How to Outsource Your Digital Marketing so That Dog Will Hunt

Tony asked me how to resolve a problem for one of his clients. He told me that the client, located here in the upper left corner of the USA was considering “outsourcing his marketing to an outfit in Texas.” He was concerned that there was “more wishful thinking than common sense in play.”

That dog will hunt“That depends,” said Rob who we’ve taken to calling Bubba, the branding Buddha. “If the folks that will work with him know his industry and can provide the right kind of content it could be a marriage made in heaven but just because they claim to be experts don’t make it so. My dog sleeps in the garage. That don’t make him a truck.

Kate snickered and said, “Well put Bubba. I run into this when I get asked to train young sales people. They don’t know what they don’t know and so they claim to know everything. Trouble is, in today’s world they may know quite a bit about digital approaches to customers and have all the lingo at the ready but they don’t completely understand how to connect and go from there to make a sale.”

Rick nodded and then quietly added, “Most of them have not won their spurs in direct marketing and that is all digital marketing is. They have confused knowledge of the medium with understanding messages that work. Their idea of an offer is how long it’s free.”

“That’s all well and good,” I said, “but how do I help Mike with his friend?”

Gail, our veteran writer answered, “Tell him to quit messing around with tactics and start with strategy. You remember that start-up software outfit you told us about? (Cardsmith) That’s an easy way to lay out a strategy and then the tactics for a year-long campaign.”

Chris agreed and added, “As the digital marketing guy in my company I put the plan together with my staff using white boards and sticky notes. It is the same idea but the nice thing about Cardsmith is that you can share it easily even if you’re in different places. The major thing you have to do, regardless of how you do your planning, is to start with an objective, then build a strategy to get you there and then detail all the tasks to make it happen.”

Rick said, “When you are planning,the ability to move things around is really handy as well as the ability to show how things are connected. But I will guarantee you that it is a lot easier staying on plan today in the digital world because you have all the analytics to really determine what is going on, BUT you still have to assign dates to get implementations done and you need to agree up front on what metrics will be considered key.”

“All that is wonderful,” said Gail, “but I keep thinking about Bubba’s dog. If the people you outsource to are experts in digital marketing that is one thing. Do they know how to convince your customers to buy? Do they understand how that channel of distribution deals with their customers? Have they ever gone along on sales calls?

Kate cheered. “Right on sister! She continued, “the worst situation is when you have inexperienced people in both the marketing and sales positions. Knowing their level of capability can make all the difference.”

I said, “I told Tony that his buddy should look into spending a little money up front with a Marketing strategist so that objectives, strategy and tactics could be structured with relevant time lines and metrics so that the money spent would be worthwhile.”

The Takeaways:

Start with a real objective (that management agrees with)

Assess the ability of the people that will do the work on the basis of their knowledge and understanding of your business as well as their digital marketing skills.

Base agreements on specific metrics and timeframes that are sales related (your objective is to make money, not impressions.)


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

Mission, Position and the Customer Journey

30-Second Marketing for Consultants Part 2

Chris said, “So 30-Second Marketing has four parts: Hook ’em, Hold ‘em, Pitch ‘em and Close ‘em.

Y’all can take that to the bank, youngster,” drawled Rob. “And when a Georgia Boy lays that on you it is certain true, no doubt.”

Pathway to purchase“The problem,” said Chris is I’m not really clear on how it is different from a Mission or a Position.”

“Foah starters it’s got more movin parts. It’s like the difference ‘tween flinging a beastie into the briar patch and roundin’ up the hounds to go huntin come sunset.”

Rick asked, “Fletch, since you originated 30-Second Marketing (See Part 1) would you please translate what the southern fried branding Buddha just scrambled?”

Mission versus Position versus 30-second Marketing

“Sure,” I replied. “A Mission is for all the folks that need to trust a firm, product or service. A Position is a way to quickly tell suspects, prospects, customers and clients why they should put you first. Usually those will be words in print and there is no opportunity for interaction.

