THE ULTIMATE MARKETING PLAN
Find Your Most Promotable Competitive Edge, Turn It Into A Powerful Marketing Message And Deliver It To The Right Prospects
DAN KENNEDY is president of Kennedy’s Inner Circle, a marketing firm. He has more than 20-years experience writing sales letters and developing marketing materials for both large and small businesses. Mr. Kennedy specializes in television infomercials and is a widely acclaimed public speaker. He is also the editor of a marketing newsletter called The No B.S. Marketing Letter. The Web site for this book is at http://www.dankennedy.com or www.businesstown.com.
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MAIN IDEA The essence of marketing is quite simple really. It is the process of getting the right message to the right people via the right media and methods so they make the right decision to buy the product or service you offer. Anything elseis just window dressing. Marketing stands or falls on the strength of the sales generated (or lost). With that in mind, developing the ultimate marketing plan is a structured process by which you make certain your marketing: • Crafts the right message for your particular product, service or business. • Takes advantage of all the marketer’s toolbox of secret weapons. • Avoids the marketer’s sins which will detract from overall effectiveness. • Has a minimum of time spent planning and a maximization of time spent doing. In short, marketing is never about doing things that are aesthetically pleasing, or that win advertising industry awards. The only genuine yardstick for marketing is how well it generates sales. The world is full of interesting things competing for the attention and pocketbooks of the same consumers you hope to turn into customers. By developing and executing the ideas in your own ultimate marketing plan, you optimize the number of sales you make thereby building the long-term future of your business.
Section 1 – The Ultimate Marketing Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pages 2 - 5 The Ultimate Marketing Plan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Put together the right message Present your message Pick the right targets Prove your case Put your best foot forward Generate some free advertising Start a trend -- Become hot 8 9 10 11 12 13 Use “poor boy” marketing Maximize total customer value Fuel word-of-mouth advertising Create short-term sales surges Use new technology Hire and fire the experts
Section 2 – The Ultimate Marketing Secret Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pages 5 - 7 The Ultimate Marketing Secret Weapons 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A good U.S.P. Being understood Eliminating assumptions Asking for the order Tailoring the message Anticipating skepticism Good pictures Image congruency Constant change 10 11 Capture details Telephone upselling
12 Direct Mail + Telemarket 13 Marketing asset sharing 14 15 16 17 Customer respect Additional products Excellence A “Champion”
Section 3 – The Ultimate Marketing Sins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 8 The Ultimate Marketing Sins 1 2 3 4 5 Doing something that is totally boring. Wasting your marketing weapons on the wrong targets. Taking your customer’s loyalty for granted. Letting a customer leave your business angry with you. Abdicating control over your marketing to someone else.
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The Ultimate Marketing Plan
Present your message
Main Idea The Ultimate Marketing Plan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Supporting Ideas Plan 1 Put together the right message Put together the right message Present your message Pick the right targets Prove your case Put your best foot forward Generate some free advertising Start a trend -- Become hot Use “poor boy” marketing Maximize total customer value Fuel word-of-mouth advertising Create short-term sales surges Use new technology Hire and fire the experts
A productive marketing message: 1. Is well organized. Before anyone will take action, they have to be led through five distinct steps: 1. Become aware of a need or desire. 2. Learn what will fulfill that need or desire. 3. Find a source for that solution. 4. Accept the price asked by the source. 5. Find a reason to act immediately. Good marketing walks customers through those steps. 2. Ignites the interest of the prospect in some way. In other words, presents the information in ways that are interesting and attention getting. There are numerous ways this can be done: with before and after pictures, through dramatic stories, by quoting shocking statistics, etc. 3. Asks for action. Good marketing not only asks you to take action but also provides a rationale and reason why you should not delay taking immediate action. 4. Touches all the bases every time. With marketing messages, results are achieved only when the entire package comes together. There are no shortcuts, just every element every time. Plan 3 Pick the right targets
