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Back in the early 1940s, Rosser Reeves of Ted Bates & Company coined the phrase “USP – Unique Selling Proposition.”  The term referred to a having, finding or creating a distinctive point of view or reason to buy that is wholly different from the competitions’.

But as a catchphrase, USP is so 70-years-ago!

In the 80’s, marketing agencies, HR consultants and motivational speakers started using the term “elevator pitch,” which kinda says the same thing: What is so special about you (or your company, or your product) that you can express it in just 30 seconds on the ride up the elevator and expect the listener to get it?  We hear that term a lot in angel and investor meetings.

More recently, we find ourselves using the phrase “value proposition.”  And we’ve shorted the time to about 5 seconds, but we’ll settle for 30, just as long as it clearly tells the story.

Your value proposition is the answer to the question “what customer objective does my company help to achieve better than anyone or anything else?

Whichever term you favor, USP, elevator pitch, or value proposition, without it, without a good one, you’re dead!  If you can’t very quickly describe what makes you, your product, your service or your company truly special in the eyes of the customer, don’t expect your customer to do it for you.  By default, they’ll just put you on the shelf called “commodity,” and there you’ll stay.

Every business, whether funeral home or fast-food restaurant, starts out with the same baseline of customer fulfillment as its competition. If you run a funeral home, for example, you might say your value proposition is how much you care for families and the deceased.  But then, what funeral home doesn’t say that?  If you manage a cemetery, you might default to “a beautiful, restful place of honor.” But that’s not unique to your property alone, so it doesn’t really make you special, does it?  Poof, you’re a commodity!  You’re just the same as everybody else.

On the other hand, your value proposition has to be one that is not merely unique but deserves an exclamation point in the eyes of your customer.  It has to create a real sense of Wow! or there really is no value, just proposition.  What can you say that captures the imagination and puts you in a class all your own? That’s at the very heart of making a sale or losing out on one.

I’ll be honest, defining your value proposition takes some real corporate soul-searching at the most fundamental level. It requires seeing yourself from your competitors’ customers’ point of view.  It may even require re-inventing your organization so that there’s an entirely new but better value proposition than the one you’re claiming now.

Commit to asking yourself, just as soon as you finish reading this post, “what’s our value proposition?”  Ask your associates and see if their answers agree with your own, and if they can articulate it in less than 90 seconds.  Aim for 30.  (For my company, we can do it in two seconds: “Agent of Change.”  We even own the registered trademark on it!)

Your value proposition is the very cornerstone of your business.  All sales and marketing must emanate from it.  The stronger your value proposition is…

…and the more clearly it expresses your unique ability to improve your customers’ lives…

…and the most concisely you can articulate it between elevator floors…

…the more confident you can be in betting on your company’s success!

HA logoSome years back, I had decided to take a brief hiatus from advertising and open my own flight school. I thought it would be interesting to put my money where my mouth is and be my own client for a change. Knowing that branding is one of the most vital parts of a any company’s success, I created a unique identity for my flight school, calling it “Hollywood Aviators.” In part it was because we were located close to the film capital, and in part I wanted to attract that crowd. (Angelina Jolie had just earned her pilots license, but there were plenty of others…and we even got a few!)

I created a logo in the style of the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, and we put up floor-to-ceiling photos of John Wayne, Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart in aviation roles. Our slogan was “Star treatment from the ground up.” But with all that, I knew that a logo and a slogan were the most superficial parts of branding. What really gives a brand its value is saying and doing those things that are in alignment with the brand. So, for us to be Hollywood Aviators, we had to perform as Hollywood Aviators, from providing star-level customer service to assuring that our facilities and aircraft were as exceptional as possible…even on a shoestring budget. It didn’t take long for people to notice us, and in short time, with a little publicity and advertising to prime the pump, we started to grow.

Of course, then I realized that I really missed my advertising career so I sold the school.

But what I took away from this experience was a first-hand understanding of the power of branding at the deepest levels.

A brand is far more than a logo. It is more than a clever tagline. A successful brand is the living realization of all you promise in your marketing. It’s how you answer the phones. It’s how you follow through on your promises. It’s how you relate to your employees and how your employees relate to your customers. In other words, your brand is also your culture. Being the brand is just as important as executing your branding consistently across all the marketing platforms.

