You might not like this post. You may find it sexist, clichéd, rude, and demeaning to women – perhaps even distasteful. BUT…whether you agree with my approach or not doesn’t affect the laws of the REAL marketing universe YOUR company lives in one bit… Sex sells!
Let’s not get off on the wrong foot here, with a lecture for me on political correctness or any of the above objections. Let’s talk about something far more important – PROFITS. YOUR profits are the very thing that keeps food on the table for you and all of your employees.
The Flying R, Circle C, Shiloh, Bonanza, or the High Chaparral, every ranch, real or fictional, had a brand, a symbol burned into the hide of the cattle to stamp ownership and help protect them from rustling. But it was not just ranches that had a brand and unique symbols of individuality—cowboys had them too.
The famous Indian Crazy Horse had several battle rituals, including painting his body with lightning bolts and white spots to denote hailstones. He would either tie the body of a hawk against the side of his head or wear a war bonnet with buffalo horns and a dozen eagle feathers. Often he wore a red blanket like a cape. Likewise, all the great chiefs, like Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Black Elk, and Quanah all had their unique headdresses, war paint, clothing, and accessories.
Sam Walton became the world’s richest man in the 1990s using one fundamental strategy. He built his stores in smaller towns where his competition didn’t go because they thought there weren’t enough people to support a store. (Which just shows how wrong you can be.)
Southwest Airlines used the same initial strategy in building their company on less-traveled routes and secondary airports, where the gate fees were less.
I built a multimillion-dollar business in an industry no one had thought about—the karate business—that at its peak had 20,000 schools in the US alone. Earlier in my martial arts career, I had the only karate school in two different cities.
Mark Twain lost his entire fortune on a series of entrepreneurial ideas, most notably a typesetting machine that never actually worked. Twain, like many of us, fell in love with the idea and simply didn’t know when to say stop.
I have a friend in the exotic car business whom I visit quite often. Every time I’m down at his house, he has a Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley, or some other beautiful car in the driveway. He lets me drive whatever he has, which for a car nut like me is heaven. Invariably I say, “Why don’t you keep this one?”
Very often the breakthrough marketing strategy that vaults your business beyond all your competitors can be very simple.
I had a client in New York whose surrounding area suddenly became predominately Asian in its ethnic make up. He had the foresight to put up a Korean language page on his website. (While many Koreans can speak English, far fewer read it well.) By being the only business of his kind in the area with information in Korean, he captured a huge share of this lucrative market while his competitors were sleeping.
Most people overcomplicate marketing with talk of image, brand, feel, look, style, and culture. These are all important, relevant factors — if you are a multinational company — and all are of little importance if you are not!
What is important is the simple fact that there are only three ways to grow your business.
1. Increase the number of clients.
This is where most businesses focus their effort, although it’s very often the hardest of the three ways to increase income. Large growth in number of clients usually comes from a change in pricing or a change in marketing focus. When we changed one partner’s prime marketing media from print advertising to targeted direct mail, we were able to add over half a million dollars in income the second year and over a million the third — with a small decrease in spending!