Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Will tweet for food

Posted in Social Media by elephanthunters on September 20, 2010

Retail has changed forever.  

Offering unique selection or the best price while allowing for enough post-overhead margin to keep your doors open is more challenging than it was in the pre-Amazon.com days.  The modern day retailer’s silver bullet is leveraging the power of ‘now’. Customers gladly pay a premium for on demand.

Why not make their social media premiums immediate too?

  • When we dine at Blue Coast Burrito: What if they gave us free guac if we tag them in our Facebook status while waiting in line.  Validate by showing status to cashier on cell phone.
  • What if 9 Fruits gave me an extra punch on my free smoothie card  when I tweet: ‘About to down a Choc Full of PB from @ninefruits – Sooo much better than Smoothie King!’
  • Pie In The Sky could take down their sign that says, ‘Follow us on Twitter’ (Why do I care?) and replace it with a sign that says, ‘For free soft drinks: Upload a Youtube video of your children building their own pizza’.
  • Sweet Cece’s could give us free yogurt every time we upload a Facebook photo of the line going out the door and around the corner.

Customers are already tagging you.  And they’re certainly already updating their status while they’re in your store.  Why not give them a reason to do it more often?

Just for fun

  • Let’s assume the average patron has 250 Facebook friends.
  • Suppose 3 out of 10 customers took advantage of  your new offer
  • Say you run a store that averages 15 walk in customers per hour at 4o hours per week (600 transactions a week)
  • You’ll be putting positive brand association up for consumption to 45,000 sets of eyeballs every week.  Obviously not everyone who follows your customer will see the status update (at least the first time they do it), but 45,000 potential impressions certainly isn’t a bad hypothetical just for giving away some free guacamole.

Don’t follow me.  Talk about me.

Smart retailers are about to stop asking us to follow them.  Instead they will give us a reason to talk about them, and our friends will follow them as a result of our endorsement.

There’s room for retailers to encourage these conversations everywhere I look.

If I ran marketing for Publix Supermarkets I would offer a premium in the checkout line for every status that changes from ‘Picking up some snacks before the game’ to ‘Picking up some snacks @Publix before the game’.

I would start by explaining to the board why this is probably not helping our case:

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Sell the launch

Posted in Business, Selling by elephanthunters on March 22, 2010

Most amateur product life cycles look like this:

Apple, Hollywood and Ticket Master do it different:

  • The iPad doesn’t come out until April 3rd, 2010, but a Google search on ‘iPad’ currently returns over 35 million results.  I’m pre-ordering mine this week.
  • The Gulliver’s Travels film will come to theaters on December 22, 2010.  (You could have a baby between now and then).  Marketing campaigns are already rolling out for this film.
  • George Strait & Reba are coming to Nashville, TN on April 28th.  I’ve heard commercials for weeks promoting the event? Nope.  Promoting the ‘Tickets go on sale’ date: Sat, 03/20/10 at precisely 10:00 AM CDT.

Emotion Creates Motion

Many organizations like these are learning to create an event around the product launch.  Events allow marketers to rally their campaigns around two key motivators in human behaviour:

  1. A sense of urgency
  2. A fear of loss

Sales are the natural next step when marketing causes one of these emotions to be stirred up in the mind of the consumer.


  • You can’t market the launch if you don’t have a date
  • You can’t set a date without a product (or at least a product development time line) in place
  • Good products don’t happen without market research

What if you don’t have events?

But Daniel…

I’m in retail.

We just service HVAC units.

My business is different because we’re just consultants.

I recommend brainstorming ways to incorporate events into your business model.  They are the only thing left that customers can miss out on.

Sales, Specials, VIP days, Open Houses, Company Picnics, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holidays, April 15th :-(, Grand Opening, Try our new __________ day, Marathons…

These are all events.

How can you weave them into the marketing fabric of your brand?

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Batteries Included

Posted in Business, Selling by elephanthunters on September 3, 2009

Battery Image

I purchased two different things this week that needed batteries but did not include them.  Why have we accepted this as the norm?  It’s frustrating to buy something and then have to buy something else in order for the original purchase to be valuable.  I think that ‘some assembly’ should not be required…that’s what I’m paying you for when I purchase your product.  If I wanted to assemble it myself I would just go buy a bunch of parts online and spend a weekend in my garage emancipating my power tools and listening to The Goo Goo Dolls.  When I buy your product I just want it to work.  Period.

Think about your business/product/service.  How can you eliminate ‘Batteries not included’ experiences for your customers?

