Saturday, 30 June 2007

Paper, Scissors, Stone and money off your meal!

Barclays teams I have been working with are now aware of a Burmese derivative of the kids' game 'paper, scissors, stone'. and now I see the traditional version being used to much better use than a bit of fun!

From Rochambeau - the tortilla people
"For today only, if you beat the cashier in a game of Rock Paper Scissors, you will earn $1 off any entrée item. But please, do not play the "extreme" variation and assault the cashier afterwards. Bask in your win while munching on some tortilla chips." (There's even a link to tell you how to win and how to cheat!)

This is so wonderful... An opportunity for your customer-facing people to really interact with customers. And a great piece of promotion. And a whole load of fun. I just love it. Wouldn't it be great if other retailers did the same.

For similar fun ideas visit The Innocent Village Fete - we saw the travelling fete in Bath yesterday and it brought more than just a smile to hundreds of happy Taste festival attendees. Every fete attendee got a decent sized free sample product. A great way to communicate brand values and how and why they are different from the rest!

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Bright Marketing - why should people bother to buy from you?

Adapted from the 'Introduction' to Bright Marketing

  • Why should people bother to buy from you when they can buy from the competition?

  • What makes your business different from the rest?

  1. We live in a world where everything claims to be better and yet everything seems to be the same…
    Bright Marketing argues that in a world full of mediocrity it doesn’t take that much to stand out from the competition. How do you do that?

  2. Most businesses try to be all things to all people…– they become seen as a jack-of-all-trades. On the other hand, the business that adopts the principles of Bright Marketing is known for their deep understanding/knowledge (and can charge premium prices!); they become recognised as the first port of call. The trick is to know how to make that happen.

  3. In a world that celebrates celebrity, people have a choice…– they can buy from the ‘me too’ also-rans, or they can buy from the market leaders. Whether you trade locally, regionally, nationally or internationally you can put yourself ahead of the competition.

  4. Most businesses are only expert at the technical side of their job and they don’t know how to communicate effectively with their customer…– meanwhile, customers buy from the company that they believe will do the best job. So, the likelihood is that the customer will buy from the business that they, the customer, believe is the best. Is that you?

  5. The real problem is that most businesses are too much in love with themselves and what they do…– and they don’t spend enough time looking at the business through the eyes of the customer.

  6. You Need To Stand Out From The Rest, But How Do You Do That?- Bright Marketing will show you how to become seen in your field. The book is about branding… it is about positioning… it is about entrepreneurship… but actually it is about a whole lot more.

  7. A Marketing Book for Professional Marketers?- Yes and no! Well, mainly no!
    Bright Marketing does not set out to be a standard marketing book or a textbook. It was not written with any exams or qualifications in mind.
    However, professional marketers will appreciate its down-to-earth approach to getting more sales; in fact, we go out of our way to focus on how a business can get more sales.

    In reality we now have, and we welcome, a large following of professional marketers who consider themselves to be Bright Marketers applying the BM techniques to their workplace or to that of their clients.

  8. So Is It For You?
    If you run your own business and want a no-nonsense guide to getting more customers (with relatively little expenditure) then this is for you.

If you are helping to grow a business then this is for you.

If you want practical tools to help you get more customers then this is for you!

RELATED LINKSBright Marketing websiteRobert Craven website

A Marketing Manifesto in Growing Business magazine

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Mail is Still the Best Way to Reach Consumers!

A recent survey completed by International Communications Research (ICR) revealed that even in today's digital world, consumers clearly prefer mail over other communications vehicles such as e-mail for receiving new product information and offerings as well as confidential business communications, such as bank statements and financial reports.

The study, commissioned by Pitney Bowes found that
  • The majority of consumers (73 percent) prefer mail for receiving new product announcements or offers from companies they do business with, as compared to 18 percent for e-mail.
  • Mail was also preferred by 70 percent of respondents for receiving unsolicited information on products and services from companies with which they are not currently doing business.
  • For confidential communications such as bills, bank statements and financial reports, respondents overwhelmingly preferred mail (86 percent) as their channel of choice, as compared with 10 percent for e-mail.
  • The survey also found that consumers are less likely to discard unopened mail (31 percent) – including new product brochures, catalogs or other advertising materials – than they are to discard unsolicited e-mails about new products (53.2 percent).

Compared with other communications channels, including e-mail and telephone, survey respondents found mail to be:

  • Less intrusive — doesn’t interrupt other activities (45.3 percent);
  • More convenient — can be saved and considered at leisure (40.2 percent);
  • Less high-pressured — lets you consider your decision (30.2 percent);
  • More descriptive — lets you picture the offer (22.7 percent); and
  • More persuasive — encourages you to respond (12 percent).

Hmmm... but then again Pitney Bowes are trying to sell you using the mail service (ie theirs!)

But, ask yourself:

  • Do you know the most effective way for you to communicate with your customers?
  • What things do you do that really irritate your 'ideal'/target customers?
  • Do you know how your 'ideal' customers prefer to be communicated with? Have you asked them?
  • How could you improve the way that you communicate with your ideal customers? List three thing that you could do tomorrow.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Psychology of Success

Successful people have the habit of doing things failures don't like to do. They don't like doing them either, but their disliking is put into second place to the strength of their purpose.

Successful people seem to do things in a different way from the unsuccessful. Success breeds success, and certainly attitude is a key part of the secret of success.

All successful entrepreneurs have a number of attributes in common, none of which is at all magical.

The Harvard Business Review published an excellent study of entrepreneurial qualities by Geoffrey A Timmons. He came up with nine such assets - how do you score on them...?:

  1. A high level of drive and energy.

  2. Enough self-confidence to take carefully calculated, moderate risks.

  3. A clear idea of money as a way of keeping score and as a means of generating more money.

  4. The ability to get other people to work with you and for you productively.

  5. High but realistic, achievable goals.

  6. Belief that you can control your own destiny.

  7. Readiness to learn from your own mistakes and failures.

  8. A long-term vision of the future of your business.

  9. Intense competitive urge, with self-imposed standards.

For you, which area is your weakness? What are you going to do about it?

You can read more in an article just published at businesszone. The link can also be found at The Directors' Centre website.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

The first blog - get rid of the scum

After much public demand, I have decided to start a blog so here goes.

One of my pet themes and obsessions is getting rid of the customers (and staff!) that I can only describe as pond life or scum - the ones that you hate working with and are a pain in the backside and are not raving fans or ambassadors... they take up loads of your time and you probably lose money by working with them.

And so, our Newsletter's Dare of the Month has had scary results...
The dare was to identify and sack 20% of your customers and staff, and the reaction has been awe-inspiring. We've had numerous 'confidential' comments from Newsletter readers who have taken on the challenge and they all report that they feel so much better for taking the action.

Do keep on sending in your feedback.


Bright Marketing website
Robert Craven website

A Marketing Manifesto in Growing Business magazine