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The BizzitPlanner

Creating a Marketing Plan That Will GROW Your Small Business


izzit

Marketing Services for Small Business

The BizzitPlanner Creating a Marketing Plan That Will Grow Your Small Business

Table of Contents Introduction: The Bad News & The Good News..............................................3 Who Is Bizzit Marketing?..................................................................................6 What is The BizzitPlanner?................................................................................7 The Big Picture A: Your State of the Business Address, 1 Year From Today .......................................................10 B: Defining Your Delta: Quantifying What Needs to Change to Meet Your Goals...................14 C: Weighing Out Your Widgets..................................................................................................17

Your Perfect Customer Who is Your Perfect Customer?.................................................................................................21 Why Demographics are Virtually Worthless..............................................................................23 Creating Your Customer Survey................................................................................................25

Needs Are Good, But Wants Are Better Isn’t a Taco a Taco?...................................................................................................................31 Using Triggers to Discover “Wants”............................................................................................32

Engineering “Exceptional”............................................................................ 38 So, What Does Your Business Do?.................................................................. 43 Your Marketing Core: The WooMoo............................................................... 47 Telling Your Story Your Turf......................................................................................................................................52 Their Turf.....................................................................................................................................54 The Tools of Communication: Your Marketing Assets...............................................................58 How Much Should You Spend on Marketing?..........................................................................59 ©2011 Bizzit Marketing, a division of Atticus Marketing Services, LLC.

Conclusion..................................................................................................... 61 Appendixes A: Pros and Cons of Working with Agencies or Independent Freelancers.............................63 B: Sales and Marketing Books...................................................................................................65


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Introduction Is your business firing on all cylinders? Do you have an enthusiastic, growing customer base that loves your product or service and routinely refers new clients? Are you able to charge a fair price for what you offer? Do your customers feel you offer them exceptional value? Are you earning as much income as you’d like? How about “the look” of your business? Does every component– your logo, your website, your brochure, your business card– really solidify your brand? Are you even sure what your brand is? Do you consistently know what paths to pursue and which tactics to employ to grow your business? Is everything “being covered,” or do you constantly feel overwhelmed? Are you able to maintain long-term, big picture plans, while remaining nimble enough to take decisive action when short-term opportunities or obstacles arise? Here’s the bad news. If you are like 99% of other small businesses (and a great many large businesses, too) you probably feel that things are not going as well as they should. You’ve invested a lot of hard work into a very good product or service, but you’re only having modest financial success. It’s probably not for lack of effort on your part. You may have read more than your fair share of marketing and entrepreneurial books, gone to seminars, worked with a web designer and graphic artist, maybe even hired a marketing consultant. But things just aren’t clicking. Is it supposed to be this difficult?

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Luckily, there’s good news, too. As a small business owner or employee, you’re used to a little adversity. The truth is, it’s not that easy running your own business. In most cases, figuring out why things aren’t working is simple and it’s not always marketing related. The wrong personnel, an ill-conceived product, a really bad location, poor distribution– all of these problems could be very real challenges facing your business. But what almost unilaterally drives a successful business is the quality of its sales and marketing. When those two things are done correctly, a business will nearly always thrive. Developing a solid marketing plan is not an unsolvable problem. That’s the good news. We’re not trying to cure cancer, or land a man on Mars. Together, we’re going to develop a plan for how your business can identify the true needs and wants of your customers. Then, you’ll implement specific strategies so those potential customers know that what you offer meets those needs and wants. That’s it.

Sales and marketing are the keys to a truly successful business.

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The Real Goal of Marketing A “business” isn’t really a business until a financial transaction between customer and provider takes place. For that to happen, the prospective customer has to want what the provider offers. Creating a compelling desire in the marketplace for your product or service is the entire goal of sales and marketing. It’s a 3 step process: 1. Prospective customers have to know that you (and what you have to offer) exist. This is accomplished via the marketing strategies you implement: word of mouth, referrals, advertising, your website, direct mail, etc. 2. Once your marketing tactics get their attention, you must convert that into genuine interest. To accomplish this, you have to know what that prospective customer really wants, and why they want it. 3.

Now that the prospective client is engaged, you present the information he (or she) needs to make a buying decision. The prospect will then decide whether you in fact can meet the needs he has, and provide him with what he wants. (Needs and wants are not the same thing, something we’ll discuss more later!)

The ultimate success of your business depends on how effectively you can accomplish these 3 steps. Don’t make it more complicated than it is: sales and marketing are the keys to a truly successful business.

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Who is Bizzit Marketing Bizzit Marketing is an advertising and marketing firm. We’re a group of sales and marketing professionals that work as a dedicated team for our small business clients. We offer strategic, creative, development and project management services. We design logos, build websites, write snappy copy, and even produce the occasional television or radio commercial. We also do something that virtually no one else does. We provide the full resources of an integrated agency to businesses of any size, namely, small businesses. We help them create a brand. We help them engineer an exceptional offering. We work together to identify who their Perfect Customer really is. Then we build the assets and tools they need to communicate their brand and their message. Our clients come to us at all stages: start-up companies, older companies looking to refresh their brand, or businesses that are just flat-out struggling with their current sales and marketing plan.

Learn more about us at BizzitMarketing.com

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The BizzitPlanner The BizzitPlanner will become an indispensable document for your business. It will bring laserlike focus to your brand. Marketing decisions and planning will be easier. Management and personnel will be on the same page. Everyone– those that work for you and those that buy from you– will have absolute clarity on what your business is about, why it’s outstanding, and how it brings value. Chances are, you downloaded this document from our website. You took a quick look through, and while it doesn’t seem too difficult, it may seem a bit more involved than you had hoped. It is more involved. Planning the marketing future of your business is going to take a little time. The fact is, however, that no one, not even the best marketing consultant, the hottest agency, or Trump, or Buffet, or Tony Robbins– no one– can help your business grow if they don’t know exactly whose “needs” and “wants” it meets. The BizzitPlanner is designed for you to go through a series of steps to uncover who you really serve and what you have to offer them. Then, you’ll learn how to present that information to prospective customers in a way that makes them want to take action. The Plan Always Comes First Bizzit Marketing provides marketing services to help businesses execute on their sales and marketing plans. But before we or anyone can help execute, a solid plan has to be in place. We hope this is the first step in what will be a fruitful partnership for us both. But it doesn’t have to be, and this planning process isn’t a long tease where we slowly put you in a position where you’ll need our services to move forward.

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If you follow these steps, you’ll end up with a concise, crystal clear direction and tactical plan for your marketing. At some point, you are probably going to need professional resources to help you create and/or manage various elements of that plan. Whether that’s Bizzit, another agency, various freelancers, or your cousin’s daughter that “knows Photoshop”– it’s fine with us. Either way, you’ll still have a marketing plan designed to grow your business. This is Not a Marketing Text Book There are literally thousands of books on sales and marketing. Many are good, some are great, but the majority can be painfully, mind-numbingly tedious. The BizzitPlanner is not meant to be a marketing “book”. Check the resources section in the Appendix A for some of our favorite picks, many containing ideas and concepts that we utilize or extrapolate here. This Planner is designed to give you only the basic background information you need to understand a point or concept, and then move on. We wanted to create a simple and concise plan that will grow your business, not furnish you with an MBA. (No offense to the academic community, but in our opinion, a great marketing plan is worth so much more than an MBA).

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The BizzitPlan is a 4 Step Process Step 1 begins by focusing on the big picture: the future of your business. We ask the question, “where exactly is it that you want your business to be?” This is a fun, short step, but one that is critical to laying the foundation for the Plan. Steps 2 and 3 are a little more math-oriented. Don’t freak out, we’re not talking Good Will Hunting math. However, we do need to establish where your business is now financially, where you want it to be, and then look at the components that need to change to make that happen. Step 4 is the meat and potatoes of the Plan: identifying and describing your Perfect Customer, innovating your offer so that it addresses their wants and needs, and then distilling that information into an actionable message and brand that will form the core of your marketing. Easy, right? So let’s get started!

