Do This When Making Big, Bold Changes To Your Brand

Transcription:

You’ve come to a crossroads … a watershed moment where you decide that it’s best to change up your marketing. Maybe you plan to employ a new strategy.

Maybe you want to try a new delivery vehicle for your message, and have decided to move from a passive medium like newspaper to an intrusive medium like radio.

But what’s the best way to tackle such a change?

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Be sure to watch this episode, and I’ll explain how to ensure a smooth transition when making big, sweeping changes to your brand.

[intro]

In his New York Times best-seller, Predictably Irrational, psychologist, Dan Ariely, recounts his experience as a burn patient.

Each day, hospital nurses removed Ariely’s bandages—which covered 70% of his body—ripping them off to “minimize” the pain.

Ariely began to wonder if this method was best. He argued with his nurses … pleaded with them that removing the bandages more slowly would be less painful.

Still, the nurses insisted that faster was better.

That experience haunted Ariely. Later, as a psychology student, he conducted several research studies to test his theory that slower was better.

What did Ariely learn?

He was right, and the nurses were wrong. See, pain is a factor of intensity—not duration. Ariely’s pain wouldn’t have been nearly as intense had his nurses removed his bandages with slow and gentle movements.

You’ve been told that the best way to remove a bandaid is to do so quickly, right? Just man-up and “rip the damn thing off.”

Marketers often take this same “tear it off” approach when making major marketing and advertising decisions. I see it all the time.

When switching mediums, some advertisers do so abruptly—yanking all their advertising dollars out of one medium and placing it into another.

But how about transitioning when the stakes are even higher?

Maybe you’re considering moving your company from direct response marketing—where you ask customers for an immediate sale—to a long-term branding strategy where the goal is win you customer’s heart long before she needs your product.

Again, the knee-jerk reaction is to make this change quickly like tearing off a band-aid. No need to suffer. Let’s just get it over with.

But just as Dan Ariely experienced, this approach actually causes more pain—not less.

Just ask Ron Johnson, former CEO of JCPenney.

Johnson was hired in November, 2011 to rescue the drowning retailer. This was a big, bold move for JCPenney.

See, Johnson was the guy behind Apple’s successful retail stores, as well as the merchandising efforts that elevated Target’s image beyond that of just an upscale K-Mart.

Johnson was a “retail” rock star.

So now, he was given the enormous task of de-frumping JCPenney.

Johnson kick things off with bold and sweeping changes. He changed the store’s logo, culture, merchandise, layout and decor, employee pay structure—and most ambitious of all—its pricing.

Make no mistake, this was a total re-branding effort. From sole to crown, JCPenney would be transformed … overnight.

Yes, Johnson tore the band-aid off. But customers and shareholders simply could not stomach the pain. Sales fell 28% during Johnson’s troubled tenure. And on April 8th, 2013, he received his walking papers.

While there were many missteps responsible for Johnson’s failed attempt to transform JCPenney, perhaps the biggest of all was trying to swallow the whole damn thing all at once instead of breaking the transformation down into chewable chunks.

It’s often best to tackle change slowly … allowing you, your staff and your customers time to breathe … time to gather momentum.

Otherwise you run the risk of becoming frustrated, or worse, throwing in the towel before you see any results.

For example, when moving from one advertising medium to another, it’s often a good idea to gradually step down your commitment.

Maintain a small presence in the medium your moving FROM—at least until you begin harvesting the seeds planted in your new advertising medium.

Likewise, you’re gonna need whole lotta of faith, patience and perseverance when switching from event-driven marketing to a long-term branding campaign.

Avoid changing your marketing “religion” all at once.

Use a passive medium like newspaper to advertise your sales events while you continue to leverage your broadcast ads to build long-term brand awareness.

Remember, it’s best to take things slow and steady. Too many companies try and tackle big transitions like these all at once, only to reverse course later because the pain became far too great … far too intense.

So again, tear the band-aid off slowly … get it? Got it? Good.

