By MaryEllen Tribby
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, yada, yada, yada! Ninety-nine percent of the time these "cool" new tactics are going to be worthless to your business. That's right, they will not yield you one red cent!
Because with any marketing tactic you use, it will only work when you understand the underlying, fundamental strategy. And, the strategy I'm talking about is the mother load - Direct Response Marketing. The effective use of social media can help in your direct response marketing.
Think about it. You want to build your dream house. You have hired the best architect in the world to design it. You have picked out the very best supplies money can buy to construct it. And, you have hired the best builder in the world to put it all together.
Naturally, you think that in the end you will have your dream home. A home where you and your family will make everlasting memories for years and years to come.
But oops . . .
No one told you that the land you were building this dream house on was actually swampland. Now, after months and months of planning and building, finally the house is up. And, even though it looks beautiful to everyone who sees it, it quickly comes crashing down because the foundation it was built on is non-existent.
Well my friends, the exact same thing is true in business. Your business will come crashing down if you don't understand the business of business. If you do not understand the concept of dollar out - dollar in, you will never have a business. And that is called direct response marketing.
The following is your introduction:
Although direct-marketing techniques have been used since the advent of the printing press, the definition that was set 89 years ago holds true today: Direct-response marketing (DRM) is a form of marketing designed to solicit an immediate response that is specific and quantifiable.
You see this at work in every DRM channel:
-Online newsletter promotions ask you to "click here."
-Magazine promotions ask you to place a "yes" sticker on a postcard to renew your subscription.
-TV ads ask you to call an 800 number to learn more about the latest vacuum- cleaner technology.
All of these channels then add urgency by stating that if you are among the first 25 or 50 or 100 to respond, you will be rewarded with extra bonuses.
They all ask customers to take action immediately.
They all ask customers to follow specific instructions. Smart companies track and quantify the results.
Keep in mind that DRM is not branding. The end goals of direct-response marketing and brand marketing are entirely different.
DRM wants to get the customer to provide information or open his wallet.
Branding, on the other hand, wants to get the customer to remember the product.
Moreover, with branding the customer remembers the product through image building and broad reach.
There is little to no conscious intent.
Today, with the power of the Internet behind you, branding and DRM work more closely together...closer than they ever have in the
history of advertising.
The Internet allows companies to create campaigns that are nearly hybrids of traditional branding and traditional DRM.
Think about all the e-newsletters being published today. There are hundreds of thousands of them out there on every subject imaginable, from gardening to politics to rock music, and thousands more are created each week.
Working Moms Only.com is just one of those e-newsletters we publish at Idea Incubator, LP. Because WMO is delivered several days a week and reaching tens of thousands --it has developed a certain brand presence.
By "brand presence," we mean that Working Moms Only has a specific look and feel. It has a strong mission statement (remember we talked about your mission statement in last month's issue) and specific core values. These are aspects of our "brand" that have been with us since its inception.
All of the products we produce carry our logo. So when you see banner ads on other web sites and text ads in other newsletters, you know by the logo that the ads come from WMO.
But at its heart, WMO is not a brand marketer. WMO is a direct- response e-newsletter. That's how we've developed our following, our community.
That's how we've grown our business. And because we've been consistent with our message, our values, and our product quality, we've been able to create a brand presence that other people recognize. A brand can develop organically from good DRM.
For most small businesses (the non-Cokes or Nikes of the world), this is the best way to grow. Spend your money on great direct-response campaigns and let your brand develop while you make money.
Now, if you're not familiar with direct-marketing methods, here are a few good books to start with:
-Eugene M. Schwartz's Breakthrough Advertising, originally published in 1966
-Dick Benson's Secrets of Successful Direct Mail, originally published in 1987
-Claude C. Hopkins' My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising, originally published in 1927 and 1923, respectively
-Michael Masterson's and MaryEllen Tribby's (yep, yours truly) Changing The Channel: 12 Easy
- Ways to make Millions for Your Business originally published in 2008
The authors of these books understood the profound impact that direct-response marketing can have on any business. It was their mission to teach the fundamentals--the rules and principles that apply to all businesses at all times.
But, I have to warn you - reading these books and putting them into action can ONLY help you make money!