Archive for: June, 2023

5 Biggest Wastes of Marketing Money You Should Avoid As an Entrepreneur

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Have we worked together?

Sure we have. You’re the entrepreneur that’s passionate about your business, an expert in your field but decidedly NOT a business development expert, and certainly NOT a salesperson. Right?

Prior to our meeting one another some marketing “experts” told you that you don’t need to “sell” anything you simply need to market your business. This sounded great to you because you’re not really comfortable with the idea of selling.

So, as we discussed some of the issues that were holding your business back you shared with me what so many others have also shared with me… what I have come to call:

The 5 Biggest Wastes of Marketing Money

Biggest Waste #1: The Yellow Book

Want to spend a lot of money on a dying medium that ensures that you are not differentiated from all of your competitors? Look no further! This medium is totally passive and relies entirely upon a prospect stumbling upon your name amongst all the other suckers who have also spent their precious cash. Chances are you’ve spent thousands for this privilege and received next to nothing in return. The one positive? If the prospect happens to find you more than likely they are in need of your product or service.

Biggest Waste #2: Newspaper Advertising

Again, another dying medium. Funny thing though, as circulation and relevance fall, print advertising rates have remained stable or even gone up! Such a deal! Some other considerations include:

  • You’re never sure who sees the Ad
  • You’re never sure if it is reaching your target audience
  • Not a bad way to build brand awareness…if your a multi-billion dollar corporation
  • How do you know if it’s consistently reaching your target?
  • How compelling is your ad? Are you giving something away?

The one positive? IF someone is looking for your product or service AND they see your ad, you might just get a call.

Biggest Waste #3: Poorly Targeted Direct Mail

Most people, including a lot of the self proclaimed “marketing experts” (who are really nothing more than graphic artists) approach direct mail completely wrong:

Here’s how that process typically flows

1. You’re desperate for sales

2. Someone sells you on the need to do direct mail

3. They tell you how they can make it look really cool

4. Message? What message? Call to action? What call to action?

5. How many names do you want to send this to? You know, it only costs a little bit more to print a few thousand more…

Hello 0.05% response rate!

The correct way to approach direct mail is:

1. Who is my target audience? What niche within this broader target do I want to reach?

2. Can I build/buy a list to reach this niche effectively?

3. What is my message? What are my prospects’ pain points?

4. What do I want the piece to look like?

Most of your time and energy should be spent on building your list and crafting your message.

If done correctly, direct mail can deliver targeted results but it remains a passive activity.

Biggest Waste #4: Radio Advertising

By now all of you can probably tell me what the disadvantages of radio are, right?

  • Expensive
  • Is it reaching your target audience?
  • Is your message/business one that is suited to radio? For example, if you are a Lean Manufacturing consultant do you really think the average listener to the radio is going to be compelled to pick up the phone and call you?
  • Totally passive

One Positive: Radio can provide some mindshare and brand awareness, but is this what you want to spend your precious money on?

5th biggest waste: Complicated, beautiful brochures

Here’s a wake-up call for you…brochures don’t sell business!!

Exception: if you are a restaurant, oil change shop or some other B to C business that is offering coupons as part of your brouchure in order to get people to take action.

Before you waste your money on a brochure:

  • Think, How am I going to use this brochure?
    • Mail it to prospects? We’ve already talked about the deficiencies of direct mail? Do you want to throw good money after bad?
    • As a leave behind? Why not save the money and create a decent website for a few hundred dollars or a good website for a couple of thousand dollars?
    • Your expensive brochure will be likely be inaccurate, forgotten in a file drawer or buried in landfill while your website is working for you 24X7.
  • Understand that these days people go to the internet to gather information about your business your credibility, experience, professionalism etc.

Take Away: If you feel you must have a brochure, keep it simple and inexpensive and use it to drive prospects to your website.

Comments are off for this post

Free Affiliate Programs – How to Make Money on Shoestring Budget With Affiliate Marketing Strategy

Jun 05 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Did you know that you can start making money on the internet even if you don’t have a website? Sound crazy? Well it’s true. On top of that you don’t have to lay out a penny in order to take advantage of this opportunity. I’m talking about an affiliate marketing strategy using free affiliate programs, where you get credit for products or information that is sold as a direct result of traffic that you send to the program’s site.

Affiliate marketing is absolutely huge on the internet. Giants like Amazon.com, Yahoo.com, Barnes and Nobel and others all have affiliate programs to promote their products and millions are paid out each year to affiliate marketers.

So how does a free affiliate program work? Basically there are two ways to become an affiliate, deal directly with the advertiser or go through an affiliate network. The idea is you drive visitors to their sales page and if the visitor purchases something you earn a commission. So how can you do this without owning a website? How can you drive traffic to that sales page?

There are two ways; one is easier than the other. The internet is full of free classified ad sites. Some of these are ranked fairly high by Google which means if you place an ad on their site there’s a good chance that it will rank high in a search if it’s properly optimized. In your ad you give a short sales blurb and then have the link to the advertiser’s sales page. If people click through on that link and purchase something, bingo, you’ve just earned a commission.

