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| Issue 64 |
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Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ
On strategic development in practice
This time I would like to share part of an article that I published in
Status magazine (Issue 176, February 2006). The tactic described in this article will help you send out a clear and conspicuous message on a limited budget.
Even if you have the right marketing strategy, a well-defined target customer population, and a clear and important advantage to offer these customers, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to reach them. Even if you found a creative and effective way of expressing your advantage (such as an especially creative commercial or outstanding packaging), you cannot be sure that customers will take note of your marketing message. It’s becoming more and more difficult to reach customers because they are inundated with thousands of marketing messages on a daily basis, from all possible directions: newspapers, billboards, radio, the Internet, email, direct mailing, television, display windows and on the shelves, on the packaging and the products themselves, and in virtually every other possible place.
In order to stand out and reach customers, you may very well need to think about ways to create a
marketing impact, meaning - to find a way to reach your customers in the ultimate time and place, so that the message that you are trying to transmit will be reach its target successfully and sink in. The rest of the article will present a number of examples of successful marketing impact. These examples can serve as inspiration to create your own marketing impact.
1. Psychometric on the last page
It’s the beginning of the 1990’s. You’re young and fresh out of the army, planning your big trip abroad, living in the meantime in Tel Aviv and making a living from waiting tables. You’re saving money for your trip and for university. You feel like a local and are enjoying the big city. You read the local entertainment newspaper every Friday, staying up to date on what’s new, what’s happening, where the hot spots to go to tonight are. It’s a lazy Friday afternoon of reading. What a pleasure.
Especially the last page. Short satiric passages. Also dubious heroes like Shalom Toksha “the man”, and (six and a half year old) Efrat Nitzan the menace. Brief, witty writing that slaughters every possible holy cow. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. You arrive at the last humorous section, where you read: “Hi Boaz, I’m now on a trip around the Annapurna. The view is amazing, but I feel sorry for my poor Nepalese porter. He’s small, skinny, and has to carry my backpack with my new yellow HighQ book”. This is a commercial advertisement for the psychometric exam preparation institute. A small and clever ad that looks just like a natural continuation of the
back page. It appears exactly in the right place where the right audience will reach it in the right mood. This ad makes HighQ a cool school. And to top it off, at a relatively low advertising cost.
2. One cow at a time
You’ve been travelling around India for two months already, walking around all the vendors, tasting everything. You’ve developed a special fondness for various sweets. There’s such a huge variety here, and it’s all so tasty. You gobble up another golab jamon… mmmm… no wonder you’ve gained 10 kilos since you left the army! Suddenly another cow passes you by. A regular cow, holy just like its other comrades in India. However, you notice a blue sign stuck to this cow. This is a walking ad. “Look like this?” the sign asks. You don’t look like a cow just yet, but you might as well start expressing some interest in what the rest of the sign says: “Lose weight with BioSlim.” Without a doubt an outstanding way to advertise a weight loss product.
3. The urine has gone to your head.
You are a Business Administration student. It’s Thursday night and you are at the hottest bar in town. You’ve already had four beers and are deliberating whether to order another one or to invite the girl you have been eying all evening for a drink. Meanwhile, you bladder is pressing. You merrily teeter off to the co-ed toilets. Thankfully, one of the stalls is empty. While you are standing up and urinating, you notice, through your haze of intoxication, a rectangular lit-up sign positioned directly above the toilet. It’s meant for you, and recommends a very specific condom, and in a very direct manner. “Even if you shake really well”, the sign says, “it’s very important that you take care of him for the rest of the night.” There is a condom vending machine at the entrance to the bathroom. Obviously, you bought two. One for you and one for her.
