“Do you have psychic powers?”
If you answered “No,” and you don’t have years of experience constructing profitable marketing campaigns, you’ll want to finish this.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when it comes to new campaigns is a lack of preparation and planning. And it makes sense.
Headlines and traffic and split-testing are exciting. Market research and planning, not so much.
But without them, your marketing is destined to fail – or remain in mediocre land – before you even start. Here’s why.
“Marketing comes down to what you say and who you say it to.”
I heard this quote the other day and was blown away by the simplicity of it.
It sums up everything the direct response greats have taught us about Message to Market match.
As Dan Kennedy – grandfather of Direct Response Marketing – knew and drilled into his students, the right offer to the right audience will practically sell itself.
In fact, he’s gone on record saying 50% of your success depends on the list; aka the WHO.
Yet when you don’t know “Who” you’re talking to, and more specifically, what emotional hot buttons you need to push to “light a fire under their ass”…
Motivating / persuading your market to take action becomes near impossible. Instead, you’re stuck relying on “tactics” to edge out sales. Ya know, all those copywriting tricks and split-tests and all that.
Yet when you know your market on a DEEP level, figuring out “what to say” to them becomes easy.
You simply LISTEN to what they tell you they want, then craft your content and copy around their needs.
Now, I’ll assume everyone in this group knows this already. Or at least understands the importance of it on a logical level.
But, there’s a difference between knowing something and KNOWING.
You may know a Ferrari is fast, but until you’ve driven one or been in the passenger seat, you don’t actually KNOW.
You can guess what it might feel like, and compare it to flooring it in your Prius, but you don’t actually KNOW how fast it is.
It’s the same with understanding your market. You might know you serve women who typically have a higher income than usual, and live in metro cities.
But until you get dirty and starting interacting with these women and asking questions – questions that get them to open up about their fears and desires…
…you don’t actually KNOW your market.
Instead you’re playing the guessing game. Which is what SO many small business marketers are doing.
If you’re an expert marketer, you KNOW the importance of everything I’m telling you already (feel free to stop reading at any point ; )
But, if you have a campaign that’s not performing as well as you hoped it would, I cannot emphasize how important this is.
“If you’re making the right OFFER to the right AUDIENCE, your marketing is almost guaranteed to succeed.”
However, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is, or how great your sales copy is…if what you’re communicating to your audience doesn’t resonate, they’re not going to buy.
It’s like the Dale Carnegie story about fishing with shortcake. If you don’t know it, go look it up (it’s on Early to Rise).
In short, Mr. Carnegie assumed that because HE liked shortcake, fish (his targets) would also like it.
But they didn’t bite.
So he asked around. Turns out he was fishing with the wrong bait. And of course, when he switched to worms, he was reeling ‘em in left and right.
You will not find a more relevant analogy for marketing in the information overload, non-stop distraction, instant gratification society we live in. Why?
Since you don’t have a charming, attractive salesperson LIVE in person to inspire warm fuzzies in your prospects, your content and copy have to do it for you.
Which means, they have to hit your prospect’s emotional heartstrings like a laser guided missile if they’re going to be effective.
But it’s near impossible to do this if you’re not in the trenches talking to your leads, prospects and buyers about their pains and desires.
Fortunately, gathering this level of research only takes a couple days of hard work. But once it’s done, you’ll have enough insight for a full YEAR’s worth of campaigns.
So what’s my point?
When planning your next campaign, or adjusting your current one to improve performance, take a step back and ask yourself:
- Am I fishing with the right bait?
- Have I talked to enough people to truly KNOW what they want?
- And do my content and copy speak directly to those desires?
If there’s any doubt in your mind, odds are you haven’t done enough research and planning. On the flip side, when doing market research for my clients (or my own projects), I know I’ve done enough when I start to identify PATTERNS.
When the same fears and desires and emotional hot button issues start popping up over and over again, I know I’m on to something. And when they get so repetitive it bores me, I KNOW I’ve done my job.