If you follow these steps, you’ll end up with a concise, crystal clear direction and tactical plan to grow your business.

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The Big Picture We could dedicate a whole other book (or whole other business) to the power and importance of having a vision for your business. We work with business people every day, and the ones that succeed all have one particular virtue in common: vision. (Additionally, they’re usually smart, tenacious, good with people, powerful decision makers...you know, annoyingly talented.) After that, personalities vary wildly: type A’s and B’s, extroverts and introverts, born salesmen and born scientists. They all share a common quest. They are constantly focused on the future of their business and their own fulfillment from it. As we go through the process of developing your marketing plan, the details will begin to pile up. As you start implementing your plan, hundreds of details will turn into thousands of tasks and actions. Having a vision is vital so that you can keep the big picture in mind, and not complicate things unnecessarily. Your vision also becomes the “why” for your business. It’s always important to remember “why” you want and need your business to thrive in the first place. Even a hard working, incredibly persistent entrepreneur won’t succeed if a compelling “why” isn’t driving their passion and effort. The State of the Business Address: 1 Year From Today Every year, the President of the United States stands before Congress to tell them how things are going. He always talks about the current state of affairs, and a little about past successes. For the most part, however, he talks about the future. He shares his vision for the country and the tasks and priorities he believes we should focus on.

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You are going to write a similar “address”. However, yours will be a little different. You are going to write your Address as if it was one year from today. You will need to put yourself at that time in the future, and then write in the present tense. You’ll describe how your business is doing, how it impacts your life, the lives of your employees (if you have them), and the lives of your customers. You will talk about how it feels to run your business at that moment in the future when the results of all of your efforts over the past year are paying off. It’s a little like a mission statement or a personal declaration (you can think of the movie Jerry Maguire if that inspires you), but this one strictly revolves around your business. It can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but it must be relevant and exciting to you. Reading your Address should excite you and drive you to make your vision a reality. CYNIC ALERT: DON’T SKIP THIS STEP. Yes, cynics, we know you are out there. You were only looking for hardcore, serious, how-to-do marketing stuff, and now we’re hitting you with this. We’re talking about visions and personal psychology, and you’re just about ready to tune us, and this Planner, out. One measure of intelligence (or at least street smarts) is recognizing patterns. We deal with many business owners day-in, and day-out, and it’s not hard to recognize some patterns along the way. The business people we work with that thrive, DO NOT skip steps likes these. They are anything but cynical when it comes to planning and visualizing. You’d be surprised at the amount of time and energy they spend thinking about the future of their business. You should too.

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Outland Music Company’s State of The Business Address To help you get started, here’s an example Address from one of our clients. There’s no formula, no particular way it needs to be constructed. It simply must speak to you. Remember, you’re writing the Address one year in the future, when all your hard work and effort is starting to pay off.

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Outland Music Company is growing by leaps and bounds. Projects, people and massive enthusiasm are all being attracted to our team, and new productions are soaring with momentum. Our passionate approach to producing music and audio is connecting with our clients, and we’re enjoying more and more high profile collaborations.

We’re on pace to growth the business over 40% this year, and our profitability is increasing as well. Our clients truly see us as bringing immense value to their projects, and recognize that our talent and expertise has value.

I am personally enjoying my work more than ever before. I’m leading our team with more clarity and focus. Morale is high, people enjoy their work, and we all enjoy the mutual success we’re having.

Financially, I’m reaping the rewards of our hard work. We’ll be taking a fantastic family vacation this coming summer, and our personal savings nest egg has gotten a huge lift as well.

I’m excited for the future of our business. We’re positioned to continue growing and producing fantastic results for clients, increasing revenue and having a great time in the process.


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Now it’s your turn. Remember, don’t skip this step! Have fun with it, don’t over think it, and get excited.

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Defining Your Delta “Delta” is a fancy scientific term for “the change in”. If you know the value of A, and also of B, delta can be defined as the difference between the two. For our purposes, it refers to the difference between where your business is now, and where you’d like to be. The time in question is usually a year; this can be either a year from when you develop your plan or your next fiscal year. Use what makes the most sense for your business. We’ll define the delta primarily in financial terms, but you can use it to measure other aspects of your business as well. Examples of Deltas That Can Be Defined

• Gross Sales • Gross Profit • Rate of Growth • Rate of Customer Retention

When you wrote your State of the Business Address, you focused solely on “what” your business would look like in the future, and “why” you wanted it to be successful. Now, we are going to start formulating a tactical plan for “how” you get there. When calculating your delta, we want you to think big. But not outlandishly big. Otherwise, your brain simply won’t play along. Nothing kills momentum like a goal that you don’t actually believe is achievable. If your business is currently grossing $100,000 per year, it may be a stretch to think you’ll do $10M and go public in the next 12 months. Trust your instincts. The goal that excites you and gives you a little heartburn (but not too much) is probably the right one.

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Example Delta: Salon Paris (a women’s hair salon) 2010 Actual • Gross Sales $156,000 • Rate of Growth Flat • Gross Profit 44% • Rate of Customer Retention 80%

2011 Goal $225,000 44% 40% 85%

Salon Paris is in its third year of business. The owner feels she has “made it over the hump.” The salon has a steady stream of happy clientele. Staff turnover has decreased dramatically over the last year, and her current team is happy and professional. With many of the operational aspects of her business on solid ground, she’s looking to spur major growth in the next year. For most businesses, 45% growth in sales would seem incredibly aggressive. However, the owner regularly networks with other salon owners, and based on those conversations and her own analysis, believes there is still a great deal of room for growth. She assumes profitability will have to dip to afford some new marketing efforts. She’d also like to see customer retention tick upwards.

“Delta” is the difference between where your business is now, and where you want it to be.

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Define the deltas for your business. Don’t overthink this step, you’ll more than likely make some adjustments as we continue through the Plan. At the least, focus on gross sales and/ or net profit. Note where you were over the last year, and set a bold but believable goal for next. Define Your Delta Parameter

Last Year

Next Year Goal

Great! So...how will you reach these goals? It’s time to Weigh Out Your Widgets.

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Weighing Out Your Widgets If you enjoy spreadsheets (yes, some people actually do) this part’s for you. If not, don’t worry, a clean piece of paper or the back of a napkin can also do the trick, depending on how involved your business is. “Weighing Out Your Widgets” is the process of looking at what you offer, how much you sell it for, and how many customers purchase it. Once you start playing with these numbers, you’ll get a good sense of how they interact with one another. You’ll also know whether or not your delta targets are realistic, or if they feel a little pie-in-the-sky. We’ll remind you of this once again: you want your goals to be aggressive, that’s the whole point of embarking on a marketing and sales plan in the first place. But if your subconscious checks out every time you think about your plan, you’re dead in the water before you start. When you Weigh Out Your Widgets, you’re looking to see which measurable areas need to improve in order for you to close the delta you defined in the previous step. Let’s take a look at a sample Widget Plan for Salon Paris: Widget Plan 1 2010 • Gross Sales $156,000 • Average Transaction $65 • Number of Customers 400 • Amount Spent Per Customer $390 • Avg. Customer Visits Per Year 6

2011 Goal $225,000 $80 401 $560 7

How is Salon Paris going to increase sales by $69,000? In general, every business has 3 potential paths to increase sales:

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1. Earn more income and/or profit per sale. 2. Get current customers to spend more. 3. Get more customers. This plan will close the delta by targeting two areas. First, the owner is looking to increase the amount of money earned on every average sale. She feels that there’s room to increase her prices for hair coloring services. Additionally, in the past she hasn’t really encouraged her employees to push product sales. With more of a concerted effort, and some marketing to back it up, she feels confident she can dramatically increase product sales, which will in turn, increase the average sale. Secondly, the average customer visits the salon 6 times per year, or once every two months. The owner believes that if she could implement a better system by which the clients could automatically schedule appointments, (perhaps through the salon website) the average number of visits could potentially increase to 7 per year. If she follows through with Widget Plan 1, earning an additional $69,000 gets focused into two distinct goals:

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• Increase the average sale from $65 to $80 • Get clients to visit the salon one more time per year


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Keep Weighing the Widgets Until They Feel Right The owner sleeps on her Widget Plan for a couple of days. After speaking with some colleagues, she’s a little more concerned about the economy, and suspects it could make it difficult for her customers to justify an extra visit per year. Also, she did some preliminary searching on the Internet, and to add a scheduling functionality to her website seems a bit more difficult and costly then she had expected. She needs to weigh her widgets differently.

