Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Expertise

February 10, 2009

Marketing today isn’t usually about a product. Or direct sales. Or traditional advertising.

Those can be important – but they’re not what good marketing is about.

Good marketing is about Expertise. Expertise goes hand-in-hand with being Unique.

Being an Expert in your field makes you Unique. Because most people trying to market what you’re trying to market probably aren’t Experts at what they do. They’re probably just trying to sell, sell, sell.

But knowing your industry inside-out, having a track record of success, knowing the players and the tools; that allows you to sell yourself (or your company or not-for-profit) as something your prospects or clients can’t get anywhere else.

Being a Genius is great. But being an Expert is better.

Being a Genius is great. But being an Expert is better.

Newman Development Group are Experts at developing and redeveloping land for a variety of uses. They know how to navigate the legal and municipal challenges, work through construction, get stores open, and everything in between.

eni are experts are Experts at providing wellness services to businesses and corporations. They provide ways for their clients to have happier and more productive employees.

The Northeast Classic Car Museum has more fantastic antique and classic cars that any other public museum in a dozen states. And they have a staff and volunteers who know those cars and their stories like no one else. They even blog about it.

Being an expert gives you a leg up on the competition because it eliminates most of those competitors.

So, ask yourself, am I an expert?

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Putting the Marketing Pieces Together When the Economy is Down

December 22, 2008

hand-and-puzzle

The sky isn’t falling – but it sure feels like it when you hear the economic news every day. And that causes a lot of businesses and not-for-profits to put the halt on marketing and advertising.

But slower economic times are the perfect time to market. If your competitors aren’t marketing, you can pick up their marketshare. If you don’t, it’s a pretty good bet that some savvy person elsewhere will.

The key is to ensure you’re getting a return on investment from the marketing dollars you do spend. That means implementing trackable and measurable programs with every piece of marketing you do.

Why not put custom web addresses on each type of your advertising and then look at your web stats to see what’s driving traffic? Then you can make adjustments based on real facts – not hunches.

Another tip: focus on e-Marketing. It’s less expensive, more effective, and trackable. And with Tivo, satellite radio and the web devaluing traditional media more every day, strong e-Marketing is a better way to effectively connect with your customers, clients or donors.

Want to see how good e-Marketing and new media can work? Check out our website or contact Bijoy at bijoy@grafiqa.com to talk about it in person.

The Guns N’ Roses Brand and Natural vs. Artificial Exclusivity

December 5, 2008

One of the big recent fads in the music industry – especially for older acts trying to recapture former glory – is exclusive sales of new albums at certain big-box stores.

AC/DC just released “Black Ice” at Wal-Mart and one of my favorite bands of all-time, Guns N’ Roses, did it last week with “Chinese Democracy” at Best Buy (though they at least also offered tracks through iTunes, too).

Is it a good idea to create this artificial exclusivity?

I don’t know what kind of financial deals AC/DC or GnR got from Wal-Mart and Best Buy so who knows if it was good for their pocketbooks. But, as fans and consumers, it’s bad for us.

Like I said, I love GnR. Grew up on them. Learned to play guitar to “Appetite for Destruction”. Couldn’t get enough then. Even had my first date with my wife at a GnR concert (though it was the strange 2003 version).

 

A lot has changed from 1988 to 2008....

A lot has changed from 1988 to 2008....

 

But I was ticked that I had to drive 70 miles to spend my money to buy “Chinese Democracy” because my hometown doesn’t have a Best Buy. (Of course, I could have downloaded the album on iTunes but there’s something really primally satisfying about holding the actual album of rock in your actual hands.)

So Axl, Best Buy and Universal Music Group got my $14.99 (x2). That means that my brand loyalty to GnR was so high that I was willing to drive lengthy distances and overcome my annoyed-ness at having to do so.

But, if they do it again (hopefully not with a long 13 year wait again), my loyalty will fade a bit more.

A good brand creates a good gut feeling when you think about it.

Listening to the album (well, most of it at least) gives me that good gut feeling. But my experience purchasing it – forking over my money – sure didn’t.

I wasn’t the only one. “Chinese Democracy” debuted at #3 on the charts. 267K albums is certainly respectable – but it’s disappointing for what used to be the world’s biggest band.

Natural exclusivity can be great. But artificial exclusivity just alienates your customers and gives you short-term rewards for long-term loss of brand loyalty.

(I’ll save you my full review of the album – but the short of it is that I’m pretty happy minus a few duds. Here is Rolling Stone’s review if you’re interested)