The Brain Storm

December 19, 2008

The DBP Holiday Party

During the holiday season, we try to take a little time to unwind at dbp. For the third year running, we hosted our floor/office Holiday Party for our 4th floor at 656 West Randolph on Friday, December 19th. The highlight of the afternoon was when John Johnson of Johnson Trading and Bob Kenehan of dbpchicago jumped in on trumpet with jazz pianist Dean of the Chicago Federation of Musicians Union for a surprise jazz rendition of O Christmas Tree. Food and beverages were served along with the sharing of some good stories and cheer. Everybody got to learn with amazement that yes, Bob can play the trumpet (although not half as good as John)

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The Value of Good Design

Managing your brand is critical to your marketing success now more than ever. Few consumers will base their purchasing decision on the revenue stream, employee count, or years in business of your organization. Big or small is not what counts — it's the perception of your brand that matters.

Proper design and management over your corporate identity is one that will see returns for years to come. A honed, well executed, and consistent corporate brand campaign will not only attract your target clientele, but it will help build customer loyalty and confidence in your products or services. Furthermore, the process of refining your corporate identity often leads to a sharper focus within your business.

At dbpchicago we always seek to uncover the unique qualities that define an organization before we develop identity design concepts. In so doing, the brands that we help build are congruent with our clients' strategic marketing plan.

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December 15, 2008

Top 5 Tips on Word of Mouth Marketing

Listed below are some of my "aha" moments gained while attending a conference last week held by marketing expert Andy Sernovitz, CEO of GasPedal Andy runs a terrific program called The Word of Mouth Crash Course and is author of the book: Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking. I recommend attending the course. Click here to see upcoming events.

1. Ethics and good service come first.

2. Give your clients a reason to LOVE you and your company.
Remember the feeling of young love? You wanted to tell everyone. Create those moments for your clients by exceeding their expectations and you will create a reason for them to tell the world about you and your company.

3. Market to your "talkers" and get them talking.
Look for marketing opportunities to educate those that will indirectly recommend your product or service. Develop outreach programs to your referral base.

4. Create multipliers within your marketing effort.
Make it easy for your clients to refer your services and create viral opportunities. For example, create a "Tell a Friend" on your website. Hand out interesting and useful marketing materials that invite others to share - multiple coupons for example. Freely give away branded items that create a buzz about your product or service. Use internet forums and blogs to inform and edutain (educate and entertain).

5. If it's not worth talking about, it's not worth doing.
Creativity creates results. Get outside of the status quo and get your customers talking about you.

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December 14, 2008

Let the Force Be with You - Advertising Speciality Items

Hi, it's Bob Kenehan, president of dbp|chicago. There is good reason why so many marketers refer to promotional or advertising specialty items as "trinkets and trash" or "tsochkes" (Yiddish for “trinkets”) First of all, from a moral and environmental perspective, it's really wasteful to hand out marketing trinkets that will be immediately tossed into the trash. Even items that are promoted as "green". Take those really cheesy mini desk calendars you get from your insurance agent for example. Your Agent selected the green calendar this year because it was printed on 100% recycled paper . . . but you still pitch it. (and I keep thinking of all of those kids chucking their unopened McDonalds Happy Meal toys into the trash that end up in land fills . . . one of my pet peeves )

I think of all of the unwanted, cheap or unnecessary promotional items as "the dark side", whereas the really impactful items are the "force". And what a boon it is for your sales force or your marketing effort when you develop a campaign around the "perfect" viral giveaway item that creates a wow factor or a buzz. The ROI on great giveaway items is HUGE. My feeling is it's your moral marketing responsibility to hand out useful promotional items that people want . . and want to keep.

In my experience, there are three things that make for a high ROI ad specialty program. (1) Quality, (2) Uniqueness and (3) Relevance to your target audience.

We have created many memorable programs for our clients. And the funny thing is that budget is not the driver between a good promotion and a bad one. There are many super inexpensive items that are still unique, high quality and speak to your tarket market.

A really great example is from a company called Image 3D Image3D is the premiere producer of custom View-Master style viewers, reels and 3-D promotional tools that help companies communicate their marketing messages in unforgettable ways. For about 6 bucks you can create a great giveaway that is fun, unique and of high quality. Here is a link to some great sample success stories

Another successful promotion that comes to mind was with one of our clients, SPSS, who are leaders in predictive analytics software. Their target audience are highly educated marketers, social scientists and statisticians, (mostly male) Very techie types. We found one of the most successful and coveted items have been the SPSS white retro plastic pocket protectors. Super inexpensive item. Go figure, but they love them because (1) they are high quality (2) they are unique (where do you go to BUY a pocket protector?) and (3) they are relevant and useful to the target audience. When I say love, I mean the SPSS clients LOVE the pocket protectors. (And we love thinking up this stuff)

If you are interested looking for ways to help find the next cool giveaway item for your company, please call us at 312.263.1569 or to start your own search you can go to Cheers, Bob

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December 11, 2008

Welcome to the Brainstorm forum!

Hi, this is Bob Kenehan, president of dbpchicago. Welcome to the Brainstorm forum. This form was created to share great marketing ideas, answer posted questions and share our successes in promoting our clients' marketing efforts. We hope you find the posted information useful, and please feel free to contact us through the blog or by emailing me at or direct at 312.377.6007 Cheers, Bob

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