A good and effective marketing message will always have at least three key elements: 1. A Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.) – which explains your positioning against all competitors and summarizes your product’s chief benefits. 2. An answer to the one question every prospective customer will always ask – “Why should I choose your business/product/service instead of one of your competitor’s similar products or services?” 3. An irresistible offer to take immediate action. One way you can develop your marketing message is to use a modular approach. Take some blank 3” x 5” cards and put one fact, feature, benefit, customer promise, offer component or marketing idea on each card. Once you’ve written out a number of ideas, organize them in order of most likely importance to your prospective customers. Then select the top three to five, and work out how you can incorporate those ideas into your marketing message. As you do that, also bear in mind what your direct competitors are already doing. Choose elements or components that will enable you to stand out from competitors. “Marketing begins not with any particular media or strategy; it starts with putting together the best, most promotable message possible that truthfully represents the goods you’ve got.” – Dan Kennedy “Don’t be in too much of a hurry to promote, until you get good. Otherwise you just speed up the rate at which the world finds out you’re no good.” – Cavett Robert
Even if you have a great marketing message, it won’t generate results until it is presented to people who are in a position to buy. That’s the essence of targeted marketing – to deliver the message to the right people rather than delivering it to everyone and hoping the right people find it. The three best ways to target-market are: 1. Geographic targeting. Select a zip code and advertise only in local newspapers or other advertising that reaches that zip code and possibly the adjacent zip codes. You can enhance your results by having salespeople working for you who live in that same area and by totally dominating whatever zip code works for you. 2. Demographic targeting. If you collect information about your present customers, you’ll be able to identify factors all your customers seem to have in common. You can then approach mailing list brokers or publishers to rent lists of people who have those same demographic factors in their profiles. The better you know your customers, the more demographic factors can be used in future marketing. 3. Affinity or association targeting. Identify all the trade associations, business or civic groups or community organizations your clients belong to and rent their mailing lists. You can then put together a very specific package which will appeal to the people normally found in that group. This is particularly effective if you personally are in these organizations and understand what the common concerns and challenges are. “You must make the commitment to market smarter by picking better targets. Nobody has an unlimited supply of dollars to play with. You need to find the way targeted marketing works for you.” – Dan Kennedy
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Prove your case
Generate some free advertising
Whether you like it or not, most people won’t believe anything you tell them while marketing. The best marketers understand that natural tendency and address it by providing a “preponderance of proof” – so much evidence that ultimately the customer gets won over. How do you achieve that? It usually requires a mix of: n Personal endorsements or testimonials from past clients who are happy with the results. n Pictures that show definitive proof of the results – preferably in the “before” and “after” configurations.. n Extended testimonials which not only describe the benefits of the product or service but which also provide some background information so customers relate and empathize. n Testimonials of real people rather than celebrity spokespeople who are paid to say something good. n A large number of existing clients. The sheer number involved will cause customers to think something must be going right if so many people are already using that product or service. “Today’s smart marketer uses pictorial evidence, testimonials, client lists, satisfied customers and celebrities – every ounce of social proof she can pull together – to prove her case. If you get nothing else but the inspiration to collect and use as many good testimonials as you possibly can get, you’ll have a strong competitive advantage from that alone.” – Dan Kennedy Plan 5 Put your best foot forward
In practical terms, free advertising is generated by positive and favorable media attention and publicity. Naturally, free advertising is highly beneficial and desirable. How is it generated? There are several potential ways:
By joining forces with a charity. If you carefully choose a charity which is highly visible and aggressive in promotional activities, by aligning with them you can use them as a lever to generate media awareness. By having a flamboyant character in a management position. By being an expert source. Commission a poll or survey of some kind and announce the results. Then be prepared to explain and analyze those results in public. Before too long, you’ll come to be considered the expert in your field of business. Through the use of original and creative promotions. As a guest on radio and TV talk shows. Radio talk shows are always looking for experts to take up some air time. Take advantage of that, and develop a list of previous appearances. With any luck, you’ll be able to parlay small appearances into progressively larger venues. Through the use of press kits and news releases. This is the bread and butter of the PR industry. The press kit is simply a collection of basic information about your business, product or service. The news release is something topical about why someone should care. Many businesses have generated millions of dollars of free advertising using nothing more than press kits and news releases. Plan 7 Start a trend -- Become hot.
