Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Paying The Way...

Some leads cost more than others. Here are costs per sales lead: Trade Shows ($200), Print Ads ($20), and Web Sites ($10), according to the Delhaye Group. So a smart marketer will pour money into the company website, right? Maybe. Maybe not.

On the other hand, trade show leads close better and therefore cost less, according to CEIR. Closing a trade show lead cost only $625 and took 1.3 follow-up calls compared to $1,117 and 3.7 calls for other leads. So it's wiser to spend more on tradeshows? Maybe. Maybe not.

CEIR is the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. And as far as I can tell, the Delhaye Group are Internet consultants. In both cases, the research findings seem a little slanted in the favor of their marketing niche. My point? When looking at marketing research findings, it's a good idea to look at who's paying the bill. It may tell you why the results seem slightly biased.

In my experience, the value of various marketing tools is very individual. I've had clients in the same industry -- some in the same product category that found success in two different vehicles. Why? Marketing is much more complicated than a cookbook recipe. Marketing success is very dependent on a mix of your product, place, price and promotion. No one element stands alone. You need to study your own marketing results and make judgements based on your individual findings.

My advice? Get unbiased advice from an objective expert who does everything: tradeshows, ads, PR and websites. Look for someone who knows your industry and has been around for a while. And most importantly, be sure it's someone you can trust. Someone like, well, uh, someone like me. ; )

- Phil Sasso

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ads: Direct Connection

Sometimes more is better. About two-thirds of prospects assume you don't offer a product or service if it's not in your directory ad, says research by Donnelly. Three out of four people won't respond to a directory ad if it doesn't specify what they want.

Remember "directory" is a broad category covering a wide range of things: membership books, buyers guides, yellow pages, tradeshow directories, Thomas Register, etc. These ads are different because prospects aren't just browsing -- they're ready to buy. And they know exactly what they want.

I recommend making a bulleted list of all your products or services. It makes scanning the ad easier. I also suggest cross-listing your company under all the headings someone might look up. And refer to your ad in your listing (i.e. "see our ad under 'diagnostic equipment'.") Directory ads reach motivated buyers. Make the most of it.

- Phil Sasso

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sales & PR: Who's "In The Know"?

It's always the other guy's fault.

I was playing marketing P.I. -- sales had slumped and my new client wasn't sure of the culprit. Distributors said they felt no support from the manufacturer. The manufacturer claimed they were almost overdoing marketing: ads, PR, direct mail and more -- so, the distributors must be slacking. Something or someone was suspect.

Then I realized they both were right. My client did lots of marketing. But most of it wasn't on target. And the distributors weren't "in the know". They'd never been sent copies of ads, PR or direct mailers. So the distributors felt neglected and -- consciously or not -- weren't pushing my client's products.

I developed new, on-target marketing campaigns. We sent monthly marketing update packets to distributors. The new marketing excited them. Many sales reps even took magazine ads and news releases within them on sales calls. And, best of all, sales increased. Mystery solved. Case Closed.

- Phil Sasso

Friday, February 23, 2007

I'm extra busy this week. But here's a BOS (Best Of Sasso) Marketing tip I remixed (some old, some new) just for you...


Beth and I are part of the Gallup Panel ( I don't THINK I'm suppose to keep that secret). We get regular surveys asking our opinions. The last survey about health care was especially thought-provoking -- especially a series of questions about retail clinics. But my answers weren't entirely truthful.

Don't misunderstand me: I didn't lie. I was totally honest. The question asked if I'd visit a retail clinic (like in a Walgreen's So I said what I THOUGHT I'd do. I have no idea what I'd REALLY do until I actually FACE the situation.

My wastebasket diving research may have made you laugh ( 10/20/06). But in reality, I believe real world research about actual behavior is often more effective than surveys and focus groups. What we THINK we'd do and what we DO is sometimes very different. Many new products that did well in research have failed in the marketplace for the same reason.

