Contents

Veteran Marketer reveals the tricks of the marketing trade

Comprehensive Marketing Details Not Found in Beginner Books

Comprehensive Marketing Details Not Found in Beginner BooksIf this is the first marketing article you are reading, go find some other more basic articles that I have written and then come back. This data is for the intermediate to advanced marketers.I want to go over a three-step outline for your marketing which are:1)Surveys2)Getting Attention3)PostageMarketing surveys save you from flying blind in your business marketing strategies and are the best way to find out what you should be offering, to whom and how. When you don't really know what to put in your direct mail marketing it's because you haven't done your research.In order to get the response you would like on your "direct mail" marketing campaign, one area you need to look at is whether or not you are using a survey to find out what to say to your public. You may immediately answer No I dont survey. But truthfully, its very possible you do and just dont realize it.read on.You know your market quite well because you already sell to them. Youre unwittingly surveying all the time. Take this example:An optometrist has an optical boutique. He knows that the biggest market for his eyewear are women from the ages of 40 to 65 years old. How does he know that? His womens frame inventory is constantly being restocked fives times more than his mens frame stock or even childrens. And the types of womens frames are ones compatible with no-line bifocals. Interesting! Lets look at what else this optometrist knows. He knows that these women pay a higher price point for their eyewear because the products he keeps reordering are from the more upscale designers so these women probably have more discretionary income. That is what I mean by surveying unwittingly. Now let's take an example where you are sure you have no data: You are a mortgage broker and you don't know what to say to people to get them to refinance their property, yet this is the area you specialize in. You assume that the best deal will attract more customers. You conduct a marketing survey, or get a marketing survey conducted for you that asks people indirectly for their attitudes and emotions concerning refinancing and what would be the advantages and disadvantages. You find the majority of people would like to refinance but think it is a very complicated procedure and so they never try. From this information you are able to determine what the tone and message of your advertising should take.So, what should your promotion say? How about "We'll take the hassle out of refinancing for you. Find out how." You will get a response. You could send out thousands of promotional pieces telling your prospects that you can get them the lowest rate, but that isn't their concern. Their concern is that it's too complicated. Do you see how you could miss? A survey is the answer.It is smart business to design a survey (or have one designed) to send out to your past customers that will keep you in the know, and not in the dark.Now lets go into the next logical sequence of how to break the first barrier of getting attention, so the button you found from your survey hits them before they throw away your promotion before ever even reading it.Ditch the Envelopes!The most common question that is asked when dealing with direct mail is "How do I get their attention?" This is a major problem because, no matter what you do to them, most envelopes look basically the same. Print on them in color, make a window, stamp it urgent - your customers have seen all these tricks before. They get thrown away before theyre even opened. They can tell from the outside that it is a sales pitch and they just get rid of it. This causes you to lose sales because of assumptions made before you even try to get your message across, when if you had the chance to let the customer know what you were offering they might have gone for it. Plain and simple, the easiest way to get around this is by using postcards.Not only does the full color aspect of postcards attract more attention than all of the envelopes in any given days stack of mail, but it will allow you to get your message across while recipients are making the decision of what to read and what to throw away.Lets use this example:You are sitting on the subway and the guy next to you leans over and says "I have something I would like to sell you and its under my trench coat, are you interested?" So as any sane person would do, you move to the furthest seat from him so not to be bothered.As you now sit in the farthest seat from the untrustworthy freak in the trench coat you are approached by a smiling little Girl Scout who holds out a box of cookies and says "Would you like to buy a box of cookies? Everyone loves the Thin-Mints!" So this time you pull out your wallet and plunk down the $3 for a box of delicious cholesterol and sugar.See the difference? Dont hide your message behind a trench coat. For all we know the "untrustworthy freak", as I have affectionately named him, could have had a box of Thin-Mints under there. We may never know, and neither will your customers if you dont stop stuffing your promo into bland looking envelopes.Now, make the final step easy and take out the hassle of direct mail.Its one thing to get postcards designed and printed. Its another to get them into the hands of the recipients rapidly, efficiently, as inexpensively as possible and without too much hassle. You have the choice of doing it yourself in house or getting someone to do it for you.The apparent advantage of doing it yourself is that you dont pay someone else what they charge to do it for you. The disadvantage of doing it yourself is that its going to cost you more in the long run. Why?Normally your postage for a 4.25 x 6" postcard is 23. Direct mail companies can lease special software from the USPS which reads the addresses and barcodes them. The post office gives a significant discount for bar-coded mail. Updating this software often (every three months) ensures that the addresses you are mailing to are good. If the person is no longer at that address then its a waste of your money to mail to them.Because of the high tech equipment and software direct mail companies use, you can sometimes save as much as .04 cents per card. And you dont have all the hassle of getting the mailing out yourself.I call it a no-brainer: a technical term for saving money and hassle by getting someone else to do your mailing for you. If you have been doing it the hard way, switch over to a direct mail marketing company. I am sure they will be glad to help you save money, time and trouble.

