Auto Repair Service

A small independent auto repair shop was struggling to remain in business. Based on surveys and the fact this shop truly offered superior service, we turned a weakness of the business into a strength. The headline of their promotion read, "As an independent auto repair shop owner in a hard-to-find location, I must always provide you total integrity, great repairs and the timeliest service." We then expounded on specifics concerning how the shop went beyond that of other shops with a convincing promise that they needed to adhere to lofty standards just to survive. As a result of carrying out the campaign, the business's volume rapidly improved. The campaign did so well they outgrew their facility and moved to a larger location. (Few auto repair shops achieved this kind of growth during in the midst of the economic crisis.)

Medical Practice Specialty

 

The following scenario demonstrates how a medical specialist can create a persistent, assertive marketing campaign that is so tasteful and politically correct it will enhance the practice's reputation in the medical community and generate an abundance of referrals.

 

Doctor X, an infectious disease specialist, left a multi-specialty group located in a major city and opened a solo practice in an affluent suburban community. Although there was only one competitor located in that suburb, the other infectious disease specialist was a well-respected female physician within the medical community. Both she and Doctor X has attended Ivy League medical schools and provided excellent quality of care.

 

So, Doctor X had his work cut our for him. Since most patients who visit an infectious disease specialist are ill, he decided to build his practice based on superior customer service, knowing that quality of care was a given. He implemented the following innovations:

  • Furnishing the waiting room with reclining leather chairs.

  • Making arrangements for rides to and from the office for those who needed it at a special discount rate.

  • On request, sending an office staff person to the parking lot with a wheel chair to meet ill patients and escorting them to and from the office.

  • Offering and serving water, juice and healthy snacks to patients at their seats like a waitress or flight attendant. They also furnished pillows and blankets.

  • Showing old comedy movies in the waiting and exam rooms to help patients take their minds off their illnesses and to relieve stress. If the patients expressed they liked the movie being shown, they were given a free copy at the end of their appointment as a gift from the practice.

 

A patient brochure was provided to each new patient to explain their high-touch patient program. In addition, their practice brochure stressed both quality of care and the specific elements of his customer service program. The doctor then regularly sent an outgoing front-office staff person to potential referring physician offices to deliver both brochures as well as flyers, each of the latter focusing on a specific point of their customer service program. The practice brochure included photos and detailed enthusiastic patient testimonials. They also advertised on local media websites. The result was the practice grew rapidly and took so much business away from his competitor that she soon approached Dr. X with an offer to form a partnership. He accepted and now they together not only dominate the market within their community, but draw a significant volume of patients with PPO insurances from neighboring communities. 

Family Law Firm

A family law firm had an excellent reputation within its legal community, but was not particularly well known by the public. Although they were the largest family law firm in their community, more than half of the community's local residents were traveling to one of three neighboring cities for family law services. Surveys revealed that people prefer to choose an attorney based on recommendations made by local attorneys they know. Thus, the purpose of the practice's online and local publication campaign was to get the public to either contact a local attorney first for a recommendation, knowing they had most local attorneys' referrals wrapped up, or to get people to bypass this process altogether and directly refer themselves.Their headline read,"96 local attorneys refer their family law cases to the XYZ law firm." The sub heading read, "Attorneys use these 10 criteria when choosing a family law firm to refer to. Shouldn’t you do so, too?" The ad then presented the ten criteria and encouraged readers to contact attorneys they know who practice in the law firm's community to attain their opinions. (By the way, the partners of the firm actually counted the number of attorneys that referred cases to them. So, the number was accurate).

 

Kitchen Remodeling

A kitchen remodeling company in Northern California whose owner provided outstanding high-quality work, and offered pricing somewhat below that of its key competition, was having trouble competing with much larger competitors. During their strategic planning session, we discovered that, for the past two years, our client had been asking their customers if they would be willing to have prospective new clients visit their homes to see their kitchens. Their 14 most recent clients said yes. This lead us to create an online and print ad campaign with a headline that read, "Our clients can’t wait to show you their kitchens". The sub heading read, "10 reasons why our 14 most recent kitchen remodel clients have told us they would love to show off their kitchens to our prospective clients." The ad then listed 10 reasons few, if any, of their competitors could match. The ads also extended an invitation for potential customers to call the remodeling company to set up visits to their customers' homes.  

Estate Planning Law Firm

 

An estate planning law firm's initial step was to ensure they had something powerful to say about their customer service that potential clients would respond to. The partners agreed that the greater they could separate their practice from their competitors, the bolder and more aggressive they could be with their messaging.

 

We began by surveying their target markets. The survey results revealed two factors people were emotional about— estate planners offering no extended hours, and discomfort about having to discuss their mortality and wishes after their death. As a result, we contacted the other local estate planning attorneys and discovered none offered extended hours or provided anything special to comfort their clients. This lead the partners to innovate their practice by providing evening and Saturday appointments and creating a remarkably relaxed office environment. Thus, they now had specifics they could promote to their target markets that helped them set their practice apart regarding two essential customer service components— convenience and comfort.

 

One of their ads’ headline read, "Why don’t estate planning attorneys offer evening and weekend appointments rather than making you take off valuable time from work?" Their sub headline stated: "We don’t know either!"

Their ad copy explained why it is valuable for an estate planning practice to offer extended hours, and for clients to feel relaxed during their meeting with an attorney. The copy expounded that this makes the estate planning meeting more enjoyable and helps information flow; the result always being a better, more thorough and effective estate plan.

 

Next, they described exactly what they offered... a comfortable living-room atmosphere, elegant reclining chairs, and an array of snacks including coffee, tea, juices, bagels, fruit and pastry. Their message established the impression of superiority because it demonstrated just how important delivering superior customer service was without ever uttering the meaningless platitude, "we provide excellent customer service." In addition, their ads offered a pricing structure that was very competitive. 

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Receive a Personal FREE One-Hour Consultation. During this session, our marketing strategist will help you sort out what the most effective strategy is for your business. Schedule a phone, Skype®, FaceTime®, face-to-face meeting.

Strategy vs. Tactics
How Business Builders Rose Above Its Competitors
Stop Guessing with Your Marketing
How to Avoid Mistakes in
Selecting Media

The way to ensure your advertising dollars are well spent is through diligence and research. If you follow these steps you will avoid throwing money away and get better results from your ads. Use this approach for all online and traditional media. 

Links to Other Marketing Related Sites

The following are the sources that helped enable us to develop our strategic marketing approach. We deeply appreciate them all.

 

Arizona State University W.P. Carey

School of Business

Jim Collins

 

Peter Drucker

 

Mitch Meyerson

 

Jack Trout

Michael Gerber

Richard Harshaw

Hubbard College

Tom Peters

Jay Abraham

Steven W. Brown

Michael Porter

Al Ries

Jim Rohn

Seth Godin

Tom Vassos