[Note: I’m happy to introduce contributor  Cidnee Stephen with her first post on Up and Running, which we assume will be the first of many. We’re including her background at the bottom of the post. Tim]

When I sit down with a business owner for the first time, I will always ask them what marketing activities they have tried to-date. Whether they explain them or show me samples, they will often feel that their marketing activities haven’t worked.

“We did trade shows, but that didn’t generate us one customer.”

“We tried direct mail and that didn’t work.”

“I’m on Twitter, but that’s not getting me any business, it’s a waste of my time.”

All of the above are what I like to call Marketing Vehicles – trade shows, direct mail and Twitter, to be exact. Do these vehicles work? Of course they do. Google them and you will find success stories tied to any marketing vehicle. So how come they don’t seem to work for you? It might be because you are going for the jugular. In other words, you are trying to go directly for the sale instead of simply engaging a prospect to take the next step.

If you have a low risk, low price product or service, you will probably find some success in jugular marketing, but if you are marketing something that requires the prospect to trust you or the product you need to re-look at WHAT you are saying or doing in a marketing vehicle, instead of changing the marketing vehicle itself.
Here is an example of Jugular Marketing.

Jugular Marketing

Imagine you are single and a member of the opposite sex approaches you on a night out. The conversation goes something like this. “Hi, my name is (LOGO). Let me say that it again (because it takes up 1/3rd of the ad, so it must be important). I have a lot of amazing qualities you would love about me (they’re all listed here in bullet points). So, do you want to get married (there’s that infamous phone number at the bottom that screams, buy from us)?”

There is no reason for me to act today and quite frankly I’m not looking for many of these attributes in a gym. But what if you focused the ad more on the buyer than yourself? What if you made it easy and less risky for me to take the next step? The ad might then look more like the Golds Gym ad to the right.


If we were back in that social situation this one might equate to: “You look like you might want some company and obviously enjoy places like this (after all the headline shows you understand me and highlights a major motivator for me”. I am having a get together in another place like this (some key features and a complimentary VIP pass). It’s next Wednesday (there’s time limit on it). If you would like to come and get to know each other better, check out the details (drives them to more information and a place where they can act easily and with minimal risk).”

Which one would cause you to act more easily? The latter allows Gold’s Gym to capture more prospects. It allows them to better measure the effectiveness of the message and tool (VIP pass) they are using. But most importantly, it allows the prospect to try them out at no cost.

Next time you are looking to execute on that marketing tactic, avoid jugular marketing. Try capturing leads instead of going directly for that sale.

About Cidnee Stephen

Cidnee Stephen is the owner of Strategies for Success – a marketing company that focuses on the needs of budget-minded small businesses and professional services. She has helped hundreds of small businesses get out of their peak and valley ruts to finally achieve that next vital level of success. Cidnee is also a sought-after speaker, writer and blogger on marketing topics that affect small businesses and B2B service based operations.

If you would like to build a system to reach those goals quicker, check out Cindee’s Speak for Leads & Expertise Program.

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Cidnee Stephen
Cidnee Stephen

Cidnee Stephen is the owner of Strategies for Success - a marketing company that focuses on the needs of budget minded small businesses and professional services. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook