Wednesday, December 27, 2017

If you want me to come to your restaurant tell me the cross street.

Last week, I wanted to go out to eat at a restaurant in Manhattan.  Should be easy to find one - right?  Not. 

As all students of marketing know, what makes decision-making hard is having too many choices.  And in Manhattan there are way too many restaurants to choose from.

But what made the process even more frustrating was the wealth of lousy websites out there.  I don't know what's worse, photos that fail to convey the tightness of the locations, or menus that don't download.  But what really makes me nuts is not including the cross street.

I don't get it.  How hard is it to add "between 42nd Street & 41st Street?"  Do they think for some reason that avenue addresses are classier?  More important?  If so, I can't imagine why.  And forcing me to go the extra step and goggle the street address in order to find the cross street is a losing proposition.  Most times I just move on.

But here's the thing.  It's not just me.  Including that cross street could make all the difference, and a map might be even better. 

In Howard Leventhal's seminal research about tetanus shots, follow-through increased by 28% when a map was added to the flier. 

Such a simple fix with such significant effects.  Hopefully the restaurants are reading this. 

Sethi, R. (2011, January 19)  5 fascinating experiments from the world of psychology and persuasion.  Retrieved December 27, 2017, from,

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Of course context matters in digital - why wouldn't it?

Back in the Stone Ages when we bought print for clients we realized pretty quickly that context mattered.  It makes sense that someone's mindset when reading the Wall Street Journal is significantly different from what it is when they are reading In Style.  But it's also true that being adjacent to a piece of complementary editorial can increase effectiveness even more.  So why would it be any different with digital?

Apparently it isn't.  According to new research from IRI and The Advertising Research Foundation, relevant content strategies can increase ROI (return on investment) by as much as 30%. (Baar, 2017)

Interestingly, the research, which focused on both thematic and attention compatibility, was done on CPG products, which seem to be struggling the most with digital - as evidenced by the fact that P&G's elimination of $140 million in digital media last spring appears to have had no negative effect.  In fact, the company's sales went up 2%.  (Neff, 2017)

Better start rewriting those programmatic algorithms.

Baar, A. (2017, December 19)  For Digital Ads, Context makes A Difference.  retrieved December 20, 2017, from

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Behold the Power of the Boycott - Part 2

I read recently that boycotts don't work because people forget about them fairly quickly and revert back to their original behavior before too long.  Since Myers-Briggs tells us that 70% of people live in the moment that makes sense.

But those of us old enough to remember the civil rights movement and the Montgomery bus boycott know that sometimes boycotts do work.  It just depends on how passionate their supporters are. 

Grab your wallet is a case in point.  As I noted last summer, thanks in part to its over 2 million followers, 22 companies have dropped the Trump brand, the Manufacturing Council disbanded and Mar-a-Lago and other Trump properties experienced multiple event cancellations. (Kramer, Paletta & McGregor, Dangremond, 2017)

Now it's time for a fall update.

In November, Trump Soho became the second hotel to drop the Trump name, after first closing its restaurant and then dropping room rates.  Government records show that losses have more than doubled at the two Trump golf courses in Scotland, and business is down at the courses in Los Angeles and NYC.  (Associated Press, 2017)

Last week, Nike - Trump's biggest and most lucrative tenant, announced that they were breaking their lease on their flagship Niketown store and moving to a new location down the block.  (Green, 2017)  Perhaps their decision was influenced by the 72,000 people who signed a petition from Courage Campaign asking them to do so. (Dua, 2017),  

And today, CityRealty released a report showing that the average price for Trump-branded condos is $2.6 million, below the Manhattan wide average of $3.1 million, for the first time. (Trangle, 2017)

Clearly some boycotts do work.  And brands need to take note.

Here's a link to the previous blog...

Kramer, M. (2017, June 4) Grab your wallet, boycott Trump and participate in “A sprawling landscape of resistance”  Retrieved August 19, 2017, from

Paletta, D. & McGregor, J. (2017, August 16)  Trump’s business advisory councils disband as CEOs abandon president over Charlottesville views.  Retrieved August 19, 2017, from

Dangremond, S. (2017, August 18)  Eight Charities Have Canceled Their Mar-a-Lago Galas This Week.  Retrieved August 19, 2017, from
Associated Press. (2017, November 22)  Trump SoHo hotel to drop 'Trump' name amid reports of slow business.  Retrieved December 13, 2017, from

Green, D. (2017, December 7)  Nike is leaving its iconic Niketown property — and the fact that Trump owns it is reportedly a factor.  Retrieved December 13, 2017, from

Dua, T. (2017, August 17)  Nike is under fire for 'supporting' Trump.  Retrieved December 13, 2017, from

Trangle, S. (2017, December 13)  'Trump effect' on condo prices?  amNewYork. p A5.