Are Today’s Customers Harder to Reach?

Are Today’s Customers Harder to Reach?

The competition today is humongous!

In our history as a nation, for example in the 1800s, all selling was face-to-face. Store owners studied customer purchases to determine their likes and not so likes of goods and services. Sounds simple, because it was, then.

Now fast forward to the present. It is difficult to get a grasp on why and what a potential customer would buy. There is a loss of useful, outmoded communication channels seceded by the internet and all things technology.

Further, the competition today is humongous. Customers shopping at stores is low, B2B company industry shows are trying to make a comeback, trade publications are disappearing or bought out, and a small business is erratic with selling goods or closed for good.

The timing is right getting back to the basics.

When I put my thoughts together for this post, I realized how much has changed since the pandemic reached our shores in the first quarter of 2020. Companies, big and small, had a very difficult time on how to communicate with prospects and customers. Try this, do that, or even maybe this will work.

Hopefully, the time is right for a change. The pandemic may wind down as we approach the summer of 2021. Fresh cases of Covid-19 are at their low and in single digits of deaths in Illinois. People vaccinated twice are slightly over 50%.

Selling to people in the 1800s.

The biggest takeaway from the 19th Century was face-to-face selling. In the B2B industry, a person may sell a high-cost product or service. The salesperson usually receives a lot of objections. A good salesperson studies his customers and their company. He must know how to react to the objections.

With negotiations, both people must know as much as possible about each other. Each person wants to walk away as a winner.

So, what is different today? We have the technology to meet face-to-face. For example, any good salesperson would say, “I need to set the table on why my product or service is better.” A small ticket price salesperson must also set a table to get a sale. It is not what you know or who you know, it is what you know about the person you are selling to. What does he know about you?

Look at what other companies are doing.

To become a useful tool, you must transform data into information that can help drive strategic direct marketing and selling programs, financial decisions, and product development. To minimize manual data collection and conserve resources, a company should focus on metrics for readily available data.

In today’s direct and digital marketing, data will capture information needed to drive decisions. The idea of having a good marketing automation tool to capture more data at a reasonable price is a worthwhile investment. The Pareto Principal comes into play when you collect data. Twenty percent of your customers usually provide eighty percent of your revenue. Buy a CRM or database and build one today.

Adding value-oriented work habits.

When you summarize feedback in charts, graphs, or simple to understand language, you’ll always know the score. You know if you’re winning or losing–and to what degree. 

Go get’em slugger!

Useful methods of setting a table for a sale.

  1. Printed Materials. If you have not printed marketing materials in sometime, there are many knowledgeable printers to help you with paper ideas, paper types, color, black and white, sizes, postal requirement and so forth. Look up a direct mail company who process mail for delivery is a logical choice.
  2. Contact List. Every business needs a customer and prospect list. The average list may lose 20% of contacts each year. You can count on over 20% based on the present pandemic. Before you do any mailing, search your current customers from accounting. Compare each list and update your mailing customer list. That is just a start. See #5.
  3. Direct Marketing Mail. Whether a large or small business direct mail can deliver. For example, get creative with printed materials. Get creative with the envelope or other size package, so when it reaches the person’s hand and eyes, they have creative printed material, such as a call-to-action.
  4. Communication Channels. Besides mail you should add additional communication channels such as email, landing pages, your website, telephone, zoom, video such as You Tube and other digital marketing techniques. Your choices are many, but it all depends on what your contacts prefer.
  5. Data Management. Personalization assumes that you know something about the people to whom you are mailing, emailing, or sending to a landing page and so on. It is an effective way to keep customers spending their money on your products and services.

Summary

Yes, there are more. However, without having a good contact list, your results are not always what they could be. The key point in any of the communication channels is personalization. You need to collect customer data, such as what channel (email, mail, etc) is the best revenue channel.

A database, such as a CRM, will disclose more about your customers and prospects. Think about using segments in your CRM. Start simple. For example, what buyers are in the top 20% of revenue. They may have different copy than the other 80%.

Here is a collection of articles and posts for each of the five tactical tools from the list above.

mdoc@direct2customers.com

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning by reading and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

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Why do I Share Content?

Why do I Share Content?

Why Not?