Let’s take the funeral business. If a funeral home’s slogan is “Caring 24/7” for instance, it had better not have an answering machine or an impersonal third-party service if a family calls after hours. And everyone from the maintenance staff to the secretaries to the attendants should understand that they all play a vital role in helping ease a family’s pain in difficult times, even if they hardly ever interface with them directly. If a cemetery’s message is “A New Way,” then everything it does should feel fresh and unexpected, from how the lobby looks to the way the contract is written. Otherwise, it’s only lip service and customers quickly catch on.

In the funeral business, consumers automatically default to stereotypical images which are not very flattering.

So it’s up to you to brand your business in a way that demonstrates you’re in a class all your own. And don’t just tell them with clever marketing, but prove it to them in all the ways your business can actually be the brand.

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Dan Katz is president, creative director of LA ads. To discuss your thoughts with Dan on this blog or any marketing matters, email via this link, or visit www.LAadsMarketing.com.  You can also connect with Dan on LinkedInSee agency work via this link.

Self InterestWhen you write a Facebook post, what are you thinking about at that moment?  Are you thinking, “I want my readers to know this!”?   Are you thinking, “We need to increase our call volume!”?  Or possibly, “We need more Facebook Likes!”?

Or are you thinking, “Why have my followers chosen to Like me?”  How about, “What are they interested in to which I can contribute?”  “What will they share with their friends?”

The first set of questions are just about you and your business.  The second set of questions puts the readers’ interests first.  That’s the way to win over their hearts and minds (and business), certainly far better than the first set.

We call this “Outside-In” thinking, looking at your business from the outside-in.  Unfortunately, too many marketers suffer from “Inside-Out” thinking, seeing things only from the inside, assuming that everybody is as excited about their business as they are.

The reasons you want to communicate with your prospects and customers are certainly going to be motivated by your business objectives. But what you say to them and how you say it has to come from what motivates them.  For all your marketing communications, be it posts, tweets, blasts, banners, commercials or exhibit booths, you have to use your audience’s self-interest as your starting point. Merely posting about your new reception facilities or listing a series of feature-based bullet points is not going to be appealing to their self-interest.  (Would it be to yours if it came from, say, the local muffler store, especially if your car’s running smoothly?)  And for those funeral establishments who use Facebook just to post obituaries, keep in mind that this appeals to a very, very limited audience for a very, very limited time.

I’ve seen way too many funeral home commercials in which the owner walks down the chapel aisle and espouse superior service, affordable prices, casket choices, years in business, and “our family serving yours.”  That’s soooo Inside-Out.  That kind of marketing is soooo “who-cares?”

So what does your audience want to know? What excites and interests them?  What’s good enough for them to share or pass along or even simply pay attention to?  You need to ask that question with every marketing communication you generate.

This is one of the reasons we use a lot of humor or emotions in our own clients’ marketing, because good communication starts with human interest. Anything that makes a person laugh, smile, cry, wince or raise their eyebrows touches deeper human levels and transcends purely rational thinking.

Sponsoring contests, especially if they’re relevant to your message and brand – especially if the prize is big or unique – always has audience-appeal. Showing how your product or service solves your customers’ problems, eases their pain, saves them money or eliminates inconvenience, all speak to their self-interest.  Getting them to think about their own legacy, how they’ll be remembered by their great-grandchildren and generations beyond, eases the fear of death and appeals to the desire to transcend its bounds, even if only symbolically.

Think of it this way, when you go fishing, what do you put on the hook: what you like or what the fish likes?  It’s the same thing in marketing.  Make sure the bait is what they like. You’ll like what happens next.

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Dan Katz is president, creative director of LA ads. To discuss your thoughts with Dan on this blog or any marketing matters, email via this link, or visit www.LAadsMarketing.com.  You can also connect with Dan on LinkedInSee agency work via this link.

 

Business couple“What do you mean the customer went elsewhere? Are you kidding me? When did that happen? Why did they leave? I can’t believe it!”  Have you heard (or said) these words in the past few months or so?

How many times have you lost a family or other business to a competitor?

Well, as we all know, business comes and goes but the sad part about it is that more times than not it’s because we’ve lost track of them or taken them for granted.

Which brings me to the question, “Why do customers leave?”  Curiously, most business owners and managers have the exact wrong idea about why customers leave. Most people believe that customers leave because:

  • They found a lower price.
  • Their needs have changed.
  • (Drum roll please)…Wrong!

