Most people fail to see the correlation between “business” and “brains.” For Yitzchok Saftlas, master of marketing, it seems readily transparent.
During our challenging economic times, when people desperately seek to recharge themselves on various planes, Saftlas presents us with So, What’s the Bottom Line? taken from his real-life experiences and knowledge from a two and a half decade career as founder and president of his own marketing consulting company, Bottom Line Marketing Group.
Perfect for executives, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and marketers in the corporate and nonprofit spheres, So, What’s the Bottom Line? teaches key business fundamentals, such as creative marketing initiatives, effective communication, customer retention, and strategic planning and execution.
The stories, examples, and practical insight demonstrate the principles and practices leading to winning results and how to think like a savvy individual prepared for success. Ideas such as how you gain by thanking your customers and making your clients’ priorities yours may seem basic. Others, such as learning from Rufus the Dog or gaining insight into the value of performing market research and demographic studies from your local dry cleaners, may not be as obvious.
Wise and to the point, each of the 76 short and motivational chapters includes a concise action step, providing a clear direction of how to succeed. Prepare to be enthralled as you uncover Saftlas’s acumen derived from his exposure to extraordinary people, events, and institutions. It will shed an often unseen human light on the field of marketing. Gain experience-based tactics, common-sense ideas, and principles to grow your bottom line.
|Publisher:||Morgan James Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Yitzchok Saftlas, founder and president of Bottom Line Marketing Group, has helped hundreds of corporate, political, and nonprofit clients build their brands since 1989. His education at Fashion Institute of Technology (NYC), combined with over 25 years of experience in marketing and advertising, has served as a springboard for his weekly radio show, Mind Your Business on 77WABC. In addition to speaking engagements, he pens a marketing and business column in Yated, a weekly national newspaper.
Read an Excerpt
SECTION I: BUSINESS STRATEGIES for SUCCESS
"If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe."
— Abraham Lincoln
THOU SHALT be PREPARED
A true professional is always equipped with the tools of his trade to spring into action at a moment's notice. In addition to making a positive impression, preparation sets you apart from the competition and can help get your name in the public eye.
American Express has made a veritable fortune since the 1975 inception of its advertising campaign: "don't leave home without it." In addition to being a moneymaker and a memorable slogan that is now inseparable from American Express, it is also a solid piece of general advice.
A few years ago, I snapped a shot of a sign outside of a synagogue in Stamford Connecticut which says: "Thou Shalt Not Park Here." You may have seen it.
I took it one morning when I was in the area for a professional seminar. It may not be the 11th commandment, but I related to it with all earnestness, making sure not to park anywhere near that revered spot.
The key point here is that the only reason I was able to capture this shot on my digital camera, is simply because I had my camera with me. This is not rocket science. I always take a camera wherever I travel. Photography is an essential tool of the marketing trade, and speaking of credits, the idea of never leaving home without my camera must be credited to Mr. Irving Schild.
Mr. Schild was one of my instructors when I attended FIT for advertising and marketing, many years ago. He is a world renowned photographer whose clients include a number of Fortune 500 companies. He is as nice of a man as you would ever want to meet. He taught us that if we wanted to be truly great photographers, we had to be camera-ready at all times. Nowadays, this is much easier. Most digital cameras and smart phones fit neatly into your shirt pocket and produce print quality photos.
I heard a similar story about being a "Johnny on the spot," involving Walter Rodgers, a former top CBS news correspondent. In March of 1981, just a couple of months after Ronald Reagan became president, a deranged man, John Hinckley Jr., tried to assassinate Reagan on the streets of Washington DC. Rodgers was the only radio reporter to get the sound of the gunshots on tape; giving CBS radio news a scoop.
How did he do it? He had left his tape recorder running the whole time he was out on the street to capture background noise. While most reporters would only turn on their tape at the start of an interview, Rodgers's standard practice was to press the record button every time he was out in public. After all, tape was cheap, you could always recharge the batteries once you got back to the office and you never knew what sounds you might pick up.
If it sounds simple — it's because it is! Sometimes the simplest preparations pay surprising dividends.
I would offer the same sound advice to anyone whose job responsibilities include meeting with the public and getting your name, or your organization's name across. I'm still surprised, on occasion, when I attend a conference or meeting and exchange business cards with the person I am meeting, only to hear him say he doesn't have one on him.
It is easy to be a bit complacent about business cards in this email / social media generation, but a good old-fashioned hearty handshake, smile, and handing out of a business card is still the best introduction.
