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Here are five ideas to get your marketing headed for a breakthrough:

1. Focus on your target markets' primary concerns in your sales calls, your
brochure, your ads and on your web pages. Your prospects' problems and wants
brought you together; use this to keep prospects' attention.

2. Use questions to get the conversation going. Whether you're on the telephone,
writing web page copy or writing an ad, ask your prospects questions to get them
thinking about what they want and how you can help them.

3. Give something away that your prospects need. The more helpful information
you give away to prospects, the more business you'll receive in return. Give away
ideas they can use and help them understand when and how to use your products
and services.

4. Build a mailing list of people who want more of your ideas and information. Use
the list regularly to stay in touch and you'll increase your credibility the perceived
value of your goods and services, and your sales.

Other Breakthrough Ideas

- When people are at the point of purchase, prompt them to buy additional products
and you can double your revenue.
- Call people who have bought your products after a couple of weeks to get
feedback. There is a good chance they'll be interested in buying additional products
or services.
Whether you want to become an expert at marketing, skiing or cooking, the key is
to let go of methods that aren't working for you, and learn and apply the techniques
used by the experts. Nine times out of ten, the problem is in getting the basics
right. You can achieve a breakthrough in sales when you understand and apply
these proven marketing principles and techniques.
almost every company creates a marketing plan each year, and many spend
hundreds of employee hours researching, preparing and presenting their tomes to
senior executives. But most marketing plans are a waste of time; they are too long,
too complicated and too dense. They end up sitting on a shelf, unread and
unrealized.

Breakthrough Marketing Plans is an essential tool for people who create marketing
plans and people who review them. The book provides simple, clear frameworks
that are easy to apply, and highlights why marketing plans matter, where they go
wrong and how to create a powerful plan that will help build a strong, profitable
business.

A revolutionary new system for generating the next big marketing ideas and
opportunities
According to Philip Kotler, the widely acknowledged "father" of modern
marketing, and Fernando Trias de Bes the marketing techniques pioneered in the
1960s and '70s have worked too well. Fierce competition among products with
little or nothing to distinguish one from another, along with modern product
positioning and targeted marketing techniques, have led to increasing market
segmentation. If the trend continues, individual market segments soon will be too
small to be profitable. In Lateral Marketing, Kotler and Trias de Bes unveil a
revolutionary new model to help readers expand beyond vertical segmentation and
generate fresh marketing ideas and opportunities.
Philip Kotler (Chicago, IL) is the S. C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of
International Marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of
Management. Fernando Trias de Bes (Barcelona, Spain) is the founder of Salvetti
& Llombart whose clients include Pepsico, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Nestlé, Credit
Suisse, and other top corporations.

Marketing is the fuel that powers every business, whether you’re Microsoft or a
Micro-Business. Every smart entrepreneur and small business owner knows that.
What most don’t know is which Small Business Marketing ideas to use or which
web marketing strategy will get results for their business.
The secret to unlocking the profits in your business is simple. Each proven small
business marketing idea you understand and apply is like a key, opening doors to
more clients and bigger profits. And the more marketing tactics you use to market
your business, the more you’ll make. So dig in, whether you start with the FREE
report, the marketing how to guides or one of the marketing topics listed above.

Ten Breakthrough Marketing Ideas


by Larry Dotson
1. Create a directory of web sites on a specific topic. Give people the option of
adding the directory to their web site by linking to it. Put your business
advertisement at the top of the director's home page. This technique will get lots of
people to link to your web site and give you free advertising.

2. Do you have a product or service that doesn't sell well? Offer it as a free bonus
for someone else's product or service. Get free advertising by placing your web site
or business ad on the product or in the product package.

3. Trade auto responder ads with other businesses. If both of you send out
information with auto- responders just exchange a small classified ad to put at the
bottom or top of each other's auto responder message.

4. Start a free tip line. Offer a free daily, weekly, or monthly tip recorded on your
voice mail. The tips should be related to your business. Include your ad for your
web site or business at the beginning or end of your message.

5. Exchange content with other web sites and evinces. You could trade articles, top
ten lists, etc. Both parties could include a resource box at the end of the content.

6. Offer to insert ads into your product package for other businesses. Just ask, in
return that they do the same for your business. You should only trade insert ads
with businesses that have the same target audience.

7. Offer a free daily class in your web site's chat room. The class should be related
to the subject of your business or web site. This will get people to visit your web
site every day.

