I’m a big fan of keeping your mental focus on things that help you, not hurt you.

Obviously, that applies to what you read, too. Afterall, ‘garbage IN = garbage OUT’.

Just like your body, what you put in your head has lot to do with how well it works.

Here’s a suggestion . . . READ A BUSINESS BOOK. It almost doesn’t matter what you read as long as you’re reading something.

Here’s another suggestion . . . read The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott.  

new-rulesIt’s a good read.  Why?  Because it’s going to give you an EDGE on your competitors who don’t (or, won’t) read it.  

As Bob Dylan once wrote, “The times they are a-changing . . . ” Yes, they are.  And staying on top of / ahead of the pack is more important now than ever.  

Remember . . . “The only dog on a dog-sled team that gets a change of scenery is the LEAD dog!”

I don’t know what you think ‘marketing’ is . . . but whatever you believe, you know it has to evoke an emotional response from your market.

Coca-Cola did this recently with a commercial.  Sure, the coke logo is in the piece.  But look at this commercial and ask yourself, “What are they selling?”  

More importantly, what would YOU be buying after you view this?  I’ll bet it’s not a caramel colored beverage from an international conglomerate! Oh, by the way . . . maybe you’ll want to view this on a daily basis — it’ll help keep your head on straighter!

I just read a great article in Advertising Age magazine on what CEO’s and CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officers) are learning thanks to the recession.

It suggests four (4) things that CEO’s and CMO’s are learning to respond to in these ‘interesting’ times.

Consumer Behavior Shifts

  • Perception is reality
  • Positioning modifies Perception 
  • Aligned perception modifies buyers’ behavior

Pricing Sensitivity

  • Focus on creating / communicating VALUE over dropping price
  • Align what you’re offering to be attractive to a price-sensitive consumer
  • Don’t drop price without first creating and communicating the value you offer 

Leveraging Your Marketing Budget

  • Learn to ‘do more’ but ‘with less’ 
  • learn to ‘be creative’ 
  • learn to co-operate with other partners to promote your business

Embrace the Internet

  • Online media is the future . . . don’t shy away, learn it and leverage it
  • Go beyond advertising — consider your website, blogging and social networks as well

Act today and get 25% off the Marketing Intensive Seminar

John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing wants to help you create your marketing plan in person, in the beautiful Sonoma County region of California.

Spend two transformative days with him and the folks at E-Myth Worldwide Thursday, November 13 and Friday, November 14 to develop the marketing and lead generation systems that will take your business to the next level of success. Read more

I just returned from a conference in Kansas City, MO for Duct Tape Marketing Coaches. As a DTM Coach since 2005, I found this year’s conference or ‘gathering’ to be the best yet.

We spent three great days together with John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing and one of the most prolific people I’ve ever met.

What was really exciting about this meeting was the degree to which the coaches, not John, were the main contributors on the program. That is symptomatic of the significant growth of the community of coaches—a sign of great progress for the Duct Tape Marketing brand in a relatively short time.

The other thing I found quite interesting was the unveiling of a new program that is, well… absolutely FANTASTIC!

While the unveiling of a whole new offering is a few weeks away, all I can say is that it combines one of the most fantastic combinations of valuable services for helping a small to mid-size business market itself. Stay tuned for more details as they are released in the next two weeks.

My wife and I just returned from a nice day on the CT shoreline.

We have a casino nearby… Mohegan Sun.

Joyce, normally one of the most practical and frugal people going, always indulges herself by going into the Coach™ store at Mohegan Sun.

Why she finds a Coach™ bag so attractive and desirable is both amusing and amazing. She LOVES these bags! Sure, they’re nice, but the price of a Coach™ handbag is, relatively speaking, pretty high.

But these things are flying, literally, out of the store.

If the materials and workmanship, nice as they are, aren’t intrinsically enough to explain the price they sell for… what is?

Read more

I just read about a new trend in legal billings.

Some attorneys are moving away from their traditional model of charging for their time and moving toward a negotiated fee that reflects what the attorney will accept and the client will pay.

In legal circles, this is radical.

In business, this is normal.

Years ago, while studying for my CLU / ChFC, I learned that a ‘fair’ price is “what a willing buyer and a willing selling can agree upon”.

Today, that equitable understanding has come home to roost in the legal profession. (reference this article)

Think about the value YOU offer your clients… if you help a client seize an opportunity or avoid a disaster… should they pay you a fee based on some arcane hourly rate or an ‘equitable’ fee that reflects the honest value the client receives?

Read more

In an article in RainToday, author Michael McLaughlin discusses the value of offering an assessment service as a means to differentiating you in the marketplace of ‘Me-too’ consultants.

I couldn’t agree more! In fact, I love this guy!

McLaughlin is ‘real’… at least, he’s living in the real world based on his article. Here are three ‘truths’ I see in the article I am compelled to share with you…

Point 1: Unpaid Consulting
McLaughlin says “Never do anything for free” as it devalues your service. I would add that a prospective client who agrees to do anything for ‘free’ isn’t really invested in the project or outcome. A nominal fee is a key ‘qualifier’ of which prospects are really interested in the outcomes you can offer.

Point 2: “Clients pay for insight, not (just) methodology”
Spot on! If a computer can do the work you do, you SHOULD be out of work. Actually, this is an opportunity for you to reveal how you make sense of discrepancies… that the client either missed or doesn’t appreciate the significance of addressing! Read more

This is a cute one.

I just got an email from a salesperson for an extremely large, renowned international company asking (very nicely!) what my current level of interest in using their service is, if any. She goes on to challenge me by asking if she should just “remove me from her database”.

OK, here’s the joke.

I have been a client of this firm since last October! Happily so, too.

Apparently, while the ‘move’ to ask me to “________ or get off the pot” is one I personally admire, it isn’t appropriate. Not here, anyway.

Why?

First, because it isn’t necessary—I AM a client.

Second, it reflects a gross ignorance of her knowledge of who I am and where I’m at vis a vis buying her company’s service. Read more

I just watched a commercial.

For a product called Orajel. It’s a topical anesthetic for your teeth.

What struck me was the sheer brilliance of the ‘on-the-mark’ message it focused on and didn’t stray from… “Put it on and the pain goes away”.

David Olgivy, the legendary advertising man, once said, “What’s written on the back of the creative brief should be what you say or show to your reader or listener”.

Orajel’s copywriters understood—and practiced this same truth.

“Put it on and your pain is gone”. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Take a lesson here… find THE essence of the ‘beneficial difference’ you create in your client’s life… and state it succinctly and simply.

There’s power in simplicity that focuses on your beneficial difference.