Helping small business owners develop extraordinary businesses that really work for their customers, their employees, themselves and their families

It ain’t necessarily so

Promotions for “new” marketing methods claim time-tested methods, like direct mail and “funnels” (sequenced promotions), “don’t work anymore.”  If you have been successfully using a promotional method in your business, be very skeptical of that statement.

We are susceptible to these claims because we get bored with repetitively using a method that our customers still respond to.

Remember, it’s their job to sell you what they offerIt’s your job to operate your business successfully.

When they say a promotional method “doesn’t work anymore”, they’re basically saying human nature has changed, and that’s just not true.  Human nature has evolved over millions of years, and evolution happens very slowly.  People’s emotions and basic needs are the same as they’ve always been for thousands of years.  People want to be happy, be healthy, have good food to eat, have a comfortable place to live, have reliable transportation, have great relationships, and be appreciated.  People are receptive to messages about helping them solve their problems and get what they want.

The context of some messaging has changed.  For example, a lot more people rely on their smart phones for communications.  The initial messaging to get their attention via text and social media on their smart phones tends to be short.  Video is attractive for some longer messages.  With a few exceptions, smart phone users aren’t going to get enough information to make an informed decision from these short messages, which dictates a sequenced promotion, possibly including getting an informational report, visiting a website, making an appointment for a phone call, video conference, or visiting a showroom.

Again and again, tests have shown that, for sales letters and most other marketing communications, long copy beats short copy.  “The more you tell, the more you’ll sell.”  People need information to answer their questions and feel confident they can trust whoever is making this offer.

Direct mail has sensory elements that can’t be replicated by any other media.  Receiving an envelope addressed to you in your mailbox is a different experience from opening an email.  You can include “lumpy mail” items, like an eraser, a small compass, or a packet of aspirin, in a mail package and can’t in an email or text.

Look at what charities and political parties are doing.  They carefully account for the returns on their marketing dollars.  If you’re like me, you’re receiving mail, email, telephone calls and texts from charities that you give to and others that you don’t.  (The other charities bought mailing lists from the charities that you give to.)  Multiple-channel marketing works.

The worst thing you can do is to abandon a marketing method that has been working for you and replace it with a method that you haven’t tested.

That “new” method might be a new arrow that you can add to your marketing quiver.  It might be a new wrinkle or repackaging of something old.  Or, it might not work for your marketplace.  In any case, test it before adopting it wholeheartedly.  Then consider adding it to your marketing mix.

When you see a claim that what’s “tried and true” doesn’t work anymore, it ain’t necessarily so.

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Helping small business owners develop extraordinary businesses that really work for their customers, their employees, themselves and their families