Extremely targeted marketing (customer focus)

If you’ve read the Bredemarket blog for any length of time, you already know that customer focus ensures that your customers will pay attention to your message. (TL;DR Customers are happier when you talk about them than when you talk about yourself.)

Did you know that customer focus also increases your revenue?

Customer focus, personalization, and growth

Take banking, for example. Louise Coles of Diebold Nixdorf wrote an article in International Banker entitled “What is Driving Customer Centricity in Banking?” Coles said, in part:

Although personalisation differs from industry to industry the philosophical shift is occurring nonetheless.

From https://internationalbanker.com/banking/what-is-driving-customer-centricity-in-banking/

Personalization (or, for Coles and others on the other side of the pond, personalisation) potentially offers powerful benefits to banks (and other firms) who offer it.

For example, in the mortgage space there is likely to be a move away from standardised interest driven offerings, to a place where banks are considering offering mortgages which are more reflective of today’s societal makeup, for example intergenerational mortgages. This highlights how a customer centric focus is not only shifting the digitisation journey, but the underlying approach to the product offerings behind that next-generation innovation.

From https://internationalbanker.com/banking/what-is-driving-customer-centricity-in-banking/

What does personalization mean for your company?

  • It can mean a lot to an auto dealer. Not only regarding the autos offered to consumers (the days of the black-only Model T are long gone), but also regarding financing, service, and other offerings that go beyond selling or leasing the auto itself.
  • A certain company whose name rhymes with Fartrucks is well-known for the creative order customizations that its baristas receive. While there are divided opinions on some of the more extreme orders, it’s clear that some customers love this capability. Imagine if Starbucks only served “any kind of coffee, as long as it was black!”
  • If I may toot my own horn here, while I do have standard writing offerings, I can customize them as needed by increasing or decreasing review cycles or turnaround times.

Today’s acronym is ABM

Some companies choose to implement Account-based Marketing (ABM), which dictates how an entire company responds to particular customers. If Purchasing knows that a customer on “the list” needs something, Purchasing will strive to delight the customer.

Of course, ABM has a marketing component.

Account-based marketing requires you to personalize everything (e.g. content, product information, communications, and campaigns) for each account you invest your resources in. Through this personalization and customization, your relevance among these accounts is maximized.

That’s because your content and interactions are tailored in a way that shows them how your specific products, services, and other offerings are what they need to solve their challenges. Meaning, ABM allows you to angle your business in a way that makes it the most relevant and ideal option for your target accounts.

From https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/account-based-marketing-guide

How I can personalize my offering for you

Now obviously I don’t have the software to personalize this blog post for each of you. For example, everyone read my quote from HubSpot’s blog. Maybe you hate HubSpot with a passion and would prefer to read some other company’s take on ABM.

But if you would like to discuss your specific marketing needs, and how I can help you create the text to support those needs, talk to me. Maybe I can help you design a simple letter template that lets you include or omit paragraphs based upon a specific customer. If this intrigues you…

Update on the Eastvale Restaurant Franchise

Remember the Which Wich in Eastvale that I wrote about in April?

Well, I actually saw it in person this morning.

Which Wich in Eastvale, California.

Based upon the limited hours, I am guessing that the original franchise owner hasn’t sold it yet.

Which Wich in Eastvale, California.

Some additional pictures from Eastvale, including a city informational kiosk and one very large Amazon distribution center.

Nice kiosk.
Big building.

Reminder that if you’re an Eastvale business (or any business) of any type who can benefit from Bredemarket’s content marketing and/or proposal services:

Two companies that can provide friction ridge/face marketing and writing services, now that Bredemarket won’t

I recently announced a change in business scope for my DBA Bredemarket. Specifically, Bredemarket will no longer accept client work for solutions that identify individuals using (a) friction ridges (including fingerprints and palm prints) and/or (b) faces.

This impacts some companies that previously did business with me, and can potentially impact other companies that want to do business with me. If you are one of these companies, I am no longer available.

Fingerprint evidence
From https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.500-290e3.pdf (a/k/a “leisure reading for biometric system professionals”).

Since Bredemarket will no longer help you with your friction ridge/face marketing and writing needs, who will? Who has the expertise to help you? I have two suggestions.

Tandem Technical Writing

Do you need someon who is not only an excellent communicator, but also knows the ins and outs of AFIS and ABIS systems? Turn to Tandem Technical Writing LLC.

I first met Laurel Jew back in 1995 when I started consulting with, and then working for, Printrak. In fact, I joined Printrak when Laurel went on maternity leave. (I was one of two people who joined Printrak at that time. As I’ve previously noted, Laurel needed two people to replace her.)

