essential marketing concepts
according to Lane Orsak
Clarity of being
Effective and creative marketing begins by defining how your product or service is distinctive (the selling points), determines who would want to buy it (your market segment or end-user), and the best way to deliver the invitation to buy, consider, or use your product or services (advertising and design).
Many companies try to offer products or services to the consumer market and quickly learn that the market doesn’t care that you think your offering is the greatest thing since the chocolate – don’t forget, the consumer market drives 2/3 of the U.S. economy. Do you think it might be wise to consider a consumer’s feelings, interests, needs, and state of consciousness? You would be surprised by how many very “well educated” clients make the unfortunate mistake of disregarding the very people they serve.
One of our retail clients returned from Vienna, Austria, in 1975 and was determined to offer the citizens of Austin the most delectable Bienenstich, Sacher
One of my fitness and health clients spent his entire life studying martial arts, meditation, self-realization, and nutrition. He wanted to create an on-line business to bring all of his knowledge to the world. He wanted to help people holistically. In his mind it was so clear. He showed me a power point presentation with a chart of what he wanted to offer. It had 6 major groups and within the groups 24 programs. Basically he would offer: meditation (his own technique), workshops and retreats, personal coaching, wellness and healing, nutrition, and retail. Every week he came up with even more to offer. He failed to realize (from a business marketing standpoint) that he was entering into treacherous and over communicated markets: fitness, yoga, spiritual, and retail. Any one of the four would be difficult to position as truly unique and would require tremendous effort to create a legitimate on-line presence with any hope of actually making money. He was doing what so many small business people (90% of the American market) do, over articulating their offerings in hope that the consumer would find value. He had not successfully done the research required to show how he was distinct in the market and discover who would want to buy his products.
The full monty
Effective and creative marketing looks holistically at the entire cause and effect of the business model, realizing that every person (top-to-bottom) in your organization and their actions have a direct impact on the success of your marketing.
• What does the client or customer first experience when they approach you to do business?
• How is the phone answered? After you have the client, how do you maintain your level of service?
• Are you reaching out to the right people to sell your product? Are you offering a true win-win relationship?
• Are your employees happy…do they feel valued?
• Do you have the right person doing the right job?
• Do your customers feel important?
One of our medical clients (that hired us to create his “start-up” collateral) graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University and was responsible for bringing state-of-the-art cardiology procedures to the community. After a very successful career with two hospitals, he decided to go into private practice. He had previously enjoyed a life of success, both academically and professionally, but he failed to see the importance of being compassionate and warm with his patients, staff. I think that caused him to fail in private practice, in spite of very nice marketing collateral!
One of our clients wanted to re-invigorate their company image. We created a new logo, website, writing system, and looked at the way they communicated with existing and potential clients. It was quickly apparent to me that a person that was very frustrated and unhappy in their position as salesperson was orchestrating the critical role of account and sales manager for this company. They had worked for a larger company in Dallas and really saw themselves in the role of producer and felt the job was beneath them…albeit, they were not doing a good job representing or selling the very worthwhile skill sets of my client. I encouraged the owner to take me off a monthly retainer and to use that money to invest in a positive and terrific sales person. The company immediately reaped the financial benefit by having the right person representing their company.
Live in a beautiful space
Effective and creative marketing employs design to drive distinction, build brands, represent the quality of the product, and to infer the meaning of the client’s offerings (This is both overtly and sub-textually).
• You are regarded as the best in your field…your potential client enters your office…it is old, outdated, and dark – does that reflect your level of passion and commitment to your work?
• Your website is poorly presented, hard to navigate, and doesn’t really give the end-user a sense of what you have to offer.
• You run a television commercial and it is funny and engaging, but the viewer doesn’t remember the company or product name.
• Or you run an ad in the paper and it so over-communicates what you have to offer that the reader does not read the ad, or you are so cool graphically that you forget to let the viewer know what you are selling.
• Your brochure is so “professional” that it is boring and does not create any distinction, excitement, or interest in your product.
• Design drives most products and services: automobile, fashion, homes, electronics, and products. Why shouldn’t it be important to your industry?
One of our medical clients is the third largest group of their kind in the United States. They are truly great people and do great work. Sadly, they had never recognized the value of a cogent marketing effort. Their entire marketing efforts rested on the shoulders of a very over worked administrative assistant. They had a very poorly conceived website, created in-house by one of the doctors, no interesting programs to attract new referring physicians, tired looking clinical environments (multi-locations in numerous cities), and no internal enthusiasm. The business was not growing and was not energized. A new C.O.O. hired me to go in and give them an overhaul. We began with a new company identity (logo), created a website that really showcased their offerings, worked on the interior design, and building signage. We had exciting new parties for their referring physician communities, open houses for new clinics, and new educational seminars with a fresh and inviting look and feel. They are exploring a new community charitable cause to rally the staff and illustrate their commitment to the community. The business now has unprecedented financial success by employing their cohesive and smart marketing efforts…largely influenced by design.
Move your booty
Effective and creative marketing is executed with consistency and with pro-active effort.
• Marketing is manmade.
• While some products and services find an audience or market position organically, marketing by human design requires a tremendous amount of energy, thought and work to fully realize the potential effect
• You can expect improved profitability, consumer recognition, and overall success.
• Regardless of your goals , to create a formidable splash or even to methodically grow and sustain your business – it all takes action and hard work.
One of my hospitality clients, an international hotel company, was embarking on a $17,000,000 facelift on a local property and hired me to manage the publicity. The usual path for most would be to simply send out press releases and to work hard to be finished on time and then announce the opening and throw a “come and see the new look” party. Being aggressive and pro-marketing we not only sent out press releases, but we created a short film that was sent to all of their corporate clients to show them the exciting changes and to include them in the process to keep their loyalty. I came up with “renovation is our innovation” slogan to convey to their clients the level of real commitment they have for them. At each level of completion, they invited clients to a party to share in the amazing transformations. This is a small percentage of what was done to turn what could have been a disaster into a very positive advertising and marketing promotion. The hotel remains a leader in room occupancy in the city!