I subscribe to the law of contrary public opinion… If everyone thinks one thing, then I say, bet the other way… -Al Pacino as salesman Tony Roma from Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Your greatest enemy as a marketer is not your competition. It’s not the economy. It’s not even the IRS.
If your marketing message doesn’t cut through the noise, it will be lost. Notice I didn’t say ignored. Nor did I say considered and dismissed. But lost. It will evaporate into the ether without ever being heard or seen. It will be drowned out by the incessant din of all the other marketing noise being blared at your potential prospects. All day. Every minute.
So, your job as a marketer is to figure out the best way to cut through the noise.
And the worst thing you can do is to blow your trumpet in the same band as 97 other trumpets and expect to be heard.
Here’s what I mean.
If you decide to advertise on Facebook just because “a similar startup did it and got 100 shares,” you’re probably wasting your time and money.
Be Everywhere Your Competition Isn’t
What’s the alternative? Be where your competition is not blaring their horn, and make your best prospects believe you are EVERYWHERE.
Let’s talk about that first one. Be where your competition is not blaring their horn.
I attended a big marketing seminar a few weeks ago. And one very successful marketer explained how he had spent a fortune on…
- Facebook…and got thousands of clicks but no conversions
- Google Ads…and broke even on his CPA (cost per acquisition)
- Email lists…and made a few sales but not enough to create any lift
Then he hit the jackpot. And raked in a ton of quality leads that converted at high profitability.
What was the traffic source?
Full-page newspaper advertisements!
That’s so old school that it’s downright embarrassing, right?
Revenue > Channel
Just like owning an iPhone 10 instead of a Samsung Note, many marketers have their preferences of marketing channels. When the conversions on Facebook and Google decrease by 25% YOY, the majority of marketers won’t even question the validity of those two channels. Instead they’ll focus on their CRO (conversion rate optimization) tactics. Almost like there’s some t-shirt they’re gunning for that says “I created a 40% Lift in Sales on Facebook, and All I Got Was This Lousy Shirt.”
The problem is that t-shirt doesn’t exist (yet) and the market doesn’t care what channel you used to find product market fit and create a substantial lift. The only thing that matters is that you figured out how to do it, regardless of the channel (yes, even a newspaper ad)!
Now, newspaper readers may not be your target demographic. But what other advertising media are you overlooking because it’s not trendy? Or because “nobody else is doing it.”
Are you thinking like everyone else? Or are you looking for advertising media your competition has overlooked?
How do you start ‘Cutting Through the Noise’?
You first must stop wasting your money and time marketing and start looking at your data:
- Customer data in your CRM
- Google Analytics
- Competition data
- User surveys
Then based on your data, create a series of hypothesis-based tests about your customers. Center these tests around:
- How you acquire clients
- Various methods to get from a ‘Freemium’ client into a paying one
- Creating referral incentives
- Ways to get your existing clients to purchase more services
Once you’ve determined the kinds of tests you’d like to run, now you’ve got to figure out what channels can reach your prospects where your competition is not blowing their horn. Below are some channels we’ve used in the past to help our clients gain traction:
- User groups
- Email / marketing automation
- Direct mail
By experimenting on various channels, you’ll gain market share on your competition that’s busy duking it out on Google & Facebook, and more importantly, you’ll uncover new customers at a lower CPA!
What are some ways you’ve cut through the noise in your industry and gained significant traction?