Tag Archives: marketing

Are You Making the Same Marketing and Sales Mistakes as My Local Gym?

31 Jan

Article highlights (continue reading for the full story):

  • The gym had a solid lead generation campaign – utilized both digital and traditional marketing channels
  • Secured my personal information – full name, email, and physical address
  • Instructed me to visit its out-of-date website (first breakdown)
  • Did not anticipate my buying cycle (I researched the company before I ever made contact)
  • Never followed up with me after I decided to redeem its offer of a 1-day free trial
  • Always anticipate/research what your prospect will do when it becomes aware of your product/service

gym marketing campaigns

I’ve been eating way too many burritos in the Mission District lately.  My friends joke that the first place they look for me is the taqueria down the street from my apartment.

As I munched on a burrito while watching college basketball, I saw a commercial for a free 1-day trial at my neighborhood gym. While many people believe using television as a marketing channel is outdated, it’s worth noting that Google reports that 60% of its search queries are the result of someone seeing an offline (print/television advertisement).  The television ad (call-to-action) instructed me to visit the gym’s website to redeem my free 1-day trial.

So what did I do after watching the commercial?

I ‘Googled’ the gym to find out more about not only the free offer but also learn about the gym – from pricing to reviews to staff.

Keep in mind: the company INSTRUCTED me to visit the website.  The website was outdated.  The blog was last updated about 6 months ago and it lacked dynamic content that would have allowed me to learn more about the gym.  If you’re going to instruct people to visit your website, you should at least keep it updated.  The company did a great job of directing me to the site; however, the website content should have been targeted to new prospects researching the gym. Anticipate what prospects will do when they land on your page.

gym-marketing-campaigns

After I surfed the company website, I bounced over to Yelp to read the reviews.  I was satisfied with the reviews, so I decided to redeem my 1-day free pass.

The online sign up was simple: I entered my first name, last name, and email address.  When I hit submit, the instructions told me to visit the gym to redeem my free pass.  I walked the two blocks to the gym to redeem my free pass.  I was greeted at the door and asked to complete a liability waiver.  Sure, I’m happy to sign my life away if I drop a dumbbell on my head.  As I was working out on the elliptical machine (is that manly?), feeling the burrito grease leave my skins pores, I thought: “The gym spent a lot of effort and money to entice me to try its services.  It even secured my name, email address, and physical address (from the liability form). It’s not easy to secure my contact information. I bet they have a really good sales system to ensure I don’t walk out of here without a fight.” What happened when I finished my workout? I walked out without any fanfare. No sales pitch. Nobody asked me for feedback. Nobody made an offer.

The owner/marketing team should have anticipated and planned a sales process for prospects that redeem the free trial offer.  Instead, they let me walk out of the door without signing up for a monthly plan.  Why not create an incentive to sign up that day.  For example: “If you sign up within 24 hours of redeeming your 1-day trial, you get the first month free and a 1-hour massage.”

But they let me walk away.  Not only did they let me walk away, but also they still haven’t contacted me about my experience and/or whether I want to join the gym.  The company spent lots of money (advertising, marketing plan, store front, salaries) for my trial.  It’s a shame that its follow up strategy is ‘hoping’ I’ll decide to sign up for a membership.  It should have systems in-place to ensure I sign up before I leave and follow up sales systems for 30, 60, 90, 120 days.

  • No incentive to sign up that day.  They could have closed the sale by offering me a one month free deal if I signed up that before the end of the day
  • The company could  follow up with an email/snail mail campaign:
    • Did you enjoy your time at the gym?
    • Thank you for the trial – did we mess up?
    • Last chance to save 30% on a yearly package?
    • Free Massage?

If you’re going to spend lots of money on an integrated digital and traditional marketing campaign, it’s wise to anticipate what the prospect is going to do along the buying decision.  The company paid a lot of money to get me to try the service, why haven’t they followed up with me?

What can you do to increase your chances of  converting your prospects to clients?

Good luck!

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Remember: Create Marketing Campaigns for Your Target Market….Not Your Team!

19 Aug
Patonback

We love our new marketing piece….

I recently had a meeting to discuss marketing strategy with an extremely successful small business owner.  He was concerned about his most recent marketing piece  – it wasn’t generating leads.  The brochure looked extremely professional, complete with stock photographs and technical language that would make any English professor celebrate and break out the Carlton danceIt was slick.

His staff loved it and gave it rave reviews—his entire team thought it was a home run – so why was it a total flop?

The target market was thoroughly confused by the ad copy. The brochure was too professional. Also, his target market is price sensitive. When they looked at the slick design and professional, stock photos, they quickly determined that my client’s company must be way too expensive.

You need to speak the same language as your target. They likely won’t stop to look up that fancy lingo that’s only used only by the people in your profession. 

The lesson I took away: Don’t rely solely on your team for feedback.  Ask a few people, preferably your target market, what they think of the piece before you spend more money.  Do they understand the marketing piece?

Remember: You’re not trying to sell your products and services to your team; you’re selling to your target market. 

Good luck!

100 Bottles of Beer on the…..Does Your Marketing Strategy Include Shareable Experiences?

12 Aug

You’ve seen it. You’ve probably done it.  I’m guilty.  You are at an amazing restaurant, or maybe you’re on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.  You stop to take a photo either in front of a famous landmark or in front of something your friends and/or Facebook stalkers will think is cool.

