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Mike Brian

The New Marketing Breed

Today’s marketing person has grown past their textbook definition. Often today’s marketing people bring to the table the traditional disciplines they learned in their formal education, but that just isn’t enough anymore. They need to bring a new skill set with them, a skill set that increases their ability to understand their audience, employ communication mediums, and leverage available technology – faster then ever before.

Here are 4 traits you must posses to be successful as the new marketing breed.

Adaptability is critical to their survival. In the past, new techniques and methods came slowly and developed over months or even years of use. Powerful techniques emerge almost daily now, in fact, the more they emerge the faster they come. This supports the notion that technology breeds technique – exponentially. So, if you are still carrying around a nice leather day-planner, don’t look behind you because the competition is hot on your tail.

At the pace target audiences are changing technologically, the new marketing person will be driven to reach out even further in front of their audiences. This means they will need to leverage research data and often times make risky assumptions to anticipate audience behavior. We no longer have the luxury of testing concepts over a long period of time. It is a wise marketer that assumes their competition knows what they know. Getting out in front of the audience is a critical piece of the game.

Understanding human behavior and knowing what makes people tick is an invaluable skill. Knowing how to conduct and interpret research will prove to be one of the key elements setting great marketing people apart from good ones. Aligning messaging with target audiences is potentially the most important aspect of a marketing and communication campaign. The ability to “get into the head of the buyer” will prove invaluable.

The days of short burst campaigns are evaporating as long-tail campaigns prove to generate longer and deeper brand relationships. Being able to help clients understand that just because they are tired of their campaign and branding doesn’t mean you should scrap it all and start over. With the amount of messaging our society is exposed to these days, frequency and consistency will pay off in the long run. Great marketers know how to leverage their dollars and insure that messaging and tactics change at the right time to maximize ROI.

Our marketing and communication world is rapidly changing, by the time you finish reading this 20 new tactics will have hit the medium channel. That is no reason to give up, but you absolutely can’t stop swimming – or the sharks will have you.

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Contributed by Patty Clark

John Haynes went from Mad Ave. to Major Street, bringing his strategic smarts from the Big Apple to the little city of Salt Lake. As a cowboy at heart, he tamed the Wild West of advertising and now we’re sad to see him leave our agency. But he leaves after getting us through tough economic times, putting countless clients at ease, nurturing a company culture that makes PPBH a great place to work and leaving the firm on a solid footing ready to take on new challenges. John always had a story to tell and often did so on the PPBH blog. Here are his top ten blogs with marketing tips that remain relevant today.

1. What and When to Post on Facebook
John Haynes knew marketing so well, he even knew when you’d be checking your Facebook. Find out the best ways to take advantage of this social platform.

2. The Second Screen Phenomenon
It’s not unusual to see someone watching TV, while checking Facebook on the laptop and texting on their phone. See how marketers can take advantage of the second screen phenomenon.

3. The Muppets Take Social Media
Even a classic like The Muppets knew the importance of digital engagement. See how successful they were at connecting with their audience.

4. Developing the Perfect Tagline
I’m lovin’ it. Just do it. Got milk? Some of the most popular taglines pervade American culture. How do you create the perfect tagline that relates to your target while representing your brand?

5. Marketing Research… the Right Way
The more you know, the less you guess, because guessing is expensive. Learn how to effectively conduct market research that will best bring insights to your company.

6. Test Your Knowledge: Do You Recognize These Famous Taglines?
How savvy are you with advertising trivia? Test your knowledge and see if you can match the tagline with the brand.

7. Using Research in Your Market Campaign
Research isn’t just a cost. It’s an investment in the success of your campaign. John Haynes explains how you can best approach the often daunting task of market research.

8. Does Subliminal Advertising Work?
There’s something mysterious and spooky about the idea of subliminal advertising. But does it actually work? John Haynes explores.

9. David Ogilvy Would Have Been a Great Blogger
John Haynes learned from advertising greats, like David Ogilvy. See how this ad legend’s wisdom even applies to blogging DOs and DON’Ts.

10. Social Media? We Didn’t Even Have the Internet
After being in the business for 30 years, a thing or two tends to change. Social media is just one of those ventures that changed everything.


What have you learned from John Haynes?

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Partner Perspective: What is "BIG DATA" and Should it Matter to You.

