Anatomy of a Strategy: Confidential Casebook
By Jay Abraham
© 2003 The Abraham Group, Inc.
I have found that you can engineer an enormous competitive advantage--. But that makes them even more powerful from a competitive standpoint.
. The following case studies are from my files. (unless I come up with a better idea.) I’ll be walking you through these. I have read very esoteric. Yes. and the best way to learn is by example.Dissecting them and discussing their relevance to your business.if you try something which your competitors don’t do. Hint: The best way to use these case studies is to look at what you can adapt or adopt for use in your business. At times. very academic. Let me explain: It is a fact: Most people and companies in your industry market the same way. I place an extraordinary emphasis on the assimilation and use of case studies in your business. I have tried to make them even more clear and sinewy by listing just the facts and specifics related to each strategy. It gives you a preemptive advantage. And relevant models are the fastest way for you to achieve the results you want in business. as well as from today’s business news. case studies. and real life role models. succinct. differentiates your business and gives you a posture of being an innovator or leader. Why? Because I believe the best way to teach. I know the businesses are dissimilar to yours. Trust me. it is rare that great strategists make great writers or even good teachers. very high brow. The examples are very clear and applicable. as well as others which I have uncovered--. But my experience does drive home my point: Case studies really work. I have read literally hundreds of books on the subject.Jay Abraham
Dear Strategy Setting Super Summit Participant: As you may know. and very dense books on the creation of strategy in marketing and business. examples. and concise example… Some tidbit of a real life implementation. Alas. At the event. and success stories seem to me the most effective and useful way to get my points regarding marketing strategy across as well. I would given anything for one clear. Based upon my experience in over 400 different industries.
the process will open your mind. Even if you can’t necessarily use these particular strategies. Abraham PS: Don’t stop here. Yours Truly. EVERY business magazine and newspaper gives you hundreds of examples and scenarios which you could experiment. Every day.This in and of itself is a very powerful strategy. so that when we meet. you may uncover or discover a strategy which does in fact have the potential of a nuclear bomb on your industry and loft you to a level of success you’ve always dreamed possible for you and your business. really extend yourself and work at applying these case studies to your business. expand your intellect and give you a level of flexibility and receptivity. and then applying what you’ve learned will give the results you desire and serve. try or test in your business.
. The strategy of modeling is one of the best ways to leap ahead of the competition. take to heart. The best part is that the risk of failure is dramatically reduced. PPS: The question you must ask constantly yourself is: How can I apply this case study to my business today? Only by answering this question. So please.
Benefit: Better health for them and their family. Tactics: Train sales force Tools: Develop script Result: Over 30% of the clients went on automatic program. business doubled.50 Case Studies On Developing Marketing Strategy
Case Study #1: Restaurant Chain Problem: Restaurant chain put a new restaurant in a small town but had little money to do the usual advertising blitz. (This strategy is much more eloquently stated in the book The Tipping Point. Marketing Strategy: Social proof. Tools: Letter with gift certificates. The “in crowd” kept coming back because the food and the service were good. Tactics: Get list with addresses of the movers and shakers and mail letters to them.) Solution: Take the little money they would have available to advertise and give Gift Certificates for FREE meals to all the “movers” and “shakers”.
. Marketing Strategy: Educate their prospects and Clients Solution: Train the sales people that if carpets were cleaned every six months with hot extraction steam that carpet would provide health benefit for them rather than a health detriment then put them on an automatic six month cycle once they said yes.
Case #2: Carpet Cleaning Company Problem: Carpet cleaning company has tons of clients but the clients only have their carpet cleaned on the average every three years. Benefit: All the rest of the people (who were not given a FREE certificate) want to go there because it was where the “in crowd” went. Result: Restaurant was immediately successful and became profitable in record time.
due to high shipping costs it was not profitable to ship lumber outside a 700-mile radius.
Case #4: Lumber Mill Problem: Lumber mill had a scientific lumber “kilm drying” process that reduced energy consumption and increased the percent of higher quality lumber output. So their profits were at least 20% higher than other lumber mills. Result: Over half of this very successful newsletter publisher’s profit came from sales of health products.from the publisher. Tools: Newsletter with order forms. Solution: Have a prominent alternative health doctor write a subscription newsletter that the readers pay for which educates the reader on better alternative health strategies. Solution: Sell very expensive training classes to lumber mills outside their market. The readers would have information on how they could be more healthy and how they could easily buy any of the products recommended --. The newsletter also recommended products the readers could buy.Case #3: Newsletter Publisher Problem: Newsletter publisher wanted to increase profits by selling very high markup non-prescription health products. Tactics: Send letters to all of the other lumber mills. Marketing Strategy: Tell the other lumber mills outside their area that they could earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased profits with a minimal training fee.
