Posted by & in category Marketing Musings.

A while back, I read about Philly-based agency Gyro Worldwide changing their name to Quaker City Mercantile due to the fact they believe they “are a hybrid of 19th century mercantilism and 21st century brand artistry.” Wow. But today I read these “artists” are crafting something else – BEER and RUM!

We all know the ad industry as a whole is suffering from spending cuts, general client malaise about the economy and the unwritten rule that marketing is always the first thing to go. But I think these guys are onto something.

They have a series of books, they’re producing films, they have their own brand of rum – Sailor Jerry – and now they’re making beer. The agency took a major stake in New England’s Narragansett Brewery. Of course being an ad agency, they have produced their own campaign including print collateral, surfboard and airplane banners, radio, TV and a line of apparel.

My first thought was “BRILLIANT! Our creative sessions could quadruple in fun and we can pay the vendors in beer!” Then, my thoughts shifted to who would actually want to work on the agency side versus playing with hops and sugarcane. Although it is summer and this sounds like a great way to diversify, I think we’ll just stick to reinventing the agency with shifting client needs. I’d be happy to discuss this over a cold one with you.

Posted by & in category Internet Marketing.

This is my first shot at a blog entry for our Agency…hope you enjoy!

In today’s business climate, it is well known that you cannot go far in the online community without utilizing the appropriate tools for your marketing strategy. That being said, Google has emerged as the king of the tool shed, with programs like AdWords and Analytics geared towards optimizing your brand’s presence online.

As a marketer, these programs are absolutely fantastic. The information available to me is unbelievable. To give a simple example, I can see how many people from Grand Rapids have accessed our website (www.sharpmkt.com), which browser they were using, how long they spent on the site, which pages they viewed, which site they came from, if it was their first time visiting the site or not, as well as pull all of the usual demographic suspects (age, sex, income) etc. It is truly, any marketer’s dream. However while I was coming up with this example, I stopped for a second and shifted gears into consumer mode asking myself, ”how much information does Google give out about me?”

So I developed a little experiment. I wanted to see how well I could profile myself as a consumer using both Google Analytics and Quantcast (another awesome website analytics software). First step: access our website from home. I logged on five times to the site, each time erasing my entire browser history. Then, I began to dig. I created a Custom Report in Analytics for the day I had accessed the site. My reporting tree was as follows: All visits, broken down by the hour of the day, then by city, medium (how visitors found the website), operating system (I use a MAC at home), and browser (I used Firefox to access the site).

Total visits: 6.

I also ran a Quantcast report for the same day, singling out males between the ages of 18 and 24, Caucasian, with no kids, an income of $25,000 or less (no comments please), and a Bachelors degree.

Total visits: 6.

There I was, naked as the day I was born. All five visits showed up along with one other person…most likely our graphic designer. Scary how I can tell, isn’t it?

Posted by & in category Marketing Musings.

For all the gloom and doom I hear about the economy every morning on CNN, I read an article today based on a report just out in AOL Money and Finance that makes me feel a little better about things. And it seems I am even contributing to bucking the recession in some product categories. The report gives an overview of the changes in consumer behavior since everything went belly-up on Wall Street. It seems that consumers are still living their lives and not giving up the things they like, but are merely scaling down on choices. Lets see how I rate with these changes in consumer behavior:

• Wine drinkers are still imbibing—but they’re looking more closely at cheaper selections. **Check.** You can’t beat $3 bottles of Jackeroo Australian Chardonnay.

• Used car sales are on the rise, as are parts at auto stores. **Check.** Just last night my husband and I were talking about our next “new used vehicle” and who gets one first.

• Sales at Goodwill Industries are booming—while those at luxury retailers like Saks have plummeted. **Check!** Not only do I find some incredible deals on great brands, I’m helping to recycle.

• Comfort food is king: Chocolate-maker Hershey’s sales were up 20 percent in the first three months of 2009; sales of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese have gone through the roof. **Double check!!** A glass of Jackeroo and mac and cheese are the ultimate comfort food after a long day.

• Do-it-yourself is tops. Consumers are buying things that they can use themselves such as fishing equipment and seeds for at-home vegetable gardens. **Check.** I have a sore back 3 days after planting new seeds over the weekend.

• DIY fitness is booming. Sales of running shoes are robust, as are those of bicycle helmets. Does a new pair of walking shoes count? If so, then **Check!**

So I can tell clients firsthand that it’s not all gloom and doom. Customers are buying products that resonate with their new focus on thrift, on the home and on indulging just a little.

Source: Deb Riechmann, AP