Trump’s Viral Video Task – the Right Challenge?

The other night on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump assigned a task to the contestants to “develop a viral video” for the 83 year old Chock full o’ Nuts coffee company.

As soon as I heard the task, I said to my wife “That’s a ridiculous assignment” and then, much to her viewing dismay, I went into a mini rant about the state of current human behavior, how people keep themselves entertained and what viral video means to the average person.

Trump’s task was designed and delivered to tap into the notion of what a viral video is to the average show viewer. Think sad cats, talking dogs and singing cops (have you seen the recent video of the police officer from Dover, Delaware singing a Taylor Swift song and how much national exposure it has received?) Enough said.

A better assignment would have been – Go forth and create an attention-grabbing, fun marketing campaign to get 20-somethings to put down their Starbucks and try Chock full o’Nuts.

Maybe it would be a video, maybe not, but starting with the primary goal of “creating a viral video” is the wrong place to start and within a few seconds I was proven right as the two teams proceeded down the road you would expect them to go down with stupid, meaningless content.

For the average Main Street-type bricks and mortar business owner, the concept of viral marketing is often skewed and distorted by the seemingly daily media stories of sad cats getting 30 million video views and singing police officers.

In my opinion, the Celebrity Apprentice task requiring the teams to “create a viral video” further warps the concept, because it puts the cart before the horse.

For the most part, […]

Part 5 of 5: Infotail Automation = Business Acceleration!

In Part 1 of this five-part series introducing Infotail, I described the concept of Infotail broadly and why it is an appropriate marketing platform for Main Street-type business owners.

In Part 2, we looked at the Infotail Customer Lifecycle and why it’s an appropriate goal for your business.

In Part 3, we looked at a collection of Infotail Tools.

In Part 4, we looked at Infotail Systems.

In this fifth and final part of the Infotail introduction series, I am going to wrap everything together and put the bow tie of marketing automation on it all!

Once you have the specific Infotail Tools and Systems set up for your business, the next step is to automate the systems so they happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year using a behavioral-based marketing automation platform like the Infotail Automation Platform. Behavior-based marketing means subsequent steps are determined by the action or inaction people take during your marketing and sales efforts.

True automation decreases your dependency on making sure employees do the right thing and frees you up from having to remember to do everything. For example,

Leads are being collected 24 hours a day, through various systems.
Personalized follow-up phone calls are being made without having to remind staff.
Customers are being thanked for their business 100% of the time!
Happy customer testimonials and reviews are being collected.

This is the essence of being an Infotailer!

Before we go further I want to clarify some “who is the who” language as it relates to which step the “who” is in.

Leads – are targeted individuals who have raised their hand and expressed interest in what you have to offer (via your lead generation tools) but have yet to visit, or have an […]

Part 4 of 5: Infotail Systems = True Business Value!

In Part 1 of this five-part series introducing Infotail, I described the concept of Infotail broadly and why it is an appropriate marketing platform for Main Street-type business owners.

In Part 2, we looked at the Infotail Customer Lifecycle and why it’s an appropriate goal for your business.

In Part 3, we looked at a collection of Infotail Tools.

In this Part 4, we’re going to see how Infotail Tools are used in Infotail Systems.

Once you have your specific Infotail Tools in place, like a chess match, the next move is to strategically build Infotail Systems using the tools and with the goal of ultimately automating these systems. Infotailers knows a major part of the “real value” in their business is the repeatable and consistent business systems they have in place. Infotail Systems are organized, reliable and consistent, therefore they deliver consistently predictable results. They also have the added benefit of creating business owner wealth (especially when it comes time to sell a business), business asset creation and true ownership freedom.

Which Infotail Systems are right for your business, depends on the type of Infotail Retailer you are. Here is a brief overview of the Infotail Systems we recommend for Infotailers (in alphabetical order):

“Buy the Be Back” System: This system is designed to get a “yes” from your prospect that guarantees return visit, even when they said they’re not yet ready to buy.

Customer Care System: This system is used to show customers you care about them and appreciate their business with you via a long-term nurture campaign.

Customer Delivery System: This system ensures every customer receives the same level of service as they were told about during your sales process and others have come to expect of your business.

First […]

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    Part 3 of 5: Infotail Tools – A Must Have Marketing Toolkit

Part 3 of 5: Infotail Tools – A Must Have Marketing Toolkit

In Part 1 of this five-part series introducing Infotail, I described the concept of Infotail broadly and why it is an appropriate marketing platform for Main Street-type business owners.

In Part 2, we looked at the Infotail Customer Lifecycle and why it’s an appropriate goal for your business.

In this Part 3, we’re going to look at the Infotail Tools.

The Infotail Marketing Platform is built around a collection of proven information-centric tools designed to be used in a variety of automated marketing systems to create specific outcomes.

