Author Archives: swhartley

Fund-Raising with Healthy Options

We can usually tell when it is fund-raising season for schools and sports. Kids stop by houses and businesses, selling chocolate bars and other items to help fund a variety of programs and causes. And, although we happily buy and eat the candy, there can be some regrets over the empty calories, and the lack of sales going to local businesses. Wouldn’t it be better to offer healthy alternatives, and support local businesses? Of course! Enter a new company: FarmRaiser – connects fundraising groups with local products and foods.

FarmRaiser was founded in Michigan with a mission to connect local farmers and food artisans with schools, athletic teams, bands, and other causes. Vendors must meet standards for sustainable practices, and artisan products that do NOT list sugar as the first ingredient are welcome. The company states that “if a product has more than five or six ingredients, and if any of them are ones your grandma wouldn’t recognize it doesn’t make the cut.”

Campaigns are customized by working with a FarmRaiser “cultivator” to help determine fund-raiser goals, local products, and vendors. Each campaign also gets its own Web page on FarmRaiser.com. The company estimates that 85% of funds raised stays in the community; the average profit margin is 53% for the groups. The process is straightforward: once the cause is registered, FarmRaiser helps create a custom online and mobile market. At the end of the sale period, students help distribute the produce and products to their customers. Groups can choose various products and goods from multiple regions. Try combining Michigan cherries, with Texas Salsa.

What sounds good to you?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the fundraising activities that students might have done. Discuss what was it about, proceeds, products, process, etc.
  2. Introduce the topic of changing the product mix and sales process.
  3. Show a video about the company: https://vimeo.com/147806697
  4. Show Web site: https://www.farmraiser.com/
  5. Divide students into team. Have each team select a cause and develop a product set.
  6. Set SMART objectives for the company.

Source: Rieth, D. (Summer 2018). Home field advantage. Edible Michiana.

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Is Owning Music at an End?

When was the last time you purchased music? Not music streaming, but actually bought a physical product for money?

If you are like most consumers, it has probably been a long time since you purchased a CD. In the last decade, CD sales have fallen 80% – from 450 million units to 89 million units! Consider the lasting impact of the declining sales, not only on the record industry, but also in manufacturing. Many of today’s car companies (e.g., Tesla, Ford, Toyota) no longer even include a CD player in the car dashboard, and portable CD players are hard to find.

Even downloads of music have taken a big hit, decreasing 58% since the peak in 2012. Artists have also noted the trends; Bruce Springsteen released his latest box set exclusively on vinyl – no CD options. CDs are doing well in some markets though – in Japan, where streaming has not yet taken off, 72% of music sales were physical CDs. But look around U.S. retail stores – where are the CDs even stocked?

It’s not just streaming that has killed off the CD. Vinyl records have grown from less than a million units in 2007 to more than 14 million in 2017. Vinyl sales even hit a 25-year high last year and new vinyl record manufacturing is popping up to replace CD manufacturing.

Here are some numbers to note about music sales:

  • CD sales: 712 million units in 2001, to 88.6 million units in 2017.
  • Track downloads: 1.3 billion sold per year from 2011 – 2013; 555 million sold in 2017
  • Song streams: 118.1 billion in 2013; 618 billion in 2017
  • Vinyl: 990,000 units in 2007; 14.3 million units in 2017

How do you buy your music?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Poll students: When did they last purchase music? What form was it in?
  3. Where did they last see CDs or vinyl music? What was the inventory level?
  4. Who has a CD player in their car?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  6. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source: Knopper, S. (14 June, 2018). The end of owning music. Rolling Stone.

 

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NBA Finals Used AirDrop to Connect with Fans

Quick questions: Do you like unexpected ads and announcements on your phone? Does it entertain you, or annoy you?

These were the key questions undertaken in a creative advertising campaign from ESPN and agency R/GA during the NBA finals. The campaign objective was to drive up viewership of the NBA finals. The tool used was Apple’s AirDrop. In case you have forgotten (or not used) AirDrop, the feature enables two users, who are within 30 feet of each other, to transfer files directly between iPhones and other devices.

For the NBA campaign, personalized messages were sent to people who were NOT at the NBA game, but were instead doing other things like sitting on a bench, hanging out with friends, and more non-basketball activities. The stunt was limited in scope, done at only five locations in downtown New York where marketers sent out personalized messages. And, to make sure they didn’t miss a basket, message recipients also got access to the game on live streaming.

Make sure to check your AirDrop settings! Who knows what might show up next.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is their opinion about using AirDrop to deliver unexpected advertisings?
  2. Does use of AirDrop violate privacy?
  3. Show the case study video: https://www.adweek.com/creativity/espn-freaked-out-iphone-users-by-trolling-them-with-airdrop-during-the-nba-finals/?utm_content=position_2&utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=AW_Adfreak&utm_campaign=Adfreak_Newsletter_2018061313&s_id=516e0a4d191b2a646da5e880
  4. How many students in the room currently have AirDrop enabled? Will they continue with that setting?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotional campaign to use AirDrop to get attention, and sales.
  6. Debrief the exercise by having each team share its plan.

Source: Beltron, G. (12 June, 2018). ESPN freaked out iPhone users by trolling them with AirDrop during the NBA finals. Ad Week.

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