by the Specialists in Services Marketing: Trux Marketing/Management Solutions, llc
Secret #1: Develop quantified GOALS.
A roadmap is most useful if you know your destination. Before you decide on marketing activities, it is crucial to have goals, measurable or quantifiable goals. And not just “I want to be a millionaire.” Profits come from successfully providing goods or services to clients.
The best goals are three-year goals, a long enough time to implement them, short enough time to remain realistic. They need to be measurable or quantified so you can know when you achieved them. For example, in three years we want to increase our market share in California from 10% to 25% among teenagers.”
Most people think of marketing as Promotion (advertising, public relations, direct mail, etc.). For marketing to work, all six "P's" need to be in place:
Ø Product (or service you offer)
Ø Price (cost of your service, in terms of money, convenience, time)
Ø Placement (or access, delivery of product/service)
Ø People (your staff)
Ø Positioning (how you fit into the marketplace)
Ø Promotion (how you communicate).
Each "P" is a vital part of your marketing strategy. Without the proper mix, your marketing effort will not work. If your service is of low quality or overpriced, or if your People are not trained or motivated, then Promotion will not help you. In fact, the promotion may backfire...many customers will try your service...once. This may damage your reputation or "Position".
Secret #3: If you market well, you won't need to sell.
Marketing focuses on the needs of the buyer, while selling focuses on the needs of the seller.
Market Research will tell you what the buyer needs so that you can provide it.
Selling means convincing people that they need your product.
Find out what the customer truly needs, then sit back and take orders!
Secret #4: Don't confuse me with the Facts.
You are what customers think you are. Whatever they think your business is (e.g. traditional/high quality/discount, etc.), your customers will behave accordingly. If they think you are a discount provider, they will either come to you for low cost or will avoid you accordingly. If there is a discrepancy between his image of you and "reality," you have a communication problem!
Secret #5: WHO MARKETS in your firm? Only the marketing department?
"Good customer relations begins with good employee relations"...Walt Disney
In a marketing oriented company, everyone markets. The marketing culture pervades the entire company...from the janitor to the President.
This is especially true in a service business, where your "product" can't be demonstrated, recalled, inventoried, or resold. The DELIVERY is the product—sometimes delivered by the lowest paid members of your staff. Therefore a vital, but forgotten, marketing target are your employees! To ensure the delivery of quality service, your employees must be motivated and trained to be a strong part of the marketing team.
Secret #6: Tease 'em, Please 'em, Squeeze 'em.
When writing ads, brochures, sales letters or giving sales presentations, remember the FORMULA for success: “tease 'em, please 'em, squeeze 'em.” (from Alvin Eicoff, Or Your Money Back)
Ø Tease 'em: Get your prospect's attention or interest.
Ø Please 'em: Explain the benefits of your offering.
Ø Squeeze 'em: Ask for action, or for the sale.
Secret #7: Talk about how your client will benefit…not about yourself.
Sell the sizzle (benefit), not the steak (product). No one cares how large your organization is‑‑"We're a staff of ten." But they do care that your staff will greet them in a courteous manner and provide the quality services that they want to meet their needs. Your customers care only what you can do for them. Tell them how they will benefit from doing business with you.
Secret #8: Don't forget past clients.
Everyone focuses on new clients, but most companies forget to market to EXISTING, PAST or LOST CLIENTS. The cost of obtaining each new customer far exceeds the cost of keeping or regaining an old customer.
Pay attention to your existing clients...don't take them for granted or they may decide someone else looks better.
Past clients already know you; they are people you successfully served, but who haven't needed your services in a while. Don't assume they'll come back when they need your service again...you need to remind them of what you offer.
And if you lost a client (someone who is dissatisfied but still needs your service), you might get a second chance with an apology, or by offering free or discounted service. At a minimum, you can defuse ill will.
Choose media that will best carry your message to the right audience. Each medium has its own attributes.
Ø The Internet is the most exciting, versatile, and selective medium available, but it is decidedly different than the other media because it is primarily a “pull” medium, versus a “push” medium. In other words, Internet users are often actively looking for information, goods or services. With other media, the goal is to interrupt some activity with your ad to convey your message.
In June 2009, it was reported that the Internet accounts for one third of the consumer’s media day. The Internet is not only a medium; it is also a business portal--a place where customers can interact with you (for example, via blogs, postings, feedback). We feel every company or organization should have an Internet presence. Without it, you just “don’t exist” in today’s world. But the customer's point of view or needs must be paramount when designing a web site. Be sure to consider social media in your plans too.
Ø Television is best to reach masses of people in a wide area.
Ø Radio reaches a smaller, more targeted group. For the same amount of money, your message will be heard more often on radio over a longer period of time.
Ø Newspapers are excellent for explaining messages in detail to a select audience and to support electronic messages.
Ø Direct Mail or Telemarketing is the most selective medium. Individuals can be selected with pinpoint accuracy, and the message can be tailored to the individual.
Don't make the mistake of thinking bigger is better. In print advertising, the size of your ad should be dictated by how much you have to say. Just like YELLING louder doesn't necessarily increase communication...sometimes whispering is more effective.
Dollar for dollar, your media budget is better spent increasing the frequency of the message rather than increasing the size or length of the ad.
Secret #11: Communications is NOT about getting the message out…
That’s right, communications is not about sending the message, it’s really about making sure the intended message arrives, AND the intended action occurs.
Secret #12: You get what you reward.
When you reward a behavior, you will get that behavior. If you give commissions or bonuses on new sales, your customer retention will suffer. If you reward orders over sales, you might get excessively high cancellations. The examples are endless. We advise planning your reward structure carefully. And we find this rule applies to all facets of life, not just marketing.
Would you like help in implementing these and other marketing secrets?
Visit our web page at http://www.trux.us/tmms.htm and call us at 614-736-8789.
Often an outsider’s perspective is priceless. Let’s discuss YOUR needs.
© Trux Marketing/Management Solutions, 1989, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2009