I think it was Henry who said he was sure that half of his marketing budget was wasted – he just didn’t know which half!
The reason that Ford and other large corporates have “marketing budgets”, the amounts of which are set and spent without any reference to actual sales, is because they engage in “indirect marketing”. In other words, advertising on TV, radio and other mass media channels with the intention of raising awareness of their brand, rather than to encourage an immediate response.
Small businesses cannot compete in this arena and should not waste time on brand building advertising. (You build a brand one customer at a time, by offering excellent service.)
On the other hand, Direct Response marketing demands an immediate and direct response from your potential customers. This type of marketing is used to answer questions, present your branding, products and the reason you do what you do.
Customers love this, as they are offered the opportunity to response, whether that be in the way of signing up for a newsletter, posting a comment on your site or blog, or purchasing a product from you.
You might still use the same mass media channels, but your ads are designed in such a way that prospects are compelled to get in touch with you. Which means that…you can track their response! And so you will know exactly which half of your marketing is working and which is not.
So, what does direct response marketing look like? Well, it comes in many forms, including:
- Direct mail
- Print ads
- Radio and TV ads
- Coupons or other incentives
Some of the advantages of direct marketing are:
- A great way to use free time during lulls in business.
- Productive way to communicate and empower you to create more relationships.
- Great way to up- and cross-sell to current customers.
- Low cost way to rustle up new business.
- Used as leverage to turn small sales into large sales.
- Supplement your current marketing program.
- Cost-effective way to reach target markets.
- Offers measurable results.
- Reach outside your local area for new business.
- Increase the effectiveness of your sales force.
These are all great things that can come from just taking a few simple steps to putting together a direct response marketing plan and executing it.
“I honestly don’t think you’ll ever find a safer, lower-risk, higher-profit method of increasing your business or profession than direct-response marketing.” Jay Abraham
Direct response marketing is one of the best ways to launch your business on a large scale and reach out to everyone in your target market whether they are in your local area or not.
Our FREE test drive can help you put together a great direct response marketing plan and get you on your way to heightened success.
If yours is a young business, growing your sales is going to involve winning new customers. But every business owners knows that this is the most difficult – and expensive – of the business growth strategies. For small businesses such as ours, every marketing dollar counts – not to mention your time. So how do you ensure that your precious marketing resources are spent in the right ways?
Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers, so you aren’t wasting precious resources on mass marketing (or worse, “hope” marketing), and how to find joint venture (JV partners) to lower the cost of acquisition even more.
The first element of the 5-step profit formula is Lead Generation, because you can’t win a new customer until you have generated some serious interest in your product or service. But with millions of people in the country and tens or hundreds of thousands in your city, you going to have to narrow your focus.
I’ve written at length about niche marketing, but for the purposes of this blog let’s think outside the box. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
- What do people really want to buy from me?
- What related products are they already buying?
Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services.
Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can joint venture with, ie, share your respective customer bases. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores.
The basic concept is this:
You want to find existing businesses that have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to.
Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses.
As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base.
So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success.
LV = (P x F) x N – MC
Here’s what it all means:
- LV is the life time value of a customer
- P is the average profit margin from each sale
- F is the number of times a customer buys each year
- N is the number of years customers stay with you
- MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)
Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help with lead generation.
So, here’s your step-by-step process:
- Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
- Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
- Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.
Remember, nearly all small businesses need more leads, so if you are able to find a compatible business, they should be ready and willing to work with you once the terms are right. And if they seem hesitant, walk away and keep looking – you want to work with businesses that are as ambitious and proactive as you are!
If you need help working through this process, check out our FREE test drive for the most comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources.
How many times have you contacted a business, ready to make a purchase, and they never got back to you?
There is nothing more frustrating – and heart-breaking – than watching a business that has invested time and effort generating qualified leads lose those potential sales due to a lack of follow up.
I know, I know: being an entrepreneur is a busy job and you can’t be in all places at once. It’s inevitable that some leads will get missed.
But is it really? I say NO! There are so many tools on the market today that make it easy to follow up and keep in touch with potential clients, without needing your constant attention.
Let’s face it: manual processes are highly vulnerable to human frailties – such as forgetfulness! This is where automated marketing becomes very important.
Automated marketing is designed to increase lead generation by enabling you to set up drip marketing campaigns that automate all of your online activity, from emails to social media. Activities such as contact management, lead scoring and nurturing, list segmentation, A/B testing of website pages and offers, email marketing, and performance measurement and reporting can all be done more efficiently through an automated marketing system.
