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Marketing Ps (and Qs)

“What does the data say?”

“What does the data say?” I was in a discussion the other day with a digital media guru, who kept saying things like, “well, the data says…,” and “we have to listen to what the data says….” Here’s a clue for you. Data doesn’t say anything. Data doesn’t speak. You can listen all day long for the data to tell you what to do…for the data to make your decision for you…for the data to design your strategy for you…for the data to sell your product for you…for the data to make the coffee and change the baby. It’s not…


Throwback Thursdays—Because it’s there!

One of the more effective direct mail campaigns we ever developed was for The Cliffs at Glassy—a gentrified piece of the Appalachian range, between Traveler’s Rest and Landrum. When we visited, we learned that nobody walked the golf course. Why? Because it’s such a hike. We also learned that the development was especially attractive to “rugged individualist. So, we combined those two learnings with the question: Why would you ford streams, navigate boulders, climb uphill fairways, and stop just short of a thousand-foot cliff?The answer: Because it’s there!


Quick, before the piano burns down.

In one of my past lives, I was a music theory and composition major. One of the experimental pieces we studied was a composition for prepared piano, in which the piano was prepared by having five gallons of kerosine poured into and lit. The tempo marking on the piece was, “as fast as you can before the piano burns down.” That has stayed with me, even as many more practical facts and ideas have slipped from my memory. A couple years later, I worked in the restaurant business. In that business, most of your inventory (food and ingredients) become obsolete…


Tomorrow’s sales today.

Back in the fall of 1993, Datastream Systems Inc. was being co-served by James Gibbons Creative Consulting and Perimeter Designs (Anne Peck’s firm), when they decided they needed an advertising agency. After about a ten minute conversation with Marketing VP, Amelia Fusaro, and an equally lengthy discussion between the principals at Perimeter Designs and James Gibbons Creative, the agency now known as Gibbons | Peck was born. And Datastream was our first client. As part of our series about things we’ve learned from our clients, this post focuses on the simple, yet brilliant philosophy of John Sterling, Datastream VP of…


Begin with the end in mind.

I think that was one of Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly annoying people. Not sure. But it certainly applies to creative strategy. Whenever I look at a creative brief and see an objective like… run an spot on 93.5 FM, or create an ad…I become very frustrated. Now, that it is a radio spot or an ad is part of the strategy, but not the important part. Good strategies begin with the end in mind. Take hill 43. Increase sales by x percent. Make people love us. Stuff like that. Advertising ought to be about attitude and behavior modification.…


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