Are YOU Buying the Right for Gas for Your Vehicle?

10 Oct

What factors do you consider when buying gas for your vehicle? Octane rating, emissions, brand name, price? Do you believe that there are differences in gasoline? The correct answer is yes, but not necessarily in the way that you think.

There are actually two points that should be important to you, even if you have been using the cheapest gas you can find:

  1. According to new AAA research, “American drivers wasted more than $2.1 billion dollars in the last year by using premium-grade gasoline in vehicles designed to run on regular fuel. With 16.5 million U.S. drivers having used premium fuel despite the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation in the last 12 months, AAA conducted a comprehensive fuel evaluation to determine what, if any, benefit the practice offers to consumers. After using industry-standard test protocols designed to evaluate vehicle performance, fuel economy, and emissions, AAA found no benefit to using premium gasoline in a vehicle that only requires regular-grade fuel.” [Note from Evans on Marketing: There is no need to use premium gas if it is “recommended” by the manufacturer, only if the owner’s manual says premium is “required.”]
  2. A second study by the AAA  uncovered significant differences in the quality of gasoline sold at fuel retailers in the United States. The independent laboratory testing compared gasolines that meet TOP TIER™ standards often marketed to consumers as having enhanced, engine-cleaning detergent additives with gasoline brands that do not participate in the automaker-backed program. Among brands tested, non-TOP TIER gasolines caused 19 times more engine deposits than TOP TIER brands after just 4,000 miles of simulated driving. Such carbon deposits are known to reduce fuel economy, increase emissions, and negatively impact vehicle performance, particularly on newer vehicles. To protect vehicle investments, AAA urges drivers to use a gasoline that meets TOP TIER standards for engine cleanliness and performance.” [Note from Evans on Marketing: The use of TOP TIER gasoline is supported by the nonprofit Consumer Reports!]

Click the image to see if you are buying your gas at a TOP TIER brand retailer.


What One Factor Separates Good Leaders from Bad Ones?

6 Oct

The title of this post certainly raises an interesting question. What’s your choice of attributes? Why?

Here are excerpts from an interesting discussion on this topic by Andrea Thompson, a partner at McChrystal Group (an advisory services firm):

“What’s the one thing I should know to be a better leader? My answer remains the same: Know who you are, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Self-awareness will be that ‘extra something’ that boosts you up the corporate ladder. As we move up the ranks in our careers, our technical skills are usually the primary reason we get promoted. We closed the most deals or sold the most product. But as we develop as leaders, functional excellence is no longer the main component required to be high-performing and succeed as a senior leader. Self-awareness plays a much more prominent role.

“We’ve all worked for ‘that’ boss. He/she made a lot of money for the company—a real mover and shaker. And then they got promoted. Unfortunately, for those on the team, this new boss doesn’t have the necessary leadership skills to lead them. What went wrong? Why didn’t the successes of the past lead to success in the new environment? In my experience, it came down to self-awareness. Self-awareness is that critical skill that will help influence how you relate to others, how you communicate your guidance, and how you process input from others. Self-awareness underpins all that we do. It’s the difference between good and great.

“Those leaders who soon recognize that their own behaviors and emotions have a domino effect on their team—and adapt accordingly—build stronger teams. Self-awareness is that ‘multiplier’ that not only makes you a better leader, but those on your team better leaders, too.”


Avoid Risky Password Behavior

5 Oct

Do you have only one password for all accounts? Do you use only lower-case letters in your passwords? Do you enter your password when the URL begins with http (rather than https)? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you are leaving yourself wide open to identity theft and the hacking of your personal information.

For years, we’ve been writing about password safety–including providing many tips. [See, for example: 1, 2, 3, 4.] Today, let us consider WHY you might still exhibiting risky password behavior.

Recently, Help Net Security described “The Psychological Reasons Behind Risky Password Practices.” Here are a few of the conclusions:



“When it comes to online security, personality type does not inform behavior, but it does reveal how consumers rationalize poor password habits. Among key findings around personality types and online behavior, nearly half of respondents who identify as a Type A personality did not believe that they are at an increased risk by reusing passwords because of their own proactive efforts, which implies their behavior stems from their need to be in control.”

“In contrast, more than half of respondents who identify as a Type B personality believe they need to limit their online accounts and activities due to fear of a password breach. By convincing themselves that their accounts are of little value to hackers, they are able to maintain their casual, laid-back attitude towards password security. This suggests that while personality types didn’t factor into the end result of poor password habits, it does provide insight around why people behave this way.”



