Archive for the ‘blogging’ Tag

Action instead of reaction

Interestingly enough I find myself blogging here again. :p

I wanted to focus on a couple of thoughts from some articles online written about capitalism and what its effects have been.

Capitalism has taken a negative connotation to itself via the “croaImagenie” capitalism that has taken its seed in our society. The Negative nature of Capitalism has been brought about by a lot of the political moves by the current administration as favors returned for the support given by private industry to politics. There seems to be a misnomer that capitalism intends only to serve the wealthy 1% of this country. It is, in fact not true. 

Capitalism has served many of the poor in enrichment, literacy, and lifestyle support. The private industry has offered a lot of help with not just wealth in money, but in building schools rebuilding or rehabbing schools and with organizing donations and contributing themselves for the middle and lower class. It’s been by their(the middle class) help as worker bees that a lot of the commerce of trade and enrichment of lives that capitalistic models have contributed to the good of many.

It is unfortunate that Capitalism has taken on such a negative connotation. In and of itself, its pure intent is to create competition and in the end the consumer benefits and the winning business keeps its doors open. Through proper commerce and innovation new products are offered and the market place is served economically well. There are people that do see where this is abused and the only ones that seemingly benefit are the “1%”. That said it is brought on as of late by the mainstream media that simply does not wish to encourage capitalism as they are seemingly leaning towards a different philosophy that enlists the government as not just a solution to the troubles of commerce but a resolution that it’s the only way to resolve the issues of capitalism. When looked at closer it begins to look like Socialism or communism.

The true resolution would lie in disallowing croanie capitalism and allowing for true commerce without special interest to operate. This would mean that payoffs and back room deals would have to be found out and stopped immediately. This of course is just not possible as it is near impossible to tell when those things are happening. Rumors abound but the manpower needed to battle that would be immense as well as the resources. A different resolution may be in order which would be a longer term plan to teach and raise a new breed of capitalists. A breed of these new capitalists that would still work together but for the betterment of commerce and trade where there is a win win win win win situation.

Here’s a link to an article that talks about one of the ways that this can be fixed:

http://www.inc.com/eric-markowitz/john-mackey-is-the-next-ayn-rand.html

CEO John Mackey has a great take on what needs to be done. If we can begin to teach this as a philosophy, this writer believes that there could be an effective change. 

Excerpt:

1) All businesses need a higher purpose. “Money is not what drives most entrepreneurs,” he says. “What drives most entrepreneurs is some kind of dream. Business will never be trusted if all it talks about is maximizing profit.”

2) Business must create value for everyone that trades with it. “We’re so hooked up to the win-lose dynamic,” he says. “The most amazing thing about capitalism is that it’s not a zero-sum game. It’s a win-win-win-win-win. Business must create value for customers that trade with it.”

3) We need a new type of leader. “Ultimately, you cannot create a conscious business unless the leadership is conscious with it,” he says. “We need more servant leaders who are dedicated to serving the stakeholders.” 

4) We have to create company cultures that are humanistic and empowering. “Conscious businesses have trusting cultures,” he says. “They tend to be more authentic and caring.”

With the economy now rebounding and still a lot of tensions filling the air about whether or not the economy is truly experiencing a recovery, this is a mark to begin following. Many will be against this as they want to keep the current model, but in order to change what’s really going on these suggested changes are definitely a great start.

What do you think?

 

Reaching decision makers…how to find them, how to sell them…

 

Got a question recently regarding how to get to the decision makers.

One is, just ask for them. When asked what it’s in regards to, answer! Its not always that easy though; sometime you have to plan it out a bit…here’s some thoughts on how to start finding then getting to, then selling them.

Who are my biggest targets that I want first? Who has the best reputation that will help me tell the rest of the marketplace, “I have earned XYZ, Inc.’s business and have already helped them increase their business by XX% or they made X amount of dollars recently by using my service to increase their sales or lead gen.”

Once you’ve gotten that list it’s time to do your research on who runs the show and how they do it. Are they Methodical? Spontaneous? Humanistic? or Competitive? These traits will let you in on how to get their attention. It will also tell you how toaddress them when it comes time to sit with them and present your product or service.

Whether it’s doing a simple connections program to start sending a news letter about mobile media and what it does for businesses, or if you choose to give good marketing and sales info that a decision maker can really sink their teeth into. (be aware that doesn’t mean email the heck out of them or send them huge sales emails) Simple short relevant to their industry stuff will suffice. You will begin to earn their trust. Then you can begin to reach out to them. If there’s a Gate Keeper, sell them on the benefits of why the decision maker needs to get back with you.