Speaking of handouts, it can also pay off handsomely to have a trifold, color brochure of your organization handy to pull out of your jacket pocket that will fit just as perfectly inside the jacket pocket of the fellow you just shook hands with.
BOTTOM LINE ACTION STEP:
Have the tools of your trade handy at all times.
Most of us were taught as children that please, and thank you, were magic words. They remain so for children, and all the more so when we reach adulthood.
The power of a simple thank you in the business world can send your stock soaring to new highs. Christopher Duffy, director of client and business development for Hogan – an international authority in personality assessment and consulting – once labeled himself "the unconsciously competent manager." He attributed that to the fact that he has incorporated thank you into his daily business vocabulary.
"I live for pats on the back," wrote Duffy. "They keep me motivated and are a much appreciated reward for a job well done." He also makes sure to reciprocate. "I do my best to ensure everyone on my team is recognized for a job well done. I do this through a variety of different mediums; verbally, publicly, in an email, a personal note, or through some type of gift."
While saying thanks can keep you in good graces with your clients, current employer and co-workers, it can also give you a boost when it comes to landing your "dream position," which is often no easy feat in the current economic climate. Joyce Russell, director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business related the following story in the Washington Post's Career Coach column. A corporate recruiter received more than 3,000 applications for 200 available positions. Only one of those applicants bothered to send the recruiter a follow-up thank you note for her assistance in the job search process. Who do you think the recruiter thought of first when a suitable position opened up?
BOTTOM LINE ACTION STEP:
Just keep saying thank you ... and watch the results!
THE TIMES DEMAND URGENCY
At one time or another, many of us have probably said that we prefer not to work under pressure. Undue pressure, without a cause or a goal, is worth avoiding, but pressure born from urgency and ambition can be a positive and driving force of energy for your organization.
As I glance at the clock while finishing up an assignment, the sweat pouring down my brow has nothing to do with the hot weather.
It's the pressure of meeting yet another weekly deadline that keeps me sweating, knowing that an entire crew of editors, proofreaders and printers are waiting for me, and many others like me, to submit their work in a timely fashion. But just as exercise makes one sweat and doctors say this is healthy and beneficial to one's physical wellbeing, the perspiration that flows from the thought of having to meet – and beat – another deadline can also keep your business or nonprofit organization in the best of fiscal shape.
Advertising and fundraising campaign deadlines and built-in pressures; it is the nature of the beast, so to speak. Whether it becomes a beast of burden or whether you harness it to your advantage is contingent upon how you approach it. What I have found over the years is that things only begin to start moving once you set a deadline. If an organization is planning a dinner, you must set a date first. The obvious reason is because you have to reserve a hall, a caterer, etc., and also because you want the attendees and the honorees to save the date. But the date also gives you a goal to work toward and we need goals to get us moving. Why does a business have a fiscal year?
To know when it has to close the books and make an accounting to shareholders and directors. Why do salespeople have monthly bonuses? So that when they near the end of the month, they will have an incentive to make that extra call, or call back to try and close a sale.
A few years ago, Harvard Professor John Kotter wrote a book: A Sense of Urgency, which reached #7 on the New York Times best seller list one month after it was published. Professor Kotter today has his own consulting firm. One of his titles is chief innovation officer. (Now that's a title I like!) Every organization can use someone like that.
His book focuses on what a true sense of urgency in an organization really is; why it is becoming an important asset and how it can be created and sustained. One of Professor Kotter's theories is that there are two types of change: episodic change that revolves around a single big issue such as a new product launch or acquisition and continuous change, which is a ceaseless flow of a combination of changes.
His premise is that the world itself has been transformed and has entered an era of continuous change. "With this shift," writes Professor Kotter, "urgency will move from being an important issue every few years to being a powerful asset all the time. The urgency question is not limited to any particular class of organization or group. Insufficient urgency ... can undermine a plant, an office, or a whole country. Conversely, in all of these situations, a high sense of urgency can help produce results, and a whole way of life, that we all desire.
"It all begins with a high enough sense of urgency among a large enough group of people. Get that right and you are off to a great start. Get that right and you can produce results that you very much want, and the world very much needs."
BOTTOM LINE ACTION STEP:
Beat your deadlines, but don't let your deadlines beat you.
GEARED UP & READY TO GO
Expecting the unexpected sounds like an oxymoron, but there is more than one good reason to devote time and energy to planning for contingencies.
