Posted by Scott Dunn on August 20, 2008
Are you giving away the farm when you give away some of your product? Are you giving away your secrets, and not protecting your family’s jewels?
Assuming you are a believer in your product and are proud of it, sampling is the most potent arrow in your marketing quiver.
If a picture is worth a hundred words, then a taste is worth a thousand pictures. One definition of a sample is, “A representative part from a larger whole presented for inspection as evidence of quality.” How could there be a smarter prelude to winning marketing?
Some of the greatest food chains are Wegman’s (Rochester, NY) and Whole Foods.
You can’t get out of one of their stores hungry, because the have fed you with delicious samples. And it’s hard to leave without spending a bundle.
There are many ways, other than eating, to sample your goods:
- Barnes Noble wants you to read books, so they make that inviting and easy. They don’t care if you mess up their displays or spill coffee. You will ultimately buy books.
- A good car dealer lets you take a car home for the weekend.
- A masseuse gives you a free neck rub.
- The “spritzer” in Macy’s cosmetics aisle gives you a breath of alluring air.
- A financial planner or a marketing consultant gives you a free hour of advice.
- A stand-up comedian starts with a chuckle, and preacher invokes hope.
It’s important to note that sampling should not be a preview of the price. It’s a demonstration of the confidence in your product. Don’t compete on price: only Wal*Mart can succeed in that game. Don’t give away too much.
Suppose that you are in a play-off with two others for a new customer, and you are each given thirty seconds. The first two gave good, succinct “elevator speeches.” Then it’s your turn. You announce your name, your brand’s main benefit, and bestow a sample. Guess who wins.
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Posted by Scott Dunn on August 7, 2008
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another—–”
This Declaration of Independence applies to employers, clients and customers as well. When you’ve had enough of a tyrannical boss, a recalcitrant client, or a thieving customer, it is your right and duty to say, “I’ve had enough. YOU’RE FIRED!”
Who ever said “The Customer is Always Right” was a fawning, sycophantic wimp.
I was with an ad agency that had a big profitable account where the ad manager was a moral deviant. He delighted in making us miserable. I talked with our president, who wrote this on his pad as he was making the decision:
As I sat lone and musing, a friend came up and said, Cheer up, things could be worse. So I cheered up, and sure enough, Things got worse.
So he got the account group together and said, “He who angers you controls you.” He made the hard but joyous call and severed the relationship. We replaced that account very soon with a better one.
I was the head of customer service at Target Stores. They are very kind to their customers, meeting them more than half way on their problems. The benefit of the doubt is theirs.
But Target is not a jerk. While we took back almost everything, we drew a line; we recognized the repeaters and told them politely that they would be happier not shopping here any more. (“Try Kmart—”) I saw a lot of sweat-stained garments that “were never worn.” My favorite was the unused crock pot that began to reek from the chicken inside.
Small firms can be devastated by the loss of any client, so it’s understandable that they endure untold miseries. It’s a quantum leap when they first stand up and say,
“No more. There is some crap I will not stand.” Bite the bullet and get rid of the problem. Freedom comes next, and more business.
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Posted by Scott Dunn on February 9, 2008
In today’s blog, I cover why Word of Mouth Advertising is the most powerful form of advertising your business can ever do. The Return on Investment with Word of Mouth Advertising is higher than any other form of advertising you implement.
Why is it so powerful and why does it work so well? Easy… it’s called Raving Fans. Raving Fans not only purchase from your business on a regular interval, they also are the ones telling people to do business with you.
You are probably thinking to yourself how much money you are going to save this year in advertising. Not so fast. LESS THAN FOUR PERCENT of your client base turn into raving fans. (Let me say that again: LESS than FOUR PERCENT!!!!) This means that 96% of your business comes from your customers and clients. How do they find you? Through traditional advertising.
Most businesses use Word of Mouth as a cop-out because they either do not understand their Target Market or have not developed their Unique Selling Proposition. Do not put your organization in that predicament. Understand how to harness ALL forms of advertising and grow your business. Traditional advertising works. If yours is not working, then make changes today and start making it work for you.
Bottom line: While Word of Mouth Advertising is the most effective form of advertising for your business, it is simply a spoke in a wheel. For a wheel to roll properly, their must be multiple spokes. Understand your target market and use different advertising mediums to reach them. Word of Mouth Advertising is simply not enough to sustain your business. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE THAT WORD OF MOUTH ADVERTISING IS THE ONLY ADVERTISING YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS!
Please click on the arrow below and I look forward to your comments, questions and input.
Posted in Advertising | Tagged: Advertising, Alpharetta, alpharetta business, appen, appen newspaper, atlanta, city of Alpharetta, city of atlanta, city of johns creek, city of milton, city of milton advertising, city of milton business, GA, Georgia, gnfcc, Johns Creek, johns creek business, johns creek chamber, marketing, money mailer, Scott Dunn, small business advertising, small business marketing, super coups, target market, Town Planner, Town Planner Calendar, valpak | 5 Comments »
Posted by Scott Dunn on January 29, 2008
I came across an article the other day in the New York Times (it was sent to me by a fellow Town Planner Publisher) which asked a simple question: “Does it pay to advertise during a recessionary period?” My first thought was why would someone (especially the New York Times) write about advertising in a recession when we are not in one. A recession is defined as two straight quarters of contraction (I knew my Economics degree was going to come in handy some day). As of this writing, there has not been one quarter of contraction, much less two. I guess when you work for the media you actually start believing your own hype! Never the less, I did find the content of the article very, very, very interesting. It is nothing new, revolutionary or something that has not been said for hundreds of years. YES, you MUST ABSOLUTELY ADVERTISE in a recession.
I know, I know…I sell advertising, so what else would I say? No?? While it is true that I sell “Kick Ass Advertising”, another company actually came up with the findings. No, that company does NOT sell advertising. The name of the company is McGraw Hill Research. They actually use this thing called math to figure it out.
In a nutshell what they found is this: After analyzing 600 companies from 1980 through 1985, those who advertised the same or increased their advertising averaged significantly higher sales both during the recession and after it. My first question was this: What does significant mean? According to McGraw Hill, significant means 260% over those who stopped advertising. If you don’t believe me, see the graph below.
Lastly, the article went on to explain that a company by the name of Meldrum & Fewsmith found that advertising during a recession not only increases sales but increases profits as well. How can this be you ask? Simple…it is called Top of Mind Awareness. When I say car, what do you think of? How about TV or computer? That is called Top of Mind Awareness. If you stop advertising for one second, you risk the chance of losing Top of Mind Awareness.
Still don’t believe me? I guarantee you that every single one of your answers was influenced by advertising. How many of you came up with TATA Motors? (Go on and google it.) Unless you have lived in India, you are not familiar with them. TATA Motors does not advertise in the USA, so how could you be?
As always, please post your thoughts and comments. If you would like to see something covered in a blog, shoot me an email or give me a call.
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