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YOUR TRUSTED WINGMAN: we serve our clients' need for speed!

NFS ADVISORS, INC.

Buyer-only consultants specializing in corporate jets and aviation services.

Market research & analysis, financial comparisons, negotiation, due diligence, and project management of jet acquisitions.

Our brand: "When it comes to aviation, we are your trusted wingman."

1. What is marketing for? What is its function? Why does it exist?

Marketing is telling a vivid, compelling story about who we are and our value in solving your problems and fulfilling your wants in a way that delights our clients so they tell others.

We gradually build trust and permission to serve by:

  1. walking our talk
  2. staying committed in good times and bad
  3. demonstrating expertise and relevance through continuous learning
  4. seeing the world through our clients' eyes
  5. communicating clearly, concisely, directly, and consistently

2. What are we allowed to touch?

I am currently alone and almost unafraid as a "solo-preneur." So I touch everything. I look forward to the day when our business has grown to the point I must delegate and coordinate to ensure marketing has the access and resources needed to succeed.

3. What can I measure as a marketer?

  • amount of time I dedicate to story-telling each week (goal: 50%)
  • number of new, relevant contacts
  • number of periodic communications to keep established relationships refreshed
  • number of blogposts and articles that communicate my expertise

4. What can we change?

  • establish a transformative high-trust relationship with everyone we meet
  • serve clients in a way that makes all others seem transactional
  • communicate the joy of aviation by contagious enthusiasm
  • be genuine, appreciative, and respectful of all

5. What promises are you going to make?

  • To clients: we are here to protect your interests and own the project.
  • To ourselves: we will not compromise our core values of honor, courage, commitment, trustworthiness, and full engagement.

6. What's the hard part?

  • Holding myself accountable
  • Not being part of a team (yet)
  • Facing rejection, disinterest, or being ignored
  • The uncertainty of our next revenue $
  • I'm not getting any younger -- the clock is ticking
  • Our clients are extraordinarily difficult to connect with and earn their trust
  • Our target pool of clients is a very small group

7. Should we be making trends or following trends?

  • We should be aware of trends but seek to innovate and make our own in order to distinguish ourselves and swim in a blue ocean, not red.

8. Where is the risk?

  • To our clients: I don't have lots of recent experience compared to my competition.
  • To me: if I'm not successful soon is winning a few projects I will be forced to abandon this effort to provide greater financial certainty for my family.
  • I must devote a significant % of my time and attention to my public speaking activities in order to pay the bills - "survive to thrive."

9. Who is in charge? Me!

10. Where am I spending my money? What is it for?

  • Infusionsoft software to help me more efficiently keep track of contacts and relationships, remind me to stay in touch and follow-up, and to provide a means to build a tribe of followers through blog/e-mails.
  • Sending handwritten notes to fractional owners to seek to establish the beginnings of a relationship.
  • Travel to industry-related events (e.g., NAFA and NBAA conventions)
  • Regus mail service to have a "legitimate" San Francisco mailing address.

11. How should you be spending your time?

  • 50% marketing, 30% technical competence, 10% maintenance
  • Setting goals and scoring my actions to build and deepen relationships with the people who have wants and interests I can serve, and their advisors.

OLD SCHOOL MARKETING

A. Chevrolet automobiles

  • Sold cars via limited # of dealers and competitors (pre-Japan automakers)
  • Advertised heavily on three TV channels
  • Sponsored sporting events
  • Bonanza TV show -- show and Chevrolet were almost synonymous. The brand image flashed on screen just before the show's theme music and practically every commercial break was a car commercial.  The stars may even have participated in some of the commercials -- lots of bleed-over between the show's brand and the product.
  • Brand felt strong, solid, reliable -- live the cowboy, Ponderosa image.

