Practice makes a man (& woman) perfect

Affirmative action, Marketing, Testing

I like to read a lot of books, listen to a lot of audio recordings while I am travelling and also watch sessions on YouTube. I am gatherer of information. So intellectually that’s a great thing. However not all that I read/hear/see stays with me until I apply it.

When we were young and new to the selling profession, our bosses did trainings of all the kinds, to tell us things that are good about our product and then about how bad the competition is, and what all questions the customer can ask. But when we went out to do our first call, everything went flat. The customer asked all the questions for which no training had been given, the customer found all the features that competition gave, as useful, while ours were useless to them. How many of you have had this situation with your first assignments.

Its only after you go through the customer meetings, that you realise, what is of value to which kind of customer. There will be some customers who will value what you have to offer and most won’t. But until you get down into the market to actually start selling you won’t be able figure that out. Practice is what makes you perfect.

The same can be said of ANY kind of knowledge. Until you practice it, you won’t know what may work and what may not.

In marketing, because there’s a lot of psychology involved, its very difficult to do arm chair thinking and decide what will work. Until you go out into the market/ Google/ other media and actually check out what the customers need, what the competition is doing, all your thought process has no significance. This does not mean you don’t do planning. But planning without action is worthless. Money comes into the bank only when someone sells something. And that can’t happen if you don’t get out in the market and sell.

And who would know this more than me. I am one of the biggest procrastinators and gatherers of knowledge. But I LEARN only when I actually try it out in whatever field. So most of the things I write on this blog, are there because I have tried and tested (failed for general folks) and become better.

So whenever you get some information, try to use it before looking out to acquire more information. That way the information will become knowledge that will stay with you for a long time.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Testing for your lead generation engine -3

campaign, lead generation, Marketing, media, Testing

In this sequence of blog posts, I am actually taking you step by step through a real life campaign showing the testing I am doing, the failures and successes , as they happen.

In life in general and in marketing in particular “one” is a dangerous term. Some of you who follow my blog regularly will point at the contradiction. I am also the one who says focus. So to all those people who got this thought in your mind, I will still say FOCUS on one thing at a time, but never be too dependent on any one thing.

Having only one sales person, only one medium, only one partner are all situations which can lead to disaster.

So today I started working on creating the lead magnet using a different medium. Since I focus on B2B, my typical mediums are Google, LinkedIn and YouTube for posting advertisements. I have not yet understood the Facebook mechanism, so I don’t experiment with it when I am advising someone.

So today I have helped create the advertisement to be put on YouTube. We will test it against the revised ads we had put on Google yesterday to see which medium is performing better. Will keep you posted on this as well.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Testing for your lead generation engine – 2

campaign, constraints, lead generation, Marketing, single target market, Testing

Yesterday I wrote about why testing is important for me, inspite of having worked on this for so many years. One is the theoretical part and I shared that yesterday. Next is the practical part and why I insist on testing.

I was advising someone, who does video production, for how their Google Adwords should look, the kind of phrases they should have etc. I had also advised them on the audience they need to cater to and the kind of headlines and lead magnet they need to look at.

After launching the advertisement, there were no clicks, no one was clicking on their ads and giving their emails. As usual, my first target to deduce was the market, so I got them to check for the market they were targeting, checked if they had the single target market defined clearly. Then added a couple of geographies, just in case the market we initially identified was too small, still no response.

Then we changed the keyword phrases of when the advertisement should show up. Still no response.

Till now I was giving them ideas from a distance and they were executing. I understand I can make errors, but not getting any response is extremely low for my ego. So today I actually sat down with them to understand when the advertisement gets shown, how does it look. That’s when I started seeing a horror movie.

The way the ads were getting shown because of the limits on the headlines and content lines, the whole advertisement was gibberish. It was not making sense. No wonder, no one was responding. The medium has its constraints and you have to live with it. But if you know the constraints, then you can always find ways to solve.

Luckily we were playing at a low scale to test for the lead generation and hence the impact was not very high. Testing at a small scale to figure out the “gotchas” is a God send. Even with the best of intentions and capabilities, its absolutely critical in marketing to test every element of your campaign.

Now we are getting a new set of ads getting launched. I will keep you posted on how the new things progress and the impact the changes had on the campaign.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Testing for your lead generation engine

education, lead generation, Marketing, single target market, Testing

One of the best assets for your long term business, is getting a person’s email id. Once you have that you can keep educating them, to someday come to test your products or services.

However as time has passed, people have become more and more reluctant to give away their email. So while sending emails is cheap, the costly part is that people have become “blind” to emails being thrown at them. In that manner, email marketing has become more expensive because it’s lost its ability to immediately get you attention.

Which means people have become resistant to the idea of giving away their emails. So until you have isolated your audience very clearly – the single target market – and created something which that specific audience desires, you won’t get people wanting it. And if people don’t want it, they won’t give their email ids.

So understanding the conversation which could go on in the mind of your prospect, due to which she may want to look at what you are talking about, becomes critical. And you can only get this by testing. While I have written so many blog posts on this topic, at the end of the day, until I test and see a response, I am not sure if what I have built will generate leads ( or get email ids) Sometimes what I think the customer may be looking at bombs completely. This is primarily because marketing is 50% psychology and you cannot always get the psychology of your audience right the first time.

Once something starts generating results, then you can go out and and invest your complete budget into the campaign, to get the emails, but till then, test with limited exposure and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Till next time then….keep testing.

Carpe Diem!!!