According to an in-depth study by the research firm CRMGuru, the reasons customers give for taking their “business down the road” are:

  • Bad customer service: 74%
  • Poor quality of product: 32%
  • Pricing: 25%
  • Functionality/Needs change: 15%

As you can see, when it comes to keeping your existing customers, customer service is three times more important than price–and five times more important than functionality. Which obviously means that if you want to keep the customers you’ve got, you should think about reversing priorities and pay more attention to customer service and quality – and, consequently, less attention to functionality and price. I fully realize that this runs contrary to 90% of what most people think is important, probably because price and functionality can play a large role in new customer acquisition.

Yet, many marketing plans are so focused on customer acquisition that they largely ignore customer retention, especially in the funeral business because it’s long-term. Even a tiny change in customer retention can have a large effect on long-term profitability and growth.  This shouldn’t be underestimated. The easiest way to grow your customers is not to lose them.  In fact, I recently read that 96 percent of dissatisfied customers never complain. They just take their business to one of your competitors, and the unfortunate thing is that you’ll never know why.  Even if you did nothing wrong, you might have simply lost touch.

Want to get an edge over your competitors? With a little attention, your business can be one of those which can negate churn and improve profitability. Here’s a  list of the five strategies (only limited by space) you can use to improve customer retention.

 Keep them on your radar screen

So many companies do an excellent job of making the initial sale, then start chasing other prospects and in the process forget about their current customer…ignore may be the case as well…or they just get complacent.  To make sure that future referrals and repeat business materialize from this customer, it’s important to make sure that you demonstrate by your actions that you really care and that everyone who has done business with you has made the right decision. This can be accomplished by putting a plan in place to communicate with them, and sell to them again and again, constantly proving that your firm was the right choice.

Build engaging relationships

With CRM programs all the rage, coupled with Big Data and predictive analytics providing marketers with in depth customer insights, the key to engagement is through personalization. In fact, as consumers ourselves, we expect and demand that companies personalize messaging and offers so they’re relevant to our wants and needs. You can do this by providing clients with ongoing communications that are personalized to them. Send them reminders, or offers or information that they’ll like at the right time based on when they might need your product or services. Do some A/B testing in order to see what catches the attention of your customers. And, even recommend products to them. Offers, timing and product recommendations all show that you know and care about your clients.

Share useful content/information

Customers buy from people. They buy based on trust. Building trust with new customers is the key to getting them to buy in the first place.  And maintaining and strengthening that trust is the key to keeping your customer over the long term, improving customer retention. In today’s marketplace, it’s not enough to have a wonderful product or service, you also have to help educate your customers on how they can use your product or service better.  Content must abide by three criteria: it must be expected, valuable and relevant.

Give Back

Going back to your own personal experience for a minute, what is your impression of a company that, out-of-blue, gives you something you could use….for no cost. Not as an incentive or ulterior motive to purchase or do something else, but rather “just because.” It probably left you feeling good about the company, maybe even made you happy. Using the element of surprise to your advantage is a good thing because people naturally remember when something surprised them in a good way. You see, winning customers over starts with winning their thanks on individual terms. And while technology allows you to offer up this surprise to whatever scale you want, the fact is people remember acts of kindness when it feels personal.

Provide Proactive Customer Service

Of course, if you’re a funeral provider, you certainly offer the highest degree of hands-on care, right? Or if you’re a supplier, customer support is paramount, right again? But are you also being proactive with them?  Being proactive, or anticipating what the customer might need or addressing problems before they happen is both unexpected and greatly appreciated.  This could be as simple as calling and asking if everything is OK before the client calls you to say something is not. Or letting them know that the product they recently bought is being redesigned and will look different or is going to be sold in bulk versus single-product purchases. And lastly, there’s nothing like hearing from the customers themselves.  Some sort of a feedback system, such as a survey or speaking directly with your loyal customers, shows them that you really care about their recent experience with your company and will help identify any issues to address.

Think Long-Term Relationships

For funeral providers especially, once a family has made arrangements, or purchased a plot, or completed a memorial service, this should be only the beginning of your relationship, not the end. Too many cemeteries and funeral homes are too quick to move on to the next piece of business instead of “farming” old customers, keeping up their databases, and staying in touch year-after-year with the family.  Don’t dare let this happen to you!  Out of sight should never mean out of mind, where past business is concerned.  Make calls, send letters, send informational emails, and let the family know that your care is ongoing (as it should be).  And the same holds true to suppliers to the industry as well if you expect to be around next decade and beyond: your past customer is your best next customer.

