How To Attract, Excite, and Convert Your Prospects


The Power of Marketing

When you hear the word "marketing" what comes to mind? More business or wasted money? If your experience with marketing or advertising has been less than positive your cynicism may be well founded. Yet, have you ever noticed a competitor with a mediocre product and a healthy business? The difference is often marketing.

Some say they've never done marketing and don't need to because of good word- of-mouth. Positive word-of-mouth is great, but not enough if you're serious about growing your business. Others do invest in marketing yet treat it as a necessary evil. The problem with that mindset is that it's driving with the brakes on. Those people sabotage their efforts by making poor decisions, taking half-measures and often resisting anything innovative.

When asked about the "one big key" to marketing success I reply that there's nothing more important than a "marketing mindset". A marketing mindset is an attitude, a way of thinking, that values and embraces the power of marketing. If you look at the companies and brands that are most successful -- Nike, Microsoft, Virgin, Trump, Saturn, Kenneth Cole, etc -- you'll find someone at the top with a marketing mindset. People like Trump, Cole, and Virgin's Richard Branson may have it instinctively. For most, however, it's a learned attribute. So, if you don't have a marketing mindset yet, keep reading and start to get one.

Follis Fact #1 You need a Marketing Mindset.

Attracting vs. Chasing

A guy sees a beautiful woman in a bar, tracks down her name and number, calls her up and says, "Hi, my name is Joe and I'm great in bed." That's cold calling. Another guy sees a beautiful woman in a bar and gives her a napkin that says, "I'm Bill and I'm great in bed." That's direct marketing. A third guy sees a beautiful woman in a bar, has his ex-girlfriend go up to her and say, "See that cute guy over there? He's my ex, his name is Tom, and he's really great in bed." That's PR. Last guy walks into a bar, a beautiful woman approaches him and says, "Hi, my name is Courtney and I hear you're really great in bed." That's effective marketing.

Attraction is the essence of marketing. When you create enough desire to get your prospect to come to you, they'll always be more predisposed to buying. That bares repeating. When you create enough desire to get your prospect to come to you, they'll always be more predisposed to buying. The challenge, of course, is that your prospect is elusive prey. So, imagine the first rabbit hunters. They'd exhaust themselves

using spears and rocks until a more evolved Neanderthal got the idea of using carrots. Or, imagine the girl who desperately wants a date, but can't understand why she scares guys away when she chases them. Unfortunately, too many businesses act like that girl chasing for a date by putting lots into selling and nothing into marketing.

Follis Fact #2 It's always better to attract than chase.

Expense vs Investment

Those who don't understand marketing view it as an expense. Those with a marketing mindset know it's an investment. They know that, if done right, it can excite their prospects and produce a great return. "Done right" means well- researched, well-managed, and generally handled by someone who knows what they're doing. Regarding expense, being a small business is a bad excuse to do nothing. Start small, but do something. There are plenty of cost-effective, non- traditional ways to do a test. So, if you want to grow, you can't afford not to develop a marketing plan.

Have a Great Product

At the risk of stating the obvious, a big key for marketing success is having a great product. In his best-selling book, Purple Cow, marketing guru Seth Godin calls it, "being remarkable." It's about having a product or service that's exceptional.

Though many non-remarkable products may seem to do well because of great marketing, no long-term success can be achieved without a great product. In fact, if a product is not great, great marketing will usually make it fail faster. People will buy it, not like it, and never buy it again.

Case in point: Ever see an exciting teaser for an upcoming movie? It can make a lot of people run out and buy a ticket. The problem starts a couple of weeks later when folks see the movie, hate it, and then spread the word. Before you know it, the movie's gone. Here's another case. Remember New Coke? If not, you're not alone. It didn't last long. Despite the marketing muscle that Coke put behind it, the Coke- drinking public decided they were quite happy with the old Coke. Another case involves a new tropical hotel. Eager to jump-start his business the owner got tour directors and travel writers to check it out and hopefully generate some good buzz. Problem was, the hotel wasn't finished. Had he waited a couple more months he would've gotten great reviews. Now he'll be lucky if those tour directors and writers give him another shot.

If businesses spent less energy trying to sell their product and more on improving it, they'd have more success in the long run.

Follis Fact #3 Great marketing will make a bad product fail faster.

Follis Fact #4 The better your product, the better your marketing can be.

Excite vs. Inform

A lot of marketing doesn't do the whole job. It informs, but doesn't excite. The fact is, it doesn't matter if you have the best product if you're not getting prospects excited. If you don't excite your prospect, you won't sell your product. So, how do you excite your prospect? Start by acknowledging that your prospect isn't just a prospect. She's a person with emotions who doesn't respond with just her head. She responds with her heart, soul, and funny bone. As a marketer, you must tap into the right emotional and psychological nerve that gets your prospect excited.

For example, when Canon wants to sell its new camera to families, they'll tout its high-tech features, but that's not ultimately how they'll sell it. They'll sell it by associating those features with the things that we, as humans, care about ... a child's first steps, a great vacation, or a 90th birthday celebration. When Chrysler targets NFL-watching guys with a spot for its new sports car, there's a reason they use quick cuts, heavy-metal music, and mention it goes 150 mph. Will you drive 150 mph? Doubtful. Does that still excite the macho male libido? Absolutely.

Follis Fact #5 If you want'em excited about your product, you'd better get'em excited about your marketing.

(For more "Follis Facts" and marketing secrets, see booklet info below.)

2005 John Follis. All rights reserved.

John Follis is one of the 12 "Best Advertising Minds of New York" as voted by The New York Ad Club. His campaigns are in 3 college textbooks, he has written for ADWEEK, and he has taught at 3 New York universities. Currently, John works on select projects, consults, and speaks. He may be reached at john@follisinc.com

For John's booklet: How to Attract and Excite Your Prospects: A Guide for Getting the Best Marketing Results, visit: http://www.follisinc.com/booklet.htm

For consulting info, visit: Marketing Therapy: http://www.follisinc.com/therapy.htm

For speaking info, visit: Follis Speaking: http://www.follisinc.com/speaking.htm

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