I’d like to share a few of the same principles that I use when working with my clients that help increase the effectiveness of their marketing without increasing the cost.
- Guide to consistency – Build familiarity with your company/brand
When trying to build brand recognition, it’s very important to keep consistency within colors, fonts, layout, style.
A consistent look shared among all your materials will help strengthen your company and brand. The advantage of doing so; your customers/prospects will instantly recognize your company. On average, prospects need to come in contact with your company/brand 17 times before they ‘know’ who you are. Make it easy for them to get to know you!
It’s helpful to stick with one designer/print company as they will have all the proper colors, fonts, design images & graphics to reuse across multiple mediums for your materials. Jumping between different design and print companies will increase the likelihood that your materials will have a mix/matched look that won’t look professional.
- How to define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – Why being seen as “different’ in the eyes of your customers is CRITICAL to winning new business.
Your USP is the singular, unique “benefit” that your customers can expect to receive when they do business with you vs. your competitor.
Why is that? Gone are the days of selling quality or service, those are expected. Lowest price selling positions are also a very poor choice. Many people still believe in the “you get what you pay for” mind set. You don’t want to price your product/service so low that people will doubt your quality/service. There will always be someone out there who will come along and under cut your prices. Many businesses have been known to under price themselves right out of business.
So then, what should you use as a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors?
For example; find something that your competitors are doing wrong, find a hole that isn’t being filled that you could successfully fill. Focus on a niche, serve a very specific market.
Example: LensCrafters – glasses in an hour, Nordstroms – high end clothing/return policy
- WII FM – Know your customer’s favorite station – Mistakes you can avoid when describing your products and services.
I’m sure that you are familiar with your customer’s favorite station – WII FM – “What’s In It For Me?”
Make sure you are using benefits instead of or in addition to your features when describing your products and/or services.
Continue to ask the question “ So What?” until you’ve narrowed down your benefits.
Example – features vs benefits – Common pencil:
Feature: Hard graphite core, “So What?” – Benefit: Lasts longer, won’t wear as quickly.
Feature: Has flat ridges on the sides, “So What?” – Benefit: Won’t roll of the table when you set it down.
Tell your prospects what, specific needs you’ll fill and why.
- Your one sure way to make your materials work for you – Most businesses don’t do this.
All materials must have a call to action, tell the customer what you want them to do.
Unless you have a ton of money like Sears or Nike, don’t run simple ad campaigns that attempt only to build name recognition or merely say “here’s what we have, come and get it.” Advertising must be cost justifying.
Think about it, would you continue to pay a salesman who just goes out and tells people about your product or service but doesn’t actually sell anything? Your advertising must lead prospects to do something measurable – Make a call, send in a coupon, come into the store, visit your web site, etc. Make it obvious what you’d like them to do.
Unless your product/service is simple to understand, it’s a good idea to use your advertising for lead generation. By bringing in qualified, interested prospects, your closing rate with a real salesperson will be dramatically higher and have a positive affect on your business.
This leads to our final point…
- Never make this marketing blunder again – over 90% of your competitors make this Boo boo – Identify it and you’ll increase your return on investment with your marketing!
Any idea what I’m talking about?
Test, test, test! Unless you test you’ll never know which approach is best. Over 90% of businesses haphazardly run whatever advertisements seem to be pulling well lately. Every aspect of your ad can and should be tested – headline, offer, medium (ie. yellowpages), where (locale), layout, prices, everything!
By testing you take the guesswork out of advertising. Yes, it will take longer to test and find out what works but by doing so, your advertising will be more effective, make you more money and help your business grow.
Example: By changing one headline in their ad, a seminar promotion company increased their business by 150%. That lead to an excess ½ million dollars in sales that the might not have had otherwise.
Advertising and print materials cost the same amount to run whether they produce 1 sale, 10 sales, or 100 sales. With that in mind, wouldn’t it make sense that businesses spend more effort developing and executing their marketing strategies?
Question, Do you test your ads currently? Will start doing it after today? I hope so for your sake and the sake of your business!
So, how should you test? – Examples: Create a special offer specific to your next ad, set up a separate extension on your phone system, set up a special page on your web site – heck, domain names are cheap enough you could set up a special domain name to point to a page on your site specifically to test ads.
With these concepts I’ve shared with you today, you should have a better understanding of principles and ideas to try before you run your next ad or get your new marketing material printed.
Many of these concepts are easy to try but it comes down to the simple step of execution. Knowing what to do and actually applying these principles could be the difference between costing you a ton of money or increasing your profits dramatically.
If you have any questions about how these concepts can be best applied in your business, please let me know. For a limited time, I’m offering a local businesses a Free Business Analysis where I’ll help you uncover marketing assets that are sitting in your business that could be leveraged to help you increase your profits.