Monday, February 27, 2006

What Form of Marketing Should You Choose?

Always start with the fundamentals and some critical questions.

Marketing is about sending messages. Everything you do or don’t do sends a message.

Critical Questions
What message do you want to send? Who do you want to send it to? What are the best ways to reach them?

Spend a lot of time on thinking about the answers to those critical marketing questions. If you do, you will save yourself a lot of time and money later.

Some of the forms of marketing that you might consider:

Advertising – so many choices
Advertising specialties – pens, caps and shirts
Sponsorship – a friendly way to market
Direct mail – still effective but costly
Website – a must but so many mistakes are made
Email marketing – inexpensive and rapidly changing
Blogging – something new – but easy
Networking – the old standby
Public Relations – easy when you know how
Media Relations – a powerful tool overlooked by too many business owners
Social marketing – taps into key motivators
Customer service – yes, an important form of marketing
Telemarketing – it still works if you know how not to annoy

These are some of the marketing choices that you face. Over the next few weeks I will discuss each of them and more.

If you can’t wait – then you can hire me or attend one of my seminars.

George Torok

Friday, February 24, 2006

Power Marketing: Get more than your fair share without stealing

If you want to get more than your fair share without stealing, visit my newly revised website

At this site you will find free helpful marketing articles.

You can register to receive free monthly marketing tips by e-Postcard.

And when you register for the monthly marketing tips you qualify for a free copy of the special report, “50 Power Marketing Tips.”

You can learn about the speaking, training and coaching programs that I deliver.

You will find a ton of testimonials from clients and participants.

This is my latest website, and of my dozen or so websites this is the most focused.

Enjoy Power Marketing

George Torok

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What’s in a name? Call it what it’s not

Imagine an image of Greenland. What do you see? If you see green fields and green trees that would be normal. The reality is that Greenland is nearly 2/3 covered with a glacier that is two miles thick.

Surprise, surprise, surprise! So why the name – Greenland? It seems that the explorer who discovered Greenland was marketing savvy. He realized that there would be no glory in finding “Iceland” so he named this ice covered island Greenland.

Where do we see this ancient explorer’s wisdom repeated today?

Life insurance. Come on, its death insurance. It is insurance against dying – not against living. Yet those companies market life insurance. It just sounds a lot better.

Beauty cream is not for people who are beautiful. It is for ugly people who want to think they can be beautiful. But who would buy ugly cream?

Have you noticed that diet programs never mention anything about fat people? But that is who it is for. Instead they have names like “Slim fast”.

Dog training is not about training the dog. It is about training the dog owner. But what dog owner wants to admit that he is dumber than his dog? But that is the reality. The training is for the dog owner. You take the dog just to make you look good.

What does this mean to you?

If you are selling ugly pills – think of a beautiful name for them. You will sell more that way.

George Torok

Power Marketing

Headline Writer Pro

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Blue Man Group

How do you redefine your industry? How do you blow the competition out of the water?

The Blue Man Group does that. Look at how they do that.

They created something totally unique. There is nothing comparable to what they do. How would you describe their form of entertainment? Well, it is a combination of pantomime, humor, percussion, light show, splashing paint and three guys in blue latex suits. It is high energy. It is audience interactive – especially the finale. The show is perfect for people with a short attention span.

Go see the Blue Man Group. Experience the show. Enjoy it – then spend some time thinking about it. Ask yourself how you might learn from it. How might you apply these principles and techniques to your own business?

Notice how those in the front row get raincoats. Imagine how that must make them feel: more involved.

Notice how the point of attention changes every few minutes - from top right to bottom right to the middle of the audience. They don’t let you get bored. They know what they are delivering is an experience. What experience do you deliver for your customers?

And yes, the finale is spectacular. Why? Because it is so unusual and it finishes on a complete high. You walk out of the theatre just bouncing along.

If you need a powerful perspective or just some incredible ideas on how to refine your business, see the Blue Man Group.

