Friday 29 May 2009

The Five Pillars of Apple's Marketing

Steve Chazin was a former Apple marketing executive has explained 5 of its best marketing ideas in a powerful e-book "Marketing Apple: 5 Secrets of the World's Best Marketing Machine"

Chazin notes Apple:

1. Doesn't Sell Products
People but what other people have.
It sells club membership to the Apple tribe

2. Is Never "First to Market"
Make something good greater.
It moves into existing marketing places.

3. Empowers Early Adopters
Help your customers help you.
They become the Apple sales force.

4. Make their Message Memorable
Boil your story down to it's syrupy goodness!
People need to be able to rapidly absorb, retain, and
repeat your sales message in the first 2-5 seconds.

5. Goes One Step Further
Try and surprise and delight your customers.
Make the customer feel good about their purchase.

How many of these 5 can you claim to do?

Thursday 28 May 2009


During World War 2, Winston Churchill was famous for his motivational acronym KBO standing for “Keep Buggering On” . It was Churchill's way of saying it's tough but keep on.

KBO could well be the mantra for all businesses from the world's largest to the guy that gives away the free evening newspapers in London.

It's what you need to do worth your marketing. Keep on, Don't give up.

It was what I said to my telemarketing guy today when he asked me what more I wanted from him. KBO.

Don't need to say any more, do I.


Wednesday 27 May 2009


When CEO's announce poor financial results, often they will talk about rising costs to explain their disappointing results. At the same time on-line message boards are flooded with that company's customers claiming it is poor customer service that is hurting the business. Take a look any any airline to see this pattern unfolding.

What customers are often saying is “You you're not giving me the value that I want”.

What value are you currently giving clients and prospects?

Not discounts, they want value.

Not freebies, they want value.

Assuming you don't do a straight pitch then a podcast offers value.

A blog offers value.

How do you offer value?

Offer some more!

Tuesday 26 May 2009

What Tony Blackburn can teach you about Modern Marketing.

Ever since I first started to listening to pop radio in the UK, Tony Blackburn ruled the airwaves, from being the first voice on Radio 1 to hosting Top of the Pops. Blackburn was every where. Then his popularity waned and he seemed a little cheesy and plastic. However he's still broadcasting in London on Smooth Radio and Radio London.

So what?

Tony uses Audio Boo a simple iPhone audio blogging tool to communicate with his listeners. He lets you know when he's appearing on the radio. You can Boo, those in the know just call it a Boo, Tony and he will mention you on the radio.

Think of it like an audio email.

You simply make a recording on your iPhone and send/ publish it to the Audio Boo web site. It take s minutes. No audio editing. You just add a picture and a simple title. You can then use twitter & facebook to let the world know.

It's a great way to review a book or movie.

Simple way to promote your event.

You might just to want to talk with Tony Popfantastic Blackburn.

Start booing!

Monday 25 May 2009

So What?

Just been listening to Jeremy Nicholas on the radio talking about the "so what" test that journalists use to determine what is the story in the news. When journalists read a press release they ask themselves that question. "Bank opens new branch in Lincoln" what "New Bank Manager ran slowest ever time in London Marathon" now that's a story.

So What?

how does that help your marketing?

Well, it obviously is a little test for all your media releases.

But it also helps with any marketing message you might have, any benefits you claim.

I can build a web site in a what?

I can produce a set of financial accounts in three what?

I have a one page marketing plan what?

You have to work harder, think more and dig deeper to answer the so what question.

So what?

Thursday 21 May 2009

Do you have the bottle to Be Different?

“Having the bottle” is street language for having the courage to stand up and do something. Maybe it originates from Dutch courage. I hope that you are reading this totally sober, I maybe have some caffeine in my system, that's all.

Why do you need to be different?

Because nobody really cares, they don't.

