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It stopped my multi-touch gesturing fingers in their trackpad tracks. One of those rare occasions when social media pushes your pause button and makes you think. A tweet caught my eye long enough for me to physically write it down on a piece of honest-to-goodness, gen-u-ine paper (well, a sticky note counts). @hunterwalk tweeted, “Your brand is not your logo, name or tagline. It’s the promise you make to your community.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Long before I joined the VantagePoint team, a bug crawled out from between the cushions on a couch in the middle of our art department during a daily traffic meeting. This one bug surprised the unsuspecting account executive who sat on the couch that morning—who, in turn, forever dubbed this couch, “the bug couch.”

I’ve never actually seen a bug descend from this couch, yet I still call it “the bug couch” like my colleagues and carefully eyeball the cushions before taking a seat. And last week, when a new account coordinator joined our team, what did we do? Warned her of the bug couch, of course!

My point? This otherwise clean, well-structured, comfortable couch had one bug many months ago, and its personal brand may never fully recover.

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Life is cyclical for marketing professionals.  Each February, I am filled with excitement and pride in my profession as new Super Bowl ads are rolled out, and, conversely, each December I cringe as I watch and listen to the parade of commercials aimed at informing people about all the things they simply cannot live without, or must give to loved ones if they truly want to demonstrate their yuletide affection. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s that time of year again when our thoughts turn to home, hearth, family, and for me, one of the single greatest PR tactics ever invented — the Butterball Turkey Talk Line. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the lifeline millions of Americans have used to save their holiday feasts. Read the rest of this entry »

Steve Jobs had some ideas on what it takes to succeed in marketing, in business and in life. All technology allegiances aside, so do Bill Gates and Larry Page.

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One of the benefits of living in Upstate South Carolina is that beach trips can be taken on a whim and over a weekend. And as anyone who has driven to the beach knows, the closer you get, the more billboards there are vying for your attention.

I’m always amazed by the one that never fails to catch my eye. It’s not for a beautiful beach resort. It’s not for the newest restaurant or tourist destination. It’s not for anything I would expect to catch my eye on a trip to the coast. It’s this:

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A recent conversation with my nearly five-year-old daughter has reminded me of the basics of crisis communications.  She started the discussion as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Or, the best laid plans of mice, men and fish can very easily go awry (with due apologies to Robert Burns).

flying fishConsider this: your marketing and public relations campaign works wonders, and one of the country’s largest aggregators of funny videos sends an email with a link to YOUR COMMERCIAL on YouTube. The video of your product — radio controlled flying sharks and fish — gets hundreds of thousands of views – nearly 1.4 million total. You are smart and include a hyperlink to your website on YouTube.

And guess what? Your marketing team didn’t tell your IT team, and your website can’t handle the traffic. Instead, you give potential customers a “Sorry, our store is currently experiencing higher than normal volume. Please try again later.” message. And how many of those potential customers will REALLY try again later? My guess? Not many.

Now consider this scenario: your national sit-down restaurant chain sends out a flyer with a special meal offer and coupons in the local newspapers. Your customers see the meal — a combo of seafood, steak and chicken — and decide to visit your restaurant. The customer notices that the flyer mentions “limited time offer” — but no date is listed. The coupons, however, include an expiration date at the end of the current month. So, the customer assumes that the meal will certainly be available for at least as long as the coupon applies, right?

And guess what? Your operations staff and your marketing team didn’t communicate, and the restaurant is no longer offering the meal combo. “I’m sorry,” says the waiter. “We stopped that offer last week.” Well, of course, the customer is at the table, so he’ll order something different. But do you think that customer will think twice before responding to a marketing offer from this restaurant in the future?

The bottom line: make sure your logistics are in line with your marketing. It does no good to spend money marketing a product that your customers simply can’t buy, even if they want to.

If you’re like most B2B companies, you launch new or improved products or services every year. After all, that’s one of the easiest ways to increase sales and market share.

But time and again, businesses are disappointed with underperforming new products or services. A study by OnTarget and Impact Marketing showed that nearly 80% of executives ranked their method of launching products as “neutral” or worse. And 60% of launch failures are due to poor planning.

VantagePoint Marketing has helped dozens of B2B companies plan, execute and market new product and service launches. Recently a few members of our leadership team recorded a discussion about how we help companies make their launches more successful. Take a few minutes to watch excerpts from that discussion below (it’s only 4 minutes), and see if there’s anything VantagePoint can do to help you with your new product or service launch. (Or, feel free to watch the video in HD, along with other videos, on VantagePoint Marketing’s YouTube channel.)

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About VantagePoint

VantagePoint's integrated approach to b-to-b marketing combines keen insight with bright ideas to strengthen your brand's market impact, no matter what the economy. Let us help you get a fresh perspective.

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