Marketing Your Business – Most Ignored Marketing Rule #9 – Prospects and Customers Have Tuned Out

As a small or medium sized business business owner, you already know that you can’t get business by “building a better mousetrap.” You know that “if you build it, they WON’T come.” It doesn’t really matter how good your product or service is, the only way to get people to buy it is to sell it – or nobody will give a hoot.

When it comes to selling, though, most small businesses create marketing campaigns that don’t do much more than string together advertisements. They advertise in the newspaper, on TV and radio, through the mail, in coupon packs, and even on the internet. But there’s a HUGE problem with advertising… Your audience is fed up with it.

Americans suffer through 6000+ advertising pitches every day. You can bet they’ve had it up to here and they’re not taking anymore.

They’ll do almost anything to turn off the advertising or to block it out entirely. They TIVO their favorite programs so they can skip over the commercials. Their phone numbers are on the “Do not call” list. They keep shredders next to the doorway – ready for the day’s junk mail. Nope… they definitely don’t want advertising.

  • 60% of consumers have a much more negative opinion of marketing and advertising now than they did a few years ago.
  • 61% think the amount of ads they’re subjected to is way out of control.
  • 65% feel constantly bombarded with too much advertising.
  • 61% think marketers and advertisers don’t treat consumers with respect

The very people you’re tryint to sell to can spot an ad from a long way off and when they do they mentally turn tail and run. They’ll never hear your message – no matter what it is. Believe me, your prospects and customers “don’t want no stinkin’ advertising!”

What they want is information – information they can use to help them make the right choices. What they want is to be entertained – with stories that make them laugh, and cry, and cheer. They want to know how others got to where they want to be.

Advertisements don’t give that to them… but your marketing can.

Each one of your marketing pieces is like a salesman making a call on your prospects and customers. Author Harry Beckwith (What Clients Love), says “the best salespeople sell themselves first.” That’s because customers like to hang around “attractive” character. “Attractive” – not like in great bone structure, perfect smile, and flawless complexion attractive. It’s more like this-is-someone-that-makes-me-comfortable-so-I-want-to-be-around-them attractive.

Subway found their “attractive” character in the formerly 425 pound Jared Fogel – the “formerly fat guy” who lost 240 pounds on a “Subway” diet.

Some of the most memorable Wendy’s ads showcased the late Wendy’s owner and classic “regular guy” Dave Thomas.

Blendtec was a nameless, faceless maker of blenders until company founder and CEO Tom Dickson donned a lab coat and started puréeing popular items (iPhones, TV remotes, digital cameras, etc.) in his company’s blenders. Now Blendtec owns the “top spot” in the minds of millions of consumers who’ve watched those “Will It Blend” YouTube videos.

GEICO Insurance spends millions on campaigns with a little green lizard as their attractive character. “As computer animation got better and as we got to know the character better, we did a few things,” says Steve Bassett, creative director at The Martin Agency. “We wanted to make him a little more guy-next-door. And he looks a lot more real than he’s looked before.” [USA Today – emphasis mine]

So, find your attractive character. It can be you, a customer, an employee, or even a character made up entirely from your imagination. But finding one will help you get the attention of your tuned out audience. Then, once you’ve found your business’s attractive character, you’ll need to have that character deliver information to your audience.

  • Jared let us know how healthy Subway sandwiches were
  • Dave told us about the tasty ingredients that made up Wendy’s latest offering
  • GEICO’s gecko nearly always gives us a little factoid about the company
  • Years ago Shell taught us about Platformate and jumped to #1 in sales

Your prospects and customers want information and your attractive character will give it to them, but it must be done in a unique and entertaining way.

Dave Thomas was so uniquely bad as a pitchman he was good. Shell told it’s Platformate story with entertaining and captivating “tests” comparing cars running on gas with and without the Platformate additive. It’s pretty entertaining to watch a Blendtec blender grind a digital SLR into dust. And, GEICO… well, I don’t think you can do “unique” any better than a 5″ tall, lime-green, Cockney-accented, talking gecko.

Your audience is looking for information they can use to make their lives better – to make them feel more comfortable. When you deliver that information, and do it in a uniquely creative and entertaining way, your campaigns stop looking like advertisements and begin to resemble something your audience wants, something they can use, something they enjoy, and something they’re willing to come to your business to get more of. Keep the flow of information going between your attractive character and your prospects and customers. If you can do that, your “tuned out” audience will turn into an army of loyal, happy, paying customers.

Leopard Gecko Feeding Tips

Do you want to ensure your lizard is eating right and living healthy? Leopard gecko feeding isn’t supposed to be hard but if you are new to the whole business of taking care of these living jewels, you may need some help. So, without further ado, here are some helpful tips for a healthy lizard diet.

Staple Crickets

The leopard gecko feeds on insects, making it an insectivore. Crickets are a staple food for these creatures so you may have to take the time to find some live crickets to keep your pet happy. Live food is the way to go as you’d want to duplicate some of the conditions in the wild to keep your pet active. It won’t enjoy food it doesn’t have to hunt as much as the ones that give it some sort of a challenge.

Be warned though… crickets have a downside. They do bring about certain problems. The first one would be escaping the lizard. The uneaten crickets will run around the tank and cause unwanted stress and agitation for your pet. They can also bite the lizard and possibly injure it. The second problem it causes comes from the fact that crickets can carry parasites. Anything the cricket eats, the lizard eats, so if the cricket comes into contact with any parasites, your lizard may be in danger as well.

Cricket Tips

It’s best to buy crickets from reliable sources. You increase the chance of your crickets carrying parasites if you buy them from unofficial sources. Also, you can powder your crickets with vitamins and supplements to give your lizard some extra diet helpers. Gut loading, the practice of feeding your crickets healthy foods like fruits and vegetables 24 hours before giving them to the lizard, is also recommended.

