10 Burning Questions
Marketers used to throw image-oriented ads in magazines because it seemed to make sense. Nowadays, its unacceptable for them to be overly theoretical. Diligence must be thorough before spending money to make money. Primary calculations consider return on investment with return on objectives a lap behind. Our Buffalo team helps clients prudently determine why and where to invest in digital and, yes, traditional marketing opportunities. In this planning process, these questions frequently take center stage:
- What percentage of sales is a good rough measure of a brand’s total marketing budget?
- Are direct mail and catalogue programs back in vogue and what’s the cost of such prospecting?
- Is it true the average CPM for Facebook ads is a penny per impression?
- Should I plan for the average CPC on Facebook to be at, more or less than the $1.86 median?
- What can I expect to be the average CPC on Google Ads?
- Can you put a value on each opt-in e-mail address for my transactional business?
Non-numerically, bewilderment persists:
- Is my brand awareness enough to go deep in marketing or does that even matter?
- What’s the appropriate small investment and what are the test-to-scale KPIs?
- Can you explain number, quality, interactivity and capture of impressions?
- Which psychographic and demographic customer data is most important?
One of my friends recently put his packaged-goods company up for sale. His leadership team focuses on predictive modeling and the ability to measure and, therefore, effectively manage marketing activities. It’s also fixated on collecting and appending quality data to reduce cost of acquisition and increase customer lifetime value. Those are keys to his business valuation being through the roof.
During much of his first 22 years, Zach Abaie, now 28, traveled coast to coast playing in soccer club tournaments, then starred at George Washington University. The sport shaped his life – as it did for twin sister Sierra – and made him a super-thoughtful person and disciplined, driven business and marketing professional. Zach also caught the golf bug. Get to know Buffalo’s talented Director:
- Soccer and golf similarities – Both are “thinking” sports. You may not fully recognize it watching soccer, but decisions are made in split seconds on players’ next moves and actions. The same goes for golf. It helps to be a geometry major.
- Beard or no beard? The former. I worked hard to get to nearly three decades and don’t want to look 16 again!
- Marketing is my calling – Nothing is as powerful as a good story. When you strip away bells and whistles, engaging marketing is as simple as succinctly weaving a beginning, middle and end. And I love telling them.
- My dream day – Sleep is largely unproductive, so I knock out a quick, early-morning run, watch soccer, head to a micro-brewery with friends, then see where the day takes me – hopefully to a professional sports event. How’s that for an easy-going guy to please?
- Maintaining perspective – If you don’t like something, change it. Life is too short to mess with things you neither love nor hold passion.
- I hate to disappoint – My mom. There’s no worse feeling in the world. Well, except when my beloved Manchester City loses an occasional match. Sorry, mom!
- Why Buffalo is so special – If you’re obsessed with sports and being active, there’s no topping eight-plus hours a day thinking about it. Watching games people play on 60” TVs in Buffalo’s grille room over lunch also makes work, well, not feel like work.
- Staying in shape – Absolutely. Since graduating college, I’ve run 100-plus miles a month. Haven’t missed a day approaching year seven.
- Is a tomato a fruit of veggie? Impossible question and, in the scheme of life, it’s mere back-burner debate.
- The specialness of family – No one understands them like you do. Plus, mom’s cooking tops everyone and everything else.
- My pop culture addiction – Netflix Originals! Love binging on shows like Stranger Things and Peaky Blinders.
- Fantasy foursome – Parents and girlfriend. Teeing it up with great athletes has appeal, but I’d much rather spend it with those most cherished.
- Chicken, beef or fish? Chicken has great versatility. Enough said.
- Last movie I saw – Miracle with Kurt Russell. There’s nothing more inspiring than the 1980 U.S. hockey team. I get goosebumps from it three to five times a year.
- Culinary favorite – Noodles should be considered appropriate for all three meals, plus a midnight snack.
- Parting wisdom – Spend life with those you love, doing what you love.
Putts & Pigskins
I love it when two sports combine to bring out the best in each other.
