June 3, 2003 Volume 2 Issue 49
Go ahead ... have a Purple Cow!
Some of the thinking from Seth Godin is so outrageously impractical, I’ve tended to ignore him.
Purple Cow is a book that, for a change, says something useful. The base is cows can be “interesting”, particularly in an “interesting setting”, yet, after a while they become boring. So goes it for most products and many services. They are run of the mill. Copy cat. Predictable. Mainstream ... and boring. Not a Purple Cow.
The tag line for the book is “Transform your business by being remarkable”. Which is easier said than done ... still, it fits perfectly into the Purple Cow conclusion that much of what we bring to the marketplace is just not interesting. Not interesting to most - and more importantly - not interesting to those who CAN buy what you sell.
An eon ago, in a class lead by direct mail expert Ed Mayer, I learned the word “interesting”. Ed taught direct mail is not short, direct mail is not long ... direct mail is “interesting”. Or it is not. Period!
This thought has become a mainstay of how I think about audiences. People like you. Is it interesting to you? What can I do to make the message interesting to you? Godin says “100 years of marketing thought are gone” ... which is total nonsense. Changed, yes. Still, “interesting” is the key word. Change is happening at a pace unforeseen a score, or even a dozen, years ago. Yet, marketing is in a fast evolution stage. Not dead. “Interesting” is still the word.
“Yes”, the much of the old stuff is not working. The television networks have been losing market share for decades - they are not gone, nor will they be in your lifetime. Newspapers have been losing readership since TV burst on the scene - and still, they hang in there - several with spectacular growth. Radio today is not the same radio as your grandparents heard - yet, today, there is more radio than ever. And it is growing with satellites and over the Internet.
Godin says “The world has changed. There are far more choices, but there is less and less time to sort them out.” True. Well, there is the same amount of time - yet, there are so many more options, each gets less think time. Meaning, your message, no matter your marketplace, is less likely to land in a receiving mind. So, you must repeat-repeat-repeat your message.
Part of what Purple Cow says is this ...
The business marketplace is just as needy as ever. Sure, they may not know it. Or have chosen to skip-over, ignore, look-away, pretend they’re happy where they are ... all sorts of “excuses”. Not reasons - excuses. I’m busy. I don’t have the budget. I’m short staffed. The boss says ... each an excuse.
Part of the Purple Cow answer is to create remarkable products. Share the news of this new something with those who are most likely to buy in early. Use a little of the “fear of what you’ll miss” approach - and do it rapidly. Your message must be fast, quick, to the point ... a short, vs. long, cycle.
I add to this your news must be thorough - no hiding the details. Oh, and benefits must rise to the top. Be obvious. A new feature is not what you’re offering ... it is the new benefit you gain from the feature. Talk benefits.
None of these ideas (Godin or mine) are really new. Still, they are current - a today thing. And it is important to know repetition builds reputation. Repeat isn’t new, either. Coca Cola, with their image / awareness / position brand approach has been doing just that for over a century. You must, too. Why? Because, there isn’t more available time - there are more choices. Your audience is drowning in choice. Repetition is mandatory - you don’t have a choice!
There are several different advertising campaigns that say something along the line “Not taking a risk is your biggest risk”. Purple Cow repeats this thought. And I will to. If ‘risk’ is not your favorite word - fine, skip it. The message is do something. Make an effort. Try your amazing new and different way. Safe is a four-letter word.
“Yes”, there will be people out there who do not like you because you are asking them to think differently. Because they are afraid of change. So what? There are people out there now who don’t like you. They are not your customers. What this says is pick the right people who are most likely to need, and thus buy, what you sell ... and talk to them. Dah!
Several phrases from Godin; “Doing nothing is not as good as doing something great. Marketing just to keep busy is worse than nothing at all. Almost without exception, compromises are worse than doing nothing. You can’t make people listen. But you can figure out who’s likely to be listening when you talk, and then invent the right combination to overwhelm them with the rightness of your offer.”
I agree with all. Vanilla is a compromise. Boring. Un-interesting. Vanilla is not extreme in any way. It certainly is not a Purple Cow.
Avoid vanilla. Aim for chocolate swirl with marshmallows, nuts, and broken Oreo cookies, topped with M&M’s and sprinkled with raisins. Get exciting!
13 Platinum Ideas on Working With Your Clients
Every day old relationships break up.
Every day new relationships begin.
How can you build your business relationships - so they grow and mature and evolve upwards - and not "out"? That is, how can you keep the clients you have - and not . . .
For the rest of the “working with” story, "click" www.rayjutkins.com/baker/baker23.htm.
With the name of Ray, this guy must be AOK.
Still, frequently, I find myself disagreeing with Ray Schultz of DM News. This time I’m glad he reported on the Direct Marketing tool of Direct Mail. Several interesting, and somewhat disturbing stats. Read, absorb, and decide what you’ll do to make YOUR Direct Mail work for you.
Forget all those delusions you may have had about how Americans love their junk mail.
A new survey from Vertis shows that only 3% of all consumers ranked direct mail as the medium most likely to influence their buying decisions in 2002. For the second year in a row, mail was tied with radio for the bottom slot.
At 4%, the Internet fared only slightly better. Television and advertising inserts were tied for first with 22% each.
That's not the only gloomy news for direct mailers. Only 6% of all consumers say they are likely to turn to mail first to help with their buying decisions -- the same percentage as in surveys in 1998 and 2000.
And the number of consumers who read direct mail has fallen from 76% in 2000 to 73%.