Gate Keepers have a job, and it’s not just keeping the gate. Many operators and receptionists are regarded as trusted advisors to what is good and what’s not to invest time into. They won’t allow anything they view as ‘salesy’ through the gate as it does nothing really for the company. You could have the best thing for that company but if the GK sees it as ‘just another sales call’ it ain’t happenin. Make it relelvant to the company’s needs, you may wish to look in the news to see what trends or challenges the industry is facing and offer that up as a means to present your solution. ‘You know I just read that normal radio and magazine ads just aren’t driving as much traffic as it used to…have you heard of mobile marketing and what it’s been doing for many of these kinds of businesses now?’ Get the pic?

Your best bet to reach the decision makers is using a targeted approach. Buying a lead list may not be in your best interest. You may have to go work out at the gym to find out who the decision maker or decision makers are. If it becomes a maze make sure you get to as many of them as you can and see who has the most interest and invite them out to coffee or lunch. Explain to them the trends of their industry and what you know about them. This gives you credibility as a ‘solution bringer’ not just a salesman. Then begin to bring together what your solution offers and make your case from there. Teams are now more trusted than in days of old. Make sure you get them on board if there is one, if you’re dealing with small businesses you should be able to just call and get the appointment.

It can be hard when everyone is away, sometimes it takes a lower level to sell you first. I’ve done it on many occassions to get to the main person I sold the receptionist on it. I didn’t always get the sale, but I got the appointment. That’s your goal for now. Make that list, begin to reach out, and then get the appointment. Once you’re in there demonstrate expertise on their industry, then yours.

I have a friend that has a motto for Sales people…”Sum Tertius”. It means, “Me Third” First the great one above, then you (my prospect) and then me third.

Work it like that and you’ll have a recipe for success.

 

PP what?

So I have been having a conversation with a new friend on facebook that related to how PPC and online marketing works. With how fast everything is moving and how much innovators are getting ahead, there are a lot that are being left behind.

He chooses attraction marketing for his online business and I have to admit it has its merits to a certain degree. I have had that conversation with a few marketers. The conventional ones like the new stuff and want to figure out the latest and greatest. Seemingly though the rest of the world is slowly catching up and certain “outdated” methods are just now beginning to take effect. (it boggles me that it takes so long for many to realize and accept what marketing is bringing to the table and then to respond to it taking even longer…oh well, human kind)

Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:

Media buying in the “Google” realm can be a bit daunting to some. I am certified with my company in PPC, and it works well provided you take the time to learn the intricacies of it and then use it creatively. It’s truly the only way you can get ahead, and if you do it right, it can turn out a real profit.

SEM / SEO is a different beast even though they are keyword driven as well. They can prove to do some real justice to a business owners bottom line, but can get really pricey. Together they work hand in hand to create relevancy and freshness in Google’s realm and it can really help drive traffic…again, IF you take the time to learn it right.

There are some good tricks that you can use that the attraction and affiliate marketers use to get into the right spots on the content networks that have proven on more than one occasion that Google is still the way to go.(this is a given by most that Google is the only way to go, heck they created this whole PPC thing right?)

Attraction marketing is the “long funnel” marketing model that can be really effective when done with diligence and persistence. As you have found, it can be a great help in generating the kind of traffic you may be looking for. As for the honesty of pics, be assured you will run into a few that are not so open about who they really are, even business owners sometimes are a bit shy to let out their identities on facebook, linkedIn, etc.

Don’t want to get into a long drawn out blah blah about online marketing, but this is where everything has headed, and will continue to head until someone comes up with something else.

What do you think?

The three “R”s…

Recently Cory Treffiletti, president and managing partner for Catalyst SF, wrote a quick article on the three “R”s of marketing, and got things back to basics.

To go over them real quick they are; recency, resonance and relevance.

Recency is the amount of time that passed since the last time your particular target market saw or heard from you. Resonance is how you rang in their ear…did you make an impressino? Did you get their attention?

And then relevance…were you what they were looking for? If not at that time, now? Do you still have relevance in their mind?

A lot of times we think everyone should have what we’ve got to offer, and forget that a return on customer is a constant changing or adapting to what your customer or client needs at that time.

I was asked once what my definition of Quality was, after a bit of thought, I answered, “The best possible product or service given to the customer at that moment in time.” It could have been by most terms described as a cowardly answer as it seems to take no solid stance or no real posture to relevancy. I beg to differ though, if you have a mind set to adapt to what your customer wants when they want it, your competitor however strong a brand they may be, may lose that customer or client to you simply because you resonated in their ears a lot more than the familiar brand they are used to and with a product or service that is the one niche they are loking for, Can this be a curse too? yes, let’s be honest you have to have something that everyone will associate you with as far as a brand they can recognize or identify with.

