Thursday, March 27, 2008

Can't Get No . . . Satisfaction

According to the 2007 American Customer Satisfaction Index, customers are increasingly satisfied with the hospital, Internet brokerage, and Internet retailing industries. But they're increasingly dissatisfied with the airline, hotel, gas station, TV news, and land-line phone industries.

Over the years, satisfaction scores for breweries, pet food, and personal care/cleaning products have barely budged. Scores for the U.S. Postal Service have gone up, however! And last year's satisfaction scores for airlines were not pretty, which is hardly surprising. Take a quick look at the ACSI chart, which should be required reading for every marketer.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

David Pogue Flips for the Flip

Last week, the New York Times tech columnist, David Pogue, finally got around to reviewing the Flip tiny digital video recorder--and he loves its simplicity and intuitive ease of use. And now it's on sale at bargain prices (as low as $102.80) at Amazon and other online retailers. Shop around, because as of this moment, the range of prices is remarkably wide. I highly recommend the Flip, which gives you 60 minutes of video time in a compact camera that anyone, even a six-year-old, can learn to use in only a few minutes (I tested with a favorite six-year-old just to be sure).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tourism Marketing Part 2 - Yawn

Here are a few tourism sites that are not very exciting and don't make me want to rush off with passport in hand:

  • French Tourist Office - Too much text, not enough photos, too many Google ads. Not very oo-la-la. Au revoir.
  • Amsterdam Site - So ordinary . . . the photos seem generic and the information is presented in ho-hum fashion. Yawn.
  • Costa Rico Tourism and Travel Bureau - Even bigger yawn. A country with magnificent scenery, yet this unsophisticated site concentrates on bureaucratic details.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Let's Go! Tourism Marketing

Good online marketing for major tourist destinations should make us want to drop everything and go there NOW. Here are the official tourism sites promoting travel to India, Italy, Beijing, and Japan.
  • Incredible India, with microsites for specific tourist sites, lots of gorgeous photos and details, and targeted holiday ideas (like adventure sports, ecotourism, luxury trains). The Incredible India print campaign, which stars the Taj Mahal, is very eye-catching.
  • The Italian Government Tourist Board, not as visually stunning as India's--in fact, a little text-heavy--but with good photos plus the schedule for the Italy for Life hospitality bus, a mini-road show that has been touring U.S. cities.
  • Beijing 2008, the official English-language Beijing Olympics site, with the latest news, ticket info, local tourism info, Olympic lore, and more. It's hard to do justice to the spectacle of the first Olympics held in China on one site...
  • Japan National Tourist Organization, with colorful, evocative photos on the home page; on the English-language pages, special tour offers, info about food and festivals, targeted travel ideas (like rural areas, affordable trips, highlights).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Troy, Gabriella, Ryan, Sharpay, Corbin, and Monique All Got Milk

Love this "Got Milk?" ad by the cast of Disney's "High School Musical," one of the hottest entertainment franchises for preteens (at least right now). Wholesome, clean-cut teens who dance more than smooch--great role models for the milk set.
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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Now We're Cookin'

Here's good online targeting and marketing with a decidedly human touch -- learn some new techniques, get some new recipes, find some new ways to use Kraft food products.
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Friday, March 7, 2008

Wearin' of the Green

If we had fun figuring out what "lite" and "organic" meant in the world of food (until the government came along and established real definitions), we're seeing real funny business with all kinds of products marked "green" and "eco-friendly" and the like.

Here are three groups that independently certify products as being environmentally-friendly. Seeing the seal of one of these groups will give me more confidence in a product's earth-friendly claims.
  • Green Seal - was involved in ISO 14000 international eco-labeling policy standards.
  • Greenguard Environmental Institute - certifies products that have a positive effect on indoor air.
  • EcoLogo - has certified more than 7,000 products as "green" according to its scientific standards.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Targeting business buyers

Kyocera's ads are pretty low-key and not as focused as they could be. However, the ad on p. 25 of this week's BusinessWeek caught my eye because of the headline: "Kyocera could save you hundreds, even thousands, every year."

This ad almost casually mentions Kyocera's Web-based total cost of ownership calculator (TCO Tracker--along left border of page), where you can see how a Kyocera printer compares to competing printers--not just in initial price but also accounting for ink, supplies, maintenance, etc.

This is a nifty tool to help would-be buyers prove to themselves how cost-effective Kyocera printers can be compared with their current printer brands. Business buyers are "prove it " kind of people, and the TCO Tracker is a good tool for making a bottom-line case. Kyocera has the right media vehicle for targeting business buyers; I just wish the company had made the TCO Tracker the main focus of its ad.