Lately there is a lot of buzz about the term “big data.” In a nut shell, big data is what happens when, in 1997, you said to your IT team, “we need to capture all of the data we possibly can, we don’t know why, but we think we should just do it.” Years later, you have an array of hard drives with an ocean of data on them – and no real way of accessing or leveraging it. These data sets are typically too big for commonly used software tools and algorithms to leverage. So, the data just sits out there drifting on, doing absolutely nothing. Now, if you are Nike™, Apple™, Amazon™ or a company with an IT team that has already nailed down the basic decision making data for your company and they are ready to start predicting consumer behavior – you already understand big data, probably better than I do.

When it comes to data for your business – let’s say your small business, it is time to decide exactly what data is valuable and usable. One primary usage of data is to detect patterns – buying patterns, traffic patterns, behavioral patterns.

Another usage is to determine demand by your target audience. Both online and offline, measuring product and service demand is the way to detect market need. The job of marketing is to identify that need and help the company fill it.

Brand awareness / relationship is another valuable element of your business you should be measuring. What does your existing clientele think you are to them? Do they perceive you the way you want them to? How does the rest of the market perceive you? Do their opinions differ? Then the big $100,000 question, why?

If these are your basic needs, set up small buckets to capture this specific information and don’t worry about every other click on your website. You will be much more successful looking at a few indicators that actually impact your business than you will looking at every data element within your reach and trying to interpret it for good.

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Baldy Summer Lodge Horiz

I was sad to hear of Earl Holding’s passing last week at the age of 86. I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with him for 25 years. Mr. Holding was an inspiring businessman who, among other businesses, owned the Little America and Grand America Hotels, SunValley Ski Resort and Snowbasin Ski Resort. He was also one of the largest land owners in the West with over 400,000 acres of a working cattle ranch land.

Working with Mr. Holding taught me a number of valuable business lessons. He was always ready to jump in on any project and get his hands dirty. When I would arrive for a meeting with him at Sun Valley Resort, you wouldn’t find him sitting in some big office, but instead, he would be out driving around in an old pickup truck helping to plant some new trees. I was always amazed at the perfect landscaping at all of Mr. Holding’s properties. Another time, when we were scheduled to meet at the Grand America Hotel, I recall arriving at the hotel and finding him and his son Stephen unrolling a large new rug in one of the hallways. At Snowbasin Resort, the day before the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games began and worldwide media was just about to arrive, Mr. Holding was up in a scissor lift, adjusting a big chandelier in the new Day Lodge with his wife, Carol, directing him.

Mr. Holding used to say, “You do business with your friends.” If you gave him your very best effort, he was a very loyal client. For example, in the advertising business where agencies typically retain a client for three to four years, we were proud to have handled the Sun Valley Resort account for 25 years.

Mr. Holding had amazing energy and could outwork folks half his age. On one Sun Valley project, Mr. Holding took time out of his very busy schedule to look at every one of the photos we were going to use on the project. He spent hours reviewing photos to make sure they fit his idea of the Sun Valley brand. When our team got ready to leave around 8 p.m., Mr. Holding walked us out to the lobby where a team of architects where waiting to meet with him. His day was just starting.

Another valuable business lesson Mr. Holding taught me was to be loyal to your employees and they will be loyal to you. When Mr. Holding asked us to re-brand the Little America Hotels, we set up meetings with all of the hotel general managers. They had all worked for Mr. Holding for 25 to 30 years. Each spent time discussing everything they had learned from Mr. Holding. You could see they all had a lot of respect for him. In the advertising business, the average employee stays at an agency for two to three years. I’m proud of the fact that most of our department heads have been here for 15-plus years, and employees, on average, between seven to eight years.

I think Mr. Holding would be proud that many of us have learned so much about business from him, but more importantly, that we learned how to inspire people around us by getting our hands dirty. I would say, “Rest in peace Mr. Holding,” but I know he’s busy getting things done.

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We recently discovered the Web Archive, an organization that has been indexing the Internet since 1996. We took a stroll down memory lane and discovered a gem I wrote in 2004 discussing the economic downturn.

Surviving the economic slump of the early 2000s has helped fortify the thoughts I wrote then while experiencing it.


Written by Mike Brian, October 2004

It has been my experience that many companies follow a pattern of “damage control marketing” during tough economic times by limiting, if not totally depleting, their marketing budgets during what appears to be a spending lull. However, such unsubstantiated budget trimming may actually result in missed marketing opportunities that can only be taken advantage of during a slower economy. It is quite possible that the optimal time to get a jump on market share is when competitors are lethargic and passive in their marketing efforts, opening the door to successful and economically sound strategic marketing campaigns amidst a sluggish economy.

