Sell Them What They Want, Give Them What They Need

As a marketer of your business, I am sure you’ve heard about the importance of aligning your product benefits to your ideal target customer.

Your goal is to address his or her specific wants and needs and show how your product can fix their pains. A great adage and reminder for all of us is to “Sell them what they want, give them what they need.”

The more you can laser-focus your marketing message to a very specific “who” and specifically focus on their needs/wants/pains, the more profitable your marketing will be.

I’ve written about this and taught it for years. This is Direct Response Marketing 101 stuff, yet I would venture to say it’s something a lot of business owners miss the target on. Rather than trying to weed out a majority of people, these business owners create generic messages that try to be all-inclusive.

The result is bland, boring marketing that misses the target completely.

Recently, I saw a powerful illustration of how one big company aligns its products to its ideal customers and I found it so interesting, I wanted to share it here as a relevant metaphor for your business.

As you read the rest of this article and view the examples, consider how you can do something similar in your business marketing.

For the past several years, I’ve been working out with kettlebells and from time to time, I will tweak a muscle in my neck or back. If the pain were bad enough, I would visit my local pharmacy and visit the pain relief section and be presented with a variety of possible solutions for my aches.

There’s generic aspirin, Ibuprofen and racks of other pain relievers, but the one that catches my eye is the […]

The Power of Intentional Marketing

I recently attended a conference in Orlando where one of the keynote speakers was from the Disney Institute.   Part of his presentation was about the reasons why Disney was so successful and then he popped up the following slide.

In case you cannot read it, it says,

“Disney’s consistent business results are driven by overmanaging certain things that most companies undermanage or ignore – and that is a key source of what differentiates us.  We have learned to be intentional where others are unintentional.”

This slide has an important reminder for all business owners about the power of being intentional, specifically when it comes to your marketing and sales efforts (as a side note, I wrote about how to sell like Disney a few years ago – here).

What does it mean to be intentional as a marketer?

You are purposeful in words and actions.
You have given forethought to various aspects, details and outcomes of your business and marketing which other owners ignore.
You consider the needs and wants of your leads.
You consider the needs and wants of your prospects.
You consider the needs and wants of your customers and fans.

Being intentional about the smallest of details and marketing efforts is what has made Disney so successful (so much so, several books have been written about their tools and systems – one I highly recommend is Inside the Magic Kingdom by Tom Connellan).

It’s my opinion that being too casual and lackadaisical in your business and in your marketing can kill your profit potential.

There’s a certain feeling held by many average business owners that “good is good enough.” I disagree. Your prospects and customers have plenty of opportunities to spend their money elsewhere. You cannot rely on being average.

Extraordinary entrepreneurs like Jeff […]

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    Jim Connelly’s Two Questions Which Can Radically Improve Your Business

Jim Connelly’s Two Questions Which Can Radically Improve Your Business

Every so often in life you get a chance to meet somebody who has profound wisdom and life insights – not the kind of pseudo-stuff you see all over the Internet and at various events, but true, real-world, been-there, done- that wisdom and experience.

One such person is a remarkable gentleman, author and business consultant you will not soon forget. I know I didn’t when I first met Jim Connelly back in 2006, through a mutual friend, Nina Hershberger.

During one of our first conversations, Jim shared a very powerful business strategy which I am going to share with you in this article. In this 30 minute insightful interview, Jim was gracious and shared the two specific questions that he considers to be the most important secrets to his amazing success story. I remember when he first shared these questions with me and the strategy behind them with me back in 2006. I immediately took them and used them to create the most successful GKIC chapter in the world for a number of years. This is definitely no ordinary interview!

I am giving you the audio interview and the word-for-word transcription. Learn and use these questions and I guarantee they will have the same impact on you as they had on me. Enter your first name and email below and I will email you the link to download.

More about Jim Connelly

Jim is a businessman with a distinctive business background and his Rolodex of who he calls friends and colleagues is a “Who’s Who” of noteworthy men and women, including Frank Sinatra, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Lou Holtz, Kirk Kerkorian, Jack Welch, and Regis Philbin.

Early in his career, Jim rose to the level of General Manager of the Beverly […]

Can You Spot the Smart Strategy in this Advertorial?

If you ever wanted a great example of how to design a full page advertorial-style advertisement, the example I am showing in this article should be at the top of your list. For those not familiar with advertorials, they are an “old school” strategy to make an advertisement not look like an advertisement and more like an article.

While I am not a customer, with a little bit of research I realized this company is a big-time advertiser with several different ads and advertorials in a single issue of Rider Magazine. Reviewing several months’ issues resulted in many ads throughout the year. This tells me their ads are probably working quite well for them and worthy of your study.

