Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Bold Marketing from Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association (CCMPA)

Bold marketing from CCMPA
 

It’s never easy to take advantage of someone’s disaster. But sometimes that might be the right moment to reach out to your market with an important message.

This was a half-page ad in the Globe and Mail on May 29, 2015. It’s bold, provocative and effective.

It’s bold and provocative because it shows images of the devastating fire that consumed a construction project and the neighbouring condo complex in Langley BC 12 days earlier. More than 150 people lost their homes.

It’s bold because in a case like this there is the possibility of negative blowback – from the public, media or social media. Those are the chances you take when you act boldly and embrace controversy.

I believe it’s effective because it’s visual, emotional and simple. The photos of the flaming buildings sear us emotionally.

The message is effective because there are only three elements to this ad:

  1. The headline with the location and date
  2. The two photos of the burning buildings
  3. The message from CCMPA which is clear to understand…

This is why you should build with Concrete Block


I wonder how much debate ensued at the office of the Canada Concrete Masonry Producers Association before placing this ad.

Association marketing is more difficult than business marketing because:

  • There usually isn’t a measurable return
  • Some association members will be unhappy no matter what you do


This ad is a good example for marketers to pay attention to the news. Look for opportunities to tell your message. Always be prepared to grab opportunity when it knocks.

In this case it could have been a matter of watching the news and asking the question “Could our products, services or expertise have prevented or mitigated this disaster?

Effective messaging is dependent on relevance. Before the fire this ad would have been meaningless and long after the emotional proximity would have been lost. The biggest challenge is to decide how close to tragedy to send your message.



George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Embarrassing Questions for BMW Motorrad Canada about charitable donation for demo rides

 
I hoped to test ride a BMW motorcycle but received confusing messages from BMW Canada. I found their request for a charitable donation combined with their no-receipt policy strange.

I reviewed the BMW Canada website, called the dealer rep and read the email from the BMW Canada marketing rep. There were some holes in their story and the messages didn’t ring true -which raised the followings questions for BMW Motorrad Canada.



Questions for BMW Motorrad Canada about Charitable Donations


Purpose, Policy and Procedure

Why do you charge a fee to test ride your motorcycles? What’s the real purpose?

Do you also charge for a test ride of your automobiles? If not, why the different practices?

If a person buys a motorcycle after a test ride, will their test-ride fee be refunded?




The Myth of the Charitable Donation

Why do you call the fee a charitable donation?
Your practice and the email from your marketing rep suggest otherwise.

Are you aware that a charitable donation is normally recognized with a charitable receipt?

Why do you believe that a fee to test ride your product is similar to a hospital selling lottery tickets?



Fee to Ride

If it’s not a donation it must be a fee for service. Why not call it what it is?

Why do you not issue a receipt for the money collected? Is that normal practice at your dealerships? What else don’t they issue receipts for?

Do you accept payment by cheque, debit or credit card? The dealer rep emphasized cash payment. As we all know cash is harder to trace.



Official Charity Recognition

Is your intended charity aware of your fundraising? How are you working together? Is there a link on their website to accept donation for your ride?

Did you ask them to provide official charity receipts?

Why was there no link from your site to the charity website to make it easier for people to donate?




The Money Trail

When there are no receipts issued how do we know where the money goes?

Is the money received recorded as taxable income by the local dealer or BMW Canada?

What is the difference between the money paid by demo riders, the amount reported by the dealer, the amount reported received by BMW Canada and the actual amount submitted to the charity? Those are four different transactions.

How much of the money donated by riders is used for coffee, refreshments and other promotional activity (as suggested in the email from your marketing rep)?

When and how are those numbers reported to all the parties involved? Who can I contact for that financial report? Are the numbers from last year available yet?




Who gets credit for the donation?

If an individual gives you money why doesn’t the individual get credit for his/her donation?

Your website states that you donate on behalf of your dealers. What does that mean? Do the dealers each receive a charitable receipt?

Does BMW Canada claim the charitable donation against their income tax?



That might appear to be a lot of questions. When something doesn’t smell right it raises questions. The stranger the smell – the more questions.


Here’s that email from the marketing rep at BMW Canada

-----------------
“Hello Gentlemen,

Just to clarify the test ride donations, the reason we do not give receipts is because you are receiving something in exchange for the donations.  In this case you are getting a ride on a new motorcycle and also lunch or a refreshment.  It is just like if you buy a hospital lottery ticket, no receipts because you are getting the chance to win something.  If you donate directly to the COC then yes you can get a receipt because you are not getting anything in return for the donation.



Our test ride program is not set up for you to donate directly to the COC and then to show us a receipt.

