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          20 Marketing Tips For Hard Times

    1) Know your target audiences -- market to highly targeted groups and know them well. One message never "fits all" in marketing, even if it is Free Money.

    2) Know what each customer group REALLY wants to buy -- hint: it is NOT your product! People buy to satisfy a specific set of personal motivations, the product is just a springboard to that satisfaction.

    3) Remember to sell all who influence the buying decision -- for example, if you're selling a children's product, marketing it to both the child and mom, using appropriately seductive pitches for each "buyer" who influences the final decision.

    4) Use positioning to gain market share -- you must not only give them reasons for buying the product, but reasons for buying it from YOU.

    5) Make your message clear -- just because it seems clear to you, doesn't mean it is to them!

    6) Make your message interesting -- boring messages create snores, not sales

    7) Make your message believable -- if it sounds unbelievable, you lose sales and credibility

    8) Don't steal their time until they're ready to give it -- their time is valuable, so get to the "what's in it for me?" before the long explanations.

    9) Don't assume you know what your customers want -- people buy on the basis of logic and emotion. If you don't know what each specific target group of your buyers really wants, find out with research. It's easier to sell them what they want than to convince them to buy what you think they want.

    10) Stimulate their emotions -- never overlook powerful emotions like security, safety, acceptance, guilt, fear, longing, and a dozen others, even in business-to-business sales. People often buy on the promise of emotional satisfaction, and justify it with logical reasons.

    11) Don't think of your product as your baby -- you might worship it, but to them it is just a means to an end.

    12) Provide outstanding customer service -- this is often the differentiating factor among competitors. Today good customer service isn't enough. Great customer service is required.

    13) Know their doubts and overcome them -- doubts and fears are part of any buying decision. Recognize what they are, confront them directly and ease the buyer's doubts. Guarantees are often the key.

    14) Treat customers like friends -- people like to do business with friends, not cold fish

    15) Use testimonials and other Validators (honors, awards, etc.) -- building trust is vital. This will help.

    16) Be aware of the impact of every message you're sending -- EVERYTHING related to your business sends a message and modifies the buyer's image of your company, from your letterhead to the size of your aisles. Control every message and make every message "sing the same song."

    17) Make everything as attractive as possible -- people respond to attractive images on an emotional level, so be attractive or be a wall flower at the dance.

    18) Write ads that make people want to know more -- ads are little pieces of seduction, designed to make the buyer want to know more. They don't usually have to make the sale, just get buyers to take the next step, so make them alluring, not weighty.

    19) Use the Internet to market and sell -- most people with computers go there first to research products and check out sellers. Be there, or be left behind.

    20) Be flexible and watch for new opportunities -- change is constant, creating both dangers and opportunities. Those who do not respond do not survive for long.


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