common sense marketing

The Consultant’s Dirty Little Secret

A wise man by the name of Ed Schwarzkopf once said “People view consultants as guys that know fifty different ways to make love but don’t have a girlfriend”. I’m going to use bad language in this video. Specifically the word “Consultant”.

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Web video done right.

A few weeks ago, I worked with my friend Amy Hardin to create a series of short web videos. Here’s the result. It got me thinking about web video since I get asked at least once a week about how to do it or why. So here’s my easy guide to on-line video. But first, see how it’s done. [youtube wdfoDtBUClM]

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Don’t be a Saleshole. The Five Attributes of Poor Salesmanship.

The last few weeks I have been subjected to a lot of bad salesmanship. It got me thinking. Surely people don’t mean to be rude, pushy or full of proverbial bovine excrement. But somehow, they still excel at being a total saleshole. So, in the interest of enlightenment and relieving my frustration, I share my top five saleshole attributes. 1. If you never take no for an answer and instead resort to stalking prospects with repeated calls, unannounced visits, hanging out at the bar next to the prospect’s office, lurking around his yard at night – you might be a Saleshole.

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Tell me brands don’t matter.

While you may not care about Walmart or how it does business, there is something to be gained from watching them learn marketing and merchandising lessons – especially when they learn the hard way. Think about it. Walmart is huge. Regardless of how you feel about the company, they represent a giant consumer laboratory – when Walmart makes a move, the cause and effect can be clearly seen in statistically significant numbers. Case in point: Over the last year or so Walmart has been reducing the number of “branded” projects they carry (little names like Kraft, General Mills and Heinz) and increasing placement of in-house brand “Great Value” products.

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Rule #5 of Marketing: Capitalization

Ok, this is where I break your heart. Effective marketing takes money. That’s just the truth. Take a deep breath now and accept it. it’s not just a question of “how much” – it’s more a question of “how fast”.  The more money you invest, the faster you realize a return. When it comes to investing in marketing and getting a return the trick is to know your ROI Threshold.  

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Rule #4 of Marketing: Persistence

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people say “We mailed a brochure one time and we didn’t get a single lead. That’s why we don’t mail anything anymore.” These otherwise talented individuals are breaking the law of persistence. Think about it: there is a person out there who needs your product or service and you need to reach them to get your marketing message through and, with luck get on the short list. But you have no idea when this need will become active. The rule of Persistence is key. Today’s buyer is bombarded with marketing messages and they’ve put up a wall to keep you out. They delete email without looking at it. They don’t read ads. They have gatekeepers. You are one of thousands of companies vying for this buyer’s attention. If the old adage is that it takes seven contacts to make a sale[…]

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Rule #2 of Marketing: Concentration

Ever hear the term “scatter shot”? Or “shot gun approach”? While few of us would admit to such a lapse of common sense, the reality is that most small businesses engage in Scatter shot Marketing. The symptoms of this disorder include: constantly trying to figure out who to call on the reinvention of the prospecting process every week high numbers of single touches to random people poor closing ratios Scattershot is the opposite of Concentration. Bullets are flying but there’s no telling which will lodge in someone’s cortex. I think the military calls it “Spray and Pray”. Maybe I’m crazy but, if I’m investing in marketing activities, I’d like a little better odds. Concentrating your marketing AND sales on a defined target (a list of people who fit your idea of a “best customer”) greatly increases the odds that your efforts are going to deliver new customers. The rule of[…]

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Rule #1 of Marketing: Simplicity

Marketing success comes down to one thing: knowing the rules of the game. Think about that for a minute. Let it swirl around in your brain. Seems like common sense, right? You can’t win a game if you don’t know the rules. Over the last couple of decades of creating successful marketing initiatives, I’ve discovered some hard scrabble rules. Violate them at your own risk. For some, this might be new information – for other experienced marketers, I hope the rules coming over the next few weeks are a refresher course in fundamentals. After you read them, if you disagree, feel fired up with renewed vigor, or are just lonely, feel free to comment. 1. The Rule of Simplicity When it comes to effective marketing communication, simplicity is key. The more precise you can be in communicating your value, the easier it is to buy from you.

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I hate the color blue.

Eliminating Personal Preferences in the communications development process. By Pete Monfre Evaluating creative work is one of the most difficult processes anyone faces when executing a marketing or communications strategy. The pressure comes from the fact that these decisions can make the difference between the success and failure of an entire effort. It’s not that we don’t all have opinions to contribute, but often those opinions are steeped in the fear of the unknown. Falling into this trap forces us to base decisions on the one thing we do know for sure:  our own personal preferences.

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