Why? People act differently in artificial situations. They want to sound rational or try to justify their actions. They over think. And in a focus group, one person may overpower the group or peer pressure might make someone say what the group or interviewer wants to hear, not what they really believe.

Plus when no one is looking, we often act differently than even we think we'd act.

Did you ever run out to buy something and return with things you never intended to buy? Sometimes, I return with a bunch of things -- but not the item I originally set out for. Maybe I'm a little dim-witted. Maybe I'm an average man. Or maybe I'm just human.

This is mostly relevant when you're researching routine and low involvement decisions, like inexpensive dry goods and consumables. But people are sometimes just as irrational when making considered decisions on long-term purchases and big ticket items

If you'll excuse me, I'm just about ready for lunch. Something healthy like a salad I THINK. Or maybe not -- once I see the menu.

- Phil Sasso

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ads: If only I had a dollar...

You're bombarded by about 3,000 ad messages a day, says Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing. That's a million ads a year. Are we really expected to recall any of them? I can't even remember what I had for dinner last night!

How can YOU break through all this advertising clutter? Two quick tips:

1. Run your ads often. Just as an actor repeats his lines to memorize them an advertiser need to repeat his message until the prospect remembers it. That’s why consistent smaller ads outperform larger one-time ads.

2. Develop breakthrough creative. Create magnetic designs and convincing copy. I’ve built hundreds of ads in my career. The most effective ones are always the most creative. To quote one of my ad mentors: "If it don't sell, it ain't creative!"

What TV commercial do you remember? Chances are it’s creative, too.

- Phil Sasso

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

And The Winner Is....

This weekend is the Academy Awards. Although I almost always watch the Oscars, I usually don't tune in until the last forty-fine minutes or so. It's kind of boring watching people get awards. I understand it's a great honor to them to be recognized by their peers. I just don't really care how much they want to thank everyone they've ever met. And the way Hollywood politics and box office success sometime trumps artistic merit bothers me. This year I may tape the show and fast forward through the boring stuff.

In my profession we have literally hundreds of award competitions. From the Clios for TV Spots to the Webbies for Web Design they span from National honors to the local PR Club competition. (We're a very self-congratulatory group.) My problem here is the opposite of that with the Oscars: politics and artistic merit sometimes are more important than success. Advertising's purpose is not artistic. It is to sell. Period. Sure it's great if it introduces groundbreaking creative ideas. But as one of my early mentors always said: "If it don't sell, it ain't creative."

Hollywood is in business, too. I agree, but movie making is also an artform. And perhaps it is the lack of creative thinking that has caused box office receipts to take a nosedive in recent years.

Advertising is ALL about business. Its purpose is to sell a product, service or idea. Making the audience laugh or cry along the way is great -- if it serves our purpose.

Today we have ads that seek to entertain and movies that seek to persuade. Perhaps that's the problem.

By the way, I'd like to thank my wife, Beth for always challenging me. And my son PJ for cheering me on. Thanks to my office manager Pat for handling all the details. My designer, Chad, for making our work look great. Thanks mom for telling me to follow my dreams. And my 3rd grade art teacher who told me to paint with my heart not my head. Oh and..

- Phil Sasso

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Direct Mail: Are You A 10?

Wanna be a 10? The most popular format for direct mail is the #10 business envelope, according to the United States Postal Service. So, you should use a #10 envelope for your next mailing, right? Wrong. If you want your mailing to get noticed, consider using an odd size envelope.

Depending on your strategy, you may want to use a smaller monarch-sized envelope to create a personal impression -- or an oversized 6 x 9" envelope will make a bigger impact. Or don't use an envelope at all and just send a full-color jumbo postcard.

Be careful when choosing unusual shapes and sizes, however, some will cost you a lot more in postage because they don't fit USPS requirements for automation. Check with your lettershop or local post office before you even begin to design a mailer. Also, USPS publication 25, "Designing Letter Mail" can be quite helpful.

Want to see my mailers? Email me your address and I'll send you some -- and none are a #10.

