new search featuresWe are happy to announce that two new search features have been added to The first feature, called Search the Marketing Stories Archive, allows site visitors to search our vast and growing collection of over 4,500 Marketing Stories dating back to 2004. For each story, the archive contains the title, source and link to the original story (note: not all links may still be active). In most cases, the information also contains a brief annotation connecting a story to a marketing topic.

The second feature, called Search the Marketing Blog Archive, allows site visitors to search our Marketing Blog posts. These posts, which exam marketing issues in deeper detail, date back to 2009.

Both search features allow for Boolean searches. Additionally, results are presented in reverse date order, with the most recent additions to an archive appearing first.

We believe both search options will prove quite useful for market researchers, educators, students, journalists and others looking for past marketing information.

Our overall site search, handled by Google, remains for searching other areas of, such as our Principles of Marketing Tutorials.

Lawsuit Over Olive Oil LabelingAs we noted in a 2013 post that looked at labels found on eggs, it is pretty safe to say, what appears on a product label is not something that takes up a large portion of a marketers' valuable time. In fact, when it comes packaging decisions, marketers are often  more concerned with the shape, functionality and other design elements of the container, rather than the words and images appearing on the box, bottle or other items used to hold a product. Yet, not focusing enough attention on labeling can come back to haunt a company. For instance, back in 2014 we looked at how an issue of a misleading product label made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Another example of what may be a misleading labeling issue can be found in this story from Fortune. It reports on lawsuits claiming the labels on top selling olive oil brands mislead customers in two ways. First, the lawsuit claims the labels state the olive oil is “Imported from Italy.”  However, while the bottles are packaged in Italy, the actual olive oil is sourced from other countries. Second, the lawsuits claim the olive oil contained in the jars is not of the extra virgin variety as listed on the label. Rather it contains a lower-grade product.

The companies being sued have so far responded by dismissing the allegations. For instance, they appear to argue that “Imported from Italy” only means the product has to be shipped from Italy. The plaintiffs in this case believe this violates the Country of Origin Labeling requirements that was included in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.

While it will likely take some time for these cases to be resolved, the issues raised are certainly ones that should encourage some marketers to spend a little more time reviewing their labels.

In our blogs posts, we have repeatedly stressed the importance marketing research plays in an organization’s overall strategy. Our marketing tutorials are even more direct in our emphasis on research as we have mentioned it as being the “foundation of marketing” in several tutorials. While conducting research is a critical component of successful marketing, as we note in the Marketing Research tutorial, the results of research should not be used alone in making decisions because these can rarely be considered 100% accurate.

But what research will do is suggest to marketers a direction they may want to investigate. For instance, broad research may uncover an evolving customer trend. Awareness of this trend may then signal that more narrow research is required to see if there is a new customer need that may be emerging or an old need that may be changing. If there is something emerging or changing, then the marketer may consider addressing these, such as designing new products for the new needs, adjusting current products to changing needs, promoting products in new ways, and many others. But even with this, research still needs to be done to make sure any new ideas are truly viable.

An example of a new marketing idea that has been developed based on what may be an evolving trend can be seen in this Fortune story. It discusses how McDonald's is testing new packaging to appeal to more customers who ride their bikes to place orders in the drive-up order lane. The new package allows customers to peddle away with the package hanging from the handlebar. While the article, and accompanied video, talk about this idea being tested in several countries outside the U.S., it likely will not be too long before it shows up in America. Most likely, it will be within urban areas, where the use of bicycles for regular transportation (as opposed to recreational use) is more prevalent.