New Yorkers who toughed it during 2010's record blizzard, as well as 2011's Hurricane Irene, and 2013's Superstorm Sandy can immediately appreciate the difference being prepared makes.
When New York City was overwhelmed by two feet of snow, City Hall faced immense challenges mobilizing its crews to clear the streets. People were stuck inside for days while the crews cleared away the snow in a disorganized and slow fashion. In contrast, most observers gave the city top scores for their planned evacuation orders for Hurricane Irene. While some contend the Hurricane's evacuation orders were hasty and sparked by media hype, many scientists and civil engineers say the city's response made good sense. The evacuation plan was based on up-to-the-minute models of flood behavior, so the city's pro-activity might have saved thousands of lives had the worst case scenario occurred.
On my hurricane-delayed return to the office from upstate New York, I had some extra time to contemplate Irene and think about some of the lessons that could be gleaned from it. After considering how important it is for government agencies to prepare for every possible contingency, I realized how vital it can also be for businesses and even nonprofits to have contingency plans that allow them to leverage unexpected events related to their products, services, or areas of expertise.
Three days before Irene was projected to hit, while everyone was bracing for the coming storm, Home Depot ran a series of radio spots, positioning themselves as the one-stop outlet where consumers could stock up on materials that would keep their homes safe and sound.
I don't have any insider information here, but I would not be surprised if I discovered that Home Depot has ads such as these "in the can" that are ready to go in case disaster should strike regions where they have stores. And even if they just devised this ad campaign on the spot for Irene, it still demonstrates how important it is to have a team in place that can generate creative content at opportune times.
The GEICO insurance company is another prime example. The headline on their website said it all: "GEICO Catastrophe Teams Are Ready to Help."
Sure, they are an insurance company and they are in the business to write policies. But in addition to aiming for more business, their website was chock full of useful information on how to protect your life and property when severe weather threatens. They had links to hurricane preparedness sites and to the Center for Disease Control. They let people know that GEICO's Catastrophe Claims Response Teams had been deployed along the East Coast to assist policyholders affected by Hurricane Irene and that claims adjusters would remain in affected areas as long as necessary to take care of them.
There is another important lesson here. Home Depot or GEICO are certainly stirred by the profit motive, but they understand that the best way to reach people's wallets is by getting in touch with their hearts or their heads first. Showing concern for your customer is smart business in addition to good plain common decency.
No matter what business you may be in or what organization you represent, it is clearly beneficial to have contingency plans of your own on hand when events break in a way that you can benefit from. Of course, they have to be devised with common sense and tact to be extraordinarily careful to ensure that they don't have the slightest whiff of trying to take advantage of someone's misfortune.
Home Depot and GEICO did it by positioning themselves firmly on the customer's side and letting them know they were a reliable source of useful products and information.
In case you ask, what happens if I don't have a marketing budget at that moment to seize the opportunity, this is indeed a fair question.
Just as it is always wise to have some savings in the bank for a rainy day, it is also a good idea to keep some marketing or advertising revenues in reserve for a rainy day, that hopefully in the future will only bring success to your business.
BOTTOM LINE ACTION STEP:
Leap ahead in response to unfolding events, rather than letting them throw you for a loss.
MARKETING ASIDE ... SOME GRATITUDE
There are so many ways to express feelings of genuine thanks and appreciation. Transcending across nationalities and cultures, offering thanks to those who have given of themselves and their resources is one of the most basic forms of humanity. And yes, even a form of advertising as well.
According to an article in The Huffington Post (February 13, 2009), a conglomeration of special interest groups within the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry launched a 10 million dollar advertising campaign to thank and applaud lawmakers – Democrats and Republicans alike – for voting to expand children's health care funding.
"Tell your Senator, thanks for standing up for our kids," the ad said, "and that now's the time to guarantee quality, affordable health care for all Americans."
The positive-reinforcement ad campaign tactic is something that progressive groups also did for Republican Senators who crossed party lines in voting for the stimulus package. In this case, one function of the 'thank you' ad is clearly to build broader support for the more extensive health reform legislation in the future.
Another quintessential example of utilizing the 'thank you' technique can be illustrated with the legendary advertising campaign of financial giant Paine Webber (now operating under the auspices of UBS and known as UBS Wealth Management USA). The "Thank You Paine Webber" theme campaign highlighted clients expressing their thanks and gratitude to Paine Webber for boosting their stock portfolios and improving their lives.