8. Do you have a product that doesn't sell good? Offer it as a free bonus for another
businesses product or service. You'll get free advertising by placing your web site
or business ad on the free bonus.

9. Place different emotional response ads for the same product or service all over
your web site. One ad may hit their hot button to buy more than another ad.

10. Publish your e-zine in e-book format. You could offer a larger number of
articles per issue. It also allows you to include graphics with your ezine.Your
advertising revenue would increase because you could charge businesses for large
color ads.

How to Come up With a Breakthrough Marketing Idea

By David Warren and Joseph Gelman


For years, companies have been equating performance with speed and “lean”
thinking. They have invested in streamlining processes, reducing costs and
applying stringent “Six Sigma-esque” criteria to kill ideas that don’t deliver ROI.
What they do not do is explore the world of possibilities.

At Prophet we have developed a framework for creating ideas within a company,


no matter what the economic forecast. This approach does not rely on heavy
analytics or endless drafts of ideas. It is simple, conversational, and accessible.

Inspiration + Creativity = Innovation


There are three aspects to the innovation sessions:

i) An “aspire phase” which defines the objectives of the innovation process.


ii) An “inspire phase” which helps the company develop a great idea, product, or
service by looking for non-traditional sources of inspiration.
iii) A “create phase” which during which we apply creative and critical thinking
techniques that exploit the unknown potential that lies within the company's
capabilities, resources, and intellectual property.

The innovation sessions should introduce a wide range of experience and expertise,
even if most ideas end up in the bin. Generally speaking, three to five percent of
ideas generated make it to the test and learn process.

Innovation Logistics
The search for inspiration requires participants to exit the “comfort zone” of their
day-to-day roles. To do this it is important for leaders to empower people to take
risks, collaborate across hierarchies and even laugh a little. In this context, it is
necessary to consider some logistical aspects to support the innovation process.

Participants and participation


As a general rule, we like to have participants from diverse functional areas. It is
important to find individuals who think differently, are “confusion tolerant,” and
are familiar with the realities of the brand and how it relates to its customers. A
mix of long term and new employees is usually a good formula.

Participants should feel that they can speak freely during the session and be freed
from their day-to-day obligations. The use of mobile phones and PDAs is strictly
forbidden.

The environment
Creative thinking requires a creative environment. Your desk is a terrible place to
watch the world go by. If you want to change the conversation, start by changing
the physical space. That is why we often identify inspiring locations. Recent
examples include a modern furniture showroom in Madrid and a contemporary art
museum in Moscow.

Feeling comfortable
Because innovation workshops are so different from a “normal” work day, some
participants need time to get warmed up. Extroverts tend to dominate
conversations, while more reserved individuals are happy to sit quietly. Therefore,
it’s important to ensure that all participants feel fully integrated.

At the beginning of the session, it should be made clear that “work related”
activities should be put on hold. While this creates a long day for participants, it
also keeps their attention focused on creating ideas.

Divergence and convergence


Inspiration by design is a key element that should be thought out in advance of the
innovation session via the use of divergent and convergent activities. The early part
of the inspiration process is dominated by divergence-focused activities, as they
aim to inspire rather than create.
As the days progresses, the activities and conversation become more focused
around desired outcomes. Usually, 60–70% of an innovation session’s time is used
in divergence.

Some of the exercises that we use in innovation sessions are described below.

Human Library
The origin of the Human Library experience has nothing to do with the business
world. The city library in Malmo, Sweden, conducted a project in which visitors
could talk to different people for 45-minutes in an experience designed to confront
prejudice and promote understanding.

The selection of the human library subjects depends on the objectives of the
innovation process, but some or our latest projects have included architects and
interior designers for products that want to be more modern and marriage
counsellors for developing more female propositions.

Forced Connection
This exercise has a high convergence component, as its objective is to apply
“inspiration” to an everyday object. For example, a client wanted to develop
products that were more appealing to the youth market. To achieve this, we picked
fairly commoditised products and asked the group to develop 20 ideas to make
those products more relevant for the desired younger segment.

Worst Idea
During a brainstorming session with executives for a top US toy producer, the
team was trying to come up with the next line of products for a very famous doll.
Executives were sceptical as they were convinced that “everything had been
already created”.

To break the negative cycle, we asked the question, “What would be the worst idea
for a line extension?”, to which one of the participants answered, “Make her a
prostitute.” The suggestion generated a conversation about creating new
accessories around the Night time experience.

