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What No One Ever Tells You About Marketing Your Own Business: Real-Life Marketing Advice from 101 Successful Entrepreneurs
By Jan Norman
What No One Ever Tells You About Marketing Your Own Business: Real-Life Marketing Advice from 101 Successful Entrepreneurs by Jan Norman is an excellent book to give entrepreneurs ideas about how to market and promote their businesses.
The book contains 101 two-page stories where successful entrepreneurs share their marketing advice. Norman writes: "Every marketer has many different tools and tactics from which to choose, so emphasize the ones that capitalize on your style and preferences… Analyze both your business and yourself before developing a well-thought-out marketing plan that matches your personality and image…"
Marketing tactics Norman discusses include:
Norman points out some entrepreneurs neglect marketing when they get busy. This leads to erratic profits. She suggests entrepreneurs list their marketing efforts in a marketing calendar so they can identify when no marketing is active. Norman writes: "The key is to plan so that you're always marketing in some way."
Many of the businesses featured are unique. To help us understand how pricing effects sales, Norman features an online pet store AnimalMania (animals.com) which uses management software to track how price affects sales. It helps the store decide the best price for green iguanas, turtles (three for $8), or neon cardinal fish.
Norman writes: "Computer analysis also helped Mike identify errors in product deliveries. He orders 2,000 goldfish and 1,000 guppies twice a week. His inventory would indicate he had 20,000 fish on hand but his tanks were empty. So he started counting the fish, difficult as that was, which routinely uncovered shortages in deliveries. … analyzing his profits and adjusting prices quickly doubled Animalmania's profitability in two years."
Curiously, another company featured by Norman developed pattern recognition technology to help identify fish. Norman writes that a meeting: "… made DataFlow [the company featured] executives aware of the federal government's interest in identifying and tracking fish without physical tags that can harm them. The concept was to photograph and 'tag' fish using their skin spots based on pattern-recognition technology."
Apparently, there is a whole industry centered around counting fish. Who knew? This case shows the importance of finding solutions to customer problems. Norman says you must leave your existing beliefs behind and seek to understand customer motivation.
"Capitalize on customer dissatisfaction. Never underestimate the marketing value of solving a problem that irritates customers," advises Norman.
Another unique company (NoUVIR) developed special lighting without ultraviolet or IR radiation for use in museums and art galleries. Eliminating ultraviolet and infrared helps protect sensitive documents. Norman's NoUVIR lesson is to use trademarks and patents to protect your sales from competition.
Norman writes: "Another protection [in addition to patents] is the name [NoUVIR], which means no ultraviolet (UV) and no infrared radiation (IR). A huge competitor used the term "No IR" in its advertisements when trying to convey its fiber optic lighting as heatless. NoUVIR successfully stopped the ads on the basis that they infringed on its trademark. NoUVIR products became the lighting of choice for public displays of a 15th-century vellum copy of the Gutenberg Bible, the state of Delaware's original copy of the Bill of Rights penned in 1790, Thomas Jefferson's handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence…"
Norman devotes one section of What No One Ever Tells You About Marketing Your Own Business: Real-Life Marketing Advice from 101 Successful Entrepreneurs to online marketing. The chapters discuss Google Adwords (keyword advertising), Google Adsense (putting Google ads on your site), blogging, eZines, and using eBay as a distribution channel.
No entrepreneur will use all the techniques discussed in What No One Ever Tells You About Marketing Your Own Business: Real-Life Marketing Advice from 101 Successful Entrepreneurs, but you'll pick up some good ideas which might be appropriate to your own business. I highly recommend this book to all entrepreneurs.