Thursday, October 31, 2013

The success of a PPC (pay per click) advertising campaign on Google can be the difference between sink or swim for a small business. The average cost per click (CPC) across almost all verticals has been consistently rising over the past 5 years and in most cases does not seem to have been hit by the recession. I have therefore put together a short series of tutorials to help visitors to this blog achieve success with your Pay per click campaigns.


Tracking & Reporting a PPC campaign


Pay per click is essentially a simple marketing channel - you pay for a click to your website and you then try to convert that person into a customer. It does get more complicated when you start looking at the inter-relationships of similar keywords but that can be a distraction from getting the basics right.


The basic necessity for a successful PPC campaign is good data at a keyword level; this means being able to see the performance of each individual keyword in your account so that you can make a decision on what to do with that keyword in the future.


For this reason I am going to start this tutorial in what may seem like a strange order but, I believe, a logical one as you need to know that your data is solid before you start.


Good data is essential for successful PPC marketing


For most businesses performance will be measured as a sale (conversion) of a product or service on their website so I will assume that this is your goal for these tutorials.


The principal is the same for leads, with the only difference being that there is another level to the conversion funnel - you have to then convert the customer over the phone or through email/mail, so just need to apply your lead to sale conversion rate to this process.


To track a keyword's performance over any date range you need 2 reports; basically your cost data from Google and then your sales data from your database.


1) Within Google AdWords there are a number of different reports that you can run to see how your campaigns are performing. Probably the most used of these reports is the Google keyword report. The Keyword report from Google will give you your cost data - in your Google account click on the keyword tab, then select the date range that you are interested in and look for a downward pointing arrow (download) and hit that button, give the file a name and then press download.


2) You will need a report on your sales data from your database/web analytics tool (if you have one) by keyword with a column in common with the Google keyword report - this could be the keyword with its match type appended e.g. [Google PPC] for exact match or "Google PPC" for phrase match or Google PPC for broad match.


You could also tag all keyword destination URLs with a unique numerical parameter so that they can be easily recognized when somebody arrives on your site so that your database can log the sale against the unique parameter. You can then use this parameter to match your sales data to your cost data.


e.g. yourwebsite.com?AFF=KW12345


With this method you obviously need to know how to query your database based on this parameter to track sales.


Please note that you can add Google conversion tracking to your website to track conversions at keyword level but I have previously found this to be 50% inaccurate (under-reporting) so pretty much no use at all apart from seeing general patterns so I highly recommend you using another form of tracking and of course database conversions is as good as you can get.


That said most businesses do rely on Google conversion tracking and if you do use this to measure your PPC marketing then follow the same report criteria as shown above and you will have conversions in your report (again - you must add the Google conversion tracking code to your website for this to work).


Understand your PPC marketing goals and apply them to your performance


What is the aim of your business this year? Is it pure revenue growth? Is it customer acquisition or brand awareness? Chances are that as a small business you need to see a clear direct return on your advertising spend so it will probably be one of the first two.


• If your goal is revenue growth then a pure ROI model should work well - simply use the formula (revenue-cost)/cost at a keyword level to determine the keywords that are giving you the best return on investment.


• If your goal is customer acquisition then a CPA model will be best - cost/new customer orders = CPA at a keyword level, remember that if your target is customer acquisition then you need to separate out returning customer orders from new customer orders as you will have some keywords that help drive large numbers of returning customer orders and others that drive large numbers of new customer orders and you need to make sure that your model factors this in and optimises the keywords to drive new customers.


*Quality score is also an important factor to judge your keywords performance on - I have just left it out of this tutorial as I only want to focus on the basics. This will be covered in another tutorial.


Many merchants have found that it is not always the same keywords that work for them every month. Of course you will have your consistently good keywords that convert every month, but you will also have new keywords converting each month as well as previously converting keywords bringing you nothing; It is good to plan for this.


If you only reward your currently converting keywords you will probably find that you end up with a very efficient PPC account but one giving your business no growth.


If you have a cost per acquisition (CPA) model then you need to look at your customer lifetime value, factor in the gross margin and fixed costs and then determine how much you are willing to spend to acquire each new customer and then apply this at a keyword level.


The same warning applies on adding some fat to the figures if you are after growth, set your keyword (kw) target lower than you can actually afford so that you have some budget for "future opportunity". You can of course apply your acquisition target cost to all marketing channels so that you can easily judge how efficient they are.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013



Information technology project management, like the economy drastically has changed over the past 20 years. In project management classes, time is spent reviewing the job creation that has taken place in past decades and how that has shaped the role of the project manager position today. Communication is emphasized as the largest part of the job, but with IT today, a stronger point needs to be made as to how to do this communication in a global setting.

