Marketing that is Amazing, Astounding, Exceptional, Powerful and Effective

marketing plan

How satisfied are you with your current marketing plan? Would you  like to learn 5 simple ways to turn your mediocre marketing into marketing that is amazing, astounding, exceptional, powerful and effective?

In this post I am going to share 5 essential keys to a successful and reusable marketing plan. Once you have these basics down, you can use them over and over again.

The 5 essential keys are:

  • Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Put an effective sales offer to work
  • Avoid the marketing pitfalls
  • Use a world-class marketing perspective
  • Get results!

Let’s examine each of these in a little more detail so you can see exactly how to use them and how they all affect the overall outcome of your marketing campaign.

Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Take the time to ask yourself some questions from the prospective of the customers/clients. What would it take to get your attention? What needs do you have that need to be met? What are the promises you want fulfilled?

Once you know the answers to these questions you can start putting together a plan to meet these needs. Then take a look at what USP your competitors are using to help you develop your own USP. Your USP is what you are “promising” your customers/clients. This is what’s going to set you apart from your competition.

Put an effective sales offer to work

To develop an effective sales plan, you need to:

  1. Put together a headline that gets immediate attention.
  2. Share benefits of your products/services speaking from the customers’ perspective.
  3. Identify the specific needs met by your products/services.
  4. Make it easy to do business with you by offering guarantees.
  5. Share your specific sales proposition.
  6. Walk your customers/clients through how they should respond and act.
  7. Motivate with a call to action.

What makes your products/services special? What will compel customers to buy? Your sales offer begins by appealing to their WANTS. After addressing their emotions, you must then appeal to their rational mind. If they don’t feel like they NEED your product, they won’t buy. In your sales offer you need to answer a question, solve a problem or feed an obsession.

You need to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision. Buyer’s remorse is one of the worst things that can happen and typically results in bad press for you and your business.

Avoid the marketing pitfalls

There are 5 major marketing pitfalls many businesses fall into and you should avoid:

  • Ignore market testing and push on with an inaccurate plan.
  • Offer an incomplete case, or reasons, throughout the marketing plan.
  • Fail to notice the needs of prospective customers/clients.
  • Fail to diversify marketing options.
  • Fail to get market opinions on offers.

Use a world-class marketing perspective

Having a World-Class marketing perspective is important, especially if you want to attract customers/clients from all over the world. You can do this utilizing a number of different techniques and activities:

  1. Keep a marketing journal and scribble down anything innovate you see.
  2. Keep encouraging your marketing department, or yourself, to try new things and dump the ones that aren’t working.
  3. Order from your own company under a different name and analyze the process of ordering, shipping, online store experience, customer service and the product itself. This will show you areas for improvement in the customer experience.
  4. Read every quality ad you can find and keep a file for future ideas to consider.
  5. When out in public, watch how consumers behave in different situations and how they consider their purchases.
  6. Step down a notch or two and work on the front lines with your sales and customer service staff.
  7. Continuously acknowledge your staff, vendors and customers. Everyone works and shops better when they feel appreciated.
  8. Always listen to feedback from employees and customers.
  9. Continuously test markets, ads, and marketing techniques. This is the only way to stay successful and know what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not.
  10. Offer more information in your marketing than anyone else. The more information you offer, the more products/services you’ll sell.
  11. A great marketing plan can only get better. Continue to fine tune and refine your marketing plan based on testing results and feedback.
  12. Be classy in your marketing. Make sure your marketing and advertising fits your company image, products/service and quality.
  13. Improve your best marketing areas and drop those that aren’t working.
  14. Focus on what you say, not just how you say it. The best marketing ideas often turn into the best marketing.
  15. Develop all your ads, campaigns and sales materials with an attention to compelling and factual information.

By using these techniques, you can put your name out there to the world and become one of the top brands in your industry.

Get results!

The last area we are going to talk about is creating satisfied customers. If your customers aren’t satisfied, you’ve wasted all your marketing resources and all chance of positive word-of-mouth advertising. You can satisfy your customers by:

  • Providing quality products/services
  • Providing high quality customer service
  • Providing a low-pressure, highly informative sales experience
  • Taking all the risk away with a great guarantee

To generate more business there are a few simple techniques that work every time:

  • Build your database with a contest.
  • Do regular mailings with sales, discounts, or other incentives.
  • Find other creative ways to keep your current customers coming back for more.

