Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Best Marketing Advice for Marketing on an Embarassing Budget

This list from Carol Roth includes 39 creative tips on how to market your business on an embarasslingly limited budget.

Number 32 on the list is from me (George Torok). It's the shortest tip on the list and perhaps the most practical and effective, (in my opinion - you decide).

32. Write the Magic Words

Hand write and send thank you notes to your clients, associates and the media. The other note to send is congratulations. This is unusual, personal and thus, memorable.

Some of the other tips that stand out are:

1. Karma Pays

Two words: help people. Be it via written content, through social media, at local networking events - whatever opportunity you have to help your target consumer base, take it - and put your all into it. People want to help good people. You'd be surprised how much "free" word of mouth you can get your business simply by showing you're the kind of person who helps others without any strings attached. It's certainly worked for me. Karma- it pays.
Thanks to: Rae Hoffman of Sugarrae.

5. On a Budget? Be Controversial!

When I say 'controversial' I mean say something unexpected to get people to talk. Take the government shut down. In a sea of "Democrats are wrong!" and "Republicans are wrong!" suddenly your message is, "Here's why the shutdown is great!". It instantly stands out and provokes discussion, passes on links, possible media queries and so on, all for free. Of course, make sure that you can back up your claims and that they match your business model. It's amazing marketing on a budget, and one I always use.
Thanks to: David Weber of Learn About Flow.

13. Tell a Story in Six Seconds

As a bootstrapping startup in the legal field, it has been both challenging and exciting to come up with scrappy marketing techniques. One of the best pieces of advice for marketing on a budget I've seen is using Vine for a Q & A session.

Gary Vaynerchuk said it best, "Time is our biggest asset. What Vine does, is it gives you a promise that this is only six seconds of your time."

Find a creative way to tell a story to your market in six seconds.
Thanks to: Janine Holsinger of NextChapter.

23. Videos Grab Attention

YouTube is the second most searched site on the internet. Create a promo-video yourself on the cheap by using MS Movie Maker or go to and get a video produced for only $5-$20 depending on length and quality.

The promo video can then be placed on your website. QR codes (done for free) can drive people to your video and you can use the video for social campaigns - then, get it transcribed and pdf'd, cut out the voice/music for a podcast. Leverage one video into multi-usable content.
Thanks to: Curtis Chappell of Quantum SEO Solutions.
If you like these and want to read more visit The Best Marketing Advice

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Power Marketing Tip #60: Why settle for what you are worth?

Are you struggling to be paid what you are worth? Why settle for so little?

In my experience very few people are paid what they are worth. There seems to be a great number of people paid less than they're worth and many who're paid more than they're worth.

On which side of that dividing line would you rather be?

If you're like me you might prefer to be paid more than you're worth. How can you make this happen?

First, consider how we decide worth.

Consider these choices:

  1. What is the worth of a hamburger at a family restaurant?
  2. What is the worth of a steak dinner at that same restaurant?
  3. What is the worth of the steak dinner at a fine dining restaurant?
  4. What is the worth of eating the hamburger while chatting with Richard Branson?

Notice that there are two parts that can affect the worth. The core element is the food. By changing the food you can marginally change (increase or decrease) the worth.

The second element is the experience. By changing the experience you can dramatically change the worth.

The ratio of cost to worth is proportionally highly for the core element versus the experience. This means that you'll realize a much better return on your investment by improving the experience.

The lesson is that if you only focus on improving the core element of your product or service then it will be difficult for you to receive more than you're worth. If you want to dramatically increase your price, then make changes in the experience.

If you are in a competitive market and find that prospects and clients view your offering as a commodity you'll feel pressured to compete on price and likely receive less than you're worth.

When faced with a competitive market, change how you deliver your core element to improve your worth in the perception of your clients.

If you want to get paid more than you're worth, focus less on what you sell and more on how you sell.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Is it the Truth? Can You Prove It?

Is it the Truth? Can You Prove It?

Seth Godin wrote the book, “All Marketer’s are Liars”. I believe that the title is meant to be tongue in cheek. Unfortunately too many marketers take that title literally and assume that they must lie to be an effective marketer.

The purpose of marketing is to build your business. One of the critical ways to do that is by building relationships, enhancing trust and making your prospects feel confident about buying from you.

Would a lie help you do any of those things?


So why would some marketers lie?

Perhaps they believe that prospects will believe their lies. Perhaps they believe their best clients are stupid and won’t challenge the lies. Maybe they have a short term plan. Sell some bottles of “Doctor Good” then leave town the next day.

