said it resulted in financial losses of $5000 or more.
Twitter was the biggest problem for privacy violations with Facebook and You Tube ranking one two in that order for malware and virus infections.
According to Panda Security these problems can be managed successfully with up to date network security tools and by properly educating the work force.
In spite of the problems with social networking 78% of respondents reported that they use these tools to support research and competitive intelligence, improve customer service, drive public relations and marketing initiatives and to directly generate revenue.
John Ellis, a digital marketing expert predicts that Google’s quicker more accurate predictive search will change the trend towards long tail keyword marketing.
People will no longer have to type in the whole keyword phrase because at some point before they are done Google will have already guessed it and put it in the results.
Marketers have slowly been shifting their keyword focus from short brand type names to so called long tail keywords that are more specific and get better conversions from a search. For pay-per-click advertisers better conversions mean lower costs.
Google also rewards Adwords advertisers who best match their headlines to their ad content with better positioning … which means more traffic for less money.
The jury is still out as to whether the new instant feature will be a good thing or bad thing for both users and marketers. The one thing that most agree on is that it will make Google more money since there will fewer organic results and more paid advertising above the fold.
What hasn’t changed is how web sites are indexed by Google. Depending on how people adapt to the new search interface, it may require a rethink for web site SEO.
Google appears to have picked up on the old Coca-cola faux paux a few years ago when they brought out the “New Coke” soda. It met with such consumer dis-satisfaction that Coke had to quickly back track and re-introduce the “Old Coke” again as an option.
Google has wisely given the user the option here from the get go as to whether use the old search or the instant search. Which one the user chooses will go a long way in answering the marketing question … or perhaps complicate it even more.
A July Ipsos Reid Poll commissioned by VISA Canada revealed that 1 in 5 of their users are getting dinged by unauthorized charges because they accepted some sort of a marketing offer made to them either online or via the phone.
They may not have intended to accept the offer but by not reading the fine print or perhaps not unchecking a pre-checked acceptance box they got billed anyway.
About 78% of the respondents indicated they were aware of potential pitfalls when being presented with certain types of offers. In spite of that awareness 9% of users said they didn’t bother to check the credit card statement they receive each month for errors. That number increases to 15% for those in the 18-34 age bracket.
Although 57% of Canadians reported making an online purchase in the last year, only about 20% said they took the time to read all the terms and conditions of the sale before hitting the “Pay” button. Most said they found the fine print and number of clauses etc. too onerous to read.
VISA as well as most other credit card companies have a zero liability policy that removes a charge in case of fraud, or if your card is lost or stolen.
Staples To Market Amazon's Kindle
Starting this fall Staples says it will start retailing Amazon’s best selling product … the Kindle wireless reader. All of their 1500 stores nation wide will carry three different models ranging in price from $139 to $379.
The popular e-reader can wirelessly download digital documents like newspapers, books, blogs, and magazines and display them on a small screen. The Kindle can hold hundreds of documents in its memory making it a small portable paperless library.
Earlier this year Target corp also reached a deal with Amazon to sell the very popular Kindle readers within the Target store network. Previous to the Target distribution agreement Kindle had only been available through Amazon’s online store.
Amazon is trying to find brick and mortar type stores to distribute their product because competing products offered by Barnes and Noble Inc. and Apple Inc. ‘s ipad have seen e-readers cause the sale of ebooks to sky rocket in the publishing industry.
Estimates from Forrester research suggest that since Amazon introduced the e-reader concept in 2007 that about 5 million kindle’s have been sold.
Barnes and Noble’s competing product is called the Nook and is distributed off line through Best Buy Co Inc. It’s estimated 1 million units have been sold since its introduction last year.
A Michigan company encourages its customers to look good and to do good in the community … all at the same time. The custom design handbag company also takes a unique approach to business by allowing its customers to design the handbag they want online and then have the item shipped to them.
Michelle Thelen launched the online based custom handbag design company LucyGrey.com today. Her idea is to provide discriminating customers with a unique handbag that offers distinctive styling and extra rich fabrics. The 42 year old entrepreneur says “This is affordable couture” and the customer can create something that matches her lifestyle and sense of fashion exactly.
Each handbag design is named after a city in Michigan and has some facts about that city included. There are 12 different bag design templates to choose from.
The finished product when shipped includes small cards embossed with a “random act of kindness” that the customer is prompted to carry out. The company’s unique selling proposition is to brand themselves as a socially responsible marketer and one with remarkable fashion sense.
“This is what sets us apart,” she says of the bags’ call to action. “If we can get just one woman to be more thoughtful and complete this act, we enable a better community. Handbags have no boundaries. Every woman has one.”
Once the customer chooses her style of bag, she is then able to use it as a blank canvas and paint a picture that is truly unique to her. As she goes through the step by step process, she is then able to choose the main fabric, accent fabrics, and then has the options of additional straps. Furthermore, the website is extremely user friendly and very warm and welcoming.