An “Outsider’s” View of Marketing

I’m kind of an introvert.

I’ve always been the guy who prefers to stand at the edge of the party looking in rather than be the center of attention.

And my “outside-looking-in” tendency extends to other areas too. Like the way I think about marketing.

I’ve always been on the outside of the “marketing-think” community too. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that there are time-tested marketing truths. Rules you always have to respect. (You have to know the rules before you can bend them, as they say.)

And I’ve used pretty much every conventional method and channel you can name. I’ve used direct response strategies in the mail and online. I’ve bought newspaper ads. Radio ads. PPC ads. Facebook ads. I’ve used product launches. Marketing funnels. You name it, I’ve done it.

But at the same time, I’ve always kind of looked at all of it from the outside. I’ve always looked for ways to “crank up the heat”, so to speak, of all my marketing. Whether it was the one small tweak I could add that would add major dollars to my bottom line. Or testing an entirely new breakthrough marketing idea.

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Positioning: Get Paid For Who You Are, Not What You Do…

In today’s message I’ll share with you a single shift that can have you making more and working less. How? By shifting your positioning. In other words, how you are seen by your market place. At brunch this past weekend with Dan Kennedy and Michael Masterson, Dan said this: “It’s better to be paid for who you are, rather than what you do.” In other words…

Positioning Trumps The Product!

And if you truly “get it,” you realize how profound this really is.

You see, odds are that right now your positioning was not established strategically. In this video I’ll give your two questions that’ll set you on the right path to determining your ideal positioning (the one that gets prospects eager to spend their money with you) and make it crystal clear what you’ll need to do to achieve it.

So, what are you waiting for? Watch the video, answer the questions, and radically improve your…

Positioning

To higher profits

Rich Schefren

Online Business Tip: Merchants Hand Down New Regulations

Is this a good thing?

Recently, Mastercard and Visa, as well as other merchant processors have conveyed some new regulations with regard to program execution such as one-time offers, forced continuities, and shipping and handling only, to name a few.

These new rules/regulations are due to longtime complaints from customers that are being billed for products they didn’t want or felt they were being misled into buying.  All the processors have basically decided to shun any company that employs tactics like deceptive forced continuity type programs.

So the big question remains…is this a good thing or not?

Well, I guess the answer depends on you, your business philosophy, and the quality of products or services you provide for your customers.

I believe that there are many pros and cons to this new set of guidelines.

I’m very excited about these guidelines and plan to use them to our company’s advantage in order to lead our company to higher levels.  We will simply do what we always preach and that’s to do the right thing.

Now, if you are one of those companies that is focused on taking every last dollar from your customers or trying to misguide or force people into a continuity program unwillingly  in order to squeeze a month or two of program fees out of them… than you’re probably concerned about the new regulations.  As you should be!

If you get caught violating these regulations, not only will you lose your merchant processor and merchant account, but most likely you won’t be able to get another account from other processors in the future.

Here at Strategic Profits, from time to time, we have tried optional continuity type programs.  It is a possibility that we may offer  some type of optional continuity program in the future, however, these new guidelines are making us step up our game, convey all of our offers with even greater clarity, and become superior in the way we handle our prospects and customers.

These new guidelines will force us to revisit the marketing basics that we know have worked for decades and decades (because consumer buying habits never change).

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The Single Biggest Marketing Mistake Small Businesses Are Making Today…

What do you think is the single biggest marketing mistake that small businesses make today?

  • Is it setting the marketing budget too low?
  • Choosing the wrong advertising channel?
  • Failing to capitalize on current trends?

No, no, and no.

According to Jay Conrad Levinson (author of the multi-million best-seller “Guerilla Marketing”) the biggest marketing mistake can be summed up simply and directly…

“The Number 1 marketing mistake small businesses make is NOT creating a simple marketing plan… and failing to COMMIT to their plan.”

It’s true, I’ve seen it happen over and over again.

Someone will get a great idea for a small business and do all the work to get it up and going…. only to find that people aren’t necessarily going to line up around the block to buy what they have.

So they throw a bunch of money at a variety of different marketing techniques (usually suggested by a media rep who has their own agenda), all of which are 99% certain to fail miserably.

And sooner or later, the doors shut for good–while the entrepreneur is left scratching their head as to why their great idea didn’t work.

I’m reminded of the old saying, “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan”. That’s why Jay Conrad Levinson has developed a quick and easy way to simplify your marketing plan (without letting it intimidate you), in a way that doesn’t have to be complicated–unless YOU make it complicated!

I spoke with Jay recently to go over some details regarding this week’s webcast for the League Of Extraordinary Minds. Jay’s going to be on the panel, along with a KILLER lineup of experts (more on that later).

During the call, Jay revealed his “7 Sentence Simple Marketing Plan” to me. This thing is absolutely brilliant. And the best part is, it takes no more than 5 minutes to create.

Just ask yourself these 7 simple, direct questions. Then write down the answers to create your 7 Sentence Simple Marketing Plan:

Ready? Here goes….

  1. What is the purpose of your marketing? (What action do you want them to take?
  2. What is the main competitive advantage you stress to achieve that action/purpose? (What main benefit do you offer that your competitors do not?)
  3. Who is your target audience?
  4. Which marketing “weapons” will you use to achieve that action/purpose? (Expressed as a list.)
  5. For your market niche, what do you stand for?
  6. What is your identity, your personality?
  7. What is your marketing budget? (as a percentage of your projected gross sales)

That’s it.  See how easy that was?

No long, drawn out document. No confusing spreadsheet. Just 7 simple question to answer and voila! You’ve got the basics of a winning marketing plan.

But I know what you’re thinking…”Rich, are you SURE this is going to work for me?

Without a doubt–YES! And here’s why…

In my years of experience as a entrepreneur and small business owner, I’ve seen more marketing tactics, strategies, and techniques than I can remember…

And I can say this with absolutely certainty: Even the most mediocre marketing WITH commitment will always outperform brilliant marketing WITHOUT commitment.

So sit down right now and create your “7 Sentence Simple Marketing Plan.”

Then I want to hear what you think about it, specifically:

– How did this exercise bring clarity to the marketing tasks you must perform?

– How do you think your new “7 Sentence Simple Marketing Plan” will affect your business in the next 30 days?

– And how much more confidence do you have this very moment, that you will EASILY be able to commit to your “7 Sentence Simple Marketing Plan?”

So please leave a comment below once you’re finished. I’ll check the site and read your comments as they come in. Then we’ll continue this conversation on another blog post.

And as my way of saying thanks for participating, I’ll send you a special gift by email to help you commit to following through on your new, simple, POWERFUL marketing plan.

How does that sound?

So please go do that right now, and we’ll talk again soon.

To Higher Profits,
Rich