These strategic and proven information-centric tools first seek to inform and educate your leads and prospects with quality information before a sale is made. These tools can be marketing pieces, customer relationship building devices or process/procedures used in your business to assist in customer acquisition or fulfillment.

Your use of specific Infotail Tools depends on your goals and requirements. To give you more insight, here’s a brief overview of each these tools (in alphabetical order):

Customer Newsletters: Monthly print and digital newsletters sent to customers and prospects keeping them informed about what’s happening in your business, offering specials, etc.

Educational Short Books (shooks): Creating a helpful guide for your business is critical as an Infotailer and once completed it can be leveraged in your lead generation, new customer and referral systems.

Email Marketing: Email marketing is an effective and efficient way to follow up with leads, prospects and customers. Infotailer use behavioral-based marketing automation to ensure recipients are receiving relevant and timely emails.

Facebook Fan Page: Creating a Facebook Fan Page allows you to tap into the power of Facebook and your customers’ circles of influence.

Follow Up with Direct Mail: When combined with email marketing, direct mail is an effective marketing media. Infotailers use very […]

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    Part 2 of 5: The Infotail Customer Lifecycle – Start with the End Result in Mind

Part 2 of 5: The Infotail Customer Lifecycle – Start with the End Result in Mind

In Part 1 of this five-part series introducing Infotail, I described the concept of Infotail broadly and why it is an appropriate marketing platform for Main Street-type business owners.

In Part 2, I want to go a bit deeper and look at the Infotail Customer Lifecycle and why there’s a high probability it’s an appropriate goal for your business.

It’s a sad matter of fact, but the typical small business owner looks at their customers completely wrong.

These average business owners think you get a customer to make a sale. The Infotailer looks at this assumption differently and knows the point of making a sale is to get a customer. This is a BIG DIFFERENCE and once understood and set as a goal, it completely changes the way you approach marketing and sales.

Most business owners think in terms of transactions, as in,

“I need to clean 5 houses today,” or “I need to serve 50 dinners,” or “I need to see 10 patients.”

This churn and burn attitude ignores the potential lifetime value of a customer and what this value truly means to a business.

The Infotailer knows an ideal customer is a vital and valuable business asset.   As an Infotailer your job is to:

Identify your target customer
Offer them educational information to get the interested in your products or services
Offer this information and capture the lead
Get them to a first-time visit to your business
Convert them to a customer
Deliver and delight them with your offerings
Nurture and get them to become lifetime customers
Make them raving fans of your business.

Essentially, you make a sale to get a customer and do everything in your power to create value and keep that customer for life. When done correctly, the lifetime value of a customer is […]

Part 1of 5: An Introduction to Infotail

Once in a while a business innovation appears that is a true game-changer for the Main Street small business owner – and by Main Street small business, I mean the types of businesses all around us, including:

Repeat retailers – e.g. restaurants, martial arts studios, lawn care services
Big-ticket retailers – e.g. kitchen remodelers, automotive sales, real estate agents
Professional practice retailers – e.g. lawyers, physicians, dentists, chiropractors
Professional service retailers – e.g. accountants, insurance agents

One such game-changer is Infotail.™

Infotail is the brainchild of two long-time retailer clients of mine, Jeff Giagnocavo and Ben McClure, and it’s a marketing and sales strategy they’ve innovated, refined and proven over the past two years; both in their own stores and their consulting client businesses. After hundreds of hours of research and development and tens-of-thousands of R&D dollars, the three of us have joined forces to create Infotail Systems, Inc. – a full-service marketing automation company.  Watch this video of Jeff giving a high-level overview of Infotail at our recent Infotail 2014 event.

At its most basic concept, Infotail is a revolutionary new marketing and sales philosophy for bricks and mortar business owners who have tangible products or services typically purchased or delivered when customers walk through the front door.

Infotail is grounded in the proven power of putting educational information in the hands of people who need what you sell. Helping before selling is a key differentiation in the way Infotailers think about their business.

Another key differentiator to the way Infotailers think about their business is the development of the ultimate goal of what we call the Infotail Customer Lifecycle. We believe the types of businesses I described above should strive to deliver the Infotail Customer Lifecycle each and every day. The […]

Good Headlines – Collect Them When You See Them

While on a recent flight, I perused through the airline’s magazine and came across a display ad which contained a good headline that caught my eye and one I wanted to share with my readers to model after.

Stauer is a company that creates “classical style” advertisements worthy of study by all marketers. Typically their ads are very good examples of direct response copywriting and design. This particular ad contains a bunch of smart things and you should click on the image above to see and study the larger version.

As I was skimming the magazine, this ad’s headline practically forced me to read the ad because it was so contradictory to what I was expecting.

How many ads have you seen that start off by telling you that you cannot buy the product contained within it?

