Roy's Blog: Marketing

May 22, 2017

Marketers: 7 things to stop; 7 things to start

Success in today’s markets requires marketers to step up and leave their traditional tools behind in favor of new approaches made necessary by heightened competition and changing customer demands.


Certain practices need to stop; others need to start.

Stop

STOP!

1. Don’t expect the traditional marketer’s kit bag of same-old methods to produce breakthrough results. They won’t. New times demand new techniques. Leave behind flogging products, trying to compete on product features and believing technical capabilities will make the difference.



2. Lose the obsession with mass markets. There is no such thing as an “average” customer. Every person is different in some way. Discover their differences; market to each of them.
 


3. Resist the temptation to use price as the vehicle to win. It won’t; it’s not a viable long-term strategy. Price moves can and will be copied by competitors. Price competition drives profit margins down and does nothing to build customer loyalty. 



4. Cut the crap – the non-strategic and no-longer-relevant marketing programs. In order to make room for “the new,” purge old practices that have limited value in the long term.
Falling in the crap category are: price promotions (produce no long-term competitive advantage), new customer acquisition programs (encourage churn and anger existing customers who are denied the same offers) and customer appreciation events (mostly satisfy lookyloos who want deals rather than rewarding existing customers).
 


5. Expunge “best in class” from marketing vocabulary. Benchmarking to copy another organization is a catch-up tactic and does nothing to gain strategic advantage.


6. Swing marketing focus from getting better to standing out - to be distinctive and unique from the competition. Make competitive moves that create the “wow power” to catapult the organization out of the herd.

7. Avoid making small incremental changes to products to make them appeal to a broader market. This “round-the-corners” marketing dilutes the crisp value proposition that made it attractive in the first place.
Keep products “edgy” and vibrant.

Start

START!

1. Looking for “step out” opportunities. The marketer’s challenge is to constantly strive to be “the one and only” in the markets served rather than on improving existing products and services.


2. Devote copious amounts of time to answering the question, “Why should I do business with you and not your competitors?” Create the “only statement” to express the organization’s uniqueness: “We are the only ones that ... .”

3. Ask the customer service team for more input on how offers are being accepted by customers, what the “pain points” in operations are, and what the competition is doing. Use customer service as a primary customer and market research source.

4. Create and market experiences for the customers served; loosen the focus on products and services.
Deliver happiness rather than flog product features. A product delivers happiness for a limited time only - a new SUV soon becomes a used car; a memorable experience stays with us forever.
Emotion marketing represents a huge opportunity. 
 


5. Discover the “secrets” and innermost desires of the target customers to unlock their marketing potential. Marketing to what people need (herd behaviour) is no longer sufficient to be noticed in the market and standout from the aggressive competition.

6. Establish customer learning as a core competency in your organization. Be “always on” to learn what customers desire every time they touch the organization, whether it’s a personal contact or a visit to a website.
 


7. Develop packages for high-value customers rather than offer them individual products and services. Learn their broad holistic desires; seamlessly integrate multiple products to yield a broad value proposition that is difficult for competitors to match. 



If marketing is to continue to provide relevant and compelling value to organizations, it must refresh itself, take on a new purpose and let go of traditional methods.

Cheers,
Roy

Sales blogger


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 5.22.17 at 06:11 am by Roy Osing
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March 3, 2017

Marketers should appeal to the heart not the mind

We live in a product flogging world.

Products are pushed at us. Technology rains down on us through mass communications.

What businesses supply (as opposed to what we want) is jammed down our throats with the hope that we will bite-and-buy what they offer.

Today more than ever, however, purchase decisions are motivated by what people want and desire, not need.

People buy on the basis of what they yearn for and ache for; to achieve happiness in a world with pressure and stress on their lives.

Product flogging is intrusive and completely out of sync with this reality, and is a recipe to fail.

Happiness is driven by what we experience rather than what we consume in material goods. Fond memories of a family vacation are long-lasting. The new car is fun for a while but soon feels no different than just the one we just traded in.

This is a game-changer for product floggers. Rather than push features, technology and price, the challenge is to create broad-based appeals to the full spectrum of feelings that an individual has.

The marketer’s objective in this sense is to elicit a positive emotional response from the customer, rather than satisfy a consumer need.

“When people were asked to recall their most significant material purchase and their most significant experiential purchase over the past five years, they reported the experiential purchase brought them more joy and enduring satisfaction, and it was clearly ‘money well spent’ compared with the material purchase,” wrote Thomas Gilovich, Professor of Psychology, Cornell University in Determinants of Happiness.

Furthermore, experiences create more happiness than material goods because they are a personal expression of what we desire. They belong to us alone and no one else.

Memo to marketers: forsake your flogging ways and start creating personal experiences for your customers.

Keep Maya Angelou’s words in mind: “... people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

The payback is long-term customer loyalty; the better they feel, the longer they stay.

Customer loyalty

These 3 steps will get you started.

