Critical Marketing Mistake 1 – Putting Out Institutional Instead of Direct Response Messages

Institutional advertising is a very common part of most businesses marketing strategy. It is also EXTREMELY ineffective. Many business owners have unfortunately bought into, (literally) or been coerced into believing, that if I throw enough of it ‘out there’, then something’s got to stick! Very often this mis-information has come from people who simply don’t have a clue how about advertising, but just simply want to sell you ‘white space’: advertising in the local paper being a classic example.

Most advertising I see is nothing more than a larger version of a business card: name of company at the top, then a few lines about what the business does, then their contact details. Or worse still… Falling into the trap of believing ‘branding’ is a means in itself of attracting clients. I will always maintain that branding — as a starting point — will never work for SMEs, unless… You either have 1) the kind of marketing budget afforded to big corporations, or 2) you simply don’t mind throwing good money away!

‘Yes, we recently did a 5,000 flyer drop locally, and so far… Well, we’ve had no response… But I’ve been told that very often the first time doesn’t make much of an impact, it’s only after several attempts that you may get some response.’ The number of times I’ve heard this from a client tell me this, or variations on a theme, is unfortunately common place. It also makes me angry, as especially for the small business owner every pound counts.

Let me tell you this… If you didn’t get a response to your advert/flyer/letter the first time, it doesn’t matter how many times you keep rolling out the same version. Listen… Your audience are trying to tell you something, ‘it ain’t working!’ So don’t keep throwing good money after bad!

Instead… Always use DIRECT RESPONSE messaging.

You need to start using messages that elicit a response. A blown-up version of your business card, will do nothing to compel me to want to contact you, or discover more information.

NEVER start your advertising pitch with your company name, that’s not going to get my attention. I don’t care what you’re called, so why start the message this way. Instead… Begin with a COMPELLING headline; one that speaks to me directly, and that draws me in to the rest of your copy.

Then offer a call to action… Get me to respond… FASCINATE me into wanting to contact you!

Naturally there’s much more to effective copywriting than this, but this strategy alone, will not only save you thousands, but more importantly, will help you get a response to your marketing efforts.

Tips For Using Clubs And Groups To Help Your Marketing Practices

Joining local clubs and groups can really improve your sales and profits. With a club or a group, you can collaborate with a wide variety of business owners who are looking to improve their sales and profits also. The fastest way to find an organization like this is at the local chamber of commerce – but there also other venues that you can use to meet new business people.

For example, you can go online and find like minded business owners in a forum in your niche. All of these people are having the same problems that you are having, so you can stand to collaborate with the members on the forum. Even though the members that you meet will be from different niches, you can still use this technique to have business success.

Here on these forums, the major topic is making money. People go online to ask and find questions that are related to the problem that you are having. So when your most pressing problem gets figured out in the forum, you can go back to your business and implement techniques with incredible success.

But even if you don’t like the idea of going to the internet and discovering information from other people, you can join your local chamber of commerce. Your local chamber of commerce will have a lot of business owners there who are looking for more and more information on how to boost their business. This is where you want to enter.

Don’t be afraid to share things that have been working for you, and don’t feel shy when it comes to asking any questions that you may have. If you want to have the most success in these groups, you really have to dish out some of the things that you have learned, and that will open up the possibility of others sharing their information.

All it takes is a little creative thinking when it comes to these groups because you never know when you will discover the strategy that makes you the most money quickly – and for the long term. Any thing that works for some one should be celebrated and you should choose to use these same techniques to your advantage.

You never know when the opportunity will present itself where you can maximize your sales and profits, and joining one of these groups will make it easier to discover new information.

This technique is definitely a great way to improve your sales and profits. Even if you don’t know much about direct response marketing, if you can get 50% right, you’ll be able to get sales. But you want to heighten your level of understanding so that you can be in the 90% – 95% range.

Hopefully you will use the concept of using groups and clubs to take your business to the next level. I know it may sound foreign or strange right now, but you will see that these techniques can be very profitable for you.

Good luck with using these tips to have the most success as possible in your business.

Profit in Any Market

You can make money when markets are going up. You can also make money when markets are falling. And believe it or not, there are ways of making money when the market is moving sideways or doing nothing at all.

The catch?

You need to have a view on where the market is headed.

How can you determine market direction?

Here I’ll show you my top three trading tools to help give you some ideas.

Trading tools I use

Now, the way I chose to trade isn’t for everyone. I prefer to trade quality companies which are trading at cheap multiples, showing signs on the charts that there is strong demand.

I like to look at economic conditions, fundamentals of the stock as well as using technical analysis or charting.

So what should you look for?

Economic conditions

I’m going to start by looking at economic conditions because it is the one thing that many traders overlook.

Low interest rates are one of the most beneficial conditions for the sharemarket. It encourages movement from cash to more risky investments. If the cost of borrowing is lower it encourages growth. This impacts valuations because the risk-free rate is lower.

Conversely, rising interest rates make it more difficult for companies to grow.

There are other indicators to look at as well. The economy moves in cycles and the troughs and peaks (highs and lows) are often defined by the unemployment rate. This is a lagging indicator but has the benefit of helping you define the highs and lows.

So it’s useful to understand where we are in the economic cycle using unemployment rates.

For almost 30 years you can see that, generally, falling unemployment is good for the market.

Sounds basic I know, but it’s amazing how the basics are often overlooked for more complicated, difficult and often less meaningful concepts.

Fundamentals of the stock

It’s important to know what a company does and what profit it makes as well as how much its profit grows.

If you think about the sharemarket as a market full of businesses, you can see that some businesses are great and some are simply dreadful. If someone knocked on your door and asked you to invest $20000 into their business, there would be many questions that you’d probably ask before you opened up your wallet.

Yet when it comes to the sharemarket, often investment decisions are made without more than a couple of minutes thought or on the back of a tip.

So it’s important to answer a few important questions, like ‘what’s the underlying business’ and ‘why is it a good investment?’

Charting

Finally, there are psychological aspects to the sharemarket. You might not know what moves the market but you can see how the market moves.

This area is called charting or technical analysis.

Being able to read the charts helps you read the optimism or pessimism of the markets.

This is important, because if the dominant market vibe is optimistic, then a rising tide tends to lift all ships and almost all stocks tend to rise. That optimism or pessimism is often also called greed and fear.

At the moment, the Australian sharemarket looks like it has gone past a significant psychological barrier of 4350. The key here is that we’ve seen a definite break of that level and now we need to watch and see if that holds.

Volumes have been improving which is a positive sign. The pain may not be over but in the short-term, things are looking good.

So, if you can determine market direction using strategies or tools like the ones I’ve outlined, you might just be able to profit no matter what the sharemarket is doing.