In prior years, a link existed between value creation and job creation. When business prospered, employment expanded, processes became automated, and jobs in technology thrived. The cycle was good for business and equally good for IT. In the past, businesses were more industrial and more local than today. When there was an increase in demand for products it eventually created additional jobs in the local companies and eventually filtered to technology to automate these processes. IT project managers dealt with user groups and in-house programmers and analysts who assembled programs to automate many of the tasks that the business viewed as being critical to keep giving them a competitive advantage. The project manager was the person who was the everyday contact for the clients as well as with the technical staff. The PM depended on conference room sessions where all attendees covered their status verbally with all eyes on them. The project manager was also involved with training the groups who would be using the applications doing data entry to create the information within the system. This type of face to face communication at all levels was the foundation for getting things done right.

In today's business the relationship between value creation, job creation and IT is more complicated. Two factors seem to have changed. First, the largest growing companies are internet based and when these organizations grow, it doesn't necessarily translate to a growth in local jobs. Second, technical jobs are being transferred to anywhere in the world in the quest to find the lowest cost regions to get the job done. Project management has shifted from knowing the user groups and programming team on an intimate face-to-face level, to that of dealing with people who will never be seen anywhere but on a web screen. The project manager must still communicate with many levels, but the close interaction is now gone. Communication may still be done in a conference room setting, but people are on phone lines from around the world describing their progress to a crowd that only knows their name. The position must learn much more innovated ways to get to know the personal on the project team, and still be the connection to the business and the true key to success to getting projects done on time and within budget. This isn't always easy, with language and geographic issues, but through constant communication using web meetings, email, and instant messaging the job can be done.

In the world today, the project manager's role is constantly evolving. Communication will always be the heart and soul of the position, but gone are the days of really knowing all the team members and feeling a personal bond with the group. Now the job is one of still delivering projects, but the methods of doing this are far different than years ago.

Sunday, October 27, 2013



Summary

Teamwork is essential to the success of your business. But there's lots more to it than describing your employees as "team members" or using clich├ęs such as "our team is here to help you".

1. First Step: Focus

You must have a specific and well defined business focus and target market. You can't expect your teams to help you if you

  • Don't know exactly "what business you're in"

  • Whom you're trying to sell to.


2. Management Team Dissension

All members of the management team must agree about business focus and target market. Staff will "sniff out" dissension about business goals and markets quicker than you can say "marketing". If management can't agree about business objectives, employees won't bother.

3. Imprecise Expectations

Your teams need to know exactly what you expect of them in four areas:

  • as a team

  • as individual team members

  • as teams operating with other teams

  • as team contributors to business success.


4. Team Rewards

It's good to reward individual staff who perform well. It's even better to reward all members of a high performing team. Do you have team rewards and incentives in place?

5. Personality Conflicts

Do you spend time trying to resolve "personality conflicts" or "interpersonal problems" when you should be concentrating on the source of such problem. It's usually lack of role and goal clarity.

6. Collaboration Clarity

Do you know for sure which teams need to collaborate most closely for business success? Do you stress the need for effective collaboration between those teams?

7. Inter-team System Compatibility

We all know that "if your systems are poor your people will fail". It's essential to have systems in place to enable each team to work well. But it's also essential to have systems in place that enhance effective co-operation between teams.

8. A Culture Of Blaming

Phrases such as "It's not my job", "The girls in the office never get that right", "Salespeople never provide all the details", "we were late because Jack was away ill", are indicative of a blaming culture. Always looking for a scapegoat or an excuse is a reliable indicator of poor teamwork. Do you hear this sort of thing often in your business?

9. Your Role

Are you aware that your role is not only to develop competent and effective individual staff but also competent and effective teams? Do you stress the importance of teamwork and inter-team co-operation? Do you move quickly to defuse inter-team disagreements when they occur?

10. Autonomy

Do you give effective teams freedom to operate under minimal supervision, make recommendations for changes to systems, have direct contact with customers and generally "run their own race" provided that what they do helps achieve business results and benefits the business?