Click here for the rest of the article
advertisement and its logic behind it
Ideas for innovations in backgammon
The following ideas were developed using various thinking tools, and do not exist at present (to the best of our knowledge):
- Backgammon for up to 4 players (with four “homes” and triangles to place the stones in each of the four sections of the board, and with four colors of stones)
- Backgammon with a dice that has seven or eight sides and maybe with more triangles in every section of the board (it would be great to get a “double eight”)
- 3D backgammon (for example – with an added storey so you can skip over a triangle that is taken when you move up a storey – but moving to another storey wastes one move forward…)
- Speed backgammon, with a stopper and a fixed time for every player, like in chess (the opposite of “Haste is of the devil”)
- Backgammon that also has a double thickness stone (it can only be taken by an opponent’s double stone)
- Backgammon where every player gets two attempts at rolling the dice (you move according to the preferred roll)
- Backgammon where once every ten throws of the dice you play with the opponent’s pieces (destroy his strongholds…)
- Backgammon with numbered playing pieces (you have to move them home in chronological order, similar to sinking balls in billiards)
- Bonus for guessing (you guess what the outcome will be when you roll the dice, and if you are right, you get another turn).
- Backgammon with a sum of the dice fixed at 8 (each player rolls the dice in turn, again and again, until he gets a sum of 8, and only then he moves according to the dice: 2:6, 3:5 or 4:4)
- Articles on
- For information about Systematic Innovation
- To read an article about games workshops:
Note: In the Creativity through Games workshop that we offer, participants make up new rules for games (similar to the backgammon rules described above) and implement these rules while playing the game
- We would be happy to read your
comments and suggestions
A guest column: Neta Weinrib – On B2B marketing of technological products
Product strategy isn’t worth a dime if you don’t put it into action.
It’s somewhat resembles writing this column without it bringing me meetings with new clients
In previous columns, I wrote about the various stages of developing a strategy. This time I want to give a checklist that will help us determine whether we understand enough about our strategy so that we can start implementing it.
In principle, we have to check that we can answer the following four questions, which I mentioned in the first column:
1. What are we selling?
2. To whom?
3. Why would they want to buy it?
4. Is it worthwhile for us to sell it?
We know that we have answered the first two questions if we can fill in the following blanks.
We sell <product> to
The <product> enables <customers> to <what customers do with the product>.
After we have managed to fill in the blanks above, we have analyzed our market, our competitors’ markets, and target markets (using Porter’s models). We now know what environment we will have to work in.
We also know what the minimal price that we must ask for our product is, and maybe we also understand a little bit about the target price.
Now we can take everything we know, and conduct a summarizing analysis. The most convenient is using a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), which I assume most of you are familiar with.
We should eventually be able to answer the third question, and fill in a few more blanks:
If the product is a market-creating product, meaning there are no similar products that compete with it, we need to complete one of the following sentences:
1. The product enables customers to earn money by…
2. The product saves customers money because…
Even if our product does not create a new market but rather joins an existing one, you need to be able to fill in the above blanks. But then, you also need to complete one of the following sentences:
1. In contrast to the competitors, the product enables customers to earn more money because…
2. In contrast to the
competitors, the product enables customers to save more
You might say that people will buy our product because it’s beautiful, or cool, or has better architecture, or because we are nicer than the competition (and by the way, these are all things that I have heard from managers and entrepreneurs in industry).
So, no. You want to earn money, and your customers want to earn money, and they won’t give you money only because you’re nice. This is a given for people that identify with the traditional financial school of thought that read this column. In high-tech, this rule is sometimes forgotten.
You need to quantify all the advantages of your product – to understand how much money they are worth to your customers. This is the only reason that they will buy the product – money.
Let me give you an example:
I worked at a company whose product improved surfing speed in a cellular network. One of the ways to gain faster surfing time was to minimize the amount of data sent to the surfer. During that same period, the cellular operators (our customers) charged their surfers according to the amount of data that was sent to them. In other words, our product adversely affected our customers’ profitability.
However, we helped them understand that using our product would improve the quality of the service and increase the number of surfers that would use it. So ultimately, our product would enable them to increase their revenues. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have bought it, even if it improved the service to surfers.
And if we have made it this far, everything should fall into place: If we know how to quantify our product’s benefit, or its advantages in the market, we know exactly why people will buy it. We can use this knowledge in order to position and price our product.
We will discuss positioning and implementation at length in future columns. Pricing (which is also related to positioning) needs to help us answer the last question: Is it worthwhile for us to sell our product? The answer will not be absolute until we deal with positioning, with sales processes and with a few other trivialities, but if the answer is problematic, you should already be aware of it at this point.
- The column was written by: Neta Weinrib, an expert on marketing technological products. Information about Neta appears
More information about marketing assistance for technological products appears