B. Marlboro cigarettes (and other brands, too, like Winston, Pall Mall, Lucky Strike)

  • Heavy advertising on TV, billboards, magazines using famous celebrities, sports stars
  • Projected a life style of suave, smooth, cool.
  • Marlboro projected rugged American individualism of the Old West
  • Laws prohibiting sales to minors added to the appeal for youth
  • Cigarette machines had limited offerings
  • "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should."

C. Tide laundry detergent

  • TV commercials during daytime shows for housewives
  • Center shelf at grocery store
  • Scientific comparisons of cleaning better, brighter than alternatives
  • "Ring around the collar" jingle
  • "T-i-d-e Tide!"

NEW SCHOOL MARKETING

A. Infusionsoft small business CRM/e-mail marketing software

  • Heard about them through a friend
  • Checked out their website -- informative, engaging, "gave away" content and info.
  • Spoke to sales rep on phone -- she was very helpful and went out of her way to answer my questions and research answers. Patient with lots of questions. Accomodating. Included in my start-up package, free ticket to upcoming Infusionsoft convention in Phoenix that set the hook.
  • Clearly articulated, positive company values that were consistent with their actions.
  • Required "Success Coaching" as part of introduction to their software so I learned how to use it and had a positive experience.
  • Continuously improving their offerings that feel as if their "free" but the truth is their subscription fee is not cheap and R&D is covered.

B.  Apple

  • While I've been an Apple customer for 30 years, they still feel "new" to me as they continue to refresh their offering and marketing.
  • Design is as (if not more) important as function and somehow they pretty much are first-rate in both.
  • Apple stores are wildly successful from a customer's perspective -- LOTS of sales people who are readily available but not bothersome. A huge contrast with other retail stores.
  • My experience has been they stand behind their products and support the customer.
  • One-to-One training and Joint Venture program for small businesses are another way to provide high-touch and a positive experience that deepens the relationship.

C.  Alaska Airlines

  • I recently flew them for the first time on a flight to Juneau, AK, via Seattle, WA.
  • It was a great experience despite a maintenance delay in SFO. Why? they keep steady flow of communication to the passengers with genuine apologieis, they proactively rebooked people who would miss connections and pulled them off the plane to get on alternate flights, they seemed to address our concerns as we were thinking them -- they understood the situation from our perspective!
  • They lived up to their brand of being a fun, customer-oriented airline.
  • Their employees were excellent brand ambassadors (same for Apple and Infusionsoft) -- EVERYONE is a marketer.

Tesla Automotive

  • Emotion -- delightful styling, engineering, and alternative energy; price makes it elite.
  • Change -- it's possible to have a powerful sports car that is also energy efficient -- you can have it all (if you can afford it).
  • Awareness -- huge "cool factor" that everyone wants to learn more about

Amazon

  • Emotion -- great web design, 1-click purchase, algorithms make it customized to my interests, it works and doesn't make mistakes. 
  • Change -- with all the reviews and product descriptions, used book offerings, etc. it's not just more convenient than traditional shopping, it's BETTER.
  • Awareness -- doesn't everyone make a significant number of purchases on Amazon? One of my favorite ways to give gifts is to order on Amazon, even when it's not a holiday.

Costco

  • Emotion -- great products and pricing
  • Change -- with quality offerings that they rotate regularly, it attracts all types of customers and their breadth of offerings make them appealing to all.
  • Awareness -- by stocking local brands they mitigate some of the big-box chain-store animus and send a signal they are part of the local community.

THE 14 P's OF MARKETING

Positioning -- What does the marketplace look like to someone who cares?—it's a very different focus than the person who's merely hurrying by...

  • Meet with established industry advisors who trust me to share how I can help them serve their clients. Where is the need that they don't/can't fulfill? How can I complement the services they provide?

Pricing -- Price ought to be based on perceived value, not cost. The opportunity for the marketer is to use price as a signal that supports the story and the promise that they intend to make.

Placement -- Invest money to be right next to the people you want to be next to, whether it's shelf space or 'life space'. Proximity changes the way people see you.

