Archive for the ‘Marketing Tactics’ Category

Chips and a Movie

HaveHaveyou heard the latest Frito-Lay radio advertisement?
It’s nothing amazing or special, but it did catch me off guard, and I initially didn’t like it. I’m used to hearing oil companies tout their environmental friendliness (think BP) and car companies ranting about safety and MPG. What I’m not used to hearing are junk-food companies blatantly telling you to grab their brand’s bag of chips every time you sit down in front of a TV.
I can’t quote the recent Frito-Lay ad word-for-word, nor can I find a transcript of it on-line, but the gist of it centers around eating their brand of snacks every time you and your kids plop down in front of a TV. It makes sense – in front of the TV (or at the movie theaters) is where most people eat junk food… it’s just that I’m not used to hearing ads tell it like it is. What I am used to is the government censoring companies from advertising (the entire tobacco industry for example) and scaring other industries into socially-responsible obedience.
Ok, I might be overstating the government’s influence here — marketers are naturally going to try and focus on the aspects of their products that are most socially-acceptable (with or without the government’s help). But, trying to tell me, for example, that a glorified candy bar is good for athletic folks is kind of silly. I don’t eat candy bars for their health benefits, I eat them because they are delicious (and I don’t need to make an excuse to eat them).
Pasta and meatballs go together. The beach and the sun go together. Always stretch before exercising and be sure to have a Frito-Lay snack with your next rental movie (and be sure to share them with your kids!). There you go, you’ve sold me.

Have you heard the latest Frito-Lay radio advertisement?

 

It’s nothing amazing or special, but it did catch me off guard, and I initially didn’t like it. I’m used to hearing oil companies tout their environmental friendliness (think BP) and car companies ranting about safety and MPG. What I’m not used to hearing are junk-food companies blatantly telling you to grab their brand’s bag of chips every time you sit down in front of a TV.

 

I can’t quote the recent Frito-Lay ad word-for-word, nor can I find a transcript of it on-line, but the gist of it centers around eating their brand of snacks every time you and your kids plop down in front of a TV. It makes sense – in front of the TV (or at the movie theaters) is where most people eat junk food… it’s just that I’m not used to hearing ads tell it like it is. What I am used to is the government censoring companies from advertising (the entire tobacco industry for example) and scaring other industries into socially-responsible obedience.

 

Ok, I might be overstating the government’s influence here — marketers are naturally going to try and focus on the aspects of their products that are most socially-acceptable (with or without the government’s help). But, trying to tell me, for example, that a glorified candy bar is good for athletic folks is kind of silly. I don’t eat candy bars for their health benefits, I eat them because they are delicious (and I don’t need to make an excuse to eat them).

 

Pasta and meatballs go together. The beach and the sun go together. Always stretch before exercising and be sure to have a Frito-Lay snack with your next rental movie (and  share them with your kids!). There you go, you’ve sold me.

Hire Everyone!

Interviewing. For some people, this word causes shivers up and down the spine. 

Many close friends and family members in my life are in the same position as me: looking for the next big job opportunity. What’s the one common thread I seem to hear about after each one of them has an interview? The creation of a dangerous void (a void?!? What do you mean? Read on).

I started thinking back to my interview experiences (both as an interviewer and an interviewee). Yes, all the general formalities were followed in almost every situation I could recollect. But then it hit me. There it was  — long after the interview ended – something everyone assumes is normal after an interview yet it leaves a nasty aftertaste. The void (ok… so, what IS THE VOID, Jared?).  

Like many poor aftertastes, it’s just bad enough to ruin the overall flavor of the finished piece.

Here’s a scenario that will help explain what I mean:

I send an application to a company which is advertising an open position. Having compared my qualifications to the specifications of the position, I feel that I would have a good deal to offer the hiring organization. I wait; sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks.

Then comes the next step (if I’m fortunate): the interview. I show up on time and dressed to impress. I also, and more importantly, show up prepared. I have scoured the company website and, if available, have studied the corporate outlook in financial statements and press releases. I come ready for an inquisitive conversation and ultimately hope to sell myself. 

Then what? 

Thank you. I was raised to appreciate all opportunities in life, and after having the opportunity to interview, I show my gratitude by sending a heart-felt thank you note. Most people do. 

Then what?

Then I wait. If enough time has passed, I’ll call to inquire on the state of the hiring process for the position I interviewed for. Oftentimes, if I am passed over for other applicants, I never hear a peep. Well, naturally, I still hold out hope long after the decision to hire has been made (but how am I to know this decision was made?). 

I sit there for weeks hoping for a call. I thought the interview went well, I know I can do the job… why shouldn’t I hold out hope? 

After nearly two months, there is no longer hope, but a void (AH! There it is Jared! The VOID!). That void is the missed opportunity I see as a marketer, but too often becomes the birthplace of bitterness. 

