Recycled Garbage Advertising
Many months ago, my Uncle Harry gave me some of my Dad’s business cards. My dad had passed about 14 years earlier and my Uncle was approaching his 92nd birthday, so cleaning out his closet was on the agenda. These cards were some 60 years old and I found it interesting that they had basically the same information on them that most business cards today have. The cards had my Dad’s name, address, phone number, title and business name.
The reason why I found this interesting is I have been preaching the Gospel that business cards do not do business. They are many times simply a reason to delay any decisions or worse yet, get out of a conversation. For a while, I gave up on business cards as too many people would A) ask for a card, thinking they would figure out a way to do business with me later . This triggered what my mentor Jim Rohn called “the law of diminished intent” , or in other words, the further they got away from a decision, the least likely they were to make it- their intent on that decision diminished. The second option; B) they would try to get me to sell something for them (network marketing is a big one- or even their products/services) or promote their business.
There have been many good and well products I would love to promote, but simply haven’t had my head above water to be able to think about it (My friend Micki has a great video product, and I intend to do business with her at some point, as do many other great vendors, but I simply have a hard time keeping up with my own business- I guess I make it look easy!). I ended up telling people I didn’t have business cards because I have all my contact info on the website, etc.. I am not someone who is hiding in the Wedding industry by any means and want those who want to chat to call- my phone number has not changed in 4 years, nor has my email address for 6. I put my phone number on all my emails I send out, so if someone were truly intent on getting a hold of me, a simple web search would yield the info they sought.
There has been a bunch of old marketing techniques, headlines, gimmicks that were good in the 70’s that continue to pop up 40 years later. These are distracting good qualified customers who are interested in doing business with those products/services, but end up having to “skim” through the garbage that is out there to get to the good stuff.
In every market, in every sector of business, there are newbie’s (the fresh, new businesses) who are good at marketing or they hire someone who is good at marketing that gets them to stand out. Their experience and ability to perform is less than many of those who have been in the market for years, but because they are able to get their “fresh” message out, they get more business. The seasoned veterans in many cases are sitting there with less business, which in the grand scheme of things, are not fair, but is reality.
The key to “freshening” your marketing is to speak directly to your customers wants, needs, fears, and in their language, not yours. Business owners think differently than do their customers and while that thinking is based in years of living in the business day in day out, to first attract their customers in to start the business process, they have to speak much simpler and easier than most times they do. Get some new fresh eyes and ears taking a peek at what you’re doing as well- you are burdened with the various nuances of your business and need someone who can look more objectively at things on your behalf (but have someone who has some good sense- your 75 year old Mom who doesn’t understand what “tweeting” is may think you’ve lost your mind). Using what others have used doesn’t mean what they used was worth using in the first place~!
Until Next Week, Here’s to your Success!