“’Developing poor password habits is a universal problem affecting users of any age, gender, or personality type,’ says Joe Siegrist, VP and GM of LastPass. ‘Most users admit to understanding the risks but continue to repeat the behavior despite knowing they’re leaving sensitive information vulnerable to potential hackers. In order to establish more effective defenses, we need to better understand why individuals act a certain way online and a system that makes it easier for the average user to better manage their password behavior.”


Brands That Millennials Love

4 Oct

As we have noted before, Millennials represent a huge, demanding, and challenging consumer segment for marketers. With that in mind, let’s ask: What brands are doing best among Millennials?

Recently, Moosylvania — a company involved with branding, digital, and experiential (“Digital connectivity has changed the way we interact with one another – people no longer want to consume marketing, they want to participate in brands.”) asked more than 1,5000 Millennials to select their favorite brands. The findings are interesting and some rankings may be surprising!!

In describing the top five companies in the 2016 Moosylvania study, Mallory Schlossberg and Kate Taylor report the following for Business Insider. [Note: In their article, all 100 companies are described.]:

  1. Apple — “has a fanatical following, and many of its customers are Millennials. The company’s iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks, and Apple Watches are wildly popular. The company has a cultish following.”
  2. Target “owns the intersection of style and affordability. It has been giving its kids’ clothing business a makeover to be more stylish. The company also sells gender-neutral room decor and stopped labeling its toys by gender.”
  3. Nike — “When it comes to active wear — and apparel in general — Nike is the go-to brand. Nike has focused on incorporating top-tier technology into its clothing. It helps that it’s a massive retailer.”
  4. Sony — “is ready for innovation, from robots that can interact with humans to its wildly popular PlayStation.”
  5. Samsung — “Galaxy phones and tablets are extremely popular with Millennials. The brand’s Galaxy S6 smartphone received rave reviews. Tech Insider’s Steve Kovach said that Samsung’s designs have eclipsed those of competitor Apple.” [NOTE: The Moosylvania study and these comments preceded the problems that Samsung is now facing due to product safety issues. It’s unlikely that the firm would be ranked so highly today. Right?]

Click the image to see the top brands for Millennials, from 100 to 1.

Photo by Business Insider / Matt Johnston


Improving E-Commerce Results

30 Sep

Would you be surprised to learn that only a small percentage of E-commerce sites gain any traction at all? Most dwell in obscurity.

Consider these observations from Cent Muruganandam, writing for and check out the infographic shown below his quote:

“You might be astounded to know that there are between 12-24 million E-Commerce websites online. But what’s even more intriguing is the fact that only about 3% of them (650,000) ever make it past $1,000 in annual sales, according to Internet Retailer. What’s the point I am trying to establish here, you might wonder? Well, from where I see it, a whopping majority of E-Commerce outlets fail to make a significant amount of money. It’s not that there’s no money in the E-commerce industry. It means is that majority of online retailers are not doing things right, because if they had been successful in doing them right, the number of outlets making more than $1,000/year would have been way more than a mere 650,000.”



How to Get Digital Media Right

29 Sep

MillardBrown Digital has produced an excellent report and Webinar on how to best engage in digital marketing:

It’s no longer about traditional or digital. It’s all marketing. Digital marketing has emerged as a vital part of the marketing landscape, forcing marketers to grapple with scaling across a variety of engagements. And while there’s a surplus of data available to help inform decisions, selecting the right data, and combining, analyzing, and creating actions from that data is challenging. With input from over 300 senior executives across advertisers, agencies, and media companies, our 3rd annual Getting Digital Right study identified four key findings for getting digital right and creating extraordinary marketing in a connected world.”

Click here to access the full report. A free login is required.

Click here to view/hear the Webinar.

Here are two charts from MillardBrown Digital.  To view a larger version, click on each chart. The first chart identifies the steps necessary to undertake a great digital strategy.


The second chart highlights the ease/difficulty of measuring ROI (return on investment) with various media platforms.  [This shows why E-mail marketing is NOT dead. It ranks first in measuring ROI.]


Humanizing and Entertaining Ads

28 Sep

HubSpot recently identified 12 enjoyable video marketing campaigns: “What better medium to propel the new wave of humanized marketing than video? It’s one of the most effective media for marketers. Seventy-three percent of respondents in a 2015 Web Video Marketing Council study indicated that video had a positive impact on their marketing results.

Click here to see all of the campaigns cited by HubSpot (and to read why HubSpot selected these campaigns).
Below are videos from HubSpot’s 5 top-rated campaigns.






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