By having clients thanking Paine Webber in a genuine direct way, the ads were able to successfully convey the personal and caring approach utilized by the company to assist its clients. After all, what can be more authentic than a true, heartfelt 'thank you'?
BOTTOM LINE ACTION STEP:
Call up a big client and thank them for their business, they will probably thank you back.
I was listening to a local Jewish radio show one morning and the host, Nachum Segal, was interviewing two renowned wine experts: Mr. Motty Herzog and Mr. Jay Buchsbaum of Kedem / Royal Wine Corporation.
While discussing the benefits of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and chardonnay proved to be enlightening, I personally found the discussion about Kedem's "Quality-Price Ratio" or "QPR" to be most fascinating.
"QPR" is a marketing term that describes the overall value of a product in comparison to its price. During the radio show, Mr. Herzog emphasized how Kedem's Baron Herzog is a value line that has been rated as a top-quality wine which is easily affordable. He pointed out that although there are comparable products in a lower price category, when you factor in the value of the Baron Herzog product, it's a fantastic value. Hence, the "QPR" makes it a fantastic buy.
You needn't be in the wine business to appreciate the uniqueness of having a "QPR" as part of your marketing mix. It plays a critical role in deciding how to portray, price and market a product – and how consumers will react to the product itself.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "So, What's the Bottom Line?"
Copyright © 2016 Yitzchok Saftlas.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
SECTION I: BUSINESS STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS,
Thou Shalt be Prepared,
The Times Demand Urgency,
Geared Up & Ready to Go,
Marketing Aside ... Some Gratitude,
Listen & Learn,
Can We Really Do 17 Things at Once?,
Educating Your Donor Base,
Wonders & Miracles,
Building Worlds with Words,
SECTION II: EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION,
Secrets of Great Leaders,
To Tell the Truth,
Curing Toyota's Woes with Tylenol?,
The 11 "Power Words" of Marketing,
Push the Envelope,
3 Cardinal Rules for Direct Mail Marketing,
Effective Teasers, Headlines, and Book Titles,
Four Golden Rules for Powerful Headlines!,
SECTION III: OUT OF THE BOX MARKETING,
Smelling the Money!,
A "Miner" Lesson in Marketing,
Of Manuscripts & Marketing,
Thinking out of the Bin,
The Name of the Game,
Breathing Life into Ideas,
Great Slogans and Taglines,
Naming Your Company,
SECTION IV: EXECUTION,
Do Marketers Live in the Zoo?,
Marketing Taken to the Cleaners, Part I,
Marketing Taken to the Cleaners, Part II,
Color War for Businesses,
Multi Channel Marketing,
How Much Should You Budget for Marketing?,
Stamp an Impression,
Rufus the Dog ...,
SECTION V: MARKETING BASICS,
The Right Place & The Right Time,
The Marketing Recipe,
Some Blue Label Please!,
Watch Your Position ...,
Revisiting the Classic Avis Campaign,
Drink ... & Drive Your Business,
Positioning & Packaging H2O,
Getting the Message Out – Anatomy of a Campaign,
Let's Talk About Word of Mouth Advertising!,
The Elevator Pitch,
6 Tips for Creating Effective Websites,
Long Live the King ... Paper!,
Sticking with the Program,
SECTION VI: MARKETING INITIATIVES,
Molten Lava Marketing,
Proceed with Speed,
57? 250? What's Your "Magic" Number?,
A Behind the Scenes Look at Political Marketing,
3 Tricks in Getting Free Publicity,
Fundraising by the Book,
A Lesson in Marketing from the Feds,
SECTION VII: SUSTAINING YOUR BUSINESS (CUSTOMER RETENTION),
Understanding Customer Retention,
"Customer Retention" Tips & Techniques,
"Customer Retention" Case Studies,
"Customer Retention" Loyalty Programs,
"Customer Retention" Oh My ... What Not to Do,
Customer Retention: The Power of Customer Surveys,
Mine Your Own Business,
Cutting the Mustard,
SECTION VIII: STRATEGIC PLANNING,
Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?,
Learning from NASA,
7 Proven Ways to Beat a Recession,
Failure is Not an Option!,
Turning Over a New Leaf,
Lessons From a Renovated Bathroom,
Brochures Help You Close the Deal (Make Sure You Have Them in Time),
Focus Day: Here to Stay,