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Catching Butterflies

Catching Butterflies

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Catching Butterflies

My six-year-old daughter surprised me in the car today when she asked me what butterflies eat. My brain scrambled to access some long-forgotten biology class.

“Nectar,” I replied – proud that I could remember such a minute detail.

“Don’t bees eat nectar, too?”

(How does she know that . . . ?)

“Yes, I guess they do. I think humming birds eat nectar, too”

Pause.

“So if I get a whole lot of nectar I could catch butterflies?”

“Well, it might not be that easy. You have to make sure the nectar is in the right place where a butterfly will find it and it has to be the right season for butterflies. The bad news is you might catch some bees (she hates bees) but if you are lucky, you might also get a humming bird.”

Immediately I saw the correlation to marketing. Just having what they want is not enough. You have to reach them at the right place and the right time.

Thanks for the marketing lesson, sweetheart.

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Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something

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“Nothing happens until somebody sells something!”

 Unknown

 

 

I once walked into a physician’s office on a cold call. The first thing out of the receptionist’s mouth was: “What are you selling?”

I chuckled. My response was simply, “We are all selling something.”

I’m not” she said.

“Sure you are. You are probably paid by the hour. You have a certain set of skills that include customer service, answering the phone, the knowledge of how to appropriately schedule a patient, set up their chart, answer questions, etc. You sell your skills and time for an hourly wage and maybe some benefits. You had to convince the doctor that you were the best qualified and the best choice for the position.”

“I’m his wife” she said coldly.

“That was probably the most difficult sale of your life.” She chuckled and nodded. I got the appointment.

We are not only selling a product or service. Everyday we sell ourselves, our capabilities, our ideas, our dreams. The hardest sale is never for money. The hardest sale is when someone buys with their trust, commitment, faith, confidence, or love.

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Three Cs of Marketing

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You’ve heard of the 4 Ps of  marketing. Allow me to introduce the 3 Cs of promotion:

        1. Content
        2. Clarity
        3. Consistency

 

Content:
Does the ad or message have anything of value? Does it reach somebody or is it just a pretty, ego-boosting piece for your business? Will it interest anyone but you? Are you emphasizing benefits important to customers or features you think are cool? Writing content is not as easy as you think.

Clarity:
Make sure you are writing to your customer – not yourself or your competitor. Even when we develop it our selves, our message can become mixed depending on our mood or the problem of the day. Don’t go it alone. Get someone else to at least proof read it for you. Of course have a point to the marketing. What do you want your customer to do?

Consistency:
All too often, we abdicate our marketing to the newspaper ad salesman, the yellow pages, or the graphic artist. The trouble is that with five people developing messages, every message will be different. Your business card, pamphlets, website, presentations, and even your communication with your employees should carry the same message.

Of course your 3 Cs need to based in your marketing plan. Too many tactics without an overriding strategy can send you in too many directions without ever getting any traction.

Happy Hunting!

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Drip Marketing

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As I begin my own drip marketing, I ponder the efficacy of it. Blogs, newsletters, emails, Facebook posts, pop-bys, phone calls – this list can be endless to keep in touch with those who have a direct connection to you and are potential referral partners, clients, or other fans.

What is a drip campaign? Simply put, it consists of measured “drips” that you provide to your current, past and potential clients. Included in your list should also be your referral partners. As you develop your campaign, you have to identify what categories your contacts fall into. Then determine what small drips you can provide to your database that is going to accomplish two things:

  1. Provide value and establish your business as the authority and expert.
  2. Create “top-of-mind” that helps them remember you are around and available to them.

Here is a great example of how drip marketing works. A mortgage originator decides to send a “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” email to a certain category. This is a group that is accustomed to receiving messages from him and have a well established relationship with him. One of his previous clients responds directly to the email stating they have been thinking about refinancing for a few weeks. Result: Our mortgage originator reminded the client of his presence and the good relationship they had. A refinance resulted in a few hundred dollars worth of commissions and the client now has another reason to tell her friends what a great guy he is.