This particular advertorial does a BUNCH OF SMART THINGS that can be used by anybody reading this in their own advertising and marketing, but there is one unique thing that really caught my eye and something I have not seen in quite a while.

Do you know what it is?

Click on the above image to enlarge the ad so you can read it easier and then leave a comment or two below listing the smart marketing strategies you see in this ad (as I said there are a lot of them).

Later this week, I will compile all the responses from readers and update this article and see if anybody identifies the unique strategy this advertorial exhibits. The first person who correctly identifies it will win a book of their choice (I will follow-up by email).

To play along, simply type in your answer(s) below and check back this Friday. Good luck!
It’s very satisfying to see that so many smart marketers read my articles and like to play along.  It […]

A Unique (and Effective) Pocket Guide Idea to Swipe

The past month has been a blur with attendance and exhibiting at several events for Infotail (the marketing and sales automation company I co-founded in late 2014).

In preparation for these events, I created a number of unique and powerful marketing pieces which I plan to share with you over the coming weeks.

I shared the David Ogilvy-inspired ad I created in this article.

And today I want to share a simple marketing tool any business owner can use in their business for event marketing like we did or for direct mail or online marketing.

It’s the development of a “pocket guide” relative to your products or services. This small, short book format is something I have been a fan of for years and have used it many times for many projects and showed a few examples in this past article.

This simple and portable marketing tool continues to generate profits for me every time I use it and this recent version, The Pocket Guide to Fix Your Follow-Up, is no different. People like it because of its unique format and the fact it’s a quick read.  There is also a very good chance it will not get thrown away like the traditional brochure.

You can download a PDF version of The Pocket Guide to Fix Your Follow-Up here.

The other smart thing we did for these recent events was to insert the guide into a similar-sized envelope that was a direct-response device. This envelope was printed on both sides and drove attendees to our booth to get another valuable gift.

I can see a similar strategy being used in a direct mail campaign and given the low price of printing these guides and envelopes (we paid around $1.00 per set), it’s […]

Ode to David Ogilvy

An Ode to David Ogilvy & Marketing Contest

If you’ve read any of my past online articles or newsletter issues, you know I am a fan of the classic copywriters and ad-men of the 20th century. Gentlemen like John Caples, Vic Schwab, Eugene Schwartz and David Ogilvy, which is why when I needed inspiration for a recent print advertisement I was working on for Infotail, I decided to pay homage to David Ogilvy and his classic Rolls Royce ad from 1959.

Most students of direct response marketing are familiar with this world-famous ad touting the quality of Rolls Royce.

Since I needed a full-page ad for the GKIC SuperConference program, knowing that many who would be in attendance are fans of the classics, I used Ogilvy’s format for my ad, which quite a few attendees commented on.

But here is where things took a funny turn last week. A colleague of mine who I had not seen for several years, Paul Feldman of InsuranceNewsNet, came up to me and proudly showed me his David Ogilvy-inspired magazine insert.

Paul’s insert mimicked the classic Ogilvy & Mather’s full page newspaper advertisements from the 1960’s and 70’s which were designed for a very specific purpose that is still relevant today (more on that in a moment).

Paul and I were like two marketing geeks, as we proudly congratulated each other on our like-minded approach and ode to Ogilvy.
Because there was a specific method to my madness for my SuperConference ad (and I am sure the same one applies to Paul’s insert), I wanted to encourage my readers to study these ads and then see if they know “the psychology behind” both recent examples?

Obviously in this day and age of 140 character tweets […]

Essential Follow-Up Marketing Systems

For the bricks and mortar business owner who relies on customers (or clients/students/patients) to walk through his or her business front door to buy products or services, properly designed follow-up marketing techniques and campaigns are critically important for these important reasons:

They differentiate your business from your competition.
They delight prospects and customers.
When automated, they happen without you having to think about them.
They add more bottom-line profits to your business (by adding a few specific follow-up marketing campaigns, you will convert more prospects into customers and create more sales from existing customers ALL WITHOUT ADDITIONAL ACQUISITION EXPENSES!).

Having the first right move to get somebody’s valuable attention and response is practically worthless if you don’t have strategic follow-up moves in place and ready to go, literally at the press of a button. This is why we are hosting a special one-day Fix Your Follow-Up Workshop this June 1 in Philadelphia, PA. Our goal is to help business owners plug these profit-sucking leaks, once and for all.

