[Important Note: This is a guest post from Sean Greeley (an amazing guy and one hell of a marketer). Sean is president of Net Profit Explosion, a company focused on supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs so they can grow their businesses. NPE has been listed 2 times on the Inc 500 list (#131 in 2010) of the fastest growing privately owned US companies and has been recognized as Info-Marketing company of the year by Dan Kennedy and GKIC in 2008. For more information click here.]
What is “internet” marketing, really?
A lot of folks have tried to carve it out as an entirely “new” marketing category.
Well there are no “new” categories of marketing.
Marketing is marketing.
And our all our websites, emails, landing pages, opt-in forms, online order forms, shopping carts, video sales letters, and the like are simply an expansion of media.
We now have more ways to communicate our message to market.
But the fundamental principles of marketing success have not, nor will they ever, change.
And all too often I see businesses I consult with caught up in the latest media tricks and tactics to boost response, yet their marketing is suffering with WEAK results because they’ve missed grounding their work in the fundamentals.
The 3M Triad
I have to thank Dan Kennedy for sharing this formula with me several years ago.
I consistently refer back to it in both designing a marketing campaign for initial rollout or reviewing a client’s campaign that hasn’t produced the results they had hoped for.
You may have heard of this formula before, but do you check your work against it before roll out?
In my experience most companies don’t.
And if you’re missing the fundamentals, then everything else is really a waste of your time!
ALL marketing results start with a VERY good understanding of the WHO you’re marketing too.
Do you really know your market?
How well do you know it?
What are the segments within your market?
Do you have those well-defined?
Not just demographics, but the geographics, and psychographics (the emotional drivers underlying your prospects actions)?
Going DEEP on the slight nuances of the various segments within your market is what makes ALL the difference.
Yes this takes extra “work”.
And that’s why MOST folks don’t go there. Yet “going further than your competitors will” is where ALL the market share opportunities (and profits) lie for your business!
So don’t be lazy. Do this!
One of the first things I pull out of my toolbox when working with a client or company is to survey their existing customers, prospects, or new visitors to their website.
As the legendary Gene Schwartz says “We don’t create demand, we only channel it.”
Well if you want to know what the market wants, ask good questions and then LISTEN to their answers.
Your brilliant theories don’t matter.
You can’t dream up your market, you can only seek to understand the market forces already present… and then learn how to ride with them.
You can ONLY craft your message… and the nuances of messages to each of your market segments… AFTER you’ve invested a ton of time researching and defining the segments within the market your going after.
So if you haven’t done that yet, stop reading now and go read the section above again.
I’ll repeat because this point is VERY important.
Go read that section above again.
Think you’ve got it?
But I’ll say it again… go read the above section again.
I’m continually amazed how nobody wants to invest the time and energy required to do the fundamental work required for ALL the marketing results they’re looking for.
You’ve probably studied a number of ways to craft your messaging and improve your offer.
One of the most valuable things you can do is test your offer, and create a “checklist” for designing new offers as you roll them out.
Here’s a starting list you can add to. Write it down and invest 10 minutes brainstorming ways you can “pump up” your primary offer right now.
The more you can get your offer pulling like a freight train the better your campaign is ultimately going to pull!
- Urgency (Limited to first X, deadline for response)
- Scarcity (limited to X number of responses)
- Trial offers (free plus shipping, $1 30 day trials)
- Bonuses (bonus for first x, bonus for response by deadline, unusual bonuses)
- Take way offers- (by application only)
- Payment plan offers
Keep adding to this list, note the results of your offer, and keep looking for ways to increase it’s pulling power.
When Your MESSAGE is FAILING
A lot of folks miss the mark here. There message isn’t connecting. Nobody is responding to their offers. They’ve duplicated the latest “upsell chain, email magic trick, social media explosion secret, and yet still… there is no wind in their sail.
What to do?
WHY can’t you connect?
Well my friend, you have misread the winds.
Go back to researching your market. Look harder for what you have missed. IS there really a market for your product or service offering? Is there a big enough demand for folks to who have a DESIRE to solve a problem or achieve a goal your product or service is offering them?
Are you really speaking to their emotional desires?
Are you PROVING your claims?
I tell you one of the biggest secret tricks I’ve used again and again to investigate why something isn’t working…
PICK UP THE PHONE AND TALK TO LIVE PEOPLE!
- Ask them more questions.
- LISTEN to their answers.
- Ask more questions.
- Listen again.
- Keep going and rinse, wash, repeat.
After about a dozen or so (more if you need to) patterns will start to emerge and you’ll find the answers you seek.
Now I know, picking up the phone and actually talking to humans is NOT what you had in mind when someone sold you the bill of goods on being an “internet marketer.”
You thought all you had to do was push a few buttons to send an email and it would all work like magic.
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!
Pick up the phone and do the work the other guys won’t do.
It’s truly amazing how “lucky” you suddenly become when you’re willing to go the extra mile.
Clearly when it comes to online environments, all anyone wants to do online is look at pictures or watch video.
The days of taking a long form sales letter and throwing up on a webpage… “hoping” that will get the job done… are long gone.
We’re all fighting for SECONDS of attention with our prospects and customers, and the competition is fierce between other websites, Facebook, Twitter, and the iTunes store.
Well you can play the game or change the game.
I prefer to do both.
We’re had great success with working every media we can to generate a lead or make a sale.
And when you know the lifetime value of your customer, you can intelligently make greater investments in your media to acquire a new customer.
Whether capturing or keeping a prospect engaged online through video, surveys, webinars, and the like… we’ve found best results with taking our prospects OFFLINE to mail and phone for the actual sale.
Of course you’ve got to have a decent transaction size to make the most use of this, but there is no stronger way to make a sale then having someone directly speak with your prospect.
Use the marketing triad to test how your campaigns stack up, dissect ones that aren’t working, and improve the effectiveness of all that you do.
The more you add to and personalize these test for your marketing… and create your own checklists to use again and again… is how you grow!