. Tactics: Monthly Subscription newsletter. Marketing Strategy: Educate. Tools: Letters. Benefit: Increased profit the other lumber mills which could use the same “kilm drying” process to increase their profit of at least 10% which would mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional profit each year---for a minimal one time training fee. Benefit: Better Health. However.
Follow-up letters to the seminar and trade show attendees. sales letters. Result: At last report he expected to make $11 million the following year and his profits were up much higher because the very high profit margins on sale of the new products. Benefit: Risk reduction.
Case #6: Pharmacy Problem: Pharmacy in a small town is losing money on filling prescriptions paid for by Medicare or insurance companies.Result: The lumber mill made hundreds of thousands of dollars that they would have not normally had---from selling the training. In order to grow more they decided to sell their business operating system and custom storage system on trucks to the other landscape companies who were in other areas of the country. Marketing Strategy: Speak (and sell) at seminars and trade shows where he was endorsed as the expert. Every time he spoke he sold lots of systems. Tactics: Presentation and sales literature explaining the potential profits. Marketing Strategy: Educate Solution: Sell private labeled non-prescription alternate health products which have very high profit margins by mailing the residents of the town a free newsletter explaining better health strategies with alternative non-prescription products and offering them for sale.
. literature. Tools: Presentation/sales scripts.000 person small city had been doubling sales each year until they got to the $6 million range.
Case #5: Landscape Maintenance Problem: Landscape company in a 100. The other landscape companies could get “proven” profit generating business operating and storage systems for a small fraction of their increased profits. Solution: Owner became paid speaker at conventions and trade shows.
Marketing Strategy: Educate the tax prep clients that this service was available. Marketing Strategy: Risk reversal along with make it easy to move in. Tactic: Mail Newsletters with offers monthly. it would not cost them a penny no matter how long the audit was. Plus if they did want to have their preparer with them. Benefit: The benefit to prospective companies was no risk in that there were no leases or deposits and it was easy and convenient to move---which is not normally the case.
. and they would insure that every business service the company needed was provided. Tools: Letter. Their occupancy went from the normal 80% to a fantastic 90% and their profits doubled. Tools: Newsletter with offers. Solution: Offer IRS income tax audit support insurance for $120 each year. Benefit: Fear Reduction and Risk Reversal.
Case #8: Tax Preparation Company Problem: Tax Preparation Company wanted to make more profit without having to do more work during tax season. Solution: Instead of waiting for prospects to call them. Result: Gross income went up 10% but profits went up over 25%. they would help the companies move in and out.
Case #7: Business Center Problem: Business center providing short-term offices with full administrative support services wanted to increase their occupancy and thus greatly increase those profits. they got lists of companies who were growing or shrinking and offered better risk reversal in that they did not require a leave or deposits. Tactics: Letter to all prospective companies with risk free offer.Benefit: Better health for client/prospect. Eliminate fear of being in an IRS audit by themselves without their preparer present. Result: Profit more than doubled.
Tactics: While they were waiting to see their tax prep preparer. compatibility. Solution: He allows other less successful realtors to watch him work one day for a very large fee. Marketing Strategy: When other realtors call or talk with him and ask him for FREE advise on how he is so successful. the receptionist would tell them about the service.
. but he wants to make more money. but not talk. is now a significant profit center. Benefit: Education. insight.
Case #10: Psychiatrist Problem: Psychiatrist was not effective in generating new patients. Marketing Strategy: Acknowledging the process is difficult for the first time patient. and the ability to successfully make a difference. credibility.
Case #9: Realtor Problem: One of the top-selling realtors in the world was totally booked so far as the number of hours he wanted to work.000 per year for very little additional work. Tools: Script Results: What used to be a nuisance (other realtors asking him to explain how he was so successful for FREE). Tools: Sales script and an enrollment form for the receptionist who got a $10 bonus for each person who enrolled. Tactic: Live or telephone sales script for selling a day with him where they can watch. The less successful realtors see exactly how the top realtor sells so they can do the same exact thing. the psychiatrist offer a complimentary first consultation as a way of demonstrating empathy. Result: The bottom line profits went up over $20. he sells them on paying to see exactly how he does it.
Tool: Newspaper ad. fees were introduced immediately afterward. Marketing Strategy: Educate. Result: Record sales and good profits rather than poor sales and little or no profit. 2) Educate the prospect. Solution: Sell the “up selling process” to the other car washes and train them how to do it on a 100% money back basis. Tactics: Offer them a better price because of the misfortune.
