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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
is an ongoing process of planning and executing the marketing mix
(Product, Price, Place, Promotion) for products, services or ideas to
create exchange between individuals and organizations.
Marketing tends to be seen as a creative industry, which includes advertising, distribution and selling. It is also concerned with anticipating the customers' future needs and wants, which are often discovered through market research.
Essentially, marketing is the process of creating or directing an organization to be successful in selling a product or service that people not only desire, but are willing to buy. Therefore good marketing must be able to create a "proposition" or set of benefits for the end customer that delivers value through products or services.
It's specialist areas include: advertising and branding, communications, database marketing, direct marketing, event organization, field marketing, global marketing, international marketing, internet marketing, industrial marketing, market research, public relations, retailing, search engine marketing, marketing strategy, marketing plan, strategic management, experiential marketing, Social Influence Marketing.
Besides using both sides of your business cards and putting a compelling benefits-oriented message on it, there are many other creative ways to put your business card to work for you. Of course, odd-shaped and “rolodex-styled” cards stick out from the crowd as well.
One real estate agent in California hands an extra three bucks and a business card to the toll collector as he crosses the bridge into San Francisco. He tells the toll collector that he wants to pay for the driver behind him, and asks him to give the driver his business card. Nine out of ten times, the driver calls, at least to say thank you. He’s sold several expensive homes that way as a result.
A good lead generation device is to offer a free report or other gift on the back of the card. Then just distribute them where your prospects live.
At my local Munson’s Chocolates outlet, Sales Manager Jim Florence has his business card fully imprinted with the company logo, name, phone number, and email address made out of…you guessed it…CHOCOLATE! (best business card I’ve ever eaten).
A relatively new technology now allows Munson’s to “print” in edible ink everything from text, images, logos, and photographs. With their business cards, customers get to taste their USP. How many other businesses offer that experience?
Ask Your Customers – It may sound super simple, but if you just ask your customers what they want and then give it to them, you’ll be ahead of your competitors. For example, there’s a local dentist who advertises on the radio that he offers a little pill that will put patients to sleep.
While they snooze, he fixes years of neglect and damage in one visit. Without asking his customers, he may not have come up with this tremendous USP.
Do Research to Find Out What They Want – Again, this seems like a simplistic idea, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. For instance, that same dentist I just mentioned above also advertises that nobody in his office will ever lecture you about avoiding visits to a dentist or failing to care properly for your teeth.
They’ll cheerfully do the work that you need and that you want, without guilt or hassle. That’s a powerful benefit that most patients would probably not volunteer to tell their dentists, if asked. But by researching what dental patients complain about, and why they avoid going to the dentist as often as they should, he’s addressed another powerful benefit of going to see him.
Positioning – Jay Conrad Levinson and Seth Godin talk about this in The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook. When Tom’s of Maine introduced their “all natural” toothpaste, they didn’t want to directly compete with all the other toothpastes out there. So they positioned themselves as a healthy all natural alternative.
They sold it in health stores instead of supermarkets. Close-Up toothpaste used a similar tactic. Whereas most other toothpastes emphasized “no cavities” and were more family-oriented, Close-Up targeted single people and emphasized “whiteness.”
An excellent book on positioning is Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, by Trout & Reis.
Video Brochure – The same advantages a CD sales letter (above) has over a print sales letter are even greater with a video brochure. You can film your own infomercial and even if it never airs, you can distribute it on a DVD or videotape. Unlike infomercials, which have some strict guidelines, video brochures can contain practically any format.
You can use the “news broadcast” format, which is restricted in infomercials. The best video brochures are those that look like television programs, since that’s what people expect to see when they are watching it. Testimonials can now contain video of the person speaking. Before and after shots are great in this format as well.
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