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Independent Agents Planning/Marketing

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Carl Rainey

on 19 March 2015

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Transcript of Independent Agents Planning/Marketing

Beyond the 3%

Effective Base Marketing
EBM is strategic
social media
EBM influences client purchasing
Create EBM:

Comprises 2 Actions
Give Value
Position The Purchase
Position The Purchase
5 Step process
1. Target
Speak to a very specific audience
Appeal to individual needs
Behavior segmentation
2. Address specific issue/problem
TOP of Mind
What's their
What issues keep customers up at night?
3. Tantalizing title
Specific target/problem
Speaks to the pain/pleasure
4. Strategic Offering
Pitch vs. Offer
5. Spiral revenue model - next action selling
1st problem client is facing
What's next
What's next, etc.
> 40% of Fortune 500
companies in 2000 were no
longer there in 2010

It's time to change.
But change is not the goal.
The goal is to improve
customers experiences & relationships...
one project at a time.
Do this again and again until
it becomes a way of business
The "Why" is all about the customer.
If we want to be successful,
we must focus on the customer,
and sell the "Why"
Callan Rush (2012)
Luminary Training, Inc.

US fashion retailer's online conversion rate - 3%
1% for Canadian counterparts
Spamers have a 4% click through rate
E-Commerce Fashion Strategies

Marketing is difficult
from Michael Brenner
on "
Do Not Call
" List
of TV viewers
skip commercials
of direct marketing is
never opened
of online banners are
never clicked
3 Mind-Blowing Social Media Stats
Awareness - August 2012
of all Facebook wall posts are
NOT answered
by brands
2. Pinterest is projected to account for 40% of social media driven purchases by Q2 2012
handles more search queries per month than Bing and Yahoo combined - 32 billion
Michael Stelzner - CoFounder of Social Media Examiner
"Here's the elevation principle formula:
Great content
other people

minus marketing
equals growth
Twitter Tips
Import contact database
Search for experts to follow
Follow followers followers
Organize, manage, search
bitly - to shorten link

Tell Your Story
- convince client to join or engage
- not to sell
Story Creation Steps
1. Be human:
be real, no facts or figures
be something to believe in
2. Be responsive:
look outwards, not inwards
create dialog
3. Be remarkable:
Be something worth talking about
List 3 things:
about your core brand
that changed your customer lives
that are remarkable about your company
4. Be storied:
- Make the client the hero
- Be modest
- Collaborating with clients, not for clients
Marketing Process
Pre-purchase - provide relevant data
Post-Purchase - appreciation
Retain - 40% of small business customers will not return after 1 year (American's Best 2009 Jul/Aug)
Reactivation - strategy to re-gain past customers
7 Marketing Mistakes - by Bob Negen, Whizbang
Your marketing is "All About Me"
Customers care about themselves, not you
Focus on your customer wants, not product
You don't track your results
You're a "One and Done" Marketer
You're unhappy if it's not a "Home Run"
You don't adapt good ideas
What works for others, may work for you
You don't pay close attention to the details
Your marketing is scattershot, not strategic
7 Causes of Advertising Failure - Rob Williams
The desire for instant gratification
Relationships take time
Attempting to reach more people than budget allows
Too much reach, not enough frequency
Assuming the business owner knows best
Too much product knowledge causes issues
Unsubstantiated claims - highest quality, lowest price
Overconfidence in qualitative targeting
Important to say right thing, than reach right buyer
Great production without great copy
Slick is poor substitute for memorable, persuasive
Confusing "response" with "results"
Marketing - The “Why”
The "Why"
Requires - Change Marketing Mindset
Focus on customer & information needed
Determine business goals/objectives- Match channels at that intersection
The "Why" intersection:
Right message
Right People
Right time
Fish Where The Fish Are!
Word-of-Mouth Tips
Give unconditionally - people talk freely about generosity
Show up & follow up
Leave a lasting impression - be a person, be real
Remarkable - be or do things that others will remark on
Be different
Be brave - do something worth talking about
Tell stories - focus on others
Get out and help others -current/prospective customers
Develop a trusting relationship
Red Bull Commercial

Business Assumptions/Situation
Lean Canvas (LC)
Empathy Map
Individual LC
Business Plan Process

