Archive for the ‘Marketing Planning’ Category

Kodak Shutters KODACHROME Film

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Yesterday, Kodak announced that is was ending production on the KODACHROME Color film after 74 years to the dismay, I am sure, of many professional and amateur photographers. Some may even say Kodak is making a mistake.

Too many times,  products are canceled without regard to its customers, dealers, fan base, shareholders or employees. Without succession plans for ending a products life or replacing them with new or better options, customers can be left confused and unsure of the company’s new direction.

But what Kodak has done right in its decision to end KODACHROME is to celebrate the iconic product on its way out. Several things appear that make me think Kodak has done its planning to make sure this product’s end-of-life is just as successful as the previous 74 years.

  1. Kodak made sure that the one and only lab in the world that can still process the film has agreed to offer processing through 2010. It won’t leave customers high and dry with unprocessed film.
  2. Kodak has created a gallery of iconic images to celebrate the film’s storied history at
  3. Kodak will donate the last rolls of film to George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, which houses the world’s largest collection of cameras and related artifacts. This reinforces a sense of nostalgia and firmly supplants Kodak as a pioneer in film technology.
  4. Kodak is allowing Steve McCurry to shoot one of those last rolls and the images will be donated to Eastman House. McCurry is the photographer whose picture of a young Afghan girl on the cover of National Geographic in 1985 captured the hearts of millions around the world.
  5. Kodak offers information on its next-generation of products for its customers to consider. Companies evolve and so do their products. Kodak is planning for the future by showing its new products while celebrating its history of its previous product.

Just think of all the products that will be shelved this year. Some will be replaced by newer models. Others will vanish along with their companies. And some may just need to go. A lot of these products won’t have had the foresight like Kodak to plan their succession. Will their customers adopt the newer product or go elsewhere? Will their customers feel shunned or hurt?

Kodak made the correct decision–and that was to plan for KODACHROME’s end-of-life with an understanding of its customers. For this, I feel, Kodak will be rewarded. You can read more about Kodak at their blog A Thousand Words.


Backup Plan Revisited

Friday, June 12, 2009

Well, if you follow the NBA and advertising you know that the much-hyped Kobe vs. LeBron did not materialize. The Orlando Magic sent the LeBron James-led Cavaliers to the NBA Finals sidelines. At the same time, the Lakers were able to fend off the Denver Nuggets and hold up their end of the anticipated match-up.

Nike, which spent considerable time, money and creative energy on the Kobe / LeBron MVPuppets (Most Valuable Puppets) leading up to the Finals, didn’t quite get the match-up it was hoping for. So, did Nike have their backup plan ready to implement? It appears they did.

In a successive spot of the Kobe / LeBron puppets, LeBron is pumping iron…”2007, 2008, 2009, 2010; Yeah 2010.” This spot is a creative way for LeBron to look forward to the 2010 Finals and for Nike to implement its backup plan and still brand itself during the Finals.

In another spot, LeBron is home for the Finals and Lil Dez wants LeBron to take him to the Finals.

In your marketing strategy, have you prepared a backup plan? It appears Nike was ready all along.

Do you have a backup plan?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Yesterday I was listening to Marketplace on the way home and a segement came on about the NBA playoffs and the hopeful matchup of a Lakers/Cavaliers NBA Finals. It has been awhile since I can remember such marquee names being hyped for the NBA Finals.

But what happens if the Cavs don’t make it, being down 3-2 to the Magic? Or what if the Lakers blow their 3-2 lead?

In the Marketplace story, Nike and VitaminWater are hyping this matchup in their recent television ads. But what if they don’t get the result they are looking for? Marketplace gives you the example of Reebok’s ad, Dan vs. Dave, leading up to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Only Dan didn’t qualify for the U.S. Olympic team.

Does your marketing plan depend on a outcome that you have no control over? Do you have a back up plan in place if the outcome doesn’t come as expected? If you are a smart marketer you do. A Plan B should always be in the works. It may not be fully developed or ready at the drop of hat, but you’ve planned for the unexpected in some way.

I’ll guess that Nike and VitaminWater have a Plan B.  If its not a Lakers/Cavs matchup we’ll get to see their backup plan.

Nike: Puppet Ad #3

VitaminWater: Kobe or Lebron? The great debate.

Reebok: Dan vs. Dave

Increase or Cut Ad Budgets?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Advertising budget

Marketing News published two sides of the Ad-spend-in-a-down-economy dilemma in its October 15th issue.

The first take – Don’t Touch That Budget, a sidebar to the cover story, Austerity Marketing – is the philosophy that maintaining or increasing your ad spend will better position your company for growth when coming out of a down economy. A key point that is made is that consumers are re-evaluating their purchase decisions and you need to be there to establish your relevance. In addition, there will be fewer messages in the marketplace to compete with.

On the flip side, noted in Marketing News’ article, Disrobing the Emperor, by Don E. Schultz, the author attempts to disspell the Share-of-Voice concept as it relates to market share. Schultz uses the automotive industry as an example comparing market share with ad spend for the top six automobile manufacturers. He concludes that the correlation is all over the board.

I believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Consumers are re-evaluating their purchase decisions and there are fewer purchases being made. The key is to be relevant to those that are going to make a decision to purchase. And ad spend may not be the best way to reach them.

As your company’s sales decline in a down economy, marketing budgets should be re-alinged to sales targets. Greater scrutiny should be given to the marketing budget, including advertising spend. It may be that your marketing strategy will be to focus on a smaller demographic, yet the proportionate advertising spend be greater for that segment. You may find that your overall marketing budget may be down, but that key demographic you are targeting may see an increase in your marketing messages.

You may also find other ways to reach your audience where you can transfer budget from your general ad spend. Maybe direct mail, newsletters, sponsorships, etc. will give you a more timely message to your prospect at the moment of purchase than you were getting from advertising.

So, while I don’t think its realistic to maintain ad spend from the height of the economy into the downturn, go ahead and defend that budget as long as your strategy is on target and positions you for momentum on the economic rebound.