Graham McGregor: Think past forward

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Marketing consultant Graham McGregor explains why 'Past Forward Marketing' is such a great investment.

One of the smartest marketing experts I know is my good friend Bob Serling. Bob's created a wonderful marketing resource called '10- Minute Business Success' which I highly recommend. You can get a free copy of this great programme and learn more about Bob here.

In a recent interview for my Unfair Business Advantage Report Bob shared with me a simple idea that any business could use to boost sales and profits.

It's called 'Past Forward' marketing and here's how it works...

Take some time and carefully review all the sales and marketing activities you have used in your business over the last 1-3 years. There is a good chance you have done a lot of different things in this time frame. Now what you are looking for are the sales and marketing activities that have worked exceptionally well in the past.

What was the single best sales or marketing promotion you tried in your business? What was the second best, what was the third best and so on?

You then ask yourself the question 'How can I take these successful sales or marketing promotions and either reuse them exactly as they are or make minor updates or tweaks and use them again?'

(In other words you take past sales or marketing successes and bring them forward into the future.)

One of the big mistakes all businesses make is that we always want to invent something new. But when you have marketing promotions that have proven to be successful in the past they will often work again and again in the future.

Bob shared some great examples on how this works. One of them was a business in the beauty industry. They discovered that the offer of a particular beauty treatment was very popular with their lady clients at Christmas as a lot of ladies wanted to look their best at this time of the year.

Well that same campaign is going to work identically well on Valentine's Day because women want to look really good then too. So this campaign could be easily adapted for Valentine's Day. And if it worked great at Christmas one year, there's a 90% chance it's going to work just as well at Christmas the next year.

So why go and create an entirely new offer or new campaign (that may or may not work) when you already know what did work?

In my weekend paper I usually see a small display ad offering a free booklet on how to be more successful when betting on horse races. The funny thing is this ad has been appearing for many years now without any changes. (The ad has obviously worked for this business so they continue to use it again and again and again.)

Bob explained that there are many ways to use Past Forward Marketing in a business. You can use it with certain groups of customers, with your most popular products and services and even to get great ideas from your competitors.

(You can read my full interview with Bob in the Unfair Business Advantage Report.)

In the meantime, how could you use Past Forward Marketing in your own business?

"The lesson which life repeats and constantly enforces is 'look under foot.' The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are." John Burroughs

Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant and the creator of the 'Unfair Business Advantage Report.' www.theunfairbusinessadvantage.com (This is free and has now been read by business owners from 11 countries.)

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