Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Category >> Getting and Keeping Customers
Jun 03

Attributing Information

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Regular readers of this blog know that I suggest that all marketing should lead with the benefits and follow with the evidence. The evidence may be the study verifying the need for your product or service. 

Frequently, I receive marketing emails which includes some vague phrase like “studies show” without any attribution. My first thought is so what?

May 13

Using YouTube

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

YouTube is a common medium for communicating all kinds of entertainment, comedy and business concepts. If you use YouTube in your business, I suggest you follow several key principles.

1. Never monetize your video by allowing advertising.

Very few YouTube postings earn $100 or more so you’re not likely to earn anything meaningful. Besides, you don’t want to distract anyone away from your video. You want viewers to immediately click through to your material.  Some of the longer videos now insert ads part way through. This is even more annoying to me and causes me to click off. Nothing should interfere with the focus and flow of your posted video. 

May 02

Stand Out in Your Business

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Frequently I have consulting clients who become concerned about too much competition in their industry. I share that 80% to 90% of competitors perform at C or worse, providing a good opportunity for anyone who’s willing to take the steps to excel.

For example, I tend eat out less for several reasons including my desire to eat healthy. However, my experience is that a lot of restaurant food isn’t particularly great and not a good value for the money you spend. Why should I spend $20 plus for dinner and tip when the meal isn’t that appetizing? If the manager or owner was objective about the quality served at customers’ tables, they would understand how it represents a good reason for the empty tables.

Recently I met with an Internet marketing company who worked by a monthly contract. The previous month there was clear communication about what I expected within the time allocated under the agreement. However, the work wasn’t done. The company had logged hours but a review of what they accomplished versus the time charged didn’t offer good value for the money. When I confronted the owner with this along with other past examples, the owner simply said, “Maybe we’re not the right company to serve you.” I agreed with him.  They didn’t accomplish the agreed upon work. They simply put in their time and promised to do better next time.  Not an acceptable answer. 

Feb 28

Passing on Credit Card Fees

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When a business accepts credit cards, there is a cost to the business. Most pay around 3%; although some charges may be higher or lower depending on volume and other factors. At the end of the month we see these processing costs and may think about how to pass these costs directly to our customers. One way or the other we do, either by absorbing them into a slightly higher price or charging extra for credit card use.

The question this brings up is should we add the charges to consumer cost? An article in the local newspaper caught my eye when an upscale restaurant started adding 3% to customer bills when paid by credit card. My initial thinking was that this was not a particularly good idea.  The gross margin in most restaurants is 60%.  If you lose a few customers over the 3% charge you’re probably way behind.

Gas stations at times have two prices: one for cash and one for credit. I tend to avoid these because the cash price is close to what I pay using my credit card someplace else. I prefer to manage my expenses through a credit card while at the same time gaining cash back. When I thought I would save $.05 or $0.10 a gallon, I might just go in and put $20 or $40 down and take the savings. 

Feb 24

Solving Fake Problems

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Effective advertising targets the need a problem present and how a customer ineffectively has met that need. Occasionally we encounter advertising that seems to create a problem that doesn’t exist in order to demonstrate a way to meet the problem they want to solve.

An example is the recent advertising for Domino’s pizza focusing on how they will fix a mistake quickly without charge. However, fixing a mistake should go without saying.  It’s like driving your new car out of the showroom and the transmission drops in the road two miles down the street.  They agree to take care of it for you. “Of course you will,” you say. I don’t think most of us would respond positively to a new car ad explaining how quickly they will fix warranty problems.  There shouldn’t be a problem to fix in the first place.

I don’t recall ever having a problem with an incorrect pizza delivery. In these days of my advancing age, we don’t order a lot of pizza anyway.  However, my perspective is that this simply isn’t a major problem.