Laurel worked for Printrak and its predecessor De La Rue Printrak for several years in its proposals organization.

Today, her biometric and communication experience is available to you. Tandem Technical Writing provides its clients with “15 years of proposal writing and biometrics technology background with high win %.”

Why does this matter to you? Because Laurel not only understands your biometric business, but also understands how to communicate to your biometric clients. Not many people can do both, so Laurel is a rarity in this industry.

The Tandem Technical Writing website is here.

To schedule a consultation, click here.

Applied Forensic Services

Perhaps your needs are more technical. Maybe you need someone who is a certified forensics professional, and who has also implemented many biometric systems. If that is your need, then you will want to consider Applied Forensic Services LLC.

I met Mike French in 2009 when Safran acquired Motorola’s biometric business and merged it into its U.S. subsidiary Sagem Morpho, creating MorphoTrak (“Morpho” + “Printrak”). I worked with him at MorphoTrak and IDEMIA until 2020.

Unlike me, Mike is a true forensic professional. (See his LinkedIn profile.) Back in 1994, when I was still learning to spell AFIS, Mike joined the latent print unit at the King County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office, where he spent over a decade before joining Sagem Morpho. He is an IAI-certified Latent Print Examiner, an IEEE-certified Biometric Professional, and an active participant in IAI and other forensic activities. I’ve previously referenced his advice on why agencies should conduct their own AFIS benchmarks.

Why does this matter to you? Because Mike’s consultancy, Applied Forensic Services, can provide expert advice on biometric procurements and implementation, ensuring that you get the biometric system that addresses your needs.

Applied Forensic Services offers the following consulting services:

The Applied Forensic Services website is here.

To schedule a consultation, click here.

Yes, there are others

There are other companies that can help you with friction ridge and face marketing, writing, and consultation services.

I specifically mention these two because I have worked with their principals both as an employee during my Printrak-to-IDEMIA years, and as a sole proprietor during my Bredemarket years. Laurel and Mike are both knowledgeable, dedicated, and can add value to your firm or agency.

And, unlike some experienced friction ridge and face experts, Laurel and Mike are still working and have not retired. (“Where have you gone, Peter Higgins…”)

When you’re interested in everything, you’re interested in nothing

Some people know what they will do, and what they will not do.

Other people say they will do anything.

Don’t trust the second group of people.

Checking all the boxes in a Bredemarket contact submission form

As you may know, Bredemarket has an online contact page that allows people to request information from me. The form on this page includes several checkboxes (recently edited) that allow the submitter to specify if they are interested in one of Bredemarket’s standard packages.

Occasionally I’ll get a submission from someone who checked ALL of the check boxes. In 100% of those cases, it turns out that the person is NOT interested in ANY of Bredemarket’s standard packages, but in something else. (In the most recent example, someone wanted to write a guest post on the Bredemarket blog that had NOTHING to do with marketing or writing services. No thanks.)

Checking all the boxes in a proposal

It reminds me about the time, many years ago, when I wrote an RFP. This was years before I actually began responding to RFPs, by the way. The consultant that our company brought in suggested that we create a Request for Proposal for a particular service that our company wanted. The main part of the created RFP was a check list to see if the respondent provided a particular feature that we wanted. The responses that we received fell into two categories:

  • Some respondents checked every check box with no further comment. We concluded that they hadn’t actually read the RFP, so we ignored these proposals.
  • Other respondents checked most of the check boxes, but provided text for certain responses explaining that they had a different approach. Since these people read the RFP, we paid more attention to those responses.

Now I’ll grant that this filtering method doesn’t work for all proposals. Some RFPs truly demand mandatory compliance with every requirement. But in those cases, the RFPs usually require to say how they will perform each requirement. A simple “we do it” response is not sufficient.

Checking all the boxes in a business offering

The “check everything” rule also applies in one other instance: company offerings.

When a company states the products and services it will offer, the statement usually sets a boundary between what the company will do and what the company will not do.

Usually.

For example, this post from Reddit’s HireaWriter gives a clear picture of the writer’s strengths:

…I have a bachelor’s degree in screenwriting (writing for film, TV and radio), and I’m currently studying English Literature to further my skills. I’m about to be on summer holidays for a few months and I’m looking to collaborate on some writing projects.

I have freelance experience, writing YouTube scripts and some podcast work, I’m very capable of both fiction and non- fiction…

From https://www.reddit.com/r/HireaWriter/comments/u2ydhh/writer_looking_for_new_projects/

So if I need a YouTube script, I’ll consider this person. If I need an article for Foreign Affairs, maybe not.

