Marketing — Getting the biggest bang for Your Buck as Discussed by Melvin Feller MA, MBA

Melvin Feller MA,MBA and Marketing. Melvin Feller Author
Melvin Feller MA,MBA and Marketing

According to Melvin Feller, MBA and business owner as well as an online educator, marketing is an ever-changing, sometimes elusive activity. Even the marketing experts are continually tweaking their strategies in order to remain focused on attracting the customers they want. So, what should typical small business owners do, whose expertise is in delivering the product or service they started the business for?

First, understand that marketing is simply the message you send out to connect with people who want what you sell. Communicating this message is actually easier than creating the message itself. And herein lies the problem. Most business owners focus exclusively on the type of transmission vehicle that carries the message instead of crafting a compelling message that entices their customers to want to do business with them. When this happens, most marketing programs are equally as effective and tend to deliver the same poor results.

Melvin Feller and Marketing Team. Melvin Feller
Melvin Feller and Marketing Team

Melvin Feller teaches and analysis marketing messages and believes that the fact is, that business have an identical marketing weakness as do most industries where there are tons of competitors with virtually no obvious differentiation.

Most competitors’ web sites or marketing messages make the same-sounding claims, describe
the same-sounding services, and make same-sounding lead generation offers.

Some try to break from the pack by making either of the three big marketing mistakes:

Mistake 1: Boasting about leadership. “We’re the leader in…” Even if it’s true, unless you’re a household name it sounds fake, and no one cares except your CEO. It’s not a key differentiation
point.

Melvin Feller and the Marketing Puzzle. Melvin Feller
Melvin Feller and the Marketing Puzzle.

Mistake 2: Making up terminology to describe yourself. “We use the unique A.B.C. process to…” If prospects never heard of it, they don’t care. They are not here to learn about you — they just want to know if you can solve their particular problem.

Mistake 3: Broad customer description. “Everyone from the Fortune 500 to small businesses use our services.” Prospects don’t think of themselves as generic (even if they are), so they
don’t want to buy generic services even if it would suit them.

Melvin Feller’s bottom line advice is to focus your positioning on the customer — not
yourself!

Feller recommends that you start by reviewing what you have received for the money you have spent on marketing programs. While every business has unique qualities that may favor particular approaches, here are some of the more common forms of marketing and some tips on how to evaluate their effectiveness.

Local phone books- Most of these directories have been replaced by more robust on-line services. Still, a tremendous number of businesses continue to advertise in ‘yellow page’ style books. Look at the section of the book you occupy. Based on competition, the size you select and cost you agree to pay, the listing should be big enough to have one main message plus contact information. Anything more and the cost associated with it can be put to better use.

Newspaper ads- Unless you do a substantial volume business or rely on holidays for the majority of your business, forget them. The cost grossly outweighs the benefit.

Melvin Feller and Getting the Most out of Your Marketing.Melvin Feller MA
Melvin Feller and Getting the Most out of Your Marketing.

Coupon mailers- These vehicles are acceptable for car washes, haircuts and pizza but not much else. Most people don’t even open the envelops and if they do, they usually don’t look through more than 4–5 on the top. In any case, the coupon redemption is less than 1% so figure out how much you will pay to get 2–3 people to call you.

Online local listings- Several companies sell services to place you in all local listings for an ongoing monthly fee of anywhere from $99 to $499. If you have the know-how, you can do 90% of this yourself and save some money.

Door flyers- Most of the cost of this promotional approach is in the cost of delivering the flyers. They can be very effective if combined with something free. Real estate agents do very well by advertising themselves on pads of paper. This way, your name stays in front of your prospect for some period of time.

Mobile Text Messaging- A relatively new advertising medium, this service sends text promotions and offers to people who sign up using a text message code. They can work very well for low cost purchases or time specific offers like free sodas with any sub during the lunch hour. Other than that, I predict this program will fade as people will tire of getting ads sent to their phones.

Radio- Broad reaching but can be expensive. Depending on the time slots, you may or may not even be talking to your potential customers. All times are not equal so ask lots of questions about the schedule you buy into.

Billboards- Predominantly dependent on your message and the location. Unless your business has a visual component, I would pass on this sort of advertising.

Networking events- An excellent way to build visibility and referrals but it can be time consuming. You may need to test a few different groups to see which ones attract the types of referral partners and customers you are looking for. For most quality networking groups, look at WWW.meetup.com

Melvin Feller Loves Marketing. Melvin Feller Expert Marketer
Melvin Feller Loves Marketing.

Websites- One of the single biggest marketing expenses for a small business, your content, appearance and functionality must all work together or your designer and hosting costs are going down the drain every month.

Be very critical of your returns with any of these marketing approaches. If you are spending $500 to $2,500 per month on a variety of programs, make sure you can message the business you get with the right message. If the return is poor, cancel the agreement.

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Melvin Feller

President of Melvin Feller Business Group With over three decades of executive coaching, speaking, and most importantly, real-life, in-the-trenches experience.