In business school, we’re shown case studies about Apple, Starbucks, and those other big guys — but the idea that their marketing methods are “best” is the BIGGEST LIE in business.
Just because it works for them doesn’t mean it will work for the rest of us who work at small or medium sized businesses.
What you should be learning in business school is that you should not be focused on brand marketing like Apple or Starbucks — BUT RATHER ON DIRECT MARKETING!!
Every dollar you spend on marketing should be expected to produce a return. Billboards and TV commercials only work for the 1%.
So, if you’re serious about upping your marketing game, you need to refocus on learning what the best direct marketers do to build successful businesses. And one of the best resources on this subject is Dan Kennedy’s ..NO B.S. Direct Marketing.
Below are several rules from the book:
1. ALWAYS INCLUDE AN OFFER
As Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of marketing is to create a customer.” If you don’t include an offer, you’re creating more awareness instead of more customers—a poor result when you have dollars on the line. MAKE THE CALL TO ACTION CLEAR AND DIRECT.
2. GIVE A REASON TO RESPOND RIGHT NOW
With everything going on in our busy lives, we’re either going to take advantage of an offer now, or not at all… PUT A TIME LIMIT. Make it a limited quantity offer. Put a sense of urgency.
Grab the attention of the people who see your ads, and GIVE THEM A REASON TO ACT RIGHT NOW!!!
3. GIVE CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS
Don’t assume people will know what to do when they see your marketing material. TELL THEM EXACTLY WHAT STEP YOU WANT THEM TO TAKE NEXT. You’ll be amazed how this skyrockets your conversations.
4. FOCUS ON TRACKING, MEASUREMENT and ACCOUNTABILITY
If you’re not testing and tweaking your marketing continuously, you are guaranteed it won’t be as effective as it could be. And the only way to test is to track and measure everything.
IN FACT, IF IT CAN’T BE TRACKED and MEASURED, don’t do it.
5. ONLY DO NO- COST BRAND BUILDING
There’s nothing wrong with brand building. It’s only wrong when you pay for it. Jack Trout (author of Positioning) said it best when he said that unless you have a billion dollars, don’t start a brand building campaign.. Instead.. focus on DIRECT MARKETING. Enjoy any brand building you get as a bonus of your marketing—not as the goal.
6. ALWAYS FOLLOW UP
Dan Kennedy once asked a room of business owners which battery company ran ads with the bunny that keeps “going and going”.. Half the room thought it was Duracell.
So, if Energizer spent billions of dollars on advertising and still couldn’t get people to remember their brand—do you really think just one ad on marketing effort is enough to swap people to your cause? You need to FOLLOW up… be consistent.. follow up with your customers again and again.
7. STRENGTHEN YOUR COPY
Most marketing we see in the digital age is made of nice pictures and cute catch phrases— seems that the people behind those ads forgot that those things don’t make people buy. And remember our goal … TO MAKE PEOPLE BUY YOUR PRODUT.. So FOCUS on writing in a way that SELLS — FOCUS ON STRONG COPY. ( I highly recommend the book.. How to Write an Advertisement as a great guide for that.)
8. FOCUS ON RESULTS. PERIOD.
It doesn’t matter what image or copy you like, or which ad you think you should use.. As a marketer, you need to listen and act ONLY ON RESULTS.
FORGET ABOUT AWARENESS MARKETING, and go
on a DIET of BUSINESS CHAMPIONS!