Pizza Patron has been named the premier distributor for the initial launch of BlagCard, a unlimited calling card to Mexico. The chain will begin retailing the cards in each of its 65 locations beginning Friday, July 27th.

Measurement is easier for direct marketers.

Direct mail and e-mail had the highest return on investment of any target marketing method in 2006, according to Harte-Hanks' "Target Marketing Priorities Analysis: 2007 Key Trends" study.

U.S. retailers of beauty products are banking on multi-channel sales and personalized customer relations strategies to maintain a competitive edge, according to a newly published study by global management consulting and market research firm Kline & Company. Faced with a challenging, mature market and growing competition from the direct-to-consumer sales channel, beauty retailers are beefing up enticements like customer loyalty programs and purchase rewards in an effort to retain customers and attract new ones.

Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) announced the first top-line results from its IRI Long-Term Drivers Consortium Study that was initially launched in mid-2006. Since its inception, the study has been utilizing brand information from a consortium of national CPG manufacturers to quantify the importance of TV advertising, in-store promotion, distribution and brand variety on the long-term health of brands and the overall CPG industry.

Community events score with youth influencers.

A few years back, a market researcher wanted to form a focus group consisting of the most influential kids available. The researcher would ask children, "Who's the coolest kid you know?" Kids who answered "me" were invited to be in the sample.

Have you ever been on an awesome thrill ride at an amusement park, had your photo, with a big grin on your face, taken unsuspectingly -- only to end the ride with an aggressive pitch to buy a low-quality print for, say, $5, $10, $15, even $20?

I’ve been LinkedIn-crazy lately. As a CEO of a busy start-up, with all the distracting little details that pull me this way and that, it is good to remind myself that the greatest asset I bring to my company is my personal network of contacts. Managing and maintaining my contacts and network, I find, is the single most important thing I can do with my time. And most of that networking is done through email: one-to-one email marketing at its (hopefully) best.

There's been a lot of talk about word-of-mouth online. I wrote an article a while ago and many people emailed me afterwards. It spawned quite a bit of conversations among colleagues, clients and friends. The overall feeling is that word of mouth online or offline is one of the most powerful vehicles out there. Do you agree?

The U.S. GOVERNMENT will spend more than $1 billion this year on nutrition education to promote fresh fruits and vegetables as an alternative to unhealthy foods for children to eat and snack on, but most of those promotional funds will be wasted, according to an analysis of 57 such programs conducted by the Associated Press. Could it be because the food marketing industry will spend more than ten times that amount promoting some less-than-healthy culinary choices? Well, we're about to find out, as some of the nation's biggest food marketers prepare to unveil a set of new public initiatives designed to fix that paradox and get some federal regulators and public advocacy groups off their backs.

Marketers may still be a little leery of using new-media and consumer-generated media (CGM) tactics in their plans. But, as revealed in the 2007 PRWeek/MS&L Marketing Management Survey, those companies that are excelling in this new marketing environment are discovering that taking the plunge is well worth the investment.

Why write an article on Hispanic identity, now? The answer to this question is not difficult: it has to do with demographics. And demographics are they key to economic and political power for any group.

There are obvious pragmatic reasons why companies in the United States have been investing in this segment at a record rate.

How often do you get to sit down and think about the answer to the question, "what is a brand?" I'm relatively lucky because I get to sit and think about it almost everyday. I used to not be a believer in the power of brands, but I eventually changed my tune and feel they are indeed necessary to achieve lasting growth when you build a company, product or service. That being said, the last few years have seen a radical evolution in the way a brand is built and managed, almost to the point where the evolution of a brand is more of a revolution of the brand.

A major consumer package goods marketer once told me: "If I can understand my competitor's email marketing efforts, I can understand their entire marketing strategy." The notion that a company's email marketing efforts represent a microcosm of their marketing plan is something that more planners

Marketers and advertisers who are looking for product placement to become a substitute for traditional advertising need to be selective in how they use placements since not all product placements are equal, according to a just-released analysis of BIGresearch’s Simultaneous Media Survey. Over 15,000 consumers participated in the latest bi-annual survey.

Kellogg Company announced that it is undertaking two major initiatives that further strengthen its commitment to meeting consumers' health and nutrition needs by adjusting what and how the company markets to children and through new front-of-pack nutrition labeling.