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Mafia Marketing Lessons: Five Things Businesses Can Learn From Tony Soprano - Articles Surfing
1. Trust is fragile. Whether you are dealing with a prospect, customer, or vendor, your relationships will always make or break you. Tony has always been careful to preserve the friendships he felt were valuable. (However, we all know that relationships change over time.) As a business, your reputation follows you. Your marketing, sales, and after market follow up are crucial to your brand's well being. Bad PR can be a nightmare for businesses - especially when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing. If you sell a shoddy product or treat a customer badly, people will find out. They will turn your back on you if you don't set it right. In many cases, they might move on to the competition. (And, help that competition kill you!)
2. Making amends is usually possible. A business can turn bad PR around if they admit their mistakes and seek to correct their errors. Giving money back, offering special discounts toward a next purchase, and making humor out of your foibles can help you if a customer has a bad experience. Offer something up if your company makes a mistake with a person that has given you money. A personal phone call, a free item, a truckload of wine or Armani suits - you get the idea, right? They'll remember how well you treated them.
3. If you want something done right, hire a professional. Tony rarely brokers his own deals - and when he does, he tends to get stressed by the details. Most businesses feel this way at one time or another. If you own a business, more often than not, you should not be the only one telling people what you do. Advertising and marketing are essential to business growth, but as a business owner, you want to focus on maintaining relationships with your customers. Have others that can market your business for you, professionally. Have others that deal with the business muscle.Outsourcing works, but aways make sure to keep the quality in check. Shoddy outsourcing can turn into a nightmare with no ROI at all - and, in Tony's case, serious legal and personal woes.
4. Networking is crucial to marketing. It's who you know - and who they know - that make a difference in your business. Try to network with potential customers in social settings. Local organizations often host networking events in major cities - check with your local Chamber of Commerce. Myspace, LinkedIn, and Youtube are great places for online businesses to hang out and make friends. Send greetings for holidays, learn about your prospects. Keep in touch on a regular basis. Remember birthdays. Know just enough about your customers that you feel like they may be part of the family - and that it's a good thing.
5. Loyalty begets loyalty, in most cases. (Some people, however, are cut throat sociopaths...) If you are loyal to your customers and offer them rewards, they'll feel more involved in your brand. In turn, they may recommend you to other prospects, friends, and family. You won't win brand loyalty with every person you come across, but when you find your niche, and your target audience, you should protect them at all costs. The majority rules when it comes to your online audience - and when you get multiple emails requesting something, such as more information on a product, take a moment to decide to fix it TODAY. When a member of your audience wants more information, give it to them. Then let them know about the favor.
It's true, Tony Soprano has had a bad run of business luck and family issues surrounding him for the past decade or so, but until next week, we won't know how it turns out. Considering that his line of work is a part of a dying breed, he may be unable to stick it out. However, nobody in the world can disagree that the Soprano's has had a great run of it - and we can all learn from Tony's mistakes as well as successes.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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