30-Second marketing is about a conversation rather than one of those brief summaries intended to make you memorable in as few words as possible. It encourages interaction.”

Gail, the copywriter and editor in our midst, piped up, “30-Second Marketing is a conversation, not a commercial. You need to invest significantly more time and imagination in crafting your answers than you might think.”

The Path to Purchase (Customer Journey)

Rob’s honey-warm voice slid in. He said, “My friend Gail is tryin’ to sugar coat the fact that it will take a good bit o’ skull sweat to get it right. Moah importantly, you need to get to know your prospect real well. You need to know where he or she is on the Path to Purchase and what is important to ‘em at that point. Don’t matter if it is one person, a couple or a committee, you got to get inside their heads.”

Gail said, “I like that description Bubba. Usually it’s what people call the Customer Journey but Path to Purchase is a lot more direct way to put it. And from my experience I believe that would be easier for folks that aren’t communications pros to understand.”

“I agree,” I said. It took me quite a bit of time to explain the customer journey to some clients the other day. And even when they got it there was difficulty in getting to the level of detail that can influence buying decisions. Something as simple as knowing that a new company was formed by execs from the leading company in the field can make  huge difference. Sometimes, the simple revelation of how you access one of the features of a product can close the sale.

The Takeaways:

Mission and Position are print reminders to make you, your product or service memorable.

The Path to Purchase is the steps your customer/client goes through in order to make the decision to buy.

The more intimately you understand the Path to Purchase the more compelling you can be in every phase of the sale…including 30-Second Marketing.


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Marketing Myths vs Math

“Today, I was answering one of those update phone calls to keep a free magazine coming and after the usual address and industry verification stuff the young man asked me whether I preferred the printed or digital version. Marketing Myth: Print is dead

I answered print and then asked him what most people wanted.

He told me print and before I asked said it was preferred about 4 to 1 regardless of the age of the respondent!”

“I can believe that,” said Rick who runs a world-class direct marketing firm. There is research from an ad agency, J Walter Thompson that says 8 of 10 Millennials prefer print because it makes them feel more connected.”

Kate pushed her dreads back over one ear and said, “That’s the Lion’s share of folks that sales people like me have to talk to in the B to B world. There is still a stack of industry magazines and newsletters on the desks of the offices I visit and I can’t tell you how often there is an open catalog there, too.”

Chris asked, “Do you see any post cards when you’re scanning offices? The reason I ask is that we’ve tested using postcards versus e-mail campaigns in my company and the post cards win going away. The call to action differential is as high as 5 to 1 and that causes a huge difference in the ROI regardless of the cost of mailing.”

Gail, our resident copywriter asked, “is that because of the relative lack of competitive mail? I understand it really dropped off over the years so now it gets more attention. A couple of my clients are starting to mail newsletters again and getting great results.”

“I know what you mean,” I said. One of my former clients had a pile of 9 by 12 envelopes sitting in a cupboard and decided to just try mailing for a couple of months. That was a year ago. They are still mailing because their clients keep them. I recognize that envelope and I look forward to getting it each month because of the great heads-up information on security and what Microsoft is doing.”

“Thas’ called branding ol’ son,” said Rob, our southern fried branding guru. “I’ll bet they are startin’ to put deals in that envelope, maybe printed on a different color of paper, to get you to look at them and dimes to donuts you’ve passed some along to clients or others.”

I bowed to him and said, “Guilty as charged.”

“Now let me put the pecans in the pie for all of you,” said Rob. Y’all ever get a mailer from Google offering a deal for starting up an advertising account? Think about that. One of the biggest digital operations on the planet is using mail to get your business. That tell you anything?”

Same way with catalogs. Kate is right about that. Somewhere around 12 billion catalogs mail every year. People are just more comfortable leafing through a catalog than trying to find an item on screen even if they order on line. Print builds brands and can be more efficient than digital.”

The Takeaway

The rumor of the death of printed materials is greatly exaggerated. Print is preferred for some purposes by about 80% of prospects. It is in many cases a stronger method of branding than digital activities. And always provides a more personal touch.


