June 23, 2015

We Can't Stop Paying Tolls, We'll Be Out Of Business!!

Did you know that if I put an image (any image) in a blog post, you tend to "engage" with the post (i.e. read it) at rates 10% - 20% above when there is no image? It could be any image ... like this one of a random dude wearing a tie.

That's one way to get new customers for free. No toll has to be paid.

I know, I know, you're going to tell me that the tip I just gave you doesn't relate to your business. Your business is special, it's complicated, it's unique. Your customers are different.

The more special / unique a business is, the easier it is to acquire customers at no cost.

This is the point where some folks will say this:

  • "Kevin is telling you to be unique and special. You cannot be unique and special when you sell widgets. Worse, he's telling you to stop using Google, to stop using the Co-Ops, to stop paying Facebook. Kevin would rather you be out of business. Don't listen to his silly advice. Use Google and Facebook and the Co-Ops to your advantage. Partner with them. Be smart!"
That is not what I am saying.

You can generate plenty of long-term profit via Google, via Facebook, via the Co-Ops.

But why depend fully on third parties?

Why not take control over your marketing strategy?

Every business should have a strategy for acquiring customers at no cost.

Look at the profit generation from email marketing and organic customer generation.


Would you prefer to generate $5.1 million EBT on $19.0 million demand (email + organic)?

Or would you prefer to generate break-even EBT on $29.0 million demand (catalogs + paid search + online marketing)?

Your external business partners (vendors) could care less about your organic and/or email brilliance - they don't get paid when your marketing team demonstrates organic and/or email brilliance, do they? They demand you break-even on $29,000,000 demand ... because that's how they generate profit.

We've forgotten how to generate $5.1 million EBT on $19.0 million demand, via email and organic.

I'm asking you to take control of your own business.

I'm asking you to be a marketer, not somebody who knows how to push vendor buttons to grow sales.

I'm not asking you to stop doing all the fun work you love doing with Google, and your Co-Op friends, and Facebook, and Retargeters, and Affiliates, and Comparison Shopping Engines, and countless other intermediaries.

I'm asking you to spend more time on the most important part of your business ... the part of your business where customers love your brand so much that they don't need advertising ... when that happens, you make a ton of profit, and maybe, just maybe, you share in the profit via bonuses and 401k contributions and stock options and salary increases.