Dawn Promotes Dish Washing “Revolution”

Everyone loves holiday meals, but nobody likes cleaning up afterward. For those of us who dread after-dinner dishes, Procter & Gamble has a timely consumer PR message: You’re not imagining things. Your “old” detergent isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Both the timing and the content of the message offer an interesting window into effective, cleverly passive, consumer PR. Speaking about its Dawn brand dishwashing liquid, which debuted back in 1972, P&G says modern cooks aren’t washing dishes like people used to, and that means their dish soap isn’t working as it’s meant to.

Here’s their reasoning: Most of today’s consumers wash dishes during lulls in cooking, one or two at a time, rather than piling them all in the sink for one final wash when the cooking (and eating) are done. It’s the latter, not the former, that P&G says Dawn was designed to handle. Speaking to the media, Morgan Brashear, a senior scientist at P&G, said: “People are more time-starved, and they see clean as you go as a life hack. The product they’re using isn’t keeping up.”

Brashear says this scenario led to several years of research by P&G scientists, resulting in a new and improved product, Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray. According to marketing literature, the new spray product doesn’t require water to activate cleaning suds. While the new product has a higher cost than traditional dish soap, P&G is hoping effective consumer PR and targeted marketing will help convince people it’s worth the price.

A P&G rep called the product launch a “revolution in the category.” They follow this assertion with advertising messaging that hits right to the core of what people hate about washing dishes – all the time-wasting soaking followed by scrubbing to get caked on food off.

The timing of this messaging is a passive, but effective, key to the PR campaign. Coming between two of the biggest family feast days of the year – Thanksgiving and Christmas – when people are thinking about the frustrations of cleaning all those dirty dishes. Connecting with that emotional trigger allows P&G to sink their message in deeper with consumers, bypassing some of the natural objection to paying more for the product.

While the numbers are not out, it’s likely P&G sold a good many new Dawn Powerwash spray bottles to people out and about doing their regular holiday meal prep shopping. The psychology is as simple as it is effective: you’re already splurging on food you would not normally buy, as well as other things you need for the best ever holiday meal. A couple extra bucks on a spray bottle is no big deal, especially if it means getting the dishes done faster when all your family and friends are over.

Thinking about this product launch from that perspective is a reminder about the power of timing and targeted messaging in conjunction with new product PR.


“Anyone can sell products by dropping their prices, but it doesn’t breed loyalty” is a message British-American author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek has been driving home for the past decade.

Studies show companies which foster customer engagement do much better than those without such traits. Similarly, companies that raise customer retention by just 5% have seen a profit rise of up to 95% according to a Bain & Company analysis. 

Anyone who has experienced, and paid for, a divorce will understand. Research from Harvard Business Review shows the cost of securing a new client can be up to 25 times more than retaining a current one, and usually when a client leaves, it is also not an amicable divorce.


As in any healthy and happy marriage, clear and good communication is important. Marketers must keep this in mind while regularly delivering messages that connect the value their company brings to its customers. For when an environment of trust exists, companies can also feel confident in asking for candid advice from customers. 

Companies that offer services would also do well to identify and state the economic gains clients can expect. This can be particularly vital with rumors and fear of another recession around the corner.

Some companies feel automated reporting helps keep them in touch with customers on a regular basis. Marketers need to determine if this works best for their client base and, if so, they need to identify and speak to important customer interests.

Equally, and probably even more important, is a company’s personal engagement with customers because nothing beats face-to-face connections in building customer loyalty, which can increase spending by as much as 95%, according to Kaseya Software.


Companies get the best results by ensuring that its staff are informed, trained and aligned with the company’s goals in retaining customers. This is particularly necessary with customer service staff where goals should also be agreed upon regarding such things as response and resolution time deadlines.

To encourage and acknowledge exemplary service, employee communications must shine a light on staff who receive glowing feedback from customers. Highlighting outstanding staff work on customer loyalty helps to increase loyalty internally as well. 


