This is one of the most valuable posts I have ever written!
There’s a huge difference, between someone receiving your message and listening to your message. TV viewers are sent targeted marketing messages (commercials) during TV shows. What do most of us do? We fast forward through them or if watching the show in real-time, we go and make a coffee. Just because they send their messages, doesn’t mean we are paying attention.
For your marketing to work, you need to get a great message in front of the right people. In order to get this correct, here’s the key question we need to ask ourselves:
If I stopped my email marketing campaign or I stopped publishing my blog posts, newsletter etc, would people really MISS them?
As a quick look at the marketing you receive every day confirms, for most people the honest answer to that question is NO! We get bombarded with dull, uninspiring sales messages all day and see them as an intrusion, rather than something of value.
Of course, for that tiny minority of small businesses who DO produce marketing, which people genuinely value and would miss if it were to stop, the sky is the limit!
Dull is cheap. Dull is fast. Dull is simple.
It’s cheap, fast and simple to create dull marketing and get it in front of a lot of people. There’s no barrier to entry today. However, a decade ago, if a small business owner wanted to send a mail shot to 50,000 people, she’d have to spend some serious money. There’s the cost of the mailing list. Then she would need to pay for all that paper and the printing. Next she would need to pay a company to get the letters folded and inserted into the 50,000 envelopes. Then there’s the postage costs. All in all, it would cost thousands. This means she would need to think long and hard about the value of what she put into those envelopes. Get it wrong and she would pay a hefty price!
Today, everything has changed. She can hit 50,000 people using cheap email software and her laptop. It costs pennies. If it fails, maybe tomorrows will work. It’s never been easier to push dull, uninspired, poorly thought out, uncreative marketing out the door. So, that’s exactly what a lot of people are doing.
There is a proven business model in phone app sales, where you can get a free version of an app, so long as you allow them to show ads to you. Because they know these ads suck, they offer a profitable answer. We can pay them for the exact same app, but with the annoyance of these ads removed. The software is exactly the same – You are simply paying them to stop presenting you with dull, uninspiring marketing.
The answer? Switch your focus!
There is an answer, for those who want their marketing welcomed with genuine anticipation, rather than seen as an irritation. It requires that you take the exact opposite approach, to 99% of the marketing you see out there.
It’s about shifting the focus of your marketing, so that it’s primarily of benefit to the people who receive it and secondarily of benefit to you. It’s about producing content (audio, video, blog posts, newsletters, mail shots, flyers, social networking updates etc), which provide independent value to those who receive it. This means they get genuinely valuable or useful information from it, independent of them needing to spend a penny with you.
For example, imagine you are a dog owner and after a trip to the vet, you subscribe to their dog owner’s newsletter. It gives you tips and ideas, to help you keep your dog healthy, fit and happy. At the bottom of each email are their contact details; so you can call them when you need a vet. You find this free information so useful, that you send it to 10 of your friends, who are also dog owners. They subscribe and then do the same, etc, etc. Soon, that vet is talking to hundreds or maybe thousands of local dog owners and positioning themselves in their local marketplace, as THE place to take your dog for all it’s veterinary needs.
Compare that vet’s approach to the typical marketing messages we see.
- That vet doesn’t need to run expensive radio ads.
- They have no need to buy mailing lists.
- They don’t need to waste valuable hours at networking events.
- They certainly don’t need to pester people on social networks or ask strangers for recommendations on Linkedin.
- They don’t need to invest in anything, other than the creativity required to produce a genuinely valuable newsletter, with great, targeted content.
It’s not as easy to develop a great strategy like that, as it is to churn out dull marketing, which people try and avoid. When I work with clients to create strategies like the vet example, I point out that although it costs peanuts to put them into play for their business, it takes time and a commitment to do what’s required, to build a community of people who LOVE to hear from you and spread your marketing with their friends.
But for those who see the potential, it can change their businesses (and lives) beyond recognition. I strongly suggest you give it some thought, if the idea appeals to you!
Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!