Now, I need a favor from you. It only takes a second, and couldn’t be simpler. Please subscribe below and share this video with your peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

As always, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

How To Use Humor In Advertising

Transcription:

Humor can be an effective tool for advertisers to win the attention of their audience. But what’s the most effective use of humor in advertising?

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

If you create ads that entertain with humor, stay tuned. I’ll share THE biggest mistake when using humor in advertising. I’ll see YOU on the inside.

Advertisers have long realized that humor can pierce the enormous clutter of advertising. This insight is incredibly valuable since it’s also well-known that the human brain anticipates and ignores the predictable.

But persuasion is more than just capturing the attention of your audience. Much more.

What happens when you rely too heavily on all that is cute and clever?

Your ad will fail to persuade, pure and simple.

See, without a whiff of relevancy, people will recall that your ad was funny, but they will never remember your message or the product your ad was intending to promote. Relevancy is the almighty filter used by the human brain to discount that which is unimportant.

My partner, Roy H. Williams, sums it up brilliantly, “Never use humor that doesn’t reinforce the principal point of your ad.

Here’s the litmus test: If remembering the humor forces you to recall the message of the ad, the humor is motivated. Good job.

But if recalling the humor doesn’t put you in memory of the ad’s main point, the humor is unmotivated and will make your ad less effective. Sure, people will like the ad. They just won’t buy what you’re selling.”

Everybody loved the “Yo quiero Taco Bell” dog. So cute and funny. But did those ads increase taco sales?

Nope. The ads may not have done anything for Taco Bell’s bottom line, but they sure sold the bejeezus out of Chihuahuas.

But how about those Super Bowl ads? Surely these ads bring excitement, comedy and sex appeal to a whole other level?

According to a 2014 report from AdAge.com, eighty percent of the commercials aired during the past two Super Bowls didn’t compel consumers to buy the product being promoted.

The report when on to conclude that viewers of Super Bowl ads can better recall ads aired during the Super Bowl, but were less successful in identifying the brand being promoted.

Okay, so how do we effectively apply humor to advertising?

Here’s an example of humor reinforcing the principle point of an ad. Watch this video:

Now, full-disclosure: I edited the video you just watched to cut down and tighten up the front end. In my opinion, the original spot was tedious and took too long to develop.

Nonetheless, the Dirt Devil commercial gives you a terrific example of the proper use of humor in advertising.

The bottom line: A clever ad that lacks a clear message will not work. Clever ads fail to persuade anybody of anything, except that “Company X sure makes some crazy ads!”

Don’t ever mistake a crazy, likable ad for one that persuades and moves the gosh darn sales curve upward.

Always remember: Your #1 mandate is to convince your customers to buy from you. And a message absent of relevancy can never persuade.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a HUGE favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

And remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

The Magic Of ‘Show Don’t Tell’ Advertising

Transcription:

Ad copywriting is one skill that can take years — sometimes even decades — to master. But there are a handful of tips that’ll shorten your learning curve.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Stay tuned and I’ll share one of the greatest copywriting techniques that is sure to electrify your ad copy.

[intro]

Good ad writing—persuasive ad writing—is as much about the concepts you use as it is about your ability to artfully string together a sentence.

Hands down, one of the greatest ad writing techniques I’ve learned is to show, rather than tell.

Just about every young fiction writer receives this advice early on in his or her career. And it’s damn-good advice that every ad copywriter should receive as well. So, now I’m giving it to you.

Science-fiction writer, Robert J. Sawyer, beautifully explains the “show, don’t tell” concept:

“Every writing student has heard the rule that you should show, not tell, but this principle seems to be among the hardest for beginners to master.

First, what’s the difference between the two? Well, “telling” is the reliance on simple exposition: Mary was an old woman. “Showing,” on the other hand, is the use of evocative description:

Mary moved slowly across the room, her hunched form supported by a polished wooden cane gripped in a gnarled, swollen-jointed hand that was covered by translucent, liver-spotted skin.