 

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

 

Kick-ass Case History

“For starters,” I said to Nina, “don’t call it that.”

Kick-ass Case Histories in Video and Prin

Gail, the wordsmith in our midst agreed. She said, “I like your term Success Story a lot better.” (Video: How to get the data you need for a Kick-ass Case History https://youtu.be/UcvpMkBynYk)

“But, sometimes things aren’t successful,” said Chris. “In my digital retail marketing operation we often try things that just don’t work at all.”

“But that, young pup, is just findin’ out that you’re barkin’ up the wrong tree,” said Rob our southern fried Brand Guru. “Indeed,” he went on, “in my book that is a success.”(Get the PDF of the Kick-ass Case History form)

Rick raised his voice to be heard over a crash of dishes from the kitchen and said, “Most people think that a case history has to be only about what works but I’ve always found the most valuable experiences are the ones that teach you what doesn’t. Selling direct, like I do, has always been a laboratory. That’s why we test before putting up big bucks. What I’m trying to say is that keeping good solid info every time out of the chute is the only way to really know.”

“If you’re selling, like I do every day, the marketing and sales train wrecks are sometimes the best to convince a buyer,” said Kate. “Being able to give somebody hard data on an approach that didn’t work makes it a lot easier to get them to sign off on one that does. The other thing it does is it gives you a reason to walk away from a prospect if you know they are going to fail or to suggest a test that could make both you and them look good.”

Nina, our luncheon guest, looked around the table wide-eyed and said, “All I really wanted was to put some information on my website that tells people what I’ve been able to accomplish with my clients. It seems like there is a whole lot more to this than I thought. “

“You betcha, sweet pea,” drawled Rob. Most of us have been advising professionals and particularly consultants long enough to know that you need to look at keepin’ track of every engagement and assignment in a way that allows you to use all the information later.” (Video: How to present a Kick-ass Success Story in print) https://youtu.be/KM_lH2Eqrqo )

Kick-ass case history in print

All assignments and engagements,” I emphasized. Here’s a rough list of the ones I think you should keep track of:

  • Client Prospecting
  • Referral Approaches
  • Proposal based engagements
  • Assignments based on a retainer agreement
  • Projects awarded for previous experience
  • Engagements that require training or retraining of client staff
  • Situations that require you, the client or both to stretch

“So you’re saying to keep track of it whether it is business development, business as usual or business with a twist,” said Kate.

“Well put,” I responded. “Early on having a simple form that you fill out helps get you organized to do it. Later, you may pick and choose which of the jobs you take on to do a full write up on but it never hurts to have the information.” Kick Ass Case History Capture Form

Nina asked, “So what is on the form?” (PDF of form)

“All the usual client ID stuff, the kind of project, start and end date, situation, objective, starting data, ending data,” I said.

Rob said, “I like to keep a file with the form. You don’t want to forget any branding data that you might want when you report on it. That could be things like a logo or photos of the client and the client’s business or products. And if graphics are important it is a good idea to have before and after stuff.”

“Words, too,” added Gail. “When you change Mission or Position or Value Proposition it is a good idea to have both the before and after. Other word oriented items I like to include are testimonials. If I’m working with multiple levels than I try to get them from each. And I always like to get them to include the numeric changes in their statements.”

“Don’t overlook video,” said Chris. “If you can get a video that demonstrates what you do or just the client talking about what you’ve done for them you have a winner. What our studies show is that video seems to be the most convincing way to get a point across these days. “Video: One way to do a Kick-ass Video Success Story https://youtu.be/KPCU79FgXvE) Kick-ass video case history still

Kate looked over her glasses at Nina and said, “All that hard data is good. But remember we’re dealing with human beings here. There is a great deal of emotion wrapped up in what we do. Change isn’t easy. Transformation is what we are really doing. People are scared of it. They shy away from it. And then when the work we do kicks in they become proud of it. Don’t forget to capture that emotional content and the newfound strength you help provide. “

“You keep a file like that and you’ll be able to build a powerful Success Story  to publish on the ones that work. You keep the data on the ones that don’t and make that into a Case History by adding one thing: your investigations in to why the anticipated results didn’t happen.”

