Photo: Myself and clients at my old HQ working on their business.
I got this email from a new client. It said this.
“Hi Alan I have loved reading and watching your stuff for years now, I’d like to try a bit of marketing”
OK nothing unusual in that kind of email because I get them all the time and frankly a ‘bit of marketing’ can be done but rarely that successful. It’s usually just ‘a bit’ successful or ‘a bit’ unsuccessful and here’s why.
Years and years and actually decades ago when I first started in the brick and mortar businesses (hair salons) I used to try little bits of marketing here and there. Frankly it had the small impact equal to the measure I was putting into my marketing.
Small strategy, small thinking, small campaigns and guess what – small results. Yet the crazy thing was I was always surprised at the results being so small at the time.
Now I don’t think I’m stupid (although my first wife will disagree) but I kind of expected the world to fall at my feet doing a few small things. Maybe I’m a slow learner but it took me years to work out that to get big results you need to do bigger things.
Did that mean I would have to spend a fortune doing those bigger things with marketing?
Let me explain a little more of what was actually happening here. My early marketing was really a flyer or two, here there and everywhere. Once a month, once a quarter and once when I remember that maybe it would be a good idea to do some marketing. The flyers were ok, the marketing was OK and of course the results were just OK. I wanted bigger results and more sales and in the end I realized (after years) that I would have to do more.
So I tried things now and then, new, latest and trend based advertising. Once (and you might remember these) I got talked into trying a new mini disc that was basically a business card. Yes they looked cool but what I was asking the client to do was to go home or to their office, put in a small disc, try and open the disc to simply read my business card. Crazy when hardly anyone owned a home computer then.
I spent a small fortune on this and frankly I don’t remember getting a client from them but was left with a huge box of mini discs in my garage. I could write a book as big as War and Peace on the marketing things I tried in the early days whilst laughing as I type (not so funny at the time of course when you are broke with 4 kids)!
And today I see mistake after mistake after mistake with clients who just want to ‘try’ or do ‘a bit’ of marketing to see what happens. I can tell you what happens without you trying and here is the reply. Doing ‘a bit’ of marketing gives you a bit of a result – good and bad – but just a bit! Do one letter and you get one letter results.
Doing a strategic and planned letter campaign builds your business, relationship with your customer and your bottom-line. You might get there in the end but you could lose sales, time, profits, years and years of trying and hoping your bit of marketing will bring you in huge results but the truth is it won’t and here is why.
Here are some things you must have in place.
- A buyers market ready and looking to buy
- Great products or services they have already bought in their minds
- Brilliant packaging of the product or services
- Strategy for taking it to the marketplace
- Tactics that are proven to work
- Great copywriters
- Great designers
- Great irresistible offers
- Strong calls to action
- A way to test your marketing
- A way to measure your results
- Weekly review meetings to track and refine
And another thing that took me years to learn …A plan for growth.
And you know what … only when I started doing 15 marketing tactics daily. Weekly direct mail campaigns (when no one in the hair industry was doing them). Thousands of flyers (5,000) weekly. Monthly PR campaigns. Weekly newspaper adverts. Dozens of joint ventures. Stacks of piggy back marketing tactics a year.
And then when they arrived as I adopted early …
- Weekly updated websites
- Weekly email campaigns
- Weekly follow-up phone calls
- And at least 200 marketing tactics we used throughout my salon businesses at the time.
We went big and the results were big. Sales rolled in and it gave me time and profits to build my own house at that time.
Now I know when I talk about this kind of volume to clients they glaze over and say things like…’I just want to do a bit’ of marketing to start with.
So here is the good news .
You can kick-start your marketing doing just ‘a bit’ of marketing as long as that bit is part of your big plan. If you don’t have a bigger plan and simply want to do a bit well the results will speak for itself and I think you know that already otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.
Here are a couple of things I always consider and I ask my clients to consider.
- Before you spend a penny on marketing have you done your homework and research?
- Before you spend a penny on marketing have you worked out your return on investment?
For example if you are spending say £10,000 on your marketing have you asked yourself how many units do I have to sell to break-even and then make a profit?
In other words if you sell a product or service at £45.00 you need to sell a minimum of 222 units to at least get your investment back. Yet if you sell 444 units you are on a winning streak.
Of course if you sell under 222 you need to ask some questions. And that’s the problem – too many businesses go into business and marketing, trying a little bit here and there and expect huge results from the tiny efforts. And when those tiny efforts don’t pay off most business back off from marketing and avoid what they see as ‘losing money trying’ something that didn’t work last time.
