Do You Have The Stability of a 3-Legged Stool Marketing Plan?

 

Have you ever sat on a 3 legged stool? The reality is it does not wiggle or shake. It can be said that every business is supported by a three-legged stool. Each leg of the stool represents one of the three marketing elements needed to run a successful campaign.

Since its inception and initial use in the early years of the twentieth century, the three-legged stool analogy has been used to describe the fundamental principles of business, leadership, investment, banking, politics, art and even baking. Its longevity and endurance speak to its strength and simple eloquence of design, representative of specific ideas and fundamental principles that shape successful organizations.

In the quintessential successful organization, the three ‘legs’ will be of equal height, size and strength. For if any one or two of the legs are shorter, thinner, or weaker than the others then the risk for the business is multiplied exponentially. This risk negates potential, slowing or stopping growth, causing instability, doubt and can lead to catastrophic failure, the whole project can begin collapse or never even get off the ground in the first place.

In order for the stool to remain sturdy, supportive and even all three legs must be balanced. Just as with this stool analogy to ensure a successful marketing campaign it is imperative to keep marketing ideas, efforts and goals balanced, on-track and on time.

For those who have worked with or spent time with us here at Larson & Associates, you are probably already very familiar with our well-established fondness for this analogy. The simple eloquence of design and purpose illustrate perfectly the need for supportive planning, strategy, and long-term implementation. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to hear our version of what we call “The three-legged stool of marketing” pull up your stool, maybe put on a pillow and get comfortable.

In this analogy, the seat represents your company your organizational idea, your dream. To be successful, you want it to be stable, accommodating, and enticing to clients and customers from every walk of life. In business this is accomplished and accentuated through marketing, a sturdy, strategically planned and dependable marketing strategy is going to include 3 main “legs” Direct Mail, Email Campaigning, and Telemarketing. At Larson & Associates, we build strategic, stable, successful marketing plans with this proven combination of direct mail, email campaigns, and telemarketing. At Larson & Associates, it is our firm collective belief that if you were to utilize nothing else except these 3 marketing tactics effectively that your business will grow and prosper. Not just grow but grow at the rate we want it to, 3 times the national gross national product.

Direct Mail is seen as a dinosaur by many but before you dismiss it do your research, it has proven to be beneficial. Don’t forget to apply the golden rule 40/20/40 the success of your direct mail marketing efforts are going to be dependent upon three factors –

40% of your success will come from how effective your mailing list is, another 40% will depend on how compelling your offer is, and the remaining 20% will come from everything else (design, the copy/text of the mailing, etc.).The takeaway here is do not spend exuberant time on flashy graphics, layouts.

Keep in mind the mail box is next to empty. 

Some key things to keep in mind when planning this campaign:

Find your target audience

Test the Market

Make a powerful call to action

Don't’ forget to proofread

Don't forget to follow up

Be sure to direct them to your online site

Email is your channel of distribution, use it wisely. To share your latest blog, a sale or just share information this is the way to go. But use it wisely. Make what you are sending them useful, make an intriguing subject line, make your content engaging and always provide an awesome call to action.

Telemarketing is the glue to make this all come together.

It gives you the unique ability to go in ask questions on what you sent and come away with the information you are after and then it gives you immediate feedback.

 

All 3 methods have been the focus of many arguments debating their relevance in today’s technical age. When it seems their marketing attempts have returned less than desirable results or seems to have failed, business people tend to blame the media platform first. “I should never have used email, no one opens those, I ruined my whole campaign by focusing on email.”

Or it’s the fault of the greatly derided direct mail platform, where it seems everyone is quick to advise you afterwards that ‘It’s just a waste of time and resources, no one pays attention to print any longer.’ .

But in the end these media platforms are just tools — like hammers, harnesses and remote controls — they work properly only if you can hit the nail, buckle the straps or press the right buttons.

Being in the marketing business my brain is always running, looking at products and see how they could be promoted, sales or conversions. Did you realize humans have an attention span of 8 seconds??? WOW!

The brain processes visuals 60,0000 times faster than the time it takes the brain to decode text. Being able to add graphics, pictures, and visuals to sell yourself with is a must.

  Marketing that cuts through the clutter with attention-getting graphics and copy is important to success.

 

Keep it simple. Due to cognitive fluency, the brain craves ease and order. Direct mail and email that creates a simple decision path with limited copy and explanation always test better. Add that to a simple call to action telemarketing follow up and there you go.

The support is in the legs. Like a stool, your campaign will topple if any of the legs are weak or not there. And before you blame the multi-channel legs of your campaign’s shortcomings, ask first whether you got the right marketing channel, list, and message.

A business owner told me “telemarketing doesn’t work’  but then after I nitched him down and slashed his overly long script that only emphasizes benefits that address the target audience’s primary needs, he went and had a successful calling campaign.

Another very common complaint was voiced by a business owner. She claimed that email does not work. Together we examined & cleaned her email list, determined her primary audience, sent targeted emails and added on a phone call to people who opened up the email 3 or more times. She saw the power of email when it was used properly.

A similar story unfolded with a couple of business owners who had decided that direct mail doesn’t work. We sat down together looked over their mailing list cleaned it up and then look at the content they were sending. The content was tweaked to be more relevant, graphics and a call to action were added. They immediately saw a turn around in the number of clients brought in this way.

 

Of course, all media channels don’t work for all people and purposes. But what is the right one for you? If you’re B2B like I and my clients are, I go to my stool legs of direct mail, email, and telemarketing. Time and time again this is where the real marketing action is, Everything else, yes everything in that long list only supports rolls to these 3.

But more often than not, you’ll have better luck with your marketing campaigns if you examine your target market and message first. If you don’t get those right, it doesn’t matter what media channel you choose. You’re doomed to failure.

So come with us and sit down on your companies stool and let us keep those legs strong and working

Larson & Associates
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws

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