You don’t have to eat the cost of the proverbial batteries to serve your customers…just build the cost into the price of your product or service to keep your transactions clean and inclusive.  Eliminating ‘gotcha’ fees will go a long way to build loyalty among your customer base.

Have you ever had a great buying experience where everything was as simple and straight forward as it was advertised to be?

I’d love to hear about it!

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Read this ASAP to get free Chick-Fil-A

Posted in Business, Selling by elephanthunters on September 3, 2009

Chick-Fil-A free sandwich deal.

One of my associates at the Chick-Fil-A corporate office sent me an email today with this ad.

Here’s the 5 things I love about it:

  • They’re giving me free food
  • They picked a day that is memorable and that I’m likely to be available to take advantage of the offer.
  • They’re communicating to me with pictures: [you]+[t-shirt]=[sandwich] so I don’t have to read to get the message, only to clarify the message
  • They give me options to put a reminder on my calendar.  I use Outlook for everything so I clicked the link and in 5 seconds the reminder went right into my preferred method of organization
  • The deal is only good for one day so it creates a sense of urgency because it’s an event

Everything about this ad makes it easy for me to tell friends “Hey, I heard Chick-Fil-A is giving away sandwiches on Labor Day and all you have to do to get one is wear a t-shirt with your teams logo on it!” and so I will…

If you’d like the original email:

  • to try out the calendar feature
  • to send to your marketing guy for a great example of how to sell your product
  • or to forward to your friends

Just email me at daniel.tardy@daveramsey.com and I’ll send it to you.  (I’m not smart enough to know how to make the image in this post do it automatically)

The Queen has the cookies & it’s paying off.

Posted in Business, Selling by elephanthunters on August 26, 2009

Two of the greatest inventions on the planet are Dairy Queen Blizzards and Girl Scout Cookies.  In the month of August Dairy Queen has combined these two tempting vices into one cool treat.

This has been a brilliant marketing campaign for Dairy Queen.  I know this because my wife made me drive her 30 minutes across town just to get one of the highly acclaimed thin mint blizzards (I might have had a bite or two myself).  Do you know the last time we drove 30 minutes across town just to go to to go to Dairy Queen? Umm, Never.

The genius in this campaign is that Dairy Queen is now offering a product who’s brand has already been seared into the minds of every American alive.  In fact, consuming Girl Scout Cookies each year is arguably at the core of what it means to be an American in the first place.  If Dairy Queen was just offering a new style of hamburger with an extra piece of meat or a new special sauce for their chicken strips then no one would be talking about it.  No one would care.

We are in the process of deciding where our next EntreLeadership Master Series event will be held.  The brand that we choose for location matters a lot.  Places like Cancun, Atlantis, Hawaii & Vail have all been heavily marketed as great locations before we even started thinking about doing events.  It’s up to our team to figure out which location has been marketed the best in addition to accomidating our needs for the event.  It looks like Atlantis stands a good chance of being our thin mint cookie for the Spring of 2010.

How can you tap into the power of other brands that have already been marketed well?

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How much is a new customer worth?

Posted in Business, Selling by elephanthunters on June 29, 2009

We often spend too much or too little on prospecting, canvasing and lead generating because we lack confidence in exactly how much a new customer is worth.  When loading up for a big fishing trip how much do you spend on bait?

If we know the monetary value of a new customer then anything spent less than that amount on ‘bait’ yields a return.

There’s not a perfect way to determine this but you can get close with this formula:

Year X Net Profit – Year Y Net Profit  (Where Y = X – 1 Year) / # of new accounts opened between Year Y and X = Value of new account.

This assumes your business model has a residual customer base.  If your customers are single transactions only then the math is much easier.  Just divide annual net sales by annual transactions.

Do they know your song?

Posted in Business, Selling by elephanthunters on June 29, 2009

Have you ever had one of those times when you’re riding in the car with some friends and the song on the radio is one that no one really knows, at least until the chorus comes on, and then everyone seems to know it and starts to sing along?

Why does everyone know the chorus but not the verses?

It’s because the chorus repeats several times in the song, and people remember what is repeated.

What is your chorus?  What do you want to be known for?

Whatever you say over and over clearly is what you will be known for.  But more importantly you will not be known for anything that you do not say over and over and over.  Too often we are guilty of mentioning something one time hoping that a prospect will latch on to it and run with it.  If we don’t drill it into their mind with several applications and several stories and/or statistics.  They will not hear you.

Take a lesson from someone in marketing and learn how to repeat yourself.  Learn how to do it in a way that is exciting and doesn’t sound redundant.