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:


Brochures - The Ultimate Sales Tool

"How brochures can help you stand out from the competition,... Read More

Why Your Ad Failed

So you spent good money on an ad, put it... Read More

Online vs. Offline Advertising

Let's face it. Email marketing and publishing have became very... Read More

Printing - How Do I Buy It?

Why should I care where I get my printed material... Read More

50 Surefire Business Card Tips

Business cards are one of the most powerful and inexpensive... Read More

Latino Television Programs Fill a Void in Hispanic Advertising; While Advertisers Look to Attract

Advertisers that are beginning to focus on the young Hispanic... Read More

How Do People Know Youre in Business?

One of the most important things to do now that... Read More

Imprinted Promotional Items ? Their Many Marketing Applications

There are many uses for promotional items. This means that... Read More

Classified Ads That Get Results

Classified ads do not have the big market appeal that... Read More

How To Make Your Resource Box Sell

Ezine Articles - they're everywhere!And little wonder. They're one of... Read More

The Online Equivalent of an Effective Newspaper Advertisement is FREE

Ask anybody who has been in business for a long... Read More

Do Your Business Cards Say Who You REALLY Are?

Here are a couple of tips for creating an eye... Read More

Create Your Own Business Cards, Part 1

In this lesson, we will create a business card, using... Read More

8 Low Cost Ways To Advertise, Promote and Market Your Business

We all are looking for ways to market our businesses... Read More

Take Advantage of Your Foes

Let's take an example that is easy to check: I... Read More

Hit Them With Benefits

More about advertising from BIG Mike McDanielIt makes no difference... Read More

Yellow Page Advertisers: Your Calls are Going to Decrease - Heres the Remedy

Response rates to Yellow Page advertising are decliningThere's no getting... Read More

Buying Radio? Read This and Dont Waste Your Money

Pay close attention and make it work the best for... Read More

6 Must-Have Elements of a Powerful Brochure

Most brochures that businesses put out today end up doing... Read More

Media Savvy ? Media Skills For Rural Women

The ability to lead, persuade and influence are integral skills... Read More

Media, the Internet, Yellow Pages, and Your Business

If you are reading this article, chances are you could... Read More

Three Keys to Crafting Successful Print Ads

Want to create print ads that get results? Below are... Read More

The Graphic Problem

Digital printing has revolutionized the sign industry. Current printers can... Read More

How to Breathe New Life into Your Advertising Campaign

If you haven't made many sales or perhaps none at... Read More

What Is Most Important ? Copy Or Pic?

When, some little time ago now, I first descended upon... Read More