Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Are you getting in your own way?

Seth Godin has 2 posts we are going to examine today.

The first is about marketing to "the most". Seth writes about a beer made by Belgium monks versus Bud. Bud is trying to sell the most beer to the most people -- it makes average beer and it makes many varieties to appeal to the "Long Tail", although that isn't why A-B does it. A-B is utilizing its facilities to capacity to put out as many beer products as necessary to retain market share. It wants to be all things to all people. (Do you see where I am going with this yet?) A-B has incremental costs to make other brands of beer. It already has the supplies, the factories, the labor, the time, the distribution system, and the marketing machine in place. What parts are you missing?

Most embraces systems and policies that make sense. But most rarely succeeds.

Seth talks about the idea of Ritual to the monks brewing beer. I would say that the human touch and the ability to fine tune an offering to each customer is what sets the Independent Service Provider apart from the Gorillas.

All too often clients want to market to everyone. That's where you directly compete with the million-dollar marketing machine. It is much better to drive deep into niches. To be the world's best in that subdivision or that neck of the woods or in delivering that specific service.

Seth writes in another post: "So, as a percentage of the time you spend at work, what percent would you say qualifies as "marketing"?"

In 2007, this was my biggest mistake. I did a lot of stuff - speak, write, blog, book, video, etc. - but didn't have an overall Marketing Plan and didn't spend enough time regularly (weekly) marketing to my audience. I was in front of them, but not with a clear message and call to action.

Seth counts marketing as: "educating yourself, networking, creating products, creating media, spending money, building networks of sneezers, inventing great stuff, executing great stuff, motivating front-line people and telling stories." How much of this are you doing?

Now here are the Questions to think about for the New Year:

Do you have a game plan for 2008?

Is it written down?

Have you shared it with your employees?

With the engine of our economy seizing up, what will you do to retain customers in 2008? What will you do to increase revenue (whether that means more customers or more ARPU)?

How many books did you read in 2007? How many will you read in 2008?

NOW the fun part: Email me your answers to these question to win a copy of my book, SELLECOM.

If you have never done this exercise, ask yourself why not. Have a nice holiday season!

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