True Marketing Maxims

As I’ve climbed– occasionally stumbling– up the path in my marketing career, I’ve collected some helpful maxims along the way: pithy sayings that have proven truth in them.

Some have inspired me. Others have helped guide me to the next level of knowledge, skill and career. I thought I’d share a few of them and let you know how I try to apply them.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

This maxim is attributed tothe late Steven R. Covey; the well-known author of a number of best-selling books, the most famous of which is probably The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People-a book well worth reading (or re-reading for that matter.)

I use this particular saying to remind the clients I work with, and myself, to keep marketing strategies and tactics tightly focused on driving sales leads.

I strongly believe that all other marketing objectives are secondary, especially for marketers with limited budgets who don’t have a lot of money to waste. These secondary objectives should come along for the ride while you are focusing your marketing activities on trying to convince potential buyers to raise their hands and express interest in your products or services.

Just do it.

In my Marketing for Leads and SalesTM seminars and workshops, I like to quote Nike’s slogan: Just do it.

In other words, when it comes to marketing, stop thinking about it and get it done and get it on its way to prospects. Marketing that never leaves the drawing board doesn’t help you build your business.

Measure twice. Cut once.

A Web search found more than a million webpages featuring this gem. It was probably said first by some wise old carpenter who didn’t have a board stretcher handy!

When it comes to marketing, I believe this motto means you should think things through carefully before you act. Pay special attention to the Domino Effect, where one thing leads to another. For example, if you make an offer on your website, do you have the requested information or materials ready to go? Or, if you invite someone to a webinar, what will your follow up activities be?

Good enough is good enough.

I think I came up with this one on my own, specifically to avoid getting stuck in the “tweek it again”  mode. However, a web search shows that even marketing guru Seth Goodin, the best-selling author of marketing books like Purple Cow, is thinking about good enough too. So I must be on to something.

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I could easily find myself fiddling with my marketing communications plans, campaigns or materials for months.

Instead, I’ve had to teach myself, and my clients, to aim for the best results instead of aiming for perfection when it comes to marketing.

Your brand is the promise that you keep, not the one you make.

Kristin Zhivago, my friend and author of Rivers or Revenue, coined this phrase a few years back.

What this means to me is that all the brand marketing in the world doesn’t matter if the experience the prospect (or someone they know) has with your company is bad.

Want to build a great brand for your company? Instead of investing a bundle financing a snazzy new logo or wasting a truckload of money on brand advertising, invest in making sure that all the touch points your company has with its prospects and customers are enhancing the brand rather than hurting it.

And then some.

I heard this saying early in my career. Sadly I can’t remember who said it. However, it has become one of my mottos for customer service.

In other words, try to do everything your clients expect, and then some. The “and then some” might be an offer to provide some follow-up consulting by phone at no additional charge. (As a bonus in my case, these follow-up consultations often lead to additional projects.) Or, an unexpected gift basket as a “thank you” for their business.

I suggest you try “and then some” on for size. See if it fits. If it does it might just help you build your brand.

Do you have any additional marketing maxims to share? If so, please send me an email about them to . If I think I can use them (with proper attribution of course) in future articles or seminars, I’ll send you a bright yellow “Marketing Genius” t-shirt.

 

How to handle 3 challenges of multiple marketing channels

Being in the right place is playing a larger role than ever in driving B2B leads and sales. Multiple marketing and sales channels can lower costs and provide faster leads and sales, but how do you handle the challenges? Here are some ideas.

How to handle channel conflict

If your’re selling direct and online, and your resellers are as well, there’s a tendency for all involved to feel cut out. So first focus on the customer: make it easy for them to research and purchase the way they want to.

Then, rather than hope to eliminate channel conflict, try to minimize it by making openness a priority. Communicate early and often to anticipate and resolve issues.

How to handle pricing

Help prospective customers get to pricing info quickly and easily. Requiring users to hand over detailed information first or making technical specs tough to find will just hamper their decision-making process.

So now that they know the cost early on, don’t lose the sale on price alone. Make sure to integrate the key advantages of your solution to fit their needs with the pricing.

How to handle branding

Keep key design and brand messaging consistent across all channels with guidelines and procedures for your marketing and sales communications. When these are clear, accessible, and branding is kept top-of-mind, everyone involved will know how and why to stay on track.

Remember, it’s the relationship that prospects have with your company that delivers the strongest impression, and what will lead to growing sales by word-of-mouth–if it’s a good one.

 

Direct Marketing Tips: How To Cut Costs And Get Better Response

I’ve been asked, “How can I cut costs and find a more practical way to get my target market to respond to my direct marketing?”

First, determine who your best customers are, then target direct marketing efforts at companies  and contacts who are similar.

Rank current customers by three criteria:

* How much revenue they represent
* How profitable each customer is
* How well their needs “fit” what you have to offer

Then look for similarities among the unique attributes of these top customers:

* What industries are they in?
* What is similar about how they use your products?
* Are they large, medium or small?
* Where are they located?
* Who are the key decision-makers and what are their titles?

You can also purchase some outside lists of companies and contacts that match and add them to your direct marketing campaigns, but be careful about being considered a spammer!

Focus your marketing with these direct marketing strategies and you’ll improve the overall quality of your campaigns.

Link to a more detailed article on the subject: Focus your direct marketing

 

B2B public relations overview

Here’s an overview of how to use PR in a B2B marketing-for-leads program.

Your PR program should include a combination of the following items and actions:

– Stand-alone press releases, e-mail pitches and/or media advisories
– Press kits (including such items as company and product or service backgrounders, management bios, product or people photographs, press releases and reprints of articles about your company)
– Setting up your management as a source of experts for media interviews
– Relationship building with editors
– Customer success stories
– Feature articles written by your management (or ghostwritten for them)

For PR tips, press release writing tips, how you can use PR to improve search engine optimization efforts, and links to useful resources, visit my in-depth article: How to use PR in a B2B marketing-for-leads program.

 
Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com