- Phil Sasso

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ads: Need for Speed

"The average person spends 4.5 seconds reading an ad, and ... 85 percent of them only read the headline and look at the graphics." according to Geil, Wells & Mohr. An old college textbook from my bookshelf (Engel/Warshaw/Kinnear,1987) confirms that fact: five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy!

The reason most ads don't get read is most ads don't grab the reader.

A good headline and design, however, will draw in readers. I'm not talking about gimmicky headlines, like "Read This NOW!" I'm referring to headlines that are meaningful to the reader, like "Reduce your fleet's fuel usage" -- perhaps with a graphic of a thimble.

Also, GWM's statistics fail to point out that a good ad doesn't need to be read word-for-word. You should get the message instantly. The body of the ad should just fill in the details.

My point? Get your point across quickly with a well-written headline and arresting graphics.

- Phil Sasso

Friday, February 16, 2007

Super Ads II...

Last week, I lamented the lack of a truly great Super Bowl commercial this year. There were some doubles and and maybe a triple, but no grand slam home runs.

And apparently, no one leveraged their ads beyond their 30 seconds of fame. A survey by search-engine marketing firm Reprise Media, noted that 70% of Super Bowl advertisers website landing pages "didn't have any clear association with the Super Bowl ads. "

I wish I knew who the 30% of smart marketers were. With a cost of $2.6 million, you should do everything possible to use media relations and your website to squeeze every drop of effectiveness out of your investment. Even if you don't spend millions on an ad, it's smartest to use every channel you have available to repeat or enhance your marketing message.

That said, I'll step off my soap box and finish awarding my cheers and sneers (call them the "Hammy Awards" if you like!)

BEST SELF-PROMOTION: Late Show with David Letterman...

If it was an ad, it would have been my "Home Run". It's an unpaid CBS promo, so it doesn't qualify. But it was a memorable 10 seconds.

Goes like this: David Letterman, wearing a Colts Jersey says "You want the Bears and I want the Colts, but we both win because we're in love." As the camera pulls back, Oprah Winfrey, seated beside him in a Bears jersey, replies "Honey don't talk with your mouth full."

(See it here:

Background: For years Oprah refused to appear on Letterman. It was Dave's running gag. (Oprah did finally appear to promote the broadway opening of her "The Color Purple" musical.)

Don't think it's that funny? That's why I like the spot. I like Letterman. If you liked the spot, you'd probably like his show. If not...

Lesson: Know your audience. Talk to them. If others don't get it, that's O.K.


Snickers: Offending two opposing groups with the same spot was quite a feat. Odd risk for a leading candy brand.

2nd most offensive: A GM robot daydreams about suicide. Snickers didn't bother me. This one did.

Lesson: Getting noticed requires pushing the envelope. Just be sure you weigh the possible impact.


It was the only one. But it was a good one.

Lesson: Listen to your customers. They may have some great ideas.

ODDEST AD: Emerald Nuts

Robert Goulet & Emerald Nuts? I didn't get it. But I remembered it. However, I don't expect to buy Emerald Nuts anytime, soon.

Lesson: Sometimes getting remembered isn't as important as HOW they react.

CORNIEST HUMOR: Fed-Ex Ground...

I thought "Mr. Turkey-neck" was the corniest ad. But I like corny. It made me laugh out loud. But more importantly, it made the point.

Lesson: Funny is good. But more importantly a successful ad needs to make a selling point. This one does.

Quick: Without looking online, what Super Bowl spots do you remember? Be sure you include the sponsor's name.

I'll let you know what I learn by email or on my blog.

- Phil Sasso

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Promotion: Breakfast of Champions….

Breakfast inspired me this morning. It wasn't unusually good. But, my cereal box reminded me of a good marketing technique.

It's called "cross promotion". It's when one brand promotes a second brand. In my case, it was a coupon for zipper bags so you could carry and snack on your favorite cereal wherever you go: school, work, hiking, biking, etc. And it will probably sell more of both products.

