Steve Marr Blog

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Category >> Getting and Keeping Customers
Oct 18
2018

Create Customers

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Management expert Peter Drucker frequently said that the purpose of any business is to create customers. As simple and accurate as this statement is, we often miss the mark.

The challenge arises when we make decisions based on what we prefer to offer versus what our customers demand. An example is “Ken” who owns a pet store that targets healthy ingredients for animals. Ken decided to carry only expensive products. I pointed out that he could easily carry less costly products that would appeal to a wider cross-section of customers and increase sales. By my perspective Ken was too narrowly focused on the product line. He could easily maintain healthy products for pets while adding some lower-cost products. He simply would not do it. In going over a number of issues about how Ken ran his business, I believed Ken was more interested in providing what he wanted to sell rather than focusing on what customers demanded. I tried to repeat that I was not suggesting that he forgo his passion for healthy pet food.  I simply wanted to show Ken how to create more customers.

Oct 11
2018

Managing Customer Expectations

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I've read that “disappointment equals expectations less reality.” If I go on a fishing trip expecting to catch 30 salmon a day but only land three, I may be disappointed. However, if I go salmon fishing expecting to catch one or no fish but bring home three, I get pretty excited. The difference is my expectation. Likewise we need to make sure that we manage our customers’ expectations appropriately to avoid future disappointment.

When I have done consulting work with clients, I endeavor to match expectations to reality from a time, cost and result framework. An example would be if I'm assisting a business owner in improving the work results of an employee, I explain that in most cases the best you're going to accomplish is a 10% to 20% gain. If this is not the results you require, then you might be better off discharging the employee sooner rather than endure the pain of a long process. I explained that rarely can a manager take a person producing D-level work and raise them to A-level.  It is more likely that you can get them to produce at a C-level.

Oct 01
2018

The Value of a Logo

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When most businesses begin, one of the first goals is to create a logo for letterhead, vehicles and advertising material. Many may disagree with me, but my perspective is most logos are over rated. Ask the simple question, how many times does one buy your product because of the logo? In my view, rarely. We buy a product because solid marketing has created brand awareness that helps us recognize a logo. Coca-Cola, Apple and McDonald's are examples. Almost everyone knows what the logo stands for, but we buy the product because we like it; not because of the logo.

Sep 24
2018

The Key to an Effective Website

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An effective website is one of the most critical parts of landing customers for business. To accomplish that, we often invest substantial amounts of money and time using someone’s creative efforts and adding beautiful artwork. Granted, our website should not be ugly; however, beauty is not the most critical factor.

Orbit Media Studios published a survey in which respondents said that 76% of the time, ease in finding the information they wanted was most critical. We need to think through how customers see our site when they first investigate us. Information about where to go next may be obvious to us, but it might be very confusing to our customers.

Sep 13
2018

Small Businesses can Advertise with the Big Guys

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau issued a very insightful report demonstrating the major shift into targeted Internet and social media advertising. Internet advertising significantly outpaces television advertising, and the trend is for significant increased growth. The full report is here: https://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/IAB-2017-Full-Year-Internet-Advertising-Revenue-Report.REV2_.pdf

In the past advertisers paid to reach individuals who were not the target audience. The newspaper may reach thousands of readers in an effort to find a few who may be interested in purchasing a swing set this weekend.