To know that they’re hitting the mark, marketers need to regularly ask customers for their feedback as the initial results establish a baseline on which to build. Employees should be empowered to be ambassadors as well. The subsequent results should then be analyzed so that changes, deletions and/or additions can be made to further improve customer loyalty and the important end game, retention. 

Another important starting point is determining the current customer retention rate as part of the baseline. After that, efforts to increase retention can be measured and adjusted as necessary, and companies should also share the results and any changes with their employees.

Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker summed it all up with: “The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”

The Organ Of The Soul

Famed 19th century American poet and educator, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, was once quoted as saying, “The human voice is the organ of the soul.”  As true as it was then, Longfellow’s message is even more powerful today.

Why Is That True Today?

Voice commerce or vCommerce, an alternative to using a keyboard, is expected to soar in the near future.  A recent study by Juniper Research forecasted that more than $80 billion annually will be generated through voice commerce by 2023.  Juniper, which offers analytical services to global tech companies along with its research, also said it anticipates that most sales will start off being digital and money transfers. 

Juniper indicated that sales will migrate more to products when vCommerce comes up with a way for smooth cross-platform transactions.  Based on its forecast, the company also said it expects sales of multi-platform apps in smartphones and tablets to increase while predicting a decline in standalone apps.

If that’s not enough motivation, consider a study.  Research by Gartner for Marketers predicted that digital sales will increase 30% by 2021 for early adopters who redesign their sites.

Voice Ready

In order to successfully leverage vCommerce, more research relevant to a company’s customers is required.  Companies need to first discover when and how their customers use voice and then determine their own psychographic voice profile. 

Voicebot.ai reports that users of voice are of the alpha generation   They’re 18 to 29 years-old and have iPhones, and of that group 69%, they say, are male.

Drilling further down, it’s extremely helpful for companies to discover what kind of devices their target audience relies on.  Customers that participate in running and outdoor activities would likely favor earbuds and smart watches while home bakers and cooks might lean more toward smart speakers.

The Tricky Parts

Depending upon what findings about the favored devices of their customers, the next step is to pair up one or more voice assistants with the appropriate brand that matches up with their targeted audience.  This is critical for companies who want to be found.

The final step in the process is for companies to alter their SEO methodology.  Unlike an online search which generates a list of possibilities, vCommerce will deliver one finding.  Where companies wrote algorithms to be found on search engines, they now need to entice algorithms that generate the recommendations on voice assistants.

Remember that Google relies on information from websites to produce its search results.  Alexa, on the other hand, generates its results from a list of 70,000 skills.

To produce that good fit, it’s important to discover the questions customers ask about a company and/or its products or services.  One way to determine that is to survey customers. Another is holding focus groups.

Early adopters have an excellent opportunity to not only raise more revenue, but also increase their market share by adapting and incorporating vCommerce in making it easier for this young and growing customer base to find them.

Customer Experience Matters: How Businesses Can Audit Their Process

According to a recent report from Salesforce, customers are placing a heightened sense of importance on their experience with a brand now more than ever before. In previous marketing generations, what mattered most was the product or the service being sold and the value a customer received for their purchase. Now, however, marketing has become a more vital part of a customer’s life cycle with a brand and the user experience can no longer be considered outside of marketing’s hands.

Several factors have influenced this shift towards the favor of quality user experiences. For one, we now live in a world in which instant gratification has become somewhat of a norm and competition can be cutthroat. In order to have a hope of gaining traction in an increasingly crowded consumer market, a brand must offer the quickest responses, the best prices or value, and the best marketing campaign intent on capturing new audience members. This is far from an easy process.

In an effort to combat the competition, more brands are turning to user experience to make themselves stand out from the crowd.

