Archive for: June, 2023

Direct Sales Power Tips – Are FREE Consultations Worth the Time? – PLUS – Hostess Coaching 101

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Free Consultations . . .
Marketing Bonanza or Waste of Time?

Many direct sales organizations are based on the idea of offering free consultations and complimentary sales presentations in order to get their products and services in front of customers with the hopeful end result of sales and future re-orders.

When offering free samples and free services, be sure to leave your potential customers wanting more. For example, if you sell beauty products and offer pampering hand or foot treatments, you may wish to only do one hand/foot. It will show the results and leave your customers wanting to have the same results on the other hand or foot.

If you sell food items, you could have a self-made cookbook of many different time-saving recipes using your products. You could give one or two of these during your presentation, but offer to include it free with a purchase (today!) of $40.00 or more.

The idea is to give a “taste” or sample of what you offer, and leave your customers interested versus fully informed. This freebie needs to be done with the full intention of booking a future consultation, party and/or sales or products. Offering freebies gives the prospect a chance to sample your products and services, but you should have be prepared to entice them to buy, book or recruit.

Hostess Coaching 101

Have you ever booked a party only to have it cancelled? Have you worked a party to only have one person show up? Have you worked a sales events with very meager sales?

If you can answer yes to these, you may need to re-think your hostess coaching . When you book a party, you need to let the hostess know you are counting on it. You have it in your schedule and you WILL be there.

One idea is to consider getting the names of the invitees and sending invitations yourself. This way you can have the names and addresses of the guests and you are in control. If you leave it up to your hostess, she may get caught up in life’s many tasks and forget. Even if a guest cannot attend, you can follow up and send her a catalog, samples, etc. If you have the guests names and contact info, you have them to add to your prospect list even if they don’t show at the party.

If you check in with your hostess at least twice before the party (to get directions to her home, to verify the date/time, to let her know how many participants there will be, etc.) you will keep her on-track with the event.

Call before the event to confirm and let her know how excited you are about the party. Be sure she understands you are really looking forward to it and counting on her and she will be more apt to follow through with the party. Be very firm but professional. Remember, this is your business.

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A Simple Technique To Boost Your Direct Sales Without Cold-Calling Or Begging For Sales Parties

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Have you considered working with another seller to maximize your marketing dollars? This is called cooperative (co-op) advertising and marketing. It means you team with another seller of a complementary product line to run ads, work shows, etc. It’s a great idea and one that is used by all types of industries.

To get the most from your cooperative efforts be sure to align yourself with sellers of products that your own customer base would enjoy. For instance, if you sell candles, you could co-op with sellers of other women-oriented products (skincare, cookware, children’s items, etc.).

You can swap leads with each other, run ads together, work shows, develop brochures promoting both product lines, etc. By doing this, you both get to promote your products and share the costs of doing so. Instead of footing the bill for a monthly promotional flier to be designed, printed and mailed, you would split the costs 50/50.

Co-ops have advantages besides just the financial savings. By working with another motivated seller, you are holding each other accountable for moving your businesses forward–much like having an exercise buddy. If you don’t show up for your morning walk, wouldn’t you feel guilty letting her down?

You can each develop goals and a simple marketing program for the upcoming months. Then you each know what you are working toward and what will be expected of you. You can lay out a budget for each task and agree up-front on who pays what so there are no surprising developments down the line.

One interesting idea is to join up with a seller of similar items and run an ad in a local publication. Normally it may be too expensive to run such an ad yourself, but by teaming up with one (or more sellers), you can cut your costs considerably and keep you business in front of the eye of your community.

If you run ads, don’t just have the run-of-the-mill “We sell such and such and we’re great!” ads. People see way too many of those. You need something that will catch the eye or something people will save. One such idea is to do a recipe in each ad. If your prospect is interested, she’ll cut it out and keep it–also keeping your name and business with it.

The recipe can have a slant for each of the co-op seller’s businesses. For instance, if you sell skincare and your co-seller sells children’s items, you could run recipes that are good for your skin/anti-aging and healthy recipes. Items such as salmon/fish, fresh veggies, etc. would work. Scour the internet and your cookbooks for recipes that contain anti-aging properties (there’s lots of information out there). In turn, you co-seller could run kid-approved recipes (things kids like).

Moms are constantly trying to find kid-friendly recipes that are also healthy, tasty and easy. If your recipes are unique and state that they are anti-aging or kid-friendly, etc. in ties into your advertising message.

For instance, if you run an ad with Salmon in Papillote with Garden Veggies (really a simple salmon cooked in parchment paper with veggies), be sure to promote it as a Beautiful Skin meal. At the bottom of the ad, invite the reader to call or email you for more Beautiful Skin ideas, including XYZ products, etc. Add a promo line to get them to call you. Something like “Call me before xx-xx-xxxx and mention this ad get a free skincare sample set.” Make certain your promo is good and legible. Don’t make the recipe section so large, your promo doesn’t have space. It is an ad for your business, after all!

If you run you ad consistently you will see return. The thing with advertising is that you must be consistent. Don’t run your ad once or twice and then give up. People will begin to count on seeing your ads and recipes and they’ll even look forward to them. If you make your recipes good and your promotions great, they will start calling! Switch off months with your co-sellers so you can each share the spotlight.

Your ads need not be large, just big enough to run a short recipe and the offer for both sellers. If you can afford ad space large enough, you can run two recipes and two offers. Work with a graphic designer or design one yourself on your computer. The publication will likely re-design your ad to fit the space. Be sure to get the space (mechanical requirements) of setting up the ad. You can call the publication to request a media or advertising kit.

One more note, those cheap little ads in the back of publications are great for one simple message, but will not support this type of advertising. These larger ads are more likely run-of-the-paper (ROP) ads. That means they will run in the general sections of the paper, not in the back classifieds. ROP ads are pricier, but since you have a co-seller or two to work with, you should be saving a significant amount! You may be able to request to run your ad in a certain section (Food, Lifestyle, etc.). These ads are an investment in your business and like any investment, may take a little time to pay off. Be patient!

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Project Management Office Provides Better Marketing Results

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Many people believe the rigor and discipline of project management mixes with the creative nature of marketing like oil and water. While it does takes some getting used to, once the routines are established, the relationship not only works, but the marketing effectiveness actually improves. The more marketing channels: TV, radio, print and digital media, and the greater the frequency of creative refresh, the larger the benefits become. In marketing, media, and advertising, a cookie-cutter approach to project management will not work. There has to be a better way!

Firms often implement a Program or Project Management Office (PMO) to manage the large, complex, or costly projects. The differences between a Project and Program Management Office will be left for another discussion. Marketing budgets in some cases represent a significant portion of a company’s overall operating budget. When viewed holistically, marketing projects potentially require complex coordination between multiple agencies and across channels. Therefore, marketing is a logical candidate for a PMO. Unfortunately, marketing departments often view the full rigor of the Project Management Institute (PMI) prescribed approach as too structured to support the creative process. Also, many marketing organizations believe the PMI process requires too much overhead for the required agility to quickly adapt to the marketplace. The solution is to use an approach that balances rigor and flexibility while still providing the necessary status visibility and control of marketing projects using only the highest value components of the PMI process.

The PMI is a large project management training and certification organization. The PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) is only one available certification for project managers and is a widely known and accepted form of accreditation. The quantity of PMI certified project managers influences most Program or Project Management Office s (PMO) to follow PMI established approaches. The commonality fostered by the PMI results in very similar documentation templates and processes regardless of department or industry. While this similarity simplifies staffing and training issues, perfect for information technology projects for example, it does not establish the flexibility marketing and advertising organizations require. The PMI certification is only one indicator of project management competence in an individual. The marketing project manager will require more than project management skills to successfully manage marketing projects or establish a marketing PM. The project manager will have to become agile in managing multiple work streams in a fast paced environment, where market forces can and often do dictate sudden changes in direction. The project management approach cannot slow down the marketing process.

Establishing a PMO in a marketing organization presents a special set of challenges that calls for creative approaches. Success of the PMO requires deep understanding of project management principals. The experience to strike a balance between the prescribed project management methods and avoiding interruption of the creative development is essential. The correct approach to establishing a marketing PMO adds value by:

· Providing just enough process to maintain financial and status visibility to organizational leadership through the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and above

· Establishing a communications process to enhance coordination of on-brand messaging across marketing channels for consistent impactful marketing that motivates clients and consumers to purchase goods and services

· Flexibility to adapt to our clients’ specific goals and market needs, as well as consistently deliver outstanding service

I have found that the use of a PMO approach tailored to the special needs of the marketing department offers extended value beyond the points listed above. These will differ by organization but often include the following:

· Raising senior management’s confidence in the solution. Project sponsors and decision-makers must believe the creative direction is sound and well supported before they can accept it. Regardless of the specific creative approach, senior management will have higher confidence when the brand managers and other key stakeholders have all contributed to a comprehensive consideration of the issues involved in the selection process.

