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Thursday, May 01, 2008

It is with great honor that I present a Q & A with the authors of Gravitational Marketing, Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller. If you haven't heard about Jimmy or Travis, or even the term Gravitational Marketing, then you're in for a fantastic surprise. Listen in as I ask the authors for their years of experience and the real secrets to marketing that works!

Q1: In your book, you talk about a fundamental principle - Gravitate, Captivate, Invigorate, and Motivate. Can you explain to our readers why this methodology is so important?

So many people look at marketing as a single event. For instance; you run an ad and expect people to call you or come to your business and give you money because of that ad. When it doesn’t work like that (and it usually doesn’t) people say, “Advertising doesn’t work!”

But it does work. It has to work. If advertising, or let’s broaden and say marketing, doesn’t work then there’s no hope for any of us. How else will you get customers? Cross your fingers? Pray? Hope? Do a rain dance?

Being in business is a lot more fun when you’re in control. And one of the easiest ways to gain control is to control the flow of new customers. But in order to do this, you need a system, a process. And any good system or process requires more than one step. In this case, Gravitational Marketing is four steps.

You do something to cause people to come to you in the first place (gravitate). This very rarely involves them buying something. You’ll attract far more people if you offer them something for free instead of for pay. Imagine if the lady offering samples of food in the grocery store wanted to charge you to taste the new cookie. Would you pay? Most people would walk right by.

Once you have their attention, you must hold their attention. This is the captivate phase. You must cause them to feel like what they’re experiencing from you is somehow different than all the others. They suspend disbelief and allow themselves to believe, even if just for a moment, that you can actually help them.

Once they’re in the zone, it’s time to really lather them up. The invigorate phase is about tapping into their emotional desires and showing them how your product or service can satisfy those desires. You cause them to feel hopeful, afraid, uplifted, determined, etc. It’s the engagement of these emotions that prepares the customer for the sale.

Finally, you motivate. You ask them to do precisely the thing you want them to do next. This is when a sale is made.

Adopting a systematic process such as this will deliver a far better result than relying on hope or chance or trying to turn advertising directly into customers. In this method, advertising is merely the first step in the four step process.

Q2: I really enjoyed your analogy of sensationalism to an apple. Can you explain the concept at a high level for our marketers out there and small business owners?

We’re glad you enjoyed it. You’re one of the first to mention it. The original idea for the cover of the book was an apple, falling from a tree, that was segmented as we’ll describe here. That idea ended up on the cutting room floor.

Imagine your business as an apple. There are three main components: the skin, the meat, and the core or seeds.

The skin is your outward projection, the communication. It’s what everyone in the world sees. This is your logo, your branding, your advertising, your publicity, your store front, your uniforms, your collateral, etc. Most people believe this is where marketing begins and ends. But, if your marketing ends at the skin, what happens when people bite into the fruit? It may look golden and delicious on the outside, but the inside may be mushy and bland. No good.

Instead, as marketers, we need to apply our thinking to the actual consumption of the product or service, in addition to the communication of the business. What’s the experience like. What’s the environment like. Is it somehow different than all the other options? Does it measure up to the promise made in your marketing?
We’ve worked with a number of car dealers over the years. One problem we used to see a lot is that we’d make the advertising for the dealership, and it would attract people in droves. But when they arrived, they were disappointed because the folks at the dealership didn’t have any idea what the advertising promised. Big mistake. Instead, the consumption of your product or service should be congruent with the communication of your promise.

Finally, the seeds or the core. If the key people in your business don’t buy into what’s happening at the communication or the consumption levels, you’ll have problems. The inner beliefs, the values, the mission, the goals, should all be reflected in the communication and the consumption. It’s when all three parts of your business, communication, consumption and core, work together that the results really begin to increase. This becomes the key to not only attracting customers, but keeping them and turning them into clients for life who pay more, stay longer, and refer repeatedly.

Q3: One of the strategies you give in your book is to hook prospects with some type of offer. I noticed that you provide readers of your book a large number of resources at no cost. What do you consider the true value in giving so much away?
The value to the reader is clear: they bought a $20 book and we give them hours of additional audio training and several tools and resources to aid them in implementing our ideas. That’s high value for anyone who is willing to invest the time to study the information and use the tools. And we’re big believers in providing high value. In fact, in a period of economic slowdown, consumers are desperately seeking confidence and value. Those two feed off each other. But that’s another discussion.