Widget Plan 2 2010 • Gross Sales $156,000 • Average Transaction $65 • Number of Customers 400 • Amount Spent Per Customer $390 • Avg. Customer Visits Per Year 6

2011 Goal $225,000 $80 470 $480 6

Widget Plan 2 is now taking a completely different path to increase sales. Like Widget Plan 1, it still aims to increase the average amount of each transaction. However, by now keeping the number of average visits per year at 6, Salon Paris will need to add customers. Ideally, if the salon can add 70 customers, that will close the delta. (If you’re really good at math, you’ll notice all 70 clients would have to be added at the beginning of the year in order for them to each visit the salon 6 times. This obviously won’t happen, but for the purposes of our example, you get the point. If the owner pursues this Widget plan, she would want to project how many clients must be added on a month-tomonth basis in order to reach her target.)

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Which Widget Plan Is Best? The two widget plans here are fairly simple examples. The owner could also consider a blend of both plans: transaction price increases, and the number of visits increases for a portion of her clients, and she adds new clients as well. How will she know when she’s got the right widget plan? How will you? As we move into creating your actual marketing plan, we’ll acquire more insight and information that will tell us which approach is most likely to meet with success. For now, start playing with some numbers. You’ll quickly see there are only so many ways to close the delta you defined earlier– optimizing current customers, adding customers, or raising prices - or some combination of the three.

Your Widget Plan Parameter

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Last Year

Next Year Goal


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Your Perfect Customer The previous three steps have focused on the big picture, as well as some financial number crunching to define your delta. We then explored ways to configure your widgets to close that delta. You have defined what you want from your business, where you want it to be financially, and how you will accomplish that from a sales perspective. But marketing drives sales. Whether your Widget Plan includes adding customers, increasing transaction size or anything else, just “wanting” it to happen isn’t going to get results. As we begin crafting your actual marketing plan, we’re going to tackle several very distinct topics one at a time. These steps will require you to do some research, some analysis, and lots and lots of thinking. Each one is critically important to developing a plan that will help you reach your goals. Who Is Your Perfect Customer?* If you’re rolling your eyes at that question, and instantly answering “anyone I can get!”, we hear you. In cases where a business is struggling or just getting on its feet, it’s easy to feel that you just need anyone to be your customer. However, when it comes to marketing, a strong starting point is to realize (and be thankful for) the fact that you can’t be all things to all people. No business is “one size fits all.” Unless you’re making the next iPad, cell phone, or paper towel, your small business probably doesn’t offer a product or service that targets every consumer. Rather, your potential customer base is an incredibly small, distinct set of individuals in comparison to the population at large. If you ignore this fact, your marketing will ultimately fail. * For purposes of brevity we will refer to customers/clients/patrons/patients, etc. as “customers”. Use whatever makes the most sense for your business type.

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When you wrote your State of the Business Address, you probably mentioned your customers. You may have remarked how much they appreciate your company and genuinely enjoy doing business with you. They understand the value you bring to the marketplace, and are happy to pay for it. It’s that customer we want to clearly define, the ones that “get it”. Successful businesses create a synergistic match between what they offer and what their Perfect Customer wants. Your Current Customer Survey We begin the process of creating your Perfect Customer profile by getting information and feedback from your existing clients. (If you’re just starting and don’t have any customers, you can still ask friends, relatives and strangers that would potentially become customers). This normally is accomplished via a survey, but can also be a “How are we doing?” reply card, a conversation at your next client meeting, or a series of phone calls. E-mail or online surveys can work well too.

Creating your plan begins by answering the question: Who do you ultimately want to do business with?

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The survey will have two main objectives: 1. To ask carefully crafted questions that will give you insight into what really drives your customers’ purchasing decisions. 2. To determine if what you are currently offering or planning to offer will appeal to your Perfect Customer.

Why Demographics Can Be Virtually Worthless Why does a woman buy the shoes that she does? Carrie B’s Fashionable Shoes is a women’s retail shoe store that has some impressive demographic data on its customers. They know that their best customers are generally 18 to 42 years in age, and usually single. They earn between $45,000- $80,000 per year and live in the suburbs. The majority of them rent, rather than own their homes. The vast majority live within 15 miles of the store, have a college education, and subscribe to at least one fashion or female lifestyle magazine. Does that information help us? A little, but it’s not enough to design a marketing plan around. It doesn’t tell us why that group, that particular subset of people, are really buying shoes from Carrie B’s. Is it the selection? Customer service? Proximity to where they live? We don’t know. Why do they buy shoes in general? Do they want the latest in fashion? Do they love getting a “great deal”? Are they generally looking at shoes as the basics of a smart wardrobe, or are shoes their favorite accessory to a new outfit? Do they see a monthly new pair of shoes as a necessity, a splurge, or a birth rite? Demographics can tell us a bit about who people are, but they don’t tell us what they want.

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What Are Psychographics? Psychographics is defined as the understanding of the psychological or emotional motivations of a group of people. They can be used to define similar attributes, such as personality, lifestyle, values, attitudes, or interests. You can already envision how knowing the answers to our questions about our female shoe shoppers would really help us sell to them. If we could ask several women the right questions and get honest feedback, we could begin to see what trends or similarities they have in common. You need to create your customer survey so that you learn as much as you possibly can about who our clients are, and what they really want.

Successful businesses create a synergistic match between what they offer and what their Pefect Customer wants.

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Creating Your Customer Survey Let’s return to our hair salon example to take a look at how a survey is constructed. A few practical points on your survey: 1. First, decide how you will share this survey with your customers. Not surprisingly, you’ll increase your responses if you throw in some kind of freebie or deal. This can be as simple as a $10 Starbucks gift card, a discount on their next purchase, a free dessert (if you own a restaurant)– you get the idea. You don’t need hundreds of completed surveys, but you do need enough to spot trends and make reasonable assumptions. 2. Keep the survey as short and concise as possible, while still enabling yourself to learn as much as you can about your customers. 3. Have a good mixture of “rate the following” questions, as well as open-ended questions that require a bit of thought and explanation from your customers. Avoid Yes/No or True/False questions. 4. Don’t be afraid to tell your customers what you’re doing. They will actually welcome the idea that you value their input as you look for ways to better meet their needs. Put yourself in their shoes: wouldn’t you like to be asked how someone can deliver more value to you? 5. Collect basic demographic information if you don’t already have it. If you sell a service or work with other businesses, you more than likely already have this information. However, if you own a restaurant, salon, or retail store, you do not necessarily have that specific information for whomever fills out your survey. Get it.

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SALON PARIS CLIENT QUESTIONNAIRE Name: Address: City: Phone: E-Mail: Gender: Marital/child status:

1. Which of the following do you value the most from our salon? Please rank the following, with 1 being the most important: __ Relationship with my stylist __ Creativity __ Affordability __ Expertise __ Convenience 2. What services are you looking for most from our (or another) salon? Please rank the following, with 1 being the most important: __ Cutting hair __ Coloring hair __ Manicures and pedicures __ Facials and skin care __ Special occasion hair dos __ Specialty hair services (Moroccan Oil, hair straightening, Keratin, etc.)

