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Playing the Field

Apply dating rules to marketing, and sweep your customers off their feet.

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This story appears in the May 2005 issue of Start Up.

Sweaty palms, racing heart, butterflies in the stomach--ithappens to the best of us. When it comes to marketing, making agood and lasting impression on your target customers can be asnerve-wracking as asking someone out on a date. The good news: RobLevinson, founder and president of RL Strategies, amarketing strategy consulting firm in Dover, Massachusetts, saysyou can use some of the same basic tactics used in dating to makecustomers fall head over heels for your product or service.

  • Stop talking, start listening. Do extensive research toget to know your target consumers. Observe them, conduct onlinesurveys, and talk with them one-on-one.
  • Whisper sweet nothings. Once you know your consumers,make them feel good with appealing marketing images or words. SaysLevinson, "It's all about feeding customers signs on howthey want to feel about themselves."

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