Tag: Adam O’Leary

03 Mar 2009

Scarcity Creates Demand

Girl Scout Cookies.
They are only here once a year. People purchase cases of the things because they are scarce 11 months of the year.

What a great way to create buzz, word of mouth marketing and PR.

McDonald’s does the same thing with the McRib. There are fanatical followers of the McRib all across this country and they talk and talk and talk about it. Does your company have such loyal followers? If not, you should look into how to implement a strategy like that.

I have always said that Krispy Kreme ruined their business model by expanding their products into retail establishments. I remember when they opened the first Denver location. There were lines out the door day in and day out. People who actually got through the line and purchased donuts were treated like Charlie Bucket finding Willy Wonka’s golden ticket!! People talked about it, a lot! The demand for those donuts were through the roof!! In addition, the local media were constantly doing a story on the store. TV, radio, the newspaper. They were there everyday! You can’t pay for that much exposure!

Scarcity can create such great viral marketing, it maybe something to consider….

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19 Nov 2008

To Design or Not Design

During the creative process of creating any kind of marketing piece, people become very possessive of their ideas, design and copy. Although that is a positive thing, there are limitations to it.
You want to make sure the piece, whether it be collateral, ads, blogs, speeches, etc, follows your brand guide and represents your brand image consistently. You also obviously must ensure all your statements, claims and product/service offerings are completely accurate. In addition, make sure your copy is proof read. I don’t know how many times I have seen typos in a wide variety of pieces. (If irony is consistent, I am sure there is a typo somewhere in here) Make sure there is an action item, as well. There are a several other things you must confirm in there, so go through your list.

After a thorough process, at some point you must ask yourself one question. Is this going to achieve my goals? I have seen so many design processes get bogged down by indecision and assumptions. Is this color right? This photo won’t be appealing to the bottom 1% of our market…..that graphic is too wavy…. You can try to be everything to everyone with all your marketing, but, guess what? That is impossible. Make sure your piece is geared toward your target market, isn’t completely offensive (unless it is meant to be) and looks professional. Get it done. Get it out the door and move on. We all have a million things to do and the opportunity costs of not getting other projects done is outrageously high.

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12 Nov 2008

Donkey Marketing

During the course of working with small/medium sized businesses, I come across a common occurrence when the topic of Marketing comes up. I understand that cash flow and capital in small businesses are more of a luxury than a commodity. Most of these companies are just trying to make payroll and pay vendors to keep their heads above water. The last thing they believe is important is their marketing strategy; if they even have one!

As a small business, I can understand where they are coming from. However, I know that a half-hearted attempt at a marketing plan is no plan at all. I don’t know how companies think they are going to attract new customers, retain current ones, establish/gain market share or build a brand without a viable, solid and integrated marketing plan. I guess they think clients will fall out of the sky if they just register a trade name and make some business cards. I know firms that are having a hard time growing their business, yet they do not have the tools in place to attract customers. In certain cases, they have no marketing collateral, web presence or strategic plan and they wonder why they have no sales/revenue/customers.

Firms HAVE to put an integrated marketing plan into place. Even if you are a one man shop, you must show your target market that you are trustworthy, truthful and reliable. I understand that this may take some back to high school since this is a little superficial, yet everyone wants to feel they made the correct decision when buying a product or service. This goes beyond the actual purchase, but extends to post purchase behavior and cognitive dissonance. Marketing does not only help sell a product, it assists companies to retain or attract repeat customers. The marketing that consumers see after their purchase helps them re-affirm their decision. They feel they were right in buying your product. 

So devise a marketing strategy, implement it and stick to it. Don’t dismiss marketing by saying it doesn’t work when you reluctantly execute it.

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04 Nov 2008

Clients Choosing You

When do potential clients choose to use you?
Do you sell them on your product or service during that first sales call?
Is your sales pitch that good?

Odds are the decision has been made long before you even speak with them.
Where have they heard about you? What is your marketing campaigns doing for you?

Laying the ground work by building a brand identity is a MAJOR reason why companies decide on whether they do business with you. Do they trust you? Are you providing a true solution to their need area?

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24 Oct 2008

Biggest Way to Ruin Your Brand

I can’t believe I have to write about this, but I run across it more and more in my daily life. Now, I have a full time job at a software company, I work in my spare time with my own clients and am involved in a non-profit organization as well. In all three of these endevours, I come across indivduals who break a fundamental rule of, not only marketing or business, but common sense.

Do not OVERPROMISE AND UNDER DELIVER!!!(sorry, certain writing rules say not to ever write in caps, but oh well)

In the business world, I understand how some people feel they need to do this since they think they will not be awarded the sale, will look foolish in front of their peers or feel like they aren’t as vital to the company as they think. However, they look even more foolish, unreliable and idiotic when they don’t do what they say they are going to do.

Not only is this kind of behavior detremental to your company’s brand, it is detremental to your personal brand. You represent the company you work for and everything you do, affects their brand. This holds true to your personal brand, as well. If you command a reputation for unreliability, this severely limits you and lets people know if they can count on you or not. This is an enormous hurdle to overcome to gain back someone’s  trust especially if you never had that trust in the first place.

So, in your personal and professional life, please be transparent with your friends, collegues and clients. This will sometimes be tough in the short term, but in the long run they will know what you tell them is always correct. Example: if you cannot meet a deadline, let them know. If you say you are going to complete a task, do it. (no matter how menial. If you say you are going to call someone on a Friday, call them on Friday. If you say you will email them that artwork in a few minutes, do it!)

It comes down to an easy rule, (which I know is hard in the business world): Tell the truth. Everyone at least will respect you for it.

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23 Oct 2008

First Post

Well, as a new blogger, I first want to give some credit to who really inspired me to start this. As a marketing professional I am pretty consistent in reading books on the subject. The most inspiring author being Seth Godin and his series of marketing books. Purple Cow and All Marketers Are Liars have really got me and my career back on track. If you haven’t read these books, you really need to immediately. His blog also has some very insightful topics as well. You can read that here.

The other inspiring author is David Meerman Scott and his book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”. If this book doesn’t get you going, nothing will.

So, I just wanted to say how I started and I look forward to posting relevent topics to get people thinking about new ways to market their business, achieve their goals and maybe even learn something about life.

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