Talk about “takeaway selling.”

I can see many types of business owners who can take this good headline format and swipe it for their business in a variety of different ways…

This Book is NOT for Sale… It’s yours for Free when you opt-in below
This Software is NOT for Sale… It’s yours for Free when you invest in this home-study course
This <insert your lead-magnet or bonus product here> is NOT for Sale… It’s yours for Free <when you do this>

Smart marketers are always looking out for marketing ideas and examples they can swipe and use in their business. On page 25 of my High Impact Marketing Manifesto I suggest everybody turns their “marketing radar” to ON so they can be constantly looking for ideas and opportunities to use in their marketing.

My radar was on when I saw this advertisement and I will be using his headline in a campaign I will be running […]

How to Create Your Own Marketing Tip Sheets

By now you should know I am a fan of simple and effective marketing strategies. While I am a believer in technology and forward-progress, I also believe that many times it’s the simple marketing strategy or tactic that yields the best results. One example are marketing tip sheets.

I’ve been using and prescribing the use of marketing tip sheets for years. Prospects and customers like them because they offer helpful information in an easy-to-digest format. I like them because I know they make great “bait” for lead generation, and because they are easy to create and inexpensive to produce. I am currently using tip sheets as part of my High Impact Marketing campaign (see the optin box to the right of this article).

I believe everybody reading this can figure out a way to benefit and leverage either a digital tip sheet or a printed tip sheet in their business, like my Private Client Member, Jon Toy has done. Jon wanted to offer his sign-creation services to manufacturing companies and created a tip sheet to show managers in these companies how to use signage to keep employees safer, etc.  He offered his tip sheet as “bait” in a direct mail campaign to get the recipient to say “yes.”

To help you get started on the development of your tip sheet, I want to share some of my best tips on tip sheets.

Before you start, you should picture the ideal person you want to receive and find your marketing tip sheets useful.

Before you start – answer these questions:

What is one area of life or business my customers consistently have trouble with or would like to know more about?
What is the most common mistake my customers make relative to […]

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    A Smart Way to Differentiate Your Business – Create a Unique Value Process

A Smart Way to Differentiate Your Business – Create a Unique Value Process

Last week I hosted one of my regular mastermind meetings for my Private Client Group and a fair amount of time was spent discussing how to differentiate your business and the importance of having a Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.). I am not going to spend time today discussing the importance of having a U.S.P. because a quick Google search will turn up more than enough articles how on how to create one, what’s the difference between a U.S.P. and a slogan, etc.

[As an interesting side note, after that meeting I dusted off my copy of Reality in Advertising by Rosser Reeves, the gentleman credited with coming up the Unique Selling Proposition, and re-read what Reeves thought about the U.S.P. In its day (1961), the concept of a U.S.P. was revolutionary, but today is a different time and you and if you read Rosser’s book, you might even disagree with him on some of his points as they relate to today’s world. Marketing and differentiating your business in 2014 is much harder than it was 50 years ago. Sure technology has made some things easier to do, but for most business owners trying to rise above the noise, trying to get attention and trying to differentiate their business is very difficult these days and more than just a U.S.P is needed.]

Yes, you should work on coming up with your Unique Selling Propositions (notice that’s plural), but today I want to discuss something else. Something I’ve preached for years, but find little information on the Internet or in books discussing it.

It’s your Unique Value Process (U.V.P.) and it’s an important, yet often overlooked strategy for clearly positioning your business value and how it’s different from your […]

Go From Blah, Blah to BIG AH-HA!

The other night I hosted a private “ask Mike your most pressing marketing questions” webinar for my High Impact Marketing members and one of my members, Tim Murphy of Murphy Industrial Products asked a rather interesting question:

“Mike, can you tell us what concepts are on your mind right now, that have you the most intrigued? Or maybe it’s a strategy?”

I love the fact that Tim, who is a good B2B marketer, is always looking for new insights and ideas to grow his business and to be honest his question made me pause for a few moments to collect my thoughts.

I wanted to share part of my answer to Tim because it’s a good reminder for any business owner.

One concept that has me most intrigued and one where I try to help as many folks as I can is the notion of “going from blah, blah to big ah-ha!”

In other words, how can “ordinary” businesses break away from the cycle of noisy, hype-filled marketing; rise above the competition; present their products or services in new and unique ways in order to connect with their ideal target customer?

Blah, blah marketing is what ordinary business owners do. It’s the kind of noisy, “me too” marketing you see all around you… in your mail box, in print ads, etc. It’s the same old, same old stuff.

Big ah-ha marketing is what high impact marketers do. They know the value of standing out,  being different, getting personal; and wrap their marketing campaigns around big ideas to solve their customers’ biggest pains.

I’ve written about the idea of wrapping your products and services around a big idea many times and a quick search on this site will yield other articles about the […]

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