Try Things! Lots of Things!

by Gary Gudbranson on September 15, 2011

The greatest mistake you can do in Marketing is not experimenting!

Try Things Lots of Things

source: Hans Splinder-Flickr

“We have always done it this way…”; “That will never work…”; “That is not a industry standard way of marketing products in our industry”;  “We couldn’t do THAT!”

I am sure you have heard one of these put downs, and reasons why you can’t or should not introduce innovation into your marketing programs.  They all signal wrong thinking about the purpose of marketing.

The only way you will determine new and innovative ways to find customers, intrigue clients, or differentiate yourself from the completion is by experimenting.  Yes I am advocating that you try something new, be off the wall.

Now I am not advocating that you throw common sense out the window, or do something unethical or legal, but I am suggesting you get out of your comfort zone occasionally and try something new, or simply try a technique used in another industry. You might be pleasantly surprised.

But mitigate your experiment by testing it first on a small segment of your market, perhaps geographical, or some other demographic. Then MEASURE the results!  If the initial result is positive, try it on a different segment of your market or otherwise scale it up.  If it was a total flop — well you only spent a small amount and only touched a small part of your market.

Don’t just experiment with new things.  Innovate with your existing marketing campaigns — try changing up the colours you use, or the size of the font, or the graphics you use – change the voice of content from second or third person to first person.  Just keep your eye on the ball.

The bottom line is:

1) Experiment – but do it small

2) Measure – to understand why it worked; or didn’t

3) Ramp up successful experiments to full scale;  file the rest as lessons learned.

Elevator Pitches are not a dated fad!

by Gary Gudbranson on March 21, 2011

Elevator Pitches are just as critical today.

Last week I was facilitating an elevator pitch development workshop with a client, and had a flash from the past — from my days at JetForm Corporation — circa 1998.

While the production quality is a bit dated, if you read between the not so subtle versions of the elevator pitch presented, the points the video makes are as important today as they were then.  Solving customers problems, working with clients rather than badgering them in to submission is all the rage today.  I say not!  Avoiding salesmanship game playing and  feature / function selling routines have been the right way to gain customer trust and building a true relationship from the dawn of time.

I find it strange that often we forget this to be the truth and solution selling becomes all the rage again. The ultimate goal must ALWAYS be to actually solve a customer’s problem rather than simply sell them something. This always forges a long term positive bond with customers.

The video is a little over 7 minutes, but well worth it if only for a chuckle.

Source: Stephano/Flickr

Build your home base well, and FIRST!

Facebook is not the home base, Twitter is not home base, your social profiles spread far and wide are not the home base. Your hub, your blog, your web site – that’s the home ‘base’. Build the house, fix the house, decorate the house and invite the party to the house because it’s the one thing you can own and control.  Your activity in social media is all about building a persona/brand that draws people to the house, whether you’re a electrical contractor, consultant or someone that wants to create a path to a better career. Build rich and engaging forward base wherever your prospects hang out, but remember your always want people to follow you home.

It comes down to ensuring that you have something real to offer, that your content is relevant, and your are hitting a real need.  The biggest social network will not make up for poor content or value proposition.

That’s it, pretty obvious really, but not said enough… now, I’m off to tweet what I had for breakfast.

Make Your Backside Useful

by Gary(Webmaster) on January 27, 2011

Post image for Make Your Backside Useful

Get extra value from your collateral.

And yes your business card is a piece of collateral — in fact it is your number one piece of collateral.

It is almost always the first piece of collateral that people receive.  It is the piece of collateral that they most often keep… and keep for a long time.

But it is the most under-utilized piece of collateral.  The backside is often left black, thereby missing a great opportunity to deliver or expand on your message.

The front side is generally the place to set the brand with a logo and a tag-line;  tell them who you are, how to contact you, and where you ‘live’.

Complement & Extend Your Message… Be Useful

The backside is a small footprint but it can deliver a powerful and lasting punch. Consider the potential use of the backside like:

  • Your elevator pitch
  • A helpful chart or utility – something to keep them coming back!
  • Product logos – Remind them what you have to offer
  • Listing of corporate contact points like support

The objective should be usefulness to the reader and/or extension of your message.  With a little thought you can make your backside something that your customers values.

Your homework:

What nifty backside uses have you seen?

The Brand Importance of Your Portrait

January 25, 2011
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Portraits are a very important expression of your brand. Great brand prescription will embrace the culture and personal feel of a company. As such it will have direct impact on the development of all external representations for the company. It is common to focus on the logo, the tag-line, tone of communications, messaging, and the [...]

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Solving Appointment Scheduling Tag:

November 28, 2010
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I am sure that you have experienced the dreaded appointment tag – that sometimes endless scheduling limbo where you and your ‘meeting-ee’ going back and forth trying to pick a mutually convenient day and time to have a meeting or a call. While it doesn’t eliminate all the causes of scheduling tag… goes a [...]

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What is Just Enough Marketing?

February 17, 2010
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I have been working for, running, and/or mentoring companies, mostly high technology companies, for over 20 odd years now. It always amazes me how the discussions on the marketing activities in a company boils down to how big the marketing budget is. How big the marketing budget is is NOT the critical issue! The real [...]

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