Salvaging Millions

Climbing above the competition:
A case study in real world marketing
Part 2 of 5

Last month, we talked about marketing vs. advertising. This month, I would like to share a personal example. Here is how my marketing team applied the principles we have been discussing to help make my first book for entrepreneurs a success.

We applied the same basic principles of marketing that can work in your business in marketing How To Salvage Millions From Your Small Business. We first determined that our primary readers were owners in the auto recycling industry. We know by our relationships that most of these readers have limited time to read business books. If we could create a practical business guide worthy of their investment of time, we concluded, we’d be doing something significant already.

We figured that in order to make this book effective, we’d have to create tools they could easily apply and place them in the margins for quick reference. So we did that.

We also reasoned that our primary readers wouldn’t buy enough books to justify our effort; so we slanted it toward general market small business entrepreneurs (with less than 100 employees) who might be hungry for more success than they’ve had to date.

In this example, our determination to provide a handy reference of tools in the margin along with action items gave rise to the use of a wrench as an icon, and that resulted in the photograph we used for the cover. It was exciting to see that our subliminal message of a “tool” targeted our primary readers so well.

That’s marketing. The idea in this illustration cost us nothing. The artwork for our cover (which serves as on-going advertising) cost very little compared to the normal cost of display advertising.

No one is going to market for you as well as you can, if you are thoughtful and fully informed. You can go to an agency, but you may end up disappointed. Your results may not be what you want and you will have spent a lot of money on the effort.

Ad agencies are probably not your best bet because most small businesses simply can’t allocate the financial resources required to hire a top advertising agency.

We believe the best thing you can do is to learn to understand marketing better. It starts with an examination of who your primary customer really is. Once you have that definition in hand, you can begin to catalog ways to reach that specific market. There are hundreds of ways when you actually ponder it. Most of them won’t cost you much, if anything. Pick a good business book for example. Read just a few and you’ll learn more than you can implement. Two of my favorites are Customers for Life and The Discipline of Market Leaders.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Ron's free monthly auto recycling e-newsletter, with news and tips, register at .

Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT!

Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with 140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002, his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to help small business owners achieve significant success, and was recently reprinted. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate holdings and investments. You can learn more about him at He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.