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Don't Spend Money On Your Marketing, Invest It

 
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:21 AM   #1
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Don't Spend Money On Your Marketing, Invest It


Back again gents. This time, I want to talk about the difference between spending money on your marketing, and investing it. The difference is huge, and can easily decide on whether your marketing campaign/vehicle is profitable.

Spending money, as I define it, is purchasing marketing without thinking about it. How many of you guys bought yellow page ads because everyone else did? Remember your parents "If Tommy Johnson jumped off a bridge...". The same easily holds true here. You need to think through every single marketing move you make, and think hard about it. That's when you start investing your money.

First, decide on the marketing vehicles you are going to use. Don't just pick them because everyone else does, or you are going to have to compete your ass off against everyone else. That is not the easy way, and we like the easy way.

First, think about what your target market is most likely to respond to. New homeowners probably aren't listening to NPR, but baby boomers are. Classic Rock stations are reaching different people than Pop. Tv channels vary, depending on the times. Just think it through.

Once you select your methods, I suggest you find the method you can use like a true pro, or don't use it at all. If you have to hire a designer, do it. It doesn't matter what medium is, just make sure you are slam dunking everyone else.

Example of slam dunking direct mailing: If I was to do a direct mailing campaign for my company, I would make sure I had FREE PRIZE written on the envelope in red, throw in a dollar scratch ticket, and made sure to use windowed envelopes so they know right away there actually is something in there of value. How would you feel towards a company if they gave you a chance to make money right away, without ever meeting them? I doubt you would be angry, and at the very least would read what they had to say. (I did this last week, already had a return of 96%. What's your direct mailing hauling in?)

After I decided what I was going to do, I would decide my budget. Now, this is where it gets interesting. A lot of people want to spend as little as possible, and I agree with them. Don't get the wrong idea there, and remember the title of this post. I think you should invest as much money as you can in marketing. I suggest to clients to take a look at their profits of last year, and invest at least 5% of that into marketing. If you don't have any profits to look at from last year, have no fear, I have many, many inexpensive weapons I will be sharing with you all here.

Once you establish the marketing vehicles, you need to use a weapon you will never live without again. A weapon that let's you look into the future, see the past, project sales, keeps you away from over spending, allocates extra funds, and backs you up when you come home late from your buddies and tell your wife you were just getting a glass of water when she wakes up (Just me?)

This is where a marketing calendar comes into play perfectly. A marketing calendar is a plan that contains all the marketing you are going to do for that year. Now, you certainly don't have to plan an entire year ahead (and it's probably not advisable, since your plans as small business owners should be flexible to adjust to the market), but 6 months will do fine. What you should do is grab a piece of paper, draw four rows, and number them 1-4. Then write the month at the top. Record all of the marketing weapons you are going to use in its respective week (don't be afraid of overlap), and then write down how much it's going to cost. As contractors, you guys have a massive advantage over others in the bartering department to lower ad prices, but that's a whole different post.

Once you write down the amount you are going to spend, write in a different column how many people you project to respond due to the marketing. Then, once the campaign is over record how many people actually responded. Do this for a couple months (a year is best), and then you will know exactly which weapons are best for you and your market.

Once you prepare yourself with a marketing calendar, I doubt you will ever find yourself spending money instead of investing it. This is a perfect way to measure your spending and returns, and I believe everything in business should be easily measurable. I hope you guys really understand how much big business envy's you and your mobility. You can change and adapt to the market, while they stay stuck in corporate ways.

The biggest fish in the pond are the first ones to die when food gets scarce. The little ones can live on crumbs. Enjoy your crumbs, and may you all grow into big fish with a ton of food.

As always, get that money.

-J.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:35 AM   #2
 
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Re: Don't Spend Money On Your Marketing, Invest It


I believe in most of your post J and it is great advise! But on the direct mailing we do not agree on this. We use a #10 envelope hand address in blue ink with a real stamp[curosity kills them] it will get opened.

I agree with a marketing with a 3 month window. Prices change so much that you can always get a better price. I believe with your marketing on auto pilot this gives you advantage over your compitition always.

Most contractors hit and miss when it comes to marketing. Also always have all your ads done by a designer. Never let the newspaper design your ads. Your headline of your ad is the most important part of your ad.

We also use newspaper,TV, radio,inserts,postcards,billboards,our magazine, small yellow pages ads and internet. We also do homeowners assn and have partys to display our outdoor kitchens.

April was our best month in a year and when you look at our lead tracker we can see where our leads come from.

So keep it coming J I learn from you. Thanks

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Old 04-03-2009, 01:57 PM   #3
 
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Re: Don't Spend Money On Your Marketing, Invest It


Very good info, I learn something everyday here. Thanks for the tips.
Brian
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:27 PM   #4
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Re: Don't Spend Money On Your Marketing, Invest It


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carport King View Post
I believe in most of your post J and it is great advise! But on the direct mailing we do not agree on this. We use a #10 envelope hand address in blue ink with a real stamp[curosity kills them] it will get opened.

I agree with a marketing with a 3 month window. Prices change so much that you can always get a better price. I believe with your marketing on auto pilot this gives you advantage over your compitition always.

Most contractors hit and miss when it comes to marketing. Also always have all your ads done by a designer. Never let the newspaper design your ads. Your headline of your ad is the most important part of your ad.

We also use newspaper,TV, radio,inserts,postcards,billboards,our magazine, small yellow pages ads and internet. We also do homeowners assn and have partys to display our outdoor kitchens.

April was our best month in a year and when you look at our lead tracker we can see where our leads come from.

So keep it coming J I learn from you. Thanks
where do you get yor mailing lists from?
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:17 AM   #5
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Re: Don't Spend Money On Your Marketing, Invest It


Quote:
Originally Posted by ecooke21 View Post
where do you get yor mailing lists from?
Google "direct mail list" I am sure 1000 companies will pop up, info usa was one that I contacted but the cost was more than other sites. My printer takes care of everything for me from the design, printing,stuffing and postage. He is local and is within a few bucks of Vistaprint and Gotprint and he was a customer. He received one of the originals that I put together, his material and labor was less than my material.

Someone on here was raving about newspaper inserts so I did some homework. It looks to be a no brainer 10,000 2 side full color 8.5 x11 inserted as a "fall out" near the classifieds is under $900. That is twice the coverage at half the cost of my postcards. I will however give up the one on one of the postcard, you are all but forced to read it because the card is bigger than an envelope and your headline is right there screaming at them. I am going to give it a whirl even if I get 1/4 of the response of the postcard I break even.with costs.
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