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Archive for July 2013

The Big Win-Win. How to Get What You Want and Deliver More to Your Customers.

The Big Win-Win.  How to Get What You Want and Deliver More to Your Customers.

Win Win MarketingWhat do we all want from our businesses?

  1. More Customers
  2. Higher Prices
  3. Increased Bottom Line

How are you going to get there?  Value Pricing.

Understand that value pricing is not just a $100 term for low price tactics.   At a time when many core products are quite similar , creating additional value can be both a differentiator and a profit-maker.  If you can figure how to position that incremental value, it might just be the biggest win-win for your company.

Just make sure that the incremental value you create is valuable to your customers… not just something you believe should be of value.  If you do that successfully, you can charge customers for that.  And just about now I’m hearing the chorus of, “I can’t lower prices.  Competitors are lowering theirs.”

Think about it.  Do you really want to have the lowest prices?  Not only is lowball pricing generally unproductive, it’s a tough position to break out of.

McKinsey confirms this.  In a recent article they claim that, “Customers do not buy solely on low price. They buy according to customer value, that is, the difference between the benefits a company gives customers and the price it charges. More precisely, customer value equals customer-perceived benefits minus customer-perceived price. So, the higher the perceived benefit and/or the lower the price of a product, the higher the customer value and the greater the likelihood that customers will choose that product…..The key to success often resides in gaining a clear understanding of the real attributes driving customer choice and their relative importance.”

The potential for profit in managing the customer value chain is enormous.  The first step, as with most marketing challenges, is getting into the heads of your customers.  Customers imbue some level of value into all products.    97% of small businesses can benefit from figuring out how to add meaningful value to their core features and benefits.

Link To McKinsey Article

A Short Film on the Death of Film…Starring Film

A Short Film on the Death of Film...Starring Film

I love photography.   And I love(d) film.  Until recently, you really couldn’t love one without the other.  Film forced you to take the time to think.  Each roll (or sheet) cost you time and money, so you took the time to think about things.  With digital, there’s no need to take the time to think.  Just keep on clicking and posting.

Before we all fall into the limited thought/ endless possibility of digital let’s hear a few last words from film. Kudos to Tyler Shields for creating this inspiration about the death of film… and thank you to The Phoblographer for a consistent flow of inspiration.

How To Hire A Marketing Consultant

How To Hire A Marketing Consultant

Kelly Burkart advises that, “The role of marketing director is one of many responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of a small business owner. Unless that’s your area of expertise, it may take time away from other areas you should be focusing on. ”  A marketing consultant who comes armed with experience in strategic planning and project management, combined with a network of expert specialists can save you time and money.  In her article in U.S. Bank Connect, Kelly describes how a marketing consultant can help.

Planning and execution. A marketing consultant works with you to determine your marketing goals and budget, and then creates a marketing plan with specific recommendations. With an agreed-upon plan, the consultant helps execute each step using their resources in areas such as media, creative, public relations, etc.

Experience. Many independent (or freelance) marketing consultants have already worked for large marketing firms and have years of experience with a wide variety of industries. You benefit from their expertise without paying for the overhead of a large firm. Expect to pay more per hour than you would for a salaried employee, but realize you’re only paying for the hours a consultant is working for you. In the long run you’ll save money by working with an established consultant who can get up to speed quickly.

More time for you. In addition to setting and achieving your company’s marketing goals, hiring a marketing consultant frees up more of your time to spend on what you do best, whether that’s the day-to-day running of your company, new product development, or sales.

A network of specialists. Just as you try not to do everything yourself, don’t expect a marketing consultant to design your brochures, develop your website, and write your press releases. Experienced consultants have their own networks of designers, copywriters, PR specialists, web developers, and others they call on to execute specific projects.


Link to Kelly Burkart’s article on U.S. Bank Connect

Business Rule # 23. Check to See If the Spaghetti Stuck to the Wall.

Business Rule # 23.  Check to See If the Spaghetti Stuck to the Wall.

Spaghetti CarbonaraWhen I was in college and the only thing we could afford on most nights was spaghetti.  We tossed it at the sickening green wallpapered walls to see if it’d stick.  If it stuck, dinner was ready to go.  Turns out that this astounding culinary ‘rule’ doesn’t even work.  But, I have to admit that it made kitchen duty kind of fun.

 Tossing the proverbial spaghetti at the wall now seems to be part of the recipe for business decision making.  And, it’s sometimes a good idea.  In fact, sometimes it’s a great idea.  Now, a company with a $100,000 promotion budget would be foolish to spend $80k tossing spaghetti.  But spending $10k to try something new could not only bring surprising results, it may also up the ante on innovation, enthusiasm and excitement in the office.

However, tossing spaghetti at the wall without ever checking to see what sticks is a bad idea… it’s always a bad idea.  You have to check to see if the spaghetti stuck to wall.  Making spur-of-the-moment decisions is OK.  Doing it without any objectives is not.  Doing it without checking performance is as wasteful as air conditioning an empty warehouse.

Here are the 2 essential rules for ‘spaghetti toss’ decisions:

  1. Have an objective.
  2. Measure results.

Notice I said measure results.  Don’t figure out your feelings about the results.  Don’t just say it did (or didn’t work) without some type of rational, logical, valid reliable measurement.  It’s not too different from the carpentry rule ‘measure twice, cut once’.  Without measuring, you’ll never learn what works and what doesn’t.  You’ll just end up with a wall full of dried-up spaghetti and no dinner.

The 3 Most Important Words in Life… and They’re Not “I Love You”

The 3 Most Important Words in Life... and They're Not "I Love You"

I Love You Market IncI just read an article from a very reputable digital marketing firm this morning and they advise that direct mail marketing doesn’t work on millennial. The supporting data was tied to a preference for digital music and the apparent assumption that millennials don’t value the touch and feel of a product.  Huh?

 It’s not that I’m a big fan of direct mail, but I’m not convinced that that this organization, tasked with digital marketing, is ever going to be a big fan of direct mail.  So, I went to a website that promotes direct mail.  They propose that there’s great value in using direct mail to drive millennials to digital sources.

Neither argument was particularly persuasive.  And then I remembered #2 on the list of the “3 most important words in life”.  “Consider the source”.  Self-serving, self-preservation is a big thing.  As you’re reviewing the volumes of advice you can receive on any given day….Consider the source.

“Social media will bring you thousands of new customers.” … from a social marketing agency

“PPC advertising will boost your online traffic by 30%.” … from a digital agency

“Our new web design will increase your new clients”….from a web designer


Some of this information will be true for some people, some of the time.  But, before you follow any advice….Consider the source.

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