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How to get up to speed before you’re ready to get serious using email …

and the importance of knowing the right answers to 7 questions before you send an email off!

There are many questions to answer before you embark on any marketing and advertising program or campaign. What contacts are receiving the message? Prospects? Customers? A recently purchased new list? Or a specific segment in your CRM?

Yes, there are many questions that must be answered way before the email delivery date. Some customers may respond to direct mail, others through social media, a website landing page or even email. Almost everyone has an email address or two.

Email has had its ups and downs. Have you recently used an email campaign? If you answered no, here’s a how to get rid of the dust and cobwebs on your email machine in seven easy steps.

  1. Why use email in your promotional mix?

Email has many different uses. It is used in project management, customer service, a delivery tool, and more. In a marketing and selling campaign it can mean lead generation, retention of clients, cross-selling, and even up-selling. Select one and match a list of contacts that are likely to respond. Caution: Don’t mix and match a marketing and selling campaign. There are different levels of interest.

  1. Is goal setting important in email usage?

If you are a small business, goal setting is easy to develop but difficult to measure. For example, when you use email with direct mail, the response of email emulates a form of two-way communication. If the communication is analyzed correctly, you are probably able to determine what the contact is looking for and what type of communication tool they prefer you use. Email service providers, such as Constant Contact, provide a lot of delivery data and even post your email to your list of social media you select.

  1. How many contacts do I need in my email list?

As with any good list, it is quality and not quantity. If the desired use of email is customer retention, that’s a relatively easy list to assemble. If the use is prospecting or lead generation, you need to capture permission or opt-in email addresses of all contacts you enter.

This takes time but there are many other channel opportunities, such as the use of direct mail, driving contacts to your website landing page, and content marketing.  These are all great tactical communication tools to grow an email list.

  1. Where do I value content in email usage?

How many times have you heard that copy is king? Email is no different, but you need to place its value a lot higher. Your email must engage the reader and move them to respond to an offer, for more information, such as a free sample or a white paper or a special industry report. Short subject lines should attract attention like a good headline in a direct marketing campaign.

Review your answers from question one.

  1. How do we not look like SPAM?

As we wrote above, your organizations contacts must opt-in or you have their permission to email to them. What we look for is called the “spam rule of fours.” Before any email is sent…

¨you have determined that your email is sent on a consistent schedule, such as monthly,

¨the email message is effective for your organization goals,

¨the information is timely and,

¨the message is relevant for the contact receiving it.

  1. What can we do to increase the number of opens and readability?

Who is the email from, creativity in the subject line, and the relevance of the message will help to increase the odds that the email is read. Not to be harsh, but customers are saying give me the right offer/content at the right time, or I am going to unsubscribe and move on.

  1. What type of ROI should we expect?

There are many variables associated with this question. If it’s customer retention, you should expect a better than your average return. In lead generation, it’s the offer and how precise the email was segmented. If the email sends them to a website for additional action, it is easy to look at the data provided by the email provider. The data from the email provider, analysis of click’s and requests from the contacts, enable more developed concise messages as you move forward in the campaign.

Note: Re-read goal setting above, number two.

If you and your team has analyzed the seven questions and put any changes into place, the next email program will be a lot smoother. If not, let us borrow a term from direct mail…

always be testing.

Even a slight change may mean better results or worse yet, poor results.

Please contact us if you have any additional questions.

There are many communication channels in the traditional and social media that have an impact on the customers in your database. Nothing in your communication options should be set in stone. Keep talking to your customers and respond to their needs. Listening is one of the greatest skills to hone with your marketing communications.

Let me know what you think.

There is an post on Quality and Quantity which will answer a question or two.

Need more Direct Marketing Success?

The articles in each issue of Direct Marketing Success are ready to help you acquire new customers, and get your existing customers to buy more. To get your copy today, click here.

Thanks for reading. Any questions please post them below.

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Marketing eValuations – Teaching – Consultation. It’s what I do.

  Evaluate – The easiest path for better marketing and advertising success.

The BEST for your DIRECT MARKETING SUCCESS!!!