But other company offerings are…less focused. You’ve probably seen the posts (I won’t link to them) from people who say that they write. When you ask what they write, they say that they write anything.

Now I guess that theoretically, I can write anything. (Heck, I wrote the Eastport Enquirer, which you can probably guess wasn’t high-minded business prose.) But I’m not going to make a living by writing 19th century fiction or French political positions. I’ll stick closer to content marketing and proposals if you don’t mind.

Oh, and I don’t offer editing packages any more.

Want to buy an Eastvale restaurant franchise?

You can learn anything via search engines.

You can learn how to order online from the Eastvale, California franchise location of Which Wich Superior Sandwiches.

From https://www.whichwich.com/

You can learn whether people like the location via Yelp reviews.

And if you dig deep enough, you can learn that the franchise location is for sale.

Now I am nowhere near an expert on franchising, but there are possible benefits to buying an established franchise rather than starting a new franchise. For one, you have instant revenue due to the existing sales (gross $480,000 from both foot traffic and delivery orders), so you don’t have to build up your business from scratch.

And the business owner, who is retiring, has some advice for the new owner. Depending upon what source you check, this location opens at 10:00 am and closes at either 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm, presumably because the owner doesn’t want to work early in the morning or late in the evening. But this offers an opportunity for the new owner.

MUST CHANGE THE HOURS OF OPERATION
Please open it for breakfast and dinner. There’s no place except MOD Pizza for dinner in that shopping center.

From https://www.bizbuysell.com/Business-Opportunity/wichwich-sandwich-place/1960565/

So if you want to run a sandwich shop and have six figures to spend, go for it.

And if you buy it and need some specialized marketing help, Bredemarket serves Eastvale businesses. I can’t answer all of a restaurant’s marketing needs (I don’t do menus, for example), but perhaps I can help you write the words for a B2B catering service that augments the restaurant’s regular revenue. Perhaps my Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service could help you come up with a two-page handout to local businesses needing your catering.

Especially if you expand the shop’s hours and offer breakfast and dinner service.

If you’re an Eastvale business of any type who can benefit from Bredemarket’s content marketing and/or proposal services:

And the beat goes on: a giant orange in Fontana, California

History has turned a page, uh huh

The Beat Goes On

(Thanks to Route 66 News for sharing the links to the California Historical Route 66 Association/Beth Murray Facebook post and the Bono’s Restaurant and Deli Wikipedia link that I cite below.)

Those of us who live here know three things about California’s Inland Empire:

  • The Inland Empire has been heavily influenced by the citrus industry.
  • The Inland Empire has been heavily influenced by Route 66.
  • On occasion, those influences merged together.

One of these “get your citrus kicks” Inland Empire mergers of the citrus industry and Route 66 occurred in 1936. In that year, Bob DeVries built a huge fruit stand that looked like an orange and placed it near Fontana, California. Because that’s what people did on Route 66.

Note: the “Bono’s” was added later. By Binksternet – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4861898

According to John Anicic in a 2013 Fontana Herald News article, the eye-catching fruit stand was a huge money-maker.

“We squeezed oranges for 14 to 18 hours daily.  We worked until 9 to 10 p.m. each day to make enough juice to see the next day.  We would put it in gallon bottles and put them into Coca-Cola cases with ice.  We picked the fruit and also got some at the citrus plant on Mango Avenue (still there).  They paid $2 a trailer load.

“This was not the only thing sold at the stand.  The large black olives and the pimento stuffed green olives were the first seen by the easterners.  We made $20 a week, which was considered good in those days.  The olives sold for 98 cents a gallon.  Honey was from Colton, dates from Indio, and the Cherry Anne drink was sold by the gallon (or glass for a dime).”

Bob DeVries, son of the original Bob DeVries, from https://www.fontanaheraldnews.com/opinion/here-is-the-story-behind-the-orange-stand-on-foothill-boulevard/article_99cd5416-2a89-5a8b-bbc5-87156e3f7837.html

Hey, twenty dollars a week wasn’t bad in the late 1930s.

But time passed, and the orange stand in Fontana, as well as similar orange stands throughout California, began to decline in the same way that Route 66 itself declined.

After the 1950’s the stands began to decline as roads were converted to higher speed freeways which made it more difficult to easily pull over and stop for a glass of orange juice. This combined with the emergence of air conditioning in cars, began the decline of the giant orange juice stands.

