Last year, I was in Las Vegas for a referral contest we ran — not for Britney Spears. When I’m on vacation, it takes 2 or 3 days before I can get out of “work mode” and shift to “vacation mode.” But by Saturday, work mode was long gone.
A funny thing happens when I stop worrying about the day-to-day aspects of work. I start to think differently and see opportunities everywhere. I focus more on strategy, notice more good ideas, and begin to see patterns I didn’t before. In Vegas, I started to notice the marketing secrets being used all around me.
Of course, there was a ton of advertising for shows, but importantly, not all the advertising was equal. Britney Spears, in particular, had ads everywhere — on billboards, taxis, hotels, in the mal. When Mariah and I were looking for something to do, I looked her show up to see if they had tickets available. Sure enough, they did. Luckily for me, Mariah didn’t want to go.
A quick Google search told me that, rumor is, Britney Spears is having a hard time selling out her shows. My own ticket search seemed to confirm that.
The question is, why? Why would Britney Spears, a mega superstar, have a hard time selling out a town like Vegas. The city sees 40 million visitors a year — and there are only 4,600 seats per day in the venue. Why does Britney Spears need 1½ times (my estimate) the local (on the strip) advertising of anyone else?
After some thought, it became clear to me that there were a few marketing secrets at work. Here are some of those hidden truths about marketing that no one talks about.
1. It Is Very Hard — Even For Britney Spears — To Get People To Pay Attention
The world we live in is more distracting than ever. There are ads everywhere, and it’s 10 times worse in Vegas. It takes so much more time, and shock value, to get someone’s attention. This means you must be different. You have to show up where your competitors aren’t and do things they are unwilling to do. You must keep your existing customers from jumping ship. What are you doing that is different from your competitors, and is it enough?
2. You Will Get Some Business By Simply Existing
If you build it, and tell a few people about it, you will get some business, but it isn’t enough to survive. Today, businesses must do marketing on a daily or weekly basis. Every month, you should have a plan for how much and what marketing you’re doing that month. If you can make a plan on a yearly basis as well, that’s even better.
3. Not Everyone Will Buy Right Away
The marketing you’re going to do today will affect the next 90 days of new business, at a minimum. For us, 29% of the new business we are going to get this month will come from marketing we over a year ago. The key is to fill the pipe and make sure you’re looking beyond just today.
Last year, we had a campaign that, on the surface, was kind of a flop. We spent $20,000 in marketing, and our immediate return was below the minimum number needed to redo the campaign. But within 90 days of the campaign, we had picked up not 1, but 2 large clients, ending up with nearly $1 million in new annual revenue. What’s more, new businesses kept coming in for months after that.
So many businesses don’t realize how this works, leaving tens of thousands or even millions of dollars on the table. They simply will not invest money in follow-up.
4. You Can Do Some Marketing That Is Strictly Direct Response, But You Must Nurture Too
Branding is a negative word for many, but when you are nurturing, that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re advertising and not expecting a direct ROI. The truth is, nurturing and branding are fundamental parts of business, and you need those components if you want to grow.
If you insist only on direct response, you’ll hit a cap on your business and be unable to grow any larger. This cap comes much faster if you’re a local business.
5. You Have To Constantly Add And Try New Marketing
In marketing, you build on the successes, tweak the failures, and stay on the lookout for something new. But, NEVER cancel successful marketing to try something new. If you don’t have the budget to test the new thing without canceling even a moderately successful old thing, find another expense to cut that isn’t in marketing.
If you have a campaign that isn’t working, and, after tweaking it, it still doesn’t work, cancel and try something new. Never cancel because the next shiny thing or good salesperson is doing their job and closing you.
6. We Live In An Online And Offline World
So many people are way too caught up with online-only marketing. They think it is cheap, easy, and the answer to all their prayers. But, if I can be frank here, that’s all BS. If you want to succeed, you need to have an O2O strategy, which stands for online to offline and offline to online.
Simply put, if you generate the lead online, your goal should be to get all the info you need to also interact with them offline. If you generate the lead offline, you need to get all the info to also interact with them online.
This is the multimedia strategy that is working right now.
All the largest and most successful companies are using it. Amazon is now sending postcards. It even has physical locations. Facebook and Google both do direct mail and exhibit at trade shows. Everyone who is having success on any kind of scale uses this strategy. Why aren’t you?
You don’t have to listen to me, but ignore my advice at your own peril. If you don’t adjust to the truth about marketing as it sits today, someone is going to come in and kick your butt. Or, best-case scenario, you will tread water endlessly. Business won’t go down much, but it also won’t grow much.