Mass Mailing VS. Targeted 1 to1 Mailing

Typical advertising mail.
Image via Wikipedia

No doubt at some point in your business cycle you have tried either Direct Mail or E-mail Marketing and found the results to below expectations. Like many you may have even decided that it just does not work and would be a waste of your resources to try again.

Today I want to try to challenge those results and offer up a few tips on why Direct Mail or E-mail Marketing could be your next best marketing campaign.

Most marketing pieces we receive in the mailbox or inbox are mass marketed products or services (junk mail) these pieces use the same strategy that newspaper sand TV use in that they are broadcasting your service to a large audience hoping to capture the reader at that buying cycle in their life. (thin market concept)  A well designed piece can actually educate, build trust , make an offer and make easy to purchase and still a 1-2% return is considered a victory in most Direct Mail campaigns.

However as technology has improved and business marketing company’s and P.O.S evolved we now have a great data base of customer information which could greatly increase you results. Direct Mail and E-Mail marketing can now be customized to directly speak to the consumer on an individual basis.  Imagine your best customers receiving a post card with their name and a reference to their last visit with you built into the copy, your chances of capturing that reader’s interest and emotions just increased significantly.

The concepts of 1 to 1 marketing have been around since the mid 90’s, however it is only in the last few years that printing technology has become a resource that almost any size business could take advantage of and increase communications with their customers.

I recently  have been getting educated on PURL’s (personalized URL‘s) and how they also can be added to a Direct Mail or E-mail Campaign. Now imagine that same prefered customer getting their own unique URL that links them to a website that is completely customized to them. You can capture additional data on that customer, track time and interests on the site and offer amazing personalized offers. I can only assume that most customers would then tell their friends of your company.

Have you had success using Direct Mail, 1 to 1 marketing, or e-mail marketing?

Share your thoughts and lets help others achieve great success.

Cold Calling vs. Social Prospecting

No Cold Calling Zone

Image by markhillary via Flickr

I read a question today on LinkedIn that asked if the Traditional Cold Call was still an effective means of growing business.  One of the responses that was recorded basically refered to cold calling as an ancient tradition that had little place in todays marketplace, I believe they said it was a huge time sucker.

This torments me a little as I continue to learn and understand the power of social media.

In a Business to Business (B2B) sales world, has Cold Calling really become that out dated. I know I still make 30-40 cold calls each week in order to introduce myself and my business to new clients. In the last month the only contacts that I have made that resulted in sales were from Cold calls that turned into relationship building (face to face) and then the sale.

Now I do understand the time Sucker mentality, Cold calling often has a low rate of return and you must have a thick skin in order to take the rejections that come with the practice. It does take time and commitment.

Social Media can be used for prospecting and if you have a specific target I can see how you could capture huge groups of leads quickly with a basic search on your favorite social site. But it also takes a committed amount of time building that relationship to a trust level which creates sales. They don’t know you and if they are going to buy you are going to be building a relationship based on what? The written or video word, not a handshake, or conversation that relates interest and value.

So what do you prefer?

Are you still using cold calling, door to door, pound the pavement tactics? Are you spending adequate time daily prospecting targets in the social realm?

As I see it a B2B business must commit to both.  I know for a fact that business professionals in the majority of businesses still today do not have the time or the aptitude to build social media relationships. Face to face still has value to them. I also know that if I am targeting anyone under the age of 35 that if I am not in the social realm, I have little chance of earning their business. Social activity is mandatory collateral to this age group.

So tell me, what methods  do you use to build new business?

Inventor of Social Marketing… Jesus Christ?

Ok so I am sitting in church today and the thought of Jesus walking among the people popped into my head. Not just walking among us but serving each of us, helping where we needed help most, providing information and guidance to all who asked. Yes he came to save us from our sins… let me not trivialize what the New Testament is meant for in our society, but have you ever stopped to think of the example he left for us in business and how we use social media.