There are two ways to negotiate a cross-promotion: single-sided or reciprocating. In a single-sided agreement one brand -- usually a smaller one -- pays a larger brand to run a promotional ad on or in their package. The smaller company gets to ride on the big brand name. The bigger company gets additional revenue. In a reciprocating agreement often no money changes hands but instead each partner promotes the other. Like a gas station giving away coupons for a nearby oil change place, and vice-versa.

Don't think cross promotion would work for you? Don't give up until you explore all your possibilities. Even seemingly unrelated products can work with a little creative spin (like cereal and zipper bags). You can cross promote consumables, complimenting products or even unrelated products to the same audience. Even if you can't find a partner, try cross promoting your own products by packaging a brochure or catalog with each product you ship. One of my clients sells a popular tool with about a half-dozen add-on adapters. Obviously, cross promoting the adapters is a natural.

- Phil Sasso

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cost of a customer….

"Acquiring a new customer can be 5 times higher than the cost of serving old customers," according to Peppers and Rogers Group. Don Peppers and Martha Rogers are the "One-To-One Marketing" gurus that made Customer Relationship Management a buzz-word in the business world. They truly understand the value of customers.

It makes sense to invest in marketing that keeps current customers as well as attracts new prospects. In fact, a sound strategic marketing plan will address the needs of both. For instance good advertising and public relations will reduce the attrition rate by "keeping the customer sold." (A phrase I've borrowed from Kathy Marr at Cygnus Business Media)

According to the Harvard Business Review, a reduction of only 5% in customer attrition will boost profits from 25 - 80% (depending on the industry). Whoa! Those numbers get my attention.

It's easy to say a customer's value is the revenue they generate. but also keep in mind the intangible value of even the smallest customer: referrals, references, and repeat business. One of my tiniest clients has given me referrals that have far exceeded my expectations in both quantity and quality.

Think of ways to keep YOUR customers loyal.

Sorry, I’ve got to run to lunch. I just earned a free meal on my "frequent diner" card at one of my favorite restaurants. So lunch today is "on the house".

- Phil Sasso

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Getting Customers...

What's the best way to get new customers? Sales executives said referrals are hot and gave the cold shoulder to cold calls in a study by NYU's Management Institute and The Nierenberg Group. Ranking choices on a scale of 1 to 5, here are the averages from best to worst: references (4.8), one-to-one marketing (4.5), direct mail (3.8), tradeshows (3.2), and cold calls (1.5).

I think the survey left out some obvious choices like advertising and PR leads. (My guess is they rank far ahead of cold calls.) And I wish I knew what one-to-one marketing meant to them. It's a pretty broad term.

What I find interesting, though, is that referrals are number one with a bullet. That parallels any research I've ever seen. When did you last ask a customer for a referral? Find it hard to do face-to-face? Try a personal note. Send along a nice gift -- like an ad premium, thank them for their business, and ask them to pass your enclosed card on to anyone they know who you might be able to help.

- Phil Sasso

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Time of Love…

Love is in the air. So is a lot of romance-induced overspending. It’s that joyful commercial holiday known as Valentine’s Day. (The celebration honors St. Valentine, a 3rd Century priest, beheaded for marrying couples despite Emperor Claudius II’s decrees against marriage. Romantic, huh?)

My first Valentine’s Day married to Beth, I made the ultimate newlywed mistake. I forgot.

"Honey," Beth said waking me with a kiss and handing me a gift. "Happy Valentine’s Day!"

A knot formed in my stomach. No amount of after-the-fact spending could get me out of this. I messed up. It was the foolish forgetfulness of a new husband.

Needless to say, I’ve never forgotten again.

I have to admit; I’m still a notorious last-minute shopper.

This year, however, a smart marketer got me to buy early. Since Beth’s on this mailing list (hi honey!) I can’t go into details. Suffice to say their timing was perfect.

