« September 2005 | Main | November 2005 »

Online Treats Can Bring Extra Profits


When I was a "diva-in-training" more often than not Halloween costumes were hidden under heavy winter coats. Tis the way of life in New England in October. But it sure didn't stop me from gather up lots of treats!

Halloween, as a holiday for kids and adults, has stepped out from the spooky shadows. Did you know that Halloween is the sixth-largest spending holiday? Online and off, the National Retail Federation says that consumers expect to spend $3.29 billion on Halloween this year, up 5.4% from $3.12 billion in 2004. - from eMarketer

Interesting article in USAToday article about companies that are getting into the treats act sans the chocolate goodies. Complements of Lynn Brown from the AMA.

It’s easy to leverage online holiday strategies - from a tweak of the design element a la Google.com  to special promotions. An extra customer treat could be a thouCandycornghtful Halloween card or a bag of childhood candy complete with those funny plastic lips or teeth! Or a virtual bag of candy corn...from me to you!

For Everything Halloween - BlogCritics has posts from books to movies to a creepy podcast!

Blog Resources


Where do you go for blog resources? Seems this should have a drum beat .. ta da!

Divo Lee Odden at Online Marketing Blog has pulled together a great list of links from SEO blogs to marketing blogs to pubs and events and well check out Online Marketing Blog Resouces yourself!

Technorati Tags: , ,

Friday Fun: Shake Rattle 'n Roll The Toothpicks


Millie Garfield - My Mom's Blog,Millie_sketch the ultimately  diva, always brings a smile. Millie and son Steve Garfield (who by the way is the master divo when it comes to vlogs) are at it again. Great laughs for a Friday! I'm waiting for the Millie & Son Reality Show...I want to walk the red carpet with you Millie.

Don't want to give the giggles away, but the tagline on the blog is a great lesson learned for marketers who want to tap into the senior market.

Read More About Marketing To Seniors
Detroit News
Seniors and ecommerce
Senior Mag
Silver Surfers (Love the title!)
Time Goes By
Sidebar: A great blog written by an awesome diva!

Technorati Tags: , ,

Jane Genova Interviews "Blog" Author


Diva speechwriter Jane Genova posted an interesting interview with David Kline the co-author of the book Blog. Jane's interview style is as smart and insightful as her blog posts!

six apart promises NEVER again


Girlfriend, there's an saying by John Heywood that goes, "It's an ill wind that blows no good."  The post about TypePad's rapid growth challenges brought a comment from Ginerva of six apart.

hey there -
Trust me, we hear you guys. You can check out Mena and Ben's post here regarding the ups and downs: (I added the hyperlink for you) and to reiterate, we really, really apologize. This will NEVER happen again.

... which led me to a cool new blog. Ginvera's very divaish - n-judah love song  - well worth a visit.

By the way, Divos Marshall and Cary offer some ideas for how to deal with Technorati Tags in the  comments of Diva Marketing's post - TypePad's Growing Pains. Seems Technorati indexes your categories from Typepad posts. But I ask you - who wants to have a zillion categories? Ah life in the blogosphere... Some day some one will figure it out and make oodles of $.

TypePad's Growing Pains


As blogs become more integrated in business strategies the platforms that we use become increasingly important. As Tris Hussey puts it, "...for many of us blogs are mission critical parts of our marketing, communication and daily life."

On Business Blog Consulting Tris Hussey, Debbie Weil, Paul Chaney and Rich Brooks are discussing the results of what maybe TypePad's too rapid growth; also read what Marianne Richmond at Resonance Partnership has to say.  Here's Diva Marketing's story.

Diva Marketing is built on TypePad. I did a lot of research before choosing six apart's (TypePad's parent company) hosted weblog product. I wanted a simple interface, easy to use formatting and linking with the ability to trackback. I also wanted to track metrics. Since I'm a small business, reasonable cost was on the list too. And I wanted a hosted solution.

I also looked at the company itself e.g., how long had it been around; what were people's take on the service; was it a pure start-up or was there a bit of a track record. After reviewing a bunch of solutions and talking with a few people it seemed that TypePad would meet most of my needs. I've since recommended TypePad to friends and clients.

six apart  has reaped the benefits of being one of the first to market in the blog solution space. However, it has not come without its share of growing pains; and as often is the case with growth that seems not to be planned, it's at the expense of its customers.

Over the past couple of weeks TypePad seems to be playing more like a  yoyo. It has gone up and down numerous times  without warning. Customers have not been able to access their blog posts (was that a scary moment!), and just yesterday when I tried to pull up the site nothing came up. Nothing. Not even a splash page telling me not to freak.

If we've learned one thing in the blogopshere it's that the Godfather was wrong. Business is personal. six apart as one of the leaders in this emerging industry shame on you for putting customers last. Rich sums it  up, "Whether TypePad is going to be part of the solution for business bloggers or an also-ran will be determined by how they respond to their current problems."

This is not a whine session but a gentle wake up or the parade will pass you by message. This space is becoming more competitive by the nano second. Remember the dot com bust and take heed.

Lessons Learned: Growth without a plan that includes customer communications can cost you significantly in terms of good will and lost customers.

Next -  If we can only get the pings and tags to work! Technorati what's the deal?

Technorati: +

The Diva is Not The Michael


Bloomberg__women_for_bloombergThe guys at The Policker thought Diva Marketing was a new blog from Mayor Bloomberg.

A new Bloomberg-y blog? With a martini logo? My interest was piqued, and then I realized that this is actually the blog for an Atlanta-based company, run by some dude named Toby Bloomberg. Damn.

Ah..life in the blogosphere..too funny! But if Bloomberg wants to talk about buying my URL Bloomberg Marketing I'm willing to negotiate. Or if the Mayor wants help with a blog strategy I can do that too!

