Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Power Marketing Tip 37: Become Number One

What is the easiest way to become number one in your market?

Create the niche.

Be the first in the market.

Most of the market leaders today are the ones who entered that particular market first. By doing that they defined the market and set the rules.

If you want to be number one - don't waste your time fighting the market leader. That could require a lot of time, money and luck because the market leader set the rules and they need to make a big mistake.

Toyota has been chasing GM for about 100 years. They finally overtook GM because of persistence, major mistakes on the part of GM and huge investments by Toyota.

Can you afford to do that?

Instead of fighting the market leader - create your own niche.

That instantly makes you number one. Naturally go after a market that can sustain your business.

Domino's Pizza did not compete directly with the other pizza places. Instead they created a new niche - fast pizza delivery. They promised that you get your hot pizza in 30 minutes or free. They were number one in that market. They are not the tastiest or lowest price.

Coke was the leader in the soft drink business. Pepsi changed the rules and created their own niche - winners of the taste test. Pepsi was number one in that market. They did such a good job that they made Coke blink.

An accountant created a new market by transforming his van into a mobile office. He became the mobile accountant on wheels for small business. Another accountant became a specialist in working with nonprofit associations.

Mike Holmes created a new niche - a housing contractor with high quality and outspoken brashness. That led to a TV show for him - Holmes on Homes.

Are you ready to create your niche?

Examine the market. Instead of competing directly with the crowd look for what is missing. Where is there a vacuum? You can't compete well on price, quality, time, innovation, customer service and longevity. So pick one that you will excel in and blow the competition away. There are many ways that you can define your niche. You could select from geography, time, industry, style, technology, experience, cul ture, complexity and process.

The more generic your product or service appears to be the more important it is for you to stake out your claim as number one in a narrowly defined and nonexistent niche.

There's an empty island out there waiting for you to claim it.

George Torok
Power Marketing

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Friday, April 23, 2010

What is strategic positioning?

I'm researching this topic so I welcome your insights.

What is strategic positioning?

How can it drive the business?

How does it make other business decisions easier?

How can it help your marketing and selling?

Offer an example.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Power Marketing Tip 36: Encourage other people to talk about you

The best marketing is when other people talk about you

It used to be called word of mouth marketing. Today it is often labeled buzz or viral marketing. This just demonstrates that the principles of marketing don't change - only the tools and labels.

I believe there is no more powerful force in marketing than other people talking about you. People talking to people can build or destroy your business. Look at the companies and celebrities in the news. It's word of mouth that is canonizing or demonizing them.

So how can you encourage more people to talk more about you? (In a positive way)

Use these five buzz-generating ideas:

Excite people

Excite people by conveying passion in what you do. Passion is contagious. Passion doesn't need to be loud and gregarious. You can also convey quiet and warm passion.

Be controversial

Break some rule or rules of the industry. These are usually the unwritten rules that evolved and everyone follows them without question. It could be your packaging, service standards or uniform. It might be your unusual positioning in the market.

Be outstanding

Be exceptional at some part of the business - so exceptional that you become the standard for that aspect. People might even call you obsessed.

Conquer big challenges

Go after big challenges - not every day but from time to time. This might be business goals such as number of customers, sales volume or product innovation (like Apple). This might also be personal goals like climbing a mountain, running a marathon or completing special education. It could also be community goals such as fund-raising for a charity.

Help others

You can help your clients by delivering outstanding customer service. You might also help your staff by offering advice, a rewarding work environment or growth opportunities. You might offer to mentor junior associates, participate on a community board or coach a little league team.

You don't need to use all of the above ideas. Choose the one or few ideas that work best for you and reap the rewards of other people talking about you.

George Torok
Power Marketing

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Power Marketing Tip 35: Database - Review, Renew & Recharge

Database - Review, Renew & Recharge

Knowing your clients is at least as important as knowing your product.
Managing your database is usually boring. However, if you don't manage your database how will you manage the relationships with your clients? Nothing could be more valuable to your business than those relationships. It's those relationships that will help you grow your business.

Happy New Year!
It's time to review, renew and recharge your database.The start of the New Year is an opportune time to apply these three R's to your database. Why? Because you probably examined your results from last year and set your goals for the new year. Likely some things will need to be changed or refined.

