Go Hang Off of a Billboard “Naked” During Rush Hour Traffic!

Posted by Robin Robins On January 11th, 2010

This is a continuing series of posts of my top 8 New Years Resolutions for IT Marketers.  This is part 3 out of a 4 part series…  If you haven’t read them yet, make sure to check out Part I and Part II from last week.

New Years Resolution #5:  If you’re going to pick the lock and steal the treasure map, use it!

Here’s an all-too-typical example of what I’m talking about… 

A marketing campaign was e-mailed to me for critique from a long-standing member (who, by the way, should know better both about the campaign which I’ll explain in a minute AND e-mailing me something important, expecting a response). He’s perplexed as to why he’s getting no response from his campaign when he’s “using the strategies exactly as I teach.” Except…

He’s sending a postcard instead of enveloped mail using the sneak up approach. Except, he’s mailing a cold list without scrubbing it first.  Except, the postcard has no testimonials, no headline and doesn’t SELL the free audit.  Except that despite the fact he’s mailed the list before, he’s only mailed the same offer once, and mailed the other offers about a month later, not referencing the first, building no urgency to respond, no deadline and confusing the prospect with a different offer each time. Except, except, except. Other than that, he’s following my strategies exactly as I’ve taught them.  Now I’m not beating up on this poor fellow because I give him credit for taking action and trying…also for reaching out to us when things are going pear shaped…BUT it does need to be pointed out because I see so many other members making these same mistakes. This is like having the plans for baking a cake, but you leave out the eggs, cut the flour in half and bake it for only half the time, then wonder why you have something that looks like a flat uncooked pancake instead of an award-winning chocolate cake. Look, learning new skills takes time and practice and you can’t do it half-way. If you want to generate the same success as someone else, you have to model their behavior and actions to a “T,” not just doing what is convenient, easy or agreeable to you. Vary from the process even a little bit and you’re not going to get the same results.

Now, a little recognition to a member using the materials verbatim DESPITE his initial skepticism: “Robin, (Despite my initial skepticism) we started to test the waters with some of the Toolkit materials and generated some positive feedback. I sent out 7 BDR e-mails to 7 of my clients, received 5 responses and sold 3 BDR and one managed services with the BDR. We started to use the telemarketing script for cleaning an old cold list and found the script does work. With all of the material that you have provided us with, it’s just a matter of rolling up thesleeves and going to work.” Ralph J. Fiorillo CNE, CNA, MCP, President, Tritech Solutions, Inc

New Years Resolution #6:  Implement more UNUSUAL and attention grabbing strategies.

One of the “complaints” (maybe observations is more accurate) I hear from new members is that the marketing appears to be a bit unprofessional or “hokey.” That is, of course, a knee-jerk opinion entrenched in their brain based on the boring, plain-vanilla advertising they see all around them. Truth is, outrageous advertising sells. Back in October, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brands, encompassing over 360 different companies and one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. In his book, “Screw It, Let’s Do It,” he talks

about how he used several outrageous stunts to market and promote his various brands including hanging (apparently) stark naked from a crane above Times Square in New York to promote Virgin Mobile’s tag line of “we have nothing to hide,” emphasizing the fact they had no hidden costs to taking dangerous balloon trips across the ocean risking his life more than once. He said that while it would have been easier to hire a PR firm to help promote his companies, he knew he was up against big competitors with big bank accounts and ruthless people who would do anything to keep him from entering the space—and that’s why he had to do it himself using outrageous stunts that would get him on the front page news…and it worked.  My suggestion for this year is to do MORE of that type of crazy advertising and marketing.  Should you hang in a flesh bodysuit over a billboard in rush hour traffic on the busiest Interstate in your area? Maybe…just make sure the media knows you’re doing it to promote that your managed services plans have “nothing to hide,” or no hidden fees—and take a picture for me because I certainly want it for the my newsletter.