· Aligning Stakeholders. By establishing coordination of multiple activities and providing a forum for all stakeholders to contribute they will be informed of direction as ideas transform into on-brand, marketing content and effective in-market execution.

· Improving efficiency. Deploying marketing materials usually requires significant effort. There are planned events that need to be addressed like sales conferences, new product launches, sports events, concerts, etc. that require material be available at specific times. The PMO provides planning to enable the highest quality materials without the inefficiencies and lower quality of a last minute scramble. I have encountered situations where important opportunities to connect with the consumer were missed, or met with lackluster content – all due to lapses in the planning process.

· Enhancing Marketing performance. I have witnessed situations where after the PMO was established, the marketing team was able to reverse declining sales and generate significant growth by improving the cross channel communication and consistency of consumer oriented messaging.

When all of your departments within your brand’s marketing group are working toward shared goals with a coordinated timetable, you will know your PMO is working. You will be able to consistently present your brand across channels, and your marketing efforts will be increasing sales.

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Stock Market Trading and Newton’s Laws of Motion

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What new stock market investor should know?

We run a small stock market investment club and we educate all of new investors in our club using articles, software and stock market game. Currently, there is euphoria in the stock market and several people are investing money with some highly ambitious return of investment.

In this article, we will share with you some basic facts on stock market investment.

What is equity market?

Common stock is ownership of a company and sometimes it referred as shares, securities or equity. This means you are entitled to a portion of the company’s profits and any voting rights attached to the stock. The most common method for buying stocks is to use either full service or discount brokerage firm.

Why people invest in share market?

People invest in stock market for a possible high return for the entire duration of the company.

What are the risks of stock market investment?

However, your original investment is not guaranteed in share market. There is always the risk that the stock you invest in will decline in value, and you may lose your entire investment. As a stockholder, you will not receive money until the creditors, bondholders and preferred shareholders are paid.

How you can interpret Newton’s law to become better stock market trader?

Rule 1: “A Stock is not moving tends to stay at rest and a Trending Stock tends to stay in trend unless acted upon by an equal and opposite reaction or an unbalanced force.”

This means you should always trade in the direction of a trend. You should look for a force may take the form of a drastic change in the market sentiment or drastic change in the performance of the specific company.

Rule 2: “The acceleration of a stock as created by a market vote is directly proportional to the magnitude of that consensus, in the same direction as the agreement, and inversely proportional to the mass of the stock.”

This rule teaches us that a stock moves up or down into a trend due to a force created by market consensus. Movement of stock is determined by the price of stock and the amount of total agreement in market sentiment.

Stocks market is a zero sum game. In the realm of stock market investment we can interpret Newton’s third law as “for every buyer, there is a seller.” This is 3rd law of Stock market trading.

This means there cannot be more buyer than seller however there may be a very high or low demand for a particular stock.

Once you follow the Newton’s law of stock trading, you will under how easily you can invest in equity market and make good profit regularly irrespective of bull or bear market.

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Direct Mail Copywriter – Discover The Secrets To Sales Letter Gold

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

In school, grammar and sentence structure are drilled in to our heads, the world of Direct Mail Copywriting you need to throw your grammar book out the window. Proper grammar does not sell product, reaching people on emotional level does. What’s your hook? Or what’s the story? Writing sales copy is more like writing a screen play for a motion picture.

Let’s say you were writing copy for a skin care product that healed cancer. Well, you could start talking about how great the product was and how it comes in three different color bottle. That’s how you see things advertised on TV and in Magazine right? Why, shouldn’t you focus on the product? One, simple reason people buy products based on there emotional value. What you see in Magazines and on TV is called branding, if you not making $77 million dollars a year it is not a good ideas to use branding in your marketing.

How do you reach people at emotional level? Think of your sale letter or marketing brochure as a feature film. Every Hollywood motion picture has three acts, setup [of the location and characters], confrontation [of the problem], resolution [of the problem].

ACT I – establish the dramatic situation and introduce the main characters, Start of the sales letter with statements that summarize the entire letter. Imagine this being the trailer for the movie, “Miracle skin care product found to reduce skin cancer, according to 10,000 test cases.”(not a real product, this is just an example). It’s time to set the stage and meet the characters. “Just four months ago I was diagnosed this skin cancer and it quickly spread over 20% of my body. I am a mother of two and children became afraid to look at me with this cancerous growth on my face not to mention I could die from this progressive disease.”

ACT II – commonly described as “rising action”, “ I was reading a scientific journal about South America scientist who discover a topical cream the was used by medicine men deep in the rainforest, recorded data that suggest that the cream had healing properties. Unfortunately the scientist died of malaria shortly after returning to the states.”

ACT III – the resolution of the story… After all the tension has been built it’s time to easy the readers mind. “In the late 90’s a group of Harvard medical student recovered the lost formula from the schools archives, and ran the latest test on it prosperities.” At this point you would state the scientific research and how the reader can get free sample.

Too, many times here stories about copywriters [http://www.77millionbookdeal.com/articles/direct_mail_copywriter.php] who worry about proper grammar and finding just the right words. In fact it is not grammar that matters; it’s the structure in which you present the story. The more powerful and emotional you can make your story the more success you can achieve.

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How Does Internet Marketing Works?

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Introduction

Internet marketing is a component of electronic commerce. Internet marketing is by far the fastest growing advertising method for all companies in this day and age. Internet marketing is about people knowing each others interests, values and preferences. Internet marketing is becoming one of the highest return-on-the-investment strategies these days.

Engine

For the most effective Internet marketing, you’ll want to make sure your site is listed in the following search engines and directories:DMOZ. What I can’t emphasize enough is that you take the time to find the right search engine submission category, and if your business is regional or local, make sure you submit there instead of the main areas. Also be sure to read the search engine submission guidelines carefully. If after a few months you find that your site is still not listed in the search engines, go through the search engine submission process again. Effective Internet marketing Effective Internet marketing starts with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and is comprised of optimizing the content, specific keywords, and over all design of your web site in order to ensure that your site attains maximum exposure to search engines. Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other major search engines use search engine software known as robots. Once a site is submitted to the search engine, the robots, also often known as search engine crawlers or search engine spiders, analyze the content of a site as well as other search engine criteria such as the accuracy of the website coding (ie: clean coding) to establish content relevance and overall website relevance.

Site

Internet marketing does not simply mean ‘building a website’ or ‘promoting a website’. Somewhere behind that website is a real organization with real goals. Internet marketing strategy includes all aspects of online advertising products, services, and websites, including search engine marketing, public relations, social media, market research, email marketing, and direct sales. These include e-commerce, where you sell goods directly to consumers or businesses; publishing, where you sell advertising; and lead-based sites, where an organization generates value by getting sales leads from their site. At one time, Internet marketing consisted mostly of having a Web site or placing banner ads on other Web sites. Since most home-based businesses don’t have a physical location, a Web site provides an inexpensive means for prospects to get to know what you do or what you sell and can even be a “storefront” for selling goods and services directly.

Conclusion

Internet marketing is any legal activity intended to bring traffic from a search portal to another Website. Internet marketing is becoming one of the highest return-on-the-investment strategies these days. The decision to use Internet marketing as part of a company’s overall marketing strategy is strictly up to the company of course, but as a rule, Internet marketing is becoming an increasingly important part of nearly every company’s marketing mix. That’s why Internet marketing is all about networking and communication.

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Marketing Limitations – Breaking the Success Barrier With Marketing Strategies

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Are you stuck in that silly room off the corridor of success with all those losers who won’t reach beyond themselves to find the Winning Number? It wasn’t a dream, it was a nightmare! I was standing in a room full of angry accountants staring at a machine that gave out numbers. Every five minutes a woman came to the door and asked for #7.

As I pushed to the front of the room, I noticed the number on the machine said “7″ and I looked around.

On the wall behind the machine was a sign that read “Please take a number and wait, you’ll be called at the first available opening.”

They all stared at the number, but none of them took it. I reached past a particularly healthy looking accountant with his black portfolio, bottle bottom glasses, and a scowl on his face to grab the slip of paper with the number 7 in one large red letter.

The door opened and the pleasant woman came into the room, clipboard in hand. “Number 7.” She called out plainly.

I waved my ticket and she led me through the door into a fast moving corridor with huge green lights flashing in the distance. I took a deep breath and stepped out, realizing instantly that I was standing on a conveyor that would take me where I wanted to go.

Life is much like that room.

When we stand there waiting for something to happen, but don’t make any effort ourselves to follow directions, we leave our success waiting just past the exit. We can’t get past that room of gloom until we make that first effort and follow the directions to get out.

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B2B Marketing Campaigns – 10 Questions That Drive Increased Results

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Have you noticed that B2B marketing programs tend to revolve around a single marketing tactic? Companies run an ad campaign, a direct mail campaign or an email campaign and call it done.

If you or your marketing people are still looking at a single marketing tactic as a “campaign”, you have an opportunity get a lot more mileage out of your marketing dollars simply by changing the way you think of a campaign.

In fact, you could increase the effectiveness of your campaign by 75% or more.

Let’s broaden the definition of a marketing campaign to include all of the tactics and other elements necessary to find and engage prospects, and develop them into sales opportunities. The expectation is that money and other resources spent on the campaign will result in more potential customers who are ready to talk to a sales person. Not just more names.

In the high ticket, complex sale arena I’ve never seen an ad, a direct mail piece, or an email message that could accomplish all of that alone. No matter how good the copywriter and/or graphic designer might be.

When you develop a marketing campaign, it’s helpful to take a close look at what you really want your prospects to do and how your marketing is going to help make that happen. This is where your focus should be – on the desired results first, and individual tactics second.

Here are some good questions to ask as you develop your own marketing campaigns. The first six are relatively common in developing good direct marketing programs. The last four will make the real difference.

Who is the target audience?
Where can we find them?
What do we want them to do?
What can we offer that will be of great enough value to get them to do what we want them to do?
How many different ways will we make the offer?
How many chances will we give the prospects to respond?
What will we do after prospects accept the offer?
How many different offers will we need to make in order to get an acceptable number of prospects to become qualified leads?
When will we know a prospect is ready to be passed to the sales team?
How many sales-ready prospects do we need to generate to a) justify the campaign, and b) consider it a success?
We know from experience and plentiful 3rd party research that 75% – 80% of the prospects you generate will not be ready to talk to a sales person yet. But many of them will buy at some point. This is where single-tactic marketing programs really drop the ball. How will you maintain a relationship with the majority of your prospects if all you have is an ad campaign?

When you think about what you’ll do to advance the prospects after they accept the initial offer, you’ll be moving beyond mere demand generation and into a more complete lead generation effort – with powerful results. You’ll see that integrating multiple tactics produces a logarithmic effect.

© Tatum Marketing 2007

Susan Pascal Tatum, co-founder and president of Tatum Marketing [http://tatummarketing.com/], is a recognized expert in business-to-business internet marketing [http://tatummarketing.com/services/]. She helps software, information technology and BtoB firms achieve greater online marketing results. She is a popular author and speaker, regularly publishes internet marketing strategies and actionable tips on the site’s blog. Visit for a copy Technology Marketing 2008.

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On the Marketing Frontier – Varying the Spend – Customizing Your Way to Profitability

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

This time of year, most marketers are busy developing annual marketing plans. These plans outline the specifics of consumer and salesforce communications and incentives that impact metrics such as sales, gross margin, share of market, traffic, brand awareness, etc. by changing consumer behavior. The marketing plan not only provides the framework for these activities but, more importantly, describes the connection between individual activities and overall brand and business strategies.

This year, in response to tightening budgets and increased marketing accountability, I have been asked repeated about “variable marketing spending.” Simply put, variable marketing spending (VMS) adjusts the investment (read: marketing budget) for each customer based on current and future company value. The benefits of this approach are many, but in this economy, the promise of VMS is to increase financial resources despite tightening marketing budgets.

To say that this approach assumes consistent lifetime customer value measurement is like saying that the economist stuck in a pit assumes there is a ladder. For this article, assume that some measurement of historical customer value has been established. A predictive model for complete customer value is a substantial undertaking and is not assumed to have been completed. I will discuss the differing approaches to customer value estimation in a forthcoming article.

The first question that should be raised in development of a VMS approach is: who are we targeting and what are the desired behaviors? Measuring the change in a customer’s behavior (vs. baseline) following a marketing effort is the first step toward making marketing measurable, which is key to maintaining budgets in these cost-cutting times.

A hierarchy for marketing spending usually follows priorities such as these:

Best Customer Management – the highest priority usually involves best customers (BCs), some subsegment of the 20 percent that contribute 80+ percent of a company’s revenue. The desired behaviors for this group include retention, simply a maintenance of the current strong behavior over time, and relationship expansion, usually through cross-sell of new categories that best customers may not consider to be part of the company’s offerings.

