Monday, November 26, 2007

Value Added

A recent article appeared in the newspaper regarding a U.S. Appeals Court ruling on whether Certs was a breath mint…or a candy mint. The ruling would determine whether the product was subject to customs duties imposed on food imports.

We’ll let you know the answer at the end of this, another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

But in the meantime, it got me to thinking. Are you one thing…or another? Or both? Or, more..? Does it suffice that you market yourself as “only” a CPA? Or can you be a CPA and a business consultant at the same time (as my colleague, Donna Bordeaux does)? Is it enough to provide commercial real estate services alone…or might an additional marketplace be served by providing commercial financing as well (as another colleague, Warren Shinn does)? What if you’re a marketing/advertising guy…but provide publicity/media news stories for clients also (hmmm, I wonder who does that)?

It’s all about value added. If you can be more of a one-stop shop for customers, isn’t that better for them? And doesn’t that make you more valuable as well? Obviously, you can’t be everything to everybody. But it may require very little of you to dangle another sign from the shingle you’ve put up primarily. Especially if it’s a pertinent, relative, relatable capability that’s easy enough for you to add on.

Prospects with whom I first meet ask how I go about ‘delivering” for them. As indicated earlier, I may tell them I can develop advertising or collateral materials. But if they really want to add to the mix, why not work up some product or service story ideas I can write and pitch to the media as well? Many consultants only concentrate on advertising. Or only publicity or PR. I let them know I can help them with both.

Some business coaches or consultants might recommend you stay “grounded” on one fundamental aspect of what you do, so as to not lose focus or dilute your talents or capabilities. There’s probably no right or wrong here; I just feel the more you can do for your client – again, within reason and so it makes sense – the more you become indispensable to them.

You can be a breath mint AND a candy mint.

As for the official ruling on Certs…”it’s a breath mint, and therefore not subject to customs duties imposed on food imports, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled,” as reported by Bloomberg News.

One other thing I can do – provide as a public service this trivial bit of information. If you’ve been missing an Oldies radio station ever since Magic 96 changed formats, there’s one I recently discovered. (Though it probably helps to be in the southern part of Charlotte, for the best “signal.”)

WRBK-90.3 FM is an obscure station out of Richburg, South Carolina, down around the I-77 corridor south of Rock Hill. But if you can pick it up, it’s a real breath of fresh air. Its content is from 1955-1978, and there are amazingly few commercials – all of which are local to that area of the state. So it’s almost like listening to satellite radio. And, just as significantly, among the songs you hear are going to be a good smattering of ones, I assure you, you either don’t know…or haven’t heard in decades!

I just think it’s cool. But, then again, I’m an old Baby Boomer…

Joel Kweskin

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