In my last article, I talked about how setting your sights on “small to medium-sized businesses” was casting your net too wide. That was the problem I faced when I took over our telemarketing department in 2007. I had tons of leads to call, so at the start of a canvass, my team would simply start at the beginning and call through the list. By the end of the calling canvass, sometimes the lists would be completely called through and sometimes not.
This meant many businesses received only two or three calls at most. If the first two went to voice mail and the third was unanswered, then we never even came close to reaching a decision-maker. Once I identified that problem, the next obvious question was, how much time and how many calls should we invest attempting to reach any one particular business?
Here’s how segmenting your market can address that question.
I belong to a couple of web-related groups on LinkedIn. While these are a great source for news and information, they are also notorious spam magnets. In the Web Development group, I commonly see postings from web companies offering their services. If you’re advertising (or spamming) your web services in a forum full of other web designers and developers, clearly you don’t understanding who your target market is.
Defining your target market is crucial if you want to be successful. Yet most of us fall into the trap of describing ours as:
“Small to medium-sized businesses”
Or even worse:
“Whoever wants my service at the price I’m offering it”
While the first example is a tad bit better, it’s still horribly unspecific. Defining a target market is like setting a goal—the more specific you are, the better chance you have of reaching it. Which goal do you suppose you have a greater chance of achieving: “Make a lot of money next year” or “Earn $60,000 by the end of 2012 by gaining 20 new clients”?
… advertisement is engraved on the memory by the expensive process of mere repetition. It may be a crude and an expensive method, but it seems to be effective.
Over 100 years ago, Dr. Walter Dill Scott, pioneer in applied psychology, wrote that in his book, Psychology of Advertising in Theory and Practice. In today’s advertising vernacular, this is known as frequency, the number of times a person must be exposed to an advertising message before a response is made.
In his 1885 publication, Successful Advertising, Thomas Smith described how frequency works, based on 20 exposures to an advertising message:
You may have seen these bizarre-looking symbols on a store front or Realtor sign and wondered what it was. These are QR Codes—scannable bar codes that act like web hyperlinks. A cell phone users scans it and is directed to a website, video, or a URL on the Internet.
Like it or not, you’ve already branded yourself in the minds of your customers. That can be a good thing or a bad thing…
When we think about commercial brands, we tend to think of a name, logo, or slogan … anything that is used to identify and distinguish a specific product, service, or business. But on a more basic level, a brand is an identification mark … like when a rancher or farmer uses a branding iron to mark an animal to indicate ownership. A mark can also be a symbol of disgrace or infamy …
In my latest SitePoint article, I talked about inbound vs. outbound marketing. In case the difference isn’t clear to you, here’s a quick definition of inbound marketing:
A marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers, where the customers find you through various search engine marketing efforts, social media, or word-of-mouth referrals.
Outbound or traditional marketing would be things like print advertising, direct mail, cold-calling, and television and radio advertising—essentially, anything a company does to find customers, as opposed to “being found.”
It’s become quite vogue to characterize outbound marketing as “old school.” But is traditional marketing really as dead or ineffective as inbound marketers claim?
I’m conducting some intensive training for the lead generators I manage and oversee, based on curriculum from appointment setting expert Scott Channell. I’ve broken the training into four distinct phases. Although this is specifically geared towards cold-calling, the steps in this process apply to any type of marketing you do.
The first step in the process is What to Say when you have a decision-maker’s attention. Whether that’s over the phone or on your web site, you’re going to have to plan in advance what you’re going to say. If you don’t have something very compelling to tell them, you will lose them. Without the right message, even the person who has a need for your product or service will tell you ‘no.’
Technology is wonderful… except, of course, when it’s not. Like when my parents have something “really important” to tell us … and they call our house phone, my cell phone and my wife’s cell phone… all in a matter of minutes. (We love you, Mom and Dad, really.)
Or like the time the scoutmaster needed a permission slip for my son’s upcoming campout. He sent me a private Facebook message. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been on Facebook for several days and showed up to the meeting without the slip.
New technologies often replace older technologies. (Do you remember floppy discs? No, neither do I.) But oftentimes, new technologies merely supplement an existing one. Friends and family now have several options to communicate with me: They can call my cell phone or my landline, email me, text me, send me a private Facebook message, or post something on my Facebook wall.
I always find it interesting (and refreshing) when a search marketing company has something positive to say about the Yellow Pages. As someone who ran a web development business for over 5 years, I can certainly understand their bias. But it seems that the folks over at Search Engine People have decided to go with the facts rather than anecdotal evidence regarding the effectiveness of Yellow Page advertising.
That was an actual response heard by one of my appointment setters.
Why is it that no one says things like, “I’ll pay my phone bill again when business picks up,” or “I’ll pay my electric bill once business picks up”? How do you expect business to “pick up” if you don’t advertise?
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Thanks for visiting. I’m a Marketing Evangelist, Blogger and Sales Trainer.
I get excited about geek stuff. But I’m also passionate about helping people and companies reach their fullest potential and becoming wildly successful.
That’s why I love helping businesses figure out how to market (especially web marketing) and why I train sales people to be the best they can be at what they do.