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It’s Time to ‘Go Rogue’ With Your Marketing in 2010
By Bob Martel, president, JMB Marketing Group

Okay. It’s the beginning of the New Year. It is time to close the books on 2009, take some business lessons from it, and get focused on your 2010 goals. Ah, but the world of marketing is changing at breakneck speed, you say? You have to follow the herd into the cyber-abyss of social media, you say, all while casting aside the core marketing principles that helped you in the early days. Right.

While Sarah Palin challenges conventional thinking in the world of politics, I want to challenge you to go rogue with your marketing beliefs – for true change you can believe in! Challenge all of the conventional thinking in your organization about every aspect of the company’s 2010 marketing plan – and let your gut be your guide. Take your thinking back to the basics of human persuasion and influence and look at how your marketing efforts are moving people to buy your products and services – and what exactly they believe they are buying. What is the perceived value? Are you giving them what they want? Do you know what they really think they are buying?

A rogue marketer is passionate about delivering perceived value, building trust and confidence in the products, services and the brand, and knows how and when to break the traditional rules of smart marketing for better results. It’s time for you to go rogue and make this year great!

Here are a seven ‘rogue’ marketing resolutions I’d like to offer, good for any business, to complement those you have already made for 2010!

1. What is old is new again. Resolve to focus on the fundamentals of marketing and cling to them as you delve into the realm of social media. Become ‘best in class’ in your industry and resolve to pay attention to marketing concepts used in other industries. Keep in mind, whether you market to businesses or consumers, you are still trying to persuade people to make a purchase decision. Dare to innovate your marketing…while holding onto what works!

2. Why should anyone do business with you? Make 2010 the year that you finally craft an ‘elevator speech’ that makes prospects take notice and creates bona fide interest in the value your company offers. Tug at their heartstrings, tap into their desires, and their wallets will open! Punch up your language and appeal to their innermost wants, desires, frustrations, and worries. Use the trigger words that lead people to ethical action: please; thank you; now; because; don’t; and imagine.

3. Deliver the social proof that you deliver exceptional value. In fact, leverage all of the proven concepts in marketing psychology including the law of reciprocity, the law of authority, the law of scarcity, and the law of gravity. Okay, I was kidding about the last one. Don’t be afraid to tap into the fear factors, the greed, and the dangers your prospects fret over. They are very powerful motivators.

4. Make 2010 the year you decide to master the use of direct mail in your business. Email has its place, but do not discard the proper use of newsletters, sales letters, postcards, and dimensional mail. Learn how to mail properly so that you maximize impact and control postage costs at the same time. If your business is all local, learn how to use the mail (and database/mapping tools) to pinpoint your best prospects in target neighborhoods. Start with carrier route marketing. Grab my report: 34 Reasons to Write A Sales Letter to Your Best Customers.

5. Resolve to dabble in social media, but do not put all of your marketing eggs in this basket. Call me a cynic, but I really don’t think that Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are the be all and end all for your marketing strategy. Yes, explore, study, and test – but be sure you have the fundamentals of good marketing down first. I have seen too many business owners jump on the social media bandwagon and toss traditional marketing programs out the window. Proceed carefully. The medium is not the message.

6. Do the obvious marketing work very well. Get a good grip on the reasons customers buy and come back for more, why customers have left you, and why some people simply say ‘no’ to your company’s sales people. You do conduct win/loss analysis, right? A rogue marketer will challenge their beliefs with an open mind about seeking the truth about customer behavior, and take bold action to eliminate the obstacles!

7. Avoid the ‘failure to launch’ syndrome! Direct mail only works if you actually put it in the postal system! You won’t get your letter delivered, opened, read, and acted upon if you have too many fingers in the pie. It will never get mailed!
Your ‘way forward’ in 2010, from a rogue marketer’s standpoint, requires some bold new thinking about how you build perceived value, trust, and confidence. Here’s a bold, rogue idea – pick up the phone today and call your five most important customers. Then do the same with five important customers who stopped doing business with you. Ask the hard questions, listen, and act.

The economy is going to bounce back slowly and as it does, you will still have to watch your bottom line closely and manage your profit margins. So, what is a capitalistic entrepreneur supposed to do? You really have no choice but to go rogue in 2010, stop following your competitors’ marketing strategies (which may not necessarily be working well), and take some bold steps to generate all of the business you can handle in the New Year. Who knows, you may even create a few new jobs.

One last thing. This is important. Your business is filled with an abundance of gold, sapphires, diamonds and rubies, and you should know where to find them. I promise. Go read that classic: Acres of Diamonds by Russell Conwell, the founder of Temple University. Resolve to read one business book per week in 2010, some of the old classics, and some by today’s best thinkers. While you are at it, add Og Mandino, John Caples, Norman Vincent Peale, and Joe Girard to your authors list.

Your family, your employees, and your vendors, are all counting on your marketing success in 2010. They all need your hard earned money! Remember to go rogue with your marketing and try some new initiatives this year. I have prepared 27 rogue marketing secrets in a Powerpoint presentation which I would be glad to send via email, on request.

Happy New Year!

---Source: Bob Martel is a marketing consultant, direct marketing copywriter, and author of the book “How to Create All of the Business You Can Handle.” Subscribe to his monthly newsletter: Marketing With Ease. Reach him at (508) 481-8383 or by email at to request your free copy of 34 Reasons to Write A Sales Letter to Your Best Customers.


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