Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Questions about Your Website

How hard is your website working for you?

Are you asking the right questions about your website?

What else should you consider?

How does your website compare to your competition’s?

What is most important in the design of your website?

How should you examine your website?

What should you speak to your webmaster about first?

For a better understanding about how hard your website is working for you read this article.

Get your website working harder for you. It is a marketing tool. Sharpen the tool.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sears Catalogue blunder # 2

If you read recently on my blog about how Sears messed up on the delivery of their catalogue then you might find this interesting.

The Sears Catalogue that I received at the end of August appears to be the “Summer Sears Catalogue”.

I wondered why the Sears Catalogue received at the end of August had bathing suit-clad models on the cover.

So not only did Sears deliver their catalogue late – they delivered it clumsily.

Sears might try to blame Wal-Mart for their woes.

It is seldom the competition that kills you. It is your own stupidity.

Memo to self:
Sell Sears stock quickly.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Friday, September 22, 2006

Be available to the media

A common myth that I hear from business owners is, “The media hates business”.

That is not true. The media is a business. Why would it hate business?

However, the media is a business that most other business owners don’t understand.

I saw this demonstrated in a recent news article. The article announced the entry of a relatively unknown (I never heard of him), local business owner running for political office. The article sounded like it was picking content from a news release. It was boring stuff, nothing that convinced me of this candidate’s capability or commitment. The last line of the article stated that the new candidate was unavailable for comment.

Not a good start to a political campaign. A political wannabe who is “unavailable for comment” does not understand the power of the media.

The media operates on deadlines. When you send a news release to the media – be available.

PS: My early prediction in this political race is: This candidate will not win the seat.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Branding: Death Cigarettes

I heard the best yet “How to create your Brand” story on this podcast with UK entrepreneur BJ Cunnigham.

BJ created a company called The Enlightened Tobacco Company in 1991, selling a cigarette called “Death Cigarettes”. It was presented in a black package emblazoned with a white skull-and-crossbones logo. Just imagine how this might appeal to the rebels.

His premise was to take a position that none of the other cigarette companies was taking. Great advice - and at the time all the tobacco companies were denying any ill effects of smoking tobacco. The branding in the cigarette business was all about life style - cowboy, sophisticate, artist, debutante - imaginary stuff, and all lies.

So why not be different from the crowd and admit the truth. Come on – smokers today know that tobacco smoking is bad for you. Tell a smoker that cigarettes can kill you and they will tell you, “Hey, it’s my life.”

So here are the words of ‘branding brilliance’ that resonated with me.

There are two ways you can create a brand - either with oodles of money or creative positioning.

Nike does it with oodles of money.

Death Cigarettes did it with creative positioning as Cunningham explained in his three rules:

1. Take a polarized position.
2. Make enemies.
3. Create tension.

Examine your position. How creative is it? If you have oodles of money like Nike then spend it on your brand. Otherwise, the only way you will build your brand is by creative positioning.

Take a position away from the crowd. Stand where no one else is standing.

Be bold. Be prepared to disagree with the status quo and make enemies along the way. Pick your market and be willing to annoy others.

Create tension. Make people choose. Create a controversy. Coke or Pepsi. Windows or Mac.

Who can you think of that has created their brand by following these three rules of creative brand positioning?

Harley Davidson jumps to mind immediately. People love them or hate them. That is powerful branding. Remember, branding is about creating powerful emotions.

Are you ready to create your brand?

If so, follow these three rules for creative brand positioning:

1. Take a polarized position.
2. Make enemies.
3. Create tension.

You will need to be bold. You will upset some - mainly your competition and those who never buy from you. Can you live with that?

Have you noticed that the strongest brands have lots of enemies?

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, September 18, 2006


Are you unique?

If not why should anyone buy from you?

If you want your prospects to buy from you, then you must demonstrate how you are different from your competition. If you can state that you are only as good as the competition – why should anyone buy from you?

Are your policies the same as the competition? Are your promises the same as the competition? Do your ads sound the same as your competition? Do you treat your customers the same as your competition?

If so – you are not unique.

If you want to be unique then decide what is the one thing that you can say that your competition cannot.

Then tell everyone.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Write Head-Snapping Headlines

Writing a good headline for your marketing material is important. But writing profit-pulling headlines is the holy grail of marketing copywriting.

It used to be very difficult and thus very expensive to hire a powerful headline writer. Good headline writers are the elite of marketing copywriters. It is the headline that grabs your target’s attention and gets them to read the rest of the copy. A bad headline wastes the time and money expended on writing the marketing text.

Now you don’t need to spend hours writing or thousands of dollars for a top-notch headline writer. (Good copywriters spend years studying and developing their craft.)

Well, technology just made it easier for you. Technology does level the playing field – but only for those who take advantage of it.