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3. What are the most important attributes you’re looking for in a stylist? Please rank the following, with 1 being the most important: __ Friendly and personable __ Regularly attends continuing education and specialty classes __ Knows the latest trends and celebrity looks __ Has a thorough knowledge of the products and knows which are right for me __ They have a similar look to what I’m going for 4. Why did you ultimately choose to do business with Salon Paris versus other salons? 5. Why do you continue to do business with us? 6. What do you enjoy most about our salon? 7. Are there other services you would like to see us offer? 8. What do you like least about doing business with us? (Anything frustrating or inconvenient about dealing with us? Please be frank and honest!) 9. When thinking of other stores or service providers you do business with (grocery store, dry cleaners, bank, retail store) what often frustrates you about dealing with them? 10. Assuming none of the following would result in price increases, which enhancements would you like to see at our salon? Please rank the following, with 1 being the most appealing and intriguing to you: __ Offering wine or espresso drinks during your appointment __ Include a 5-10 massage with any service __ Offer private rooms for facials, or manicure and pedicures __ A free cosmetic and make-up consultation __ Other (Please describe):

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Using Your Survey Information The key to your customer survey is making sure every question counts, and that it illuminates the underlying psychological makeup of your customer. What do you do with this information? The goal is to identify if there’s a match between who your current customer really is, and who you’d like them to be. Don’t be alarmed if you uncover tendencies that you already know aren’t in line with the ultimate vision of your business. Let’s look more closely at the Salon Paris example. From the questions asked in the survey, we can get a good sense of what kind of business the owner wants to create and who she wants to serve. She’s obviously looking at a higher-end clientele that will appreciate an upscale salon experience. Not necessarily an ultra-plush, Beverly Hills experience, but certainly not a get-it-done-in-20-minutes, Super Cuts vibe either. We’re not implying that targeting a high-end client is the only way to go. It’s just the direction Salon Paris wants to go. A salon down the street may actually want to serve the woman who doesn’t want all the glamorous trappings of a fancy salon. They would be looking for customers who find those extras a waste of time and money. Salon Paris wants the opposite, simply because that’s the type of business the owner wants to have. It’s what she laid out in her Address. (See why that’s important?) Salon Paris will gain some valuable insight from its customers on whether they would appreciate the direction the owner is thinking of taking the salon. If she gets a lot of responses that indicate affordability and convenience are their top concerns, her goal of going upscale doesn’t become impossible. It just becomes a little harder. Wouldn’t it be good for her to have that information now, rather than later?

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Example: The Bizzit Marketing Perfect Customer We too have a Perfect Customer profile for our business. We went through the same steps we’re outlining here to identify who we want to do business with. Don’t be surprised if you find that we’re describing someone who may sound an awful lot like you. The fact that you’ve made it to page 29 of the BizzitPlanner already has you in a very small minority of people. As you’ll see, that fact alone already tells us you’re our kind of guy or gal! The Bizzit Marketing Perfect Customer

Our Perfect Customer is a small business owner or employee, with responsibility at the highest levels of their company. Whether he or she is a new business owner or has been at it for several years, this person is “all in”. It’s not a hobby, it’s not a side-venture, it’s a business that provides their livelihood and thus it needs to grow and earn income.

Our Perfect Customer is smart and hardworking, and equally appreciates these qualities in others. This person wants to like the people he works with, and is seeking to partner with professionals who are trustworthy, whose judgment can be relied on, and who deliver on what they promise. He understands the value of knowledgeable and creative professionals; he is engaged and committed, but not difficult or unreasonable.

This person already has a good sense of how to sell and market his business, all he needs is help with the details of creating and then managing a marketing program.

This ideal customer is a long term, loyal client that truly appreciates our partnership. We greet challenges as a team, and constantly strive to grow his business corroboratively.

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How’s that for specific? We’ve described who our Perfect Customer is, and the motivations and goals of this person. We described how he likes to work with us and how he appreciates our value. Most importantly, this Perfect Customer sees us as partners. We’re in this together. Do not underestimate the value of putting this in writing. You may think you already know who you want to do business with, or you may feel that it’s unnecessary to create a “make-believe” customer. Is every client going to nail this profile? Of course not. But by describing who it is you truly want to do business with, you can then make your product or service a perfect fit for them.

Your Perfect Customer Profile

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Needs Are Good, But Wants Are Better Why do you purchase things? Why do you choose to frequent the businesses that you do? Whether you realize it or not, it’s almost always a question that is being answered in two parts. The first is identifying the need. “I need...” is stating the basic circumstance that has you at a purchase decision-making point. The second part is more emotional, perhaps even subconscious. It’s the “I want...” part of the equation. You and your competitors are all potential answers to the “I need” question. What distinguishes one business from the next is how they answer the “I want”. Isn’t a Taco a Taco? Consider two very different Mexican food restaurant chains, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Taco Bell. CMG is exploding. They’re doing gangbuster business, selling $10 burritos and tacos, focusing on fresh ingredients, a cool atmosphere, catering services and more. Some of their marketing phrases and tag lines include: “Gourmet Burritos and Tacos”, “Food With Integrity” and “It’s Not Just a Burrito.” Recently, Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed was asked if his company would take any direction from CMG’s success. “Absolutely not,” he responded. He went on to make the analogy that if CMG was the BMW of Mexican eateries, then Taco Bell could be considered the Hyundai. And Hyundai, he noted, sells a lot more cars than BMW. Current Taco Bell promotions include: the Taco 12 Pack, $2 Meals, and the Stuft Burrito (not misspelled). They “Think Outside the Bun” which tells you who they think their competition is: McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s, NOT Chipotle.

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Undoubtedly, there are those in the Taco Bell board room that have noticed CMG’s success and question Taco Bell’s strategy (someone on the board always does). What keeps Taco Bell from instantly reacting to what appears to be a positive trend for CMG? It’s their ability to keep the needs and wants of their Perfect Customer as the one guiding principal that matters. Their Perfect Customer is not looking for gourmet tacos. Speed, price, and convenience are much more important to them. The consumers for both restaurants need to eat. Both even want to eat Mexican food. After that, their wants diverge quickly and dramatically. CMG will probably never offer a $2 burrito meal, and Taco Bell isn’t going to source free-range chickens for its 99 cent Chalupa. Both companies are thriving, and their customers love them. Knowing what your Perfect Customer really wants is critical. Otherwise, you’ll always be second-guessing your strategy and chasing the next trend. Using Triggers to Discover “Wants” In their book The Answer, authors John Assaraf and Murray Smith extensively discuss many of the topics we are covering in this Planner. It’s a great book that we highly recommend. One of their tools that we consistently use when developing marketing plans is their list of common consumer “push buttons”, or what we call triggers.* * For our list of common triggers and business sectors, which blends and extrapolates some of the work of Assaraf and Smith, please visit our website: BizzitMarketing.com/triggers

Almost all businesses fall within a general sector type: • Retail (stores, restaurants) • Wholesale (manufacturer) • Services (dry cleaner, bank, repair people) • Professional (accountant, doctor, dentist, landscaper, architect)

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Within each sector we can identify the most consistent “main wants” for customers of these businesses. We call these top-line wants “triggers”. In general, most people in need of a certain type of service or product have the same triggers. Once we determine a trigger, we can then dive deeper to understand what that trigger means for a specific business. The information we gathered through our surveys while assembling our Perfect Customer profile will help us.