Your Marketing Sounds Like You're Talking Underwater

Your Marketing Sounds Like You

I know that the majority of you at the time of this reading is about tired of or is now accustomed to spam and telemarketing. We are definitely tired of it, but I think we have grown to accept it. But at least now there are spam filters that block alot of it. One thing that I have learned from all of this, is that this form of so called "marketing" being that of spam, telemarketing(phone spam),and of course snail mail spam, is not the way to conduct business in a civilized manner. It might work for some people some of the time. For long term success and successful relationship building, I doubt it. I equate this to chaotic marketing. I don't see how anyone doing this type of marketing is actually succeeding. As a matter of fact, its rather monotone.The spam that I receive and the telemarketing that I used to receive all reads or sounds the same as any other form of spam. Day in and day out, I see the same type of emails from people trying to sell me on their business. Join my business, mine is the greatest.Make lots of money. Meanwhile, the next spam down from that one and so on is the same just a different persons name attached to it.I remember when I was a kid, my friends and I would go swimming at a local pool and we would play a silly game which worked like this. Go underwater, talk, and I will try to guess what you are saying. What usually happens is, you go underwater... your friend talks...you have no idea what he just said... he tries again... you laugh... he laughs...ou swallow alot of water... and you come up for air coughing with a bad taste in your mouth realizing you almost drowned.I received this one email not too long ago. The person writing seemed interested in my business. I pointed him to my website and told him if he has any questions just send me an email. Well the joke was on me. He wasn't interested in my business. He responded by begging me to get into his business."Please... Please... will you get into my business". Huh? You have to beg to get business? How long do you think you will last?Hmmmmmm.To me, thats what most of the marketing that I see sounds like.Talking underwater.I hear you, but I don't know what you are saying because I really don't care. What usually happens in this situation for most people, is they do not realize the problem and they are doing what their upline told them to do or they are copying what everyone else is doing. How can you stand above the crowd if you are doing what everyone else is doing? Bottom line, you can't and won't. Therefore, if you are doing the same with your marketing, stop... re-think and plan what you are doing... and stand above the rest. Don't drown in the big pool of monotone marketing because noone hears you.(c)Copyright 2006.All Rights Reserved