I recently discovered the software that helps you write your own powerful headlines in seconds. I tried it and was blown away by how easy it is to use. It’s called Headline Creator Pro.

….AND I can’t believe how inexpensive it is.

Save yourself a bundle on your next marketing campaign and make it more profitable for you. If you ever need to write headlines for your marketing materials, websites or articles check it out.

George Torok

PS: It comes with a money back satisfaction guarantee.

PPS: It costs you nothing to learn more now.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Networking: Q & A

Networking is a powerful personal marketing strategy. A good networking strategy can pay off big time. A lousy networking plan and action can be hugely frustrating. What is the difference? How do you get your networking to pay off for you? These questions and answers might help you.

Q: What is the most common networking mistake that entrepreneurs make?
A: The most common networking mistake is in the approach. Too many think that networking is about attending events. They might even be seduced into believing that networking is about the event. The reality is that networking is a process. The networking events are just points in that process.

Q: What is the networking process?
A: Effective networking follows a three-stage process.

1. First contact - the handshake, introduction and exploration.
2. Cultivating - nurturing and building the relationship.
3. Harvesting - getting leads, support or business from the relationship.

Q: Which stage is most important?
A: The cultivating stage. This is where so many give up. This stage is the most time consuming. This stage is where you demonstrate who you really are.

Q: Why do so many get frustrated with networking?
A: Because it takes time. Networking is a long-term plan.

Q: What are the benefits of networking?
A: Networking is an inexpensive form of marketing. It takes some time, effort and creativity. If you are able to expend those things you can be an effective networker.

For a Systematic Networking Strategy read “Your Guide to Networking Success”.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Networking or Sweatworking

Yes, I believe that networking works.

Yes, I can give you examples of how networking helped my career and my business.

No, networking is not a quick fix.

Yes, networking can be frustrating – even when you are doing the right things. It’s more frustrating when you are doing the wrong things, and even more frustrating when you are not sure if you are doing the right things.

What is the most common mistake in networking?

The myth is in thinking that networking is an event.

The reality is that networking is a process.

Perhaps you have attended a networking event and witnessed “Mr Power Networker” in action. He runs around the room distributing his business card like a cheap flyer. He shakes as many hands as he can, spewing his 30 second commercial then pouncing quickly on the next victim.

This misguided networker is not networking – he is sweatworking. He is sweating as he works the room. He believes that he is doing good – because he believes in the mantra – “no pain, no gain”. And he knows this is painful and sweaty work. He just doesn’t realize how much pain he might be inflicting on others. After the event he sweats by the phone and wonders why nobody calls.

Networking is a strategic process.

To be more successful at networking you need to formulate and follow a plan. Any good plan includes goal definition, systematic processes, resource allocation and skill development.

A good network can give you a strategic advantage over your competition. Yes, networking takes time and patience. When you follow a good networking system you will be better rewarded for your preparation.

Yes, you will still attend some networking events – but you will make better use of them. You will prepare for each event and follow up. You will net more and sweat less.

These insights from:
Your Guide to Networking Success

George Torok
Power Marketing

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Dumbest Marketing Mistake

What is the absolute dumbest marketing mistake you could make?

To believe that you have no competition.
This is sure suicide.

Perhaps you have heard entrepreneurs state, “There is no competition for this.”
What a stupid thing to say and believe. Bankers have heard this claim way too many times. If you say this while supporting your loan request they will deny you the loan.

There is always competition for your time, money and solutions. If you can’t see the competition you cannot run a successful business.

Your product might be unique but there is always competition. You might even be the best on the market but there still is competition.

Remember your target audience has a limited amount of time, money and interest. You have tons of competition. Wake up. Start competing Win more.

Identify your competition. What other choices do your prospects have? Then figure out how to defeat them.

A successful marketer is a little bit paranoid.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Friday, September 01, 2006

You Cannot - Not Market

Everything you do - or don't do - sends a message; and marketing is about sending messages. You can market well or you can market poorly, but you cannot - not market!

What message are you sending with your dress, stationery, phone message and printed materials? Is it the message you intend to send? Your prospects don't listen only to the message you want to send - they observe and interpret your unintended messages as well. You brag about quality but your letters are full of typos. You claim speedy service yet it takes days for you to return phone calls. You boast that business is good then you drive up in a rust bucket. Shame on you. The unintended messages you send can kill your business.

Marketing should be part of everything you do. If you love what you do - we can tell. That is the best marketing you can do. Show every client, prospect, and colleague how much you love your business and how confident you are in what you provide.

Define your mission in business; what sets you apart, why should clients buy from you. Then check all your messages to test for the consistency of your messages. Inform your staff that they're all in marketing. Make sure they know the message you want to send and help them send that message. Equip them with the tools they need.

Marketing is not just the ads you place - it goes much beyond that.

George Torok
Power Marketing