Marketing Stuff You Should Know
Summary: A single easy-to-remember marketing concept designed to keep you sharp and delivered in a minute or two. If you're looking for a quick but very powerful message that will keep you thinking all day long then this podcast is for you.
A few years ago I visited Venice, Italy while on vacation and had the pleasure of walking through hundreds of little mom-and-pop shops selling everything from miniature statues of Jesus to oversized crystal chandeliers and everything in between. I distinctly remember walking into one shop where they were selling blown glassware. Now if you’ve ever been to Venice you know that there are as many glassware shops as there are McDonalds here in the US. Not to say that the glassware was very inexpensive but it was available almost everywhere. I tell you this because the shop that my wife and I went into had an older gentleman sitting behind the counter and he smiled when we entered. We stuck up a conversation and he was very personable. During the course of the conversation he asked us if we came into the store because of the rich history behind his glassware. Not knowing “the history” we asked him to tell us about it. He proceeded to tell us that his son personally made every piece of glassware in the entire store and that he too used to make glass. In fact, the skill has been passed down through his family for generations and it takes years to master the trade. He showed us the difference between a high quality piece of glassware and a poor quality piece of glassware so when we are shopping the streets we know how to spot the good quality. Most of his glassware also had gold designs on the outside of the glass which was put there for both design and to give the glassware added strength (at which point he slammed a glass onto the wooden counter and the glass did not break). He also explained that the base of all his glassware was weighted so that the glass will stand itself up if accidentally knocked over (which he also demonstrated). He put the glassware back on the shelf behind the counter and said “Thanks for listening to my story. As you can see I’m very passionate about my glass since this has been my family’s life for many years”. Needless to say, my wife and I purchased a set of those glasses from that nice man that day. We probably could have saved a few dollars by buying it from another street vendor but we felt compelled to buy from him. Why? Because he made us feel good about our purchase by listening to his amazing story. What kind of amazing story are you sharing with your customers about your products or services or business?
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a salesman trying to sell you something that you don’t really need? Do you remember how you felt? If you’re like me then you tried doing or saying anything to escape from the presence of that salesman (short of punching him in the nose before running the other way). Then why, when you put your marketing message together (whether it’s an ad or video or website) do you try to appeal to a mass audience rather than create a laser focused solution to a customer’s problem? The first thing to remember before putting the first graphic on the page or the first word on the paper is “who is my target customer” and “what problem am I trying to solve”. Without answering those two questions you’ve just lost any chance of your customer taking action. I try to put myself in the shoes of the customer and imagine how my message will be received if I heard it from another sales person. Does the message sound like a sales pitch or does it sound like this other person (or ad) truly understands my problem and has a real solution? When putting your ad together or writing your copy try to imagine yourself sharing this valuable information you have with a very close friend. How does that conversation sound? What kind of words do you use? What kind of tone do you take when talking about your information? Try to emulate this interaction with your close friend through your copy or ad and you will be light years ahead of your competition.
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who just took over the position of president of a big RV company. He told me that overall things are going well but aren’t happening as quickly as he would like. Like many of us, he’s impatient and wants to see his vision working RIGHT NOW. He told me that the company will eventually function EXACTLY the way he plans but two things have to happen. Time and consistency. Two concepts that are very simple to grasp and even execute but they are very often forgotten about or disregarded. Remember, things take time. Just like baking a cake or growing a beard, you can’t speed along the process just by snapping your fingers. You just have to plan on putting in as much time as it will take to complete the project. And while you’re at it, why not make it great! Put in those few extra seconds to give it the quality it deserves. If you know your project is going to take you an hour why not make it the best hour of your time (rather than multi-tasking the whole time and getting sub-par results). Then there’s consistency. Whether you like it or not, you (and everybody else), show your consistency over time. Even if you’re always multi-tasking or working on multiple projects at the same time. That just shows that your are consistent in doing 100 things at a time and never finish anything at once. Or, on the flip side, if you complete one task before moving onto the next then you consistently prove to be a focused individual. So which one are you? Which one would you rather convey to your friends, colleagues and customers? In the example of my friend who now runs the RV company he plans to deliver a superior product backed by superior support from a highly knowledgable staff. And the only way the market will believe his vision is if the company consistently delivers a superior product or delivers superior support time after time after time.
Many rookie business owners make this mistake when pricing their products and don’t realize that they are not making as much money as they should, or could. The difference between a margin and markup is whether or not you take into account the cost of the goods you are selling. Let me give you an example. If you buy something at wholesale for $2.00 and want to add a 35% margin, the retail price will be roughly $3.08. However, if you only added a 35% markup to the $2.00 wholesale cost, you would be selling the product at retail for $2.70. A difference of 38 cents. That’s not a whole lot of money when you sell one item for a couple of dollars but imagine selling thousands of items with an incorrect margin or selling items that have a much higher wholesale cost. Those mistakes could literally cost you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars very quickly. Here’s how the math works. If you’re trying to calculate markup (and let’s use 35% as an example) then you simply take the wholesale cost of $2.00 and multiply by 1.35. That gives you the total of $2.70. To calculate at 35% margin on a $2.00 product you need to divide by .65. We get the .65 by subtracting the margin (which is .35) from one. Just as an example, if we wanted to calculate a 30% margin we would subtract .30 from one which would give us .70 and a 40% margin would be .60. So getting back to the math of a 35% margin on a $2.00 product. On a calculator we would type in 2 (which is the wholesale cost) and then divide by .65 so we get a total of $3.0769 or $3.08. Finally, another common question people ask when talking about margin is “what percent margin should I use when figuring out pricing for my products”. Although there is no hard and fast rule (and it will depend on the industry) I usually go with a 30 to 35% margin if you have to stock the product and something closer to 20% if you can get your vendor to drop ship for you. If you have comments or input on anything discussed here please leave a comment below. Thanks....
These six principles of influence were created by Robert Cialdini and have become the foundation of psychology in selling. Learn and use these for good, not manipulation, because if you use these incorrectly you will do more harm to yourself than good. They are: Reciprocity Commitment and Consistency Social Proof Authority Liking Scarcity
There are three influencing factors in any buying decision. Quality Time Price Lets take a look at each one of these factors while using running shoes as an example. First is quality. If a customer is influenced by quality then chances are they are either looking for a specific name brand of running shoe or dont mind taking their time trying them on and testing them out. They also understand that they will pay more for the product because they are getting the better quality. The second influencing factor is time. If a customer is influenced by time then chances are they need to have their shoes by a certain date, perhaps to run in a race. They are expecting to pay more for the shoes and may or may not be as picky about the brand of shoes they get especially if they can get them quickly. The third and final influencing factor is price. Customers who are influenced by price tend to shop forever to get the best deal. They dont care how long it takes to find a great deal or even which name brand they ultimately ended up buying because they got the product at a good price. Which one of these three factors does your product fall into? Once you figure that out, you can start marketing to the right people.