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Ira Kalb
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Ira Kalb is a professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California and President of Kalb & Associates, a marketing and business consulting firm.

Entries by Ira Kalb

Turning Complaints Into Closer Relationships to Improve Your Business

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 11:39 AM

The way companies handle complaints can mean the difference between success and failure in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Businesses that turn complaints into opportunities for building closer relationships with customers are the ones that are most likely to survive and prosper.

An important signal

The complaint is a signal that...

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Foreign Brand Power: How Countries Help Their Brands

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2015 | 6:11 PM

While brands are typically associated with companies and products, countries have brand identities too. In fact, the image of a country can greatly contribute to (or detract from) the brands that come from that country. For example, France is often associated with wine, Japan with quality cars and cameras, Germany...

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How to Overcome Brand Habits So Buyers Will Buy Your Products

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 7:02 PM

One problem marketers find difficult to overcome is how do you get buyers to choose your product when they are in the habit of buying other brands? Human habits are hard to break - especially if you are competing with a well-known (and liked) brand that has a good "relationship"...

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Will Apple's Shift in Retail Strategy From Store Lines to Online Be Good or Bad?

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 5:26 PM

When he was running Apple, Steve Jobs liked to see long lines of people waiting in front of Apple stores to buy the latest Apple products. Why? The three top reasons are lines...

  1. Visually indicate the product is in high demand,
  2. Promote the product at a significantly lower cost,...
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Why Your Business Needs an Effective Marketing Information System

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 10:26 AM

For the past 15 to 20 years, marketers have been talking about the need to develop systems to tie every aspect of marketing together from developing marketing communications to selling products and providing after sale customer service.

The problem is that very few have invested the time and money...

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How the Law of Gravity Can Help Your Marketing

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 4:41 PM

In my two previous posts, I explained how understanding the laws of the universe and the differences between perception and reality can help businesses to do better marketing. In this one, I take these concepts a bit further to show marketers how they can use gravity...

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Understanding How the Confusion Between Perception and Reality Can Hurt Your Business

(1) Comments | Posted April 5, 2015 | 7:27 PM

In my previous post, I talked about physics being a good metaphor for marketing. One of the striking similarities between the two disciplines is they are both difficult to understand because most people have a hard time comprehending the difference between perception and reality. Why? People tend to...

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If You Want to Improve Your Marketing, Turn to Physics

(4) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 4:50 PM

Anyone who has studied physics and marketing can observe some very interesting similarities between the concepts of these two seemingly different disciplines. Unlike physics, however, marketing is not often taught according to scientific principles.

This is unfortunate. It perhaps explains why so many people, whether they are trained...

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Marketing: The Missing Ingredient in Social Entrepreneurship

(7) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 12:14 PM

I have been asked to teach a course in Marketing for the esteemed Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship Program at USC. While I look at this as a great opportunity. I also recognize it is an enormous challenge. Why? Even though many profess a deep knowledge of...

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What Businesses Need to Know About Direct Marketing

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 3:36 PM

Ever since the World Wide Web began to be commercialized in 1995, the center of gravity in the marketing universe seems to have shifted toward the Internet and, more recently, social media and mobile devices. The problem for marketers is how to effectively use these tools to develop...

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Delivering Products With Drones Is Coming Sooner Than You Think

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 11:50 AM

When I first wrote a post in August of 2013 suggesting that companies will deliver products via drones, a number of readers "laughed at me" in their disparaging replies. Here is just one of the more polite ones,

What makes you think these drones won't have cameras,...
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If You Think Short Copy Sells More, Think Again!

(1) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 10:56 AM

Much of the marketing that is done is based on conjecture with little application of knowledge or bonafide data. Marketers, who never really learned marketing deeply enough, base their judgments on their opinions, which are too often shaped by misconceptions.

One of the most common misconceptions is that people nowadays...

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The Secret to Greater Success Is... Learning How to Sell

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 1:53 PM

Perhaps the most important subject you can study and learn is sales. Yet many of the smartest students avoid learning it, and some of the best colleges shun teaching it.

Why? One reason is that our society too often disparages the sales profession. Death of a Salesman,

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Some Food Ingredients: Are They Harmful or Do They Just Sound Bad?

(0) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 4:40 PM

When consumers learned, as a result of a lawsuit, that taco filling contained ingredients such as silicon dioxide and anti-dusting agents, many became alarmed -- even though anti-dusting agents made from natural food ingredients are necessary to prevent food factories from exploding. Then, when...

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Apple Product Introduction Strategy: Underpromise and Overdeliver

(2) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 11:38 AM

Reactions are in for the Apple Watch announcement on March 9th with the majority skewed toward the negative. Here's one comment from a Reddit user as quoted in BBC News,

"It's not uncommon for watches to be priced from $350 to $10,000. But the Apple Watch is different. It's not...

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March Madness Marketing Campaign Is a Slam Dunk for the NCAA

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 6:16 AM

Although it is a non-profit organization, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) continues to do a brilliant job of marketing its March Madness men's college basketball tournament, which is celebrating its 77th year in 2015.

A brief history

The NCAA started this tournament in 1939 at...

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Creating Advertising That Does a Better Job of Selling

(2) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 12:33 PM

When you look at the data, you find that much of the advertising that is done is not just mediocre ¬- it doesn't work. When I make this statement to my clients and students at the beginning of an engagement or course, they don't believe me. They can't believe that...

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Distribution: Harnessing the Power of Convenience

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 12:42 PM

To make money, most manufacturers need to sell their products in sizable quantities. Most end buyers need just one or a few. Therefore, an opportunity for middle people, or resellers, is created. Distributors, or wholesalers, are willing to buy products in quantity, and put them in a warehouse to eventually...

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Brian Williams Doesn't Deserve All the Blame

(1) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 2:12 PM

Because of his ability to straddle the fine line between news and entertainment, Brian Williams became the popular anchor of NBC Nightly News. In addition to his news anchor duties, Williams was a rock star at NBC because he could be funny while "slow-jamming the news" with Jimmy Fallon, hosting...

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Lance Armstrong Breaks Another Record -- He's Fined $10 million

(2) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 11:32 PM

According to the Guardian, an arbitration panel awarded SCA Promotions the $10 million fine assessed to Lance Armstrong for engaging in "an unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy." After previous litigation, SCA was required to pay Armstrong $7.5 million for his seven Tour de France wins....

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