Review your database. Naturally not all your contacts are equal. Some clients are better than others. Some prospects are better than others. Ensure that the categories or labels that you had set for each contact are still relevant. Are the "A clients" still A clients? Remove the duds from your database. You could store these deleted records in an archive file.

As you review your database take note of the missed opportunities. Decide how you might still pick up that ball or avoid that mistake again.

Renew the relationships. Keep them warm. Make a point of contacting everyone soon. Call your best clients to reconnect. Ask abut their past year results. Learn their goals, obstacles and hopes for the New Year. Confirm their contact information. Explore the opportunities for helping them this year. Be sure to add this new information to your database.

Email other contacts to touch base. Send snail mail to others. The other benefit for you is to learn about changes in personnel, titles and contact information. Update your database with this new intelligence.

Set your contact and follow-up schedules for the year. Plan and set the database reminders for your meetings, phone calls, direct mail and marketing campaigns. Support your goals with your database. Remind yourself how important the database is to your success. Recommit to reviewing and updating your database everyday. Treat your database as your best friend. Talk to it often.

George Torok
Power Marketing

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Networking Principle: Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours

The law of reciprocity says that after you do something for me I will feel obligated to pay you back. Say hello and I answer you back. Ask me how I feel and I respond in kind. Hold a door for me to enter and I will thank you and be more inclined to hold it for the next person. This is the most important principle of networking.

Give me a business lead and I’ll start thinking about who I can refer to you. That’s the fundamental principle of business networking.

You can apply this networking law in two ways. You could wait for someone to do you a favor. After they do, you can pay them back. That makes you even. But is your goal to be even?

I suggest that in networking your goal is to be uneven. Not only uneven but to keep increasing the balance of what is owed to you. Every time that you do a favor for someone in your network you write an IOU. They owe you a favor. This is like building your bank account.

Build your bank account of IOUs by doing favors for others in your network. The more favors you hand out, the more people will feel obligated to pay you back. Not everyone will pay you back. Don’t worry about that. Instead realize that if you give out nothing till you get something you might never be out of pocket and your bank account will be zero.

Your networking bank account grows by the number of favors that others owe you. Keep depositing into this bank account because some will pay you back and some will pay back with interest.

How can you use your time wisely so you get the best return on your investment?

Imagine that you attended a networking event, walked around the room and gave everyone a dollar. You told them the dollar is a gift. You told each person that they can keep the dollar as long as they want. If fact they don’t need to return it because it was a gift. If they wish to they are welcome to give the money back to you with or without interest.

That would probably freak a lot of people out. Some would return the money. Some would keep it.

But consider the obligations and goodwill that you would build with every dollar you gave away. The main limitation on you would be your supply of dollars.

Now imagine a similar scenario but instead of giving away dollars you gave away favors – leads, referrals, introductions, advice and news. Now the limitation on investment is removed. You can give an almost unlimited number of favors. The only limitation is in using your time wisely.

Instead of giving out dollars, give more favors and watch your networking bank account and business grow.

Business networking works on the principle that if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours. Get out there and scratch more backs.

© George Torok is the author of “Your Guide to Networking Success”. Discover how to build a more profitable network in 30 days at Find more free networking tips at To arrange for George Torok to speak to your conference or business team about networking and personal marketing call 905-335-1997

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Power Marketing Tip 34: Remember Me

Remember Me

"Remember me as a sunny day" is a line from a 1971 song by Diana Ross. While searching I discovered many songs, books and plays with the title "Remember Me".

What does that tell you?
If there are many songs with this line that suggests that many people are craving to be remembered. And conversely they might also be pained at the thought of not being remembered.

What is the marketing opportunity?
In the previous Power Marketing tip I revealed the fundamental of building relationships as "Make people feel good about themselves."

If people are both hopeful and pained about being remembered - then remember them and demonstrate that. You will make them feel good and you will stand out from the competition that ignores or forgets.

How can you demonstrate that you remember them?

