Archive for the ‘marketing’ Category

The power of an outside perspective

March 18, 2010

It’s St. Patrick’s Day so Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! As luck would have it, I’ve been asked to help some new entrepreneurs out on their marketing and business plan ventures and I’m really enjoying the process of giving an “outsider’s perspective” on what they are developing with their new technologies.

I have to say, this has been an eye-opening process for me. There really is a lot to be said for having an outsider review your ideas! Being the “outside perspective” also reminds me that many of us (including myself) forget to assume that every customer may know something about your product or what it does. However, many customers and potential customers may know little to nothing about what you do. So, what do you do? Review, refresh, review again. Keep it clear, keep it simple. Refresh, review, review again and enlist people to help make sure you are clear in communicating your ideas. Get someone else’s perspective before moving forward!

It’s easy to keep going and going with everyday work and operations of your business and to forget just how important and valuable that “outside perspective” is. Here’s some suggestions on how you can incorporate an “outside perspective” in your new ventures:

1. Enlist someone who is knowledgeable about your product or service and enlist someone who is not. Then ask both to review your marketing and sales efforts. Is the feedback consistent? What can you learn from both?

2. Find a potential customer who will offer to read through a new idea or a plan. Does it resonate with them? Are you on track with how you think your customers may think/feel?

3. Ask a friend or a former colleague who is not knowledgeable about your product or service to take 5-10 minutes to review your website or marketing materials. Find out if your messaging is clear and concise. Does it make sense to an outsider? If not, maybe go back and refresh, review your messaging again. What other input can your outside perspective person give you that you haven’t thought about before?

Perspectives are great, but only if you can learn from them. Enlist someone today who can give you and your business an “outside perspective.”

Strengthening Marketing Tactics in a Shaky Economy

October 20, 2008

The Magic of Number Three: Time to Simplify

It may seem obvious, but when things are shaky out there with the economy, marketing tactics need to be even more effective. What does that mean for us marketers? Well, in a nutshell it means taking a look at tactics that might need to be put on hold and/or consolidated. It also means re-evaluating basic marketing tactics to see what’s working and what’s not. What’s nice to have and what is a need-to-have? What marketing activities are too costly and can be tossed out from a marketing strategy? Do you have marketing campaigns with endless layers of tactics that are draining your budget dry? If you do, maybe it’s time to consolidate and simplify to the number three.

Here’s how to think about it: For basic campaigns and outbound communication strategies, try to think of things in threes. What three things can you do with one simple piece? For example, if you have several points that you want to make about your product or service, try doing a best practices collateral piece.  Pick the top five things that your product or service does for your customers and integrate this into a short bulleted document that’s easy to use for your reader.  Make it a PDF flyer and make sure your logo and branding are at the top.

How can you use this finished PDF document? It’s easy. Think of it in threes. What three ways can you now leverage this piece to get to your customers and help increase your revenues?

One way is to post it on your website for your customers to download and view. Another way is to take that PDF piece and send out an email campaign blast to your customer database. That’s two! You can also take that same piece of information and record a short podcast or Webinar. That’s three! Now record that podcast or Webinar and send it to your potential customers. The list goes on…You can probably think of a few more ideas, but the idea is to leverage one marketing piece and to use it in several different ways to help your customer. I call this simplifying your tactics. You’ve now created a great piece for your product or service and you have also saved a ton of money by doing it yourself!