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Archive for the Marketing Category

7 Steps to Getting Customers to Like, Love & Lust

7 Steps to Getting Customers to Like, Love & Lust

Having employees and customers who like your business is nice.  But, let’s admit it.  Being nice is like being that blind date with a nice personality.  Don’t you want to be the one with a great personality  that people fall in love with and that many lust after?  If you’re going for mediocrity, just don’t bother reading any further.

If you think you have what it takes to be that business that people like, love and lust after… then here are the rules.


 1. Satisfaction is thebarenaked minimum

Satisfying customer needs is mediocre.  It’s the bare minimum you need to do.  When A client calls me at 2:15 on a Tuesday afternoon and asks me to help on a (unplanned) project  that afternoon, I do it.  It’s the least I can do and it’s not deserving of life-long love.  When they call at 2:15 on a Saturday afternoon and ask me to be at their offices that afternoon to help put together a sales meeting presentation that afternoon because they just forgot about it.  That might start the ball rolling on love.


 2. Don’t make customers work for it

A Harvard Business Review article suggested that delighting your customers could be a waste of time since, “ what matters most to customers is the amount of effort they put in to interactions: 96% of customers who report putting in high effort in their service interactions are more disloyal, while only 9% of customers who expend low effort are more disloyal.” 


 3. Empower everyone to wow customers

Your customers interface with your front line.  Make sure that yours is engaged, excited and looking to make your customers life easier and solve their problems quicker.


 4. Pre-solve problems

Remember rule #2.  The point is to save your customers time and energy.  The objective is to remove stress from their lives.  Solve problems before they happen.  And, be sure you tell them about it!


 5. Make the “2 ears , 1 mouth” communication strategy a religion

You know the drill.  You have 2 ears and 1 mouth… listen twice as much as you talk.  Remember that listening is not just a matter of not talking.  Listen to what your customers say.  Listen so hard that you hear the symphony between the lines.


 6. Know when to hold-em… know when to fold-em

Realize that you’re not going to get every customer to think that you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread.  I haven’t figured out the hard rules of how to do this, but sometimes you’re going to have to just let it go.


 7. Let everyone know how much your customers love you

Who do you want more – the one that everyone else love (or is lusting after) or the one that’s just OK?

When new customers learn how much your current customers love you, they’re going to expect more from you.  But, that’s OK because we both now that you’re prepared to deliver!

5 Ways Your Brand Is Like a Virus

5 Ways Your Brand Is Like a Virus

brand virus

Your brand is like a super-virus.

  1. It exists whether you want it to or not.
  2. It evolves with every interaction you have with the world.
  3. It can spread like wildfire.
  4. You can’t change it’s status with meaningless words.
  5. Once it’s embedded, it’s tough to get rid of.


When I mention BP, what do you think about?  Their brand story has been narrated by their actions, not their words.  Over time, over a long time, the image will change.

bp logo spill


Crafting a meaningful story that reflects the truth of your organization is the best revenge.  Your brand is a reflection of  your truth.  Create a story that’s based on truth and meaningful to your customers.  Then live that story every day.


If you need help creating a branding strategy for your business, we can help.  Market-Inc. is a marketing consultant focused on creating strategic plans – – and we can help you execute that plan if you like. 

  • How Reality Can Trump the 5 Rules of Market Leadership

    How Reality Can Trump the 5 Rules of Market Leadership

    brand liesThere are too many people walking around with the foolish conviction that they are the biggest and best in their market.  They believe they have all of the answers and that they set the guidelines for the rest of their market.   I steer clear of these folks.  They operate with a closed brain and an open mouth, yet feel they’ve uncovered the secrets of market leadership.  I will let you in on their secret.  With 5 rules and a mere 50 words, they’ve figured it all out.

    Repeat these words consistently to everyone you speak with inside and outside your company:

    1. We are the number 1 leader in this market.
    2. We have more customers in the market than anyone else.
    3. We have higher customer loyalty vs. our competition.
    4. All of our competitors follow everything what we do


    I’m not sure if their perception is their reality or if deranged or if their egos are too fragile to understand that they can’t possibly know everything about everything all of the time.  But, there are a ridiculous number of folks who believe that saying something makes it possible.  Saying it loudly and consistently to everyone makes it “true” (in their world).  Unfortunately, there are hordes of unthinking people who get swept up into it and believe those false “truths”.

    I have one easy rule…one simple filter… to help separate truth from fiction:

    1.  Objectively measure all claims and prove it’s truth (or fiction)


    Many people claiming leadership don’t actually have a clear definition of what constitutes their market nor do they have objective performance measurements of their claims.  That closed-brain, open-mouth strategy might actually enable them to gain some group.  But, within time, a ‘David’ will arise to challenge their self-claimed Goliath existence.  And then, without a firm grasp of reality, they’ll fall down.  Just remember that reality can be your best friend…. or the inescapable sword that bursts your balloon.