Such is the case with Buffalo providing golf marketing support for NFL Alumni and its 4,500-plus former football players, coaches, officials, cheerleaders and associates who comprise its membership. Our team is rounded out by Great Golf Resorts of the World (publisher of PGA Magazine), and former PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka and Director of Diversity Earnie Ellison.
This is a big deal and the planned initiatives are why:
- NFLA Super Bowl of Golf – The 40-year-old golf championship will include media partners and sponsors at Pinehurst Resort, April 29 to May 2, 2020.
- NFL Alumni / NFL Draft Pro-Am – The inaugural event will feature teams of amateur golfers captained by NFL Alumni representing each NFL team during the league’s Draft Week in Las Vegas.
- NFL Alumni Golf Professionals Program – New to the scene and aligned with PGA Professionals in 36 NFL Alumni regional chapters, it will introduce members to the sport, improve skills and prepare them for competitive golf events.
NFL alumni have been part of some of the most memorable moments in sports. Connecting them with the recreational, competitive, wellness and business aspects of golf is rewarding. It lines up nicely with NFL Alumni offerings of medical, financial and social support, so members can lead even healthier, more productive and connected lives within their communities.
It’s rewarding to share golf industry knowledge with owners and operators of golf courses, country clubs and resorts. The practical takeaways help grow their businesses and the vitality of the sport to withstand time.
The info and idea fest – a.k.a. the Golf Inc. Strategies Summit – was held a few weeks ago at The Ritz Carlton Reynolds in Lake Oconee, Georgia. It featured more than 80 speakers, 27 educational sessions and nine networking events.
Buffalo’s Jessica Lewis was a panelist, offering best practices on websites as growth tools, big data and analytics. I moderated a group discussion about innovative ways to craft brands which stand out as superior and “must haves.”
The summit’s main theme was “the experience economy” and how it’s changing the way golf retailers think about their unique roles within communities to build loyal customers.
Eric Trump, son of President Donald Trump, was one of several keynote speakers. He overseas Trump Golf’s management of 21 golf courses from Los Angeles to Scotland. It owns most of the properties which are valued as much as $550 million.
Macro topics included America’s changing demographics, emerging hospitality trends, creative capital investment strategies, prevailing consumer motivations and golf courses of the future. Best practices for tacticians featured video as an engagement and revenue generator, the latest in retail technology, affordable promotions, family programming and secrets to digital ROI.
This is the 25th year I attended and it doesn’t disappoint. There are learnings to take home and employ, and connections are made which help grow our business.
CSR to the Max
There are countless initiatives which propel my love for ECCO, the famous Danish maker of the world’s most comfortable and stylish shoes (and leather accessories). It’s not only because the brand is a Buffalo client-partner 18 years running.
Like every company, ECCO profitability is paramount. But its moral fiber in the form of corporate social responsibility is yet another differentiator. Here’s one of the company’s latest wins, helping budding business professionals develop their passions, skills and careers:
At ECCO world headquarters in Tonder, Denmark, 60 students from Design School Kolding met with company footwear designers. There, as part of a shoe and bag design course, they got first glimpses of the design and manufacturing processes which go into making shoes.
Under a “Stages of Rebellion” theme, students were challenged to create a shoe collection inspired by rebellions or a rebellious mindset. We’re talking products with emergency functionality to protect against natural catastrophes – enter de-constructible sandals which turn into a boot. They also built multi-functional and multi-purposeful leather bags. To accomplish this, they considered megatrends like the nomad movement, disaster handling and climate action.
Students’ designs were based on ECCO elements like its proprietary soles. Then visionary thinking, data points and freedom of creativity took over. They spent weeks researching, designing and refining product concepts. Halfway through the semester, prototypes were presented to ECCO, then refined based on feedback.
The outputs are amazing and, from what we understand at this juncture, top secret. Will the students’ hard work be on display at many of the more than 2,2500 ECCO shops and 14,000 sales points in 99 countries?
While impacting lives of more than 21,000 employees worldwide, helping develop the next generation of world-class footwear and fashion designers is laudable. This is sixth consecutive year ECCO and Design School Kolding have teamed.