Unusual Marketing Ideas For Your Business, Part 3

Select Just One Of These Ideas And Use It In The Next 90 Days!PART 3 OF A 3 PART SERIES

Here's an idea that big companies use all the time ...no reason you shouldn't use it in your business, too! A meeting with a marketing executive from almost any Fortune 1000 company sooner or later will touch on the subject of "industry drivers." It's important to understand what "drives" your industry. What are the compelling reasons that make consumers buy your product or service? Why do people decide to remodel their bath rooms and kitchens? Why do people decide to have their carpets cleaned? Why do people replace plumbing or pipes or heating and air conditioning units or electrical wiring? Get the point?

People make buying decisions for particular reasons. What " drives" those decisions? By studying the "drivers", you can leverage them for your business. Look at the pizza industry, where there's plenty of competition. What drives people to buy Pizza Hut over Domino's over Papa John's over Caesar's? You can bet the pizza marketers know! And they use their marketing dollars to play off those drivers. No reason you can't operate similarly. Look at the demographics of your customers. What do they have in common? What are their preferences? You've got to understand your customers, and the psychology that drives their buying decisions, to identify the all-important industry drivers that can result in more business for your business!

This idea requires you to " get physical" with your marketing strategy. The unique quality of this idea will draw more customers to your business. Want to grab a customer's or prospect's attention? Get physical. In other words, use something more than literature to promote your business. A computer software trainer sends a bottle of aspirins to prospects to get them to sign up for his seminars which are designed to "ease the pain" of learning a new software program. A travel agent uses sand to sell vacations. What could you send to your prospects and customers? Think of the benefits of your products and services. Now think of an object to associate with the benefits. Send that object to your customers and prospects!

Here's an idea that suggests you don't do what you think is good for the customer . . . you do what the customer says is good for the customer! US Airways recently formed an employee task force to improve customer service. While the airline receives 50,000 complaints annually, the #1 complaint is late flights. So US Airways decided to get its employees involved in at least reducing the problem of late flights. After studying the issues involved, and implementing the ideas of the task force, US Airways moved to the No. 1 spot for on-time performance in the fourth quarter of 1996; previously the airline was No. 7. Written complaints to the airline have dropped from five a day to 3.5 a day! "We're listening more," explained an airline representative."In the past, we did what we thought was good for the customer." The airline uses customer complaints as a measurement of how well the business is performing. How about your business? What's the #1 complaint you hear from your customers? Could a group of employees help you reduce, if not remove, the problem?

This idea suggests a new way to look at your marketing efforts. Why do businesses lose customers? Here's why:

·        3% Move Away

·        5% Friends lead them elsewhere

·        9% Competitors provide a better offer

·        14% Product Dissatisfaction

·        68% Indifference towards customer by owner/employee

Not much you can do about the 3% of customers who move, or the 5% who are persuaded by friends to shop elsewhere. Interestingly, even though it's the most competitive area, most businesses go to battle over the 9% who switch for a better offer. It's tough to win in that category because a competitor can always offer a better deal. Quality control tries to ensure that 14% of customers remain loyal . . . still a small percentage. But look at the 68%. Do you know any businesses that work hard in the area of keeping customers by showing them that they're cared for? While the 68% is usually ignored by most businesses, overcoming indifference represents the best opportunity for you to build customer loyalty. If you haven't already created a customer retention program, this may be your best opportunity for capturing and keeping more customers.

©Copyright, 1998, John P. Hayes, Ph.D. For more information see my site at Hayes Worldwide.

Profile picture for user John Hayes


That Customer Scares Me

The lady in the photo scares me, especially now that I know her thoughts. She looks like she is planning something devious for my store. Disgruntled postal worker??