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I grew up washing buckets at my Mom’s Flower shop in a painfully frugal mid-western town. Her arrangement design was basically a European model that focused on style and quality stems rather than size and price. As you can imagine she struggled initially as people failed to see the value in a bouquet of roses that wasn’t half-dead and from the grocery store.

Eventually she figured out the key: You can try telling them about the superior quality all-day but they can’t feel flowers lasting 10 days longer—What you can do is put the flowers in a bigger vase and fill the bottom with marbles so the flowers feel heavier.

Online marketing consists of technology and marketing; which are measured in very different ways:

  • Marketing: From an agency perspective we are constantly striving for better ways to measure value-added to our clients. Engagement campaigns can be especially difficult because there are usually a myriad of goals, all weighted and measured differently.

ie, A campaign’s primary objective is to increase ‘positive’ mentions of X brand on various social media sites. A secondary objective is to increase facebook fans. The primary objective had moderate success and the secondary objective had great success. How do you reconcile this?

    • Technology: Technology uses the term perceived usability to better reflect that for web-based applications value is negatively correlated with awareness. Time for a sports analogy: An offensive lineman goes unnoticed by fans until he screws up. Same goes for technology: A customer is likely to become aware of the functionality, usability and aesthetics as a result of the user-experience not meeting the user’s expectations. (see Don Normon’s post for a thorough overview)

    No doubt balancing these contrasting views is challenging but seriously analyzing how customers determine ‘the value’ of your product or service is paramount to establishing your pricing models.

    Bottom line: What are your marbles?

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    One of the toughest things a new company faces is what opportunities to accept. As new company, staying alive is the number one priority short term, but long term building a brand and a core value structure is the number one priority.

    I call this balance “Brand vs. Opportunity Economics”. As a new company every opportunity needs to be plotted on this chart. A great brand opportunity that financially tightens the company can be just as bad as a great financial opportunity that is immoral or erodes a companies brand.

    The question we’ve looked at this month is “How can we get involved with the election, but still position our selves as a fashion company?”.

    Our answer was to have a “Keeping Politics Positive Campaign” and have our designers make fashionable, pro-candidate t-shirts promoting their favorite candidate. So we are having Obama shirts compete against each other and McCain shirts compete against each other to produce the best designs.

    Political t-shirts are not our brand, but the democratization of design is. So we are going to showcase how our voting system works and how head to head competition can equate to the best clothing as it does in politics.

    Right now this is a hypothesis, but we believe this is a great way to showcase our voting system and the positive values Collar Free represents.

    What dilemmas has your company faced?

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