And isn’t sales all about timing? It’s about being in the right place at the right time to get the sale.

Just this week I needed a supplier to meet a deadline that my normal vendor couldn’t. I wasn’t sure where to turn. Then it hit me. I’d seen an ad every month in one of my trade journals for years for a supplier. I opened the magazine and there was the ad. I called for a quote. They offered better pricing, quicker turnaround and a better product.

My normal vendor will probably now be my old vendor.

And all because I remembered an ad I’d seen a million times before but at the wrong time.

A one-time ad can’t do that. An occasional ad can’t do that. You can only win that kind of business with a consistent advertising program. The more often a prospect sees your ad, the more likely you are to be in the right place at the right time.

And speaking of timing, I’d better take that gift out of my desk drawer before I wake up on Saturday empty handed. Sometimes timing is everything.

− Phil Sasso

Friday, February 09, 2007

Lowly Ad Specialty

I am a firm believer that you need to use your full marketing toolbox to maximize your sales potential. To paraphrase Malsow, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

One of the most underused and misunderstood marketing tools I see is the lowly ad specialty. You may call it something else: a premium or promotional product or branded merchandise or incentive item or logo’d gear or imprinted giveaway or trinket, or tchotchkes. Whatever you call it, it’s that stuff with a logo and message on that you have lying all around your home and office.

The reason I like these products it that they are great reminder marketing. Give it to a customer as a gift and you’ve built loyalty. Look around you today and notice how many items you see a day that subconsciously sell you on a brand.

Let me plug myself for a moment. We have an ad specialty website. Check out some of the promotional items there.

-- Phil Sasso

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Super Ad...

Not only did my Chicago Bears lose the Super Bowl XLI last Sunday, my profession lost the advertising Super Bowl. No single ad stood out as best.

Usually one ad jumps out to me as #1. This year I couldn't decide. Not because they're so many great ads. Because they're all just -- good.

No one used that $2.6-million-30-seconds-of-fame to break out and sear their brand in viewers' minds.

So, I've created several categories to give my Super Ad cheers and sneers. (Only commercials DURING the game were eligible.):

Bud & Bud Light ran 8 Super Bowl ads. I only remember two: the auctioneer wedding and the crabs worshipping the Bud cooler.
Which goes to prove spending a lot of money doesn't guarantee results.

I counted 4 Coke ads. Three appeared to cost well above average to produce.
Unfortunately, the one I remember most, was the cheapest: A Coke bottle timeline tribute to African-American athletes.

The above tribute was well done while promoting the Coke branding. Dorito's was second place in the category, but also good.
Which proves it doesn't take a lot of bells and whistles to make your point -- just a strong focus.

Next time, I'll award more honors and explain what this all means if your entire ad budget is under $2.6 million.

To see these, and all the Super Bowl XLI commercials again, go to:

- Phil Sasso

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My Log....

When I was little, I loved to create. I even displaced my socks and
underwear to keep a dresser drawer full of original cartoons, stories,
8mm films, comedy tapes, and personal journals.

Imagine me coming home from Jr. High one day to find my mother
sitting on my bed reading my most private, innermost thoughts in
my journal!

"My Log!" I said. "You're reading my personal log? Have you no respect
for my privacy?"

Can you imagine my mix of anger and chagrin?

Actually, all you can do is imagine. That never really happened. But if
it did, I'm sure I'd be floored.

Times have changed. Today, parents can read their kids personal logs
online-- along with the rest of the world -- with no sense of intrusion.
They're called blogs. A blog, short for "web log", is a web-based
journal. It ranges from a youth recounting his crush on the clerk at
Walgreen's to a group of pharmacists publishing a corporate dialog on
geriatric medicine.

The later is more of interest to me from a marketing point of view.
(Although I'm sure the crush makes more interesting reading.)

Blogging allows a marketer to put a personal face on a marketing
message. As an alternative media outlet, blogs allow you to
circumvent editorial control of PR at a lower cost than advertising.
But without some level of promotion, no one will know about your
blog. So, you'll need a news release or adto announce it.