Getting to the final ideas


As mentioned before, during the opening sections of the innovation session we
conduct exercises that generate many ideas, with variable quality levels. Next, we
search for “convergence” of all these ideas into 5–10 winning ones using a filtering
exercise that selects the ideas worth developing further through the use of pre-
defined frameworks that help to analyse and conceptualize these ideas in greater
detail and depth.

The innovation methodology that we have described can be applied to both big and
small companies, as the required level of investment is accessible. It has generated
excellent results when a single session has been conducted to develop a concrete
product for a very specific market need or in more complex situations where a
number of workshops have been executed to fill a whole pipeline of new products.

This is, after all, the real application of innovation realised.

Book Summary of Lateral Marketing: New Techniques For Finding


Breakthrough Ideas
Praise for LATERAL MARKETING

"Philip Kotler, the 'eminence grise' of modern marketing, teams up with Fernando
Trias de Bes for a new look at marketing innovation in these challenging times.
Part marketing manual, part brainstorming guide, the book lays out the ingredients
in a new recipe for marketing innovation."
-Tom Kelley, General Manager, IDEO, and author of The Art of Innovation
"Lateral Marketing may become the breakthrough marketing concept of the
twenty-first century. Managers who apply it will expand their thinking and their
profits."
-Thomas D. Kuczmarski, President, Kuczmarski & Associates

"New products and services will be a critical competency for the next decade; this
book shows you the way. A compelling and systematic look at the early stage of
the innovation process, it is a must-read for any company that values innovation.
Lateral Marketing demystifies the fuzzy front- end of the innovation process."
-Gary Lynn, Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology and author of Blockbusters

"Everyone says we need really new products, but Kotler actually gives the reader
effective and practical concepts and tools to create them based on thinking across
rather than within markets."
-Glen L. Urban, Professor, Sloan School, MIT and author of Design and Marketing
of New Products

"Lateral Marketing explains and illustrates the power of marketing creativity and
outlines ways of enhancing it. A must-read for anyone concerned with profitable
growth."
-Yoram (Jerry) Wind, Academic Director, Wharton Fellows Program

A revolutionary new system for generating the next big marketing ideas and
opportunities
According to Philip Kotler, the widely acknowledged "father" of modern
marketing, and Fernando Trias de Bes the marketing techniques pioneered in the
1960s and '70s have worked too well. Fierce competition among products with
little or nothing to distinguish one from another, along with modern product
positioning and targeted marketing techniques, have led to increasing market
segmentation. If the trend continues, individual market segments soon will be too
small to be profitable. In Lateral Marketing, Kotler and Trias de Bes unveil a
revolutionary new model to help readers expand beyond vertical segmentation and
generate fresh marketing ideas and opportunities.
Philip Kotler (Chicago, IL) is the S. C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of
International Marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of
Management. Fernando Trias de Bes (Barcelona, Spain) is the founder of Salvetti
& Llombart whose clients include Pepsico, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Nestl?, Credit
Suisse, and other top corporations.

Home sellers who learn about marketing psychology and home staging can take
advantage of unconventional selling strategies. If you're selling a home or
investment house, you might need some extra help to generate a speedy, top-dollar
sale. Here are three cutting edge home selling concepts to help you.

1. Marketing Psychology
Study the Internet marketing masters. Notice that effective sales letters don't list
the features of a product. Internet marketers know that people buy because they
want the benefits.

Structure your sales materials for your "product" keeping in mind what your house
can do for the buyer. Instead of listing a long list of features, turn the amenities
into benefits to the home buyer. For instance, instead of listing 2,050 sq. ft, 2 story,
say: Spread out in huge two-story home of over 2,000 square feet. Think about
your potential buyers and target your benefits to them. First-time home buyers care
about privacy and easy payments. Move-up buyers care about status and luxury.

2. Home Staging for a Speedy Sale

Staged homes sell faster for many reasons. Staged homes make buyers feel at
home--instead of feeling like an intruder in someone else's home. Agents love to
advertise and show a staged home. Appraisers even give credit for buyer appeal.

3. Home Staging with Design Psychology for a Speedy, Top-Dollar Sale

Design Psychology takes home staging further by applying marketing psychology


to interior design.

