Marketing Lessons I Learned in Chicago this Week...

I was in the fine city of Chicago this week to speak at a marketing conference. And I learned some interesting things:

1 - Traffic in Chicago is much worse than the allegedly bad traffic in Atlanta where I live. We left the hotel downtown at 3 p.m. and were parked on the "highway" a few minutes later.

The Lesson Learned:

I am thankful - as I know many of you are - that I don't have to leave home and fight through this terrible traffic on a daily basis. Life's too short to
suffer like this regularly. The stress level of doing this would take years off my life.

2 - Despite the traffic, I arrived at the airport early enough to rebook my ticket (by paying the $25 fee) on a flight leaving 90 minutes earlier than my original schedule. That was the good news.

The bad news turned out to be that this flight would leave 45 minutes late so I didn't gain very much for my $25.

Obviously, I can afford the $25, but that's not the point.

The Lesson Learned:

It's not about the money. It's about the perception of value received for the money. When I made the deal with the airline to book the earlier flight, I did so with the specific understanding that I was investing $25 to buy 90 minutes.

But, I ended up only getting 1/2 that time - 45 minutes. So, I felt like I'd gotten screwed in the deal.

People - like us and our customers - invest money with us based on the perception of the value they'll receive in exchange. If you don't deliver on your promise, then the customer is not going to be happy with the deal.

If you deliver more, the customer should be ecstatic. That's why you'll usually find extra - unadvertised - bonuses when you purchase my products.

It doesn't matter that I probably would have spent the $25 to get the 45 minutes anyway - that's not the deal I bought.

3 - When I booked my hotel reservation, the website promoted the fine history of the property. When I was standing in the lobby, they had an interesting wall display listing the famous people and many presidents who had stayed there years ago. And they specifically mentioned how they had upgraded the hotel with the latest in electrical, plumbing, etc.

I'm not sure how long ago someone wrote this fiction, but it must be at least 30 years ago - maybe longer. Perhaps the reference to Diamond Jim Brady should have clued me in.

I won't bore you with the sordid details about the sagging mattress and matted down carpet, but it was depressing to enter my room. Especially when I opened the curtains so I could look 15 feet across the air shaft at other rooms.

The Lesson Learned:

Next time I'm booking a reservation in a "historical" hotel, I need to be certain to ask if they've stayed true to their history or entered the new millennium.

Of course, for $39 a night, I might have expected something like I got. But, when I'm paying $120 for the discounted conference special rate, I'm not seeing the value in the deal.

For many products and services - like hotel rooms - we have an understanding of what we think we should get for the money we spend. It doesn't matter whether our preconceived notion is correct - we've got it in our heads already.

As marketers, we have to deal with the public that has these preconceived ideas. When we're not going to fit with them (like charging way too much for a crummy room), we should be fair and make that clear. But we'll obviously want to do this in a fashion that will show why this is a still a fair, if not great, value proposition.

4 - But this story gets even more interesting...

I was chatting with Paul Hartunian (the PR expert who once sold the Brooklyn Bridge - legitimately) and mentioned that I was not happy with my room. He remarked that other people had also voiced similar opinions, but he loved his room.

Turns out he had asked the hotel about upgrade options and, for $20 more, you could get a completely updated room with a wonderful view of the city and Lake Michigan.

Of course, no one volunteers this when you call to make reservations. And it's not mentioned at all on their website.

But I'll bet the people that work in this hotel are wondering why more people don't choose the upgrade option.

The Lesson Learned:

Don't hide your light under a bushel basket!

Think about this...the hotel could have turned many unhappy people into raving fans simply by mentioning the $20 option. Plus, they could have been grabbing an extra $20 a night from dozens of people for doing absolutely nothing.

Sure, we're sitting here in judgment thinking how stupid this is. But...unfortunately, we occasionally make the same kind of silly mistakes and don't make the really fine benefits of our product or service crystal clear.

To sum up:

1 - Don't play in traffic. It's hazardous to your health.

2 - Explain the value in your offers and deliver what you promise (preferably more).

3 - Don't hide your best benefits and offers. Put them right out front so your prospects will become happy customers.

Yours in success,

Shawn Casey

P.S. If you missed the incredible Jeff Paul teleseminar this week - or just want to review it and take some more notes (Jeff talks fast and delivers a lot of info), you can hear the recorded version here:

http://www.ShawnsNews.net/JeffPaulRecording. html

(Scroll down a little when you get there)

Internet Millionaire Shawn Casey's "Mining Gold On the Internet" is one of the best selling Internet books with over 85,000 copies sold. In "Mining Gold", Shawn reveals the same step-by-step strategies he uses to create millions in Internet sales => http://www.ipcgold.com/ad/100/CD3839 Benefit from Shawn's 7 years of Internet experience and learn from someone who has actually made millions online.

In The News:

Advertising as politics?  The Times of India Blog
Bad advertising, better futures  The New Indian Express

How to Know if Direct Mail Will Work for Your Business

Here's a great lesson that applies to direct mail. Ready?... Read More

Top Jingle Companies: What to Look For, What to Expect

The internet offers you the opportunity to seek out jingle... Read More

If You Lost 70% of Your New Customers, Would You Notice?

Buyers Don't Rely on the Yellow Pages Like They Used... Read More

The Forgotten Advertising Tip

I'm sure while you have seen many tips on advertising,... Read More

The Ultimate, ?Must-Have? Home-Based Business for YOU

The Ultimate, "Must-Have" Home-Based Business for YOU a Underemployed, Unemployed,... Read More

Send em to the White Pages

Your business is listed in the Yellow Pages whether you... Read More

Advertising on a Budget -- Part 3: Frequency, Frequency, Frequency

This is the third article of a three-part series. I'm... Read More

11 Ways To Make Your Business Cards Work For You

1. Spend money on decent quality business cards. Home made... Read More

16 Ways to Make Your Business Cards Unforgettable

Every time you hear someone say "May I have one... Read More

Advertising Through Moms

Moms have a very powerful influence on what their families... Read More

Not Another Calendar! - Choose Advertising Specialties That Sell

As I was searching through a kitchen drawer the other... Read More

The Not-So-Hidden Persuaders: The Power of The Media Upon Us All

In 1957, a perspicacious young journalist from Pennsylvania named Vance... Read More

How To Create A Better Brochure

Having a quality brochure makes a positive impression on a... Read More

The Principle Of Advertising Online

Advertising online is very similar to advertising in any environment.... Read More

The Only Bad Advertising Is No Advertising - Or Is It?

Depending on whom you ask, you will get told many... Read More

Does Your Brochure Pass the Test - Or is It Headed for the Trash? Part Two

In part one of this article we discussed the importance... Read More

Ten Ways To Sell Advertising Space Fast

1. Give your customers a discount when they spend over... Read More

The Internet and Beyond - 12 Tips on Writing Better Brochures

Every year thousands of online businesses fail. None of them... Read More

Marketing Advertising, While Advertising Your Market!

Today in the Business world whether online or off, it... Read More

Marketing Tips For Small Business ? Advertising That Works, Part I

Have you ever seen an ad on television that was... Read More

Trade Writing - For Cash!

Often considered as "plain Jane's" of the print world, trade... Read More

How To Write Kick-Ass, Profit Pulling Adverts For Your Business?

Doesn't that just grab you by the eyeballs and make... Read More

How You Can Create Advertising That Sells

A well-planned and properly executed marketing program should include a... Read More

What Do Your Ads Say?

Make a list of everything you think should be included... Read More

Electronic Score Boards

Wide range of electronic Key venues around the globe has... Read More