Do you like salespeople? If you answered yes, you might be a salesperson. In The Sales Bible, Jeffrey Gitomer discusses the reputation problem faced by salespeople—and how to solve it.
Why is this? Sadly, ever since the days of snake oil, the craft has been heavily associated with lying. Years of advertising have hardened consumers and trained them to be skeptical above all else, and no one is more suspect than a salesperson. A salesperson is, first and foremost, interested in getting you to buy what they’re selling, and usually only secondarily interested in your enjoyment of or satisfaction with the product.
Recently, however, some brands have seized upon an interesting strategy for dealing with this issue: get someone else to sell the product. Though professional salespeople struggle with trust, there is one employee who still retains it: the person who engineered, developed, or created it in the first place! Let’s call these people “Product experts.”
Whether you have a million-dollar marketing budget or are just launching your startup, making your advertising dollar work harder for you can make or break your growth. Following these five steps will help ensure that you get the results you need.
Identify Your Audience
You may have heard someone say, “She is such a good sales person. She could sell ice to an eskimo.” While that skill can come in handy, persuading prospects to go against their natural inclinations can result in higher acquisition costs for new customers. Instead, start with an understanding of who is currently buying your product or service. To do this, look at past sales data for demographic indicators: Where do they live? Are they primarily families? What is their gender?
You don’t want your potential audience to become so narrow that it is impossible to reach them, but these types of answers can give you a great jumping-off point for structuring your campaign.
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Type “marketing budget template” into a search engine and you’ll find several examples, from the most basic to impressively detailed.
But 99 percent of the time there’s one important line item missing – your Cost of Occupancy.
Cost of Occupancy = Yearly Rent or Mortgage
Your yearly cost of rent or mortgage payments should be treated as a marketing expenditure.
You sell a product or service that relies on foot traffic. The better your location, the more visible you are to potential customers.
The more visible your location is to potential customers, the less advertising you need.
Location = Advertising
Therefore, your Cost of Occupancy should be designated as a line item in your marketing budget.
Are you still advertising and marketing your small business based on how customers used to find your business years ago? Then wake up and smell the coffee: The way customers buy has changed in the last few years, and if the way you’re marketing your business isn’t keeping up, you’re going to be left behind.
eBay has been one of the largest advertisers on Google, but that might not be the case for much longer. It decided to do an A-B split test to determine how many of those clicks they would have eventually seen even without those paid placements; even going so far as to go dark in 30 market areas to provide a control. In a study conducted with eBay Labs along including fancy degree holders from Berkeley and U. Chicago, it showed that it only made back about 25 cents on the dollar spent.
The study shows that brand ads – and by that they mean ads that focus on the brand names of the products to be theoretically purchased, rather than “branding” ads – can be efficiently effective for potential new users to the retailer, but tend to be unnecessary for those who are already familiar with the retailer. eBay, more than most, would suffer from a high familiarity ratio, thus making its relative efficiency low.
One thing the full version of the study appears to miss, however, is that very high clickthrough rate experienced by an ad due to a specific brand reference that is common to the search term may have another financial benefit to the advertiser: increasing the “quality score” of the ad campaign, and thus reducing the expense of other clicks in the campaign.
eBay bids on a universe of more than 170 million keywords. It spends more than $50 million a year on online advertising.
The whole concept of branding is foreign to many small businesses. They view it as something that only matters in the ivory towers of global corporations.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Branding is all about making your business memorable, and it’s the small business rather than the big one that’s likely to get lost in the shuffle. Here are five core concepts that small business owners should know about branding.
1. Repetition and consistency are paramount. Any parent knows that when you say something once it seldom sinks in. And, parents who send mixed messages confuse the child … and perhaps themselves! The same dynamics apply to branding: the market needs to see the same imagery and the same message again and again and again.