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Getting Chosen By Customers: 10 Questions With Ivana Taylor

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by David Garland in David's Blog, Interesting Entrepreneur

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Getting Chosen By Customers: 10 Questions With Ivana Taylor

1. What is your marketing philosophy?

image001“It’s all about getting chosen.”  That’s my marketing philosophy.   It’s not about selling stuff or getting the word out.  It’s about naturally attracting your ideal customer based on your core strengths.  It’s about identifying those ideal customers whom you love and who love you back.  And it’s about creating an offering that will make them choose YOU every time regardless of price.

2. Have you witnessed some re-occurring marketing mistakes? What are some pitfalls?

Being all things to all people is a favorite recurring marketing mistake we are all driven to make.  It just seems counter-intuitive to eliminate some people from experiencing the joys of your product or service.  But that’s what you have to do.  When you find that ideal customer and what’s important to them, then set up a system that gives it to them when they want it and at the right price, you have truly hit a sweet spot.  The biggest pitfall in being all things to all people is losing your differentiation.  That means losing profits and ultimately customers.
3. You have an interesting background especially with working with such a large company in marketing. What did you learn by working for someone else?

Working for a large company made me see how utterly dependent we were on smaller suppliers.  That showed me that every provider is important and contributes value – no matter how small the provider and how large the company.   From a marketing perspective; neither small, nor large companies can afford to be arrogant or insignificant.
4. You are quite active on Twitter. What do you use Twitter for?

I use twitter to increase my sphere of influence; to connect with seemingly inaccessible people.  I also use Twitter to learn new things and stay on top of the latest trends and tools for small business and social media.  My most recent Twitter project is running a “Tweet Chat.”  This is most like a chat room on a specific subject.  It’s a great way to meet new experts on your area of expertise.
5. How can Twitter be used as a powerful marketing tool?

Twitter can be a powerful marketing tool if it’s part of a complete communication strategy.  Twitter allows you to humanize your brand.  It’s a terrific way to let your customers inside your world, your interests and even your head.  Today’s consumers want to feel a connection with the people behind their favorite brands and Twitter way to enhance your web site, blog or catalog.
6. Does traditional advertising still work? Magazines/Newspaper/TV?

When most people think of traditional advertising, they think of mega brands like Nike  – but these campaigns cost more than a small country’s gross domestic product!  There is a place for traditional advertising but the key is identifying your ideal customer, what’s important to them, and where they go to get the info they need to decide what to choose.  That’s what makes super-niched cable and internet channels so very exciting.  It gives us pragmatic direct marketing fans an additional outlet to help customers the best offer for them.

7. Why do people confuse marketing and advertising?

Marketing is a process.  Advertising is an element in that process.  Marketing is the process of research, segmentation, targeting, positioning, developing a marketing mix (product, price, promotion and distribution) and implementation.  Advertising sits in the area of promotion.  I think people confuse them because Advertising is WAY more fun to create, experience and share than research, pricing analysis or distribution channel negotiation.  Advertising is the soul of the message and the brand.

8. Are there big companies that entrepreneurs can learn excellent marketing from?

Excellent marketing doesn’t discriminate based on company size.  My favorite marketing comes from innovative small businesses who build relationships with their customers.   Southwest Airlines is still one of my most favorite companies.  They don’t do fancy promotions, but everyone in their organization is responsible for creating a positive experience.  That’s the kind of marketing I love most; natural, organic, memorable.

9. How will marketing change over the next five years?

I keep thinking that we’re headed toward a “Vanilla Sky” marketing future.  The most memorable marketing scene in the movie is where Tom Cruise walks through a series of shops and the computer voice acknowledges him, maybe what he’s bought before and what he should buy next.  I think we’re truly headed toward one-to-one marketing and cross branding.  We’re almost there with Twitter and Facebook literally having applications where you can share your purchasing history with your community.  The biggest challenge is where and how you cross into privacy issues.

10. If you were to pick the brain of three marketing geniuses, who would it be and why?

These questions always throw me.  There are your academic marketing geniuses like Philip Kotler or Theodore Levitt, who defined the marketing function and process.  I would ask them about what kinds of things they were focusing on when they defined the marketing process as we see it today and in what ways they would make adjustments based on the flow of information we have.  Then you have the semi-academics like Al Ries and Jack Trout who got us really focused on differentiation and positioning.  I would push these guys for more “how to find positions.”  We all know we need one, it’s the practical how-to of getting there.  But my favorites are the practical guys like Guy Kawasaki or Mike Michalowicz.  I would want to know how they are able to convert the ideas they have in their heads into action and momentum so that they come to life.  We are all marketing geniuses – but most of us get lost from idea to action.  The geniuses are literally able to overcome that inertia.  I love that.

Ivana Taylor is the Founder of , a place where in-house marketers go to get low-cost, high-impact marketing strategies. Her blog is called and she is also a contributing expert for Small Business Trends.

Live Passionately! – David Siteman Garland – The Creative Opportunities Specialist and Entrepreneurial Chameleon –

PS: Make sure to keep a look out for our next episode of The Rise To The Top THIS WEEKEND featuring how to attract passionate customers, special guest Dani Apted Sclottman Co-Owner/GM of the St. Louis Aces Professional Tennis, The Kairos Society Top Collegiate Entrepreneur, and much more. Tune in on ABC in St. Louis at 11 AM Sunday and online also on Sunday.

8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

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