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Are You a Good Marketer or a Great One?

May 24th, 2011 by Bob Bly

A reporter once asked legendary pool player Minnesota Fats what made the difference between a great pool player ? which Fats was ? and one who was merely good.

?The good pool player makes the shot,? said Fats. ?The great pool player not only makes the shot, but does so in such a way that the balls are lined up for the next shot.?

I think the same applies to marketers.

Are you a good marketer ? or a great marketer?

A good marketer creates a product, runs a promotion for it, gets a healthy response rate, and makes a nice profit.

A great market does all that too ? but he also designs the product, promotion, or both so that the next sale is ready to be made.

For instance,?Friendly?s restaurant, regardless of what you think of their food, is often a great marketer.

Yes, when you walk in, there are always specials, enticing you to buy more during your visit.

These specials often include an ice cream desert, which many customers, after the big meal, are too full to eat.

Instead of letting the customer walk out without getting their desert ? which would slightly increase the restaurant?s margin on the meal ? my local Friendly?s gives away a certificate entitling you to get your free ice cream on your next visit.

Are they being generous?

Yes. But they are also being smart.

Because when you return to claim your free ice cream, you will most likely buy ice cream for the people with you ? or pick up a quart to take home ? or stop and have lunch.

Friendly?s is a great marketer, because they are thinking ahead to the next sale ? not just focusing on today?s transaction.

How about you?

Are you a good marketer ? or a great marketer?

Good marketers focus on the front end ? the immediate sale.

Great marketers strategize ways to maximize revenues from every product, promotion, and customer.

Good marketers make a good living.

Great marketers make a great living ? and become rich beyond the dreams of avarice.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 11:00 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

61 responses about “Are You a Good Marketer or a Great One?”

  1. Ivan Walsh said:

    Great post Bob but… it’s not either/or.

    Sometimes one may be great and then less so.

    For example, I’m a big fan of Al Ries (Positioning) but his recent posts are very dated. He still thinks IBM make mainframes.

    He’s still good but…

  2. Brian Croner said:

    If I didn’t have back end products and services, I would have been out of business long ago. What started out as just a one man consulting service naturally evolved into a 7 person full service advertising agency. My client’s asked if I could handle additional services and I said “yes”.

    We recently trained a gift store chain to increase their sales at the front counter. When someone walks up with a product to purchase, the sales associate behind the cash register is required to show the customer other products they have for sale. Conversions from $5 sales have gone up as high $30 and more.

  3. William Reynolds said:

    Then there’s that good old tried-but-true method of making sure you’ve secured the next purchase — give the customer a really fantastic experience on the current one! Treat each sale as a marketing demo for the next one, and your customers will be back — with their friends.

  4. Doc Sheldon said:

    Great post, Bob!

    Too many folks, it seems, content themselves with “good”, even though “great” may be easily within their grasp. I’ve caught myself, on occasion, in a complacent mood, and kicked myself for being satisfied with less than my best effort.

    Thanks for the reminder! Friendly’s is a great example of taking it to the next level.

  5. David Edwards said:

    Hi Bob,

    Awesome stuff, I discovered your blog from a link on Rich Schefren’s website. I’ve bookmarked you!…

    All the best,

    David Edwards

  6. Danielle Lynn said:

    Definitely true, and great example using Friendly’s.

    When I started creating and marketing my own products, I realized there was a lot of potential for me to keep the purchasing loop going. Did it involve extra work and planning? Yes. But the end results were well worth it. 🙂

    Good post Bob

  7. Scott Martin said:

    I live in Charlotte, home to Bank of America. The guy who used to run the bank, Hugh McColl was at a lunch with new trainees. One of them asked the CEO, “how do I get ahead at the bank?”

    McColl replied, “do what you’re asked to do then ask for more.”

    It’s amazing what happens when you ask for business.

  8. Brandon said:

    A lot of it comes down to thinking about ways to make customers happy. It seems basic, but most people tend to treat customers as objects who will pay a set amount of money then leave.

    For example, I ate at a restaurant tonight where the owner went around to each table to make sure things were ok, in addition to attention from the server. He even boxed our food and every single person on staff we saw smiled and said goodbye as we left. Good food, but the experience was better when I food out they actually cared about repeat business. Great restaurant marketing leaves customers regretting they hadn’t left a bigger tip.

  9. Darren said:

    That’s such a brilliant idea that I never thought of Bob!

    Entice them with a little freebie in the future, knowing that they’ll come back for more than just the freebie.

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