Marketing Guesswork

Your Business is a System

In this week’s Moment of Clarity I share my thoughts on how seeing your business as a system can help you improve and grow your business.

About fifteen years ago I completely disassembled an old Corvette I bought in a fit of bad judgment at a swap meet. Every bolt. Every washer. Every piece of wire.

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Nobody cares about you.

In this Smash Podcast I tell you the cold hard truth about prospects that you need to accept so you can start reaching them with more relevant messages and calls to action that actually work.

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Why marketing guys suck and how to avoid this trap.

Marketing planning (even a little) can greatly reduce your risk when it comes to the time, treasure and talent you will invest in growing your company. Or at least that supposed to be how it works.

I talked to a friend the other day who said her company was desperately in need of creating a steady stream of opportunities. But they’ve been spending thousands churning through “marketing” guys that somehow didn’t make this happen.

I hear this almost every time I talk to a potential client. I think it sucks for them and I’m ashamed at some of the people in my industry. In this week’s Moment of Clarity I show you the real issue.

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This is everything that’s wrong with marketing today.

I picked up a package of gum the other day and noticed the copy on the box. It read “Trident – Fuse it up! Chew the sweet pieces with the sour pieces and you’ve created a fusion of flavor that’s all your own!”

OK. Wait a minute. What the hell does that mean? Do I want to “Fuse it up!”? I don’t think so. I just want some gum. I don’t want my own “fusion of flavor”. That sounds like an atomic bomb going off in my mouth. Who writes this meaningless claptrap? Was there a focus group where some highly paid advertising agency 20-somethings asked “If you wanted something to explode in your mouth, would it be Trident?” Probably.

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Get Back Inside the Box.

I was sitting in a meeting the other day with a marketing manager. At the beginning of the meeting she stated that the goal of the process we were going to undertake was to “think outside the box”. This well-worn cliché used to refer to looking at a problem from a new perspective without preconceptions – i.e., using lateral thought processes to arrive at a solution to a problem.

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You’re doing it wrong.

Why would anyone need a plan? That’s no fun. Too much thinking and debating going on. The worst part is actually making decisions. Screw that. Let’s just make web sites and brochures. We all love the pretty pictures. What shall we put in the pretty web site? Oh, let’s worry about that later. We’ll put some five dollar words and stock photos of pretty girls wearing headsets. Yeah, that will work. While we’re at it, we’ll just buy some expensive ad space in the Business Journal. Oh, and we’ll need an ad too. Let’s put our logo in the ad really big and a photo of the city’s skyline. That will rock. And our phone number because once people see our giant logo and the skyline, they’ll be storming our phone lines with their checkbooks at the ready.

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Why Do People Buy – Part Two

So what does all this mean to marketers? (See Part One) 1. Advertising and marketing strategies should attempt to present an appeal strong enough to stimulate action toward satisfying one of Maslow’s basic human needs. 2. Maslow believes lower levels always take priority over higher levels so you shouldn’t attempt to sell products or services that only meet higher levels of need. This means don’t try and sell clothing to someone who hasn’t eaten in a week, and don’t sell expensive software to people who don’t have the basic infrastructure to run it.

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