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Disney's Punny Team Up With Solo Cup for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie Is a Good Reminder That George Lucas Made Millions on Licensing




The more experienced entity doesn’t always know best.

2 min read

The Disney marketing team never stops. With the opening of A Wrinkle in Time this weekend following the behemoth that is Black Panther, the studio is now turning its attention to the film they hope will be its next big success, Solo: A Star Wars Story, the origin story of everyone’s favorite space smuggler.

In 2016, thanks to the success of the The Force Awakens and Rogue One, people all over the world spent a total of $262.9 billion on licensed merchandise. So It’s not surprising that many brands want in on the Star Wars business. This promotional cycle is no exception, with brands including Denny’s, Esurance, General Mills, Nissan, Symantec Corp, and you guessed it, Solo cups.

It was only a matter of time, folks.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi made more than $1.3 billion at the global box office, and the folks at Disney and LucasFilm are clearly hoping that their return to the past will be a billion-dollar bet. But even if the movie, which has had its share of creative upheaval behind the scenes, isn’t quite the hit that they want, they can pretty much guarantee that as ever, there will be fans who won’t just buy tickets, but the licensed merchandise.

Related: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Has Some Important Business Insights for Entrepreneurs

As the franchise returns to its original characters, more so than lightsabers and the Force, we should all remember that Star Wars creator George Lucas’s legacy is really for being a savvy businessman. Ahead of the first Star Wars film being released in 1977 on May 25 — the same day that Solo is going to arrive into theaters, because they are nothing if meticulous over at Disney — Lucas famously made a deal with his wary distributor 20th Century Fox.

The studio would get $500,000 of his directorial salary, and in return, Lucas would get the merchandising rights to the entire franchise. And the rest is Luke Skywalker sheets and Chewbacca mugs history.

It just goes to show that if you see something that the seemingly more experienced party you’re negotiating with doesn’t, pursue it. You never know what kind of dividends you could receive from trusting that something will resonate with an audience.

A daily source of inspiration and information, fuels the spectrum of game-changers that define what it means to be an entrepreneur today. That includes business leaders who launched something from nothing, content creators in the social influencer space, athletes pushing the boundaries of performance, and internal thought leaders innovating inside major corporations. offers strategic insights and how-to guidance for the people that make things happen.



Here's How to Calculate What's Working When You're Marketing on Lots of Channels




Determining which channel moved the customer to purchase is tricky when your marketing runs the gamut from Facebook ads to direct mail,

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Long gone are the days of blindly spending marketing dollars without a data first mindset to clearly calculate and prove you are driving a return on your marketing investment (your “ROMI”). This previously linked post demonstrates how to track your ROMI at the 30,000 foot view, based on your overall business revenues vs. costs, or at the unit level of an average transaction. But, if you want to really fine tune your efforts to maximize your ROMI, the best marketers turn to marketing attribution tools to help optimize marketing within every sub-channel of their business. Let me explain.

What is marketing attribution?

Your customers are interacting with your business in many ways. Let’s say you are a retailer, and one customer may be visiting your store, your website, your mobile app, your direct mail catalog, etc.

Marketing attribution helps assign value to which of those channels (if not all) should get credit for the sale. So, when you go to calculate your ROMI for that business unit, you are fairly matching revenues with marketing costs.

Related: Why Tracking Marketing Metrics Can Pay Off

Calculating attribution is hard.

The above makes it sound like marketing attribution is a relatively straight forward thing to calculate. It could be if the customer only visited one channel, but what happens when they concurrently visit multiple channels? The calculation becomes much harder.

Let’s say a customer receives a catalog in the mail, goes to the website to learn more, then purchases the product in the store. Which gets the credit? The answer: they all should get partial credit, and that is where marketing attribution tools come in to help you calculate that.

Related: 12 Ways to Actually Get an ROI Using Influencer Marketing

Which should get the most credit?

Determining who gets the most credit for a sale is the big debate. Should the first touch point get the most credit, since the transaction most likely started there? Or, should the last touch point get the most credit, as that is where the customer actually pulled out their credit card and purchased the product?

The arguments can clearly be made both ways (especially by the marketing managers in each of those respective departments). I tend to bias toward the first touch point (e.g., the catalog that arrived in the mail), to help me assess if I should keep spending on that specific tactic. But, oftentimes, I simply split the credit evenly between each channel that touched the customer during that sale cycle.