Mike Deuerling
aka: MarketingDoc

800.251.3608 / MD@DMCM.net

    

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© 2007-2017 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash, Stencil or John Deuerling.

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Use These Four Effective Direct Marketing Communication Channels, if…

you demand the best response from your #SmallBiz direct marketing!

Four primary channels are recommended within a frequency-based customer acquisition program: direct mail… email… landing pages… and social media to reaffirm the offer and collect better data. (Read previous post, April 5th).

Here’s the strategic game plan:

Strategic Direct Marketing

  • Two-way communicating
  • Clever and relevant copywriting
  • Design and visuals “speak to the reader”
  • A measurable database
  • Testing and data analytics

Strategic Customer-Centric Marketing Communication

  • Listen to, talk to, and understand your customers
  • Share your thoughts and ideas with customers
  • Customers get value added, no cost services
  • Customers are not treated alike
  • Customer data is segmented with targeted profiles

Multi-channel Marketing

  • A great lead generating tactic
  • Better control of message frequency
  • Cross-selling yields a higher response
  • Customers relevant copy create better response
  • Revenue increases with every marketing campaign

Data Management

  • Data analysis and analytics generate ideas
  • Data compiled from a variety of channels
  • Customer segments and updating frequently
  • Relevant messages for each marketing segment
  • A person in charge of marketing makes data decisions
  • Linked to a customer-centric marketing strategy

At first glance, you may think that direct mail and email are not the one-two best channels to reach your consumer. However, look at it this way.

“The percentage of all consumers receiving mail and Internet capability is relatively high. Using both channel options, in your direct marketing program, helps you to collect more customer data when you learn the why and how to capture it.” 

Social media belongs in your marketing communications but in a different light, which we’ll discuss later, but let’s look at the four channels –

1. Direct Mail

When you use the mail, and get a response…

then you mail (or deploy or fulfill) again and they respond again…

while gathering more customer data at each step.

Direct marketing mail is more about making an impact.

“DIRECT marketing mail techniques – copywriting – to design – to the call to action or offer – has everything you need to set the table for a purchase and collect valuable information.”

2. Email

Some see it as a competitor to mail, but it’s another great channel to use with the direct marketing mail channel.

“More people learn first-hand a better response with their email is difficult. Usually the blame can be attributed to a lack of customer data.”

To save your email from ruin, here are a few simple steps to keep you moving forward.

  • A catchy relevant headline in the email subject line adds to the open rate.
  • The design of the email can help to get an open.
  • Try something simple with your present email list. Announce your direct mail campaign a few days before it arrives.
  • Follow up on a direct mail campaign with an e-mail message.
  • Another strategy is to run parallel campaigns.
  • Any list used for marketing communication must be segmented and profiled based on present customers to match to a message.

The points above are a great way to start to create better emails.

3. Landing Pages

Landing pages are a vital addition to direct marketing.

  • Pages give readers the exact information they need to say yes and demonstrate how easy it is to place an order.
  • A landing page, in conjunction with direct mail or email, allows your customers to access web pages that speak directly to them.
  • Pages are a great tool for integrating offline and online messages to increase the effectiveness of your direct marketing campaigns.

“Give the reader a little incentive, or an offer of value, to capture more data. You’ll never have enough data.”

4. Social Media

As people search the internet, enter discussion groups or visitor social media channels, there may be an opportunity to start a relationship. You’ll need to acquire a better understanding how they use these social media channels.

“Your marketing data must determine if these channels are of value.”

If any customers favor one communication channel over another, that adds up for better customer service, then check it out.

Why? Many businesses use social media to assist their customers with customer service.

Summary

Remember, it’s all about catching the “big one”. That’s why it is imperative that a major part of your frequency-based campaign includes active, ongoing lead-generation.

There is nothing more important to keep your business healthy and growing when using these four effective channels.

Once again, information and education is the answer. And that’s often the bait we use to help you identify “big ones” that are ready to bite.

Here’s a FREE ONE HOUR OFFER of an MCG-eVal. Visit our Web Site, enter your name and email address and in the message box, tell me why you want a FREE ONE HOUR MCG-eVal.

