I think most business-to-business marketers should aim for “get it out” and “good enough” rather than aim for perfection. Why?
- Perfection is impossible to achieve.
- Marketing campaigns and materials spend too long in concept and development.
- Waiting for perfection causes significant delays in get your message out.
Even worse, your marketing messages never get delivered at all.
Consider these ideas and resources to get marketing done faster: With all this in mind, here are some ideas and resources to consider for your marketing:
Use what you’ve got – Refresh or repurpose your existing materials instead of constantly re-inventing the marketing wheel, consider re-purposing or refreshing your existing materials.The reasons someone should engage your company are often the same as in the past, so why not update the marketing materials that were successful in the past. (We are usually sick of our marketing materials long before they stop working with our prospects.)
Focus on clear messages – Craft clear, well-targeted headlines and messages which offer real solutions to your prospective customers’ problems or pains. “Oh-so-clever” copy often doesn’t communicate as well anyway.
Write that copy – The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells by Robert W. Bly is a great book if you want to “do-it-yourself.” Or you can find copywriters who can do the job for you by searching on the Internet using phrases like “B2B copywriter” or “direct mail copywriter.”
Proofread your copy – To avoid typos and grammatical errors, use a proofreading service.
Use compelling offers instead of give-aways – Compelling “how-to” or information offers or “buy now” calls-to-action will get prospective customers to respond as an alternative to using costly give-aways. Mark Joyner’s book, The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less is worth reading.
Mailings: Get personal – Fire up your laser printer and send personalized letters to your prospects, instead of spending a lot of time creating fancy, expensive mailers. Then use window envelopes so the address on the letter shows through to avoid having to address the envelopes too.
Mailings: More ideas – Remember, longer copy that is easy to skim (i.e. using subheads, bullets, call-outs, boldface, etc.) works with both those prospects who prefer to read all the details and those who prefer to get right to the bottom line. You can also use postcards as a less costly alternative.
Use email instead of print – E-mails to your opt-in list of prospects are another option to developing more costly mailers. For a comprehensive listing of email service providers, see page 32 of BtoB’s Marketers Resource Guide-2007.Leverage your website – Instead of creating printed brochures, consider printing pages from your Web site instead. If you’re worried about your company’s image, place them in a glossy file folder, imprinted with your logo.
Events: Keep it simple – Instead of developing seminars, workshops, or executive briefings on your own, consider partnering-up with another company to or organization to co-produce an event, or simply take your prospects as your guest to Microsoft events on the subject.
Photos: Stock photo sites got better – Instead of paying for custom photography, consider low-cost stock photo websites.
Part-timers can help too – In addition to hiring full-time people, consider part-timers to help get the marketing job done. As my daughter just started kindergarten, I’ve met a number of moms (and a few Mr. Moms) who are ready to go back to work after taking a few years off to raise their children, but now only want to work part-time. If you need specialized expertise on a project-by-project basis, consider hiring independent contactors like copywriters, designers or event coordinators. And if you’re willing to trade experience for enthusiasm, consider hiring one or more interns from your local college or university. Where do you find these people? The following Web sites might help. For full- or part-time marketing employees: