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Invention – Anyone’s Marketing Plan

Marketing to Anyone

By Jeffrey Dobkin

One of my readers asked “How do I market a product?”  Yea.  It’s just that simple. And here’s your simple answer:  Invest time, money or energy.  Or just pick two.  Or, maybe it is just that simple.  This direct marketing article is actually the solid basis of a real marketing plan.

The first questions about marketing take into consideration if you are marketing a product or a service, if it’s local (geographic marketing) or national; industrial, business to business; to a wide or narrow niche, or a retail product through wholesalers or directly through retail stores to consumers.

Also – how much does your product cost, what is the sales cycle, and is it need-driven? Impulse? Or seasonal?  Is price important?  Then, is whatever you are selling needed by everyone (marketing to everyone is difficult even with a large budget) or just by a few (a great plan can be to market to a narrowly targeted niche that you can identify and reach with a highly focused campaign). For maximum effectiveness all these different possibilities have different marketing campaign strategies.

The two most important questions I saved for last: What are your sales goals? How much do you want to sell in terms of number of units or revenue goals? And finally last but certainly not least, what’s in the marketing budget?  You do have a budget, don’t you?  Sigh…  Anyhow…  Here’s how every plan starts.

1. Identify your most likely prospects.  This is the first step in any marketing plan.  Go for the ones with waving money in their hands and are ready to buy, right now.

2. Press Release Campaign: For a broader market, start out with a coherent PR or press release campaign in newspapers and magazines.  I’m not talking about just writing a press release and sending it, and hoping for the best.  I’m talking about a series of press releases: a real press campaign sustained over time that’s well thought out, planned and created up front.  You can find how to createand execute this kind of marketing campaign in my book, How To Market A Product for Under $500! What is release number one going to say?  Release number two?  Three and four, also.  Cover letters for each release are a must*.  What are you offering in each release?  What is your response going to be?

Here’s a tip that can be found in the Press Release Campaign section of my book, How To Market A Product for Under $500! “To increase effectiveness and make sure your press release gets the most ink, make phone calls before sending each press release asking the editor “Are you the person I should send my release to?”  This sets up a “Can you help me?” relationship with the editor or media person in 20 seconds, and then alerts them to be on the lookout for your release — especially when your cover letter starts out, “Nice speaking with you…” even if it wasn’t.”

3. Create informational booklets to give away for free and offer them in your press release.  Since the booklet title is totally responsible for the quantity and quality of the response, make it a great title using the Jeff Dobkin 100 to 1 rule: write 100 titles, go back and pick out your best one.

By offering a FREE Booklet you give consumers a non-threatening reason to call and something to ask for in return for raising their hand and saying they’re interested.  Once on the phone the release worked – it’s up to YOU to determine their real interest and figure out how to sell them whatever you’re selling.

4. Keep tight track of the response: where did it come from?  Then take out ads in the most successful PR media placements.

5. For a narrow market, while the press campaign going on, start creating a mailing list of your top 250 prospects. That’s right – start digging for names and addresses.  Yea, it’s hard work.  Thankless, too.  But your success depends on your mailing list.

6. Track everything carefully.  Every call, every inquiry.  Have a sheet of paper by every phone and ask, “And how did you hear of our company?”  Write it down and put that slip of paper in a drawer.  At the end of a few months count the slips for each, you’ll know exactly what’s working.

7. Create quality literature and cover letters.

8. Mail to your Top 250. Mail to your best prospects frequently, every 4 to 6 weeks if you can.  If you can’t identify your market tight enough and make this mailing work, you’re in trouble.

9. Test and retest small ads in various media.  Don’t forget to look at low cost unusual advertising opportunities such as association newsletters, church bulletins and so forth.

Successful Low Cost Direct Marketing Methods

Click to Buy!

10. Keep marketing to wherever the best prospects and most sales are coming from.  Clone your best customers: Figure out where they came from, what they like, why they purchase – and look for more of the same.

11. Buy my book, Successful Low Cost Direct Marketing Methods. Best $30 bucks you’ll ever spend on marketing.  Besides, I need the money.

Hope these Invention Tips were helpful.  Invention and Marketing are two key spheres of Jeffrey’s knowledge base.

Jeff Dobkin

Jeff Dobkin learning how to work his cell phone camera…

Jeff Dobkin has written 5 books on marketing and two on humor.  To order call 800-234-IDEA.  Questions?  610-642-1000 rings on his desk.  Write to him at the Danielle Adams Publishing Company, Box 100, Merion Station PA  19066.  Jeffrey Dobkin was on the Board of Directors of the old American Society of Inventors for over 15 years, and is now the President of the Philadelphia Inventors Alliance.