-- By Category
-- Sales and Marketing
-- Five Costly Errors
Five Costly Errors
Five Costly Errors That May Be Preventing Your Marketing
Messages From Getting The Results You Want
By Shirley Hanson
What marketing tools don't work for you?
We ask this question when we welcome subscribers to our zine.
Their answers are consistent: "We sent out a mailing and got no
response," they may say. Or they tell us, "Our letters,
postcards, or brochures failed."
What went wrong?
You may be surprised. The reasons you find here may not be
what you suspect. You may be thinking, "Direct mail letters (or
other marketing communications such as a Yellow Pages ads,
brochures, newspaper ads, etc.) just don't work for someone in
Because you and your 3-fold brochure, sales letter, or other
marketing message are not in front of us, we can't pinpoint
exactly why it fell short. We can, though, give you five of the
most common errors that may be shutting the door on the results
And just by reversing these mistakes your marketing
communications can become winners!
Costly Error #1 - Not Precisely Pinpointing Your Target Market
One of our clients, a leading networking company, relied
heavily on seminars for its sales. To boost attendance at one
seminar, it placed an ad in the local newspaper inviting anyone
and everyone to attend. With its wide-open y'all come
approach, the ad attracted students looking for information and
a free lunch.
Instead of desperately trying to fill seminar seats, the
company would have done better to more precisely identify its
target -- the information technology managers and executives who
make decisions about networks.
Even if your message is the greatest, it will fail if it
doesn't reach the right people.
Costly Error #2 - Spending Money On The Wrong Marketing Medium
A new video producer we interviewed for an article told us this
story. After creating a video about dog training, he developed a
marketing strategy -- to place a $600 ad in TV Guide. After
all, he reasoned, there has to be a pack of dog owners among its
20 million readers. Perhaps. But only one of them ordered the
He would have a greater chance of success by trying out an ad
in a publication geared to dog lovers or, perhaps, purchasing a
list from one of these publications and testing a mailing.
The better you can describe and understand your market, the
more likely you are to find them. And the more you zero in on
exactly where they hang out in groups (such as readers of
specialized publications or newsletters), the less you risk
choosing a time-and-money-swallowing marketing medium.
Costly Error #3 - Putting a Fog Around Your Message
Sometimes business people write marketing communications with
the belief they should, above all else, be clever. (Or, worse,
they pay others to concoct these witty or whimsical messages for
them.) As a result, their main message becomes clouded.
Another frequent fault is to obscure their message with jargon.
Or they may bury their message beneath a display of sensational
verbal or graphic fireworks. Think of the number of Web sites
you've seen where the message is submerged or nonexistent.
Be alert! Don't let anything come between you and the message
you want your prospects to remember and respond to.
Costly Error #4 - Relying On Image And A Brochure To Carry The
By image we mean marketing communications with the sole purpose
of creating an image and awareness of your firm, product, or
service. They attempt to be a work of art. Watch out!
Sometimes they take the form of a glossy brochure with slick
photographs and attention-grabbing layout.
The problem is they do not produce measurable results, nor do
they provide feedback to guide you in improving your marketing
If you have $10 million to spend on marketing, your image
brochure (or ad) may work for you . . . some day. It's unlikely
that it can prompt your prospects to act now.
Read on to find out exactly what goes in your brochure or ad to
grab your best prospects and urge them to respond at once.
Costly Error #5 - Not Acting On The Power Of Marketing Leverage
What is marketing leverage?
Controlled studies by successful advertising experts have
measured the impact of headlines, offers, copy, and graphics.
By testing -- changing these elements one at a time and
comparing results from direct response ads -- the experts
discovered the following differences between responses to the
best and worst versions of each element.
The champions, please...
* Headline: a response that was 21 times greater
* Offer: a response that was 10 times greater
* Copy: a response that was 5 times greater
* Graphics: a response that was 5 times greater
How can you take advantage of this information?
If your marketing communication does not have an offer, develop
one. If it has a lackluster offer, make it irresistible. If
your marketing document does not have a headline, create one.
If it has a humdrum headline, generate one that grabs the
attention of your prospects.
How about you? Do you suspect that one or more of these errors
caused your marketing messages to fall short?
By avoiding these expensive mistakes you will improve your
chances of success. Put these errors behind you and produce
marketing communications that get attention and results.
Copyright 1998 by Shirley Hanson. She is a writer and direct
marketer who helps consultants and high-tech firms attract more
clients and customers for higher revenues. Also, she
specializes in writing Web content that makes a difference --
more visitors who stay longer. You can subscribe to her free
zine The Marketing Energizer for Consultants.
The Hanson Marketing Group Web site features marketing tips,
techniques, and A-to-Z steps at http://www.hansonmarketing.com
Brought to you by World Wide Information Outlet (WWIO) your
source of FREEWare Content online. Located on the Internet at:
Tags: Sales and Marketing