The Takeaway

To build a Kick-ass Success Story you need to capture the information on every major project or engagement or assignment. Keep a file that doesn’t rely on memory to help you gather the data and materials you need. Then express it in a way that lets people “get it” in whatever medium you are using to present it .

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

Butterflies Have No Choice

Ben, a friend as well as a client said it over lunch, “Butterflies don’t have a choice.”

Butterflies have no choiceWe’d been talking about visualizing and positioning a non-profit he’s working with. The intent of the organization is to provide the necessary elements for a metamorphosis of the members.

All of us in the lunch bunch agreed that the word metamorphosis was a little too sophisticated for marketing purposes and as we talked we kept coming back to different interpretations of Ben’s statement.

Gail, our copywriter who has edited several non-fiction books said, “He’s right. The butterfly is the end result of a metamorphosis. It starts out as a caterpillar with a voracious appetite than wraps itself in a cocoon and when it emerges it is a winged jewel that flits about for a short time and then dies. It has no choice.”

The doctor of direct marketing, Rick injected, “But everything we do is about choice. In fact if there is no competition for something it is hard to make a marketing case for it. And even within the product or service being offered we build in choices in price, complexity, level of service, you name it. People want choice.”

Chris, our youngest member, a corporate digital director said, “But not too much choice. Have you noticed how pricing for just about anything on line has three or five levels and that is it. And more often than not the company that had five now has three. Our tests show that limiting the offering increases sales across the board.”

The sales doyen, Kate pulled her glasses off, squeezed the bridge of her nose and asked, “Ben, does any of that connect with what you meant?”

Ben replied, “Yes and no. I mean, what I was thinking about was the difference between a butterfly and a potential member. A butterfly is going to be one whether it wants to or not. The folks that might join us have to make a choice. They can continue lives of quiet desperation without the knowledge that can transform them or join us. If they want to change their lives to something more comfortable for them we can help. I think of them sort of like caterpillars that can join us, wrap themselves in the cocoon of education that we offer and emerge like a butterfly, a joy to themselves, the community of other members, and the world.”

I said, “That’s why I suggested the butterfly as a symbol for the group. Both of us thought it was right and that judgment has been verified in all of our discussions with the folks that are going to make it work. Most folks can’t come up with the M word but they all understand the idea of giving people the information they need to transform themselves when their lives have been disrupted either by choice or by chance.”

Rob our southern-friend brand guru chuckled and said, “Sounds to me like this choice thing is what you got to tell people about if’n y’all want to get ‘em to join up. ‘Minds me of a lady I once knew that had two or three butterfly tattoos flying up her back. She had a choice. And in my view it turned out right lovely.

You guys are offering folks a chance to go from a situation where they are struggling to one where they take flight. It ain’t the iridescent wings like the butterfly that’s important. The external doesn’t matter. It is the beauty they can find inside themselves that you offer. It is the ability to help them find the butterfly inside and help it take wing. Think about it in terms of an inner glow that your organization can fire up. That radiance lights up the world around the person that is transformed. Your benefit is a serene exhilaration for a new beginning. Their choice is whether or not they want to make the change.”

“And that is why we say Bubba is the Brand Guru. He understands the emotions that are at the heart of customer viewpoints,” I said.

The Takeaway

Don’t get trapped in the external symbols of a brand. The emotional content of your offer is what is remembered. How you say it is sometimes more important than the benefit you deliver.

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Delving Into The Dark Side

“Human beings are built that way” Rob drawled. “They can be lured to the dark side so easily. ‘Course it doesn’t hurt if he thinks the sun comes up just to hear him crow.”

Once again, our brand guru fueled on grits turned my mind around before I sat down.