A) Basic Need

B) Sector Trigger

C) Business-Specific Wants

Let’s illustrate with an example for Bizzit Marketing. A. The Basic Need “I need help marketing my business.” B. Sector Trigger Businesses of our type are in the “professional” sector. One of the top common triggers for professional-sector businesses is: “I want the delivered results to match my expectations.” In other words, when a customer decides to do business with a professional service like us, one of their top wants is that the professional will deliver on what is the agreed-upon goal. 33


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C. Business-Specific Wants Easy, right? Ah, but not so fast…how can we get more specific with that “want “as it relates to our business? After all, knowing that our customers expect us to fulfill their expectations doesn’t really shine any light on what that specifically means to them. What is it they want us to “deliver on”? The results of our survey indicated that most of our clients and prospects considered these factors to be the most important in terms of marketing their business: 1. I want a comprehensive, professional marketing plan for my business. 2. I want all aspects of my marketing and branding (logo, website, brochure, business card, social media) to work together. 3. I want all the day-to-day and technical details to be handled. Now, we’re getting somewhere. We know the top line trigger is that we should deliver on what we say we will. We now also know specifically what our Perfect Customer considers to be most important: a plan, an integrated brand, and day-to-day management of the details. Let’s continue, and look at another common Trigger for the professional service sector: B-2. Sector Trigger “I expect responsiveness and I want consistent communication with the company.” “Responsiveness” came up as one of the things our current customers appreciate most about us. So, we’re already on the right track there. From reading their comments, we also gained some additional insights into what the word “responsive” really meant to them:

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C-2. Business-Specific Wants 1. I want someone to respond quickly when I have questions or need to discuss something. 2. I want to feel that my business is a priority, regardless of how large it is. 3. I want to learn and be coached along the way, so I understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Now that’s a whole lot more meaningful than the blanket statement “I want the company to be responsive,” isn’t it? A few more examples will further illustrate this point. The way we’re describing it here makes it seem fairly simple. Actually, it’s not. This takes some time, and requires you to carefully execute the previous steps. You can see now why asking the right questions on your survey is critical. In the examples below, we’ve taken the step of looking at the top line Trigger, and distilling it down to the specific wants relative to that business. (Remember - a listing of business types and their sector, as well as sector-specific triggers can be found on our website). They Need: My air conditioner is broken. I need someone to fix it. They Want: I want it to be fixed fast. I want to understand why it broke, and get some kind of guarantee it won’t break again. I don’t want to get gouged, but I’m not really sure how much this service should cost. I don’t want to be treated like an idiot. I want the service person that comes to my house to treat me fairly and courteously.

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They Need: My family and I need to eat dinner and I don’t feel like cooking tonight. They Want: I want to go to a restaurant where my kids can find food they enjoy and is also good for them. I want the staff to be friendly. I want it to be casual enough for families so we’re not selfconscious if our kids get a little loud. I also want it to feel just a little upscale so my wife and I still feel like we’re getting a bit of a night out. I want it to have a bar so I can have a beer with dinner, and my wife can have a colorful martini if she’s in the mood. They Need: I need an attorney. They Want: I want an attorney that has dealt with elderly care issues before. I want them to be sensitive to the fact that for the first time I have to make decisions for my parents, and it makes me uncomfortable. I need them to have very good advice. It’s my parents’ money, so I need to be assured that they’re only being billed for what is essential. I want them to explain to me all the various things we need to take care of on behalf of my mom and dad.

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Get the idea? Working through this process will give you invaluable insight into what truly drives the purchasing and decision making behavior of your Perfect Customer. The next step is to take that knowledge and apply it to the solutions that your business offers. If you can not only meet their wants, but exceed their expectations, then you’ll have a business that is poised to thrive and grow. Ready to innovate?

Understanding “triggers” will give you invaluable insight into what truly drives the purchasing and decision making behavior of your Perfect Customer.

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Engineering “Exceptional” A quick plug: we love the author Seth Godin. He’s a marketing guru, a great writer, and he continually offers some of the most succinct (and meaningful) takes on marketing in today’s world. While a bit of a longer read than our Planner, his book Purple Cow deals entirely with the concept of innovating your business. Uncovering how your business can be “unique”, “exceptional” or a “Purple Cow” may be the most powerful thing you’ll learn in this entire planning process. Be Exceptional Your goal is to offer your customers something with such tremendous value that it makes your business stand out. This doesn’t mean you have to revolutionize their entire lives. You don’t have to create the next great automobile, social networking site, or weight loss formula. You could simply be the only dry cleaner in town that picks up and delivers its customers’ clothes for no extra charge. Or you could be the lawn maintenance provider in the community that only uses all natural pesticides and fertilizers and still gets stunning results. Or your Spanish tapas restaurant may make the best Sangria this side of the Atlantic. If you crafted your customer survey carefully, you’ll already have some strong insights as to what your Perfect Customer would consider exceptional. They’ve literally told you how you could innovate or enhance your business in a way that would make them want your product or service more.

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It’s Not About Tricking Customers It’s important to note that we are not talking about manipulation or using smoke and mirrors. Often, business marketers can mistakenly think that good marketing is akin to pulling the wool over the public’s eyes, and duping them into becoming a customer. This tactic very rarely works. (Aside from the movie-preview business, which routinely tricks you into seeing bad movies!) As we get into specific steps of how to engineer “exceptional” so that you can go beyond needs and deliver on your customers wants, keep this in mind: you’re not looking for ways to “appear as if” you’re addressing those wants. Your business is going to innovate solutions that actually do address those wants. Example: Life In Balance Life In Balance is a personal chef business which creates healthy, gourmet meals for busy families. By working through the Triggers/Wants section of the BizzitPlanner, the owner has concluded that there are four major wants he needs to innovate for in order to deliver exceptional value to the company’s clients. In the following example, you’ll see that Life In Balance is taking the basic needs of their prospects and seeking to deliver value on a completely different level. When you do this exercise for your business, it’s important not to edit yourself too much. Let your imagination run wild and don’t get bogged down (yet) in answering your internal questions of “how am I going to do that?” For now, think big, and think bold. The name of the game is “innovation”.

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Perfect Customer Want #1 “I want a chef service that will prepare 3 nutritious and great tasting meals per week for my family.” How Life In Balance Can Meet Expectations By preparing great tasting, healthy food. How Life In Balance Can Exceed Expectations Our chefs are all culinary school graduates. Our menus are meticulously planned with the aid of our on-staff nutritionist. We can also cater to any food allergies or dietary restrictions our clients may have. Perfect Customer Want #2 “I want to feel confident that only organic or well-sourced ingredients are being used.” How Life In Balance Can Meet Expectations We use only the freshest ingredients and use organic foods whenever possible. How Life In Balance Can Exceed Expectations We pride ourselves on using the freshest ingredients available. We partner with local farms and food markets to bring fresh, seasonable foods to the dinner table. To source the best foods and ingredients requires us to constantly adjust our menus and suppliers. We update our website daily with a detailed ingredient list of every dish we prepare, so our clients know exactly what is going into their food, and where it came from.

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Perfect Customer Want #3 “I want to feel less rushed and stressed out during the work week.” (Notice how there’s an opportunity to meet a “non-food-related” want here.) How Life In Balance Can Meet Expectations We do all the cooking so our clients don’t have to. How Life In Balance Can Exceed Expectations All meals our prepared in our kitchens, so there’s no mess or fuss in on clients’ home. We can deliver our meals on the day they are prepared, or they can be frozen for convenience and delivered once a week. Choosing menus is easy by working with one of our menu consultants. Over time, we learn each client’s preferences, and can make recommendations for new dishes we think they’ll enjoy. Perfect Customer Want #4 “I want to feel and look better as a result of eating better foods.” How Life In Balance Can Meet Expectations Our healthy and nutritious meals contain less fat and preservatives. How Life In Balance Can Exceed Expectations We see healthy eating as the center of a fit and happy lifestyle. In addition to our chef services, we provide our clients with personal consultations with our on-staff nutritionist. We also have

