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Marketing Alchemy: 3 Ways To Turn Marketing Expenses Into Profit Centers

 

Are you tired of writing checks for advertising and promotion expenses, month after month, and feeling like you have nothing to show for it? Learn 3 ways that you can turn your advertising and promotion activities into profitable assets, shift from marketing expenses to income, and begin to think of your marketing activities as a profit center instead.

1. Save the money you are now paying to advertisers.

Does the idea of writing checks to yourself each month rather than writing them to someone else for advertising expenses sound good to you? Here's how to make that happen.

When you run a typical ad, you have no idea who has seen it unless they come to your establishment, call you, or buy something from you. In order to make your marketing a profit center, you have to know who those people are and how to contact them.

Don't run another ad unless you can use it to capture the contact information of everyone who sees that ad and is interested in what you are offering. If you are advertising to get new customers, then be sure to make them an irresistible offer in exchange for their contact information. For example, a restaurant offers a two-for-one coupon that is delivered after the contact information is provided. What irresistible offer can you make to your prospective customers that they can't refuse?

You can even test different offers to learn which ones are most popular, and have a record of which people responded to which offer. Is that valuable information to have for your future marketing campaigns? Of course it is! You can just deliver more of what your customers have already told you they want. And as you build a list of those people who have raised their hands, the list you are building becomes an asset for your business.

With a list of prospective customers and how to contact them, you no longer need to run blind ads. You can send targeted offers directly to your list in an email, so there is no mailing cost.

Instead of putting a coupon in an envelope with lots of other offers and hoping that someone will respond, you will be able to send a coupon directly to your list. You can even suggest that they share it with their friends and co-workers who might be interested in what you have to offer. And watch those "advertising" dollars go right to your bottom line!

2. Send special offers to your list that they can't get anywhere else (and cash checks from other business owners that are providing the offers for them).

What's even better than saving marketing dollars? Earning marketing dollars! Imagine how excited your customers will be to get "secret, special deals" that no one else gets! Of course, they can pass those offers on to their friends too, but those friends have to give you their contact information to get the deals!

You can send the offers to your list in a monthly newsletter, an email, or several other options. All can be done at low cost or no cost -- but you won't pay a dime without getting a check from another business owner first to cover the cost.

Send offers for other local businesses (that don't compete with you, of course). Look for complimentary products, or even just products that have a similar target market that matches your customers. If your customers would be good customers for another business, that business can pay you an "advertising fee" to connect the offer to your list.

Partner with local museums or other non-profit arts organizations. Even if you don't earn cash for your mailing, you can likely take a tax deduction -- but check with your accountant so you will know what you have to do to earn the deduction. Just make sure you are getting a "special" deal for your list members.

If you have other business owners who are your customers, ask if they would be interested in having you do marketing for them.

Get in the habit of thinking of marketing as a profit center, and you will see many possibilities for profit.

3. Write a review for your customers that is included in your newsletter or an email, making a recommendation and including an offer.

Start with your customers who are business owners themselves and think about how you can promote their businesses with a review and a recommendation. Then approach the owners of those businesses and offer to provide a review and recommendation of their business (or product or service). In exchange, they will provide an irresistible offer (exclusive to your list, of course) which you will send for a small fee to cover your "expenses," along with your review and recommendation.

This is powerful in marketing terms. This is not just "a shot in the dark" advertising, hoping that someone will respond. Your list members know and trust you, and when you give them your point of view (review) and your recommendation that they do something (take advantage of the offer that is being made), the expectation is that a larger number of people will respond to the offer than if it was just another ad placement. However, the offer must be something that your list members will find irresistible and it should be exclusive, only available to your list.

Jan Sandhouse Hurst is the Authority Mentor and founder of AuthorityMarketingMastery.com. She shows companies how to create marketing strategies and tactics that propel them to excellent results at an accelerated pace, and is known for creative marketing strategies and tactics that position her clients in unique and memorable ways.

If you are not currently sending a monthly newsletter to your list, use her SimpleNewsletterFormula to create a fast path to more customers, connections and cash.

 

101 Ways to Captivate a Business Audience

There's nothing worse than sitting in the audience while an inept speaker stumbles through an ill-conceived business presentation-- unless, of course, you're the one floundering in the spotlight. In 101 Ways to Captivate a Business Audience, Sue Gaulke, founder of the Speaker's Training Camp, strips the mysteries from the process by showing how to prepare and present an effective address that will successfully involve your audience and deliver your message.

The guide presents 101 audience-tested anecdotes, experiences, quotes and insights designed to help readers become captivating, creative and stress-free presenters. It teaches "how-to" skills and learnable behaviours that can be put to immediate use. Information on controlling nerves is also included.

