The average business person spends less than 20 percent of their time marketing. Why not spend more time on this important task? There is not enough time. This is why the typical sales person has too much stress in their life. They are spending too much of their day dealing with customers, paper work and fighting fires. They are spending too little of their day marketing – which they know will bring them more business.
How can this trend be reversed? The more business one produces, the more time one must spend taking care of the business. There is no breaking this cycle and for busy producers this leaves a minimum of time to spend marketing. The only real solution is to make sure that every action achieves maximum results through the use of synergy. We don’t have time to devise, revise or test our marketing efforts. Each action must be as effective as possible because it may be your only shot.
To increase your marketing effectiveness through the use of synergy, you must understand the basic rules of maximum synergy marketing. Each rule provides direction that will help you increase the effectiveness of every marketing activity you are presently undertaking.
In this context the term maximum synergy refers to the increase in the effectiveness of your marketing activities through the linkage of objectives, tools and targets. The result is a multiplication effect. Activities one and two may produce a result of five. The goal is to open your eyes wider so that you can see and take advantage of these opportunities.
Rule Number One: Every marketing activity must achieve two results. Every activity has the potential for additional benefits. You must examine every activity that you undertake on a regular basis. The goal is to achieve secondary goals whenever possible. Perhaps a direct mail piece can be used to build your customer data base as well as generate immediate business. All too many times we focus on immediate benefits such as your next deal instead of the long-term goal of a larger contact database that will decrease your advertising needs.
In addition, many of your operational activities can add marketing objectives—especially the use of ordinary business tools such as phones. Think about this—does your voice mail message make your prospect stop and say—I reached the right person—I want to do business with that person. Or does it say—I have reached another one of the masses, I better call a few more.
Rule Number Two: Anytime you are marketing by yourself, you are wasting synergy. Who would want to market with you? Those who target your prospects and sell a non-competitive product. Do you really think that you are selling the only product that your target customers are in the market to purchase? Who could benefit from your efforts? How can you benefit from their efforts and especially their relationships? Examples of partnership-oriented activities are referral relationships, cross-marketing or even joint events such as seminars and trade shows. You can never accomplish as much as an individual as you can as part of a team.
Rule Number Three: Certain targets are more effective than others. Think that all targets are equal? You do not have time to market to everyone in the universe and your selection of targets will in large part determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. One of the reason most marketing plans fail is that our efforts are spread too thin as we try to be all things to all targets. You cannot follow-up with all prospects equally. Choices should be made based upon potential synergy rather than chance.
Rule Number Four: Certain tools are more effective than others. Not all tools contain the same level of effectiveness. One example is the difference between cold calling and networking. Cold calling is a tedious and exhausting practice that can lead to results one step at a time. Networking is the process of building layers upon previous efforts. Every successful networking step helps us increase overall effectiveness.
Rule Number Five: Every action can be made more effective through additional doses of synergy. Adding synergy is similar to adding building blocks of effectiveness to your marketing efforts. No matter how good a newspaper ad, seminar, or direct mail piece, we can make it more effective by linking additional goals, targets, tools and/or synergy partners. Attending a settlement with a gift for the purchaser of a home? What if you made the gift from someone else who contributed to the settlement as well? How much extra cost or effort does this take? Yet, the results are significant.
Where did you purchase the gift? Did you purchase the gift from a business that gives you value in return? When you expend your most precious resources—time and money—synergy should link these expenditures to results. Every activity can be made more effective—there are no exceptions. Focus on your present activities because chances are that you don’t have time to add new activities.
Rule Number Six: If there is no response mechanism, do not waste your resources. Every time you attempt to reach your targets, there must be an irresistible lure back to you – besides immediate business that typically happens so infrequently that we tend to abandon our efforts. Sending an email? Include an offer for a free report on how to increase your credit score. You do not have to produce the materials. Government agencies produce valuable materials or the materials can be provided by your synergy partners.
Rule Number Seven: If you are not offering something of value to your targets, why bother? Your response mechanism must be something of value to all of your targets. Otherwise, your response mechanism will not produce the response necessary to achieve additional objectives. Coupons to save money to utilize your product do not constitute added-value. Your coupons are discounts and will solely appeal to those who are ready to act immediately and to those who are price sensitive. To develop your value offering, you must think in terms of value to your clients, not to yourself. It is your value statement that will evolve into your Unique Selling Proposition. It is what differentiates you from the competition.
Does the introduction to these rules open your eyes to increased synergy marketing opportunities? Unfortunately, we don’t have time to explore an unlimited number of examples. If we assume that all change is achieved incrementally, the best way to achieve change is to begin with your present activities and build synergy from there.