Accept that we live in an instant gratification society, look at Twitter. I want it and want it now, Look at me now. As a professional speaker I am probably as guilty as anybody in wanting instant gratification. I want the audience to laugh at my jokes and be hooked on my stories. Yes, I want the applause. I know all about being shallow. Calling me deep is an insult to both of us!

Growing up we want to be like everybody else, our mates. Going to work we have to fit in. Now that you run your business or want success in sales you need a different template, Charlie.

That old template won't work

Be different and you stand out!

Be different and you are remembered!

Be different and you may just be considered remarkable!

Be different and I may notice you enough to care

Please don't confuse this with all that personal branding tosh. It's not about whether you wear a black or pink shirt. A shirt is just a shirt.

Tell me how your ideas are different not your clothing!

Go on...Be Different, Not Better!

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Getting Prospects to Believe in your Service Based Business.

Are you a services or product based business?

Even if you are a printer or landscaper and you produce stuff; I would suggest that it's your services that are likely to differentiate you from your competition. Aren't they?
Those invisible things make all the difference?

So how do you market the invisible?

With testimonials?
Maybe, but I would suggest that people might read who has given you the positive comment, without reading the comment. “Oh they got so-and-so to give them a positive comment”
There's a much better ways to do this now.

How about a podcast, where you make your clients the star of the show?

How about a podcast for the association you belong to, where you make your fellow association members the star?
I do this with Moving Voices for the Professional Speakers Association.

How about posting a video on your YouTube Channel.

This stuff is very low-cost and easy to do.

Make your clients the stars of your marketing and people may start to believe more in you and your services.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

My best marketing tip, stop all your marketing activities now, just stop, finito

No, I'm not suggest you give up on marketing, just call a halt and think.

How many marketing activities do you?
I bet there's a lot both off and on-line.

Have you ever just stopped and listed them all?

My suggestion is that you bin a lot and just focus on the one that gets you and your sales force talking to more prospects. Go for that one. I bet you don't even know what it is? Stop 99% of the others.

Focus on THE one, put your efforts there, get better at it, become the best. When you have gone as possibly far as you can with the one. Then, and only then is it time to start on number two.

Most of my new prospects first see me speak at an event such as “How to Barack Obama Your Business!”. They try me many times before they even consider hiring me as a marketing aid.

You know the old adage that you have to stroke prospects up to nine times before they are ready to buy.

Get stroking!

Where do prospects want to try you and your business out?

I know that it's easy to be seduced by the latest fad. Instead, take your time and work on your best.

There are no silver bullets in marketing. No one shot. But you will be better off doing fewer things better.

You will be better off doing just one thing better.

What is that one thing?

Monday 18 May 2009

I don't like your language

I was speaking to the London Chapter of the Professional Speakers Association on Saturday about professional speaker marketing. I was explaining what I speak on and described it as “working with businesses who want to better align their sales and marketing” Yes I was speaking about alignment!

After my speech Michael Dodd gave me some feedback. You probably know Michael from his media reviews on BBC and Sky News. Michael told me maybe I should think of not using the word alignment. It was too management speak. And maybe the audience were unsure as to what it specifically meant.

Now of course, Michael is correct, or is he? Alignment is a jargon word my ideal target audience use, but I would be better of saying “working better together” for the rest of the world.

I needed to be more careful with my language for certain audiences. Do you use jargon or management speak that maybe your market is unsure of?

Maybe it's time to better align your key performance indicators

Friday 15 May 2009

100 Not Out

Sports fans like statistics, especially US sports fans. For the English we love our cricket stats and the most heroic of those is to score one hundred runs, a century, in a Test Match (please Wikipedia Test Match if unsure) hopefully against Australia.

I have to admit it's now highly unlikely that I will score a century against the Aussies. So I play out my fantasy through my blog. How sad is that! And today is my one hundredth blog entry since I stated this blog. Today I achieve my century.

So I'm some what chuffed and full of my own self importance. I also believe that:

1.)I have only just started, my target is 500 entries and then a thousand.

