Direct Marketing Mythbusters: “Build It and They Will Come” (What a Big Fat Lie)

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.”

Steuart Henderson Britt

It’s worth noting that when Costner was advised to ‘build it’ the ‘they who came’ were not paying customers, they were moochers -none of the dead ball players actually paid to use the baseball field. Nobody in the movie paid to watch them play. So if you aren’t in the business of making money then build it and they will come makes perfect sense.

For some reason there is a belief that just building a product is enough to drive customers to your door. I don’t know why this came about – but for now I am going to blame Field of Dreams – although for some reason I suspect this happened before 1989.

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door” – incorrectly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emmerson in the late 1800′s. So the myth has been around a while and if I was a more diligent student I could find something earlier.

However, if you are genuinely in the business of making money then you need customers. Nobody or nothing else can give you money.

And marketing is the art of getting and keeping customers. So best we spend some money on marketing rather than on building it or making that better mousetrap.

Personally, I don’t really care how good the product is, unless someone buys it, and you make money on the transaction. So yes you need a good product but you also need to be able to sell the product in sufficient volume to make money.

Drayton Bird is fond of saying something along the lines of “Great marketing of a bad product will only kill it faster.” The product lingers on long after the glow of the great marketing has subsided.

Build it and they will come/ build a better mousetrap is more about cart before the horse, in the world of making money.

You need to know you can and be able to sell the thing before you ever make it or waste precious dollars on product development. Generally speaking, there are millions of people who can make and a relatively few who know how to sell. The selling of the product is the hard part. Best figure that part out first.

Once you know how to sell your product, then the making part is easier. The added bonus is, if you find out in the sales and marketing testing phase there are benefits and features you need to add to the product that your market wants then you don’t need to go and rebuild the product from scratch.

It’s much easier just to build an product the market wants in the first place.

Build it and they will come: Myth Busted.

Car Washing and Direct Mail Marketing Discussed

One of the most common ways that carwash owners like to advertise their business in their local communities is to use direct mail marketing advertising in those little coupon booklets that are sent out. These work very good however, there are few things that you should consider.

First, you do not want to give away too much of a discount and then have all those people show up on a busy Saturday when you are already slammed with customers. Instead you want to make an offer where they have to come on a Monday to stare Wednesday to receive a discount. If the booklet of coupons comes to the home on a Thursday this is not so great for your business. But if it is delivered on a Monday with a big coupon discount, only to be used on Mon-Wed then this could be quite good.

Additionally, if the forecast is for heavy rains and you give away too much of a discount then the rain will stop and all of a sudden everyone will show up and want a carwash and the people who received a direct-mail marketing coupons will also show up at the same time and that is exactly what you do not want; more business.

I have talked to some carwash owners who at the last minute will pull their coupons in the coupon book because there is a huge forecast for rain the day they will be delivered and that means as soon as the weather clears everyone will be at their carwash anyway and therefore the coupon will not help their business only make matters worse because there will be too much business all at the same time. Please consider all this in 2006.

What Chiropractor Lists Can Do For Your Direct Mail Marketing

One of the most effective marketing tools is direct mail. Direct mail whether by the US Postal Service or e-mail ensures that your important information is reaching a targeted audience, an audience that is need of your products and services.

In fact, traditional mail when used in conjunction with email can be some of the most effective ways to market to your chiropractor list. Like any asset, your chiropractor list needs to be constantly updated and refreshed. One way to expand your marketing presence is to expand your chiropractor list.

There are at least four ways that you can use to expand your chiropractor marketing list:

1. Place an email opt-in form on your website.

2. Obtain chiropractor lists from your state chiropractic regulatory agency

3. Rent a list from a marketing list provider

4. Buy a list from a marketing list provider.

Today, most businesses that have a website also offer free reports or newsletters in exchange for customer contact information. To get the best results from your opt-in form, ask for only the information that you need and be sure to place the opt-in form “above the fold” where it can easily be seen by site visitors.

Most states provide a way for you to obtain their chiropractor lists. Some charge a fee and others do not. Depending upon your state, the list may or may not be formatted for generating email blasts or mailing list labels. This may create some work on your part but if you have the time and the right software, this can be an effective way to add to your list.

When you rent a list from a marketing list provider, you can identify the market segment that you’re interested and send the list provider your marketing copy. They will take care of sending your email blast for you.

When you buy a chiropractor list from a marketing list provider, you will receive the list in electronic format. Often times, the list can be emailed to you or sent to you on CD. The marketing list provider will have already formatted the list for you so that it can be used quickly for your email blast or to create mailing labels. You may need the assistance of a third party email service although many marketing list providers also provide this service.

Purchasing a list will provide you with better options than renting a list. When you own your contacts list you can reuse the information as much as you like, fine tune the mailings to a select area and add additional information as necessary. These lists come in an easy to use format that will have you ready for your marketing campaign almost instantly.

You might consider buying a chiropractor list if time is factor. The marketing list provider has done most of the work for you. Also, many marketers may find that buying a list can be a real value. Depending on your product margin and the lifetime value of a customer, winning only a couple of new customers can pay for the list.

Growing your business demands a consistent approach to marketing. Direct mail provides you with the access to potential customers. Marketing is a long-term, relationship-building process. Regular contact with your chiropractor list will grow sales over the long-run.