Remember their names
The old TV show, Cheers had the memorable line "Where Everybody Knows Your Name". When you walk into your favorite shop do you want to introduce yourself every time or would your prefer that the staff remembered and greeted you by your name?

Remember some personal information
It doesn't take much on your part - just remember something personal about them. It could be their hobby, favorite sport, last vacation spot, volunteer work, pets, etc...

Stay in touch with them
Let them know how you might continue to help them. Inform them about updates in your products. Remind them that you remember and value the relationship.

Naturally you don't have to remember every detail. That's why you put all that detail in a good database which makes it easier for you to remember. In a future tip we will talk more about database marketing.

What is your payback if you do all of the above? They will remember you when it comes time to buy.

Remember me.

George Torok
Power Marketing

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Power Marketing Tip 33: Build More Profitable Relationships

Power Marketing Tip 33: Build More Profitable Relationships

All things being equal, we would rather buy from those we know and like. All things being unequal we would rather buy from those we know and like.

I don't know who first said that. I've noticed that it seems to be true.

Want to build your business in any market? Make sure enough people know and like you.

If you want more people to know and like you better, use this key principle and techniques.

The Key Principle to building relationships is to make other people feel good about themselves.

The opposite is also true. Destroy relationships by making people feel bad about themselves. You can predict the direction of your relationships by noticing what you are doing - or more importantly how it might be perceived.

Techniques to build relationships

Say thank you more often and mean it

There are so many things to thank your clients for and so many ways to do it. Thank them for buying from you, considering your proposal or referring a new client. Thank them for understanding the delay in helping them.

Congratulate others

Are you paying attention to your clients and prospects? Call them, email them or send a note when they receive an award, are featured in the media or reach a milestone.

Admit a mistake

If you are constantly pushing yourself you will make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. When it happens, admit it quickly and without the weasel words. People will like you more when they see that you know you are imperfect like them.

Send a hand written note

You don't need to do this often to be noticed and remembered. Why? Because it happens so seldom and it is personal. It is amazing how this simple act can create such warm feelings. The note might be a thank you, congratulations or staying in touch note.

Mail a post card

This one is closely related to the previous tip. When was the last time you received a personal post card? How did you feel? You could send post cards when you travel or from your home town. It doesn't matter as long as you connect with people. This simple technique has got me business and media coverage.

Do you want more people to know and like you? Build the relationships by making them feeling good about themselves.

George Torok
Power Marketing

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

3 Marketing Mistakes That Sink Business in a Recession

A recession does not mean the end of your business unless you navigate those rough waters blindly. Here are three rocks that can sink your business ship unless you avoid them while navigating the dangerous waters of a tough market. You might get wet but no need to capsize.

Cut expenses across the board

Cut marketing. Cut staff. Cut all expenditures! This siren call is the most common and foolish mistake. It’s common because it is a knee jerk reaction that requires no thinking. It’s foolish for the same reasons. Making across the board cuts is a political response. It’s not a smart business strategy. If cutting across the board in tough times was smart then raising all expenses in good times would also be smart.

Instead, review all expenditures and categorize each line item into A, B and C categories in terms of ROI. “A” items are those expenditures where you can measure a strong return. Continue spending and maybe even increase these investments. “B” items are those that you believe are good but you haven’t yet developed an accurate measurement. Continue these activities, improve the tactics and improve the measurement. “C” items are losers. Stop these completely.

Cut your prices

You will be asked to cut your price. Don’t act like that is a surprise. And don’t pretend that this is the first time. So prepare for an onslaught of such requests. Prepare to deal with the price issue strategically not as a prisoner. Don’t cut price – without an equivalent exchange in value or a reduction in your costs. For example you might allow a discount for early payment or a larger order.

Another way to deal with price resistance is to introduce a lower value product. At the same time introduce a higher value product so the original product which is now in the middle looks more attractive. This is a variation of the good-better-best positioning. If you can’t afford a Lexus you can always buy a Toyota.


Imagine how it looks when you stop attending trade shows, discontinue your advertising, shelve your newsletter, stop meeting with clients and avoid networking events. Imagine what your clients will think, what your competitors can say and what prospects might believe. None of it will be positive for you or your business.

