Monday, June 17, 2013

Bob Meistrell, Body Glove Founder, Passes Away

Today we have lost one of surfing's true pioneers and gentlemen.  Bob Meistrell, who founded of Body Glove along with his twin brother, died doing what he loved; being out in the ocean on his boat.  The 84-year old pioneer was returning from Catalina and I'm sure it was exactly how he would have liked to say goodbye.  Having known Bob and his family as neighbors, he was always extremely friendly and outgoing and quick to share a story from his incredible life and career.

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing features one of the last interviews with the surf industry icon and his case study on the formation of Body Glove is one of my favorites.  We will miss Bob and the world of water sports owes a great deal to this innovative man.  

Check out The Surfer's Guide To Marketing for the complete interview and for more information on his passing, please see the link below:

How To Become a Marketing BARNACLE

In The Surfer's Guide To Marketing, we discuss different ways to utilize another organization's on-site event, promotion, or activation to drive your brand.   I refer to partnering with a larger exhibit or trade event as becoming a BARNACLE.  Your goal is to drive awareness and interactions for your product or service without disrupting the flow, causing too much attention from the host, or spending significantly more resources than the value you gain in return.

The BARNACLE, those little animals that live on the chin of a large whale, are the perfect surf-analogy example of how you should position yourself to be successful as an addition to an existing organization's activation.  The mollusk's main job is to subtly attach to a larger host and leverage their partner's existing efforts while sucking in plankton and getting a free ride.  They don't cause too much of a distraction and are able to have noticeable gains without expending much effort.  And that mentality directly transfers to the marketing world when creating an on-site partnership.

Having created activations at high traffic locations ranging from trade shows to shopping malls to the Super Bowl, I always approach the opportunity with the same philosophy of becoming a BARNACLE.  I want to ensure my brand gains incrementally more exposure and value than if we did a stand-alone effort and we do not disrupt the host to the point where we draw negative results or controversy.   

On-site activation for a major network premiere.

While some promotions, tours, or locations can have sponsorship packages ranging in the seven figures, most of the BARNACLE activations are established because your brand has smaller budgets with large expectations.   That's where The Surfer's Guide To Marketing becomes a valuable resource as we dedicate an entire chapter to the best approaches and proven techniques in this arena.  We discuss proven cases and provide a how-to for operating and thriving as the marketing version of the little critter on Shamu's face!

And for every successful case study in my book, there are also real-world examples of what guerrilla marketers do wrong  Recently, Ouya tried to crash the E3 video game expo.  Rather than pay to be included in the show, they thought (like many marketers do) that they could circumvent the official relationship by setting up in the surrounding area for less.  Instead of going through the front door, Ouya tried to go through the back door... or more accurately, the parking lot.  E3 wasn't too fond of this type of grass roots activation and the attached link describes the battle that ensued.

As a veteran of on-site marketing, I have been exposed to countless situations surrounding the "right" or "wrong" way to approach it.  The Surfer's Guide To Marketing explains my strategy for being a successful BARNACLE and Ouya definitely didn't approach it the way I would have.  What's your take on how to create a successful activation and what do you think about the article and E3 vs. Ouya battle?  Please leave your comments!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Beach Reporter Feature!

Here is an article that featured "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" in the South Bay publication.  Be sure to "like" the article and follow "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" on Facebook at the link in the story!
Marketing tips with some laughs: Longboard Marketing founder Randy Rovegno takes on the world of marketing in new book - The Beach Reporter: Lifestyle

Sunday, June 9, 2013

How Philanthropy Can Drive Your Brand

In The Surfer's Guide To Marketing, we discuss how to utilize philanthropy in an effort to drive your branding.  As surfers, we can look at ENVIRONMENTALISTS (as our example of people who engage in charitable efforts or causes) because they obviously have a higher interest in preserving their oceans than the average citizen.  So with that as our model, we can associate those who practice activism for whatever relevant cause, to our coastal ENVIRONMENTALISTS.

Utilizing cause marketing or charity to build awareness for a corporate organization can be tricky.  But there are some guidelines to observe to ensure that your efforts, while set against a corporate agenda, still provide an acceptable amount of good will.  After all, it's ok for a company to "get credit" for their charitable efforts just so long as it is an authentic, endemic campaign.  It must produce genuine results and not try to boast more than they merit.  Consumers are savvy and can see through thinly-veiled efforts to appear sincere.  

The two rules of thumb I invoke when creating a philanthropic effort are:

1) The charity is true, real, and genuinely benefits from the effort.  There are examples of big corporations “creating” philanthropy or instituting a good will effort only to have the transparent excuse for marketing backfire.  If you want to devote resources, time, effort, dollars, etc. to a cause, then you must truly believe in the cause.  And make a solid effort.

2) Developing a cause campaign or aligning with
an existing charity must be a natural partnership that is organic in nature and forms a positive, logical combination for the brand.  
If your brand is in no way involved in cancer research for example, or there isn't a personal element or story to it, then perhaps your company shouldn't select that organization to support.  It's not that supporting generic causes are a bad thing, but it makes for a more seamless story for the consumer if there is a logical connection.  Now, if the CEO's mother fought the disease or they have a similar story that puts the brand in the middle of the cause, then it's instantly credible.  Simply put, select a cause that motivates your consumers because the involvement is organic and relevant to your product or service.

A current example of an organization doing a good will effort that will surely pay exponential dividends is one that is near and dear to me personally.  The Arizona Diamondbacks recently drafted Arizona State's Cory Hahn with the 34th pick in last week's draft.  While not unusual if you didn't know the story, the effort made becomes extraordinary when you learn about the draft pick himself.  Three games into his college baseball career at Arizona State University, Cory (who wore number 34) was involved in a freak play that left him with a broken neck, paralyzed from the waste down.  Despite the tragic injury, Cory continues to excel as a student, friend, and "teammate" with his former roster mates.

Former ASU Player Cory Hahn

The Diamondbacks honored his courage and attitude by using a pick on him to show their appreciation and fulfill the former athlete's dream.  While in actuality, the gesture only "cost" the brand (in this case the D-backs) a 34th round pick, the value one can assign to the effort will come back incrementally higher.  It's a great way to do a good deed in the community and have that limited activation pay larger dividends.  

So while I in no means imply that they did it just for the publicity, I'm sure the front office is not against all of the attention, positive social media, overwhelming community support, and becoming the focus of certain marketing blog's subject.   (FYI, having suffered a neck injury myself and as a Sun Devil alum, I can relate to this story on many levels!)

In The Surfer's Guide To Marketing, there is an entire chapter dedicated to ENVIRONMENTALISTS, or the proper ways to integrate cause marketing into your mix.  It can be done cost-effectively, organically, and help drive your brand while giving back to the community.  We discuss everything from corporate partners who help out during disasters to celebrities like Drew Brees who create foundations to give back.  Check out the book for a complete discussion of how you can gain valuable exposure while helping make other people's lives better.  And in the meantime, forward along this article to show your support for the home run the Diamondbacks hit with their selection of Cory!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Purchase The Surfer's Guide To Marketing

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing is out just in time for summer!  Be sure to pick up your copy today.  It's an innovative, entertaining look at the various marketing tactics that have proven success.  From social media to celebrity integration, we cover everything small businesses and Fortune 500 companies utilize to drive their brand.

A few of the outlets to purchase the future best-seller include: