Monday, October 19, 2020

Direct Mail Is Part of a Successful Marketing Plan

 

Covid changes everything.

Covid changes nothing!

We are in a world where everyone and their brother is scrambling to get “data-driven” “content driven” marketing out there yet the old rules still apply. You know rules like people see or hear 1 out of 3 marketing messages you send out and it takes 9 views so it takes on average 27 marketing messages to find a new customer. I was data-driven before it was the thing to do. In the old days it use to be called “direct marketing.”

As a marketing person who started my working life as a printer, a typographer and an advertising man I have a long history of direct marketing. I’ve never understood the push to throw the print marketing under the bus when it should be kept as part of the marketing equation and not what the pure social media guys want to do in their definition of an all digital marketing attack. Both complement each other and if used correctly build upon each other.

Print is high cost, high touch, high impact.  Digital is lower cost, low impact. Add in teleprospecting and you have the glue to drive your message home in a very low tech high touch way.

What I am I saying? I like to think print brings an air of importance, a high-credibility to marketing messages. The "If it is in print it must be true mentality."

Take a look at the average response rates!

Direct mail has average response rates from 4.9% to 9%. (If the list and the message is constructed correctly). Digital channels have conversion rates ranging from 0.77% to 1.3%. But where one is weak the other is strong. Typically, print can touch a customer only a handful of times per year, but it’s a powerful touch that drives action. Meanwhile, digital can follow a person everywhere, every day, year-round, all the time, keeping mind awareness high.

If digital and print complement each other, what are the facts behind the claims of higher success? The numbers are clearly out there on the result side. Of those marketers who incorporate direct mail into their multichannel efforts, 80% reported seeing better results, sometimes dramatic. 

Simply put, print is an important and integral part of a digital marketing plan.

Then you add in teleprospecting and you get a 38% bump in your response rate! 80% becomes 110%. And what if I am wrong and your print-digital only gets you 25% response? Well do the numbers 25% with teleprospecting becomes 34.5%. Not too shabby huh?

Larson & Associates

Making Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Is it time to get your 38% bump?
Phone 847-991-1294
Call TODAY!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Covid Marketing

A seven-point plan

To Get You Through Covid

The good and the bad is this is only a starting point to provide a plan for marketing  throughout Coronavirus pandemic. But it is a start. Now you need it to be your start.
  
As we go along in the pandemic our businesses are all facing challenging times as the economic impact of Coronavirus starts to bite longer. And when faced with challenges like this, it's time to turn to The Godfather for that inimitable advice:

“Go to the mattresses.”

In other words, prepare your business for the long haul. Get your mattresses ready for your company to go to battle.


We need to work smarter, and be ready to tackle the challenges ahead.
 

Here are seven steps you can take to prepare your marketing activity during this Coronovirus downturn:rt to retain your existing customer base

  1. Work harder at expanding your prospecting list
  2. Work harder at expanding your prospecting list
  3. Get even more visible in front of your target market
  4. Fine unique ways of grabbing marketing share in your niche area(s)
  5. Focus on driving market share
  6. Measure, measure, measure
  7. Test, learn, test
Seven marketing techniques for powering through Corona
Businesses are looking more carefully at budgets, making sure we can squeeze every penny of profit out of our investments, and looking for the most cost-effective way to deliver products and services.

Marketing budgets may appear to be a soft target for businesses looking to make budget cuts. But a cut in marketing activity is a short term fix that is sure to have long term consequences. Maintaining visibility in your market is essential for long term profitability and continued investment.

And our customers are also watching the pennies, but they are still spending money. They may be spending less, but we need to figure out what they’re spending their money on. They don’t want to risk wasting a penny; they want to buy the right products from companies they can trust.

1. Work smart to retain & expand your existing customer base
Out of sight means out of mind. You need to keep in touch with your customers or you risk losing them. It's always cheaper to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one.
  • Marketing automation is the lowest cost, easiest, and most effective way of keeping in touch with your customers. I’m not talking sending automated email marketing spam, nor am I talking about broadcasting cold calling messages to get new customers. Well, I guess I sort of am. You need to be sending out niche specific, contextualized, targeted messages to existing customers, prospects, suspects and any anyone else you can find to hear your message. Maybe they are not a customer but maybe, just maybe they have a friend who is. You need to be keeping in touch at every touch point possible, social channels, through the web email, direct mail, phone. Doing this systematically and as automatically as possible will ensure the job gets done, and free up your finite and expensive human talents to deliver creative messages that will bring an even higher ROI that a single or two channel attack.
  • Content production is an essential for your niche specific marketing campaign. Share what makes you the unique and better option for their covid recovery. Explain how you are best choice in what differentiates your offering from your competitors. and promote your story showing how with you the client wins.
  • Getting more social means engaging in conversations with your existing customers. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email. Direct mail- these are places where you customers are reviewing you and your products, analyzing their purchasing decisions, exchanging views on your business. Create a high impact low cost plan for reaching customers at every touch point point you can use effectively to get them through in the sales funnel As you use these tools, what are your customer's and prospect's reactions, listen to your customers, hear what they’re talking about, keep track of the call backs, the opt outs, learn more about your market. And remember, it isn’t ALL about you – your are speaking to people you should understand in regard to needs and remedies to problems and solutions. Your message and to the conversation needs to be valuable and appropriate.
     
2. Work harder at expanding your prospecting list
Use Linked-In, find directories, online "zoom" networking meetings,virtual trade shows. There are a million ways to add into your. The point is you need more names in your data base. Do  what ever you can to add marketing share. Personally I have a daily special going to grab prospects and market share. I love market share more than anything else. Even with covid people still  need what you sell. They might need less of it but someone somewhere still needs it.

3. Get even more visible in front of your potential clients
You have to build your brand awareness and get more visibility, which means driving visitors to your website to make the sales. And one of the best times to get found by potential clients is when they’re searching for what you’re selling. You need to get found at every stage of the purchasing life-cycle, from exploring new suppliers to evaluating specific offerings.
  • The Mere Exposure Effect is the marketing phenomenon by which consumers develop a preference for your products or services merely because they are familiar with them. Now is the time to explore low cost techniques that will keep your brand visible in front of potential clients on a steady basis. It may feel counter-intuitive, but setting aside an advertising budget for keeping your brand visible will deliver long term benefits. Focus on creating high quality content that is going to get shared, and reduce your budget for generating low value, low impact content.
  • Update your evergreen content. Your business has an archive of perennially relevant, interesting content that does not become dated and is still of value to your customers… and the search engines. Revisit your content, update it, give it a spring clean, with the objective of improving your rankings in the search engines.
  • What other people say about your is more important than what you say about yourself. Another low cost way of getting visible in front of a larger pool of potential clients is to leverage the authority of other respected experts.
     
4. Focus on driving market share
A low cost, high impact covid marketing is about grabbing market share Don't focus on conversion rate, clicks and likes. Yes that is (sort of) important but we want action. I have a plan where in certain days in a certain niche I will set up and run at no charge for 2 months a content based email marketing plan no cost. I have a customer Estimator Cloud who has a covid special of after a demo you get to run the print estimation program and no cost or obligation for free for 3 months.  Small incremental changes to the user journey will turn more of your website visitors into customers.
  • Social proof and post positive stories about your business. Revisit how you are using your cases studies, recommendations and reviews at every touch point in your marketing, and take the time to weave this content throughout your website and share actively on social media.
  • Customer experience is king. Invest in your website to ensure you are giving a fast, personalized experience. And in terms of keeping costs down, remember that small changes to your website will have a huge impact on the final results.
  • Leverage artificial intelligence. Now is the time to get up to speed on the latest developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence that will give your business competitive advantage and access to the right prospective customers at the right time. Taking advantage of current developments in AI will drive down your cost per acquisition of new clients by ensuring you are getting the right message to the right person at the right time, and reducing waste.
     
5. Fine unique ways of grabbing marketing share in your niche area(s)
What can you offer to attract people? I sell marketing so what do I do. I over limited time teaser work do get them into the Larson Way of marketing. I know m way works even in the age of covid so if "MY" way can get them visibility and maybe even a customer to two think what it will do when things get going full steam again. Lock them in and put the hammer down!

6. Measure, measure, measure
If you don’t measure, then you can’t manage. And if you’re not managing, then you could be pouring money down the drain.

Measuring means accountability for your marketing spend. You need to be measuring against your success criteria. You may want to measure sales, numbers of lead generated, up-sells, or referrals. Now is the time to ensure you have defined your key performance indicators.
  • Configure your Google Analytics correctly. Ensure you are covering all the basics and that you are using the data to drive your marketing inefficiencies. Do you have goals set-up correctly? Have you connected your search console?  Have you defined what you are measuring?  Are you taking advantage of all the free data that Google Analytics provides to you that can shape your strategy?
  • Measure your social media ROI. When budgets get tight, you may need to make tough decisions on how you are going to spend your resources. One soft option might be to put the breaks on your social media activity. Social media can appear to be very time consuming and an optional non-essential activity. But before you make that decision, ensure you have explored how social media is contributing to your bottom line in terms of engagement, visibility, and profitability.
If marketing budgets are tight, then knowing what works makes it easier to make the decisions of where to invest your cash.

7. Test, learn, test
And finally, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the the conventional, digital and social marketing puzzle.
You will need to be nimble and quick. Creative and memorial. Measure your success, and learn from the experiment. Here are some parting tips:
  • Experiments should be quick, cheap, and easy to deliver.
  • If it works, wonderful, do more of the same.
  • And if it doesn’t work so well, then kill the experiment and move on. No harm done. Be quick and be ruthless. You will have tested something, learned from it, allowing you to move on and test something new.

 

Larson & Associates

Making Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Is it time to make you great?
Phone 847-991-1294


Our mailing address is:
Larson & Associates
678 N Eagle Lane    Suite 201
Palatine IL 60067
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassocaites.ws
www.larsonassociates.ws

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sales Lessons From Baseball

Baseball, I remember the first time I went to a game. Going through a dark tunnel opening up to w wide green field. This
was as good as it gets. The big leagues.

It’s about individual efforts and the team.
1) A baseball team is made up of individual players who know how to play together.
2) Every great baseball player started out as a beginner.
3) Every Major Leaguer started out in the minors
4) All Pros are coachable
5) Baseball players warm up and practice before every game
6) Baseball players learn the fundamentals until they are automatic
7) All baseball players go through slumps
8) All baseball players make errors
9) All baseball players LOVE the game



The down side
1) Very few baseball players make it to the big leagues
2) Very few baseball players can lead
3) Very few baseball players can hit a home run or get that clutch hit
4) Errors in judgment can cost you your career
5) Cheaters do eventually get caught
6) There is not prize for second place
7) For fans to be loyal to the team the team needs to be loyal to the fans

Larson Notes & Satire: To succeed in baseball or sales you need to believe not just in yourself but in your teammates, you have to believe you and your team will win. You need to believe in your coach and your leadership.
So ask yourself
Who are you playing for?
Are you a winner?
How much do you practice a day?
How much of you is in the game?
Where is your loyalty?
Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws
http://www.larsonassociates.ws

http://larsonassociates.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/LarsonAssociate
https://www.facebook.com/pg/LarsonAndAssociatesFans
https://www.linkedin.com/in/larsonassociates

P.S. We make teleprospecting for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you sould add teleprospecting into your marketing mix call today and find out.

Monday, July 20, 2020

I Got A Guy. . Is it you?

I Got A Guy

Is it you?
If you follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter or my Facebook Business Page you might have noticed at times I post products or services I do not do, and say I Got A Guy.
So who are these guys and what are these products and services?
My Customers
If you are one of  my customers your one of  MY Guy's and I do everything and more to get you sales leads and customers. I do what I said I would do for your marketing and then I give that little bit extra!

E-Mail Marketing

If Email is your channel of distribution use it wisely. Think before you share your latest blog, a sale or to just share information. Choose wisely. Make sure what you are sending is useful information and worth their time. Good subject, engaging content and always a call to action.  

Direct Mail

Direct Mail is seen as a dinosaur by many but before you dismiss it do your research, it has proven to be beneficial. Don’t forget to apply the golden rule 40/20/40 the success of your direct mail marketing efforts are going to be dependent upon three factors –
  • 40% of your success will come from how effective your mailing list is
  • 20% will come from everything else (design, the copy text etc.).
  • 40% will depend on how compelling your offer is.
The takeaway here is do not spend a whole lot of time and money on flashy graphics, layouts. It might not win creative awards but it will bring business to your door. And isn't that what we want, more sales? And keep in mind the mail box is next to empty. Its your job to fill it.

For all you printers out there we don't print but do use print services.

Telemarketing / Teleprospecting

Telemarketing is the glue to make this all come together.

You pick your plan from straight hourly to straight incentive with NO long term contact, no hidden costs. Additionally we can put a telesales plan together with as few as 10 hours a week keeping it in balance with your company’s staff, growth projections and marketing budget.

It gives you the unique ability to go make sure they are getting your message, the ability to ask questions on what you sent and come away with information you need to take then farther down the sales pipeline and it gives you immediate feedback.  Then regardless of the call and how it went ASK FOR THE ORDER! If you are afraid to ask we are not. So let us ask for you.
When you're ready to change the look of your email, take a look through the “design” tab to set background colors, borders, and other styles.

So you want to be one of
My Guys?

If you want to be one of MY Guys give me a call me at 847-991-1294. We have a program that is right for you and a little bit more.

And if nothing else you now you know what "I got a guy" is when you see it posted

Larson & Associates


We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better
Copyright ©2020 Larson & Associates, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Larson & Associates
678 N Eagle Ln   Suite 201
Palatine IL 60067
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws
www.larsonassociates.ws

Monday, May 18, 2020

Get Open, Stay Open, Be Safe

We are all out here fighting the good fight

Day after day. Trying to make a sale, Trying to get your product manufactured and shipped!
Here at Larson & Associates one of my product services is our:
Outsourced Sales Management & Sales Professionals.
http://www.larsonassociates.ws/Outsourced_Sales
I use this area of my work very sparing. I am very particular in who I am willing to get in long term connections with. One of the few is with Mark Myers at Estimator Cloud https://www.estimatorcloud.com

But these dark times, dark times indeed and call for very expanded special relationships. To this end I picked up two companies that I saw with products you all need and might not have a resource for. The time and need for companies, shops and factories like yours to get open and stay open is now!
I Want You All Open!
I want you open and I want you to stay open!
I can't do my main line of work which is to market you with telesales, telemarketing, teleprospecting & target marketing  to achieve consistent desired and sustainable growth if you are not open.

If you have a plan to reopen I applaud you. If you don't, I know some people in the business who can assist you.

What I am doing is promoting a line of products from two different companies to help see that happen. One in particular that got me very excited is Penetrexx.

Penetrexx

This iis what I call the bridge product which will keep you safe between disinfection cleanings.

This is the one product that is probably not being used in a company, factory, restaurant or any other work facility. The one product that gives you lasting surface protection.
If you are open or are planning to open I expect you have a plan for disinfecting but let me ask you about surface integrity between treatments?
Penetrexx is that bridge product you can use  that will reduce the build up of bio-films and microbial colonization.

Penetrexx currently holds both EPA and FDA regulatory approval for use in animal protein production and human health care.

In a recent hospital study Penetrexx out performed standard hospital protocols by more than 4 to 1 in head to head ATP counts.
  







In stock ready for shipment:
Penetrexx (RTU)          32oz Bottles      4 bottles           $139.80
Penetrexx (RTU)          1 gal Bottle        4 bottles           $359.80
Penetrexx (RTU)          5 Gal Pail         $429.95                    
Penetrexx (RTU)          55 Gal Drum    $3,715.79                 
Penetrexx (RTU)          275 Gal Tote    $18,915.26
Plus shipping and handling
The Rest Of The Product Line We Are Carrying
For Facility and Personal Care

Hand Sensitizer
Non-Alcoholic 














MediDefense Hand Santizer is a revolutionary new alcohol-free formula with an advanced technology proven to extend germ fighting protection.
Additionally being non-alcoholic it will not dry out your hands like alcoholic based hand sensitizer.
In stock ready for shipment:
mPulse Hand Sanitizer 2 oz. Spray
    24 bottles $119.76
mPulse Hand Sanitizer 7.5 oz. Foam
    12 bottles $119.88
mPulse Hand Sanitizer
     1 GL Jug 4 bottles $174.08

Plus shipping and handling
*Note i can get alcohol based hand sensitzers and they are less expensive.

Masks

 Product Information-Masks and Gloves 
  • 3-ply 
  • Payment required upfront 
Units Price
  • 1,000 $.69
  • 5,000 $.39
  • 10,00 $.36
  • 25,000 $.35
  • 50,000 $.33 

Gloves

Gloves-Nitrile




Units Price
  • 5,000 $.31
  • 10,000 $.30
  • 25,000 $.28
  • 50,000 $.26
  • 100,000 $.24 

 

DISCLAIMER: MASKS AND GLOVES ARE A FAST MOVING PRODUCTS AND THIS PRICING IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITH EACH SHIPMENT FROM MANUFACTURES. LARSON & ASSOCIATES PRICING IS BASED ON RAW COSTS OF INPUTS USED TO MANUFACTURE, MARKET SUPPLY, AND DEMAND.LARSON & ASSOCIATES HAS NO CONTROL OVER THE AFOREMENTIONED COSTS AS THEY ARE DICTATED BY THE MARKET.  LEAD-TIMES QUOTED ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PRODUCTION QUEUE INCREASES DUE TO DEMAND AS WELL AS SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES ARE BEYOND OUR CONTROL. ANY CHANGE IN PRICE WILL BE COMMUNICATED PROMPTLY. ALL ORDERS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE, NON-RETURNABLE AND NON-CANCELLABLE. 

