By M.L. Dehm
SCBJ Freelance Writer
With over 40 years of radio, television and other advertising experience under his belt, local media notable Sparky Taft recently released a book describing his successful marketing techniques.
It is specifically designed to help retailers who may be flailing to stay alive in the current down economy.
Although “Dynamic Sales Results: Creating Super Sales Success in a Competitive Down Market” has only been available for about eight weeks, it has already received flattering reviews on a national level.
Several national business trade organizations are running feature articles on the book in coming months.
“In this tough economy retailers are struggling just to keep their doors open and a lot of them are not making it,” Taft said. “There will be a lot more businesses going out of business before the economy turns around. Just spending money for advertising is not a solution. I get down to the nitty-gritty of what really works.”
He went on to explain that most advertising books on the market are written in what he likes to call Madison Avenue-style.
They’re filled with philosophies, concepts and theories that don’t necessarily relate to local businesses in Snohomish County and beyond.
Taft’s book is written in ordinary every day English rather than advertising jargon. It concentrates on how to get more value and better results out of each advertising dollar. Techniques such as added value advertising are explained in depth.
This is a method where two very different businesses work symbiotically to promote one another. One real-life example is a high-end shoe company that partnered with a spa. The promotion offered a free spa service for a shoe purchase over a certain dollar amount.
Consumers want to feel they are getting the most value for their dollar so they purchased shoes that carried the added value offer. The spa that offered the free services also benefited. They estimated that nine out of ten customers who redeemed the offer would return again in the future. Those customers also purchased products and additional services on their free visit. “Both clients win,” Taft said. “It takes creative ideas not only to survive but to prosper.”
It’s also a matter of knowing the market and the moods of the market as well as how to motivate it. In this area, Taft has decades of experience. His ideas aren’t just theories. They are well documented sales techniques that have served him well over his long career.
Many Snohomish County residents recognize Taft’s name from his extensive radio background. His family pioneered broadcasting in Washington State and owned 13 radio stations. Taft and his father owned Everett’s KRKO for 37 years. When he sold KRKO in 1988, the station had a 36.5 percent audience share among all Seattle stations. Overall, Taft has been the general manager of eight radio stations and was one of two Washington broadcasters from the National Association of Broadcasters who served on the Congressional Liaison Committee.
In terms of professional promotion, Taft’s achievements include being named promoter of the year in the U.S. by Ringling Bros/Barnum &Bailey Circus for outstanding performances in Seattle and Portland. He also has produced over 50 car shows featuring big name celebrities such as Linda Carter, Lindsey Wagner, Jamie Farr and Wolfman Jack. Taft was also one of only three nationally sanctioned auto race promoters with NASCAR and United States Auto Club.
Currently, Taft is president of Dynamic Results Media, a company he runs with his wife Jean Ann French. Dynamic Results Media offers marketing, advertising and promotional services for businesses. It was French who originally suggested Taft encapsulate all his knowledge in a book.
Right now, Taft’s book is available only through his Web site, www.sparkytaft.com, but e-book and audio-book versions will be available soon.