Wednesday, July 2, 2008


by Mark Satterfield
Gentle Rain Marketing

Since my wife and I spent a long time on a ship last week, it got me
thinking about how the cruise industry markets itself and what
differentiates one cruise line from another. Not surprisingly, the "low-hanging
fruit" answer is to target certain segments of the market. Disney
appeals to families with young kids, Carnival's niche is younger, often
single, vacationers.

But what about Princess vs. Royal Caribbean vs.
Norwegian? On the surface they seem pretty much the same. Big boats. Same
ports of call. But when one looks a bit more deeply, it's apparent that
there are some valuable marketing lessons that are applicable to all of

And that lesson revolves around INNOVATION of Service Offers...

For example take Princess Cruises, which was the line we were on. One
of things that many people (myself included) dislike about cruises is
the tradition of being assigned to a table to sit at for meals. For the
entire trip, these are the people you dine with. Believe me when I tell
you that this can be a rather dreary experience.

I'm not sure why no one else thought of it before, but Princess
introduced a short time ago a concept called "Anytime Dining". You can eat
early or late. Sit with others or by yourselves.

In other words, you have options. And this is the important lesson
that's applicable to us all.

Princess identified something that people did not like about cruising,
and turned it into a positive by offering an innovative service.

Perhaps in retrospect it appears obvious, but we often get so tied up
in "This is the way we do things here" that we overlook simple and
relatively easy ways to make our clients' experiences better and as a result
differentiate our services.

Reducing the "Hassle Factor" is an excellent way to think about what
types of new services you might offer your clients. What can you offer
that eliminates it?

For example, in my world, the big hassle is actually getting a
marketing campaign implemented. Which is why I offer two programs (coaching and
consulting) for those people who would benefit from "hands-on"
assistance in turning motivation and ideas into reality.

It's extremely rare to find someone like myself, who is a prolific producer of marketing
information products, who also offers a free consultation to any of my
readers. And unlike many of my peers, I don't fob off my clients to junior
coaches or cub-copywriters. (By the way I'm looking for one more
consulting client-in which I take a small retainer and earn most of my fees
through results-so if you have significant growth objectives let me
know and we can set up a time to TALK.)

NOTE: The top 5% of consultants, business owners and entrepreneurs
always seem to have more business than they can handle. Why? Because they
do certain things DIFFERENTLY than the average Joe. If want to learn
how to boost your business and GET PROSPECTS CALLING YOU, request your
FREE Gentle Rain Coaching Consultation.

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