Archive for

Everything You Know About Marketing is Wrong!

For as long as marketing and advertising has been the driving force behind big business, smaller companies have tried copying their marketing strategies with results that are less than desirable. This results in the general opinion among small business owners that marketing is expensive and does little to generate business.

These general opinions are true. So true in fact that the majority of small business owners have become so jaded by their own marketing activities that they have chosen not to market their business. Other business owners have heard stories of failed marketing attempts and they too shy away from actively growing their business.

Why?

Everything you know about marketing is wrong!

That’s why!

How can I say that everything you know about marketing is wrong? Look around, look at the marketing you see every day. We are bombarded by TV commercials, radio adverts, billboards and print advertising and as a result this is how we have now learnt to market our businesses. This could not be further from the truth as to how we should be marketing our business.

The type of marketing we have become accustomed to has its origins in the 1950′s. This was before TV had been launched in South Africa and the two largest advertising mediums were radio and print, although nowhere near as competitive or costly as it is today. The 1950′s is known as the era of the brand builders. Brand building worked off a simple formula adopted by advertising agencies, used even in today’s era of marketing and advertising. This formula is so simple and yet out of reach to smaller businesses as the cost escalates in to the millions. The brand building formula, ‘C&R’ is how they base all their advertising and marketing expertise. C&R translated into layman’s terms is Creativity and Repetition Advertising. Simply put, develop a creative catchy advert and repeat it so many times that it sticks. Almost like throwing mud onto a wall. If it is dirty enough some will remain behind and leave a lasting impression.

It is frightening how many millions this type of advertising can amount to, keep in mind that advertising is only one element of the vast array of guerrilla marketing tactics at our disposable. Here is a brief example. A number of years ago I was involved with a large corporate advert in the motor security environment. They commissioned a budget of R3 500 000 for the production of their advert. The ad was cute and portrayed the essence of the company and the service provided to the public. Excluded in that hefty production bill was airtime fee across the variety of TV channels in SA. This amounted to a whopping R4 000 000, which delivered three months of airtime. The company then ran short of budget for the second half of the year and decided to rebroadcast the same advert for another R4 000 000, with far less effect. In total R 11 500 000 was spent on the ad campaign and not one sale could be tracked from the ad campaign.

Can you see how you have been trained to believe that TV, Radio and Print adverts are the way to market your business? As a small business you can market yourself for far less and generate generous results.

Jay Conrad Levinson coined the term Guerrilla Marketing in 1984. He is known as the father of Guerrilla Marketing and is considered a pioneer with his take-no-prisoners approach to marketing for the small and medium-size business owner. Jay has authored and co-authored over 35 books, selling more than 20 million copies worldwide. His skills and marketing tactic have become part of the curriculum in many universities worldwide as they recognise that the standards of marketing have changed.

Adopting Guerrilla Marketing Tactics into your business is key to growing your business at an affordable marketing budget. There are over 100 marketing weapons, according to Jay, that should be considered when planning a marketing activity in your business. One of which is database marketing, using technology as a delivery vehicle.

Before any marketing takes place you need to establish the type of business you are in. You may be a service provider, you may sell products, you may be in manufacturing, hairdressing, plumbing or retail. Which ever it may be, know that your primary business is marketing: marketing your products and services. Marketing is one of the only two activities that drives revenue, the other being sales.

The aim of Guerrilla Marketing is primarily to explore the untapped assets within your business. Those assets are your marketable entities that can and should be used to expose the benefits of doing business with you.

Of the 100 Guerrilla Marketing tactics, around 60 will cost nothing to implement into your daily marketing activities. These can be used in their simplest form, and stem from what is known as the ‘inner reality’ of the business.

The ‘inner reality’ of your business is everything you and your business stand for. This could be the based on service excellence, owner and staff expertise, your guarantee (also known as risk reversal), time in business and other elements that make you stand out from the crowed of competitors.

Taking what we now know from your ‘inner reality’ and matching it to the ‘outer perception’, the experiences and opinions your clients have of your business, is the basis for the development of your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Your USP becomes your superior promise to your clients and prospects of that which they will experience with your business based on other clients’ experiences as well as the ethos of your company.

