I passed high school mathematics, not because I understood any of it, but because my uncle kindly tutored me long enough and often enough to help me pass the final exam.
Uncle Abe had a frequently used catch phrase to indicate there was a better way of doing something, “You’re not wrong but that doesn’t mean you’re right”.
That’s exactly the phrase I would use to describe what most small to medium businesses do with their marketing.
In this article, I’m going to take you through three simple steps to implementing direct response marketing in your business using a strategy I call “The Visible Target Technique”, but first a little background…
Treating Your Advertising Like An Investment
How you invest your money affects your financial success. At this point you’d be justified in thinking, duh Sherlock, thanks for stating the bleeding obvious. However, few business owners truly understand the financial investment called advertising.
Most advertising falls into the category called mass marketing, sometimes also referred to as “branding”. With this type of advertising, business owners are like an archer in the middle of a dense fog, shooting arrows in every direction in the hope that one or more of them will hit the intended target.
The theory behind mass marketing is that you want to “get your name out there”. I’m not really sure exactly where “there” is or what’s supposed to happen when your name arrives “there”. Regardless the theory is that if you broadcast your message enough times, you’ll by chance get an audience with your prospects and some percentage of them will buy from you.
If that sounds a lot like our disoriented archer, flailing about in the fog, shooting his arrows in random directions and hoping for the best, then you’d be right.
You might be thinking – if he just shoots enough arrows in all directions, surely he’s bound to hit his target. Right? Maybe, but for small to medium-sized businesses at least, that’s the stupid way of marketing because they’ll never have enough arrows (ie money) to hit their target enough times to get a good return on their investment.
So to restate the obvious another way: how you invest your advertising dollars affects your profits and business success.
If you’ve been trying to do mass marketing in your small to medium business with limited success, uncle Abe would likely tell you your current marketing strategy is not necessarily wrong but that doesn’t mean that it’s right.
Let’s take a look at a smarter way of doing it.
“The Visible Target Technique” – The World’s Most Painless Way To Get Genuine Prospects To Buy From You
Over the past few years, I’ve built multiple high growth businesses. I’ve also shared my strategies by speaking at conferences, writing in online and print publications and one-on-one with business owners and entrepreneurs.
Allan Dib Revealing “The Visible Target Technique” At The Platinum 2.0 Super Conference
Becoming good at marketing is not some mystical skill that requires innate talent and creativity. It’s not something you’re born with. Like any skill, it’s learned. And like anyone who is a master at anything, I was once a disaster with marketing.
That’s why I’m proud to share with you what I call “The Visible Target Technique”.
It’s a simple but powerful marketing strategy I’ve personally used over the years to grow my businesses rapidly. It’s a technique that ensures you’ll never have to waste huge sums of money on advertising without even being able to measure if it’s working or not. You can kiss goodbye that hopeless old marketing adage:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
That said, you may be wondering, “How do I use The Visible Target Technique?”
The Simple Step-By-Step Process To Using “The Visible Target Technique” To Get More Customers, More Easily Than You Ever Thought Possible
There are three simple steps for using “The Visible Target Technique”:
Step 1: Select a narrow target market
Step 2: Create a lead generating ad
Step 3: Follow up until they buy or die
Let’s go over each step in detail.
Step 1: Select A Narrow Target Market
A 100-watt lightbulb, like the kind of lightbulb we normally have in our homes, lights up a room. By contrast, a 100-watt laser can cut through steel.
Same energy, dramatically different result. The difference being how the energy is focused.
The same is true of your marketing. You have a limited amount of money. If you focus too broadly, your message will be too scattered to be relevant to anyone.
The goal of your ad is for prospects to say, “hey that’s for me”.
Take the example of a photographer. If you look at ads from most photographers you’ll often see a laundry list of services like:
- Family photography
- Commercial photography
- Fashion photography
The technical way photography is done may not change very much from situation to situation, but let me ask you a question. Do you think someone looking for wedding photography would respond to a different ad than someone who’s after commercial photography?
Do you think a bride-to-be looking for a photographer for her wedding might be looking for something radically different than a purchasing manager from a heavy machinery distributor looking to photograph a truck for a product brochure?
However, if the ad just rolls out a broad laundry list of services, then it’s not speaking to either prospect, therefore it’s not relevant, therefore it will likely be ignored by both market segments.