If your marketing is designed to get people to come to your business, take the time to make certain what the client will see at your store or office is aligned with the image you create through your marketing. Specifically, a good retail store: 1. Will be staffed by people who are dressed in a way that projects professionalism and order. 2. Conveys a congruent, deliberate message which is appropriate to the products being offered. 3. Presents goods in a logical, organized way. 4. Helps the customer think creatively through the use of effective point-of-sale demonstrations which show the products in action. 5. Takes the opportunity to educate the customer as appropriate – through videos and live demonstrators. 6. Utilizes all the resources available – such as wall space – to promote, advertise and educate customers. If the in-person experience of interacting with a business differs markedly from the impression created by the marketing materials customers aren’t very likely to encourage their friends to have the same experience. Similarly, smart businesses also make a point of being seen as good corporate citizens. They align themselves with noncontroversial, nonpolitical and highly respected nonprofit or charitable organizations. By doing that, they enhance their visibility and create a profile which is in line with the marketing approach they use or want to use in the future.
Every marketer wants to handle products that are “hot” – in line with the current consumer trends. In practice, there are just seven ways to get hot and stay hot: 1. Get some prestigious recognition – from newspapers, broadcasters, publishers or industry groups. 2. Release a new product – which is interesting, exciting and offering features never before available. 3. Start offering a new service – which is new, better and different from what everyone else is doing. 4. Align with trends and news events – by being aware of the general news environment and attempting to “enter into the conversation already taking place in the prospect’s mind”. 5. Tie into seasons and holidays – which is another variation on the idea of getting involved with whatever people will already be thinking and talking about. 6. Link with the release of movies or entertainment events – which can not only be a lot of fun but also can generate loads of visibility (so long as it’s not for the wrong reason). 7. Piggyback on fads – by noting what is popular at present and doing something smart. For example, when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were big, a dentist bought a collection of stuffed toys. He displayed them in his office and sent out an offer that each child who came for a special $9.95 exam could take home the turtle of his or her choice free! – while supplies last. The offer was highly successful, and similar marketing offers can be developed around any fad which may currently be in vogue.
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Use “poor boy” marketing
Fuel word-of-mouth advertising
Surprisingly, the most effective marketing strategies don’t always involve huge expense. Some of the most productive types of marketing will cost little, if anything. And yet many businesses overlook or ignore these opportunities. To generate new business without necessarily spending money: n Train staff better – on how to turn incoming telephone calls into marketing opportunities.
There is no better new customer for a business than someone who is referred by a happy customer. Yet, despite that fact, few businesses have a proactive plan for stimulating referrals, choosing instead to simply take referrals that come along gratefully. The three steps involved in getting more referrals are: 1. Earn it – by delivering great and exceptional service to your existing clients. 2. Ask for referrals – not only directly but also by doing other things like: • Conducting referral events friends can be invited to. • Running special promotions with great incentives. • Displaying notices that clients are encouraged to refer. • Handing out business cards and asking for introductions. 3. Recognize and reward those who provide referrals – with free gifts, coupons, certificates, prizes, competition entries, cards, discounts, thank-you notes or whatever is appropriate to the circumstances. Remember, the greater the reward you offer, the more passionate your clients will become about referring their friends. “Do what you do so well that people can’t resist telling others about you.” – Walt Disney Plan 11 Create short-term sales surges
Develop a script – for telephone upselling of additional products and services. Follow-up direct mail with a telephone call – to answer questions and make other offers. YCDBSOYA – “You can’t do business sitting on your ass”. Identify other businesses to cooperate with – enhancing the impact of your existing marketing expenditure. Run small teaser ads – rather than more expensive full-page ads. Set up “Take One” and contest entry boxes – at places where your most likely prospects are likely to be.
The point is many people have a one-track mind when it comes to marketing – spend money. Sometimes that’s necessary, but often there are loads of things that can be done inexpensively to enhance the impact of your marketing. Make certain you take up these opportunities first, so then if you invest large amounts of money later, you’ll get the most out of it. Plan 9 Maximize total customer value
Customers are the most important asset of any business, and they will leave any business which treats them with indifference or makes them feel like they are not appreciated. To avoid that: n Make everyone an ambassador of customer service – with responsibility to ensure the overall experience is good.
What are the marketing excuses that can be used to offer an exceptional savings opportunity? There are loads, including:
n n n
To reward and recognize customer loyalty. For first-time customers only. In response to a candid expression from you: “This is the slowest sales month of the year”. Because the factory has provided a special incentive.