When asked in December 2002 if they had read any direct mail in the past seven days, 55% said they had. This was four points lower than the spring of 2001 and four points higher than the 51% recorded for the fall of that year.
Only 10% said they read all the advertising mail available to them, and 38% indicated they occasionally read it (compared with 42% in 2001.) The percentage of those who never read it jumped from 23% in 2001 to 27%.
Readership of mail remained the same or went down in almost all product categories in 2002. Book/music clubs increased their readership to 43% in 2002, compared with 38% the year before.
But magazine and newspaper publishing declined by four points to 38%, and entertainment fell from 50% to 46%. Financial services dropped by 2% to 34%.
In contrast, retail direct mail held steady at 70% and charitable fund-raising maintained at 55%. Automotive saw a 1% gain to 36%.
Just what makes people open direct mail?
A special offer or discount was favored by 43%, up from 34% in 2001. Timing was rated as most important by 68%, compared with 58% the year before.
Dated material was cited by 24% in 2001 and by 27% in 2002.
The survey also shows that upscale consumers are getting more thrifty.
Forty-six percent of those with household incomes of $75,000 or more, said that a special offer or discount will motivate them to open a direct mail package. In 2001, that percentage was 26%.
And half indicated they will respond to an interesting-looking package, up from 43% in 2001.
Of those surveyed 59% said they would open it if their name was on the front of the envelope. But a mere 30% said they would be influenced by a free token or gift inside, and 27% said they would peek inside if they thought there was dated material.
The survey of 3,000 adults was conducted by telephone by Marshall Marketing and Communication, Pittsburgh.
Visit www.DMNews.com for more from this fine DM publication.
"It IS What's Next!"
It's become known as "the story".
I've shared it with a number of health care organizations, a database marketing business, a direct marketing firm, a publishing organization, a DM association - and several others. And I'm ready to bring it to your group. (Visit It IS What's Next!)
When you have a need for a 40-60 minute program, I'll give you this different, interesting, meaningful, warm and true action presentation. If you want a half-day interactive seminar, that can happen, too. For your club. Your company. Your organization. Your association. Your school or University. Any group you have. At any place. At any time. For any reason.
It IS What’s Next! is available to you as a Keynote Address. As a special program. As an opening or closing presentation. As a different / unique session.
... another Idea
New business friend Gerry Sacks of Houston, Texas sent me here. It turns out this leading information resource from the financial world offers a collection of marketing & sales ideas. Still, no matter your business, you will find good material here. Offered by 80+ experts (including me!) ... visit ProducersWEB.com
Except for the air conditioning company with the name “Carrier”, that word does not imply good things.
Most often the word is used in medicine ... and means someone is “carrying” a disease. Frequently a bad thing, that is passed along to others.
Yet, even with this not so good history, Anonymous has created a truly wonderful meaning for the word;
“A smile is contagious: be a carrier.”
That thought “feels” good.
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
A FREE Audio Tape for YOU!
Because Ray Speaks ... it is expected he'll have audio and video tapes.
Why? To share with speakers bureaus, meeting planners and others interested in what he may have to say. So "yes", there is an audio tape. And he'll be happy to send you a copy. FREE. No strings attached.
The tape is a selection from several speaking gigs. A few case histories, some "how to..." ideas. And such. About an hour's worth of chatter ... some of it actually very entertaining!
If you'd like you very own copy, send an E-mail to ...
Your tape will be on the way to you within the day.
Oh, when you have a need for a speaker, and feel a demo video tape could be valuable to you, just ask for a copy. Not much use for video these days - with the Web - still, we'll be happy to forward one to you.
Speaking of Speaking
Almost forever ago I met Lilly Walters.
She reminds me it was in South Africa. If YOU are interested in ways to enhance your speaking skills, and how to be a terrific presenter at your next meeting ... or want to look at the world of paid professional speaking - Lilly Walters can help.
She is the author of four best selling books on the subject. And Lilly has an interesting website, too: http://www.motivational-keynote-speakers.com/.
Drop in and visit. And tell Lilly "Ray sent me".
Magic Marketing Minutes
How To Lead Your Prospect To Become Your Customer
Here are a dozen ways to turn prospects into customers:
1. Tell me exactly what you want me to do. Be clear what action it is you want your prospect to take.
2. Make it easy for me to respond to your offer. Allow your prospects to respond by phone, mail or fax. By walking into your store.
3. Make me an offer I can't refuse. No matter what your business your audience is looking for a good deal. Make them a good offer.
4. Use bold graphics. Show the products; show the offer. Bold graphics make the copy more readable, more understandable and more interesting.
5. Use clear, crisp, concise and positive copy. Make certain your audience knows exactly what you want them to do.
6. Get me involved -- use action devices. Stickers. Peel-offs. Scratch'n'sniff. Perforations, Die-cuts. Tokens. Stamps. Folds. Puzzles. Rub-offs. Anything to get me involved.
7. Give me room to write. Some people are messy. Make sure the response device is big enough for your audience to fill it out clearly.
8. Include your company name, logo, address, telephone, fax -- everything about you on every piece in your Direct Mail. So I can find you when I want you.
9. Give me a guarantee. Obviously, I expect a product guarantee. In addition I want a personal satisfaction guarantee. Give it to me.
10. Have a limited time offer. The opportunity you offer will go away by "X" date unless I respond, now.
11. Include 2 or more response devices, order cards, coupons, applications. Allow me to respond today and then again tomorrow.
and, 12. Always ask for the order! Yes, flat out ask for the order! Let your prospect know you want them to become your customer.
A dozen ways to
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.