Friday, May 30, 2008

Marketing is science

Marketing is Science

Marketing is not art. It is a science. However it is a behavioral science and therefore an imperfect science. Anything dealing with human behavior is imperfect at best. Yet it is still a science. You can predict and measure cause and effects.

Marketing is not art and it is not magic.

In order to be an effective marketer you must understand people and how to influence their behaviors.

Marketing is about guessing that if we do this, people will do that. The guessing part is important. The significant part is guessing how many people will do that.

What do you do? Predict – test – measure and adjust.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Forget branding, invest in relations

Forget branding, invest in relations

George Torok, Financial Post Published: Monday, May 12, 2008

The majority of business owners could be headed for disaster this year. Small business does best when it acts like small business. It does poorly when it blindly attempts to copy big business.

The results of an Ipsos-Reid poll in March, 2008, should scare you. It found "a majority (59%) of small to medium-sized business owners have identified branding as a top priority."

If that poll found 59% of large businesses were making branding their priority I would rest easier. Because that is the only way big business can strengthen their market position.
Branding is too costly for small businesses. Small businesses have a far better business building tool; relationships. That's the chemistry that makes them attractive to customers.

Read the rest of this article in the Financial Post.


Enjoy this article that published in the Small Business section of the Financial Post this week. If you are a small business owner you might want to know why branding is a poor investment for you.

George Torok
Marketing Speaker - for conventions and conferences
Executive Briefing - for corporate retreats and meetings

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Marketing: Marvel Comics

Marketing: Marvel Comics

Finally Marvel Comics realized that they could be Marvel Entertainment.

Since 1963 Marvel Comics has created hundreds of heroes and villains and thousands of stories. Finally Marvel has the balls to change - to become an entertainment company.

It is funny that Marvel has been writing about imperfect heroes struggling with their challenges over the last 40 years - and finally Marvel has faced its own challenge to morph into a movie production company. They nearly went bankrupt as a comic book company.
Spiderman, the Hulk, X men, Punisher, Ghost Rider and the Fantastic Four are Marvel heroes that have made it to the movie screen. But Marvel did not dare to make the movies. They didn't see themselves as a movie production company.
With the Iron Man movie Marvel has finally dared to produce a movie. It seems like a good choice. Next out is The Incredible Hulk.

Hurray for Marvel. Their own transition is a good example for any business facing a challenging marketplace.

Nuff said!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Google your name

Google your name

Google your business name.

Google your own name.

Google your product name.

If your websites don't come up in the top three - you have a problem to fix. If you don't appear on the first page of Google - you better move quickly.

If you don't appear on the first three pages - you better stop answering your phone - because it might be the bank calling to call the loan.

George Torok

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Power Marketing Tips: 03 - Top Ten List

Power Marketing Tips: 03 - Write your Top Ten List

Why should prospects buy from you?

Create a top ten list to answer this question.

Print this list on a postcard or flyer. Publish it on your website or blog. Memorize the list but never say all ten at one time. Tell people one or two then give them the printed list to read on their own. Reading the printed list will be more believable and convincing than you droning on. And very few people can deliver a top ten list as entertaining as Dave Letterman.

For the purpose of credibility, order your list from 1 to 10. If you count down from 10 to 1 like Letterman people will expect the list to be funny but not believable. Number 1 should be your strongest point. Number 10 should be your second strongest.

Top Ten reasons to write your top ten marketing list

1. Clearly presents ten written reasons to buy from you

2. "Top ten" implies that there are more reasons

3. Forces you to identify, organize and clarify your strengths

4. Conveys the credibility of implied research

5. People enjoy reading and quoting top ten lists

6. Works well in a matter-of-fact manner

7. Allows inclusion of weaker points

8. The list can be unrelated concepts

9. It works for Letterman

10. You will blow your competition out of the water

Subscribe to the Power Marketing Tips here. You will receive them every two weeks. It's free. You can unsubscribe anytime. We will respect your privacy and not share your contact information with anyone at anytime.

George Torok
Marketing Expert
Marketing Author
Marketing Speaker

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Funerals learn from Weddings

What can funerals learn from weddings?

The funeral business has faced massive changes and pressures from within and without over the past few decades.

This article which appeared in the March issue of the Globe & Mail's Small Business magazine describes those threats and more importantly features the strategies of the winners. A good case study for every small business owner.

The traditionally family run funeral homes were challenged by the corporate ogres at the same time as changing values and expectations from customers. Add to that the price squeeze from new competitors like Costco. Inside all that crisis lies real opportunity for the new market leaders who are willing to innovate. If you face some of those challenges in your business devour this article.

Enjoy this excerpt from that article - Grim Reaping

In trying to personalize the services to each family, the Creans are embracing a trend that many other independents have adopted to counter the cookie-cutter offerings of the chains. The path was blazed by one Brian Parent, a funeral director in Windsor, Ontario, who, 12 years ago, decided to offer people an entirely different way to die.

When Parent opened his funeral home, he turned to the wedding industry for inspiration. Wedding spending in this country has been rising every year (today, the average wedding costs around $20,000, roughly four times the cost of a funeral). He concluded that Canadians were willing to splurge on traditional ceremonies as long as they maintained control over the details. Paul Seyler, a New Orleans marketing consultant, has been preaching just that on the funeral convention circuit for years. His renowned session, "A $30,000 Opportunity in a $5,500 World: What Weddings Should Be Teaching Funerals," has convinced numerous funeral directors to rethink their business. Traditionally, funeral homes have derived the majority of their profits from caskets, which can run to $20,000 and more, and accompanied that big-ticket purchase with a few, inflexible package options. "Wedding planners allow people to pick and choose things and decide exactly how they want to celebrate," says Parent. "They let the customer customize."

With the Families First Funeral Home & Tribute Centre, Parent turned the industry's sombre image on its head. He invested heavily in high tech: a splashy website, big-screen projectors, even a full-time graphic designer to create custom guest books and thank-you notes. When it came to planning funerals, he scrapped all the customs. For a diehard hockey fan, Parent's staff decorated a room like a hockey rink, complete with fake ice, goalie nets and skates. For a dead movie buff, they installed a popcorn maker and lined the walls with film reels.


Read the rest of this article at the Globe and Mail - Grim Reaping

Lots of valuable business lessons in this article including that you often need to look outside your industry to find innovation and inspiration if you want to be a market leader.

PS: Brian Parent is a client. He is innovative and bold. He presents each of his staff with a copy of the book, "Raving Fans".

George Torok

Marketing Speaker for corporate meetings and assocation conferences

Marketing Briefing for business owners and industry panels

Marketing Coach for business owners and business professionals

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Iron Man

Iron Man

The Iron Man movie promotion is sexy, hi tech and fast paced.

It combines the Iron Man super hero, Audi R8 and the US Raptors R-22.