Archive for June 22, 2010

Successful Marketing Tips: top 10 Must do’s

Posted in Marketing with tags , , on June 22, 2010 by virtualcitypa

I really appreciated these helpful tips from Chris Cardell’s Business Success website that give a great insight into the importance of good marketing:

You can have a wonderful product or service – but if nobody knows about it, you’re in trouble.

When business owners have the ‘moment’ they realise that actually, business success is all about Marketing. It’s about reaching potential customers, converting them to paying customers and keeping them as lifetime customers.

1. Stop wasting money on Ineffective Marketing and Advertising.

This might sound obvious but it’s shocking how many business owners are spending money on Advertising and Marketing that does not work.

Here’s a common scenario for your average small business owner: the phone rings, or there’s a knock at the door, and it’s a rep from a newspaper or magazine selling advertising space. Our eager business owner could do with some more customers so readily agrees to the rep’s offer and is pleased to have saved some money, too (because reps always tell you they’re giving you a huge discount).

They leave everything in the hands of the rep, including the ad’s design.

The ad comes out and… nothing.

Fact: most small business advertising does not work.


Because advertising sales people and their buddies the graphic designers are not marketing people. They don’t know what makes an ad effective.

We get a similar story with direct mail, too: most business owners tell me direct mail doesn’t work. But it does. All they’ve discovered is it doesn’t work for them when they do it the wrong way.

In the meantime, if you’re advertising or mailing stuff out but you can’t tell beyond all doubt it’s making you money, then stop doing it now! You must be ruthless about this: if someone responds to an ad or mail piece, you must be able to track it. It’s not enough to say “I ran an ad and seemed to be busier the next week”. It has to be trackable down to the individual sale.

This means perhaps having a dedicated phone number you use only on ONE ad so you know all calls coming in on that number can only have come from that ad; it means having some kind of coupon or other trackable response mechanism in your direct mail; and it means using the latest technology on your website to track visitors.

2. Learn how to write Strong, Persuasive Sales Copy.

Sales copy – and that means all your copy – should be strong, bold, conversational, heavy on benefits to the reader, and usually long. Copy can’t be too long, only too boring.

Long, interesting copy is crucial in building relationships, too. Relationships are fundamental to your business – people like to buy from people they like and trust. The more they like you and trust you, the more they’ll be inclined to buy from you, and the more often they’ll buy.

Many business owners think they should write “professionally” and that this means you have to write stilted, formal prose with big, fancy words and complicated phrases.

It doesn’t. Write like you’re having a conversation with someone, like a letter to a favourite Aunt.

I promise, your customers and clients will like it more and your sales will reflect that.

3. Stop Traditional ‘Brand’ Marketing and Advertising and replace it with ‘Direct Response’ Marketing

Unless you have the deep pockets of Richard Branson, you probably can’t afford to be spending a fortune on building your “brand” for the sake of having one.

The reality is, you can’t afford to throw money away on just getting your name and logo out there. But that’s what a lot of small business owners do. ‘Brand’ Advertising is a waste of money. You should only engage in ‘Direct Response’ Marketing. As the name suggests, that means Marketing that produces a RESPONSE that you can MEASURE.

So every marketing campaign you put out there must give people a reason to respond. You must be offering one specific thing, something they want or need, something that’s going to interest them enough to haul themselves out of a chair and respond to you.

Indulging in so-called ‘institutional / brand marketing’ where you essentially say “This is us, here’s what we do, give us a call if we do anything that interests you” is a great way to empty the contents of your wallet into the wallets of the ad agency and graphic designer with no appreciable return for you.

4. Test Pay per Click (PPC) Advertising on Google

Become an expert at Internet Marketing, particularly Pay per Click Advertising on Google. Pay per Click is the most powerful breakthrough in Marketing this century – yet very few Entrepreneurs truly understand its power.

PPC allows you to reach people who have an interest in what you have and who are looking for it right now. As you read this, someone, somewhere is almost certainly on Google looking for what you have to offer.

PPC Advertising allows a link to your website to appear at or near the top of the search engine results they see when they do their search.

Best of all, you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad.

If you run a local business, you can even specify that the ads only appear for internet users in your area.

Pay per Click is the most important revolution in Markleting this century. If you’re serious about business success, you must test it out.

5. Stop doing anything you can’t Measure.

All of your marketing must be trackable, right down to the specific ad or marketing piece which generated every sale.


