Love advice is not good marketing advice

Love advice is not good marketing adviceAs we celebrated Valentine’s Day this month – there were many a cliché uttered in the name of love. I want you to remember that in most cases, they don’t work as well as marketing maxims. Love advice is not good marketing advice.

In fact, in general I might suggest that you shun cupid’s advice when it comes to marketing your organization. Let me give you a few examples.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder: While this may be true in human interactions, buyers have a very short attention span. When your marketing is sporadic or worse – nonexistent, you can’t expect a prospect to think about you when they’re finally ready to buy.

Trying to reach our consumers, no matter what we sell, is a little like trying to time the market. The truth is – we don’t know when they’re going to be ready to pull the trigger. We do know that when they’re ready – typically they will identify three potential solutions and explore them. That’s why marketing’s job is to keep your product or service top of mind all the time so that when the prospect is actually ready – you’re in the short set of possibilities. Absence doesn’t make it more likely that you’ll get a shot at the sale.

Love is blind: While in human interactions it’s true that appearances don’t trump love…in marketing, love is definitely not blind. How you present yourself has incredible impact on your ability to capture and keep the attention of a customer. When it comes to marketing, this isn’t so much about attractiveness as it is about consistency and being true to your brand.

Adhering to graphic standards that represent and promote your brand is vital to growing demand and brand loyalty. Consistent use of logo and brand colors begins to create a subconscious connection with your prospects and repeat customers. Pretty soon – if you’ve honored your brand’s visual guidelines you can trigger a reaction every time you use the brand’s color palette or logo. Think how we immediately associate a red soda can with Coke or a brown truck with UPS. You can create the same effect.

Opposites attract: We all know couples that seem like they couldn’t possibly have anything in common who are deliriously happy with one another. Shows what we know. But that phrase doesn’t work so well when it comes to customers. The truth is – every business has what we call “sweet spot” customers. Those people who are the perfect fit to what we have to offer. One of the reasons they’re our best fit is because they see the world in the same way we do. They agree with how we approach our industry and the specifics of not only what we do but how we do it.

Many companies go broke trying to be everything to everyone. Instead of embracing their sweet spot customers, they chase after every dollar, no matter how bad the fit may be. The result of that is almost always a very rocky relationship that ends in an ugly crash. And then, that former customer runs around town (or your industry) telling people about their bad experience. You’re far better to

All you need is love: In today’s economic times – I don’t care how much fun you are to work with, if you can’t generate results you won’t get to stick around for too long. One of the marketing mistakes that many organizations make is that they don’t put the spotlight on the results and give them their due.

There you have it. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s Valentine’s Day fueled parade but when it comes to love clichés and marketing – it is definitely not better to have loved and lost. Remember — love advice is not good marketing advice!

Instead, market smart and keep those customers for life!

Win a copy of Peter Shankman’s book – Zombie Loyalists

zombieMarketing and PR guy Peter Shankman just releases a new book (Zombie Loyalists) that is on a topic that is near and dear to all of us at McLellan Marketing Group.  Given that our tagline is “create a love affair with your customer” the idea of having rabid fans who are a marketing tsunami is clearly one we endorse.

Peter’s book drives home the point with this alarming statistic combination: 80% of companies think they provide superior customer service, and 8% of customers agree.

What that should mean to you is — you can crush your competition if you get this right. (Learn how you can win a copy at the end of this post)

As I’ve said before — I only recommend books that are short on philosophy and high on practical, actionable information.  Peter’s book will show you what’s possible AND show you how he recommends you make it happen.

It’s an easy, entertaining read that will have you jotting down ideas and notes as you read it.  I definitely recommend you pick it up.

Here’s what some others had to say about the book:

“Marketing and PR expert Shankman offers a hilarious, astute, and ultimately practical guide to creating customers so satisfied they’ll promote your company with zombie-like fervor…this entertaining yet valuable work is a must-read for any business owner or executive interested in turning satisfied customers into avid brand ambassadors.”

—Publishers Weekly

“At the end of the day, all business comes down to customer service. If you want to win in the new customer-centric economy, check this book out.”

—Gary Vaynerchuk, best-selling author, The Thank You Economy

“If anyone in any organization can’t figure out how to create loyal customers after reading this book, then their brains have obviously already been eaten by meat-eating zombies.” 

—Debbie Moren, CEO, Moren Enterprises and Former Disney Customer Service Leader

“Over the years, Peter has created his own Zombie Loyalists, and I count myself as one! Now he is taking you and your business to new levels with his surefire strategies. The world around us has changed, and business must change with it. Your customers are key!”

—Frank Eliason, Author of @YourService

How you can win a copy of the book: Peter generously sent me three extra copies of the book to give away.  To be eligible — simply leave a comment, telling me about a company that has turned you into a Zombie Loyalist and how they did that.

I’ll use random.org to select the winners and announce them here.

Use your inside voice – why your employees should be your #1 audience

When people think about marketing, they typically think about external marketing – marketing tactics aimed at potential customers. But no business can afford to forget to actively and regularly market to its own employees.  In fact, your employees … [Continue reading]

Could you have zombie loyalists?

Peter Shankman's new book Zombie Loyalists -- Using Great Customer Service to Create Rabid Fans comes out today and I'm looking forward to reading it on the plane tonight! If you aren't familiar with Peter, he's best known for founding Help … [Continue reading]