Sign up for more #SmallBiz success to receive our monthly email newsletter now!

Teaching and Coaching – It’s what I do.

Want to learn more about direct2customer marketing and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

 

 

Searching for growing? Do you find yourself going in circles? Then quick rowing!

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

It’s like having another oar! Better yet, more profit!!!

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a detailed report for your company based on your information.  Check it out today!

Thanks for reading.

Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

 

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

 

 

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Quantity vs. Quality…

Which one scores your highest ratings in marketing and advertising?

In the past, having a conversion rate using direct mail, one percent was acceptable. What was the conversion rate number?

First, let’s look at another example. A response rate is an important metric for analyzing a mailing or any other communication channel your customers may prefer. But a high response rate is not always the best goal.

If you’re trying to generate sales leads for a high-dollar service where the contract might be over one million dollars, a single reply that results in a sale might give you a low response rate, but it would likely represent a significant return on investment.

Your goal is not to maximize response but to maximize profit. Direct mailers in the past century would buy more lists to increase their mailing number hoping to get more responses. Hence, the name, junk mail.

Some of today’s digital marketers love telling anyone that listens they have over 200,000 followers. Hence the name, digital flame out.

“Single focused approach, effective utilization of natural skills, creative choices, and self- belief is essential to achieve superior quality.” Famous Quotes, 1 2 3 Website

Profit is a good thing.

So, how do we raise our profit? One of the reasons, direct2customer marketing is recommended, to use with any communication channel, is the ability to test.

Testing allows adjustments which can create an increase to maximize your profit.

While there is a lot of creativity that goes into writing and designing communications, testing should be a careful and disciplined process. This is a great example of the use of science in marketing within our data driven era.

Test one item at a time. 

It may be temptation to test a variety of ideas in every message. If so, it’s impossible to know what element is responsible for changing your results.

For example, if you use a new subject line at the same time trying a new segment, which change will affect your results? By testing only one change per message, you can immediately see what causes your positive or negative results.

If you want to improve your landing page conversions, then use Split testing, better known as A/B testing.

A/B testing involves creating two versions of your landing page that are almost entirely the same but have one specific difference you want to test. For instance, you could A/B test which headline or offer converts more by creating one page with headline or offer A and the other with headline or offer B. Half of your visitors will see version A and the other half will see version B.

Test against your “control.” 

A/B testing can work with any communication channel you want. Even your control can be an email that has proven to be a winner. Once you have a winner, you can test other email messages or formats against it.

This works like a contest, with the old and new competing against each other. If your control wins, you know you should continue using it.

If the challenger wins, you know you might have a new control and should consider emailing the new message or format instead.

While there is a lot of creativity that goes into writing and designing your marketing communications, testing should be a careful and disciplined process.

Summary

The key takeaway is to test one marketing or advertisement message at a time. Plus, check out your analytics for additional campaign insights for maximizing your profit.

So, by now we can assume, it’s quality?

Here’s a FREE ONE HOUR OFFER of an MCG-eVal. Visit our Web Site, enter your name and email address and in the message box, tell me why you want a FREE ONE HOUR MCG-eVal.

Sign up for more #SmallBiz success to receive our monthly email newsletter now!

Teaching and Coaching – It’s what I do.

Want to learn more about direct2customer marketing and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

 

 

Searching for growing? Do you find yourself going in circles? Then quick rowing!

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

It’s like having another oar! Better yet, more profit!!!

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a detailed report for your company based on your information.  Check it out today!

Thanks for reading.

Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

 

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

 

 

Our data policy: Short meaning. Any data shared with us, stays with us. Complete Privacy Statementclick-free-zone

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© 2017 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

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YOU CAN! IT CAN! WE CAN!

firstset_color_aluminum_can

Yes, IT CAN lead to more customers!

This post is about cans. We’re not talking about trash cans, empty tin cans, cans of soda, or a can or two of beans. We’re writing about the problem with the word “can” when it is preceded with the wrong word.