Because if you can’t trace a sale back to the origin of the lead (how did this person become aware of your company or the offer you’re making), then how can you know where your marketing money is going? How can you know what’s effective and what’s not?

You can’t. And you need to.

If your marketing isn’t making you money, stop it. If it is making you money, do MUCH more of it. You’ll only know whether to stop it or do more if you’re measuring the results

6. Offer a (generous) Guarantee.

Guarantees are a fabulous way to overcome price resistance. You see, any transaction involves risk. And since you’re the one asking them to trust you with their money, it’s going to benefit you to take this risk onto your own shoulders. You do this by offering a fantastic guarantee.

Now, you might be thinking that by giving a great guarantee you’re opening yourself up to being ripped off by hordes of unscrupulous liars and cheats.

Well, technically you are, but in practice it never happens. Never. Most people are fundamentally honest and won’t cheat you. Most won’t even call you on your guarantee when they’re actually entitled to.

And even if a few do, so what? If you sell 100 extra widgets a week because of your guarantee and get cheated a couple of times, the extra money you make more than makes up for these small losses. Please test Guarantees. It’s one of the easiest ways to grow your business – fast.

7. Embrace the fact no one is interested in you or your products and sell on the Benefits you offer your clients and customers, not what you can “do”.

Human beings are naturally selfish. It’s OK, we’re not broken – it’s just the way we are. We are permanently tuned to the world’s favourite radio station: WIIFM. That’s Radio What’s In It For ME?

Consequently, if your marketing consists of brochures, letters, ads, and a website which comprise your logo and company name, a list of things you do, and a phone number, don’t be surprised when no one cares and no one responds to it.

They don’t want your products: they want the product of your products. They don’t care what you can do; they want to know what you can do for them.

So change your mindset: start thinking not in terms of sales of stuff, but in terms of service and benefits to your customers and clients. Put yourself in their shoes, see their problems, understand their fears, learn their wants and needs, and then cater to them.

Take some time to understand your customers, and show them you understand… and your sales will skyrocket.

8. Turn your Marketing into a proper System and focus on Testing small, incremental increases.

Most marketing is done by default. But really it needs to be a carefully constructed system where everything flows smoothly from first contact, to relationship, to sale, to lifetime customer.

But you don’t have to have the whole thing in place before you start. In fact, the whole point about effective marketing is it’s built up over time by trial and error and testing what works and what doesn’t.

You can break your marketing down into two distinct steps:

1. Getting visitors to your website or business

2. Converting them into paying customers and clients

9. Ensure your marketing system involves relentless follow up.

Not following up is one of the biggest marketing sins you can commit. Here are some statistics which should scare the living daylights out of all of us.

48% of businesses never follow up with a prospect

25% of businesses make a second contact and stop

12% of businesses only make three contacts and stop

It’s a staggering discovery, but only 10 % of businesses make more than three contacts. It means they’re losing a small fortune – and you could be too/

10. Raise your prices.

Having worked with thousands of business owners over the years, it’s my experience that almost everyone sells themselves and their products too cheaply. Raising your prices and selling more expensive products and services to the high end of the market is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to increase your profits.

The fact is, less than 20% of the population make their buying decisions on price. So for most of your customers, price is not the main issue, even if they say it is.

As always, the 80/20 rule applies. If you sell a £100 widget, then there is going to be in your list of customers, maybe 20% of people who would be willing to spend, say, £400 or £500… IF you gave them the option.

And if you take that list of high-spenders, you’ll find maybe 20% of them will be prepared to pay you, say, £1000 or more for something… IF you give them the option (and believe it or not, it’s much easier to sell one £10,000 widget than it is to sell a hundred £100 widgets). The trouble is, if you don’t ask, the chances of them offering is close to zero.

The easy way to do this is to think about creating a “de-luxe” offering which costs you nothing to offer but for which you can command a much higher price.

About Chris Cardell

Chris Cardell is widely regarded as Britain’s leading authority on Entrepreneurial Success. He has been featured on BBC, ITV, News at Ten and The Sunday Times. 253,000 business owners subscribe to Chris Cardell’s regular Free Business Success Email tips. Chris is renowned for being able to show business owners how to grow their business and increase their profits by 50-250%.

There’s a ‘moment’ that happens to every successful business owner. It’s the moment they realise that there’s very little connection between how great your product or service is – and how much money you make.

It can be a scary moment. We assume that if we do a great job with our product or service – and look after our customers, the sales will follow.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way.

Chris Cardell