Resolve to make "news"- Much of the news you see and hear in the media about any specific company, you see and hear it because the company made a concerted effort to "make that news." Simply stated, it or its representative came up with a story angle and directly contacted the media about running the story. It happens every day, and there's no reason you can't make it happen for you. There are countless ways you can generate news. Here are three proven ideas- .
- Sponsor a survey of interest to your customers and prospects - As long as you use a reputable third-party to conduct the survey, trade publications will almost always run this information. And it will help position your company as a thought leader in your industry.
- Celebrate a meaningful anniversary - Ten, twenty, twenty-five, fifty or more are all good numbers to publicize and pitch. But keep in mind you need a newsworthy story angle. For example, has your success defied the odds? Do your products have an intensely loyal following? Was/is the company founder an eccentric, colorful character? You have to think like a reporter. What would make your company's anniversary a fun and interesting event to write and read about?
- Execute a successful marketing campaign - Get extra marketing mileage from your campaign by getting the media to publicize it. The added benefit is that by showcasing your marketing results you'll position your company as a savvy, successful enterprise.
These are but a few of the many and varied ways you can make news. That said, here are a couple of key points to keep in mind: (1)The media is an insatiable "beast," always hungry for newsworthy content, i.e. the stuff that goes with all those ads and commercials they sell and (2) You'll achieve the most profitable results when your efforts are part of a consistent and ongoing media development program.
5. Resolve to make 2007 the year you clearly differentiate your business from the competition - The consumer and business buyer today is bombarded with a multitude of choice in every category, save but a few. So if you can't successfully differentiate your business and its products and services, then you'd better be really good at "price limbo." As in, "how low can you go?" And few businesses other than Wal-Mart can successfully execute a "price limbo" strategy. That said, let me offer you a few nuggets on differentiation from renowned marketing strategist Jack Trout's great book of a few years back, Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition. First, Trout offers his thoughts on some appealing but misguided ideas on differentiation -
- Quality and Customer Orientation ["We're always looking for better ways to serve you."] are rarely differentiating ideas.
- Creativity (cool, off-the-wall ads and creative) is not a differentiating idea.
- Price is rarely a differentiating idea.
- Breadth of line is a difficult way to differentiate.
Next, Trout makes his case for what he believes can be successful ways to differentiate -
- Being first is a differentiating idea. (Example: Airborne, the first vitamin-herbal supplement specifically targeted at protecting frequent fliers from airborne germs and viruses.)
- Attribute ownership. (Volvo owns safety. McDonald's owns kid-friendly, fast food eating. Mercedes owns engineering.)
- Leadership (Sales leadership, technology leadership, performance leadership.)
- Heritage (Having a long history and publicizing/romanticizing it.)
- Market specialty (Leading supplier to a specific industry.)
- Preference (Well-known, influential groups are on the record as preferring your brand.)
- How a product is made. (Papa John's Pizza.)
- Being the latest. (what's new and better, emphasis on new)
I highly recommended this book and anything else by Mr. Trout. If you're serious about differentiating your business get yourself a copy today.
As we all know, most New Year's resolutions are quickly broken. The good thing about the five on this list is that making and keeping just one of them can have a substantial impact on your year ahead results. But whatever your game plan is, here's to a happy, healthy and highly profitable 2007 for you and your business.