By this time some of you have completed your marketing plans for 2014… or undergoing that one last plan review for the ___ (fill in the blank) time.
Wherever you’re at in the marketing planning phase for 2014, I’ve compiled 12 Smart ideas that can help your marketing planning for the upcoming year be truly merry. A marketing plan should never be static, such as the fill in the blank, so enjoy these great smart ideas one, two, or all of them at some point in 2014 or right now!
Editor’s Note: All 12 of these ideas can be found in publications I created in 2013. Some have appeared in Direct Mail Success, a direct marketing newsletter, on any of my blogs, (MarketingDoc on Google, Constant Contact or my very own blog here) our monthly email newsletter, DMCM, as well as in a variety of comments and posts in Social Media Channels. I hope you enjoy them and please share. Now go on your merry way and read how to get more clients and customers.
1. Quit wasting dollars on wrong advertising… (or barking up a wrong tree)
According to Acxiom CMO Tim Suther, in 2006, Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart told him at a conference that 37 percent of advertising was money wasted, according to their landmark research published in their book “What Sticks.” Rex Briggs recently refreshed that study and says the amount of money wasted is now up to nearly 40 percent. That’s almost $200 billion wasted in advertising globally!
The time is right to quit wasting money. Take whatever data you presently have and begin to build a better marketing program and have a goal to increase your data analysis, response and the relevance of the message.
2. Speaking about relevance… (the best conversations are 1+1)
Communication occurs on the receivers end. To wit, communication does not take place on the sending side, writing or speaking. Communication occurs almost exclusively on the reading and listening side. A writer can write or speak all she wants in the clearest language she knows. But no matter how clear it is to her, she did not complete the communication process if it sounds like a foreign language to the reader. She is not communicating.
Sometimes, the people who read your writing know more than you do about what you are selling. Other people who read the copy may have only an elementary understanding of the product. As the writer, you may never know the level of the reader’s expertise. Incorporate basic summaries and overviews in your writing that anyone can understand.
As a writer your goal is always clarity. Avoid long sentences, big words unless your readers expect them, and simplistic jargon. It is always wise to avoid an insult.
Direct marketing techniques have a lot to offer, especially in copywriting.
3. Be serious in your direct marketing copy. (… as they say in France)
When you take your copy seriously your reader is more likely to take you seriously. The tone of the message reflects not only on the product itself, but with you as the seller.
Serious, sincere, straightforward copy speaks with experience and authority. It commands respect, attracts and holds attention, and reinforces the key selling points of your offer. It helps convince your reader that yours is a worthwhile, well-documented offer – one to act on confidently.
The longer the copy, the more serious you want to be. In long copy, you ask your reader to stay with you. As a plus, straight serious copy almost never offends anyone.
4. If the following is your present marketing model, it’s time to move it out to pasture. (be careful where you step)
Today many companies are still using a reactive form of marketing and not digital marketing. This reactive marketing represents what is seen on TV, in newspapers, and what we hear on the radio. Companies using reactive marketing have products or services, new ones or ones just launching, and use those channels to shout loudly and frequently to create an awareness to which people possibly will react.
These same companies know little about the people on the other end, just some simple demographic or primitive psychographic information. They probably don’t know what these people want and don’t know their needs. They don’t know their current condition, prospect or customer. They collect little or no data.
Reactive marketing uses a lot of trial and error and is not a type of digital marketing. It is incomplete. It’s basically a one way conversation. There is no engagement. It leads a person to a form of trial and error marketing, which is a big waste of your marketing dollars. This is the death knoll for any small business.
5. When moving to a digital marketing model plan to use more and better data management. (your data is as good as gold)
In data management we are seeing data compiled from a variety of different sources, such as IT creating a better flow of the data, and establishing better integrated files. We also see BIG DATA and SIMPLIFIED DATA for the small business.
In Big Data, analytics, descriptive and predictive analysis, enters the mix of CRM. Marketing effectiveness and return on investment, when bundled together shows data-driven insights that connect the dots between real people. The data is integrated with the whole organization in cross selling, cross communication and channels and cross customer verticals – but most important – the emotional trigger that would prompt customers to buy their product.
Customers are increasingly accessible and engage with your brand in many new ways, which means marketing professionals have access to more data about their customers than ever before. For more on SIMPLIFIED DATA see idea #9.
6. Never neglect a good grabber, like a strong call-to-action. (Buy two geese, get 4 more free when they hatch!)
We know a great idea without compelling words rarely gets noticed. Great words without the ability to attract the consumer’s attention often turn great words into rubbish. An eye-catching image without applicable words and ideas does not live up to its billing.
Each is important, but readers will overlook the best words and most important ideas unless something grabs their attention. Please welcome the “grabber,” champion of direct mail design now available in social media! The “grabber” is the proper blend of color, shape, size, illustrations, photographs, and typography.
Probably nearly 99% of all design begins as a digital file, whether it winds up in print or not. When creating printed materials from digital files, the essence of the design, the “grabber,” may be lost in the transition. Never, ever forget the “grabber.”
Part two: Next week we’ll finish our list right where we left off.
Part two starts with direct marketing and the asset it brings to your copywriting but most importantly, response.
If you have some questions about your marketing, the MCG Marketing eVal is just what the doctor ordered. Read more about this fantastic program and sign up today for an initial consultation. Sometimes a marketing tune-up is all a company needs to get better results. Collaborate with a person who understands and cares about your marketing success.
Thanks for reading and please share with others.
Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers… cater to them, listen to them and react to them. The results will amaze you.
© 2013 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Solid Stock Art, Windows Clip Art, DepositPhotos, HubSpot or John Deuerling. Flickr-Partridge in a Pear tree: All rights reserved by The Colourguru