Once your USP has been well constructed and implemented throughout all communication channels, the competition your audience faces is narrowed as they realise that you must be the obvious choice to do business with based on the superior promise you offer. You must be able to back up your USP with testimonials and references that have been blown away by your offer and service. There you have a number of Guerrilla Marketing tactics in place: testimonials, references and a compelling USP.

One of the most obvious Guerrilla Marketing tactic is known as phone demeanour. This baffles most business owners yet is so simple to implement and get right. Your telephone is the first port of call to your business and so often the people operating the switchboard perform so poorly that every caller must wonder why they have called in the first place. Make sure that every telephonic communication presents the best possible experience for the client. This goes for your voice mail as well as leaving messages on other peoples’ answering machines.

One of the most obvious Guerrilla Marketing tactics, which is usually underutilised, is your business card. Many business cards deliver the least amount of detail, which should be considered a waste of paper and print. Your card should inspire and motivate the prospect to take some kind of action. Next time you are at a networking event presenting your business take a good look at the variety of business cards you receive and separate cards those that move you from those that are not grabbing your interest. Then decide what needs to change on your card. Picture your card as a mini portable billboard that advertises your company.

Spot the other guerrilla activity? That’s right, networking. There are obviously the good and the not so good networking events. Choose those that relate closest to your industry and learn the dynamics of effective networking. This will help to grow your list of potential buyers and even suppliers. Keep in mind that there are always sellers at networking events and very few buyers. This is however, a very good way to initiate relationships for future marketing.

That brings us to another guerrilla marketing activity, relationship marketing. People like to buy from people they like and trust. The fact that they entrust their hard-earned cash into your offer means that some kind of working relationship needs to be established to ease the risk of the business transaction. There are many relationship tools available to small business owners that ‘automate’ the relationship process. These tie into other tactics such as email and digital marketing.

Guerrilla Marketing is everything you do, from the way you answer your phone to your dress code and appearance. It is any contact you have, or anyone representing you, with anybody or company.

Your marketing should start and have no end; it needs to been seen as a circle of events that continue year in and year out. These events should be structured on your Guerrilla Marketing calendar for easy reference and measurement. Every marketing campaign should be structured around your marketing plan. Jay developed the seven sentence-marketing plan which delivers direction and accountability to your marketing efforts. This plan outlines the promotion, benefits, audience and budget of every campaign. Following these basic fundamentals of small business marketing will help your company generate sales and profits without spending unnecessary money on advertising.

Facebook Marketing – The Best Free Traffic For Your Website

Do you want some more free traffic to your websites? Well, if you say YES, then we are in the same boat with you. What i want to discuss and have to offer to you, is how we use Facebook as the free source of our website traffic.

As a businessman we all work hard to find people who are willing to spend money on the product only because it is a high quality release. You use SEO, social networking, press releases, article marketing and perhaps even a pay-per-click campaign like Google AdWords to accomplish that. To speed up the growth and success of your business you are using all traditional and uncommon ways to do that.

Are you marketing on Facebook yet?

Why and how to market your website by using Facebook?

If not, you may not have realized the power of the new source. It is so powerful that you do not reach those customers by traditional ways. Facebook is one of the greatest online market that smart businessmen can’t ignore.

It is the biggest social media and networking platform on the Earth with almost half a billion users, of which half of them are active daily. Marketing is a numbers game and if you are still not using a market as big as this, your competition will grab your customers!

Facebook has become so big that it recently passed Google as the website that got the most traffic in a single day. This means that Facebook has became bigger than Google itself.

How would you like a piece of that pie? Facebook is also used to sell products, a lot of normal users mostly don’t know that you can actually use Facebook as a marketing platform for your business. That’s not all, there is also a way to generate lazer targeted visitors that some people don’t even know about to be so easy.

Those of them, that don’t know this, are missing out. Do you want to miss out or do you want to take action and leave your competition cleaning up behind you?

A great reason for Facebook marketing is that there are lot of ways to use to sell and promote your websites and products and different ways to turn those users into cash. You can use profile updates, friends requests, groups, fan pages, events, social ads, the marketplace, pictures, videos and a lot more.

You must learn exactly how you can use all these free techniques to generate massive amounts of targeted

website visitors easily, as well as learn how to use the social media ads of Facebook to get those lazer targeted visitors to your sites and pages. Those ads are the most targeted form of traffic on the internet today.

