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Marketing Basics Top CEOs Still Don’t Know

Sometimes the simplest data is the best. Marketing is not complex if you know the basics—that’s true with anything, by the way. Here are some tools that are brilliantly simple and, with them, you really won’t have to sweat the small stuff.

Tip #1: The more that your potential customers see your name in front of them, the more likely they are to call your number (and not someone else’s) when they need the services you offer.
Many marketing efforts go unrewarded, not because they were off target but simply because they weren’t given enough of an opportunity to work. Showing your TV commercial one time, running an ad in the newspaper once, or doing one mailing of postcards is not enough to grab and keep the audience’s attention.

Get your name out there, do it on a regular basis, and people will remember you when they need someone in your line of business. Actually, this particular tip cannot be stressed enough—and failure to adhere to it is the number one reason new businesses fail.

Tip # 2: Measure your Return on Investment (ROI) in terms of actual money, not response rate.
An advertising vehicle is working when the money that it brings in has more value than the money and time that is spent on the marketing.

Don’t fall into the trap of becoming discouraged by a small number of callers responding to a large number of pieces. If you spend several hundred dollars to be in the view of a few thousand possible leads, it may only take a few customers responding for you to make enough of a profit for this type of marketing to be valuable. The usefulness of any vehicle can only be determined after the amount of income generated by the promotion has been calculated. If you spend one-fifth of what you generate or generate five times what you spend, your campaign was successful.

Tip #3: It is much easier to “sell” a prospect once you get them to call or come in to your store. 
In “Two-Step Marketing,” step one is to get them interested; step two is having them speak to a representative to get all the details—and get “closed” by that representative.

Your design must be eye catching and informative, but don’t try to close the sale by explaining all of the details in one piece of advertising. The details of a business transaction often take many more words to explain than the main concept of what is being sold. All you want to do is prompt prospects or repeat customer to call to get the rest of the details once you have gotten their interest.

Marketing can be as simple as 1-2-3 when you know the basics. By no means have I given you all the basics here, but by learning and implementing these three marketing fundamentals, you are already on your way to marketing success.

Valuable Marketing Lessons Not Taught Anywhere Else
Let’s face it—marketing is expensive. You need to be an educated consumer these days if you want to be in control of your spending and your income. The problem is that most people don’t know what they don’t know—and the toughest thing about that is, how do you know exactly where to look when you don’t even know what you’re looking for? And to make matters worse, many business owners spend thousands of dollars in marketing, trusting so called “experts” only to fail—and then become gun shy from marketing in the future. The reason for failure could be a multitude of things, but it always comes down to simple elements that can be easily fixed.

Did you know that, according to a 2006 survey by the United States Postal Service, 39 percent of households find advertising mail interesting? And in that same report, only 9 percent of households find email advertising interesting, compared to a measly 3 percent for telemarketing? But more importantly, a business owner needs to know how all these advertising mediums work together and which one is right for their specific business and which ones are not. Some of the smartest CEOs in the nation (I met many of them at the Inc 500 Conference) do not know the basics of how to market! Wow! If these CEOs—who run the nation’s fastest-growing privately-held companies—do not know marketing basics, what about all the small business owners who are struggling?

Instead of years of trial and error, consider marketing training—boot camp style. A boot camp is an intense way of learning about a particular topic. It is for this reason that I decided to organize a marketing boot camp along with my dear friend, Marsha Friedman, CEO of Event-Management Services Inc., a leading national publicity firm. We called it the Power Marketing Mania Boot Camp and it was held in March 2007. We had marketing experts from every aspect of marketing speak to attendees in a two-day agenda, which included basic marketing topics such as:

  • The “Truth” About Direct Mail Marketing
  • How Publicity Fuels Marketing
  • Out-of-the-Box Marketing Ideas—Get Clever!
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Developing a Web Site Geared Toward Increased Sales
  • Internet and Email Marketing

As a business owner, I have learned by doing it first, making mistakes, doing it again and again, and have spent years educating my prospects and customers so they could skip the growing pains. The focus of our Power Marketing Mania Boot Camp was to have business owners create marketing action plans to implement tailor-made strategies for their businesses so results are assured. Boot Camp training can be a valuable power-based strategy for learning what you don’t know that you don’t know.

Even though the Boot Camp is over, one can still get the valuable data from the speakers in a recorded DVD set. Attending the Boot Camp “DVD-style” gives one rewind and replay features that allow one the opportunity to re-listen to salient points that you might have missed if you had attended it live. Likewise, I tend to find that the more I go over something, the more knowledge I glean from the repetition, which makes me better at that subject overall.

There is not one marketing silver bullet anymore. Educated business owners need to be educated marketers in order to succeed in this over-inundated advertising world. You need to be smart, be able to think outside the box, and not go broke while doing it, but rather achieve prosperity. So get smart—get educated in marketing basics!