Rob, I said, “What are you talking about? I know the new Start Wars opened last night but somehow I think it is something else you’re trying to convey.”Yin Yang & Dark side

“Fletch,” he said, that string of movies always has a fair amount of concern about the dark side so naturally I was talking to Rick about how that gets used in his direct marketing business and that led to politics and, well, that’s when you came in.”

“Okay,” I replied, “so the roadmap here is dark side to direct marketing to politics. Is that right”

Rick piped up and said, “That’s the short and not so sweet of it. Basically he’s saying that the way folk’s minds work it is really easy to get to them with the dark side not to mention that he thinks folks like Chris and I are experts at using photos and copy to exert an outrageous influence over most prospects.”

Kate, ever the pragmatic sales expert cleared her throat. Everyone swung to look at her.

She sniffed and said, “Don’t you all know by now when he’s about to spring one of those tar baby stories on you? He’ll lead you right down the primrose path and then snicker when he gets you to fling him into the briar patch. Don’t you know that’s where he grew up? He understands Brand because he has more than a nodding acquaintance with the dark side.”

You could hear the clock on the wall behind Gail ticking it got so quiet.

Gail, our writer/editor/campaign builder said, “Could you spell that out a little more for me?”

“Sure,” Kate said. “Name an iconic brand. I’ll bet you come up with Apple and Starbucks and maybe Google and a handful of others. Can you tell me one that set out to be an icon? Can you tell me one that had a mission statement that set them apart?CAn you tell me one that doesn’t have some contribution from the dark side?”

Rob said, “She’s right. All of them fell into it. In fact the iconic Apple commercial that ran in the 1984 Super Bowl had a suit filed against it by the estate of George Orwell. The commercial is considered to be one of the best of all time but it nearly did not get aired. The board of Apple wanted to kill it. Fortunately, that was a case of the dark side not winning. The agency defied a direct order to sell the time that had been purchased in the Super Bowl. They drug their feet long enough that the only thing left to do was run the commercial. That commercial got flung in the briar patch but still got aired.

Some people claim that Apple was introduced with the line “Think Different. Not so. The Think Different campaign came years later. That was in 1998. Originally, Steve Jobs was to be the voice over on the commercial but he felt people might believe he was an egomaniac. Right.

The dark side is always with us. It is a part of every brand. Theah’s a Chinese symbol that really makes it clear. Everything has positive and negative aspects. At the core of both the light and dark sides is dot of life spun up in the ongoing battle which describes the reality of any idea or company or organization. It is messy. There is always a dark side. It can be the basis of the brand or its downfall.

You can’t go all the way to the dark side or the light. Too much of either and you will crash and burn. The power is in adhering to the key precepts and acknowledging what got you here.

The Takeaway:

Brand is being perceived for a few key precepts by yourself, your employees, your customers and the general public. Brand is developed by those knowing full well that nothing is perfect and that there is always a dark side.


 

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

Pick A Card, Any Card

“I just finished my beginning test of a software program that can digitally capture a full variety of brainstorming, planning and project tracking approaches with both words and pictures” I said to the assembled crew.

Ultimate Consultant Marketing Formula

Chris, the Digital Director in our midst said, “You must have liked it or hated it or we wouldn’t be hearing about it!”

I agreed saying, “I liked it. It is not as fast as sticky notes and white boards but it has the advantage of being saved in a form that a group can work with even if they are geographically and time separated.”

Rick asked, “What is it called?”

Cardsmith,” I replied to our direct marketing expert. I told my friend Ron about it. He speaks on planning and project management all over the country. His e-mail said:

I love my sticky notes and this adds to the usefulness.

One thing it does better is making the sticky-note planning accessible to remote locations… and thus the one thing it does worse is removing the in-room collaborative MESSY brainstorming benefits. I think it might limit what people are willing to “post” as a “good-enough-to-see-daylight” idea.  

But it has a solid use and I think it offers some great opportunities for delivering and controlling shared work items.

Thanks for calling my attention to it. I’m going to play with it a little.

Kate our resident sales doyen asked, “So how does it work?”

