Tag Archives: building relationships

Macho Man Marketing

By Jeff Bowman

Professional wresting has been an interest of mine for over 40 years.  From the days of Lord Athol Layton, The Sheik and Abdullah the Butcher to most recently, the baby faces and heels of the 90’s including Hulk Hogan, Brett Hart and Macho Man Randy Savage. I have witnessed the sport grow from headlocks and spinning toe holds to the flying acrobatics and high-speed action that you witness today.  What is the difference between the 60’s and the 90’s? Marketing!

I have 5 rules for effective marketing that I use to build campaigns and programs for clients.

  1. Create a recognized brand
  2. Stay in touch with the consumer
  3. Deliver what your customers want and expect
  4. Outthink your competitors
  5. Support your product using your strengths.

Macho Man Randy Savage, who passed away recently in a car accident embodied the marketing strategy to a tee, and helped to build the WWE  (formerly WWF) to astounding heights of popularity. His deep gravelly voice, his ornate studded capes, cowboy hats, the sunglasses, and the phrases, “Ohh Yeahhh!, and “Freak Out” were his trademarks. He created the Macho Man brand and maintained it for over a decade. Even in his ads for Slim Jims, he re-enforces his own brand while promoting someone else’s.

Known as one of the best interviews in wrestling, he would often adlib, turn his back to the camera, shake his hand as if he was ridding himself of excess energy and talk about the type of beating he was going to administer to opponents.  He was quoted in a “real” interview when asked what his best match was, that it was the one that the fans loved the most. He truly had his finger on the wrestling consumer’s pulse. As far as delivering what the customers want, Savage was absolutely electric when he entered the ring. Jumping from turnbuckle to turnbuckle spreading his capes like wings encouraging either cheers or jeers from the throng.  I remember a match that he started wearing his sunglasses, and won without ever taking them off! WWE fans wanted action, Savage delivered in spades.

Many before him donned gowns and capes, but never had the expansive wardrobe Savage owned. In the ring, Savage was a high flyer, delivering flying elbows from the top rope getting more height than anyone before, and landing with precision choreographed perfection. He wasn’t the biggest, or the strongest but I don’t think his athleticism was matched by any competitor, and he used that to rise to the top of the wrestling world.  In an interview after Savage left the WWE, he makes a comment which epitomizes his dedication to being the best and marketing the organization for which he worked. “It’s not just winning the belt, it’s how you wear it”

Randy Savage recognized the potential he had to manufacture an image in an industry where gimmicks were manufactured by the thousands. It never changed for Savage.  He worked hard every night, every interview was a sales pitch and win or lose he always vowed to come back, and did.  The wrestling world lost a true competitor

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Filed under Branding, Innovation, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Sales

Fresh Coffee or Stale Email

By Jeff Bowman

The deeper we get into the technology age, the more enamored I am becoming with the 20 minute meeting over a fresh cup of coffee.

Email has, in large part replaced the telephone as the method most preferred by business people to contact clients and perform some after networking activities. It is quick, it is recorded and saved in your email file and can be done at any hour of the day. Sure, it sounds great, except for the fact that I have to wait for a response, possibly lose the response to my junk mail box, and almost certainly will have to go back and forth a couple of times in order to ensure the information is accurate and confirmed.

A meeting over coffee (or latte, or super juice or whatever your drink of choice) allows a relationship to advance through the various stages in a relaxing environment with no pressure. A nice spot away from the office with a face to face meeting is essential in breaking down barriers to communication that exist in other modes of contact.  I’m not advocating setting up an office on wheels in your local establishment, just a simple get together once or twice a week with clients, networking acquaintances, suppliers or even a co-worker.

A study conducted in 2005 , which was focused on examining the relationship between caffeine and ‘social’ processes, “found that coffee increases mental alertness, focus and concentration. This heightening of mental capacity allows people to open up, process and understand the ideas being discussed during a coffee meeting.” The study also went on to find that drinking coffee makes a person more open to new ideas and persuasion.

If I have a choice between spending 20 minutes or so face to face with a person, in a relaxed atmosphere, where they are more open to new ideas and have greater mental alertness, or speaking into a cell phone from my parked car with traffic and distractions all around me, or sending an e-mail to a person who may not give it any consideration or misunderstand my intentions in sending it, the choice is simple. Technology has certainly made it easier to reach people, but certainly not to communicate in the true sense of the word.

Relationships are built on trust and understanding.  When I am unable to read the body language and clearly identify the tone, the rhythm of speech and the volume of the voice, I am missing over 90% of the real communication. The call to action is to use one of those “other” tools to set up a coffee meeting today. No excuses! See the difference a little shared time can make.

I’ll have a double double and a dutchie!

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Filed under Communications, Jeff Bowman, Social Networking

Plug into a people network

By Stephen Rhodes

Think of all the people you know. Now put them into tiny little boxes. They are your neighbors, business associates, service club comrades, church community, close friends, casual acquaintances, schoolmates, family friends, relatives ….for many of us it can be an endless list.

peopleThis is your life network. The relationship you have with most of these people is likely one of friendship, trust and respect.

Good business networks are much the same. They rely on trust and respect and occasionally friendships.

I belong to a number of networks,  organized groups  that meet regularly. We get together to talk about business and how we might help each other prosper. One  group cuts a swath through a wide range of services – financial planning, logistics, staffing service, sign design, real estate, decorating, accounting, career management, web design, air conditioning service, computer management, business advice and training and a fellow who designs executive writing instruments.

At first blush, you might think there is little in common here, yet our group has exchanged some business. But the real value of group is not so much who is at the table for breakfast but rather who they know. Building trust and respect in the group is important before members feel confident in referring your services to their friends and business associates.

Once that happens, you network multiplies exponentially. The personal contacts and referrals that come from networking can overcome fear and build trust.

Networking is about building relationships and  I highly recommend it. Networking should be part of your business life every day.

Any contact with anyone, including your life network, can conceivably be an opportunity to grow your business. However, like all things in life, it’s important to find balance. It’s important to develop long-term relationships not just quick sales. High pressure never works in a network.

Remember, you reap what you sow. If you help other people get what they want, the world is your oyster. Do for others…….you know the rest.  Be patient. If you expect others to return the favour next week, you will lose their trust. Be selfless and it will come about.

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Filed under Networking, Stephen Rhodes