Have a customer-service diplomacy policy in place – which may incorporate commonsense guidelines like: • Greet customers as welcome and honored guests. • Answer the customer’s questions knowledgeably. • Never say “That’s our policy.” Instead, use empathy. • Handle complaints systematically and well. Treat customer retention as a profit center rather than a cost center for your business – and put your best people onto the customer retention team. Stay in touch with your customers regularly. Make it easy for existing customers to do more business with you – through special exclusive offers, customer loyalty programs with great incentives and so forth. Find new ways to offer existing clients a greater variety of the products and services they like. Make it easy for customers to refer their friends and associates – with a great referral program which delivers benefits all round.
Once you’ve got their attention, there are also loads of different ways marketers can structure special offers:
Making past clients sweepstakes winners – where they can claim their prize by coming into your business in person and picking it up. Offering a red tag sale – where normal items are discounted and sold on a first-come first-satisfied basis. Double coupon days. Offering a free gift that’s truly impressive. Running a “My accountant thinks I’m crazy” sale because he’s out of town for a week. Tie in with major sports events like the World Series. Accepting old equipment as a trade-in or extending especially good payment terms. In conjunction with a celebrity appearance or some other type of special event.
n n n
“When you ask a group of businesspeople to list their assets, they quickly write down such items as equipment, furniture, leasehold improvements and inventory. Many never get around to listing their customers. This lapse is often reflective of trouble in their businesses.” – Dan Kennedy
“Every business hits its own times of need when a sales surge is important. It’s always preferable to sell your way out of a financial problem than to borrow or to sell off equity. Often, that can be done.” – Dan Kennedy
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Use new technology
The Ultimate Marketing Secret Weapons
Good marketers are always on the lookout for new technologies that can be used to enhance marketing effectiveness. Some of the marketing technologies now becoming available include: n Leaving prerecorded messages on 1-800 numbers – providing an excellent nonthreatening initial contact. n Using the Internet – for customer service, education and keeping in contact with past customers.
Main Idea The Ultimate Marketing Secret Weapons 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A good U.S.P. Being understood Eliminating assumptions Asking for the order Tailoring the message Anticipating skepticism Good pictures Image congruency Constant change 10 11 Capture details Telephone upselling
Audio brochures – promotional audio cassettes which can be sent out as a self contained sales presentation. Video brochures and infomercials – for recruiting new people to an organization or selling a product or service. Autodialers – to call existing and past customers with new offers and promotions. Broadcast fax – for generating leads, sending out weekly specials or approaching entirely new clients. Focus groups – where people come together over coffee, doughnuts and conversation to provide thoughts, reactions and opinions on topics of interest to your business.
12 Direct Mail + Telemarket 13 Marketing asset sharing 14 15 16 17 Customer respect Additional products Excellence A “Champion”
“There is only so much you can learn from other people’s experience. You can observe and investigate and research and consider expert advice, but there are some things you’ll never know about for sure unless you try them. Every business should assign some time and money to outright, unashamed experimentation.” – Dan Kennedy Plan 13 Hire and fire the experts
Supporting Ideas Weapons 1 A good U.S.P.
A Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.):
n n n
Explains how you are positioned against your competition. Summarizes and telegraphs your key benefits.
In the final analysis, nobody knows your business better than you. Never let a “marketing expert” or “consultant” talk you into doing something you feel is wrong. And never delegate 100-percent of your marketing to an outsider – it simply won’t mean as much to them as it does to you. To hire good advertising or marketing professionals: n Make certain their status comes from hands-on experience, not from theory. n Find out whether they can separate a customer from their money – by how well they sell themselves to you. Look for someone who considers marketing, advertising, promotion and publicity as a way to generate sales – rather than ends in and of themselves. n Stick with direct response advertising – so you can tell whether or not they are actually generating sales. Avoid any marketing expert: n Who is more interested in making his or her portfolio look good – rather than generating sales for you. n Who is worried about industry awards.