1. Establish the EXPERIENCE CREATOR POSITION in marketing to augment in the standard product management role.
These are the experience packagers; the folks that integrate, brand and price the value elements necessary to deliver the complete experience that customers covet.

2. Include FEELINGS as a key element of marketing research. What experience would make someone happy, special and fulfilled? What does the person crave?

3. Measure the EMOTIONAL ELEMENT of your experience packages; “How did it make you feel?” not just “Did it meet your needs?”

The world is full of floggers.

If you want to make a difference and stand-out from the flogging herd, let experiences guide you.

Cheers,
Roy
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 3.3.17 at 01:45 pm by Roy Osing
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February 20, 2017

1 simple way to amaze your customers

There IS a secret ingredient to mixing a brew of remarkable customer experiences.

And it’s not just about your service strategy.

And it’s not just about the theory of customer behaviour.

So much is being written about how to build an effective customer experience strategy.

In fact advice and direction is “raining down” on organizations looking to establish “The Experience” as a competitive advantage.

Experience

Here’s my thinking.

I don’t think creating memories with an organization starts with strategy or study of consumer behaviour at all.

In fact I believe you can have a mediocre strategy and know sh*t about consumer behaviour theory and still deliver mind-blowing experiences.

The most common experience is created when two humans engage with one another. Yes, human-meets-technology creates an experience but it pales in comparison with the more frequent human interaction (I would argue in any event that the human - technology interaction should be modelled after the human - human one. It’s the benchmark that people use to set expectations).

The critical ingredient in human-to-human contact is emotion.

Does the server really care about taking care of the customer? Do they have the basic instinct and innate desire to serve others?

Because if they do, they will deliver crazy amazing experiences regardless of the specifics of the strategy.

Customer experience

These types of people would create dazzling experiences even if the strategy merely said “We intend to provide world class customer service” (YUK!).

“Head west” with your experience strategy but be obsessed with recruiting people who are born with the “caring virus”); who are “sick” with it and who naturally spread it to their colleagues.

Ask THEM how the human - technology interaction should look.

A pristine strategy without people who “love” people will go down in flames because execution is not an intellectual exercise; it’s achieved through acts of emotion on the frontline.

A vague strategy fuelled by human being lovers will deliver amazingness involuntarily.

P. S. And it’s NOT a training issue. You can’t train people to “love” other people. You can train ‘em to “grin” but that’s as far as it goes.

Just saying…

Cheers,
Roy
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 2.20.17 at 05:44 am by Roy Osing
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January 23, 2017

7 proven ways to keep your competitive advantage

A competitive advantage is hard enough to create; it’s even more difficult to keep.

It’s inevitable. Once you carve out your uniqueness in the market, the “competitive hordes” see it and copy what they like.

Everyone loves benchmarking the best, so once you step out and lead the pack, expect others to dissect what you’ve done and pick out their favourite morsel.

There is no preventing this. It’s one of the few things in business that CAN be predicted with certainty.

Once you’re “done” your work, it’s not over. You have to keep your feet moving.

You need to put in motion actions that will sustain your market position.

These 7 tactics will help.

1. Monitor the execution of your strategy monthly. Be obsessed with your performance. Dig into the revenue numbers. If you fall short, determine EXACTLY why. And then take immediate action to resolve (and monitor that).

2. Assess the value you provide. Is your value proposition still relevant? Are you continuing to address a real compelling need your target customer group has expressed?
Many companies have died by becoming complacent and assuming they continue to be relevant. They see margins decline and see it as a cost problem. It rarely is. It’s a revenue problem. They slash and burn their organization but spend no time assessing relevance.
They often cut out service and marketing capabilities that are sorely needed to rebound.

3. Create a strong social media presence to monitor what people are saying. Act immediately on any concerns raised over your performance.

4. Test your competitive claim with both customers and employees. Successful organizations have a clear statement of how they are different than their competitors. They answer the question “Why should I buy from YOU and not your competition?” in a compelling way.
Your positioning statement must meet the test of “Is it relevant?” (does it continue to address the high priority needs of the target group) and “Is it true?” (do you actually do what you claim?).

5. Stay close to your main competitors. Their actions in the market are useful in assessing if there are actions you need to take to sustain your momentum. Look for any activity they have had with your customers.

6. Continue to bear down on delivering memorable experiences for your customers. Competitive advantage is more about how people FEEL about you than the cleverness of your product.
“Emotional” experiences produce unforgettable memories which translate into your customers never wanting the exit door to find someone better.

Feel

7. Review your marketing plans and programs to ensure you are moving inexorably to “ME” and away from flogging to the masses. A focus on the individual drives you to create unique solutions for them personally. Catering to the masses dilutes your customer attention rate and your brand; heroes for people earns the right to do business with them for a long time.
Keep the move to “ME” going!

Driving your competitive stake in the ground is merely the beginning of a never ending journey of continual renewal.

Stay with it.

Cheers,
Roy
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 1.23.17 at 04:49 am by Roy Osing
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