January 23, 2012

The Diamond Thief’s Guide to Marketing

As I was reading the book Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell, I noticed that the diamond thieves used strategies that also make good marketing strategies for all businesses.  Those strategies are:
  • Research Your Target (Market) – The thieves researched their target - the Diamond Center in Antwerp – by having one of the thieves sign a lease and spend time in the building gathering data.  Observing the behavior of your target market members is still a great method for gathering research.  While surveys and focus groups are useful, you shouldn’t forget that your target market consists of human beings (or animals).
  • Communicate in Your Target’s Language – The thief who signed the lease in the Diamond Center already owned jewelry stores and was able to communicate in the language of the diamond community.  You don’t have to have experience in your target market but you do need to communicate to them in their language to effectively market to them.
  • Keep It Simple – The thief assigned to open the vault door always looked for the simple solution to opening safes.  The most effective marketing messages tend to be simple.  For instance, “Where’s the Beef?” was a simple, memorable marketing message that increased sales for Wendy’s restaurants.
  •  Hire the Best – In building the team for this heist, the leader of the group hired thieves who had the knowledge and experience in each specialty field required for the heist to succeed.  If you put an Administrative Assistant in charge of your Web Marketing program, what are the chances your business will generate much new sales through your sites or social media?
  • Don’t Be Greedy – So, the thieves were in the Diamond Center vault and chose to leave behind their empty water bottles (great source of DNA) and some of their equipment in order to fit more loose diamonds and jewelry in their bags.  How does this apply to marketing?  Don’t stretch the truth in your marketing messages in order to generate more revenue.  Once your lies become public, and those always do, you’ll have a difficult time recovering lost sales and your brand’s image and reputation.

Have any examples of non-business books you’ve read that gave you good marketing or business ideas?

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