Jane is fighting her way out of the mess. After a day of moving furniture in torrential rains, and finding out the new house isn't all that much bigger than the old house...[where will we put it all?]... we're in. And connected to the Internet. Just in time to post Lip-sticking's third Smart Man Online interview. John Jantsch over at Duck Tape Marketing, has some expert small business advice on marketing-- be prepared to take notes. I have added to my knowledge base of marketing by reading his blog and visiting his website, and I encourage all readers to take his words to heart. Plus, he has four teenaged daughters that "occasionally shop online." You can bet that Lip-sticking sticking approves of that, wholeheartedly!
Lip-sticking: Your Duct Tape Marketing Weblog is full of useful advice for small businesses, from Target Marketing, Website Marketing, interviews, Referral Marketing, and great how-tos...did the name of your blog come about because all of these marketing subjects/concepts are good ways for businesses to stick to the basics, or did you just want to be creative?
John: I wanted to find a name that captured the spirit of the small business owner or at least the reality of what it's like. I think duct tape is the perfect metaphor. A small business marketing strategy doesn't always have to be pretty and it sure doesn't need to be expensive...it just needs to work.
That pretty much describe duct tape for me.
Lip-sticking: Do you find blogging to be a useful means to connect with customers
and clients? I'm thinking of your wonderful program, the Referral Flood, and how I learned about it through your blog. Five years ago, you would most likely have sent out an email or some sort of direct mail --- does your blog do the same job, easier and faster?
John: I think Blogs, like the Internet, are just one more way to connect with a certain subset of prospects. By that I mean, some people like snail mail, some a newsletter, and a growing number now plug into blogs. In fact, I read recently that 30% of blog readers are blog writers. So, from a marketing standpoint it's just another way to reach folks who like the medium. Having said that, there is no question that it offers the writer a great way to build a relationship that feels more personal than other forms of communication.
Lip-sticking: Clicking into your website, I found your 7 Non-negotiable Laws of
Small Business Marketing. Can you share just one with Lip-sticking's readers... to pique their interest in visiting your site to learn the other 6?
John: Narrow your market focus. Don't try to be all things to all people or you will quickly become a commodity. When a niche or target market comes to understand that you serve their needs better than anyone ever dreamed of, two things happen. It becomes much easier to get the attention of that audience (including the publications that serve that audience - think PR here) and price is no longer an issue. How is a hairdresser going to hire, the consultant or the salon doctor? Price goes out the window because you can offer perceived value. In fact, do this and double your fees.
Lip-sticking: It's clear that you're using the Internet to its full potential;your website is full of excellent content and advice, you offer solutions to marketing blunders, and you maintain your blog on a daily basis...is all of this necessary in today's online market? If a small business could only do one thing online...a website, a newsletter, or a blog...which would you encourage him or her to start first?
John: I guess I would say a web site. I think that every small business must have one. The web site really then becomes the framework for building a newsletter list, a blog, a marketing delivery system, and customer service. And don't make the mistake of believing you don't need a website because you only do business in your town. The Internet will eventually become the way people find everything
they need...from around the world to around the block.
Lip-sticking: Marketing to women is getting substantial press lately; and you are
connected to many blogs that talk about this important marketing segment... what can you say about how to market to women, from personal experience? Do you think small businesses should spend time understanding the different needs of women who shop online, or should they concentrate on the overall shopper...regardless of gender?
John: There's really nothing new about this issue. The real issue is that your marketing will be more effective if you understand your target market and tailor your marketing efforts to their needs.
So, are women different than men and do you need to tailor your marketing to fit their needs? Sure, just like you need to tailor your marketing one way to sell the construction industry and another to sell to attorneys. Of course, then the question becomes-- can you really afford to spend the energy to further segment your marketing to serve only the women in construction?
Lip-sticking thinks John has the right idea--tailor your marketing to fit your market. We know that as of 2002, women construction owners totalled 9.1% of the construction industry, which supports John's statement that understanding your market is your key to success. Overtly marketing only male construction owners might turn some of those women off; but marketing exclusively to the minority of women in the construction business, might turn away the men who own construction firms. John has put it succinctly: tailor your marketing efforts to your market's needs.
What's not to like about that?