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May 2010 - Posts

  • Something Significant Most Marketing People Don't Think About

    May 21 2010

    Here’s something that anyone involved with setting marketing budgets should know:
    The cost of brand building may be 40% less than what most marketing executives believe it to be.   

    Think about it.  When a dollar is invested in real estate, its tax deductibility is spread out over 30 years.  When equipment is purchased, the deductibility is spread over 5-7 years.  But when a dollar is invested for marketing communications, it is immediately tax deductible.
    This means for most profitable corporations (who commonly pay 40% of profits in taxes) a dollar invested in marcom is actually costing the bottom line only 60 cents.  A dollar invested in marcom can often do more to build the value of the company’s stock than any other investment.

    Intangible assets – like brand cache and good will – may account for as much as 80 percent of the purchase price of acquired companies.  For example, the Ford brand is worth more than all its factories and inventories; the Google brand is worth thousands of times more than its hard assets.
    Surprisingly, I’ve never seen this thought in print (although, that may be a matter of what I don’t read).   But, it is certainly not top of mind with most CEOs or Boards of Directors, even though the value of the brand is the most important line item on the balance sheet.
    Agree?  Disagree? Have additional thoughts?  Let us know.

    Joe Phelps | Founder & Head Coach

  • Kimberly Daily "Gets Some" of the 2010 Monty McKinney Award

    May 20 2010



    The Phelps Group’s Kimberly Daily and her team, AcuitasLA, won the Monty McKinney Award at the 2010 AAAA’s Institute of Advanced Advertising Studies.

    The IAAS is one of the AAAA’s most prestigious and long-running advertising training programs.  In the program, 6 teams of 7-8 agency professionals with 1-3 years of experience attend the 16-week course to further develop their skills in a wide range of marketing disciplines. Teams use the course lessons to develop a comprehensive brand analysis, creative idea and media plan to present to a discerning client. This year, teams developed a plan for Pepsi Max – the highly-caffeinated, zero-calorie cola with the taste of Pepsi.  Each team presented their plan to a panel of 6 judges:

    · Pam McNeely – Tantara Media Partners
    · Eric Johnson – Ignited
    · Simon Little – Simon Little Brand Consulting
    · Gary Schmidt – West End Consulting Group
    · Kristen Latto – TBWA\Chiat\Day
    · Patrick O'Neill – TBWA\Chiat\Day

    AcuitasLA won the judges' approval with their “Get Some” campaign which captured the target of men age 25-35. The team expanded the concept of “Get Some” across traditional marketing platforms, digital media, and social media, along with sampling events and partnerships.  View samples from the presentation:

    This win continues The Phelps Group’s long-standing tradition of bringing home the Monty McKinney Award. The award is named after the iconic former chairman of both DDB/West and TBWA\Chiat\Day who has lent his name to the IAAS award for over 25 years.

  • Knowledge Is Power - Evaluating Paid Media Vehicle Opportunities

    May 18 2010

    I’m often asked how a media strategist navigates the multitudes of on- and off-line communications vehicles and comes up with a plan that might actually build a company’s awareness or drive sales or, hopefully, both.

    It starts with establishing strategic parameters based on a client’s objectives. We have many research resources that help us define target audiences, analyze media usage habits and build plans within a budget. But, once we define overall strategies (e.g., spot radio to drive awareness and frequency of message or out-of-home for geographically specific targeting and continuity of message), how do we decide which suppliers and opportunities will best deliver reach to the right target and get them to take action?

    I’ll drill deeper into individual media vehicle evaluation in subsequent posts, but you can get started with any supplier and establish the fact that nobody’s going to pull the wool over your eyes with these basic “must asks”:

    Is it on strategy: How does this opportunity fit into my overall communications strategy? If you aren’t utilizing local print, then it doesn’t make sense to invest in a one-off ad in a random magazine — no matter how attractive the sales rep might be.

    Reputation of supplier and sales representative: Have they been in business long? Working with suppliers that are in launch mode can offer great ground-floor opportunities, but I’ve also seen advertisers get burned by over-confident suppliers with poor business models that wind up going under quickly.

    Audience: Who is being reached by this opportunity? Does a "user study" exist that speaks to demographics or psychographics? Can you imagine your target audience engaging with this vehicle during their day?

    Quality of the environment: No matter how inexpensive an opportunity may appear, the environment you advertise in can adversely affect your brand — posters over urinals in bars? Maybe not, unless you’re selling condoms or Viagra. Ask about current advertisers here, too, and remember you are only as good as the company you keep…

    Value/pricing: This also ties into audience. How is the audience being measured? Is there some third party (audit bureau, Nielsen, etc.) to verify the data? Who, exactly, are you reaching and how often? How did they arrive at their pricing structure? How are they priced versus competitors?

    Case histories: What other clients have they worked with? Can they share any results? What type of results can you expect?

    Negotiation: Everything in life may not be negotiable but buying media certainly is. Ask all the questions I have here, get direct answers and go in fighting! And, although getting a great deal is important, be wary of suppliers that are willing to go very low on pricing, as this desperation may mean their audience is falling off or the supplier may be shutting down.

    Humanity: We all need to show some. Buying and selling media can be challenging and, sometimes, stressful. Return a phone call or e-mail and be honest and not afraid to say “no” if the opportunity is not a fit for your strategies. Most sales reps will respect you for being straight up and it allows them to focus on advertisers that might be more appropriate for their opportunities.

    Mary Jo Sobotka | VP Integrated Media Strategy

  • Walk for Wishes 2010

    May 18 2010

    The Phelps Group helped out our client Panera Bread this weekend at the third annual Make-A-Wish "Walk for Wishes." This two-mile walk-a-thon brings together kids, student groups, families and Make-A-Wish supporters to bring strength and joy to themselves while they walk to do the same for children living with life-threatening medical conditions. Following the walk, there was delicious food, music and entertainment including a Hot Wheels® race track, bounce house and face painting. Panera Bread sampled scrumptious shortbread and chocolate chipper cookies and handed out balloons. The event raised more than $200,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Founded in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world. Take a look at some photos from the event here.

    Kristen Bergevin | VP Public Relations