When it comes to B2B marketing, good enough and get it done are better than perfection.
I think most business-to-business marketers should aim for “get it out” and “good enough” rather than aim for perfection.
- Perfection is impossible to achieve.
- Marketing campaigns and materials spend too long in concept and development.
- Waiting for perfection causes significant delays in get your message out.
Even worse, your marketing messages never get delivered at all.
Consider these ideas and resources to get marketing done faster:With all this in mind, here are some ideas and resources to consider for your marketing:
Use what you’ve got
Refresh or repurpose your existing materials Iinstead of constantly re-inventing the marketing wheel, consider re-purposing or refreshing your existing materials.
The reasons someone should engage your company are often the same as in the past, so why not update the marketing materials that were successful in the past. (We are usually sick of our marketing materials long before they stop working with our prospects.)
Focus on clear messages
Craft clear, well-targeted headlines and messages which offer real solutions to your prospective customers’ problems or pains. “Oh-so-clever” copy often doesn’t communicate as well anyway.
Write that copy
The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells by Robert W. Bly is a great book if you want to “do-it-yourself.” Or you can find copywriters who can do the job for you by searching on the Internet using phrases like “B2B copywriter” or “direct mail copywriter.”
Proofread your copy
To avoid typos and grammatical errors, use a proofreading service like www.proofreadnow.com.
Use compelling offers instead of give-aways
Compelling “how-to” or information offers or “buy now” calls-to-action will get prospective customers to respond as an alternative to using costly give-aways.
Mark Joyner’s book, The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less is worth reading.
Mailings: Get personal
Fire up your laser printer and send personalized letters to your prospects, instead of spending a lot of time creating fancy, expensive mailers. Then use window envelopes so the address on the letter shows through to avoid having to address the envelopes too.
Mailings: More ideas
One of the online lettershop services like www.mailersclub.com or www.usps.com/netpost to mail-merge, print and mail your business letters can save your team time and effort.
Remember, longer copy that is easy to skim (i.e. using subheads, bullets, call-outs, boldface, etc.) works with both those prospects who prefer to read all the details and those who prefer to get right to the bottom line. You can also use postcards as a less costly alternative. Companies like www.amazingmail.com or www.modernpostcard.com can help you get your postcards designed, printed and mailed cost-effectively.
Use email instead of print
E-mails to your opt-in list of prospects are another option to developing more costly mailers.
Leverage your website
Instead of creating printed brochures, consider printing pages from your Website instead. If you’re worried about your company’s image, place them in a glossy file folder, imprinted with your logo.
Events: Keep it simple
Instead of developing seminars, workshops, or executive briefings on your own, consider partnering-up with another company to or organization to co-produce an event, or simply take your prospects as your guest to Microsoft events on the subject.
Photos: Stock photo sites got better
Instead of paying for custom photography, consider low-cost stock photo websites like www.istockphoto.com or www.photos.com.
Part-timers can help too
In addition to hiring full-time people, consider part-timers to help get the marketing job done.
As my oldest daughter just started kindergarten, I’ve met a number of moms (and a few Mr. Moms) who are ready to go back to work after taking a few years off to raise their children, but now only want to work part-time.
If you need specialized expertise on a project-by-project basis, consider hiring independent contactors like copywriters, designers or event coordinators.
And if you’re willing to trade experience for enthusiasm, consider hiring one or more interns from your local college or university. Where do you find these people? The following Websites might help.
For full- or part-time marketing employees:
For freelancers or contractors:
Know when good enough is good enough
So, next time you find yourself thinking about how to make your marketing perfect, I challenge you to think instead about what constitutes being good enough, and how to get it done sooner rather than later. After all, no one can respond to your marketing if it doesn’t reach them at all or in time.
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M. H. "Mac" McIntosh is described by many as one of America's leading business-to-business sales and marketing consultants and marketing speakers. He is president of Mac McIntosh Incorporated, a marketing consulting firm specializing in helping companies get more high-quality sales leads and turn them into sales. More about Mac...