How to Get More Customers
This is a must-see video for any business owner who’s asked the question how to get more customers. When you realize the million-dollar question is, “How do I make more money in my business?”
Categories: How to get more customers, Marketing Asset Management, Marketing Customers, Marketing Strategy consulting, Small Business Marketing Strategies Tags: Business Marketing Strategy, How to get more customers, Increase sales, Marketing Strategy consulting, small business marketing, small business marketing ideas, small business marketng tips
If your company uses testimonials in your marketing materials,
you need to be aware of the new FTC guidelines concerning endorsements
Here is the announcement http://ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm
The guidelines were just released and a lot of us in the marketing
community are going through our materials and web sites to be
sure we meet the new guidelines. If you use testimonials, celebrity
or any type of actual or implied first, second or third-party endorsements,
you will be affected.
I’m a marketer, not a lawyer so if you want a real legal opinion, on your copy
I’m afraid you needto pay for it. If you belong to an industry or trade association,
the legal counsel may be able to help you.
If you want a marketer’s opinion or need some powerful marketing
that generates results, then give me a shout.
The guidelines go into effect December 1, 2009. Some people have asked me
what I think about them. Well, what I think doesn’t really matter except for the
fact that this is the Federal Government & they don’t really get a big kick out of
companies ignoring their rules. So… I think it’s a good idea to be safe and
PS – Here’s a copy of the press release:
FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
Changes Affect Testimonial Advertisements, Bloggers, Celebrity Endorsements
The Federal Trade Commission today announced that it has approved final revisions to the guidance it gives to advertisers on how to keep their endorsement and testimonial ads in line with the FTC Act.
The notice incorporates several changes to the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which address endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers. The Guides were last updated in 1980.
Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides – which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical” – the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor.
The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.
Celebrity endorsers also are addressed in the revised Guides. While the 1980 Guides did not explicitly state that endorsers as well as advertisers could be liable under the FTC Act for statements they make in an endorsement, the revised Guides reflect Commission case law and clearly state that both advertisers and endorsers may be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement – or for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers. The revised Guides also make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.
The Guides are administrative interpretations of the law intended to help advertisers comply with the Federal Trade Commission Act; they are not binding law themselves. In any law enforcement action challenging the allegedly deceptive use of testimonials or endorsements, the Commission would have the burden of proving that the challenged conduct violates the FTC Act.
The Commission vote approving issuance of the Federal Register notice detailing the changes was 4-0. The notice will be published in the Federal Register shortly, and is available now on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release. Copies also are available from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,700 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.
Categories: Government Advertising Regulations Tags: ftc advertising guidelines, ftc advertising regulations, ftc guidelines on advertising, Government Advertising Guidelines, How to Write Advertising, internet advertising guidelines, local advertising ideas, small business marketing, small business marketng tips
Small business marketing tip - Get rid of problem employees.
One of the things that never ceases to surprise me is the number of small businesses owners who allow their growth to be limited, even determined by their employees. Small business marketing So many of them keep people around who don’t do their work, have rotten attitudes, destroy office morale or drive away clients.
I remember an employee of a client who told me that their clients either couldn’t afford or didn’t need a product we wanted to promote! When I asked how she knew the financial situation of 1,500 clients, she was unable to answer the question. I wrote a sales letter promoting this product and a large number of clients called in and bought it. Still, she won’t sell it.
I realize immediate termination is not always an option and the issues surrounding termination and unemployment are complex. However, if an employee is hurting your business, you really need to make plans to change their behavior. If that doesn’t work make plans to terminate and replace them. Doing so is a favor to you, your customers and the emplo0yee. If a person has a bad attitude or no motivation, the odds are that you will never change them.
Many talk about how indispensable certain employees are. When I hear that I remember a saying my dad told me, “The graveyards are full of indispensable people.” If you have allowed an employee to become “indispensable,” think about taking action to make sure they aren’t and that you will survive and thrive without them.
David Oglivy is an advertising legend. I consider his book “Oglivy on Advertising” to be one of the most important in my library. There are a lot of people in the advertising and marketing business that consider what he says about “Creative Advertising” to be heresy. I happen to agree with him.