  • Co-author articles with recognized experts/brands.
  • Offer educational opportunities with key strategic partners (e.g., "lunch 'n learn")

Promotion -- Trial creates an emotion in the consumer, and enables them to spread the story they want to spread. Carefully choose who to offer this generosity to, and get the leverage to spread your idea.

Permission -- Who would miss you if you didn't show up? How do I earn your attention, so that over time I can talk to you?

Purple -- Make something worth talking about.

  • You don’t get to decide if your product or service is remarkable, the consumer does.
  • Don’t walk around insisting that you’ve made something remarkable, instead watch to see if people choose to talk about it.

Publicity -- The magic of pushing a story to get free media is fading. Too many outlets, too much clutter.

Public relations -- PR is not the same as publicity. PR is the act of telling a story.

Placebo -- If you think something will work, it works better. the placebo effect is responsible for half of efficacy of many drugs.

Pavlov -- Ring a bell?  Create a Pavlovian reaction: We do this, you get that. This often leads to a placebo effect. Train people to expect something.

Persistence -- Frequency + Consistency; Showing up over time builds trust. A persistent, frequent approach to the market makes us believe you and trust you. You lose all of that when you cross the line to annoying.

  • Be more patient and methodical. No more one and done. 
  • Achieve considerate encounters with people that matter.
  • Establish a cadence and rhythm to achieve anticipation.
  • What would they like to know? What is of interest? 
  • How to communicate 5C's?

Place -- What is it like to be with you? Real estate creates value on top of the service offered. When you think about how you’re going to engage with people, what do you want to remind them of?

  • website is real estate

  • my 24" of personal space is real estate.

  • How do I draw them in, engage, and then disengage in a timely way so they want more?

Personalization -- Now that you know about your customers, you can treat them differently.

People Like Us -- Do people like us do something like that?

Annotated Vocabulary from Seth Godin’s Skillshare course on Marketing

emotions

STORY - Human beings are story-making machines. We process ideas and events in the form of stories. Either we invent a story about what you do or we ignore you. The best way to understand this (and most of these concepts) about your project is to do it for other marketers in your life. What is the story of Absolut Vodka? How is it different from Grey Goose? Find an area you care about and figure out their stories.

BRAND - Which should cost more, the lightweight down jacket made by Montbell or that made by Patagonia. The Montbell jacket is lighter, warmer, easier to pack. Yet it costs less. Brand is the sum of the shortcuts and beliefs we have about a product or service. Brand is what we expect, the promises we seek, our experiences, our connections... all rolled into one. Brand is not a logo or a name. Brand is a promise.

EXPERIENCE - One of the most powerful builders of brand (and story) is how the environment and process changes our perceptions. The Experience Economy (see the book link earlier) clearly outlines how powerful the experiences we provide for people can be.

WEIRD - The core of the action marketing philosophy is that mass is dead. With no viable way to reach the mass market, and with the mass market eagerly dividing into many micro markets (see the Long Tail), that means that we have no choice but to treat different people differently. Once you go down this road, it becomes pretty straightforward to create products and services that can have real and lasting impact--on a few. My short book goes into more detail on this

PERSONAS - One way we can develop marketing that appeals to the weird is to have the weird we seek to please at the table. With personas, we identify an exaggerated hyper-version of the person we hope to change. This avatar, possibly based on and named after a real person, needs to speak up at every decision, every path we define. “What would George think of this?”

WORLDVIEW - George Lakoff has written about worldview in politics, but it goes far beyond this. Empathy is difficult for us, because we inherently believe that everyone has the same worldview we do! We think we’re rational and we’d like to believe everyone else is rational, so of course we’ll see and believe the same things. But we don’t. In tandem with personas, then, worldview analysis helps us identify which weird subset we care about, and to focus on them. You can find a five-minute crash course on worldview right here.

