“Adrienne gave me wonderfully fresh ideas for marketing my business at a big conference last Fall. They worked! I got two big clients from it!”

Janell Osborn White Space Graphics,LLC



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One of my most prevalent ambitions is to help people understand the difference between marketing and selling, because there’s rampant confusion about these two disciplines; and marketing gets the bad rap.

Here are the seven formal marketing components.  Originally, there were only five (the old four Ps and a D); two were added, about 25 years ago.

Price – not the most important, but the component that gets mentioned first.  What’s the chance your pricing is in line with the perceived market value?  How well are you justifying your prices 

(“this includes . . .”)?

Place – not geographical place, but marketplace.  Here’s where you keep reading my words, “The more narrowly you define your markets, the more effectively you can target those markets.”  This is the trickiest of all the components.

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How do you feel about your clients?  Here’s how you can tell:

You’re on the phone with a client (or customer, if more appropriate).  When the call ends, you announce to no one in particular, “If I could only lose that client!  What a pain-in-the-butt!”

Now let’s change the scenario:  when a call from one of your clients is over, you sigh and remark to those around you, “If I only had ten more like him!”

What are the characteristics of the former, and what are the characteristics of the latter?  If you think about this when you’re driving, you just might be able to define more clearly who your clients are and who they aren’t.

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There are three types of networking:

1. networking with your client/customer and/or supplier;

2. networking with your colleagues;

3. networking with fellow members of organizations to which you belong.

Overwhelmingly, people concentrate on #3.

Yet there’s a good deal of marketing to be accomplished with the other two types.  For example, when is the last time you invited someone who’s referred you several times (that would be one of your “advocates”) to lunch?  If this person is out-of-town or out-of-state, what’s the chance you went online to get the name of a good, local restaurant and sent a gift card (“Sorry we can’t dine together, but I hope you’ll enjoy your meal on me; thank you so much for your referral.”)?

And then there are your clients and suppliers (you might call them “vendors”).  I’m tired of hearing about how often you see clients onsite.  Sure you do.  You’re engaged in work.  When, however, did you sit down with your client one-on-one and develop a relationship, both to get to know each other better and to promote client loyalty?  Who knows?  You might even acquire

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For years, even decades, I’ve stated that what a consultant brings to the table is outside objectivity.  That’s true of marketing and other consultants.

You’ve heard the expression, “I can’t see the forest for the trees.”  Well, inside-out thinking is often what happens when people in companies try to do their own marketing.

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When considering your marketing activities, how often do you procrastinate?  Whether you’re in a growing business or a large company, the answer probably is “A lot. 

Two of my clients continually promise they will make some check-in calls to raving fan clients.  There is an overriding rationale as to why I ask clients to buy into the concept of making these calls :  the #1 reason why people or companies change vendors is Lack of Attention.  Year after year, decade after decade.

Sure, pricing comes into play, but you’ve probably stated (or heard) many times, “I made a big mistake, going for the lowest rate I could find.  Whoever said ‘You get what you pay for’ knew what he was talking about.” 

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