Monster.com: “11 Social Media Tips for Small Business”

You’ve put together profile pages on a few popular social media sites, made occasional posts, and responded when you were aware of activity. Isn’t that enough for a small business like yours? According to Lubin Marketing Professor Paul Kurnit, “A clear, compelling message should travel across platforms that are most relevant for the communication, not the other way around. The huge attractiveness of social media is price is minimal and buzz can be maximized.”

Paul Kurnit offers up Tip #8 to John Rossheim, Monster Senior Contributing Writer, on creating and maintaining a social media strategy that’s a brand-building, rain-making machine for your business.

 8) But remember, as with any branding, marketing or selling effort, your social media activity must have the ultimate goal of gaining and retaining customers and increasing sales.“Too many companies just throw something up against the proverbial social media wall, hoping something will stick,” says Paul Kurnit, professor of marketing at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York.

To read all 11 social media tips from the Monster.com article which was picked up by a number of newspapers across the country including the San Jose Mercury News, click here

Deliver Magazine: “Direct the Marketing Focus at Women”

Lubin Professor Paul Kurnit on how direct marketing influences the spending of women, whether the product is doing itself a disservice by targeting women differently than men and the importance of reaching female spending power.

Despite the good dollars and sense it makes to create a direct marketing campaign aimed at women, getting it right can be a challenge — considering marketers do not want to stereotype or offend.

Avoid One Big Basket

“In general, I think businesses get too sloppy and greedy by trying to be all things to all people,” says Paul Kurnit, clinical professor of marketing at Pace University. “Brands that do this run the risk of being nothing to anyone.”

Kurnit points out in Deliver, a magazine for marketers from the United States Postal Service, that even the biggest brands clearly understand the need to customize their communications, messaging and media for different market segments. 

For example, a prominent women’s organization and one of the global leaders in the breast cancer movement doesn’t send the same information out to all women, but creates personalized direct mail based on demographics.

Make it Relational, Not Transactional

Segmenting women into various groups is a critical step in direct marketing, but choosing what to send to those women is just as essential.

Paul Kurnit of Pace University cites the luxury travel market as a perfect example. Today’s travel operators are targeting women with brochures that feature photos not just of glamorous destinations but of couples being together and having a good time in those places. “By focusing on the relationship, not just the destination, they are speaking to their female customers,” says Kurnit.

Think Beyond the Bedroom

As for the future of direct marketing, the real winners will be the companies that take an integrated approach and combine direct mail marketing with online activities, like the new Cards app. The application allows users to design the card online, but then it gets printed out by the third party, put in an envelope and sent by regular mail to the recipient.

“Today’s woman is online, but her lifestyle still demands a personal touch,” says Kurnit.

BestSouthwestNews: “Alternatives to ‘Buy Local’ Campaigns”

Recent research shows that buying local campaigns provide only limited and short-lived results for small businesses. So, as budget-conscious consumers turn to mass retailers, Internet and malls for bargains, what can small business owners do?

Tell a story

For consumers to view your shop as unique and deserving the premium that small businesses often need to levy, offer unique or even one-of-a-kind products and services, says Paul Kurnit, a business consultant and clinical marketing professor at Pace University in New York.  Then, make sure those items have a story to go along with them, he says.

Perhaps a store carries porcelain dishes that were hand-painted by a local artist. If that’s the case, include that person’s story with the plates. “The handmade idea is good, but it’s not the whole story,” Kurnit says. “In a tough economy especially, play up the customer connection.”

For additional suggestions, click here

New York Post: “Bad Characters – Media firms ignore brand street walkers”

There have always been plenty of characters loitering in Times Square. But these days some of them are complete phonies. Dr. Larry Chiagouris, professor of marketing at Pace, suggests that a sustained presence of the impostors can leave a bad impression of the firms that own the rights. “People begin to subconsciously associate the stained and ripped characters with the companies.”

Bogus Elmos, a fake Mickey Mouse, a slightly-off Buzz Lightyear,  a grimy Spongebob Squarepants and other well-known TV and movie characters have taken to roaming not only Times Square … but also Rockefeller Center, Penn Station and any other place in the city where copious numbers of tourists flock looking for picture opportunities.  The characters, who carry a donation bag by their side, won’t say where they come from.  Lubin Marketing Professor Larry Chiagouris comments as to why these “priceless gems” and “revenue streams” need to be protected by their corporate owners in the New York Post.