Both showing and telling convey the same information — Mary is old — but the former simply states it flat-out, and the latter — well, read the example over again and you’ll see it never actually states that fact at all, and yet nonetheless leaves no doubt about it in the reader’s mind.

Why is showing better? Two reasons. First, it creates mental pictures for the reader. When reviewers use terms like “vivid,” “evocative,” or “cinematic” to describe a piece of prose, they really mean the writer has succeeded at showing, rather than merely telling.

Second, showing is interactive and participatory: it forces the reader to become involved in the story, deducing facts (such as Mary’s age) for himself or herself, rather than just taking information in passively.”

See, this is where most advertising falls short. Most ad writers are lazy. Their advertising tells the audience what the company is good at—usually in the form of ho-hum clichés—but it never demonstrates these qualities in rich, colorful detail.

Let’s look at an example:

“When you want the job done right, call Done-Right Heating. Our work is the best, guaranteed.”

That statement rings hollow, doesn’t it? There’s no meat to the bone.

Now, here’s the same idea, but written to show rather than tell:

“When we say we do what’s right by you, we really mean it. That’s not just happy talk either. See, at Done-Right Heating we refuse to do a job—any job—unless it’s done the right way. Picture perfect in every way.

We even gave one of our vendors the boot when they refused to stand behind their product and replace a defective control module on a heat pump. Those knuckleheads asked us to ignore the problem and hide the defect from our customers.

Well, that’s not how we do things around here, so we fired the vendor and replace 162 defective heat pumps on our own dime.”

Wow! Now you have a dramatically different mental picture of the company and the message it sends. You now know—you now believe—in your heart of hearts that this company will go to any length to protect your best interests. They are champions for your home, comfort and safety.

Never forget that we live in a noisy, over communicated society. Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with all kinds of claims such as having the lowest prices, best service, widest selection and so much more. Because of this, the grizzled, skeptical buying public demands proof that you are who you claim to be.

Proof comes in the form of specifics, which are more powerful and believable than generalities.

It’s not enough to merely state that you’re a “champion” for your customer’s home, comfort and safety. You have to dive deeper … you have to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. And the way you prove it is by showing rather than telling.

Give your customer a specific example of a time when you stood up for them and refused to cut corners … when you refused to do the job any way, but the right way.

Electrify your ad copy. Show rather than tell. It works magic every time.

Alright Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a big, BIG favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And now it’s time to hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

Always remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

Reaching The Right Customer

Transcription:

My partner, Roy H. Williams says, “I’ve never seen an advertiser fail due to reaching the wrong people, but I have seen hundreds fail due to irrelevant, uninteresting messages.”

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Keep watching, and I’ll explain why it’s a mistake to overemphasize demographic targeting, and what to do instead. I’ll see YOU on the inside.

Most advertisers attempt to target demographically when selecting media. In other words, they attempt to reach the ‘right customer.’

So who IS your perfect customer? Close you eyes for a moment. Picture this person in you mind. Do you have a clear mental image of your perfect customer?

Okay, ready? Now open your eyes.

If you’re a furniture retailer … is it people who sit on furniture?
If you’re a jeweler … is it people who get married?
If you own a restaurant … is it people who eat?

I don’t mean to be flip here, but think about how utterly … utterly ridiculous this is … think about how much time and energy is wasted trying to find the ‘right customer’ instead of saying the right thing.

What’s more, media salespeople will try and convince you that their audience is a perfect match for your business. Amazing, right?

I’m guessing you’ve heard this pitch before. Well, salespeople do this because it gives them the leverage to convince you that you need to reach their audience.

Let me say this plainly: Forget about your customer’s age, sex, or income bracket. Finding the right message trumps finding the right customer. In fact, your success is directly related to crafting a message that is both relevant and credible.

Crawl into your customer’s skin. Walk in their shoes. See the world through their eyes, and ask:

What’s being offered?
How will it help me? Does this even matter to me?
And do I believe what this person is telling me?

