January 2018 article
When writing for greater response
I was stuck. My advertising - online and offline - wasn’t working. I’d been so confident, so determined, so focussed - and there was barely a trickle of response!
The advertisements were for my new sideline business when I was in my late twenties. The business: Running workshops in the area of improving a person's intuition. I’d run these workshops, after hours, whilst I continued to work my day job in marketing promotion. Well that was the plan anyway.
Brian Sher, my friend, had solved some marketing problems that had baffled everyone. I called him to ask for some feedback over lunch.
Brian listened carefully to the scenario and then stated, “Mike, you’ll never write a good headline unless you understand the specific pain of your prospect.”
“You’ll never write a great headline unless you understand the specific pain of your prospect.”
The words struck me so strongly. I knew this was something I'd have to remember. We ordered our lunch at Tropicanas in Darlinghurst, Sydney.
Brian then talked about his experience with the principle as it related to response oriented advertising (not branding type campaigns - they are a different ballgame).
“When we started the Redwood Clinics, we were so focussed on anti-aging as being the next big thing - the next big market. We talked about anti-aging, read about anti-aging and attended anti-ageing conferences.” said Brian.
“The problem was, Mike, that our ads weren’t pulling. This went on for a couple of years.” I was intrigued by his confession of failure. Brian continued, “one day I got some feedback from the only guy I knew in that industry who happened to be making money. To read the full article, click here.
"If I run six new customer acquisition process tests within your business, three will fail. Two will do pretty well. And one will become immensely valuable for your business over the next five years."
I never actually said this when I first came out and financially guaranteed ROI for clients. But this is what I was thinking. The year was 1998 and I was desperate to prove a point - greedy for more success!
Looking up Michael's work as an exhibiting abstract artist? His art site is michaeldayes.com.au
At the time, our business, called Cherry, was already within the top 3%* of the most profitable promotional companies within it's category.
I never advertised my behind-the-scenes anticipated failures because I didn't want our competition knowing something: The basis for the guaranteed client results was something so simple, so logical and obvious it was laughable. Lots of small scale calculated experiments. Scaling up the successes. Dropping the small failures. It doesn't get much simpler!
Michael's May 2017 article:
This might sound like a big claim but, believe me, the opportunity is very real. I've achieved exactly this for a number of local clients in recent months. The results are a huge standout from all other customer acquisition tests.
To do this we need to investigate one social media offshoot. It's known as Google Plus Customer Ratings.
Before we look at Google Plus Customer Ratings in depth, I want to say something: A very small number of social media opportunities are immensely powerful for marketers. Most, I believe, are over hyped and many are just plain useless. Read more...
And it doesn't matter how big or small your business or brand is. If you are willing to experiment and act fairly, the numbers still apply. The size of the budget simply determines the speed of development.
My idea to financially guarantee client results was great for our business back then. No other marketing promotional companies matched that. I can still recall the first prospect chuckling under his breath when he held up our proposal. He glanced at some sales documents from other agencies. "It's obvious who we need to go with" he said, "I've signed the proposal."
Market research matters. So does marketing theory and principles. I've invested a lot of time and money over the years to go deeper and deeper into both. Small scale promotional experiments, however, are so crucial to achieve breakthroughs in customer acquisition.
Both offline as well as online. If you are in a local geographical market, outdoor signage might be twenty times as effective as local newspaper advertising. Or perhaps your market is business customers? Telemarketing on the back end of three direct mailings could be "the answer" to new enquiry. Or maybe the right proposition in an online pay-per-call campaign. You won't know until you test.
Of course its not just the media but how it gets used that makes the difference.
"What promotional experiments do we conduct?" and "How do we conduct these in a pragmatic way?" are the questions that I'm paid to answer day-to-day. Once a client decides which of the proposed ideas they would like to proceed with, I'm hands on with execution. And tracking the effectiveness.
If you'd like to have a chat about the possibilities for your business (and your business is outside the Fast Moving Consumer Goods category FMCG which I don't work with), simply contact me on 04 1234 2114 and we can take it from there.
The types of activities that fall within the scope of my work: Market research design and execution, copywriting, art direction, negotiating media, offline and online media scheduling, lifetime value analysis, tracking and assessment of promotional variables.
*Cherry was founded by Michael Dayes and Maria Sipka in the living room of their Woolloomooloo shoebox apartment. Within 12 months Cherry was ranked within the top 3% of the most profitable graphic design agencies in Australia as per a study conducted by the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA). Soon after the business was flipped into a consultancy assisting clients with customer acquisition.