Tag Archives: free marketing lesson

Everyone Collects Something, Some Like Matchboxes – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to A Little Taste of Cuba.

It’s a smoke shop, mainly featuring fine cigars plus other tobacco products. Normally, I wouldn’t go to one, but a friend needed just a pack of cigarettes, so we went in.

I wasn’t expecting anything fantastic out of a smoke shop, because it’s a smoke shop. But this one lived up to its name because they created an experience when you walk in, through Cuban art, music and furnishings that transported you from New Hope, PA to some nook in Cuba. Although that’s not the reason why they’re getting a smart move.

We were in this store just for a moment while my friend bought what he needed. With his purchase, even though it was under $10, they gave him a pack of matches. But it wasn’t just “Here’s a pack of matches”, it was wooden matches in a box that had A Little Taste of Cuba’s logo on it and on the back were their two locations.

With all of the options of where to get a pack of cigarettes, they’re doing it right. You can’t expect a customer to walk in the first time and want to come back immediately, or even remember where they were. Since New Hope is a weekend destination spot, it’s smart that they are reminding customers with a nice box of matches. I know that I like to keep matchboxes as reminders of place I’ve been, and this is just another way that the shop did a great job of staying relevant.

So far, my friend still has these matches, and what does that mean? Every time he looks at them, he is reminded of when he stopped in and the next time he is in town, he’ll remember that there’s a smoke shop that he can stop at rather than a convenience store.

Lesson Learned: There are subtle ways to be in your customer’s face like a box of matches with a purchase or even something as simple as a business card in their bag. The hardest thing is to find new customers, so if someone makes a purchase or uses a service you offer, make sure they remember you and come back for more!

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Coupons Combined With Considerate Customer Services Adds Customers – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to Wild Garden Accents!

A friend and I were driving past a garden center; it looked more like decorations and we weren’t in a rush, so we stopped. This place was packed with goodies to make a garden unique to you. Wild Garden Accents had many employees that greeted us and asked if we needed help. The customer service was spot on, but that’s not the main reason they are getting this Smart Marketing Move.

 

We made our way around the entire store, the display outside is where we found something we were considering. We came inside and were approached by yet another employee. She asked if we received the 20% off coupon. We hadn’t; so she gave us one to use only for that day. That sealed the deal. We got the item, which wasn’t a high ticket purchase, but we might not have bought it otherwise.

 

Lesson Learned: This was very smart of the employee, I’m sure she saw us taking our time looking around. Maybe we had a specific person in mind for a gift, or something for ourselves. Either way, we might not have made a purchase without that the extra nudge. This sale was already happening, so why not make sure that all of your customers receive a little perk?

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Business Taglines like a Diamond, Need to Stand out Against the Ordinary – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to Kay Jewelers.

Kay Jewelers is a typical jewelry store, offering necklaces with diamonds, gold, and silver. So, in the cluttered marketplace, how do they stand out? With their tagline. Continue reading

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Changing Your Image Can Revive Old Loyalties – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to V8 Juice.

V8 has always been one of my family’s products, and in the past they have created some memorable ads and here they’ve done it again.

Their recent commercial caused me to laugh out loud for a number of reasons:

1.   Jackie Chan, a well-known actor because of his martial arts skills, was used for this commercial and they incorporated it in the commercial in a funny and in your face way.

2.  It had very little dialogue, but used an action oriented approach to make a strong point.

3.  It had a clear and concise message that the juices and smoothies people were drinking did not compare to the health benefits of V8.

The commercial is short and utilizes a relatively familiar environment — someone eating breakfast or walking down the street to make the V8 pop and stand out, because of the brightness of the V8 bottles and with the use of martial arts movements.

This is a great way to grab the audience’s attention in a cluttered communications landscape as well as send two messages; a push for healthier living and a push for a better product.

Lesson Learned: When marketing a product one has to look at what’s being done by others and “think-outside-the-box” in order to not only stand out and be remembered. The promotion possibilities here are unlimited and hopefully they company took advantage of that scenario.

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What Philadelphia Can Teach Us About Building Loyalty and Pride – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to The City of Philadelphia.

There’s a lot of things you hear when you bring up Philadelphia but this one is good. They have a tourism campaign of “Love Letters” with billboards throughout the city, as well as a print and commercial campaigns and I think they’re pretty good!

This is a perfect example of how they use “Love.”