In larger companies, such as ACE Hardware or State Farm Insurance, you will most likely find a human resources title, such as marketing manager, to accomplish the marketing planning goals set by upper management.

In small business, maybe 2, 15, 50 or 500 employees or an owner of one, another person anointed with organization leadership, is the marketing manager. This person knows his customers at a higher level than anyone with the title of marketing manager in big business. HE or SHE knows a happy customer is a great customer. The more they know about their customers is critical for success.

We all need feedback.

Owning a small business, I always needed to receive feedback from my marketing tips. Such as in my blog, website, newsletters, email, or discussions with customers and prospects. I have three principles of marketing/sales that always work.

  1. Learn by reading.
  2. Learn by doing.
  3. Find a solution for a problem.

The Marketing Doc name was a label from an eye doctor while I was gathering information from him to build a marketing and advertising program for his small practice, in 1994. “I can’t treat a patient until I find the problem. Your questions helped me think about the future of my practice. You must be a Marketing Doctor.”

In the beginning of my business in 1984, I created a series of questions and started building my first small business manual marketing workbook, CustomMark. These were exploring questions to learn more about prospects looking for marketing and selling help. I changed the name and added new content two other times since the early nineties, but the latest, Custom-Made Marketing, is the sixth edition.

The answers to questions tell me a story of their usage of marketing, advertising, and sales. I look at marketing as everything you do to get more customers strategically. For example, getting a database or CRM to build a customer-centric strategy. Segment your customers and prospects, develop customer profiles, and consider training your employees who sell using tactics of solution selling.

Learn by reading, learn by doing, and learn how to become a solution provider for your prospect and customers.

I see smaller traffic to my new blog, on Direct2customers.com, Blog-MarketingDoc. I had over 10.000 readers on marketingdoc.net blog, but still trying to surpass it on this blog. So, I’ll share two blog posts on October 2020. Just click on the Two Blog Posts button under this content.

I hope you find them interesting and meaningful to your business. If not, please let me know. If you have a question or an idea to discuss, you can reach me via email, Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800.251. 3608.

When you join our marketing community, you’ll have a variety of content to read, plus it is free to join.

“I always write content that helps people work better and reach their goals.”

 MarketingDoc

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 J. Mike Deuerling
Why do I Share Content?

How Every Direct Marketing Strategy Will Perform in Your Business…

Here's 4 reasons.

Out in the country, nestled between farms, silos and other tall structures, the wind can change direction in a moment’s notice.

Change. Not the kind in your pocket or purse. More like the movement and direction of the wind. Plus, even in your audience and customer contact list.

How do you plan for a change? You have a plan?

You can pick up a book pertaining to your situation. So, if that is your choice, you decided on learning by reading. Depending on the answers you are searching for, that can be a smidgeon of books or thousands of books deemed for your situation.

You might try a search on your browser of choice. If you are lucky and found some interesting reading, you still need to determine if it is right for you. I did not say this would be easy.

 

All good things come in 4's

Check out additional information on proofing by clicking here for a copy of Direct Marketing Success newsletter, Vol 18, No.34, “Four Simple Steps to Sharpen Your Proofing Skills and Keep Your Good Reputation Intact.” In addition, you will find 3 more articles, “Ready to Get Serious About Email,” “The Right Time for Business Growth Starts Today,” and “What’s New in Direct Mail?”

1. Change inherently happens to a person who plans for change.

For example, people who work in marketing, advertising, or sales comes to mind. Yes, they understand change can happen at a moment’s notice. I was consulting with a firm, which used company employees to proof marketing and sales materials. An employee in accounting found a mistake but did not turn her copy sheet in on time. Unfortunately, they sent it to a print-shop. I recommended to my contact to call the printer and ask for a proof sheet prior to printing.

2. The best copywriting can capture more sales and customers.

These direct marketing professionals have a very strong motivation gene in their DNA to use specific words go after the consumer tooth and nail to make a purchase. It is the powerful copy and presentation of offers no one can refuse.

Each direct marketing copywriter needs a design that aligns with their copy and pulls the reader into direct and digital marketing copy. All direct marketing and mail specialists know the frequency of messages sent on a schedule is incredibly read. They also know, not every direct marketing method will suit every business.

Every contact in your list needs a variation in parts of the copy to get attention. When it happens, it is like finding a pot of gold. I base some variations in customer segments and their profiles in a database. Especially true if you can do it below budget. Check out my post, “The Art of Copywriting.”

