Friday, 28 May 2010

New Essential Guide to Marketing Planning

The new edition of Essential Guide to Marketing Planning will be published on June 8.

Amazon has a preview of the book and an author page showing more of my marketing textbooks.

What's new?

- Organising model of the planning process. A diagram at the start of each chapter shows your progress through the seven stages of the marketing planning process.

- Coverage of the latest developments in marketing, including social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, mobile marketing, greenwashing and marketing metrics.

- Examples within the chapters are longer to show how manufacturers, retailers, service firms and other organisations apply the principles of marketing planning to achieve objectives.

- Case studies from well-known companies including Net-a-Porter, Cadbury and Adidas help you understand key elements of the planning process.

- 17 checklists guide you through the essential aspects of creating a marketing plan.

Please look for this new edition at your local book shop or online, and let me know what you think. Thank you!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Sainsbury thinks small

Now that Sainsbury is 140 years old, it's thinking small--as in expanding the number of small convenience shops it operates. The idea is to get shoppers in and out quickly when they need to pick up a few items on their way to do other things. Competitors are having success with convenience shops and Sainsbury sees room for more growth in this sector of the retail market.

Given the price of petrol, shoppers are watching their wallets and seeking out bargains wherever possible. Sainsbury's "coupons at till" programme offers targeted discounts, a plus for cost-conscious shoppers. Also, Sainsbury is emphasising its fresh foods and convenient locations in its marketing.

And, like competitors, Sainsbury offers online grocery shopping for consumers who prefer to buy with a click. Its online store is tying in with "football fever" by offering special buys for fan parties in the coming weeks. Stock up on crisps and soft drinks!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

John Lewis "Always a Woman" advert

Did you see the John Lewis "Always a Woman" advert during Britain’s Got Talent? If not, take 91 seconds and click here for the advert and a bit of commentary from The Times. You can also read a Guardian review here and a Daily Mail comment here.

Advertising has the power to make us smile, possibly annoy us, inform us, encourage us to buy, sometimes get us to think. This advert was a memorable sentimental journey through one woman's life, linked to the John Lewis brand. It packed a lot into 91 seconds.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Future of Shopping?

Cisco created an award-winning viral video about the future of shopping, and it's already been viewed more than 2 million times.

The idea of letting shoppers "try on" clothing in a virtual way is not new.

However, today's versions of a virtual dressing room are more user-friendly., a San Francisco boutique, has a virtual dressing room (shown here). All you need is a webcam, and it's easy to click and try different items.

Is this the future of shopping?

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

What's next for Net-a-porter?

Net-a-porter, which celebrates its 10th anniversary next month, is such a retailing sensation that the luxury products company Richemont bought it last month. Richemont had, in fact, held a minority stake in Net-a-porter but decided it wanted more.

The upmarket retailer, which sells clothing and accessories, has a sterling reputation for up-to-the-minute styles and top-quality customer service. When it features a product, affluent fashion fans click to buy. For example, the popularity of Judith Leiber's sparkly evening purses soared once Net-a-porter offered them for sale.

Because Net-a-porter is so successful, Richemont stands to gain from its experience in e-marketing luxury items. The key is service. Net-a-porter will deliver to London or New York City customers on a same-day basis. Its elegant packaging has special cachet to customers and reinforces the brand's exclusive image.

Marketing online brings its own challenges and opportunities. Net-a-porter understands how to use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media to build buzz and generate sales. (Note how the black backgrounds on Twitter and YouTube echo Net-a-porter's sleek black packaging.) What's next for Net-a-porter?

Friday, 14 May 2010

More marketing news: 2012 Olympic Games

Eurostar has become the latest official sponsor of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Only 805 days until the Games begin (according to the official count-down clock). If you click on the official 2012 web site, you can browse news about athletes, sports, and new venues.

To get news updates, check these official social media sites:
  • Twitter (where more than 20,000 followers are reading 2012 tweets)
  • YouTube (185,000 channel views) and
  • Facebook (64,000 "like" votes)

Monday, 10 May 2010

Soy sauce Kit Kat bars?

Yes. In Japan, Nestle caters to the craze for seasonal and limited edition flavors by releasing some unusual chocolate-bar combinations. Shown above are the soy sauce version and, below it, the corn version.

Distribution is limited, meaning that all bars are not available in all stores. Some of the bars are marketed as limited edition tributes to a national holiday or an athletic competition.

Nestle hopes that consumers will buy the range as gifts or souvenirs, not just for a quick sweet snack. Shoppers never know exactly which Kit Kats they'll find at the local store, so this strategy adds to the "treasure hunt" experience and encourages buyers to try the latest when they see it.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Topshop's trendy fashion and fun

The trendy Topshop is about to open a luxe new London store in Knightsbridge. Like Topshop's spacious New York store, which opened last year, the new Knightsbridge store will have an open and contemporary atmosphere. Along with the latest fashions, Topshop will serve up personal service, including a concierge to help shoppers with cabs and offer restaurant ideas.

Fun is as much a part of Topshop's appeal as fashion. The retailer is known for its dance parties, roller-skating events and other activities that add excitement and bring customers back again and again.

Now Topshop has launched its first cosmetics range, expanding its label and its profit potential. What is Topshop's next marketing move?

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Facebook and Transparency

Facebook has changed its privacy controls yet again, and many users are unhappy. The Guardian writes about FB's "megalomania" in wanting to control the web. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has prepared a timeline showing FB's movement away from privacy.

Information about FB users, the connections they make, the pages they like, the apps they use, all are at the heart of this matter. Marketers need data to do a better job of personalising communications and offers. FB fan pages are a wonderful way for marketers to stay in touch with people who like their goods and services.

However, every time FB changes its privacy controls, users have to go through the process of checking their old settings and understanding any new settings or they'll share more data more publicly than they expect. Some FB features can lead to unintentional info sharing, which users may not want.

More transparency, please: FB should opt for more privacy as the default setting and offer users the ability to share information more widely if they choose.