2.) If I can do this, so can you. I want to encourage you to take up the blogging challenge and share your thoughts, ideas and experiences. On whatever subject. Come on, you are the story!

Finally, thanks for reading, without you this is just my mind talk!

Thursday 14 May 2009

Meet Me in London on Monday June 15th

I am delivering my workshop "How to Barack Obama Your Business!" at Old Bank of England, Fleet Street, London on Monday June 15th at 6.30pm.

This event is free to attend.

This event will be recorded for an audio CD release. Come and be part of the recording!

You can see the details over on the left there, click on the blue link for more details.

Hope to see you at the Bank the 15th.

Wednesday 13 May 2009

What's your big provocative idea, Sparky?

Improve your sales and marketing and you are giving your business a fighting chance.

So how do you make these disciplines more productive, efficient and effective?

Let's agree on what I mean by marketing.

Your marketing team comes up with the ideas and stories that you want to propagate.

Your sales team comes up with the individual message they take out to individual clients and help those clients and prospects to buy from you. OK, partner with you if you won't to go all lah-di-dah.

That makes it sound it all so easy, doesn't it? Well Sparky, that's because it is.

Do you have your ideas, clear?

Are they the same as everybody else or are they proactive?

Marketing should be coming up with big provocative ideas and stories to support them.
Selling then takes them to the market, individually.

What my big idea?

That unless you have a big provocative idea, you are are marketing a commodity, If you are marketing a commodity unless you are the quickest, cheapest or forget it, Sparky.

Twitter is a big provocative idea. Lager beer is a commodity.

What's your big provocative idea, Sparky?

Tuesday 12 May 2009

How to Stand Out in Your Market

1.Establish your Overt Benefit. What's In it for Me

2.Add a Reason to Believe. Why should I believe you?

3.Include your Dramatic Difference. Why should I care?

How does this work?

Michael is a friend of mine that offers accounting services.

If your accounting bill is over £1,500 per year he claims that he can save you over 50% off your next year's bill. Overt Benefit.

He has clients telling you this and he shows how on his YouTube videos and blogs. Reason to Believe.

He will push you, challenge you and hold you accountable to other cost savings in your business. A Dramatic Difference.

Can you do that in your business?

Yes you can.

If you need any help working out how to do this, you know where to turn. Was that subtle enough?

Monday 11 May 2009

Why Should I Care?

Back in the early 1970's I was just another spotty teenager.

Halcyon Days!

And like most kids I loved rock music. It was escape and fantasy, my favourite band in the early 70's were the Who. In 1973 they released a brilliant album “Quadrophenia” about a self obsessed 60's mod kid Jimmy. The classic song from that album is 5.15 about a train journey. Yes, a British Rail journey from Waterloo to Brighton. This song starts with Pete Townsend singing the line”Why should I care?” Now it was then introspective, but it is the line clients and prospects think all the time.

Why Should I Care about your...


Products and Services?

Latest email?


Your profitability?

They are not going to unless.....

in the words of Doug Hall unless you can show a Dramatic Difference.

Your Dramatic Difference answers the question “Why Should I Care?”

Clue. The answer is what you do for your market!

It's not that you're the biggest, oldest etc

Can you answer that?

Friday 8 May 2009

Why should I believe anything you say?

Give me a Reason to Believe You

Why should I believe anything you say? You're in business and just trying to sell me your stuff! Aren't you, you evil capitalist?

Tough, hey! Doug Hall suggests Reason to Believe as his second law of Marketing Physics.

Now, most people will say OK look at my testimonials and what people say about me on-line. Quite frankly that's all bull. Isn't it?

Do you believe the comments movie makers add to movie posters outside the cinema? 'Course not.

Let me tell you, don't expect people to believe you, I don't. Expect people to be sceptical. They know that you after their dosh!