If you are interested in riding a new BMW, please follow the regulations we have set up.  We pool all the money collected during our rides and donate it on behalf of the Motorrad retailers at the end of the season and make an announcement on the total when done.”
----------------



Here’s the text from the BMW-Motorrad.ca Website
----------------
All riders must arrive at least 15 mins prior to your scheduled ride time in order to:
• Complete the Test Ride Waiver
• Pay your charitable donation
• Participate in the Rider’s Meeting
----------------


Click here to read part one of the BMW Demo Ride charitable donation issue.


What other questions spring to mind? Add them below.






George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing  
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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

BMW Motorcycle Demo rides – charity donation - a sad tale

motorcycle rider


I’m a motorcycle rider. Last year I was delighted to discover “Motorcycle Demo Ride Days”. That means that anyone with a valid motorcycle license could test ride the newest bikes at a local motorcycle dealer. I visited events at six motorcycle brands and created a shortlist of bikes that I’d never considered but now must have.

Try-before-you-buy is a simple yet powerful marketing technique based on the principle that if you give them a free taste and they like it - they’ll want more.

How it Works
The manufacturer or national distributor trucks a dozen or so of their newest models around the country to dealers. The local dealer hosts the event, manages the logistics and even provides refreshments. And it’s all free with no obligation or high pressure sales pitch.

BMW Motorcycle


BMW Motorrad
This year I searched online for more demo rides. Near the top of my wish list was BMW. I had visited the BMW Museum in Munich, Germany decades ago and have long dreamed of owning and riding a BMW motorcycle.

I was excited to uncover a BMW demo ride at a local dealer. And yes, I had to “uncover” it because there was no mention on the local dealer website or their Facebook page and only one mention on the national site. The national site listed an email to contact for more information.

Charitable Donation?
Riding a BMW motorcycle wasn’t free. The website stated “for a small charitable donation you receive a lengthy ride on a variety of roads that are chosen to highlight the unique qualities of a BMW motorcycle…”

That sounded reasonable and I was willing to donate to the charity in order to ride a BMW motorcycle.

When I called the local dealer I heard that, “It’s $25 for a ride”. He sounded like a side-show barker. I asked him, “Will I get a charity receipt for my donation?”  He replied, “No. We picked $25 because a receipt isn’t required under $30. We don’t want to deal with the paperwork.”

His comments sounded strange so I checked the website of Canada Olympic Foundation – which was the charity. That site stated that a “charitable receipt was automatically generated for a donation of $10 or more”. I emailed that information to the dealer rep and asked “If I make my donation directly to the Canada Olympic Foundation online and bring my receipt – would that be okay?”. The dealer rep didn’t apologize or explain the discrepancy between that fact and his “under $30” statement. He simply forwarded my question to the BMW Canada marketing rep who responded…

------------
“Hello Gentlemen,

Just to clarify the test ride donations, the reason we do not give receipts is because you are receiving something in exchange for the donations.  In this case you are getting a ride on a new motorcycle and also lunch or a refreshment.  It is just like if you buy a hospital lottery ticket,  no receipts because you are getting the chance to win something.  If you donate directly to the COC then yes you can get a receipt because you are not getting anything in return for the donation.



Our test ride program is not set up for you to donate directly to the COC and then to show us a receipt.

If you are interested in riding a new BMW, please follow the regulations we have set up.  We pool all the money collected during our rides and donate it on behalf of the Motorrad retailers at the end of the season and make an announcement on the total when done.”
----------

Is this the Way to Build Trust?
This email raises several questions which I list and discuss on another post. The first discrepancy is that BMW Motorrad Canada seems to be using their own definition of the word “donation”. This so-called donation looks like a fee for service. The second curiosity is the refusal to give a receipt for the money they receive. Apparently some of that money collected might be donated to a charity by BMW Canada.

I decided not to attend the BMW demo motorcycle ride because I believe that the BMW people were misleading at best. If you’re a stickler for the truth you might consider those statements lies.

The feeling of being deceived tarnished the shine of BMW motorcycles. The local dealer was either misinformed or misleading. The message from the national office was misleading.

If one deceives (or lies) about a simple thing as “charitable donation” you might wonder what other deceptions (or lies) have they, and will they tell?

This experience did not build trust with me – which is an important part of inviting prospects into your store to examine your products.

Scratch
Buying and riding a motorcycle has little to do with logic. It’s all about the feeling. One of those feelings is trust. Normally I’d be writing about the riding experience but the experience before the ride turned me off so I canceled my ride.

I’ve scratched BMW motorcycles off my wish list.



Read the next post for the questions this strange promotion raised – or should raise.



George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing  
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Sunday, May 10, 2015

6 Principcles on the Science of Persuasion

Effective marketing is about persuading people to act. Follow these six principles.


George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Monday, March 30, 2015

You Only Need to be Slightly Better than the Competition


On a Sunday motorcycle ride my bike suffered a flat tire. I wasn’t hurt and the bike wasn’t damaged. Fortunately I was close to a mall. The Canadian Tire store in that mall wasn’t able to repair the flat but the service manager allowed me to store my bike in the shop over the weekend. That was an unexpected friendly gesture. Storing the bike inside was much better than leaving the bike in the parking lot over the weekend.

motorcycle flat tire
On Monday I started calling motorcycle shops to arrange pick up and repair. I was surprised at the responses.

The first shop was less than a mile from the Canadian Tire store. The person who answered the phone said,

 “Nah, I’m booked solid and everyone’s screaming for their bike. I have to turn you down. I don’t want your business.”

Wow. That was a brutal rejection that I didn’t expect. I won’t call them again and I can only imagine why people might be screaming.

The second shop was closest to my home. The person responded with,  

“I’m busy today. Call me tomorrow.”

I wondered, “Why can’t you take my call now? Why should I call you back tomorrow?”

By the time I called the third shop my expectations were greatly diminished. The person said, “I can pick it up tomorrow.”

Wow! That sounded promising. Tomorrow was the best promise I’d heard so far. Then he added that he might not examine the bike until Thursday. The bike might not be available until Saturday. That was the best promise yet. I told him that I’m a weekend rider so Saturday or Sunday was good.

A Few Questions
Why were the people at the first two shops so negative? Why did no one ask me about my expectations? Is that a symptom of the industry or simply bad retail service?

Tuesday morning I waited for the service truck at the arranged time. Fifteen minutes after the scheduled pick-up time I called the shop to check the status. The shop person didn’t apologize for the lateness. Instead she said that the truck should be there soon. The person picking up my bike was 30 minutes late. He didn’t apologize either.

It looks like there is room for motorcycle shops to improve their attitude and customer service. Naturally attitude and customer service have much in common.

It’s curious that the friendliest person was the service manager at the Canadian Tire store. He had no immediate gain from me. They don’t repair motorcycles nor do they sell motorcycle accessories. They specialize in automotive, house and garden.

I will remember the snubs and the kind gesture.



George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How to Fail with Linkedin Messaging


Linkedin messaging gone wrong
Sending messages on Linkedin can be a productive way to build your network and explore opportunities but don’t send a message like the one below.

You might have received a message similar to this one. Hopefully you didn’t send one like it. Review it and notice the mistakes, so you can avoid them.


---
Hello

I am a candidate referee to employers and recruiters. I came across your profile as we share a few Linkedin groups and would like to network with you for possible opportunities.

I would like to offer a no-fee CV/Resume Evaluation. This Evaluation will outline the effectiveness on your current resume/cv with suggested improvements.

If you would like to enjoy this, just email your resume to us at @email

---


The message is as I received it. The only thing I changed was the email address to avoid embarrassment for the sender.

What’s wrong with this message? A few flaws might be obvious. A few other mistakes I need to explain.

First, the Easily Evident Errors


The message wasn’t personal. It’s doesn’t address me. It only says “Hello” but not my name. That suggests that this was simply cut and paste. The sender didn’t sign off with her name. The message ended with the email address.

It’s all about the sender not about the receiver. The first three sentences start with the word “I”.

There’s nothing to indicate that the sender looked at my profile. What skill set or experience of mine interested her? Why did she reach out to me?

Also, I don’t know what a “candidate referee” is. Do you wear a striped shirt? Do you call people offside? If I was the referee, I would send you to the penalty box for this offensive message.


Next, Truth and Credibility

If she checked my profile as she suggested she would have noticed that I’m a business owner and have been for 19 years. I’m not part of her target audience. I have no interest in writing a CV or resume. I’m not looking for a job. I’m building my business.

The message states that we “share a few Linkedin groups”. That’s not true. We share one. In my books, that was a lie.

I looked at her portfolio and noticed that it was lame. Naturally I wondered, “How would a person who can’t write her own Linkedin portfolio offer advice to job seekers on their resume?”

Here is the Summary from her Linkedin Portfolio…

“Liaise with insurance companies for new staffs, resignation staff, renovation, expats’ home, new outlet opening & office insurance coverage as well as all insurance in regards to the events.”

It was plagued with grammatical errors. It was vague and confusing.



If she looked at my portfolio she would have noticed that it is robust. It identifies my target audience, clarifies benefits and has proof in terms of recommendations and testimonials. It includes videos, photos and links to articles and media appearances. If she was smart she might have asked for my advice.