Try to start small. Around 4 crickets will probably do to start but you’ll have to estimate how much your pet can actually eat. If he can finish off the four without a hitch, try increasing it. A diet of 8 crickets a day would still be normal. However, if you find that your pet is having difficulty with the crickets, then try to remove some of the extras. It may take some time but it’s worth it to prevent the stress and other problems they can cause.

Alternatives

You can also go for some alternative foods like meal worms or silkworms. These won’t scurry around the tank as much as the crickets and you can actually keep them in a bowl so that your pet won’t have to chase them. This reduces the chance of any escape but your pet may not be as happy with them… they won’t give him as much of a challenge! They can still cause problems if they get out of the bowl as they can burrow through sand or similar material, if you’re using such material for substrate.

Treats

Some foods are considered treats in the lizard world. Pinky mice and wax worms are good examples. Just remember that these are meant as treats and not as staple food. Treat them like chocolate… it’s nice to have a few bites every once in a while but you can’t expect to live a healthy life just on chocolates alone.

Breeding Phelsuma Geckos and Raising Hatchlings

Day geckos of the genus Phelsuma are generally considered quite difficult to keep in captivity, they are also quite shy and very fast, and, unlike leopard or crested geckos, should not be handled. They do, however, have two attributes that makes them very rewarding pets, most species have stunningly bright colours,and they are diurnal and can be observed throughout the day. The species are native to islands of the Indian Ocean, especially Madagascar and Mauritius.

Day geckos are highly territorial, two males should never be housed together. In the wild they are solitary, the female only enters the male’s territory when she is ready to breed and does not remain with him. However, it is possible to house pairs together, although vigilance is needed, even if they appear to get on well, in case the male becomes aggressive towards the female. Introducing the two geckos for the first time is a risky business, it is safer to introduce a male (who is usually more aggressive) to the female’s tank, he will be wary because of the new environment and less likely to fight. The smaller and medium species usually reach sexual maturity when they are nine months old. Large species (P. madagascariensis and P. standingi) might take eighteen months.

Maintaining genetic diversity is very important, and it is essential that only unrelated males and females are bred. Otherwise inbreeding will lead to producing weaker offspring, in which recessive mutations accumulate and will eventually do great harm to the captive collection of the species. Day gecko females produce one or two eggs at a time, depending on the species they may be glued to glass or furnishings. The eggs are often removed out of the enclosure and incubated at the correct temperature, however this is sometimes impossible since the eggs might be glued deep inside a bamboo tube. The sex of the offspring is not genetically determined but depends on environmental factors during incubation, usually the temperature.

For most species an incubation temperature of 82F and 60% humidity produce good results. The eggs will hatch after 30-90 day on species and environment. If the eggs were incubated in situ baby geckos must be removed as soon as they are hatched, to prevent them being harmed or eaten by their parents. The exception to this is P. klemmeri, which is not as aggressive and can be kept in “family” setups. The hatchlings should be kept individually, to prevent competition where some juveniles grow much more slowly than their dominant sibling. The young geckos should be housed in small enclosures (small kritter keepers are ideal). Maintaining high humidity is even more important than for adults since they desiccate easily. They should be fed daily on fruit puree/baby food supplemented with calcium and on drosophila and pinhead crickets. The size of the crickets can be increased as the gecko grows. Correct nutrition and supplementation with calcium and vitamin D3/ UVB light is essential to prevent weak bones and skeletal deformities.

Gecko Daily Routines You Should NEVER Forget To Do

So you have a pet gecko? That’s great! Now what? While it’s going to be a fun-filled adventure, you need to do certain things ever day to make sure that your pet remains healthy and happy. In exchange of the joy it brings you, you really want to give the love back by providing it with all its needs.

Don’t worry. The greatest thing about geckos is that you don’t have to spend so much time overseeing them. You don’t have to give them a bath, cuddle with them, or walk them like we normally do with dogs and other domesticated animals. You simply have to ensure that your pet is being fed with the right food at the right amount and its environment remains suitable.

Nonetheless, it’s still going to take a little bit of your time. So if you’re a very busy person that you don’t even find enough time for yourself, you shouldn’t have a gecko. But if you’re willing to do your part as the pet owner, then read on.

Clean and Healthy Environment
The secret in keeping geckos happy is providing them with an environment that is very close to their natural habitat. Geckos typically live in the forest where there are lots of trees, wild plants, and of course – insects to feed on. Misting the tank is also necessary. Remember, in tropical rainforests, it is always humid. If you’re in a cold location, you really have to come up with a heating system for your gecko especially if you’re raising Tokay geckos. For young Tokay’s, you need a 10 gallon tank and you keep them all together in the same container. For adults, you need 20 gallon tank and there should only be one male inside each tank. Tokay’s are strictly nocturnal so you need to put some cave-like structures, pebbles, stones, and other stuff that would make its environment close to its real habitation. There are geckos that can live in colder environments and there are those that live in desserts so you need to have some reading to come up with the tank that is most appropriate for your pet.

Feeding Your Pet
How often should you feed your gecko? Well that depends on the type of gecko you have and what kind of food you feed it. If it’s Tokay and you’re feeding it with crickets, it’s okay to feed it every other day. You may want to coat the crickets with vitamins (which you can buy from pet store or a veterinary clinic) so your pet receives enough nutrients it needs. An adult gecko can be fed with 10 crickets every other day. If you prefer to feed it with pinkies or other larger insects, your gecko will stay full in a week. It’s best to feed them during afternoon from 4pm to 5pm when they’re starting to get active. Remember, they’re nocturnal beings.

See, it’s not really time-consuming to own a pet gecko. Just a small amount of effort from its master and the gecko will grow happy and healthy!