Give them something they can believe in. A demo, a test-drive, your book, your blog, your podcast, your ebook. Keep at 'em

As Tim Hardin sang “If I listened long enough to you, I'd find a way to believe that it's all true

Thursday 7 May 2009

What Overt Benefit does your business deliver?

Doug Hall is somewhat of a contradiction. He's a geeky marketeer. A scientist interested in entrepreneurship. Maybe, he was attracted to the Dark Side? In his book “Jump Start Your Business Brain” Hall introduces the concept of the the Three Laws of Marketing Physics. See, I told you it was geeky.

Hall's first concept is that we should always offer an Overt Benefit, that answers the question What's in it for me? Can you answer that in a way that is meaningful, specific and measurable.

Not in some woolly, namby-pamby way like we build websites or put ink on paper. What hard benefit do you offer clients. Can you deliver profitable new clients in 13 weeks? Can you save me 33.5% of my tax bill? Can you make me 3 stone lighter in 3 months?

These results are specific make what you do the same?

What do I do?

I can show you how to increase your revenue by 15% in 17 weeks and double it in 23 months.

Wednesday 6 May 2009

What's New, Pussycat?

Today is the start of the international cricket season in England. England play the West Indies at Lords. Now, I'm a cricket and England supporter so I'm excited and full of anticipation.

Why? Because it's the start, the first game, it's new.

The media are talking about this match. A few Australians may even be watching!! The English team are not the world's best---by some margin! However, it's the new season, a chance to look forward and be optimistic.

Get the point?

We all look forward to the new. Whether is the new George Clooney movie, the new fashions from Milan or the new baseball season.

So what's new in your business?

How about a new service, product or marketing piece.

It doesn't have to be expensive, tweaking is OK.

Now you have reason to go back to people with your new service or CD.

Tell them about your new stuff.

I'm working on new stuff right now, you'll want me to tell you about them when they're ready won't you?


Tuesday 5 May 2009

My Manifesto

My role in my business is to create an idea that my clients find practical in helping them solve their business problems. I convey that message in a myriad of ways (ever-changing) to my constituency.

As such my two chief responsibilities are: Marketing and Sales.

Marketing is the origin of the idea and the creation of how the message is delivered.

Sales is the personal interface with my constituency and delivery of any solutions for that business.

To succeed my business must have an equal emphasis on creation and delivery of ideas i.e. both marketing and sales.


Neither is more important than the other and only by combing the two effectively will I achieve the success that I want.

Where I am weaker or short I will hire help, e.g. design and regular telemarketing.

To this end I want to market like a salesperson and sell like a marketer.

This is my manifesto.

Monday 4 May 2009

Why you need a Colin

Colin works for me, he makes telemarketing calls to book professional speaking work. For many people, Colin is the front-line of Rod Sloane Inc.. He's is who they speak with. Although he makes telemarketing calls, Colin is really my sales function. I am the marketing function, he is the sales function.

If you own a larger business you will be familiar with that divide, if you work in a smaller business maybe that division is blurred at best or even contusing.

Now that divide/gap is important. Empires and careers have been built on that gap. It has become a great wall and tomorrow I will publish my manifesto on it's future.

Just for today, think, am I in marketing creating the message or am I in sales delivering the message to prospects.

To put it crudely are you a message creator or punter-hunter?

You need both for a successful business.

Friday 1 May 2009

Want the office phone to ring more often, then get a ...


Yes, does your business have a freephone?

They work, even in 2009, they work.

If you want prospects to respond to offers, clients to place more orders and contacts to refer more business to you, then MAKE IT EASY for them. Why should I have to pay to place an order with you?

I just picked up the phone and placed an order, why? Because the supplier had a freephone. This may sound too simple, but too simple is often the best.

There are loads of suppliers of a freephone service. Just do a search on Google.

When you order a Freephone then make sure it's added to all your contact details and email signature.

What's my freephone number 08000 832597.

Call me!