Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Learn to Love What You (think that you) Hate

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

I heard a stat today:  “Most people who are rich HATE what they do, but LOVE the results.”

It struck a chord.

It’s the Good Salesman Dilemma.  Technically they hate cold calls, but the good ones recognize that prospecting is required to succeed.  So indirectly, they love cold calling, but yet each call… well it doesn’t feel much like love — it sucks.

The principle translates to many things: 
Sports:  Training sucks — winning rocks!  So training doesn’t suck?
Joe Blue-collar: Earning sucks — New boat rocks!  So digging ditches is fun?
Dilbert:  Hates his boss and cube — New PC and geek collection… way cool.  So does he really love his boss?

Success is about focus and priorities.  If building a company is the joy and the prize, then the hated paperwork minutia is actually fun, even though you hate it…

Successful people learn to love the things they hate because they lead to the things they love.

It makes your head hurt and maybe gets you dizzy.  But it’s truth.  Grok it.  Live it.  Love it.

Spreadsheets are Evil – Monitor and Measure

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Making marketing spreadsheets – their results are fickle.  A spreadsheet  will tell you anything you want to hear.  Tweak up the conversion rate, noodle with the average order price, and factor in the lifetime value… you can make millions (in the spreadsheet) without breaking a sweat.

Every marketing campaign needs a goal, needs to be monitored, and most importantly… needs commitment.  Noodle with the spreadsheet all you want… at the end of the day, only results matter.

Whether you are doing PayPerClick or direct mail, you need to monitor and measure.
Commitment is always hard.  The right thing to do is to use a spreadsheet to explore options, decide on pass/fail criteria (unemotionally) and then go for it.

Pulling the plug on a marketing campaign is of course always an option, but better (MUCH BETTER) to decide up front the expected returns (or losses) and ride it out or pull the plug according to plan.  If the plan is six touches, then early results may be misleading.  Zero after five does not necessarily mean you should bail.

Decide up front the risk, and follow through.  It is the only way to get smarter.  If you think you might bail after five touches with zero response… then architect that into the plan.  Think through all forks in the road and plan for them.  Do things on purpose.  React mode is always scarier then executing a plan.

Swirling gut feel and instincts into pure numbers is still the correct answer for successful marketing.
It is a thinking game.  If it was anything else, everyone would be rich.
Adding just a little bit of order to the chaos of life makes everything just a little easier.

Good Clean Marketing

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

I’m continually shocked at the number of companies and/or sales people who seem to not to want to make the sale.  They make their process so hard, or are unresponsive to the point that I put my dollar back in my pocket and move on.

One of the things I vowed when I bought the EmbroidMe store was that I would run the business logically.

Logic means many things.  At the core of my store (Hey… that rhymes :) is that I try not to overreact to anything, and maintain a very rational business exchange.   I don’t sell.  — I print on shirts, if you need printed shirts we should talk. 

As a business, of course my prices are competitive, but again of course,  not always the lowest.  I’d give you my rant on low-price-shopping here, but I’ll save that for another day.

When we talk, I know the technology and costs, and quote fair and reasonable prices.  I don’t expect my customers to understand all the nuances — that is my job.  I am more than willing to explain why the swirling thing-a-ma-jig will cost a little bit more than a one color logo.  

Many of the things that have kept the store in business for five years (woo-hoo!  Five years!!!) Is that we are what our parents taught us to be… kind, Courteous and respectful. 

Real Example:
Someone emailed me two days ago about a quote for shirts.  I responded to him in less than a day (he was shocked).  Even more shocking, I brought him a sample today (at no cost) .  He was wow’d at the level of service.  I’m glad that he thought it was special, but really… if someone is interested in 400 shirts, a one shirt investment on my part is very “logical” — why not?  And bringing it to him made sense too.  Why would I want a customer to work.?  It was just the right thing to do.

 Doing the right thing is not hard.  Doing the right thing is usually Good Clean Marketing