TypewriterFrom The Urbach Letter – June 2003

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Marketing WizardMarketing Magic
What can you do to dramatically increase your sales in this tough economy? Is there one magical marketing strategy that'll finally blow the lid off?
Unfortunately, there is no single miracle marketing strategy that'll make you super-successful. There is no one thing you can do to skyrocket your sales. If there was, it'd be pretty hard to keep it a secret… and pretty soon everybody in your industry or profession would be doing that one thing. But there's good news: there are lots of marketing approaches virtually guaranteed to increase your sales, although you can't just do one or two of them and expect big results. The most successful people I know have a whole "toolbox" full of business-building strategies… and they use every one of them. However, most others have a very limited perspective on marketing and promotion. For many, "marketing" means not much more than running an ad now and then. Advertising is an important part of the "marketing mix" but it's really a small component of a much larger "machine."

You could ask 20 experts for their definition of marketing, and get 20 wildly different responses. Here's my definition:

Marketing is EVERYTHING You Do to Get the "Cash Register" to Ring!

It starts with your "product." I don't mean just the material object you sell or the service you provide, but the entire Gestalt (everything taken as a whole) of your business: the appearance and physical aspects of your store or office, your location, your staff, your inventory, your service, your policies, and so on. Every one of these elements will positively or negatively affect the marketing that you do. It almost goes without saying that you must have an excellent "product." No amount of brilliant marketing will make up for a lousy core business operation. Actually, promoting heavily under this condition is very dangerous. You'll just accelerate the rate people in your community find out you're no good!

But assuming you're running a tight ship, your biggest challenge is to get people in the door (literally or figuratively). But how?

Here's a sample listing of the things you can do:
  • Develop a customer referral program

  • Hold or sponsor promotional events

  • Do marketing joint ventures with other businesses

  • Get "free" publicity through public relations campaigns

  • Use direct mail

  • Market on the web

  • Start a frequent-buyer program

  • Do database marketing

  • Turn employees into "ambassadors" for your business

  • Support charitable events

  • Conduct seminars and/or give community talks

While it's unlikely that doing any single one of these things will, by itself, take you where you want to go, each may make a contribution to your bottom line. However, major synergies will occur when you concurrently work on multiple strategies. Your key success factor will be developing a "marketing mindset" and aggressively exploiting every promotional opportunity. In future articles, I'll cover these (and more) in detail.

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