The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
You may have heard about the death of traditional marketing due to online marketing since the mid-1990’s. Yet, traditional advertising spending increased from $180 million to $200 million in 2016.
The good news for your business is competition makes your media buy much more affordable, as traditional marketing sales executives know you are being pulled daily to spend your media dollars online.
Of course what really matters is making all of your marketing work. Here’s how to put every marketing dollar on a performance improvement plan.
Public Relations (PR) may have changed more drastically than any other marketing method in the past two decades. You used to nurture your relationship with the media, publish your press release and hope your “free advertising” would be picked up other publications and media outlets.
The internet changed PR forever. Now you can publish your press release online (for a few hundred dollars) and distribute it to every media outlet on the planet. That doesn’t guarantee your news will be published, but your business can reach the media in seconds rather than days or weeks.
Of course you can now take your news directly to your prospective customers simply by publishing your Blog, Podcasting, Vlogging through social media. You can even run your own online media room to drive even more traffic back to your website.
None of these online approaches prohibit you from going old school. There are still great opportunities to reach reporters, editors and publishers directly and pitch your story.
There’s also a great site to find reporters looking for your news – Help a Reporter Out (HARO).
Another marketing method that was expected to die is direct mail marketing. But in 2016, $150 billion was spent on direct mail.
Direct mail is one of the easiest marketing methods to measure and manage the performance of your marketing dollars.
- You can precisely target who you write to and deliver it to their home or their business desk.
- You can test every aspect of your marketing package from the envelope to the headline to the offer and even the PS.
- You can even change your results by changing your delivery method.
Years ago, we changed our direct mail approach and doubled our business by nearly $500 million in just 18 months. We changed nothing else in our marketing other than our approach to direct mail.
Best of all, these methods still work today.
Although trade show attendance has declined in many sectors, overall exhibit marketing spending has increased over 20% in the past five years to nearly 13 billion in 2016.
Choosing the right show where you can meet your best prospective customers is vital, but the untapped opportunities for trade show success are in your pre-show and post-show work. Driving attendees to your booth before the show is essential and nothing will happen without relentless follow-up after the show.
As in all marketing, communicating the benefits of doing business with you rather than just pitching your products and services is critical. You must consider every moment of truth, from your booth design to your demonstration material to your booth staff and everything they say and do.
Everything matters at the show. Let us help your business be the star of your next trade show!
Seminar selling is a great method to educate your potential customers and establish your authority as an expert in your field.
Of course you must have an effective method of getting “butts in seats’ before you can dazzle them with your brilliance, but that’s why it is marketing combinations that work, not individual marketing methods.
Once you attract prospects to attend your seminar, once again, everything matters:
- the setup of the room,
- how people are greeted,
- refreshments and food,
- every piece of literature,
- your presentation,
- your close,
- how people interact with you at the end
- and of course, your follow-up after the seminar.
Your seminar needs to be educational, not a start-to-finish sales pitch. You can make an end of seminar offer, but don’t beat people over the head with it. If you must, simply make your “buy today” offer compelling and leave the selling for after the seminar.
You can also take your seminar selling approach online today. You just have to call it a Webinar instead of a seminar.
Many business owners look at every advertising opportunity with disdain. They have spent money for decades on advertising promotions that don’t just work.
Who’s to blame?
- The business owner points his or her finger at the media.
- The media points their fingers at the creatives.
- The creatives point at the business owner.
Well, they are all to blame for poor results. Because none of them really know how to design advertisements that work.
What does work? Most often, it isn’t selling.
What works is educating, enticing, encouraging a viewer to take a no-risk step forward to learn more. A free sample, free report, free video will move more people faster towards your business than any “buy now” pitch.
The only thing worse than a “buy now” pitch is no pitch at all. Just watch how many entertaining ads you watch during any Super Bowl that end simply with their logo. You’ll talk with family and friends for days about the great ad, with no recollection at all of who advertised.
How do you design a print ad that works? There are four key elements:
- Interrupt – you must hit your prospect’s “hot button” powerfully with both visual and copy elements.
- Engage – you must provide information that facilitates their decision-making process
- Educate – you must powerfully build the case for your business having a solution
- Offer – you must provide a no-risk next step to take in the buying process. seldom is that next step a “buy now.”
When you apply these four elements effectively, you get what you want from your advertising – results.
What can you convey about your business in 15, 30 or 60 seconds?
Amazingly, you can change people’s perceptions of not only your business, but of your entire industry with only the spoken word.
Which radio spots catch your attention?
Most often, it’s the voice of the business owner speaking from their heart and telling stories of their love for their customers.
Can you do that? Of course you can.
But if you choose to promote your business with radio advertising, don’t just dip your toe in the water. Make the commitment to the right frequency and stay the course, but only after you’ve selected the right station where your prospects have tuned in their dial.
What’s your first thought when you think of television advertising? Too expensive?
Well, television advertising can certainly be too expensive. Your 30-second spot during the Super Bowl will reach 100 million viewers, as long as your check for $5,000,000 or more hasn’t bounced.
But it also can be incredibly affordable.
You can produce a commercial for a few thousand dollars or less and amazingly you can broadcast your commercial locally for as little as $25 per spot.
One of the most important elements in television advertising is carefully choosing when your ad will appear. Don’t just buy time on the station, make sure your advertisement is running on shows that you know your prospective customers watch.
Lastly, if you are concerned that everyone will fast forward through your ad, stop worrying. Less than 20% of commercials are not viewed live during the broadcast and many are still watched even when the full show has been recorded.
The bridge from offline to online marketing is digital advertising. You can buy everything from pay-per-click advertisements to Facebook ads to banners on almost any highly-trafficked website.
This is one area where you don’t want to take a “do it yourself” approach. It’s best to work with professionals with highly specialized knowledge with the specific digital advertising approach to ensure you get the results you are paying for.
Is it time to develop and implement your traditional or digital marketing program?
Let’s produce results for your business together.