“The best analogy I can give you is if you had a deck of 3 x 5 cards and you were trying to figure out how to organize something whether it’s a sales meeting, a book, a team building a product or even how to structure a complex web site. You’d jot something on a card and put it on the table, do the same for the next major step and put that on the table in relation to the first.”

Gail, our writer and editor said, “this sounds like a piece of software that was part of an offering to Mac users that were writers I once looked at. I was set up so you could structure a story arc for a book or a TV show and add cards to fill in plot data and character sketches. The whole system was based on a manual system that used 3 x 5 cards!”

“Exactly,” I said. “But this product is more flexible even in its fresh-baked version. For instance, you can put the cards in relation to one another side by side or above and below one another or even arrange them in a spiral if that floats your boat. The best part, as Ron said is the ability to keep everyone in a team on the same page. One consultant I know claims it has improved his productivity by several orders of magnitude!”

The Takeaway:

Cardsmith is worth a look if you ever get involved in planning or process management of any kind that requires keeping track of lots of connecting information. It adds productivity at low cost with a minimal learning curve.


 

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

 

 

 

With Two You Get Trust

“Our clients forget too quickly that they can’t do it alone,” I said as Gail and Rick pulled up chairs.

“Do what?” asked Rick.

Trust is a partnership

Success is built on trust and you must dance to the same music as the customer. Learn more at www.jerryFletcher.com

“Get to Trust,” I responded. “Just like It takes two to Tango or Salsa or whatever dance the stars are doing it takes two to get to Trust.”

Gail coaxed, “And this is important because….”

I’ve said it before, “Who you know is important and what you know makes a difference but the single most important thing to be successful in business is who trusts you.”

“So what you’re saying is that to sell anything you have to get to trust, and if you don’t, you won’t,” said Rick.

“Right, “I replied. I’m a little frustrated by a business to business client that is bouncing all over the place, full of piling up lists of features and benefits and unwilling to let me talk to some prospects to understand their wants and needs and desires or let me get a handle on their objections.

“Is he afraid they might not like his product or service?” asked Gail.

Rick suggested, “He could be so in love with this thing he’s developed that he can’t see the forest for the trees. I’ve seen that happen so many times in high tech that I expect it now.”

“So,” I said, “How do you guys get around it?

“Some times you have to do it the hard way,” Gail said. “I’ve warned clients that the path they are following will not, in my opinion, work and that they should change but if they are hard over on doing it I will give them the best copy I can based on that direction. Sometimes it gets them to change but very infrequently.”

“I tried that,” Rick agreed. But I try to make it the last resort because it can get very expensive in Direct Marketing. One thing I’ve found is that I can push them pretty hard in list selection. Because of the expansion of selects we can go deeper into prospects habits and media usage and a host of other factors. What I find is that they really don’t know their prospects all that well so we push them into doing some simple testing that reveals where the best product fit is.

“Brilliant,” Gail burst out, “That is sort of what I did once. I got them to have the prospect respond by phone and had the client and I actually take some of the calls. Talk about change an opinion in a heartbeat!”

“So what you’re saying is the first step is to get the client into a conversation with the prospect or customer so they are talking with them rather than at them.

They agreed, saying it was only the first step but perhaps the most important.

The Takeaway:

In today’s world to get to trust you need to listen to your customers. That means in person and on line. After all, that is what your prospects are doing.


 

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

Behavioral Marketing Spurs [Book List]

I asked, “Was anyone else listening to Public Radio on the way over?”

“Let me guess, Rick said, “the piece about behavioral marketing rang your chimes. The thing that got me was the breathless description of the ‘new discovery’ that a P.S. on a letter or e-mail improved response rates from a person who had obviously never won her spurs in the direct marketing arena!”

Winning Spurs in Direct Marketing

“Right. The person being interviewed was talking about basic stuff as if it was discovered yesterday. She and the interviewer were both completely oblivious to the entire history of marketing, direct or otherwise.”

Chris said, “Everyone knows that a P.S. can increase response.”

“Apparently not,” Kate remarked. ” Time and again I run into this phenomenon. It happens in sales all the time. I have to teach people new to the profession how to shake hands and take notes and basic techniques. The other side of that is when they start trying to emulate the flavor of the day from the latest book published without knowing the stuff the new approach is on top of.”

“Chris,” Rick said, “You’re one of the few youngsters I know that has done his homework and tried to learn from some of the masters. Off the top of your head what three or four books would you recommend to anyone trying to understand direct marketing?”

Chris replied:

  • Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins (originally published in the 1930’s I think, but reprinted in the last couple of years)
  • Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy (a classic about print advertising)
  • Convergence Marketing by Richard Rosen (for a quantitative look at brand vs. direct)
  • Give ‘em one white sock by Rapp & Collins (a bunch of ideas for ways to get a message opened)
  • Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson (Contemporary take that applies the classics to on line marketing)

You’ll find that most of them talk about their mentors, colleagues and competitors as well as what they had to do to earn their spurs. They became successful by doing what the behavioral marketing crowd thinks they are discovering,

The Takeaway
A little reading can take years off your learning curve. Direct marketing that works follows a pattern: It convinces, persuades and moves prospects closer to the sale by trying something, measuring it, establishing a control, testing details and new concepts against it. Successful direct marketers keep using the control until it is beaten. Then they start the entire process over.


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Subscribe to the blog at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

Put Your Mouth Where The Money Is [Free Takeaway]

The temperature was in the 90’s again so we decided to dine alfresco. We trooped outside, pushed a couple of tables together and became observers of the passing scene until Chris dropped a verbal hand grenade in the middle of things.

Impact of power words in bracketsHe asked, “have you guys heard the latest research on headlines and click Through Rate (CTR)?”

Gail, our writer/editor snorted, “now what!”

Rick just covered his face with his hands, moaned and said, “In direct marketing there is only one measure of what works and what doesn’t and it is not based on Click Through Rate!”

“That’s why I brought it up,” said Chris. “All of us are going to catch flack on this so we need to be ready when clients and managers start trying to push us around.”

“Anyone who has ever written a headline that got people to make a buy is going to love some of these findings,” Chris began. “The report says the words easy, how to, credit, cure, magic and free decrease CTR. But wait, there’s more” he continued. Using You or your or you are also reduces the CTR. And don’t try giving me tips or tricks or telling me it’s simple or amazing. I don’t want to know the secret. And don’t think you can get me to take action quickly I’m not about to act Now.”

“I may be a country boy.” said Rob our branding Guru that hails from Georgia, “but I can tell you somebody’s been sippin’ grannie’s hard cider when she ain’t lookin’ if y’all believe that nonsense. I been getting paid to write for a lotta years and click throughs don’t hold a candle to conversions. Y’all don’t need to go preachin to all them folks outside the tent. The ones that are inside is where the action is. And that is what works across all the media I know.”

Kate snorted and said, “Hear, hear. Bubba. It’s the same in sales. We do a little cold calling but most of the time we are talking to people that want to be talking to us. I figure a prospect is someone that has a problem I can solve, can pay me to do it and is willing to talk to me. I don’t need to convince them to talk to me. I just need to understand their problem so I can help solve it. I’d rather work with folks that want to see me any day!”

“That’s the thing about this report,” Chris said. It’s 28 pages and it took 17 before they started talking about conversions.”

“Then, what did they say?” I asked.

“Suddenly, all those low CTR performers became more important. Being new and meeting a need Now paid off. Suddenly Amazing had power to open wallets. And funny thing, FREE managed to get more orders when used in headlines directed to real prospects and especially when it became part of the close.

The one thing that came out of this study that appears to work across the board is putting brackets in the headline. What helps close the sale in brackets? Here are their top five examples: Template, Quick Tip, Free Download, Infographic, FAQ.”

The Takeaway:

Add a bracketed item to your headline while using the words that have proven useful since promotion began to convince, persuade and generate sales. Conversions are always more important than Click Throughs.


 

 Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Look at the blog at: www.JerryFletcher.net

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com