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Jon Last

Member since November 2008 Contact Jon

Articles by Jon All articles by Jon

  • Don't Try To Turn An Aircraft Carrier On A Dime in Marketing: Sports on 03/10/2015

    Amidst marketers' continued obsession over everything Millennial, I've seen a number of brands looking to find lightning in a bottle by attempting to recast themselves as hip, trendy or too cool for school. Alignment with athletes or properties that personify that desired positioning is often among the marketing mix elements that rise to the top of the list of those seeking this re-polishing of an old apple. While such efforts are far from new, it strikes me that there are more than a handful of instances where this approach is doomed to failure, and that's unfortunate because the mistake could have been easily avoided with a little simple homework.

  • A Renewed Focus On 'Connection Planning' in Marketing: Sports on 02/10/2015

    Every industry has buzzwords, though it has often struck me that sports, marketing and advertising over-index for the phenomenon. Since we live in a world where "internet years" make a decade ago feel like a half-century ago, I feel like I'm reaching back into the stone ages of marketing vernacular to surface the term "connection planning."

  • A Few Things To Ruminate On In The New Year in Marketing: Sports on 01/13/2015

    It's January, and I actually succeeded in finding a little airplane time over the holidays to escape and think those deep thoughts that one is supposed to stew over when not plugged into the office 24-7. Sure, I was still contemplating the relationship between consumer insights and successful sports marketing, but these brief interludes do sometimes allow me to further connect the dots across our disparate projects and varied conversations with other folks that think about similar things on a regular basis. While far from epiphanies, here are a few quick themes that we'll continue to think about in the year ahead.

  • Requiem For A 'Light Weight'  in Marketing: Sports on 12/09/2014

    I'm too young to remember the movie "Requiem for a Heavyweight," but there was always something poetic about a title that conjures up images of last respects for a once-revered, but long-forgotten titan of the boxing ring. I'd venture to say that the assassination of the University of Alabama at Birmingham football program, last week, failed to register on the radar of many folks outside of a 50-mile radius of the Five Points neighborhood. But it surfaces a number of emotions, concerns and sports marketing lessons for me.

  • 'Chevy Guy's 15 Minutes of Fame Should Teach Us Some 'Stuff' About Good Sports Marketing in Marketing: Sports on 11/11/2014

    Quick quiz, sports marketers ... in the two weeks that have now elapsed since World Series game seven, do you remember Rikk Wilde, aka "Chevy Guy?"

  • From The 'Me' Generation To The 'Pay Attention to Me' Generation  in Marketing: Sports on 10/14/2014

    Last month in this space, I spoke to a need for sports marketers to think about multi-generational approaches in their brand development and communications strategies. Noting that the sheer size of Boomers and Millennials have created an almost singular focus on these two generations, at vastly different life stages, I drew parallels across them, culled from some of our recent fan and consumer research. Subsequently, in framing remarks for a recent conference presentation, I've thought further about how, what on the surface appears to be dichotomous generational values, may actually be quite complementary. Let me illustrate.

  • Why Multi-Generational Marketing Could Be The Next Big Thing in Marketing: Sports on 09/09/2014

    From a purely observational context, it strikes me that we're at an interesting cross-roads in generational marketing. So much of what our sports fan and participant research focused on during the first decade of this century was meeting the needs of a maturing Boomer generation that did not always follow the leads of prior generations reaching a similar life stage. Fast-forward to the present day and it seems that everyone is trying to unlock the secret sauce that resonates with Millennials. And on the surface level this makes sense.

  • Properties And Brands Need To Know 'The Story' in Marketing: Sports on 08/12/2014

    I've used this forum, in the past, to draw analogies between sports properties and exclusive and coveted communities that sponsors seek to become a part of. As one who runs a sports marketing research firm, my colleagues and I often play a key role in helping our property clients to better position that community as one that fits the marketing objectives for prospective partners. For the potential sponsors themselves, our work often centers around better understanding the behaviors, need states and interactions of consumers within those communities so as to guide brands towards better inserting their message into that space, in ways that are perceived as genuine and mutually beneficial.

  • Slow Ticket Sales? Here's The Real Reason Why in Marketing: Sports on 07/08/2014

    Growing and maintaining fan attendance and consumer participation in sports seems to always be on top of sports marketers' list of top concerns and priorities, and it should be. We live in an age where the proliferation of leisure time choices has grown exponentially.

  • For Father's Day, I Want The Mass Media to Stop Bashing Golf in Marketing: Sports on 06/10/2014

    Total upfront disclosure ... the golf industry has been an important component of my livelihood for nearly three decades, so forgive me if I get a little defensive about a sport that my firm and I have studied extensively and that I have enjoyed as a participant and fan for even longer than that.

Comments by Jon All comments by Jon

  • Goodbye To Surveys For Companies That Mine Social by Karl Greenberg (Marketing Daily on 01/02/2013)

    ....And "Web MD" meant the end of going to doctors?! I fully appreciate the sensationalistic spin of the headline and lead, but as a former national president of the US Marketing Research Association and head of a full service marketing research company, I take real exception to the assertion of this piece that formal research is defunct. We're fully engaged in social media sentiment analysis as a powerful "directional" feedback lever. It is but another tool in the qualitative research tool kit. But to eschew the necessity of careful sample design and management, the deployment of rigorous analytics that cut through the noise and the construction of sophisticated methodologies that derive embedded belief systems and perceptions rather than the rantings of a self selected vocal minority is as sure a recipe for insight disaster as it would be to self prescribe disease treatment. Please embrace social media analysis, but let's save the eulogies, please.

  • Frugality, Authenticity ... And Luxury by Bob Deutsch (Marketing Daily on 09/25/2009)

    Nicely done...and very consistent with much of the research that we are doing within the "affluent" community. What Bob is describing is in lockstep with what we've seen among the cohort of affluent Americans aged 39-49 (we call them the sandwich generation..wedged between easy boomer or gen x definitions and with values of both groups). These folks are now factoring in this zest for authenticity with a scaling back of conspicuous consumption, heightened child-centricity and a "survivor's guilt" that has created new marketing challenges (and opportunities) for a number of luxury brands and services. Happy to forward a piece that I authored on this, to any who are interested. It's also on our website (

  • Consumer Insights That Don't Cost Much by Dianne Admire (Marketing Daily on 02/11/2009)

    While I can certainly appreciate the desire to find cost efficiencies in a challenging economy, recognize that the old adage, "you get what you pay for", certainly applies with do it yourself marketing research. As the current national president of the Marketing Research Association (MRA) and the owner of a full service research firm that strives to deliver exceptional market insight at fair pricing, I have to caution organizations that try to cut corners in gathering consumer feedback to make business decisions. Good marketing research is a combination of art and science. MRA has rigorous educational offerings for its members and has established the only accredited certification program in the industry. Professional researchers understand the pitfalls that do it yourself efforts often fall prey to. Professional researchers know how to ask the right questions that get at true insight, in the proper contexts and environments that bring real feedback (rather than just the answer your customer might think you want to hear). They can properly identify representative rather than convenience samples, and even more importantly apply analytical techniques that get past the "obvious" and identify true opportunities to build a business. Garbage in equals garbage out. Caveat emptor! Jon LastPresidentSports and Leisure Research

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