What Toto Has to Teach Us About Marketing

I’ve always liked the film the Wizard of Oz. I particularly like the scene where Toto, Dorothy’s little dog, jumps out of her arms to pull back the curtain and reveal that the intimidating, omniscient wizard is simply a little old guy pulling levers.

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The truth is, I see myself as a Toto. I like demystifying things. I especially like taking things that are intimidating, awe inspiring, and pulling back the curtain to reveal the simplicity that lies behind. I love saying ‘See! Anyone can do this. It’s really not that complicated!’ If you don’t know how to do it, attracting a consistent stream of paying clients can seem overwhelming, intimidating, confusing and complicate Togel d. When you ARE doing it, it’s as straightforward as a little old guy pulling levers.

Right now, what’s complicating things for many people, in my view, is the technology that surrounds marketing, especially online marketing. Ezines, search engine optimization, Google AdWords, e-books, e-courses, autoresponders, shopping carts, merchant accounts. Just how do all these pieces fit into your marketing plans?

Faced with a list like this people either go into the ‘headless chicken dance’ and rush around frantically trying to keep up or are paralyzed by confusion like a rabbit caught in the headlights, they just freeze and do nothing. (Dogs? Chickens? Rabbits? This article is starting to feel like Noah’s ark!)

Now, I don’t recommend that you do the headless chicken routine, as it is very detrimental to your energy levels. And if you’ve been feeling like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights, then I’ve got good news for you too. First, breathe. (Breathing is good!) Now get yourself comfortable, I’m about to pull back the curtain.

Doing business online is no different from doing business offline. And in both arenas, marketing is nothing more than matching up your product or service with the people who need it.

Now, if you don’t understand how to do this at it’s core, then no amount of technology will help you. If you have grasped at an elemental level, how to match up with your target market, then the technology can turbo-charge your progress.

In a nutshell, this is what you need to do. First you need to generate leads, get people who are in the market for what you have to offer to ‘raise their hands’ and make themselves known to you. Next you need to make an explicit offer to those people who raise their hands. Tell them clearly what they need to do to become a customer or client of yours. Now some people will buy immediately, other people may need more time, or more convincing.

If you have a low cost system for staying in touch with those people who don’t buy immediately AND you consistently add value to those people, and remind them of what you have to offer, then over time a good proportion of those clients will convert into paying clients too.

Now, some of this may look like I’m ‘stating the obvious’ but if it’s so obvious, why are so few people actually applying it? Where I see most people fall down is on step two, making a clear offer to those people who have ‘raised their hands’, but that’s a subject for another time.

Participation in the Vietnam War for most soldiers caused profound lifelong effects that resulted from their experiences during that era. Vietnam War memoirs have become the fodder for many books recounting that time and one such book, In Our Duffel Bags written by Vietnam Vets, First Lieutenant Richard C. Geschke and Lieutenant Robert A. Toto. Both men are long time service buddies as well as friends and it is through this book they share the sometimes harrowing events encountered during their service in the “War with no purpose; no mission statement.” This narrative book uniquely conveys each man’s first hand experiences as soldiers serving in the US Army during the Vietnam War era and their transition to civilian life afterwards.

Their eye opening journey through the military started with voluntary enlisting into the United States Army ROTC program during college. Upon graduation, they were first brought into Infantry Officer Basic Training in Fort Benning, Georgia, then moved to places like West Germany, Panama and eventually found themselves in the dreaded area of Southeast Asia, Vietnam. During their time spent serving in the military, the duffel bags of these soldiers not only held their necessary supplies but also carried their stress filled memories of pain, frustration, loneliness, fear, determination and death as they served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1972. It is by writing this book that they have finally unpacked the memories contained in their duffel bags.

In Our Duffel Bags is not written in a way that is over the top with military lingo as one might expect in a book of this nature, however it does includes a glossary to explain the military jargon that was used throughout the book. While the majority of the chapters are written by Richard C. Geschke, there are also the first hand accounts that are intermittently inserted throughout the book written by co-author and long time friend, Robert A. Toto. Having interweaving stories by two authors helps to complete the picture with a different perspective and insight. Ultimately in this book the Vietnam soldier’s life is laid out; the good, the bad, the weak and the strong, are all defined by the stories in this book. For some, reading this book will be a venture down memory lane perhaps sparking their own buried memories and emotions making this book a really good and relatable read. For other readers who may not have been old enough to remember the war, let alone be a soldier in it, this book will read like a history text book with facts drawn from some of the original participants. The tone of the book is very factual and at times dry, but is intelligently written. The stories are written in a down to earth manner using language that makes it easy to relate to the storytellers. This is the type of book that can be a captivating read for those wanting to indulge in the mindsets of young men forced into becoming soldiers during a war in which no one wanted to fight.

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