These ads span from museum exhibits to baseball/hockey fans to restaurants. The TV commercials show how they’re personifying Philadelphia and making it a real love letter from Philly. The great thing about this campaign is that they’re using what people are already familiar with: the Philadelphia motto “the City of Brotherly Love” and our famous LOVE sculpture that brings tourists to snap a photo.

They are very smart about incorporating sports because it gets people talking. Like the one to the “World Champions” after Philadelphia won the World Series in baseball, it is actually simultaneously saying congrats to the Phillies while building a stronger loyalty to those fans. Smart! They’re also using on stairs at the train station as well as flags hanging from the street lights.

Lesson Learned: Use what you have but look at it slightly different and use it in a way that will surprise your customers. Example: you have a small business in a small town, play that characteristic up! Tell your customers to shop with you, or use your service because they’ll get special attention that the “big boys” can’t give. You’re their “neighbor”, building trust on something you already have is a great way to improve business and Taglines as well as a campaign like Philadelphia did can help! Don’t forget to use it in all of your branding.

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Not Being User Friendly will be YOUR Business’s Pure Death – Dumb Marketing Move

This Dumb Marketing Move award goes to Pure Death Productions. 

So, you’re a hard rock band. That means you need everything “hard-core”. You need black clothing, skulls, and a scary name; but that doesn’t mean it needs a font that I can’t read. Just so you know, I’m not picking on them because its death metal…this is just bad.

Pictured below is a flier that I picked up while at a bar, because I thought it was so horrible.

They did quite a few things that you shouldn’t do in a promotion piece 1) they used a black and white theme, which is fine, but the design could have been much better; 2) the day and time are typed in black text with a white outline in a black box. If they made the box white, that would have been much better and it would have really stood out and 3) they also used text for the bands names that I can’t even read. This is the production company; they should realize if you’re promoting something, you want people to be able to read it!

Lesson Learned: Always remember it is important to be “User Friendly” in every way possible with your customer or prospect and it’s the most important in your visual communication. Just because you think something is cool and goes with the style you’re trying to portray – you need to look at promotion pieces with a new set of eyes. Even if your budget isn’t big, be critical, because if you’re not, it’s going to look unprofessional and it won’t be as effective as you had hoped. Use white space in your designs – it is your friend. And don’t be afraid to do something different that your competition is doing. If they’re using traditional colours, go opposite of them and be bold.

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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Survey Your Customers – Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s Dumb Marketing Move goes to Deep Spring, a product of Coca-Cola.
Sometime what one considers a “dumb” marketing move is really a result of a management that doesn’t pay attention to its business or worse has a lack of a communication channels that consumers, trade customers or their own employees can’t make them aware of an ongoing problem with their product or service.
These thoughts went through my mind when recently on a business trip to Australia the following scenario took place.
I was staying at Jupiter’s Casino Hotel in the Gold Coast, an upscale establishment and I was fortunate to be staying on their “Executive” floor which had certain benefits such as continental breakfast, the availability of snacks during most of the day and non-alcoholic beverages all day long. It was the latter where the tale began. I went to the refrigerator in the late afternoon and took out what looked like a refreshing fruit based drink named Deep Spring – Orange and Passion Fruit. I took it back to a table with some snacks and sat down to relax and enjoy the great view. I tried to twist the cap off but after 5 minutes of trying gave up. Now I am 5’11”, 200+ lbs, exercise on a regular basis, consider myself relatively strong, so it was a little embarrassing to ask the petite hostess for help. She then told me, as she got out a tool to open it that everyone has the same problem. She said it is literally impossible to open without a handy tool.
What surprised me is this is a product of Coca-Cola, one of the more astute marketers of beverages. But for whatever reason they don’t seem to know about this situation or if they do they are ignoring it. Thus they get ore “Dumb Marketing (or Management) Award”.
Lesson Learned: You want your company to be user friendly! Don’t forget to survey your customers on customer satisfaction. You might be surprised what you find out about your product or service. You might want to keep it anonymous to get the true feelings of your customers.
_________________________________________________________________

“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Warning: Nickel and Diming Your Customers Hurts You More Than You Think – Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s Dumb Marketing Move goes to Spirit Airlines.

I’m sure as soon as you read that this was about Spirit Airlines, you know exactly what I’m going to be talking about. They are now charging for carry on items! In a climate where everyone is hurting, we understand that prices need to be higher for services but customers were just getting used to the idea that they had to pay for their regular luggage. This has blindsided many people and even if they don’t fly with Spirit they are talking about it and not in a good way.

