Marketing: When All You Need Is a Cardboard Sign

September 22, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

While the good will of American taxpayers have spared Wall Street, the banks and automotive companies, unfortunately there are…

No “Bail Outs” for the Entrepreneur

When times were better you could make a relatively good living even with an average product or service, minimal sales and some marketing. Consumers spent more freely. Now with America’s unemployment rate and ebbing demand we all have to work a lot smarter to build value, communicate better and earn the business.

I’ve noticed that some business people have fallen into kind of a “comfort-zone” trap. There are those just not sure how to break out or even know whom to trust to help them market and sell their products and services. Others, I’m guessing are waiting for the economy to turn around, or Superman or a “bailout.” Don’t hold your breath.

Today’s More Cautious Prospects

A client in Tampa lost his key salesperson after housing took a dive. According to the owner, “She was an awesome sales ace when people were standing in line to buy a home. In good times she had developed her professional “order taking” skills. However, without actual sales skills to convert the fewer more cautious prospects, when foot traffic slowed, so went her sales production.”

When All You Need is a Cardboard Sign

I was talking with a brilliant attorney who told me that, “For 30 years the business did pretty well.” However he admitted that, “Even with sour economic times, I just kept doing the same things in the same ways.”

Clients slowly dripped away and now he finally has come to the realization that if his business is going to grow he must do something to market himself. Marketing is not his area of expertise so he is now reaching out for business counsel.

You see if you are the only toilet paper factory in town all you need is a cardboard sign and people will find you. However, for the rest of us who want to succeed in business, especially in today’s competitive economy, the reality is that you are going to have to market and sell better than before. The good news is that to be effective in marketing it’s…

Not a Complete Secret

I hear some business people saying, “Yeah, but I am marketing! And, still business is hit and miss. I have a flashy Internet website, a big clear sign, a colorful poster, a glossy brochure, a shiny postcard, and a two-sided business card. In addition, I do the social media, a bit of PR and place ads, I go to trade shows, networking meetings… so what am I missing?”

All things just mentioned are important tactical marketing methods and tools. You must have them to compete. However, when these common tactical tools don’t produce results as expected, it’s time to dig deeper.

There’s a key that can unlock opportunity. While it’s not widely known-it’s not a complete secret. When it comes to letting the world know about you, your products and services don’t put the cart before the horse. In a nutshell…

Marketing Strategy First… Tactical Marketing and Selling Tools Second

Before you build or update your tactical marketing tools such as websites, web-video, social media, PR, presentations, brochures, sales training, sales scripts, TV/Radio or print ads, etc., here are…

5 Tips to Build or Refine Your Marketing Strategy

  1. Make sure all your messaging is unified and consistent. Then be sure all of your marketing does these four things well: 1.) Interrupt, 2.) Engage, 3.) Inform, and 4.) Make a low risk offer. More so…
  2. Avoid meaningless slogans, platitudes, tired and boring language. Your communication can inadvertently fuel frustration and skepticism when you sound or appear like every other business out there. Inconsistent messaging confuses prospects.
  3. Verify your target market. We all have blind spots. Don’t make “assumptions” about your audiences needs. Create and document all your marketing materials and sales activities around the conversation already going on in your prospect’s mind.
  4. Build an “Air-Tight” value proposition to increase real and perceived worth. Think of you, and your business as being on trial. Prospects are the judge and jury. Build your case so strong they conclude, “There is no other option. You are the only choice.”
  5. Educate your audience to make informed buying decisions. Give them information that puts them in control of the buying process. Remember, few people want to be pressured or sold. They’d rather make the decision to buy.

Bottom-line, if you choose to run a profitable business-just being in business is not enough. You have to run a better company. Learn to communicate value and do it in a way that separates you from competitors.

Remember, knowing what to do and actually doing it is what separates you from the pack. Do that by developing or refining your marketing strategy first-tactical tools second.

Daron Powers; Sales and marketing expert for business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals who want to fill their business pipeline with more qualified prospects and are actively seeking step-by-step guidance to refine or put together a crisp and powerful marketing strategy plus compelling content that supercharges websites, presentations, web-video, brochures, flyers, social media, print, radio/TV, print ads, scripts, sales letters, etc. Daron Powers; Speaker and Author. In addition to speaking across America for over 20 years for a variety of Fortune 500, mid and small sized companies on topics of leadership, the customer experience, sales and marketing. He is author of the marketing book, workbook and recorded a 5-hour audio program titled; Sales in a Challenging Real Estate Market. Visit:

Visit: to download The 401 Marketing Report — How to Avoid Five Common Misconceptions that Drain Your Marketing Time and Money. This in depth 17-page special report highlights how to reach you target audience, How to break through the promotional noise and clutter, How to bridge the consumer confidence gap, How to define your competitive edge and more.

(c) Copyright – Daron Powers. All Rights Reserved Worldwide

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