Assumptions Made Within Operations
You assume your idea is good
You assume people will buy your product/service
You assume it will be hard
You assume people are actively looking for your solution
You assume people will love it so much that they tell 100s of people
You assume they will say yes
You assume it will cost money
Problem With Assumptions
You only realize their accuracy after idea launch
Very costly mistake – time/dollars

Lean Canvas - Introduce
Portable, one-page diagram
Allows for brainstorming possible business models
Forces focus

9 Canvas Building Blocks
Each block is important
But the importance changes as you develop your business (living document)
1. Sketch a canvas in one sitting
While a business plan can take weeks or months to write
your initial canvas should be sketched quickly
2. It’s okay to leave sections blank
Rather than trying to research or debate the “right” answers, put something down quickly or leave it blank and come back to it later
Some elements like “Unfair Advantage” take time to figure out.
The canvas is meant to be an organic document that evolves over time and it’s okay to say “I don’t know”
3. Think in the present
Business plans try too hard to predict the future which is almost impossible
Write your canvas with a “getting things done” attitude
4. Use a customer-centric approach
There are several alternative approaches to sketching an initial canvas, I prefer using a customer-centric approach
I start with the Customer Segment and follow a prescribed order to filling out a canvas:
Step 1 - Customer Segments
Identify who your customer segments are
New segment if that group needs
a different channel
must have a different price point
require a different type of relationship
For whom are we creating value?
Who are our most important customers?
Split broad customer segments into smaller ones
Narrow down the distinguishing characteristics of your prototypical customer
Step 3 - Value Proposition
A value proposition solves a customer problem or satisfies a customers need or want
What is it that you will do to meet those expectations?
What bundles of products or services are we offering to each customer segment?
This is not simply a listing of products or services
Starts as the benefits not the features: Product market fit.
What value do we deliver to the customer?
Which one of our customer’s problems are we helping to solve?
Which Customer needs are we satisfying?
As we learn, it becomes more than these
Step 3 - Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Why you are different and worth getting attention
Create your UVP
Be different, but make sure your difference matters to your customers
Target early adopters to test ideas- not ready for mainstream
Focus on finished story benefits
UVP formula: Instant Clarity Headline = End Result Customer Wants + Specific Period of Time + Address the Objections
Pick your words carefully and own them
Answer: what, who, and why
Study other good UVPs - use what works
Step 3 - Unique Value Proposition
Key - If I am your ideal prospect, why should I buy from you rather than any of your competitors
Because factor - if you don't have a "because" you are lost
The "because" frames your argument
6 Ways To Stand Out
1. Focus on your "only factor"
An appealing offer without exclusivity is diluted by number of competing options
Exclusive offer without appeal has force undermined by lack of attraction
2. Provide clear evidentials - evidence, numbers, etc
Value accepted is contingent upon value believed
Value believed is contingent upon value understood
3. Strengthen the process-level value proposition
try not to use a Send or Submit button
Not this: "send", "submit", "complete", etc
But this: "get your free trial", "become migraine free", "get free access", etc
Click here to get ...
4. Build a compelling narrative - tell the story. Builds upon the value proposition
5. Use valuable images - images should help sell the story
6. Link to your brand equity
Brand is the aggregate experience of the value proposition
As the customer experiences this value
Customers develop a belief about its source - think Apple
Step 5 - Channels
Describes how a company communicates with and reaches its customer segments to deliver value proposition
Channel types
sales force (direct), web, stores, wholesale
Channel phases (5)
awareness, evaluation, purchase, delivery, after sales
Step 5 - Channels
What are your customer touch points?
This section could involve distribution, communication and sales
Through which channels do our customer segments want to be reached?
How are we reaching them now?
How are our channels integrated?
Which ones work best?
Which ones are most cost-efficient?
How are we integrating them with customer routines?
Failing to find a significant path to customers is among the top "fail" reasons
Step 6 - Revenue Streams
Take a look at how you intend to make revenue
You may have recurring sales or you might have one time only sales
This will make a difference when you create financial projections
For what value are our customers really willing to pay?
For what do they currently pay?
Step 8 - Key Metrics
Measure what matters:
Acquisition: how do users find you?
Referral: do users tell others?
Focus on conversion improvement
Step 7 - Cost Structures
Take a look at steps 4-6 and you will be able to identify costs
What are the most important costs inherent in our business model?
Which key resources are most expensive?
Step 9 - Unfair Advantage
Something that cannot be easily copied/bought
Insider information
Dream team
Personal authority
Existing customers
SEO ranking
Step 2 - Problem
List top 1 to 3 for each customer segment
List existing alternatives
Then document how you think your early adopters address these problems today
Unless you are solving a brand new problem (unlikely), most problems have existing solutions
Step 4 - Solution
Determine a solution to your problem as late as possible - after customer interactions
Sketch out the simplest message/thing you could possibly build to address each problem
Empathy Map
Beyond Customer's Demographic
education, age, etc.
Better understanding
Name Customer then Ask Following

