Swine Flu Gives Marketers New Opportunities

Mexico- Swine Flu- May 1, 2009
Image by metaweb20 via Flickr

It looks like businesses are bombarding consumers with offers to help them since the outbreak of the swine flu.  Everything from travel insurance, air filters, chiropractors, and even T-shirts are being marketed to prevent a possible pandemic.  Some people are claiming it’s unethical for businesses to exploit consumers on their fears of contracting the disease, but many of the items are valid disease preventives.  Should people be running out to buy the SaniGuard Total Release Fogger yet?  Let’s see first if the swine flu virus literally dies down.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/healthscience/stories/050409dnmetflusells.3d1137d.html

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Starbucks Launches New Marketing Campaign

Starbucks logo
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Higher-end coffee shops like Starbucks are getting severally effected in our recession now, as more and more consumers flock to places like Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s for a cheaper cup of coffee.  Its second quarter profits fell by 77%!  Their new marketing strategy is to focus on the quality and value of the whole Starbucks experience, because this and its servicescape really differentiate it from the competition.  Some of their new advertising is warning consumers to watch out for the “cheap coffee”, implying coffee from places like McDonald’s is not up to par.  Even so, Starbucks will cut costs slightly for their more popular products like the iced coffee and tall lattes.  Will these plans counteract the effects of the recession?  Only time will tell.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2009147908_starbucks30.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30507501/

http://www.mediabistro.com/agencyspy/news/starbucks_cmo_answers_our_questions_about_advertising_in_a_recession_with_steep_competition_115444.asp

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Mobile Marketing Takes Off in India

Author: Redvers. Two "welcome" messa...
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As we predicted in marketing class, mobile marketing via text messaging is steadily increasing in popularity.  Mobile marketing is more cost-effective and advertisers are certain their ad is seen by the consumer, which makes it very attractive.  The downside is that SMS marketing companies must avoid being placed under spamming by the national regulations in India like the National Do Not Disturb (NDND) and Registry of telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India).  In the U.S. this marketing medium will definitely increase in popularity too.

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/apr2009/gb20090427_800674.htm

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Pizza Hut makes an Official “Twitterer” Position

Former Pizza Hut logo (1960-1999). It is still...
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It looks Twitter is going to permeate our every day businesses very soon.  Pizza Hut has recognized the importance of this social media site, and is now looking for a “Twintern” to keep Pizza Hut customers up-to-date with what’s going on with the business.  I predict this Twitter position will turn into a permenant job if Twitter continues to grow.

http://www.bizreport.com/2009/04/restaurant_chain_advertises_paid_twitter_position.html

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Watch out for “green” Marketing Scams

Environmental Protection Agency logo
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As our nation becomes more and more gung-ho about “going green“, we see these green products entering almost every product line out there.  This is  a wonderful trend, but as consumers we should still be wary of misleading advertising for these products.  Here are four “green” products that don’t fit the bill.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30334853//

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