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Catherine Cantieri
I'm the luckiest woman alive -- but that don't stop me complaining.
Interests: Bad movies, good coffee, ridiculous moments that crack you up for years afterward, dogs, mysteries, pajama pants, shoes I can't afford, cars, computers, self-destructive celebrities.
Recent Activity
That's a really good idea, Sue; I'll post something on that early in August. Honestly, I think one of the best managerial, productivity, quality-control, etc. tools in the world is honest, true praise. It's free, it feels good to give and receive, it makes things so much better -- and yet it's used so infrequently, especially in the workplace. Thanks for the comment!
Thanks so much, Jessi and Sue! It means a lot to know that I've written something that resonates with you. Jessi, as long as you're using and enjoying your garden catalogs, I say more power to you! And Sue, based on what you've written, I think I need to read "Eat, Pray, Love." I'd like to major in aspects of pleasure myself! :-)
Good for you, Kerrie Lee & Liz! You've found what works for you and you use it consistently. Rock on with your bad selves. :-)
Thanks, Liz and Sue! Sue, that's a really good question you raise. I'll be answering it in the next week or so. *Thank you* for making a request!
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Mar 15, 2010
I approached this case, as I plan to approach all the cases in this course, from the perspective of a Marketing Communications Manager. If I were on the AstraZeneca team, would I have made the same choices regarding the marketing of Nexium as the next-generation Prilosec? I think AZ's marketing team did a lot right here: not only did they choose a different name for the drug, they chose one with a name that implies a succession and a progression. While the decision to keep the moniker "The Purple Pill" might have been a tough sell, it also establishes Nexium... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
It's funny: one of the reasons I chose this book for this course was that it had an entire chapter on the impact of advertising beyond marketing objectives. But having read the whole book, I feel comfortable saying that the authors have some major blind spots in terms of those impacts, and could stand a lot more education on the topic themselves. Their analysis of racial trends in advertising, for instance, would have a lot more teeth if 97% of the ads pictured in the book didn't contain white faces only. And their use of the coy phrase "sexually suggestive"... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
It's interesting; you'd think, given the various forms of regulation that the authors discuss, that advertisers in the U.S. have to jump through a ton of hoops to get anything into the public sphere. Well, you'd think that if you hadn't just read Chapter 20, which mentions the various regulations the rest of the developed world has on advertising and promotions (most of which are much more stringent than American guidelines). Advertisers and the advertising industry have quite a few trade organizations with advertising guidelines to try to catch problem ads before they're released into the wild. Because these guidelines... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
Sooner or later, most companies have to look outside the bounds of the U.S., if only because the American market is saturated in most product categories. I liked the initial profile of the chapter that discussed the ways companies are marketing to the rural poor in developing nations. Smart companies study the people and cultures in these markets and meet them where they are in terms of needs and price points. One of the main factors that influences global marketing efforts is the existence and/or extent of infrastructure in various countries. For instance, if a country has no national newspaper... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
This chapter seemed a bit odd, considering that every chapter about a particular aspect of an IMC campaign has had a portion about evaluating the effectiveness of that aspect. Still, knowing whether what you're doing is actually working is a huge issue for modern marketing departments. It's made all the more frustrating by the fact that, based on this chapter, the effectiveness of IMC efforts is almost impossible to gauge. Everything processed by a human being is processed subjectively, but the emotional aspects of marketing make evaluating the results of that processing exceptionally difficult. One of the most common methods... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
By and large, you can't wait for the customer to come to you. Just about every company has a sales force, whether they're selling to the end customer or to the distributor or retailer. Of course, for most companies, that sales force is usually under the aegis of a sales department that's quite separate from the marketing department, and that's a real shame, because the two can and should work hand-in-hand. For one thing, the sales force has something the marketing team would give their eyeteeth for: data on, and feedback from, actual and potential customers. For another, the sales... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
Historically, PR has been seen as being separate from marketing, but as the whole IMC concept grows in acceptance, PR and marketing are merging more and more. I don't know if I support the whole notion that in marketing PR (MPR), "noncustomer relationships are perceived as necessary only in a marketing context." That seems a little mercenary to me. But then, I'm a bleeding heart. When done well, PR can have a fantastic ROI and can supplement marketing efforts, building excitement in the marketplace and giving the product a sense of objective value. As the power of advertising fades (too... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
This chapter was another doozy, very long but full of interesting information. I hadn't realized what a major role sales promotions have taken in the modern marketing mix. According to the authors, almost 50% of the average marketing budget for a consumer-goods product goes to trade-oriented promotion; another 27% goes to consumer-oriented promotion and a mere 24% goes to advertising. A big part of that concentration in trade promotion is due to the huge increase in power that retailers have enjoyed recently. As brands and products have increased, retailers have consolidated, meaning that it's a seller's market in terms of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
Ah, teh Interwebs. An interesting combination of communication, PR, advertising and direct selling medium. Great for disseminating information and stimulating trials of products, potentially effective for creating awareness and strengthening image, rife with fraud and general assholity. Interestingly, the authors claim that the effectiveness of online marketing is hard to measure. Considering the volumes of data that Google Analytics can throw at even a paltry blog owner like myself, I find that hard to believe. The authors note that online tools don't always help with brand building, and I wonder how much of the instantaneous nature of the internet affects... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