If you're interested in seeing if blogging is right for your business,
test it. I hear good things about Google's free blogware service: Let me know how you like it.

I haven't seen any studies on the marketing impact of blogging, yet.
But I sense it has value. In fact, I'm so convinced, I've started my own
blog ( Basically it's a web-based
version of my marketing emails. Online, you'll find a free 6-month
archive of my tips. Feel free to share it with friends and associates.
The more hits my blog gets, the more likely I will be to keep it going.

I'll let you know how my experiment turns out -- here or in my blog.

- Phil Sasso

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Texting 1, 2, 3...

"What's a Soli?" Beth asked as we were leaving an outdoor concert on Tuesday.

"Is that S O L I ?" I clarified by spelling the word back to her.

"They said the last song featured a trumpet soli," she responded. "What's that?"

"A melody which is played in harmony by a section rhythmically together -- like a sax soli," I reported.

"Yeah. Right. How'd you know that off the top of your head?"

"I Googled it with my cell phone," I replied. "You just type in "d" followed by the word and they text you back the definition."

"There's another reason I hate your new cell phone," she said. "Do you always have to be wired to the world?"

"Actually, it's wireLESS..."


Now in my defense I just got it, so I'm still enthralled by the novelty of the new phone. And the technology is actually very old. It's not like a web browser, email, camera, coffeemaker phone. It's just a phone with SMS texting. A fairly old technology. I just find the untapped potential intriguing.

And SMS Google will also text you weather reports, sports scores, currency conversions, and even driving directions -- on demand. Just query GOOGL (46645). [See]

Fast forward to McDonald's last night.

"So did we win a new SUV?" I asked.

"I don't know. You have to go online to see," She said handing me the "Pirates" playing piece. "Who's really going to rush home and go online to see if they won?"

"We didn't win," I told her.

"How'd you know?"

"I texted the code on my phone," I replied. "We didn't win. But we can get free advertising from them if I just text by 'Y' to..."

Another glare. I put my phone away.

North Americans don't use SMS as much as those overseas. For instance, U.S. users send less than 50 texts a month verses over 200 a month in the Philippians. But experts predict the U.S. will catch-up quickly. Many wireless technologies have blazed trails first overseas before catching fire here.*

Can SMS be a marketing tool for you? Can you sponsor SMS content as a branding tool? Can you use SMS to build an opt-in customer cell phone list? If not SMS, what other novel technology can you use to connect with your target market?

*SOURCE: Business 2.0 | Aug 2006

- Phil Sasso

Monday, February 05, 2007

One Question....

Remember the mattress I got a few weeks ago? I'm still not sure I like
it (but that's the topic for another tip.) And the retailer just mailed
me a follow-up survey.

I haven't completed the survey, yet. It looks too long, so I keep
putting it off.

Basically, the retailer wants to know if I'm satisfied. If they'd sent
a shorter survey, they'd have my answer by now.

In fact, if their marketing director was a subscriber, they'd learn a
valuable lesson from this tip: they only need to ask one question.

According to Harvard Business Review, knowing customer satisfaction
is a powerful test of customer loyalty. However, the lengthy surveys,
complex tools many companies use wastes a lot of time and money
gathering a lot of meaningless data. The results are usually ambiguous
"and don't necessarily correlate to profits or growth." The answer? Ask
just one question that has proven to be meaningful and actionable.

Let me digress for a moment. Customer satisfaction is key to building
your business. It not only tells you how loyal your customers are but
if they're a proponent or opponent. One satisfied customer will tell
seven others. Word of one unsatisfied customer will reach 22. Why is
that? Perhaps it's human nature to complain more that compliment.
Maybe not. But, whatever the reason, the point is one unsatisfied
customer can have three times the impact of a satisfied customer.
And that all translates to your image in the marketplace and sales

Which brings me back to that one, simple question HBR suggests...

