Tag Archives: Marketing

Selling the sizzle, giving away the steak

I think the very first sales aphorism I remember is “Sell the sizzle, not the steak”.  That sales instructor explained that people buy benefits, not products, and that a good sales person always stresses how his/her product will solve a problem, be it by eliminating pain or inducing pleasure – the  Sizzle.

Yesterday, I was rather shocked to get a phone call from an out of town sales lead who wanted a relocation package – you know, a folder of interesting printed information, maps, brocures, coupons, etc. about the Memphis area.  Well, if your company does not have a relocation department, they are were a pain to put together, cost a lot to ship, and generally did not result in any business.  I think many students order them to research their geography projects.  So I stopped using them over a year ago, offering links to virtually everything Memphis.  I can understand the tactile gratification of holding  a lot of printed material in your hands, but my prospects seem quite happy researching for themselves online.  As it turned out, this person had no concept of searching online, and hopefully, the .pdfs I sent were helpful.

That type of customer is very rare these days.  Most new customers come to me knowing as much as or more than I do about the macro and micro aspects of this market.  They have found the steak, eaten it, and now are looking for someone for some after-dinner talk.  And that’s Sizzle 2.0.

3 Must-Read books for social media marketers

I don’t think I have read any fiction in over a decade.   Real life interests me more than stories about it.  You would never know I was an English major by looking at my home library. Since I have been teaching some social media business topics lately, it seems that I am called upon to provide handouts with links and useful tidbits, so I have started putting together a list of essential books that relate to the subject:

41-0CC6UJqL._SL160_ The Cluetrain Manifesto: 10th Anniversary Edition
Written  over 10 years ago by Internet visionaries,Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger,Cluetrain could have very easily been written a few months ago.  I lost my orignal copy and had to replace it with the updated 2009, 10th anniversary edition.  Cluetrain is the Bible of Web 2.0 Marketing and PR.  You can read it online free here.  Manifesto item number one sets the tone of the book:   Markets are Conversations.

sethpermissionPermission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers , by Seth Godin.  Also published in 2009, Godin’s assault on push (or interruption) marketing has withstood the test of time.   The book helped me understand the power of Opt-In,  gave me a good basis for my early explorations in Internet marketing, and fostered a healthy attitude for working in the social media.

The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business by Tara Hunt, is my latest read. It seems that the term “social capital” keeps popping up these days.  Well, Whuffie IS social capital, and this book is about building it, working for it earning it and putting it to proper use.  Whuffie is the currency of Social Media and  Web 2.0 Marketing.  Whether you are  a new media neophyte, or a power user who “gets it”, I think you will find this book to be an interesting read.

Nothing remains the same, except maybe advertising

“…..it’s just, I’ve changed and you haven’t……”

I ran across this short video produced by http://bringtheloveback.com. It addresses traditional (push, interruption) marketing vs. conversational (pull, permission) marketing, in plain enough terms that even an old-school advertising exec could understand

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