The Bookworm – Part VIII by Ben J. Pritchett
Alright guys (and gals): have you ever come across a client with a product or service that stumped you as far as the marketing goes?
Ever have a client who says they’ve “done it all,” and when you look through their materials it turns out that they actually seem to have done just that?
There are always unique and different ways of promoting products and services.
The real question is how far are you and your clients willing to go to get attention? One fellow (I saw present at a conference) had multiplied his battery business by wearing a Superman-type of costume and becoming the face of the business. The business was booming, but are you or your clients willing to wear blue tights and a red cape to make it happen?
I’m sure we’ve all seen the corny, cheap-looking late-night ads on television, heard them on the radio, etc. We’ve seen or heard some of these ads year, after year, after year. Why? Because they work. Some of these corporate mascots almost gain mythic, folk hero status, and they’d be missed if they stopped doing the ads.
You don’t have to turn yourself or your client into a farce to be successful (even if it could be the best solution), there are lots of other unique and different ways to get the job done.
If you’re open to some different ideas, check out this month’s reading recommendations:
Uncommon Marketing Techniques; Direct Marketing Strategies; and How To Market A Product for Under $500
by Jeffrey Dobkin
Dobkin is certainly not a household name in marketing circles, and I honestly don’t recall how I came across his books, but I’m certainly glad that I did. His books offer a plethora of ideas that are technically solid, tested and most importantly different.
His books get into everything from the nuts and bolts of how to plan your marketing campaign, how to determine your return on investment, how to write it, you name it, and it’s in there. I recommend that you get and read all three of these books if you want to learn more about direct marketing.
I forget which of his books has the half-letter idea in it, but it’s always been a favorite of mine. The idea is really simple: If you have a customer you haven’t seen in a while, or somebody you’ve been trying to sell to, and they haven’t been responding, you write them a letter on one side of the page.
Yes, it’ll be a narrow letter, but invite them to write you back on the other side of the page. If you want to heap on a couple of other ideas, like lumpy mail and promotional products, you include a pen with the half letter.
If you only want to read one of these books and are looking for the most ideas, grab How To Market A Product for Under $500. If you can’t find a great idea or two in that book, give up, you won’t find any good ideas anywhere.
Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful
by Bill Glazer
I think of Bill Glazer as the Victor Kiam of information marketing. For my younger readers, Victor Kiam was the owner and spokesperson for Remington Shavers – his schtick was that the shaver was so good that he bought the company. Kiam died in 2001, but I must have seen him in his television ads hundreds of times in the 1980s and 1990s.
He’s a good example for this article too, he may not have gotten himself into a Superman outfit to sell his product (although he did do a Santa Claus ad), but he was the face of the product, and he did a wonderful job of it.
Back to Bill though. Bill saw Dan Kennedy speak at an event, pulled out his credit card and bought Dan’s Magnetic Marketing System (possibly the best selling information product of all time). He followed it up with a meeting with Dan, then developed his own marketing system for men’s clothing stores (his family’s business) and other retailers, and then he bought Dan out.
In his clothing business and his consulting business, Bill has done it all and been willing to do it all. He’s done the Superman gig; he’s worn a straight jacket; he’s written million dollar ad campaigns; he’s unabashedly in it for the money and will do whatever’s required to squeeze every last dime out of a campaign.
This book is filled with 108 examples of campaigns that Bill put together for his businesses and for his clients. If they’re in this book, it’s because they got results, and that’s what you want for your clients, isn’t it? Read it, laugh at some of the absurdities, then see what you can talk your clients into trying!
Street Fighter Marketing Solutions
by Jeff Slutsky
It took me a while to find my last recommendation for this issue, but I think this one is the best choice. Slutsky has written other books, including a collaborative effort with Dan Kennedy called “No B.S. Grassroots Marketing,” which is also a good book, but not part of the topic of this article.
Slutsky’s book isn’t about the outrageous or even the different like the other books listed here. What it is about is the author’s take on the future of marketing (the future is now, since this book was written in 2007). Let’s face it, the marketing work evolves at a frantic pace, some of this book will be dated, but the fundamentals of marketing DON’T CHANGE!
Like Dobkin’s books, it also delves into some of the mechanics of planning and doing campaigns. If you don’t have a background in direct marketing, this is always a good learning opportunity. Slutsky hits a bunch of different areas though; he gets into outdoor marketing, phone marketing, publicity, and much more.
This book is aptly named. This is not a college textbook, it is written from the perspective of somebody on the street, no ivory towers, no fancy words. If Rocky were writing a book on marketing, this would be the book he’d write. It’s a great book for a marketing education.
One final note for this issue:
Slutsky wrote another book called “How To Get Clients.” It’s not a book about the odd, the different or the uncommon, but it’s full of some great ideas for growing your coaching practice if you want to be a Six Figure Coach.
About Ben Pritchett
Ben Pritchett started his first business at the age of 15, and began his own consulting practice in 1991. For over 25 years he has worked with clients in many industries including restaurants, direct sales, software development, tourism, dimension stone (granite quarrying and manufacturing), aviation, and optometry, just to name a few. Companies coached by Ben have nearly doubled and tripled their revenues in a single year.
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