Store Your Great Ideas Here!

Fall is always a busy time for me. Basically, from the week after Labor Day to the week before Thanksgiving, I’m on the road constantly. This just seems to be when a lot of organizations hold their annual conferences and training events.

Well this year was no different, and I had the opportunity to speak to not one, but two groups of self-storage facility owners - one in Hartford, and the other in San Jose.

Both groups learned about our Outrageous Marketing strategies, and we had time in both sessions to critique their existing marketing pieces.

Two of them are worthy of your attention, each for a different more...

Go to the Head of the Line...

I always tell people in my live audiences that it doesn’t matter what kind of product or service they provide; ultimately, they’re in the Marketing and Customer Service business.

Their job is to get people interested and excited enough to come on board and then to deliver a level of service so outstanding that their customers or members never even think of leaving.

The problem is that while most people grasp the importance of the first half of that equation, they generally miss the boat on the second part.

There are simply too many examples of great marketing strategies that are completely derailed by poor execution. I ran more...

Step Up and Take Action

Many of our Members own their businesses. Others are managers who run these businesses. And a third distinct group works in the association management profession.

All of these have their own unique challenges and opportunities.

But there’s another group that we work with as Members, and also as attendees at our live programs. These people don’t own the business. They don’t hold senior management roles within the organization. But they still have responsible and important positions.

And that’s where the problem lies. Because they don’t always get the support they need – not just to “get the job done” – but to excel at their responsibilities. I know more...

A 20% Increase in Membership? “So What!”

Increasing membership in a professional association is a difficult thing to do. Increasing it by 20% in a single year is unheard of. And yet, that’s exactly what Mary Detloff and her team at the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers did.

By applying just a few of the most basic marketing strategies we teach, they were able to refocus and redesign their marketing efforts. Here’s what Mary had to say:

“Ron helped us in marketing our association by using the ‘so what?’ game where you read each line of your marketing materials, and then ask yourself out loud, ‘So what?’” We figured out pretty quickly that we more...

Let Your Web Site Do the Talking...

We all know that an article written about you is more convincing than an ad you place in the same publication. Similarly, what someone says about you in the form of a testimonial is more credible than claims you make about your own products and services. In addition, when you provide information about the person, including company name and location, plus a photograph, it’s even more believable.

So what more could you do beyond that? How about having the person giving the testimonial actually speak to your prospects?

No, I’m not talking about a phone call, I’m talking about having his or her actual voice available for more...

What You Can Learn from a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cups – you know – the little chocolate cups filled with peanut butter. In the commercial, one guy was walking down the street towards the corner eating a generic chocolate bar, saying to himself, “Mmmm, chocolate!”At the same time, another guy was approaching the corner from the other side eating peanut butter out of a jar, saying, “Mmmm, peanut butter!”

Because they were both so absorbed in their snacking, neither one saw the other approaching around the corner, and as they collided, the chocolate bar got jammed into the jar of peanut butter.

“Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!”said one. “Well, you got more...

Printer Ignores New Business Opportunity

You can have the most creative and effective marketing strategy ever invented. You can identify a niche market so hungry for what you’re offering that people will stand in the rain for hours to buy it. You can set up the best e-commerce solution in your industry. But it doesn’t make a difference if you can’t deliver.

I speak with so many people who put so much effort into getting new business that they actually neglect their existing customers. So they find themselves in the puzzling position of filling a bucket and still watching the level fall instead of rise.

Of course, if they only saw the more...

The $50 Greeting Card

This lesson happened when my son Jason was about to start college. It was an exciting time for the whole family and a great accomplishment for him to be heading off to school.

Plus it would be the start of what should be the most memorable four years of his life. (I know, it might take him five years, but we’re only paying for four! Or, as John Belushi put it best in Animal House, “There goes seven years of college down the drain!”)

So we went to his summer orientation program and attended the first big session together. The parents were asked to stay in the more...

AENC’s E-mail Blitz Boosts Conference Signups

Here’s a fantastic example of creative marketing provided by Greg Griggs, the then current Executive Director of the Association Executives of North Carolina (AENC). We worked with Greg and his team to develop some new and creative ways to promote their 50th anniversary event. (Great results, by the way – 33 days before the conference the organization had 50% more registrations than at the same time the previous year, and had record attendance at the event!)

I suggested an idea for getting people to register much sooner than they were used to, and Greg and his team ran with it. Take a look at more...

Outsourcing Work Can be A Powerful Tool At Your Disposal

One of the biggest problems facing organizations, especially small groups, is how to get everything done with the resources you have available.

It seems that the amount of work you have to do is rarely the same over time. There are always peaks and valleys – times when the things spike to an unbearable level, and other times, admittedly less frequent, when the load slacks off a bit.

The challenge then becomes how to handle the extra load without having to hire more people. And for many companies, that’s not even a possibility because of budget limitations.

So how do you get it all done then? Simple. Get more...