Effective marketing isn’t as complicated as some make it out to be! What is keeping you from initiating your effective marketing program today? Chris Mahan Consulting can help you put together a great marketing plan that will get you the results you are shooting for. Take a tour of my E-Learning Marketing System and discover the tools and resources available. It contains everything you need and was developed by some of the biggest names in the marketing world. Simply visit my website, www.chris-mahan.com, scroll to the bottom of the page and click in the section, “See How We get Our Clients Results.”

Marketing – Do It Like the Big Dawgs

Today we’ll look at how the kings of industry wine, dine and otherwise cajole prospects.

Most successful professionals use a series of information based ads that build emotion and include a call to action. These are much more effective than standard company branding advertisements. The same principles that go into putting together a high impact (and, often, high priced) ad campaign can be adapted to fit your needs with similar results. In this blog edition, we’ll look at some of the elements utilized by larger companies to propel their marketing success.

Here are some ways you can put together and execute a professional, effective ad campaign:

  1. Develop a short report you’ll automatically send to prospects when they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and what you specialize in. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples or other proof of your success.
  2. Consider newsletters as a way of educating and informing customers about your industry and the services you offer.
  3. Offer a free seminar, webinar or other lecture to build awareness of your business. Make sure you include information pertinent to your target market. If you utilize outside speakers, find those who are respected and known in the industry.
  4. Always test different versions of your ads to find the most effective ones.
  5. Use direct mail marketing to grow your business.
  6. Put together a database of previous customers and send them new information.
  7. Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, referral programs or others.
  8. Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be their exclusive expert in your field.
  9. Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all past and future customers/clients.
  10. Donate time or materials to local charities to show support in your area.
  11. Offer clinics for the general public to attend to discuss what their needs. Make these clinics free and approachable.
  12. Organize seminars your customers/clients can pay to attend by putting together a high-perception value package.
  13. Approach local newspaper and offer to write a weekly column focused on your area of expertise. Don’t ask for money, just a byline and bio.
  14. Develop a weekend or other destination seminar for customers/clients. Not only does this give you an action-packed weekend with the most important people, it gives them a tax-deductible business adventure.
  15. Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site program, audio or video program.
  16. Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors or management.
  17. Be proactive with your marketing plan.
  18. Barter for your marketing. Offer products or services in lieu of payment.
  19. Be willing to bring in new clients, even if at an initial loss because it will likely pay off later.
  20. Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to pay them for referrals or shared databases.
  21. Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement. This is a great way to see which ads are giving you the most bang for your buck.
  22. Continually consider what new products/services you can offer to current customers/clients.
  23. Develop a mail order division of your company.
  24. Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade customers/clients you were both unsuccessful in selling to.
  25. Use different marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers/clients with new offers and goodies.
  26. Offer a “you-choose-the-price” program. This is especially good for product you just can’t seem to sell.
  27. Get involved in your community: Volunteer or donate to local civic clubs, causes or events.
  28. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend the networking events and other activities throughout the year. Volunteer to make a presentation for their members.
  29. Become a board member of a local organization.
  30. Join a local, state or regional organization that offers networking opportunities to its members.

So, there are 30 great ways to market to other professional and businesses.

Advertising should never be your only method of marketing There are a myriad of ways to get your name out there in a way that feels personal to potential customers/clients.

Effective advertising…must be used to get your name out to the public. If your name is not familiar to people, they will not come to you.” Jay Abraham

If you’re not sure where to start with your marketing plan or how to reach out to your local community, competitors, customers/clients and others who could influence your business in a highly positive way, view the FREE video on my website to experience the tools and resources we have to boost your business to the next level and beyond. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link, “See How We Get Our Clients Results!”

Ensure “Lift-Off” in Your Marketing Campaign Launch (Part II)

How would you like to ensure a successful and reusable marketing campaign launch? Last week we began an examination of 5 essential keys to make that possible. Remember, once you have these basics down, you can use them over and over again. First, a quick review…

The 5 essential keys are:

  • Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Put an effective sales offer to work
  • Avoid marketing pitfalls
  • Develop a world-class marketing perspective
  • Get results!

Last week we looked at the first three essentials. Today, we examine the last two.

