Well, another election has come and gone in the US and no matter which way you voted there are some important marketing lessons to learn.
First, you need to put aside the campaign rhetoric and focus on the strategy and tactics and there are a number of clear winners for both sides.
The Dems and the GOP
On the Republican side. The tactic to put the question of Gay Marriage as a referendum in 11 battleground states was a master stroke. Get people to vote on the small issue and they will follow suit on the larger issues.
It's like selling real estate. Top real estate sales people don't sell houses. They sell a room and the rest of the house goes with it. They look for potential client reactions to a room they see and zoom in on that. If they sell that room to the prospect, then question of getting them to sign a contract on the house becomes as simple as, "Your pen or mine?"
How can we apply this to selling a product or service on the internet?
Look for the most important benefit you offer and build your heading and sales letter around that. Sure there maybe other benefits and you need to highlight those further down the page, via bullets, but focus your sales message on the primary unique selling point.
As a famous direct Marketer, Seth Godin, once said, "One monkey, One banana." Most people have the attention span of an African gnat. Try to get them to focus on more than one thing at a time and you will lose them and the sale.
On the Democrat side, the decision to make the war on a Iraq a central issue was an equally powerful strategy which may explain why 55 million people voted for the Democrats.
It was thought by the pundits that this was playing to the Republican's strength, but this was true only as long as they could make it central to the war on terror.
The moment the Democrats were able to separate the two and make it a referendum on Iraq alone, it became a winner for them, especially in light of the 911 Commission report, which showed clearly, no wmd and no direct ties to Al Queda.
What can we learn from this?
Know your competition, know their strengths and weakness and clearly explain how their weakness are your strengths.
The way you do this is to create a powerful USP (unique selling point). Something about your product or service, or what you do that makes you stand out in the crowd. Something that sets you apart from your competition. Something you do much better than them.
Focus on this single issue and drive it home repeatedly to your website visitors, ezine readers and existing customers.
The other lesson to be learned here. Don't believe everything you read, hear and see. Both elections and the internet are full of people's opinions. Do your homework, look at both sides and above all use your mind and think.
Try to analyze your ideal customer. Picture in your mind who they are, what they are like, what their financial status is, have they bought similar products before. If you don't know who your target market is, how can you target them?
In the late 1990's the principle of the Harvard Business College outlined his belief as to the reason business exists.
The purpose of business is to: KEEP & GROW customers.
We looked at this and thought this definition was too narrow. We felt that in order to keep and grow customers, you first had to find them so we added the word find to the above formula....
The purpose of business is to: FIND, KEEP & GROW customers.
But this still wasn't enough because what if the customer was wrong for your business, that is, they couldn't afford your services or product?
So we added, the right kind of customers, and we ended up with a new formula to work with.
The purpose of business is to: FIND, KEEP & GROW the RIGHT KIND of customers, everything else is rubbish.
If you market or sell anything on the internet, either as a business owner or a reseller, you are in business for yourself and you MUST think of it as a business. Do your homework and your research. It pays off in ways you only dream of right now.
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Phil Basten and Jane Mark run a well known online ad agency http://jpeadvertising.com - They have been helping people succeed on the net for more than 8 years.