We have been told that in Social Media and Social Marketing it is about what you give to a relationship that matters.  “Stop Selling” Bret L. Simmons says, social media is about giving information, giving assistance to those who need it, helping all that ask and are willing to communicate with you. It is about answering your critics with truth and knowledge. Imagine if Jesus would have had the internet 2000 years ago where we would be today with his message.

Is it that much of a stretch to think that Jesus Christ was the originator of what the makers of Facebook, My space and LinkedIn made so attractive to us all. The ability to communicate, listen, help and share to all that will listen and ask. 

This week as you twitter, Facebook, text, and link, remember the basic principles that we learn from Jesus:  Be truthful, be helpful, be a great listener, face your critics with integrity and truth and share all that you have in love.

Have a great week!

Targeted Global Marketing

I remember speaking with business owners in years past about why they believed they did not need the internet. You remember them, the business owners who had no need for the world to find them, they were a local business.

Then we switched gears and started promoting Hyper Local  Marketing, and that made sense to many and online ad revenues in local market’s started to climb. Well today as I am communicating with companies half way around the globe that either have interest in my services or are a company which can help me serve my local business community with more creative and unique solutions, I realized what social media has done is create a Targeted Global community.

A targeted global community, a community with Hyper (Local) interests, wich is to say that they are personal and intimate interests not held with in geographic boundaries.  A small business can now communicate with resources 24/7 from all corners of the globe. They can find new and innovative solutions, creative ideas, cost savings, product improvements and yes even business partners and customers.

So the is the first rule of Marketing  still true?  (Location, location, location)?

I don’t know as I write this I have the funniest feeling that I am late to the party and everyone has already figured this out, or have they. I still see thousands of business owners without a web site, without a social media connection, without a diversified supplier list. They look at social media as a giant waste of time because they know that if they just pick up the phone  and dial the next prospect or that old reliable service ( which doesn’t seem to be as good as it once was) that business will get done and sales will come.These are the battles that business owners must get through in a hurry.

Business Real estate is being taken right now. Taken by the few which have jumped in both feet and said I will not quit. They are determined to build relationships in a very targeted global community. With people who offer wisdom, service, solutions that they need to move to the next level of business.   They are securing real estate in places like Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Linkedin, WordPress, you tube, Manta etc…  A Global Mall-without-walls of business and consumer communication that is building new empires and new celebrities.

Targeted Global Marketing, sounds like an oxymoron, but on LinkedIn today I spoke with business people in three different countries in the matter of an hour on the same topic. Business was good.

Get on Get started and start your Global Targeting today.

Who is talking about you?

I had the pleasure today to once again hear Bret L. Simmons speak about the power of Social media and personal branding.  In the course of training with a hundred local business leaders in our community Bret used me as an example. I admit it felt really cool too have someone I respect  recognize me in a room of  my peers  in our business community.  

I know this is not about me, but it got me thinking about contacts we make in life and if we understand  what the value of what others say about us has to our business.

Bret today spoke of how he uses twitter to speak of both: positive company interactions and negative interactions. Social Media has allowed him to see instant reaction in both the positive and negative of customer service.  Wow, have you thought about the power of social media as it relates to customer service.

What if that last customer was not satisfied for any reason and is right now blogging, texting, or Twittering all their contacts to tell them of the bad experience. I am not sure we would conclude that any press is good press in this case. Of course the same thing is said in the reverse, if we exceed expectations can we count on the same consumer now telling their world about your great company. How do you know if this is happening to you and your business? 

So who is talking about you?

Are you helping them with what to say or just letting it happen? 

Social Media = word of mouth marketing on steroids! 

If you are involved with the running or marketing of a company, be it small or large, you had better be listening to the social media world. The networks of people can quickly become huge and the last thing you want is for a single bad event to turn into a face book page such as 24hourfitnesssucks (which by the way is a real facebook page)

If you are local business that has not adopted social media plans into your business I would suggest redoing your marketing plan for 2011. Include Social media, Invite the public to get more from you in 2011, help them find the right words to say about your company, and start listening to what they are saying.