Related: Steps to a Dynamic Multichannel Marketing Strategy That Gets Results

Marketing attribution tools

Many companies turn to sophisticated software packages to help them. Some of the more sophisticated tools are found in expensive enterprise grade solutions from Adobe and others. But, there are others that serve the SMB market, as well, including Bizable, Bright Funnel, LeadsRx, Looker, Track Maven, Active Demand, Tealium, ABM Analytics and Attribution, to name a few. You can learn more about those products from their websites, or the marketing attribution sections of software user review sites, like G2 Crowd or Capterra.

Related: 8 Tools You Need for Tracking Website Performance

You can calculate it own your own.

Let’s say you spend $10,000 on a direct mail piece, and you get 100 of those people — 1 percent —  to buy a $200 product from you. Fifty purchase through your call center and 50 through your website. You know the website orders were tied to the direct mail piece, because the user needed to enter a unique promotion code to redeem the offer in the mailer. 

I would attribute 50 percent of the 50 web orders to the catalog and 50 percent of those web orders to the website, as they both equally played a role in the sale. So, the catalog gets credit for 75 orders ($15,000 in revenues) and the website gets credit for 25 orders ($5,000 in revenues) from this one campaign.

Then, you need to carry that logic through to expenses. You need to allocate 75 percent of the mailer costs ($7,500) to the catalog division and 25 percent ($2,500) to the website division. And, in reverse, if the website has costs to operate, let’s say $10 per transaction (or $250 in total web orders from the mailer), you need to add those costs to the catalog division’s total campaign costs. The call center costs of $25 per order (or $1,875 in total catalog orders) will be incurred entirely by the catalog division, as the call center was not used by the website orders.

So, totaling it all up from this campaign, the catalog had: $15,000 in revenue less $7,500 in mailer costs, less $1,875 in call center costs, less $250 in website costs. For a total profit of $5875 and a total ROMI of 2x (ignoring product costs). And, the website had:  $5,000 in revenue less $2,500 in mailer costs, less $750 in website costs, for a total profit of $1,750 and ROMI of 1.54x.

Voila! Both divisions that participated in the sale, sharing in the sale credit in a fair and equitable way.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Analytics: Metrics, Insights, Tools and Tips

Potential pitfalls in your calculations.

There are many instances that create calculation challenges. For example, which gets credit for a repeat sale, the channel that began the customer relationship or the channel that got the repeat order? I bias the most recent channel, but give credit for the lifetime value calculations of the first channel.

What happens when the tracking data is incomplete and you are not sure who should get credit for the sale? In that case, allocate the untracked orders pro rata in the same percentages as the tracked orders. For example, if your website accounted for 50 percent of your clearly tracked orders, there is a good chance it represented 50 percent of your untracked orders, as well. So, add those untracked orders to each respective tracked channel.

This is as much an art as it is a science, so it will take time to set your rules and optimize them over time.


Hopefully, you now better understand what marketing attribution is, and why it is so important to track:  it helps you to fine tune your ROMI calculations by marketing channel to make sure you are optimizing your marketing spend by channel. The better you understand your customer behaviors (e.g., touchpoints) with a customer-centric omni-channel mindset, the better you will be able to truly take your marketing efforts to the next level.

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The 3 Attributes of Every Successful Marketing Campaign




Every marketing campaign is different, but the good ones share some things in common.

2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Business Rockstars speaks with Hawke Media CEO Erik Huberman, who talks about the three essential ingredients for every marketing campaign. They are: 

  1. Building awareness. If people don’t know who you or your business are, they aren’t going to buy your product or service. So, the first step of any good marketing plan is making sure people can actually see you.
  2. Nurturing. Develop the relationship. Take those potential clients through your funnel — get an email address, prove why your product is better than your competitors’, etc.
  3. Growing trust. Do this throughout, first by having third-party recommendations and later by providing what you promised.

Click play to learn more about these strategies.

Related: 4 Awesome Instagram Accounts Driven by Women That Every Entrepreneur Should Follow

Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.

EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical. Watch video from our network partners on demand on Amazon Fire, Roku, Apple TV and the Entrepreneur App available on iOS and Android devices.

Click here to become a part of this growing video network.

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10 Effective and Cheap Ways to Market Your Business




Here’s how to get your business noticed on a budget.

2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Whether you’re competing against local or national businesses, you’re going to need a strong marketing strategy to help your startup stand out. In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy wants to help you figure out great ways to market your business, even if you don’t have the same budget as a national brand. 

Tracy breaks down 10 ways you can start marketing your business on the cheap, so you can start building brand recognition without breaking the bank.

Click play to learn more.

Related: 7 Strategies You Can Use to Improve Your Memory

Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.

EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical. Watch video from our network partners on demand on Amazon FireRokuApple TV and the Entrepreneur App available on iOS and Android devices.

Click here to become a part of this growing video network.