Do these liars subscribe to the mantra “There’s a sucker born every minute”?

The following marketing statements look like lies to me because they fail the test of “Is it true?” and “Can you prove it?”

“The most trusted and straight-forward contractor in the business”


Wow! Who decides on that designation? Did your friends decide on that honor while eating your steaks and sipping your wine at the cottage?

This contractor had a half page advertisement in the local newspaper that listed his activities. But none of them addressed the obvious question, “Who declared you The most trusted and straight forward contractor in the business” and what exactly does that mean?

If your mother called you that – then state the source of the label. That might be funny.

Naturally, the word that trips my BS meter is the word “most”.

Canada’s Leading Provider of Financial and Estate Planning Advice”

How does a company become the leading provider of the country? Are they the biggest? Not in this case because this is a relatively small local provider. How are they leading and who granted them that epithet? The next question might be, “Where are they leading people?” Are they leading in revenue or are they leading in losing money?”

The phrase that trips my BS meter in this case is “Canada’s Leading”.

I contacted this company and asked them to explain that label but didn’t receive a reply. I also had to request removal from their email list several times before their emails stopped. Curious, they appeared to be both liars and spammers.

Are these companies leading in bold-faced lies?

Are they leading in their own imaginary worlds?

Why do they feel the need to lie?

The lessons for you:

Absolutes are almost always a lie.
It’s a lie if it’s not the truth.
It’s a lie if it’s out of context.
It could be a lie if you can’t prove it.


George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Friday, October 11, 2013

Why can’t you do that?

Why can’t you do that?
The owner of a woman’s clothing store asked me, “What can we do to stand out from the competition?” She posed the question as if she were throwing down a challenge gauntlet.

She added that she had tried to think of something that would differentiate her store from others but had hit a dead end. “There’s nothing we can do.”

I looked at her and responded, “Hmm, let me think a moment.” Perhaps my pause was too long for her because she interjected, “See I told you, there’s nothing.” She actually looked pleased.

I then said, “Let me think out loud and play with this. My understanding is that shopping especially for clothes is different for women than it is for men. Men usually want to get in, buy what they came for and leave. Women treat shopping as an activity. They want to enjoy the experience. What could you do to enhance that experience? How about offering gourmet coffee?”

“Oh no, I can’t do that” she snapped.

“What do you mean you can’t? Perhaps what you really mean is, you won’t”

We discussed this a bit. Naturally her concern was about someone spilling coffee on a garment and possibly ruining it – or at the least creating cleaning charges and discounted merchandise.

Yes, those are real risks. The important question is, would the coffee service generate enough revenue to more that cover those associate costs? That would be easy to measure.

I don’t know if coffee was the right answer for her but it was curious to see how quickly she blocked my first suggestion. She wasn’t ready for change.

If you want to stand out then you need to do something that your competition won’t do. If you really want to differentiate yourself, start listing the common practices or rules of your industry. Then examine each for ways to break that rule or change the practice. Weigh the benefits against the risks. If you still can’t decide then flip a coin. What have you got to lose?

Every change carries a risk. If you want to change you must be willing to weigh and consider the risks, investment and return.

Also keep in mind that ignoring change or refusing to change also carries risks.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Friday, October 04, 2013

Something for everyone

Liar, liar pants on fire!

You don’t have something for everyone. Not even Amazon, Ebay and Kijiji combined have something for everyone.

Individually those websites cover a lot of ground and collectively they are vast in their scope. Yet they don’t have something for everyone. Avoid absolutes in your marketing messages.

This phrase has appeared in the listing for local Garage Sales. How could any one Garage Sale eclipse the offering of Amazon, Ebay and Kijiji?

Yet these amateur marketers seem to think that they’ll attract more visitors by exaggerating - by promising more - than they can deliver. These amateurs seem to think that marketing is about promising the big lie.

Perhaps the lie attracts people but how might those people feel when they arrive and find the seller is a liar? What will they think once they realize that they’ve been tricked? Will the negotiations be friendly?

We visited some Garage Sales this year. I noticed that many buying and selling decisions at the Garage Sales are made on whims. A small thing or feeling nudges the decision.

You might suggest that these Garage Sale operators are indeed amateurs. They don’t know any better. You might be right.

What about professional sellers and marketers? What’s their excuse? Have you noticed that some of them tell lies?

You don’t need to lie to sell. Marketing and selling isn’t a matter of deception. It’s about building trust.

