Thursday, April 26, 2007

Flick Off: Powerful Viral Marketing

Flick off!

How do you create a powerful viral marketing campaign?

Clearly identify and know your target market.
Really know them – what they do, where they go, how they think, what motivates them, how to grab their attention and how to speak their language. (How much of that do you know about your target market?)

That’s a lot of research and most marketers can’t be bothered and most business owners don’t want to invest the money to do that. But when you do the success of your marketing efforts is almost guaranteed. (Sun Tse, the ancient Chinese philosopher said “All battles are won before they are fought.)

So if your market was teens and 20-somethings, how would you approach them?

Be clear on your message.
You want them to reduce energy usage. You want them to start by turning off lights. Long term you want them to become more environmentally aware and responsible.

Simple message but tough sell.

Be clear on the motivation.
We have ten years before global warming becomes disastrous.

Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before: how can I make a difference?

Create a memorable slogan.
Flick off. Wait a minute. Doesn’t that look and sound a lot like f…. off?

Yes, it does and that is the brilliance in the slogan. Flick off is a harmless yet suggestive phrase that could become a new catch phrase – the secret of viral marketing. Flick off speaks the language of this target group. It is memorable. It is provocative – the best way to be both viral and memorable.

Flick off is powerful branding because it is controversial, and a good brand fans the flames of controversy. Read earlier posts about branding principles and the example of Death Cigarettes.

Pick strategic partners.
So if your market is teens and 20-somethings, who do you think would make great business partners? How about Virgin Mobile, (Sir Richard Branson), Roots and Much Music?

Richard Branson becomes the celebrity spokesperson, Roots sells T shirts emblazoned with the edgy slogan and Much Music TV personalities trumpet the message.

Flick off you say?

Yeah, hard to imagine. But that would be a powerful marketing campaign. Well, it is real and it was launched this week in Canada. Imagine that - a bold new marketing campaign to help our dear planet earth started here in Canada. Only in Canada you say - pity!

Flick off. It’s official. The marketing campaign to save us from Global Warming is alive and well in Canada.

The partners in this program are Virgin Mobile, MuchMusic, Roots, Environmental Defence and the province of Ontario. (My kudos to the provincial government for their willingness to invest in such a bold and controversial program.)

Flick Off Summary
For teens and 20-somethings, Flick off, be more energy-responsible.
For older folks bothered by the language – get real and think about the big picture.
For business owners and marketers - a practical marketing lesson.

Sounds like a win all around. Please flick off.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Networking: Six Degrees of Separation

Networking: Six degrees of separation

Networking is a powerful way to build your business, find your next career opportunity or advance your cause. Perhaps you heard that advice and wondered “why?” Effective networking is a system. And a good system is a process of activities and skills based on key principles.

The first principle of networking is The Six degrees of Separation. If you understand this principle then you might invest more in your networking.

The Six Degrees of Separation
This concept says that each of us is separated from any other person by no more than six degrees of separation. In other words, you would only need six introductions to meet anyone you wanted to meet. In fact you might be suprised at how close you are to those you want to meet - maybe just one or two introductions away!

So when you attend a networking event – its not about who is in the room. It is about who the people in the room are connected with. Who is in their network? So before you write a new contact off as a loser – consider who they might be connected with in their network.

Who do you know that knows someone who knows someone?

This works best if you make a list of the names of people you know and a list of the names or descriptions of the people that you want to know.

Not sure of what I mean?
Well consider these examples. Review your own position and connections and extrapolate.

A colleague of mine is a friend of former US President, Bill Clinton who knows…

I interviewed and had lunch with a man who once worked with Picasso.

A good friend of mine received the Order of Canada from former Governor General, Adrian Clarkson, who must have met the Queen of England, among other distinguished heads of state.

Another colleague is a good friend of Elton John’s significant other and attended the wedding.

A friend and colleague is a MP in Canada’s parliament, and must know the Prime Minister, who knows…

As a business author I have met and connected with many other authors including Jack Canfield, Harvey Mackay, Robin Sharma, Brian Tracy, Peter Drucker, Jim Clemmer, Peter Urs Bender, David Chilton, who know …

I have corresponded with George Cohon, Senior Chairman of MacDonalds Canada and Russia, who knows, Ray Croc and Mikhail Gorbechev who know…

As a member of the chamber of commerce I could connect with chamber members in other regions around the world.

As a Toastmaster, I am connected with 200,000 Toastmasters around the world. My articles have appeared often in the magazine.

I offer these examples – not to brag – but to encourage you to examine and exploit your own connections. Whoever you need and want to meet you can – if you explore and leverage your network.

Who is in your network? Who are they connected to? How will you make sure that you leverage your networking?

Networking is not about who you know. It is about who they also know that know…

George Torok
Author of “Your Guide to Networking Success

Monday, April 16, 2007

Marketing Fundamentals

Marketing Fundamentals

When ever things get complicated you can and must ground yourself and your decisions by returning to the fundamentals.

What are the fundamentals of marketing?
Remember these important marketing and business fundamentals.

