Could Your Marketing Be Like Root Canal?

old dental chair

Is it always best to reach the biggest audience? Or is that a big marketing mistake?

A firm that markets to dentists sent a friend of mine the following email on Facebook:

New Patients from Facebook?

On Facebook:

• There are more than 500 million potential patients.

• You can target your patients by location and age.

• You can test and use what works.

• You set the daily budget you are comfortable with.

More info here (then it gives contact details)

Talking to the wrong people

Really? 500 million. Gee, my friend is gonna need a bigger office!

But seriously, this makes no sense. Does anyone go to Facebook looking for a dentist? No. When you need a dentist, and don’t know one, you ask your friends.

And how is my friend supposed to fill cavities for people who live 100 or 200 or 3000 miles away? Has this firm invented the virtual dentist?

Interruption, not permission

My dentist friend doesn’t want these emails. Yet, the company sending them doesn’t care (and I guess Facebook doesn’t either).

He, (and anyone else wanting to grow their business, is much better off using permission marketing to build a fan base of people who WANT to hear from him.

Numbers instead of niches

It doesn’t matter how many people are on Facebook. Numbers don’t matter. What does matter is reaching people who actually need/want your services, and who you can help. You cannot clean someone’s teeth if they’re in London and you’re in Philadelphia. You want to reach the right people, not just any people.  You can’t make money selling water skis to a list of 1,000,000 people who live in the desert.

Marketing like this is painful – both for you and your potential clients.  You won’t make money, and they’ll get mad at you (instead of wanting to do business with you).  Kinda like root canal (which, thankfully, I’ve never had).

Share your thoughts

Have you tried Facebook marketing?  What happened? Have you gotten any silly emails like my friend did?

Image: Wikimedia

Is Brand Advertising Useless?

branded cow imageAdvocates of “branding” will have you believe that it is essential to a company’s existence.

You must “leverage your brand,” have customers “engage with your brand,” “advertise your brand”… blah blah blah blah blah.

Branding is for cattle.

Marketing is for results.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a well-designed logo. Nor am I suggesting that you shouldn’t think about what your company stands for, how you want to treat your customers, or what your Web site should look like (and how that reflects your company values).

What I am saying is that yelling about your brand is just that. Yelling. Nobody cares about your brand. Nobody sits at their desk saying, “I’d really like to engage with a brand today… which one will it be?”

What you do want is marketing. Measurable marketing with clear results. Internet marketing that drives visitors to landing pages (count the visits, count the clicks, count the orders). Print ads with calls to action. And, a Web site that trumpets what your clients get by choosing you.

Measure results. Make money. Know what works.

Photo: racatumba

Whoever Heard of a $75 Audiobook?

glowing mp3 playerSeveral friends have reported getting emails from Amazon urging them to buy audio books from Henning Mankell and Peter Robinson. Nothing odd about that, but it seems something at Amazon’s marketing department has gone horribly wrong. They’ve failed.

Here’s the key text from one of the emails:

“As someone who has purchased or rated books by John Marsden, you might like to know that The White Lioness: A Kurt Wallander Mystery will be released on August 1, 2009.  You can pre-order yours by following the link below.

The White Lioness: A Kurt Wallander Mystery
Henning Mankell
Release Date: August 1, 2009”

Extra-Value Gone Wrong

I checked, and this is an old book. The paperback came out in 2003 and is available on Amazon for only $10.

I looked at the links and the audiobook is pre-loaded on some sort of player (no clue what kind). There’s nothing that tells you anything about the player, who makes it, or even whether you can add additional books.

It appears that Amazon is either trying to sell the book as an add-on for “extra value” to the player or thinks the player is an extra incentive to buy the book.

In either case, it’s clearly not working. Several pretty smart people think someone’s trying to sell them a $10 book for up to $120! No sale.

Anyone with any sense would skip the whole thing, get an older ipod shuffle for $45, and have plenty left over to download audiobooks elsewhere.

Add Value That’s Clearly Valuable

Adding extras is a great way to get more (or larger) sales.

Selling an e-book? Add extra bonuses (an audio version) for free, or add both an audio and a DVD for only $10 more. An audiobook/ebook combination can be worth $75 if it contains information you can’t find elsewhere or find easily. An ordinary reissue of a six-year-old book doesn’t count, unless it glows in the dark!

Photo: halighalie

5 Quick Ways to Tell if Your Marketing is Broken

broken lamp image

This blog is called Fix Your Broken Marketing. But what exactly is broken marketing? And how do you tell if your marketing is broken?

1) Poor return on your investment. If you’re putting ads in the yellow pages, speaking at events, inserting ads in magazines, or sending direct mail pieces and not getting results your marketing is broken.

2) Spending money without being able to measure the results. Just throwing money at the wall (or those direct mailers) and hoping something sticks is broken.

3) Failing to calculate the cost of your leads versus the value of the customer. If those yellow pages ads are costing you $8,000 a month, but bringing in customers only worth $4,000 a year, your marketing is broken.

4) No call to action. If you don’t tell people to do something, they won’t.
For example, putting an ad in a trade publication without telling readers to call or click, or speaking at events without asking for contact information (don’t make it a commercial, offer something your listeners will want to get).

5) Not targeting. Trying to sell to everyone is selling to nobody. Pick a distinctive niche, such as photography for college brochures and catalogs or video services for pharmaceutical trade shows.

Photo: gary hymes