Archived Story

Want new customers? Read this

Published 3:44pm Monday, July 2, 2012

Jim Elsberry made a terrific presentation during a Chamber After Hours event held at The Outlook’s office Thursday evening.

Elsberry, a newspaperman from way back, is a nationally known public speaker, a marketing expert, Executive Professor of Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado, co-author of “The Power of Doing the Right Thing,” which is a book about finding success through a values-driven life, and he’s also one of my closest friends. We’ve been hunting and fishing together almost every year since 1986. If you’ve ever read one of my hunting or fishing columns, there’s a very good chance Elsberry was either mentioned or was standing beside me during whatever outdoor adventure I was writing about.

One of the things I find most impressive about my friend Jim is that he was publisher of the Greeley, Colo. Tribune when it was named the best community daily newspaper in America by the National Newspaper Association. Three times. And his newspaper also won the Colorado Press Association’s general excellence award seven times.

That doesn’t happen by accident.

It happens through top-notch leadership and a deep understanding of people and community and the newspaper’s role in that community. And a super-sized helping of common sense.

Jim came up though the advertising side of the business, and his Consultative Marketing Program has been used across the country by businesses that want to better connect with their potential customers.

This week, Jim has been working with Tallapoosa Publishers’ advertising staff, training us in the Consultative Marketing approach that we’re putting into place here. We’ll be working on this program for at least the coming year, and I’m very excited about what it can do to help bring more customers and higher sales to the businesses located here in the Lake Martin area.

Basically, he’s teaching us how to ask the deep questions that will help area business managers put their sales goals in sharp focus. We’re learning how to better listen to what is said and then develop a customized needs assessment. Once we all agree what the needs are, we use that to think outside the box to help businesses create an effective, long-term marketing plan custom-made to meet their specific goals.

This week, we’ve started going through the process here in Alexander City.

Already we’ve met with one Alexander City business that is working on a long-term marketing plan that looks like it will involve renaming the business, developing a new logo and laser-focusing its advertising message to help bring in new customers. This marketing plan will involve many different mediums, including newspaper, magazine and online advertising, and may include other mediums not associated with Tallapoosa Publishers. Our goal is to do whatever it takes to grow our local businesses. And by doing so, everybody here will benefit.

The Consultative Marketing program involves deep discussion between our sales staff and business managers about their products, pricing strategies, value to their customers, retail and online options, packaging and promotion.

From Tallapoosa Publishers’ perspective, it means we will take a team approach to develop successful marketing plans that include a budget, an annual media plan and creative products that make the cash register ring for our advertisers … again, it’s a win-win for our customers and our community as a whole.

I see a lot of Jim Elsberry in his Consultative Marketing program.

It involves leadership, a deep understanding of people and the community and a super-sized helping of common sense.

I think it could help every business in the Lake Martin area … including ours. I’m putting my money where my mouth is because I intend to see that Tallapoosa Publishers takes the same approach to marketing our own newspapers, magazines and web products. I believe in Consultative Marketing and I know that by using it, we can attract more readers and more advertisers and more commercial print customers.

If you’d like to know more about how you can start developing a winning marketing plan that will make your business more money this year, please call Roger Steele, Tippy Hunter, Kathleen McCollough, Lacey Howell or me at 256-234-4281.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Boone is publisher of The Outlook.