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The Biz Blogroll
The Best of the Biz Blogs December 3

Holistic margin management. Sounds like a diet that wouldn’t include any General Mills foods at all. :: “The key was to get everyone within the company to scrutinize costs. That concept was applied for the first time to Hamburger Helper” (from Tim Manners’ Reveries.com, December 3). I have been advising clients for years to fully involve all employees in strategy, cost-cutting, and efficiency. Turns out that that employees have good ideas, like, who cares if there’s fourteen shapes of pretzels in a Chex Snax?

Here’s how Drugstore.com got to the top of online shopping aggregators. :: “Getting a deal listed on an aggregator site, such as National Retail Federation’s CyberMonday.com, is a coup. Drugstore.com paid a placement fee in hopes of promoting its Marshmallow Shooter. Drugstore decided to sell the toy on CyberMonday for $12.99, a deep discount from its normal $19.99 price.” (from Andrea on Amazon, December 2). Okay, if you’ve been following this blog, you already know the Rich Burlew link is coming; and, yeah, weaponsgrade pots on Andrea’s parade in much the same way: “Yes, 4 straight years marshmallow gun sales rocketing upwards. In nine years drugstore.com still cannot show a net profit. How about the share price? .85 as of today’s close?” I know just the solution. A sale! Slash prices across the board! With all my doctoral and MBA education and 24 languages, I couldn’t say it better than weaponsgrade, through with a name like that, I prefer him to take that as a compliment. The aggregators have their place, though. The trick is to develop a strategy to create repeat customers from the door-busters who come to your site through the aggregators.

When you think viral, make sure it isn’t sick. :: “While the campaign had us all talking about Quiznos, it did not have us eating their food. Their sales numbers were down.” (“Quizno’s Sponge Monkeys Revisited,” Drew’s Marketing Minute December 3). I have been involved in dozens of highly successful viral marketing plans and dozen singular unsuccessful ones. It’s very easy to forget that viral marketing is still about, well, selling, and too much of the advice out there is by people with their buzz goggles on (hmmm, Seth Godin?) (That was a pun on beer goggles, get it, oh, forget it.) In the end, it’s about making the sale. Read and remember.

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