So..welcome Policker readers...pour a dirty martini or a Jack take a politially incorrect puff on a Cuban cigar and feel free to wander about. You might enjoy the interview with Ed Gasten of the controversial TheFirehouse.biz media only blog from DaimlerChrysler or step into the wild side of marketing a read about blogs as a sales strategy.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Brand Loyalty Is A Two Way Street


Jack_daniels_town_square_1"Dear Squire Bloomberg," the letter began. "I guess you remember the problem when they put up our second red light." And goes on ...

We already had one at the library corner, which was suppose to solve all our traffic problems.The only thing I saw that it did was cause the traffic to backup down to the square in the mornings when we were trying to get to work. Then they added the one up where Price's filling station use to be. But a couple of years later, the State decided we didn't have enough traffic for two lights so out it came.

Well, now there's talk of getting parking meters around the square, and I'm a great believer in once burnt, twice learnt! I can't see any good at all in this. If anything, it will cause more traffic problems and I'll stand to lose some of my business, and I can't afford that.

I know this has already been talked over by most of us at one time or another, so my main reason for writing is that I think NOW is the time to take some action before they put those things in. I just don't think our town needs more money for things like parking meters. Besides, who wants to pay a dime to park for 15 minutes when it only takes 5 minutes to do your shopping!

Squire Bloomberg, most everyone I've talked to is of a like mind on the above, especially the other merchants. We've got a meeting set up in the trustee's office at the courthouse this afternoon, and I've got a good feeling we'll be successful. If you don't hear back from me, you'll know that things will stay the same here in Lynchburg - at least for a while longer.

No, this is Not spam. You see, I am the proud owner of Plot no. g34019 in town of Lynchburg, TN. Mister Clayton Knight was updating me on the goings on of the town. Seems traffic - or non traffic - is a great concern at the moment. Kind of him to keep me posted especially since I'm not living in the community.

Gottcha! It's part of Jack Daniels' innovative loyalty program. Several times a year Squire Bloomberg (how cool is that I ask you?) receives letters keeping me informed about the goings on in town. I even get a neat calendar each December.

Brand loyalty is sought after by marketers from teeny towns in Tennessee with huge brands like Jack Daniels to marketers in major markets promoting local restaurants. Relationship building is at the heart of most loyalty programs. And of course, we know that's not as easy as it looks. Blogs are one great tactic but there's more.

Don Schultz, professor at Northwestern University and president of Agora Inc., has authored an interesting piece in Marketing Management on The Loyalty Paradox. Professor Schultz lists several reasons why consumers are brand loyal...and not all are what you might want to concentrate on for a  long-term strategy.

1. The product is the only one available - such as in a monopoly marketplace situation
2. Consumer inertia - repetitive consumer behavior and the path of least resistance
3. Indifference - all available brands are considered alike, cost the same, are a commodity product
4. Customer satisfaction - customer believes there is good price/value relationship and the product     or service is consistent over time
5. Brands are a badge of honor or identifier - customers want to be affiliated with the brand. Those reasons may range from ego to self confidence to being a member of a special group. Harley- Davdison is a great example. How many other brands do you know of where customers actually       have a brand logo tattooed on their bodies?

I couldn't agree more with the good professor when he says, "My view is that brand loyalty doesn't exist for many products and services, and is declining for those who have a modicum of it, because the marketing organization and the brand are not loyal to the customer. Brand loyalty is a reciprocal process, with both buyer and seller getting what they want."

Actually, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. How many people do you know that are really great at developing and maintaining personal relationships? Why should creating a business loyalty program not be as complicated? Holding_hands_drawing

If we've learned anything in the blogosphere, it is that we're dealing people. And that's what loyalty programs are - or should be - about. People connecting to people. For that matter, isn't that what excellent marketing is all about?

A few questions to consider If you have, or are thinking about  developing a loyalty program
- Objectively review your strategy. It is a fair trade deal? Are both parties getting value?
- Are existing clients being appreciated?
- Can you keep your promises? And what happens when you can't?

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Who's Your Blog Mama Or Blog Daddy?


The  Politiburo Diktit is creating a family blog tree. This could be a really fun meme.
Sidebar: Memes are a form of viral marketing. 

Who do you claim as part of  your family blog tree?  Answer the following 3 questions:

Diva_marketing_family_tree_color_21. Who is your Blog Mama or your Blog Daddy? The one blogger that, more than any other, who inspired you to start blogging.
2. What is your blog birthday and/or blog sign?
3. If you are reasonably certain that you have spawned any blog kiddies or significantly helped in the birthing process (whatever that might mean) list those too. Actually, I prefer to think of myself more of an Auntie Mame.   

Here's mine:
1. Blog Daddy - Dana VanDen Heuvel then of BlogSavant now of Pheedo.
2. Blog Birthday - May 19, 2004; that makes Diva Marketing Blog a Tauraus
3. Blog kiddies -
-Delicious Destinations
-Rick Short's Blog
-Paula Ponders
-Caro Consulting
-Quality Service Marketing

And of course Diva Marketing has an awesome extended family!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Secret of Technorati Tags


By George or Georgette, I do believe we've got it! Marshall Kirkpatrick is right...the secret to Technorati Tags is all in the pinging. Oh and not messing with the code, unless you know what you're doing.

Actually, I think what really set Diva Marketing's tags into blog motion was the Feedburner RSS feed that pings ole Technorati (plus 7 more blog engines) everytime I post. Marshall set that up. Awesome. Posts that weren't showing yesterday are up on the Big T tonight.

Bloggers are the friendliest and most generous people.Pink_boa_6 A toss of the Diva pink boa to Marshall for his kindness!

Technorati Tags: , , , ,