Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who says you can't be different?

Who says you can't be different?

Perhaps you think that you can't make your website stand out and sell your product without high tech upgrades.

Then look at this site that author, Miranda July , created to sell her book, "No one belongs here more than you".

Congrats to Miranda July on your boldness and creativity!

George Torok
co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

National Cremation Society - Deception?

National Cremation Society

Who is the National Cremation Society and how can you join? You can’t. It is not a society. It’s a business. Does that shock you?

It appears that the National Cremation Society is no more a society then Bruce Willis has hair. Well yes, Bruce did once have hair but the National Cremation Society was never a society. So in that comparison it is Bruce Willis “one” and National Cremation society “zero”.

The National Cremation Society is not a society. It is a large corporation. It is owned by Service Corporation International (How’s that for a vague and unfriendly sounding name?) Service Corporation International is so big that they proudly claim to be “North America’s largest provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services”.

They are like a Walmart, Microsoft or General Motors. How would you like your funeral or cremation handled by Walmart, Microsoft or General Motors? Doesn’t sound too intimate and personal when you are considering a very personal event - your death.

I am all for business making a profit and I support creative marketing. But I believe you should not lie. Calling your business a society seems to me jumping way over the line in terms of ethics and just plain deception. Some folks call that lying. Me too.

Is Service Corporation International being deceptive by calling their cremation service the National Cremation Society? I think so. What do you think? When you hear the word society what do you think and feel? Community and trustworthy? Maybe that is what Service Corporation International is counting on. And if you were deceived by that one word don’t feel bad. Now you know.

Imagine your outrage:
Imagine if Microsoft called themselves the “National Software Society”?
Imagine if a bank called itself the “National Savings Society”?
Imagine if the local drug dealer named his business “National Addiction Society”?

Each of those would be clever - and deceptive.

When I think society I imagine one of charity, community group or non-profit-association.

Why does the National Cremation Society need to be so deceptive in their marketing? Maybe what they offer is not such a good deal. Maybe they are trying to justify their products, service and prices on the basis that they are a "society". Maybe they are not nice people at all.

George Torok
Marketing Agitator
Marketing Myths

What does Wikipedia say about society?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

CAPS Toronto Speaker's School

CAPS Toronto Speaker's School

This post is for attendees at the CAPS Toronto Speaker's School held June 23, 2007.

If you attended the CAPS Toronto Speaker’s School then this is a reminder and summary of some of the key points from my presentation. If you did not attend this one-day program that these notes might make less sense to you.

If you attended my presentation at the CAPS Toronto Speaker's School then you can probably guess why I’m posting this notice. It’s all marketing.

As a long time member of CAPS and the Toronto chapter in particular I was delighted to offer my hard learned lessons on how to get more traffic to your website. (CAPS is the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.)

My presentation was entitled, “Profitable Marketing Strategies”.

There are only two ways to increase profit – increasing revenue and decreasing costs.

Increasing revenue through your website means one or more of increasing targeted visitors, and improving conversion. You might add increasing prices and up-selling. I believe that those two are just variations of conversion.

In this presentation I focused on attracting more targeted visitors to your website.

Here are a few tools that you should use to help you examine websites and their search success:

Google – the number one search engine.

Overture Keyword Selector Tool – use it to learn the total number of searches in the previous month for a word or phrase on Yahoo. Estimate searches on Google by multiplying by three.

Link – use it to check the number and nature of links to a website. Be sure to check your competition.

Watch for more notes from my presentation to the CAPS Toronto Speaker's School on this blog.

Blogger’s Manual
As promised I will provide a free copy of the Blogger’s Manual as soon as it is complete. That will be within the next two weeks. Visit this blog to learn when it is available and obtain your copy of this ebook on the “How to’s” of blogging. Watch for it!

George Torok
Member of CAPS Toronto
Marketing Specialist

Click for more information about CAPS. (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers)

Click to read about upcoming CAPS Toronto events.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Visa Small Business Conference in Montreal

Visa Small Business Conference

Did you attend the “Visa Small Business Big Thinking Conference”? It took place in Montreal on Monday June 4, 2007. If you missed it then read some of the key points from my presentation. If you attended the conference then you might check your notes to ensure that you captured these critical points.

I was delighted to be speaking to the eager entrepreneurs at the Visa Small Business conference on how to get more from budget-effective marketing.

Here are some of the learning points from my marketing presentation: It was a packed room and an explosive session. The presentation was both entertaining and enlightening.

You cannot - not market. Everything you do is marketing.
Being good is not enough. You must actively sell and market yourself.
Success is the result of doing little things consistently well over time.
Observe successful people and ask yourself, “Why do they do things that way?”
Success in business comes from following systems.
A system is a process to get to your goal.
A system is built on a key principle.
Systems beat talent.
You are responsible to manage the perceptions of your prospects.
The image of success is a perception determined by your display of confidence.
Focus on your strengths.
Build relationships by saying “thank you”.
Get the media to call you the expert.
Print media exposure has more credibly and is easier to leverage.
Sell to people’s wants – not their needs.

That’s it for now. Of course there was more. The attendees at the Visa Small Business Big Thinking conference received the full presentation. You only get the bullet points here. Perhaps you might attend the next Visa Small Business conference next year.

If you attended the Visa Small Business conference then feel free to comment on this blog post. I welcome your comments and questions.

Visa will be posting more notes, photos and comments on their website in July. Visit the Visa Small Business Conference site to see more.

Rick Spence was the content provider for this Visa Small Business conference. He arranged for all the speakers. The program especially featured Quebec entrepreneurs. He is former editor of Profit Magazine so he knows a lot about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. Learn more about the Visa Small Business conference by reading his Canadian Entrepreneur blog.

George Torok
Marketing Specialist
Presenter at the Visa Small Business Conference
Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing