Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Texting Demographics

From Marketing Charts:

Adults in the US who use the text-messaging feature on their cell phone are 49% more likely than the average American to be between age 18-24, 14% more likely to be Hispanic and 24% more likely to be African American, according to (pdf) a survey from Scarborough Research.

The study also found that El Paso, Texas is the top US city for text messaging, with 57% of all adult cell-phone subscribers (age 18+) there reporting they use the text-messaging feature on their cell phone, compared with 48% of adult subscribers nationally.

Pittsburgh makes the top half of the list:

Other key characteristics of texters:

  • They are among the country’s highest spenders on cellular services. On average, they spend $87 on their monthly cellular bill. In contrast, all cellular subscribers spend an average of $75 monthly.
  • They are 46% more likely than all cellular subscribers to typically spend $150 or more on cellular service monthly and are 12% more likely to plan to switch services.
  • They use a wide variety of phone features - such as picture messaging, streaming video and email -at a rate higher than that of the average cell user.
  • They are avid technology shoppers and are more likely than the average cell-phone subscriber to live in a household that owns - or plans to buy - a wide variety of hi-tech items, from HDTVs to MP3 players to video game systems.
  • They most often shop at Best Buy for audio-video purchases: 39% of Texters live in a household that shopped this retailer during the past year vs. 27% of all consumers nationally.
  • Other leading stores for Texter households include Wal-Mart and Target. 35% of Texters live in a household that shopped Wal-Mart for tech items during the past year, while 20% shopped Target.
  • They are leading online spenders. One-fifth (20%) of Texters spend more than $1,000 online annually, vs, 17% of all cellular users.
  • Internet applications permeate all aspects of their lives, from household tasks (such as bill paying) to entertainment (such as downloading movies or TV programs) to interaction (such as blogging and downloading a wide variety of content).
  • Texters are active, on-the-go consumers. They are 37% more likely than all cellular subscribers to have played basketball (as a leisure activity) during the past year; 29% more likely to have gone jogging/running; 29% more likely to have played tennis, and 23% more likely to have practiced yoga.
  • Texters are 12% more likely to have attended a professional sports event, and 57% more likely to have gone to an R&B, rap or hip-hop concert during the past year.

Join the discussion by submitting your topic or comment to the AMA Pittsburgh blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Value of Marketing in a Recession

Just a quick post today with a link to an article for further reading. I know many of you are facing marketing cuts or struggling with strategies in a slowing economy. I found this article interesting on the value of marketing in a recession:

Happy reading. Remember to submit your topics or comments to the AMA Pittsburgh blog.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Newsletter Writing Tips

The following comes from author David Gruttadaurio of You can visit the site for additional tools for newsletter marketing.

7 Newsletter Writing Secrets That Will Retain More Clients for Life

According to the Harvard Business Review, 91% of small businesses do absolutely nothing to retain their existing clients. That means only 9% of small business owners ‘get’ these facts:

• The average American business loses 50% of its customer base every 5 years.
• An existing customer spends an average of 67% more than new customers.
• It costs 7 to 9 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an old one.

Mailing a monthly newsletter can eliminate all of these problems -- if you do it correctly.

A successful newsletter doesn’t just ‘happen’. It’s composed of very specific elements. Without them, you might as well be sending your clients a comic book.

7 Elements Your Newsletter Must Have If You Want to Retain More Clients

1. Content that IS NOT all about you. Many businesses feel compelled to tell everyone how wonderful they are. Forget it. People don’t like braggers. Instead, feature content that is interesting and useful. When you've engaged your reader with articles they actually want to read, you’ll have earned their trust and respect. This will lead to more sales.

2. Exciting, new and original content. Your readers should look forward to your newsletters each month. If your articles are boring, people will stop reading -- and you won't get any of the benefits that sending a regular newsletter can bring.

3. Sense of professionalism. Your newsletter is an extension of your businesses. You pride yourself on providing personal, professional service or selling quality products. Your newsletters must match your reputation. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes. Write appealing articles. Have an attractive layout design. Print your newsletter on high-quality paper. If it looks like it was published by your 7th grader, you’ve wasted your time and money.

4. Personal touch. Continue the initial connection you made with your client by revealing a little about yourself in your newsletter. A personal touch will get your newsletter remembered and enhance your image as an expert. Some people choose to reveal something about their personal lives (maybe they play golf or went on a vacation) or share tidbits about their families.

5. Offers and calls to action. You should give people a reason to act NOW. If they wait, they’ll probably do nothing. So make a special offer available only for your clients. And place a deadline on it, for example, for one month only. Changing your offer each month will also help you track the effectiveness of your newsletter -- you'll easily see who buys and who buys consistently.