What are you doing to build more trust with your prospects and clients? Test your promises against the truth. Not your truth – the real truth!

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Monday, September 23, 2013

Power Marketing Tip #59: How to be recognized as a thought leader


Do you want to be recognized as a thought leader in your field?


When you are perceived to be a thought leader you will

  • Be quoted often by the media
  • Be able to charge more money
  • Attract a better clientele
  • Be presented with better opportunities
  • Attract followers
There are three things that you need to do to be seen as a thought leader.

Write and publish on your topic. Social media isn't enough to establish your position although it could be used to build your following.

The simplest way to publish your writing is on a blog. Regular - at least weekly posts of 100 to 800 words will force you to explore and research your topic. Q & A's and tips lists are popular formats.

It also helps to publish your works in traditional print media - magazines and newspapers. A book is the highest form of print publication. Even an ebook will boost your credibility.

Speaking can take the form of delivering a speech at a chamber, association or community event. An easy way to get started is by speaking to schools, service groups or Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London, England. Apparently Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell made speeches there.

Deliver training programs for clients, prospects or colleagues. The more you stand and speak in front of others the more opportunity to convey your expertise and teach others. Teaching forces you to better understand your topic. You also gain the experience of their questions and perspective.

If you do only the first two you might be noticed and even recognized as an adept. But you won't be seen as a thought leader until you disrupt the status quo. Leaders don't follow the herd.

That means taking a position that is contrary to the masses. If everyone knows that the world is flat then you need to explain why it's round. If everyone knows that the world is round, then you might take the position that it's flat or oblong.

A thought leader must disrupt common beliefs or practices. True disruption means asking the questions that others are avoiding and posing ideas that most haven't considered.

If you want to be seen as a thought leader then be willing to write, speak and disrupt.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

If you own the Trademark do you own the Brand?

If you own the Trademark do you own the Brand?

The short answer is no.

Trademark and brand are NOT the same. The one doesn’t have a direct correlation with the other.

A Trademark is a legal term that applies to a logo, image or phrase. To own a Trademark you must apply to the national Intellectual Property authority. The regulations, process and fees varies from country to country. Owning a trademark in one country doesn’t convey ownership in any other country nor ensure that you can obtain that ownership.

Trademark is different from copyright which is a different form of Intellectual Property with different rules.

When someone infringes on your Trademark you need to call your lawyers.

A Trademark is simply an identifier.

Brand is an entirely different story.

There isn’t a clear definition of Brand. There are many theories and opinions. Also there is a Tsunami of Brand experts because there’s no legal standard or definition. Because of this, most of us – including me – are expressing our opinion of how we see brands.

In my opinion, a corporate brand is about the customer experience – or – the promise.

That brand can change. It can be tarnished. It can go viral. It is intangible. It can be hijacked by circumstances or clever competition.

You never really OWN your brand. It is the perception that the market has. Your brand is what your clients and prospects think about you. You don’t own that. You can influence it.

For example:

The BP brand was blindsided by the Gulf oil disaster.
Richard Branson’s Virgin brand has nothing to do with his Trademark.

You can have a powerful brand without a Trademark.

When someone or something threatens your brand you need to revise the way you conduct business.


George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Big Time Author Sends Offensive Smelling Email

Big Time Author Sends Offensive Smelling Email

It’s not what you think – or maybe it is.

Learn from the experts. Don’t repeat their mistakes. Would it surprise you to learn that so-called experts make mistakes? This doesn’t mean that their work isn’t credible, just that sometimes they might get sloppy or over-reach – especially when their fans and sycophants keep telling them that they walk on water.

In this case, I received an email from a well-known author of several bestselling books. He’s an acclaimed guru on leadership and communication; therefore you would think that he wouldn’t make a major communication error.

Read the following email and notice the phrases that might feel offensive to the recipient. By offensive I mean insincere and deceptive. Keep in mind that I’ve never met or corresponded with this person before.


Hi George,

How are you today? I just came across your profile and thought I would reach out real quick and see if you would like to connect further here on LinkedIn.

I don’t usually reach out like this, but thought you may be a good candidate for my advanced leadership certification program and wanted to personally invite you to take a look at it.

If you are interested in learning more, let me know and I will introduce you to the right person on my team who can provide you with more information.

Here is a link with more info in the meantime:

Keep up the good work.
Your friend,



Keep in mind that we hold the gurus to higher standards.

What might smell funny in this email?

“How are you today?”

