Marketing Has Gone Amuck

Marketing is okay, it’s the way marketers market that I can’t stand.

I turned 65 in June.  I started getting the calls in January.  Have you ever had your phone ring 20 different times in a day because someone wanted to talk to you about Medicare?   Even after I signed up for part B, they would not let me alone. Although I told the same callers daily that I had TRICARE and Medicare part B, they stilled called me the following day, and the day after that, and the day after that. It got to where I could not pick up the phone anymore.  I just heard that next year there will be 10 billion more robocalls.

I hope you don’t have to experience this, I know you won’t experience it at all from me.

I turned to my email. Unfortunately, it turns out I was routinely getting more emails with even more people who wanted me to buy something from them. When I used the unsubscribe buttons, many requests were just ignored. They just kept on sending me junk mail. And that’s when I made a promise.

I will never market anything by being a bother to anyone until they buy. I will do my best to avoid mail funnels. I will continue to remind myself and anyone who works for me that we have a quality product that can speak for itself. We have no need to bother anybody. And, shame on us if we do.

I tell you about this now because, as my first training products are making their way into the marketplace, I plan to hold faithfully to these promises mentioned above. In open forums, articles and my blog, I will let you know how I am doing with various projects. I may tell you of the benefits of some of my courses or an exciting book you might like. Yet, I am not pressuring you, nor do I expect you to drop everything and go buy whatever I am talking about. If you’re interested in more information, at the end of an article I will post my email, and I will give you my Facebook group which you may join if you’re interested. I may even post my phone number in case you wish to call me and ask a question or two.

This is my experiment for sane marketing.

mikeb@reveille.com                                      Reveille Facebook Group

A New Way to Market

Traditional marketing can often be stressful. I find it both stressful for the consumer and for the salesperson. Once a consumer shows interest in something the emails start to flow. The email congratulates you and assures you want what the salesperson has to offer.

As emails continue, the pressure mounts as the consumers are told how great the product is, and how dumb it would be to miss out on the offer. At times the emails can get downright offensive and embarrassing. The salesperson is under stress to convert more and more people from observers to users of the product. Failure to make quota means less money and a shorter job.

I have seen this on one platform or another whether magazines and snail mail or social media and email. Pretty much it all boils down the same.

I’m here to break that chain.

I know I just said something akin to let’s move Mount Shasta to the East Coast. I assure you, reworking marketing will be better and more accessible than repositioning a mountain.

I would like to start with a few ideas.

If you have something good, you want your friends and acquaintances to have it. Thus, you want to sell to friends.

Most of us have just a few friends. This means we have to make more friends. We have to gather friends who need the services we can provide for them.

How do you get rid of enemies?  Make them your friends.

You find new friends where they are, not where you are.

If your friends who use your products are happy, they tell their friends.

When the people who use your product are unhappy with it, they tell everyone.

I will tell you more tomorrow.  For now, I just wanted to start explaining a new idea in marketing that is different and might confuse some people. 

Back in the Electronic Age

I often make a joke about what would happen if all of our modern electronics suddenly stop working. Do you know what would happen? We would be thrown back all the way to the 1970s.

Some people feel that modern electronics is more of a hindrance than it is a convenience. I was able to decide for myself this week as my incredible four-year-old phone’s battery died. As I began to miss important calls, and meetings with my accountability coach, I started to feel the years melting backward.

 Four years is not a long time, yet I started by looking at getting a new phone. Because I was in the middle of a plan change, I was not authorized to purchase a new phone online. I was told to go to a local store.

I went to a store in the mall, and the clerk advised me to go to the repair center for a new battery. The repair center was amazed that the phone’s battery had lasted the four years and they asked me what I wanted to do. It turns out four-year-old phone batteries are not always available, even at the repair center.

The people at the repair center were very kind though.  They checked out my account online and helped guide me to a phone that would do what I needed and fit into my limited budget.  They made the transition fast and even transferred my apps and data from my old phone to my new one. 

I truly appreciated the folks who helped me, and I am in a far better place than I was two days ago.  For now, I am comfortably back in the electronic age and ready to move forward into Tomorrowland.

If you have a chance, please give me a call.

I hope we can be together again tomorrow.

 

Transition

It feels like this may be the last hot day of the season. Coolness starts to come back tomorrow along with the possibility of rainstorms in and out for the rest of the week. More and more our weather puts us into not one season or another, instead, into a state of transition.