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7 Ways to Master the Future of Marketing at SMWNYC

Social Media Week





As a marketer, keeping up with the tides of innovation is no small feat. Just when we think we’re beginning to understand one emerging topic, another comes along and we again must face the unanswered questions and lingering uncertainties around buzzwords that only seem to grow in complexity.

That’s why we’ve programmed this year’s SMWNYC to help you navigate the nuances of topics spanning AI, AR, voice, blockchain, and more. Join us in April for actionable talks that are designed to educate you on the fundamentals of each topic, as well as what they mean for your business today and tomorrow.

Here’s just a few of the sessions we’ve curated:

1. The Trust Protocol: How Blockchain will Revolutionize Social Media, Business and the World

Join Alex Tapscott, Co-Author of “The Blockchain Revolution,” as he helps you navigate the fundamentals of blockchain and why this transformative technology should be on marketers’ radars. In particular, he’ll offer his prediction of how blockchain can result in an entirely new internet than we see today; one that is decentralized, resistant to censorship, and offers enhanced security and privacy.

Bookmark this session >>

2. AI X Brands: Balancing the Promise with the Pitfalls

In this track, Clara de Soto, Co-Founder of; Andrea Isoni, Director, AI Technologies; Claire Mitchell, Director, Innovations at VaynerMedia; Adelyn Zhou, Founder & CMO of TopBots, will share their perspectives on how marketers can balance AI’s promise with its pitfalls.

To what extent should brands be integrating AI technology into their current strategies? What controls are appropriate so as the technology evolves it can be reasonably managed and responsibly used? What situations and scenarios warrant investment in AI and which don’t? Find out the answers to these important questions at more in April.

Bookmark this session >>

3. Building an Effective AR Campaign: Lessons Learned from Social Media

Brian Wong, Forbes’ 30 Under 30 honoree and CEO of Kiip, joins the SMWNYC lineup where he’ll breaks down the basics of building a successful AR campaign.

Using a variety of compelling case studies, he’ll demonstrate how to not only integrate the tech into your strategies and launch an AR campaign, but how to do so in a way that strengthens your brand’s story by resonating your audience and creating lasting impact.

Bookmark this session >>

4. The Future of Mobile Messaging: AI and Conversational Content

In this session, Travis Montaque, CEO & Founder of Emogi, shares his perspective on the future of intelligent messaging, which includes GIFs, emojis, and stickers.

Attend this session to understand the key trends shaping the mobile messaging landscape and how brands can tap into these to better engage with their audiences. Montaque will discuss how intelligent messaging plays a critical role in how consumers—predominately millennials and Gen Z-ers—express themselves and how this behavior is shaping the future of communication.

Bookmark this session >>

5. Welcome to the Age of the Digital Assistant

Victoria Fabiano, Strategic Partner Manager at Google, explores how connected devices and digital assistants will fundamentally change the ways in which people find information about brands and products.

First, she’ll define the term “digital assistant” and offer examples of some currently in existence. She’ll then discuss the integration of such technologies and the impact we can expect to see as adoption by the part of brands and consumers continues to increase. Perhaps most importantly, Fabiano will also walk through the ways in which how data is gathered and protected will shift and outline the responsibilities we need to take to ensure it is safeguarded responsibly.

Bookmark this session >>

6. Blockchain and The Decentralized Web

Decoded’s Product Lead Jeffrey Lancaster hosts a session during which he shares his thoughts on Web 3.0, the “decentralized web,” and where it fits into corporate data silos.

Specifically, Lancaster will shed light on the rise of popularity bitcoin has afforded blockchain and the demand for digital decentralization. He’ll also analyze the role of hacking in the context of the “decentralized web,” offering the argument that decentralization of digital data can deliver noticeable improvements with regards to privacy and security.

Bookmark this session >>

7. Why Chatbots are the Next Big Thing in Sales and Marketing: A Case Study Into National Geographic’s Albert Einstein Chatbot

In this session, Seth Greenfield, CEO & Founder of Imperson, shares the compelling story of how National Geographic and 360i used a chatbot to generate buzz for the show “Genius,” a celebration of the life and times of Albert Einstein.

Beyond the case study, Greenfield will walk attendees through general important trends in the chatbot space and the various ways brands are integrating them to fuel their marketing and sales efforts. In doing so, a more streamlined approach to setting and working towards chatbot goals will be offered. This is particularly important for brands as ensuring the chatbot is consistent and authentic with their story and voice is critical to ensure ideal reception and engagement by the part of the consumer.

Bookmark this session >>

Our 10th annual flagship conference returns this April 24-27 at the Sheraton Times Square. Claim your pass before this Friday, Feb. 16 to save 20%.

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