This Week in Marketing Strategy: Mercury Marine Revival, Great Rejections, Most Innovative States

Mercury Marine Advertising Go Boldly

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Welcome to the December 26, 2016 edition of This Week in Marketing Strategy. Here I’ll highlight a few articles, blog posts or interesting pieces from around the web that are newsworthy or trending over the last one to two weeks.

First up: Mercury Marine Targets Young Boaters in First Campaign Since 2011, courtesy of Mercury Marine is a 77-year-old company, but you wouldn’t know it upon viewing their latest ad campaign. The brand has opted to focus less on product features and more on the emotional reasons why you’d want to go boating. It’s part of their strategy to target a younger audience (Millennials).

According to one of the feature spots, the earth is 71% water and 100% awesome. There’s ample eye candy of all the cool things you can do on a boat, and it nicely wraps up with Go Boldly as the tagline.

The campaign serves as a great example of benefit dramatization.

Mercury Marine Boat“We’ve done traditional consumer advertising in a minimal way in the past, but it was functionally-focused, not why you go out and boat,” said Michelle Dauchy… the brand has had to change the tone of its marketing. see more at

Second up: 10 Great Ideas That Were Originally Rejected, courtesy of People usually don’t recognize a good idea when they see one. This is even true of some of the biggest innovations in history. The telephone, cars, radio, and many other ground-breaking innovations were all rejected at first.

Gijs van Wulfen has collected together a number of these examples all in one place. Gijs then goes further and provides tips for creating business cases that help get support for your ideas. He offers five perspectives through which you’ll be evaluated:

  1. Customer
  2. Technology
  3. Business Model
  4. Risk
  5. Strategic Fit a new business case, it is your challenge to be convincing. The more radical your innovation is, the bigger the challenge as there will be more uncertainties. read more at

Our third and final article this week: Here are the Most Innovative States in America in 2016, courtesy of Bloomberg created an index that measures the “innovativeness” of each US state. For the second year in a row, Massachusetts has earned the top ranking.

Bloomberg’s method scores states on the following criteria:

  • R&D intensity
  • Productivity
  • Tech company density
  • STEM concentration
  • Science & engineering degree holders
  • Patent activity

I can’t help but wonder, are these really the best measures of innovation? On the surface they may seem OK. But, if you think about it, they seem to present a very narrow definition of innovation. Between tech company density, STEM, science/engineering degrees and patents, it seems like the “experts” at Bloomberg believe that science/engineering = innovation. I have to wonder if an engineer helped come up with the scoring system.

Don’t get me wrong. Engineers are great. I have quite a few of them in my family. Good ones, too.  🙂

But many of the most creative people I know are not scientists or engineers. They practice in all fields including business, sports, music and art. And what about startups? Most startups are not founded by scientists or even degree holders. Some of the most famous inventors and founders never graduated from college.

So, while I find the rankings interesting, I have to challenge them at the same time. Take a look for yourself and see what you think. secret sauce for [Massachusetts’] innovation is a potent mix of tax incentives to draw in companies, research partnerships between its big-name universities and local businesses, and the transfer of much of that research into patent-able products. read more at

Those are a few of the popular and trending pieces in the news related to marketing strategy. They caught my attention and hopefully they are useful to you.

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Kevin Namaky

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Kevin Namaky founded Gurulocity Gurulocity, a marketing education company, to help small business owners and entrepreneurs hone their strategic marketing craft and unlock their potential. As a brand marketing leader and former Head of Strategy at a global consulting firm, he created billions in new value for companies big and small. He now brings those marketing secrets to small businesses everywhere. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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