The second way to drive traffic is through article marketing. This is becoming trickier because more and more of the top article directories will not allow you to use a direct link to the affiliate sales page. However there are still some that do so it still can be done.

Let’s say you are promoting an outdoor rabbit hutch for Amazon.com. With article marketing you would write a short story talking about the reasons a rabbit hutch makes good sense and what to look for in one. You can’t pitch the one you are representing directly. The article has to be informative about the subject. However you are able to pitch the product in what’s known as the resource box at the bottom of the article. In this box you’ll have a link to the sales page.

Of course you can use a website to promote these affiliate deals as well. You can get free websites and blogs at Squidoo.com, Weebly.com and Blogger to mention a few. Having these sites link to the affiliate sales page also gets around the article directory ban on direct links. Simply put the link to your site or blog in the resource box and your good to go.

You should take care in selecting which free affiliate programs you select. Find out how often they pay. Is there a minimum pay out amount. Do they offer any kind of free marketing tools? How do they track sales? Just like in anything else, there are good reputable affiliate programs and there are less respectable ones. Do your due diligence before you commit to anything but do use this great affiliate marketing strategy.

Comments are off for this post

How Knowing Your Customer via Direct Marketing Helps Your Online Business to Prosper

Jun 04 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is direct marketing? Put simply, direct marketing is a process of recording information about your customer’s response to a planned marketing activity.

Increased computer usage has allowed direct marketing to evolve and to rise dramatically. For your online business, to begin with, you design your sales letter or craft your emails to elicit a certain response. You then test and track your customer’s feedback by the actions (or inaction) that he/she takes. The tracking process is easily accomplished via coding your online campaigns and can be fully automated.

As you gather more information about your customer’s online behaviour, you are able to tweak your sales ad accordingly.

In a nutshell, the internet makes it possible for you to track your individual online communication with a customer and to know what happens over time.

With direct marketing skills, you will be able to acquire and retain your customers. There is less marketing wastage as you know what, how and where to roll out your online marketing campaign for the best response. Having good knowledge about your customers will definitely put you ahead of your pack!

So what are the qualities that constitute a good online customer? He/she is:

* Open to your offers.

* Repeat buyer.

* Buyer of your front end / back end products.

* Easy and low cost to maintain.

* High revenue dollar value per acquisition cost.

* Loyal to you.

* Swear by you!

The reverse is true of a poor online customer. He/she is:

* Not open.

* A complainer.

* A single transaction buyer.

* An easy product switcher to your competitor’s.

* Not loyal.

* Quibbles a lot on price.

* Expensive to acquire and expensive to maintain.

* Low revenue dollar value per acquisition cost.

How then, do you pinpoint a good customer against a bad one? What kind of information do you need to know about your customers? Here are 8 critical but very basic information that you must gather:

1. Who are they?

2. What do they buy?

3. When do they buy?

4. How do they buy?

5. Why do they buy?

6. Where do they buy?

7. Are they satisfied?

8. What is their buying power like?

One way of getting the information that you need is to simply conduct a survey on your mailing list. Hot tip! Make it easy for your subscribers to fill up the survey and give them an incentive to do so!

The same pareto principle should apply to your online business: the 80/20 rule. The principle just means that 80% of your sales are generated by 20% of your customers.

If this is the the case, instead of spending huge sums on customer acquisition, it may be a more prudent measure to spend resources on knowing and understanding more of this 20% segment. Cultivate good relationships with this 20% segment and reward the customers here for staying true to you. (Again, this knowledge is only possible if you have surveyed or kept track of your entire customer base.)

All in, having happy, loyal and satisfied customers will result in a business that prospers. And you can achieve this through direct marketing and knowing what, how and where to please your online customers!

Comments are off for this post

10 Reasons to Include Mobile Marketing in Your Budget

Jun 03 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

1. Targeted audience reach - mobile marketing allows you to reach a highly targeted audience with the ability to easily target and personalise direct marketing messages to different customer groups. Cell phones, unlike PC’s, are usually used by one individual only meaning the targeted message will reach the right user every time. Targeting customer groups specifically will make your mobile campaigns more relevant and ultimately more successful.

2. Highly effective two way communication - cell phones are with users practically 24/7 and are a highly trusted and personal device. Unlike emails, SMS text messages are almost always opened and read, often immediately when received. The average open rate for text messages is over 90% compared with approximately 20% for email campaigns. Cell phone users use their phones as a communication channel already, so communicating with a company in this medium becomes a much more familiar and easy task than it would be with a traditional media such as TV or print. Two way communication allows you to engage your consumer on a personal level and build stronger customer relationships.

3. More cost effective - Mobile marketing has a much lower cost than other marketing channels. The cost is minimal because the major costs incurred with a text message campaign are low per message costs sent to a targeted and engaged audience. Lower costs means you can maintain budgets and effectively spread your marketing spend across multiple marketing channels.

