Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"The Little Things"

I decided last week that I was going to switch the blog I was tracking for the semester. After reading the posting entitled, “The Little Things,” I decided to switch my blog to “Brains on Fire.” The author, Spike Jones, got the idea for this posting from an inspirational quote on a tea packet: “All great things are only a number of small things that have carefully been collected together.”-Unknown

Jones relates this quote to marketing by commenting on how a strong brand is not built by one advertisement or any other single marketing event. He believes a successful brand is created by compiling “a number of small things.” With a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl costing companies $2.5 million, Jones suggests that these companies should spend their money on other less expensive but still valuable marketing communication. A link is provided within the body of his blog to an article, “What Would You Do With $2.5 Million?” written by iMedia Connection. This article provides examples of ways in which several marketing executives said they would spend a $2.5 million marketing budget. Although Jones does not seem to be incredibly impressed by any of the recommendations in the article, he does make some suggestions of his own: “Rewarding customer service. An engaging brand personality. A group of fascinating products. And a series of inspiring experiences.” Unlike Jones, I found one of the marketing executives’ recommendations to be extremely innovative and worth mentioning. Andy Sernovitz, the CEO of Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), proposes that a company “pass out two million $1 bills. Attach your logo to each bill with a removable sticker. Use $500,000 to hire staff to hand them out all over the country.”

Even though this blog appears to be about a simple quote from a tea bag and a simple question of how else you could spend $2.5 million, it is actually about seriously reflecting on one’s marketing practices. “The Little Things” informs marketing of one way a successful brand is believed to be achieved. It also suggests that marketers investigate whether or not advertising on television, especially during the Super Bowl, is worth the amount of brand equity it creates. Jones challenges marketers to “think outside of the box” and find other, possibly more cost-effective, ways to spend their marketing dollars.

“The Little Things” blog and the “What Would You Do With $2.5 Million?” article improved my understanding of marketing by giving me a new way in which to think about branding and different opinions regarding the money spent on Super Bowl advertising. Personally, I had always wondered if companies gained rewards large enough to exceed the money being spent on this type of advertising. The return on investment each company is looking to achieve may be different and in many cases hard to measure; still, I did always wonder if it was a beneficial way to spend marketing funds.

While I found this article to be extremely thought provoking, it would have been even more powerful if Jones had disproved some of the more common arguments in favor of Super Bowl advertising. Jones could have provided examples of the different reasons companies claim to benefit from a 30 second Super Bowl commercial and then explained why he believes that other smaller marketing efforts would be more successful. Jones does give some suggestions of general marketing efforts that could potentially build strong brand equity; however these examples are still quite large ideas and ones that are hard to implement. For example, Jones mentions creating “an engaging brand personality.” Brand personality is one aspect of marketing that is hard to control because it is solely a perception from consumers built by every experience consumers have ever had with the brand. In my opinion, the examples should have been even more specific and “smaller” considering the nature of the inspirational quote.

http://www.brainsonfire.com/blog/post300.aspx

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