Friday, June 13, 2008

Intregrating promotional efforts to maximize results

Pay attention to the "little" things.

Walking near a local Nordstrom store this morning left little room for doubt... there was a sale underway at the store. In fact it just wasn't any sale, it was a "HALF-YEARLY SALE".

How did I know? There were no posters, fliers, or bill boards in sight. The news was carried outside the store by customers... on the sacks they were carrying (above). Though this sale was limited to items in the men's department, such generic sacks could be used for sales in any department.

While businesses focus on advertisements in "major" media vehicles (radio, television, newspapers, magazines, etc.), it is often the little things that make a big difference.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No tomatoes = competitive advantage?

Salmonella in tomatoes should be turned into opportunity for eateries.

Over the last few days many eating establishments have been posting signs with the news that they are not serving tomatoes (due to the current warnings regarding salmonella food poisoning in raw tomatoes).

Obviously this is not the doing of fast food or sit down restaurants and customers seem to not be holding the issue about possible bad tomatoes against them.

However, no businesses that I've seen or heard about have tried to take this situation "by the horns" and do anything good with it.

For example, why not promote something like "while we have no tomatoes (like everyone else!), we'll give extra meat on your ham sandwich". The "extra" could be more fries, a price reduction on the order (due to lower costs due to no tomatoes), and so forth.

The point is... why not use this situation that is beyond local control and develop some offer of value to current customers and also be an incentive for new customers to give your business a try?

Be basic. Be creative. But at least consider doing something proactive.

Monday, June 9, 2008

How has it gotten to this?

Businesses versus their customers.... ....'ve got to be kidding!

The title on the cover of the June 16th issue of BusinessWeek (see right) that arrived in the mail today highlighted the negative views some businesses have towards customers. It is sad to consider that businesses across industries look at consumers as a form of competition that need to be conquered. No wonder businesses complain of the lack of customer loyalty.

It is unfortunate that too many organizations fail to remember Business 101 and 501.

Business 101 -- customers are the only source of revenue.

Business 501 (graduate level) -- loyal customers are the most profitable customers.

When the situation gets to the point where a major business publication features your business against customers on the front cover in a replica of an old time boxing card handbill, it is time to make significant changes.

How would BusinessWeek represent your relationship with your customers?