For example, people often say “you can” when they really mean to say “it can.” If you’re not yet a master website builder, for example, you know what happens when you enter a discussion group for using and building WordPress websites. People in the discussion group are quick on the draw, with the latest WordPress release “you” can do with this amazing latest upgrade.

So, you finally decide to take a chance. What “can it” hurt. You purchase a website subscription service from a company rep in the discussion group you frequent, providing all the bells and whistles you’ll ever need in a WordPress website. As you begin to unbundle the files, you begin to wonder what “can” I really do. You can’t do it – why you can’t get it to do all the amazing things as promised.

If the company rep promised all “it can” do, your level of expectation might not have been so high and your disappointment, so considerable.

So, because “you can” is used so often in real life, and you really can’t, instead of celebrating new web technology, you are frustrated, angry, and feel more than afrustratedcan_40882615_v2 little taken.

Frustration begins to set in.

Even if “it can” can leave you feeling that you’ve been taken advantage of. You’re still left holding the bag.

What the rep probably should have said was “we can.” That is, “We can help you build the website. We can help you learn it. We can help you gain its maximum value.”

The same holds true in direct marketing. The more you facilitate your company’s customers’ full and complete utilization of your product, the more favored you can become to them as a valued provider of products and services.

one_color_aluminum_cans_teSure, people often seem to have more questions than you can answer. And not all companies are equipped to handle the volume of questions and inquiries. Think about the little ways “you can” begin to implement the “we can” strategy. Perhaps it’s simple online support, simple instructions, simple webinars, simple advice, or more use of social media. The key is to keep it simple and understandable from the customers’ point of view.

There is no better way to strengthen your customers’ reliance on you and solidify your relationship than when you say, “We can!”

So, what “can we” do for you?

There is another post we wrote earlier this year about word selection. Here’s the link to “one word not used correctly can sink a direct markting message.”

Thanks for reading and please tell others, except your competition.

 

Learning and Coaching – It’s what I do.

DocTake4WebWant to learn more about direct and customer-centric marketing strategies and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

I call this learning experience, “All Marketing is Direct to your Consumers.” I present my marketing methodology that I admit_onewebhave used over my career. On the landing page, there is a (1)short, (2)medium and (3)large journey to take. There are many examples, ideas and techniques of the direct marketing to aide in your learning. To feel the full impact of this cta-learn-moremarketing methodology, take each journey in order. Start now by clicking on the Admit, Journey One. Then send me an email or call (800-251-3608) with your questions. Be sure to ask how to get your present marketing evaluated for free!

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a marketing plan for your company based on your information.  Check it out today!

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you on a journey. Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

Marketingeval_logoV3

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

Need more information on direct and customer-centric marketing? Sign up today for our monthly email, All Marketing Is Direct.

click-free-zoneOur data policy: Short meaning. Any data shared with us, stays with us. Complete Privacy Statement

© 2016 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

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How Customer Acquisition Becomes Easier When You “Buy in to A Long Tail”

justthetailThe task of locating and recruiting new customers is an essential activity for every business.

So, it stands to reason that you spend a great deal of your time attempting to attract the attention of viable prospects and make an initial sale.

Sometimes, however, there’s a tendency to concentrate so heavily on seeking new customers that we often overlook the ones we already have.

That’s why it’s so vitally important to make sure you divide your direct marketing dollars appropriately between the two activities.

Go for a tail.

Go for the “long tail in direct marketing” with as much energy as you go for the initial sale. That is, go for developing strategies to build repeat business over the long haul with the same energy.

24810-long-tailFor example, by providing a greater variety of inventory (extending the long tail), businesses hope to reach more customers and generate more total sales. If you sell printers you have an inventory of paper, toner, color cartridges, service contracts, and so on.

You may not think your company does not have a tail, but take a closer look. Could you build in and offer a service or maintenance contract? Could you devise annual reviews or client updates? Could you create innovations in your products or services that encourage customers to repurchase more frequently? Longer life of cartridges? Toner?

Summary.

Many businesses have tails they don’t even know they have. By looking closer at your existing customers, are there different ways consumers use your product?

