Marketing--Don't be Intimidated

December 4, 2006

The Mousetrap Series…by Matt Michel
The Mousetrap Series is about helping you sell more mousetraps, no matter what the mousetrap is that you sell. I don’t care how good your mousetrap is, few people will buy it if you do not market it well.

Don’t Be Intimidated By Marketing

(GRAPEVINE, Texas) -- I’m surprised when I find people who are intimidated by marketing. No one should be intimidated. Anyone can learn marketing. After all, I did (of course, some might question this).

I learned marketing the best way you can. I studied things that worked in the real world. I talked with people that had to make it happen to survive. And, of course, I studied. I read a lot. Some of it was pure marketing stuff. Most of it was the writings of successful small business marketers like Jackie Rainwater and Ron Smith. I attended training classes taught by some of the best consultants and trainers of that time. And this never ends. I still study marketing, every day.

You Do Not Need To Become a Marketing Expert to Market Effectively

As a business owner, you do not need to become David Ogilvy (the world’s most renowned advertising guy in case you didn’t know). You DO NOT need to write great copy, create graphic designs, or generate superlative creative. You DO need to be able to recognize good copy, good graphic, and good creative. At least, you should recognize the underlying principles of good work.

Why? It’s your money. Enough said.

The focus of the Mousetrap Series is print media. This isn’t because I favor print over other forms of marketing, but because it is the most common form of marketing for small businesses. Not every business uses broadcast, but everyone uses print in one form or another. For example, you might use print for…

  • Brochures
  • Direct Mail
  • Newspaper Ads
  • Help Wanted Ads
  • Sales Support Material
  • Folders
  • Trucks
  • Invoices
  • Stickers
  • Magnets
  • Yellow Pages Ads
  • Flyers
  • Newsletters

I could go on. You get the point. By applying the principles you will learn in this series, you will be able to improve all of the above. Over the coming weeks, I will cover roughly five tips in each issue of Comanche Marketing, depending upon the length. If you don’t have time to read this series, save it. Forward copies to everyone in your company charged with the creation of printed material. Forward it to friends who create printed collateral for their businesses or organizations. I’ve even gone through this with people at my church.

1. Figure out what you want to say before you start spewing it all over the page.

A lot of print is aimless. There’s no point to it. The creator of the piece does not start with a clear objective in mind and it shows. He or she wanders all over the place.

Start with an audience in mind. Know who you are talking with before you create your material. Talking with? Sure. At its core, marketing is nothing more than a conversation. It’s a conversation between you and your customer or prospective customer. Even if it’s one sided, pretend it isn’t. Engage the reader like you’re having a conversation.

Determine an objective before you start. You must know what you are trying to say before you start saying it. The point of the piece should be so clear that you can give it to your teenage son or daughter and they can figure it out.

Know what you want to say and who you want to say it to.

Source: Comanche Marketing. Reprinted by permission.
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Copyright © 2003 Matt Michel

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