An advantage to being that type of “quality” though, is the ability to adapt to your suctomers needs through constant metrics and testing to see what your market is looking for and giving it to them at that moment in time, There are some Business Intelligence tools that can help with that, and then sometimes it will take a bit more of just watching and listening to the marketplace to see what everyone wants or needs. Get in front of them and make your offering.

All in all though making sure your three “R”s are in order and continual, your business stands to profit the most when everyone knows you have what they want. Driving behavior is the key. If you can effect mass re-programming, you stand to profit well!

Find yours and Keep it Rolling!

Consumers are in control…you just figured this out when?

Just read in Yahoo Business News today that Wall Street is finally acknowledging that consumers, not capitalists, not republicans, not democrats, not international business, not anything other than “CONSUMERS” are in control of things. Right here, right now, we are standing in the midst of a transference of wealth. What shall we do to make it effective so we, the “market consumers” can benefit?

Many will see an opportunity and will find a need and fill it. The economy is about to return to a service base rather than a product or “latest advanced toy” basis. We have become so comfortable with ourselves, that our innovative nature took a back seat to comfort creature mentality and has set us back about ten years.

Here’s the point; if Wall Street is finally acknowledging that consumers are in control and many of the “big boys” are the ones that are the most affected, we have a chance to say, “Ok. No more crap. Let’s get this country back on the road by making sure you’re producing things that are smart. Not just the latest toy, but the latest innovations that prove we can produce just as well just as inexpensively, and let’s make sure we support the ones that do.”

Enough of being led like blind sheep as consumers we have a choice in where the money flows, let’s make wiser choices and effect the right change.

Here’s an example; Hyundai came to this country with a product that was cheap and built pretty cheaply by my standards. They banked…quite well. They turned around and took that and now produce a luxury vehicle that rivals our old friends BMW and Mercedes, and are competing. We as consumers told the other two that rest on their reputations and history, it no longer matters about your name, I want a car I can enjoy and I’m not paying huge bucks for it. I mean really, $400 for a brake job? and only the fronts? Sorry, I’ll go with a well developed smart car that gets major mileage and is light on my wallet.

Since the consumer market is holding a lot of its discretionary income close to home, businesses have to find new ways to market to us to get us to come spend. Else not we will continue to watch the downward spiral of the economy til well into the next decade.

We have Wall Street’s attention, I say we keep it and make something of it by showing them through our voice…our wallets…that we will only support those that will support us wuth better services and products. Now is the time, make it count.

Business Development…what is it?

Ok. So ‘ve had this presentation for a bit and felt it was time to put it out there both as a refresher course and a “newbie” course for those that don’t quite get what Biz Dev is.

Here isa link to a presentation that is fairly simple to understand, once I get audio put to it we will do more to get it out to everyone in the business world.

Many think this is elementary stuff, but I’ve been running into too many people that just don’t understand that when times are slow that is when you make your best investments in your marketing, and TRACK THEM! Then you follow your sales through and make sure your conversion ratios make sense, then you do it again. (you know; wash, rinse, repeat as necessary)

Here’s the link: Click here

Once you’ve gotten here,  comment and give me your thoughts on what you think are necessary steps to making business deveelopment really work in our now economy…and be careful, there are a lot of emotions running right now, be critical in your thinking, find facts not feelings.

Where’s the money flowing…

Seth Godin makes a real interesting point on his latest blog; where the money is there you’ll find the people working.

Interesting to me that it starts as an end still and then the means justifies it. (almost sounds like the torture debate going on right now)

Here’s a tag to Mr. Godin’s point; if there is money to be made you can well believe that someone is going to be searching for it.

He wrote that things change around once there’s money to be made in any particluar field. He related it to writers becoming publishers which is the reverse of what was. (When the Writer Becomes the Publisher / Seth Godin – 05/2009)

It would seem pretty logical that once the public wants something, they are willing to pay for it, so what is it that you have that they are willing to pay for? What message can you get across to them to tell them what you have is what they need? Many times I see “the best blah blah” or “Number 1 blah blah in the state” C’mon, do you really think that is going to attract attention? If it does, I’d be pretty surprised. Nowadays it’s just not enough. Mr. Godin back in 2003 made refernece to being remarkable(the purple cow). If you have a pizz,a shop fine, so does almost every other coner strip mall, what makes yours so different?