Since I serve small businesses, I agree with his philosophy that ads should be direct response and generate a ROI and sales. Look at it this way, if your business was close to failing and you had two months to turn things around, would you try to be creative and build your brand or would you want your ad to generate immediate sales? Why wait for a creative brand-building campaign when you can have a creative brand-building campaign that makes you money today?
I frequently walk into stores to introduce myself and my services to the owner. Some people cringe at cold calls but I look at it as a chance to get out into the real world to talk to business owners. You can’t really get the full effect on a phone call.
I’ve got to say I am frequently blown away at the condition of many of the stores. The number that are absolutely filthy, dark, dreary and poorly organized is amazing. I’ve seen these stores in all types of areas so they aren’t limited to certain types of neighborhoods. There is not a single store I’ve entered that’s in this type of condition where the owner says business is doing well.
What got me thinking about this was a local florist I called on that was not only dirty but was actually quite dark and dreary with garbage laying on the floor, display cases with windows so dirty it was hard to see the flowers and a display of candles that were so dusty and dirty that they had zero chance of being picked up, let alone being sold.
I realize that we are all products of our environments and “clean” can be a relative term but when you are running a retail business, the reality is that you will turn away large numbers of potential clients if you don’t take the time to get your store in order. Large retailers spend a fortune on merchandising and store layout and often hire talented designers to lay things out.
Why do so many local companies totally miss the boat? I don’t know if it’s lack of knowledge, a lack of ambition, if they are lazy or just sloppy. Either way, the lesson is that if your store looks like a garbage dump, you will attract shoppers used to shopping at dumps.
A Marketing Mindset
- Marketing pros have marketing mindset. They realize they are in the advertising, marketing, lead development and prospecting business. They realize they are not in the business that their peers and competitors are in. Their business is the business of marketing their product or services.
- With a marketing mindset, marketing is your top priority. Set aside a certain amount of time every day to attend to marketing. Make it an essential daily task. If you do just one marketing task every day, by the end of the year, that will add up to a couple hundred tasks by the end of the year! Even something as simple as a phone call to a prospect, a fax or a letter to a customer can do wonders for your business.
- Create a marketing system. Focus on the 3 ways to improve sales: Increase the number of first-time customers, increase the dollar value of each purchase transaction and increase the number of times each customer buys from you.
- Increase first-time customers. Focus your efforts on those most likely to buy your product or service. This may seem obvious but many businesses waste vast amounts of money marketing to masses of unqualified prospects. Profile your customer and find others like them using targeted lists or media. Market to those who are ready, willing and able to purchase from you. Build a base of first time customers with outstanding products and service and then focus on marketing to them.
- Focus on ways to increase the value of each transaction. You can add value by bundling products, like the fast food industry does with value meals. Sell the benefits of upgrading a purchase. Focus on benefits such as greater convenience, time or money savings, longer lasting products, or the extra comfort or security that an upgraded package offers. Sell the added value received by purchasing a “deluxe” package. ALWAYS remember to ask for the sales and make recommendations to your customers.
- Market to your existing customers. Once you get a customer, continue to market to them. This is the most under-utilized and one of the most effective marketing tactics. When was the last time a restaurant owner or retailer asked you for your address? How can they get you to return if they don’t know who you are?Send letters, coupons and special offers. Send them thank you notes and birthday cards (you don’t need their birthday, just the birth month). Ask them for referrals and reward them for giving them to you. Start a preferred customer club or hold a special party for your customers.
Be sure to keep your list of customers up-to-date.Use each customer contact as an opportunity to learn more about them, their likes and dislikes. Ask what you can do to improve your products or services. If your customers are businesses, give them leads and referrals and ask that they do the same for you. The bottom line is to build a long-term relationship with your customers and keep them coming back.
- Test and measure the results of your marketing. It’s an investment that, like any other investment, should deliver a positive return. If not, either improve it or do something else. No sense in throwing away your hard-earned profits.
For more exciting ideas on exploding your business, without spending more money on advertising, learn how to get a marketing mindset in your business, contact Paul Flood Marketing for a Marketing Opportunity Analysis to uncover the lost sales and profits hiding in that are hiding in your business.