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
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,
Remember, only you can make BUSINESS
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 WWW.autosalvageconsultant.com
He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX
or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.