Case #12: Car Wash Company Problem: Car wash company had a sales process that allows them sell 10% more hot waxes and other high profit services. Tool: Ads & scripts. Tactics: Send letters that explain how much increased profit they can make with no risk. Benefit: The other car washes make a lot more money with no risk. Tactics: 1) Referrals. Marketing strategy: Educate with risk reversal.Solution: Psychiatrist would waive the first meeting fees completely as a test.
. Result: Psychiatrist grew her practice to $1.200.
Case #11: Ceiling Fan Store Problem: Ceiling fan store had terrible sales because that California summer was much cooler than normal. and if the client signed up as a patient.000/year. But they could only attract clients from their local area. Solution: Put a full page add in the paper with headline that said that business stinks and offer to sell ceiling fans for less because of it. Benefit: Lower the client’s price at something they want and need for less money.
The company was more in tune with the market. Then a prospect sales tracking database was installed to track the progress of prospects to clients through the sales process. Developed educational based marketing literature. expense or risk. Tactics: Large “face to face” sales force
. Assurance that the secretary who was usually the person who specified which delivery system had made the best decision possible. They armed him with all sorts of educational materials which he could give to prospective clients.
Case #14: Fed Ex Problem: Overnight delivery company wanted to increase sales even though they were charging up to 30 times more than the cost of postage.
Case #13: Software Company Problem: Software company was not growing. Marketing Strategy: 1) Company established a nurturous telemarketing sales component that integrated marketing and sales efforts. Benefit: Peace of Mind. Solutions: They had an independent company verify that they (FedEx) were the most reliable overnight delivery company. telemarketing sales scripts and sales letters. Marketing Strategy: Educate. division. Tools: Scripted presentations. Sales were sporadic and unforecastable. Large “face to face” sales force went to local businesses all over the country and educated them on the benefits including the tracking and delivery verification. Tactics: Established new telemarketing effort. Solutions: The company hired and trained a telemarketing person to engage prospects on an nurturous. This gave them numbers regarding who was at what point in the process. informative. white papers. Benefit: Sales became predictable. Results: The company is twice as profitable with basically the same overhead. educational basis. AND even more importantly she could not be blamed if it did not arrive on time.Tools: Letters. Results: Another profit center which required little work.
Tools: Script Result: The sales went from $20.00 as their pay for the advertising. Benefit: Reclaim an otherwise lost asset. The net lifetime value of a client was about $15. So he came out with a service that did this for a small monthly fee---forever.00 (and only cost about 25 cents to make. Solution: Allow radio stations to sell it when they had unsold advertising time and keep the entire $3.
Case #15: Icey Hot Problem: Company had an analgesic balm product (Icey Hot) which had great repeat use and thus a great backend.
. Result: Second largest delivery company in the world---second only to UPS with its large ground delivery service which was a massive company long before FedEx was created. Marketing Strategy: Allow radio stations to promote ICEY HOT in their unsold advertising spots and keep all of the money. bottle and ship).00 and the product which sold for $3.Tools: Sales scripts and extensive printed sales information. Solutions: He educated the clients that the trees needed to be trimmed semi-annually to keep the yard beautiful.000 per year to over $13 million per year before the company was sold. If the radio station did not use a radio advertising spot it was lost forever. But the company had no money for marketing.
Case #16: Tree Surgeon Problem: Tree Surgeon was operating reactively to one-shot business whenever people called. So any money they got was better than no money. Marketing Strategy: Educate. Tactics: Call the radio stations.
Marketing Strategy: Posture her as an expert and leader in the industry. Spoke at seminars. neighbors and visitors. Tools: Sales script. 2) Develop a systematized. Benefit: The company was able to posture themselves as a leader in the industry and set the standard for retail software. Solutions: Increased her fees. Systematizing/scripting her initial consultations. Being published. Tactics: Public speaking & free information nights. Tools: Sales script. Tactics: Face to face or telephone calls. 3) Strategy of Preeminence. sequential.
. free information conferences. Benefit: People wanted to work with her because they were allowed to hear her opinions. Result: He had a rock solid business that he later sold for seven figures. Marketing Strategy: 1) Preemptive education of the market. integrated sales and marketing process. Developing Reports. She also gained substantial credibility in the process from being published. and wrote column for magazines.
Case #17: Consultant Problem: Computer consultant had challenges growing her clientele. Result: Her business tripled over the next year. Solutions: Software company postured themselves as THE retail software solution by offering a best practices guidebook to selecting a retail systems solution.