Conclusion

Even with the best of intentions, managers can unwittingly discourage teamwork by failing to do a lot of little things. These things by themselves may not seem vitally important. But together they could distract staff and diminish team effectiveness. If you need a particular starting point I'd suggest that you and your management team have a thorough and detailed chat about items 1 and 2.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013



Many people have over the years formed the habit of keeping their money in banks. Apart from the financial inter-mediation services banks render, they used to be safe havens for money. That is no longer the case. Some banks are now run by crooks and petty thieves. With bank failures a common occurrence these days, many people now crave other places to keep their money outside of banks. In fact, these days, keeping all your hard-earned money in a bank is no longer cool. People have started to look more at alternatives. There is currently a tendency to simply "spread" your money to other areas now that banks are increasingly becoming unstable. You are at liberty to consider the following alternatives depending on how much you have to put away or the dictates of your temperament.

01. A business. You can buy into a business in part or you buy one outright. Businesses like farms, car dealerships, retail outlets, restaurants, bakeries and franchises are good places to keep your money. When the business is professionally and profitably managed, your money will not only be safe, it will yield good returns.

02. Home Vaults/Safes. With improved personal and private security in place in many homes nowadays, people do keep their money at home in well constructed vaults and steel safes. Even in banks where your money is expected to be safest, they too keep their money in vaults. If you can afford one and you know you can provide security, you can keep your money in home vaults. You must however ensure that there are no extant laws against such practice in your own country.

03. Real Estate. Prime land and buildings are some other places you can keep your money. If you choose well, you can earn income from rents as well as capital gains on the property. Some tax laws are more in favor of people who keep their money in real estate than in banks to yield interest.

04. Precious metals. You can also keep your money in precious metals like Platinum, Gold, Silver and Copper. There is a very active market for commodities worldwide. You can buy and sell easily depending on price movements and your cash needs. When these precious metals increase in value, you gain. Conversely, you lose when they decrease in value. A close watch on the price movement therefore helps you to make "buy" or "sell" decisions in collaboration with professional dealers in the metals.

05. Treasury Bills. Treasury Bills or Treasury Certificates are short-term debt instruments issued from time to time by the Central Bank to raise funds for government. The bills are a neat and safe way for government to borrow money from its citizens. Treasury bills are one of the safest places you can keep money and be assured of guaranteed returns on it. Since government unlike a company can not simply disappear, it is always available to redeem the bills when they are due. That grows your money for you as a lender to government.

06. Quoted Stocks. These are paper assets that are traded freely in the stock exchange. You can buy and hold any quoted company stock when you want to keep your money there or sell when you need your money back. When you buy and hold, you can earn dividends on the stock as well as gains in stock appreciation. Alternatively, you can sell off the stock at a higher price. Both ways, your money grows.

07. Precious Collections. These are hard assets which people can buy and preserve. For lovers of art and precious collections, you can also keep your money in them. Precious collections include paintings, vintage cars, watches and jewelry. These collections are assets you can diligently hunt for and acquire. Many appreciate in value over time as they get older and rarer. You can then sell at higher values. Your money grows when the collections increase in value.

Finally, let me advise that no one should dabble into any of these areas without proper guidance and advice from credible professionals. There are many professionals who specialize in all these areas. You need professional advice or assistance before you can deal. This is very important because the different areas have their own peculiar shortcomings which the advice of practicing professionals who specialize in the field can help you to deal with.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Here is a topic that many online marketers are anxious to know the answer to. None of the marketing training, seminars, conference calls and personal training matters unless online marketers are implementing this one very important strategy into their business. Moreover, without this crucial tip I am going to give you, you can pretty much guarantee to build a business on a foundation of sand and not on solid ground.
A great online marketing tip for driving unlimited qualified traffic to your business would be a dream come true for so many struggling online marketers. What these struggling online marketers do not realize is that the tip I am about to share with you is so simple that it might just make you SICK! Are you ready to hear what the tip is for driving unlimited qualifies traffic to your business is? Well, here goes! Attraction Marketing!
The quickest online marketing tip to drive unlimited qualified traffic to your business is to understand Mike Dillard's concept of Attraction Marketing. First of all, if you have not heard of Mike Dillard and you are in the e-commerce business, I can honestly say that you still have A LOT TO LEARN! Mike Dillard's creation of the attraction-marketing concept has been what many other professional online marketers say to be the very first strategy you must master in order to implement all other online marketing strategies.
In addition, another great marketing strategy I can give you is that you must understand that your business has nothing to do with your company. If you can break through the old mindset and strategy of only marketing your online business and begin to implement Mike Dillard's attraction marketing concept, you will have no control the amount of qualified traffic you are driving to your business. Now isn't this the goal of every online marketer? How would you feel when you are driving an unlimited amount of qualified traffic to your online business website?
Learning these strategies have made just a huge impact for me in my primary online marketing business, not only in regards to the amount of traffic that's being driven to my site, but the dramatic change in the amount of profit now being made in my business. How awesome is that? And you know what, this strategy is something we unconsciously do every day outside of our business lives. All you have do is learn how to implement it towards your business and VAULA, it's like magic!
Therefore, get your very low priced copy of Mike Dillard's Attraction Marketing e-book and study it like if your life depended on it, because it does!