It is extremely quick and easy to read. The ideas are stimulating and there are very relevant topics such as its steak and sizzle technique to keep the listeners on their feet.

 

Buy the Book ... from Fishpond.com.au  or Amazon

 

 

3 Keys to Writing Copy That Attracts and Invites (and Doesn’t Feel Sales-Y and Slime-Y)

If you're like so many conscious/heart-centered entrepreneurs, a lot of traditional copywriting probably makes you pretty uncomfortable. (Copywriting is writing promotional materials, nothing to do with protecting your intellectual property.)

A simple, effective and modern approach to marketing your business

... a simple process that any company can use to break through the noise. It doesn't matter whether you're the owner of a retail shop, financial advisor, swimming pool manufacturer or an inventor with an ingenious product - this powerful strategy will work for you.

‘Don’t hide your light under a bushel …’

Marketing isn’t just about getting your product or service into the client’s hands, and there's one more vital thing.

Pivotal - what makes your brand stand out?

What Makes Your Brand Stand Out?

What attracts consumers to your brand and turns them into loyal customers are the unique qualities your products and services have to offer. You provide something that no one else does or in a way that no one else does. Otherwise, why would you be in business?

Pivotal - what makes your brand stand out?

Your Brand Is Not a Cliché

Your products or services are unique, so make your marketing as unique. Don't package your marketing messages in clichés or overused phrasing that has lost its real meaning. It's not enough to say that your brand is "the best widget maker around." You have to dig deeper than that and get to the core of why your brand makes the best widgets. That why is what consumers are interested in and what will keep them coming back to your brand time and again.

Find Your Brand's Standout Power

Because you spend every day with your brand, it may not be obvious to you exactly what makes your brand so great. You just know it is!

Here are some questions to help you brainstorm what gives your brand its standout power:

  • How are you making life easier for your customers?
  • What follow-up or customer service do you provide?
  • Why do you stand above your competitors? Why would customers choose you?
  • What proof do you have that your brand is standout? Customer ratings or testimonials?
  • What stories can you tell about how your brand has worked for others?

Don't just ask yourself and your staff. Ask your customers! They can be the best resources for true insight into your brand. Send out surveys to your current base and see what they have to say. A lot of times companies are taken aback by the critiques and praises they get. You can use this data to mold not only your website language and images, but also your ads and the way you sell to you people. Remember to look for common themes within the surveys to address the biggest pros or cons of your business. Don't try to fix it all at once.

Remember: in creating your brand's promise for marketing messaging, don't just describe what your brand does. Describe what your customers get every time they choose your brand. Highlight the value you will bring to them with every interaction with your business. Remind them of this every time you get off the phone with them, obviously in a non cliché way, and your call backs or order times will improve.

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Want to Build More TRUST – Build a Better JOURNEY

trust

 

Being well entrenched in the Digital/Internet Revolution we are in today, one thing has become more important and paramount than ever before in history... TRUST. The other name for this period of time we are in is "The Customer Revolution"... and for the same reasons. If your customers don't trust you, you are at high risk of extinction in the not too distant future.

TRUST has become the ultimate prize for businesses today. If your customers trust you, they are choosing to work with you over anyone else in your industry... even if they have to pay a higher price. And one of the biggest reasons Trust is so critical to people is because of TIME. As I have talked about in several earlier posts, Time is the most valuable asset for people today (according to Forrester Research and others). People don't feel they have enough of it and they can't afford to waste it. Those that can help them keep more of their time are more trusted and become the winners in the new Revolution.

If your customers Trust you, they don't have to spend the time searching around and checking out other options... they can simply buy from you. And they are proving this by their willingness to pay more for the same products/services. This is a HUGE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE for businesses today.

But how do you create more trust with your customers?

The underlying core of this answer is very simple... yet many businesses seem to ignore this simple message. The underlying foundation of Trust is PROMISES MADE = PROMISES KEPT. While this is an easy concept to grasp and understand, it appears to be an incredibly difficult formula to execute on a consistent basis throughout one's business. I refer to this often as playing the "Whack-a-Mole" game... where you have a bunch of holes in front of you and a different mole pops up randomly out of each hole... when you hit one, another one pops up. This is the same situation many companies face on a daily basis... having several things under control but another one pops up for you to deal with.

This isn't any more evident than in the area of CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. One of the biggest challenges businesses face today is delivering a CONSISTENT AND REPEATABLE customer experience. Look at your own business and you can see exactly what I am talking about. There are areas that seem to be doing OK and areas that area a disaster when it comes to delivering an awesome, incredible, amazing experience. I can almost guarantee you that there isn't consistency in your customer experience throughout your company... and if there is, you are in a very small minority today.