So how can you know what to do and what is best for you?
Good advice: Good advice isn’t always about making you money, sometimes it’s about saving money and cutting your losses – just get advice before you invest thousands into a great idea that no one apart from you wants to buy.
Hire experts: I see far too many businesses at all sizes trying to do everything themselves. Why? I spent since 1985 writing my own copy and being a student of marketing and advertising for over 20 years so why do it yourself when you can hire an expert (work out how many units you need to sell against the fee) that has spent a life as a student of marketing and advertising.
The Long Run: Get into marketing for the long run and not the quick blast. Sometimes you might need to have 9 ok results to hit the tenth incredible result that changes everything but you need to make a start.
Strategy: If you don’t have a strategy based on proven results you are heading for trouble.
Track and Measure: Make sure you track and measure everything. Track the failures and fix or dump them. Track the successes and run and run with them until they start to slow down or burn-out.
Think Big – Get Big: If you are out to try something you could be wasting your time and cash if it sin’t part of the bigger picture. Think big, invest big and plan on big results. Of course there is more but I’d have to sit here for the next two years writing everything for you.
However if you’d like my thirty years business and consulting experience or advice over the phone or face-to-face please ask.
- I can show you how to save tens of thousands in wasted ‘just try it’ marketing.
- I can show you how to increase sales by thousands of a percent by making adjustments or tweaking your sales messages
- I can show you how to do direct mail, write letters, create powerful adverts, create strong calls to actions and irresistible offers I can show you what is working online right now and why Facebook is the worst marketing investment you can possibly make (in most cases)
- I can take your while business, turn it inside out, look over every aspect of your marketing and guide you to make things happen faster.
But only if you understand that you must invest into marketing to get a result from marketing.
I have clients that spend tens of thousands on marketing. I have two clients that invest over one million pounds each month on marketing. I have other smaller clients that re-invest a huge part of their turnover back into marketing All get an equivalent result. Invest well, returns are good. Invest small (try a bit) and their returns are an equal value.
Finally lets be clear here… What is ‘a bit of marketing?’
You have a website that you spent a small fortune on and make no sales, no leads, no anything from it. Why? Because it’s just a website and not part of the bigger picture or marketing strategy.
You have an amazing looking shop and have invested a huge amount on it because you feel that’s your best marketing and yet it’s slow. Why? Because it’s simply a brilliant shop with no strategy behind it and that as a marketing tool alone isn’t enough to bring your more business.
You have invested in a top team, top CEO, top HQ, top equipment, top everything and yet you are not only getting worse than needed results but you have totally flat-lined which means at some point – the business dies!
Did you know I can work with your team, business or company for as long or as short as you like?
Did you know you can come to my quirky home and spend real face-to-face time working over your big picture and creating marketing that actually will be the best investment you ever make?
I can review and critique everything for you I can create new campaigns that are super-cost-effective and bring in strong returns I can advise and guide you with you strategies or lack of them so your business begins to grow I can even do this if you like …
- Create your new angles
- Write powerful copy
- Create end-to-end marketing
- And a whole lot more if that is what you need?
And of course you might be thinking, maybe we can ‘try a bit of marketing Alan’ but frankly trying a bit of marketing but of course after reading this you will be more than aware that ‘a bit of marketing’ usually only brings a ‘bit of a result’
If you are ready to think big – lets talk, I can help you create results from marketing that you’d only ever thought was possible in the past.
I’m ready, are you?
Your marketing warrior Alan Forrest Smith
IMPORTANT NOTE: Right now (and I am not sure how long for) I have space for one new client that is looking for a marketing guy like myself to work almost full-time remotely (with site visits as needed) on your business. If that sounds like something you’d like please bear in mind there is
- An advance from future sales of £25,000 to lock me in (to be agreed).
- An agreement of a percentage of future sales
- A contract to be agreed by both parties
This is an exclusive deal for a single client In a nutshell it means you get me and me only (and my team or I will direct and manage your team) working and directing your marketing through a strategy that is to be created, agreed and implemented. Site visits Marketing reviews New marketing strategies And more Act fast if you’d like me to be the driving force behind your team. by the way in case you don’t know a great deal about me, I have generated million upon million in new sales for my clients. You could be next. Even Jay Conrad Levinson called my mind ‘GENIUS’ I’d love to help but you need to ask. Enjoy your day.