I sent her a quick message back saying, “Thanks but no thanks.” There has been no further contact.

I imagine that she will attract the market that she deserves – desperate people. Perhaps she should list the subject line as “Are you desperate for a job?” That would be honest and might capture the attention of people she appears to be attracting.

Best Lessons for You

  1. Don’t lie.
  2. Identify your target audience and talk individually to them.
  3. If you want to offer your expertise – demonstrate it first.


Should you use Linkedin messaging to connect? Yes. But first do your homework and connect personally.

George Torok


PS: Feel free to message me on Linkedin but please read the above first.

PPS: If you recognize yourself as the author of this message then please enjoy this free evaluation and suggested improvements.


View George Torok | Power Marketing's profile on LinkedIn
 


George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Sunday, March 08, 2015

7 Reasons We Might Not Accept your Linkedin Request



It’s not me – it’s you!

Do you want to improve your success at building your list of Linkedin contacts?

Perhaps you reached out and asked me (or someone else) to link with you on Linkedin. Why didn’t we accept? At one time I believed that it was wonderful to accept every connection request and reach out to as many people as possible.

Remember how excited we once were to hear “You’ve got mail.”? Most of us don’t feel that way anymore.

I accept that Linkedin is about connecting, networking and selling oneself. I’m comfortable with that. You might be selling yourself to get your next job. You might be selling yourself as a recruitment specialist. Those two roles were the original thrust of Linkedin.

But Linkedin and its use has evolved and you might be selling your professional services or your products.

I believe that Linkedin is a marketplace for people, services and goods. That’s the only reason I participate. Some of you might have a product or service that I’m interested in. More importantly to me, I expect that some of you might be interested in buying my services or referring me to an interested party.

One of the traps of social media is to believe that more means better. More contacts, followers, likes and comments… Justin Bieber isn’t the standard that you should chase.

The reality is that we don’t need more. We need better. The quality of those numbers might be more important than the magnitude.

Here are some of the criteria that might prevent me (or others) from accepting your invitation:


No Photo
If you couldn’t be bothered to add your photo then why should we bother to connect with you? For all we know you might not be human. A photo of your dog or cat does nothing unless you’re a veterinarian. An image of your logo or product is also impersonal. Linkedin is a forum for personal contact.


You Have Less than 200 Contacts
Numbers still count. How will your anemic list of 65 contacts help me? If you have less than 200 contacts then that doesn’t demonstrate influence. It feels like you’re trying to mooch off my list.


Vague or Weak Description
Your portfolio is vague or slim. We read it but can’t figure out what you do or what your expertise is. You spewed a pile of clichés that turned us off. You made claims that are not believable because they reek of absolutes and ridiculous promises.


Standard Connection Message
This by itself isn’t a connection killer. If you simply clicked on the standard Linkedin message “I’d like to add you to my network” I’m ambivalent. You haven’t given me a reason to connect. On the other hand if you wrote a personal message instead of the standard lazy message you are almost guaranteed that I’ll accept your invitation.

Do you want a guarantee that I’ll accept your connection request? Tell me what attracted you to connect. Tell me how you might help me. Tell me why I should connect with you.


Poor Grammar and Word Choice
If after reading your portfolio I see that English isn’t your first language I will forgive simple grammar and syntax errors.  I’m looking at the phrasing of your invitation and your portfolio and what you might offer. Several spelling errors will repel me.


You vs Me
If your portfolio is all about you – that is a turn-off. It’s okay to describe your accomplishments. But be sure to present your accomplishments in terms of how you helped your clients or employers. Is your portfolio a crass plea for a job? Or is it an offer of value? Convincing testimonials from employers, colleagues or clients can boost your credibility.

Your Tagline
This is your opportunity to capture attention because it displays immediately after your name. The most common default is to show the title of your current job. That’s boring but does help to stick a label on you for the recruiters and HR drones if that’s who you want to attract.

The best option is to describe your promise in the tagline. Why should people connect, hire or work with you? Avoid the clichés. That simply shows that you are unimaginative and no different from the mob.

The worst option is to list your status as:  “Currently looking for new opportunity”,
“On Sabbatical” or “Hoping to land my first job”. My reaction is “don’t call me”.

If you want to build a more profitable network on Linkedin make your portfolio attractive to new prospects. Convert if from a “job obituary” to an attractive invitation.

Before you send your “invite to connect” messages read the portfolio of your prospect and write them a personal invite that feels attractive to them.



George Torok
Co-author of the bestselling, Secrets of Power Marketing


View George Torok | Power Marketing's profile on LinkedIn



George Torok  

Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark