How TO Market To New Customers

1. Send select targeted strategic hard copy mail to a well-managed list.

Yes! Sound marketing practices are music to your customers' ears (and wallet).

Yes! Sound marketing practices are music to your customers’ ears (and wallet).

2. Practice Permission Marketing.

3. Follow the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM Act.

4. Regularly (quarterly, as instance demands) clean and manage your mail, email, etc. lists.

5. Only send email solicitations to people you have met and have express permission to email. See #2, #3…

6. ONLY send large materials like catalogs if requested and properly vetted.

7. Protect and respect the privacy of your lists by never selling, renting, sharing or giving this sacred info to others.

8. Only send mail (hard copy + electronic) if you have a specific and properly spelled accurate name.

Business is built on relationships. Build the relationship first, then market later.

Reference: How NOT To Market To New Customers here.

How NOT To Market To New Customers

Bad marketing practices leave a bad taste in the consumers brain.

Bad marketing practices leave a bad taste in the consumers brain.

1. Send blind list mailings.

2. Practice non-permission marketing.

3. Violate the CAN-SPAM Act.

4. Never clean your lists – mail, email, all of them.

5. Send an unsolicited email and then offer “unsubscribe” from a list they didn’t subscribe to.

6. Send catalogs without request.

7. Sell, give, share, and rent your contact list.

8. Address materials “Dear Madam/Sir”, “Current resident”, “To whom it may concern.”, “So and so or Current Resident.”

Business happens based on relationships. Start the relationship first, then market later.

What If

  • What if you had shared that piece of information you chose to hold back?
  • What if you asked for the sale?
  • What if you shared a personal experience that was relevant to their situation, not simply to tell a story?
  • What if they asked you more questions and you didn’t ‘throw up’ on them (monologue), instead made sure it was a dialogue?
  • What if you asked who you could connect someone with instead of asked how you could help (hint: connecting is helping)?
Everything is possible when you ask "what if"

Everything is possible when you ask “what if”

‘What if’ is one of my favorite ways to begin conversations and continue them, in a truly engaging way. ‘What if’ presents opportunity to listen, share, and make real progress.

What if the next time someone taps you on the shoulder to talk about what you do, you return the beginning volley by asking them a qualifying question first (“tell me why you ask?”)?

Try it. Tell me what happens to the exchange, your thinking, and how they react to you.

Conversation = communication = marketing.

Before The Parade (Opportunity) Passes By

Yesterday I was happy to partner with a local Chamber of Commerce to offer a business marketing workshop. Specifically, the Ashland Chamber invited me to join them in presenting an hour-long conversation on Smart & Green Parade marketing.

image courtesy of Graham Lewis

image courtesy of Graham Lewis

Getting business and organizational entity folks to get rid of the candy & flyer handout mentality is curious. Some are on board immediately or already. Yet others balk. They know it litters, that they transfer the onus of the proper care and feeding (and recycling) of these items to the spectator though as the progenitor of these items, they feel people “want” them.

Why? Previous pattern is all. That’s not a good or sufficient reason to shirk responsibility. It’s a bad excuse, not a valid reason.

Some may enjoy the random piece of candy flung at them and it’s still an irresponsible practice to continue by parade entrants. The street department has to clean up of stickiness from the pavement and the rivers and streams suffer due to the stuff that gets washed down the sewer drains. This isn’t Halloween. And really, who needs more candy!!??

The crux of the issue is that smart and effective marketing will never be accomplished by handing out flyers or candy. It’s accomplished by making an experience happen. Be creating a parade entry – and all other marketing opportunities – memorable. Evoking emotion, making people feel something, and wanting to share that forward is what sticks. Help people feel, smell, laugh, smile, cry, and celebrate.

Long after the candy has landed wherever, your brand needs to resurface in the mind of the spectator and client. Planning and forethought on the best effort you can put forward will accomplish all of this and more (team building, TOMA, stronger brand and so forth).

If you’d like a copy of the outline of the presentation I delivered, email me here and I’ll send it along to you.

Marketing is communication. Smart communication then requires thoughtfulness, creativity and constancy to brand message, not candy and flyers.

Marketing Gold Dust

“UGC is marketing Gold Dust.” – Neil Witten, StoryStream

This was among the many gems I have taken with me from the inaugural Whistler Bike conference. Hosted in gorgeous Whistler, British Columbia Canada, it was a remarkable endeavor which I found very successful on about every level.

The folks at Crankworx and Pinkbike put their heads together a few years ago and this event was the result. They invited me to address and open the conference speaking on marketing to women, specifically how the mountain biking community can better include and attract women to this outdoor sport.

Right on.

The fine folks of the Whistler Bike conference.

The fine folks of the Whistler Bike conference.

In addition to be very glad to have been invited to present, I always relish opportunities to be with people whom I’ve not yet met. Part of the joy of business to me is the myriad people and characters you encounter. Traveling and working abroad is all the richer because of the people. 

As a marketing pro, I appreciated the attention of the audience – especially since I was slotted at 830 am the first day, following a welcome dinner the night before….a few folks may have stayed out for a while. Being a morning speaker means you better have a robust style to get them engaged and get the juices flowing! Thankfully, that’s my style so we got off to a dandy start.

Quoted above, Neil Witten, was one of the several adept and very well chosen presenters. UGC = User Generated Content. He spoke knowledgeably and eloquently on the import of how to best tell the story, gather the story pieces including from your users (customers, guests), and then effectively weave the story and brand intrinsically together. Successful companies and organizations (aka brands) do this, some seemingly with out even making an effort. You simply buy into the story and therefore the brand.

Gold dust is the goal. And with the idea of the gold standard, golden rule and such, we can all aim for the gold dust. We can educate ourselves, then our guests and customers, we can increase our success by authentically integrating that dust into our operations. And ultimately we will succeed – for our customers, for ourselves, and for our communities.

Thanks for the gold dust, Neil.