Jeff Havens here! If you’re tired of hearing my rants, today’s your lucky day because I’m passing the keys to the blog to Amanda, the Marketing Director here at Big Pow! I hope you’re wearing a helmet!
I have a confession for you. You don’t need a marketing degree to know how to sell stuff. Those guys who spin giant cardboard signs on street corners probably don’t have a marketing degree, and they sell the crap out of pizzas and shoes and used gold and whatever else it is that people sell via giant spinny cardboard sign. Most of the principles of marketing are common sense. In business school they throw around phrases like “the four P’s” and “complimentary products ,“ but they just do that to make themselves feel important. You don’t really need to know all that to start marketing your business. Here are a few popular marketing terms and their translations in plain English!
Marketing Term: The four Ps – product, price, promotion, and place
Translation – Have stuff people want, when and where they want it, and at a reasonable price!
That’s so basic it shouldn’t even need to be said. Except, of course, to the people who need to hear it. Story time- I was making a Fourth of July display for a client and went to a party store to buy some teeny American flags. I asked a store associate if they sold mini flag stands and he responded, “Everyone asks for those! NO we don’t have them!” So what you’re telling me is that people have repeatedly wanted to spend money on something, and you not only don’t have it but have made no attempt to procure it? I guess I don’t know the whole story; perhaps there is some kind of embargo on imports from Miniflagstandistan, but the principle remains – if customers repeatedly ask for something that relates to the other things you sell, find a way to get it in your product listing and those customers will probably buy it!
Which leads nicely into…
Marketing Term: Complimentary products
Translation – If people buy something, they will want other things to go with that thing!
If you own a store that sells peanut butter, what else could you sell? Jelly, bread, knives, lunch boxes, chocolate, bananas, pickles (in the maternity section) and anything else that people who buy peanut butter might also like. It’s like the children’s book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Once your customer has one thing, they’ll want all of the things to go with it, just like that greedy little cookie grubbing mouse!
Marketing Term: Call to action
Translation – Ask!
You’d be surprised how many people will buy your product if you just ask them to. I used to be a barista at a coffee shop (guess which one!) and the manager wanted us to try and sell some instant coffee. Soon I was consistently a top instant coffee sales person, and my mother was very proud and started returning my phone calls. Anyway, the manager wanted me to share my secret. The secret? I simply asked every customer if they wanted to buy some and about one in five would say yes! The same rule applies to your business. Say you are trying to market by driving traffic to your website. What do you want visitors to do? Sign-up for a newsletter? Contact you for a quote? Make sure you ask them on the homepage, and you’ll get more inquiries (and sales) than you would otherwise.
There you have it! Common sense marketing tips that prove you don’t need a marketing degree to sell your products. Just don’t tell my parents, they spent some serious cash on my college education!