Method - Duct Tape Marketing

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2 When You Package the Game You Own the Game

One of the tools I’ve successfully employed over the years is packaging.

packaging

photo credit: Fl??d via photopin cc

Now, for many people, the idea of packaging is limited to boxes and bows. In a mostly service kind of business, packaging is all about how you package concepts and principles in ways that define your core difference, methodology and brand.

Here’s the thing I know for certain – effective packaging of your particular form of service is the path to far greater profits.

I’ll use some examples from my company to shed light on the various opportunities behind this concept of packaging for service oriented businesses.

Brand

The name of my company was not always Duct Tape Marketing, but I chose that name as the foundation for my “packaged” approach to installing a small business marketing system. Even the concept of installing marketing created a new package for how to think about marketing.

My brand then inherited some of the mostly positive associations that people already had developed around all things duct tape and that further enhanced the idea that what I was doing was unique.

Point of view

Another crucial element to this idea of packaging is what I call your “point of view.” I developed 7 foundational principles that the Duct Tape Marketing system is built upon and each of these steps became the building blocks for creating a consistent and persistent message for how my approach to marketing is unique. (Here’s the ebook that outlines those 7 steps if you’re interested.)

The point of view runs through most every element of content for awareness, education, trust building, conversion and follow-up. It’s the basis of ebooks, webinars and paid speaking worldwide.

When you create and nurture a meaningful package of principles you also start to build a common language that your community, or in my case, network of Duct Tape Marketing consultants can begin to understand, share and extend.

Methodology

While our point of view helps tell the story that attracts potential clients, it’s our working method that helps us stand out and deliver results. We have, you guessed it, 7 stages, all named and communicated, that each client goes through on the way to creating and implementing their unique marketing action plan and system.

When providing a service it’s essential that you are able to both demonstrate the tangible deliverables that are coming down the path and orient the client as to where they have been, are now and are going in the process.

Process

Every one of our stages breaks down into a series of named and branded deliverables. This tightly packaged approach has lots of flexibility but it also keeps the level of consulting consistent in a way that it can be duplicated in the hands of others.

Again, this provides a highly detailed road map for what many might consider an intangible. Packaging like this allows you to turn intangibles into tangibles consequently making them much easier to sell.

Tools

We’ve created a set of about fifty tools that we employ in various ways with most engagements. Again, these tools have names, many are client facing and most are used to educate as much as help in the delivery of a consistent end product. (Here’s an example we call The Talking Logo)

Tools handle the routine so we can focus on the creative and tools can be used over and over again creating a much more effective and efficient way to work. (These tools also used heavily in the lead conversion process.)

Pricing

My final and perhaps most important aspect of packaging thinking has to do with pricing. Most service firms sell their time and are often assessed by the “going rate” in the industry.

When you sell a package you are selling a result based on the accumulation of previous results. Which is another way of saying it no longer matters how long it takes you to get a result, the evaluation is based on the elements of the package and the total perceived value.

A sale of a seemingly intangible thing comes down to “here’s what I’m going to do, here’s what you’re going to do, here are the results we can expect and, by the way, here’s what it costs.” That’s the value of a highly developed and fully packaged service.

When you own the package and the package is completely aligned with a point of view, methodology, process and tool set you effectively eliminate comparison and ultimately stand the chance to own the game.

If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Building a Small Business Marketing Consulting Practice.

2

Nobody Talks About Boring Businesses

Marketing podcast with Bernadette Jiwa

Perhaps one of the most primary objectives of marketing is to get people talking about your business. Sure, you actually want them to buy from you, but when there’s buzz, when people think what you’re doing matters, there will be sales.

To me there is no more important job than building your business in a way that allows you to stand out from everyone else.

But, how do you create something that will get people talking? How do you build a story that people want to share and become a part of? How do you not be boring?

Not being boring doesn’t mean you have to create controversy or fanfare, it means you have to do something in a way that others don’t. It means you have to do something better, faster or with more soul.

There are two parts to beating the boring equation – first you need a value proposition that allows you to both stand out and deliver something that no one else is. And then you need a story to carry your value proposition.

What most of us are really trying to do in this world is build a loyal community and few things build community like a story worth sharing.

The first element, the value proposition, however, is actually the harder part to get right.

So often we want to tell the world about our product or our service. These might be nice things, but the reality is they don’t build community. Community forms around ideas, process, common language or what I’ve come to call “Method.”

In order to truly tap the power of a value proposition you must fully develop your way of doing business, your method for standing out and delivering value.

When you get this part right, the story people tell and build practically creates itself out of the common language of the community that forms around your unique method.

And that’s how to not be boring!

To expand on this notion I visited with Bernadette Jiwa, author of Make Your Idea Matter: Stand out with a better story for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.

Jiwa’s book is a tremendous resource in arena of storybuilding and making your business one that people can’t live without.

3 How to Take on a Giant

Marketing podcast with Stephen Denny (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Some years ago I wrote a post called the Natural Advantages of Small Business. The topic is one that I’ve also delivered as a presentation for Chambers of Commerce and the like. In this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing I visit with Stephen Denny, author of Killing Giants – 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry.

Denny tackles the question that many small businesses face and that’s “what to do when you’re faced with competition that has more money, name recognition and customers?”

If I were to sum up Killing Giants it would be this – Identify a competitor’s vulnerability and exploiting the heck out of it.

Interestingly Denny’s research showed the speed and nimbleness isn’t the answer because, by itself, it doesn’t scale. Companies that use speed also make better decisions based on fact, not gut.

The book uses case studies to illustrate how successful smaller businesses took on giants in their industry to do just that.

One of my personal favorite case studies is Method’s taking on Proctor and Gamble.

From the book:
Everyone thought Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry were crazy to start Method, a new cleaning products company. The category had long been dominated by P&G, Unilever, and Colgate-Palmolive. Those giants had so much clout with the retail chains that their soaps had barely needed updating for decades.

But by taking advantage of its underdog position, Method carved out a very profitable niche: environmentally sound products in stylish, innovative packaging. Despite a far smaller marketing budget than their competitors, Method connected with a substantial minority of people who wanted to “buy green” but who also wanted high-quality products.

Some of my favorite strategic approaches from the book include:

  • Win in the last three feet. Leverage someone else’s investment—just be there the moment the customer grabs their wallet.
  • Create “thin ice” arguments. Shift the conversation to places where the competition can’t—or won’t—go.
  • Fight unfairly. Learn how the underdog can turn the tables, pick unfair fights and create awkward mis-matches.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or