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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Social Media Confusion

by Rick Baker
On Jun 20, 2012

Many people who run small and mid-sized businesses struggle with social media. They have made major website changes, yet cannot confirm direct links between that work and new/expanded sales or brand-awareness. They have spent time on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social-media vehicles, yet cannot confirm direct links between that work and increased business.

Many small and mid-sized businesses have hired 3rd parties to develop social-media software and programs. Others have hired staff to do their social-media work. Some businesses have hired 3rd parties to act as them, delivering social-media programmed messages 'by agent'.

Much money has been spent. And, for many businesses there is little evidence to confirm the money has been well spent.

Social media programs work marvellously for some businesses. These businesses can illustrate clear evidence, proving money spent on social media has delivered ROI.  

However, for most businesses social media has delivered more confusion than profit.

Small and mid-sized businesses need to consider 2 questions:

  1. To what extent do consumers/customers/clients desire our product/service? Truly, how bad is our product/service wanted and needed? And, exactly when is it wanted and needed?
  2. To what extent have consumers/customers/clients enjoyed a series of positive and trust-filled experiences with us? [When strings of positive and trust-filled experiences are long enough they can be considered "relationships".]

With those 2 questions fully and accurately analysed, the next question is:

How, exactly, will these social-media vehicles expand or enhance our business in ways we can verify with measurements?

Will social media activity:

  1. Increase the amount consumers/customers/clients desire our product/service?
  2. Increase the ease and timeliness with which consumers/customers/clients can access our product/service?
  3. Increase the existing strings of positive experiences consumers/customers/clients have with us?

If the answer is "Yes" then:

  1. The social-media options should be compared and ranked against Sales and Profit goals,
  2. The best social-media option(s) should be selected, and
  3. Results should be measured against benchmarks to ensure the social-media cause is creating the expected increased-sales or increased-profit effect





Competing - using a Value-Based Price strategy

by Rick Baker
On May 2, 2012

A year ago, I wrote about Competing - Using a Low-Price strategy….the introduction was: 

At our Leaders’ workshops we tie two marketing concepts together. The two marketing concepts are ‘the PQS Triangle’ and ‘Differential Advantage’. Both of these concepts are ‘vintage’ marketing thoughts…..things we learned a few decades ago. 

PQS Triangle is a picture, designed to make it clear businesses can set its marketing strategy based on a combination of Price, Quality, and Service. Rarely, if ever, can a business succeed if its marketing strategy is designed to win at all of P, Q, & S. Put another way – it is virtually impossible to deliver the lowest Price, the highest Quality, and the best Service all at once. Something has to give. For most of our Clients the thing that has to give is Price: most of our Clients are not in a position to offer the lowest Price. 

Differential Advantage answers the question: Why do our Clients buy from us rather than do nothing or buy from one of our competitors? 

When the PQS Triangle and Differential Advantage are combined we have the essence of the marketing strategy. 

For certain businesses the marketing strategy does contain Price – i.e., the business can compete by offering better prices than their competition. 

Now, about Competing – using a Value-based Price strategy: 

Hanan & Karp expressed the concept concisely in ‘Competing on Value’.

"A value-based price has five characteristics:      

  1. Price is premium price.
  2. Price is compared with the improved profits it contributes to a customer’s business, not to competitive prices.
  3. Price is recoverable by the customer’s improved profits and is therefore an investment rather than a cost.
  4. Price is not discountable.
  5. Price is applications-specific. It varies in direct proportion to each customer’s improved profits."

This, of course, is the exact opposite to competing – using a low-price strategy.

So, the spectrum of pricing strategies goes from low-price at one end to value-based on the other end. 

Where do you position your pricing in that Price-Strategy Spectrum?


Leaders' Thoughts | Marketing | Sales

Thought Tweet #369

by Rick Baker
On Dec 15, 2011
Thought Tweet #369 80% on Marketing, 20% on your Product & Operations…that's the way to spend your time and effort.
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
That's Harv Eker's advice…Harv is the fellow behind Millionaire Minds. He thinks most people spend far too little time Marketing and Selling. He is right.