Is That My Butt? Secrets to a Powerful Headline

Is That My Butt? Secrets to a Powerful Headline

Is that my butt? Now that's an interesting question. But to be quite honest I'm not concerned with my butt. Not your butt. Not any one's butt.But...The question sure got your attention. Just like it got mine. And that is the purpose of a powerful headline.Let's start this story from the beginning:Here I am sitting at the doctors office. I'm waiting for my wife to get done with her check up. And no, we are not expecting a baby, thank you.Anyway... Here I sit. Notebook in hand. I brought it to write some content for a new website. So I'm looking around just waiting (hoping?) for the creative juices to start flowing.You know how it is waiting at the doctors office. I started staring at all those magazines. You know... All those waiting room magazines. No Hot Rod or anything interesting like that.And then I saw it. "Is That My Butt?". Right on the front cover of Seventeen, April, 2002 Edition.Normally that's not the type of reading I'm into. But I couldn't resist. I just had to find out what the heck that question was all about.So yes, I walked clear across the waiting room just to see that magazine. The story was about jeans. No, I did not read it. But the headline worked. And it worked well!And that's what you need to do with your headlines. Grab their attention. And to be really effective you should be a little creative. You've got a lot of competition out there so sometimes being completely of the wall is required. As ong as you can make it fit. Some of the best headlines I've ever seen are at the supermarket check out. The tabloids. Headlines like Three Headed Martian Calls 97 Year old Grandmother from Outer Space.Yeah, it's silly. But people look. And then they see other headlines like 33 Year old Kansas School Teacher Reveals Life after 17 Divorces.That's a slightly more believable. And people want to know. So they buy.Here's four things you can put in your headlines to make them pull.Benefit How to make money. Most of us want to know how to make more. Don't you? If someone knows more about a subject than we do, we want to know. Nosy creatures, aren't we?Occupation What's the job of the person with all this knowledge? Is it an expert of some kind sharing their valuable secrets? Or some average Joe that stumbles on a unique idea.Geography Where do they live or where did this happen?Odd numbers Odd numbers make your headline more specific and believable.This type of headline works because people want to know about people. And they (we) want to know what other people know that can improve our lives.Shall we try one?Benefit: How to be debt free.Occupation: Financial Consultant Geography: FloridaOdd Numbers: 27, 527 year Financial Consultant from Florida Reveals How to Become Debt Free in 5 years or Less...That's something that people want to know. And that's a headline that gets attention, gets read, and makes sales.When it comes to email, you can`t put all that in the subject line. But you sure can come up with some creativeones to get read.And if they don`t get read why bother.Play around with some interesting, even zany headlines. Those headlines your upline, downline, and crossline are using are getting more worn out than your old Elvis 45`s.After all, *Is That My Butt? 37 Year Old Maine Ex Cop Tells How the Answer Can Increase Your Profit By 277%* 2002, Jeff Neil, All Rights Reserved.

Nation Branding and Place Marketing - III. The Price

Nation Branding and Place Marketing - III. The Price

III. The PriceA product's price reflects the shifting balance between supply and demand (scarcity) as well as the value of inputs, the product's quality, and its image as conveyed and fostered by marketing and advertising campaigns (positioning). Price is, therefore, a packet of compressed information exchanged between prospective buyers and interested sellers.In principle, countries "price" themselves no differently.But, first, we should see how the price mechanism comes into play in the global marketplace of sovereigns and their offerings.The "price" of a country is comprised of two elements:(i) The average (internal rate of) return on investments in its infrastructure, human capital, goods, and services - adjusted for (ii) The risks associated with doing business there.The first component takes into account the costs of conducting business in the territory - everything from outlays on inputs to taxation. The second component considers the country's political risk, volatility (as measured, for instance, by fluctuations in the prices of its financial assets and obligations), quality of governance, transparency or lack thereof, dysfunctional institutions, stability of policies and legislation, and other hazards.A country should strive to maximize it price and, thus, create an aura of quality and prosperity. "Selling oneself cheap" communicates desperation and compromised standards. The way to attract investors, tourists, and other clients is to project a kind of "promised land" but without resorting to exaggerations, confabulations, or outright lies.The message should be relayed both directly (though not obtrusively) and subtly (though not incomprehensibly or deviously). The country should enumerate and emphasize its natural and human endowments, capital stock and infrastructure, favorable tax and regulative regime, political stability, good governance, transparency, functioning institutions, and so on. It should also appear to be substantial, sophisticated, forward-looking, pleasant, welcoming and so forth.As an increasing number of people around the world "buy" the country's self-perception (where it stands now) and its vision (about its future) - its price keeps climbing and its value is enhanced. It is much debated whether countries should engage in negative marketing and discount pricing. "Negative marketing" is the disparagement of sovereign competitors and their products and services which are comparable to the country's own offerings or substitute for them. Discount pricing is the strategy of providing at a discount products and services identical to those offered by the country's sovereign competitors.An example of negative marketing would be to point to a neighboring country's uneducated and expensive labor as a reason not to do business there. An example of discount pricing is to offer tax holidays and rent-free facilities to a relocating multinational.From my experiences, both practices diminish the country's perceived value and hence, its price. In the long run, the damage to its image far outweighs any dubious economic benefits engendered by these unsavory practices.Still, some countries are geographically disadvantaged. Recent studies have shown that being landlocked or having a tropical climate carry a hefty price tag in terms of reduced economic growth. These unfavorable circumstances can be described as "natural discounts" to a country's price.What can be done to overcome such negative factor endowments?

What Is Niche Marketing and Do I Need It?

