Your marketing world: target shooters, John Wayne cowboys and the science lab

Marketing eh, that fluffy world, or is it? I think not.

admin-ajaxSME businesses typically invest less than 5% of their business on sales and marketing (S&M) whereas they should be spending more, much more. Interesting stat and a whole host of reasons behind this but the most common one is the misconception in the SME business owners head it is an expense. This will likely be supported by the accountant too. I mean, it’s there in the P&L under expense, which is correct but only in the narrowest of dimensions. So, it’s a bad dog, right? Wrong, it is an investment and a fluffy puppy who can build your businesses, when the formula gets nailed. Here’s the question:

Is your marketing delivering any value whatsoever to your business? If your brow if furrowed, read on.

We are doing radio and that works for us. Really?

I have spoken to a number of SME Clients and prospects recently who say this. That’s great, I say. So how many customers or Clients have you picked up, what’s been the measured Return on Investment (ROI)? What do you mean? they say. Well, any S&M activity is an investment seeking a return in terms of new business. Radio may appear a strong option but fact is your ad, depending on the campaign design, could be like dropping a thimble in to a hay paddock in a whirlwind. Yes, dozens of channels, air time limited and your demographic could be in bed asleep. Mm.

So shall we get a little more targeted?

Get your viewfinder on and look at your target between the crosshairs before you invest in pulling the trigger

I know a guy who is a fantastic range shooter. He hits a target 100 mm in gross diameter from 25 metres (25,000 mm) typically to within 3-7 mm tolerance. Wow. Imagine his target is YOUR target market.

There are dozens of marketing channels out there, which ones are right for you and your business? Well, I don’t know. The great Jay Abraham is a test and measure junkie (see Getting Everything you can out of All you’ve Got). If it works, great, but measure it, because what is ‘working’? It’s all relative, something else might work better and experience tells us it probably will. So don’t stop and put your feet up thinking you have it sussed, tweak that ad or sales offer and test again, roll the campaign relentlessly. The whole game is actually a science of human response and there is no end to the combinations of methods and therefore results and sometimes the response just does not make rational sense. And that’s what makes it FUN!

Here are a couple of options for you. One is a method, the other is a different way of thinking.

A Magnetic Marketing approach : Dan S Kennedy’s baby

Kennedy’s model of magnetic marketing is based upon the following principles:

  1. Select your target in terms of demography and psychography (as you should anyway), forget the rest
  2. Develop a campaign to communicate directly with this segment i.e. through direct mail or another channel. Don’t waste time or money outside your target
  3. Headline your USP as clear as day in your material, make it compelling with risk reversal (risk reversal inverts the purchasing risk on to you, the seller. More on this in a later blog). They will come to you, hence ‘magnetic’
  4. Test and measure, test and measure (a la Jay Abraham)

For more information check our Dan’s web site.

Be remarkable and make a Purple Cow, Seth Godin did

In Godin’s Purple Cow he savages the conventional approaches marketers push (i.e. the 4 P’s) in his inimitable style and is categorical that you must be remarkable and seek the ‘sneezers’ in your market. Sneezers are the 5%er of your market that will actively send your message viral. They love what you do, your product and service, go to bed with it, play with it and rave about in their world. They are influencers. They do this unpaid, powered from their passion fountain of belief which is rated at 1000%. Trick is finding them and nailing them.

In a world of digital information overload and social media drown out, which is up a couple of logarithms since Godin first wrote Purple Cow in 2002, you must pursue this in your campaigns or be consigned to the masses and a likely ignominious end.

So what am I saying here?

  1. THINK about your marketing in terms of your target. Where are your target market fish swimming, what do they eat and drink, who are their friends, and what flicks their switches and lights up their eyes. UNDERSTAND them, talk to them, smile at them, learn from them, capture them in your science lab and quantify them.
  2. Develop a marketing mix that is cross media and has a brutal ROI PHILOSOPHY. If it does not pay, don’t do it. Sounds obvious but the vast majority of SME’s don’t do it. The same old gives the same old. Yellow Pages is a wounded beast and is highly demographically sensitive. If you are marketing new funky iPhone sleeves made from a new super bouncy line of neoprene, forget that one. Oh, and when the radio sales rep pitch is over say ‘ok, that’s a great pitch, thank you very much’. Then say ‘We are happy to accept this offer conditional that the campaign delivers 60 qualified leads to my door per month’. You won’t see them for dust.
  3. READ AND ACT ON some of the references above, there are more out there of course these are just a few that ticked my boxes. These guys are at the top of the game, so do some self-learning and apply these principles, today.
  4. ENJOY finding out what works for your business and rest assured there’s something else that will work better, you just need to be on the right beach to start with to upturn that stone.