By: Michael Cooney
In your marketing activities, you probably follow some rules.
Many of these “rules” are of the unwritten kind. There are certain established ways of doing things that everyone in your industry understands, and that’s just the way it is. Always has been, always will be. Those are the rules.
You may market your products or services the same way everyone else in your industry markets their products and services. Why? Because “that’s how everyone does it.”
Everyone else sends out catalogs. You send out catalogs. Everyone else uses an in-house sales force; so do you. Everyone else has a telemarketing team, and you do as well. Brochures? Got ‘em! Website? Check!
I’m here today to tweak your mind a bit, and to set you free.
How? By giving you the only two profit-boosting marketing rules you’ll ever need to know. You may like these new rules better than the old ones.
Ready? Here is your first and greatest marketing rule to live by in your business, and in your life as well: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or the way we would say it today—treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Simple, isn’t it?
In some research I did for an article on workplace harmony, I discovered that the “Golden Rule” is not only found in the Bible (Matthew 7:12) but in many other religions as well. Texts in the Hindu, Muslim, Judaic, and Buddhist faiths all reference the Golden Rule.
Now for the second great rule
Now that you have the First Great Marketing Rule down pat, which you probably do your best to emulate already, here is the Second Great Rule: There Are No Rules.
Just what does that mean? Let me explain how this applies to you, your business, and your future profits.
As long as The Golden Rule is the foundation and bedrock of your business, you’re going what is right as to your social responsibility. After that, how you go about developing your business and its streams of income or profit centers is an open matter. The sky’s the limit. You don’t have to do things the same way everyone else does. Where did you ever read that, anyway? You’re free! Free to imagine and concoct and dream up new ways to look at your business, and the ways you market your products and services. For example….
Could you take your business, or part of it, and develop a continuity program? Many products and services lend themselves to having customers or clients placed on an automatic shipping and billing program. You may offer a discount, or a package price, to send products or deliver services every week or month or quarter until the client chooses to stop. You may save significant accounting and sales costs while your customer enjoys a hassle-free buying experience.
Could you work with your fiercest competitor to each other’s benefit? “What? Are you crazy?” you may be thinking…. Well, why not? Both you and your competitor burn through 80 or 90 percent of your sales leads without any sales. Could you strike a deal with your competitor to work his burnt leads and give him a cut of your profits from them? Or vice-versa? Yes, these joint ventures work. And quite profitably.
Could you be more open with your clients about a recent goof-up and turn that into a reason for a fun and exciting sales event? Everyone makes mistakes. Rather than hide it, have some fun with it. Maybe you produced 50,000 widgets in the wrong color and a buyer rejected them. Just send all your customers an “I goofed” letter announcing this great buying opportunity for them. Someone will like that slightly odd color!
Could you mail a sales letter that genuinely spoke from the heart as opposed to the usual hard-sell message? You may be surprised at the results. It’s disarming when sales executives or VPs just talk to clients openly and humbly as human beings, rather than delivering the usual sales pitch.
There are scores of marketing methods and avenues available. Look outside your industry and learn what others are doing. You’re free to experiment and have fun with your marketing. Try new things. Try new combinations in offers. The whole wide world is open to you, and there is no rule that forces you to do anything just because “that’s the way it’s always been done.”
Michael Cooney, Co-founder. Global Brand Development, a Marketing and Advertising Consulting group.
818 522-1970 — www.globalbrand.com