Don't Confuse Your Marketing Vehicle with Your Marketing Message
The mistake that many businesses make is in confusing these marketing vehicles--the messengers--with their messages. Whenever I hear statements like the following, I know instantly that the speaker is probably confusing the messenger with the message. 'I tried newspaper ads once. They didn't work for us.' or 'Direct Mail doesn't work for our company.' As long as you have selected a marketing vehicle that effectively and efficiently reaches your target prospects and they fail to respond, it is your 'message' that didn't work, not the vehicle used to deliver that message.
If you try sending your prospects your marketing message via a direct mail post card and you get zero response, and you are certain that your postcards reached targeted prospects with a high potential for responding to your offer then the following is a more accurate response: 'I tried using postcards as my Marketing Vehicle to deliver my 'message' to my targeted prospects, but got zero response. 'Apparently, my 'message' wasn't very effective. I will have to improve my message before using that marketing vehicle again.' While it's important that you select an effective marketing vehicle to deliver your message, it is even more important that you craft your message in a way that guarantees a successful response. That's where your focus should be.
That is the critical area that far too many business owners neglect. If you aren't getting the kind of results you need from your marketing efforts, you need to focus on improving your marketing message. Then it's a simple matter of selecting an effective and cost efficient marketing vehicle to deliver your message. But if your marketing message is weak or otherwise ineffective, then it doesn't matter which vehicle you choose -- it will fail...every time.
What Your Customer Wants
All prospects and customers want the same things. They want to feel confident that their money has been well spent and that their buying decision was the wisest. They want the best deal in terms of price and value. You'll never hear anybody say, "I shopped around eight car dealerships, negotiated the best deals possible, and finally I decided to take the third best deal." People instinctively want to make the best decision possible, without feeling buyer's remorse or having to second-guess their choice. So we have two sets of values. The business wants more customers and loyal customers and higher margins. And the customer wants to feel confident that he or she has gotten the best deal possible in terms of overall value.
The processes and principles that govern the matching of these two sets of values are exactly the same for every business. All you have to do as the marketer is figure out what's important to your prospects, educate them as to what constitutes the best deal in your industry, and then show them quantifiable proof that you actually provide the best deal in terms of price and value - and communicate all of that to the prospect in a way that they'll pay attention, believe, and take action. The result is the prospect gets from you what he wants - not just the best deal in terms of price and value, but also that quiet, firm, and confidence that he's actually made the best decision possible.
Whose Point of View? No matter how mass-produced a direct mail program appears to you as the sender, it still arrives as a single letter to your recipient. Always look at it from their point of view.
Marketing Tips posts authored by Leslie Goldstein of the USPS.