If you have weak or non-existent customer profiles in your company data, now is a good time to start building them. Just make sure, you keep “going for the tail” as the end goal that brings in another revenue stream from existing customers. No, you will not find a whale in a stream. But you may find a whale of a tale from a local fisherman!

Learning and Coaching – It’s what I do.click-free-zone

DocTake4WebWant to learn more about direct and customer-centric marketing strategies and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

I call this learning experience, “All Marketing is Direct to your Consumers.” I present my marketing methodology that I have used over my career. On the landing page, there is a (1)short, (2)medium and (3)large journey to take. There are many examples, ideas and techniques of the direct marketing to aide in your learning.

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a marketing plan for your company based on your information. There is a special introductory price for our Marketing mcg e-Valuation. Check it out today!

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you on a journey. Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

Marketingeval_logoV3

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

Need more information on direct and customer-centric marketing? Sign up today for our monthly email, All Marketing Is Direct.

Our data policy: Short meaning. Any data shared with us, stays with us. Complete Privacy Statement

© 2016 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

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Direct marketing has a variety of tactics to reach customers…

directdigitalwebhere‘s what you need to know to start today.

The efficiencies of direct marketing led to a long success in small business marketing and more important, how to make them work for your small business today.

In small businesses today, such as in B2B, healthcare practitioners and start-up companies, “advertising” to the masses is possible but not likely. In fact, advertising today is a hard task for a small business to get it to function properly and sustain continued growth in this era of digital marketing.

There is a lot of noise created by the thousands of mid to large companies trying to get the attention of any person and convince them to buy their products. There is no room for a small business to even think of trying.crazy-clearance-sale-poster

Noise.

Did you ever travel with your favorite sports team to an away game? The noise was deafening whenever the home team had the ball, were at bat or handling the puck.

That is a metaphor for the present state of small business advertising today. In order for your message to be read or heard, you must shout louder than the home team. In this case, a small business can never match the advertising dollars of the much larger companies or worse yet, the competition.

Direct marketing techniques are a good defense.

Direct Marketing is much more than a single communication channel like direct mail. Direct Mail is a channel of direct marketing and even today, remains a powerfull strategy in small business marketing.

“Direct marketing means delivering an opportunity to buy directly to a single customer through any channel that the customer may use or prefer.”

No mid to large corporation would ever use direct marketing in their advertising based on the quote above. But a small business can and should use direct marketing in all of their advertising.

Specifically, direct marketing has a variety of tactics to reach customers. A marketing message can gather the reader’s attention with captivating copy, an impactful design, and crafting an offer that is hard for anyone to refuse.

If you like that idea, let’s look at another strategy when combined with direct marketing to accelerate company growth.

quadataccm4by4smlToday’s small business marketing environment is ideal.

First, advertising is a tactic of marketing. Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers. You need to listen to them and respond to them. Customers are willing to share their thoughts about your products.

If you believe that this is the “age of the customer,” then it’s the perfect time for you to behave like a customer you would love to have as a customer. So, ask them!

As a marketer, the purest, most simple goal you should have is to get a potential customer to receive your marketing message, read the message and make a purchase. Direct marketing’s PROVEN strategy and tactical tools were developed for getting customers to respond to your message.

There are many advertising tactical tools available for any small business.

To get a better understanding of a customer-centric marketing strategy follow the link for Trait Number One and a tab away from Trait Number Two and Number Three.

In summary…

Knowing what type of marketing works well today is not a guarantee for tomorrow. However, when you stay true to your commitment on gaining a better understanding of your customer’s needs and wants, you’ll always know when a change is in the wind and how to react to it.

Check out a recent post about another view of direct marketing. There‘s more at this link of what you need to know for better small business marketing.

Learning and Coaching – It’s what I do.click-free-zone

DocTake4WebWant to learn more about direct and customer-centric marketing strategies and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

I call this learning experience, “All Marketing is Direct to your Consumers.” I present my marketing methodology that I have used over my career. On the landing page, there is a (1)short, (2)medium and (3)large journey to take. There are many examples, ideas and techniques of the direct marketing to aide in your learning.