Here in Las Vegas, NV , a local pizza chain by the name of Metro pizza decided to become the “purple cow” of the valley by holding pizza making classes. Their pizza is great, but now they are the teachers of pizza making, and it’s doing very well. People are paying for classes and more are hearing by word of mouth how great their pizzas are. Do you think they can charge a bit more because of that?

Here’s the bottom line: You have to find the flow of money where it is moving and get in front of it. It’s the one time you want to get run over by the flood. Even if you can’t handle it you’ll have known what is was like and can most likey prepare for it better next time. Pizza makers to pizza making teachers,writers becoming publishers, what else can you think of that would set you apart and find you more income for your business through the right marketing message?

Keep it rolling!

The Power of Green Marketing

Green marketing is no longer just for the “deep Eco aware” kids that only buy green anyway. (which by the way is less than 15% of the populace in the US). It’s become an awareness that is definitely growing but has its limitations due to lack of creativity. This is where the marketers come in. That is by the way you and I. It takes all of us to really come up with new ideas to drive this new awareness. So consider yourself a part of the marketing crew now.

Marketers have the creativity to produce new and exciting concepts that excite the consumer, and ultimately get an Eco friendly product out to market that everyone will at least be interested in. Example: http://tinyurl.com/ak9kqt

Read through this (http://tinyurl.com/czq8tl) article and you will see the process that has to occur in order for a truly “eco friendly” product can emerge. Then to think that a chemist is creative enough to come up with what is necessary to market that product is pretty far fetched.

In come the young creatve types that are ready to put a good spin on everything that is “green”. Here’s an example of one company going green with its product line. (no fillers no artificial this and that etc.):

www.ogilife.com

By returning to the ocean, and utilizing ingredients that are proven through scientific study and have approvals by the FDA, (you know how they get when you start talking about anything healthy) they have come up with some really good Eco friendly products that are also packaged Eco friendly and of course they have a non profit that contributes to the ecology.

Point: they have taken a “whole approach” to green marketing and have simply cut out a niche market that is not overly specialized, and yet not over diluted either. One way or another they will drive the “Green” awareness through their efforts to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Bottom line, Green marketing is in its growth phase and is on the grow and yet it will need us the public to continue driving the economy towards more Eco friendly awareness as well as buying green. After all, we are the marketers…

…and by all means, Keep It Rollling!

Financial help

I was looking at my financial statement earlier this evening and I was thinking…” what the? I’ve got a LOT of empty spaces here…where the heck is my 401 I had from IAB? Why didn’t that get rolled over when I left? Who’s got my money now? CRAP! I have no idea where my money is!! How  does this thing tell me where that…WHAAAT?!?! UGH! SOMEONE HELP PLEEEAAASSEE!!”

Well, I just learned that an unsuspected financial expert has emerged and is going to be blogging on playboy’s site giving the layman a fair shot at making things work, and taking down the man.

Duff McKagan is Playboy’s new Financial Guru, and I for one believe after reading his story about why he was chosen, and a believer that he will be worth more than his weight in gold nuggets!

He comes from a background that most would think he doesn’t know squat. Well, he knows squat and a hell of a lot more.

Keep up on his blog at:

http://www.playboy.com/mt-tb.cgi/20942

Definitely a place to learn more about finances, what works what doesn’t and one of his objectives is to expose the BS in the industry that loves to confound and confuse. I LOVE IT! Finally some straight talk on how to keep it together!

Now where’d I put that last bank statement…..

Open mic..speak up!

Hey gang! So much has been goin on lately that I’ve kinda fallen behind. I apologize for that, and promise to keep up a bit better.

In fact, I’m going to have some guest writers posting about sales and marketing.

They will be young in some cases, some will be veterans…just keep an eye out. Every bit can be of benefit to you whether from  the seasoned vet or from the college intern. (Yeeeess I’ve learned some stuff from them too)

Today though, I wanted to do an ‘open mic’ talk about sales and marketing.

I’d like to know:

What do you do when you approach  a new concept? Where do you take it from there?

How do you formulate a ‘position’ on a new product? Once formulated, how long does it take to get it to market? Does your marketing plan introduce the product as it is ready or do you ‘pre-launch’?

What experiencecs have you had? Successes? Failures?

How did you recover from the hard ones?

Did the good ones last? How long?

This is really a means for you to ‘discuss’ what you found as good and not so good in your experience. I’m not asking for company names or product specifics. You can be vague and general to protect the innocent…lol

I would like some honest input though and perhaps I can take one or two of the examples and stretch them for everyone to see how those experiences can benefit their profession or business.

Keep it rollin!