Marketing Planning

Replicating Your Ideal Customers

In this Moment of Clarity I show you how to create an Ideal Customer Profile with a downloadable worksheet.

Everybody knows that 20% of customers provide the lion’s share of revenue.

The real question is how to replicate this 20%.

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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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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 #3 of Marketing: Consistency

In the buyer’s mind, consistency = quality. The rule of consistency can be applied to many functional areas in a business. When it comes to marketing a consistent message, consistently delivered to the right people will pay dividends. Think of it this way. Drip marketing works because it delivers multiple “touches” over time. Consistent, high quality touches repeated over time. The medium might change (email, printed, on-line, publicity, advertising, etc.) but the net effect is the perception of omnipresence.  

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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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Marketing Schmarketing. It’s not what you think.

What is marketing? Don’t ask me. And don’t bother Googling it either. And, please don’t ask your boss, your wife, your web designer or marketing consultant. It seems that the real purpose of marketing has been lost somehow over the last few years. I’m not even going to tell you that MY definition is correct because ultimately it doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what problem you are trying to solve. Marketing can help create and drive demand, differentiate from competing products/services, communicate value, drive the sales process and more. But at the end of the day, marketing’s real value is in mitigating risk.

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How’s your recession going?

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger As we wrap up a rough year (for everyone) and head into 2010 I’m looking back and realizing that 2009 was a pretty good year. Have I lost my mind? Am I smoking crack? Perhaps. But it depends on how you define “good”. 2009 has been a year of revelation for me and there’s a few things that stand out as highlights in my ongoing education about business, friends and life. For the record, I’m not one of those annoying “glass half full”, wake up cheerful, happy smappy types. Not that I’m a grouch, I just have a rather realistic view of life. Yeah, that’s the ticket. But the fact is, 2009 has renewed my faith in human kind in a big way.

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A life without risk is a life without growth.

Looking back over the years I can see that my path has been what one might call “the road less traveled”. For me, risk and reward are inexorably linked and I have never worried about the possible consequences of zigging where most people zag. Of course this is the mindset of an invincible young man. As I grow, uh…, more mature, I can see that the risk I took so effortlessly was far more than I needed to shoulder. This was because I never thought about having a plan – I just jumped from the cliff and figured I’d know how to build my wings at some point before I hit the ground. Luckily for me, those wings somehow were constructed and the sudden stop at the bottom of my flight was avoided. Managing risk takes a four letter word.

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