From http://www.weirdca.com/location.php?location=134

By 1985, according to Beth Murray, Walmart wanted the Giant Orange removed from its premises.

The grocery store’s the super-mart, uh huh

The Beat Goes On

The Giant Orange ended up with the Fontana Historical Society, who gifted the orange to Joe Bono.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Joe Bono’s (claimed) cousin (I couldn’t substantiate the Wikipedia claim; Sonny was born in Detroit and moved to Los Angeles as a child, but to my knowledge never lived in Fontana—although of course he lived in Palm Springs later).

Coincidentally, the Bono family was a long-time competitor of the DeVries family, and had its own orange back in the day.

Anyway, Joe Bono placed the DeVries-built Giant Orange in front of his restaurant and promptly put his name on the orange. Eventually the restaurant closed, was reopened, and closed again.

And the Giant Orange…um, rotted.

Update on Bono’s Historic Orange Stand,” Beth Murray, California Historic Route 66 Association, March 28, 2022. Image from https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=5234617199891029&set=pcb.5272252099472463

According to Murray, the Fontana Historical Society reclaimed the Giant Orange, which is now in the parking lot of Fontana Public Works.

There are plans to restore the orange to its original 1936 glory. But the restored orange will not have Bono’s name on it. Apparently the “Bono’s” on the orange has been a point of contention for years.

THERE IS something of importance that needs to be corrected in the information in newspapers.  The Orange (was in 2013) at Bono’s Restaurant and has the name “Bono’s” on it.  This is incorrect.  The Fontana Historical Society loaned it to him when it had to be moved from the Wal-Mart store.  The Society cannot give it to an individual, only to another historical non-profit.  The name on it should be “Fontana Historical Society Orange Stand.”  The lady who donated the Orange has been very angry about the name situation.

From https://www.fontanaheraldnews.com/opinion/here-is-the-story-behind-the-orange-stand-on-foothill-boulevard/article_99cd5416-2a89-5a8b-bbc5-87156e3f7837.html

Joe Bono himself died in 2020.

A little postscript: if you own a giant orange, restaurant, or other Fontana business and need some help promoting it, you might want to contact the Fontana, California content marketing expert, Bredemarket.

And for those like me who now have an ear worm in their head, here’s a song from Joe’s purported cousin and his then-wife.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS3O5zg290k

In marketing, move quickly PART TWO: THE OTHERS SPEAK

On March 23, I wrote a post entitled “In marketing, move quickly” (while noting that I didn’t move all that quickly in posting it). After citing stories from a local (unnamed) company, my own time as a product manager, an (again unnamed) international bank, and a (named) car manufacturer, I concluded as follows:

And if you can speed up production of a car, you can speed up production of marketing content and start putting your messaging on your Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts, as well as your website immediately so that your customers can get your message.

From https://bredemarket.com/2022/03/23/in-marketing-move-quickly/
By Malene Thyssen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10119596

And if you think that the idea of moving quickly in marketing was an idea that I completely originated myself, you REALLY need to get out a bit more.

This post collects a few things that others have said about moving quickly.

Empower your employees (Jim McGinnis of Intuit)

In 2015, Forbes quoted Intuit’s Jim McGinnis, who had previously worked at technology company Activision and non-technology companies Pepsi and Procter & Gamble. He left Intuit in 2017 and has since worked at two other firms, including MyCase.

A more effective strategy to engage your audience is to communicate directly with them often and through multiple touch points. At Intuit, we empower all 8,000 employees to use social media and tweet regularly, but to do so in a smart and effective way that minimizes risk. We do this by instituting principle-based management and guidelines that everybody operates within. We also have a very strong and enduring values-based organization, with the first and most important value being “Integrity without Compromise.”

McGinnis believed that with the Intuit organization, his people were empowered to communicate quickly without waiting for multiple layers of approval (as is required in a “command and control” organization).

And McGinnis’ new company MyCase? One of its marketing messages is the ability to reduce the time spent on weekly billing to 20 minutes.

Excite your customers (Adam Fridman of Mabbly)

That same year (2015), Forbes competitor Inc. ran a piece written by Adam Fridman of Mabbly, a digital marketing agency. Fridman noted that competitors are not the only ones watching how quickly a company moves.

People simply aren’t satisfied with the status quo; they want something more and they want it now. Companies must work quickly to satiate their appetites because audiences will have no qualms about moving to another product or service. 