n n n n
Can become a powerful driver of business success. U.S.P.s come in loads of varieties and flavors. For example, a U.S.P. can be built around price, product ingredients, marketplace positioning, color, size, scent, celebrity endorsement, location, hours of operation and so forth. The options are wide and essentially limitless. Some of history’s most successful U.S.P.s have included:
n n n
“Fresh hot pizza delivered in 30-minutes or less, guaranteed.” “When it absolutely has to be there the next day.” “The low-price leader.” 2 Being clearly understood
The advertising industry is full of clever ideas, characters and presentations which are tremendously memorable but which failed to generate any additional sales. Why is that? Most often it’s because the advertisers tried to be clever rather than clear. Therefore, if you want marketing that generates results, strive to be clearly understood. Don’t let a few awards for creativity substitute for solid sales in the marketplace. Be simple, be direct and be clear about what you offer the customer. “Everybody knows about the pink bunny with the drum in battery commercials – but do you know the brand of battery he represents? Surveys show over half name the company’s competitor! And over the last five years, while showing off the bunny in every way imaginable, that company’s market share has declined, not improved. The confused customer either does not buy or sometimes buys the wrong product! Bottom line: bend over backwards to avoid confusing your customer.” – Dan Kennedy
Who hates long copy with loads of detail. Who loves “white space” in ads. Who cannot supply a list of satisfied, successful clients – whom you can call and talk to about their experiences in working with that marketing expert. Don’t be shy in checking sources, and don’t fall for any confidentiality considerations. The best marketing people are always actively sought after and will have a long list of past clients.
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Many novice marketers make the mistake of assuming the public already know they have a genuine and pressing need for the products or services being offered. And because of that, novice marketers usually assume people will be instantly and automatically interested. By contrast, good marketers take nothing for granted. They walk customers through all the steps needed to make a sale every time they come into contact with them. Good marketers also take the time to test and optimize every individual element of their marketing message systematically, They never assume the entire package is performing at its optimum level until they robustly test their assumptions in the marketplace. Weapons 4 Asking for the order
Pictures are instantly convincing. Why is that? Because ever since grade school, everyone can tell you, “Pictures don’t lie,” and “One picture is worth a thousand words”. From a marketing effectiveness viewpoint, before and after pictures work best. Good marketers strive to acquire and integrate into their message pictures that show the definitive results of using their products or services. In addition, suitable pictures add interest and make the message become visually appealing. All of which goes towards enhancing the results generated. Weapons 8 Image congruency
Marketing lives or dies solely on the basis of the results generated. Smart marketers know this – therefore, they take every opportunity available to ask for the order. Or to put that another way, savvy marketers have the guts to ask for action in every presentation. They are not backwards in coming forwards and making it clear what should be done. Why is this important? Simply because marketers who are afraid of asking for the order for whatever reason (like being afraid of offending the prospective client) never generate comparable results to those marketers who present the facts and ask for action. In marketing, presenting the message well is useful and a great preliminary step, but it’s only in the asking for the order that the real payoff is found. Weapons 5 Tailoring the message
From a marketing perspective, everything about a business counts. Every piece of the puzzle should fit together carefully and strategically to reinforce one single, central image. When that happens, all of the marketing elements contribute to the create of synergy or additional power. For example, almost every business in existence likes to convey the image of being “successful”. Why? Mainly because customers like dealing with successful businesses and businesspeople. There is the perception the business will be around for a long time to provide after sales service. In addition, the inference exists success is the result of serving other people well, and therefore the same can be expected. Smart marketers work hard at making certain everything comes together seamlessly and consistently. Weapons 9 Constant change
Successful marketing is always developed with the target market in mind. In other words, the message is tailored and massaged to match the preferences of the consumers to whom it will be delivered. Which means that marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum but in relation to the marketplace. Those businesses which carefully tailor and then systematically deliver the right message to the right target market will succeed. Different businesses can and do choose different target markets but the real source of success lies not in the selection of the target market but more in the ability to customize and deliver the right marketing message. Weapons 6 Anticipating skepticism
Every person on the planet loves what’s new. Smart marketers know that. They constantly come up with different answers to the consumer’s key question: “What’s new?” “We can invent faster than others can copy.” – Ray Kroc, founder, McDonald’s Weapons 10 Capture the customer details
Every time someone calls your business, you should have a script which allows you or your staff to capture their details. You can then send them a follow-up marketing offer, which they will be more likely to respond positively to. To make this work well: n Put together a script your people feel comfortable with. Incorporate the ideas of your front-line staff into developing this script. n Teach the script to everyone – even those who only answer the telephone occasionally. n Create a reward pool – for every name, address and phone number captured. Divide that pool up and pay it daily.
