I was walking through the NY State Fair yesterday and noticed that once again, one of the most common things being sold here is beer.  It’s all over the place. They’re all selling the same beer at the same price.

That’s called a commodity.  Just like when you go to Mexico or Nassau and you see row after row of stalls with the vendors selling the exact same things made of straw.  They are all comodities at that point.

If you are in a commodity market – if you’re selling the same things lots of other people are selling – you have to be a smart marketer to succeed.

Dumb marketers start slashing prices.

Smart marketers use their brains.

Back to The Fair, the beer and the girls.

As I was walking through The Fair I heard one girl calling out: “Come on over.  For $3 you can get a cold beer and talk to a pretty girl.”

Want to guess who was getting most of the business?

Same beer.  Same price.  Just a little bit of smart marketing.

The exact same lesson holds true for publicity.  If you’re in a commodity market – like insurance, carpet cleaning, roofing and hundreds of others – you can get the lion’s share of publicity by giving your story just a slight twist.

Maybe you offer a Consumer Awareness booklet.

Maybe you give people 17 tips for choosing the best supplier of your product or service.

Maybe you have a free “Ask the Expert” phone line for people who have questions about what you’re offering.

Just about everybody has a phone line available for questions.  Nothing unusual about that.  But you call yours an “Ask the Expert Hotline”.

Just a little slant and you get the lion’s share of the publicity in your industry.

Gotta go.  There’s a pretty girl wanting to talk to me.

I’ll have another publicity lesson from the NY State Fair coming up.  Don’t you dare miss it!

Be Sociable, Share!
  1. Yves Marie Danie Baptiste Says:

    I’d like to add some more publicity twist ideas:

    -Give a free 15 minute consultation and/or a critique certificate. Let’s say you were in the business of selling
    ‘how to advertise your small biz’ KITs, to stand out from
    your competitors, you can offer a critique of your customers
    first attempt of writing their own ads.

    Slap a high value on the certificate. It’s all about perception, baby!

    -How about bundling up your product/service and offering ‘special packages’

    -Offer an outrageous guarantee that you intend to honor, of course. Make it a something at least 12 months. Don’t worry, when people see that you are offering a 12 month guarantee they will feel much more at ease to try your product/service.

    If the guarantee was for 30 days, you may find this hurts the chances of a purchase since it may register in the mind of the potential customer that 30 days is not enough time.

    Besides, most people will forget about the guarantee in 12 months anyway with their obsession with online dating chat rooms and all the new social networking thing-a-ma-bobs that are popping up everyday, so why not take advantage of this?

    Heck, is it your fault they get distracted and are not disciplined? 🙂

    -Develop relationships with non-profit organizations whose mission is one that closely relates to yours. Propose to them that you’d like to sponsor the building of, say, their new pool, but what you would like in return is to use their name in your marketing materials as the organization you’ve partnered with to give a certain percentage of the sale of your products/service to.

    People love doing business with those who are actively and positively uplifting their community.

    This will evoke feelings of goodwill and guess what? You are 10 steps ahead of your competitors because while you’re out being a smart marketer, they will all be naval-gazing.

    Oh, and psst….send a press release to your local media about your newfound relationship with the non profit.

    I can go on and on…but, I need to get a cold glass of water in this summer heat.

    See you in the limelight!

Leave a Reply