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collaborative partnerships with professionals in personal training, homeopathic medicine, massage, chiropractic, and weight loss counseling. If Your Answer is “Low Price”, You Could Be In Trouble Occasionally, readers will reach this section and think, “Yeah, this all sounds great, but all my customers really care about is the lowest price”. If that is true, in all honesty, your business could be in trouble. A consumer choice made entirely based on price is always the result of non-differentiation. From your customer’s point of view, they do not believe there is one single thing you do or offer that is adding any additional value to the base product or service. Your business is simply meeting a need. Whether that’s actually true or not doesn’t really matter. It’s what they believe, and thus they think only a fool would pay more. Customers will pay a higher price if they perceive there is an added value. Value is perceived by how many of their “wants” you’re addressing, not needs. Anyone can address needs. Summary Of How To Engineer “Exceptional” • • • •

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Identify your business sector (visit our listing online, bizzitmarketing.com/triggers) Identify 2-3 triggers Using surveys and profiles, determine how those triggers relate to the specific “wants” of your prospects Get creative and engineer exceptional solutions and services to meet those wants


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So... What Does Your Business Do? Let’s recap how far you’ve come in this BizzitPlanning process. You now know who your Perfect Customer is. You have a crystal clear understanding of what they want. You’ve taken steps to structure what you offer so that it not only delivers on their needs and wants, but does so in an exceptional fashion. Now you can sit back, and watch the cash register ring, right? Well, of course not, what fun would that be?! It’s time to roll up your sleeves and tell your Perfect Customers and Prospects who you are and what you’re up to. We’ve all heard of the salesman’s “pitch”, or the infamous elevator speech. At its most basic level, it’s a direct and compelling answer to the question: “So... what does your business do?”

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and tell your Perfect Customers and Prospects who you are and what you’re up to.

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Authors Assaraf and Smith describe a two-step process by which to consider this question. It divides your answer into two parts, and by doing so creates a dynamic and interesting synopsis of what your business does. This is not marketing-speak. Rather, it is a conversational answer you’d actually give to a real person that asks you this question. 1. Paint a Picture That Focuses On a Problem

You’ll start with a phrase like “You know how…?” or “Have you ever…?” What follows is a description of the most important need and want your business addresses.

2. Solve That Problem

After setting up the problem, it’s time to deliver the goods. Think of your business as a super- hero that’s come to make the pain go away. Begin with “Well, what we do is...”, or “We solve that problem by...”

Sound simple? It is, provided you’ve done your homework up until this point. Here’s the “What Do You Do?” answer for Bizzit Marketing. We make the assumption we’re talking to a small business owner or employee, essentially one of our Perfect Prospects. They ask, “So, what does your business do?” Our answer:

You know how as a small business owner you always feel like you should be doing more with marketing, but you just never quite have the time? Most small businesses realize that marketing is THE KEY to their growth and future success, yet those tasks always end up at the bottom of the to-do list. You’re busy running your business: managing the product, the service, personnel, operations, accounting - you name it. You just don’t have the time to

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manage a marketing plan, or worse, you may not even have a plan. Well, we solve this problem by helping small businesses with all aspects of their marketing. We help them create a comprehensive marketing plan, we design and develop all the tools they need to have a consistent brand, and then we manage the day-to day aspects of the plan. For less than it would cost them to add one minimum-wage employee, we devote an entire team of marketing and creative professionals to essentially BE their marketing department. It puts our clients ahead of 99% of all other small businesses. They have a crystal clear plan for how to market their business, and a team of affordable experts to actually make it happen.

Let’s be clear about the goal of our “What Do You Do?” answer. If you’re a small business owner, our research, surveys and profiles told us that it’s very likely you were nodding your head in agreement as you read (or heard) the first paragraph. We were describing a need that you have, and hopefully getting the response: “that’s exactly what I’m facing! They feel my pain!” If you got bored, nodded off, skipped ahead...then we already know you’re not our Perfect Customer. That’s okay, we’re not offended. You don’t need us, we don’t offer anything you need. But if you were interested... You’re now waiting to hear how we can solve your problem. Our answer is filled with all the things our business does to meet what we uncovered as the top “wants” of our Perfect Customers. For us, it’s about 3 things: the plan, a consistent brand, and handling the details. We also provide a provocative benchmark for cost to begin laying the foundation for affordability and value.

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As we close our answer, our Perfect Prospect should be thinking, “This sounds great. How do they actually do that?” In marketing terms, we’ve gotten that prospect “off the elevator,” and onto our floor. And we can’t stress this point enough: for those that weren’t nodding their heads in agreement, then they’re simply not our Perfect Prospects, so they’re ultimately not our concern. Always remember - if you’re trying to speak to everyone, you’re speaking to no one. Your Perfect Prospect is the only audience that matters. Conversations First, Snappy Marketing Copy Second There are no short cuts. It’s important to work through your “So, What Does Your Business Do?” answer because that’s where you’ll quickly detect any holes or flaws in what you’ve developed thus far. Before we can start writing snappy headlines and taglines, we need to be 100% sure that your pitch connects to your Perfect Customer. Writing, reading and tweaking your answer out loud is a great approach to getting it right. Test it out as much as you can, but be careful on whose feedback you let influence your approach. If your business sells plumbing supplies to contractors, you ideally need to see how your pitch works with that crowd. The input of your girlfriend or Uncle Bob may be helpful, but only if they can identify with your Perfect Customer.

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Your Marketing Core: The WooMoo If you’ve read any marketing books or attended business courses, you’ve heard the term “Unique Selling Proposition.” A USP aims to quickly define what makes a product or service unique; what needs it meets, and what benefits it provides. Generally, a USP refers to a specific product or service. Thus, your business could have many USP’s that apply to different products or categories. Still, you need a similar, concise, wantsdriven tagline that encapsulates your entire business. We call it your WooMoo: What Makes YOU Unique. (We tweaked the acronym so we could pay a little tribute to our favorite purple cow from Seth Godin...) The WooMoo is not to be confused with an attention getting headline. Different marketing tactics will require different approaches. Sometimes you will need to break through the clutter with a memorable image or headline. But that’s not exactly what your WooMoo is all about. Your WooMoo is the ultra-concise version of your “So, What Does Your Business Do?” answer. It can’t explain it all, or get too specific, but it should reflect the very core of what your business means to your Perfect Customer. Your WooMoo is going to be your most important marketing asset. It will become integrated into every outbound message your company has from business cards to television commercials. You’ll use it on your website, your e-mail signature line, your on-hold phone music...everywhere. So it needs to be rock-star good.

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Concise and Effective Does Not Equal Clever In the movie Fight Club, Edward Norton’s character meets Brad Pitt’s indelible Tyler Durden character for the first time on an airplane. Durden is a no-nonsense individual, and has no tolerance for anything he perceives as insincere. He’s in the moment, sometimes narcissistic, and completely unimpressed with Norton’s banter. In short, Norton bores him. Think of you and your marketing as Ed Norton and Durden as your prospect. He’s bored before you even open your mouth. He’s heard it all before. Now, back to the movie... During their conversation, Norton gives Tyler one of his witty takes on life. He awaits Durden’s approval; feeling pretty proud of himself. Durden looks at him, completely deadpan, and answers, “Oh I get it, it’s very clever.” It’s not the reply Norton was hoping for. He sheepishly looks at Durden, and replies, “Thank you.” Tyler smirks and says, “How’s that working out for you?” (Meaning, how is “being clever” working for you?) The scene may be the ultimate metaphor for marketing, as well as the creative people and businesses that produce marketing. A business (or their agency) thinks they’re clever, telling a good joke, getting a prospect excited. The prospect on the other hand, agrees: “Yeah, that was clever. Good job.” The business and agency think they’ve nailed it. They wait to see tangible results of their brilliance. Meanwhile, the prospect isn’t acting on anything. He was entertained or possibly amused. You were on his radar for a blip, but now you’re not. That’s okay; he’s not upset or disappointed. You haven’t let him down, because he simply doesn’t care. You must speak directly to what your Perfect Customer wants. Nothing else matters. Otherwise, you’re just delivering fluff, entertainment or intrusion.