6. Consistency. Many businesses try to save money and send their newsletters quarterly or even semiannually. Don’t bother, if that’s you. You’re wasting your time and money. Sending your newsletter out every month just like your clients favorite magazines will help make your newsletter part of your client’s daily lives.

7. Print it. Yeah, yeah, yeah… printed newsletters are more expensive. But think about this: How many companies are willing to do this? Your clients aren’t stupid. They understand the value of receiving a great newsletter every month. Plus, printed newsletters are more effective than email newsletters because:

They don't get caught in spam filters

Everyone is sick of being bombarded by content online.

Printed newsletters have a physical presence in someone's home. This means they are likely to be kept, acted upon in the future and will probably get passed on to others because they are viewed as literature.

So put an end to your dwindling client base. Save tons of dollars by marketing to proven buyers. Capture and keep customers that would love to spend their money with you forever.

Just send your clients a proven marketing tool: A well-written monthly client newsletter.

Join the discussion by submtting your topics or comments to the AMA Pittsburgh blog.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Proofing Tips

From our friends at GACC Printing comes suggestions on how to proof your printed piece:

Reviewing Color Proofs

Great Piece Color can have a tremendous impact on your print design, but to achieve great color, you have to know it will print the way you visualize it. The printer's contract proof provides a preview of the finished piece to confirm that it will match your visual intent and expectations. With the complexity of today's creative applications, it becomes imperative to have an accurate, hard-copy proof to bridge the gap between the digital and the physical.

Review Proofs In Neutral Light

Natural light is preferable to fluorescent light in most instances. If your piece will primarily be viewed in a specific lighting environment, you might want to confirm that it looks acceptable under these conditions as well.

What To Watch For

Here are the most important factors to consider when reviewing a proof:
  • Is it in registration, i.e. are all of the register marks on the edge of the proof aligned?
  • Do the various color elements, be they text, line art, or images, register correctly in relation to each other?
  • Are all color items represented in the correct color? Are all of the tints used the correct shade?
  • Do flesh tones look real? Do any other items that contain familiar "memory" colors look real?
  • Does the main subject of each image pop the way you want it to? Put another way, is there enough contrast?
  • Are all the bleeds pulled past the trim edge?
  • Is the proof 100% of the size you specified enabling you to correctly judge color, placement, size, etc.?
  • Is all the type legible? Are any characters or words broken, missing, the wrong color, etc.?
  • Is your text free of misspelled words? Are there any grammatical errors?

Join the discussion by submitting your topics or comments to the AMA Pittsburgh blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Digital Marketing Adding

Marketing Sherpa published a new survey result today featuring the shift from traditional to online:

Join the discussion by submitting your topic or comment to the AMA Pittsburgh blog.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recession Proof Your Business

This article was sent to us from Eric Gruber:

Recession Proof Your Business – How to Avoid Business Failure & Increase Sales in a Lagging Economy

When you’re a small business owner there’s no “Golden Parachute”, no Massive Severance Package or Stock Options to cash in on and there are definitely no bailouts. The success or failure of your small business is all on your shoulders!

Here’s Are 5 Things to Do If You Want Your Business to Fail During a Recession

1. Don’t Do Anything

2. Don’t Do Enough

3. Don’t Encourage Referrals From Other Clients

4. Don’t Create a “WOW” Experience

5. Don’t Take Massive Action Now

Now, if you want to build your small business, there’s good news.

You don’t have to sit back and become a victim of the times. Right now there are businesses and market segments that are making record profits. US Steel just posted record profits for the second quarter after losing huge orders from the auto industry.

Here’s How US Steel Achieved Record Making Profits – And So Can You:

  • They found new markets at higher prices
  • They were open to new opportunities
  • They were pro-active

Here Are 10 Quick and Easy Strategies to Increase Sales and Profits During a Recession

1. Implement systems that measure and track the results of ALL of your marketing, advertising and publicity efforts

2. Look for new ways to re-position products or services you provide to attract a new market segment. Example: Re-position Yoga as “Fall Prevention Strategies for Seniors

3. Find new distribution channels for your products whether it’s through the Internet or other retailers who are selling complimentary products or services.

4. Create Joint Venture Arrangements with other complimentary, not competing Businesses. For example an accounting firm could go to their legal firm and offer to hold a seminar on “Tax Reduction Strategies” for the their (legal firms) clients as a special bonus. The accounting company may get new clients and the only cost is their time. One stipulation, the accounting firm must offer a special seminar to their clients on “How To Structure Tax Shelters for Estate Management”. Both companies benefit.

