I pay close attention to the marketing promotions I receive. I’ve been at this for a long time now, so it’s habit to critique the things I see. Sometimes, it’s brilliant. Other times, I am left scratching my head as to how it got through to production.
It’s always a good reminder that even some marketing “professionals” don’t know what they’re doing. If they could use a refresher, the folks who don’t do it daily for a living probably could too.
Ask the tough questions
There are four good, and tough questions to ask whenever you prepare an ad, email, letter, brochure, website, or any other marketing message.
- Why should anyone READ it (or watch, listen, go to your booth, etc.)?
- Why should anyone care about what you’re saying?
- Why should they believe YOU or listen to you?
- Why should anyone respond IMMEDIATELY?
The marketplace is saturated right now with CHOICES. No one is desperately in need of anything you sell, and it’s best you start with THAT premise rather than believing people are hankering for what you sell and interested in what you do. Desire and interest must be manufactured. ‘But poor me, I’m stuck with an ordinary business/service/product.’ Humbug.
There is no such thing, unless you make it that way. My Pillow has sold over 41 million pillows at near TRIPLE THE PRICE of other similar pillows, mostly due to their advertising on TV infomercials. The founder-turned-multimillionaire, Michael Lindell, started the company in 2004 with five employees and today has over 1,500 staff members with sales of $280 million. Folks, it’s a pillow.
Spanx, which are essentially a pair of pantyhose with the legs cut off, made Sara Blakely a billionaire. Jennifer Telfer created Pillow Pets, which is just a stuffed animal that lies flat and can be used as a pillow — an idea that generated over $100 million in sales. Starbucks and coffee. McDonalds and hamburgers. There are hundreds of examples, but one thing is certain: it’s all ordinary.
It’s ALL ordinary.
There are no such things as irredeemably ordinary, mundane, boring products that cannot be rescued from commoditization — only people with ordinary, mundane, and boring ways of marketing and promoting. People with no imagination or initiative who prefer THIS excuse over opportunity.
There are countless businesses that sell ordinary things in extraordinary ways. To quote Thomas Barratt, the former chairman of A&F Pears soap manufacturer, and a man many consider the father of modern advertising, “Any fool can make soap; it takes a clever man to sell it.”
Believe it or not, this is just as important now as ever before. You may think it isn’t the time to market your business, but now IS the time. From 2008 to around 2012 we lost roughly 30 percent of our client base due to the recession. Despite that, I still grew those years, in both top- and bottom-line revenue. You CAN thrive in the face of a difficult economy. My team and I are working hard to bring the MSP community resources to get through these difficult times. Take advantage of the FREE ones here.
Photo: SNeG17 / Shutterstock