Your message had better answer these questions, because that’s what your customers want to know.

Relevancy and credibility. Engrave those two words in your heart if you want to persuade customers to choose you.

And remember: target the ‘right customer’ through your ad copy—not your media selection. Reach as many people as your budget will allow with enough repetition. Choose colorful words, phrases and points-of-view that’ll resonate with them.

Make a compelling offer. Say the right thing. Do this and you’ll be amazed at how many different people magically become the ‘right customer’ for you. Heck, even if don’t reach the right customer—they’ll pass your message on to someone who is.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a HUGE favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

And remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

The One Thing You Must Do Before Writing Ad Copy

Transcript:

Do you expect advertising to cure whatever ills your company? If so, you may be putting the cart before the horse, my friend.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Stay tuned, and we’ll discuss what you absolutely MUST do before writing a single word of ad copy. I’ll see YOU on the other side.

“Gimme some of those ads that work. More traffic. That’s what I really need.”

Anytime I hear these words, I cringe. It signals desperation. It signals that we’ve got a long road ahead. But we’re not afraid of a little hard work, are we? So let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle this thing.

First things first, please understand, writing great copy becomes brain-dead easy when you have something supremely powerful to say. In other words, great ad copy is built upon the backbone of a winning strategy. Always. It cannot work in reverse.

So before you sit down to write a single word of ad copy, think through and develop your strategy. Declare your core values and beliefs. Define how you plan to position your product for maximum impact. Identify the felt need of your customer … one that you are willing and able to meet.

Next up, answer this for me: Do you really have a traffic problem? Or, is traffic simply a symptom of a much larger issue? Think hard about this. Are customers not visiting your store because they don’t know about you, or perhaps because they do?

That’s hard to swallow, isn’t it?

But now’s not the time to bury your head in the sand. Now’s the time to see what you’re made of. Now’s the time to look unflinchingly in the mirror and bravely face those issues that are the biggest, ugliest, smelliest, nastiest things holding you back.

Just know, there cannot be any gaps between what you say and what you do. Every day companies falter and fail because of this disconnect between words and actions.

To avoid a similar fate, your staff must live up to the promises you make in your advertising. And so must your products and services.

Legendary advertising executive, Bill Bernbach, famously said, “Never make good advertising for a bad product.”

See, Bill knew that good advertising will only accelerate what was going to happen anyway. So do whatever it takes to fix your products and customer experience before you tell the world about it. Otherwise you’re just throwing gas on the fire, and when all is said and done, you just might be surprised to find yourself in a world of trouble … you just might find your business has gone belly up.

Marketing Wizards, please understand that—although it’s tempting to throw money at advertising when things are going less than perfect—you cannot put the cart before the horse. Build a solid foundation first. Develop your strategy and refine you customer experience before you advertise. Do this and you’ll take the world by storm.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a big, BIG favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And now it’s time to hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

Always remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

How To Avoid Chasing The Fool’s Gold Of Marketing And Advertising

Transcript:

Marketing is a funny thing. The desire to persuade is often so seductive that even the tried and true pros get caught up in agreeing to do things that marketing was never intended to do.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Keep watching to make sure you’re not chasing the fool’s gold of marketing. I’ll see YOU on the other side.

You often hear me talk about the importance of speaking to the felt need of your customer. While this seems pretty simple and straightforward, I readily admit that defining your customer’s felt need can be tricky and is tough to do in practice.

And you’ll sometimes find, that when the pressure’s on and the bullets start flying … when things aren’t going your way … when you’ve tried everything else and you desperately need to drum up sales … well, you just might get the irresistible urge to convince someone to buy from you when they have no desire. You might be tempted to create mass desire—from scratch.

This is a cardinal and common sin even among veteran marketers—and far too often we allow our clients or bosses to convince us that it can be done. Not a good idea.

The simple fact of the matter is, advertising cannot alter the tide of human nature. Attempting to do so is fool’s gold.

