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Beware the Rise of Marketing Immunity

Copyright (c) 2006-2021

As the owner of a small business, you are, in many ways living in what Charles Dickens called, in his book, A Tale of Two Cities, "the best of times" and "the worst of times."

It's the best of times because information technology, and the Internet in particular, has in many ways leveled the playing field for soloprenuers and business professions. What was once available only to companies with lots of capital and resources--such as having an international presence--is now available to anyone with a computer and Internet access. You can, literally create a product today and be selling it to businesses around the world tomorrow.

But technology has always been a double-edged sword. Accessibility is accessibility for Everyone. Technology doesn't discern who or what is behind an offer which is why most of us are deluged by spam, junk mail, junk faxes, and telemarketing.

The unfortunate result is we become immune to most marketing appeals. Human beings are wonderfully adaptable. Our brains can only process a finite amount of sensory input and as the number of sales appeals have increased, our brains have simply become better at filtering.

Whether you think of your marketing as "viral" or not, your prospects can quickly become immune.

If you're a innovative small business owner selling something businesses and individuals need, this can be frustrating. How can you connect with prospective customers who would benefit from your products and services with so much noise in the background?

There are three strategies you can use to make sure your prospects don't develop immunity to YOUR marketing messages:

1. Make your marketing distinctively yours.

In my opinion, the single biggest mistake most small business owners make with their marketing is failing to distinguish themselves from their competitors. That's too bad because there are so many ways--many of which are simple and inexpensive--to create an attractive, memorable brand. Ask yourself what it is that makes your products and services distinctive and preferable given the choices available to your customers. Then ask yourself if your marketing message reflects what makes you different and special. If you're challenged to come up with much, there's a good chance that your marketing is going out beneath your prospect's radar. You're broadcasting but they're not picking up the signal.

2. Make your message appropriately personal.

Authentic, personal messages seem very rare these days. That's why I'm such a fan of handwritten notes. A handwritten note or even a sincere, personal email is something most people give extra attention to. Why? Because it says that the sender took some time to think about the recipient; it sends the message "You matter to me" and "You're not just a name in our database."

"Appropriately" personal means your messages should be appropriate to the depth of your relationship. Mail merge technology makes it easy to personalize mass mailings so instead of a generic greeting, "Dear subscriber" an email begins as "Dear Mary," because the sender collected the recipient's first name and can automatically insert it after the "Dear." Used wisely, such features make otherwise impersonal mailings to feel more intimate. Unfortunately, this technology has also led to some marketers sending smarmy, overly familiar messages such as "Mary, I need your help now!" or "Mary, you won't believe the shocking offer we're making!" Yuck.

Some marketers argue that being obnoxious is better than being ignored--and for some businesses that may be true. The point is, if you want to be noticed and you want people to connect with you, be aware of the type of connection you're creating.

3. Make your message relevant and actionable.

"Relevant" refers to offering something your customer or client wants. Yes, I said "wants" not "needs." Not because needs are irrelevant but because most folks are far more interested in getting their wants met...at least at first. A message that says, "we have what you want" makes it past the filter more often than a message that says "We have what you need."

For example, a disorganized entrepreneur WANTS to get their taxes done so they don't get fined. They may NEED a better system to organize and manage their finances but the accountant that offers to take their grocery bag of receipts, organize them, and file a tax return will get attention a lot faster than the accountant who offers a financial management system. Once the taxes are dealt with, the entrepreneur may be open to implementing an organizing system but their immediate pain must first be addressed.

Many business owners also miss the opportunity to ask their current and prospective customers to take action. The type of action I'm referring to is something simple and easy. In an email or on a website, the action is to click a hyperlink to download a free article. In a newsletter delivered by post, the action is to call to get a free estimate. When someone takes an action, it is a way, again, of creating connection and making an impression. Or conversely, a way to avoid becoming so much flotsam and jetsam that gets caught in your prospect's mental filter.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Judy Murdoch helps small business owners create low-cost, effective marketing campaigns using word-of-mouth referrals, guerrilla marketing activities, and selected strategic alliances. To download a free copy of the workbook, "Where Does it Hurt? Marketing Solutions to the problems that Drive Your Customers Crazy!" go to http://www.judymurdoch.com/workbook.htm
You can contact Judy at 303-475-2015 or judy@judymurdoch.com

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Last Distribution Date:
2006-07-06 11:24:00

Internal ID: #3116





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