Creative Marketing Wins Skeptics

yoga-tnKathryn is a tenured professor at a university in Maryland.

She is a runner, a talented writer and a lover of dogs and Yoga.

(This is not actually a photo of Kathryn, but it IS a Yoga pose.)

Kathryn wants to bring Yoga to everybody, especially to people who believe they are not the “Yoga type.”

To draw more folks to her Sunday Yoga classes, she spreads the word through friends, neighbors, students and email.

Her email is a creative attention getter.

“I am again leading Good Karma Yoga on Sunday, 4 pm, for EVERYBODY!

“We especially welcome skeptics, doubters, newbies, anxious people, un-flexible people, not-stretchy people, old people, broke people, broke-down people, thick people, intimidated people.

“We have mats and everything you need.

“We ask a donation of $5, more if you can afford to share.

“All money goes to yoga for those who cannot afford to access yoga.

“Good for you; good for others; good karma.

“Bring your kids for the Good Karma Yoga if they are over 11.

“I promise you will be glad you did.

“Wear comfortable clothes.

“Every Sunday at 4 pm.”

SUCCESS

Kathryn’s first Yoga class – after spreading the word – was filled with 40 new Yoga students!

On another subject, you can see a different type of creative marketing on this page.
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PS – Update: the “skeptics” who were part of Kathryn’s first Good Karma Yoga class have been back Sunday after Sunday.

 

Read more about Kathryn – along with her actual photo.

 

This Will Make You Think Twice About How You Are Perceived

marketing-conceptsOkay. I’ll admit it: I was taken in by the low price advertising of discount super stores.

*  “Deep Discounts” and

*  “Lowest Prices!”

Like many consumers, I had the impression – the perception – that most products were lower in price at the discount warehouse.

Reality

When shopping for a camera, I compared prices at several different sources:

(1.) A discount super store,

(2.) The Internet

(3.) A small, locally-owned camera store.

Surprise

Not only was there a price difference, but a pretty good-sized price difference.

The camera was the same price in the discount store as on the Internet.

But the price at the small local camera store was $20.00 less!

Two different accessories for the camera were also less expensive at the local camera store.

My price perception was very different than the reality.

Added Value

In addition, the clerks in the discount store knew very little about the features of the camera.

But the person in the local camera store not only told me everything I needed to know about it, he gave me a demonstration and showed me how to use the camera.

Even if the price had been the same or higher, I felt there was a lot more value attached to buying the camera at the local store.

How Are You Perceived?

How do your customers feel about your company?

What is their perception?

Do they really understand the value you offer?

When buyers compare your products and services to discount stores, are they comparing apples to oranges?

Do they know that when they do business with your company, they will be getting much more than just good products?

In the camera-shopping situation, I could have shopped only at the discount store.

But because of the lack of product knowledge available in the discount store, I looked for value and found it at the locally-owned camera store.

The local store does not advertise the extra benefits they offer: locally-owned business, personal service, product knowledge, competitive pricing.

Getting the Word Out

If your customers are not aware that you offer much more than just products, they may shop elsewhere.

If they think price is the only difference between you and your competitors, there may not be much incentive to buy from you.

Using telephone, email, face-to-face and direct-mail marketing that focuses on value, benefits and solutions, will increase customers’ perception that they will gain something more important than just products when they do business with you.

This Follow-up Call Earned a Sale

cell-phone-woman-tnImagine how many more sales you could get if more of your prospects would actually read and think about the information you send, or brochures you leave with them during your on-site cold calls.

After talking to more than a dozen customers and sending emails or brochures with product information, how can you make it worth your time and energy?

Easy and Fast

The easiest and fastest way to get a prospect mentally involved in – and reading – the information you send, is to get them physically involved. (Not arm wrestling or anything like that.)

Unique

One sales person I bought from – when I purchased office equipment supplies for the company I worked for – had a unique way of motivating me to read the price lists she sent to me.

Here is how one follow-up phone call from this sales rep (her name was “Fern”) went:

“Hello Ann, I’m calling to follow up on the new price catalog we sent you last week.

“It has a purple cover with bright yellow printing.”

Words That Prompted Action

She went on to say:

“There has been a change in pricing on one of the products you use.

“If you have a pen handy, turn to page 14 and next to item #3, cross out the printed price and write $34.50.

“That’s your new third column price on that product and we have it in stock. How many would you like to order?”

I ordered a dozen.

