Offers Trump Ads


What matters most in creating consumer response to a marketing    offer?

An argument can be made that the medium, timing and message frequency are driving forces behind any marketing campaign. I have long argued that the words matter most.

Not just any words will do.  Copywriters must strive to find the correct combination of words that compel consumers to act.

It’s all about the offer.

“Buy one, get one free.”

“Buy a new lawn mower– get a weed-eater for half-price”

“Visit our store today and get a free Major League World Series Baseball”

The best offer is one that creates movement in a potential customer.  Here’s a check-list for offer power:

  • Call me out—be as specific as possible about WHO will receive the offer.  The more limited the audience the more likely a customer will move quickly.  Make the customer feel special with a personal offer.
  • What’s –in-it-for-me? – Spell out the benefit of the offer in simple terms.  If the offer requires an asterisk and fine print—please try again.
  • Remove all risk – Offer the best, no-questions-asked guarantee in the business and scream the guarantee in the message
    • Drive our truck for 60 days.  If it doesn’t do the job, bring it back.  Period.  ( See your local Dodge dealer about how this offer is working for them)
  • Keep it short and simple—If you can’t Tweet the offer, it’s probably too long.
  • Quick deadlines—The best offers don’t last long. (Keep new offers coming.)  A business owner should continue to honor an offer after a deadline—but communicate deadlines to create urgency.
    • 3 DAYS ONLY

Power-packed offers cause consumers to respond.  The only test of efficacy should be the response function.  We write offers to cause response.  If the offer is not working—don’t blame the medium…fire the copywriter!

Keep writing and testing offers.

What is the best offer you’ve seen?

Photo by Rebecca Gunn

Who Took The “R” Out of CRM?


Google “CRM.”  Go ahead try it.

The reply from Google is a list of CRM products.  Once again, we come face to face with tools as the answer.  Customer Relationship Management has yielded the acronym to an industry of software providers.

The focus isn’t on the customer.  The focus isn’t on the relationship.

CRM in practice is about MANAGEMENT through software.

Salesforce,com, (SFA) Oracle, Zoho and Jason Fried’s star product Highrise are CRM software products.   There are countless other CRM tools available for any industry.  The software comes in various forms of contact manager templates.  The programmers build in all manner of query opportunities and fields for any variable a business owner would need.

The software is placed on a computer (or linked via online) and employees begin the process of learning to enter and retrieve data.  The learning curve for CRM software is sometimes lengthy.  The very best tools are usually the most complicated to use.

Data mining is hard work.

The primary problem with CRM software, presented as a panacea for customer contact, is that a collection of customer information does not constitute a relationship.  Relationships are built and data are collected in the process of time.  CRM software marketing often suggests that “it’s all about the data.”

I certainly advocate customer asset accumulation coupled with leverage marketing.  But I am a bigger proponent of relationship development prior to data mining.

Ask these questions in your company:

  • Do we have a metric to measure relationships with customers?
  • Do we have relationships or data?
  • Do we define relationships in OUR terms or the customer’s?
  • Do we have a marketing plan to grow customer relationships?
  • Do our customers value relationships with our company?  How do we know?

Answers to questions such as those listed above will provide a good radar screen to determine if our company values software more than relationships.

We want lasting, meaningful relationships with customers.  It is our responsibility to care for and feed the relationship exactly as our customers need.

We must do more than Google CRM.

Photo by Rebecca Gunn