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Anticipation Is The Finest Thing

August 30, 2012. Posted by johnf


Waiting for an event is better than the event itself.

Think about your favorite holiday, the night before is always more memorable than the day itself. Growing up, Christmas Eve was the best day of the year, anticipating what would wind up under the tree had my sisters and myself wound tight. (How my parents survived those days is a mystery.)

Like Carly Simon sang: “We can never know about the days to come/But we think about them anyway.”

Or you can put it another way, “I can’t deny it, with that smile on my face/It’s not the kill, it’s the thrill of the chase.” Yup, the boys in Deep Purple knew all about the thrill of anticipation.

So what do singers from the 70′s, and stories of my Christmas Eve, have to do with marketing? Nothing. I’m using them to illustrate the fact that human beings like anticipation, and that’s leverage you can use the next time you’re considering a marketing campaign.

Dripping out information, little by little, creates a stir among your audience. You have to figure out how much you want to release, and plan it carefully so the momentum builds, but if it’s done right you’ll be happy with the results.

Another caveat, don’t over promise! You’ll suffer the anger of your audience, and probably lose a great deal of business. Know the product or service you’re going to market, and know it well. Then build your campaign – focus on the benefits instead of the features. (My old boss called it the WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?)

Don’t forget to use all of the tools you have at your disposal: websites, emails, newsletters, social media, the list is almost endless. And don’t forget your sales team! Have them engage their customers with the same methods so they know something big is on the horizon.

Anticipation is an excellent tool when it’s used correctly. Keep their interest and you’ll reap the rewards.

Is The NFL This Dumb?

August 20, 2012. Posted by johnf


Football fans know that the NFL and its referees are a crossroads in regard to a new contract. Now that preseason is in full swing, the level of officiating has been execrable, and that’s being generous.

So is the NFL as dumb as it seems? After all, it narrowly avoided the loss of a season last year with the players.

As one of the most brand conscious professional sports in the world, and the most dominant in America, the NFL doesn’t want its product to seem anything less than professional. Risking the outcome of a game – or the injury of an elite player – isn’t worth the $15 million the referees are demanding.

After all, when you’re talking billions, a few million is like pocket change. Right?

Establishing a brand requires constant maintenance, and vigilance. Even when it’s as big and well known as the NFL. As the world of entertainment continues to expand, thanks to the internet, viewers are constantly bombarded with new choices. Flipping the channel, or clicking on a link, is much easier these days than 10 years ago.

If the NFL wants to avoid cutting its nose to spite its face, they better open the checkbook and get those zebras back on the field before the opener.

No More Excuses

August 13, 2012. Posted by johnf


An old boss, and friend, and mentor, used to invoke the adage, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.”

A quaint remark made to clients who said they were too busy serving their customers to pay attention to the needs of their own business.

Now more than ever, that quote strikes home.

Seriously, the content company hasn’t posted a blog since February?

There’s no excuse. If this blog were a person it would be overweight, sallow (look it up) and sitting on a beanbag chair snarfing Oreos and guzzling beer while watching the Maury Povich show.

That’s over. This blog is going to be tan, fit, and eating only organic vegetables, fruit, and free range chicken.

Anything is fair game: marketing, steamed crabs, my obsession with Kindle books, plenty about the Ravens and the NFL, music, photography, movies, and some good old fashioned knowledge I learned at the feet of my grandparents.

Well, not at their feet, we were around the kitchen table, or in the garden, or maybe sitting on the porch, but you get the idea.

That’s it. Now it’s time I get to the gym.

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