When times are bad, people need to hear from you more often. Especially make a point of connecting with your best clients and advocates more often. Make your connections more personable so they can feel your confidence.

For the rest of your clients and contacts find efficient ways to stay connected. Maybe it’s a good time to launch your newsletter – or publish it more often. Explore the tools on the Internet that allow you to stay in touch with people easier and more cost effectively. It might be a good time to launch your blog, build your FaceBook page or post videos on YouTube.

A recession can be tough. No need to panic. It’s time to think and act smart with your marketing. Keep your business off the rocks while aiming for the deeper waters beyond. Don’t stop paddling until you are clear of the rocks.

© George Torok is the co-author of the bestselling Secrets of Power Marketing. It’s published in at least seven countries. He helps small and medium businesses gain an unfair advantage over the competition. Get your free copy of “50 Power Marketing Ideas” at Arrange for Torok to speak at your conference by visiting http:/// For media interviews call 905-335-1997

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Power Marketing Tip 32: Change Squares into Diamonds

Power Marketing Tip 32: Change Squares into Diamonds

How can you grab more attention and encourage prospects to reconsider the value of your product?

One way to do that is by introducing a totally new product like Apple with the Iphone. Another way is to launch a revised product like car companies and sports teams. And the third common way is to leave the product the same but change the packaging like Ketchup with the upside down bottles.

But those approaches can cost you a lot. Is there a simpler less costly way?

Yes. Change the perspective.

How do you change the perspective? By changing the words you use to describe your product - that and maybe tilting your head a little.

For Example:

Shreddies is a breakfast cereal that has been around for over 50 years with little change to the product. They are flat squares of woven wheat. What could be more boring? They have changed their jingles, mascots and target audience over the years.

In 2008, Shreddies changed the perspective by calling them diamonds. That has grabbed lots of attention and conveyed a more memorable message to the consumer. You can visit the website to view some of their promotional videos and vote on which you prefer - Diamonds or Squares. The last time I checked over half a million votes were in and Diamonds were leading at 55%. (I voted for diamonds.)

Ideas for You

How could you use this in promoting your business? If you have a product or service that hasn't changed for some time perhaps you can call it Vintage, Traditional or Classic. When Coke brought back the old Coke they named it Coke Classic.

If you are fighting big business then label your business as family owned, personalized or boutique. Don't copy the competition.

What Next?

List all the words that might be used in either a positive or negative way to describe your product and business. Then invest some time with a thesaurus examining synonyms, antonyms and related terms.

If you need more help in changing the perspective - tilt your head.

George Torok
Power Marketing

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Power Marketing Tip 31: Tall, Dark and Handsome

Power Marketing Tip 31

Tall, Dark and Handsome

She said that she was looking for a man who was tall, dark and handsome. I immediately thought of my friend Phil. He came first to my mind. If she had asked for a short, funny party animal that would be Bob. If the search was for a sensitive, conscientious hard worker then Ronald was the man.

No, I'm not in the match making business. But I noticed that some important marketing principles can be learned from our personal lives.

Try this game. List the names of six of your good friends. Beside each name describe them in terms of three or four distinctive characteristics. Then talk with a friend who knows them as well as you do, state the characteristics and see if they can name the friend.

Life Principle

People who know what they are looking for are more likely to find it - especially if they can articulate it clearly and ask enough other people.

Marketing Principle

Future customers are out there looking for you. Some of them know what they want and can articulate it clearly. Most often it is a pain that they want fixed. Some will recognize what they want when they see it.

If you know that you can help these future customers then what are you doing to make it easy for them to find you? If they have never heard of you how would they find you? What words would these future customers use to describe you that would cause colleagues to think of you first?

When these future customers describe their pain or need - you want someone within earshot to jump up and down and exclaim, "I know just who can help you."

Critical Question for You

If your ideal future customer was searching for you, what words would they use to describe you?

Now integrate those distinctive descriptors into all of your marketing messages.

George Torok
Marketing Expert and Author

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Monday, April 05, 2010

The Great Marketing Myth Exposed

What is the Great Marketing Myth? And what is the truth? Watch this SlideShare presentation for the answers.

George Torok
Marketing Expert and Author
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