When you really boil it down, there are two main approaches to marketing your biz…
The “Goodyear Blimp” approach and the “Army of Blimp Drones” approach.
Goodyear flies their blimp high over stadiums packed with sports fans. The hope is – at some point in the future – when those fans need new tires they remember Goodyear, think fondly of Goodyear, and buy Goodyear tires.
But what if, instead, you had an army of mini blimp drones (mini drone blimps?) at your disposal?
Each day your blimp drone army takes to the air programmed to hover directly over the driveways of the folks in your area who’ve got a flat tire.
When the owner comes out, the drone calmly descends (so you’re not scaring the crap outta anybody!) and drops a coupon and directions to your local tire shop in their hands.
Which approach do you think would result in more business… more quickly?
Sign me up for the drone army every day o’ the week and twice on Sunday.
But lotsa small businesses take the Goodyear approach (aka branding/image advertising).
They go to the “cool” agency… you know, the one where they bring their dogs to the office, have a foosball table and wear funky glasses.
And the agency will gladly take a boatload of money to come up with something creative and funny for ya.
It’ll make you laugh. Give you warm fuzzies inside. Give you a nice ego boost when you see your company’s name plastered all over billboards, newspapers, so-shill media or wherever.
But will it make you money? Ahhh… agencies don’t like that question. Cuz with their approach to marketing they CAN’T answer that question.
Your drone army (aka direct response marketing) is much more efficient… and it’s measurable.
Not saying branding doesn’t have its place.
What I am saying is that direct response addresses 3 cold, hard realities of marketing a small business…
1. You don’t have millions of bucks like the big brands to throw around.
2. You need a way to measure the money you are spending on advertising to make sure you’re getting a return on that investment, and…
3. You’d rather get new clients sooner rather than later.
Direct response delivers on all 3. Branding is 0 for 3.
Want to build your brand? Go for it.
It’s a great long term strategy that can pay very nice dividends for you years and decades down the road.
In the meantime, don’t treat direct response marketing like an ugly step child. Cuz it’ll pay the bills for ya while you’re waiting for your “pretty” child to hit pay dirt.