Knowing what form of marketing is going to grow
your business is a little more complicated.
Marketing: The sum of activities involved in directing the flow of goods and services from producers to consumers.
Citation: “Marketing.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service. 1 June 2004
What is marketing
As you can see above, marketing answers can be easily defined by using a dictionary or searching for an encyclopedia.
However, marketing is a complicated yet essential piece of your small business success. If you don’t have a basic understanding of marketing and the various options available to you, you’ll be starting behind the eight ball.
It’s really a matter of learning what works and what doesn’t work. However, you can’t explain what works by looking at some of the ads you’ve seen or some of the beautiful brochures sent by your competitors.
Because the fact is that just because a brochure looks good or an ad is funny doesn’t mean it’s a good piece of marketing.
The most beneficial thing you can do for your business is to learn these proven marketing techniques. And because powerful mediums such as direct mail and the internet are measurable, we’re given an opportunity to track — and understand — what works.
Therefore, over time, winning marketing formats have been measured to create the data. This information shows us exactly what we should try and what we should not waste our limited small business budgets on.
Here is a breakdown of some of your marketing options.
The information below is, for the most part, based on marketing facts and the data collected by leading marketers over time.
Brochures and flyers
This is usually the first form of marketing that small business owners think about. And why not? Everybody has a brochure for their business, right?
But are they all successful? Not even close.
Whether or not you even need a brochure often depends on your specific business. If you’re selling a product and it’s something that needs to be seen by your prospect, a brochure is probably a necessity. On the other hand, if you are a service business — a consultant or a doctor, for instance — a brochure is very well a waste of money. (Do you think people need to know what a doctor’s office looks like?)
You need to sell and convince your prospect why they need your product or service and how it will benefit them. This is often too hard to do with pictures and buzz words. Read more here to learn how to make a direct mail brochure that works.
Marketing with Postcards
Although postcards can be inexpensive and often an effective marketing idea for small business owners promoting something specific, such as a retail promotion, they typically will not “make the sale.”
A postcard gives you half a second and little space for you to make a statement that I hope will be noticed. That is why they are best used for sales with “10% discount” and fast presentations. If you’re using postcards, you should always plan to follow the mailing with a more in-depth follow-up, such as a sales letter or even better, a phone call.
The United States Post Office offers simple formulas for using postcards effectively. Their site covers five ways to effectively use postcards for marketing your small business.
Using the radio can be effective in a local market to bring listeners to the next step in the marketing and sales process by at least creating awareness.
Radio ads are all about exposure. As with any form of direct marketing, you need to target a specific target audience at the right time. And radio listeners need to hear your ad at least three times before it starts to break through the clutter.
Also known as the advertising profession, promotional products can be very cost-effective. It’s a creative form of marketing that allows you an inexpensive method of getting your company name, logo and a tagline or message in front of your prospects. Because of the long shelf-life, your prospects will get constant, repeated exposures to your message.
How to physically put it in the target will also help your campaign success. Are you sending by mail? Did you put it down and put it in the hands of your potential customers?
Using promotional products in a marketing campaign can be a lot of fun.
Direct Mail Marketing with Sales Letters
It is consistently proven that use of direct mail letters can almost always remove any other kind of direct marketing.
But I can’t figure out why more small business owners don’t put more effort into learning this measurable and proven form of marketing.
What else can you deliver, right to someone’s home or office, with more substance and a sense of importance? What lets you speak directly and personally to your prospect or customer?
A postcard, self-mailer, flyer or brochure yells “advertising” and can set a negative tone with your prospect right off the bat. Email is cheaper, but it is increasingly difficult to invade that personal space called a computer.
But a direct mail letter? Direct, personal, and — if written correctly — honest. Just a straight-shooting letter that asks for something. Like some new business.
There are options out there for creating awesome sales letters that will bring you more business. I have used the Yanik Silver sales letter templates, but there are also easy-to-use button sales letters that eliminate the challenge of gathering the right words.
Some important tips
No matter which option or marketing promotion you use, there is a certain rule to keep in mind …
“Talk about my lawn, not your grass seed!”
In other words, no one cares about your company, how it came to be, what you use in your product or how everything is integrated. Your customer and prospect want to know what your product or service does for her. A little saying that speaks to this:
Tell me quick and tell me true Or else my friend to hell with you.
Not how this product came to be, But what the damn thing does for me!