WOW! - Tom Peters coined this term. How often do you deliver on it? It’s the basis of modern marketing success. Can you take my breath away?

CUSTOMER SERVICE - The Zappos story is worth understanding. In fact, you can get away with zero customer service if you make it clear that there isn’t any (Flickr and Instagram) or you need to go to the other extreme and make it matter.

DESIGN - If it’s so obvious that good design pays for itself, why is it so hard to find. Not just graphic and product design, but systems.

COMMODITIES - You may not think you make a commodity, but can you pass this simple test? If your product or service is easily replaced by a similarly described alternative, you’ve made something that’s easy for us to live without. And we will act accordingly.

QUALITY - This can be a trap. Quality, as defined by Deming and Crosby, is meeting spec. Period. It doesn’t mean beauty or surprise or elegance. It doesn’t mean expensive or fancy. It means that the COO is happy with conformance to spec. The reason it can be a trap is that sometimes, in our search for this sort of quality, we throw delight and wonder and art under the bus.

FEAR - The entire course could be about fear, but in this case, I’m talking about creating fear in the mind of the prospect. Fear of living without this product. Fear of being left out. Fear of disappointing the boss. Fear of what happens if you use a lesser product. Delight is not the only thing that motivates us. In fact, fear trumps delight in most situations.

RISK (perception) - Perceiving risk is the cause of fear. Risk itself rarely causes the same emotion.

LICENSING - One way to completely short-circuit the marketing process is to begin by using someone else’s marketing! License their name. Harley Davidson licenses their name to hundreds of companies. It alters your choices and changes your leverage, but it’s worth considering.

LOYALTY - The data clearly show that when marketing leads to loyal customers, profitability and organizational viability increase. Loyalty, though, is a two-way street. You get loyal customers by treating them with loyalty. This makes it hard to manage quarterly earnings, difficult to ship lousy, high-profit items and most of all, requires patience and transparency.

MLM - I gave this a brief mention in the video, because I think it’s worth understanding why it works. Why do the mlm sellers become so wrapped up in their product, and so sure it’s fabulous? Greed isn’t the answer--it’s cognitive dissonance. Once someone has stood up and testified for your product or service, they are far more likely to actually believe in it (the opposite of what we expect the causation to be). This is an insight that can change the way you engage with your audience and yes, change them.

B2B - Again, we could do an entire course on this one acronym, but I wanted to highlight the key truth here: B2B buyers are humans, but instead of pleasing themselves, they are focused on pleasing the boss, focused on the risk of displeasing her as well.

NEED VS WANT - For most products and most audiences, it’s far too late to sell people what they need. We’re left with what they want. Interesting to note that people pay for more for this (vodka costs more than water) and that your degrees of freedom in storytelling go way up when you are addressing wants. Obsess about creating and satisfying wants instead of doing the engineering work of what you think people need.

NETWORK EFFECT - Something gains in value as more people use it (i.e., fax machine, Twitter, etc.). Metcalfe’s law makes it clear that the network effect is real. If you design a service (or a product) that benefits from network effects, you have just enlisted all of your users in a quest to get more users! They are being both generous and selfish as they spread the word. To pick just one category, it’s virtually impossible to build a successful smartphone app unless you figure out how to build network effects into the design. That’s because the marketplace is too crowded and you just don’t have the time or resources to promote it on your own.

SCARCITY - Two ways to think about this last term. First, we know that the fear of missing out is significant, so scarcity in the product you make, or a limited number of slots in the service you offer will open the door to a different sort of emotional connection with you and your brand than if everything you made was unlimited. But also consider scarcity as the opposite of abundance, of a different way of thinking about the economy. In the connection economy that we live in now, where trust and awareness and permission are key assets, it turns out that spreading ideas and networks with abundance (see Network Effect) is far more productive that holding things tightly and viewing everyone and everything as competition. [GBD: Abundant sharing and go-giving; scarce acceptance of clients]. 

 

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