If he was the guru that he is acclaimed to be he would know that phrase is the dumbest way to start a cold call.  When you receive a phone call from a person who you don’t know and they open with “How are you today?” you know it’s a sales call. You also know that it’s a sales person who’s already wasted the first seconds of the call by asking an insincere question. They don’t care how you are and you still don’t know why they called.

The other dumb aspect to open with in that email is that the recipient cannot answer. Should you send back an email and answer that question?  Why ask a question if you don’t want an honest answer? This means it was a rhetorical question – one where the person asking doesn’t expect you to answer or care about your answer.

So how would you feel if a stranger asks you, “How are you?” then before you can answer they say, “Never mind, I don’t care.”

“I don’t usually reach out like this”

Now you might wonder, “Really? So why now?”

You might wonder “How many people did you reach out to with this message?”

Technically that phrase might be true. Perhaps he hasn’t done a mass promotion on this particular networking site yet. That phrase feels deceptive. The intent might be to sound selective – to make you sound special.

“Your friend”

His message is signed with “your friend”. His definition of friend is clearly different from mine. We’ve never met, conversed or corresponded yet this prospecting email makes us friends.

This person is seasoned enough to know that Facebook friends aren’t real friends. I don’t even know if we are connected on Facebook. Just because he wants to sell me something doesn’t make him a friend. It’s one thing to act friendly. It’s a different thing to claim that he is my friend. That feels deceptive and slimy.

It seems curious that he’s selling a Leadership Certification program while being deceptive.

I’ve omitted his name because my purpose is to help you learn from his mistakes not to embarrass him at this time.

Test your emails for the Smell of Deception.


George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tell me why I should meet with you


Why should I meet with you?

The best way to connect is face to face. But you need to justify the face to face meeting.

Connecting on Social media shouldn’t be the goal. It could be the early steps in a progressive process of building relationships. The next step might be a phone call or a face to face meeting.

But getting to step one doesn’t ensure that you get to step three. Each step has a go or no-go decision. You need to build trust and interest.

Imagine this scenario. You connect with a new person through online or live networking. That’s the first step in networking. The next step might be a phone call which might lead to a coffee meeting.

Some people are social butterflies who are willing to meet with anyone. That is not I. I want to know why I should invest my time with you before we meet. That doesn’t make me anti-social. I simply prefer to know the purpose (and possible return) before I invest my resources. Time is the most valuable resource.

Here is an example of a conversation I had with a person who I connected with online. This led to a phone call that went like this:

Me: Hello. Glad to connect. Tell me about your business.

Other: Let’s meet for coffee. When is a good time to meet?

Me: First I want to know why we should meet. At this point, how do you think we might help each other?

Other: I need to meet with you to explain that.

Me: Can you tell me what you do or sell?

Other: I prefer to show you that in person.

Me: I’m confused and getting frustrated. What’s your 30 second message?

Other: I don’t have one. You need to see the products. It’s visual.

Other: We’re on the phone now. Tell me why I should meet with you?

Other: You can’t get a haircut over the phone. Is it a matter of timing?

Me: No it’s a matter of time and priorities. You can’t or won’t tell me why we should meet. I don’t want to get clipped so goodbye.

As you can imagine that was the end of the phone call and we didn’t meet. There was no reason to meet.

Prospects don’t meet with you because you ask them to meet. They meet when they see a compelling reason to meet.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Power Marketing Tip #58: Buy a coffee and ask for...

The easiest business is a referral

Imagine receiving a call like this, "Hello, our mutual friend Jack suggested that I call you about my problem."

That's a hot lead. The caller has already been sold on your credibility. You don't need to sell yourself. All you need to do is confirm Jack's praise of your ability.

A variation of this is when Jack tells you to call Jennifer and mention his name as a reference. When you reach Jennifer, she responds with, "Yes, Jack told me about you. I've been expecting your call."
Terry handed her resume to her friend Leslie who offered to deliver it personally to her cousin at the company that was hiring.

These are just three examples of how referrals or personal introductions can help your business or career.

This is the real purpose of networking - to introduce you to someone who might hire you or buy your product. Networking isn't about finding people to sell to - it's about building trust with people who might introduce you to buyers.

Recently I've reconnected with some associates and old friends by phone and over coffee. By reaching out I received some names, introductions and referrals. I gained some new business and opened some promising leads. There's a good reason why that coffee is a valid business expense. It can you generate new business.

How can you get more warm introductions?