You upload it to Facebook and check-in at the location.  You get lots of ‘likes’ and a few witty comments from your friends.  The business gets lots of free marketing exposure.

Do you have a shareable experience? If creating shareable experiences isn’t part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to QUICKLY rethink your strategy.  You don’t have to own a famous landmark; you can create something unique that people will want to share with others.  Here’s an example from a local brewery that opened a few weeks ago:

100 bottles of beer on the wall! Are shareable experiences part of your marketing strategy?

Are shareable experiences part of your marketing strategy?

I counted three different people taking their photos in front of the 100 bottles of beer on the wall.  We both know those photos were uploaded along with a check-in at the new, local hot spot.  How many people do you think saw that check-in and photo, and thought, “Cool! Let’s go check out the new restaurant in town?”

What’s your shareable experience?

Good luck!

How to Create a Unique Marketing Campaign: 3 March Monthly Observances to Crush Your Competition

5 Mar
Happy On-Hold Month!!

Happy On-Hold Month!!

 

We all know St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in March, but did you know the following are also celebrated in March:

1)      On-Hold Month

2)      Eye Donor Month

3)      Craft Month

Guess which March event your competitors will likely decide to advertise?  Yes, St. Patrick’s Day- just like everyone else.  What happens when you advertise/reach out to customers and prospects at the same time as all your competitors and their mothers? You get lost in the clutter.  You are the same.  You are ignored. 

How many companies mail holiday cards to customers?  Tons.  Almost every household either has a basket to collect the cards or the cards are taped to the wall in the kitchen.  Now, how many companies mail cards to customers to celebrate On-Hold Month? I don’t have the data, but I’d be willing to bet very few.

So why not stand out from the crowd?  You should create marketing campaigns around unique monthly observances to stand out!

Create a campaign around “Craft Month.” Send an email/create a blog post/share on social media/mail a letter to your best clients: Happy Craft Month! To celebrate, we’ve CRAFTed (see what I did there? yeah, pretty lame) a deal……then offer your deal/promotion. 

Can you think of any unique monthly observances/wacky holidays to create for next marketing campaign, and crush your competition?

Good luck!

An Easy Way to Increase Sales and Develop Customer Loyalty

13 Feb

My dad received Homeland, Season 1 for Christmas. Because he struggles with all technology invented after the typewriter, I helped him load his DVD player. Upon opening his new DVD, I noticed an excellent cross-sell marketing piece included in the packaging.

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Showtime wasn’t satisfied with selling only the DVD, it wanted to parlay the purchase into a subscription to Showtime. An extremely effective marketing technique; after you watch Homeland, Season 1, you’re going to want to watch Seasons 2 & 3, so you better subscribe to Showtime.

The marketing insert is effective for four reasons:

1) Its delivered directly to its target a audience

2) It includes an offer ($25.00 cash back)

3) A deadline (redeem by Feb. 1, 2014)

4) Showtime didn’t waste an opportunity to market an additional product. It already had to create the DVD package for Season 1, so why not include marketing material for another product with the package?  I’m certain the lightweight, tiny insert didn’t increase postage expenses. Showtime paid a nominal fee to have the piece produced and distributed with its Season 1 DVD. I’d be willing to bet they saw a great ROI (return on investment) from this marketing campaign.

Do you have a marketing strategy to cross-sell your products and services? Any business, particularly small businesses, should maximize marketing budgets by developing inexpensive cross-sell programs.

Good luck!

3 Ways to Ruin Your Marketing Campaign

6 Sep

1) You Spend Too Much Time Promoting Your Company: 

Listen, you have a little less than 2 seconds to capture the attention of consumers. Stop wasting those two seconds by advertising exactly like your competition. Get to the point of why your product or service will BENEFIT your intended target. Do this through a headline or a promise….and do it at the beginning of your ad, to buy a few more seconds of the consumers attention.

2) Advertising Where They Ain’t:

If your target market is between the ages of 15 and 45, do you really think advertising in the yellow pages or the local newspaper is a good idea? Of course you should test whether your target market will react to ads in the local paper, but wouldn’t it be a better idea to determine where your target market likes to hang out? In a recent survey conducted by Nielsen, over 80% of consumers were either on a smartphone or tablet while watching TV over the past 30 days. Stop dumping your advertising and marketing budget in print media, and start investing in digital marketing (SEO, SEM, social media, etc..). If you’re a small business owner, operating in a niche market, you could possibly have a first-mover advantage if you embrace digital marketing.

3) Not Updating Your Social Media Sites:

I know it’s a challenge to stay up-to-date with all the newest social media channels. That’s why I recommend starting with one social media site. For example: Create a business page on Facebook and try to add relevant content to the site at least twice a week. Add blogs and pictures that are useful to your target audience. After you get in the habit of adding content to your Facebook site, then decide to add another profile to a social media site. Eventually, you will want to create a content calendar, so you can continually update all your social media sites. I promise you this: If you continually add fresh content to your site and social networks, you will quickly establish yourself as the expert in your chosen field.

Good Luck!

 

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