Always consider your target market and their emotional needs. First-time buyers
want shelter and security, while move-up buyers desire prestige and peace. After
you've cleaned and shined your home, set the stage. Add a few props, carefully
selected to encourage a prospective buyer's desired emotions and paying special
attention to happiness, joy, serenity, and security.
1. Identify the Greatest Sources of Growth
Marketing profitability is driven by a) the value of the sales generated, b) the
likelihood of converting the prospects targeted into incremental sales, and c) the
cost to generate that sale. It’s clear that targeting high value and high potential
segments will have the greatest impact on profitability. The initial analysis must
identify the potential source of this aggressive growth in terms of acquiring,
retaining or growing customers as well as determine how to reach and influence
the most profitable segments. Can your marketing drive small impacts on high
value customers or is it dependent on driving volumes of low value customers?

Another analysis critical to identifying the source of growth is to determine how


this new marketing initiative is going to out-perform previous marketing
initiatives. This comes from understanding the customer buying funnel, which
progresses from unaware prospects to profitable customers. Is your plan designed
to just increase the volume of marketing activity with the expectation that the
funnel will grow proportionately across every stage of that customer funnel? Or
can you get more strategic and identify key stages of the buying funnel that need
improvement, especially those toward the later stages of the funnel? At a
minimum, you want to ensure your plan is integrated enough to drive sales activity
and not just early funnel metrics such as consideration, responses or leads.

2. Develop and Quantify Multiple Paths to Victory


You first want to develop a set of diverse plans and quantify the expected impact
through the funnel stages from the change in customer behaviors and perceptions,
to sales activity, revenue generation, and profit. Even using your best assumptions,
this process will help quantify and compare alternatives. You’ll want to eliminate
those initiatives with a low probability of success and concentrate on the few
initiatives that are viable.
When driving significant growth, it is likely that you will be pushing into the
unknown with some of these initiatives. Instead of betting all of your success on
one marketing initiative, look for the opportunity to pursue multiple paths to
victory. The greatest barrier to this is likely to be the “do it fast” environment that
prioritizes speed over accuracy.

3. Define Key Metrics for Course Correction


The step of quantifying your assumptions through each funnel stage provides
added value in defining the key metrics that will serve as “leading indicators.”
Tracking and measurements should be designed to capture funnel progression to
identify the “leakage” points where potential customers fail to progress to the next
stage in the buying process. Drill-down analyses are essential to guide marketing
adjustments based on determining that the impact varies by target segments.

If marketing is not making impact on these key metrics early on, we want to
identify this early enough to make course corrections in our plan. This may include
shifting targets or tactics, addressing specific performance gaps, or eliminating
some of the strategies being tested.

4. Launch Broad, Small & Smart


Pursuing multiple initiatives at the launch requires setting up market test
environments that are small scale and structured to provide reliable comparisons.
We want to start with a broad range of diverse strategies and then narrow our
efforts to just the best performers.

When pursuing aggressive growth, it is important to focus on generating impact


first and then refining profitability. This is possible when launching on a small
scale before going to the full scale effort since the budget amounts are limited. It is
easier to take a marketing initiative that is generating a positive impact and refine
the tactics to improve profitability than to try to adjust the tactics on a marketing
initiative that is not generating sufficient impact. Prioritize your efforts on
effectiveness first, then efficiency, to ensure a positive ROI.

5. Move Fast On Leading Indicators


Testing diverse strategies requires a trade off of accuracy over speed so we want to
improve the accuracy as soon as possible to get the best initiative out on a larger
scale. With larger marketing initiatives that build with time, we need good leading
indicators to support prompt decisions instead of waiting for the full buying cycle
to show revenue impact. These leading indicators are drawn from the key funnel
metrics identified in the planning stage. Leading indicators are not perfect
predictors of incremental sales activity so be smart in your assessment. Seek to
eliminate the initiatives that are off track and not likely to achieve expected
outcomes. For those initiatives that are achieving performance at or above
expectations, determine if there is one clear winner or reason to keep more than
one approach active on a larger scale. In either case, act quickly to apply your new
insights and get the full-scale launch underway.

6. Continue Variations to Hedge Against the Unexpected


Because leading indicators are not always predictive of final outcomes, you want
to continue to incorporate as much learning and alternative options as you move
forward with the launch. In some cases, you can put 90% of your budget behind
the most promising strategy and leave 10% for variations that may unlock more
profitable opportunities. This not only allows you to improve upon your marketing,
but may provide the insight necessary to change marketing direction if the primary
marketing initiative is failing to deliver the expected results.