Most business owners I speak to, either during my Masterclass presentations or when I’m consulting one-on-one, are aware of only one form of marketing – institutional marketing.
There are arguments for and against this method of marketing. For the record, I’ll state it has its place – if you’ve got money to burn!
So What Is Institutional Marketing?
This is the brand-led marketing that you see in magazines, or in any form actually. It can take the form of a picture and a quote and we’re supposed to figure out what the message is.
You’ll see big companies use this style of marketing. These companies are marketing their brand into our psyche so we recognise the brand and their associated products.
The idea behind this is that if we see the brand and products enough, they will become instantly recognisable. We then develop a confidence or certainty about them and the hope is that we will then purchase these products.
This kind of marketing is extremely expensive and it makes the design agencies and marketing companies a lot of money. However, is there any direct correlation between the advertising spend and the sales results?
The answer is NO. But, design agencies won’t admit it. In fact, many of them are more interested in winning awards for their designs than helping you win customers. There’s something very wrong with this and it bothers me! I hope it bothers you too – it should!
Here’s What Most Design Agencies/Marketing Companies Won’t Tell You About Your Marketing – It’s Not Working!
I was recently invited to a pre-launch meeting for a new nationwide small business initiative that is being launched in partnership with the Government and a well-known high street bank.
During the meeting there was a short presentation on marketing the initiative. The presenter began by explaining that they have agreed the branding and just completed the logo.
At this point I was really to leave the room!
Come on, who really cares about your logo except you?
During the next five minutes I had to listen to this drivel about how they were going to create awareness using various brand based activities such as posters, a website and a letterhead.
Not once did the presenter give any clear direction in terms of the two most vital elements of any marketing campaign – the target and the sales message!
Yet again, so much money wasted through paying these creative people to draw pretty pictures.
For the record, I am not saying design isn’t important. Of course, designing the look of your business is important. In the example above I’m making the point that a lot of money had been spent on creating the brand, but nothing had been done to identify the target market and craft a compelling message to create a customer.
So, What’s The Difference Between Direct Response Marketing and Institutional Marketing?
Simply put, direct response marketing crafts the message you wish to convey to your target market or existing customer. And, there is some form of response mechanism within the piece i.e. letter, advert, flyer, calling for specific action by the reader.
A marketing letter may ask the reader to pick up the phone and quote a specific code in the letter to get the special offer.
In other words, using this form of marketing allows you to accurately measure your results from a campaign. You can’t do that with institutional marketing.
The classic business phrase “if you can measure it, you can manage it” really sums up the power of direct response marketing.
In a nutshell, unless you have money to burn, you should only be running direct response marketing campaigns to drive your sales.
Here’s What To Do Next…
Take a look at your existing marketing. Do you know what is working for you? Can you clearly see where most of your sales originate from?
Can you see which advert provides the highest response and converts best for you?
If you can’t, and you’re spending a lot of money on marketing every month, then surely you must ask the question what is your return on investment? It can’t be good and frankly, you are throwing your hard-earned profits down the toilet.
At the end of the day, if you are unable to measure the effectiveness of your marketing, then your business is at risk. And, it’s only a matter of time before you feel the effects of this.
Do something positive and give direct response marketing a try. With a little testing, you’ll find your results are significantly better. Do the right thing and always use direct response marketing.
If you really don’t know where to begin, then email me and ask for a FREE 30 minute telephone consultation. You’ll be glad you did!
Founder & Director at Profit Masters Ltd, a UK registered company
Paul is the originator of the “Scooter Philosophy of Business.”
The first advert he wrote was for a second hand computer and computer parts shop. The shop opened at 9am on Saturday morning and had to close before 3pm as they had sold their entire stock.
Co-author of a finance publication and author of a marketing publication.
Built a test website in a niche market, attracting upwards of 24,000 hits per month in under 3 years and dominated page 1 of Google for key search terms.
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