How Outsourced Marketing Should Work

Thursday, February 18th 2010

Our complete marketing process is decribed for you here in great detail. Feel free to use it or hire us to implement it for you.

You’re reading this because you know your business has a greater capacity to perform than what it has been delivering.  You are considering engaging the services of a marketing expert to propel your business to the next level.  Whether you do a little marketing, a lot, or none at all, this is for you. 

Group of Marketing Professionals

Marketing is science not art.  As such, over the years, we have systematized the science into a process.  In the following pages we’ll explain our methods in great detail.  The tactics and strategies may vary from industry to industry and business to business but our proven, tested system is imperative as the foundation for a successful campaign.

First a bit of background:  Today it’s more important than ever for any business, large or small, to look like a credible trusted organization.  Nowadays the cost of professional web presence, email marketing, brochures, displays and other collateral materials is extremely affordable for any business.  Not having it tells your customers that you are unwilling, or worse – you don’t have the finances to reinvest in your business.

More importantly, the vast majority of prospects that visit your web site or see your materials for the first time won’t bother to connect with you.  Why?  Within 30 milliseconds they made a subconscious judgment as to whether they would risk doing business with you or not.  They voted “NO” because they have plenty of other options.

On the other hand, marketing and branding that is professionally done has the power to evoke trust and elevate your organization to the perceived level of a Fortune 500 company – all in the same 30 milliseconds.  Prospects will stop in their tracks and intuitively feel that they have arrived.  They are actually thankful that their search has finally ended as they begin to dial your number.

If you believe your company is the best at delivering the products and services that you provide and marketing has nothing to do with your core competency, you need to outsource your marketing it to experts.  What’s holding you back are fear, uncertainty and doubt.  You fear spending money for unsatisfactory results.  You’ve made various marketing attempts in the past without success and you doubt anyone else can do much better. 

It’s difficult if not impossible for you to quantify who is able to accomplish the results you need and want.  There is no guarantee of results regardless who you choose.  Justifiably so; there are too many variables for any advertising agency to legitimately guarantee your results.  This is often why most ad agencies attempt to lock you in to a long term agreement and collect a large portion of the contract fee up front.  You’re stuck with them regardless of how poorly they may perform. 

Cancel Any Time

Our contract is a month to month agreement because we’re confident that you’ll stay with us.  If you are not satisfied with the results we produce for you we simply don’t deserve your business and you should have the option to take it elsewhere.  You may cancel our agreement with 30 days notice no questions asked.  Having said that, we ask that you give us a reasonable time to generate results.  Usually 60 days is enough for most businesses.

Our Complete Process And Pricing Strategy – Fully Disclosed

Compare this to any of our competitors although it’s not likely they will share their marketing process with you.  In the following pages we will divulge our pricing strategy and our entire Five-Phase systematized process and the methodology we employ to bring your company to the forefront in your marketplace.

A word of caution: If other ad agencies are not willing to give you the same level of detail, how do you know they even have a process?

About Price

Our pricing structure is simple and attractive.   It is set up to cost you about the same as an Administrative Assistant.  We’ll assess your business based on the number of ASA’s involved.  (Articulated Sales Arguments)  Sorry for the marketing jargon but an ASA basically means one business “category”.   For example; an automobile dealership may have two ASAs; one for auto sales and one for the repair department.  That doesn’t mean their cost doubles if they want to promote both.  The second and third ASAs are typically offered at a discounted fee.

How Do We Do It?

This is a systematized method we have been successfully using for years.  It is not a “one size fits all” program.  It is customized to capitalize on the uniqueness of each individual business regardless if it is B2B or B2C.   This is written directly to you – the business owner. 

A couple notes before we proceed:  

  • Some elements of these guidelines may not be suitable for all organizations so if a few of the techniques don’t seem right for your industry, they probably aren’t. 
  • “Customer” refers to your customers, clients, patients or members etc.  (Any body that’s paying you for products or services)


FloodGate’s Marketing Method - Phase One:


Segment One: VALUE PROPOSITION – Starter Meeting (may be by phone or in person)

Together we summarize the project(s) / VALUE PROPOSITIONS – what you sell, why customers would prefer your company over competitors

Discovery Questions- Who, What, When, Where do you sell

  • How many customers do you now have?
  • Growth goals
  • Growth capacity
  • Target market defined or undefined?
  • B2B or B2C?
  • Geography and demographics
  • Analyze current marketing and sales process

Determine ASAs (Articulated Sales Arguments)

  • Product, Service or both?