Apple is a pioneer of this concept, helping shape the idea of experiential marketing well before other mainstream brands caught on to the effect. Visiting an Apple store is an experience — the minimalist store design is soothing, even in the most crowded spaces. There’s a lot of tactile feedback, customers are able to see, touch, and use the devices they’re considering. Everything is visually appealing and pleasant, so much so that the concept has become what Apple is known for. Soon, Apple was opening flagship stores with even more amenities and features for discerning shoppers. Shopping for Apple products became a destination event.

For this and other reasons, it’s no surprise that Apple consistently ranks near the top for customer experience. Other businesses can take pages from Apple’s book, learning ways to appeal to customers in a way that leaves them with a memorable experience.

Often, soliciting feedback from those outside of a brand’s organization can help paint a picture of what the user experience is for a customer. In many cases, those within the company are so close to their products that it can be difficult to pragmatically assess the scenario from a consumer’s perspective.

A brand may miss simple opportunities to connect with customers, such as the persona with which the brand’s platforms speak to consumers. Or perhaps the customer service team needs to take a more pleasant tone when they’re corresponding with customers. In other cases, perhaps the customer is simply just not having a memorable enough experience with the brand to rank their user experience favorably.

Consider introducing ways that customers can tailor their experience. User testing options such as quizzes or questionnaires can help a brand identify more customized experiences that may appeal to customers. Even giving customers control over what type of communications they receive from a brand can increase the satisfaction they feel with their user experience.

Salesforce’s report shows that 80 percent of customers say that their experience with a company matters just as much as the product or service for which they’re shopping. This is an important statistic for businesses to take to heart as they design their marketing and customer experience strategies for the months to come.

Are Email Re-engagement Campaigns Worth the Effort?

Email marketing has quickly risen to be one of the most influential areas of digital marketing in today’s environment. With more users gravitating toward their email inboxes for information, brands are using newsletters and marketing emails to engage with customers and build relationships.

However, one of the challenges of email marketing is connecting with subscribers who have lost interest or shown little engagement with the emails they receive. While there are multiple metrics to track for email marketing, engagement is perhaps the most valuable. Keeping a high unique open rate is an objective that any email marketer should be working toward, and often this involves some strategy for re-engagement of idle subscribers.

This presents a challenge, though. The cost of subscriber acquisition can rise quickly, and often going after disengaged subscribers can be a more cost-effective option. However, the effort put forth doesn’t always equal out to be a massive success, especially if a company starts the re-engagement campaign too late.

Research shows that re-engaging with subscribers around the 30 day mark has the most success. This gives brands an opportunity to check in with the subscriber before they forget that they ever subscribed to the list in the first place. Chasing after subscribers who have shown no engagement in months may not be worth the effort involved.

Encouraging subscribers to engage with content will help boost the open and unique open rates of the mailing list — a more valuable metric than just the number of subscribers. After all, if a mailing list has 100,000 people on it, but only 10 percent of those users are opening emails, how valuable is that to the brand’s marketing efforts and/or to any advertorial partners?

Another way to ensure that a brand is engaging with subscribers consistently is to put out high quality content. Consider putting in unique content that users won’t find elsewhere. Tweak the subject line of the email to be more enticing. Track the heat map of clicks in the body of the email to find out what content is converting at a higher rate. Find out what time of day users are opening the email, and what devices they’re using to view it.

All of this information can bolster the email marketing strategy that a company designs, and it provides more insights on audience behaviors so that re-engagement can be more thoughtfully initiated.

The great aspect of email marketing is that many steps can be automated. For example, re-engagement emails can be triggered at a certain point in time, by certain behaviors. A user who signs up for the mailing list but fails to open any emails in a 30 day period could trigger a re-engagement email. A user who starts out strong but then drops off after 30 or 45 days could also trigger an email to check in.

Brands shouldn’t be afraid to remove inactive users from their list. This action accomplishes different things: it increases the quality of the open rate and it ensures that a user won’t be “turned off” by too many emails that they won’t read. Remember, the open rate is a metric that should be carefully nurtured, and going for the high subscriber count won’t always accomplish the right goals.