Regardless of what you’re selling, your long-term profitability is largely dependent upon your ability to keep current customers, compared to acquiring new ones. While you must always try things to attract new customers to your business, don’t take for granted those who are already in your camp and are supporting your business.  Don’t forget, every now and then, to “dance with dem dat brung ya.”

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Dan Katz is president, creative director of LA ads. To discuss your thoughts with Dan on this blog or any marketing matters, email via this link, or visit www.LAadsMarketing.com.  You can also connect with Dan on LinkedInSee agency work via this link.

newspaper clutterEvery time I open the morning paper or fan through the pages of one of the funeral industry trades (or practically any magazine, for that matter), I find myself wincing.  Ad after ad tells the same sad story: money spent leading to no results.  In fact, I’d venture to say that better than 85% – 90% of the ads lay the same leaden egg.  Oh, the humanity!

If you’re questioning whether your advertising is doing what you paid it to do, odds are it’s not.  And although there are master classes you might take in advertising creativity, marketing strategy and media planning, it’s very likely the problem falls within four main areas.  Checking off each point, you can estimate your ad’s effectiveness even before you place it.  I mean it.

Here then are the four fundamental concepts that can make a meaningful difference in how successful your next advertising effort is.

1)  Have a something compelling to say.  And by that, I mean not just compelling to you and your staff, but to a completely disinterested audience.  If you’ve followed my posts for any length of time, you know that I frequently observe that people don’t like advertising…and they really don’t like funeral advertising.  So whatever you have to say must go the distance to alter their indifference.  Don’t just tell your audience you’re caring and compassionate, or that you’ve been around for three generations. They already assume that of you and your twelve competitors around the corner. Tell them something they don’t know, something that might even surprise them.  (Such as, you package funerals with overnight accommodations at the Ritz Carlton, or you offer six theme hearses.  Anything that’s unexpected.)  You can tell when someone’s ad is truly compelling when you think, “Gee, I didn’t know that!”  We sometimes call that a “sticky” message, one that has staying power after the reader has turned the page or flipped the channel.

2)  Sell, don’t just tell.  One of the most egregious mistakes advertisers make is simply laying out all the features of their product or service and expect the audience to figure out why that’s important to them.  Often that’s done in the form of five or seven bullet points, such as:

  • 85 years of experience
  • Full banquet facilities
  • Large on-site parking
  • Exclusive bereavement support
  • Digitally-produced memorial videos
  • Multi-lingual staff

or in Business-to-Business ads (snatched from the pages of a recent funeral trade pub):

  • Proven Products
  • Superior Service
  • Implementation
  • Dedicated Staff
  • Customizable by end-user

Yikes! There’s no emotion in that.  There’s no selling.  There’s no story or connection.  Instead of praying that maybe one or two bullets might hit home with some member of the audience – or worse, trying to be all things to all people – why not focus on one point at a time and spell out why that point really matters.  People don’t buy bullets.  They don’t buy features.  But they do buy benefits and ideas that add value to their lives.  Always be thinking, from their point of view, “what’s in it for me?”

3)   Be your own brand and not a clone of others.  All too often, within any given industry, I see ads in which the logos and contact information are interchangeable, one company’s with another’s. None stand out, all look alike, and thus all the players are perceived as a commodity. Here’s a question for you: If your logo was blocked out of your ad or commercial, would the audience still know it’s yours?  Take, for instance, Jack-In-The-Box. Their commercials are radically different from McDonalds’. BMW’s ads are unmistakably theirs and not Mercedes’.  It’s a matter of message but also a matter of style,  personality and consistency.  The more striking and distinctive your ads are, the stronger competitive impact they’ll make, while your competitions’ ads could be just anybody’s.  Dare to be Different!

