We’ve been doing marketing consulting for small business for over 30 years. . .
Company: Jacoby & Meyers
Product: Plaintiff’s Personal Injury
Situation: An established brand was losing traction.
Solution: Jacoby & Meyers is what is known as an “advertising law firm.” That is, a firm that provides legal services to lower to middle income people and attracts its market by advertising on television and outdoor. The firm hadn’t changed their marketing approach in several years and, as a result, watched their business shrink each year for three long years.
As a result, their Phoenix branch chose to break from the New York-based advertising approach and try something on their own, which was when they hired us. We recommended a radical advertising strategy and, to our utter amazement, the partners agreed to try it. We completely scrapped the traditional positioning model (sincere lawyer trying to look professional and tough, or using testimonials) and created a blue bulldog cartoon character for easy recall and to represent a more accessible firm, added a jingle to boost recall even more and introduced a 25% discount fee as their unique selling proposition. In a no growth/slow growth industry their business increased 62% the first year.
We then assisted the partners in a name change to Petersen Johnson. Their revenues went down, as we knew they would, but we were able to minimize the decrease and build the business back up by keeping the bulldog, jingle and 25% discount fee. In the year of their name change business went up 31%. This represented a return to their height as Jacoby & Meyers, a recognizable, established brand, in just 10 months. They then fired us in search of a firm they thought could give them more media buying experience. After two years of no growth they hired us back. We grew their revenues 18% the first year back and we’re now helping add criminal and DUI practice to their personal injury practice.
Company: Scottsdale Seminars
Product: Corporate Training
Situation: Jonathan Clark started a seminar training company after conducting over 3,000 seminars for a national training company. After six months of no results marketing to large organizations he looked outside for marketing assistance.
Solution: Our customer interviews indicated that because he offered a complete selection of seminars he was being compared with larger, better known training organizations; a competition he could not win. We recommended he compete by promoting a single seminar he excelled at, business writing training, and promote the other seminars once inside an organization.
We developed and implemented a multiple-step prospecting program targeting companies with 500+ employees. The campaign worked so well Jonathan has never had to market other seminar topics and he is generally regarded as the top business writing training working today (a label he genuinely deserves).
Company: University of Phoenix
Product: Adult degree programs.
Situation: Fast-growing for-profit university wanted a marketing plan to drive more growth at their campuses outside Arizona.
Solution: The company wasn’t happy with the marketing plan their faculty had produced when they looked outside for help. We developed a marketing plan for their graduate and undergraduate business degree programs, and later for their graduate and undergraduate nursing degree programs. We take pride in “going where our homework takes us,” and this was no exception. That is, the solution wasn’t a function of bigger ads or different direct mail.
We zeroed in on campus location and the type of people responsible for student recruitment. They restructured their internal marketing function, located all new campuses based on our guidelines and implemented a customer contact program. They beat their revenue goals, which were not for the faint of heart, by an average of 30% for the next five years. And while we cannot take all the credit for their sustained growth, we’ll take as much as we can!
Company: CDC Pools
Product: Interior surfaces for pools
Situation: A pool plastering contractor wanted to decrease the number of wholesale contractor customers and increase the number of direct customers (pool owners, or retail) and hoped their new patent-pending interior surface could be the vehicle.
Solution: Pool owners get multiple quotes before they make a decision. The typical assumption was they do so because they’re shopping price. Our homework showed that while quality and price are important, they shop because they need to educate themselves AND find a company they feel is telling them the truth about a construction process they know little about.
We recommended CDC go with a quality/information/trust message. That is, they do their best to educate people in every marketing contact, never over-promise, be straight with people and only sell one thing: quality. Consequently, their marketing materials were instructive (do’s and don’ts, how-to’s, “if you were my brother-in-law here’s what I’d tell you”) and straightforward, never attempting to be persuasive (here are your choices, here are the pros and cons, you decide).
To deliver this somewhat unusual message we selected fairly traditional means: home shows; color ads in a local home decor magazine; and post cards. We also recommended an aggressive “grassroots” campaign of sending a personal letter to 100 neighbors of selected jobs, complete with a photo embedded in the letter and testimonial from the pool owner. We supported all these efforts with a net-based identity that made responding to the traditional marketing easy and delivered lots of information: www.redoyourpool.com. We drove everybody to their website.
The results: they were 85% wholesale, 15% retail when they hired us; after two years they were 90% retail, 10% wholesale; they doubled sales the first year; and again in the second; and again in the third; they have sales where they want them to be now and are focusing on attracting more profitable work. If you live in Phoenix and need to redo your pool, you will find no better, more honest, straightforward company to work with.