Is an automated system necessary for my business?
The companies that are the most successful are the ones that are able to deliver consistent and reliable sales month after month. You can go a long way to achieving this through the use of auto responders and CRM systems. This is because they easily capture the details of your prospects and keep them up to date with your company whilst you go about your business.
Here’s what the various systems can do for your business, all while you are out winning business and servicing customers.
You can easily collect prospect information using sign-up forms and landing pages. You can quickly capture important customer information through lead forms and sync the fields with your CRM system, automatically populating and updating contact records.
Follow Up Campaigns
Once your contacts have been arranged into lists, you can start your automated email marketing. Developing and sending tailored emails promoting your content to your existing contact databases is an ideal way to drive action. While your primary goal may be to generate new leads, you can use the same contact resources to capture additional information about your leads and customers that will help you tailor your content.
Promote that content through emails and social media sharing. Some marketing automation systems have social sharing built in, while others may require a third-party solution. This is where the automation of your social media campaign can be a god send. Software such as Hootsuite or SproutSocial gives you the ability to schedule posts to go out to your audience at a time when they are most active on any particular network. You can plan your campaign in advance for a whole week, a month, or even longer.
Making Your Business Scalable
For your business to grow – and for you to have confidence that expansion will not negatively impact quality or customer service – you must automate anything that doesn’t require a human touch. Marketing automation has the ability to increase the value and impact of your content, capture lead intelligence, improve lead-to-sale conversion rates, drive repeat purchasing, and improve the overall customer experience.
And to find out what you should be saying in your automated marketing, watch our free video “The 3 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make…And How To Overcome Them All” here.
Educate them about what? you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!
Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.
Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:
- Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
- Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
- Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
- Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.
There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:
- Quality product/service
- Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
- Offer subjects your customers find interesting
Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.
Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!
As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”
So, there it is! Remember, our FREE test drive can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.
To watch a Free Coaching Video each week, jammed-packed from start to finish with the business growth information you need to build the business you want, with no opt-in required, click here: yourbestyearinbusiness.com/training-video
Finding the right types of customers is key to the success of your business, both in terms of profitability and your own enjoyment!
Tell me if this statement is true: it’s not enough simply for your customer to have a need for your product or service, they have to want to work with you (and vice versa).
When I first started out in business I was tempted to work with anyone who could afford my services (and plenty of others who couldn’t!). But I quickly learned that it’s better to turn away business than to work with the wrong type of clients.
The reality is that not everyone who wants your service is someone that you want to work with. Clients and customers that are a poor fit for you and your business can tie up your resources, drain your profits and cause you no end of stress. Worst of all, they are taking the place of other potential clients who might me ideal for you!
Let me ask you:
- Do you have a lot of customers who complain about how expensive your product is?
- Do they seem completely disengaged?
- Do they make unreasonable demands then threaten to stop working with you if you don’t comply?
- Are they consistently late paying your bills?
If you are experiencing any of these issues, it’s time to re-think who you want to do business with. Your best year in business is probably going to involve culling some of your client list…
Niche marketing is a key task in the first component of the 5-Step Profit Formula: lead generation. First, find a group of people who have a need for your product or service.
Then follow these 3 rules to find your ideal customer.
1. They can afford to pay what you charge
If a client needs and wants your service or product but simply cannot afford it, then you should direct them elsewhere. Unless you can see some other benefit to working with the client, don’t cut your prices just to try and win a client – it will devalue what you do.
2. They value what you deliver
Try to gauge what your prospective client or customer really thinks about your product or service before you agree to work for them. If you suspect they don’t value what you do, I promise they will be more trouble than they are worth.
Why would someone hire you, or buy your products, if they don’t value you? It seems entirely counterintuitive, yet it is surprisingly common. Estate agents, car salespeople, lawyers and financial advisors, all regularly feature in the list of most hated professions in the UK. People claim to hate them, yet employ them anyway, why? The answer is simple – they need them, rather than value them.
3. You want to work with them.
This is the most important piece of advice. Never work with someone simply for the money. You have to actually want to work with them. The most important word in the previous sentence is “with” rather than “for”. Whether you are selling a product or service, this should be a partnership rather than a master/servant relationship.
It may seem like madness to turn people away. However, marketing to and accepting customers who are not right for your business is one of the fastest ways to ensure you go out of business!
Find out the 3 biggest lead generation mistakes small businesses make…and how to overcome them all in this free video.