Five Reasons This was Successful

  1. Fern didn’t ask me if I received the catalog (which could have ended the conversation quickly.)
  2. She immediately described the colors on the catalog, so I was able to identify it and pull it out from among all the other catalogs on my desk.
  3. She got me physically involved in the conversation by asking me to cross out the price on a specific page and write in the new price.
  4. I was then mentally involved, looking at the new price I had written and thinking about whether or not we should order this product from Fern.
  5. She ASKED for the order!
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    I ordered a dozen.
    .
    You can see 10 effective ways to ask for the order in this 115-page sales-building e-book at less than half price through Midnight on Wednesday.
    .
    Here’s wishing you a happy and cool day (cooler than the 91 degree heat we have here today!)
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    - Ann

 

Would This Radical Form of Marketing Work for You?

out-of-the-ordinary-tnIt was a hot, humid day on August 23rd, 2011 when suddenly the empty rocking chair in my home office began rocking back and forth.

Eerie.

Was the ghost of my grandmother visiting?  Not likely.

I turned on the TV and saw that an earthquake had struck Washington, D.C. – and Virginia Beach, where I live.

So THAT was the reason the rocking chair rocked!

Earthquakes in D.C. and Virginia Beach are rare.  I don’t remember one – ever.

We have occasional hurricanes here but not earthquakes.

What does this have to do with marketing?

Well . . .

. . . not being a frequent TV watcher, I began – after the earthquake – keeping the TV on  – on mute…just in case.

Every now and then I looked up at the TV to see if anything unusual was happening.

That was when I became aware of the quirky Duluth Trading television advertising . . .

. . . focusing on the negative stuff you can avoid if you buy their products.

At first, I smiled because of the unusual wording and graphics.

But, then I had to turn the volume up because…

did that Duluth commercial say what I thought it said?

“Crouch without the ouch.”

And

“How to fix plumber’s butt.”    What?

“Buck-naked underwear” with a “no-bull guarantee.”

The commercial that sold me was “The no-yank tank” because it is two inches longer than most women’s tanks.

You don’t have to yank it down when you’re crouching or bending over.

I bought one and liked it so much I bought two more when they were on sale.

It helps that Duluth sells high quality products that live up to its advertising.

Results

Duluth Trading has nearly doubled its sales in just two years, thanks to its quirky ads, including an animated “buck-naked” underwear guy.

I love this quote from Dan Neil of the Los Angeles Times:

“Duluth Trading practices a radical form of marketing known as honesty.” 

Could radical, quirky advertising work for your business?

Would “no-jam copiers” get attention?  I don’t know, but Duluth ads get the attention of millions and have dramatically increased sales.

A Creative Quirky Ad

The only slightly quirky ad I have seen is this creative flyer from a handy man.

A Lovable Ad 

This is one of my favorite ads ever, even though it is slightly misleading.  To really appreciate this ad, read all the way to the end.

Want to Brighten Someone’s Day?

There is an example of an award-winning funny and attention-getting voice mail message in this e-book.

 

One Small Thing Makes a Big Difference

package-with-person-holding-it-tnShe set herself apart from competitors by doing this.

I was surprised no one else did the same thing.

So, here’s what happened.

From time to I order a few products on eBay.

Like a hand lotion not available locally, or a battery-powered lantern to use when a storm knocks the power out or my favorite lipstick and even vitamins.

First I check out Amazon and if they have it, I read the reviews and the price.

If most reviews are positive. I look on eBay for the item.

For this product – a specific, branded hand lotion – the price was $18 on eBay with free shipping, but it was $28 on Amazon, where shipping is free only if my order totals at least $49 :-(

Easy decision.

Not that cheaper is always better, but when shopping for specific brands – and you don’t know the sellers personally – a lower price for a branded product will get the sale.  (That’s why it’s critical to personally  create a good relationship and build customer loyalty with buyers.)

I ordered the hand lotion on eBay for the lower price AND free shipping.

Last year I ordered at least a dozen different items on eBay.

The last product delivered – the hand lotion – included something from the seller that was different.

She attached her business card with a note: “Thanks, Ann!”

None of the other sellers did this, and it turned out to be helpful because I wondered if I could buy another type of similar product but – doing a search – I couldn’t find it.

That One Small Thing

Because she attached her business card with the thank-you note, I contacted her to ask about the product I was searching for.  Turns out, she had it.

Nice.  A personal touch that set her apart from competitors.

None of the other sellers sent a business card – or a “thank you” note.

That one small thing – her business card with a handwritten “thanks, Ann” – earned her another sale.

For future eBay purchases, I will contact this smart and thoughtful seller first.

Want ideas about creating customer loyalty?  Or winning back lost customers?  Or asking for testimonials?

Take a look at the contents in this award-winning e-book.