Is Target Marketing Really a Necessity?

I have heard companies complain about the cost of target marketing and the question has come up more than once as to whether it is really necessary.  Those holding the checkbooks would most likely say the answer is dependent on the cost; but that is a bad way to decide how to market.  Sure everyone has a budget, but if you are looking at your budget strictly from cost you are only considering the front end, and you are most likely losing money, even if you don’t know it.

Let’s break this down in a simple way; let’s say your product or service is for homeowners, and that it does not apply to those that do not own a home.  You can do an email campaign, or a direct mail campaign, or any other type of direct marketing fairly inexpensively if you do not target, so in many business owners minds, this is cheaper.  But I am here to tell you, it’s not cheaper; sure you may have made a profit meaning you brought in more than you spent, but I say you lost money.  Here’s why; according to the U.S. Census 65% of the adult population in the U.S. own a home, and that’s your customer right?  The problem is by not targeting you are adverting not just to those that own homes but to the 35% that do not own homes as well.  What does that mean?  It that no matter what you’re sales end up being, whatever you spent, 35% of it was wasted.

Had you target marketed your front end cost would have been higher, however instead of reaching only a portion of your market you would have reached one hundred percent of your market, meaning your sales would most likely increase and your back end profit would outweigh your front end sales.   Now there are products that do not need target marketing because they apply to the population in general, but that is exception rather than the rule.  Most products or services have a specific target or targets which will naturally increase the level of sales.  Don’t take my word for it; research target marketing and see what you find.

Are Digital Marketers Responsible For Results?

There seems to be a new culture of expectation among advertisers who utilize digital marketing as a medium; and for the record this is the biggest advertising medium there is.  Advertisers who do not get the click, views, whatever the case may be,  are coming back to the marketing company and holding them responsible.  Since when did the marketing company become responsible for sales?  In the past they were not; and even today in traditional marketing they are not held to this standard.  If you were to purchase prime time space on one of the big networks during prime television you would not hold NBC, CBS, or ABC responsible if you did not get the sales that you wanted.  Why would you?  All they did was air your commercial, that’s what their responsibility is.  If you place a quarter or half page ad in People magazine you do not hold People Magazine responsible for the number of sales that you get off of that ad, their job was to deliver a certain amount of magazines with your ad in it, nothing more. So why are digital marketers held to a different standard than traditional marketers? Continue reading

Shut up and listen

There are two kinds of people in the world, there are those that talk a lot and listen a little, and there are those that listen a lot and talk a little.  My grandmother used to say that God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason; that you should listen twice as much as you talk.  I believe this applies to business in every aspect of every business.  But it is especially important in sales.  I have experienced so many sales people who start the conversation out talking, and you all know the type, fast talking, smooth, trying to close the deal.  For me a huge turn off.   I have said it time and again; a good salesperson is one that actually listens to what the customer is saying.

Just shut up and listen. In sales if you start the conversation talking and giving information to the customer or prospect it is possible to give too much information or to give unnecessary information.  Let the customer talk, let them tell you what they want, what their expectations are, and then you can address those issues and advise them what you can do for them.  Give them solutions that are directly correlated to what they want.  Nobody likes an obvious sales pitch, and when you start out spewing what you can do for the customer and how great your products or services are, it just sounds like a cheap sales pitch and that you are just trying to make a sale.  However, when you let the customer do the talking and you listen to what they are saying, and understand their needs and wants and then respond appropriately giving them solutions to those needs and wants you now come across as the person with the solution because you are responding directly to what they have said.

As a salesperson you are already starting out at a disadvantage because most people distrust you and already have their guard up and are dubious about whatever you have to say.  But by encouraging them to talk, getting them to tell you what they want, why they want it, you are now responding to their needs and by responding to those needs you are now transformed from a salesperson to a solution provider.  Create an atmosphere that is forged in trust and you will create a customer for life.