Marketing

Marketing to Muslims poses a challenge for retailers

Leafing through a Best Buy flier over the holiday season, Celena Khatib spotted a small greeting near the bottom of the page: “Happy Eid al-Adha.”

The good wishes for the important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims seemed a milestone in U.S. marketing. “I finally felt that they are recognizing Muslims like we are a part of this community,” said Khatib, 31, a suburban Detroit mother of two. “We live here, we spend our money here.”

But on Best Buy’s website, people around the country posted contrasting views. “You insult all of the heros and innocent who died 911 by celebrating a holiday of the religion that said to destroy them!” wrote one. Many others said they would no longer shop at Best Buy.

The controversy underscores the continuing obstacles that retailers and other companies face in marketing to a U.S. Muslim population estimated at more than 2.3 million by the Pew Research Center.

Read more at Marketing to Muslims poses a challenge for retailers – Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan 2010

Flickr photo credit: al-Taqi [feeling surrealistic]

By | June 2, 2010|Blog, Diversity, Marketing|0 Comments

Design Your Customers’ Decisions

There is a vital lesson buried in the August 19, 2009 Jet Blue announcement that they were suspending sales of the $599.00 “All You Can Jet” promotion they’d debuted only seven days before. Any student of Behavioral Economics could have predicted that an “all you can eat” approach would inspire vastly different behavior than if Jet Blue had charged a lower fixed fee plus $1 per mile. Similarly, over a decade ago when AOL switched to a usage-independent flat price, connection time increased four times more than they anticipated.

“All you can eat” is an entirely different price than “very, very cheap.”

Traditional economics says that lowering the marginal price from $2 to $1 should have a similar effect to lowering it from $1 to $0 — but experience and experiments have both shown that the traditional demand curve acts in an odd manner when we reach $0 marginal cost. Jet Blue’s executives should have known better. But the Jet Blue management team is not alone.

Many executives assume their customers are more rational than they really are. For example, most leaders believe in enhancing the options given to customers, but increased choice can actually freeze decision-making by overwhelming the shopper. Excessive options is a key reason that an average of 60% of all online shoppers abandon their purchases mid-stream.

Read more at Design Your Customers’ Decisions – Harvard Business Publishing, 26 Aug 2009

Flickr photo credit: pawpaw67

By | August 27, 2009|Blog, Marketing|0 Comments

Direct Mail Done Right

When it comes to direct mail, success can be measured in a variety of ways besides straight ROI — although raising response is, of course, the bottom line. For instance, did the piece grab attention? Did its design help it get past the gatekeepers? Or, was the mailing particularly cost-efficient? Did it help increase customer loyalty? These are the factors that came into play for the following three successful direct mail campaigns. A b-to-b campaign, a campaign touting an education nonprofit and a mailing strictly for high-end luxury auto enthusiasts may not initially seem to have much in common. But they are all efforts that effectively used direct mail in creative and thoughtful ways.

Cost-savings savvy

As an education nonprofit that relies on federal and state funding to survive, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) was looking to cut down on direct mail campaign costs, which — while mail remains an essential marketing channel for the organization — can be prohibitively expensive.

For a mailing promoting a conference that targeted 74,000 national board certified teachers, director of marketing Elizabeth Arritt had an idea of how to cut down on the number of mailers sent out: “We were already planning e-mails and mailings and I thought, why am I e-mailing all these people and then mailing something when I can tell exactly who opened the e-mail?”?  …read more of this article at Direct mail done right – DMNews, published 18 May 2009

Flickr photo credit: ignescent infidel

By | June 22, 2009|Blog, Marketing|0 Comments