No matter how much we strive to find a permanent place, whether it is work, home life, or even the climate, more and more we find ourselves in a state of transition. We often fight transition wanting to stay where we are, doing what we know, and living the life we have. Believe it or not, we actually want to stay where we are, whether we like it or not.

The trick is to embrace transition when it comes. We want to get out in front of the change. Why? Because failing to do so puts us at the whims of the winds of fate. We can either enter transition not knowing where we will end up and having to live with the consequences or when change is upon us we can plan and research and act in a method which will help us to end up where we want to be. The choice is ours.

When I was 42, and just out of the Air Force, I actually built a layoff business plan. My dad was Army, I was Air Force, and I really didn’t understand how the civilian world worked regarding employment. I did know, to find a job I wanted, I had to go out and find one.

Although the factory I worked at did not close for 14 more years, the fact I had written that plan, served me well when needed. The fact that my family and I made it through those times and grew better because of them, I believe, proves that with a little fore-thought, guidance from above, and faith, transitions are not to be feared.

Transitions merely keep us excited about what is to come next. Change can be large or small, or better or worse. More than anything else change is what you make it.

Needed Improvements

Have you ever had an irritating problem that just threw you off your whole day’s activities? Something significant enough to be a thorn in your side and yet should’ve been small enough that you would handle it in due course? I had one of those this morning. And it disrupted my whole morning routine.

My cell phone died. The end had been coming for the last few weeks. And although with technical help, I had been able to breathe life back into it for a little while, it had died. It had been an excellent 2014 phone which had lasted me just shy of four years. It’s the longest time I had ever had the same cell phone.

There was no reason to get hung up about the problem. It was just an inanimate object whose time for replacement had come, and yet it started my whole week off by having to cancel the weekly call with my accountability partner. And although I’ve had problems like this before, I don’t know why this one took me over the edge.

I think it might have been the fact that, I believe I should’ve been more active in staying ahead of the problems and not letting them come to fruition. Rather than trying to squeeze every penny out of every item in use, I need to pay closer attention to functional lifespan and staying ahead of the curve on needed improvements.

Our business, personal, and family life, all deserve upgrades as needed.

I do not believe I’m the only one to ever face the need for positive change either and what I use or what I do. If you have a story about a needed change, please share with us. I would be glad to see that it gets posted.

Thank you for being here. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Got Help?

It is okay to need or offer help.

One day or another, on one question or another each of us needs assistance in finding the answers. Help sometimes comes in the form of knowing something the other person does not and sharing that knowledge. Other times, it is the ability to do something that another person cannot do for themselves.

Once again, we see significant weather phenomena, affecting our coastline. With wind and rain, and devastation to buildings and infrastructure, we see people in the middle of the storm bringing in their boats and going out to help people. We think those people and praise them for risking their own life and limb to save others.

Most of the time, help does not require anything quite so dramatic. Help is often two friends having a talk, sharing information, knowing that one would gladly give another a hand. Help is often someone just listening to another person and giving them a suggestion or two.

In many instances, the person being helped today may be giving the help tomorrow or the next day. After all, as the poets remind us, we are not islands, and we were never designed to live in solitude. Help and being helped is part of our inherited destiny. And, we should participate in that destiny when needed.

Limited Stress

In life, we find many occasions that have the opportunity to put pressure on us to do something we may or may not wish to do. How we handle those situations defines the amount of pressure we feel, and how much stress that pressure actually causes us.

People always want you to do something, and whatever it is, the request is usually the best thing for them instead of being the best for you. They want your money for the course, or they want your time for a project, or they want your endorsement so they can use the people who look up to you.

The best way you can minimize your stress is to be genuinely you. This does not mean saying no to everything. Weigh the pros and cons that you perceive the request will garner for you. Please, do not be afraid to say no, or to say yes. Take time to weigh everything against your desires and the destinations that you have mapped in life.

Whatever your answer is will be correct as long as you do right by yourself and your plan to grow through life. You could explain to the other party why you made your decision and please remember you absolutely do not have to give that explanation if you don’t want to.

The choice is yours. Yet any agreement without full understanding is usually misguided. Take time to think things through. Make sure you know all the demands that are being asked of you and try to understand what the positive and negative consequences could be within the agreement.

Have a great day and thank you for being here. I truly understand that this is a choice that you have freely made. And, I appreciate it.

I hope to be with you again tomorrow.