4)  Tell the same story across all your platforms.  With all the buzz about Social Media, it strikes me as odd that most Facebook pages and outbound Tweets for funeral homes and cemeteries have little in common with their main marketing messages.  In part that’s because the marketing messages themselves aren’t that well-defined.  But it’s also because the marketers don’t appreciate the importance of speaking with the same voice at any touchpoint.  Good marketing is a collective enterprise and an erosive processes.  For instance, if your main story is about how your property has been around for over 100 years, use your Facebook pages to talk about the history of the area, the early days of your firm, the historic people you’ve served, etc.  Make sure your phone hold-message tells the same story.  Make sure you hold special events that support the theme. Even the business-card-sized ads you run in the church bulletins should be branded accordingly. If you don’t keep hammering away at the same selling proposition at every touchpoint, then each effort conflicts with every other.

While hardly a full compendium of marketing knowledge, if you make the effort to assure your advertising and marketing is consistent with these four points, you’ll be far out in front of 85% of your competition. And that’s the goal, to create ads your customers will react to and that your competition will hate.

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Dan Katz is president, creative director of LA ads. To discuss your thoughts with Dan on this blog or any marketing matters, email via this link, or visit www.LAadsMarketing.com.  You can also connect with Dan on LinkedInSee agency work via this link.

business targetsWe recently did some work for a funeral home client who was always on the prowl for new business.  They were a frequent advertiser, and their PR program got them visibility far beyond the budget they invested.  In fact, they had – we’d like to think, with our help – massively improved their local visibility on so many fronts. But when it came to their own home front, they completely missed the boat.

What I mean by that is that they ignored the single greatest source of new business, and that’s old business…families and individuals who had done business with them in the past. You’d think this is a no-brainer, but every time we’d suggest a marketing program aimed at their own data base, the energy would drain right out of the room. Why so?  They felt that it was wrong to “pester” a family one year, two years or five years after the service.  They didn’t want to be seen as selling anything!  Besides, they had allowed their database of many years to become obsolete.  Only the last two years were even computerized.

Ah, what a missed opportunity.

There are so many reasons why existing customers are your very best prospects.  Here are a few statistics that drive the point home:

  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% – Marketing Metrics.
  • A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% – Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy.
  • It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one – Bain & Company.

Why would you not want to focus your marketing efforts on current and older customers?  There is so much to be gained. Consider the following five reasons why they are your absolutely best prospects for future business:

  1. There’s more water in that well. Families like to stay together and tend to trust the services that other family members have used.  This is especially true with respect to a business that provides deeply personal family services, such as a funeral home or memorial park. You’ve developed your business around the values of trust, care, respect and service. These are the very things the family will want to rely upon from you in the future.  But if you let too much time slip away between contacts, that emotional tie will eventually fade, leaving the door open to competitors or other alternate solutions.  Stay in touch through newsletters, email, or even a personal phone call or letter.  Let them know that you have a new service or feature, what’s going on with your staff, how you’ve helped out in the community, and how important it is to make plans now for their future.

While that may be the most obvious reason, here are others you might not have thought about:

  1. They’ll tell you how you’re doing. While it’s not always comfortable to ask customers how they like or dislike your services or products, nobody can give you a better report card and the straight dope on your service delivery than those on the receiving end. Listen to them, but also ask them.  Whatever you hear, good or not, will guide you in what you bring to future customers.  At the same time, your seeking out their opinions tells them you’re interested in them, which can only strengthen those relationships.
  2. They’re your best referral source. But only if you are doing all you can to keep your firm in their sights. Once they forget about you, you’re back to square one, especially when it comes to their circle of contacts. Also, while they still have a positive memory of working with your firm, you should actually ask them to pass the good word along.  Encourage them to share their experiences on sites like Yelp, Google Places, Angie’s List, Yahoo! Local, and of course the Social Media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
  3. They’re models for others just like them. Pay close attention to who is buying from you, how they’re finding you, what their product or service choices are, and where you can find more of the same.  Remember the old 80-20 rule (80% of your business comes from just 20% of the marketplace).  Learn precisely who that 20% is and it will be easier to grow that segment.  But you can only do that by really understanding the customers you already have.
  4. They may actually turn against you if you ignore them. Funeral care is already highly emotionally charged, and if you did anything that wasn’t 100% to a family’s satisfaction, a little slip-up can fester becoming the source of negative social sharing.  By staying closely connected, you give the family an avenue to express any upset, hopefully diffusing any issues, but at the same time, you are reminding them that, for you, they’re not out of mind, even if they’re out of sight. Who doesn’t want to feel that they’re thought-about every now and then?  Customers are like teeth, ignore them and maybe they’ll go away!