Stop throwing your business card at every networking victim you meet. Instead, be sure to collect their card and have a meaningful and memorable conversation. The next step is to call them for a more in-depth conversation. That might lead to a coffee meeting which can build trust and rapport.

Revive old relationships with friends, clients or colleagues. You can use any excuse for this:

  • Hey I miss you
  • Hope you are enjoying the summer
  • Saw a movie that reminded me of you
  • Read about your company in the news
  • Saw you on FaceBook, Linkedin, YouTube
  • Our old connection was in the news
At some point in the conversation you might ask, "What's your current or next challenge?" You also should ask "How can I help you?"

Then listen and make good notes. Provide names or offer to introduce them to people who can help them.

If they don't ask, be sure to tell them how they might help you. Make sure they're listening before you start to rattle on.

Then end the conversation with, "What are the next steps for us?"

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Friday, August 30, 2013

Power Marketing Tip #57: Take advantage of the summer slowdown to get...

How to Get Your Story into the Media

Take advantage of the summer slowdown to get your story into the mainstream media.
With all the hype around the social media it's easy to forget about the mainstream media, i.e. newspapers, radio and TV. These outlets still provide enhanced credibility, respect and trust to the people they feature as experts.

How to get your story into the mainstream media

Timing is important. August tends to be a slow news month. Submit your story because there is less competition. Between vacations and reduced business activity there's less news. The media is usually short-staffed because of vacations. If you can make their job easier, you can get preferential treatment.

What does that mean? Instead of sending a News Release,write the story for them.
The easiest way to do that is to write a list. The list should offer readers, viewers or listeners information about the industry or product (or service). Don't write about your company and DO NOT send a blatant advertisement. Your goal is to have your name and company name appear as the expert quoted by the media.

A list could contain between three and ten items. Each point could vary from one sentence to a short paragraph.

Here are seven types of lists and ideas to help you write:

How To
Maintain the product
Test the reliability of a product
Get best value from the product
The Frequently Asked Questions should be easy for you. Just think about the questions that clients have asked you.

Important Questions
This is a variation of the FAQ list. In this case the questions you answer might be your list of important, embarrassing or overlooked questions. You can include questions you've been asked or, more importantly questions that you believe people should ask.
What are the most common myths or misunderstandings about the industry or product? You state the myth and then reveal the corresponding truth. This is a good way to present yourself as a trusted crusader of the industry.

What are the recent events that have shaped the industry? What are the trends that are happening or that you foresee? How can consumers prepare for these changes?

This list could include warnings about the misuse of the product, common mistakes, unethical practices, important changes, possible dangers...

Airline pilots run through their pre-flight checklist before every flight. The checklist could be things to do before using the product, when shopping for the product or when putting into or removing from storage.

I look forward to seeing your name in the news.


George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Power Marketing Tip #56: Stop marketing to people who need...

The Myth about Needs

Have you heard this damaging myth about how to build a business? "Find a need and fill it".

Don't buy that fairy tale.

The cold reality is that people don't buy what they need. They buy what they want.

You might disagree with that. You might even argue that people need food so they buy food. That's true. But, they don't necessarily buy the food they need with the proper healthy balance of nutrients.

If you've taken your children on a shopping trip I bet that you bought something that you didn't need but your child wanted. Fruit Loops isn't on any need list.

I've noticed that many dog owners need to take their pet to obedience training but that business looks pale compared to pet foods, pet health and pet cemeteries.

This distinction between need and want is important to you because many sellers believe that their market is everyone who needs their product. They make the mistake of targeting their marketing at those ignorant masses that need but don't want their product.

There are usually more people who need your product than want it. That larger pool of needy people often seduces marketers to chase those ignorant masses. If you do this, your marketing must first convince the uneducated and unwilling that they have a need for your type of product. You have to insult them by suggesting that they don't recognize that they have a problem. Then you also need to convince them to buy from you.

This can be a frustrating waste of time, effort and money.

Instead you will experience less stress and enjoy more profits when you target those informed individuals who already want what you sell.

You only need to convince them to buy from you.

As a marketing consultant I've been surprised at the successful business owners who hire me. I often learn much from them. On the other hand I've been dumbfounded by the individuals who really need my help but are too blind to realize that.

Perhaps you've heard sellers introducing themselves at a networking meeting by telling you that their market is "anybody who needs...."

Don't make that mistake. Instead proudly announce that your market is "smart people who want..."

