Archive for the ‘Marketing Strategy’ Category

Boost your company’s online reviews

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

You know that online reviews on sites like Yelp and Yahoo can make or break a business. As an employee who cares about the company’s success, you’ve recruited every friend and relative to boost the reviews, but your company’s competitor across town has 500 reviews and counting.

How do they do it?

The odds are good that they are actively recruiting reviews from actual customers. No matter where you are in the company, you can do the same.

If you’re on the front line, ask every single customer to leave a review about their experience. Put the request on every receipt, all paperwork, and in every email you ever send. Offer a discount or entrance into a drawing. And always ask for honest reviews, not just good ones.

If you have 500 customers a day, and only one percent of them post reviews, you’ll have over a hundred new reviews by the end of a month, and more than a thousand at the end of a year.

That’s buzz worth creating.

Marketing with a PLAN

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Picture yourself in the driver’s seat of your dream car, ready to go—but the windows are all painted black and there are no gauges. You turn the key and the engine roars. You push the pedal to floor and away you go!

You’ll end up somewhere, but it won’t be pretty. (more…)

Goodbye to “Sir or Madam” Marketing

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
© Brunoil | Dreamstime.com

© Brunoil | Dreamstime.com

“Dear Sir or Madam,”

“Have you heard about our new [product/service]?  There has never been anything like it before.  Best of all, it’s designed just for you, [prospective client name here]!  Worry no more about [financial security/maximizing returns/funding college/on-time retirement].  Our [product/service] will fit your needs like a [glove/shoe/favorite T-shirt].”

Most marketing has gotten well beyond this level of obviousness, of course.  But below the smoother surface of our mail-merges, much corporate thinking about marketing is still stuck in the one-size-fits-all mindset that should have gone out with legwarmers.

American Express was successful for years with the all-purpose slogan, “Don’t leave home without it.”  But with the 1990s came the advent of a new consumer mentality, one that encouraged customers to feel that products and services were not generically designed for the masses but tailored “just for them.”  American Express recognized this and retooled its approach, adopting its revised, targeted slogan, “The right card for the right people.”  As Richard Weylman noted in Opening Closed Doors, AmEx had realized that “it is more important and effective to reach the right people than it is to reach many people.”

It’s one of the great insights of modern marketing.  In today’s advertising climate, the wider you cast your net, the lower your marketing ROI.  Instead, spend some time identifying and wooing the very specific fish that are most likely to bite on the bait you have to offer.

How do you identify these fish?  Look around your tank. They’re already swimming in front of your nose.  Your current happy customers are the best predictors of what your future happy customers will look like.

After all, your current happy customers are happy for a reason—they love what you have to offer.  If you think of them as generic “customers” and go out looking for more “customers,” you are missing out on the golden opportunity to discover just what it is that brought them in and kept them with you.  Do you have accounts belonging to young families?  Realtors?  Educators?  Members of the Kiwanis?  Golf-loving retirees?  New homeowners?  Each of these comes with specific needs and desires.  Find out what they love and want, then build tightly targeted marketing around that subset of your local population.

And how do you find out what they love and what they want?  ASK them!  Remember that people love to talk about themselves.  Send out a personal letter to every current client who recently bought a home.  Tell them that you are eager to have more clients just like them.  Who wouldn’t want to hear that?  Ask what would make their lives easier—from actual financial products and services to a pizza delivered on Moving Day—then create it, advertise it, and reel ’em in!

In the end, your marketing should consist not of one big blast of generic information, but six or eight smaller, more carefully crafted campaigns.  Believe me—it’ll be the biggest bang for buck you’ve ever had.

Credibility: Establishing Yourself as the Superstar in Your Market – Video

Friday, March 26th, 2010

YouTube Preview ImageHow will your customers just know if you’re the best in your industry? The answer is: They won’t.

Your customers don’t know who is credible and who’s not credible in your industry.  It’s your job to create your credibility. During my brokerage career, I remember there was a gentleman in our town who was not a very good financial planner, but he always wrote an article in the paper. As a result, he was perceived as being the top financial planner in the city. You must be the person who’s out there telling people what’s going on so they see that you’re adding valuable information and are very credible in what you do.

In times like these, people want to know your perception. You’ve got to be out there sharing ideas with people so they know what’s going on. Every time there’s a crisis in your industry, that’s an opportunity for you to call up the television stations, the newspaper and the radio stations and say, “Let me tell you what’s going on here.”

How can you create credibility and become the superstar in your market? By placing articles in newspapers, industry publications and magazines. Or by publishing a booklet on a timely and relevant topic that people care about. Right now, you must be incredibly creative about what you will do to publish something or get in front of people in a credible way such as in print, radio, television or your own podcast.

How will you get your information across and increase your positioning as an expert in your field?

How to Differentiate Yourself with USP’s – Video

Friday, March 19th, 2010

YouTube Preview Image

How do you get people to spend more with you? With your USPs: Unique Selling Propositions. You must differentiate yourself from other companies by displaying and providing unique selling propositions. These don’t have to all be expensive, high-investment improvements, but can simply be an issue of what matters to your customers.

Domino’s pizza is a great example of USP. They knew that what really mattered to their customers was not eating pizza, but getting food fast. They came out with a 30 minute guarantee, which was a concept that set them apart from their competition. They demonstrated an important concept: You must create USPs that make your competition invisible.

There are three different elements that must happen in every USP:

  1. Start with what matters to the customers. If it doesn’t matter to the customer, don’t do it.
  2. Create a DRAMATIC difference. A bunch of little advantages can win a customer, but a huge, dramatic difference can keep them around.
  3. Have an overt benefit that’s so tangible, it just makes sense.

What are some USPs you have used that really worked? Why did they work so well?  Post your comments below.