The Official Site for the Blue Man Group

George Torok

Monday, February 13, 2006

Donald Trump Shaves his Head.

What a great headline that would be. Why? Because the Donald’s hair is an important part of his brand. It is the one thing that the average person can both like and disparage about him.

And that headline would appeal to many who have looked at Trump on TV and said, "I could fix that man’s hair."

What if Donald Trump got a different hair-do? Maybe something perfect like Regis Philbin? Then more of us would dislike the Donald. Then he would look too good and we would look for and find reason to despise him.

His hair is the necessary imperfection to make him real and likeable. We like people who display some imperfection. That makes them feel more real to us.

Yes, the hair can make the person. Or at least make them more attractive to us. Don’t you believe me? Well consider the impact that hair (or lack of it) made on the brand of the Beatles, Farrah Fawcett, Yul Brynner and Sinead O’Connor.

Just imagine the number of viewers that would watch Donald Trump getting his head shaved. It would be a great charity stunt.

George Torok

Friday, February 10, 2006

What is marketing?

Consider this:
Marketing is about sending messages.

Everything you do – or don’t do sends a message.

You cannot not – market.

So whether you like it or not – you are always sending messages – you are always marketing.

And often the messages that were received – were not the ones you intended to send. There are always the intended and unintended messages. Your customers don’t care which category you put your messages in – they only care what messages they received.

You might stop to examine the messages that you sent as intended and as unintended.

What do you need to correct and what do you need to reinforce?

George Torok

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Super Bowl XL

The Rolling Stones

Mick Jagger in the half time show looked amazingly sprightly. How does one as old as he and as ‘tried and tested’ as he stay so slim and full of energy? Compared to Ozzie, Mick is a teenager.

That could remain one of life’s mysteries.

Did you hear Mick’s quip?

Just before they started the song, “Satisfaction” he commented, “We could have played this at the first Super Bowl. I guess everything comes to those who wait”.

That could have been sour grapes. But more importantly it was good advice for everyone.
Was Mick bitter? Was he being obtuse? Was he just trying to be cute?

Just what did Mick mean by that comment?
Forty years ago was 1966. The Rolling Stones were created in 1962. The song Satisfaction came out in May 1965. So he was accurate. They certainly could have played Satisfaction for the first Super Bowl – if they had been invited.

So that means the Super Bowl started in 1966; a few years after the start of the Rolling Stones.

So who did the Super Bowl have for half time entertainment?
University Bands for the first few years. Carol Channing for year four. Then a bunch of university and military banks. Ella Fitzgerald and Al Hirt in year 6. They finally introduced Rock and Roll with Chubby Checker in Super Bowl 22 – 1988.

Michael Jackson made the scene in Super Bowl 27 – 1993 – which was followed by a string of popular entertainers. Last year it was Paul McCartney and the year before, the ‘malfunctioning’ Janet Jackson.

And finally, after 40 years, the Rolling Stones – the longest continuous Rock & Roll band.

Why did it take so long? Well some things just take time. And as Mick said, “I guess everything comes to those who wait”. They just stayed busy doing their business and doing it for more than 40 years.

Of course I wonder how much the Stones were paid. Consider that Super Bowl ads were sold for about $2.5Million for 30 seconds. The Stones played three songs – each about three minutes. You do the math. And to think that they probably would have played for free at Super Bowl 1 those 40 years ago. For the Stones it was definitely worth waiting for.

George Torok

PS: back in the sixties Mick Jagger said "I'd rather be dead than sing Satisfaction when I'm 45". He seemed quite happy to both be alive and singing Satisfaction at age 62.

PPS: That’s Sir Mick to you.

The official Mick Jagger site

The official Rolling Stones site

Monday, February 06, 2006

Where in the World is Waldo? - Or - Car 54 Where Are You?

So where in the Internet world are you?

Google your name.
Google your company name.
Google your product name.
Google your unique selling proposition.

