Posts Tagged marketing

Bally Fitness: Are Free MP3’s An Incentive?

Bally Fitness' Website

Bally Fitness' Promotional Page for Free MP3s

Bally Fitness decided to offer a new way to attract new customers: offer them 20 free MP3 songs. Well, since most people listen to music on their earphones while using fitness machines, what a great way to attract new fitness club members.

Well, the insight was there: people listen to music when working out. But on a strategic level, my question is, will this work? Or, are free MP3’s relevant to subscribing to a gym?

The Problems I Found

1. The Relevancy

The importance of downloading MP3s (or paying for it) vs. the importance of committing to go to a fitness club is a totally different story.

Since Bally is using this campaign to attract new customers, perhaps the first insightful question should be: Are these non-members ready to commit to challenge themselves to invest in a valuable workout? Well, if not, then they will not pay a monthly fee to use that service that they know they won’t end up using at all. When deciding to join a gym, it’s a matter of commitment: do I have the time? Do I have the physical ability? How many times will I go in a week? Is that worth the monthly payments? I can exercise for free outdoors can’t I?

To make such a decision, one goes through a lot – about his/her life. If he’s working every day from 8AM – 8PM, I doubt he’ll have the time to join the gym. I mean, he’s got kids to take care of, have dinner, etc. If she’s traveling for work every week, she can use the hotel’s gym on her stay at a remote location. Why pay for this?

So after an evaluation of one’s lives, seeing “20 FREE MP3’s” won’t matter at all. It’s trivial compared to the commitment and effort they must put into deciding whether they should join or not.

2. The Burden

Well, to get the free 20 MP3 songs, the campaign tells one to join the gym online. Then, the user must go onto the Universal Music’s website (since Bally’s is partnering with Universal Music (and paying a hefty fee) for this promotion) and look for their choice of songs. Now, the user should just wait…. for, I don’t know, 10 days? Bally will send a redemption code, together with a link, and then there are further instructions. It doesn’t seem like much a process since the music’s basically free. But when the importance of MP3 downloads are trivial to the decision-making point, having a complex process doesn’t help at all. It’s just too much.

Well Then, What’s the Solution?

First, I would not have done this campaign. Or at least, this campaign should have been targeted at return-customers, or their most loyal customers to extend their subscriptions.

Second, if downloads were to be offered, it should be offered within the website – make the downloading part of the Bally’s Fitness Website experience, not of a totally different entity.

Third, I would suggest, dig deeper into the touchpoints – After What Process Will That Person Click The “Join the Club” Button? Many strategies will follow from here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Where on earth is Reebok?

Reebok. The only Reebok thing I own is a navy Reebok bag, which I got for an extreme discount about 4 years ago. I got it because it was a discount, and if there was a Nike bag, I definitely would have gotten that instead.

See, back in the day, Reebok was just as good as Nike. Now, Reebok is dead. I know they still have them in stores, but to me, they’re invisible – Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor are the first that come to my mind. (albeit, Adidas owns Reebok now…) Today, Reebok’s combined market share together with its parent company, Adidas, only amounts to 11%, while Nike is thriving on 44% (2008). Reebok’s biggest segment – the shoe department – dropped even more recently, especially with women’s athletic footwear dropping from 3.6% to 1.9% market share this year. Meanwhile again, Nike’s share rose to 45.7%.

While I’ve seen Reebok trying to regain some shares in the women’s apparels and footwear segments through more creative advertising, there has been and still is a fundamental problem: REEBOK HAS NO BRAND VISIBILITY.

Before trying to target certain audiences, Reebok must try and understand where consumers stand. “What are the attributes of the Reebok brand?” Ans: “dull, old, antique, grayish…” Funny thing is, there’s not even any emotion that partakes in this attribute building exercise for me. I don’t hate it. And I don’t like it. It’s just… Somewhere out there…

So what is my recommended solution?

Start by rebuilding the audience. Check where the problem lies. Only then, begin by reconsidering its product line to see whether it’s on the right track to winning customers. And only then even consider starting a creative campaign like the one above. And if they do, it should start introducing the TOTALLY NEW Reebok – tell us, tell me that there’s a NEW Reebok out there to get my attention!