Legendary ad copywriter, Eugene Schwartz, wisely said, “Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already-existing desires onto a particular product. This is the copy writer’s task: not to create this mass desire—but to channel and direct it.”

Let me echo the advice of Eugene Schwartz: Advertising cannot create mass desire from scratch. It cannot convince you that Christmastime is the ideal time of year to list your home for sale. It cannot convince the majority of the buying public to spend $30,000 bucks on cosmetic dental work. It cannot convince a person to wear flashy jewelry when this person’s religious beliefs dictate otherwise.

Anytime I’ve tried something like this, I’ve crashed and burned. Trust me. Not pretty.

Please don’t expect advertising to accomplish that which it was never intended. Advertising’s job is to channel an already-existing desire. After all, we’re marketers—not magicians.

So speak to the hopes, dreams and desires that fuel you customer’s desires. And the wider and deeper the desire, the better.

What’s more, speak in the language of the customer. Do this and you will win your customer’s heart. Then, their mind and money will follow.

In upcoming episodes, we’ll dive deeper into how to identify and speak to your customer’s felt need. But for now, just be sure you’re channeling an already-existing desire.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a HUGE favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

And always remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

Debunking One Of The Biggest Myths In Marketing

Transcript:

So tell me … are you gonna run your ads on the radio? Maybe TV? Or how about newspaper? Oh, I know … billboards!

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Today we talk media selection and tackle one of the biggest myths in marketing. Stay tuned and I’ll see you on the other side.

As a marketing consultant, one of the most common questions I get from new clients has to do with media selection. Clients are always anxious to learn which vehicle will deliver our message.

For many, this becomes the thing they’re most interested to learn. Heck, some slightly obsess over it.

But this shouldn’t surprise you. We’ve been brainwashed about the importance of media selection for more than 50 years.

In his book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964, Marshall McLuhan famously proclaimed, “The medium is the message.”

Well, my friends, Marshall McLuhan was wrong. The medium is NOT the message. The message is the message. The medium is simply a delivery vehicle for your message.

But, hey, I get it. I understand how easy it is to fall into the trap of believing this ‘medium is the message’ myth.

When I owned my retail clothing shop, I believed the same thing. Like most business owners, I thought the answer to growing my business was finding the right medium for MY business. So, I played medium roulette.

What did I get?

A bunch of wasted time and money. See, the medium really didn’t make much of a difference at all. Radio, newspaper, yellow pages … they all failed to meet my expectations.

They all failed to drive customers through my door. But this failure didn’t have anything to do with the medium … it had to everything to do with the fact that my message was less than convincing.

My Wizard of Ads partners and I have a saying: “The right words are the right words.” Yes, saying the right thing can do wonderful things for your business. Saying the right thing can cause people to do the things you want them to do—no matter the medium.

Once you’ve found the right message, that message should be screamed from the mountaintops from whichever delivery vehicle your budget will allow.

Do you still believe that it is the messenger that determines the customer’s response to your message?

Please understand, ad campaigns don’t fail because you chose the wrong medium. Ad campaigns fail because you said the wrong thing. Ad campaigns fail because you didn’t say something new, exciting and different … you didn’t move the needle on the “who gives a crap” meter.

Let me be clear, I’m not suggesting your choice of media is irrelevant. Sure. Each medium has it’s strengths and weaknesses that must be considered.

But customers respond to messages not mediums. Crafting a message that is both relevant and believable will do more for growing your business than the medium you choose to deliver it.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a HUGE favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

And always remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

Why Ethos Is The Most Powerful Persuader In Your Marketing Tool Belt

Transcription:

You’re goal is to build a powerful, dominate brand … a transformative brand that grabs the hearts of your customers and becomes an integral part of their lives.

That’s no small feat. In order to accomplish such a task, we’re gonna need some help. So let’s turn to the wisdom of Aristotle.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Now c’mon … don’t get your undies in a bunch just cause I mentioned Aristotle. This is actionable stuff. So stay tuned. I’ll see you on the other side.

