Be a Marketer

Have you ever spent money on advertising but then didn’t get the results you felt you should have? I know I have. Any of us who have ran a business has had this happen to us.

According to the ad rep, you just didn’t do it often enough, or for a long enough period of time. In other words, you didn’t spend enough money with him.

Well maybe you’ve heard this definition of insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting different results. So who’s insane, the rep, or the person who keeps giving him money for the same thing expecting different results?

You’re told that what you need is “exposure”, when you know what you need is sales.

Unless you have endless funding to create a brand name, you probably don’t have the budget to buy ‘impressions’ and hope for the numbers to eventually tilt in your favor.

You want return on investment NOW, you want RESULTS!. When you spend $1 in marketing you’d better get $2 back in sales – better yet, $3 or $4 or more, depending on the Life-Time Value of your clients.

Let me show you what I mean.

Recently, I decided to sell my pickup. Who was my target market? Someone looking for a pickup. Where would I find that market? Places where pickups are advertised – because that’s where someone looking for a pickup is likely to be looking.

I could have just put a sign on my truck and waited. Or put a sign in my yard. After all, thousands of people see my truck every day. And hundreds of people drive by my house every day. But what percentage of those people are looking to buy a pickup? One percent? Probably less.

But of the thousands of people looking at the truck ads in the paper, or on the internet, how many are interested in buying a truck? A lot more than one percent.

What’s the difference in these two approaches? The sign was way cheaper – or was it?

What was the ROI? Zero.

The internet ad I placed was $40.00. My truck sold for $20,000. What was the ROI? I got results because I employed the principles of Direct Response Marketing.

I wasn’t interested in building name awareness in the general public’s mind so that one day down the road, when someone out there became interested in buying a pickup truck, he’d call me. No, I needed results NOW.

I determined who my target market was, used the right medium, and delivered an effective, “matching”, message.

Now it’s true that if you offer a product or service that many will want eventually, such as window washing, but not all of them want it now (so we’re not talking groceries here), you should design an ongoing marketing strategy that will move the ‘not now’ folks to come to you first when they are ready.

But it’s wasteful to spend your marketing dollars on those that will never use your service or product. (e.g. Renters don’t usually pay to have their windows washed)

That’s where target marketing comes in. Unless you sell groceries, the general public is too big a target. Kinda like blowing up the whole barn to get rid of the hornets’ nest under one of the eaves.

Direct Response marketing is the answer for the small business owner with a limited advertising budget. And an essential strategy for a large business with a large advertising budget. In either case, an effective message to a targeted audience will get you the results you desire.