Monthly Archives: December 2008

A Budget for Discounts?

The following is from the December 2008 Drilling Down Newsletter

Got a question about Customer Measurement, Management, Valuation, Retention, Loyalty, Defection?  Go ahead and send it to me here.  If on the topic below, please leave a comment.

A Budget for Discounts?

Q:  For the first time ever, we have a Discount budget built into our financial plan.  We’ve been told this number in the budget is less than we used last year, but our Sales target is a bit higher.  We’re supposed to hit our sales targets while at the same time not going over budget with our Discounts to generate those sales.  This directive comes from Finance.

A:  You have just been offered the opportunity to graduate from Advertising to Marketing!

Q:  We are fairly sure if we reduce the discounts we give, response is going to fall and so are sales, especially from best customers.  Or we could keep the same discounts but do fewer discount promotions, with probably the same effect on sales.  Are there any other alternatives, any ideas on how to manage this discount budget issue? 

We’re an online only retailer.

A:  Sure, ask an easy one over the holidays!

Seriously, I hope you did not take my comment about graduating from Advertising to Marketing the wrong way.  This is really an opportunity for you to shine in so many ways, and to learn a lot of new ideas in the process – if you want to take advantage of it.

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Crime of Social Passion

Ron Shevlin killed his blog.  It was exactly 2 years old.

I started blogging about a week after Ron did, and somehow we found each other, along with Adelino.  For a time there, it seemed like the 3 of us were the only ones reading each other’s blogs.

Ron’s blog was uncommonly good and very well liked by his followers.  He says he set out to create a “Top 10 Marketing blog”, not really knowing what that meant.  You know, Technorati and all that.  As part of his sign-off, he states:

Needless to say, I failed miserably in achieving my goal. 

And thank God for that. Because if I had really wanted to this to become a top 10 blog I would had to have written about a lot of things that I don’t really care about writing about.

So true.  In fact, those of us who write a lot of material that runs against what is taken for “common knowledge” in Marketing – as Ron did – feel his pain.  I’ve done the same since 2000 in my newsletter

So, what is the point of Social Media?  If people are only going to listen to what their “friends” say, and if people only subscribe to authors they agree with, then you get this massive group think effect that is impossible to penetrate when the quality of the material is ranked by “popularity”.  And on top of that, the absolute crap that is published over and over begins to be taken for the truth.

It’s no wonder onliners are not learning anything.

And keep repeating past mistakes

You can’t disagree with popular bloggers.  

Telling the truth can even get you blacklisted.

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