I saw an Ad in “Direct Response”, a magazine I get, that had some great tips – so I’m passing them along, though it’s mixed with my own comments.

9 Rules for Marketing Success:

  1. Empirical, not emotional decisions. This is one of the reasons using a CRM is an absolute must, because if you don’t have a CRM, you won’t have the data (most likely) on which to make accurate decisions about which marketing is profitable, and which is not. You should be able to easily see your cost-per-incoming-call, cost-per-lead, and cost-per-closed deal for any given marketing source.
  2. Numbers are Truth. Humans delude themselves, want to be right about certain assumptions, so they’ll frequently conclude things which the numbers won’t support. Awareness creates action, action creates results – but step one is accurately measuring anything you want to improve.
  3. Frequency is the benefit of success, never the key to success. Ad sales reps love to pound this – “oh, you gotta run it before it sticks” or “frequency is the key to success”. No, it’s not. That said, you do often need more than one impact before people buy, and usually the 4th impact of direct mail (on average) will have more impact than the first impact – but you can focus your test. Test small before scaling up.
  4. Programs should work out of the gate. If you’re within a few points of an acceptable cost-per-closed-deal, and the sample size is small, then perhaps make a few tweaks. If you’re off by 10% margin, drop it and retool rather than chase a dud. This can be disheartening, but is better than chasing a loss.
  5. There’s a life cycle to creative and window of opportunity. Watch your numbers as they’ll start to weaken at some point, which signals time to revise or start a new campaign.
  6. Internet & all other marketing = marketing. Treat it as such. They need to work hand in hand. Offline media can really help scale your internet presence, so you get more value, and the internet can really help fulfillment and efficiency of offline media.