Category Archives: Uncategorized

Triple Platinum winners






screen-shot-2016-05-16-at-2-51-23-pm_5d109Thank you Brampton. The Marketing Pad is a triple Platinum Winner of the Brampton Top Performers 2016 Awards in Advertising & Marketing, Communications & Public Relations and Web Design. We also won a Gold in graphics category. We appreciate your support.

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Baby fatigue and TV commercials

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Does anyone else suffer from baby fatigue?

I understand that Pampers and Huggies and Similac might want to feature babies in their television commercials, but of late it seems the little cuties are everywhere advertising everything.

I can’t get through an evening without my wife oohing and awing several times… admonishing me when I miss one.  I hear look, look, look all night long. A baby smile, a dribble, a bad hair day or God forbid an outright laugh and she is reduced to jelly.

But ask her afterward what the commercial was about and she has no idea. I bet many people don’t.

Enjoy. Maybe it’s a passing fad. I hope so.

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Listening is paramount for business growth

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Do you have employees who are smart and engaged and that you suspect have great ideas but don’t seem willing to contribute? Do they trust you to acknowledge their contribution? Do they think you will even listen to their ideas?

Most employees have ideas and while not every one is a gem, some of those ideas will inevitably be good ones. But if the right environment isn’t present, most won’t step forward.

SpyingListen, encourage and acknowledge. Not every idea is a breakthrough but don’t be afraid to say so, while creating a listening environment. It’s an indicator of the health of your business. Talk to  your employees individually on a regular basis. Encourage them to contribute. Build trust.

Over time they will know you value their ideas and it will encourage them .

Good companies don’t have people working in silos. Build a culture that requires interactive listening where people contribute in a meaningful way and are acknowledged for their contribution.

Listening affects how you learn and grow.  Talk to everyone involved in your company and ask for their ideas. The results may surprise you.

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Filed under Communications, Human Resources, Managing, Uncategorized

Do customer loyalty programs work?

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Do loyalty programs work? Air Miles is one of the most effective in Canada. Aeroplan? Shoppers Drug Mart’s Optimum card? Canadian Tire money or gas cards? Some grocery chains have their own points programs redeemable for merchandise.

But does any of it really matter?

Loyalty programsForbes in a weighty opinion says that low-margin retailers often argue they can’t afford customer loyalty programs, but questions whether that’s true? Two business professors make the case that such programs are profit-enhancing differentiators. You can read their paper – Six Myths About Customer Loyalty Programs.

loyalty can tireI am less convinced.  I look for product quality and customer service first. That’s my major differentiator. If they happen to offer Air Miles, that’s a bonus.

Consumers are more selective and they have more options. If you are all about price, it’s easy to do comparison shopping online and even make the purchase from the comfort of your kitchen table. Want express delivery. No problem.

But if it’s your car mechanic, then you likely want someone you trust, someone who caters to your needs and won’t overcharge you. Same for a hairdresser/barber.

Ask yourself a simple question. Are you loyal to the product, the brand or the service?

Do customer loyalty programs work for you?

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Filed under Marketing, Uncategorized

Attack ads have become a political staple

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

I haven’t heard anyone say they like attack ads, a staple, it seems, in political campaigns. I would think in a protracted 78 day federal election campaign that we are sick and tired of them.

Attack ads rely on a germ of truth, stoke the committed voter and dangerously inform the uninformed and by almost any standard of measurement descend to personal low blows.

trudeauAttack ads have been part of the Conservative arsenal going back to Jean Chretien.The attacks are personal, so we get a vacationing Michael Ignatieff and an unready Justin Trudeau. The Liberals have also used them, attacking Conservative leaders Stanfield and Clark. In 2004, the Martin Liberals accused Stephen Harper for his “hidden agenda.”

Well, if they didn’t work, parties wouldn’t use them.

Attack ads aren’t aimed at everyone. The plugged-in people hate them as irrelevant. But, for the ill-informed it may be the only exposure they have to the party leaders. And the party faithful don’t need them but attack ads stoke their anger and fear, ensuring they get out to vote.

So, why do they work? We pay more attention to negative information, complain about it, but pay more attention to it. We are bombarded by the media all day along, and across multiple platforms, with negative information. And while positive ads can be good, in political campaigns negative ads are more effective.

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