4. Fast to implement - Mobile marketing campaigns are quick and easy to create and can be deployed instantly meaning you can see the results of your campaigns far more quickly.

5. Higher response rates than traditional direct marketing channels - Mobile marketing has a higher response rate than traditional direct marketing channels, and because the channel is still relatively new it has not reached a point of saturation or distrust in the way other marketing channels have. Average response rates for mobile marketing are around 15%, around five times higher than the average email marketing campaign. Higher response rates means less wasted media spend and higher ROI from mobile marketing plans and budgets.

6. Potential to easily integrate with other media channels - mobile marketing can be easily integrated with other media channels including TV, radio, print, outdoor, email and online to create an integrated marketing campaign. Adding mobile marketing to the mix adds an element of interactivity and consumer participation that many campaigns using traditional media lack.

7. Relevant and accurate customer data - customer databases remain accurate and relevant far longer than traditional postal or email addresses because people generally keep their mobile numbers for a much longer time than an email or postal address. This means greater accuracy and less wasted media spend.

8. Reduced risk of investment - The ease, speed and cost effectiveness of a mobile marketing campaign means there is a reduced risk of investment as results can be seen quickly and messages can be adapted based on results with minimal spend throughout the entire process.

9. Highly trackable - Cell Phone marketing is highly trackable due to the ability for customers to respond directly and instantly. Mobile marketing can also be used to track the effectiveness of other marketing channels by including a direct response call to action in, for example, a TV advertisement.

10. Your competitors are doing it - According to a recent report ‘The state of the industry: Mobile advertising’ by Millennial Media, 60% of non-mobile marketers plan to launch a mobile campaign in 2010. Of current mobile marketers 31% will invest between $100k and $249k and 13% will invest between $1M and $5M. The report also states that almost 80% of respondents felt the mobile medium met their goals with 9% saying cell phone marketing performed beyond their wildest expectations. With more and more companies benefiting from the power of mobile marketing, if you don’t use it, you might just fall behind!

Comments are off for this post

For Direct Marketers, Personality Is Everything

Jun 02 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

I’m sure you’ll find this interesting. While recently wrapping up a CEO search for a leading consumer catalog and web company, nearly all the candidates who made our client’s short list had the same personality. Interesting, yes! But not peculiar.

The finalist candidates–four men and a woman–a talented mix of seasoned dm execs from across the country, were representing career backgrounds in a variety of product categories and company size.

In fact, after 12 years of assessment testing hundreds of men and women–senior-level direct marketing candidates for positions as CEO, President–for leadership roles in Finance, Marketing, Merchandising, IT, Operations, I’ve noticed the same thing. Over 75% of these individuals have the same personality and temperament type. So for me, testing this most recent group came as no surprise.

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

The direct marketing executive personality type I’m referring to–and the one you may not be aware of–is shared by only 12% to 15% of the American population, according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This is the standard-bearer of all personality assessments. In fact, it identifies sixteen distinctly different, universal personality types.

According to its publishers, Myers-Briggs is used by roughly nine out of 10 Fortune 100 companies and is administered to more than 2.5 million employees a year. The MBTI was developed 60 years ago based on the theories of psychoanalyst Carl Jung. It endures, because it does a great job of improving team relations by pointing out differences between how personality “types” perceive and process information.

The Right Fit

A Harvard University study found that for every dismissal based on failure to perform, there are two dismissals due to personality and communication problems. With the high costs of employee turnover, it’s no surprise more and more direct marketing organizations are turning to personality and behavioral assessments to help evaluate job candidates, build teams and resolve workplace conflicts.

Think about it. You’re already testing offers, testing copy, testing merchandise, and testing catalogs. So why not your people?

If your business is not doing so, you ought to consider using testing (and there are numerous pre-hire assessment options to choose from) to fine-tune your hiring process and bring in top talent. It may help you get a handle on which candidates are most likely to succeed–evaluating candidates before they are hired. And give you some kind of idea of what makes them tick.

This raises the question: Are certain people genetically bred to go into direct marketing? Or does the very nature of the business effect personality and temperament? Take your pick. In my judgment, it’s a bit of both. “We want to learn more about candidates as individuals,” says Andy Katz, President & CEO of pet supplies direct marketer, PetEdge. “Once a candidate is hired, this same information helps us understand and maximize their talents specific to the role they have,” Katz adds. “And we continue to work on developing employees’ self-awareness throughout their careers to help create an environment that ensures success.”

You Can’t Study For It

In taking a personality assessment, experts advise candidates to answer the questions truthfully, not the way they think the company wants them to respond. There is often a validity factor built in where many questions are asked solely to determine whether the subject is answering truthfully and consistently.

Even if the candidate does fool the test, he or she will only wind up in a job or assignment that doesn’t fit or will make you–and those around you–miserable. According to Bonnie Bass, a vice president of a professional dynametric programs testing organization, “When people feel the need to act unnaturally, they waste energy, experience stress and become unhappy and less productive. People are at their best when they’re doing work that draws on their natural strengths and allows them to be themselves.”

Comments are off for this post

« Newer posts