Marketing | Thought Tweets

'Being Evocative'...that's the new Starting Point

by Rick Baker
On Nov 24, 2011

People get bored real quickly these days!

Probably, I have lulled you to sleep already and I have only begun to write.

If you will just hang in a bit more I will try to be quick with this message.

Maybe bullet points will help?

  • People get bored real quickly these days!
  • So, we need to do special stuff when we want to communicate with them!
The experts say, "You must be evocative". [translation - "You must pluck at people's emotional chords."]
That's the way to get people's attention.
How do you do that?
How do you pluck at people's emotional chords?
Here are some suggestions:
  1. Be Authentic: If you have a magnetic personality then use it. If you don't have natural charisma then work at improving your personality traits. Pick traits you desire to have then work at incorporating them into your character...I mean - want to improve and then work at it for the rest of your life.
  2. Be Intentional: Know exactly why you want to pluck at people's emotional chords. Your intent must have more substance than just trying to cram a sale or an idea down somebody's throat. A purely self-serving intent will not succeed.
  3. Be Colourful: Emotions have little interest in logic. Emotions like shiny objects, fast-moving things, colourful things, sharp sounds, funny things...stimulating things. Emotions like all these types of things but emotions do not like logic. 
This is just an introduction.
If your communications are not achieving the results you seek then make some adjustments.
If you think your people are not 'getting it' then make some adjustments.
If you think younger folks don't listen then make some adjustments.
After all...your goals are important!
'Being Evocative' is the new Starting Point!

Thought Tweet #347

by Rick Baker
On Nov 15, 2011
Thought Tweet #347 Do you know your company's Differential Advantage? Are you thrilled about it? Are your Clients thrilled?
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
Differential Advantage answers the question, Why should people buy from your company rather than buy from one of your competitors or do nothing? If your company cannot answer this question then you better figure one out or find a new employer.


Marketing | Sales | Thought Tweets

Why should I buy from you?

by Rick Baker
On Nov 11, 2011
After all…I have lots of choices:
  • I can buy from one of your competitors
  • I can buy stuff nobody in your market sector sells
  • I can keep my money
So, with all those options…
Why should I buy from you?
Picture yourself as a salesperson.
You are supposed to be selling…and you want me to become your customer, your Client.
Then, right out of the blue I spring this question on you,
Why should I buy from you?
How, on a Minus10-to-Plus10 Scale, do you feel when I ask that question?…
Minus10 means you have a panic attack right on the spot…when you are revived you are pleased to see that I have left the building
Minus5 means you squirm a bit, look down, and then look over my shoulder in hopes of finding a more-reasonable shopper
Zero0 means you don’t really understand the question so you smile politely and feign poor hearing, offer you hand, I shake it, and you walk away
Plus5 means you really like sales work and you are pretty sure you know the right answer…you move into selling mode while I am looking puzzled
Plus10 means you are thrilled…you know your company’s Differential Advantage and you know exactly how to communicate it with enthusiasm to people like me
In an effort to help you get to Plus10
Answer these questions:
  1. What makes your company different from your competitors?
  2. What’s special about your company?
  3. Why would I even give a care about that special thing?
  4. What’s special about your products or services?
  5. Why would I need that special thing?
  6. What feelings make me want that special thing?
  7. How do you package a communication that excites and magnetizes buyers?
Of course, you should ask yourself many more questions before you finalize your company’s Differential Advantage.
PS: A suggestion from Michael Gerber: Make a promise your Clients want to hear. Make a promise your Competitors wouldn’t dare to offer.
Our definition of Differential Advantage: a company’s Differential Advantage is a concise statement that answers the question, “Why should I buy from you rather than buy from one of your competitors, buy some other thing, or do nothing?”  Even if you have the best answer in the world, your answer, your Differential Advantage, will not appeal and magnetize everyone. It will appeal and magnetize your Ideal Clientsand that’s the whole point.


Marketing | Measure & Monitor | Sales

Copyright © 2012. W.F.C (Rick) Baker. All Rights Reserved.