Apply the Principles of Thanksgiving for Your Business

Each year over 300 million Americans will celebrate the wonderful, annual ritual of Thanksgiving, whereas the name suggests they think about all the good things in their lives and give thanks for them. How simple and how appropriate. It’s sad that in Australia we choose to celebrate Halloween and not the more meaningful Thanksgiving. But putting that aside, let’s think about this wonderful day of celebration and apply its broadly applicable principles back to your business or product. Think about your best clients for example. The ones who not only buy from you or deal with you but quite possibly provide you with increasing amounts of work, provide you with testimonials and most importantly through advocacy, go out and tell other businesses about you. Think hard about what it is you do to thank them over and above doing a good job for the work that you are being contracted to do. I mean honestly, in today’s ultra-competitive markets, excellent and consistent delivery of service, is the absolute minimum and entry level of what a business needs to provide. If you are now reading this thinking wow we are not doing anything more for our customers other than sending them the bill, then this blog post should resonate and sound a clear warning that just as the 28th of November is the day to give thanks for our families and friends, good health, peace and so on, it is also the time to think about how we can articulate out sincere appreciation to those who allow us to survive and thrive. Do so and you’ll be celebrating long term...

WOW Factor – The Key to Customer Satisfaction

I have often tried to impress on my students and clients the fundamental need to be able to inject some Wow factor into your Total Product Offering (TPO) as it’s the Wow factor that energises people to talk about things that they have experienced and act. A lot is understandably made of the various research data classics such as the TARP data that focuses on the inevitable consequences of customer reactions to their level of dissatisfaction. It is frightening data on two fronts because it shows us both that the vast majority of customers who are dissatisfied will not necessarily complain about it and also that if they remain dissatisfied will usually tell around ten people who in-turn will go out and tell another five each. OK then the simple message here is don’t do the wrong thing by your customers and hopefully you will avoid this. But as business owners we do not go into business to avoid dissatisfaction. Surely our aim needs to be universally to delight our customers with a consistently high level of customer satisfaction that at very least meets their expectations and hopefully, exceeds them. To do this of course we need to inject some WOW factor into our product offering to the market. The specifics of how you do this will naturally enough depend on what your product is and the market that it operates in. The key point is that in every circumstance there is an existing level of customer expectation that need to be addressed in your promotional campaigns where you verbalise your brand promise which outlines exactly how it will...

Strategic Alliances – The Greatest Under Utilised Business Strategy

Put simply a well thought out Strategic Alliance (SA) is the most underutilised business strategy and this is especially true for SME’s that somehow have this unspoken belief that every business needs to go it alone to be successful. Of course nothing can be further from the truth and all we need to do is to look at how the larger companies do it to see what amazing benefits a strong SA provides for all parties involved. Just the other day I was involved in a discussion on this very issue and discussed with a colleague the wonderful example of the global strategic alliance that has been formed between: McDonald’s, Village Cinemas and Pixar Movies Animation Studios. What wonderful simplicity when you think of who the target audience is for all three of these businesses that you realise that they are for a large part, the same group. I really don’t suppose for a minute that we should be surprised that when business heavy weights like these organisations mentioned the result will be good, given their resources and marketing talent. But the simple truth is that and businesses or organisations can do it with a little thought. The first question that needs to be asked is what other quality organisations out there, already target my target market and may already have well established good will, market expertise and professional networks already set up. The second question you need to ask is which of these organisations from question 1, can I approach that are complimentary but not competitive with what my business or organisation does? Finally what am I willing...

The 3 Key Elements Needed for Advertising Excellence

I was asked a great question recently by a very bright young marketer who inquired about are the key elements that are needed to be present to achieve excellence in advertising. I find these type of questions great on two levels. Firstly they go to the core of the matter about what all marketers need to strive for to potentially succeed in putting an effective advertising campaign together and secondly, given its importance how rarely it gets asked at all. Well unlike the expression, I’m not sure how to define it but I know when I see it, the 3 key criteria for advertising are both easy to define and can be easily identified when used appropriately. The 3 Key Elements Needed for Advertising: 1. A Hook Simply put the ad needs stopping power which is the mechanism by which you can literally stop people as they are walking past or flicking through the magazine pages or scrolling through the website pages and stop them dead in their tracks at your ad. Look at the advertisement above from Audi. It stops you with both a visually striking piece but also the clever integration of Audi’s logo within the word Joy as a key attribute attributed to driving such a wonderful automobile. 2. Relevance Once your ad has managed to stop people (who are hopefully from your target market), you need to ensure that the means by which you stopped them was relevant and aligned to the needs and expectations of the target audience or otherwise they will feel as though they have been cheated and stopped on false pretences....