Smarketing™ – Creativity Counts

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The American Heritage Dictionary defines marketing as: The commercial functions involved in transferring goods from producer to consumer. Simple enough. As marketers, we know it goes much deeper than that. To be successful, one must find ways to surpass just transferring goods. What adjective could accompany marketing to define what it takes to make marketing actually work?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines smart as follows: 1.a. Characterized by sharp, quick thought; bright. See Synonyms at intelligent. b. Amusingly clever; witty: a smart quip; a lively, smart conversation. 2. Energetic or quick in movement.

Alone, these words represent two different ideas. Together, they are a very powerful and useful business tool. Smarketing kicks the proverbial box that we’re always asked to think outside of to the curb and forces us to change the way we think about transferring goods to consumers. With the introduction of electronic media and the Internet into the business community, it is safe to say a billboard isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Smarketing, as I define it, is the creative application of organizational resources designed to produce dynamic marketing results. These resources are:

  • Technology
  • Time
  • Money
  • People
  • Information (Knowledge)
  • Fixed Assets

Below are two powerful Smarketing concepts.

Enterprising is a smarketing term for leveraging your database to generate passive bottom line dollars. In other words you can use the information you know about your customers to have other people and companies generate you profits!

Let’s say that you are in the remodeling business. You sell replacement windows and siding. You don’t install new roofs, or do interior work such as kitchens. You can arrange a strategic marketing alliance with a roofing company and an interior remodeling company. These companies would market their products and services to your customers and you would receive a commission for every sale they made to one of your customers.

Your customer list contains valuable avenues for business that maybe outside the products and services you offer. For example, if you are in the plumbing supply business and your customers are plumbers what other products or service do your customers need? The answers to this question would point you toward possible organizations that you can partner with to generate enterprising dollars that take little or no effort on your part to create!

Cycle Timing is a smarketing term for anticipating your customers regular product or service needs and then contacting them in advance to secure the business.

I get a hair cut every four or five weeks yet I have never received a phone call from by stylist to set an appointment. He waits for my call. The difference between my getting my hair cut every 5 weeks, 10 times a year, and every 4 week, 13 times a year, is $75.00 revenue to the stylist. If the stylist has 200 clients that would be a loss of revenue equal to $15,000.00 a year!

Some automobile dealers do a fair job of cycle timing by sending out service reminder cards. The only problem is they don’t accurately account for your specific driving milage history and sometimes a postcard just isn’t enough. A call would cement the process and garner a service appointment on their behalf. If the average dealer has 1000 service customers that drive an average of 15,000 miles a year the difference between getting an oil change every 3,000 miles, on a timely basis, or going 1000 miles over the recommended service interval is the difference between selling five oil changes a year and four oil changes a year. That translates into $20,000 lost revenue! This figure doesn’t include the additional service that would be sold when a customer brings their car in for the standard oil change.

Cycle Timing and Enterprising are just two smarketing techniques that will help you build your business and add profitability. Most companies have a limited amount of resources. It is critical that we leverage these resources, that we stretch our marketing dollars until they scream! Sure, if you have an unlimited advertising budget you can buy TV time during the Superbowl but most companies are not in that position. Ask yourself the question, “How can I more effectively use my existing resources to generate the results I desire?” This question will begin the process of leading you into the creative world of Smarketing.

A recent casino advertisement promoting their frequent guest card was giving away valuable gifts and bonus credits if you signed up for their free card and gave them your frequent guest card from the competing casino. The new casino was building their customer base and eliminating the competition. That’s Smarketing!

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