While relationship maintenance among BCs is not a high excitement opportunity, such an activity is critical to the enterprise’s success. Strong, consistent performance of the customers in this segment, if lost, require many non-BC customers to compensate, and you could argue that you never compensate for the strength of a BC relationship, since newer customers require additional expense, such as service and returns. BC attrition, if left unchecked, is a key indicator of a company’s decline, since it is difficult (and expensive) to replace BCs’ consistent sales volume and positive impact on other customers (through word of mouth, referrals, etc.).

Expansion of Best Customer Relationships – Since research shows that best customers are often the competition’s best customers as well, the battle here is for a metric called “share of wallet.” Share of wallet indicates the percent of the customer’s total category requirements that are filled by your company. Since that percentage, even for best customers, is usually 50 percent or less, substantial opportunities exist to increase depth of relationship, either through increased frequency or through cross-sales into categories that the customer does not currently purchase.

This particular effort is usually the most profitable, since it is easier and less expensive to motivate a customer who purchases frequently to make one more purchase than it is to motivate a one-time customer to repeat. In addition, the frequency of contact for best customers provides multiple, low-cost opportunities for education and cross-selling.

“Opportunity” Customers – After shoring up the best customer relationship and mining them for additional revenue, the next opportunity is to grow that best customer base. The most common strategy is to target the customers who are just below the best customers in sales volume and deliver promotional offers or a loyalty program to increase revenue. While this approach may drive some behavior change, it leaves out two critical considerations – share of wallet and market basket. Share of wallet measurement is critical, since an individual customer may be spending all they can with the company and cannot significantly alter that spending, despite incentives. Whatever additional communication expense and special treatments would essentially be wasted.

From an upside perspective, market basket analysis provides the most substantial opportunities for increased profitability. This analysis assumes that a strong indicator of the likelihood to become a best customer is the mix of products a customer has already purchased. If the purchase mix of best customers is examined, patterns emerge, from both their current purchases and the products that best customers purchased early in their relationship. Relationships evolve over time; and as relationships mature and customers learn more about the company, their purchases tend to evolve, both in amount and in product type. If that pattern is identified, it can be “overlaid” on the purchases of non-best customers. Such analysis identifies customers who appear on the path toward best customer status but have not reached it yet. Such prospective best customers usually have the highest profitability per dollar invested, since they are already “on the road” toward becoming best customers.

The Rest of the Pack – The natural tendency would be to eliminate spending on the rest of the customer base to maximize savings from the VMS effort. However, the elimination of all communication to lower-tiered customers often yields suboptimal results. The main reason is data incompleteness or inaccuracy. Since it is not possible to understand everything about a customer’s situation and since that information can change unpredictably, customers who were not considered potential best customers can suddenly increase their transactions beyond expectations. Lifecycle changes can alter income, shopping patterns, etc., in ways that a marketing manager cannot predict. In addition, it is often difficult to determine the relationships between customers. A low-value customer may be related to a best customer, and poor treatment of the low- value customers could therefore backfire in unpredictable manners. Given this lack of information, caution is best exercised in managing these low-profit customers.

The opportunity does exist, however, to change contact frequency and to adjust contact cost, without significantly reducing the chance that a customer could surprise you and increase their spending. Use of the Web, e-mail and lower-cost direct mail represent significant cost savings, since this segment often encompasses 40+ percent of the total customer count. If this base currently is contacted monthly, communication frequency could be cut back to every six weeks or even two months without diminishing their upside potential unreasonably. The reduction of communication cost and frequency can free up marketing dollars for reallocation against best customers and opportunity customers.

This approach does not work solely for direct marketing industries. In a sales force-based model, the goal would be to free up precious time that a salesperson spends with clients and focus them on contacts with the highest potential to convert and expand relationships. Lower-value customers could receive direct mail and a quarterly call vs. several visits for the highest profit and opportunity customers.

A word of warning about variable marketing spending. This approach is based primarily on a financial customer value metric. Remember that loyalty is created not by finances, but by relationships. It is possible that, given a framework of customer-value-based analysis, a marketing manager may choose to increase investments in customers with the highest share of wallet and the longest retention, in recognition of their continued support. In addition, since this approach cannot adequately measure referral value, it is assumed that customers with the largest share of wallet and loyalty also spread positive word of mouth, which drives additional company value.

