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I’m no die-hard Star Wars fan, but was just told that International Star Wars Day is next week, so thought I’d say what Yoda would probably say in this crazy marketing world we are living in.

I’ve been asked to republish a popular article I wrote last year, mainly due to the embarrassing plethora of fake COVID marketing experts pushing their ‘expertise”  since the pandemic started. So many people are complaining about these bandwagon-jumpers.

Ever since we were placed in lock down we’ve been inundated with COVID-CRAP by ‘experts’ espousing the miracles required for marketing in a Corona virus world. In some cases in markets where people have no income and the retails stores are closed and do not provide online services, so commercial activity has stopped.

Yes, the world has temporarily changed, but if you stick to the fundamentals of marketing and do them well – which many marketers don’t do in the good times – you’ll get through this difficult time.

You might have to reconsider how you deliver or configure your product or service, or even create new products – as I explained last week. Even better, why not review all your marketing activity and start to plan for the inevitable reopening of society.

Regardless, just remember these simple rules of thumb and you’ll do OK:

The three goals of your marketing communications – and there are only three…

  • Acquire new customers
  • Get customers to spend more money with you more often
  • Get customers to keep spending with you for as long as possible.

If your marketing communications are not helping you achieve one or more of these goals, you’re probably wasting your money, regardless of the media channels or vanity metrics you use.

The two ways of marketing – and there are only two…

  • Mass marketing
  • Direct marketing

Mass Marketing – you communicate with as many consumers* as possible for the lowest media cost, to position your brand in the mind of the consumer, so they consider it when they are in the market to buy – online or offline. Generally used in broadcast, print, outdoor and some online channels. Messages are aimed at generating either a think, feel or do response.

Direct Marketing – any marketing communication delivered directly to individual consumers* or to which they respond directly to you. All responses are measured and there is always an exchange of either data or dollars – online or offline. Generally used in broadcast, mail, email, telephone, print, events, social, search, mobile and online channels. For example, give me your email address (data) and I’ll give you a newsletter, or give me your credit card details (dollars) and I’ll sell you some wine.

*Consumers is generic for both prospects and customers

The two reasons people use the internet – and there are only two…

  • To save time
  • To waste time

That’s it. You need to design your website, landing page, email, social channels, apps etc to make it easy for your customers and prospects to either save time, or to waste time, depending upon their reason for visiting.

Saving or wasting time?

There’s no such thing as a customer journey – just two contact strategies…

People don’t go on customer journeys. This is a marketing buzzword designed to make the user sound sophisticated – it’s complete bollocks. There are only two contact strategies to use, and they’re linked to the most relevant touch-points. After all, a prospect isn’t a customer until they buy something:

  • Prospect contact strategy – to generate new customers
  • Customer contact strategy – to keep profitable customers and generate referrals

Marketers determine the most appropriate touch-points to reach prospects and customers, then communicate as necessary in the most effective channels for those touch-points. These touch-points can be mapped for easier visual interpretation. This mapping is why folks mistakenly call it a journey. Map-journey, get it?

For example, a prospect may identify themselves by responding to an advertisement by telephone, downloading a white paper from a website, or at a trade show. This is the beginning of the prospect contact strategy designed to get them to either request a presentation (if required), to trial the product/service, or to buy. This can involve lots of channels, some of which can be automated.

Once the prospect becomes a customer, they join the customer contact strategy. This involves communicating with personal messages designed to create a positive customer experience, encourage loyalty, obtain referrals and generate further sales.

The customer contact strategy can also be divided into two separate executions. One execution is linked to the date the product or service is bought and includes messaging around warranty, service, renewal, upgrade and the like.

The other execution is linked to time of year and includes messaging such as monthly newsletter, seasonal offers, event invitations and more.

Obviously, the customer contact strategy uses more personal media channels including; face-to-face meetings, mail, telephone, email and social channels. And all the while, there is the 24/7 continual flow of marketing content on blogs, websites and social channels, as well as advertising.

People DON’T go on customer journeys…

The numbers that matter when budgeting…

There are a few key numbers to understand when budgeting your marketing activity:

  • Lifetime value – how much revenue you customer is worth over their lifetime of buying from you
  • Cost per lead – how much you can afford to spend to generate a qualified lead
  • Cost per sale – how much you can afford to spend to generate a sale
  • The advertising allowable – what you can afford to spend to generate a sale at either break-even or a pre-determined profit percentage

When you know how much a customer is worth, you can determine how much to spend to generate a qualified lead and therefore how much you can afford to spend to get a sale – based on conversion rates. This helps you determine the most appropriate media channels to use, as they are defined by your advertising allowable.

Remember:

Marketing creates the need, while sales fulfills the need…

Your marketing activity helps to create the need for your brand by building desire for it and reinforcing your decision after you’ve bought. Your sales people use selling techniques to fulfill the need and complete the sale.

Your direct marketing activity can both create and fulfill your prospect’s needs in a single execution. It also integrates your marketing and sales teams to ensure they both work together successfully.

So now you know, what you need to know, about you know, that thing that everyone thinks they know – marketing…even in a pandemic…