Marketing, at its core, has some natural complexities that cause even the most distinguished, experienced C-Level’s to shake in their boots…the reason for this? Marketing isn’t a HARD NUMBER. You can conceivably spend thousands of dollars and not recoup that total in return on your investment. Most C-Levels think in terms of hard dollars and cents and P &L’s, and marketing takes the notion of “facts and figures” and even sometimes “logic”, and turns it on its ear. Marketing (and especially advertising), at its core is a “calculated risk”. You will have some risk in EVERY marketing decision you make, but through calculating certain factors in your decision, you can often times lower that risk. Today we will look at three factors of risk that you can lower through research:
1. Are you talking to the RIGHT people? High numbers don’t always mean high return on investment!
In advertising, a great deal of the salespeople out there will show you their MASSIVE listening/readership/viewing numbers…this doesn’t always equate to a great investment however! I would MUCH rather have a room full of 100 people who are ALL in the market for my product, then a football stadium filled with people and only 75 people are in the market…or ever will be. Large groups of…let’s say…middle aged men making 75K a year or more, aren’t going to care…usually…about makeup. Large groups of 18 year olds PROBABLY won’t pay attention to a commercial on life insurance (even if they should). One way to limit risk is to MAKE SURE you are talking to the audience you are trying to get to come into your brick and mortar, or visit your website or donate money to you…etc.
2. Are you offering a big enough call to action to persuade the listeners to act?
I have heard it SO MANY times…”I ran a $3000 ad campaign on the local radio station and not one person called or came in!” My first question…”What was your commercial talking about? Was there a REASON for them to call or come in? Did you give them a deal or a special value to ACT NOW? Was it 5% off (not good enough to act on)? Usually, it takes 15% or more to get a potential customer NOT in lthe bottom level of the buying funnel to act…and MOST of the time, dollar off offers (Save $25 off your purchase of___) work MUCH BETTER. Bottom line? Make it enticing for them to act…don’t just trust that if the “hear it they will come.”
3. Are you doing ENOUGH to matter?
There is a concept called “The Power of Three”…it states that TYPICALLY a potential customer MUST hear your message or offer THREE times in order for it to sink in and have them act on it…it’s kind of hard to hit someone with a message three times with three :30 ads per week on a radio station…or 1 2X4 ad in your local paper….or 2 spots on the 10:00 News 1 X on the local TV station…You MUST have enough to invest in order to get the return you are looking for! If you only have $500…WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVE MORE! ANY ad sales person worth their salt will REFUSE to take your money if they know you are wasting it…they are SUPPOSED to be in the business to HELP you, not get a pay check…
There are other ways to mitigate the risks of marketing, but these three will CERTAINLY help get you started. Walk before your run…DON’T sign annual advertising contracts (quarterly are fine, but you need to be able to stop when the advertising stops being a good investment), and follow the above three recommendations and you should see at least SOME of your wasted marketing funds start to work for you again.
Jeff Petermann, CMG