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Writing Your WooMoo As you write and develop your WooMoo, keep these principles and tips in mind. There are always exceptions to these rules, but unless you’re a genius, stick with these: 1. Writing a great WooMoo will take longer than you think. Just deal with that. 2. Shoot for Goldilock’s length of “just-right”: 10+ words is probably too long, 2-3 is probably too short. 3. Don’t be overly technical. 4. Do not try to impress anyone with how smart you are a) or how funny you are b) or how hip you are c) or how pop-culture savvy you are... 5. Your WooMoo is about your business, not a specific product. 6. Do not start it with “We.” (Non-profits or charities, you potentially get a pass on this one.)

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7. Potentially start it with “You” or “Your”. Doesn’t always work, but it’s better than “We”! 8. Avoid cliché terms like value, solutions, quality, service. Do those terms mean anything to you anymore when you hear them in marketing? Didn’t think so. 9. Don’t pose your WooMoo as a question. You may not get the answer you’re looking for.

Some great WooMoos to inspire you:

Don’t Dream It. Drive It

Jaguar

Just Do It Nike Think Different Apple The Antidote for Civilization

ClubMed

Say It With Flowers FTD The First in Financial News

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Creating a compelling WooMoo for your business is akin to the Pilgrims reaching Plymouth Rock. You’ve crossed the vast ocean of ideas and analysis, and you’ve taken a long, detailed look at what your business actually does. You’ve arrived on the shores of the New World, a place where your business will grow and thrive. Your WooMoo is your foundation. Take it seriously. It’s not just a tagline; it’s an identity. It’s a flag on the shore that tells your Perfect Customer who you are and what it means to them. Your WooMoo

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Telling Your Story It’s time to go and find our Perfect Prospects and start telling them about what you do. Begin by asking yourself three questions: 1. Where do I “sell” to my customers? (your turf) 2. Where can I communicate with my prospects? (their turf) 3. How will I communicate with my prospects? (your assets) Your Turf How will customers ultimately purchase your product or services? If you own a restaurant, your physical location is the point of sale. You may also have a website through which people can make reservations or buy gift cards. If your website is only for informational purposes, then it is not a point-of sale. If you manufacture a product, your primary means of selling may be through distributors. You may also sell directly to customers. If you sell professional services (doctor, lawyer, massage therapist, accountant) you bill clients directly. It’s important to define “your turf” because you’ll want to make sure you’re maximizing your message here first. Remember when you “Weighed Out Your Widgets?” For many businesses, increasing the amount a customer spends, or the frequency with which they return, is one of their top priorities. Presenting your WooMoo and meeting the wants of your Perfect Customers must happen at the point of sale. This can be achieved through better signage, revising your brochures, menus, or the description of your services. You could also implement a frequent buyer discount

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card or a customer loyalty program with special freebies. You get the idea. This is where you maximize the business you already have. The following list encompasses how 99% of businesses sell their wares. One or more may apply to your business: Points of Sale: Your Turf Physical Store/Location Direct Sales (personal, employed sales force) Sales Agents (distributors, online affiliates) Telemarketing Mail Order / Catalog E-Commerce Events/Tradeshows Their Turf - Selecting the Best Marketing Channels One of the challenges all small businesses face is deciding where to market. Often, they are bombarded with requests from companies and publishers that want their advertising dollars: yellow page ads, online ads, charitable donations, magazines, local flyers, coupons, etc. The representatives that work for these companies are good salesmen (and certainly persistent!) They do a nice job of convincing businesses that, to be successful, they simply must market through the vehicle they represent. So, how do you know which channels make the most sense for you? After all, you have limited dollars to spend on marketing, so you can’t do everything.

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Your Perfect Customer profile can be used to help answer this question. Look at the demographics and psychographics, as well as the top-line “wants” of your Perfect Customers. Put yourself in their shoes, and literally think about what their day is like. Where can we assume they may physically be when they are in the mindset of taking in new information and making a purchasing decision? There’s an ever-growing variety of marketing channels, we’ve included a list of the most popular and relevant here: Channels of Communication: Their Turf • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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Newspaper advertising (subscriptions, news stand) Community paper advertising (usually free via mail or news stand) Trade magazine advertising Your website Pay-per-click advertising Banner advertising Niche marketing Catalogs Direct mail marketing Coupons Social media Social coupon services (Groupon, LivingSocial) E-Mail marketing Trade shows and conferences Billboards and outdoor media Publicity


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• Non-profit support • Expert branding (blogging) • Referral encouragement We normally recommend that most small businesses choose 2-3 primary channels to focus on. Sometimes, the correct choices aren’t as obvious as they may seem. Let’s again take Bizzit Marketing as an example. Choosing The Best Channels Example: Bizzit Marketing How did you find us or hear about us? We can assume that however you found us, it didn’t happen by accident! We went through the same process that you are going through now. We put ourselves in your shoes, and asked ourselves: “Where would I most likely be when I am: a) Able to think about marketing my business, and b) Also have the ability to make a purchasing decision?” In the age of Google, the first answer seemed clear. Most small business owners answer the question ”where can I find out about small business marketing?” by turning to the Internet. Our first primary channel seemed pretty evident. Online: A combination of a strong website, supported by banner and Google advertising. We also know that many small business people belong to groups related to their field, or they like to confer with other small business owners. Social media seems ideal for this. So, we began plans to develop a Facebook Page and support that with ads as well.

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However, while we contemplated that channel, we asked some of our customers how much time they spent on Facebook. At first we were surprised, (but this lessened once we put ourselves in their shoes), when most of them said they spent very little time on Facebook; they were simply too busy. Those that did spend time on the site, only used it as a way to relax or communicate with their friends. They certainly weren’t in a “decision-making-mode” about their business while they were on Facebook. But wait! We’re a marketing company; we actually help our clients build Facebook pages! How can we not have a Facebook page ourselves? It’s simple: our Perfect Customers are either not there, or if they are, they are not in the decisionmaking frame of mind. If it’s not the right turf, why should we invest one iota of energy in that area? We don’t. If you own a restaurant, clothing store, or hair salon, or if you’re a singer or landscape designer, Facebook is probably an ideal channel for you. But it’s not for us.* Still, the fact remains that business owners do like to network. We found that many businesses valued the collaboration and support they receive from their local Chambers of Commerce. So, we made our “networking” channel consist of: Direct Mail/Advertisements to Local Chambers of Commerce

If it’s not the right turf, why should we invest one iota of energy in that area? We don’t. *Proof that “your plan will always be evolving”: Since this writing, we have added a Facebook page. While it’s still not a key focus area for us, we have learned that it positively affects how our website shows up in search engines. So, we have a Facebook page!

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Finally, as part of our marketing strategy, we felt people really needed to find out our qualifications for themselves. We can tell them how wonderful we are (and hope they take our word for it) or we can show them. The term for this kind of marketing is “expert branding”. It involves taking the information that you normally reserve for clients, and dispersing it to “Prospects” as well. This can take many forms, including speaking on panels, blogging, tweeting, writing guest articles, ...or writing a Marketing Plan e-book. And thus we have our third primary channel: Expert Branding via E-book (Note that we view this e-book as a marketing component, even though we “sell” it. Bizzit Marketing is not in the business of selling e-books, yet by attaching a value to it, it helps further narrow our Perfect Prospects.) To summarize, Bizzit Marketing has 3 primary marketing channels: 1. Online: our website/banners/PPC 2. Chambers of Commerce: direct mail, advertising 3. Expert Branding: The BizzitPlanner All other marketing channels are either not relevant to us, or we only invest a small amount of time and effort there on a niche basis. Will we hire a telemarketing team to cold call small businesses? No. Will we take out an ad in various yellow pages (print or online)? No. Will we explore radio, television or instructional videos on our website? No. How will you know if you’re choosing the right channels? Quite simple, really. You’ll start having more conversations with “Perfect Prospects”. It may not happen overnight, but your efforts will begin to build momentum, if you’re truly interacting with them on their turf.