Evaluate Your Current Strategy
The first step in the process of determining if your company is ripe for growth during slow economic times is to evaluate your current position. Are you “just getting by” during the economic slump? When it comes to your marketing plan, are you in a “maintenance phase” due to budget cuts and producing stagnating results? In the past, marketing and advertising budgets have been the first to go when the belt is tightened, but navigating your company through tough economic times requires strategic planning. When you first identify a downward shift in the economy, be aware that your target market may be soft and its leadership position could be up for grabs. In this case, there is no better time to gain market share by properly maintaining and tactically expending your marketing budget.

Identify and Target Desired Market Share Position
If you have been in a maintenance pattern, invest some research dollars to update your knowledge of your target audience. With this information in hand, you’ll be able to intelligently establish an aggressive marketing plan to accurately communicate with this target population, draw them to your company’s strongest assets and motivate their future spending. Your research dollars will serve as an investment, allowing you to more specifically target your messaging to your core audience and subsequently expand their knowledge of and confidence in your company, its products and services.

What the Future Holds
When the economy is restored and consumers return to their normal buying patterns, they are likely to be very risk-sensitive and will concentrate their spending on companies, products and services that they perceive to be strong and established in order to reduce or eliminate that risk. Because of your strategic marketing efforts during the lackluster economy, you will be positioned as a viable, if not preferred, option. This strategy may require you to avoid employing a conservative tactic while planning marketing expenditures, but keep in mind that the amount of money you spend winning market share in a sluggish economy is considerably less than would be required during peak seasons. You will, in fact, be saving money in the long run and investing in the future growth of your company.

In conclusion, the reality of a sluggish economy could actually provide the ideal opportunity to capture maximum market share. What’s more, as the economy starts to rebound, companies that have reacted strategically and assumed leadership positions by activating their marketing budgets prior to economic resurgence will begin to reap the rewards and will enter the new economy on a positive note.

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The PPCH staff in 1994 – Can you spot Dave Smith?

Contributed by Jane Putnam

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to 1993. Bill Clinton takes office as the 42nd president. Basketball legend Michael Jordan retires (for the first time). Jurassic Park takes theater crowds by storm. Prince changes his name, for a short time, to a signature symbol. Dave Smith enters the doors of Penna Powers Cutting Haynes for his first day as an intern.

Dave Smith joined the PPBH public relations team as an intern while completing his senior year at Weber State University. Early on he stood out because of his strategic ability, entrepreneurial drive, leadership skills and unwavering integrity in both business and personal relationships.

Now 20 years later, Smith heads the agency, now known as Penna Powers Brian Haynes, as managing partner. Some of his accomplishments on his way to managing partner include (but not limited to):

  • Appointed to PPBH’s director of public relations in 1996.
  • Promoted to PPBH’s vice president of public relations in 2001.
  • Led the PPBH team that created and executed the “Know Before You Go” transportation campaign for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
  • Named PPBH’s director of client services in 2002.
  • Founded PPBH’s public involvement division in 2003.
  • Certified as an Accredited Public Relations (APR) practitioner in 2003 and served as local chapter president in 2005.
  • Named as a partner at PPBH in 2003.
  • Named managing partner in January 2013.

From his beginnings to now taking the helm as managing partner, Smith’s personal and business philosophy remains constant, something he has always conveyed to his team. Focus on client service. Deliver results. Always, always do the right thing. Be creative in problem solving. Listen, think, then act—in that order. Treat people fairly, Smith always counsels and shows by example.

The result of all of this is achieving numerous professional and personal goals while at the same time earning the loyalty of business peers, staff, colleagues, clients, family and friends.

Read the full news release announcing Smith’s appointment to managing partner here.

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Every January, the Internet is swamped with all kinds of top 10 lists about new marketing trends. It can take days to read them all, so to save you time, I’ve picked out some of the most interesting trends that you should pay attention to.

Say Sayonara to Silos
Digital is where it’s at, and marketers need to adapt. How do marketers adapt? In a recent Forbes article, Patrick Spenner advises that marketers blow up old silos and bring groups together with a new structure. In our agency, we’ve broken down the walls. For example, you’ll find PR working with the media department on a social media campaign. Bumps in the road can be expected, but in the long run, the strategies, the recommendations and the end product will all be better because of it. Read more on the end of silos from Forbes.

The Future is Here with Predictive Technology
Patterns, analyses and forecasts will be put to the test in 2013 with predictive technology. According to a article, major retailers are leveraging loyalty-card information to tailor coupons to individual shopping needs. Target, according to the article, has even analyzed product purchases to determine whether a customer is pregnant. How will you put predictive technology to use in your campaigns and product marketing?