The CUSTOMER JOURNEY is the collection of customer experiences throughout your company... all working together to deliver an "overall experience" to your customers. The Journey is the "sum of all experiences" you offer to your customers. This includes the experience from your call center, sales, accounting, shipping, marketing, distribution, and every other area of your business. The customer touches each of these areas to some degree at one point or another throughout their overall experience with you when purchasing and/or using your products/services.

So here's the big problem for the majority of companies and why TRUST becomes an issue.

There are usually areas in your business that do better than others when delivering a customer experience. Some might knock it out of the park where others cause great pain for your customers. A good example of this is the Sales group vs. the Accounting group. The Sales department is usually the most "customer centric" in how they treat their customers... it is usually required as part of their role. Accounting, on the other hand, probably doesn't even have it as part of their job description/processes. Their role is to get the bills out, pay the invoices, and make sure all the money is accounted for within the company. Providing an awesome and incredible experience to the customer when they call isn't probably high on their list even though it should be. Regardless of how they treat the customer, they are part of the CUSTOMER JOURNEY inside your company.

When you deliver an awesome and incredible and remarkable CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE... demonstrating how much you care about helping your customers... you build TRUST. When you don't deliver this level of an experience you erode the trust you have with your customer or don't establish any if it is the first interaction.

And when you make PROMISES to your customers through your marketing and advertising, in addition to what your employees tell your customers... and you don't keep them... you lose/erode TRUST. When this happens over and over, your customers lose TRUST IN EVERYTHING YOU DO... not just the few areas that are causing the issue. To the customer, it is a JOURNEY OF TRUST.

Customers don't segregate out the departments in your business... they view their entire experience as a Journey. When different departments don't deliver this incredible experience and don't keep their promises the customer simply says, "They promise things they can't or won't deliver... I don't trust them or anything they say or do." This is even the case when you have one or two departments delivering a experience. The ones that aren't delivering this experience are the ones that bring the company down to the lowest common denominator... a low level of trust for the entire Customer Journey.

If you want to INCREASE THE TRUST OF YOUR COMPANY, YOU HAVE TO DELIVER ON YOUR PROMISES AND DELIVER AN AWESOME CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE THROUGHOUT THE COMPANY. This is the core behind building trust with your customers.

Change the JOURNEY to one where every area of the company is honoring and delivering the promises they make and give your customers a WOW Customer Experience and you will change the level of TRUST. The concept is simple... the execution isn't. If it was, everyone would be doing it. The research wouldn't be telling us that customers don't feel they get an awesome experience. The customer is telling us loud and clear what the answer is to EARNING THEIR TRUST... the question is whether or not we will listen and change our CUSTOMER JOURNEY to one that creates TRUST rather than erodes it.

I would encourage every leader to take inventory of their company's customer experience and how consistently they are delivering on the Promises the employees are making every day. If the experience isn't awesome and you see promises being made that can't be delivered, you have your answer as to how much your customers really trust your organization. This is one of the most valuable "audits" of an organization a leadership team can do to truly understand the level of trust they have with their customers. Give me a call if you have any questions and I would be happy to steer you in the right direction.

Author:  Blaine Millet

If you found this helpful, please share it with your friends so they can also learn from the material. It not only means a lot to me but it helps other people see the story. And if this resonated with you, please visit my http://www.WOM10.com site and read more posts like this one.
We used to get excited about moving our companies from being GOOD to being GREAT... but today, being GREAT isn't good enough... it's a commodity. Today, if you aren't on a path to move your company from being GREAT to being REMARKABLE and MEMORABLE, you don't get talked about.
My PASSION and MISSION is to help INSPIRE, GUIDE, and HELP you move your company from being GREAT to being REMARKABLE... and create Word-of-Mouth on STEROIDS so you get talked about... a lot.
I have a model that helps get you to REMARKABLE. In the core of the model is creating unbelievably incredible amazing and awesome Customer Experiences... you can learn about it in my book, "Creating and Delivering Totally Awesome Customer Experiences." With this as a foundation, you are well on your way to being REMARKABLE.
I get to SPEAK about it, WRITE/BLOG about it, and HELP leaders understand it, aspire to it, and achieve it. There are four key components to help get you to being REMARKABLE... getting talked about in the market... and ultimately letting your CUSTOMERS DO YOUR MARKETING FOR YOU.
Are you ready to become REMARKABLE? Shoot me a message... we'll have an awesome conversation!