The value to us may be less clear, but it’s illustrative: in order to claim those extra resources, readers need to provide us with their contact info (and prove to us that they really have the book). This allows us to begin to build a relationship with them, which over time, we can cultivate. We guide them through the process of captivating, invigorating and motivating. It would be very difficult to do any of that if we couldn’t get in touch them with or had no idea who they were.

Q4: You refer to ego as something that can really impact your marketing efforts. What's your position on ego in the marketing and business process?

“Ego is not your amigo” to quote a 7 step program. Look, your potential customers don’t care about you. They don’t even know you. So many business people get caught up with their image, their brand, etc. Now, that may be important to them, and rightly so, but it’s not important to the public.

So instead, you need to approach your marketing by asking the simple question (and we didn’t invent this): What’s in it for them? If something you’re saying, or some image you’re using, or some claim you’re making doesn’t have a clear benefit for the customer, why bother saying it? If it only makes you feel good, but not them, it really doesn’t belong.

There’s another dimension to this as well. Frequently, marketing that is most effective as a gravitating tool doesn’t even convey the brand or name of the company. And sometimes it’s not pretty. Usually, it’s not fancy or glossy. See, the best advertising is that which doesn’t look like an ad. But if you show your ad to your friends at the country club, they’re likely to tell you you’re nuts for not plastering your name and image all over the ad. But what does your name or image have to do with the customer? What’s in it for them? Your ego will tell you that your newspaper ad should have your logo in it. But we’re telling you that in many cases, it should not. Generally speaking, the more ego-stroking your ad is, the less effective it will be.

Q5: I think that one of the most valuable messages in your book is the role of emotion in gravitational marketing. What is a simple way to identify the right emotion to elicit among your target audience?

Tough question. That’s what we get paid for . Really, finding the answer requires you to be very interested in your prospects. You have to figure out what’s burning inside of them, what’s keeping them up at night, what they most ardently desire. Determining what emotions are connected with those desires or fears requires common sense. How would you feel if you were in their position?

It’s been said that fear of loss is a bigger motivator than potential gain. And maybe that’s true, if you could measure it. But depending on what you’re selling, you may not be able to tap into fear. But you could tap into guilt or some other powerful emotion.

Two big ideas to keep in mind. First, which ever emotions you decide to elicit, you should also split test against others. Write an ad that elicits fear and another that elicits hope. Test them against each other to the same group of people, and see which performs best.

Second, different segments of your audience will probably respond well to different emotional triggers. For example, we hosted a teleseminar this week on the topic of using the recession as an opportunity. Our message was one of hope and, well, opportunity. It resonated with most of the people, and we’ve already received feedback from 60+ people on our blog raving about the call. But we just received an email from another person who felt our pace was too slow and our information too sophomoric. The problem probably was that the emotions we tapped into weren’t right for him. You must be prepared to let down some portion of the market in order to energize another portion.

Q6: There are a variety of "attraction" techniques you suggest to fill the gravitational funnel. Based on your experience, what are the top 3 most effective techniques you've seen among small and medium sized businesses?

Of course, it’s different for every business. But the trends we’ve seen have caused us to most frequently rely on pay per click, articles and ads in trade magazines and radio ads. Not in any order, and usually not all three for one business. But those are our top 3. Remember, when filling the funnel, you’re only looking for leads. We’ve found these to generate the best leads for the least cost.

But once a lead is generated you need to follow up. More and more companies are relying on email these days to do that. We’ve found that to be a big mistake. The best form of follow up we have found is in the mail, supplemented with a phone call. Email follow up alone tends to be very weak.

Q7: As a takeaway, what can someone do today to begin taking advantage of gravitational marketing?

Write something that your customer would like to read. Don’t know what to write? Ask your customers their top question about what you do. Use a free service like Offer them a reward for taking the survey. Take the biggest questions and write out the answers. Now, you can use that document as something to trade for contact information. “The 10 Tough Questions To Ask Before You Hire A ________.” Simple.

About The Authors of Gravitational Marketing
Jimme and Travis are young entrepreneurs who help others build businesses that are Enjoyable, Simple, and Prosperours. They are the creators of Graviational Marketing and leading experts on the topic of attracting customers. Their strategies and ideas have been applied in every major U.S. market and around the globe and have resulting in over $12 billion in sales to date. For more information, please visit


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