Email Marketing is NOT Dead
If you heard that email marketing was dead, you heard wrong. The Wall Street Journal reported that email marketer Constant Contact predicts that email will remain the preferred method of communication among consumers. Why? Constant Contact believes consumers value the control email provides—consumers can choose to act on it, ignore it, delete it or opt out of it. So marketers, this is your challenge. Email is still on the table, so do it if it fits your strategy, but do it well. Consumers control their inbox and you certainly don’t want your message to go straight to the trash.

Creative is Getting Crazier
Last, but certainly not least, Ad Age predicted a rise in branded experiences. Creativity will push limits this year, out-of-the-box thinking will become standard and marketers will be expected to create messages that stand out through the clutter. Push the limits? Present the unexpected? We say bring it. Can you bring it?

Are there other trends that you think will shake things up in 2013? Tell us in the comments.

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Just back from a conference in LA where some of the top communication minds and major brand Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) forecasted what’s next on the marketing horizon. I returned buoyed about what we’re doing well and inspired to take on the next.

A snapshot of some of the gems from attended sessions (when I wasn’t out surfing the big waves on LA’s beaches):

“The pace of change is only accelerating.” – Christian Juhl, Razorfish president

“Agencies need to create brand behavior for the modern world.” – Laurie Coots, TBWA/Chiat/Day, worldwide CMO

“Entertain first. Advertise second.” – Rhett McLaughlin & Link Neal, Rhett & Link cofounders

“Today’s forward-thinking agencies define creativity as well-conceived and well-crafted ideas executed not just in paid, but in earned and owned media channels.” – Tim Williams, Ignition Consulting, managing director


So, what do all these insights mean for agencies and their clients? The old brand model is quickly on its way out the door, if the door hasn’t already closed, to be replaced by the new model that aligns with a changed consumer personality. For example: 

Old Brands New Brands
Broadcast “push” model
Create a sale
Educate and relate
Peer-to-peer engagement model
Create a customer relationship


My takeaway? Communication done in a silo equals an epic fail. Consumers are savvy and have the expectation of a brand relationship. To get to this point means ‘all hands on deck’ at an agency. Every discipline—advertising, PR, digital, and media—needs to be involved from the beginning “a-ha” strategy creation and stay involved at every step.

The greatest thing about this changing paradigm: we’re never bored.

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Contributed by John Haynes

If you want to know where the market is headed, read all the requests for proposal (RFPs) that have been sent out so far this year. They seem to have a grasp on where things are going and are surprisingly similar. Here’s what the majority of RFPs were looking for in 2012:

Mobile Marketing. With more than 80 percent of the population carrying a mobile phone, prospective clients are looking for mobile solutions.

Social Marketing Integration. Clients want to know how to seamlessly integrate social media into their marketing efforts so they can use it to collect customer data.

Traditional Marketing Softens. Prospective clients expected overall online marketing budgets to grow and traditional marketing budgets to diminish.

Value is Key. New clients asked to add value to their product or service knowing that in order to get consumers to open their wallets they felt they had to be perceived as a good value for the money.

Getting that ROI. Everybody wants to know how to better measure their marketing investment, especially with the increased emphasis on digital branding and digital marketing.

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Unless you’re living in a cave or on a mountaintop, you have a pretty good idea that a lot of money is being spent on political campaigns and the presidential election this year. Wells Fargo media analyst Marci Ryvicker is mentioned in a recent Wall Street Journal article, as she  “raised her original estimate on all political ad spending to $5.2 billion, up $300 million from a previous forecast, after spending in August on political ads on local TV stations jumped 77 percent from July” (this is compared to $4.2 billion in 2008).

So how does that compare to America’s top brands’ ad spend? In an article in Advertising Age by Elizabeth Wilner, Wilner compares total spending on TV advertsting in the 2012 elections with what some of the top brands are spending. Here are some interesting highlights from Wilner’s article.

 Overall political ad spending in 2012: $5.2 billion

  • 1 year of insurance ads: $3.3 billion
  • 6 months of car spots: $3.2 billion
  • 1 year of education ads: $2.9 billion
  • 1 year of P&G marketing: $2.9 billion

Burgers and fries: The top 10 restaurant advertisers spend an average of $330 million a month on media.

So it looks like Obama and Romney can keep up with the insurance, cars and burgers. It will be interesting to see how the advertising continues to carry out in the final weeks leading up to the November election.

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