To get you started with your own business audit, we’ve identified 12 specific follow-up marketing systems we believe every bricks and mortar business owner should have in place, including:

Lead Generation Follow-Up System
Prospect Call – No Visit Follow-Up System
Prospect Visit Follow-Up System
New Customer Follow-Up System
Long-Time Customer Follow-Up System
Online & Offline Review Solicitation System
Referred Customer Follow-Up System
Referral Partner Follow-Up System
Event Marketing Follow-Up System
Upset Customer Follow-Up System
“Lost” Customer Follow-Up System
Internal Team Member Follow-Up System

Simply reviewing this list and thinking about your own business is a valuable exercise for you, however the real magic happens when you start filling in the blanks for each of these and building these systems in your business.

While I don’t have the space here to go into great detail on how […]

Ray Kroc & Wisdom from McDonald’s

I recently finished an interesting book and wanted to pass it along to other business owners as a suggested read. The book is titled “Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s” and it’s the autobiography of Ray Kroc, the entrepreneurial legend who brought McDonald’s to the world.

Published in 1977, seven years before Ray died, Grinding It Out is an insightful look at a true salesman and entrepreneur, in his own words.

You may not realize it, but Ray Kroc’s success with McDonald’s didn’t happen until his mid-fifties and in his own words Ray said, “I was 52 years old. I had diabetes and incipient arthritis. I had lost my gall bladder and most of my thyroid gland in earlier campaigns, but I was convinced that the best was ahead of me.”

The other thing you might not know is that Ray Kroc did not start McDonald’s, the McDonald brothers of San Bernardino, CA did.   Dick and Mac McDonald founded the first McDonald’s restaurant and when Ray discovered it, he saw gold and formed a business relationship with the two brothers. For a number of reasons, the relationship did not last long.

According to Ray, “The McDonald brothers were simply not on my wavelength at all. I was obsessed with the idea of making McDonald’s the biggest and the best. They were content with what they had; they didn’t want to be bothered with more risks and more demands.”

The rest, as they say, is history, with Ray growing McDonald’s into an international, multi-billion dollar empire.

Regardless of your opinion on the quality of McDonald’s fare, a study of Ray Kroc, his thinking process, his appreciation and insistence on developing systems and his deep concern and focus on the customer […]

Marketing Context is Critical for Maximum Results

One of the principles of marketing I constantly remind people about is the importance of appropriate marketing context.

The term “context” means the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, scenario, etc. and for this article, what I mean by marketing context is the appropriateness and sensibility of a particular marketing message delivered to a particular target in a particular way.

Dan Kennedy preaches the importance of the MESSAGE-MARKET-MEDIA pyramid and his simple communication model is a fundamental model for all business owners.  The right message to the right person via the right media is a recipe for success and chances are you’ve heard this before, but what you might not have considered is the critical importance of marketing context.

Marketing context considers who you are communicating with and how you should be communicating with them. For example, you should communicate with your current customers/clients/patients differently than you would communicate to a prospect.  When communicating with a customer, the context of your relationship allows you to be more informal and personal because of the existing relationship.

With a prospect, the relationship has yet to be created, so the context of the relationship is one of a “warm-up period”, where over time, you allow them to get to know, like and trust you.

You’ve probably heard marketing context compared to the dating experience.  Most people do not ask their spouse to marry them on the first date.  There is a courting period, an engagement period and finally marriage, yet many business owners market the same way to all their target audiences.

Let me share a specific example of marketing context and how it relates to day-to-day marketing.  My friend and expert-marketer, Bill Glazer, often shows one of […]

Fix Your Follow-Up Marketing

NO business is immune to it and I guarantee everybody reading these words is guilty of either inadequate, or worse, no follow-up marketing. Like a leaky bucket, poor follow-up marketing is draining your business of additional sales, profits and customer goodwill.

Over the years I’ve consulted with hundreds of business owners and every single one of them had follow-up marketing holes in their business and while I cannot condone them, I understand the reality of running a business.

The lack of proper follow-up marketing systems is an insidious problem and often ignored and overlooked, in lieu of “sexier” marketing initiatives. Most business owners typically focus on the efforts of driving new leads and prospects into their businesses to become customers and even though considerable time and money is spent, many of these business owners have embarrassingly inadequate follow-up marketing campaigns to convert these leads and prospects into customers.

Marketing-oriented business owners focus on acquisition and more, but often still fall short. These business owners try their best at staying in touch with customers, with various customer nurture marketing efforts like newsletters and broadcast emails, but if you peek under the hood of these businesses you will find the same follow-up marketing holes.

For the bricks and mortar business owner who relies on customers (or clients/students/patients) to walk through his or her business front door to buy products or services, properly designed follow-up marketing techniques and campaigns are critically important for these important reasons:

They differentiate your business from your competition.
They delight prospects and customers.
When automated they happen without you having to think about them.
They add more bottom-line profits to your business (by adding a few specific follow-up marketing campaigns you can convert more prospects into customers and create more […]

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