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.

Using Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is a common strategy used in business as a method of reaching potential customers. It is not to be confused with direct response marketing, which is a similar but slightly different strategy. While with direct response marketing, consumers respond to a direct offer from a company, direct marketing simply involves the business choosing a niche market and using different methods to promote a product to that group. With direct marketing, the business takes the time to directly engage the potential consumer rather than wait for a response to an advertisement. For example, while direct response marketing would place a general advertisement on television and leave the ball in the consumer’s court to show interest and make a call, direct marketers attempt to identify potentially interested individuals and contact them directly to promote a product.

Identifying a niche group is crucial to effective direct marketing without wasting time and money. Many good articles are available that detail the use of a niche group. For the purposes of direct marketing, a business identifies a demographic of consumers whom they believe would be likely to benefit from their product and even take this group into consideration when manufacturing a product. In a good strategy, marketers target this group directly rather than marketing to consumers in general.
A good comparison between direct response marketing and direct marketing is to imagine that in direct response you, as the marketer, are waiting for customers to bite, while when using direct marketing, you are directly asking the customer to bite.

A major concern with the marketing strategy is the possibility of consumers becoming overwhelmed and irritated by constant contact from marketers. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in this day and age with the overabundance of spam material sent to consumers. For this reason, it is imperative to develop strategies that have the best possible chance of garnering customers. The last thing a business wants is to overwhelm customers to the point of scaring them away. Whatever form of advertisement you choose to use, aim for the goal of making sure that your future customers are excited to hear from you and that every contact with them is positive.

There are several ways to go about identifying potential target consumers and marketing your product to them. The use of email has become the dominant method today. Companies will often pay fees to one another to share email addresses of their customers. This is where the spam concern enters the picture. Make sure to only contact customers who have given consent to have their email addresses used for the purpose of informing them of promotions regarding a certain type of product. Offers can also be sent directly through postal mail.

Direct marketing has its advantages and disadvantages in comparison to direct response marketing and other promotional methods. Most of the disadvantages surrounding this method involve logistical marketing difficulties and the complexity of identifying potential customers. When done in an effective way, direct marketing can prove to be a lucrative strategy.

One Pro Trader Tip For Investing In The Stock Market

Are you trying to grow your portfolio and generate monthly income from the stock market? Maybe your just trying to find a safe and profitable way to invest your money.

In today’s economy and investing environment it can be extremely hard to find the best places to invest your hard earned money.

If you’re like me, you spent long hard hours working to earn your money and you definitely don’t want to put it somewhere that you could easily lose it all or if you find a halfway decent investment, have your returns eaten away by high fees and investment costs.

If you’re looking for a better way to invest and have tried trading on your own then I’m sure you know what it feels like to lose sleep at night thinking about your trades. Wondering if your trade is going to be a winner or loser. Or maybe you had a great month of profits only to see the market take them back or have them wiped out by one bad trade.

Then after all of the hard work, time, research, and stress your account is left in the negative or barely break even. Doesn’t that really get under your skin? It’s ridiculous. There has to be a solution.

Here are some of the main traditional ways that you can invest in the market to make money. One, you can implement an asset diversification strategy. Two, you can buy and hold for the long term. Three, you can get a financial adviser and take his or her advice. Four, you could invest in CD’s at the bank. Five, you could control your risk and learn how to invest being delta neutral.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these investing Strategies.

1. Asset Diversification: Look, I am sure that you heard this one a million times, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Asset diversification is the idea that if you spread your money around to different asset classes you will limit your risk because if one asset class goes down another will go up and offset your loses. Well, it can work like this but if it does, you basically end up break even or with a small profit or loss because your gains are offset by your losses or vice versa. Then you all also have to think about what happens if all the asset classes drop in value? Well, I think you know the answer to that question and this does happen.

2. Buy and Hold: Buy and hold is probably another one that I am sure that you have heard before. You know the saying “buy and hold for the long term”. This is one really illustrates a complete lack of planning. I mean you only make money when you sell your investment to capture the gains. In investing you should always know your exit strategy and have specific rules that dictate exactly when you will exit a trade. Who wants to wait some vague amount of 5,10,or 30 years before they get their money back anyway. I know that I don’t have that kind of time.

3. Financial Advisor: Now, I don’t want to rag to much on advisers because I used to be one. But with that being said, I know exactly how they operate. To put it simple, they will most likely charge you big fees to implement one of the two investing strategies above. They know that there are better ways to make money in the market but the reality is that they just have to many clients to implement the really profitable strategies for you and will probably just throw your money into some mutual funds and retirement accounts.

4. Bank CD,s: CD’s are absolutely a horrible investment right now. Most people put their money in CD’s because they think that it is safe. Well in today’s economic environment this couldn’t be further from the truth. With interest rates near zero you will be lucky if you can earn a percent or two and with inflation on the rise you are guaranteed to lose money. Not to mention banks these days are dropping like flies.

5. Delta Neutral Investing: Ok, so now that you know what not to do, I have saved this best tip for last. Delta Neutral Investing is also known as having a non-directional bias. Meaning you don’t care if the market moves up or down, you can make money either way. You see most people think that there is only one way to make money from the market, that is, you buy, the market goes up in value, hence you make money. Or, you sell, the market goes down, you make money. This is known as directional trading and this is how the majority of people try to profit from the market. The other way to profit is not by using the direction of the market but by taking advantage of and profiting from Time and Volatility. By putting on delta neutral positions you can exploit time and volatility to your advantage and for quick and massive gains.