Recent Posts

Our Newest Web Project Launches

Aug 21—We are happy to announce the birth of our newest baby - a brand new website for Warkwyn Associates. Who? Warkwyn is an accomplished audio design and engineering firm. We are sharing this news with...Read More

Look Like Who You Really Are

Jul 30— Do you look like who you are? This question is not an “if a tree falls in the woods” Zen kind of question. What we are really asking is: "Do your graphics and other marketing...Read More

Redefining the word Customer

Jul 01—We recently attended the InfoComm trade show in Las Vegas and came away thinking about the meaning of the word “customer” and the way one’s definition influences a brand’s marketing...Read More

Point Of Sale Displays that Sell Product

Jun 17—You are already using the Internet, social networks and traditional media to reach the customer with your brand story. But if you’re not telling your unique brand and product story at bricks and...Read More

What do your customers think of you

Jun 03—A special guest blog by Wendy Price Some of you may say, “I already know what they think.”  Others of you might say, “I’ll just ask my sales people and account managers...Read More

Ten Print Advertising Tips

May 22—In our last blog we made a compelling case that print advertising is relevant and valuable even in this digital age. Now we turn our attention to a handful of basic techniques for making your print advertising...Read More

The Value of Print Advertising

May 07—We almost always include print advertising in our clients’ marketing and media plans. Sometimes we get the reaction “Print? Really? We hear that print is dead.”  There is no...Read More

Making Text More Readable

Apr 15—Words. Every marketer needs them. Sometimes you need a lot of words to get your sales message across. (In our imaginations) our readers hunger to fully understand the marketing techniques we...Read More

Retail Reality-Product Demos-and You

Apr 02—Remember when owning a decent stereo was a major life goal and when shopping in a hi-fi store was fun? We are unapologetically nostalgic for the days when retailers actively sold A/V products; when the...Read More

Ma Mark Marketing or the Importance of Email Subject Lines

Mar 19—Regular readers of the CE Marketing Prose newsletter may have noticed oddities in our last two emails. The February 19 edition went out with the subject line “Mark” in place of “Marketing...Read More

How to Stay out of the Trashcan or the Lessons Learned from a Parking Lot

Mar 04—Marketers of CE products should count themselves lucky. We have it easy; we’re selling fun stuff – toys that help people enjoy great music and entertaining movies and TV programming. But just...Read More

Five Ways to Make Time for Customer Outreach

Feb 19—“Time keeps everything from happening all at once." - Henri Bergson  If you’ve read our website or spoken with us about marketing you know that we’re absolutely rabid...Read More

Brands that Communicate Win

Feb 05—The most successful brands regularly keep in touch and stay top of mind with their customers (end-users and channel partners) via blogs, newsletters and social media. With the advent of new Google search...Read More

Content is Definitely King since Google Changed Search Algorithms

Jan 28—The word “algorithm” is the equivalent of Ambien – it puts most people right to sleep. So it is miraculous that we actually read the news about Google’s newest search engine algorithms...Read More

How Pawn Takes Queen

Jan 20—We would like all of our readers to believe we are the source of all marketing wisdom and insight.  While that is largely true, sometimes we stumble upon someone who has written an article that perfectly...Read More

Should High-End CE Companies Bother with Social Media

Dec 11—On several occasions clients have asked us whether it was worth their time and effort to participate in social media outreach. The tone in which the question was asked told us that the answer they wanted...Read More

Rants from the Frozen Tundra

Nov 25—A friend of ours from the land of baby seals* was inspired by our blog Turning Bad Consumer Reviews into Good  to send us a couple of rants regarding Big Mistakes he sees CE manufacturers consistently...Read More

Flying Without Navigation

Nov 13—Or how we learned to stop worrying and love the research bomb* Imagine you are on a jumbo jet for a 15-1/2 hour flight from LA to Australia. Just after takeoff the pilot announces, “Ladies and...Read More

Coal into Diamonds - Turning Bad Consumer Reviews into Good

Oct 26—We often advise our clients to allow consumers to post reviews on the company website. From the looks of horror on their faces you would think we had proposed offing Granny for the insurance money....Read More