That’s why you need to choose a narrow target market for your ad.
Being all things to all people will lead to marketing failure. This doesn’t mean you can’t offer a broad range of services, but understand that each category of service is a separate campaign. My advice is first dominate one target market, then move onto the next.
Step 2: Create A Lead Generating Ad
Even in a narrow target market, all prospects should not be treated equally.
All other things being equal, the more money you can spend marketing to high probability prospects, the better your chances are of converting them to a customer.
Just like our proverbial archer, who has a limited number of arrows, you have a limited supply of money for your marketing campaign, so it’s essential you invest it wisely.
For example, if you have $1,000 to spend on an ad campaign which reaches 1000 people, you’re essentially spending $1 per prospect.
Now assume that out of the 1000 people the ad reaches, 100 are potential prospects for your product. By treating them equally, as you would have to do with mass marketing, you’re wasting $900 on uninterested and unmotivated prospects to reach the 100 who are interested.
What if instead of treating them all equally you could sift, sort and screen so that you were only dealing with high probability prospects and not wasting valuable time and marketing dollars on uninterested and unmotivated prospects?
You could then spend the whole $1,000 on the 100 high probability prospects. That would allow you to spend $10 on wooing each of them instead of the measly $1 per prospect you’d have if you treated them all equally.
With ten times the firepower aimed at the right targets, do you think we’d have a better conversion rate?
But how do we separate the wheat from the chaff? The short answer is we bribe them into telling us!
Don’t worry there’s nothing underhanded here. We offer an “ethical bribe” to get them to identify themselves to us. For example, our friend the photographer could offer a free DVD telling prospective brides exactly what they should look for in a wedding photographer and showcasing some of his work.
A very simple lead-generating ad could be headlined: “Free DVD Reveals The 7 Costly Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing A Photographer For Your Big Day”.
Anyone requesting this “ethical bribe” would be identifying themselves as a high probability prospect. You now have at least their name and address which would go onto your marketing database.
Remember the goal is simply to generate leads. Avoid the temptation of trying to sell from your ad. At this early stage, you just want to sift out the uninterested and unmotivated so that you can build your database of high probability prospects.
Here’s the other big reason you want to avoid selling directly from your ad: at any given time (on average) about 3% of your target market is highly motivated and ready to buy immediately. These are the prospects most mass marketing hopes to convert. However, there’s a further 7% who are very open to buying and another 30% who are interested but not right now. The next 30% are not interested and finally the last 30% wouldn’t even take your product if was free.
The Market For Your Products And Services
If you tried selling directly from your ad, you’d be targeting only the 3% who are ready to buy immediately and losing the other 97%.
By creating a lead generating ad, you increase your addressable market to 40%. You do this by capturing the 3% who are immediate buyers but also by capturing the 7% who are open to talking as well as the 30% who are interested but not right now.
By going from a 3% addressable market to 40%, you’re increasing the effectiveness of your advertising by 1,233%.
Step 3: Follow Up Until They Buy Or Die
So now that you have your database of high probability prospects, what do you do next? Quite simply you market to them until they buy or die.
It may seem like I’m advocating being obnoxious and pestering people to buy until they cave in. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Traditional selling is focused on pressure tactics like “always be closing” and other silly little close techniques which are based on pressure.
It makes the seller a pest who the prospect wants to avoid.
Instead of being a pest, I advocate becoming a welcome guest. Send your high probability prospects a continuous stream of value until they’re ready to buy.
This could be in the form of tutorials, articles, case studies or even something as simple as a monthly newsletter that’s related to their area of interest.
This builds trust, goodwill and positions you as an expert and educator rather than just a salesperson going for the jugular.
Various technology tools make it easy to automate this continuous follow up mechanism, making this a cost-effective and scalable way of building up a huge pipeline of interested and motivated prospects.
Some of these prospects will convert into customers immediately, while others will do so weeks, months or even years later.
The point is that by the time they’re ready to buy, you’ve already built a solid relationship with them based on value and trust. This makes you the logical choice when it comes time for them to make a buying decision.
This is one of the most ethical and painless ways of selling because it’s based completely on trust and an exchange of value.
While your competitors are blindly shooting arrows every which way in the hope of hitting one of the 3% of immediate buyers, with “The Visible Target Technique” you’re focusing all of your firepower on a clear and visible target.