Marketing Buzz 05/03

When it pays to be hip; crack open these marketing books
Magazine Contributor
3 min read

This story appears in the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Shooting From the Hip
So you've got a cool product or service--doesn't it make sense for your marketing to also be hip? Of course, you can't market ├╝ber-cool unless your brand warrants it. "Trying to be hip in a single execution won't work," cautions Sascha Lewis, co-founder of flavorpill, an e-zine newsletter that tracks hot music, art and cultural trends. "[The hip] audience is very savvy, and forcing hip will only backfire."

Whether you're courting trendsetters or teens, "you have to live like they live, you have to talk like they talk and, most important, you can't talk down to them," explains Keva Dine, author of two anti-boredom books for young teens, Hey Day (HarperCollins) and the upcoming Holidazed (HarperCollins)-forthcoming in 2003. If you target teens, she recommends working with one in some sort of an advisory fashion. Putting your message to the acid test will prevent many a marketing mistake.

Lewis warns marketing hip still means business: It has to be part of a sound marketing strategy that returns a profit. "Don't market just for the moment; trends come and go," he says. Make sure your message is strong enough to survive the ephemeral nature of hip.

Book 'Em
Good marketing books are hard to find, but these three are worthy of a second look:

  • Code to Commerce (iUniverse) by Wm. Edward Vesely: In the fiercely competitive high-tech space, this small book does a solid job of explaining the essentials of brand development, marketing messages and channel distribution. Using his four C's of Performance Marketing-Company, Customer, Channel and Collaboration-Vesely guides you from the strategic to the tactical. The product-launch checklist that's provided is very useful.
  • (Steel Icarus) by Mark Joyner: Joyner combines psychological theory with marketing concepts to help you sell online. From why testimonials work to the power of unpredictability, this book dishes up chapters that provide enough meat for significant business sustenance.
  • Red Zone Marketing (Facts on Demand Press) by Maribeth Kuzmeski: Using the football analogy of the 20 yards before the goal line known as the red zone, Kuzmeski provides strategies to SCORE: Specify your niche, Create a client experience, develop Opportunities from obstacles, create Referral possibilities and earn the Extra point. Filled with work sheets and practical advice, it just may put your business on the winning side.
Before you launch an outdoor advertising campaign, you need to be able to visualize how your ad will look as a billboard.

A new tool from Clear Channel Communication (, owner of the world's largest inventory of outdoor media, can help entrepreneurs do just that. Called MOVI, the free software program lets you see how your artwork will appear in more than six different formats, from transit shelters and street displays to taxi tops.

The program also allows you to experiment with your ad before committing to a final design, and includes a helpful resource page that offers tips on designing good, creative case studies.

of new customers say a company's sign is how they first learned about the business.
SOURCE: Gulf Industries

When college students shop,
look for low prices; just
look for certain brands.
SOURCE: 360 Youth/Harris Interactive

Elizabeth J. Goodgold is author of the monthly newsletter Duh! Marketing. Write her at

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