Direct marketing gets a lot of flack. As the chapter itself notes, we call direct-marketing mail "junk mail" and put ourselves on Do Not Call lists. But direct marketing not only has great evaluative capacity, when it's targeted and executed correctly, this stuff really works. American society itself has facilitated the growth of direct marketing. Americans use a lot of credit cards, so we're able to buy when the opportunity presents itself rather than having to save our money and then spend it. Also, we're always crunched for time, so rather than shop leisurely for something, we're more likely to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
The chapter on support media lifted me out of my "yup, I already know this" stupor, mostly because of all the avenues for creativity in support media. It's ironic: as a consumer and member of society, I'm irritated by the prevalence and ubiquity of support media ads, but as a creative worker with an interest in marketing, I get a kick out of imagining new applications for those media. Basically, support media is all the stuff that isn't print, broadcast, online or direct marketing. It's outdoor advertising (billboards, buses and benches), in-store media (displays, loyalty programs) and promotional products (gimmes).... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
Much of the logistical information in this chapter was a total snooze for me. After all, I have a Master's from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with a concentration in magazine journalism and I worked at a daily newspaper for two (long) years. That said, there was some interesting perspective in terms of these publications as marketing vehicles. I liked that newspapers and magazines are considered "high-involvement" media, meaning you actually have to read them. I also didn't realize that farm publications are a major category of print media; it's kinda cool to have your blind spots revealed.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
This chapter gave a rather detailed examination of how TV and, to a lesser degree, radio broadcasting and advertising work. Most of it was old news for me, but it was cool to learn some new terminology. For instance, that thing I do when I fast-forward through commercials on the TiFaux is called "zipping" by the industry. If I were to change channels to avoid commercials, that would be "zapping." It's common knowledge within the broadcast and advertising industries that viewers tend to avoid commercials, although for some reason viewers on both the younger and older extremes of the 18-55... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
Most of this chapter was a rehash of stuff I did during my MarCom years, but there was some material that did a good job specifying the various types of appeal and execution styles in a creative campaign. I agree with the authors that often, the most effective IMC messages combine rational and emotional appeals. That can be a tall order for one message, but it really generates results. I did find the inclusion of some of their execution styles a little odd. They listed "animation" as an execution style, but it's really just a different means of presentation. An... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
There was a lot of familiar stuff in this chapter, but still some good food for thought about the creative process and the approaches to creating IMC messages. I was grateful for the listing of advertising standards from the firm D'Arcy, Masius Benton & Bowles. It was thoughtful and comprehensive, but I wish it would have included some humanist (for lack of a better word) guidelines as well. If a creative ad showcases a benefit and contains a big idea but degrades a group of people, that ad is still a major fail. It's easy enough to get a response... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
If you think the title's long, wait 'til you see the chapter itself. Oy. That said, this chapter covers some of my favorite activities: planning, organizing, setting goals, etc. A great deal of ink is devoted to the issue of sales objectives (i.e., increase sales on this product by X%) vs. communication objectives (increase awareness of this product by X%). The authors wisely note that many advertising and promotional programs have a carryover effect, meaning that the sales generated by an ad/promotional campaign might not show up for some time. It's not always a matter of input -> output. That... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
Oh, dear. The chapter opens with a profile of Tiger Woods and discusses what a great choice he is as a source for communications messages. Ironically, this proves a point later in the chapter about the risks inherent in using a celebrity/athlete spokesperson. I like the idea of the "persuasion matrix," in which the different aspects of a message, such as its source and channel, are plotted against the stages of consumer response. In each box within that matrix lies a question, such as "will this channel attract our target consumer's attention?" It's a great way to ask yourself the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
Once you've put together a compelling, clear message for your IMC campaign, you then have to figure out how to deliver that message to the target markets you want to receive it. Hence, media planning. Media planning isn't easy; there are literally billions of options, counting all the possible methods, channels, markets and times. Media planners often don't have as much data as they'd like to help them pick the best matches for their clients. Plus, it's hard to measure the effectiveness of a media plan. (I should have a macro of that for all these chapters; it's hard to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
I was tickled to see that the chapter began with a profile of "early adopters" and how marketers try to reach them. I'm an early adopter of technology, and am something of an early adopter within my peer group for certain things. The profile was correct: we don't like ads very much and tend to tune out most marketing. So how do marketers reach us? (For me, the answer, rather obviously, is blogs.) The model of communication illustrated by the book is, I think, a good one, but I think it should give a slightly higher value to the "noise"... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator
In this chapter, we study the creature known as the consumer and try to figure out how to understand, and thus predict and shape, why they do what they do. I like that the chapter's definition of consumer behavior includes what consumers do when evaluating and disposing of products and services; I think it's important to realize that the relationship with the consumer doesn't end when they use the product. The chapter made some assumptions I didn't agree with in terms of the psychological motivations of consumer behavior. I think the authors assigned internal motivation to impulses I believe are... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2010 at Catherine Cantieri, Communicator