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This is what John Wanamaker, one of the largest retail merchants in America in the late 1800’s once said…

I quoted this to my team when we were having a meeting on how to promote an upcoming exhibition for a client.

You see, we use a lot of different media to promote this event. And we test all these media – vigorously.

We asked every visitor when they come to the exhibition how they heard about it.

When a visitor downloads a ticket, they have to tell us how they got there.

We study our analytics, we can see which links are working and those that aren’t.

We use different direct dial numbers that are exclusive to specific ads.

We use different web links for specific promotions… The list goes on…

And after we’ve done all this – at best, like Mr Wanamaker – I know we’re still only 50% right. Should I be happy with 50%? Dam right I am.

Earlier this year we promoted a different exhibition and we added radio to our marketing mix – the results were there to see. Home run.

So now because of this “new media success” we are adding radio to promote this exhibition, but we haven’t taken anything else out – just trimmed here and there. Always testing, monitoring and tweaking.

Are you doing the same with your marketing? Or do you just leave it to chance?
Times have changed, research into your business or your product can now be done, on the smart phone, anywhere. Buying decisions are now made long before a phone call to you is made or a visit to your store is done.

And whilst when asked, most customers will say to you “I found you on Google”
Remember this – unless you appear on page one of Google for the product you sell, or you are running a pay per click campaign, or there is another direct link to your site that you can measure and is directly accountable – something else got them there.

This is why perhaps that most traditional medias are often bypassed in favour of online medias and I can see why, online marketing allows you to monitor every single click, every like, every visit, there is a reason why people look for the best Los Angeles Facebook Ads Company. You can get a much more accurate feedback from online marketing and because you only “pay per click” and likes are “free” you may feel as though none of your marketing is being wasted.

If only that were true. Google Adwords has made it very easy for you to get visitors to your website, but at a cost and that cost is rising and if you want a good ROI (Return on Investment) you must constantly split test your account, research and fine tune. Do it well, build a good lead generator on your site, create a good follow up sequence and you can build a system using Adwords that will constantly bring you a stream of new customers on auto pilot. You’ll know your numbers, you’ll know your conversion rate, but you’ll never be 50% right.

No I’m afraid, getting your marketing right 100% of the time is something that people like me and you will strive to attain 100 years from now. But if you know, really know your market, develop a strong message, test different media and develop a system for converting enquiries into customers you’ll know your numbers, you’ll know your cost to acquire a customer (and there is always a cost). Then you’ll have a starting point on which to improve on.

“I didn’t even know your business existed” To any business hearing those words should make you shudder.

Of course you’ll never hear your customer say them, or on the occasion that you do, its only after the job has been done or part completed.
As the saying goes ‘you can’t win em all’ but are you winning enough? Is your business being considered enough?

If orders and leads are coming in faster than you can process them, if you’re burning the midnight oil at the kitchen table long after the family has gone to bed. If you’re able to cherry pick and choose only the jobs that best fit your business. Then yes you are being considered plenty.

If that’s not the case, then why aren’t you being considered? Do you even know? But more to the point what are you doing about it?

Proactive or Reactive Marketing…

Reactive marketing has you scrabbling around, looking, seeking out the next new media in which to advertise. Choosing media first, sold by the next media rep that happens to walk through the door, with little regard to whether your message or the market are a right match for your business.

The order books may even start to fill, usually with whatever comes in, jobs bought on price. Anything just to get the machine rolling again. For a time you are considered. But then once the business is busy again. The marketing stops.

Proactive marketing is a system created to consistently and predictably bring in leads and clients that fit your business type. It can be altered, tweaked and tested to continually bring a stream of leads, you can define your ideal customer and craft a message to speak directly to them. Proactive marketing never stops, but keeps on delivering content and value to your prospective customer.

Of course you could opt for doing nothing, blame it on the economy, wait for the phone to ring, word of mouth always worked in the past right, you’re doing your best. Really?

This newsletter is and will continue to be part of our own proactive marketing strategy, as well as, I hope, a source of helpful ideas and strategies which you can use in your own business. And yes it’s printed onto real paper, sent through the post using royal mail and will be delivered to your post box, not your inbox, at our expense, every month.

Maybe this is something you could use to promote your business?

The humble newsletter, the original stalwart of communication. But the cost I hear you ask, why not send it by email?
Well we are also sending you a copy via email, maybe you’ll get a copy, but your over zealous spam filter may have other idea’s. Maybe you’ll read it on screen and give it the undivided attention you’re giving this printed version. Maybe not.

No, in an age when everyone has moved online and “social media” is the new marketing buzz word, printed media, so recently cast out, is more powerful than ever.

So here you have it, our newsletter. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading so far and enjoy the rest of it and maybe even consider us should you need any help marketing your business.

One of my friends is a salesman through and through. He pounds the phones day after day cold calling businesses, trying to make appointments, get past secretaries, and gatekeeper to speak to the main man. He has some good days, but mainly they are bad.

Even when he does get the appointment he so desperately seeks, he’s still walks into the appointment on the back foot, his potential customer is still giving him a sideways glance and my friend has to spend half the meeting simply convincing the client that he’s trustworthy enough to even do the job, before he even gets onto the product he’s trying to sell.

Look – If cold calling really, actually works for you, then I suppose you should do
more of it.

Adverts that win awards rarely generate sales.  And adverts that sell rarely win awards

But most of the time, the phone calls aren’t really working that well in the first place.
And doing more of what already isn’t working is just dumb.  Plus, unsolicited phone calls just annoy people.

If you’re doing this right now, if this is you’re only marketing strategy, then chances are you’re wasting thousands.

Advertising is a crucial ingredient, yet it actually works against most companies.
But when it works in your favour, amazing things can happen.
All advertising MUST do one of two things:

1) Generate Sales or
2) Generate Sales Leads.

And do so in a measurable, quantifiable way.

If you do either of those things, you’ll have no problem ‘getting your name out there’
and you’ll also make money in the process.

But if you simply attempt to get your name out there, it’s very likely that you won’t generate sales OR sales leads.

Adverts that win awards rarely generate sales.  And adverts that sell rarely win awards.

People don’t expect nearly enough from their advertising, and they don’t hold it accountable for results.  So they waste thousands mainly because they don’t know any other way.

Then they start pounding their sales people for orders on the 26th of every month.

Most companies also try to make their advertising do too much.  Let me explain.

When you’re generating sales leads, you must remember that all you’re really trying to do is get people to raise their hands and identify themselves as someone who has a problem – and tell you who they are.

Anything beyond that dilutes the effectiveness of your ad.

So don’t make the mistake of telling them too much.  The purpose of pure lead generation advertising is NOT for you to tell them all about yourself – not in the first step anyway.

The purpose is for them to tell you who they are.

When you do this correctly, it’s simple, elegant, and outrageously effective.  And most importantly, nobody feels like you’re chasing them.

One last thing:
Everything you say in advertising must be very, very specific, including what you do , who you do it for and what you want your prospect to do.

If you’re busy being all things to all people then you’re probably not going to sell anything to anybody.

You must define a niche for your-self that’s reasonably unique, what can you offer your prospect of significant value to them which will help them take that first step.