What is a Marketing Asset??

Hi gang, it’s been brought to my attention that I should back up slightly and explain a little about what a Marketing Asset is.

All business, no matter how big or how small, always is looking for more profit, right?  This is why we are in business to begin with, at least that is the case for most businesses, there are a few exceptions though, as there is with everything in life.

Profit comes from sales, sales come from customers, the more customers you can get for the least amount of money spent is the goal.  With every business, there are always a treasure trove of “assets” that can be used for marketing.  Mining these assets can lead to new or renewed customers.

Our goal here is to create new or renew old customers without spending any more money on marketing then you are already spending.  No new spending!  Use what you already have hidden in your business.

Follow along as I give you some new marketing assets over the next few weeks.  The reason I am slowly letting them out is so you will think on the asset and look in your business for ways to tap that asset before we move onto the next one.  Some may seem simple and obvious, but sometimes we need the obvious to be stated so you can see the trees.

Many if not most, oh 80%, of small business people work “in” their business not “on” their business.  My goal is always to get you to work “on” your business.  Getting caught up in the day to day operation of your business, leaves very little time for you to focus on growing your business.  Growth is good, right?

Rome

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Small business Hidden Marketing Assets. The first three….

I posted the first two Hidden Marketing Assets on my Facebook page and decided it was better to put them up here and have my followers come here to get them.  Today I am posting the first three to get everyone caught up.  Subscribe to my posts and you will get all 15 over the next few weeks.

Rome.

  1.  Past Customers

Can you sell to your past customers?  Can you resurrect a customer who has not bought          from in a while.

2.  Owner Expertise

Have you a skill or knowledge that you have developed over the years that may be useful for  your customer?  Would they want know that?  If they don’t  need it now, would you be the  first to come to mind when they do.  Inform your customers to get a better response or make  the message stick.

3.  Unique Products, Service, or Delivery.

Look at any uniqueness in your products, your services or how you deliver it to find a hidden  asset, then market that.

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Create a USP for your Business.

6 Steps to Creating a Unique Selling Proposition

What is a USP?

A USP is one of the fundamental pieces of any solid marketing campaign. Simply stated, it’s a summary of what makes your business unique and valuable to your target market. It answers the question: How do your business services benefit your clients better than anyone else can?

A USP can give a great deal of clarity to your business model, what your company does and why you do it. It can define your business and most important business goals in just a sentence.

Successful USPs can be used as a company slogan and should be incorporated into all of your marketing activities.

OK, now that we’re clear on what a USP is and why it’s so valuable, let’s start creating one.

Step 1: Describe Your Target Audience

Before you can even start marketing your services, you need to know who you are targeting. In this step, you want to be as specific as possible. For example, if you are a Web developer with a CMS expertise, instead of targeting anyone who needs helping building or modifying a CMS, you may identify your target client as a small business owner who is looking for a developer well-versed in MODx to customize his/her site.

Step 2: Explain the Problem You Solve

From your prospective clients’ perspective, what is the individual need or challenge they face that your business can solve for them?

Step 3: List the Biggest Distinctive Benefits

In this step, list 3-5 of the biggest benefits a client gets from choosing to work with you that they could not get from someone else (i.e., what sets you apart from your competition). Again, thinking from the clients’ perspective, these benefits should explain why your services are important to them and why they would choose you over another provider.

Step 4: Define Your Promise

A big part of a successful USP is making a pledge to your clients. While this can be implied instead of spelled out in your USP, write down this promise you make to your clients in this step.

Step 5: Combine and Rework

Once you’ve completed steps 1-4, take all of the information you listed and combine it into one paragraph. There should be some recurring ideas and thoughts, so you’ll want to start merging statements and rewriting in a way that flows and makes sense.

Step 6: Cut it Down

In this step, take your paragraph from step 5 and condense it even more into just a sentence. You want your final USP to be as specific and simple as possible.

Take your time while doing this exercise and do several drafts over the course of a week until you arrive at your final USP. A fresh mind and perspective is essential, so I would recommend doing this at the beginning of your day versus at the end when you are tired. You also may want to come back and do this exercise again, once you try out your USP for a while, or if anything changes with your business.

Let’s look at a few famous USP examples:

  • “Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.” Domino’s Pizza
  • “The breakfast of champions” Wheaties
  • “The thirst quencher” Gatorade
  • “The quicker, picker upper” Bounty Paper Towels
  • “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight” FedEx
  • “The Greatest Show on Earth” Barnum and Bailey Circus
  • “It’s the real thing” Coca-Cola
  • “Diamonds are forever …” DeBeers
  • “The ultimate driving machine” BMW
  • “The best a man can get” Gillette
  • “We’re Number Two. We Try Harder” Avis
  • “The chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand” M&Ms

Tips to creating your USP

Get a Big Stack of 3×5 Cards & Start Writing

I got this tip from Dan Kennedy’s book “The Ultimate Marketing Plan.”  This one really helped me and I’m sure you’ll benefit as well.