3. Learn by reading, learn by doing.

Seek to understand your unique audience and customer base. Personalization of your audience and customers used with multi-channel or digital marketing may be a double whammy and produce a significant increase in responses. However, do not forget the intricacies of personalization. Today’s direct marketing must be beneficial to your customers. Memorable messages to your audience with your marketing goals in sight is to learn more about them and to please them.

Read any marketing journal or the many advertising service providers’ daily emails you will find across the board, from small business to the largest companies. Marketing copywriters appear to lack understanding when, how, and why using personalization. Or some writers do not want to know. Memorable messages to your audience with your marketing goals in sight is to learn more about them and to please them.

In today’s data driven marketing era, it is important to capture customer information to drive business and future marketing decisions. When you use personalization wisely and appropriately, it is a powerful direct marketing mail tool that attracts attention, increases readership, and invariably boosts the chances for a response.

For additional information on data and personalization, click here for a copy of Direct Marketing Success newsletter, Vol 17, No.32. And on the front page read, “How to Turn your Customer List into A Dream List.” In addition, you will find 3 additional articles of reading and doing.

  • How to Motivate Your Customers into Action,
  • Quantity vs. Quality and,
  • One Word When Not Used Correctly

4. A solution provider mindset works well with a learn by reading and learn by doing skill set.

How can a company know if they stage it for complete success for direct and digital marketing? What is a good way to identify gaps in strategy, to repair mistakes that testing brought about, and what they learned from the last campaign that made your strategy not as effective?

Asking questions in the previous paragraph, need solutions. You may have or may wish you would have created testing points, such as response, communication channel tracking and website traffic.

If you are using direct marketing mail plus digital marketing, there are testing methods available from the USPS and response results from Google Analytics. If you used email and website landing pages, there is data to collect from the email provider to gather information on how your website took part in the analysis.

As the questions add up, a wise person would visit Direct2Customers marketing community to kick start learn by reading. Marketing Doc, the librarian, works with each member of the community to find the right marketing articles or content to start on the right path, free. Which then leads to learn by doing.

Seek to understand your unique audience and customer base and then work hard to find the most effective way to serve them.

What are you waiting for? Sign up today. What are you waiting for? Download one or both Direct Marketing Success newsletters now!

Sum-up

View marketing as a science. Whatever product or service you offer your audience, everyone is different. The larger the audience, you must adjust your data collection and analysis. You will need to adjust or add new segments and customer profiles on a schedule. Change comes and goes differently within your audience. You are always reading and always doing.

 

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 J. Mike Deuerling
Here is a Short Story About Buying into a Long Tail

Here is a Short Story About Buying into a Long Tail

How is your customer acquisition program performing these days?

Now, you will not tell me you do not have one in place. Good if you do, but shame on you if you do not. Here are a few ideas if you do not or if you do here are a few new ideas that will help.

Locating and recruiting new customers is an essential activity for every business. So, you spend much of your time attempting to attract the attention of viable prospects and make an initial sale.

Sometimes, however, there is a tendency to concentrate so heavily on seeking new customers that we often overlook the ones we already have. 

That is why it is so vitally important to make sure you divide your direct marketing and mail dollars appropriately between the two activities. 

Go for a tail. 

Go for the “long tail in direct marketing and mail” with as much energy as you go for the initial sale. Go for developing strategies to build repeat business over the long haul with the same energy.

  • What type of tactics were used to capture the first wave of repeat business?
  • Can these businesses become aligned with existing business to see if there are any similarities?

For example, by providing a greater variety of inventory (extending the long tail), businesses hope to reach more customers and generate more total sales. If your customer is a printer, you have an inventory in place of paper, toner, color cartridges, service contracts, and so on. 

You may not think your company does not have a tail but check it out.

  • Could you build in and offer a service or maintenance contract?
  • Could you devise annual reviews or client updates?
  • Could you create innovations in your products or services that encourage customers to repurchase more frequently?
  • Longer life of cartridges? Toner?

Many businesses have tails they do not even know they have. By looking closer at your existing customers, are there different ways consumers use your product? 

If you have weak or non-existent customer profiles in your company database, now is a good time to build them. Just make sure you keep “going for the tail” as the end goal that brings in another revenue stream from existing customers.