BNET (The CBS Interactive Business Network): “Advertising Reality Check: Are You Leading — Or Lying?”

“Customers are very aware that it’s a new day in advertising,” says Lubin Marketing Professor Paul Kurnit, co-author of “Breakthrough! A 7-Step System for Developing Unexpected and Profitable Ideas” (AMACOM Books). “We are living in a customer-centric world where advertisers are trying to connect with consumer lifestyle throughout the day in relevant touch points that resonate and matter.

“The fragmentation of media is an opportunity if the planning is thoughtful and the customer is put center stage,” Kurnit continues. “Consumers know they are being ‘targeted’ through multiple platforms in a myriad of ways. Done well, they delight in it. Done poorly, they resent the intrusion and potentially the brand.”

Who doesn’t want to be at the leading edge of advertising, using the latest and greatest methods to reach customers?

“Smart advertisers are beginning to integrate their messaging across various communications platforms and are breaking down the silos and distinctions between traditional and other media, like digital, social and buzz,” says Paul Kurnit, a marketing professor at Pace University in an article appearing on BNET.com

But to a certain extent, it’s also the Wild West out there.  The line between leadership – pushing the boundaries of new media – and lying may not be so clear in this new world.

AOL’s DAILY FINANCE: “Walmart Woos Customers With Revived ‘Low Prices, Every Day’ Campaign”

Despite its dominance in the U.S. market, Walmart – the nation’s largest retailer – has endured seven straight quarters of falling sales at its stores. Lubin’s Paul Kurnit comments whether the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer’s strategy of revisiting a marketing gimmick it used to great effect once before – “Low Prices, Every Day” – is a good one.

Walmart’s prior advertising campaign – “Save Money, Live Better” – involved neatening stores and reducing the number of items for sale, but it failed to drive more consumers through the door. 

While that may have seemed a good strategy, it defined shopping at Walmart a lifestyle choice, causing consumers to perceive the popular retailer as moving away from the low prices and variety they had come to expect, says Paul Kurnit,  clinical professor of marketing at Pace University, in an article featured on AOL’s money and finance website.

“The Walmart that we knew three and five years ago was a pretty messy shopping experience, but that was kind of OK, because we were getting the lowest possible prices,” says Kurnit.  He adds that research shows that more items on retail-store shelves translates into bigger totals at the check-out counters. 

Offering customers a one-stop shopping experience that assures customers of low prices on a variety of goods is good strategy in these days of steadily rising fuel costs and economic uncertainty, Kurnit says.

With gas prices at $4 a gallon and higher prices expected, he says, “People are really feeling the crunch.”

SUCCESS Magazine: “The Facebook Age”

If Facebook were a nation, it would be the world’s third largest behind only China and India. Hundreds of new people join every hour. And at the helm stands fresh-faced self-made billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, who still wears T-shirts and jeans to work just as he did in 2004, when he co-founded the addictive social-networking site in his Harvard dorm room at age 19.

Lubin Marketing Professor Paul Kurnit comments on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership style, as well as how Facebook has changed the way we think, work and live.

Facebook is “the easy passport” to finding friends past and current without an email address or phone number. As Pace University clinical professor of marketing Paul Kurnit puts it in the May issue of SUCCESS magazine: “It’s about me, about us. It is the personal website that few of us could possibly build on our own.”

“Facebook is not driven by the leadership style of Mark Zuckerberg,” adds Kurnit. “It has become a runaway success function of Zuckerberg’s tremendous insight into what people want, how they relate and what socializing means online.  Kind of a ‘build it and get out of the way’ idea.”

TheStreet: “Morgan Stanley Mulls Smith Barney’less Future”

Morgan Stanley is thinking of getting rid of the Smith Barney brand, made famous by actor John Houseman (pictured) delivering the famous tag line: “We make money the old-fashioned way. We earn it.”