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a marketing plan for your company based on your information. There is a special introductory price for our Marketing mcg e-Valuation. Check it out today!

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you on a journey. Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

Marketingeval_logoV3

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

Need more information on direct and customer-centric marketing? Sign up today for our monthly email, All Marketing Is Direct.

Our data policy: Short meaning. Any data shared with us, stays with us. Complete Privacy Statement

© 2016 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

 



Four building blocks to a first-class small business growth and development strategy…

4Ideas4GrowthAnd other ideas that will encourage and surprise you.

“If business growth is all about your marketing and sales effort, which one adds more to the bottom line?”

And the answer is in the next few paragraphs.

Here is a bonus question. What year did this article appear in Direct Mail Success?

Most small businesses are very good at one or the other but rarely very good at both. The reason is a blurring of the role of marketing and sales in a small business.

In today’s small business climate, I believe more of the impetus is placed on sales. I do not have any data to support my sales answer, only observations over the years.

Email may be a good communication channel for both marketing and sales, but someone selling hundreds of thousand email addresses, only means more spam in our email in-baskets. Doubtful answer.

There are more papers, presentations, hot customer lists to buy and messages shouted from the mountain top from many of the largest corporations vying for your time. Doubtful. A content marketing strategy is more complicated.

Even some of the advertisements I see or read about are not benefit specific, but hoping someone in the mass of people will respond. Doubtful. This is not cost effective and many are still shaking their head why for trying.

So depending on which one the management team is comfortable with, it could be one or the other, or usually, which tactical tool costs the lowest to initiate. Small budget path is littered with broken tactical tools.

The most logical answer is:

“Either one will grow the business if management makes sure there is a strong commitment, of people and money, to the sales and marketing effort.

 Don’t be a copycat. 

OverThinking_webToday, the future success of an organization’s sales is based on its business growth and development strategy. This strategy is a blend of marketing and sales that has evolved over the years that provide results needed to keep a business growing.

But somewhere down the line, business growth became stagnant. Eventually when a small business finds a new customer, an existing customer somehow disappears. It becomes more difficult to meet business growth goals.

In my experience, a first-class business growth and development strategy for a small business is predicated on four basic business building blocks. These are:

  1. The business must have a complete understanding of customers and prospects needs and wants, and sells them the products and services to meet those needs and wants.
  2. Successful sales growth strategy requires a focus on the basic skills of prospecting, lead generation, and selling.
  3. A business must define “what is a sales lead” and what are the steps to take to nurture the lead into a customer.
  4. Provides a customer service strategy that encourages more and repeat business.

So, why is business growth and development more challenging today?

Because a large percentage of businesses will increase their sales activity which is a hopeful solution and is not based on a defined growth strategy using the tools of direct marketing. (Remember: the sales process is a tactical component of marketing).

As first noted above, most small businesses usually do not excel at both sales and marketing. Most businesses turn to sales because that is a short-term effort that brings results only in the near-term.

The correct answer to “why is business growth and development more challenging today” is a click away.

This article was written in 2???

Click here for the answers and ideas to move your company toward better customer growth.

 

 

Please share with others, except of course, your competition.

“Together, Innovation, Motivation and Collaboration is the Now.”

MCGTwitBorderNeed help? Just ask in the comment section or email marketingdoc@live.com.

Marketingeval_logoV3Yes, I do love marketing. I love to share my marketing expertise as this blog will attest. The next time you get the so-so marketing results, THINK evaluate. Specifically, using our mcgMarketing-eVal. Don’t just investigate, eValuate! Great rates are now available.

Our marketing expertise will help to take the guesswork out of your marketing decisions. We have helped thousands of people to get better marketing results. Visit our website and follow my customer’s typical journey to success! Learn more today!

Visit the new DMCM and take the “ALL MARKETING IS DIRECT” journey.

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© 2016 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.



Thinking tactically rather than strategically…

is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting better results.ThinkingStrategicallyW

Very few small businesses would take the time to develop a full-blown marketing “strategy” for themselves.