Business Needs to Care About Employee Satisfaction

Often when a prospective employee interviews for a position, the interview focuses on the qualifications and skills of the candidate. Are they always on time? Do they have a college degree or relevant work experience? Do they have the right personality that would fit well with the existing team? All of these factors and more are taken into heavy consideration when weighing candidates against each other.

But what about the candidate? What about their satisfaction in their new position? Will this company be the right fit for the aspirations of this individual? Is the management style one that the candidate can work well with?

It seems that so much focus is put on the candidate — and for good reason, it should be said — but there is very little focus put on the satisfaction of incoming employees and whether or not the company seems like the best fit for that person.

Why is this so important? The answer is simple and is something that every company knows to be true: employee satisfaction is an important part of any work environment. Happy, satisfied, engaged employees are able to do a higher quality of work because they aren’t distracted by job dissatisfaction or by conflict with their supervisor.

With this in mind, more companies need to be cognizant of the status of their employees’ satisfaction in their work. And for prospective employees coming in to interview, focusing on what makes that candidate tick, what motivates them, and what will encourage them to do their best work.

In the interview process, how often does the interviewer ask the candidate what it is that motivates them or what makes them a success? This should absolutely be a part of every interview, as while a candidate may be excellent (or, less than ideal) on paper, their personality or work style may not be a great fit for the company. On the flip side, a candidate who works best under certain circumstances or under different management styles may want to suss out the idea of working at this company before accepting a job offer.

Employee satisfaction is a huge part of any business, and cultivating this should be a metric just as with any other aspect of performance. Cultivating a culture in which employees feel motivated and engaged is challenging, especially when different individuals have their own preferences on their work environment. By creating a group of employees that can work well together, a company will automatically set itself up better for ongoing heightened levels of employee satisfaction.

Soliciting feedback is another way for businesses to encourage employees to speak up and to feel that they have a voice. Better yet, having the ability to take that feedback and make tangible changes accordingly will go a long way in increasing levels of employee engagement and satisfaction.

Why is this so important? Because many companies prefer to have their candidates sell them on why they should be hired. While this is important, what about what’s best for the candidate? By trying to find out what makes that candidate tick, the company can help set them up for success right off the bat. This prevents the need for an uphill battle in creating an environment of satisfaction.

Engaged employees do their best work because they feel confident and heard in their work environments. It’s vital that more companies embrace this idea, or else they run the risk of having a lesser talent pool to pull from as candidates abandon their prospects in favor of brands that have an actual investment in the happiness of their employees.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5W Public Relations

May I Help You?

How many times have you walked down a store aisle and responded to a salesclerk’s query about assistance with, “Just looking”? Browsing appears to have migrated to YouTube which claims that 90% of people find new merchandise there with a 40% plus purchase rate.

Regardless of what the actual numbers are, the fact is that more and more shoppers are browsing and buying merchandise online. About 55% search on Google for a product, then often frequent YouTube to learn even more by watching videos of the items they’re interested in.

There are two takeaways from this data. One is that shoppers are becoming more inclined to purchase a product after they’ve seen and learned more about it. The second is obvious. Video has become more and more important in swaying potential shoppers to buy your product. Use video if you’re not already doing so.

With about 2 billion active monthly users, YouTube is a powerful marketing tool if you’re already employing it. If you’re not, you should be. Marketers who utilize video on You Tube garner 66% more qualified leads than their counterparts who don’t. And 83% claim that video also gives them a considerably larger return on investment.

But if only it was that easy. Simply creating a video and publishing it on You Tube is not the answer. Your video, like your product, will be competing with many others. It must stand out.

How To Stand Out

In earlier articles, we stressed the importance of knowing as much about your target audience as possible. When you’re armed with that kind of information, you can better tailor your video to them. Doing this will differentiate your product from the competition and stand out. It’s important that your videos be short and to the point. Two or three minutes work best.

