Should You Be Using a Brand-Building Campaign, Or Using Measurable Direct Marketing?
Skepticism is a part of life – and business.
People don’t trust you at face value – it is completely up to you to earn their trust. With my LinkedIn Lead Generation and other marketing services, I hear it ALL THE TIME. Excuses why it won’t work for them … because their business is “different”. They tried it before and it failed – so there is no way it will work now.
“Direct Marketing doesn’t work work for me”
My response? Well, there are really only 2 forms of marketing… measurable results marketing … and non-measurable results marketing.
The kind you cannot directly measure (in terms of pounds generated from a specific campaign or marketing action) is commonly called ‘image’ or ‘brand’ marketing. The purpose of this kind of campaigns is to build general awareness of your offering and your message… it’s not about generating specific results (e.g. downloads, enquiries, sales) on a day-by-day basis.
There have been many multi-million (and billion) pound empires built exclusively on this form of marketing (firms that never used direct marketing techniques).
BUT … the average entrepreneur, like you and me, doesn’t have deep enough pockets to sustain image-only advertising.
(Don’t fall into the trap of telling yourself, “Well we just want to get our name out there, so when someone needs our (product/service) they’ll know where to come”
NO THEY WON’T! They are very unlikely to ever remember you, unless you can afford to put your name in front of them on a (almost) daily basis.
99% of us need to know right now what ad is working or email campaign is pulling in customers – and which aren’t.
Without this knowledge – entrepreneurs like you and I will quickly go broke.
When they know which ad, placed in which media publication, website, or social media platform, works and makes them money – they then have a system they can repeat until it stops working.
They can measure exactly what each new lead costs them to generate – and how much they need to invest in each real lead to convert them to a paying customer – and then how much to convert each one-time customer to a repeat buyer.
This knowledge is pure gold when you know it.
And yes, direct marketing DOES work – and can be proven right down to the penny how well it does work. You cannot say that about image or brand awareness campaigns (the exact amount it made for the business can never be measured as they have no way of correlating advertising spend with who actually buys).
And here’s another objection that I frequently hear about Direct Marketing:
“No one will read all those words – people are different now and don’t read as much”
There is truth in that people are increasingly lazy.
BUT, and this is a big but, are your clients or customers in that group? If you are trying to sell to a bunch of A.D.D. 12-year-olds – then long copy sales pages with zero graphics probably won’t work very well.
If you are trying to sell to the boomer or senior market – they’ll very probably want to know in detail what they are buying, and will research what you are selling until their fears are alleviated (that is assuming you kept their attention throughout the copy).
The key is to balance your copy with supporting visuals. And then to match this balance with your exact target market.
We’ve had lots of success testing shorter copy web landing pages and emails that have people clicking through to specific things they want to see – rather than asking them to scroll down through a long, long web page.
People won’t read a longer message if it’s boring … or if they are not the right target market… or if the visual appeal is downright distracting… or if the offer makes no sense, or the claim sounds ridiculous.
You have to test and find out what the balance should be between words… graphics… message/market match… and the offer.
Only through testing will you know what the right amount of words to use is.
And assuming you know, is the surest way to kill your marketing results. You don’t know what your clients want – until you ask them (through marketing tests). They will often tell you they want one thing, but will show different responses when tested.
It is completely up to you to find the perfect match.
Here’s another dangerous marketing myth:
“There is a magical percentage conversion rate”
This is quite common. “I need a 2% conversion rate – anything below that is unacceptable.” My question to them is “WHY?”
Any person familiar with marketing, knows that the real money is in the ‘back-end’ products and services you sell to your clients.
If you are selling a £25 book, or App, or ‘taster session’ or whatever, –you will never get rich without something else to sell. You MUST have something else – at a much higher price point – to sell.
And if you know that 10% of your book buyers will buy your £1,000 back-end offer – who cares if you lose money or break even on the book sale.
In other words – concern yourself less about the conversion rate – and start thinking more about the PROFIT you make.
If you don’t have a system in place to up the profit you make after the initial sale (to a new client) then a 3% conversion rate (which is very good on its own) means nothing, other than the fact you are going broke fast selling your £25 initial product.
Do you honestly think that a company selling million pound, exclusive homes is concerned about a 1% response rate to their ads or mailings?
They are more concerned with the quality of people they attract and the follow-up system they use to make sure the lead buys.
They may only get a 0.1% response rate to their advertising– but it makes them a million pounds.
Another Common Misunderstanding:
“Hiring a professional marketer or copywriter is guaranteed to make a very profitable return when you launch your new campaign.”
HA! If you were guaranteed to make £500K from a simple sales campaign – do you think any sane copywriter would price his services below… say … £250K per campaign?
Of course not.
The only guarantees you can expect from your copywriter or marketer is that they will find the approach that works best with your clients and your offer. They should be willing to stick with you and rewrite and test until the perfect combination of client – offer – and media is found.
Also, if there was a “magic” guarantee and formula that worked every time – there would only be a need for one marketing book or training course on it – right?
The guarantee you really need is more to do with the persistence of your team members to do whatever they need to do to make the promotion work.
Like many other disciplines, Direct Marketing is a field few understand – and those who don’t understand it like to bash it. It’s just human nature.
Remember, many people use direct marketing in their business and see exceptional results – and it can work for you too, if you give it a chance and have some patience.
Evolve the perfect combination of message – market – media and you will have a winner. But to find the combination, it may take time, some money – and lots of patience.
Direct marketing DOES work … if you know how to work it.
I’d love to hear from you, so let me know your thoughts or experiences, below.