My Humungous Marketing Disaster – that will tick off your ad agency – but save You a fortune

by Mark Dresner

About eleven years ago, as co-owner of a computer services company on Long Island, I made a very costly marketing mistake.

What was this mistake?

I forgot (or chose to ignore) the REASON that advertising and marketing exists … at all.

  • It’s NOT about image
  • It’s NOT about feeling good when you see your company up in lights
  • And it’s certainly NOT about being artsy or creative or winning some meaningless award

The ONLY goal of advertising is to make sales.

And the only type of advertising that can truly address, support and achieve this goal is direct response.

I had help with my blunder

I had accomplices in my personal advertising folly.

One was our highly regarded advertising agency (I think they actually called themselves “consultants”).

The creative folks and account people were quite happy to implement my “brilliant” advertising vision. So we plastered a stack of 4-color posters across billboards throughout platforms of the New York City Subway System.

The posters were gorgeous – very “hip” and arty. They were so nice we even hung one on a wall in our office.

The result: No new business.

Or more correctly … no business we could TRACK.

As I recollect, we had no specific call to action. No direct customer benefits. And the “Big Idea” (if you can call it that) was way too subtle.

In short, it was a complete waste of time, energy and money.

Except for the Ad Agency, that is.

3 Immutable goals for EVERY marketing campaign

Advertising and marketing campaigns should:

Be targeted to reach your ideal client – so you don’t waste your efforts reaching people that don’t give a rat’s behind about your product or service.

Have a call to action that drives people to actually DO something. Remember the goal is to ultimately get a sale – so you must turn targets into prospects (leads) and prospects into clients.

Measure results. Without accurate results of your marketing there’s no accountability. You’ll have no idea what’s working and what needs to be tweaked or trashed entirely.

The bottom line:

After my blunder I discovered that direct response marketing is the best and most cost effective way to achieve these three immutable goals.

This is true because direct response techniques and strategies work in ANY media. It works on the Internet and in broadcast, print, direct mail … or any media that may pop up in the future.

Direct response marketing never goes out of style … and is proven to always deliver the goods.

Start using direct response marketing and you’ll drive more – measurable sales – to your business.

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