Aristotle tells us that persuasion is built upon three essential pillars, which are:

Logos: persuasion by logic
Pathos: persuasion by emotion, and
Ethos: persuasion by ones character

Logic alone rarely moves the needle. To get people to act, you must also speak to the desires that lie within their heart. Most of us get this.

But sadly, many marketers fail to pay any attention to that third pillar, which is critical to building a brand that your customer will know, like and trust … most spend little or no time at all cultivating their brand’s ethos or character.

But you’re not just any brand builder, are you? You’re a Marketing Wizard.

So how do you go about developing your brand’s ethos?

Again, we turn to Aristotle who explains that a powerful and persuasive ethos must contain three essential character elements.

Number one: Virtue. Your prospect must believe that you share their values.

Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. If you don’t know why you do what you do, and people respond to why you do what you do, then how will you ever get people to vote for you, or buy something from you, or, more importantly, be loyal and want to be a part of what it is that you do? Again, the goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have; the goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe.”

So have you told the world why you do what you do? Have you even defined this for your brand?

Your core values and beliefs form the foundation of your ethos. What kind of brand are you?

Spell out and define the core values and beliefs that make you stand up and say, “This is WHO I am, this is WHAT I believe, and this is WHY I’m in business to help YOU.”

Most importantly of all, BE this brand. In other words, there must be total agreement between what you are saying in your advertisements and who you are being when the customer walks through the door.

Remember, there cannot be any disconnect between the two. Otherwise, credibility will crumble.

Number two: Practical Wisdom or, street smarts. This speaks to your ability to fulfill the desires that lie within your customers heart.

You must demonstrate that you are who you claim to be … that you always know the right thing to do, and that you have the right solution to solve the problem that confronts your customer.

And the third essential element of ethos? Selflessness. The prospective customer’s best interest is your prime directive.

Are you willing to put your best interests aside for the benefit of your customer?

CVS did when they recently stopped selling cigarettes. A decision which cost the company two billion dollars in top-line revenue.

See, you cannot stand for sparkling good health when you sell something so insidiously unhealthy. CVS’s decision to boot cigarettes undoubtedly boosted its ethos.

Yes, exclusion is a powerful thing, especially when that exclusion demonstrates that you deeply care for your customers.

The bottom line: Ethos is the most powerful persuader in your marketing tool belt. Develop your brand’s ethos—communicate your virtue, practical wisdom, and selflessness—and it will be infinitely easier to persuade customers to take the action you want them to take.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a solid … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

And remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

Sell More: One Common Belief Holding Your Business Back

Transcription:

Skin-in-the-game … that’s usually a good thing. It helps you to stay focused and committed. But there are times when having skin-in-the-game can lead to irrational decision-making.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Keep watching and I’ll show you how skin-in-the-game can drive you to make a decision that may sink your business.

I’ll see YOU on the other side.

The sunk cost trap in psychology describes an irrational commitment to a chosen course of action, especially once you’ve invested any significant amount of time or money.

Driven by a desire to not waste money already thrown into the pot, it’s common to see a poker player fall victim to the sunk cost trap. The player becomes “pot committed” and continues to play a losing hand—throwing good money after bad.

But whatever money you’ve thrown into the pot during previous rounds is “sunk.” This is money you’ve already spent, and can never be recovered. Oftentimes, cutting your losses—and making a different decision … a better decision—is the best thing you can do.

As you may have guessed, the sunk cost trap is a common blind spot among marketers.

Hey, don’t feel bad. As my partner, Roy says, “They wouldn’t call it a blind spot if you could see it.”

I once knew a shoe retailer who dedicated a “special” area of her showroom to display discounted inventory. These were the fugly styles—the mistakes—that no sane person with a smidgen of style wanted to wear.

Some of the product—and there was a lot of it—had been sitting on display for more than eight years. Yes, eight … long … years. And although these shoes were discounted, the savings just weren’t enough to move the needle.

