Let’s Talk About Clutter

To most people, clutter is what sits on their end table and gets piled in the corners. To marketers, clutter is the 24/7 onslaught of advertisements that they have to break through.

If you want to look at if from the perspective of books, it’s no different than the thousands of titles that sit on store shelves. Yours has to stand out above the rest if you want it to get sold.

So, marketers have come up with some pretty creative ways to break through clutter. Some of these creative efforts are pictured below.

(Special Disclaimer: Obviously none of these images are mine. They’ve been ad-napped from the websites named beneath each photo.)

And my personal favorite…

Seriously, anything is possible in the world of advertising (and it can be a strange world).

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Posted by on 2011/02/07 in Marketing


My First Marketing Lesson

Always be prepared!

So, I’ve mentioned that for my promotions class we have a group project with a real client. Today, we met our client. According to our teacher, it was supposed to be a brief, 5 minute meeting to explain the project and make certain they were willing to work with us.

That’s what I expected when I arrived. I did not expect a conference room with five people wanting to know “What we were going to do for them.” Intimidating? Oh yeah!

To make it worse, I didn’t know anything about the place we chose to work with. It was the suggestion of another member of the group (who, by the way, wasn’t at this meeting because she had practice). Why didn’t I do some research on them before I went? Because I’m an amateur. Seriously, Candice, how hard would it have been to check out their website? Duh?

I honestly don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to do that in advance. But it will certainly occur to me next time. I felt stupid and incompetent walking out of there and I don’t want to feel that way again.

So, that’s the lesson. Always be prepared because what your client expects and what you expect may be very different things.


Posted by on 2011/01/31 in Marketing, School


Alright, I caved!

I spent the past week studying and haven’t written a word since last Wednesday. But the chapters just kept piling on. (Actually, I have two more I should be reading right now.) This workload is either going to make this the longest semester ever, or it’s going to fly by because I’ll be too busy to think about it. I’m hoping for the latter.

However, just because I haven’t written anything, doesn’t mean I haven’t been plotting. But of course, I’ve been thinking about the wrong story. It’s always the characters from the stories I’m not writing that want to talk to me. (Or the character whose story has no plot, he likes yapping in my ear. Yes, I love you, but you don’t have a story! Come back when you have one, please.)

Anybody else have that problem? What do you do?


Posted by on 2011/01/26 in School, Writing


Life for the Next Fifteen Weeks

I mentioned in my last post that school started on Tuesday. If nothing else, it should prove interesting. Here’s an overview for those interested.

Monday, Wednesday, & Friday

10am – 10:50 Retail Management

In addition to some overall strategy we should be learning the more nitty-gritty details of running a retail store. Location, layout, organization, personnel, inventory, pricing, etc.

I think this is will be interesting. I like learning this kind of stuff. And even though I’m not planning to go into retail management, I think it’ll be beneficial to see how the retailers will be looking at the marketing strategies I might be coming up with.

This class also sounds like it’ll be one easiest. Five exams (final optional!) and some open-book quizzes.

Tuesday & Thursday

9:35am – 10:50 Legal and Social Environment of Business

Lots of legal stuff. A basic understanding of legal proceedings, terms, punishments, and some ethics.

I’ve never had an interest in law and I wouldn’t be taking this course if it wasn’t required. That said, I think I’ll learn a lot. Even the teacher said, “I’ll have done my job, if you learn when you need to call a lawyer.”

This class should be pretty moderate. Four exams and random quizzes. The only downside is that the quizzes will be at the beginning of class and cover the material for that day, which means reading the chapters in advance is mandatory.

12:35pm-1:50 Strategic Promotion

We’ll be learning how to create an integrated marketing promotion strategy (meaning that all parts convey the same message). Much more difficult than it sounds.

This one might get exciting as our group project is to work as consultants with a real client. Other than that, it’ll be a breeze. Three exams and an optional final. I love optional finals!

2:00pm – 3:15 Marketing Research

Last but not least. This course is aptly titled. We’ll be learning how to conduct marketing research; writing surveys, collecting data, analyzing said data, etc.

Let me start this one with a story. Before going into class, I was waiting in the hallway. A few feet away, two students were talking and I happened to overhear.

“I’m just waiting on my Marketing Research class.”

“Good luck,” she says with a derisive snort. “I would rather drop out of college to work at McDonald’s than take that class again.”

Those are some pretty strong words. After getting the 28-page syllabus, I understood. This class will be brutal.

– 2-3 chapters per week
– 10 exams
– assignments due every Friday (the class doesn’t even meet on Friday!)
– a group research project where we do everything; write the proposal and surveys, collect the data, statistical analysis, everything
– a final report on our project that will be about 100-pages long
– and an oral presentation of this report

This is where I'll be, if you need me.


Posted by on 2011/01/21 in Life, School


Decisions to Make, Priorities to Set

Yeah, I did that today too.

Sometimes, being an adult sucks.

School started back up yesterday. I was anxious at the beginning of the day, but that morphed into a dull terror by the end. I should be okay once I get past all the prep work and have a feel for what I’m doing, but I definitely have to stick to my schedule.

Today, I had to make the decision of either homework or writing. Be a good student or maintain my sanity. It was a difficult choice, but I had to go with sanity. If I’m going to have my nose to the grindstone for the next fifteen weeks, I need to do something for myself.

I spent my writing time, happily daydreaming and creating a timeline for my story. Yay!

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Posted by on 2011/01/19 in Life, Writing


The Product Life Cycle

As promised, the product life cycle.


In this stage, you’re trying to inform people about your product and entice them to test it out. You have to make your product something they want to tell their friends about.

Here, you’re generally putting out more than you’re getting back; expenses are greater than revenue. That’s just how it works.


This is a good place to be. Sales are climbing but haven’t peaked. Competition is still pretty low. And you’re making a profit.

By this stage, you’re probably branching the product line out to appeal to more customers. However, your competitors are probably jumping onto the bandwagon by now as well. So, your promotion will need to show why you’re better than they are.


Sales have leveled off. Competition is high. Your product line is full. Basically, you’re stable.

Remind your customers who you are and why they picked you and why they should keep picking you.

The downside…keeping out of decline.


Sales are dropping. Retailers are removing your product from their stores. You’re no longer the first thought of your customers. You’re trying to stay profitable, but it’s not looking good.

Now comes the big decision: 1) Eliminate the product line, or 2) Bust your butt to put it back on the map.

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Posted by on 2011/01/17 in Marketing


New Year’s Glow…yeah, it’s gone.

What is it about the second week after New Year?

That first week, I’m stoked. Completely pumped and ready to conquer the entire world.

But the second week…yuck! I’m just lethargic and lazy. I’ve spent more time this week watching Grey’s Anatomy than I have making progress on any of the projects I said I was going to work on. That’s a bit of a downer.

Okay, think positive Candice. Tomorrow is a new day. I’ll work on that scrapbook that I kept meaning to finish (for the last two years), I swear.


Posted by on 2011/01/14 in Life, Random