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Friday, March 25, 2011

Tough Times Marketing | SALES AND MARKETING

Bill DoerrSales and Marketing with Bill Doerr, Markitect

15 Second Executive Summary

The Economy is challenging. Consumers are cautious. Resources are limited. Making wise choices about your marketing efforts is critical. Learning to focus your marketing to make it truly productive may therefore be a key strategy to address the challenges of making money in this sluggish economy.

The Perfect (Marketing) Storm
I was involved in a marketing campaign I now refer to as 'The Perfect Storm'. It taught me (and, my client) the importance of doing several things well. My client sells ink and toner products. They target court reporters (they must print their reports) and CPA's (who must print a lot of forms, returns, etc.). With the tax season approaching, they wanted to generate business from CPA firms. We created a promotion that generated sales from 9% of their target audience (CPA firms) in less than 12 hours from the time the mailing hit the streets. (I'll let that sink in with you).
How we did it:

End of December. Tax season approaching. Year-end deductions looming. We definitely had an opportunity to argue, "use it or lose it". Urgency was on our side.

CPA firms who would (shortly) be going through a lot of toner and ink in the near future.

"Buy your toner & ink NOW (something you're going to need a lot of in the coming months anyway) and get something valuable . . . FREE - a 'Same Day' replacement guarantee in case your printer breaks down before April 15th" (rather relevant to CPA's during tax season).

The client arranged for a local business equipment company to provide a same-day replacement of any printer or copier that failed to work between January 1st and April 15th. It was an 'insurance policy'. It had little risk or cost but high value attached to it. Consequently, incorporating this into the offer to 'buy now' made a lot of sense. Dollars, too! Oh yes, we would only offer this 'special' until January 15th or until 80 firms took advantage of the offer.

Direct Mail. Yes,'low tech' but it delivered the message to the target and the results (9% bought within the first 12 hours!) speak for themselves. As orders came in, we created a unique 'up-sell' that not only increased the initial sales volume, but caused other firms to 'lose' the sales they might have made to these CPA firms for almost 6 months! Sweet.

A 'perfect storm' doesn't happen all that often. In marketing, however, you can create one with more frequency if you use some good planning. These days, that may be a very good thing to know how to do. Here's how you can generate similar results for your business:

Market Where it Matters
Most firms do business locally. Yours probably does, too. So connecting with your local prospects is key. There are ways to target local firms and consumers who will be able to best appreciate the value you offer. Use them. If you need some resources here, call us.

Market with Relevance
Self-centered marketing is not as effective as prospect-centered marketing. In your local area, your prospects have needs and events that make sense to address. For example, can you offer someone a 'birthday special' . . . as an inducement to come into your business? Might a 'new resident' special . . . attract a new member of your community? Perhaps offering a 'Neighborhood Special' . . . would work if you just did some project for a homeowner or business that others in the area may be interested in as well. Get creative! And remember to use your commonsense - it always creates highly effective offers.

Make Your Offer Valuable
So many firms fail to make a truly attractive offer and suffer dismal response as a result. Make your initial offer really attractive. More value, less profit. Initially. This can help you to create a relationship that, over time, generates repeat sales and increasing profits. Don't be myopic. See the 'Big Picture' and act accordingly in the moment.

Mix Your Media
Over time, the more varied your medium (snail mail, email, phone calls, etc.), the more likely you are to get your message to your target. And variety is the spice of life, right?

Make It Happen
The best ideas and plans are worthless if they are not implemented. So, ask yourself, "What's holding you back from proceeding with this kind of highly effective marketing effort?" If you need ideas or resources, let us know.

Final Thought
Marketing can generate great value for your business. If it's not done effectively, however, you may lose more than you gain. Not good. To optimize your time, budget and energies, leverage the power of marketing locally and marketing massively.


Bill Doerr, Partner / Markitect
at SellMore Marketing, LLC helps professionals and other service providers to market their problem-solving expertise simply, effectively and affordability. You can reach him online at Sell More Marketing, or by phone at 860-798-6964.

For more information, please visit Bill's TNNWC Bio.

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