Why is Marketing Like Aspirin?


When you’ve got a headache, you just want the pain to stop. Your clients have the same problem. They have an ugly Web site, or a blog with no visitors, or would like to start a blog and have no idea how to do it. They’ve got a headache and desperately want someone to cure it for them.

Nobody Cares About You

I saw an ad for Ford trucks on TV yesterday. The ad said, “It’s not just a truck, it’s a Ford!” I’m not in the market for a car (or a truck), but if I were I would want to know what the truck can do for me (not that it’s a Ford).

Ads like this (to quote Claude Hopkins) say, in effect, “Buy my brand. Give me the business you give to others. Let me have the money.”

Not effective in 1920, and not effective now either. Don’t brag about your awards, your state-of-the-art equipment, or your new copy of Photoshop. Your clients don’t care about your stuff.

Sell the Cure

People buy when they see an advantage to themselves: an easy way to do something difficult; tips on how to attract more Web traffic; strategies that get more sales and earn more money.

Small business owners who want to start a blog, but don’t know CSS coding from CVS drugstore, won’t care about your coding skills. They will care that you have a “Launch Your Blog in 20 Minutes” ebook.

Make your client the hero who leaps tall buildings in a single bound – and got the company’s new blog up and running during lunch.

Photo: Pam Ross

How to Pull Your Marketing Out of the Mud

If you’re like many creative service firms, you’re suffering from a common problem. You’re trying to get more business, but you’re having trouble making progress.

Big firms think you’re too small to be credible. They’re concerned that doing business with you is risky and that you don’t have enough staff to get their work done on time.

Small firms see the high quality of your work and are afraid you’ll cost too much.

Trying to sell to both large and small companies will get you in trouble. Pick one or the other, and narrow down your target audience.

Don’t be the designer for everyone. Be the exhibit designer for the independent film industry. Or, be the designer for the pharmaceutical industry.

Then, then create marketing materials that address the needs (and only the needs) of your niche.

The job of your marketing is to help them feel safe, secure, and confident that you can do the job. Then you’ll be able to get out of the mud.


Why 500 Visitors Beats 5,000 Visitors

barbieA friend is grumbling that his site gets lots of visitors and traffic but no conversions.  Getting lots of traffic is great, but it doesn’t help if it’s the wrong kind of traffic.
For example, if I write a post called:  Barbie: 50 Years of Greatness and talk about the successful marketing of the doll, I may get lots of traffic.  However, it’s likely to be from 9 year old girls excited about toys.  Since my target market is small businesses, the traffic won’t do me (or the girls) any good.  None of us will get what we want.

Photo: ordinary guy

The Three Step Elevator Pitch

Step One:

Name the kinds of people you help. This is your ideal customer. It can be schools, small businesses, oil companies, busy moms.. whoever it is that you work with.

Step Two:

Identify a problem they have. Take the example of busy moms. If you offer time management and organization services, say something about how moms have to manage kids, the house, often a job, a husband, manage household expenses, carpooling, activities, etc. and often find themselves trying to go in five directions at once.

Step Three:

Describe how you solve the problem. You offer time management systems that let moms do twice as much in half the time – so they have time left to relax!

What you want is a statement that clearly identifies your target, the problem, and the solution.

For example, on 4/16/08, Kim asked for a review of her elevator pitch on Marketing Pros Exchange. She said, “I’m the president of an event marketing company that specializes in developing innovative events for businesses that want events with a big impact. We custom design each of our events to our client’s specifications, while also providing you with creative marketing ideas and a fresh perspective on emerging trends that can make your event uniquely memorable.”

Listening to that doesn’t help me make a decision whether to hire Kim. I don’t really know what kinds of companies she works with, the problems they have, or how she solves those problems.

She’s not qualifying herself in any way or saying anything which builds trust.

When she asked the question, I suggested she try something like, “I’m the Corporate Event Wizard. I take all the stress out of organizing, scheduling, and planning your corporate events. All you have to do is call, then relax, and be a guest at your own party!”

This states what she does, defines the problems that she solves, and offers a solution.

Need more help?

Try the pitch wizard at http://www.15secondpitch.com.

Photo: billaday