Customer Value Hierarchy – What things are important to your typical prospect when buying what you sell


Decision Making Matrix – Hot Buttons and Situations -  What emotions or feelings might the typical prospect be having before, during and after the sale (anger, fear, confusion, skepticism, etc. towards their situation, the industry, your company, product, and/or service)?

  • Develop marketing content to acknowledge and address possible customer concerns about the industry before prospects brings them up
  • Develop content to show how your company protects them from those issues

Pre-survey Ranking

  • Rank hot buttons based on your experience from customer contact, comments and purchase history


VALUE PROPOSITION “2 Deep” outline – general lists

  • Develop customer survey
    • 8 questions to ask customers, prospects about what would make them favour one supplier versus another
  • Develop competitive survey
    • Will be used to contact competitor posing as prospect.  Gather competitive intelligence
  • Assign list gathering and calling duties
  • Start Building the Hopper System – (your database)
    • or, start capturing customer information if the hopper database doesn’t exist


Segment Two: 3-Deep

3-Deep” Case Outline: Here we use the “2-Deep” ASA Outline as your basis. New we build your detailed case for each individual ASA point. We now benchmark your competition, quantify your current performance, innovate, gather evidence, and prepare your case

  • Evidence List
  1. Articles / Press Stories
  2. Associations
  3. Awards
  4. Books
  5. Charts and Graphs
  6. Client Lists
  7. Comparisons
  8. Compliance Checklists
  9. Earnings Reports
  10. Endorsements
  11. Examples of Savings
  12. Expertise Tests
  13. Facts and Figures
  14. Performance Audits
  15. Photos / Videos
  16. Product Demos
  18. Standards Lists
  19. Statistics
  20. Technical Drawings
  21. Test / Lab Results
  22. Testimonials
  • “3rd Level Deep” information – prospect’s emotional decision making “Why is the prospect feeling the emotions discussed earlier?”  When doing business in your industry what are the biggest problems, frustrations, situations / scenarios a typical prospect has had, has heard about, or is concerned about experiencing? What are the specific scenarios that are causing them to feel these emotions? 
  • Under what circumstances does the typical prospect start to think about buying what you sell?
  • What does a typical prospect NEED TO KNOW that he/she may not be aware of when starting the buying process? Answer as though you were giving advice to a good friend; teach them to become the EXPERT
  • What would a typical prospect need to see/hear to feel like they had enough information to make the best decision (what kind of evidence)? The answer to this question will tell us the A) Evidence you need. B) What the slant of your marketing should be.  C) What your engage headline should be based upon.  D) What your offer should be.  E) What kinds of marketing tools you need

Buying Cycle: How far out does the typical prospect…

  1. Start thinking about the possibility of buying?
  2. Start casually looking around at options?
  3. Start gathering information and comparing options?
  4. Make the decision to buy?
  5. Forks over the cash?

Make a list of evidence needed to support decision making

  • Information Gathering:
    • How much information does the prospect typically have already?
    • Does the prospect typically know where to find good/helpful information?
    • How likely are they to buy without adequate information?
    • Where does the prospect go first when trying to find a company to buy from (i.e.; Internet, yellow pages, etc.)?
    • What 3rd party information sources does the typical prospect use to try to gather information about what you sell?
    • (Example: consumer reports, websites, etc.)       
    • Where SHOULD the typical prospect go to gather information, but isn’t aware that the information source is available?


Segment Three: Customer and Competitive Calls

  • Develop sales scripts
    • 60 second elevator pitch for sales reps, secretary script, sales lead sheet/script
  • Implement and train staff on scripts
  • Mail survey pre-call letter to a random group of customers advising that they may receive a phone survey that takes 3 to 5 minutes. Each member of the team is responsible for calling a portion of each of the 5 types listed below. It is important that the managers and decision makers participate! DO NOT put this responsibility off onto lower-level staff members.
  1. Current Clients
  2. Past Clients
  3. Dissatisfied Clients Who Have Left
  4. Not Clients Yet – Stuck In The Process
  5. Prospects

Here is what we will accomplish with our survey:

  • Confirm your assumptions made in the First Executive Meeting
  • Ask their opinion about potential innovations you’re considering
  • Ask them about individual ASA Points, as well as your entire business
  • Discover needs, problems, desires – their REAL Value Hierarchy
  • Confirm your assumptions about the decision making process
  • Find out what makes them “tick”… or “ticks them off”
  • Ask in what format they’ll accept marketing messages from you
  • Find out what problems or frustrations they’d like to see eliminated in the industry
  • Ask for referrals
  • Make an offer to the Customer Database i.e.; Unadvertised special – invite a friend and you both get  “x” more
  • Make customer survey calls - Record and burn to CD for your listening pleasure – transcribe if needed, database the results, compare customer hot buttons with business owner’s predictions
  • Write customer testimonials and get their approvals
  • Do competitive intelligence - Record and burn to CD for your listening pleasure – transcribe if needed, evaluate competitor strengths/ weaknesses
  • Evaluate results of database mailing


Segment Four: Wrap-Up Meeting

  • Check on results of script implementation, get feedback and adjust if necessary
  • Re-rank hot buttons if needed (according to customer survey)
  • Prepare VALUE PROPOSITION summary
  • Review file - VALUE PROPOSITION summary 
  • Agree on direction of VALUE PROPOSITION strategy and tactical implementation 
    • Lead generation, sales tools, hopper pieces, etc.


FloodGate’s Marketing Method - Phase Two:



We’ll fill in details of VALUE PROPOSITION

  • Check on results of script implementation
  • Offer to the hopper system database #2 – include referral request if appropriate
  • Complete the VALUE PROPOSITION packet
  • Write Headlines For Ads, Brochures, Emails, etc.  – 30 or more –
    • We own a headline data bank containing hundreds of successful pre-written headlines for virtually every industry.  They can be customized for your business. 
    • Headlines will cover each of the HOT BUTTONS / ACTIVATORS from the Customer Value Hierarchy, as well as the general ASA

Headlines are available in these major categories

  • Some are better suited to B2B and others to B2C


  1. News
  2. Inflammatory
  3. How To
  4. Questions
  5. Who/Which/What/Why
  6. Testimonials
  7. Guarantee
  8. Comparisons
  9. The Bold Claim
  10. Problem/Solution
  11. Numbers
  12. The Offer





How To
The Bold Claim
The Offer




Create Offers with “Handles” (Risk Lowering Strategies)

  • We’ll create an offer that your prospects can’t refuse.  An offer that makes the prospect TAKE ACTION. This will solidify the emotion they are feeling from your marketing and cement it into their brains 

Possible Risk Lowering Strategies:

  • Free Samples
  • Free Offers
  • Free Trials
  • Free Report
  • Free Seminar Admission
  • Guarantees
  • Puppy-Dog Close
  • Pay If/ When You Like It
  • Bonuses With Purchase
  • Keep Extras Even If You Cancel

Your offer allows you to:

  • avoid the “call us and talk to a salesperson” scenario
  • get immediate response from your advertising efforts
  • make tracking your results clear and precise
  • collect contact info for more potential prospects
  • The use of “handles” when creating names and titles for your offers creates a tangible name for an intangible idea.
    • World’s Easiest Custom Stamp Order Form
    • Seminar Preview Pack
    • Lost Revenue Recovery Worksheet
    • XYZ Information Kit
    • Quick Click Order Form
    • Upscale Pool Industry Report

We’ll need to decide on the most appropriate format of your offer

  • Audio/ Data CD
  • DVD
  • Book
  • Brochure
  • Website
  • Comparison Charts
  • Reports
  • Worksheets

Start On Master Marketing Brief

  • Inserting evidence proving you are the obvious choice
    • This is our “Go To Document” that contains all scripts, selling slants, headlines and everything listed above and below


  • Have you ever asked for testimonials?
  • Even evangelic customers clam up when it comes to writing testimonials – they simply don’t know how to begin
  • We will have brief discussions with happy customers
  • We will record the conversation for accuracy
  • We will write a testimonial based on the conversation
  • We present it to them and get their approval to use it
  • Each testimonial will be focused on one major hot button

Identify Appropriate Media

  • We begin by determining whether the target market is defined or non defined

Here’s the difference between defined and non-defined:

  • You can pinpoint and obtain a comprehensive list of your target market
  • You can obtain this list and cost-effectively market directly to them all on an ongoing basis, usually via mail, email, and fax (ala hopper system)
  • Lead generation through media for a defined target market is generally not needed because you’ve already got the entire list of prospects on hand - You treat the entire target market like hot prospects
  • An undefined market requires media advertisement

Examples of a defined market:

  • You sell a water treatment device to dentists. You can pinpoint and obtain a list of dentists and market directly to them
  • You sell pool tables to amusement operators. There are only a few thousand in the country. You can pinpoint and obtain this list
  • You provide IT professionals to companies with over 1,000 employees. You can pinpoint these companies and obtain a list

Examples of an undefined market:

  • You sell insurance to high risk drivers in a major metro area. Over 1.3 million drivers fit your profile...list is unavailable or too big to manage
  • You sell accounting services to businesses with revenues of half a million to 50 million... list is too big to manage
  • You sell computer training to people looking to make a career change. Cannot pinpoint this list of people. Must advertise.

Possible Media

  • Not all are suitable for every industry and some work better than others depending on your objectives and budget
    • Newspaper – Local Daily   
    • Newspaper – Specialized  
    • Newspaper – Free Distribution      
    • Radio 
    • Television – Broadcast       
    • Television – Local Cable    
    • Classified Ads          
    • Magazines    
    • Trade Journals         
    • Seminars and Workshops
    • Telemarketing
    • Internet – Banner Ads
    • Internet – Search Engines
    • Email
    • Signs – Trucks, Movie Screens, etc.
    • Billboards
    • Cross Promotions
    • Flyers, Door Hangers
    • Public Relations
    • Trade Shows
    • Fax Broadcasting
    • Mail – Letters
    • Mail – Postcards
    • Mail – Piggyback
    • Mail - Card Decks
    • Yellow Pages

Press Releases

  • If you have new products or services to offer create a press release
  • There are free press release services that post press releases online
  • Local papers, magazines or radio may pick them up and run a story depending on the content and human interest potential

Segment Two: Write Lead Generation Pieces

  • Check on results of script implementation and database mailing
  • Write lead generation pieces – ads, email blasts, faxes, etc.

Create Hopper System Pieces – usually email or mail

  • To nurture your prospects along the “Educational Spectrum” until they’re ready to take action
  • Headlines and offers will be powerful ones
  • We’ll help you create 2 to 5 different offers that rotate in your hopper system
  • Individual Hopper System pieces will focus on a single ASA point
  • Relatively important ASA Points should carry most of the weight in your Hopper System
  • Review entire packet – VALUE PROPOSITION packet, ads, master letter, competitive survey overview
  • Get bids for sales tools (printing, websites, CD’s, etc)
  • Schedule your Hopper System out for the next six months
    • This will allow us to see the consistency and flow of the pieces
    • Reduces stress and panic of last minute creative
    • Accommodates planning for seasonal or event based focus

Segment Three: Review Implementation

  • Check on results of script implementation and database mailing
  • Submit marketing to focus group if applicable
  • Train staff on implementation
  • Implement new ads, etc

Segment Four: Start Developing Sales Tools

  • Track results of new ads 
  • Start testing ads on a small scale – headlines, offers, types of media, etc…  
  • Send another offer to the hopper system database 
  • What tools to use?  See VALUE PROPOSITION packet
  • Finalize sales tools
  • Branch into organization sub-categories if appropriate

FloodGate’s Marketing Method - Phase Three:

Segment One and Two: Develop Sales Tools

  • Continue training staff on implementation
  • Use Master Letter to Develop tools, Scripts, CD’s , Websites, etc

Segment Three and Four: Systematize

  • Develop all Marketing pieces and Sales Tools
    • Faxes, emails, etc


FloodGate’s Marketing Method - Phase Four:

Keep going

Monitor results

  • Establish “controls”

Make improvements

Train staff 

Establish Joint Ventures 

  • Increase profits by tapping into other businesses’ customer base—and vice-versa
  • What kind of companies, businesses or industries are kindred to yours but not competitive?
  • What other businesses do your customers patronize in connection with your business?
  • What other “hand-in-hand” products or services do they purchase that you don’t’ sell?