  • Selling is the life blood of your business.
  • Marketing helps to circulate the blood.
  • Everything you do is marketing.
  • People buy what they want – not what they need.
  • We pay more for what we perceive to be more valuable.
  • A confused buyer does not buy.
  • An angry buyer does not buy.
  • We notice what is different.
  • We identify with what we already know.
  • We make most (if not all) of our buying decisions based on our emotions.

George Torok

Marketing consultant and keynote speaker

Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Marketing Has Many Parts

Marketing has many parts

Marketing is mostly science. Marketing is part art.

Marketing is bigger than most realize.
Marketing has many parts.
Marketing is more than advertising.
Marketing is more than public relations.
Marketing is more than sponsorship.
Marketing is more than networking.
Marketing is more than branding.
Marketing is more than customer service.
Marketing is more than database management.

Marketing is all of the above and more.

Marketing is everything that you do that sends messages about yourself.

George Torok
Motivational Speaker, Marketing Expert & Corporate Spokesperson

Monday, April 09, 2007

Blockbuster Video & Customer Deception

Blockbuster Video & Customer Deception

No more late fees. What does that really mean?

I enjoy a movie that keeps me guessing – one with a twist or a few. Recent movies that I enjoyed while they deceived me were "The Prestige" and "The Illusionist". Older movies that engaged and fooled me include "Sixth Sense", "Memento" and "Sleuth".

These movies were much more that a “who-done-it?”

These movies led you down a path – you think you know the rules and where you are going. Then it hits you with a redefinition of the rules and where you are going. When a good movie does that to you – you feel entertained. You laugh at your willingness to be deceived. You even marvel at how they did that.

In a movie and a magic act – deception is entertaining, expected and acceptable.

In business deception is none of those things. In business deception is akin to lying, cheating and stealing. So why is Blockbuster Video lying, cheating and stealing?

Blockbuster Video displays signs claiming “No more late fees.” What does “No more late fees” mean to you?

Ah – you think it means “You don’t pay if you are late returning a rented movie.”
A reasonable assumption. The implication of “no more late fees” is don’t worry about returning the rented video late – because we won’t charge you.” That is implied and a reasonable assumption – but that is not the reality.

If that is what you assumed – you were wrong. Blockbuster Video simply changed the definition regarding “late fees” You no longer pay late fees – you now pay a “purchase fee” or a “restocking fee”. But no more late fees.

You still pay when you are late – they just don’t call it “late fees” They called it something else. So in their book – no more late fees. Clever, deceptive and akin to lying, cheating and stealing. That could make for a great movie – but not for a good business relationship.

One of the purposes of your marketing is to build relationships. Good relationships are built on trust. A fee by any other name is still a fee. You don’t build relationships by being deceptive.

Enjoy the movie – but don’t trust Blockbuster Video. And don’t be late – you will pay.

George Torok
Co-author of "Secrets of Power Marketing"

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Marketing Claim: Prove It

Marketing Claim: Prove it

Before you claim any title – be prepared to prove it – to the satisfaction of your clients.

If you were voted in a newspaper pole to be the “region’s best” – then be sure to state “as voted by readers of Gazette news. Don’t state “number one” by itself.

If you claim to be the countries leading expert or provider in your field have the metrics to back it up. And state those metrics. Your clients and prospects have the right to know what qualifies you for the title that you claim.

If you won the gold medal then state that. But don’t say that you are the world’s best. You could say that you are among the world’s best.

Notice that they called Wayne Gretzky “the Great one” – not the Greatest one.

Only Mohammed Ali got away with calling himself “The Greatest”. Who dared say anything different?

If you claim to be number one – tell us number one - by what measuring stick.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, April 02, 2007

Marketing Insights from George Torok

Marketing Insights from George Torok

George Torok is a marketing speaker, trainer and executive consultant. Enjoy this sampling of pithy insights from his speaking, training and consulting programs. He delivers motivational speeches, practical marketing principles and powerful examples.

Running your business is a lot like running a marathon. You don’t build your business by sprinting. You build it by being steady over the long run.

You don’t need to do every little thing perfectly. You just need to do them.

There is a myth that if you do what you love the money will follow. You should do something that you love, but the money will only follow if you also do some things that you hate.

An imperfect system is better than no system at all.

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

Success is simple but never easy.

Branding is not about cute logos, pretty fonts or pantone colors. Branding is about building an emotional connection with your clients.

Some of the things in your business are frustrating, embarrassing and painful. That builds character. To build your business you need to build your character.

Talent runs hot and cold. Don’t rely on talent. Follow systems.

Success comes from doing little things consistently well over time. It’s not about the luck break.

Building a business is a race. But it is not about a race to the finish line – it is a race to keep running.

Your staff might be sabotaging your marketing message behind your back. Or even worse they might be sabotaging your message in front of you - and you are ignoring it.

You claim to be different from your competition – well what are you doing differently?

Watch what successful people do and don’t simply copy them. If you do you will always be a follower. Watch what successful people do and ask yourself, “Why do they do it that way?’

The above are marketing insights from a recent marketing presentation by George Torok. If you quote them - please be sure to quote the source - George Torok.

George Torok
Motivational Speaker
Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing