Though walking into a store and buying or being moved by a political commercial may all appear seamless, perfect and natural, the truth is big companies—and as it turns out, big politicians—don’t generate great profits and great wins without knowing exactly what you and I respond to. They analyze what we like and what we don’t like and just how much we’re willing to pay for it and they serve up our heart’s desire on a silver platter at the precise moment that we’re ready to buy.
I see evidence of this in my very own business all the time. For example, to market a recent event that we produced we spent $99 to advertise via an e-mail campaign and we spent a few thousand dollars to advertise on a popular Atlanta radio station. Emotionally, it seems like radio would bring the best response, right? Wrong. In terms of total number of responses, the radio spots came out on top; but in terms of the number of people the message reached versus the number that actually responded the e-mail was the clear and absolute winner.
This matters because when we as entrepreneurs are making decisions about where to market and how much to spend, the better we know our customers, and the better we know how well a particular marketing vehicle converts an audience to respondents, and respondents to buyers, then the better we can invest our money in growing our businesses.
In this economy, where competition is stiff and consumer behavior is flighty, you can’t afford to wing it. You might start out that way in the beginning, but to create a “predictable paycheck” for your business you’ve got to learn exactly who your target customer is, how much they’re willing to spend and when they’re willing to spend it. A clear and measurable sales and marketing strategy is how your business is going to survive and thrive.
Felicia Joy is a nationally recognized entrepreneur who created $50 million in value for the various organizations in corporate America before launching her business enterprise. She is the author of Hybrid Entrepreneurship: How the Middle Class Can Beat the Slow Economy, Earn Extra Income and Reclaim the American Dream and operates Ms. CEO Inc., a media, merchandise and events company that inspires women entrepreneurs to be savvy, profitable and bold in business.