Joint Venture Examples (These may not be suitable for all businesses)


  • Another business sells your product to their existing customer base; you supply the inventory but don’t charge them until the product is sold. Risk free to both parties; good exposure for you


  • Have a business give a sample of your product or service away to their customer base as a way to introduce you. A good “value added” proposition for them. Capture client list if at all possible for follow ups


  • Business lends their name and credibility to their customer base on your behalf. First, they detail the benefits of your products/services, then they make a specific offer of how their customers can do business with you

Cross Promotions

  • Geared toward retail outlets: Coupons or flyers for Company A are left in Company B’s place of business. Low-pressure introduction to your company. Very inexpensive; good for geographically close companies.

Co-op / Shared Expenses

  •  Many companies have access to co-op funds. Often, a manufacturer will reimburse for advertising expenses
  • Share marketing expenses with another non-competitive company that’s trying to reach the same target market.

Per Inquiry Advertising

  • Media places your ad on a contingency basis; they get paid only when the ad produces. Lowers front-end risk for advertiser, but could lead to higher total payments if ad works well. Media usually gets first monies back. Hard to find

Barter or Trades

  • Two Party: Trade product for product or service for service.
  • Three Party: Act as a liaison for one party. Trade your product to Company B, then turn around and trade Company B’s product to Company C for their product

Piggy Back Advertising

  • Your marketing piece goes along with another company’s regular mail piece. Example: you get an offer for product x in your credit card statement

Buy or Sell Leads

  • You drive in more leads than you can handle (or want) and hand them off to competitors for a fixed fee or a contingency

Why Create A Pro Active Referral System?

  • Referrals are one of the greatest sources of new business for any company
  • Your happy customers have plenty of friends that may be able to use your products or services
  • If they speak to friends and colleagues they would be sold before they even contact you
  • All we need to do is give them a reason to talk about you
  •  Nobody else does this well

How To Create A Pro Active Referral System

  • Decide on a premium that’s of high perceived value (but relatively low cost) that you can send to your customers
    • The premium should be either what you sell (i.e., free stuff or gift certificate), or related to what you sell (i.e., free reports, audios, videos—“in other words” - marketing tools) that can educate and benefit your customers and/or prospects
  • Create a letter/ email that tells your customers that you’re sending them this free gift as a token of your appreciation for being your customer
    • Take this time to reinforce all of your most important ASA points; let them know that you’ve innovated your business specifically to (help them, make their life easier, eliminate frustrations, etc.)
    • Tell them that because of the tremendous value that you offer to the marketplace, you would be willing to send the same free gift (or different gift, as appropriate) along to any of their (friends, associates) who might benefit from (ASA Points) as well
  • Create a form that your customers can use to fill out and send back to you by mail, email or on your web site.
    • When the referrals come in, send the package with the free (premium) to the referral along with a letter identifying their friend/associate as the one who was kind enough to think of them

FloodGate’s Marketing Method - Phase Five:


Evaluate The 5 C’S OF CREDIBILITY in your company:

  • C-1. Customer Values
  • C-2. Character
  • C-3. Competence
  • C-4. Communications
  • C-5. Consistency

C-1. Customer Values

Are your products, services, policies, communications and caliber of people in alignment with what your customers perceive to be a cut above the industry standard?  The only values that matter are customer values.  “Give the people what they want.”

C-2. Character

What is the underlying character of your organization? Just like humans, companies take on a character as perceived by their customers.  This perception is derived from personal experiences, media reports, referrals, telephone manner, and even subtle clues from simple things like colour schemes or font types.

C-3. Competence

Marketing, when done properly, can go a long way to induce a feeling of confidence in your company.  Prospects need indicators that you are the obvious choice to do business with regardless of price.  Your marketing needs to offer proof of your ability to deliver what they value before they even consider this in the hierarchy of their decision making process.

C-4. Communications

Regular, consistent communication with prospects and customers is vital to attract more, loyal, trusting, dedicated customers who keep you top of mind and feel appreciated for doing business with you.  It has to be relevant, insightful information delivered in the right doses and in the right intervals.

C-5. Consistency

Wrapping up the first 4 C’s is a consistent pattern of attributes displayed at every level and in every department of the organization.  Every piece has to fit seamlessly so that prospects and customers perceive the organization to have the characteristics that induces them to intuitively choose your company to partner with.

For more information or to initiate a discussion about engaging with FloodGate Marketing please connect with us by phone or email;


(905) 689-0840