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Marketing Tips & Tricks

Q: What can I do to make my message more convincing?

A: First, address the things that people are the most interested in:1

  1. Themselves
  2. How your offering benefits them
  3. The importance of those benefits
  4. Not being ripped off
  5. Why they should buy right now

Or, in other words, readers don't give a darn what you think about anything, least of all your product. They only want to know:

  • What's in it for me?
  • Why should I believe you?
  • Why should I buy from you?

To help your potential customers answer these questions, you need to develop your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), then use it in every communication sent out about your company or product.

Q: How can I find out more about how to develop my USP?

A: The following articles are a good place to start, and the book gives a great in-depth discussion.

Q: How long should I repeat my message, ad, or theme?

A: Until you and those close to your company are sick of it. Generally for at least a couple of years.

Repetition is of invaluable aid to you in many instances:2

  • Repeat your offer in each marketing message.
  • Repeat your marketing to your prospects.
  • Repeat your sales training to your salespeople.
  • Repeat your marketing goals to your employees.
  • Repeat you business goals to yourself.

Q: What should I budget for marketing?

A: That depends on what your goals are. If you are starting a new company, need a large new web site, or planning to grow, your budget should be higher as a percent of sales than a company that just needs to maintain its current growth pattern. One rule of thumb is to allocate 10% of your annual budget toward marketing.3

The average U.S. business invests only 3% of its total sales in marketing. Marketing guru Jay Levinson states that many of his clients who invested 10% of their projected gross sales saw their sales rise to the point where the 10% soon became only 2% or less.

The average U.S. business invests only 3% of its total sales in marketing. According to marketing guru Jay Levinson, marketing experts agree that the minimum investment in marketing should be 5%, but that optimally the minimum should be 10 to 15%. Jay states that many of his clients who invested 10% of their projected gross sales saw their sales rise to the point where the 10% soon became only 2% or less.4

Research has found a direct correlation between new product trial rates and 1) higher advertising spending, 2) higher levels of feature, display and distribution, and 3) lower average price. The challenge with this strategy is to balance the investment relative to the longer-term return.5

Q: What marketing method offers me the widest exposure for the least cost?

A: Publicity — or PR — generally allows you to reach the most people with the most information at the least cost.

Publicity also lets you tell your story in greater depth and provides a high level of credibility.6

Q: If publicity is so great, then why not rely solely on publicity?

A: The best marketing plans call for integrating several tactics. While publicity works great for getting the word out about what you have to offer, you will want to engage your prospects with materials such as a web site, catalog and brochure to provide the information they need to make a purchase decision. See the services section for more information about the key pieces to a marketing communications plan.

Second, advertising and publicity go hand-in-hand. Publicity is highly credible but gives you no control. Advertising has less credibility but gives you significant control. Successful marketers use both together to achieve the optimal impact.7

Click on any of the titles below to shop for these books at Amazon.com.

1Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing Excellence: The 50 Golden Rules for Small-Business Success (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993), 63

2Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing Attack: New Strategies, Tactics & Weapons for Winning Big Profits from Your Small Business (Houghton Mifflin Company 1989), 44

3Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Jill Lublin, Guerrilla Publicity: Hundreds of Sure-Fire Tactics to Get Maximum Sales for Minimum Dollars (Adams Media Corporation 2002), 34

4Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing Attack: New Strategies, Tactics & Weapons for Winning Big Profits from Your Small Business (Houghton Mifflin Company 1989), 96

5Doug Hall, Jump Start Your Marketing Brain: Scientific Advice and Practical Ideas (Brain Brew Books, 2004), 36

6Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Jill Lublin, Guerrilla Publicity: Hundreds of Sure-Fire Tactics to Get Maximum Sales for Minimum Dollars (Adams Media Corporation 2002), xiv

7Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing: Secrets for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business (Houghton Mifflin Company 1998), 302

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