Chandigarh, India (PressExposure) March 26, 2008 -- Make a vow to keep up your marketing schedule in good times and not so good times. I have said it time and time again that marketing, no matter what type you choose, is a building process. Here is the whole thing summed up in one situation:
Assume for a moment that you had never heard of this thing called "Cola". You go to your mailbox and get your mail only to find a postcard that says "New Fizzy Drink! You'll Love It! A Taste Like Nothing You Have Had Before!" You might run right out and try it, but more than likely, not. Most people won't.
So you get a second postcard.
Still you do nothing.
Then you are talking to you're a friend from across town who says "Hey, have you tried this Cola thing?" It turns out that after he got his second postcard he went out and got a bottle to give it a try.
Now the Third postcard shows up and you're thinking "OK, fine, I'll give it a try." And you do, and you do love it, and it is like nothing else. So now you have to tell your brother about it.
You see where this is going. If the makers of "Cola", whoever they are, had sent cards to the whole town one time and then abandoned the marketing due to a lack of response they would have missed out.
So, now that you can no longer argue with the fact that you need to keep up a steady stream of marketing to the same people multiple times you are obviously thinking "How do I keep up with the whole thing while I am closing the customers that I am already getting?" The honest answer is getting a direct mail company to help you.
Whatever sizes your mailing list is I suggest that you have enough pieces printed to mail to them at least three times. Usually once every 2-4 weeks is sufficient depending on your industry. You can set the dates for your mailings to go out and let the marketing company take care of the rest. That means that with one phone call you can take care of all of your marketing for 3 months or more. No worrying about remembering, no hassle-filled trips to the post office. All you will have to do is run your business the way that you know how and let them take care of your marketing.
Stop worrying about the steady flow of business that you need to survive. Do something about it. Create a marketing plan, date it for a while, and then if it really works out, say "I do."
If you need more information on testing out your new marketing beau, read my article Don't Assume, Just Test and Track.
Micropersuasion - Get The Biggest Bang For Your Small Business Marketing Buck
"How the heck can my little local gym afford to buy an ad on TV?" I got this question yesterday from a nice lady that works for a web development company. The answer is that new technology allows most cable providers to place commercials into specific zip codes. Because the ad isn't going out to wider audience, it's less expensive - and affordable for many small businesses.
This is the beginning of micro-persuasion. Putting your marketing message in front of smaller, not larger audiences. But isn't bigger better? Well no, not always.
Think of that local gym. Marketing convention tells us that most local businesses don't get a lot of action from people that are more than a 10 minute drive away. There are certainly exceptions, but imagine if that local gym scraped enough cash together to take out a national ad during the Superbowl. It would be a waste of money, because 99.9999999% of the people who saw it can't or won't become customers of that gym.
Pay per click advertising, like those ads on the right hand side when you do Google searches, can be a great micro-persuasion tool. One of my coaching clients practices a very specialized type of law here in Massachusetts. It is illegal for him to practice law across state lines. I am helping him target his pay per click campaign so that only people in Massachusetts who need his services will click. It's estimated that he'll get about 15 clicks a day. That's not a lot, but if he converts even 1% of those clicks into customers he will have more clients than he can handle in less than a year. And this is only a very small part of his marketing campaign.
For most small businesses good marketing needs to go smaller not larger. Small businesses shouldn't burn their money in a marketing incinerator by trying to market like Nike or McDonald's. While some general public marketing is OK, it should be the smallest part of your marketing effort.
Micro-persuasion in a pure form is marketing only to those who are interested in and can buy what you're selling. You might even create smaller sub-niches to get even more granular. Let's say that you own a local craft store. You might offer free classes in things like candle-making, scrap-booking, cake decorating...etc. Because you are a good marketer, you always capture the students' mailing address and email (if they want to give it). Now you have a list by interest. Whenever you run a sale on scrap-booking stuff - you send a personalized letter to each of your scrap-bookers and maybe a special coupon.