Develop a world-class marketing perspective

Developing and utilizing a World-Class marketing perspective is important – especially if you want to attract customers/clients from all over the world. You can do this with a number of different techniques and activities:

  1. Keep a marketing journal and scribble down anything innovative you see.
  2. Keep encouraging your marketing department, as well as yourself, to try new things and dump the ones that aren’t working.
  3. Order from your own company under a different name and analyze the process of ordering, shipping, online store navigation, customer service and the product itself. This will show you where there are areas for improvement in the customer experience.
  4. Read every quality ad you can find and keep a file for future ideas to consider.
  5. When out in public, watch how consumers behave in different situations and how they consider their purchases.
  6. Step down a notch or two and work on the front lines with your sales and customer service staff.
  7. Continuously acknowledge your staff, vendors and customers. Everyone works and shops better when they feel appreciated.
  8. Always listen to feedback from employees and customers.
  9. Continuously test markets, ads, and marketing techniques. This is the only way to stay successful and know what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not.
  10. Offer more information in your marketing than anyone else. The more information you offer, the more products/services you’ll sell.
  11. A great marketing plan can only get better. Continue to fine tune and refine your marketing plan based on testing results and feedback.
  12. Be classy in your marketing. Make sure your marketing and advertising fits your company image, products/service and quality.
  13. Improve your best marketing ideas.
  14. Develop all your ads, campaigns and sales materials with an attention to compelling and factual information.

By using these techniques you can put your name out there to the world and become one of the top brands in your industry.

Get results!

The last area we are going to talk about is the best-satisfied customers. If your customers aren’t satisfied, you’ve wasted all your marketing resources and any chance of positive word-of-mouth advertising. You can satisfy your customers by:

  • Providing quality products/services
  • Providing high quality customer service
  • Providing a low-pressure, highly informative sales experience
  • Taking all the risk away with a great guarantee

To generate more business there are a couple of simple techniques that work every time:

  • Build your database with a contest.
  • Do regular mailings with sales, discounts, or other incentives.
  • Find other creative ways to keep your current customers coming back for more.

As long as the reward is directly related to your product or service, you can’t lose. Why not get started today? It’s so simple, it’s so seldom done, and it’s so profitable. And that’s the bottom line.” Jay Abraham

It is so simple! So, why aren’t you starting today? I can help you put together a great marketing plan that will get you results. I utilize the E-Learning Marketing System to help businesses just like yours increase their leads, their revenue and their profit margin. To see what this system can do for you take this guided tour.

Ensure “Lift-Off” in Your Marketing Campaign Launch (Part I)

How would you like to ensure a successful and reusable marketing campaign launch? In our next two posts, we’re going to examine 5 essential keys to make that possible. Once you have these basics down, you can use them over and over again.

 

The 5 essential keys are:

  • Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Put an effective sales offer to work
  • Avoid marketing pitfalls
  • Develop a world-class marketing perspective
  • Get results!

Let’s take a look at each one these so you can see exactly how they fit together. You’ll also discover how they affect the overall outcome of your marketing campaign.

Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Take the time to ask yourself some questions from the prospective of the customers/clients. If you were your prospective client, what would it take to get your attention? What needs do you have that must be met? What are the promises you want fulfilled?

Once you know the answers to these questions you can start putting together a plan to meet these needs. Your USP is what you are “promising” your customers/clients. It would be extremely helpful to take a look at what USP your competitors are using. This will be crucial to help you develop your own USP which will clearly demonstrate your market dominating position and help your prospects to see how you differ from your competitors.

Put an effective sales offer to work

  1. Put together a headline that gets immediate attention.
  2. Share benefits of your products/services (speaking from the customers’ perspective).
  3. Identify the specific needs met by your products/services.
  4. Make it easy to do business with you by offering guarantees. (Remove the risk!)
  5. Share your specific sales proposition.
  6. Guide your customer’s/client’s responses. (Don’t be afraid to tell them how they should respond)
  7. Motivate them with a clear call to action.

In other words, you need to put together a pitch that communicates how your products/services are special and compels your customers to buy. If they don’t feel like they NEED your product, they won’t buy. You need to answer a question, solve a problem or feed an obsession.

You need to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision. Buyer’s remorse is one of the worst things that can happen.

Avoid the marketing pitfalls

There are 5 major marketing pitfalls many businesses fall into which you should avoid. They…

  • Ignore market testing and push on with an inaccurate plan.
  • Offer an incomplete case, or reasons, throughout their marketing plan.
  • Fail to notice the needs of their prospective customers/clients.
  • Fail to diversify their marketing options.
  • Fail to get market opinions on their offers.

This article will be continued in the next blog post.

The E-Learning Marketing System I use with my clients provides information, examples – even a “paint-by-number” process to help business owners increase their revenue. If you’re not satisfied with the number of leads your current marketing is producing or you desire to double, or even triple your revenue in your near future, take a guided tour of the system and see the difference it can make for your business.

Inside Reality vs Outward Perception

Don’t you hate it when your prospects don’t seem to understand everything your business offers them?