Spirit Airlines has forgotten that they are in a competitive environment and that they aren’t the only kids on the block. I’ve only flown Spirit once in my life, and that was when they just started charging for luggage. I was utterly shocked I had to pay $15 for luggage. It was an inconvenience and it should have been included in the ticket price. Their carry on fees are now $20 in advanced ranging all the way up to $45 at check in on way!

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but that’s a lot of money and a lot of hassle for a carry on, especially after spending at least $90 on a flight (at the bare minimum). I did receive an email from Spirit April 15th, which was at least a week after they announced this change. They are claiming that there will be lower fares, and lower checked bag fees. It’s hard as a customer to see how they will achieve these benefits.

Spirit has not thought this move through, other than the monetary gains. They are nickel and diming people and no one likes it. This new addition will cause a lot of stir while people are checking in, unhappy customers, and more regulations on an already strict system. In an economy like ours today, customers are not as loyal as past years and they will gladly change which airline they fly with for a cheaper flight.
On the Flip side, Southwest is banking in on their mistake. Read Next Week How SouthWest used their competition to enhance their image.

Lesson Learned: When raising prices, in any business, take into account how your customers will react. Also, get a plan together to soften the blow or include the price in a package deal rather than having everything paid separately like Spirit does with flight, checked baggage, and carry ons.

_______________________________________________________________________________

“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Differentiate Your Business From Your Competition – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to Southwest!

Last week Spirit got the Dumb Marketing Move Award and Southwest is getting their Smart Marketing Move Award because they are playing off of Spirit’s weaknesses and the changes they are implementing. This is a clear campaign of differentiation marketing.

Southwest has commercials that are boldly stating that they will never charge their customers for carry on bags or any checked bags. One commercial uses plan old facts, the other humor! They are personalizing their commercials, which is what everyone wants. Consumers don’t want corporate America, they want to know why should they use your airline, and what is it doing for me? Even if they do charge for bags on the ticket price, they are not nickel and diming you like the other airlines. Smart Move SouthWest.

Here are some of their recent commercials

Lesson Learned: Differentiating your company can be a powerful tool. Compare your company with other local and/or national companies. What are you doing better? What are you proud of? Once you’ve figured that out, tell EVERYONE.

____________________________________________________________________________________

“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Gift Certificate Marketing, Don’t Forget the Follow Through – Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s Dumb Marketing Move goes to Mango Moon.

There’s a new craze for half off gift certificates for local companies. As a marketer, I think it is great because these small companies, whether they are a restaurant, a gym, or a retail store, can gain some major exposure by partnering up with websites like Groupon.com, and HalfOffDepot.com.

So why am I awarding Mango Moon Restaurant this award if they used one of these websites to gain exposure? It was in their follow through. Gift certificates are a way to get people in the door, but you can not forget the follow through.

I had friends of mine go to their restaurant and use all of the gift certificate except $4. And they didn’t give them the balance for a return visit, not $4 in cash; it should have been $4 to use at their restaurant for another visit. It could have been in the form of a business card someone fills out, or even just printed on their receipt. Sure, $4 might seem like they shouldn’t honor it, and plus they already ate for ½ price with the purchase of this gift certificate. But the kicker, Mango Moon could have had return customers with that $4, and they would have spent much more than that! As soon as my friends told me this last night, that’s when I realized I needed to tell everyone out there with a business. (Note: Have you had this experience? Tell us about it below!!)

They blew their chance! Since I wasn’t there, I don’t know if it was just a server that made this decision, but it should have been communicated to everyone on the staff to honor anything leftover on these certificates. The first step with Groupon, or Half Off Depot, is to gain a customer. They accomplished this. The second step, get them to come back! Isn’t that what you want with all of your customers? So, now did their ½ off gift certificate work to gain them business? I have to say NO, because they didn’t follow through on something small and seemingly insignificant.

Lesson Learned: The small stuff counts! Even though your customers are getting an amazing deal the first time around, and might be cutting into your costs, you have to think about the future. How much will your customers be worth the next time they visit, and the next time and the next time? Your customers, and potentially loyal customers, are sitting at a table in your restaurant. They are already there, waiting to be reeled in! Don’t let them get away.

And remember, as an owner you need to communicate to your staff what you are doing marketing wise, so that they will be able to follow through for you. Make them feel part of the team, and part of the life of the business.

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