This business owner fell victim to the sunk cost trap.

Recognizing what was going on, I urged the owner to sell the stale inventory for whatever money she could. This was money she could use to pay bills or buy more inventory of the styles of shoes that were selling. But she refused. She demanded to sell for no less than cost. So, the shoes sat on the shelves … literally collecting dust, growing more stale as time passed. And her business continued to decline.

Such is the power of the sunk cost trap.

Inventory is only one area where the sunk cost trap can hurt your business. Staffing is yet another.

Another business owner I know becomes rattled at just the thought of cutting ties with toxic employees—even though his irrational commitment costs him time, customers and money. Clouded by a big heart, he goes on and on about all the time and training he’s invested in his employees.

Once again, we see the sunk trap rearing its ugly head.

See, your brain is programmed to avoid wasting your valuable resources. And this aversion to loss is why the sunk cost trap is such an insidious blind spot for any Marketing Wizard.

So what’s the best way to prevent falling into the sunk cost trap?

Well, for one thing, awareness. Take it from me, just knowing that the sunk cost trap exists will help you recognize it the next time you’re wrestling with a decision.

Another idea is to make others around you aware of the dangers of sunk cost in decision making. Give others permission to throw up a red flag the moment they recognize you’re about to fall into its trap.

This may save you from sinking more time and money into stale inventory or the rehabilitation of toxic employees, or making some other equally irrational decision.

But believe me, it’s still gonna be hard work. Hey, they call it “skin-in-the-game” for a reason.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a solid … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

And remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

The Butterfly Wings That Spark Spectacular Business Growth

Transcription:

Are you looking for the butterfly wings in your business? If so, I predict you’ll see great success, my friend.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Stay tuned, and see why the single most powerful thing you can do to grow your business might just be something small and seemingly insignificant.

Honestly, I’ve had enough. Three times during the past week, my wife, Lydia, has tried to spend money with a local business. Each time, she encountered a closed, dark and deserted storefront during normal business hours. And no, it wasn’t even remotely close to the closing time posted on the door. She visited both of these businesses during peak times.

Forgive me if I seem agitated, but this is a huge pet peeve for me. It drives me nuts.

See, these are the same business owners who’ll whine, cry and complain that the community doesn’t support local businesses. They’ll tell you that your lack of support is going to eventually cause them to shut their doors permanently.

Yet, these are the same business owners who continue to disappoint their customers by not practicing virtuosity. These are the same business owners who neglect to do the little things that matter most … like being open when you say you’re gonna be open.

Now, is it enough to think you’ll achieve success by merely maintaining convenient hours of operation?

No. Of course not. But it sure does help now, does’t it?

The Butterfly Effect states that a change in something seemingly small and insignificant—such as a flap of a butterfly’s wings—can cause large differences in the future, like altering the path travelled by a hurricane.

In other words, one small change can create a significantly different outcome. Far too often, marketers become so enamored with the idea of hitting the out-of-the-park-grand-slam that they overlook the fundamentals of running a business. They overlook the small and seemingly insignificant steps that can boom sales through the roof. Yes, I’m talking about things like:

Speaking to your customer in the language of your customer about what matters most to your customer.

Doing the things that you say you’re going to do. Yes, your actions and words must be aligned.

Or how about looking for every way imaginable to delight your customer.

Updating your website regularly with blog posts and videos that’ll transfer confidence and prove that you are who you claim to be.

And, yes … maintaining convenient hours of operation—even if there’s some place else you’d rather be.

Make no mistake: These things—and many others—are the butterfly wings that spark spectacular growth.

Are you looking for the butterfly wings in your business?

Uncover the tiny little details that make it drop-dead easy for customers to do business with you. Be tenacious with this stuff. You just might see big results you’re looking for.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a huge favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions to tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

And remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/tomwanek
Consulting on my website: http://www.tomwanek.com/consulting