Let’s say I am part of a select pool of individuals who are being considered for a spot within an organization. I have studied the company. I know the company’s purpose and mission. I know what my role within the company would be. I know more about the company than most prospects and a good number of clients. Hire me!

You don’t need to add me to your payroll in order to get me to work for you. Fill the void with a mission and there will be no room for bitterness. You might be surprised with the results. 

Let’s say two weeks have passed after the hiring company has completed the interview process and they have decided to hire someone other than me. 

Send me a letter. Let me know you appreciated my time and that you have decided to give the paid position to someone else. After all, it is at the very least a sign of respect. 

Then, give the turned-down interviewee a mission (put me to work!). 

Here are some examples of how you can do this:

1. Save time and money by keeping your prospective employee-pipeline full (don’t throw away your left-overs). “While we decided to hire someone else, we were particularly interested in your e-marketing expertise. As we grow the marketing department within our organization, there may be future opportunities for you within our company and we’d like you to consider applying for future positions. Your energy and positive attitude were wonderful and if the right opportunity opened, we’d love to have you.” 

This sounds cheesy, but works wonders. Now the interviewee’s spirits are up, the memory of the company will be stronger and will create positive word-of-mouth. WARNING: Do NOT flat out lie. Be honest. If your marketing department may grow in the future, then mention it… but if you see no hope for growth, then don’t mention it. What if the interviewee was dull, boring, and seemed unfit for any position in the corporation? Well… a simple thank you will do… no need to lead them on.

2. Don’t lose a customer. Everyone knows retaining customers is easier than making new ones. For example: every computer I have ever owned has been a Dell. I like Dell. If I interviewed for a position at Dell, and was turned down, it might change my future purchasing habits (for a few different reasons). Think about implementing something like this:

“Thank you for your time and energy in helping us fill this position. As a token of our gratitude, here is a coupon for 10% off your next purchase from Dell.” 

Or…

“As a token of our gratitude, and as a fellow coffee-lover, please accept this $15 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card.” 

Wow, could you imagine actually getting a gift, no matter how small, from a company that turned you down after an interview? Even the smallest gift could work wonders. If Dell gives me a 10% off coupon, my next computer is certainly going to come from Dell (it’s more likely that the next  few will come from Dell). If I applied to a company that makes jet engines, then 10% off the next jet engine I look to purchase probably won’t help me much. But, you remembered I mentioned how much I like coffee, so you send me a small gift card to a local coffee shop (thoughtful, considerate, and effective). At the very least, I will likely have nothing but good to say about the company and the brand from that point on (positive word-of-mouth is priceless). 

3. Make NEW customers. Take bullet two and expand upon it. Give someone 2 x 5% off coupons and let the interviewee know that they can share them with friends. Give 3 x  $5 Dunkin Donut gift cards with nearly the same message. Use them yourself, or spread the love. 

Every company has leftover interviewees (like me), put us to work! 

How to Sell a Jared Rouleau

Recently I’ve been working on a marketing plan.  You might be wondering what company I’m writing the plan for. Well, the answer is: myself. 

The plan is titled, “How to Sell a Jared Rouleau.”

I’ve beefed up my resume, cleaned up my profiles on various networking sites, and I keep my finger on the pulse of the job market in my region… which is good, right? Of course it is, the only problem is that there are hundreds of thousands of people doing the same thing.

What distinguishes me from my competition? Well, that’s what I’m hoping to find out. 

Recently I had an insightful conversation with an acquantaince of mine, a self-employed businessman, who recommended I work on a marketing plan for myself. It made sense when he said it and it makes sense now that I’ve started in on it-

Worst case scenario: I get practice working on a marketing plan

Best case scenario: I find an industrial niche where my skillset is needed, I find a way to market myself differently and more succesfully than the competion, and I utilize all my job-hunting resources to the max. 

I have been out of school now for a few years and have been working in marketing ever since. Faced with having to find a new job in order to continue my adventures as a marketing professional, I realized that I have to work with an economic equation that isn’t pretty:

simple_math
With the answer to the equation in mind, I turn to my marketing plan in hopes of gaining insight during a period where scatter-shot job hunting simply isn’t working (I have proof). So, with an eye on local job boards and an ever-tweaking of my resume, I’ve started my journey down side-streets looking for a new corner to set up my fruit stand.

A Site Repurposed

Hello! Welcome back to Mind of Rouleau.

Jaredrouleau.com used to be my rant-board that housed political arguments and various other insights, and what a good rant-board it was! Now, I will use the site to take a look at the world of marketing (with a slight focus on myself). You can consider this my living resume. You can also consider this an interactive get-to-know-me portal. 

My inspiration came from a short trip I recently took to Rhode Island. The visit proved to be well-worth the drive. I met with a couple of wonderful folks who took a look at me and told me to get going and stop waiting. Stop waiting for something to happen, and make it happen. So, here I go, enjoy the site and feel free to contribute whenever possible!