This is a typical refrain that we often hear.  The conversation goes something like this:

Prospect – Marketing doesn’t work!

BGP – Ok, what have you tried in the past?

Prospect – We sent out a postcard and didn’t get a single sale!

BGP – How many times did you mail the post card to your list?

Prospect – Just once, it was such a waste of money I decided not to do it again.

BGP – What did the post card have on it?

Prospect – My picture was on the back and it said something like,

– now accepting new patients

– our office is open

– stop in and buy from us

– we’ve been in business since before time began

– we have the lowest price in town for . . . . .

– we are great and you will like us

– we sells the same crap as everyone else, but you should buy from us

I hope that you are getting a picture of how this conversation goes.  And you should also be looking at your own business by now and seeing what you are doing in it.

We have all been mislead by the big humongous ad agencies and the fancy dancy stuff they put up on the tv, magazines, radio and every other medium that is out there.  Ok, to be fair, if you have a $billion$ then you could pay them to put some of that up there for them to win some awards and you will probably get some sales from it.  Even the worst crap that is put out there will make impressions to the point that it will entice people to stop by your shop or site and buy stuff.

By I am guessing that you don’t have an extra $billion$ or even a few $1,000 to throw out on cute, creative stuff . . . If you do then go for it.  If you don’t keep reading for some other ideas that you might find useful.

When we talk about marketing directly to people or companies that are potential prospects or customers, we refer to this as Direct Response Marketing. This type of marketing is measurable.  We know how many people the ad or piece went to and how many responded.  If the client’s systems are robust enough the we can also track who bought for the ad.  This allows us to track the ROI (return on investment) for the ad.  Without tracking the ROI we can not determine if the effort worked, how well it worked and wether we should continue it, tweak it, replace it or drop it.

You think for a minute that Coke or Pepsi can determine if a specific ad brought in more sales after it was run?  No, they can’t.  The best that they can do is determine, by statistical extrapolation of surveys whether the ad was seen, that is how many impressions it had.

We don’t care about impressions.  We only care about profits and whether the ad has or will lead to greater profits after running it than without running it.

More on this in a future post, after all we want you coming back.

Now, to the other major issue, frequency.  You’ve done it, we use to do it, everyone has said this at one time or another, “I ran it once and it didn’t work.”

If you take away nothing else from this, remember this – marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.  If you cannot budget for a long run, don’t waste your time and money to begin with, you will be disappointed.  The likelihood of hitting a home run the first time out is unrealistic, although it does happen.  So you need to plan for a longer duration.

The long duration will include efforts to test the successful pieces to determine:

– elements that worked

– offers that worked

– changes to determine improvements to be made

Again, this is a marathon, not a sprint.  A world class athlete does not just appear on the racetrack and kill the competition.  They hone their skills over many days, weeks, months and mile of track or water or tons of weight.  Each day their coach is tweaking their form, giving encouragement and pushing them to achieve more.

This is the perfect analogy for your marketing efforts, whether you are the coach and athlete or you hire the coaching out, it all comes down to the bottom line, it will take time, consistent effort and patience to make your marketing program world class.

To your growth and profitability.

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