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Argentum's blog, Marketing Op-Ed highlights interesting, real-world examples of marketing with a little bit of opinion thrown in.  It's written by Susan Silver, President of Argentum Strategy Group, with the occasional guest blogger added to the mix.

It's updated once a month, and we would love to hear what you think!

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Making Marketing Lemonade From Business Lemons

I spent 11 years of my adult life living down the street from various Waffle House restaurants. Granted, if you’re living in certain parts of the south, it’s practically impossible not to live down the street from a Waffle House. Most especially if you’re a college student, which I was for four of those eleven years. The restaurants are a neighborhood staple, and they are especially good late at night after too many beers from a fraternity keg.

Given my fond memories of Waffle Houses, and my current marketing orientation, I was especially tickled to see a fascinating Waffle House article by Valerie Bauerlein in the Wall Street Journal today.

In a nutshell: Given the business challenge presented by being a neighborhood restaurant chain in disaster-prone geographies, the management team at Waffle House has figured out how to respond quickly and efficiently to disasters. They do this with advance planning, limited, tailored menus that vary depending on whether there is limited electricity, water or gas, and even a mobile command center named after the assault vehicle in the movie Stripes.

Apparently the head of FEMA has even created a “Waffle House” index that measures storm severity by how many Waffle Houses in an area are closed for business after a natural disaster. Read the article by clicking here.


Customer Appreciation – The Power of Thank You

Wednesday, May 12, 2010   Comments Off on Customer Appreciation – The Power of Thank You - Customer Satisfaction  

I was a loyal United Airlines Premier flyer for 15 years. I loved getting on the plane first, sitting towards the front in Economy Plus, and always being able to find room for my bag. Not to mention all of United’s wonderful international locations to which I took many a free flight over the years.

However, at the same time, there was no question that I was frustrated by United’s horrible customer service. I’m still bitter about the Bengali booking agent who neglected to tell me that my flight involved an overnight stay in Tokyo, and the Manila-based agent who could not understand why rebooking me through Dulles after my BWI flight was cancelled was insanely inconvenient.

So it was with mixed feelings that I did not earn Premier status last year. The golden handcuffs had been unlocked. And now, although they have no international service on which to use my Frequent Flyer miles, I’ve switched to Southwest. I certainly miss assigned seating, but I love knowing that my flight is highly likely to take off and land on time, and their no mess, no fuss 100% cancellation credit policy is awe-inspiring.

I’m impressed with their operation and finally feel that I am actually getting what I pay for from an airline. To make things even more impressive, when I got home from a recent Southwest flight, I received this email. Read More -›

10-Point Scale Fan Club

This blog post is guest authored by Dr. Anne Beall, President of Beall Research and Training. Anne is also the author of the succinct and very useful book Strategic Market Research. I asked Anne to write this post because I have found that it is sometimes challenging to convince clients that using a 10-point scale for their customer satisfaction surveys is the best way to go.