Case #18: Software Company Problem: Software company wanted to grow their business. success stories and advice before committing.Benefit: Admiration of their yard and trees by their friends.
The company also leverage their relationships by using the names of the companies as their “calling card”. & technical resources. education. Result: Firm became one of the top accounting ten firms in the country in a matter of five years. Benefit: The company was able to use the resources of the joint venture companies and train their people in the process. Tactics: Established themselves as a leader. Solutions: Owner wrote informative and valuable tax column and reports. Solutions: Networking company aligned themselves with innovative networking systems solutions for firewalls. Tactics: Joint ventures.Tactics: Established themselves as a leader.
Case #20: Networking Company Problem: Networking Company wanted to grow but couldn’t get larger firms to take them as a serious vendor. Collaborative marketing.
Case #19: Accounting Firm Problem: Accounting and Tax Company wanted to grow their business. education. Tools: Sales script and systemization. Marketing Strategy: Educate the market regarding taxes. public relations. Tools: Writing columns. marketing. virus protection and Internet security software monitoring. For information starved trade journals. Benefit: Firm was able to establish their innovative tax strategies and establish themselves as a leading tax and accounting firm. Marketing Strategy: Joint ventures with other technology companies and leverage technology.
. Result: Sold their business for multiples of the original investment.
(That only required an oven and a telephone in a tiny inexpensive location with delivery people who worked for tips.Tools: Scripted presentations. white papers sales scripts and sales letters. licensed their strategies and developing a consulting division to their competition.
Case #22: Pizza Delivery Problem: A local pizza parlor wanted to become more profitable and expand. Benefit: People were able to order pizza from a hole-in-the-wall location without paying a fortune for it --. Marketing Strategy: 1) Became an expert in the industry.
. Benefit: Grew the business profitability without having to add substantial staff and offices. tasty and in one half hour. there was no expensive large “prime location” building with lots of staff to wait on clients who came in. Spoke at industry events. the pizza was almost all profit).and they got it delivered to their door. Marketing Strategy: Locate a new Domino’s Pizza and advertise within the radius that the pizza could be delivered to within 30 minutes. Results: The company is twice as profitable with basically the same overhead. hot. Tools: Scripted presentations. Solution: They realized that people wanted pizza delivered hot quickly. In this type of operation. white papers sales scripts and sales letters. buying other localized companies along the way. Tactics: Established new division. 2) Licensed their trailer design. Result: The company quickly became a regional player and then national. Solutions: The company started licensing their successful sales and operational concepts including a novel trailer design. Spoke at industry events as a expert and authority in the industry. So once this massive overhead expense was eliminated.
Case #21: Landscape Maintenance Problem: Landscape maintenance company had leveled off in their growth.
Free seminars. Marketing Strategy: Develop a niche.
. Solution: Seeing a trend started as a result of corporate downsizing.Tactics: Ads offering pizza hot. educate that specific marketplace and develop joint venture relationships to co-market. the investment management firm decided to focus its marketing activity on the small entrepreneur working at home (SOHO). yellow page ads. and developing a very useful web site. sales scripts and sales letters. tasty and delivered to your door within 1/2 hour or it’s free. Result: Went from a $7 million to over $18 million in revenue in one year. Company also engaged other firms such as insurance and healthcare to co-market to this niche which was developing. writing reports. Tools: Newspaper ads. Tactics: Send letter to all of the other business centers offering to buy at full price. Result: World’s largest pizza delivery chain. Tactics: Educate the marketplace. They wanted to expand. Marketing Strategy: Buy other business centers at full price. The company heavily educated its marketplace by conducting seminars.
Case #24: Investment Management Firm Problem: Investment management firm was increasingly unable to differentiate itself in the market. Profits were also greatly increased. (This more than doubled their profits). Case #23: Business Center Problem: Business Center providing short-term offices with full administrative support services had discovered a marketing system which allowed them to increase their occupancy from the normal 65% to 80% occupancy. Solution: Many of the other business center owners gladly sold because it is normally very hard to sell at full price. Tool: Letter.
Result: The company doubled its commissions in two years.
. Tools: Letters. Solution: Train other realtors to be successful and make money doing that training. Tactics: Send letters to all of the less successful realtors offering training. white papers. Marketing Strategy: Educate. She wanted to make money but only knew real estate. Benefit: Education. web sites. Result: She made a second fortune in training.Tool: Ads.
Case #25: Realtor Problem: Very successful realtor sold her agency for a lot of money. The other realtors to get training on exactly how they can be successful by her. but there was a “non complete” clause for five years. letters and scripts.