Advertising and promotion can be a confusing subject. You place an ad or send out a mailer and the response seems less than it should be. Sometimes it is a lot less. You feel like you are throwing good money away and you give up. Sound familiar?
Your point of view about marketing and promotion will have more of an effect on your response than what form of advertising you do. The following are reasons why your advertising has not worked as well as you like:
One: After it is all said and done, when you buy advertising you are essentially buying customers. To be able to judge whether advertising is worth it for your business, you have to have an idea of what a customer is really worth to your business. A customer is always worth more than the value of one sale. Once you have a customer how much will they spend with you in a year? What is the five-year value of a customer to your business? Once you have that information you can then make a value decision about how much you should spend to get a new customer. (We have an easy customer worth calculator you can use just click here.)
Two: The desire for instant gratification. There is no magic formula or instant method that will double your sales overnight. You are right in that you should get responses from your advertising, but how much makes it worthwhile to advertise? Too many business owners give up on advertising and switch to the next magic bullet before the advertising ever had a chance to bite and produce a worthwhile result.
The situation in the modern economy is that there is a lot of competition in almost every industry. The consumer has a lot of choices. The variables involved in the what results of your advertising will get are:
- How many people are in the market to buy what you sell today.
- How many of your competitors are advertising to the same people now, possibly with a better offer.
- How well known your company is versus your competition.
Sure, price and quality of product fall into the equation, but they are secondary to the first three points.
The only one of the above three points you can control is how well you are known. People always buy from businesses they are familiar with. The only way to become familiar with your prospective customers is by constant and repetitious advertising. If you send out a postcard mailer or a direct mail piece, send it to the same audience more than once. You will get more response the third or fourth time you mail a group of people than you will the first time, simply because you are more familiar to them now and over the course of two-three-four months a lot more people will have come into the market and are ready to buy what you have to sell.
Three: Overly Ambitious. Trying to reach more people than your budget will allow. It is better to be a big fish in a little pond than being a little fish in a big pond. Pick a pond that you can afford to dominate and dominate it (as in point one above with repetitious and consistent direct mailings). Direct mail marketing allows you to find the size of pond you can dominate. We also have several ways to help you to save money on postage and can help you to target your mailer on the quality of prospect you want.
Four: Assuming that you, the business owner, knows best. Sometimes it is good to get a viewpoint from someone who is standing outside of the box. Being an owner of a business myself, the urge to take command and direct the action is sometimes overwhelming. It helps to listen to the advice of someone who is not in the fray, especially when it comes to marketing. I have seen business owners take a perfectly good postcard design and confuse the message by adding too much product information or by thinking the product is good enough to stand on its own without a strong offer. There are ten points to an effective ad you can use, for more information click here.
Five: Unsubstantiated claims. This is a big killer. If you make a claim, be prepared to back it up. Your direct mail piece, magazine or newspaper ad will be more effective if you do.
Six: No call to action in the ad. Every direct mail or postcard mailer you do needs to have a call to action. A call to action is simply asking them to call now and the second part of this is giving them a urgent reason to do so, NOW!
Seven: No Campaign. Sending out just one postcard mailing instead of sending out postcards as part of a direct mail campaign. Remember the only thing that is effective is consistent and repetitious advertising to a target group of prospects
Eight: Follow up and follow up again. This is really the second part of six above because you cannot have a campaign without sending out a follow up mailer. It does not have to be the same postcard; you can follow up with a letter or note card mailer.
Nine: Use event-driven marketing. Use the holidays. Use Birthdays. Use warehouse sales. Make it big and promote it so that it is known.
Ten: Vital action. Make sure you have support materials to send to responses. The rule here is the bigger the ticket item, the more important it is to have a professionally designed and printed full color brochure or booklet that promotes the benefits of doing business with you. Brochures and booklets can also be designed as a sales tool that answers questions and validates buying decisions of your prospect. You are asking someone to spend thousands of dollars with you and your marketing materials were printed on a ink jet printer in the back office? Really…this is the one point where I see people step over a dollar to save a penny. Look at your marketing materials through the eyes of your customers. Do your materials make you feel confident you are making the right decision?
Eleven: Great production without great copy. I have seen very glitzy and nice postcard mailers fail because they were short on accurate content. You have to know why people buy what you sell. You have to get this information from people who have already bought from you. Surveying customers is the path to being able to create nice looking postcard mailers that bite and produce results.
Twelve: Confusing response with results. This ties directly into point one—knowing what a customer is worth to your business. A response may be 300 people, but if they are not qualified or do not buy I am sure you will agree that five or six new paying customers are better. Knowing what a customer is worth to your business goes a long way in helping you to judge the results of your advertising.
Our company is built around helping you to get the results from your advertising that you need in order to grow your business. Results almost always start with having the right point of view about how to advertise today.
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