No, you will not find a whale in a stream. But you may find a whale of a tale from a new customer!  

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 J. Mike Deuerling
How to Survive and Succeed in A New Small Business…

How to Survive and Succeed in A New Small Business…

...or To Correctly Reorganize One

Making either decision is difficult. Nobody wants to fail. If you decide not to give up the ghost, and give it a shot, keep it simple. Look closely at your company’s operations and strategies. Determine what you need to improve.

What do you know about your customers and prospects? Customers are hard to get or to keep. Marketing and sales must perform and to meet their goals.

There are a variety of practical steps to take with marketing and advertising your company’s products and services to your prospects and customers.

First, let me talk about what a company needs.

(Top of right column) ->

What your company needs.

You need a business marketing strategy on how you plan to sell your products and services to prospects. When you sell and get a few customers, you will need a strategic marketing plan in place to boost your customer totals and revenue.
For a small business, I highly recommend a direct marketing strategy. Direct marketing means just that–sending a message directly to a prospect or customer who more than likely will make a purchase.

Next, you will need a list of contacts that have a propensity to buy and tell them why your product is the right choice for them. You will need a copywriter that knows persuadable copywriting.

Last you need creative marketing and advertising offers that your products were made for them. Direct marketing goals include a prospect to buy directly from a campaign, lead generation activities, and/or supporting your field selling activity.

The Heart of Business Success- 

Prospects and customers. 

As the sales trickle in, a customer-centric marketing strategy outline should be on your whiteboard, or at the minimum, in your head. If the customer-centric marketing strategy eludes you, here’s a smart start. 

For a new, or to reorganize a small business, a customer- centric marketing strategy means you have a goal to fulfill all the needs and wants each customer expects, with a passion to succeed, provide an extra step of service, and do it all with a smile. 

Stop and think for a bit about the block quote above. Then place a customer in your shoes. How would you react?

How do you decide to purchase a product or service comparable in pricing and some resemblance of similarity? Was it price sensitive? Did it come in assorted colors? How was the service? After your purchase, what did you think about the customer service?  

Another way to look at customer-centric marketing is-everything marketing starts and ends with your customer… cater to them, listen to them, and react to them. The results are amazing.  

When you email  a purchaser, ask them what they  think about your service or product. Their  answers will probably show you are already doing customer-centric marketing. The best marketing strategy that pinpoints the many reasons to keep and gain new customers.  

Summary 

However, many people, who work in a small business management capacity, who read the preceding sentence will comment, “I know my customers and know what they want. I need more customers because I want to grow.” 

 Do they? Do you? 

Your time is better suited to listen to, talk to, and better understand your customers. This can increase your marketing results, customer acquisition and customer retention. 

Here are 17 short sentences that can help you learn more about customers. Plus, there is no rule saying you will not be able to use it with prospects. 

 

1. Keep it simple. 

2. Use automation such as a CRM.  

3. Learn and use analytics every single day. 

 

4. Halloween is every day. Customers get treats and offers to build on their relationships. 

 

5. Customer-centric marketing strategies remind us to learn more about customers.  

6. Prospects are potential customers which require  stronger messages of attention. 

 

7. Develop customer profiles pays you repeatedly.

 

8. Think of direct and customer-centric promotional  strategies as a well-oiled machine. 

 

9. Your response rate will hit double digits. 

10. Have you heard the phrase “Direct-to-Customers Marketing?”  Remember you heard it here first. 

 

11. Do you follow a customer’s journey? Make sure it’s  connected to your data and analytics. 

 

12. Thinking creatively can help you get more customer information. 

 

13. Direct-2-customers  marketing  can increase the likelihood of a two-way communication with each customer. 

 

14. Increasing customer conversations (your customer service) can increase data collecting  for additional personalization. 

 

15. Better customer data leads to future relevant communication. 

 

16. Customer acquisition is easier when you “buy in to a long tail.” 

 

17. Create a great opening line for networking and your direct marketing toolset to increase customer connections. 

 

   Please share with others – except your competition!

   Sharing time with you is genuinely appreciated. Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

  Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at your Direct2Customer Community. 

  It’s what I do. It’s what I love to do. 

  Thanks again for reading. Questions?  Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608