27 Marketing Weapons For Commercial Real Estate Professionals

It’s a jungle out there. You are all surrounded by the enemy vying for the same bounty. The enemy is trying to steal your business or better yet, make sure no new business comes your way. These enemies are disguised as other real estate professionals, the very ones who greet you at conventions with a smile and ask about business. They stand waiting for you to get turned down for business and then swoop down for the kill.

These enemies thrive on competition. These guys are out to get you and get you good. But there is good news – by implementing a dynamic marketing program, you can beat your enemies at their own game! All you need is a solid marketing program consisting of approximately 10 of the Marketing Weapons listed below (part 2 and 3 of the list will appear in the next 2 issues of my newsletter).

Just make yourself a marketing calendar (a marketing calendar is simply a document that lists your marketing weapons and shows when and how often they will be implemented) through the end of the year. Make sure this marketing calendar lists your marketing weapons, the action step(s) required for each one, date(s) when each will happen, as well as a place to record the results. You need to record as you’ll soon learn which weapons work, the ones you’ll keep.

The 27 Marketing Weapons – Part 1:

1. Competitive Advantage: Make sure you have the competitive advantage within your target market. Be professional, referable, and provide outrageously good service. This is a good example of a daily marketing weapon.

2. Have a prospect List: Have a prospect list, keep it updated, and review it daily.

3. Follow-Up: Believe it or not follow-up is a marketing weapon because 90% of commercial real estate professionals stink at it! The best way to make sure your follow-up is working for you is to review your potential deals, deals in progress and deals under contract daily – determine what action steps are needed, make a list and then block out 1 hour of your time when you will not allow yourself to be interrupted and go for it. And, don’t forget all of those things you’ve promised people you would do. There are many other ways to create a follow up system – call me if you’d like to explore this.

4. Get an 800#: This number is easy to get, and you only pay when someone calls you. You can use it for pre-recorded messages. This is an easy way for anyone to contact you, a way to get some business from Canada (it is costly to call Canada and some people therefore don’t), and it gives you a very professional image.

5. Website and Online Presence: This one’s easy. Get a website and make it work for you. Then you can send prospects to your site for more information about you. And, while you’re at it, give away a free report in exchange for capturing their name and email address.

6. Make an Audio CD Interview: This is cool. Go out and buy yourself a digital recorder (I recommend the Olympus DS-2, $149.00 because you can download the recording directly to your computer and make CD’s from there), have a colleague get on a phone call with you and interview you about business. Have a list of questions prepared in advance so there are no surprises. You can then send a CD made from the recording to prospects or better yet, post it on line. This will give a taste for what you’re all about. Be sure to capture the “benefits” a client receives when working with you.

7. Host a breakfast: Send invitations to 6 of your favorite prospects and invite them all out to breakfast. Don’t be concerned with having them all together at the same time, promote this as a way to meet new people and network – even call it a networking breakfast! Before they leave, in addition to thanking each person individually for coming, give something of value (a copy of your favorite book, a gift card to Starbucks, anything). This is a great tool for a monthly or quarterly marketing weapon.

8. Postcards: Start a monthly campaign. It takes 7 to 9 times for a prospect to see your name before they will pick up the phone and call you. Remember, people do business with those they like, know, and trust. This builds trust and makes the prospect feel like they know you.

9. Speak at Conferences: For those who like to speak, this is a great way to quickly gain credibility. Just think of the times when you attend a conference and hear people speak, don’t you automatically view them as an expert? Speak on subjects you are comfortable with, that way it will be effortless.

10. Effective Use of Voicemail: Leave clear, precise and to-the-point voice mail messages. For example, if you have a space you are marketing, state the exact location and request a callback with any interest the prospect may have. Or, if you’re calling to confirm a meeting, state that. This eliminates guesswork and allows the recipient a chance to answer the question in the event that you are unavailable when they call. Also, when leaving your callback number please do not mumble or speak slowly. State the number twice. And finally, note that leaving a precise message increases your odds of a callback.

11. Provide Outrageously Good Client Service: Providing outrageously good client service will make you stand out and memorable. Why? Because most service providers do not! Take the time to create a system for “WOW” client service and then don’t forget to follow it. This one marketing weapon is worth mega dollars. Go out of your way to go the extra mile. The reward will not only be a client for life, but referrals too.

