Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

2 Things you need to know, if you want massively better marketing results!

Before you send your next piece of marketing to anyone, there are 2 important things you should consider if you want to get the best return on your investment.

Here they are:

1. Do I have permission to contact this person?

A lot of marketing is still based on interrupting people. For example:

  • They send us email because our address is on some list they bought.
  • They send us junk mail because they know where we live or work.
  • They cold call us because they have our phone number.

Yes, you can get people’s attention by interrupting or pestering them, but it’s not the kind of attention they welcome. People repel pests, they don’t embrace them. Walking into a company unannounced and poking the boss in the chest will get their attention, but it’s unlikely to win their willing cooperation or earn their trust.

So, rather than add people to some list and pester the crap out of them, we should earn access to them instead.

A great way to achieve this, is via the type of message you are receiving right now. Everyone reading this blog post, either by email, RSS reader or on jimsmarketingblog.com, has subscribed or searched for the information. It’s seen as useful, not an interruption. I work hard to deliver as much useful, free information as I can and as a result, thousands of prospective clients read my work every day. This blog is what’s called a permission marketing asset.

Permission based marketing delivers the kind of response rates that interruption marketing can’t touch. Newsletters, blogs, YouTube channels, Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups are permission assets that take time to build, but they offer unparalleled potential, for business owners seeking to earn the attention and trust of their marketplace.

2. Am I contacting them with something they need or is it all about me?

Most marketing (and almost all small business marketing) fails because it’s all about the sender and not the recipient. This happens for a number of reasons, but mainly because business owners wrongly assume ALL marketing has to be about pushing a sales message.

That assumption is not only incorrect, it’s toxic!

Successful marketing is about building permission and earning trust among a targeted group of prospective clients. It’s about making you an obvious choice, when they need the type of service you provide.

For example:

The local health food store, which offers advice on the best foods to eat for your unique needs, is building a relationship with you. They are also positioning themselves in your mind as an authority, when it comes to health food.

Their free newsletter offers healthy recipes, the dates of their next subscriber-only, healthy cooking evenings and the latest news on the benefits of certain food types – So, it’s eagerly awaited by its readers. These readers buy the ingredients from the store because they trust it. They are a part of the community and recommend it to their health-conscious friends. People LOVE to be part of a community of like-minded people.

It’s about them

Effective marketing is not just about pushing special offers and new product lines at people. It’s about engaging with them and building a relationship with them. It’s about earning their trust. It’s about being seen as the obvious place to go, when they have a requirement you can fulfil. It’s about them.

Photos: Tim Parkinson & Vale

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  1. Agreed – nothing worse than unwelcome contacts! Totally counter-productive

  2. So that makes me curious Jim, can a marketer overrule point #1 with a significantly successful focus on the individual (a la point #2), or is there no amount of target, useful and recipient-centric focus that can overcome the annoyance of being pestered?

    • Hi Kevin. As a business owner, you can use any approach you wish. In my experience, pestering people in any form is usually a lot more work, more expensive and less profitable, than earning attention and trust.

      If someone pesters and interrupts you, you don’t care how much attention they give. In my experience, unwanted attention from a marketer is just annoying.

      • For the record, I agree completely that pestering is a terrible business plan and I presumed that would be your answer. However, I was curious if you thought there was a way to overcome the former by overdoing the latter.

        I suppose like all things there’s a sweet-spot target where the information/product/service is tailored to the customer and they discover it naturally.

        As always, good, thought-provoking, and insightful topic and info Jim.

  3. You nailed it Jim :D . Sending unwanted email is annoying, specially shouting unwanted products is annoying.

  4. Thanks Jim for this post – I must admit I have been guilty of #2!

    Time to rectify! Thanks again!

  5. Agree with the post… it was a great read

  6. Some people think they can send me any commercial e-mail just because we had a contact on a social network.

    Cold calling have become a plague with people ready to tell you anything to sign a contract pester you every day.

    No, those are definitely wrong ways to do marketing! The worst thing is that too many companies don’t realize that they’re wasting their resources and just harming their possiblity to get new customers.

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