So, the answer to “Who is your absolutely best new customer?” is of course…your old customer. Especially when marketing dollars are tight, prospecting to them is, without a doubt, the best money you can spend.

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Dan Katz is president, creative director of LA ads. To discuss your thoughts with Dan on this blog or any marketing matters, email via this link, or visit www.LAadsMarketing.com.  You can also connect with Dan on LinkedInSee agency work via this link.

I’ve been out of school for (mumble mumble) years but I still consider myself a student.  I’m constantly learning about marketing and new ways to engage prospective customers.  The absolute best way to learn about marketing is to watch other people – your spouse, your kids, your friends – and pay attention when they react to an ad or a mailer or a referral.  For instance, I watch my wife at night, when she’s sorting through the stack of mail, to see what she tears open and what she trashes without first opening it.  I listen to my kids when they tell me about a cool new app or commercial they’ve seen.  As long as I don’t influence them with my opinions coloring theirs, they teach me a lot.

The second best way to learn about marketing is to catch myself in the act of responding to someone else’s marketing efforts.  I do it all the time.

Let’s say the mail has just arrived and I grab the newest magazines.  As I sit at my desk, feet up, I occasionally find myself reading an ad without thinking – and then I stop for a second and wonder why.  What caught my attention?  What stopped me from turning the page?  Was it a topic I was already interested in?  Was it a surprising photo or clever headline?  What exactly was the trigger?  And then, did the ad actually make me interested in knowing more about its subject?  Did it influence me to consider calling or clicking or writing down a note?  All these are the questions I ask myself only after I have been caught up in the ad – not before, or the “data” is invalid.

The same goes for when I mindlessly watch TV and catch myself actually focused on a commercial.  Usually, commercials are just background noise.  But then, something occasionally pulls me in and when I notice that I’ve been hooked, I stop to analyze what just happened.  OK, sure, I’m always attracted by a sexy model, but hardly ever enough to really listen to the sales pitch.  Yet, every once in a while a commercial sinks in without my intentionally intending for it to do so.  That’s when I go from being a viewer to being a student and thinking about it analytically.  I make a mental note of what happened…what hooked me and what drew me in.  On the occasions in which I actually find myself seeking out the product afterward, I again rewind to learn what made me react the way the advertiser wanted me to.

Often, the answer isn’t as simple as how effective the ad or commercial or website was.  Often, it’s a combination of things, including some desire or disposition I had already brought to the party; perhaps having seen other ads or commercials for the same or similar thing before but now, I suddenly noticed it; something other people have said about the product or brand recently that gave the ad new context; some news or article or review I may have read about it; and most potently, an immediate need that was answered by the ad or commercial or web page.  (As funeral professionals, we thrive on any “at need’ immediacy of the audience, but we dare not depend on it.)

Whatever the influencers, this I know:  I wouldn’t have been moved to act, having just seen the ad, without having seen it to begin with.  Woody Allen has said that 80 percent of success is just showing up!  So you gotta show up.  I also know that clever creative isn’t the end-all, but I more regularly notice ads, billboards, direct mail, radio spots and TV commercials that have some imagination and freshness – on top of a strong selling message, and I most typically ignore anything and everything that seems old or familiar.  And I’ve learned, and continue to learn, so much more by paying attention to my own unintentional behaviors, as I learn by watching those around me.

I encourage you to be your own best marketing teacher in the same way.  Every time you buy a new brand of paper towel, or call a new plumber, or visit a new doctor, or make an online purchase, stop, rewind and consider all the factors that drove you to that specific buying decision.  Every time you inadvertently find yourself paying attention to an ad or commercial or recall a billboard you passed, stop, rewind and reflect on what was it that grabbed you and pulled you in.  Once you’ve gone through the day’s mail, notice which unsolicited mail you didn’t throw out and critically think about why.

Then take what you’re learning and measure that against the marketing your firm is doing.

There are a ton of books on marketing and lots of marketing theory classes at the local colleges, but you can acquire a great deal of knowledge on your own by simply watching yourself and others around you reacting in the real world…just like your prospective customers do every day.

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Dan Katz is president, creative director of LA ads. To discuss your thoughts with Dan on this blog or any marketing matters, email via this link, or visit www.LAadsMarketing.com.  You can also connect with Dan on LinkedInSee agency work via this link.

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