You believe in your business! You know you offer an exceptional product/service, that what you offer provides extraordinary value to your customer/clients and that your relationship with them is far better than anything they could expect from your competitors. Still, it amazes and saddens you when you discover your prospects don’t view you any different than your competitors – in fact they know very little about you and what you offer.

What you are experiencing is the disconnect between your business’ inside reality and its outward perception.

Your inside reality encompasses everything that is true about your business – those components which, combined, make your business great. The outside perception refers to how your prospects perceive your company. Too often, there is a marked difference between the two.

For instance, when you went into business you were determined to pursue excellence in every aspect in order to set yourself apart from your competitors. You developed your skills, hired the best candidates, created a customer service program that is second to none and honed your expertise so you would be the “go-to-person” in your field. All of that is part of your inside reality. In addition, your systems, your operational procedures, your continued commitment to excellence, your passion for what you do and the way you conduct your daily business all add to that inside reality.

If you have never done so, take a half hour or so one day soon and capture what you believe to be your inside reality. What makes you different? What makes you stand head and shoulders above your competition? If you ever hope to communicate this inside reality to your prospects, you must clearly see it yourself first.

Hopefully, your loyal customer/clients see and understand this inside reality. It is why they are loyal customers. Once you have completed the exercise above and have clearly delineated your inside reality, conduct a quick survey with your existing customers to see if they see it as well. Simply ask them why they do business with you. Ideally, the reasons they provide will correlate with the inside reality you believe defines your business.

Now let’s talk a bit about your outside perception. This outside perception is developed through the interactions your prospects and customer/clients experience with your business. Especially for your prospects, most of these interactions will occur through your marketing or through the referrals (good or bad) made by your current customer/client base. If your inside reality is indeed true (and it focuses on excellence), then you can expect the majority of your referrals from existing customers to be positive. That will help immensely in helping to create an outside perception which aligns with your inside reality.

Most of your prospects, however, will develop their perception of your business through your marketing. And here is where many small business owners fail to create the outward perception they desire. They market their business just like their competitors. They use the same platitudes in their advertising, make the same claims and offer the same discounts. When a prospect is seeking to buy whatever it is you offer, they going to compare your ad to your competitors – and if they don’t see obvious differences – they will choose to do business with the one who offers the lowest price or is in the most convenient location.

You need to develop a marketing strategy that accomplishes the following:
• captures the attention of your prospects
• helps them to see that you offer the solution to whatever problem or issue it is they are experiencing
• clearly communicates your inside reality so they perceive you differently from your competitors
• offers them a low/no risk offer so they will follow through and contact you

How do you create such a marketing strategy? Download the free presentation, “The 3 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make…And How to Overcome Them All” to gain a clearer understanding how to market your business in such a way that enables your prospect’s outward perception of your business to match your inner reality.

Press Releases – Free Publicity!

There are three key areas of free publicity you can use to boost your advertising results ten-fold over your paid advertising.

 

Those three areas are:

  • Public relations
  • Merchandising
  • Promotions

With a solid plan in place that encompasses all these areas, you’ll have a great approach to use free publicity in the best way possible. To help you begin to develop your plan, let’s look at public relations.

Public relations include everything that is considered media. But don’t limit yourself by only giving consideration to conventional media. Be willing to think outside the box. The attention of newspapers, television, radio, magazines, bloggers, ezines and more are all equally powerful. However, in today’s world which is so internet savvy, online marketing is just as, if not more, important as conventional media.

To get your creative juices flowing consider these steps which can help you get noticed by the media:

  1. Put together a press release for your company. The press release should be relevant to your target market and address consumer interest, not just announce your business.
  2. Design your press release to include one hook and one angle. Choose the most attention-getting hook you can think of to make sure the media person you are sending it to is interested in reading it.
  3. Deliver your press release with professional formatting. With press releases you need a dateline, the most important information at the top, facts and figures in the body then wrap it up with contact details including who and how. Print the press release on your letterhead.
  4. Send your press release to all television and radio stations, local and metro newspapers, national newspapers, industry magazines, and any other form of media that reaches your target market. Don’t forgot to include relevant blogs, ezines, press release submission sites and to industry professionals.

More important than creating a perfectly formatted press release is to make certain you have addressed the needs of your target market in the products/services you offer. If this isn’t clear in the press release, you have squandered a great opportunity for the publicity you seek and need. If you are providing people a solution to a problem, a way to avoid a problem or an opportunity to enhance their life, and you make this abundantly clear in your press release, the media and public will be interested.

If you have a connection (or the ability to get a connection) with a celebrity (even a local one!), ask if you can use their name as reference. This can practically guarantee you’ll get more attention. Make sure you are offering newsworthy information, and then follow up with media outlets to make sure they are publicizing that information.

