Franchise StatisThe Wall Street Journal offers a very nice graphic showing various research stats related to franchises in the U.S.  It includes demographic data (e.g., gender, age, educational level, income), hours worked per week (a lot!) and average investment needed to start a franchise (also a lot!). 

Before looking, can you predict the U.S. state with the most franchises and the state with the fewest?

New LookToday we are happy to introduce our new-look website.   After much work, KnowThis.com has undergone significant upgrades, which we hope will make the site easier to use with much faster access.  The upgrading took most of the summer since the transition required us to revamp a number of sections of the site.  For tablet users, one of the goals of the upgrade was to make the site display properly.  We have hopefully accomplished that.

Another benefit of the upgrade is that we will now be able to return to offering more in-depth coverage of Marketing Stories.  In early 2013, we had discontinued posting comments related to current marketing stories for several reasons including time constraints in creating the posts and issues with formatting.  We believe the new software running our site will help address these issues.

One downside of our upgrade is that most of our webpage addresses have changed.  While this is not something that should affect how visitors’ access the site, it does affect the numbers that appear on our social media buttons, which are linked to a specific page location.  Essentially, all of our social media numbers for individual pages will now be reset to 0.  Considering some of our pages had hundreds of positive mentions, this loss is disappointing.  However, we are confident these numbers will rise again.

Aside from the issue with the social media counts, we believe the new look will provide a more enjoyable experience for our visitors.  As always, any suggestions are welcomed.

citationOver the years, KnowThis.com has become a well-regarded reference site for students, teachers and business professionals.  For instance, KnowThis.com is widely used by students who reference the site as part of research assignments and other class projects.  KnowThis.com also is referenced by a large number of business textbooks and trade publications as evidenced from results from a Google Book search. 

Recently we have received numerous requests asking how to cite material found on our site.  While we have always provided a page describing how this can be done, today we make it even easier to reference material found on KnowThis.com. 

Today we introduce our new Citation feature.  This feature offers information that can be easily adapted to common citation formats including APA and MLA.  Visitors will find the Citation on the right side of most content pages where it can simply be copied and pasted for use in a citation report.

The last few days have proven to be a little difficult for us at KnowThis.com as we have struggled with a software upgrade. We apologize for any issues visitors may have experienced. While we are not completely back to normal, we are close enough to make an announcement.

We are happy to report that beginning today our @KnowThis account is live on Twitter. We will be using Twitter to communicate the latest marketing news, offer comments on current events, provide site updates and more. Our goal is to continue to be a leading source of quality information for professionals, students, and teacher of marketing and related fields. We hope you will follow us.

Tongue in Cheek, Aiming at a Sweet Tooth (New York Times)

In Mayan Doomsday, Marketers See $$$ Opportunity (NBC News)

The countdown has begun to the end of the world. According to constant and inescapable reminders on television programs, in the news media and on Internet sites, the world ends on Friday, December 21. Of course, most of the world is not buying into any of this and view Friday as just another day. Yet, there are two diverse groups who do see this day as being important - doomsday believers and marketers.

Marketers see Friday as a marketing opportunity. They know that many of their customers are aware of the Mayan myth surrounding the earth’s demise and are taking advantage of the day by rolling out special promotions. For instance, in these two stories we see several examples of how marketers have built short-term promotions around this day. For instance, travel firms are offering unique vacation packages built around the predictions of the last day.

Additionally, Jell-O is running an advertising campaign to mark the event that features one ad focused on days leading up to December 21 and another ad that will pick up the story the day after.

While the doomsday believers see this as useless, the rest of us should get a nice laugh from these spots.

For $12,021, The Curtis Hotel offered a "Party Like There's No-To-Maya" special that included rental of an entire floor of the Denver hotel along with Doomsday supplies including anti-radiation tablets, freeze-dried food and gas masks. A tattoo artist was also included if guests wanted to mark the end of the world with some fresh ink.

What other one-time events have attracted the attention of marketers?