But first, imagine how a single question survey could multiply the
responses you'd gather. O.K. I'm done testing your patience.

The HBR question: "How likely is it that you would recommend our
company to a friend or colleague?"

HBR statistics prove that the more "promoters" your company has,
the bigger its growth. "Why is willingness to promote your company
such a strong indicator of growth?" reads a HRB briefing. "Because
when customers recommend you, they're putting their reputation on
the line. And they'll take that risk only if they're intensely loyal."

If you're interested, I can show you how to implement a simple survey
to get maximum responses, how to calculate your "net-promoter"
score, and how to use this score to motivate your staff to positive,
measurable change. Just give me a call or drop me an email.

In the meantime, my homework for you is to start using a simple
one question survey to determine the depth of your customer satis-

In fact, let me ask you: "On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highest,
how likely are you to recommend Sasso Marketing?"

- Phil Sasso

Friday, February 02, 2007

Super Bowl Special...

If the Bears win on Sunday I'll probably skip work one day next week to attend the ticker tape parade. Beth REALLY wants to go. (She's the bigger fan.)

I had a thought this week: Wouldn't it be great to perform less than 20 days a year -- and get a ticker tape parade for doing a good job?

Then I REALLY thought about it. It would be terrible. I can't image being judged on less than 20 days work. Think of the pressure!

In business, your sales team can have a couple slow days and bounce back! Your marketing department can have a week-long bad streak and still make a comeback.

But, in the NFL, if your team fails just one too many times you've lost. There's no redemption. The season's over. Better luck next year!

Maybe you feel like your Sales & Marketing team is the underdog -- like the Bears.

Remember this: It's a new season. You're playing in the first quarter of 2007. You still have plenty of time to become #1 this year.

Heck, if Chicago can make it to the Super Bowl with a quarterback like Rex Grossman, you can surely beat all your company's sales records this year.

The goal of my marketing tips this year, as always, is to give you the ideas and inspiration you need to do just that: Excel.

And if you're looking for a sales and marketing coach, give me a call (847.451.2246). I'll be delighted to be your Lovie Smith.

Now, get out there and show them what you’re made of!

- Phil Sasso

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Grin & Bear It...

We Chicagoans have waited 21 years for Sunday: another Bears Super Bowl.

Many experts favor the Colts. I've heard pundits say the Colts by 7 --
based on their record.

But Sunday has nothing to do with yesterday. It's all about a few short
hours in Miami. It's about which team has the strongest strategy and
the best execution on that one day.

The same is true in marketing.

Successful marketers think a lot like successful coaches. They develop
a focused strategy and inspire their team to execute it with precision.
They've spent hours studying the competition to know their strengths
and weaknesses -- and they're honest with themselves about their

Most importantly, winning marketers have a game plan.

If their original game plan falters, they have a back-up plan. (There's
no shame in resorting to plan B -- the only shame is not having a
plan B.)

If you've watched the Bears play, you know it isn't pretty. But they
get the job done. Sometimes it doesn't even look like they have a
strategy. But maybe that IS their strategy. To be unpredictable. To
throw the competition off by not doing what's expected.

That can make for excellent marketing, too. Think about it: Shaking
things up a little can throw the competition off balance enough for
you to grab a bit more market share.

Remember: 2006 sales reports are old news. What really matters is
the next sale. Smart marketing is forward thinking. You can't just sit
on your haunches delighting in yesterday's successes. You need to
always be thinking about tomorrow. Go team go! Rah! Rah! Rah!

Sorry. Got a bit carried away there...

Sunday, the big game will end. One team will win, one will lose. No
amount of Monday morning quarterbacking will change the outcome.
It's all decided in those 4 quarters. So that's the time to give 100% --
or forever live with regrets.

Hmm. Interesting. It's all about four quarters. Really does remind me
a lot of marketing.

NEXT WEEK: My favorite Super Bowl Commercial -- and why.

- Phil Sasso