5. Have a “Rewards Referral Program “ for your existing customers and let them experience how it will work.

6. Know the numbers in your business. Find out what products and services make the most profits and which ones make the least. Start promoting or up-selling those first. Do you know the average transaction value which is the average amount each consumer pays you at the point of purchase? Go find that out now and then ask yourself the question “How can I increase that amount by 10% by adding or bundling in extra value?

7. Position yourself as the “Knowledgeable Expert” in Your Field and write articles for the newspaper, or trade journals and radio interviews. You can even write and submit articles online using The print and online media is always hungry for information to provide their readership. They are always on the lookout for new information that solves people’s problems or helps them save them time or money.

8. Differentiate yourself from the competition and give the consumer the “Reason Why” they should do Business with you versus your competitors.

9. Join a Mastermind Group or Coaching Program to improve your skills as a Marketer. Tiger Woods has a golf coach to help him. Professional baseball teams have hitting and pitching coaches. And you should have a business and marketing coach to stop the downhill slide before it becomes uncontrollable.

10. Build a stronger relationship with your customer base through frequent contact, special offers, and newsletters. Survey your existing customers to see what they want and then sell it to them.

This is just a short list on the many things that are possible. Now the question is, do you want to recession proof your business and achieve massive results or do you want to lay down and play dead and hope things get better? It’s you choice!

About the Author:

By revealing missed profit opportunities, Marketing and Sales Expert Ron Romano increased the sales and profits for more than 10,000 small and medium sized businesses, entrepreneurs and independent sales agents. Now, you can use his FREE MARKETING AUDIT at: to magically uncover all the hidden profit-making opportunities you’ve been missing out on. What you may find out might just change your life forever.

Join the discussion, submit your topic or comment to the AMA Pittsburgh blog.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Do It Yourself SEO

This product release was provided to us from Vizad, Inc.:

About Lotus Jump

Lotus Jump was designed specifically for individuals who have no prior SEO experience, enabling them to effectively optimize their websites in-house rather than outsourcing to an expensive SEO firm.

For companies looking to cut their marketing budget without sacrificing quality, Andrew Pincock, COO at Vizad says, “Have one of your employees who knows how to use the internet spend 15-30 minutes a day on LotusJump and you’ll be able to optimize your site as effectively as if you had hired an SEO firm to do it for you.”

Based on the information provided during registration, LotusJump creates a queue of customized SEO tasks relevant to the client’s site and selected search terms. Each task includes detailed step-by-step instructions, simplifying the notoriously complex task of SEO. The more tasks a client completes, the more effectively they can increase their site’s rankings and generate more traffic.

If you are interested in learning more about LotusJump visit for more details.

Join the discussion on the AMA Pittsburgh blog by submitting your topic or comment.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Social Media and the Election

Articles flooded the web and blogs all over the world echoed this sentiment. The Democrats used SMS, social networks, and viral video to raise money, get out the vote, and drum up support. In fact, they used it like a well oiled marketing campaign would and sometimes more effectively than corporations have had to date.

To say it tipped the election in their favor would go to far. However, the Republicans have not fully embraced new media as part of their major campaigns as of yet. I look back on Howard Dean’s advisers as pioneers in political new media and Barack Obama’s advisers built upon this foundation. Third party candidates also showed adoption of new media, but to lesser success. The next election cycle could truly be one that social media plays a leading role.

More importantly in my eyes, the election made a huge impact on social media. It was a large stage in which social media was showcased as an effective marketing tool. One that can be measurable and deliver results. I believe as marketers watched this election they gained a new respect for this new medium. A respect that will be its own foundation for future campaigns and exciting developments in social media.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Call for Marketer of The Year Nominations

The American Marketing Association of Pittsburgh is hosting its Second Annual Marketer of the Year Celebration Thursday, December 11, 2008 at LeMont on Mount Washington. The Marketer of the Year competition, Pittsburgh’s only results-based marketing competition, is open to any company, agency, not-for-profit, individual or government organization that developed implemented and sufficiently completed a marketing program in western Pennsylvania in 2008.

Finalists in 14 potential industries will be recognized and awarded and one overall winner will be deemed Marketer of the Year for 2008. Categories include: Consumer Products/Services, Education, Financial Services, Industrial & Manufacturing, Media & Marketing Services, Medical & Healthcare, Minority & Women Owned Businesses, Nonprofits, Professional Services, Public Relations & Advertising Firm, Real Estate & Construction, Retail, Sports/Entertainment/Hospitality, and Technology.

To submit your nomination or for more information, visit