Last updateTue, 20 Aug 2019 10pm

George Prout

Applied Marketing 101: It’s time to start actually selling on the Internet (Part 1)

I accept as axiomatic the premise that rapid change is typically easy to detect, whereas incremental change may be far more difficult to recognize. We can confirm the validity of this proposition by conducting the following demonstration: Place a frog in a container full of room temperature water, and then slowly increase the temperature at a rate of one degree centigrade every five minutes. Incredibly, the poor frog will allow itself to be boiled to death.  I have increasingly come to see similarities for us in the jewelry industry to the boiled frog, only we aren’t ever-so-slowly boiling in a tub of water. Instead, we are being boiled in an environment known as the Internet.

Applied Marketing 101: The incipient attack of the yellow, green and purple diamonds

There is a fundamental marketing concept called “Share of Voice,” which can be defined as follows: the ratio of the portion of advertising activities for one company or brand compared with the total advertising activities for an entire sector or product type. Take, for example, the auto insurance industry. If you watch TV, you’re almost certainly familiar with ads from Geiko, Progressive, Nationwide, State Farm, Esurance, and Farmers. Each of these companies possesses a “Share of Voice” that is roughly equivalent to the ratio between their respective advertising budget and the total advertising budget for the car insurance industry. Depending on the effectiveness of their advertising, each drives a portion of the overall demand for automotive insurance products. But since they’re all basically selling the same product, the real impact of their advertising doesn’t go much farther than encouraging consumers to purchase their respective generic offering instead of one of their competitor’s. And their advertising efforts are all aimed towards slicing up a pie that is fixed in overall size, because everyone who has a car is compelled by state regulations to purchase auto insurance.

Applied Marketing 101: Quod Erat Demonstandum

Among the many contributions of ancient Greek philosophers at the dawn of civilization, surely the field of “Logic” belongs near the top of the list. Logic wasn’t just foundational to mathematics and geometry; it was also axiomatic for the formulation of most theories of critical thought. The classic “logical” thought process began with the statement of a hypothesis, and ended with a re-statement of that hypothesis, such that the arguments in the body of the ‘proof’ led inevitably to the conclusion that the hypothesis had been proven. When the Greek language gave way to Latin as the philosophers’ lingua franca in the second century BC, it became customary to place the letters “Q.E.D.”, short for “Quod Erat Demonstrandum”  (meaning “thus it has been demonstrated”),  at the end of a successful proof.

Applied Marketing 101: December 2013 forecast

As I write this, I have just finished a turn at the helm of my sister’s Hylas 46, an offshore sailing vessel she and my brother-in-law recently commissioned in order to circumnavigate the globe. It is a fine yacht, appointed with all of the equipment one would expect on a sailboat built for crossing oceans, and I marvel at the fact that each of my helm watches has been spent not so much steering, but rather tending the autopilot. Computerized navigation and radar systems have rendered most elements of the traditional tasks of steering, dead reckoning, and collision avoidance irrelevant, and so on this 100 mile delivery up the Chesapeake Bay, all of us in the cockpit are really more overseers than active participants, as the boat is pretty much steering herself.

Applied Marketing 101: The extraordinary power of Gift-with-Purchase offers

As I write this, I’m flying east from LAX after an exceptionally successful Leading Jewelers Guild trade show, en route to the RJO Show in Cincinnati. We added over forty Rhythm of Love (ROL) doors in just two days at Leading, as retailers who had become aware of the impending advertising onslaught of the new patented vibrating diamond mounting flocked to our booth, apparently selecting us because of the comprehensive marketing support platform that we have developed for ROL. What wonderful confirmation of the fact that once again, when all other factors are roughly equal, it’s the strength of the marketing tools that gets the sale. What fun!

Applied Marketing 101: Diving for PURLs

As I write this, I am flying back to the East Coast after an exceptionally successful series of Shows in Las Vegas. In many respects, the mood at JCK was the best I’ve seen for at least six years, as retailers jammed what is increasingly becoming a Gems One booth that, with only five work stations, needs to become significantly larger (and since we just can’t seem to get more booth space, I think we may have to look into building a second story for our booth next year). What fun it is to be on a roll!

Applied Marketing 101: The next three stone

If you’re a regular reader of this column, or you’ve ever worked with me on advertising and merchandising plans for your company, then you know how much time and effort I put into understanding trends. Any student of our business can identify key trends that shaped specific periods   (S-link tennis bracelets, Y-necklaces, Three Stone, Circles, etc). What ultimately separates the winners from the losers is the capacity to understand the forces that create these trends, so that you can properly anticipate and react to them.