Is it a good idea for Morgan Stanley to get rid of a brand that’s familiar to customers and clients and has its own cache? “Smith Barney is a classic brand,” says Paul Kurnit, a marketing professor at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. “But, it is quaint, not current, charming, not forward edge….Likely, if it goes away, it will not be terribly missed.”

Why are some bank brands kept while others are gone?  Bear Stearns vanished quickly when taken over by JPMorgan Chase, IndyMac became OneWest, but Bank of America incorporated the Merrill and U.S. Trust brands into its own. Travelers not only kept its name when spinning out from Citi, but paid big for the little umbrella symbol. 

TheStreet polls marketing experts such as Lubin’s Paul Kurnit as to whether it is a good idea for Morgan Stanley to get rid of the Smith Barney brand.

The Sacramento Bee: “Step carefully – Lego contest winner at work in Folsom”

The love of those little toy bricks has made it part of American folklore.

Yes, folklore.

“I sing a song to my child, and she sings it to her child – that’s how folklore happens,” said Paul Kurnit, a marketing professor at Pace University in New York who ran advertising for Hasbro for nearly two decades.

“Monopoly is folklore – it’s a really complicated game, and if it were invented today, it’d be a dud,” he said. “No one has that kind of time to invest in a game. But everyone knows how to play Monopoly. Lego is one of those products too.”

Toy-industry/marketing/branding expert Paul Kurnit discusses why a toy like Legos has managed to keep kids captivated for more than 80 years … and why it will still be a sought-after toy 20 years from now.

Social Media Hype Exceeds Reality, Pace Marketing Professor Says

Chiagouris is a professor of marketing at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York City. He is also a senior partner at BrandMarketing Services, Ltd., where he supervises advertising and Internet marketing consulting engagements. He is available to comment on the effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool. Phone: 917-902-2610 (cell); email lchiagouris@pace.edu.

Chiagouris has more than 20 years

Social Media Hype Exceeds Reality, Pace Marketing Professor Says

Contact: Bill Caldwell, Pace University, 212-346-1597, wcaldwell@pace.edu

March 26, 2010

MEDIA ADVISORY

Social Media Marketing isn’t all that hot, says Pace marketing expert

“The hype right now exceeds the reality,” Pace University marketing expert Larry Chiagouris told The Wall Street Journal.

(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703909804575123691040422082.html)

Chiagouris is a professor of marketing at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York City. He is also a senior partner at BrandMarketing Services, Ltd., where he supervises advertising and Internet marketing consulting engagements. He is available to comment on the effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool. Phone: 917-902-2610 (cell); email lchiagouris@pace.edu.

Chiagouris has more than 20 years of professional experience including senior marketing management positions at Starz Encore Media Group, eCode.com, Bozell Jacobs, Grey Advertising, and Lucent Technologies/AT&T. He has been responsible for directing major business building assignments for startups as well as leading marketing companies, including AT&T, BellSouth, Campbell Soup, Kraft Foods, Miller Brewing, Peugeot, Pfizer, Prudential and Visa.

He has served as an expert witness or consultant on a wide range of marketing and advertising issues at the federal and state court level or through consultation to Fortune 500 companies.

He has appeared on The Today Show and Fox 5 News; in videos for WSJ.com and SmartMoney TV; and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun, CNN.com, New York Times, Los Angeles Business Journal, San Diego Union-Tribune, and Star-Ledger (NJ).

His areas of interest include consumer behavior, brand equity, media evaluation, interactive communications, and copy strategies.

Winner of three Effie Awards for advertising effectiveness, Agency Magazine voted him one of the ten best and brightest advertising agency researchers and strategists.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association, and Editorial Review Boards of the Journal of Advertising Research, the Journal of Segmentation in Marketing, and Marketing Management; and a former Chairman of the Board of the Advertising Research Foundation.

He has lectured at St. Johns University, New York University, Yale University, Baruch College, and University of Georgia. He also has presented papers at numerous conferences in the marketing field. He received his B.S. in Economics (magna cum laude) and A.P.C. in Marketing from New York University, an M.B.A. in Industrial Psychology, an M.S. in Business, and a Ph.D. in Marketing from Baruch College.

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