When a consumer in the UK buys mangoes or bananas, coffee or a bottle of wine, they are experiencing the effects of international trade not only in the products that are on offer but often also in the price of those products.


But it doesn't only apply to the products on the supermarket shelves. Increasingly the flat pack furniture a consumer buys at a competitive price, the clothes and shoes they wear, or the toys they buy for the children all have their origins in another country.


The chances are that the furniture originated in South East Asia, the clothes were made in India, the shoes in Brazil and the toys in China.


The same is true for businesses, who manage their overheads by "offshoring" using call centres in India or the Philippines to manage their communications with customers or potential customers, or having their websites hosted and managed, or their R & D carried out in India.


Part of the reason for this is that international trade with countries where production costs are cheaper because wage rates are lower and raw materials widely available means that there is greater competition and this means that the end price to the consumer is lower than it might be for the same goods to be manufactured at home.


It also makes possible a wider choice for consumers about the products that are available to them.


These examples illustrate the importance to the modern global economy of international trade not only to the consumer but also for businesses seeking to develop and grow.


Equally in an inter-connected global economy international trade can be a source of more jobs and therefore income in other countries that have developed expertise in particular areas as India has done with IT support services and China with manufacturing.


While it could be argued that this has increased levels of job insecurity as companies constantly look for locations where there is a plentiful and cheap source of labour and raw materials, it could also be argued that it also creates opportunities.


Rapidly growing economies such as the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) may have cheap labour and plentiful raw materials but as they seek to grow into fully mature economies they may experience skills shortages in certain areas of expertise.


They need time to develop that expertise and this provides opportunities for educational establishments such as universities to market their courses to overseas students. Equally it provides opportunities for consultants to offer their services overseas.


For example, there is a worldwide shortage of engineers in many fields and therefore there will be opportunities for qualified people in places where efforts are being made to improve the transport and energy infrastructures, such as Brazil.


There may not be the in-country facilities for manufacturing the heavy plant and machinery needed for such projects and this too provides opportunities for businesses in other countries.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013



Luxury inspired, extraordinary events are usually achieved by hiring an expert event management company that could bring the extraordinary to life. These days, we have seen enormous growth in the event management industry. This is a business that provides a fantastic way of outsourcing events that are either personal, group, business, social or a combination of two. Such occasions can be as diverse as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings to product launching, press conferences, political rallies, and for any social meetings that anyone can participate.

Recent studies showed that almost $500 billion dollars are spent annually on planned events around the globe. This spectacle alone shows that it is no longer sufficient to have a small catering team providing food at various business events and somebody in house to have everything sorted. Thus, individuals, groups, institutions and companies that aim to celebrate and hold their special events successfully and want to impress their guests often hire a company known for their fantastic event managing styles in order to get the best results.

The range of occasions that event handlers can allocate is pretty impressive. They can put together events for a small group of people or huge events with around 2,000-5,000 people attending. This is because a good management team is well-trained and skilled at doing the job. Most big businesses contact them to take care of the event planning which is time consuming and often stressful. An affair designed, managed and handled by an event management team is usually a costly one, but if you will take a close look at all the expenses incurred, it will prove to be a wise decision to hire professional teams because they have connections within their field. They can get you the best price quotes on top of their excellent and reliable service.

When is the best time to seek help from these professional event managers? You can rely on them to organize a funky, colourful and most unique event for you regardless of size, type of occasion and location. You can also rely on them if you want to throw a party with a theme. It doesn't matter if you want one of those weird trends that are really kind of everything for as long as you know that your guests or everyone will love the idea.

A good event planner can certainly spice up your event with colour, pattern, stunning backdrop and tons of light flashes that will capture everyone's attention. No matter what the size, scope and type of event that you wish to celebrate, it is smart to consider contacting a professional event management company. They are well-equipped at handling conferences, award ceremonies, product launches, gala dinners, corporate activities and personal or private celebrations. When considering hiring an event management team, be aware that it is vital to ask what their qualifications are and demand to see previous events that they have planned and managed.

