Over coffee recently with a long-standing direct marketing colleague of mine, we got onto the subject of the many changes which marketing has undergone over recent years.
When we came to the Internet, he made the following comment:
“I like many others are part of a lost generation. We know retail, space, TV, telesales, direct mail and direct response marketing inside out but when it comes to the Internet, we have no idea how to make things happen there.”
I immediately responded with: “Maybe, but there’s a lot to learn from people such as yourself even though your expertise in new media is less than in others”.
I mix with people of all ages and I constantly ask for opinions on everything I do.
Whilst I get very valuable – and often very sound – advice and feedback from my younger friends, I tend to find that the best advice generally comes from “old hands”.
1.) They have seen it all before
There isn’t really anything new in marketing as the techniques used in Internet and mobile marketing have been with us for decades. The big difference is that they are now being delivered / applied digitally.
Long term marketers can instantly tell you whether a marketing concept, headline or sales copy is good or bad no matter which medium you are focused on.
There are people everywhere who can implement the technical aspects of a project. Being able to speak to someone who can quickly say “yes” or “no” to a concept based on past results is the step you need to take before even considering implementation.
2.) They are not locked into any ONE medium
They have experience across multiple mediums and therefore keep an open mind on different options.
This is vital as you can multiply your sales and results by utilizing multiple sales channels. When you do everything through one medium (e.g. the Internet) only, you more than likely will be leaving money on the table.
Even online gurus acknowledge this. In fact, one went public just on 2 years ago stating that he multiplied his sales by a factor of 10 by introducing a call center facility into his sales mix.
So how do long term marketers react?
I have two colleagues with strong alternative health products, both of whom have spoken to many online marketers all of whom have advised “online is the way to go”.
Yes, they are both building websites to present their products. However, they know that there are smarter ways to go – one is focusing on MLM distribution and the other on retail distribution.
[I know their products and concur fully with their decision / focus.]
3.) They understand metrics better than anyone
There are several areas here which long term marketers excel at:
- Measuring Results: Online marketers are blessed with so many tracking and measuring tools at their disposal. Yet, ironically, far too many do not either utilize what is available or fully understand the value / importance of the figures they produce.
- List Segmentation: You must segment your database. An email address on its own is not enough. Even a simple demographic such as location is vital so you can target your promotions correctly.
- Lifetime Value: You need to understand this and ensure it is accounted for when measuring every promotion you conduct.
Understanding and working “the numbers” is vital in any business.
4.) They are not driven by hype
Most of the long term marketers I deal with see great value in Blogs but are not taken in by the social media frenzy which the media has whipped up.
Yes, most participate in social media. However, they don’t view it as a strong sales tool.
For example: One of my colleagues recently posted a special invitation on Facebook where he has 800+ followers. It generated 2 responses. By comparison, the same invitation sent by email to 89 people generated 23 responses.
As I stated above, their focus in on where the metrics tell them they should be.
5.) They have run their own successful businesses … or built businesses for others
Twenty years ago, If you wanted to set up a direct mail or direct response business, you had to fund it yourself. (You hardly ever heard about venture capitalists or angel investors in those days and business value was based very much on profits earned.)
Many long term marketers and entrepreneurs come from that OLD SCHOOL where they had to put their own money on the table and so their focus is on making the business work rather than playing the “investor game”.
They generally don’t think about being “the next big thing” and burning cash like it is going out of season trying to create a brand which they can take to an IPO quickly. Their focus is on generating positive returns NOW!
6.) They don’t suffer from ADHD
Many online marketers either admit that they suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) OR act as though they do.
Today it’s one project – tomorrow it’s another.
This can and does work for many, especially in the online marketing arena.
However, it’s an absolute negative in many other sectors as businesses take time to develop and succeed. Jumping around with a new idea or strategy every 2nd day can be destructive.
Long term marketers had to learn the art of patience as it took time to get the results in from a direct mail or direct response campaign and so they simply had to wait before saying “that didn’t work” and move onto other options. Patience is a strength.
Next time you are looking for advice or a confirmation on a concept, then don’t hesitate in calling on a long term marketer or entrepreneur for advice and direction. It could save or make you thousands!!!