The Colossus of Mountain View, California
Google has two syllables, but is the first word that comes to everyone's mind when looking up a new restaurant or simply looking up a fun, new factoid. As you very well may know, the DOW set a record yesterday, closing at 14,253.77. What you may not know is that Google's stock soared to 838.60 per share, up nearly 300 points in one year. Both of these things are good, not just for the domestic economy, but for the vastly interconnected global market which reflects even the most subtle doubts investors may have. Google is not content to sit idly by and rest on its laurels. The fledgling company has plans to one day supplant Apple's vaunted mobile operating system with their Android OS. There are also rumors of Google wanting to compete with Amazon in the realm of same-day shipping on products. If that weren't ambitious enough, there are even whispers of further television and even game console innovations that could potentially revolutionize the industries. I know Google's share price is quite lofty for anyone to think about buying in, but I promise you, it's NOT GOING DOWN. So what does all this talk about Google and its success have to do with Mad Men Marketing? Well, the digital realm is our wheelhouse (pardon the baseball terminology), and we have a Google certified Analytics consultant, and I will be taking the test to become Google AdWords certified as early as this weekend. This will lead to improved optimization for all of our clients. I don't plan on stopping there either. In a short time, I will begin studying for my Analytics certification as well, which would make us a Google Analytics certified COMPANY, a title that VERY FEW companies can boast. At Mad Men Marketing, like Google, we're not content to proceed with business as usual. We will continue to broaden our horizons, educate ourselves, and acquire new skill sets that will yield incomparable results.
I'm not saying that this was a bad move at all. It's a good acquisition, but it deviates from the formula that's made Mr. Buffett the investment Demi-God that he is. Keep in mind this is the same guy who invested in the tobacco industry because he said that they cost a penny to produce, could be sold for a dollar, and were addictive. What can you really do with a ketchup company besides make ketchup? Perhaps partner with a really good french fry company? Maybe promote your brand and try to get it in every restaurant possible? It's a good marriage for 3G because they just paid 3 billion for Burger King, and looking ahead, can use the Heinz and Burger King acquisitions to increase their footprint on the global food service industry. They're looking at this move, not just as acquiring a product, but a distribution network as well, which is definitely a commendable way to think of it. After the acquisition, it's important to mention that stock shares of Heinz jumped 12.02 at closing. Score one for Mr. Buffett, but he is undoubtedly the public face of this deal. This is really a giant leap forward for 3G and a win for globalization as a whole.
“Farther Relates to Distance; Further is a Definition of Degree. You Should Have Said Further.”
One example I can give you is a recent interview of a former collegiate professor of mine. This is an accomplished man in his field who is the chair of his department, and he hails from Argentina. His surname is pronounced (gah-sho), but it is spelled “Gallo” which would lead most Spanish-speaking people to believe that it would be pronounced (gah-yo). Argentina, however, uses a dialect of Spanish similar to Castellano in Spain and their “ll” sounds like a “sh”. The interviewer used neither pronunciation, and I'm assuming she didn't bother to ask him politely how he pronounced his name, but she opted for the Americanized (gal-low) pronunciation when that English short “a” vowel sound doesn't exist in that language. In no way did this seem to bother Dr. Gallo, but to the listening audience which included myself, it sounded careless and unprofessional.
I've perused many websites, and scholarly journals, and other media. There is often a rough draft quality about many things I read. I often think to myself, “Clearly, writing in a public forum is a component of this person's job. Why aren't they better at it?”. The bottom line is this: The devil is in the details. If you want to affect public opinion with the written word, come with your “A” game, and read what you write aloud to yourself before posting it, or allow a colleague to read over your post. You'll be glad you did. You may only get one new customer out of a thousand, but sometimes it's a high-profile customer, and it could be worth it.
The Misconception With Auto Dealerships
Throughout my life, I've exposed myself to many career opportunities. In my early 20's, I decided to try my hand at selling cars. The good news is that the training was first rate, and the business practices employed by my dealership, in a purely ETHICAL sense, were right in line with my own set of moral values. The bad news, at least for the dealership that invested in me, was that I was not cut out for auto sales. Now that I'm in a place in my life where I can captivate the masses with the power of the written word, I feel this is an appropriate time to dispel a couple myths.
1. Those salesmen that approach you at a big dealership are likely new to the trade or at least new to the dealership. Veteran sales personnel make a great deal of their sales on repeat business and new people take walk-ups. Statistics show that 33% of people who purchase a car will go back to the last place they bought if they were reasonably satisfied. Don't be intimidated by those that approach you. Some of them may be just as nervous as you.
2. The purchase of a brand new automobile does NOT make the dealership a ton of money. The sale of a new car will often only fetch a profit of 1,000-1,500 dollars. The money is made in USED car sales and in AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE (which segues beautifully into my next point).
3. The service side is the backbone of any auto dealership. Right now, there is a big problem in the industry and all of the oil changes and brake jobs are getting lost to quick lube businesses and tire centers. Part of the reason? Tire centers and quick lube businesses ADVERTISE their ability to make auto repairs whereas dealerships tend to advertise only the inventory they currently have, which would make your commercial obsolete fairly quickly.
Playoffs?! You Kidding Me? Playoffs?
This is a great day for College Football fans. We get our playoffs, and maybe now we can agree on who the best team in the nation is at the end of the year. As of now, we will have the 4-team playoff beginning in the 2014 season, and maybe down the road it can grow to 8 teams, or even 16. The only problem with this is that there needs to be at least a week off in between games, which can deter us from ever getting a larger tournament similar to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I think 4 is just fine, with 8 being perfect. In the 4-team playoff system, we can sometimes get a mid-major school in there to please everyone.
This change will bring in a ton of money to College Football, on top of pleasing the fans. Networks will bid on the rights to the game soon, which itself will bring in boatloads of money to College Football. For example, ESPN signed a deal with College Football in 2011 for a 4-year contract worth $500 million. That $500 million could be the new price of getting the game on your network for a year. And on top of that, ratings are expected to go up for these games which also brings about the questions of rates for ads during the games. Super Bowl ads have been around $3-4 million per 30 second spot recently, which isn't expected for the new College Football Playoffs, but the prices will be steep.
Although they have made the decision to hold a 4-team playoff, a lot of things still need to be ironed out. Such as, who will be a part of the selection committee. It seems to be headed for a change from what it was in the past for the National Championship game. That was part of the whole reason why we wanted a playoff, because a lot of the fans agreed that the former selection committee didn't do a good job of selecting the right teams. Last year for example, they chose Alabama and LSU. Not only did these two teams already play earlier in the year during the regular season, but they are also in the same conference, the SEC. Now, I know the SEC is a superior conference (and that's coming from someone who graduated from an ACC school), but we don't want to see a rematch from the regular season in the National Championship game, unless the first matchup was a great game. But it wasn't, a final score of 9-6 isn't that exciting. A matchup of their field goal kickers doesn't make for an interesting game. And because of this, the Nielson ratings for the game was 14.0, the third lowest ever for a BCS National Championship game. The new playoff system looks to change that, and will.