“One of the most powerful techniques every business should use is free publicity. As the name implies, there is no cost, just the time and effort required to attract attention to your business.” Jay Abraham

Unsure how to craft an impactful press release? My E-Learning Marketing System helps you by guiding you through the development of a marketing dominating position, through identifying your target market and many other marketing issues. It even contains an extensive library of sample press releases you can use as a template for your own. For a FREE tour, visit chrismahanconsulting.com/guidedtour.

Get in to the Head of Your Prospects

Have you ever bought something you didn’t need – in fact, you really didn’t even want – because of a high-pressure sales person and their pitch? Many of us have. However, I would venture a guess that you never engaged in another transaction with that person or the business they represented. That marketing approach may have gained a sale but it also lost a customer.

If we want our marketing to truly be effective, we must approach the process from the customer or client’s point of view rather than our own. Instead of telling them what they need, we must be listening to them and discovering what they really desire. To do this, we need to get in to the head of our prospects. Think like they do. See our products/services from their vantage point.

One way to accomplish this is to realize our prospects often have a conversation going on in their minds which centers on two issues. The first is: The problem the prospect has but doesn’t want. The second: The solution the prospect wants but doesn’t have. If we can understand that conversation in the context of our product or services, we can then effectively market those products and services to that prospect.

Ideally, your product or service will provide a solution to a problem your prospect is experiencing. Now, instead of pitching your product or service based on why you think they should buy, you are able to approach them with the solution they want but don’t have. Instead of coming to them as a sales person, you come as a savior.

Take the time to think of the hot button issues and/or problem your potential customers are facing then figure out how you can solve that issue or problem. Then highlight that issue/problem, along with the solution you offer, in all your marketing mediums using the Marketing Equation.

If you’re not familiar with the Marketing Equation, email me at chris@chris-mahan.com and I’ll be glad to send you a more detailed explanation.

Turn Prospects Into Customers Overnight!

Generating leads and creating prospects is great! But your business doesn’t thrive unless you can convert those prospects into customers. However, you are not looking for just any customers. You want loyal customers who come back to do business with you over and over again. Today, we’ll examine a few tactics which can help you in this process.

Keep in mind the buying decision for your prospects begins with their very first introduction to you and/or your business. In order to establish a great foundation upon which to build a relationship, you need to be:

  • Inviting
  • Informative
  • Enjoyable

Realize one of the greatest fears most new customers deal with is buyer’s remorse. You can make great strides in mitigating this fear if you provide a quality product/service that delivers on the marketing claims you’ve made.

To further put your prospect’s mind at ease and encourage them to take the plunge to do business with you, you can remove much of the risk involved in the purchase. Two ways to accomplish this is to:

  • Offer a “no questions asked” refund policy
  • Offer a bonus customers can keep even if they return the product

These two offers can successfully address the fear of buyer’s remorse. Simply by offering these guarantees, you also create a level of trust which generates a situation in which the prospect is more likely to decide to do business with you as opposed to your competition.

In addition to removing risk from the buying equation by offering guarantees, there are numerous other tactics you can utilize to turn a prospect into a customer:

  1. Offer a special price as an opportunity for you to test the market.
  2. Offer a lower price with an explanation that you are pushing inventory to pay a tax bill, pay for your kid’s’ braces, or some other tangible reason. This makes you more human and relatable to your customers.
  3. Offer a referral incentive.
  4. Offer a smaller, more inexpensive product for the first transaction to build trust.
  5. Offer package deals.
  6. Offer to charge less for their first purchase if they become a repeat customer.
  7. Offer extra incentives such as longer warranties or free bonuses if ordered by a set date.
  8. Offer financing options, if applicable.
  9. Offer a bonus if they pay in full.
  10. Offer special packaging or delivery.
  11. Offer “name your own price” incentives.
  12. Offer comparative data or other comparison tools.
  13. Offer a trade-up or upgrade to something they already have.
  14. Offer additional, educational information to help them make the decision.

The opportunities to create trusting relationships with your prospects are limitless. Experiment with various tactics to discover what works best for your business, products/service and target market.

Consider these words from Jay Abraham…

“By making it inviting, easy, informative, non-threatening, educational, inspiring and fun to do business with you, you’ll loft your company above the competition.”

Do you need assistance to determine your best strategy for converting prospects into customers? Our FREE test drive of our marketing system gives you exclusive access to a mountain of resources and tools, along with information from some of the greatest marketing minds on Earth.

Educate Your Customers

Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

Read more