Use Blue Ocean And People Media Magic

A Blue Ocean game plan can revolutionize your store in 2008. While you cannot outgun the big boxes, you can run better, more appealing ads. But more is needed. Media is becoming prohibitively costly. It is harder and harder to reach the public. The public is simply getting too many messages, there is too much repetitive and boring advertising clutter, too many look-alike flyers, too many intrusive TV and radio commercials.

You need to learn to tell your story effectively and persuasively. It must be orchestrated to your prospects' personal interests and needs. You need to begin to use new, inexpensive, uncluttered, media to reach the public and tell your story. And you need to craft a dynamic new game plan that your entire team understands and buys into.

The three concepts above are interrelated. It is hard to grasp a whole new strategic paradigm of marketing furniture, but new gimmicks won't suffice anymore. A professional football team would not consider entering into a game with the New England Patriots by just adding a few trick plays to their tactics. They would develop an overall strategy, a game plan that embraces all three factors above. And finally, you need a secret weapon that the big boxes cannot copy in their massive central advertising departments.

The secret weapon that can change everything is People Media. Word of mouth advertising. Some intellectual giant once came up with a saying: The

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How "Cool Graphics" Can Sometimes Destroy Ad Effectiveness

Research has proven that large amounts of reverse copy reduces readership, in some cases as much as 50 to 70%. But graphic artists love to reverse copy on layouts to make the design of the page look contemporary and cool. Even Sharper Image sometimes surrenders to the graphic artist's passion to be cool, as in the spreads at right. As a result, very well written and persuasive copy is rendered far less readable. Oprah's O AT HOME magazine manages to have dynamic spreads without reversing large area's of copy. Unless ad people know and apply the proven principles of advertising they will inadvertently make costly errors.

medium IS the message. In the case of PEOPLE, this is a truth. People communicating with other people... saying good things about your store and about your merchandise... People Media may be the best-kept and most powerful secret in marketing! The quality of your People Media depends upon the quality of the messages you send to your associates, executives and managers, the messages that your staff sends to each other—and the messages that your company, as a whole, sends out to your customers and the general community.

People Media work much faster and more effectively than all the other media put together, and it is more effective. People Media is essential because traditional media suffers from a growing glut and a general lack of credibility.

Here is an example of the power of

People Media. A while back I wanted to buy a new digital camera. I went on line and was totally overwhelmed. After a few hours of confusion I happened to ask a friend his opinion of digital cameras. He immediately responded that he had researched them carefully, and decided to buy a particular brand and he loves it. Bingo! I was sold and bought the one he recommended. I love it and have told several people about it.

Lack of space compels me to continue this discussion in the next FURNITURE WORLD issue. We will examine the power of People Media in depth, and how you can harness them with programs like Shop at Home to make 2008 a banner year of profit and fun. We will also discuss how to create a world-class game plan to set all of these ideas into motion. It will be a great ride and I hope you will join me.

Contributing Editor Larry Mullins has 30+ years experience in the front lines of furniture marketing. Over the past ten years he has developed a Visionary Management program that can impact the culture of an entire organization and bring it to life. He also produces state-of- the-art promotional advertising packages for everything from quick cash flow to complete exit strategies and store closings. Larry is the President of UltraSales, Inc.. Questions about this article can be sent to Larry care of FURNITURE WORLD to [email protected] com.

See more articles by Larry in the marketing management archives on furninfo.com or call him direct at (303)530-5366.

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