The Process Of Marketing
Conrad Levinson Copyright © 2005
Marketing is not an event, but a
process. How long does the process last?
An insight for you to embrace
is that a guerrilla marketing attack is neverending. It has a beginning, a
middle but never an end, for it is a process. You improve it, perfect it, change
it, even pause in it. But you never stop it completely.
Of all the steps
in succeeding with a guerrilla marketing attack, maintaining it takes the most
time. You spend a relatively brief time developing the attack and inaugurating
it, but you spend the life of your business maintaining, monitoring and
improving your attack. At no point should you ever take anything for granted. At
no point should you fall into the pit of self-satisfaction because your attack
is working. Never forget that others, very smart and motivated competitors, are
studying you and doing their utmost to surpass you in the marketing arena.
Guerrillas thrive and prosper because they understand the deeper
meanings of the phrases "customer base" and "long term commitment." This enables
them to reinvent their marketing -- just as long as they are firm in their
commitment to their existing customers and prospects. An attack without
flexibility is in danger of failing. But that flexibility does not allow you to
take your eyes off the needs of your customers.
Keep alert for new niches
at which you can aim your attack. Large companies don't have the luxury of
profiting from a narrow niche. No matter how successful your attack, never lose
contact with your customers. If you do, you lose your competitive advantage over
huge companies that have too many layers of bureaucracy for personal contact.
Guerrilla marketing is always authentic marketing and never acts or feels to be
impersonal, by-the-number marketing. It never feels like
"Marketing Management" author Philip Kotler, says "Authentic
marketing is not the art of selling what you make but knowing what to make. It
is the art of identifying and understanding customer needs and creating
solutions that deliver satisfaction to the customers, profits to the producers
and benefits for the stakeholders. Market innovation is gained by creating
customer satisfaction through product innovation, product quality and customer
service. It these are absent, no amount of advertising, sales promotion or
salesmanship can compensate."
Your attack must be characterized by a very
strong tie with your own target audience. You know them. You serve them. They
know it. Guerrilla attacks do not suffer from your lack of resources, but
instead prosper because lack of capital makes them more willing to try new and
innovative ideas, concepts ripe for guerrillas but not for huge
Your attack will succeed in direct relationship to how
narrow-minded you can be. Guerrillas have the insight that precision strengthens
an attack. They know the enormous difference between their prospects and their
prime prospects. They are aware of the gigantic chasm separating their customers
from their best customers. This perspective enables them to narrow their aim
only to the best prospects that marketing money can buy and the finest customers
ever to grace their customer list.
They are fully cognizant that it
doesn't take much more work to sell a subscription to a magazine than to sell a
single issue. That's why their marketing attack is devoted to motivating people
to subscribe to their businesses mentally.
Once they have a customer,
they do all they can to intensify the relationship, and they do not treat all
customers and prospects equally. Consider the menswear chain with a database of
47,000 names. Mailings are never more than 3,000 at a time. Who receives the
mail? Says the owner, "Only the people appropriate to mail to." When he received
trousers of a specific style, he mailed only to those customers to whom he was
certain they'd appeal -- and enjoyed a 30% response rate.
The cost of his
mailing was a tiny fraction of the size of his profits. There's not a chance of
reveling in a healthy response like that unless you're targeting your mailing
with absolute precision. It's something you're going to have to do in a world
where postal charges and paper prices are both slated to increase. Unless you're
hitting the bullseye, you're wasting your marketing investment. And unless
you're treating your marketing as a continuing process, you're wasting
everybody's time, including your own.
|Jay Conrad Levinson is
the author of the "Guerrilla Marketing" series of books, the most popular
marketing series in history with 14 million sold, now in 39 languages. At his
new http://www.GuerrillaMarketingAssociation.com, you'll find lots
of profit-producing ideas plus a list of 100 marketing weapons. Join up for
phone and online access to The Father of Guerrilla