Monday, January 30, 2012

Why are Credit Unions so Timid in Their Marketing?

Who would have guessed that this ad is from a credit union?

It's bold, edgy and maybe even offensive.

I like it. It's about time that the credit unions are leveraging their strengths over the big bad banks.

This was the cover page of an insert in the local newspaper.

When you opened it, the next page boldly stated.

"Actually, at FirstOntario Credit Union, you are an Owner."

I love it because it smacks the banks in their face - and who really loves the banks?

The headings on this page read:

Now you can bank where you have a voice.

Member privileges, because you're an Owner.

That was followed by customer (owner) testimonials that read:

"If I owned my own bank, I'd stop nickel and diming."

"If we owned our own bank, we would treat customers as people not profit centres."

"If I owned my own bank, I'd help customers, not bankers build their nest eggs."

Tip of the hat to FirstOntario Credit Union.

I suggest that you be bolder and promote your difference from the banks.

Show a picture of the bank's office tower - then a picture of your office cottage.

Print the salaries of the banks executives - then your executives.

List the board of directors of the banks - then your member directors.

My message to credit unions - stop hiding. Step out and offend the banks. People will love it.

Check out First Ontario Credit Union.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Power Marketing Tip 43: Oops We Made a Mistake

Oops! We made a mistake

You need to include that phrase in your marketing plan. Why? Because you are not perfect and you will make mistakes.

It’s normal to make mistakes and most of the time your clients will forgive your mistakes if you admit your mistakes and apologize.

Admitting your mistake and apologizing can be a powerful marketing technique. If you handle this well you can gain fanatically loyal clients.

Coke made a big mistake with the launch of New Coke. They responded quickly and reintroduced Coke Classic. That made Coke drinkers happy again.

British Petroleum
Do this poorly and you could lose longtime clients and chase away future clients.

BP CEO, Tony Hayward, might be the poster child for mishandling the “Oops we made a mistake” message when he spoke about the Gulf oil disaster.

Your mistakes might not be that grand but you can learn from those two extremes.

When our breakfast finally arrived, it was cold. We were hungry and reluctant to complain so we ate. When the waitress reappeared and asked “How is everything?” we hesitated then told her the truth. She clearly didn’t expect that and responded with, “I’ll ask the cook what happened.” That was not what we wanted.

I believe I know what happened – she waited too long to pick up.

Like Tony Hayward, her first reaction was to blame someone else. Perhaps she wasn’t allowed to make mistakes and clearly she wasn’t trained on how to handle a mistake.

List the mistakes you have made. Add the possible mistakes you might make. Then for each mistake describe how you or your staff could handle it. Include ideas on appropriate phrases to use, possible restitution and escalation if needed.

Remember your purpose is to save or gain a loyal client.

It’s amazing how “Oops! We made a mistake” can soften up mistreated clients.

George Torok
Power Marketing

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PPS: Forward this tip to your associates.
PPPS: Thanks for your comments and feedback.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why consumers prefer 70 items for $29 and not $29 for 70 items

Facts might not matter as much as presentation.

You probably suspected that.
Presenting item quantity information before price (70 songs for 29 dollars) may make the deal appear much more appealing than if the price were presented first (29 dollars for 70 songs ).


That's a curious result form this marketing study.

Learn more here


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Power Marketing Tip 42: Build a Marketing System

Marketing is the process you follow to get sales.

That means if you want more sales you need more control over the process.

If the process is random or you can't describe it, you have little control. To gain more control of your sales follow a marketing system. A process is only a sequence of events but a system is a planned and measured process.

Systems are the answer to success in any area of your business and life. Want more success, just follow better systems.

A System has three elements:
1. A system is based on a principle.
2. A system is a process to reach the goal. It is not the goal.
3. A system is a set of routines that are followed consistently and persistently.

It's better to follow an imperfect system than have no system at all. It's a good place to start and you can adjust it as you go.

Are you already following good marketing systems? Should you improve them - or drop them?

Describe each marketing activity in terms of the steps in the process. Then test to see if it is a good marketing system. Measure both the inputs and the outputs.

For example: You do A, then B happens, then you do C, then D happens.

Does A always lead to B? If not, what determines how often A leads to B? What can you do to improve the occurrence of B? Or how can you make it more predictable and more efficient?

For example:
A - You buy an advertisement in a magazine
B - You get some calls

A - You host a seminar
B - You get some leads

A financial planner always knows how much new business he will do six months out because he follows a repeatable and predictable lead generation system that starts with an invitation to a luncheon seminar.
If you want more new business identify the top three ways that you get new business. Then start describing the steps in the process. Where can you exert control? Can you improve that? Where do you believe you have little control? Maybe you can improve your luck - like a Blackjack player counting cards to improve odds against the house.

To have more control of your business income implement and follow two to three good marketing systems.

George Torok
Power Marketing

 Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.
PS: Forward this tip to your associates.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

How to Promote Brand You - video interview

James Rick interviewing George Torok on the topic of promoting the brand that is you for the Full Potential show.

Enjoy this high energy and insightful 16 minute interview.