Most consumers will doubt anything a marketer says to them. They have been conditioned through experience to be skeptical of everything they hear. The best marketers understand that and don’t try to change the consumer’s initial mind state. Instead, they arm themselves with enough evidence to win people over, and then present that factual information carefully and deliberately. Ultimately, by overwhelming the customer with demonstrations of results, credibility can be established. The more variety in those elements of proof which are presented the better, but the simple principle involved is ultimately, the marketer has to produce so much solid evidence of results the customer is forced to set aside his or her natural skepticism and accept the results. Precisely how much evidence will be required to achieve that will vary according to a large number of factors, but be prepared.
Have somewhere where the captured customer details are kept for future reference. Add a telephone upsell offer or special. Make it rewarding for the people who call you business to come in and see you. This doesn’t even need to come across as being pushy, just helpful. For example: “Oh, just one more thing. We have a special offer for today’s callers. Would you like to hear about it now?”
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Offer additional products
Most businesses are aware its easier and less expensive (from a marketing perspective) to do more business with existing customers than it is to generate new customers. That’s because existing customers are predisposed to trust what you say, and to be responsive to add-on offers. Therefore, set up a system where someone from your company calls each of your clients and makes them a special offer. You’ll be surprised at how much revenue and profit that will add. “Fact: the telephone lines run in both directions, in and out.” – Dan Kennedy Weapons 12 Direct Mail + Telemarketing
Your existing clients are already predisposed to doing business with you. They will already like the products and services you offer, the way you do business and the people involved. Smart marketers realize this is an enormous opportunity to do more business, and they will do everything they can to expand their product range. “I am amazed at how many businesses have gotten me to give them money once, twice, even several times, then never contacted me again. And while they’re ignoring me, their competitors pursue me with all the ardor associated with the new customer. Every business should have a customer mailing list and mail information, offers, seasonal greetings and other materials to those customers at least six, eight or 10 times a year.” – Dan Kennedy Weapons 16 Excellence
When a direct mail campaign is supplemented by telemarketing, results increase by 500- to 1,000-percent. The key elements of a good telemarketing script are: 1. Identify yourself. 2. Give a reason why you’re calling – perhaps to arrange delivery for a gift or following up on a letter. 3. Ask to talk to the decision maker. 4. Get past the screening – by offering to call back at a more convenient time. 5. Talk with the decision maker – and again identify yourself and the reason you’re calling. 6. Ask for action – by being specific about what you’ll do or what you want them to do. Weapons 13 Marketing asset sharing
“If there is one ‘secret’ to maximum referrals, it is that satisfied customers do not refer abundantly. Enthused, inspired, awed customers refer in great abundance. If you are just good enough, that’s not good enough. If customers get only what they expect and deserve, that’s not enough.” – Dan Kennedy And therefore, become a passionate advocate for excellence in everything your business does. Not only will you create some happy customers, you’ll also make it easier to run a great business referral program which will be the easiest and most productive way to market your business. Weapons 17 A “Champion”
If you can’t afford to spend large amounts of money on marketing, identify a noncompeting business and offer to share your customer base, store traffic or advertising with them. If you can put together a workable reciprocal arrangement, you can generate some substantial marketing payoffs for both parties. “Cooperation can be carried too far, a camel being a horse built by a committee, and I am not a big fan of groups. But I do believe in strategic alliances.” – Dan Kennedy Weapons 14 Customer respect
If you’re good enough at what you do, and if your business provides sufficient added value, your customers will become a “Champion” – a person who will be willing to champion you to everyone they know. In purely financial terms, a mere handful of well connected champions can generate a large amount of added revenue. Thus, the marketer’s challenge isn’t simply to turn prospects into customers. It’s also to turn customers into champions. That will only happen if you genuinely and repeatedly exceed their expectations. “There are a lot of folks out there competing with you for your customers’ and prospects’ attention, interest and dollars. To win in this kind of tough, intensely competitive environment, you need the ultimate marketing plan.” – Dan Kennedy “A handful of cultivated, appreciated champions can make you rich.” – Dan Kennedy “When we recognize and reward a certain behavior, we inspire more of the same. It’s true in parenting, in managing and in ‘managing customers’. When you get a referral from a customer or client, the smartest thing you can do is to make a big, big deal out of it. Call with thanks or send a personal thank-you note or gift.” – Dan Kennedy
Smart businesses make their customers feel important, appreciated and respected. Why? It’s very simple really. Customers who feel unimportant, unappreciated or taken for granted take their business elsewhere. There is a direct link between customer retention and customer respect. Remember, when you lose a customer, not only do you lose the present but also the future business that person would have done. You also lose the added business the people that person would have referred to you would have done. That may amount to serious money, over a number of years. “In every successful business, the customer is, is perceived as and is treated as the most important asset. To really get to that point and “own” that belief, you have to figure out what your customer is worth to you and can or should be worth to you.” – Dan Kennedy
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The Ultimate Marketing Sins
Taking your customer’s loyalty for granted.
