September 22, 2014

Four fatal marketing assumptions

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 2:18 pm
  1.   “My competitors are stupid!”

You can learn from your competitors, their successes and failures:

Customer benefits you’ve overlooked

A new technology and service being introduced

A new market being explored or a new office opened

Revised terms of sale

Strategic alliances

New ways of handling service or orders

Changes in their client list

Personnel comings and goings

Literature and promotional activities

2    “My customers won’t know the difference.”

Your customers are specialized in (at least) one thing — BEING CUSTOMERS!

They are far more tuned in to your market and the offerings of your competitors than you may give them credit for (your competition never sleeps!)

3.    “My product is vastly superior.”

Most entrepreneurs — particularly manufacturers — consider his or her product to be truly astounding.

If your product IS vastly superior, (can you) come up with a head-to-head demo?

KEY POINT! Don’t become so enthralled with the “excellence” of your product that you lose the customer’s perspective in the process.

4.    “My people are special.”

Most companies feel this way. Unless you can qualify and quantify it, this claim will hold no water with most clients.

Don’t overestimate the impact of your people. How are they special?

MORE: awards, degrees, training, experience? (This is the service company’s equivalent of, “My product is vastly superior.”

KEY POINT! If you claim your staff as a key selling benefit, you’d better be able to back it up.


September 17, 2014

Are you at a fork in the road?

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:03 am

If the answer is yes, consider this Business Scene 2014 scenario:

The sign going one direction reads, Coast.  The other is marked, Accelerate.

Fact one: Those who choose the “coast” route in a difficult economy will learn that the only movement possible when coasting comes from going downhill.

Fact two: There are two kinds of businesses that make gains in a downturn –

  • Bankruptcy attorneys, collection agencies and the like
  • Companies (some of your competitors?) determined to grab market share from the coasters.

Fact three: Closing sales is harder than ever and there are, neither, enough hours nor energy to reach as many prospects as it will take to make a significant difference, unless and until you change your approach.

 What to do:

Plug in some “sales support.”

What is that?

Hard-hitting, direct-response communication to your best prospects, that will pave the way for your sales efforts by effectively relating your value proposition

In other words, what’s in it for them.

No offense intended, but

.  .  . especially in a recession, this is no work for amateurs! Sure, you’re a pro in your own field, but where has that been getting you lately?

No laughing matter

Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!”


September 4, 2014

The two basic functions of business

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 3:03 pm

“Business has two basic functions: Innovation and Marketing.
These produce results. All the rest are costs.”
                                                                                – Peter Drucker 
About Peter Drucker

Peter F. Drucker — writer, management consultant and university professor — was born in Vienna, Austria in November 1909 and died in November of 2005.

He published his first book, The End of Economic Man, in 1939. He then joined the faculty of New York University’s Graduate Business School as Professor of Management in 1950. Since 1971, he has been Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. The university named its management school after him in 1987.

Drucker has written 35 books in all: 15 books deal with management, including the landmark books The Practice of Management and The Effective Executive; 16 cover society, economics, and politics; 2 are novels; and 1 is a collection of autobiographical essays. His most recent book, Managing in the Next Society, was published in fall 2002.

He was a regular columnist for The Wall Street Journal from 1975 to 1995 and has contributed essays and articles to numerous publications, including the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Economist. Throughout his career, he has consulted with dozens of organizations – from the world’s largest corporations to entrepreneurial startups and various government and nonprofit agencies.

Experts in the worlds of business and academia regard Peter Drucker as the founding father of the study of management.

For his accomplishments, Peter Drucker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on July 9, 2002.