Advertising Success Part 1: Check Your MOM

MRF #1HOW CAN YOU ASSURE that your marketing materials will actually get results, instead of ending-up lining birdcages in Rio Linda? Like many things in life, it all goes back to your MOM.

In this case, MOM is not the sweet lady who baked you cookies and reminded you to brush your teeth. It is an acronym for the three vital elements of any effective advertising effort: 1. Market 2. Offer 3. Message.

(Actually, when you review these three elements, you should work in the order, Market, Message, Offer. Unfortunately, that gives you the acronym MMO which sounds like a new government medical plan. And it’s not as easy to remember as MOM.)

Market: Are you talking to the right people?
The first question to ask yourself is, “Who are the people who are going to buy my product or service?” Then ask yourself, “Can I narrow this down to target an even more clearly defined group?”

The better you define your marketplace, the lower your advertising costs and the better your results.

If you define your market too broadly, the problem is that the cost of reaching the right people grows beyond most advertising budgets. For example: A company that I work with provides an online data back-up service for computer users. It’s a valuable service, one that anyone with a computer should use.
Here’s the problem. If you try to sell to all computers users, you need an enormous budget. Not even Microsoft tries to market to everyone. They focus their efforts to smaller segments, such as small business owners, or young people who might use their music download service. So how did we begin defining the market for the online back-up service?

By doing a little digging, we found that data loss, damage, or theft was most likely to occur with laptops instead of desktop computers. So, the focus became laptop users.

With a little more digging, a high-risk group of laptop users was found who had important information on their hard drives, were comfortable with new technology, and stayed in small, easily identified communities. The group? College students.

Now there was a clearly identified market. By working one campus at a time, ad appeals could be refined with smaller budgets. It also allowed a way to incrementally ramp-up the marketing activity as the number of users grew and budgets expanded.

It pays to think small
It is often more profitable to dominate a small, highly-defined part of the marketplace than to be just another player in the mainstream.

Take the example of a real estate company. They could put a pin in a map and draw a 20-mile circle around it. Theoretically, everyone who might want to buy or sell a home in that area would be a potential customer.

However, this gives a very unfocused approach. It would be very difficult to get strong results while being this broad. There are too many people with too many different needs.

A more successful approach would be to target a segment of the market-perhaps homes over $1 million. (In Northern California, where I live, this can still be quite a large number of neighborhoods.)

By focusing on this more specific target area, the promotional efforts become more defined. The message can be tailored to this select group of prospects so that it is highly relevant. With the same advertising dollars, a realtor could now contact prospects more often, gain much higher awareness, and get more clients.

Focused repetition is vital for getting a message through. If done well, when someone in that target area decides to buy or sell, the realtor’s phone will ring.
Simply put, if you focus and target the correct market, your advertising will be more effective.

Next: Get the right message
In Part 2, I’ll tell you how to make sure that your message is on the mark. In my experience, a little change can as much as 19x your response rate. (I’ll also teach you how to “cheat” so you can get the message right and avoid a lot of expensive guesses.)

To your business success,


If you would like to discuss improved follow-up strategies for your company, call Sentium at 1(800)595-1288 to schedule a free half-hour telephone consultation.

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Richard Wilson Richard Wilson is the Founder/Chief Marketing Strategist for Sentium Strategic Growth which helps companies dramatically improves their sales, growth and profitability. Over the past 31 years, his clients have ranged from start-ups to major technology companies.



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