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Archive | December, 2018

20 Head-Turning Ways to Grow Your Brand

HubSpot has compiled the 10 most remarkable marketing campaigns EVER. And while the article is sure to entertain, it’s also an excellent resource to get ideas for your own marketing campaigns.

20 Head-Turning Ways to Grow Your Brand

For example, Burger King’s Whopper Sacrifice asked Facebook users to unfriend 10 people to get a free Whopper. It only lasted 10 days before Facebook shut them down, but in those 10 days Burger King gave away 20,000 Whoppers, stood social media on its head and received a ton of free publicity and word of mouth advertising. The take-away? Use a really, really simple call to action, and don’t be afraid to push the envelope.

Also be sure to read how one company received 7 million website hits by placing ads in the help wanted classifieds.

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34027/The-Top-10-Most-Remarkable-Marketing-Campaigns-EVER-Slideshow.aspx

No time to read about the 10 most remarkable campaigns? Here are the takeaways from each – you might want to print these out and keep them handy:

1. Use a really, really, really simple call-to-action.

2. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope.

3. Find the niche audience that is super passionate about your product or mission, and explore ways to intrigue, inspire, and deeply entertain them.

4. Invest in really good storytelling.

5. Been doing the same thing for 23 years? Surprise the hell out of everyone by not doing it. At least once.

6. Even high-profile, high-budget “do good” programs don’t do much good if they’re not authentic and brand-relevant. Learn from Pepsi’s mistakes.

7. Give your audience opportunities to “star” in your marketing.

8. Create an annual tradition (that gets better every year!).

9. Make it wicked easy to participate, and just as easy to “share.”

10. Got a spokesperson for your brand? Make sure he/she appeals to and entertains both genders, and provide opportunities for your audience to engage with him/her both on and offline.

11. Short, frequent, episodic, and highly share worthy content will be shared more than the usual marketing fodder.

12. Experiment with non-traditional marketing channels.

13. Remember that no brand is too small to make a giant, remarkable splash.

14. Explore new ways to embrace the very thing (technology, competition, etc.) that’s disrupting your business model.

15. Invest in, cultivate, and nurture deep, direct relationships with your fans/loyal customers/promoters. One day soon, that will really come in handy.

16. Focus on the one thing that makes you undeniably different from all your competitors. Double down on that one thing.

17. Forget the cow path. Blaze your own trail.

18. TELL GREAT STORIES! (Sound familiar?)

19. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be remarkable.

20. If the president of the U.S. can master this social media stuff, so can you.

How to Price Your Product to Max Profits

You’ve created a great product and now you’re putting together your sales page. You’ve got the attention grabbing headline, the benefit laden lead-in, lots of bullet points and a few testimonials, too.

How to Price Your Product to Max Profits

Oh-oh… How do you tell them the price? WHEN do you tell them? Should you try to hide it inside the text? Should you place it up top? Should you not discuss price at all until they click the add to cart button and get to the next page?

Well, it depends. It depends on the value vs. price, on how targeted your prospects are, on the price point itself, on how the prospect got to your page, etc.

I’ll give you some helpful tips that will make the process easier for you.

1. Stop being scared to discuss your price. Pricing can be just as important to communicate in your marketing as the features and benefits. Instead of thinking of price as something to hide from your prospect, consider thinking of it as something to cover for the customer’s benefit. Don’t sell, explain by providing them with a simple explanation of your pricing. If you offer more than one price option, then offer materials that help your prospect make the right decision.

2. Know your timing. There are 2 times in the sales process when pricing is very important to the prospect. First, in the beginning as they are determining if they can afford you. The second time is of course right before they make a decision. This is the time they are weighing the cost vs. benefit of buying.

3. If they determine at the beginning that they cannot afford you, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. By weeding out those who are out of your price point range, you can focus exclusively on those who are. Also, if you have a low price point such as $7 or $27, letting the prospect know the price up front immediately puts them at ease and their defenses tend to drop dramatically.

4. When it comes time for them to make a decision, contrast the price with the value. If you can show them that the value far, far outweighs the price, you’ve made the sale. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that simply placing a high price tag on product and then ‘discounting’ it is enough. You’ve got to show the actual value the customer will reap in their life. Show exactly how they will benefit and what they can expect to get out of the deal.

5. Answer their questions. They’ll want to know exactly what they’re getting and how they’re getting it. How many videos? How long are they? How many pages? Is it mailed to them? Do they download it? They also want to know if you stand behind your product. Is there a guarantee? A strong one or a weak one? And they’ll want to know if they can trust you. Who are you? What are your credentials or experience? Answering these questions will alleviate many of their fears.

6. Reassure them. “Congratulations, you made an excellent choice! You are so smart! And you got in at a lower price than we’ll ever offer again, you’re a genius!” Okay, so I’m laying it on a little thick there, but the point is to reaffirm that they are doing the right thing. Even stronger than telling them they’re smart is to SHOW them they are by including lots of testimonials and endorsements.

List companies or people who have purchased from you. Show customer case studies. Use social media comments about your product. Interlace testimonials throughout your entire sales copy and selling process, all the way from the beginning through to the download page.

7. Reaffirm they got a great deal. You might think that once the sale is made, pricing no longer matters. And it’s true that to many customers it doesn’t. But some customers will be telling themselves that they can always change their minds and get a refund. This is why you want to continue reaffirming what a great decision they made by sending them further case studies and testimonials, as well as tips on how to get the most out of your product.

Most important, deliver the goods so your customer experience the benefits of your product for themselves.