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The Tools of Communication: Your Marketing Assets Now you need assets. You may need a logo and business cards. Your website may need a complete overhaul. You may need help setting up a Facebook page, printing and mailing a direct mail piece, or producing a video for YouTube. We promised at the beginning, that The BizzitPlanner would not be one long, hard sell for using our marketing services. You may already have a team of resources that are more than capable of taking your new plan and developing all the pieces you need to put it in action. However, if you do not have resources in place, you’ll need to get them. There are literally thousands of talented agencies and freelancers in creative marketing and advertising. We like to think we’re pretty good at what we do as well. How you take all the pieces of your plan and integrate them creatively across your marketing channels is beyond the scope of this Planner. If you do look to engage the services of a marketing company or individual, we have provided some general guidelines that can help you choose which type of provider is best of you. See Appendix A for a list of Pros and Cons of working with different types of marketing service providers.

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How Much Should You Spend on Marketing? As much as you can, in order to get the results you’re looking for. How’s that for vague?! It’s not an easy question to answer. There is no formula for what percentage of your gross income you should allocate towards marketing. A restaurant that has been in business for 30 years may devote less than a quarter of a percent to marketing each year. The crazy local furniture guy in your market may spend over 30% of his gross on marketing. Meanwhile, another local furniture store down the block spends far less. They target a different niche, and have a successful business as well. You can discover the right amount for your business by asking yourself a different question: what is a customer really worth? If you’re a manufacturer of a product that lasts for 25 years, this could be an easy calculation. You’ll make X when someone buys your product, and that’s it. For many other businesses, though, this is not the case. Landing a new customer means so much more financially then what they spend on their first transaction. If you remember Salon Paris, they’ve determined that most clients visit 6 times per year and spend around $80 per visit. The data tells them that most clients stay with them at least 5 years, if not longer. That means each customer could provide $2,400 or more worth of income over that 5 year period.

How much should you spend on marketing? How much is a customer really worth?

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Evaluating Marketing Return on Investment: An Example The owner of Salon Paris decides to spend $2,500 on a direct mail piece that will go out to 4,000 highly targeted people in the area. She gets about a 2% response rate, and ultimately about 25% of those respondents then actually book appointments at the Salon. Crunch those numbers and you’ll see that the direct mail piece “converted” 20 customers. If each one of them spends $80, Salon Paris will earn only $1,600, not enough to offset the costs of the campaign. Sounds like that campaign didn’t work very well. Or did it? If Salon Paris can now nail the “Our Turf” side of the equation, there’s a good chance of converting many of these first time clients into 5-year-plus customers. If that happens with even half of those 20 people, the salon would see an increase in income over the next five year of $24,000. That’s about a 1,000% return on their marketing investment. Not too shabby! The importance of being able to accurately measure all of your customer and product matrixes becomes very clear with this example. The crazy furniture guy keeps producing new commercials every week because for him, they work. Look and see what other successful businesses in your industry are doing, and doing consistently. There’s a reason. In marketing, the goal is to learn as quickly and affordably as you can what works, and what doesn’t. Then, the formula is simple: do more of what does, none of what doesn’t, and occasionally test new channels.

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Conclusion Okay, so now what? Let’s recap what you’ve learned and developed up to this point: • • • • • • • • •

You have written your State of the Company Address. It’s your vision. You have defined your delta and have a short-term financial goal. You have weighed your widgets and you have developed a plan to close your delta. You have a profile for your Perfect Customer. You know what your Perfect Customer really wants, not just needs. You have engineered exceptional products and services that exceed those wants. You have a crystal clear answer to the question: “So, What Does Your Business Do?” You have a rock-star WooMoo. You know where to best reach your prospects, and the primary tactics you are going to use to communicate with them.

Congratulations. You are now in the incredibly small minority of small business professionals that has a marketing plan. We could expand every section of this Planner and continue to drill down for more nuance, more information and more insight. “Learning marketing” is never complete. However, you have a business to run. While we encourage you to always embrace new marketing and sales knowledge, also realize that a lack of knowledge is usually not what holds a business back. Right now, you already have enough information to help you meet your goal, to close that delta we defined at the beginning. The rest is fine tuning and details. Finish your plan, then refer to it constantly. Measure your marketing tactics. Repeat what works, alter what doesn’t. Constantly communicate with your Perfect Customers to ensure that your business is meeting their wants, not just their needs.

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If you do all of these things consistently– and with focus– your business will be a success. You will have left it no other choice. Want to bounce your Plan off of us? We’ll take a look at your BizzitPlan, and offer tips and recommendations. We are happy to look over your virtual shoulder and give you some advice, or to give you complete assistance in developing your plan. We wish you the best of luck! Cory Gabel Agency Director and Owner, Bizzit Marketing

bizzitmarketing.com/contact-us

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APPENDIX A: Which Marketing Service Provider Type Is Best For You? Obviously, Bizzit’s model and philosophy is that an integrated agency approach to marketing is what most small businesses are missing. That being said, it’s simply not for everyone. Below is a list of Pro’s and Con’s for using an integrated agency versus individual freelancers. Here’s an important note: Bizzit is essentially a consortium of “freelancers”, so we’re in no way suggesting individual freelancers are an inferior alternative. But in today’s market and with the wide array of different marketing strategies and tactics you may need to employ, the value of having a centralized “quarterback” for managing the creative team and your marketing plan can’t be overstated. It’s not just about the Plan, or even the creative assets. It’s having the time to manage it all. In general, when you enlist the help of individuals or freelancers, it’s up to you to manage everything.

Agency or Marketing Services Company Pros 1. You only have to manage one professional relationship, not several. 2. Brand consistency is more easily attainable. 3. An agency is more likely to assist with planning and strategy. 4. The ability to manage a plan, but also respond quickly to new opportunities, is enhanced. 5. A consistent pay structure or deferred billing is often available.

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Cons 1. Can be more expensive, depending on the operational costs or size of the agency. 2. More likely to be remote. Depending on your comfort level with digital technology, e-mail, etc., this may be problematic. 3. Where your small business ranks as a priority compared to other clients could be an issue.

Independent Professionals (A designer, a web programmer, a writer...) Pros 1. Ideal if you have strong project management skills and only need creative or technical help. 2. You can usually find local people to work with (face-to-face). 3. Can often be more affordable. Cons 1. Generally work on a project basis or hourly. Most will require a payment up front, and the balance immediately upon delivery. 2. Multiple creative people working independently can make it harder to maintain brand consistency. 3. Generally, it’s left to you to be your Marketing Project Manager. Meaning– you know all the plans, due dates, requirements, specifications, and you relay those to your freelancers. 4. Generally, they want to be told what to execute without getting involved in why you’re necessarily doing it. (This is not to discredit freelancers: if you’re hiring them on a mercenary basis, that approach is justified. Their job is to execute your plan, not question it.)

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APPENDIX B: Sales and Marketing Books Not comprehensive, just our favorites. Assaraf, John and Murray Smith. The Answer: Grow Any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Live an Extraordinary Life. Atria Books, 2008. The Answer deserves additional recogontion as many steps in our plan evolved directly from the ideas and methods of Assaraf and Smith. Triggers, ideal customers, and more - it was through implementing various steps in their process for ourselves and multiple other clients that led us to create the BizzitPlanner. We encourage you to purchase and read this book!

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Bay Back Books, 2002. Gobe, Marc. Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People, Updated and Revised Edition. Allworth Press, 2010. Godin, Seth. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. Portfolio, 2003. Godin, Seth. Unleashing the Ideavirus. Hyperion, 2001. Godin, Seth. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends, and Friends into Customers. Simon & Schuster, 1999. Moore, Jeffrey A. Crossing the Chasm. Harper, 2002. Ross, Maria. Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget. Norlightspress.Com, 2010.

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