Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Squeezing Blood from the DR Turnip!

Well, hello there!
I haven't been blogging since 11/10 because I became a farmer - a direct response farmer to be exact. Due to a terrible 2010 in our "1-800" industry (for those who dare admit it) I had to start tilling the land and learning how to make new crops grow so I could look forward to a bountiful harvest in 2011. The turnip threatened to go dry for many of my clients in the B to C world. What I am talking about is the economy, consumer reaction to the economy, highs and lows in sales that threaten companies, diluted audience numbers, higher costs of goods, etc. All these things made the DR business hard to harvest. So, like many of my DR counterparts I had to acquire new "seeds", plant new ideas, and tend to a different type of garden. Didn't we all?

Here are a few things that I've been trying in the last few months to reinvigorate marketing campaigns.

1. Offers $$ - To charge more or less for your product in hard economic times?
When fewer people are calling in they are actually buying more - so CHARGE MORE. This seemed like the opposite thing to do but it proved very successful for many of my clients. We discovered that people who "call-in" will spend money. During this recession folks are looking for deals and discounts but they are still looking to buy hope and happiness. Who can put a price on these two things? We tried raising per bottle prices $5; we tried increasing the product cost and giving away free shipping; we also decreased payment plans, trial offers, and single unit orders. This all translated into more dollars spent during the ad campaign.

2. Testimonials - Stop being afraid of using testimonials to sell your product!
Due to many FTC and FDA laws over the past few years many marketers have be come wary about using testimonials in their ads. Learn how to leverage your testimonials legally and pack your creative full of them. People want to see/feel the product in action. Again, people are looking for hope and happiness and credible testimonials can provide this. We spent a lot of time generating testimonials for our clients by calling their customers and asking for testimonials; asking for testimonial commentary in our ad creatives, and setting up easy ways for people to provide their comments (SKYPE, Facebook, Twitter, Phone Surveys). Many of my clients saw a 20% lift in response just by adding in 4 new testimonials into old creative!

3. Revamp your website - are you converting 22% or better on your website?
22% or better should be the minimum you expect from your website if you are running a marketing campaign. Have you updated your website to include all the new social media outlets? Have you updated your website to reflect any PR? Have you updated your website so it can compete with your competition's website? Is your pricing offer on the right page? All of these things lead to this 22% or better standard.

4. Re-Focus Your USP - solve 1-2 problems with your product to a niche audience!
Go against traditional methods that say "cast the widest net" and simplify your product's unique selling propositions. Does your product appeal to any one group of people more than others? Can it help with one problem more than others? Don't be afraid to change the problem your product is solving into a smaller sub group. Test different ad types to see if the refined messaging rings truer (spot radio, print, long form radio, TV, online). We took many of our client's core product benefits and narrowed the focus and actually increased response by 15%. The moral of the story is that niche markets spend the same or more than "widest net" markets.

At Synergixx we brought many of the services our clients needed the most in-house in order to save them money, such as:

web development and strategic planning
radio production and editing - terrestrial and online
product sourcing and manufacturing
graphic design and print production

By changing our product offerings we were able to provide streamlined costs to our clients with strict management to keep campaigns running and profitable.

Call me to discuss how your campaign can benefit from these new farming practices!