Friday, October 11, 2013



If you are evaluating this Arbonne summary you might be thinking about becoming a distributor for Arbonne. Hold on! Check out this Arbonne article first. Even if you are already a rep check out this summary as you can commit to memory how to experience long term growth in your enterprise. Your upline may not be telling you everything you should be hearing.

Arbonne Review - Scam?

There are so many MLM companies that it may seem hard to choose. Well, if you are new to this industry and haven't been exposed to other companies, I just think that you should be aware of the large selection. In my first MLM company I dealt with limitations that persuaded me to resign and then I commenced an attentive investigation campaign on the network marketing industry and companies in the industry. I developed 7 criteria for picking the correct MLM opportunity. Next I started evaluating companies from a much more enlightened position. I'm a supporter of learning so I insist you to go over this Arbonne review and instruct yourself on the company and the factors to success in this company and in this industry. And Arbonne is definitely not a scam.

Arbonne Review - The company background

Let's start with a bit of qualification on the company. This company is definitely not a scam. This company has been around since 1980, so it has been around a while. While this is good it is bad at the same time. It's good because the company has credibility. The negative aspect is in conjunction with number four in my seven criteria. This Arbonne article shows Arbonne has all right aspects and bad aspects, and we'll cover all of those in the 7 criteria below.

Arbonne Review - 7 Criteria

1. Marketing Limitations
2. Company Stability
3. The Company's Products
4. The Saturation of the Company
5. Cost to Enter Company
6. Compensation Plan
7. Training / Leader

1) Arbonne Review - The Company's Marketing Rules

This is Arbonne's biggest downfall. Arbonne doesn't allow online marketing or a personal website promoting your business. They want you to erect your business "belly to belly." Arbonne has incomparable wares, but the industry is called "network marketing". Most network marketers don't have a clue how to market and never see business growth or the desired income because of it. Arbonne really puts their consultants at a disadvantage in terms of marketing. It is possible to build a business completely offline, but it takes more time and is very inefficient..

2) Arbonne Review - Company Health and Stability

Arbonne is stable. Arbonne's parent company just came out of bankruptcy, but the company survived. What is not stable about this company is people's downlines. It's hard to recruit, you have to sell through parties, and the amount of networking required is extremely high. What this means is that independent consultants dropout all the time.

3) Arbonne Review - The Company's Products
An Arbonne review wouldn't be complete without talking about the products. This is where Arbonne shines. Arbonne's products are green and certainly high value. High quality also means high price though. I genuinely use some of Arbonne's energy tabs for bottled water and I'm very satisfied with them. If you just want to make enough money to supply your own products then Arbonne can certainly be the best business for you, but if you are looking for financial freedom then you may want to look elsewhere.

4) Arbonne Review - Company inter-competition

Sometimes this is used as an excuse for people who fail, but other times it is a legitimate reason for failure. Arbonne has been around a long time so it has made several people millionaires and the company is huge. There are many consultants meaning that there is high competition for recruiting and selling in the company. Remember that since it is all face to face in this company this becomes extremely important. If a rep's local area is full of distributors they may have to travel to have parties with their warm market and more than likely the gas driving and taking a trip will cost more than the profit from the small party.

5) Arbonne Review - Overhead to Enter Company

You can enlist Arbonne for $109 in addition to purchase of product to have parties. So you are looking at $250 or so. The flawless buy in range for MLM companies is between $500 and $1200. You migh think that this is overpriced, but it serves two good purposes. First, you can actually make some good commissions with higher buy-ins, getting paid when you recruit. Second if someone will pay a high price to join that means that they will take their business seriously. So you don't deal with training people who really shouldn't be starting a home business because they lack ambition or motivation.

6) Arbonne Review - The Company's Compensation Plan

Arbonne has varying levels of pay based on your team's sales volume. You may make a bunch of sales, but if you don't have a team making sales then you won't make any real money. However the comp plan is fair and generous because of the nature of lots of sales volume through the parties..

7) Arbonne Review - Training / Leader

In my opinion this is the most crucial thing to think about when you go to join a network marketing company. When you join a company you aren't really joining a company. You are joining a leader / team. And the leader you join should be able to help you and give the resources to advance your marketing skills. If you join a leader who has no plan for duplication then how can you expect to duplicate them?. I have actually dealt with several Arbonne Reps personally in my local area. They have good training for their system. They teach their reps to get people to host parties and this system if worked allows for good movement of product. From the reps that I have met it does seem like they care and train well for their system. The problem isn't the reps it's the system.

Arbonne Review - In conclusion

Since the company's marketing rules don't allow use of the internet you have to build your Arbonne business mostly offline. This is possible but extremely difficult. Most people just don't have a large enough warm market to sustain the monthly parties and sign-ups for sustained business growth. Let's face it, to get people to join your business you have to make hundreds of business presentations to get a few sign ups. When you're only meeting a few people through parties the amount of business presentations that you can present is few.

It's hard to distinguish yourself from other reps in Arbonne. To distinguish yourself from other network marketers you need to become a student of attraction and online marketing. This involves leveraging the internet to produce high quality leads on a daily basis instead of pitching your business to Uncle Bob and cold calling people out of the phone-book to host parties. I don't drop flyers on cars. I don't walk around the mall prospecting. I don't pitch my business to my friends and family. I only deal with quality, targeted leads. I do something that is unheard of to most network marketers, which is I make money to fund my business from people that don't join my business. In essence I cover the cost of my high quality leads without deficit. This is what you're upline won't tell you - There are more efficient ways to build your business and create success sooner, faster, and greater than you could have imagined before leveraging marketing and the internet.

It ultimately comes down to... can you generate high quality leads daily and leverage the internet to build a long lasting business asset. Using a funded proposal system like MLSP is a great platform to leverage the internet and learn how to generate high quality leads on a daily basis.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

This article is about your industry and your competition. It talks about the forces at work in the industry and what you need to understand about your competitors. I hope the value you get from reading this is not just a better strategic direction but a framework to build a competitor database.


Industry Forces


Michael Porter many years ago wrote about 5 forces in any industry being:




  1. The Power of the Buyers

  2. The Power of the Suppliers

  3. The Intensity of Inter-Firm Rivalry

  4. The Threat of Substitutes

  5. The Barriers To Entry


So just to use an example of a business coach to illustrate the implications:


The customers who buy the services are typically small to medium customers who do not have large volumes of work to press for lower prices in return for high economies of scale. Industry effect of buyer power is low.


The suppliers who prevail are typically training and education suppliers of IP. To go to a university there is a high cost, to get corporate experience there is high cost, to buy into a franchise be trained by them comes at a high cost. Industry effect of supplier power is high.


Inter-firm rivalry is not intense as we don't typically have 5 business coaches tendering for every clients work. We are aware of each other but as potential market is so large we don't spend energy attacking one another. Industry impact is low.


The major substitute to a business coach is a person managing the business themselves and continually training to get better. (I think this is great and why coaching should be short term not long term.) The industry impact is high and major reason there aren't more people coaching.


The barriers to entry are relatively low. The larger franchises know that their power is high so actively try to recruit new coaches. I think this may be a reason that business coaching industry already has a tarnished reputation. The impact on the industry is high.


The implications for my business of the above analysis are to develop my own content and give great value to my clients to stay ahead of my competition. I also need to specialise in areas that my customers may not have as great a depth of experience as me.


Competitors


Let's think about what are we really competing for? I'd argue it is for the customer in the market to decide they will buy from our business not the competitions. So basically we are trying to understand the decision making criteria for the products / services we are selling in the market place and how we rate against the competition.


To illustrate, I am going to use the example of Jodie and I selecting a Real Estate Agent to sell our home. (No we are not in the market so please don't contact me if you are an agent reading this.)


Our criteria will be a mix of both emotional and factual criteria.




  1. Agent is trustworthy

  2. Agent is a likable person

  3. Agent's practice has brand commensurate with the market we wish to target.

  4. Agent's brand is well exposed to draw a larger number of buyers to their agency.

  5. Agent's fees are on par with competitors

  6. Agent's fees include same or more advertising features than competitors.

  7. Agent's target price for our home matches our expectations and is well supported with credible comparable sales data.


So, buy knowing what the criteria are you can then rank your competitors strengths and weaknesses High, Medium or Low against the decision criteria. Include your own business so you know where to focus on improving and where you should be promoting.


You also need to know what are the criteria that the customers value the most.


If I was a Real Estate Franchisor I would be positioning my brand in the demographic of the market I serve as the friendly trustworthy agents who give you more every step of the way for your marketing investment.


So please write a list of your customer's decision making criteria and rank yourself and your competitors in a side by side spreadsheet table. This exercise will also help with overcoming price objections.

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