On a recent flight I read through ‘Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers‘ by Jimmy Vee, Travis Miller and Joel Bauer. I have two minds about how to respond.
Mind #1 is the anti-hype anti-marketer in me…the guy that responds viscerally to Joe Jackson’s claim of “I got the trash and you got the cash, so baby we should get along fine.” Claims that any business has “an unlimited number of ready, willing and able buyers” (and that there is “only one catch” that gets in the way) can’t help but set off that alarm, given the informercial-type tone.
Mind #2 is the guy who not only makes his living as a marketer, but considers it an honorable profession. Connecting the right customer with the right value at the right price is practically a public service and is highly differentiated from spam, from flooding the marketplace with irrelevant noise, from…well, everything Joe was singing about there.
Let’s not let these notes on a good marketing book turn into an analysis of my Sybil psyche. ‘Gravitational Marketing’ is definitely worth a read. There are sound marketing principles embedded here. The principles themselves aren’t all new, but the authors have deftly packaged them to be useful to small businesspeople who may not be marketers at their core.
The principles the authors lay out are anti-hype, if anything. Chapter 3, ‘Be Worthy of Attraction’, asks the question marketers often forget. Who is my target customer, and is my product or service differentiated enough to be valuable to them? The advice offered about advertising is particularly useful to the small businessperson: focus on response (not branding) and make sure you can measure your response by promotional codes, separate phone numbers or landing pages, etc. Those technique are often overlooked in the small business space and change advertising from an expense to be managed down into an investment to be optimized.
Maybe the claim of “an unlimited number of ready, willing and able buyers” isn’t that far off the mark. Done wrong, marketing is hard work; we spend huge amounts of energy trying to convince the wrong prospect to buy the wrong product for the wrong price. Done right – right prospect, right product, right price – marketing should be as easy as falling off a log. Or as easy an an apple falling off a tree. Vee, Miller and Bauman are on to something with that metaphor.
They also have a fine blog for staying in touch – linked here or on the blogroll.