In most cases, they wait for an “opportunity” to come their way. When the sales representative from ACME SEO Company calls, the owner or a manager taking the call may start dreaming about having the highest rankings in Google for their industry.

When the local social media consultant sends an email about Facebook advertising and what it can do for your business, the manager or owner agrees to meet and hear the exciting new ways to spend a lot of money.

No matter who is the one ringing or spamming you, these are “tactics” –– casual, unplanned, shoot-from-the-hip responses within the total scheme of things. While they may be worthy activities, they don’t support a comprehensive marketing strategy. Some of the larger companies have a different name for this marketing activity. Let’s see what is best suited for your company.

Reactive marketing is still very active.

Today many companies are still using a reactive form of marketing and not taking full advantage of the newer digital marketing.

This reactive marketing represents what is seen on TV, in newspapers, and what we hear on the radio. More likely than not, reactive marketing cost a lot of money for only a few eyeballs that actually consider to make a purchase.

Companies using reactive marketing have products or services, old ones or something new just launching, and use those channels to shout loudly and frequently to create an awareness to which people hopefully will react.

That is also disruptive marketing when it invades your privacy. It becomes harder to get the attention of a buyer. Does it make sense to spend a lot of money for hope?

Disruptive or Reactive?

Last week’s post, “How to Use Direct Mail Basics and Avoid Disruption in Your Marketing Activities,” discusses a form of disruption that signals a departure from the norm. For example, to develop a creative marketing campaign which will be remembered and acted upon. Yes, some are acted upon but the real question is at what cost?

Advertisements spewed all over the marketing landscape in direct mails day were a form of “disruption.” A lot of money was wasted on Direct Mail that apparently no one wanted. Spray-and-pray was another name for “disruptive advertising” using direct mail. Very few direct mail campaigns were ever remembered for their creativity, such as the AOL campaign ushering in a collaborative medium of using the World Wide Web (WWW). A small business could not afford either choice. The best choice is to…

To think strategically means to plan, PLAN, PLAN.

Direct-Removal_v1The answer you need to remember when thinking of using a disruptive or reactive marketing activity, is to start CCMthinking about where you are as a business today and where you want to be tomorrow. With your answers to these questions in the form of goals, you set out to define your business and go after marketing to your customers at full throttle, making sure that every piece of marketing you do supports the master marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing is a real thing which works for many companies and must be in your master marketing strategy. Using Direct Marketing and Customer-centric strategies are great ideas to kick start your business marketing and hit the ground running.

And one more thing.

More marketing dollars are wasted by companies “shooting from the hip” than you can imagine. So, always give yourself a cooling down period of at least several days from the time you think about doing something until you actually say “Yes.” If you have a master strategy, verify that the tactic under consideration supports the strategy. If it doesn’t, forget it and move on!

Please share with others, except of course, your competition.

“Together, Innovation, Motivation and Collaboration is the Now.”

MCGTwitBorderNeed help? Just ask in the comments or email marketingdoc@live.com.

Marketingeval_logoV3Yes, I do love marketing. I love to share my marketing expertise as this blog will attest. The next time you get the so-so marketing results, THINK evaluate. Specifically, using our mcgMarketing-eVal. Don’t just investigate, eValuate! Great rates are now available.

Our marketing expertise will help to take the guesswork out of your marketing decisions. We have helped thousands of people to get better marketing results. Visit our website and follow my customer’s typical journey to success! Learn more today!

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

Sign up today for our monthly email, All Marketing Is Direct.

It’s here, our new monthly publication…

DMS LOGOV10

DocTake4Web Grab a copy today!

© 2016 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.



A Complete Guide to Build Your Own USP

A USP is commonly referred to as a Unique Selling Proposition.

Buying-USPA USP answers the customer’s question – “Buy our product and you’ll get this important benefit.”

How do you get one? They are not available in stores but I recommend you talk to your customers.

But, before you do that, put yourself in the customer’s shoes, and ask yourself, what do you like about your product or service? Go ahead, take all the time you need.

Then go ask your managers. In fact, give them an assignment and tell them to prepare a presentation for the next monthly meeting.