Go ahead – I dare you.

So what did you find? Does what you found scare you, delight you or surprise you?
Are you pleased, annoyed or confused?

Were you easy to find? Imagine what your customers or prospects would find. Imagine what suppliers or new employees would find.

Are they getting the message that you want them to receive?

Now do the same Google searches on your competitors, colleagues and suppliers.

Where do you think most look when they are searching for information, suppliers or partners?

The Internet

If you want to be found, are you easy to find?

And if you are not found – we might wonder why you don’t want to be found.

George Torok

PS: Google my name – I dare you.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Restaurant Closed – I’m not surprised

The downtown restaurant opened about a year ago. I wasn’t surprised that it closed. I was surprised that it stayed open so long. It is around the corner from my office. I walk past it every time I visit the restaurant next door – about once a week.

Have you ever watched a restaurant open and then watch it slowly starve to death? Have you ever wondered why they failed? Or did you know what they were doing wrong? We can see the self-destruction – while the owners seem to be oblivious. Why is that?

Perhaps because we see it from the perspective of a customer. The owners are engulfed in their emotional world of “It’s mine – it must be beautiful”. And maybe they keep telling themselves, “Hey, I spent a lot of money fixing up this place – people just have to see it my way – eventually”.

I suspect that the restaurant owners followed a marketing strategy of hope.

Hope is always an admirable quality. It is a lousy marketing strategy.

So why did this particular restaurant fail?

I know that I never visited it – because it did not look inviting. I recall walking past on a snowy day and the sidewalk wasn’t cleaned. It has full-sized windows across the front – but it always looked dark inside – as if the lights weren’t on. I was never sure about the cuisine although it hinted at Italian – which is my favourite. It never looked busy, and oftentimes looked closed. No music suggesting excitement or inviting me in. I saw nothing that looked like a grand opening. I saw nothing special going on. Although my office was just around the corner, I never saw an announcement or invitation.

Imagine if they had done something just a little different to create excitement. Imagine if they had put balloons outside, hired dancers, held free draws, sponsored a charity event, knocked on doors, offered coupons, distributed menus, invited service clubs to meet… something.

Well, too bad that it closed; I was thinking that I might check it out one time. The food might have been superb. It just failed to invite me in.

George Torok
Business in Motion
Executive Coach

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Super Bowl Advertising for Peanuts

You too can advertise on the Super Bowl. It will cost a few million for just 30 seconds. Of course you also have to pay $100,000 or more to develop and create the ad.

And it can be well worth it if you are Microsoft, Apple or Sony. Millions of mass market viewers! You get 30 seconds to make an impression that could pay you back millions.

It is a high stakes, high-risk, high pay-off game.

But what if your advertising budget is not in the millions – can you still leverage the Super Bowl?

Here are some creative low cost ideas for you to leverage the Super Bowl - before and after the big day.

Conduct and publicize a survey at your business among your customers to predict the outcome of the game. Then hold a draw of the winners to give them a free gift.

Offer a Super Bowl special sale or event for your customers.

Hold a Super Bowl trivial contest.

Send a Super Bowl trivia report to your clients.

Hold your own Super Bowl of service among your staff.

Send an offer to the Super Bowl champs to get your service or product for free. They don’t need to accept it. But you publicize your offer.

Build a pile of $3million peanuts – the cost of a Super Bowl ad. And take pictures of it for the media and give them away to charity.

Write a review of the ads that appear on the Super Bowl. Send it to the media for publication and post it on your website.

Publish a list of the end of game quotes – you know the ones in answer to “How do you feel about winning/losing?”

Give Super Bowl Team jerseys to your customers or staff.

OK – these are some creative and maybe crazy ideas. Not all will work for you. The point is, you don’t have to pay millions and you don’t have to sit on the sidelines.

Have a super bowl promotion.
Here is the official Super Bowl Site

George Torok

PS: You don’t have to be able to throw and catch a football to get something from the Super Bowl