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Sunday, October 16, 2005

I'm Lovin' It...Aren't I?

As much I do my best to avoid fast food and vow to give it up along with other items that are supposedly "bad" for me (e.g. cheese, wine/liquor, etc.), I gave in and went to McDonald's today. (Okay, that was my first of my moments of weakness today.) It was really the only thing I had time for while taking care of my daughter today, while my better half was at the local cafe.

I ordered a happy meal at the drive through window. It was for myself, but when asked if it was for a boy or a girl, I pretended that it was for my daughter Sofia and replied "girl." That moment and the moment that I received my happy meal provided me with a marketing 'a-ha' moment. Actually, three.

First, just further confirmation that mass marketing is no longer "mass" as those like me may have been taught through professional experience and formal education in the 1990s and before. In asking me whether the recipient of the happy meal was a boy or a girl, they were able to accomplish two things: 1) profile the fact that the recipient was a girl within their marketing database; and 2) support enhanced brand equity, in this case, it would've been from my daughter.

Second, a reminder for me to share with all - particularly junior marketers - that marketing is all about segmentation. This instance reminded me of an ASP search solution for scientists that I've been marketing for my current employer, Infotrieve. The solution is called the Life Science Research Center (LSRC). For laypersons, think of it as Google on steroids. For R&D professionals, think of it as PubMed on steroids. While we are working on modifying the access model for this, on the B2B side of our business, the sale of the LSRC is very much a matrix sale. It does or can involve information professionals, R&D professionals - management and bench scientists, IT staff, possibly marketers, and others. With such a diverse set of audiences, we have to customize what we present or deliver to each type of audience to get our message across effectively. So, whether the targeted distribution of McDonald's Happy Meals and gifts, or the B2B promotion of high tech products, segementation and data capture are critical for enhanced analysis and targeting in future activities.

The third point is a very specific one. If you can do something to capture mindshare, do it. Everytime a little girl has a happy meal and receives the black tennis girl action figure, they will likely recall McDonald's whenever they see Serena Williams, Venus Williams, or any other black female tennis players. Powerful.

That my two cents for the day. Until next my next blog posting...


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