Main Idea The Ultimate Marketing Sins 1 2 3 4 5 Doing something boring. Wasting marketing on the wrong targets. Taking your customer’s loyalty for granted. Letting a customer leave your business angry. Abdicating control of marketing to someone else.
A business that is considered to be “hot” has a genuine marketing window of opportunity that should be exploited quickly. If instead it makes the mistake of assuming customers will always want its products/services, it’s on slippery ground. At one time, brand-name loyalty and even buy-American loyalty genuinely existed. In today’s markets, however, they are just distant memories. Consumers buy whatever is in fashion, regardless of the brand or the country of origin. For marketers, the implications are simple – to continue selling well, you’ve got to keep getting hot again and again. Sins 4 Letting customers leave angry.
Supporting Ideas Sins 1 Doing something boring.
Each day, the average American consumer is exposed to at least 100 television commercials, 35 radio commercials, 202 newspaper ads and between three and ten direct-mail solicitations. And some demographic groups receive many more advertising messages daily through telemarketing or magazines. To break through that background noise and mind clutter, a marketing message has to be interesting. If the message comes across as being dull, ordinary or mundane, the consumer won’t even take notice – there’s just too much competition. The challenge for marketers is first and foremost to present messages in truly interesting ways, including elements that will engage the consumer intellectually and emotionally. How can a boring subject be made interesting? n With before and after photographs showing a dramatic transformation. n Using dramatic, real-life stories of satisfied customers.
It never makes sense to let a customer lave your business angry without first having exhausted every means to your disposal to resolve their dispute. Why? Simply because not only will you lose the business that customer would have done but you can guarantee they will also share their experience with their friends and associates. And to make matters worse, the Internet is full of places an unhappy customer can voice their displeasure. Therefore, never treat customers leaving your business lightly. Treat each case on its individual merits, and do everything possible to turn the customer experience into a positive one. The long-term payoffs can be substantial. Sins 5 Abdicating control of marketing.
Never turn 100-percent of your marketing over to an outsider, marketing consultant or marketing agency. Why? Because an outsider: n Will never be able to understand the complexities and subtleties of your business as well as you do. n Will not have their finger on the pulse of the business like you do.
By quoting shocking, jarring statistics. Through the use of dramatic or novel slogans, headlines or statements. With a physical demonstration of the product or service. Sins 2 Wasting marketing on the wrong targets.
Will move on to their next project if their marketing ideas with your business don’t pan out as anticipated.
No matter how good your marketing message is, if it is delivered to people who are unable to buy, it is wasted. That’s the whole basis for demographics and niche marketing – finding people who are predisposed to buy your product or service because of other existing factors. Thus, before making a commitment to allocate resources to marketing, stop and ask, “How can I get these messages delivered to the people who are most likely to buy?” Answer that question first and foremost and you automatically enhance your chances of marketing success.
Doesn’t have “skin in the game” like you do. A far better approach is to use an outsider as a collaborator. When you combine their expertise with your own intimate knowledge of the business, great things can happen. Synergy can be created, and the results generated can be amplified. That won’t happen if you leave everything up to them.
“There is a night-and-day difference between solving marketing problems in the classroom and the real world; there is a red-and-green difference between creating an ad in six weeks in the classroom and figuring out how to fix a headline in six minutes under the deadly deadlines of real life. The big-name firms who hire wet-behind-the-ears MBAs do their clients a grave disservice. I suggest you hire experts with real-world experience: Somebody with bruises and battle scars, who started out at the broom-in-hand level and clawed his way up. Determine whether or not she knows how to sell.” – Dan Kennedy
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