FP #174: How to Promote and Make Brand “YOU” Stand Out - George Torok with James Rick from James Rick on Vimeo.


Friday, January 06, 2012

Can You Read This Fine Print?

While examining the DAP sealant tube I struggled to read the printing. Could you read this fine print?
DAP fine print

I put on my reading glasses and pulled the maganifying glass out.... and struggled to read this fine print. I was looking for the directions of how to best use the product. Why did DAP make it so difficult?

1. Did DAP include the directions because they were required by law?

2. Did DAP include the directions because their lawyers suggested that?

3. Did DAP include the directions to be read by customers for ease of use?

I don't know about the first two possibililites.

I suggest that it was not for reason number three.

If DAP really wanted customers to be able to read the print - they would have made it easy to read. The print was tiny and the colours used didn't offer readable contrast.

The people at DAP might argue that they had to make the print small because of the limited space and the need to print on both official languages in Canada. I understand.

Why did they pick such dumb colours? My guess is that the branding police held sway. They might have been more concerned with form than function - which is the biggest nuisance about "branding priests" in any organizations. They focus on corporate look instead of customer experience.

The other suggestion that occurred to me was for them to include a web address on the tube where customers could visit to read and print the directions and guarantee restrictions.

George Torok

Marketing Speaker


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Is Your Guarantee a Real Guarantee? Not if You're DAP

A guarantee is an effective way to remove some of the risk of buying. The better the guarantee, the more effective for you.

What makes a guarantee better?
  • Clear and easy to understand
  • Absence of weasel words
  • No or few exceptions
  • Clear understanding of the promise
  • Clear understanding of the fix
  • Simple claim process

I needed to reseal around my bathtub. I was impressed with the words "Crack Proof Guarantee" on the tube of  DAP "Kwik Seal Plus for Kitchen & Bath"

That sounded like the answer to my needs. So I applied the sealant around the tub and felt good about another DIY job well done.

Until... five weeks later when I noticed that the sealant had cracked. My reaction was, "How could that be possible? It has a Crack Proof Guarantee. And it means that I have to do the whole job again.

Here is the reply that I received from DAP:

"If the product cracks, peels, mildews, or separate during normal use ( when used as directed) within one year from the date of purchase, DAP will refund your sales price to you. Just send the receipt to..."

Well, that is certainly clear and understandable. But none of those conditions were evident at the time of purchase.

Who would keep the receipt - for a year?

And how was I supposed to know that the Crack Proof Guarantee was only valid for one year at best? I certainly wouldn't want to be resealing the tub every year. I could find nothing on the tube that indicated or even suggested these restrictions.

It took DAP over two weeks to respond to me by email with that little policy phrase even though I completed the form on their website with my full name, mailing address, email and phone number. So naturally I had purchased a competitive brand to replace the cracked DAP sealant.

DAP product review
DAP customer complaint

George Torok
Marketing Speaker

PS: Read my Satisfaction Guarantee


Monday, January 02, 2012

55 Business Marketing Mistakes from Carol Roth

Look at this latest compilation of marketing mistakes from Carol Roth on her Business Unplugged blog. The request was, "Tell us about the biggest marketing mistake that you've seen." You can imagine that there are many but these marketing mistakes are worth noting - and avoiding.

Here's my contribution.

Others Got a Better Deal

Clients at the front of the line got a better deal than you. You’ll pay more, Ha, Ha.

An association used this approach to market its convention. Each message repeated the better deal that the early buyers got: for every 50 seats sold, the price will go up $25.
The $25 was not a big deal, nor did it motivate me. But the consistent reminder that others got a better deal was annoying. Annoy your prospects by reminding them about how dumb they are.

Apparently, attendance was down 25%.


What other mistakes are businesses committing in their marketing?

How are You Showing Up?

The other day, we passed a window screen business. My eyes quickly diverted from the sign to their front door- a rusted door with the screen ripped and hanging off the door and the window was not much better. How you show up is everything. This business did not take time to fix their own screens, so as a customer, how could I trust that I would be cared for?

Thanks to: Charmaine Hammond of Hammond International Inc.

The Biggest Marketing Mistake

When I consult business owners about their marketing, the biggest mistake I find that they make is in not tracking the Return On Investment (ROI) for each marketing campaign.

What ends up happening is that when business slows down, they cut their entire marketing budget as a way to "right the ship". This causes business to slow even further.

Without tracking and knowing the exact ROI on each marketing campaign, they are making what I believe is the first, and often the biggest, marketing mistake.

Thanks to: Jay Estis of Massive Results Marketing.

Make a Lasting 1st Impression

The biggest marketing mistake I see is people who don’t take spelling and grammar seriously. For example, if you’re going to take the time to put your marketing message in an email blast, brochure, advertisement, or PowerPoint presentation – make sure it’s proofed carefully! A glaring spelling error or punctuation placed outside of your quotation marks may be all it takes to turn off a potential client who sees you as less than careful and therefore unprofessional.

Thanks to: Kristy Stevenson of Kristy Stevenson, Writing & Editing.

Examine the rest of the 55 Business Marketing Mistakes

George Torok

Marketing Keynote Speaker