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.
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.
WE KNOW CE.