Direct to Consumer Sales and Channel Stress

Oct 14—One of the many services we offer our clients is helping develop direct-to-consumer sales programs for their websites and email communications. When we’ve mentioned that option to some potential...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part Three

Oct 02—In our previous two blog posts we wrote about eight of the top twelve things a brand's website needs to do to be effective. If you didn't read Part One and Part Two you might want to...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part Two

Sep 17—In our last blog post we wrote about four of the top twelve things a brand's website needs to do to be effective. If you didn't read Part One you might want to do that now...................Done? ...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part One

Aug 28— It should be unnecessary to say it in this day and age but just for the record – Your website is the single most important weapon in your marketing arsenal. Don't believe it? When you're...Read More

Jan 20

How Pawn Takes Queen

We would like all of our readers to believe we are the source of all marketing wisdom and insight.  While that is largely true, sometimes we stumble upon someone who has written an article that perfectly expresses our marketing philosophy. Such is the case with the article by Glen Stansbury, titled 5 Ways You Can Beat The Big Guys At Marketing. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. OK, maybe just a little better.

So how do these precepts apply to the CE industry specifically?

Stansbury writes: “Figure out exactly who your customer demographic is, and focus on them only. Know them inside and out, and specifically go where they are to reach out.”

There is an old saw in marketing “know who your existing customers are then go out and find more just like them.” Few CE brands and retailers make a concerted effort to learn all they can about the consumers who own their products or patronize their store; instead they rely on intuition and a limited number of consumer encounters.

Worse yet, many CE companies do not have ongoing communication with consumers. The people who have bought from you in the past are the most likely people to buy your brand or from your store in the future and to recommend your store or products to their circle of friends. Speak with them regularly.

Stansbury writes: “Red tape. Committees. Boards. These are the types of things that slow a marketing team to a grinding halt, because in this day and age, many large companies often can’t run an ad that hasn’t been approved by the legal department, the subcommittee, the marketing director, the boss, his boss and finally the family patriarch….”

Besides the obvious advice to avoid falling into this trap we would advise you to make your marketing communications personal – that is, put your personality into your marketing. Marketing materials from big companies are often written in the third person and devoid of personality. Talk to your customers in your own voice as a person. Make your customers feel like they personally know you – whether you are the owner, founder, chief designer or marketing VP. Paul McGowan of PS Audio does this brilliantly. PS Audio marketing emails come from Paul, not a faceless company. Take a close look at all of Paul’s consumer outreach efforts, learn and emulate.

Ad Spends
Stansbury writes: “The big guys often blanket ad buys, looking for eyeballs, not conversions."..."Beat them at their own game: Choose one ad platform…focus your energy on that platform and dominate.”

Too many CE brands and retailers spread their ad spend thinly over many types of media. It is better to focus your energy and funds on a smaller number of media, publications and communications vehicles, especially those that directly reach your past customers and people like them.

Stansbury writes: “Create something that you don’t have to pay people to talk about. A resource, a compelling ad, a story … the possibilities are endless.”...“The best form of marketing has always been word of mouth or the kind that you can’t manufacture directly. Create something that gets people talking.”

To us this means communicating about topics that are of interest to your audience and not just advertising hype. Years ago Al and I created an advertising campaign that educated readers about home theater (a new phenomenon then) rather than simply crowing about how good our speakers were. We were rewarded with our best ad response rates and a sales growth spurt. 

Stansbury writes: “Become a thought leader in your industry, and speak your mind (Mark Cuban is an excellent example). You might upset a few people, but you’ll never make everybody happy anyway. Just know who you’re ultimately trying to reach, and it will reap benefits. Take some small risks with your marketing message…”

The CE industry is all about music and movies, entertainment, toys and fun. So don’t just talk about your precision resistors, local dimming LEDs and low negative feedback. Craft your marketing messages around the benefits of your products serving the music, the performances, and joy. Be provocative, challenge your customers to wring the last drops of pleasure from their CE gear. Be different, stand out. 

About CE-Marketing Pros
We’re a full service marketing/advertising agency specializing in helping consumer electronics brands and retailers compete more effectively. Former marketing executives with two of the most successful CE brands, Al Ballard and Paul DiComo help brands STAND OUT in a crowded and confusing CE marketplace. 


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