8. One more tip, and this is a BIG one: Send out a series of emails that entices them to get into and start using the product itself. For example: “I hope you’re loving Super Profit product. Did you notice on page 42 that I reveal a technique for generating $5 a second using nothing more than cute cat photos?”

You’ll notice this is very much like a teaser you might include in the sales letter, and it has one of two effects. It either entices the customer to use your product and thus to be happy with their purchase. Or if the customer is too busy to open and consume your product, it reminds them that they purchased a goldmine and reaffirms to them that they made the right decision.

How To Read Your Customers’ Minds and Create a Product that’s Guaranteed to Sell

Common advice to new marketers is to find a need and fill it. Better advice is to find a want and fill that, since people more readily spend money on things they want than they do on things they need. After all, no one NEEDS an expensive car. Even the cheapest of automobiles will get them where they want to go – yet people WANT the high end cars and they pay dearly for them.

How To Read Your Customers' Minds and Create a Product that's Guaranteed to Sell

So we know to find needs and wants and to fill them. And we’ve all been told to do surveys or haunt forums to find out what these needs and wants are. It’s very basic advice and if you combine it with some trial and error, it will usually get the job done, at least to a certain degree.

But what if you want a blockbuster smash-it-out-of-the-park product? Something that you can perhaps retire on?

Then you’re going to have to upgrade your methods of product research and product creation. In fact, what you’ll need to do is focus on something called Customer Development, and according to Steve Blank, it goes like this:

1. Understand your customers’ problems and needs

2. Prove that you have a repeatable sales model (for long term sales and income)

3. Create and drive end user demand (also known as marketing)

4. Building – that is, transition from learning what your customers want to executing on what you’ve learned.

It’s that first step – Understanding your customer’s problems and needs – that sets the stage for the other 3 steps and your eventual long term success. And it’s also the step most people get wrong.

You probably already have a vision for a new product. You’ve looked at needs and wants, and you’ve got a solution you want to offer customers. The unseasoned marketer will now create the product and offer it to customers, something you might call the sink or swim method. But since 9 out of 10 products sink using this method, I’m going to suggest you do the following instead:

1. Go talk to the people who you believe are potential users for your product. Your goal is to see if there is a direct match between your product vision and what people want.

2. If you’re finding out there isn’t a match, you make one of two changes. Either you change your product to what these particular customers do want, or you find a different segment of the market that does want what you are planning to offer.

3. Your goal is to understand the problem your product is addressing. Ask people how they handle this problem now and if they perceive it as being an important issue for them. Forget yes and no type questions. Instead, ask open ended questions such as:

“If you could change anything about the way you deal with this problem, what would it be?”

“How do you currently solve this problem?”

“Can you describe the problem in your own words?”

“Have you tried other solutions? What happened?”

“What do you wish you could do to solve this problem?”

“Tell me about the last time you had this problem.”

“How much does this problem cost you?”

NOTE: Don’t ask hypothetical questions because they won’t be relevant or helpful. Don’t ask for features, don’t try to convince or sell and don’t try to solve their problem. For example, don’t ask:

“Do you like this idea?”
“Would you buy this?”
“How much would you pay for this?”

4. Adjust accordingly. You might uncover an even larger, more pressing problem that you can solve for these customers. Don’t be afraid to discard a good idea for a great idea. In other words, don’t chase after crumbs if turning in another direction will provide a feast.

5. Build, Measure and Learn, but not necessarily in that order. Figure out what you need to learn. For example, will people use your XYZ service if it’s free. Then figure out how to measure that. In this case, you can track sign-ups for a beta service you will be introducing. Then you decide what you need to build. And in this case, all you need is a landing page to sign people up, with either a description or a video showing what your service will do.

6. Notice you can do all of this without actually creating your product or service first. Odds are you’re familiar with Dropbox. When Dropbox was first presented to the public, it was simply an idea presented in a video. It wasn’t working, and in fact there wasn’t even a prototype yet. But the interest received from potential customers was massive – enough to tell Drew Houston that he should indeed go ahead and build Dropbox. Good thing he did – he’s a rich man today. To see how he did it, go here: http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/19/dropbox-minimal-viable-product/

7. If you went to that page, you noticed that Dropbox was started as a Minimal Viable Product. That is, the absolute minimum was done on the product itself to assess the market. No doubt you’ve heard that the best way to test a product is to put up a squeeze page or sales page offering the product and see how many people try to sign up for it. Then on the next page you reveal that it isn’t available yet, but you will let them know when it is. This might seem like cheating, and it is. What you’re cheating is failure by assuring yourself that you do indeed have a product idea that will sell before you ever build it.

A Minimal Viable Product isn’t always about creating a minimal product, but it is about learning what you need to know to make your product successful. It might be a working prototype, a mock-up or a video that simulates your future product. An MVP is what you get in front of your customers to find out if they will indeed use it (if it’s free) or buy it.

Bottom line, if you want to know exactly what your customers want, you’ve got to do some digging. You’ve got to first ask them what needs fixing, what’s important to them, and how they would like it solved. Then you present them with the solution – either the actual product or an MVP – and you gauge their reaction and learn all you can in the process.

Who are your best prospects in the early stages of your product development? Those are the customers we call “earlyvangelists.” According to Steve Blank, they will have some or all of these characteristics:

– They have a problem
– They are aware of having this problem
– They have been actively searching for a solution
– They may have already hacked together a solution
– They have or can acquire the funds to buy your solution

Ideally these are the first customers you want to offer your product to. They will take the least amount of selling and will be the first to tell others of your product. Find these people and you have tapped into a goldmine.

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