From https://www.inc.com/adam-fridman/4-reasons-speed-is-everything-in-business.html

Don’t forget your vendors and partners (Isaiah Bollinger of Trellis)

Isaiah Bollinger, co-founder and CEO of Trellis, reiterated the points others made about competitors and customers in a 2018 piece, but he added two other stakeholders.

If you are a slow moving business vendors will (stop) putting effort into the relationship because they can find better customers….

Partners don’t want to work with a slow moving business that can’t innovate. They want fast growing innovators that will bring big impact to their bottom line. 

From https://trellis.co/blog/why-moving-fast-in-business-is-so-important

Incidentally, Bollinger may have moved a little TOO quickly. You see where I inserted the parenthetical comment “(stop)” in the first paragraph above? That’s not what he (or his copywriter) wrote. But we all know what he meant. Check the video.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4LViCLtEPU

Conclusion

So there are a number of benefits, and relatively little downside, to moving quickly. And even if you do fail, several of the people quoted above emphasize that you fail quickly, can correct just as quickly, and learn important lessons quickly.

And maybe I’m learning. I didn’t wait two days to post this.

Free resume advice at the Upland (California) library

When I established the Bredemarket Yelp account, I sadly had to inform two inquirers that my services (what I do) did not include resume writing services.

But I just discovered that if you are near Upland, California, you can obtain resume writing services for free.

Today (March 29) and every Tuesday at 4:00 pm, the Upland Library hosts a resume writing workshop, “Resume Runners.” And unlike Bredemarket’s services, Upland Library services are free.

When should you target a competitor?

Companies must choose how their marketing will address their competitors. Some choose to ignore the competition, while others publicly target them. And some companies do both simultaneously.

Trellix et al: targeting competitors

Trellix, the company that emerged from the combination of McAfee Enterprise and FireEye, chose the to target its competitors. Trellix’s website contains two pages that target two specific competitors.

  • Trellix vs. CrowdStrike claims that Trellix delivers “earlier, better protection across all phases of the attack chain.” It follows this with a comparison chart that claims security lags.
  • Trellix vs. SentinelOne makes the same claim, but with a different comparison chart that claims a lack of expertise.

For its part, CrowdStrike offers comparisons against both SentinelOne and “McAfee,” while SentinelOne offers comparisons against both CrowdStrike and “McAfee.” Apparently these firms need to update their pages to reflect the new company name (and possibly new features) of Trellix.

Obviously the endpoint protection industry demands these types of comparisons to sway buyers to choose one product over another.

Apple: targeting industry leaders (and ignoring other competitors)

But competitor targeting is also used by upcoming firms to displace established ones. I’ve previously talked about (then) Apple Computer’s famous “Welcome, IBM. Seriously” ad “welcoming” IBM to the personal computer industry. This was part of Steve Jobs’ multi-year effort to grow Apple by targeting and displacing IBM. But while IBM was the clear target, Apple also targeted everyone else, as Bill Murphy, Jr. noted:

Added benefit: There were actually other personal computer companies that were just as successful as Apple at the time, like Commodore, Tandy, and Osborne. The Apple ad ignored them.

From https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/37-years-ago-steve-jobs-ran-apples-most-amazing-ad-heres-story-its-almost-been-forgotten.html

By framing the circa 1981 computer industry as a battle between the Apple and IBM, Jobs captured the world’s attention. Not only by positioning Apple as David in a battle against Goliath, but by positioning Apple as one of only two companies that mattered. This marketing would reach its peak three years later, in 1984.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R706isyDrqI

When the targeter becomes the target

After 1984, the computer world changed dramatically (as it always does), with other companies creating what were then called “clones,” as well as the massive changes at both IBM and “Apple Computer” (now Apple).

Eventually, small spunky outfits challenged Apple itself, with Fortnite in particular targeting Apple’s requirement that Fortnite exclusively use Apple payments.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHLuKumkASg

So when should you target competitors?

The decision on whether or not to publicly acknowledge and target competitors varies depending upon a company’s culture and its market position.

  • As seen above, some markets such as the endpoint protection market demand competitor comparisons. Others (Apple 1981-1984, Fortnite 2020) target competitors to buttress their own positions. And don’t forget how Avis targeted Hertz in 1962, and Hertz subsequently responded.
  • Then again, sometimes it’s best to not acknowledge the competition. Again note that Apple only acknowledged one competitor in the early 1980s, refusing to acknowledge that the other competitors even existed.
  • In some cases, companies don’t acknowledge the competition because they don’t believe they measure up to the competition on benefits, features, or even price. For these companies, their challenge is to identify some advantage over the competition and promote that advantage, even if the relevant competitors are not explicitly mentioned.