Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Breeders Crown, October 19th, and Marketing

The six million dollar Breeders Crown elims have been drawn and they are an interesting set of races, starting this Friday. The link contains program pages and entries.

The biggest shocker (for me) is that See You At Peelers is entered. She, coming off a sickness and a heart issue (and off a crawling qualifier) was not expected to be here, but she is. I am assuming Takter zipped her in 52 or 53 Monday and made a decision, and I hope someone asks him about it.

Next Saturday the finals will all be run on one card, and it is sure to be an entertaining evening.

I began to wax a little melancholic this morning when I heard on CNBC it is the 24 anniversary of Black Friday, where the markets dropped precipitously, destroying about a half of a trillion of wealth. Growing up I learned life ain't free and not only do you have to go to work early, you have to invest early. With that, I tucked away as much work cash as a could as a kid in the stock market. By the age of 18 I amassed about $2500 in the markets. I had a 1st year class that fateful morning (Calculus in McLennan Physical, for U of T'ers out there) at 9:10. I overheard a rich kid chatting that the markets were going to collapse and at about 9:40 I went out to a pay phone and tried an old family friend who was a broker. Amazingly he answered, and told me my stocks were tanking big time. I went back to class, not thinking of advanced integrals, but of "should I try and put my meager savings into a bottom bounce".

That afternoon I bought about $500 more of stocks (money that I was going to use on my food card), and was completely broke.

I learned that day not to bottom fish, because I think it would have taken me until I was about 25 for my portfolio to be above what it was on October the 18th 1987. It didn't matter at that point I guess, because I was broke with a $9 an hour post-graduation job in an expensive city, and had sold what I could to pay rent a year or so before I was in the black.

I'll remember that day for a long time. I learned something and it wasn't from my math class.

One thing I learned in marketing over the years - it's in virtually every text book, but in recent history it is a huge part of writing web ads - is that your message has to be distinct and easy to understand. In the real world this is becomes apparent to me in many examples.

Three present day stories like Herman Cain, The Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street folks really exhibit this nicely, in my opinion. Mr. Cain, an also ran in the Presidential race, has vaulted to the lead in some polls with his "999" policy platform. I don't know how he feels about Iran, or the bailouts, or social issues, but I know about his "999". It's one message that is resonating and getting him noticed.

The Tea Party had one simple message early on: There is too much debt. That resonated with people looking at a $150B deficit in 2008, and a $1.3 trillion dollar one in 2010. "Ya, I guess there is too much debt" many said. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy.

The OWS folks are for? I am not sure, and polls show I am not the only one. They are having a little trouble getting mainstream support right now from independents and apolitical types and it is not because I think they're bonkers or strange left wing radicals, it's because they have not shaped a simple modern message a la the Tea Party and Mr. Cain.

I find this apparent in horse racing, and I think it is our biggest marketing issue. If you see an ad for horse racing you might think the marketing departments are getting paid by the word. They try to jam every single feature or benefit in a lot of their ads, hoping something sticks. My advice, for what it's worth, is pick one. And stick to it.

Have a great Wednesday folks.

1 comment:

Eric P said...

a one word marketing strategy for Horseracing:

GAMBLETAINMENT
-the modern day activity of gambling where entertainment is primary goal, winning money is secondary.