Similar to your print pieces, share stories about and from happy customers. Nothing speaks louder and more credibly than a satisfied customer.

Leverage your influencers and utilize them in your videos, too. They already have a large following and word among followers will spread even more quickly. Consider having a competition among your influencers with the one garnering the most likes winning a special prize.

Utilize all of your social media channels for your videos. Even LinkedIn can be powerful since it’s home to many leading business and professional people.

What About B2B?

Most of the same guidelines apply but there are a few exceptions. One is timing. Mondays are generally the worst day to send out your video because it starts the work week and invariably there’s a pile of work on a senior executive’s desk. Fridays also don’t work week because many executives are trying to clear their desks so they can enjoy the weekend. Studies show Thursday as usually being the best day to send out your video followed by Wednesday.

Make your ask sooner than later and put some energy and emotion in your video. Your business customers not only wish to be informed, but also engaged.

And to foster enthusiasm within your organization, seek out some in-house talent. It will not only foster better morale and excitement, but get employees engaged and helping to spread the word.

time management

Time Management Best Practices for the Independent Worker

Congratulations! You’ve struck out on your own and plan to become a freelance worker or even an entrepreneur launching your own solo venture. It’s a liberating feeling, working free of bosses and conference rooms. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? The short answer is yes, but with an asterisk.

Working independently is a challenge that many underestimate when they first start out. After all, what could be better than working in a coffee shop or even at home? What could replace the feeling of freedom knowing that a schedule can be set free of restrictions? However, working independently isn’t just a vacation in one’s pajamas. This requires a high level of time management, prioritization skills, and focus.

These are often the three things that hold the independent worker back from success. We’re here to help those who are newly independent improve their workflow so that they can truly enjoy the benefits of being a “nomad” in working terms.

Improving Time Management

We’ve touched on this briefly in previous articles, but managing one’s time is perhaps one of the single most valuable skills that any worker can have. This comes into play, even more, when an individual works independently. Why is this? Well, think of it logically. Without the constant supervision of a boss, or even of one’s cubicle mate, what is there to keep you from sitting on the couch watching reruns of The Office all day long? Self-motivation must come into play here, and time management also takes practice. Don’t sweat if staying on task or getting enough done is challenging at first. Make it a goal to improve your time management. Even if you feel you’re already killing this, we promise you can still improve.

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

Managing one’s own time, particularly when juggling multiple clients or assignments, calls on the skill of prioritization. It’s easy to get distracted or otherwise find ways to waste time. It’s also easy to spend too much time on a job that isn’t all that valuable. For example, let’s say a marketing freelancer manages social media for several different clients. Each week, it seems that the curation and creation of content, along with the scheduling of it, takes hours on end. It becomes tedious, and the freelancer hasn’t even started on the rest of the work she’s committed to this week! Social media scheduling is something that can be automated or done well in advance (within reason). Finding ways to make priorities shift will improve time management and free up windows of time that may not have otherwise been available.

Stay On Task

And finally, the old nemesis of staying on task. It’s something we all have struggled or currently struggle with. Just as with everything else listed in this article, improving focus is something that each individual needs to do in their own way. Nonetheless, this is important and also increasingly difficult to do with the reliance we all have on our mobile devices and computers, where so much information is available at our fingertips. So make a dedicated effort to improve your focus and stay on task. Many swear by the Pomodoro method of working, which simply sets work blocks at 25-minute intervals, followed by short breaks. Many users will say that this helps them stay on task for a dedicated amount of time. You may be pleasantly surprised by the amount of work you’re able to get done in this seemingly short window of time!

A concerted effort to streamline the work process will help any independent worker finally feel the liberation of working on their own. It’s certainly not for everyone, and it requires a healthy amount of self-sufficiency, but many thrive on this lifestyle. Sometimes, a little fine tuning is all that’s needed.