What does she
in her environment?
surrounds her, who are friends, what types of offers exposed to, problems encountered
What does she
- how environment influences her?
what do friends/spouse say, who really influences her & how, media channels are influential
What does she really
- what goes on in the mind?
really important (may not say aloud), emotions- moves her, keeps her up, dreams/aspirations
What does she
attitude, telling others, look at potential conflicts between what is said & what she may truly think/feel
What is her
biggest frustrations, obstacles to wants/needs to achieve
What does she
truly want/need to achieve, how does she measure success, strategies to achieve goals
Steps You Need To Ask When Developing Buyer Personas
What are their pain points?
How their problem affects their daily life, how it makes them feel
What do they value most? Or what they don't care about
What would make your persona get really excited about
Where do they go for information?
online, in-person, social networks, prefer to gather information
What experience are they looking for?
is it consultative - in-person, online, phone
What are their most common objections to your product?
be prepared to address them, use to educate, remove fears
How do I identify this persona?
the above point to your target - can tailor your communications
The Empathy Map

Rank Your Business Models
Create a canvas for each business model
model with a big enough market
market you can reach
customers who need your product
a product/service you can provide
Weighting order:
Customer pain/pleasure level (Problem)
Ease of reach (Channels)
Price/gross margin (Revenue Streams/Cost Structure)
Market size (Customer Segments)
Technical feasibility (Solution)

Select one problem to address
Create Empathy Map
Create Lean Canvas
Session 2 Agenda
What is a business plan
Writing the plan/sequence
Marketing/Sales strategy
Why Some Get Things Done
Maintain a high commitment to themselves
Don’t want to let themselves down
Strive for “good enough”, not perfect
Perfect is the killer
Think about short-term future
What’s the next step
Share dreams and thoughts with others
Introduces accountability
They begin now
Taking the first step can be the hardest
A Business Plan
Products, markets
Focus, tailored, long-term, starts with needs
Your words, your story, your outline
Out of date tomorrow
BP are living docs

Not one single format
Common Elements
Executive Summary
Company Description
Industry Analysis and Trends
Target Market
Strategic Position & Risk Analysis
Marketing Plan
Management & Organization
Community Involvement and Social Responsibility
Financials (Cash Flow, Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Funding)
Exit Strategy (If seeking venture/angel capital)
Business Plan Outlines
Many sources:
Free BP Generation Sources:
Virginia FAIRS Rural Cooperative Development Center: http://dev.vafairs.com/vafairs/#top
Agriculture Innovation & Commercialization Center: https://www.agecon.purdue.edu/aicc/resources/businessplan.doc
Business Plan Writing Sequence
1.0 Executive Summary
1.1 Objectives
1.2 Mission
1.3 Keys to Success
2.0 Company Summary
2.1 Company Ownership
2.2 Company Start-up Plan
2.3 Company Locations/Facilities
3.0 Products and Services
3.1 Product/ Description
3.2 Competitive Comparison
3.3 Sales Literature
3.4 Sourcing and Fulfillment
3.5 Technology
3.6 Future Products and Service
Marketing Strategy
Sample - Explain


Word of Mouth generated by:
A difference between
what you promise
what you deliver
Promise very little:
don't get a chance to deliver because I'll ignore you
Hence the paradox:
the more you promise, the less likely you are to achieve delight
and the less likely you are to earn the trust to get the gig in the first place
WOM Leverage
Full transcript