By Donna Dahl
WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) strikes again. In the market place the customer rules. How do you attract customers that are focused on WIIFM?
That is the burning question that keeps coming up over and over again especially in a down-turned economic phase.
According to the Mendeleyev Journal online, Campbell’s Soup Company recently announced that it was shutting down its operation in Russia. Despite the Russians love for soup, their purchases seem to be saying that they prefer it homemade. Apparently, Campbell’s will turn its attention to the Chinese market.
On North American soil, according to stock market reports, Campbell’s Soups sales have been dropping over the past two years.
Is lifestyle trumping brand loyalty?
Hewlet Packard (HP) is certainly a company to watch with a new CEO, Meg Whitman, at the helm. Which direction will HP go? Will it continue to try to compete in the smartphone and tablet market? Will you still be able to buy an HP Laptop? Will it prefer to focus its attention on supplying corporations with networks? How does a company like HP stay competitive and continue to attract investors?
It strikes me that HP, not unlike many automobile companies, has been trying to make a model that will suit the needs of almost every customer instead of focusing on being the best in its niche. HP has only two choices: either it is a leader in the industry or it is a follower.
According to Kerala News online, “Whitman’s first major decision as CEO was deciding to keep the $40 billion-plus personal computer business, which her predecessor, Leo Apotheker, had wanted to sell or spin off. That business is pulling HP toward the low end of the technology market. PCs notoriously carry thin profit margins, and customers are spending less on them amid challenges from rival technologies, mainly smartphones and tablets.”
Are Campbell’s and HP moving in the right direction? You may not care that HP seems prepared to compete in the personal computer game on the basis of price or that Campbell’s says that its soup ingredients have gone up in price. I find it interesting to watch what companies with a global presence are doing to stay responsive and profitable.
I hope HP and Campbell’s are planning to find out what their existing and potential new customers really want. It would seem that actions like lowering the price point are not enough to sustain customer loyalty and are not enough to sustain consistent, competitive market share.
Are you wondering if you should lower your prices? The information released by these companies could suggest that Price Point Shoppers are loyal to low prices and not to brands. If the WIIFM is that the price is the primary motivator for choosing the product, how low would you have to set your price to compete and still keep your doors open for business?
If you focus solely on price, you are devoting your energies in the direction of advertising. I define advertising as the message you put out there to inform the buying public that you have a time-specific offer that will go away when the time is up. Your ads cost a lot of money and when your sale is over, so is your advertising message.
Marketing, on the other hand, is what you do to help your buying public keep you top of mind. The next time you sit down to an evening of television, count the number of ads versus the number of marketing messages you see in an hour.
I think that there is another factor besides price that attracts buyers. It often gets overlooked but it can have a profound effect on the make-or-break side of your business. I’m not talking about the $3,783 in bonuses that you get when you act now and make that internet purchase today during the webinar. I’m talking about the matter of developing a solid marketing plan and adding value to your sales.
My suggestion is to add value to your own package from your own repertoire of skills, products and services. Add value by adding time. Add value by offering guarantees. Add value by delivering on your promises. Follow the rule that says under-promise and over-deliver.
May you add meaningful, relevant value to the purchases your customers make and may you attract a record number of buyers.
Donna Dahl is an author, marketing strategist and professional speaker/trainer. Her work takes clients from Stuck to Start™ in 90 minutes. Ask her about her new Stuck to Start™ by Phone program. She can be reached at email@example.com. Visit her website at www.makoye.com or take in one of her shows at www.thewinonline.com/shows/tenacious-marketer Donna Dahl was awarded a 2011, 100th Anniversary International Women’s Day Outstanding Service Award in Business.
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