Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Biggest Sale Ever

It's frustrating when the biggest sale I have to make about a marketing idea is to the people IN the company instead of outside.

Why wouldn't a company's owners WANT to develop a consistent voice or opinion about the topics which are the company's main focus? Why you ask? Because it's too much THEORY and they don't think anything will come out of it.

Everything will come out of it!

How can we interact with people when we don't have a voice?

The concept they push that is old and tired is of "ok, send a letter, or an email." They don't choose, "Ok, what can we teach, or talk about? Then let's figure out the best delivery methods."

It's backwards, and being a low man on the totem pole and young and in a small company, it's like swimming up stream.

If you have any great ideas for me, let me know!

Monday, February 20, 2006

What Was I Thinking?

I just re-read my post from Friday?

Let me apologize...to both of you...that may have read it.

It was useless. It was one of those situations where I was at Starbucks and felt like I SHOULD post something...not because I had something to say.

Just goes to show the true purpose of blogs and makes me think back to what my mom used to say (adjusted slightly for the situation), "If you've got nothing of value to say, don't say anything at all."

Sorry again.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Why Starbucks?

As I sit in Starbucks and write this, I can't help but wonder why they do as well as they do.

Is it because they cater to the desires of their customers. It is certainly about wants because no one needs Starbucks...although sometimes it feels like it.

Is it the perceived status? People from all walks of life can walk into a Starbucks and order a latte and get the same drink. It's not about how rich or powerful you are. You can take part in this world.

Is it because of the taste? It is good coffee...but it's not the best. There is definitely better coffee out there. Some people even make better coffee in their homes as evidenced by coffeegeek.com.

I think it's a combination of all of them, and we would do well to learn from the example (obviously).

What Say You?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Your Change Sir (or Ma'am)

"It takes forever to maintain change, but it takes just a flash to achieve change of even the most profound sort." Tom Peters

Wow.

Process that for a bit. Really think about it. How would that statement change your personal and professional life (not to mention your business) if you really believed it?

What if we looked at change as a series of small events, instead of focusing on the pain of a "large-scale" change?

It's along the lines of positive thinking, but it goes further by showing that no change is out of our grasp. It's maintaining the change that's difficult and time-consuming.

What if we started thinking this way?

What changes would happen today?

What say you?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

So...How Do You Do It???

A bit of a departure today.

Let's make the comments overflow today. How do you use the knowledge contained in business books?

I read them, highlight them, and tend to then forget about them.

What do you do to take the information from "read" to "use?"

Playing Along

Playing along with Scoble and the

brrreeeport

game.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Why, why, why!

I was just registering and logging in to www.dpreview.com to post a message.

Just so you know, I think it's a great site if you like photography or want to learn more so I don't want to bash them. But, I had a bit of an issue.

I was creating a login account and entered my email address. kevin_behringer@yahoo.com.

Got an error message: can't use an Internet email account.

In this age, where most people's email IS web based because ISPs change so often, why would ANY website not allow you to use an Internet email account? That's what most people use.

Frustrating.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Ever Have One of Those Days?

Have you ever had one of those days where you really don't know what is going on?

I was in a 4 hour marketing meeting this morning with the three owners of the company where I work. After going through many other things, they asked me if I had anything.

I said that as a small company we need to develop a "voice" or an "opinion."

They looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. They basically said, "That's a bunch of theory and I don't think it will do anything for us."

It just goes in the same boat of frustration as when they price a new product, their only criteria is, "How much do we think we can get out of people? Oh, they have more money...let's charge them more."

AAAHHHHH.

Top that off with not wanting to bring in a CRM program because, "Oh, we just won't use it." So, we will just keep wondering where everyone's conversations are at.

Sounds like someone needs to read Cluetrain and understand the importance of being involved with conversations.

Sorry for the rant, but there's probably not anyone reading this anyway!

Friday, February 03, 2006

But I Don't Feel Like It

"People won't change until the pain of doing nothing becomes greater than the pain of changing...It's the same with perceived benefit. It has to be greater than the comfort of the status quo." - Tom Asacker

What makes people change anything?

Not just what products they use, but even the channel on the TV? They know that they may be missing something that they perceive as more valuable than the channel they are on.

It's the same with marketing. Unless your offering is so compelling that they perceive it as being more valuable than what they're doing (and not just a little more valuable) they'll stick with what they have.

I'm dealing with this right now. Many of our prospects are working with a competitor that is not providing them with the service they need. But, the service is a lesser part of their business (in their mind) and they don't want to deal with changing providers, so they just settle for lower levels of service.

So, we're struggling with making what we do more compelling (I want to get to remarkable, but that's a different story).

That's how you stand out. By doing things that people can't (in their mind) live without.

What say you?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

"LISTEN TO ME!"

"You can't make people listen. But you can figure out who's listening when you talk and then invent the right combination of "Ps" to overwhelm them with the rightness of your offer." -Seth Godin

So much effort is spent trying to MAKE people listen to what you have to say. I think it comes from the old sales strategy of throwing enough spaghetti at the wall and some will stick.

The problem with that thought is that eventually, all the spaghetti will fall off the wall. What you want is to throw only the spaghetti that has glue on it. If you're talking to the right people-the ones who will listen-you will develop a relationship, not just a transaction. Those people will then help you "put the glue on more spaghetti" by talking to their colleagues.

I struggle with this in my job as a marketing coordinator. I'm finally getting the "powers that be" to look away from the "market to everyone" thought. They are finally getting on board with talking to a targeted group. The problem is trying to get them to identify exactly what those people look like. And to get them to stop trying to be "everything to everyone."

One step at a time I guess.

What say you?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

WOW!

According to Tom Peters

"The enterprise should make your prospective customers say, 'Wow,' 'Neat,' 'Holy Smokes.'"

How does this happen? Where can you change something, improve something, turn industry standards on their end?

Slick advertising and smooth salesmen don't make people remember your offering. Sure, they may remember the ad, but how many ads are out there that people say are "Funny, creative, great," but if you ask them what product the ad was for, "I don't remember."

The ONLY thing that people remember is how your offering makes them feel. Does it make them feel impressed, driven to have it? That's what will make them remember you and your offering. Nothing short of amazing will help you stand out.

What say you?