Jared Fogle, the man that taught America it was possible to lose more than 200 pounds eating subway sandwiches, has been charged with possessing child pornography and is reportedly planning to plead guilty.
Fogle was also the leading spokesperson for Subway for 15 years and contributed to nearly half of Subway's growth.
As the news of Fogle's charges became a reality, Subway quickly cut ties with their former spokesperson.
Here are 4 things brands can learn from Subway's recent crisis.
As a startup, you may not be able to afford a full-time, dedicated PR team quite yet, so you opt for contractors, outsourced agencies, or part-time PR pros. There is some great ad-hoc talent out there that you can add into the startup mix, but just be sure that you start with careful planning first.
There are many ways to cut corners for a tighter startup budget, but starting with PR fat trimming shouldn't be one of them. Without a great PR strategy and team, a business has a higher chance of failing because potential customers and investors won't see what's so great about your goods or services. The PR strategy is essential for targeting and understanding your audience, studying the competition, and crafting the most relevant campaign messaging.
Influencer marketing is becoming a standard in brand marketing strategies as more brands are beginning to see it as a viable consumer acquisition channel with low costs and strong returns. Brands are also realizing how influencer marketing improves campaign reach by allowing marketers to target niche consumer groups with native ad content that resonates more deeply and drives quicker conversions.
However, with all of the fanfare around influencer marketing, many brands still struggle to measure return and qualify the results in order to justify the ad spend. This will change as the industry building around influencer marketing is becoming more tech driven.
I look at the phenomenon of influencer marketing as a three-wave evolution that began with the birth of the social media influencer. This first wave was sparked by consumers, who first- and perhaps coincidentally- demonstrated the viability of native advertising on social media by sharing new products, trends and brands with their friends and fans, thus introducing these brands to new audiences.
It wasn't too long ago that the consumer in the market for new home exercise equipment would visit her local department or sporting goods store to test out the options and compare the prices. Maybe she would buy a new treadmill on the spot, or perhaps she would first talk to friends for recommendations, or read some reviews in a magazine like Consumer Reports. Once convinced of the right make, model, and price, she would pull out her credit card or checkbook and make a purchase.
Fast-forward to 2015, where the buying landscape couldn't be more different. Thanks to the Internet as a whole, social media, online reviews, the proliferation of online retailers, and the growth of web-based behemoths like Amazon, the same consumer takes a decidedly different approach when buying exercise equipment (or buying anything for that matter). Add laptops, mobile devices, and smartphones to the mix and you create a selling environment that includes everything from bricks-and-mortar sales to website purchases to smart TV shopping.
When we think of social media ROI, we tend to only measure value by numbers. So much attention is given to number of followers, reach, impressions and likes; but while these markers are very important, there's a much broader story that can be told, particularly on social networks like Instagram where photos create an opportunity to paint a much bigger brand picture.
Sure, Instagram has some limitations in what campaign parameters can be measured -- engagement rates act as the major metric -- and this can raise the question of what a brand really gains from influencer marketing. However, Instagram, now one of the top three social networks with over 300 million users, gives brands an opportunity to tap into the influence of Instagram power users and leverage their existing follower relationships in order to reach a broad audience.
Social media transformed classic PR and is offering startups and growing brands endless new possibilities to drive traffic to their digital and physical storefronts. It sounds like the best of all worlds; blending new media with old media, right? Any startup has the ability to set up a Twitter account or Facebook page, yet you still must follow traditional public relations rules on these channels.
Issues may come up as businesses rely too heavily on social media at the expense of proven public relations strategies. All too often, we have seen first-hand during the dawn of social media the horrific (and hilarious) errors which were made as clients jumped in too fast.
Marketing is one of the most important parts of a successful business. In fact, a strong marketing strategy can lead to higher profits, a larger consumer base, and help build overall brand awareness.
Typically, the job of developing a great marketing plan is left to the CMO. However, some startup companies simply do not have the overhead available to hire a high-level marketing executive, especially considering the cost of a salary and benefits.
Let's just come right out upfront and say it; coupon sites do not steal sales from merchants. Oh really, some of you may say? Yes, really. Stick with me as we walk through how coupon sites can actually be of tremendous benefit to a merchant.
Now, in some cases, coupons do have the ability to steal sales but only if the merchant has not identified how to properly handle them in the affiliate channel. Any merchant that has a promo code field in their shopping cart or somewhere else in the purchase process is inviting the consumer to take 30 seconds, open up another tab or window and search for a deal.
And, yes, this happens often... so often there's a well-known term for it; shopping cart abandonment. But, remember, there are many forms of shopping cart abandonment and though, technically, this is one of them, in many cases it isn't and doesn't have to be. And this is one of the reasons coupon sites can be great for merchants.
Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most influential social networks available in today's social landscape. With over 200 million users sharing upwards of 20 billion photos, the mobile platform is fertile ground for brands looking to connect with an exceedingly captive audience.
However, Instagrammers are notoriously resistant to direct advertising on Instagram, and the platform has only recently begun to cautiously implement promoted posts. Overall, users have been fairly receptive to the ads, but with all the marketing potential Instagram holds, there are much more effective means for engaging consumers on the social platform.
In defense of a recent campaign which featured women CEOs in their underwear, Dear Kate CEO Julie Sygiel said, "I think a lot of traditional lingerie photo shoots depict women as simply standing there looking sexy. They're not always in a position of power and control. In our photo shoots it's important to portray women who are active and ambitious. They're not just standing around waiting for things to happen."
What a load of crap. Yea, right, they're "not just standing around waiting for things to happen." No, Julie, they're sitting around in their underwear in a contrived situation waiting for a photographer to take a picture of them. If that's natural then I think I'll stand in front of my apartment and take a shit on the sidewalk.