As A Business Owner You Need to Know Marketing And Sales Are NOT the Same They’re Opposite !!!

Wednesday, September 16th 2009

Those two words are used together so often that you may think they’re synonymous. They’re not. The act of sales is when you are calling on prospects to try to get them to deal with you. Marketing is when you get them to call you!

That’s the fundamental difference.

Below is my abbreviated presentation made to the FCC on September 9th.  What I taught at that breakfast meeting were the fundamentals that business owners need to know in order to succeed in marketing.  Most of the examples I gave deal with print ads because they are commonly understood by everyone, however the principles apply to radio, TV and web marketing too.  Tactics may differ but the principles always apply.

Bad Marketing Costs The Same As Good Marketing

Your radio air time or newspaper ad space costs the same regardless if your ad pulls or not, so you might as well do the work to make it work for you.  Let’s say you own a moving company and you advertise in the Yellow Pages.  You spend $3,000 a month on the ad that generates 70 calls a month. 

Is that good?

Let’s say I rewrite your ad using the principles I outline below and now instead of generating 70 calls a month, the ad gets an average of 955 calls a month and the average quality of caller is better.  Are you excited?

You’re still spending the exact same $3,000 a month but you’re just getting more results.

That’s marketing leverage.  It should leverage your existing effort, time, and money to get you extraordinary results instead of average or poor results and make a lot more money for you.  Let’s face it - business is more fun when you’re winning!

It should distinguish your business so prospects choose you immediately.  Now you can quit competing on price.  You drive in more leads or traffic, increase advertising response by 2, 4 or even 10 times plus you’ll convert a higher percentage of the leads into sales.  Your salespeople will produce more and you’ll be less dependent on “superstars”

When you systemize your internal and external marketing you’ll increase the average sale amount, get more repeat business, increase referral business and decrease marketing costs.  You’ll have total control over the growth of your business.  I call it a “profit faucet” – you turn it up when you need more business and turn it down when you are getting more than you can handle.

What Marketing Should Do:

The first thing it needs to do is to capture the attention of your target audience.  Once it has done so, it should give them hope that reading or listening to the ad will give them enough information to facilitate their making the best decision possible when buying whatever you sell.  Then finally it should give them a specific, low-risk, easy-to-take action that will further facilitate their ability to make a good decision.

The ad should make the prospect feel like they’d have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone else but you… regardless of price.

Does your marketing do this? Does your competitor’s?  I suspect neither yours, nor your competitor’s does this well.  That’s the good news – with a bit of effort you can blow your competitors away.

In reality almost all advertising does a poor job of:

  • Getting qualified prospects to pay attention
  • Getting those who do pay attention to remain interested
  • Building any kind of a case as to why anyone would want to take action
  • Giving a prospect any kind of option other than “buy it now”
  • Making as much money as the advertiser should be making

It is mainly because of platitudes in marketing.  Platitudes are trite or banal remarks stated as if they were something new or important.  Try these for example – Do they compel you to buy?

  • We Go The Extra Mile For Our Customers
  • Largest Selection
  • Superior Service
  • In Business Since 1947 BC
  • Our Business is Built On Service
  • Personalized Professional Service
  • Experience is the Difference
  • No Job Too Big, No Job Too Small
  • We Fix It Right The First Time
  • You Deserve A Choice
  • New Patients Welcome
  • Independently Owned and Operated

Now that you know what doesn’t work, let’s talk about what does – The Marketing Equation.

This marketing equation never changes.  It’s based on unchanging true principles. It can be systematized and used the same way for any kind of company in any kind of industry

Interrupt +Engage +Educate +Offer = Marketing Success

The interruption is the headline (the ad for the ad).  The engage is a sub headline or statement that will cause the reader to believe this may be worth reading further.  The educate gives a few bits of knowledge about the product, service or what to watch for when buying products or services like the ones you offer.  Finally the offer is a specific, risk-free way to try your products or services or learn more about them.  (I don’t mean “Call this number to learn more”)

How do you know what to say in your ads?  Survey your customers or clients what is important to them.

“If You Want To Know Why John Smith Buys What John Smith Buys, You’ve Got To See The World Through John Smith’s Eyes.”

The “hot-buttons” must be based on something that gives John Smith an “emotional charge”.  Identify what problems, frustrations, annoyances, confusion, hidden troubles people have when buying what you sell.  Come up with specific, relatable scenarios that illustrate these frustrations in your ads.

Many advertisers and ad agencies focus all of their attention on interrupting (getting attention).  They use techniques like humor, sex appeal, celebrities or unusual pictures or sounds to attract attention.  Then they rely on repetition to condition prospects to recognize their name brand.  After a while, the interupt stops working and prospects remain numb to their message. This is why they have to have new campaigns all the time

After prolonged exposure, people start to hate advertising that interrupts them but doesn’t engage.

KEY: Activators must tap into emotions.  These are true HOT Buttons.

Use only headlines based on HOT BUTTONS to interrupt the prospect.  They can be used in conjunction with pictures and sounds.  When hot button-based scenarios are received by the brain a proper emotional response is triggered.  Then the prospect immediately searches for additional clarifying information and is ready to be ENGAGED.  Once engaged all you do is educate and offer a trial or specific educational information.

One key to remember in the education process is this – if your prospect buys what you sell fairly often in life (TV, appliances, cars) then teach them how to buy from you.  If they buy it infrequently – (piano’s, homes, insurance) then teach them how to buy what you sell.