When the Marketing Response is Disappointing
Although this seems to be a basic type of marketing, it actually falls into an advanced form called direct marketing. Yes, all the junk mail and spam you receive and all the infomercials and full-page pitches in magazines and newspapers you see are actually advanced forms of marketing. They use varying degrees of marketing savvy, mathematical analysis, writing technique, and design innovation to be effective. Your success depends on the following:
- Picking the right target audience.
- Identifying the specific members of the audience to contact.
- Finding some hook or offer that will be compelling to them.
- Creating materials that adequately present the offer and overcome objections.
- Dealing in larger numbers.
- You may not be able to identify people who would be the perfect fit.
- Those who would be a good fit might have no need for what you're selling at the moment.
- They might have a need, but your pitch might not provide an offer that pushes them into action.
- There may be something off-putting about your marketing.
- They might not even look at what you sent, assuming it to be "junk" or "spam." You could be targeting the wrong person at the prospect company.
- You might do inadequate follow-up to close any business.
Direct marketing is generally judged in terms of the percentage of desired responses that you are trying to get. You've probably heard of the "two percent" rule of thumb. Toss that out the window. There is no single rules of thumb. Some campaigns would be doing fabulously well to get two percent of the recipients to respond. For others that are more narrowly targeted, that amount might be failure. That is because direct marketers analyze how much profit the client is likely to bring in over time and the cost of reaching each one. If the total profit from the business is larger than the total cost of the campaign, you're making money. If it's lower, you're losing money. Then it's an issue of whether you're making enough money for the expenses and time you're putting into the project.
To even begin judging how your campaign went, you must ask a number of questions:
- Who was your target audience?
- How did you select the companies?
- Who did you target within the companies?
- How much research did you do on these companies?
- How many pitches did you send?
- How many companies did you contact?
- How many of these companies gave you at least one assignment before you followed up?
- After the follow up, how many had given you at least one assignment?
Until you start to understand the dynamics of direct marketing and look at your results in context, you may be doing better than you think.