    4 Ways to Guarantee Great Non-Marketing

    4 Ways to Guarantee Great Non-Marketing

    Non Marketing PerformanceWant to know how to make your marketing a last minute scramble? Want an almost certain guarantee of ineffective, inefficient, inconsistent marketing?  Well, you’re in luck.   Here are the four best practices for great non-marketers:

    1. Don’t focus on customers
    2. Don’t think about marketing
    3. Don’t care about competition
    4. Don’t consider  yesterday or tomorrow

    Are you following the Four Don’ts and are you then surprised that you’re rushing around at the last minute to put together a new brochure, mailing, a new website or a new ad?  Kind of silly – don’t you think?

    I recently read an interesting blog post  about the “..Frantic Scramble in Marketing” from Drew McLellan

     “…some of the challenges that business owners/leaders face when it comes to marketing, like:

    1. Marketing is not part of their daily routine — so they cycle. Go like crazy when things are slow and then do nothing when they’re flush. If the dry spell is too long, they go out of business.
    2. Chasing after new business and ignoring existing customers (spend time/money in the exact wrong way — it should be spent on employees, current customers and then prospects not the other way around).
    3. Marketing is too self centered/focused. Way too much me/we and not enough focus on the customers’ needs.
    4. Try to do too many different marketing tactics all at once and don’t do any of them for a long enough period of time or with enough depth. Better to do fewer but do them better.
    5. Business owners need an outside perspective. Why/how is their business different/unique? What is the value proposition that only they can offer? But they can’t figure it out on their own. It’s like trying to describe the outside of a bottle — if you are inside it. Can’t unknown what you know.”

    “Are you suffering from any of those mistakes?  Are you so busy scrambling that you’re applying the same philosophy to your marketing? Create a marketing game plan and follow it.  Leave the scrambling to other aspects of running your business.”

    The dangers of excluding marketing from the forefront of your business go beyond the last-minute dash to get marketing projects completed.  Without a marketing mindset, it is likely that your marketing will be less effective and less efficient.  In fact, it’s likely that your non-marketing will be downright ineffective and inefficient.  You’re likely to spend more money to get less.  If that’s your goal, then go for it.  If not, you need to start living the marketing life.

    Water Retention:Not Good … Customer Retention:Awesome

    Water Retention:Not Good ... Customer Retention:Awesome

    Customer Retention

    Can you develop new business without knowing anything about your current or past customers?  Sure you can.  It may not be the smartest, most cost effective, most efficient thing to do… but you can do it.  When money is tight and time is tighter, it just doesn’t make sense to do that.

    What’s your retention rate?

    I’ve spoken to quite a few small businesses the N.Y.C. area and Long Island.  When I ask about their customer retention rate, they usually say “It’s high”, “It’s good” or “That’s not a problem for us”.  When I probe and ask them for the numbers, 99% of the time I’ll get the disappearing-neck shrug of the shoulders.  Bottom line, they really don’t know.

    Your customers are one of your biggest potential resources.  Cultivate them.  Baby them.  Respect them


     Here are 7 easy steps to increase customer retention:

    1. PERCEPTION                      Remember that it’s all about your customers’ perception…not yours.
    2. MEASURE                            Don’t rely on your feelings about customer retention.  Measure it!
    3. DELIGHT                               Focus on customer ‘delight’… not just satisfaction
    4. DEAR JOHN                         Get the facts on why customers leave.  Ask them.  Don’t assume.
    5. FRIENDING                         Cultivate consistent ongoing relationships with customers.
    6. EXPECTATIONS                 Proactively manage your customers’ expectations
    7. BLACK BOOK                      Reach out to all of those folks in your “little black book” of ex-customers

    Love thy customers

    ScreenHunter_01 Jun. 21 11.37

    Your customers are one of your biggest potential resources.

    Cultivate them.

    Baby them.

    Respect them.

    Love them even if they leave you!

    High customer retention rates could the fuel you need for your business.  Raise those rates and it’ll increase customer loyalty and new referrals.  Now that’s the type of synergy you need.

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    What Are People Saying?

    I have had the pleasure of working for Susan on several assignments. One of her main strengths is her creativity and the unique talent to provide proper direction and vision to her vendors when contemplating a new project.   Although not necessary, she always found the time to pass along praise to our workforce when we went the extra mile. A true rarity these days.

    Doug Robertson

    How We Can Help You.

    We are marketing consultants based on Long Island, NY. Over the past 20 years, we've built fierce market leaders in a broad range of businesses - from tiny start-ups to global Fortune 500 companies.  Our experience spans multiple industries from consumer electronics to financial services and from food services to photo.  We're looking forward to talking to you to see how we can help take your business to the next level.