Variable marketing spending holds the potential to change the way marketing plans are developed and executed. By varying the investment according to customer value (both current and potential) managers can reallocate funds and increase ROI and marketing accountability. While lifetime customer value is a difficult measurement to develop, VMS provides a modified approach based on historical performance and some basic analysis of best customer behavior.

By promoting accountability and measurement in the marketing plan, VMS moves marketing from a cost center to a revenue generator, which is critical to maintaining the budget in these challenging cost-conscious times.

Now, this article did not address how to invest the money that is available in a variable marketing spend approach. Obviously, the manner in which the money is invested plays heavily on the success of a VMS marketing plan. Pure incentives, at higher and higher levels, will begin over time to cheapen the brand and will erode the best customer relationship – the segment such an effort is designed to serve. Instead, some mix of reward, recognition and access, combined with superior customer service can solidify best customer relationships and provide a platform for growth. Varying the spending provides the fuel; smart customer management will steer the train onto the right tracks for profitability and growth.

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What Makes A Killer Marketing System – Here Are 7 Prime Components

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When it comes to marketing enterprise software and other complex technology products or services, your efforts must do more than simply generate leads. You’ve got to move prospective customers from curiosity to action often using alternative and largely automated methods.

For that you need a marketing system – a group of integrated processes that work together to identify your best new business prospects, reach and develop those prospects into qualified leads and hand them over to the sales team consistently and profitably.

Here’s a look at 7 prime components of a solid marketing system.

Prospect Pool. At the front end of the marketing system, you need a well-defined source of potential new business leads. If you’re selling a complex, high ticket, business-to-business product or service, the world is not your market. The people in your prospect pool should, at minimum, be in the right positions at the right companies to have a need for and means of buying your product.

You can find good prospects in rented or purchased mailing lists, among trade publication subscribers and association members and often even in your own database.

Demand Generation. Once you have a good source of potential prospects, you need to get their attention and interest. How you do this depends on where they are in the buying process.

You can use pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization to reach people who are already searching for a solution. You’ll want to use tactics such as direct mail, tele-prospecting, email and direct response advertising to reach people who aren’t actively looking for you yet.

Lead Nurturing. Some of the prospects who find you through search engines may be ready to speak with a sales person right away, but in my experience 75% to 80% or more of your prospects won’t be ready to buy when you first engage with them. The lead nurturing (or lead development) process in your marketing system helps these prospects become more familiar with you and your solutions, and moves them forward toward the sale.

Events, presentations, reminders, and the occasional phone call are all good lead nurturing tactics.

Stay in Touch. Some prospects are further from actually needing or wanting your solution than others. These prospects simply cannot be moved forward in the pipeline right now. But if they are people who could very well need your solution in the future, your marketing system should provide you with a method of gently reminding them of your existence without being an unwanted sales attempt.

Monthly electronic newsletters or email messages are good ways to do this.

Sales Hand-Off Process. At some point, all of your marketing efforts will pay off and you’ll have leads that are ready to be given to the sales team. Unfortunately, many companies don’t see this hand-off as a critical part of the marketing system and, as a result, when marketing feels a lead is ready, they simply throw it over the wall to sales.

A good marketing system should include procedures for qualifying the leads, confirming the hand-off to sales, and accepting the lead back into the marketing process if it is later found to not be sales ready.

Metrics and Measurements. No marketing system should be considered complete until it includes quantifiable goals and methods of measuring progress at each step of the way. Like any other business process, you must measure and adjust constantly in order to deliver maximum results.

Your system should measure response to various marketing tactics (such as email campaigns and direct response advertising), how well you are feeding the pipeline, and how fast your prospects are moving through each of the stages.

Automation. A good marketing system delivers results through consistent and on-going communication with your prospect pool. It also allows you to communicate with your prospects based on actions – either the things your prospect does or the things the prospect doesn’t do.

It’s possible to accomplish this without the help of technology, but it is labor intensive and unlikely to be as effective. There are so many good and affordable way to automate any marketing program, it just makes no sense not to do it. We use our own proprietary system for Tatum Marketing and our clients, but commonly-available autoresponders and a decent CRM will give you a good start.

When we develop marketing systems with our clients, these are the key elements or processes we always include. Once the system is set up, we can tweak individual elements as needed to maximize the effectiveness of the system. Some are more obvious than others, and I’ve yet to see a marketing program that runs effectively without all of these elements.

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