Marketing Is Made Up of Many Many Things
by Alfred Lautenslager

I was talking to a fellow business owner the other day and he told me of a particular marketing idea that really worked. His goal was to generate leads and appointments. He gave away something for free and hand delivered the free item (an information based booklet), to the requesting client or prospect; an instant appointment. He told me about some other marketing ideas that he was trying. I asked about their success. He said to me some of them work some of the time and others don't work at all.

This is a classic example of your marketing mix being made up of many many things. When trying to appeal to many business types of all shapes and sizes, with many functions, departments, managers and not to mention personalities involved, different things will appeal and attract to different people at different times.

It is often mentioned that for direct mail a 1% return can be expected. Usually, unless you are talking big numbers, a business cant just survive on that 1%. There has to be many "1%'s" that add up to make a business successful.

That's why in any marketing plan, there is a whole section devoted to "marketing strategies". Direct mail might be one strategy employed. Other strategies might be networking, PR, advertising, promotion in addition to all the underlying details and sub-strategies of each. Creating the right mix of these strategies is always the challenge of business.

You also hear talk of testing your marketing. Testing can be done as each strategy is employed. Sometimes we don't know if a particular marketing strategy will pull or not. Sometimes we initiate it and are flattered by the positive results. "This one really worked, this time." We have to find several of those that "Really work" to add up to a major marketing contribution.

When planning your marketing start with the brainstorming activity that will provide you the many many things that marketing is made up of. Then prioritize the ones that make sense for your business and customer base and start implementing. At the end of the plan year, take a look at how many things made up your marketing, re-do the ones that worked and find new ones to add to the mix. These many many things will come and go and always need refreshed. Don't rely on just one or a few and have fun while doing it. Marketing can be fun.

One way to approach a "many many things" strategy is to employ what I call a "Keep In Touch" Marketing program. A "Keep in Touch Program" consistently keeps your name, logo and company at the top of your customer/prospects mind. Much market research has been done that says it takes 6-8 points of contact for someone to act upon an offer, solicitation or solution. Rather than a short blast with a fire hose to get your point across, keep in touch marketing is a constant flow of water drops to keep your message fresh. A lot of little things will keep you at your customer's top of mind awareness. This "Keep in Touch" program can consist of many actions such as and initiatives such as letters, postcards, newsletters, article reprints, media clippings, etc. The key is that it is a consistent program and it usually is made up of many many things. Start making your list today of what works and what doesn't and see how such a program of many many things could take shape for you.

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