Category Archives: Progressive Messaging

Pizza Anyone?

Every couple of days Dominos pizza sends me an offer.  The kids love Dominos, and I have often used their on-line service to order a pizza for pick up on my way home.  The Dominos emails are graphically appealing, well written, and they offer specials only for email customers.  I have only one problem with their advertising – they send it to me at 8:30 AM.  I’m not in college anymore, so the last thing I am thinking about at 8:30 AM is pizza.  Honestly, the photo makes me feel a little queasy.  Cheesy, gooey pizza and chicken wings don’t go well with my morning coffee.

The problem Dominos now has is that is their coupon will now be buried in my daily barrage of email.  It possibly will get deleted before the window of opportunity comes along in which I might place an order.  Dominos knows my location because when I signed up for the online service, it asked me my province.  I guess maybe Dominos is just to lazy – or hasn’t thought about the implications of something such as email timing – to segment their data.  Because of that, they are missing a prime opportunity.  Something as simple as a change of the delivery time of that email to 4:00 PM and it is likely that my reaction and redemption rate would dramatically change.   A small detail like email delivery time can be the difference between a big success or a big failure.

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All In

Yesterday I spoke about dividing your marketing materials in to smaller, more relevant and targeted pieces. The first comment I received on that post was typical of what I often hear. “My customer base is too varied to allow me to divide up my marketing materials like you suggest.”

It is tempting to believe that everyone is a prospective customer. It is so tempting to add a little bit of everything to your product offerings so you can appeal to everyone. The problem with this approach is you often appeal to no one in particular. Your message gets watered down. You become another generic business in a sea of generic businesses. I have seen time and again that a wide and varied customer base goes hand in hand with poor sales results and lack of focus. The better a business knows and understands their customer demographics – the more efficient their sales and marketing tend to be.

When you go all in, your attention and effort are focused. Do you have the guts to go all-in for a targeted customer base? Are you all in?

One SIze Fits All

A topic we stress in our sales classes is the importance of aligning your talking points to the prospect’s specific needs and wants. If I am selling Swiss Army Knives, I can make a stronger, more compelling presentation to a prospect if I understand how they will be using the knife and what they hope to accomplish by buying it. Armed with that information, I can offer talking points that align with those goals. The outdoors man may end up with the same knife as the IT consultant but the features and benefits would vary. To the outdoors man I might talk about the stainless steel blades being resistant to harsh conditions. To the IT consultant, who works exclusively indoors, this point is not relevant. Your prospects deserve a presentation tailored to their needs and wants not someone else’s.
Swiss Army Knife
In today’s world of on-demand print, easily created webpages, and electronic information there is no excuse for having just one generic brochure or sales collateral. The smart business owner divides up his marketing material into smaller target presentation pieces to be used at different points in the buying process with specific target markets in mind. “One size fits all” is a thing of the past.

Anticipation is Making Me Wait

The advertising campaign theme song used by Heinz Ketchup has been coming back to me in my office commute over the last couple of weeks.  On the side of the highway I noticed a small construction project.  Because of the location it struck me a little odd, and I had a number of thoughts about what it could be.

The little structure seemed to get a bit bigger each day and on day three I realized that it was a new “Welcome to West Kelowna” sign.  I must admit – as I pass each day I look to see if the sign has been revealed yet.  I am curious as to what this will look like.  It seems like other people are also interested.  Three times now I have seen cars stopped by the side of the road and people heading up the embankment to see what is under the blue tarp covering the sign.  This is where the anticipation comes in and a good example of how it can be an effective marketing tool for your business.

Steve Jobs at Apple uses anticipation to build excitement about new products months before they are ever released.  Anticipation builds as new bits of information are made public.  When done correctly, anticipation does three things:

Anticipation builds buzz and conversation as people start to talk about you and you new release.

Anticipation builds traffic as customers and prospects go to your web site to find out the latest information on what you are doing.

Anticipation builds sales as customers and prospects decide that this is a product/service they must have.  The wait adds to the feeling that you must get the product or services as soon as it is released.  It builds demand.

So next time you are going to release a website, product or service, tease the release to your audience.  Offer sneak peaks and just portions of the features in advance to whet the appetite of your audience.

Two warnings before you try this at home:
Release on time.  Late release could turn all that buzz into negativity in a big hurry.
Don’t over promise or over hype the product.  Save some of the features and benefits as a surprise.  We will cover surprise in a later post… Stay tuned…

Too Much, Too Soon

While working in Newport Beach California, I came across a sports radio show called “The Jungle” hosted by Jim Rome.  I loved the show, and one of the perks to my time in California for business was the opportunity to tune in.  I now have an annual subscription to download the show daily via the internet.  “The Jungle” has a very loyal, almost cult-following base of listeners.  It is funny, relevant, interesting and audience-interactive.  In spite of these great things, the show has trouble getting ratings in new markets.  This limits the number of radio stations that carry the show.  

The reason for this is simple.  The show is built for insiders.  If you tune into the show for the very first time, you would have a tough time following the caller conversations and much of Jim’s jargon.  It is only after you have been listening for a while does the show get really funny.  As you learn the “inside jokes,” as you learn the references to past shows and guests, as you learn the lingo for the call-in listeners, the show becomes hilarious.

The problem is, new listeners don’t get the show right off the bat and are not willing to put in the time so they tune out.

This is not a problem just isolated to this radio show.  I see it almost everyday with different kinds of businesses.  Businesses assume that the customer has as much knowledge as they do.  They assume you understand the industry-specific jargon, acronyms or nuances.  Where this can do some damage is that the prospect might not understand what you are talking about, might never ask for clarification, and will simply “tune out.”

Selling opportunities are squandered because you have gotten too granular with your information too soon.  The Information put out from your organization must correspond to where your prospects are at in the sales cycle.  Too little or too much information at the wrong time can slow down, or worse END, your sales cycle with out the intended result. 

Your prospect in all likelihood is not going to stick around until they “get it.”  They will buy from someone who can give them the needed information at the appropriate time.  If your sales people need help in identifying customer’s buying process and the steps involved OR if you need help identifying what information is appropriate when, give us a call.  This is what we do!

 

Get More By Giving Less

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When I came in to the office this morning the message light was flashing on my phone. The message was from a sales person trying to sell me lead generation (telemarketing) services. The message was really long as he explained all the things he could do for me. The message was so long that it actually started to get funny. Every-time there was a pause and I thought the message was ending, he would just start talking some more. He ended the phone call by informing me he would be following up with an email. I really wondered what more he could have to say and I was surprised it was quite a lot.

The email was a block of text that made me scroll down about five times until I got to the end. In case that was not enough information, he attached 4 pdf files for me to read.

As we talk with sales organizations and interview sales reps, we find that the vast majority of sales people operate this way. They feel the need to pump as much info as possible in the time that they get with their customer. The trouble with this approach is, that you will lose your customer’s interest before you even finish giving your first “product feature.” You’ve put the pedal to the floor before you’ve even gotten a green light.

Initial conversations need to be less about YOU and more about THEM. It takes practice and will power to fight the urge to info dump on your prospect. But you’ll get more in the long run.

The information you deliver needs to start at a high level and gradually get more granular as the buying process progresses. Providing less information up front actually speeds up the sales cycle and will allow you to have a higher closing ratio then you are currently realizing. Contact us at Red Giraffe (250-575-1935) for more information on the benefits of Progressive Messaging.