In ecology, a niche refers to the place or position occupied by an organism or a population within an ecological community called the ecosystem. It is the term which defines the role the organism or the population plays in the general scheme of things. The niche an organism or a population holds is the one responsible for dictating the ability of the species to survive. It is the one which spells whether an organism or a population will perish or thrive. In marketing, a niche refers to a service or a product that occupies a special area of demand. It is that small corner in the market that accounts for a certain kind of specialty concerning an unmet customer need. To be able to attract a strong, solid market, the choice of a niche product should ultimately complement the website one owns. It is through this scheme that he is able to generate a specific market for the niche product he is trying to sell. Niches are involved in niche marketing, the process of finding market segments that are small but potentially profitable nonetheless. To maintain a profitable quantity of sales, this marketing strategy relies on increasing the loyalty of customers so that their corporate objectives will be met or surpassed. Illustrative of this is the fact that the quality of the product or service sold will generate customer satisfaction and, consequently, customer loyalty. The result is profitability garnered through a solid market base that trusts in the ability of the product or service to really deliver. One of the great things about "niche marketing" is that it encourages those who indulge in it to be unique and one-of-a-kind. Here one is not forced into the lion?s den and made to compete against established marketers. He is made to occupy a strong and secure position that ultimately wins him a real place in the market. Niche marketing differs from other online marketing strategies because this particular quality allows it to operate almost autonomously and without having to contend with corporate sharks that tear each other to pieces. One of the most important things that should be thought over by those involved in this type of business is the niche business that is going to be involved in the process. It is important to consider the type of business that one is going to work on to be able to ensure himself of the success that he hopes to have. It is also important for him to know everything about the niche business at hand. Learning the tricks of the trade in is one of the things that one could do to make a niche business prosper tremendously. Being able to reach the niche market is another consideration to make. In doing so, one should know the exact phrases that people are searching for. The use of tools can help a lot in knowing the type of keywords that should be used to make the business profitable. Targeting the right keywords does a lot in making this type of business soar. Those who engage in niche marketing know that determining the potential of a niche before doing everything else is a must if one wants to save all the time and effort that might be wasted if he plunges into everything head on. Building a niche marketing site that proves to be profitable should be done after an unsatisfied customer demand is identified, and marketing the site appropriately by reaching out to customers the best possible way is what niche marketers should consider if they want their business to reach skyrocketing success. Is niche marketing needed in a world teeming with a hundred like systems designed for people to make money online? Those who know how the system works will answer in the affirmative, because niche marketing is the only system capable of filling up a gaping hole in the market by catering to the unsatisfied needs of customers - needs that are usually not given notice by those in the big league. Though niche marketing, one is able to gain a foothold in the market by being a needle in a haystack. Small and inconspicuous it may be, but its ability to sting someone so madly once it is found will render him more than surprised.

Is A Marketing Plan The Same Thing As A Communications Plan?

How does a marketing plan relate to an organization's communications plan? What are the differences? Is the "marketing plan" just one aspect of the "communications plan" ? Should one consider combining them into a single document?A communications plan is a PART of your marketing plan. A communications plan is a focused strategy you use to get the word out about your business, product or service.You may use a variety of communications tactics such as public relations, advertising and speaking engagements. Yes, it does identify who you are communicating to and what your message is, and where and how you will get that message out, and often has goals or objectives you are trying to achieve.Here's the difference between the twoA marketing plan starts by creating a strong, strategic marketing foundation for your communications plan. It addresses the goals and objectives for your business, not just for your communications activities.It addresses how you package, price and sell your product or service, not just how you talk about it. It takes into consideration your competitors and helps you develop a unique selling proposition to ensure your product or service is uniquely positioned in the minds of your prospects and customers.And it ensures you have a way to track all of your marketing activities to create the greatest possible success for your business.You need a marketing plan FIRSTThe messaging part of your marketing plan is where your communications plan comes in. Once you have created a strong, strategic marketing foundation (which you will do as part of creating a marketing plan) you can determine a message strategy and tactics - this is your communications plan. And it most definitely can be a part of the same document.When I write marketing plans for clients, the communications plan is part of the marketing plan. The only time it is not, is when the client has written their own business and communications plans. But in those cases, I make sure I either get to review their plans or that I completely understand their business goals and strategy so I can develop a marketing [*_*] to support them.The success of your [*_*] depends on itIf all you have is a [*_*], you are missing an important part of what it takes to make a business successful. A [*_*] is essential.(C) 2005 Debbie LaChusa, 10stepmarketing

Summary

Veteran Marketer reveals the tricks of the marketing trade