Ask employees that interact daily with your customers.

Finally, ask a few of your suppliers. They may even give you a reason or two from your competitors.

Once you have all those reports…

If you have been thinking of adding a customer-centric strategy, this is a great time as you peruse the reports from everyone.Failing101

Over the years, I’ve seen many companies achieve success by centering their products and services based on their customer’s needs and wants. In a Customer-centric Marketing strategy, customer service is the tie that bonds future growth and can lead you to offering new products and services.

If you want better communication with your customers, this is the time to start.

Why, you may ask? Companies that took the time to learn from their customers, who made their product or service better than the competition, reached higher sales. Listening to and working with customers, and by providing them solutions from your products and services, gives your company that “uniqueness” to be remembered by.

“And a competitive service advantage is fact-based around unique reasons for someone to buy from you.”

For example, it’s rare a company that can actually make fact based unique service statements about its –

  • “Quality service”
  • “Quality people”
  • “Low fees”
  • “Guaranteed results!”

“A unique service is one that is, without serious question, singular to your company.”

A_Chest_of_GoldThis is very important for building a successful USP.

Get out there and start talking with your managers, employees, other executive’s familiar with your products, customers, anyone who is able to give you their opinion.

As soon as the customers experience your concern for their needs, it will lead to a better relationship and even more business collaboration.

Be patient. You may not immediately have the answer, but when you do, it’s like winning a lottery.

What is a Unique Value Proposition?

I always found that a Unique Service Proposition is ideal for a small to mid-size business. Great service makes a business shine in the eyes of their customers. It can also be part of their brand.

I recently read an article by Daniel Watson that said this about a Unique Value Proposition.

“In order to succeed in a highly competitive world, your business needs to stand out from the crowd, preferably because it offers a unique value proposition that customers reward with their business. Creating a unique value proposition for your business, requires a degree of expertise.”

A company like Apple is a classic example of a Unique Value Proposition.

CCMThe suggestions contained in this post should be very helpful to any business owner seeking to create their own unique value or service proposition that will pull customers to their business. I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions regarding one or the other.

I strongly recommend for many small and mid-size businesses to build a USP, paired with a Customer-centric Marketing strategy.

Suggestions or comments are always welcomed.

Need help? Just ask in the comments or email marketingdoc@ live .com.

Marketingeval_logo4WebYes, I do love marketing. I love to share my marketing expertise as this blog will attest. The next time you get the so-so marketing results, THINK evaluate. Specifically, using our mcgMarketing-eVal. Don’t just investigate, eValuate! Great rates are now available.

Our marketing expertise will help to take the guesswork out of your marketing decisions. We have helped thousands of people to get better marketing results. Visit our website and follow my customer’s typical journey to learn more today!

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

Sign up today for our monthly email, Our Point Of View.

Coming to you in 2016, our new publication…

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If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com.
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Two of Twelve Re’Market’Able Ideas to Increase YOUR Mar’Ket’Ing Response Now…

Or Quickly Pull the Plug to Save Your Sanity! Part Two.

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Number Two.

Speaking about relevance…

First, you must agree that communication occurs on the receiver’s side. To wit, communication does not take place on the sending side, writing or speaking. Communication occurs almost exclusively on the reading and listening side.

A writer can write or speak all she wants in the clearest language she knows. But no matter how clear it is to her, she did not complete the communication process if it sounds like a foreign language to the reader. She is not communicating. Her message is not being acknowledged.

Sometimes the people who read your marketing copy know more than you do about what you are selling. Other people who read the copy may have only an elementary understanding of the product. As the writer, you may never know the level of the reader’s expertise. Incorporate basic summaries and overviews in your writing that anyone can understand. These are good traits to help get your message through the clutter.

As a writer your goal is always clarity. Avoid long sentences, big words unless your readers expect them, and simplistic jargon. It is always wise to avoid an insult.

Direct marketing techniques have a lot to offer, especially in copywriting. A great headline will make sure the rest of your copy is read!

Tomorrow: Number Three. Be serious in your direct marketing copy.

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.

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