Get out your 3×5 cards.  On each card, write down just one fact, feature, benefit, promise, or idea: one per card, until you’ve exhausted the process.  This should include your business as well as your competitor’s. Then prioritize the cards in order of importance to your customers.

This exercise can help you create a possible USP along with other supporting sales material.

Filling Out Your W9

You’ve got less than one minute to prove your business is worth trying and buying from.  This W9 questionnaire created by Sam Horn, author of the book “Pop”, is brilliant.

It will help you create a possible USP. It will also help you communicate your business/product more effectively to your customers.

  • What am I offering?
  • What problem does my idea or offering solve?
  • Why is it worth trying and buying?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • Who am I and what are my credentials?
  • Who are my competitors and how am I different from them?
  • What resistance or objections will people have to this?
  • What is the purpose of my pitch?
  • When, where, and how do I want people to take action?

Fill In The Blanks

Here’s another exercise which you might find beneficial. Just fill in the blanks.

I help/teach: ___________ (specific market)
Get/help: ____________ (specific high valued benefits)
Even if: ___________ (believe worst case scenario)

Example: I help chiropractors get customers from Yelp even if they have a 1 star rating.

Look At Unique Selling Propositions Examples from Other Businesses

I’ve found that by looking at other business USP’s it helps jog the brain and get ideas for my own. I would never start with a clean slate.  Instead, I would swipe USP’s in other categories of businesses that with a little tweaking could be my own.

Research 10 Competitors In Your Niche

You always want to know what you’re up against.  Study their website, yellow page ad, or direct mail piece.

Write down their USP if they have one.  Is there a way you can improve their USP?  Any ideas here you can swipe for your own USP?

There you are.  Please take this to heart and do up your USP, then use it in all of your marketing.  IN EVERYTHING!

Your’s in business,

Rome

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Customer Service ‘Quicky’ Course Part 5

Well, we have come to the final lesson in the Customer Service ‘Quicky’
course. I sure hope you have enjoyed your lessons and learned a lot
about the importance of providing good customer service for your
business.

Today we are going to go over some great tips for achieving superb
customer service ratings.

Over the last few lessons we have talked a lot about customer loyalty.
One of the most important factors in attaining and keeping customer
loyalty is to respect the people aspect of your business. Treating
customers as individuals and not just as a representation of financial
profits can give you a big competitive edge.

As we have learned during this series good customer service is a vital
part of any business. When it comes to achieving great customer
service ratings it is important to keep these simple tips in mind:

– Happy employee’s make happy customers.

Keep in mind that there is no way to provide quality of customer service
without the qualified people providing it. Having contented employees
is a great way to ensure good customer service. Pay your employees
fair wages; give them good benefits and train them well. This will allow
them to exude confidence when dealing with customers and will
naturally lead to better customer service.

– Be a good role model.

Always remember that the way you treat your employees will be
reflective of how they treat your customers. You are their role model so
always be the epitome of a good server. Greet your employees
enthusiastically every day and listen when they speak. Rude customer
service is not merely a reflection of the employees’ attitudes but more
of their employer.

– Know your customers.

And let them get to know you. Recognizing your customers and calling
them by their names are indications that you really know them. They
will feel important by this simple gesture. On the other hand, by letting
them know who you are, they can also feel comfortable that they can
reach you easily when problems arise.

– Be pleasant

Give pleasant greetings when your customers walk in the door or
contact you. Greetings are important part of customer service and will
let the customers know that they are respected, valued and
appreciated.

– Provide proper training.

As we discussed in lesson three, give your employees proper training
on how to handle customer complaints. Guidelines must be set on what
to do and say in each conceivable case. Front liners play the most
important role in the customer’s experience. Be sure that your
staff know what to say and do to create a more positive and pleasant
customer experience.

– Don’t forget to survey.

Devise a “What do you think of our business” survey. Create a short
and simple questionnaire with questions like we discussed in your last
lesson. For example; find out what your customers don’t like, what
should be changed and what should be done to provide better service.
The answers to these questions will be very useful in creating your
customer service plan, since your customers will be the ones making
the suggestions. Make sure you take note of all of the important points
and act on them.

The questionnaire can help you anticipate and identify customer needs.
This may sound odd, but customers don’t usually buy products and
services. They buy good feelings and solutions to their problems. Most
customers are emotional rather than logical. It is important to anticipate
their needs by talking to them regularly. This way, you can be aware of
their problems and you can take care of their upcoming needs.

Customer service is an important part of any business and it should be
viewed as an natural extension of the business. Always remember that
the customer is the most essential asset of your business and without
them, your business will not exist. Keep them happy and satisfied by
providing superb customer service and you will reap the rewards.

As we close this final lesson I would like to thank you again for joining
me for this short course and I sincerely hope that you have learned a lot
about how to provide good customer service for your business!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how to
effectively achieve the results you are hoping for from your customer
service plan.

Until then,

Rome

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