If we can help you get open, stay open or to just stay safe let us know.
We are here for you!

Making Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better
Copyright ©2020 Larson @ Associates, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Larson & Associates
678 N Eagle Lane    Suite 201
Palatine IL 60067
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates,ws
www.larsonassociates.ws

Friday, May 8, 2020

Rule Of Number 2

Sometimes The Best You Can Be Is The Supplier In Reserve

The Rule Of
NUMBER 2


So what is the rule of number 2? Sooner or later your prospects #1 supplier is going to mess up. I do, you do and yes your competition will, which brings us to this unique period in history.

Supply lines are stained, frayed, cut and even broken so it is your chance, maybe your best opportunity to present yourself as the viable alternative. The go to guy. The guy that can do it when all others can't.  But they will not call you if they don't know you are out there!
Mohammad Ali said it best. You don't trade punches with the champ. You got to beat the champ!
Right now if I were you I would be hammering away with each right and left I could.  I would be marketing and selling the heck out of my business to let people know I am open and able to do what we do best, MARKET! Muhammad used the right hand to lead, and then the hard LEFT!

It's time to throw your left hook.

Slumps are for the other guy, This is the time when you just pick yourself up off the mat again and again. Get up one more time with us. No matter how hard it is, this is the fight of a lifetime and you can win! I don't care how long you have been in sales, or been in business. This is your moment. Your moment to shine.  Mandscratches head looking at down sales arrow
When you can’t seem to close the sale despite your best effort. Remember they need you now more than ever. Pick yourself up and market.  When each call or conversation that you do get seems that much harder than it ever was before. Pick yourself up and market. The pressure is on, the volume is down and you just can’t get that deal to click. Pick yourself up and market.

Understanding that we can influence this cycle, spot problems, change behaviors and avoid repeating mistakes that lead to slumps in sales. But if they can't find you they can't buy from you. So, pick yourself up and market. 

Larson & Associates we usually don’t like to brag, but we have a secret where we can successfully predict when a sales slump is going to happen, well, nearly 95% of the time that is. After all, no one is perfect, right?
sales secret manila envelope
Do you want to know our secret to avoiding sales slumps? It really is quite simple, it all comes down to: Prospecting. Yes prospecting. Sales prospecting is one of the most important aspects of an organization, let alone a sales process.

 
Right now, today, someone out there buying what you are selling or making. 
All companies, in good times and bad, have to fill their pipeline with good leads in order to acquire customers. Helping you prospect, how it works and what it means for your sales is a big part of how our secret can work for you.
Sales slumps have a way of self-perpetuating, with the lack of sales eroding our confidence and expectations of positive results, which in turn makes it even more difficult to return to the good form we have lost along the way.  In sales the natural reaction is to fight off the pressure and panic with a quick fix, by ‘digging’ for more sales. Digging in places where you know the sales were, looking for that next pot of gold. This is what went wrong in the first place, stop ‘digging’ where the sales were, trying to work that same ‘claim’ endlessly and move on to new ground.  If there is a trick to prospecting it’s doing the work to make it ‘work’. The only real way is to get back out there and start making the calls, working the leads. Initiating conversations with cold sales calls that now with what is going on in the world and  the events where is your prospects mind at? these are still the ‘nuts and bolts’ that hold the process together. Opportunity is out there, your job is to find it, through prospecting.

So if you are finding yourself in a slump right now, you are not alone. Don't feel bad we are all in the ring fighting the fight. And if you find yourself on the mat, take a deep breath, fill your lungs and hold it for a second, deep breath, get up and start punching. Pick up the phone and call that prospect who has always said no. You might be surprised.
Make the commitment. Invest your time, your energy and your emotion into actions that you can control.
So go on. Sit down and pick-up the phone. Go knock on some virtual doors. Send out some e-mails. Work your Linked-In, Twitter and Facebook social network and groups. Start asking for orders. Ask for referrals. Talk to any and everyone about what you do.
 At Larson & Associates we are always ready to put forth that extra effort, to work hard and persevere in everything that we do for you. We can help you avoid the corona virus sales slump, overcome marketing anxiety and map out new places to ‘dig’. The more you do, the more you get. It really is that simple.
 
We Make Good Companies Great
And Great Companies Even Better

Call For the Larson Marketing Planning Guide:

Yes, for a free pdf or word doc copy of our Marketing Planning Guide  just email to howard@larsonassociates.ws and I'll email it out to you. Then I can sit down with you and show you how you could be making 50% more in sales! Even more if your an under 500K company and have the grit.
Just ask for either the short get running fast version or the long hard one.