When you market to people who want your product you simply need to position your business as the smart choice for smart buyers.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why I will Never Buy a General Motors Product Again

Why I will Never Buy a General Motors Product Again

What does the GM brand mean to me?

My first car was a General Motors product – a red 1966 Biscayne. The two next cars were also GM, a 1969 Pontiac and a 1974 Cutlass Oldsmobile.

A first car is like a first love – always cherished and never forgotten. The Pontiac was especially dependable – a good starter on cold winter days. The Cutlass had swivel bucket seats. It had a cool feel and look.

But I’m not going back to General Motors.

Why? Because GM has infected me with an unforgettable and disgusting image of their brand.

Branding is not what the advertising department thinks they are saying. It’s about the customer experience. And the customer experience is created by every person in your company that connects with your customers and prospects. Every person!

How do you get every person in your company to treat your customers better?

It’s not about paying people more. The highly paid union workers for GM demonstrated that fallacy. They showed their disdain for the company and the customer when disgruntled workers placed pop bottles inside car doors or sabotaged production in other ways. Yes, that was decades ago, but I haven’t forgotten. Those grossly overpaid thugs didn’t understand that the customer was paying their wages and pension.

I experienced this disdain personally while visiting a GM plant in Saginaw, Michigan in the eighties. As a manager of a GM supplier I was exploring the use of a reusable plastic carton for the parts that my company produced for GM.

I felt proud to represent my company in discussions with General Motors.

While exploring possibilities with a GM engineer, I asked him to show me examples that GM was using. The GM engineer led me out to the production line that was assembling engines. We approached a production line worker. The engineer in his naiveté asked the union member for a sample of the plastic trays they used to hold the fuel injection nozzles. The trays were similar in size to a cookie tray. The parts on this line were finely machined nozzles that would become a critical component in the fuel injection system of GM engines.

The line worker looked at the engineer with a sneer. Both the engineer and I assumed that the line worker would hand us an empty plastic tray. Instead, the production line worker grabbed a tray full of finished parts, dumped the parts on the concrete floor and handed the now empty tray to the engineer. Those precision machined parts were now scrap.

The engineer glanced at me, shook his head in exasperation, took the plastic tray and led me away - without saying a word. He didn’t say anything about it to me. This suggests that this destructive behavior was normal or not worth fighting. I followed in complete disbelief having witnessed this overt sabotage.

That day I discovered that our client was operating in a war zone between staff and management. Their customers (and suppliers) were clearly subject to collateral damage from this internal conflict.

Why would you buy a car from a company like that? The people who produce the vehicles were sabotaging the products. The myth about quality was busted. How would GM survive with this internal conflict?

Decades later GM was in the news when they begged for a government bailout.

I wondered:
Who was surprised by this financial failure?
Why did the government bail out this dysfunctional company?

I still love my first Chevy. I don’t plan to buy another, ever.

The Branding Lesson
Branding has very little to do with your marketing and advertising.
Branding is the experience that you create for your customers and prospects.
Create a strong enough brand and it sticks – sometimes to your regret.

Add your comments below

What good or bad expereiences have you had that BRANDED you?

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Thursday, August 15, 2013

How to Promote Your Programs, Events, and Product Launches on LinkedIn

How to Promote Your Programs, Events, and Product Launches on LinkedIn

Promote Events on Linkedin

If you sell to business or individuals who work (or want to work) in business then you should promote your business on LinkedIn.
How do you do that?

Here are five legitimate ways to promote on LinkedIn:

Status Update

The easiest way to promote on LinkedIn is to post a notice in your status update. That automatically displays on your portfolio page and goes out to everyone that is connected to you. You can include a link to a webpage in that update.

Direct message

Whether you are connected to 100 or 1,000 people on LinkedIn you can always send direct messages to them. Don’t send a mass blast. It’s best to send to them one-at-a-time so it appears more personal. This is time consuming (cut and paste) but it can be worthwhile.

LinkedIn Groups

Post your promotion in the groups to which you belong. Depending on the group rules you might be able to post in the Discussion area. Worst case – you can always post in the Promotions area of the Group.

Your Own LinkedIn Group

If you have established your own group – you made the rules. You most likely wrote those rules to include your own announcements – so go ahead and post. If you haven’t created your own group then you might consider doing that because it’s free.


LinkedIn has its own banner advertisement program. You can target the audience by several factors including geography, industry and job title. You only pay per click and it can be cost effective. Of the five options this is the only one that might cost you.

PS: This is my Linkedin Profile George Torok Power Marketing

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