12. Testimonials/Brag Book: You’re probably asking yourself who does this? Exactly the point – you should. Create a Brag Book that consists of testimonials, letters of recommendation, descriptions of deals well done and even a list of deals completed. I can tell you few people have this and most clients love looking at them, and it will make a prospect feel like he or she is working with a pro.

13. Publish a Newsletter: This works, and I am proof! Consistently get good information in front of your target audience. Add value by providing information that would be of interest to your readers. Send it monthly, bi-weekly or even quarterly. For those that don’t know how to do this, I will be offering a free class coming up soon and I will give you the step-by-step process!

14. Host Teleseminars: This idea came to me last week. I realized how cool it would be for you to host a teleseminar (a group call lead by you on a specific topic). For example, 7 Steps Leasing an Industrial Space. Or, Don’t Get Caught in a Bad Location – 5 Strategies for Site Selection.

15. Have a Marketing Calendar: This simply means you map out in the beginning of the year or at the very least on a monthly basis, all marketing action steps you intend to take, the date (s) they will be taken, and the desired result. This can be written in a calendar, made as a spreadsheet or whatever. The point is to plan ahead and then follow through.

16. Post on e-bulletin boards: Although I have never carried out this particular marketing weapon, it is my understanding it can be quite effective. Just Google bulletin boards in your target market and begin answering the questions posted. This will then make you “the expert” (see #9). Prospects who participate in these types of informational exchanges will begin seeking you out – I promise.

17. Write a Free Report: Add value always. Your clients and prospects will profit by receiving a free report from you loaded with useful information. An example is “10 ways to Profit From Purchasing Your Own Building”; or, “7 Strategies to Choosing The Perfect Retail Location”. At the end, add a paragraph on the benefits of using you to assist them in their needs. (Hint: make it all about them.)

18. Be an Expert: This is a no-brainer! Everybody wants to work with an expert. List 10 ways you can become known as an expert in your niche and then start checking each one off as you accomplish it, and before you know it, you will be “the expert!”

19. Ask: We so seldom remember sometimes all that’s needed is to convey our need – more business. Don’t be bashful or shamed because you are asking for business. Ask and you shall receive. If asking catches your tongue, write up a script or two ahead of time and you’ll do fine.

20. Prospect Letters: Have an arsenal of prospecting letters you regularly send out. For example, if you notice a business acquaintance has changed jobs, send him a letter and offer to sit down and share some of your knowledge about his new territory. Or, mail a prospecting letter to your key centers of influence asking for referrals. But remember, if you don’t follow up with a personal phone call the prospecting letter will be less effective.

21. Word of Mouth: Learn how to work into casual conversations that you have just finished working with a couple of key clients and now have room in your schedule for a few more. Even better, spell out who an ideal client is. Let your peers know you’d like additional business and in exchange you will be mindful to send business their way as well when you can (get in the habit of referring).

22. Offer 5 FREE Consultations: By this I mean call up 5 prospects and offer to sit down with them over a cup of coffee and talk about their current and future real estate needs, no strings attached. Give a suggestion or two towards the end and then walk away without asking for business. The key is to follow-up, ask how it’s going and oh by the way, can I be of service to you? This works like magic.

23. Write a Book: Nothing will position you as an expert faster then writing a book – you will have instant celebrity status. If writing isn’t your thing, record it and have your assistant transcribe and edit it.

24. Join a Tips group: Join an existing group such as LeTip (LeTip.com) or BNI (BNI.com) and get ready to have more business. The format of these groups is to have weekly breakfast meetings and share referral possibilities with each other. Better yet, form your own referral group and share clients.

25. Serve on an Association Board: Volunteer your time to associations and organizations that apply to your specialty, for example, ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers). Offer to head up a committee or help another committee chair. Work your way up to being a board member. This gets you exposure, involvement and expertise.

26. Create a Resource List: Create a listing of valuable resources and share them with your prospects. Executives are so busy these days they will welcome any help you can provide. It will save them hours of research time and they will be grateful to you. It’s easier to give business to someone who has been helpful in the past. Plus, it shows you are resource-rich, always a plus.

27. Lastly, Be Professional: Show up on time, do what you say you’re going to do and do it with excellence.