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July 2010
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Advantage Marketing – Do what gives you an advantage Tip #25

Marketing is very exciting if you keep it simple and concentrate on those things that give you an advantage.  Business owners have so many choices as to how they can market their company and almost every sales reps presentation focuses on very similar benefits.  I suggest that you concentrate on marketing that gives you an advantage and keep that word in mind while you engage with those that say they can help grow your business.

Advantage marketing is very simple – look for those marketing approaches that give you the most advantage.  If you know anything about buying a car, you know that the best day to buy is the last day of the month.  Why?  Because the car dealer is motivated to get every deal he can on that day and only so many people are going to walk on the lot.  For the buyer, that gives him/her an advantage in negotiation, selection, pricing, approval and generally a whole group of people working hard to earn the business.  In advantage marketing you are looking for the exact same thing – what are you getting that is different from everyone else and does it give you an advantage of some kind?

Any business can call up a radio station, TV station or newspaper and buy advertising but that doesn’t give you an advantage because anyone can do it and a whole lot of people already have.  Sometimes relationships end up offering us advantages such as the guy you’ve known for 20 years calling you up and letting you know that he has a special deal for you because of some circumstance and he wanted you to have the first shot at it because you are his buddy.  Most times, you’ll have to seek out the advantage and negotiate the best deal you can get.  If you aren’t getting an advantage – thank them for their time and let them know that they can contact you in the future when they can offer an advantage and you’ll be an immediate customer.

Let’s say you own a pizza company.  What do you do to market your business?  You could advertise in the telephone books, publish coupons, do direct mail in your neighborhood or any number of other things – but anyone can do those things – they don’t necessarily give you an advantage.  If the phone book rep called you and said that he had an extra page of space that hasn’t been sold and it is last minute to closing date and therefore he can offer you that position at 75% off – that is an advantage.  If you told the coupon guy that you would only do a pizza coupon with him if he gave you the front of the coupon booklet for the offer and in return you would supply pizza to his sons little league team when they win the regional’s – that is an advantage.  If you happened to know the person that delivers newspapers in your area and he’d be happy to drop off your mailers at the same time for pizza credits – that is an advantage.

The question is whether the marketing dollars you spend give you an advantage over what anyone else might be doing? If you can gain an advantage – do it.  Your marketing dollars will go farther and allow you to do more things that give you an advantage – in the end, wouldn’t it be nice to explain to people that you have an unfair advantage over the competition and that is why you are so successful?

How do you gain advantages?  Talk to people. Talk to reps and marketing people and make hearing their pitch a priority.  Most business people don’t like talking to marketing and sales people because they are just going to pitch them on something and they don’t like being sold – just send me something and I’ll think about it.  Nobody gets an advantage that way – talk to people. The next time advertising or marketing reps call and want to pitch you on why they can help grow your business – take the call, hear them out and tell them you are looking for an advantage that you can’t refuse.  If they can’t offer you an advantage, make sure they leave knowing that anytime they can, you’ll be a customer – then stay in touch with them looking to do business as soon as an advantage comes along – eventually an advantage will present itself.          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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