Wish I had more time and space to actually write up a strategic plan. But all the luck to Reebok. Hope I can regain my faith in a brand I once loved as a child.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

What Google Needs… For Its Future

Google. Wow. It’s a revolution. It’s simple. It’s clean. And it’s cool.

It has many, many cool features. And it’s fast.

It’s definitely what we need in today’s world of computing.

But let’s take it down the line of time: say, in 10 years?

According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, global technology will be low cost – and virtually everywhere. Virtual reality will become reality in the workforce and at home. The speed of the Internet will be at a minimum of 1 gigabit per second, anywhere on earth. (Right now, the fastest offered by Verizon FiOS is 50 megabits per second – my Comcast is at 6mbps, so imagine around 100 times faster, or you can download around 15,000 MP3 songs in a minute).

Now, do you think you will use text-based, minimal graphics offered by Google? I know I won’t.

So let’s tackle the problems first. First off, Google, unless you set it up to your personal page, only gives you the minimalist option – a keyword search bar, a cool Google logo, and some links that you have to click on to navigate through. In 10 years, this will become a nuisance. Even today, Google’s coolest new products aren’t really visible – unless you actually go into their cool features page.

Google must start preparing for the development of newest technologies. It’s business model – text-based, non-cluttered advertising based on its super clean and fast text-based searches, should somehow be changed. It needs to rework its landing page, and start bringing in more interactivity and graphics and multimedia. It’s time to start shifting to a new era and reposition itself if it wants to hold its #1 spot in searches.

If Google doesn’t prepare (I’m sure they are preparing internally), Yahoo, Bing, AOL, and even Lycos could become the next leaders in search engines.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

An Irony: Who Knows The Ad Industry?

blank advertising billboard

The Ad Industry Needs to Be Marketed More

While English may not be my first language, I never knew what the term “marketing” was until I took an intro marketing course in college.

Isn’t that ironic? How the billions of dollars spent on marketing can’t push the general term out to young kids.

I was lucky. I fell in love with it. And maybe most marketing professionals were lucky like me.

But here’s an ugly truth: I’ve never seen or heard of any child who’s dreamed of becoming a marketer. Period.

I’ve heard cute dreams of being a doctor, a princess, a president, a lawyer, a pilot, or a inventor… but a marketer? Wow and ow.

What’s even sadder is that Advertising, which is really a part of all the marketing efforts is even more clandestine.

Ask a layperson if they know what an Account Executive does: “what? some kind of accounting CEO?”

Ask a layperson what a copywriter does: “someone who makes copyrights?”

See, I learned marketing, but never knew about such roles in advertising until I actually started studying advertising on my own.

But why? Why should I not know?

I knew that there were analysts, associates, and partners and directors in law and consulting firms.

I knew there were software developers and project managers, network administrators and database managers in IT firms.

I knew there were CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, CSOs, Presidents and Chairmen.

Why not Account and Strategic Planners, Media Coordinators and Planners, Traffic Coordinators, Account Executives and Supervisors and Directors, and Copywriters and Art Directors and Creative Directors?

How come none of these were advertised, or even a small discussion passed by at least once in my eclectic lifetime – aren’t advertisers the best at this?

Enough about job positions. I knew what advertising was… I’ve seen Marlboro men on and off highways and deserts in the middle of Africa. I’ve seen Coca-Cola bottles being used as a divine symbol by a Zulu tribeman in the 1980 movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy. But who made these ads? I’ve always thought it was the actual marketers making them. How would I have ever known there were ad agencies behind all this? And if so, how would I have known which were the famous?

Tiger Woods started golf before he could even speak. Doctors have doctors in their family, as do lawyers. Business moguls inherit their businesses from their parents and grandparents. That’s what we call exposure. These people were exposed at an early age, and they chose it as if it were their destiny. Advertising is all about exposing to the biggest, or at least, the most targetable audiences. And so are careers. If the Advertising Industry wants to become a bigger, proliferous industry, it must invest in talent. In order to invest in talent, it must invest in exposing what Advertising is to young audiences. Make it their dream, make it their fantasy. Start advertising advertising.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,