Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Success Breeds Silliness...

The names are changed to protect the guilty...

I know of a business owner who has used a particular marketing strategy to increase his business. He's done very well for himself, growing his bottom line by 100%! Now, he wants to expand even more and that includes his marketing. However, instead of sticking with the formula that's rocked for him, he's starting to waver a bit.

It's sooooo tempting. You get a "feeling" that one thing may have worked better than another. You "sense" that one way may be a touch better than another.

This is where I warn you to not do that. Stick with the plan, the whole plan. Sometimes you don't know exactly which part is the one working the best for you...that's not so bad. Build that program steadily and simply trust that you're doing the right thing. I'm not talking about guesswork, rather, simply following the program. Think of a farmer; he plants his seeds. Waters them. Nourishes the ground. Watches the weather. All of those things combined create the plant that later yields him a crop. It's the same with your marketing plan.

We're working on this client, hoping to keep him pointed in the right direction. I'm confident that he'll see why we're suggesting what we're suggesting and come around. To be frank, if he doesn't, I'm not so sure I want to stay on that ship as it begins to sway in the ocean.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What would you do?

I recently met Jack. Jack owns a franchise of a major hotel chain. We were talking about marketing and he found himself in a tough place; his brand is one of 10 owned by the chain and he has too much competition from his own company-mates, not just his other competition.

Seems kind of crazy to me for one umbrella company to keep 10 competitors under it's wing. They have overlapping price points in several properties making it a tough choice for consumers. He recognizes it too, but there's only so much he can do. The parent company only allows "so much" in the form of marketing; much of it needs to come from their corporate world.

I normally help Mom & Pop companies, ones who's competition is right down the street; this is a different fight altogether and has me thinking a lot. If your customer isn't normally local, then how do you build traffic to your location? First thing I think of is a billboard right off the exit of the expressway.

Big Letters: "Fall Asleep Here!"

Of course, the other fight this man has is that his brand is positioned smack dab in the center of another handful of other hotels. So what he says on that billboard needs to cut to the chase quickly & succinctly...

Big Letters; "Sleep, Shower, Eat...$59 Exit Now!"

I know, I know...I'm not normally a fan of the price shoppers, but in this case, it's a large factor in the shoppers' decision. That board says exactly what someone driving past wants to know. I'm not saying this is the end all for Jack, but his company needs to position itself to answer that one question any consumer has to ask: "What's in it for me?"

Jack will do that by Saying Something Important!
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