If you were to ask me this question: What is the one most powerful marketing tool I’ve used to create immediate results?
What would I tell you?
Frankly, I would have to say ‘Packaged Information’.
For me it pips Pay Per Click advertising because it will help you get better results from your Direct Mail, Advertising, Website, Pay Per Click advertising, PR and almost every other form of marketing that you can think of.
Packaged Information encompasses all the most powerful elements of great marketing communication into one highly concentrated form.
Quite frankly, I think it is one of the best kept secrets of marketing success of all time. I'm almost reluctant to "spill the beans" - but here we go...
Packaged Information is using Information Guides such as Special Reports, White Papers and Buyers Guides to generate new sales leads and to assist with converting prospects.
The objectives of this strategy are to...
The strategy is called Packaged Information because the concept involves promoting a 'package of information' - rather than directly advertising a company's services.
When people are considering purchasing a product or service they often have two needs - the second need is for the solution, the first need is for information so they can make an informed and intelligent decision.
Most marketing is aimed at second need and tells the prospect how great the company, products or service are.
By aiming at satisfying the prospects first need, the need for information, you can massively increase lead generation, conversions and of course sales.
Quite simply - when you do this you are talking the customers language and you get the rewards.
Clearly this doesn't apply to buying something insignificant (such as paper clips), but it does apply when there are consequences attached to making the wrong decision, such as buying a new Server for your business, or booking a holiday.
The idea is that if you can satisfy people’s need for information and market to that need, rather than directly promoting your products and services, you get some big advantages.
1. More Leads - You get more leads from your website, direct mail, advertising, emails and online marketing.
2. Better Conversations - You get the relationship with a prospective customer off to a better start – far better to offer something of value to a prospect than just promote the service. Rather than the conversation beginning “How much is...” – which puts you on the back foot, the first interaction with the prospective client is much more positive, productive and results in better conversions.
3. Great Positioning - As the publisher of the guide, report or white paper, you get the “kudos” of being the authority on the topic – this gives you a position as an expert consultant, rather than just a supplier of the product or service.
4. You Set the Buying Agenda - By outlining what buyers should look for, what they should avoid, and giving them a way to evaluate different options you can help buyers compare correctly. A comparison that will help your business, your product or your service come through with flying colours in appropriate situations.
The purpose of the guides will be to help the buyer make an intelligent decision – therefore making them more likely to choose you when your product or service is the most appropriate.
5. You Build an Excellent Prospect Database - How much easier would it be if only you knew who was about to buy your product or service? Well, with Packaged Information you can. Prospects who request your buyers guide, or white paper are indicating by their action that they are 'open to buy'. They may be at the early stage of the buying process, but this gives you the perfect database for your marketing campaigns.
6. High Quality Clients - Finally, it caters for slow buyers (who form the majority). Slow buyers are careful, cautious and cynical. They will buy, but in their own time and only once they have gathered the information they need, assessed you and what you offer, evaluated their options and come to a sensible decision. These slow buyers often make great clients who are very loyal, and refer others (who respect their opinions) to you.
Each guide will go into detail on its subject, educating and inspiring the prospective customer by giving enough information to help them understand how to solve their problems and achieve their objectives. At the same time the guide will make it clear that working with your company is probably the fastest, most effective way to get the outcome that they are looking for.
Packaged Information guides can be advertised and promoted in several ways...
1. Advertising – guides are advertised through Ads in appropriate magazines and journals.
2. Website – through a small Ad on the homepage and relevant landing pages. By clicking on the Ad, a site visitor will go to a “sell page” for more information on the guides and will then click to order the guides. For a very successful example see this Occupational Health Software website.
3. Online – through search engine marketing with programmes such as Google AdWords.
4. Direct Mail – by sending a letter promoting the availability of the guides to groups of “unconverted prospects” and “cold prospects”, it will flush out those prospects that are currently in a “buying” frame of mind. This includes prospects who are currently being worked by the sales team, but probably not those who are well and truly into the sales cycle (as opposed to the prospect cycle).
5. Email - while emailing your prospects and unconverted prospects Packaged Information offers will flush out those who are becoming ready to buy, it is also one of the few ways to get cold email lists to work extremely well.
6. PR – the guides can be offered in press articles. This can be a great way to convince editors to run an article featuring your new special report, white paper or buyers guide.
Your Packaged Information guide should never be handed to prospects unless you get (or already have) their details in return.
Packaged Information is first and foremost a way to get prospective clients to identify themselves and their area of current interest to you in an exchange for “value” – the prospective client gets a valuable guide full of useful information.
In return you get the name, address, phone number and email address of a prospect, allowing you to market appropriately to a self-qualified group of prospects.
Today, we have hundreds of clients who have revolutionised their marketing results through creating and offering Packaged Information.
They include manufacturers, accountants, consulting firms, retirement groups, mortgage brokers and more.
Yes, it is harder work (upfront), but once it is working it could take your business to a whole new level.
Our free report - "10 Low-Cost or No-Cost Strategies That Will Recession Proof Your Business” is a good example of Packaged Information using auto responder emails, and has generated many valuable leads for us.
What about your business? Any ideas yet on how to “sell” your in-depth knowledge to nurture your customer and prospect base?
Once you realise that you already have the information tucked away in your head it's often a fascinating revelation.
Presented properly, it is pure gold to people who want your product. You can use it to position yourself far above the competition, and turn it into part of a long-term sales programme.
We have practical, expert help available for businesses of all sizes. Contact us online now or call us on 01536 747 310.
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To read more articles related to this go to the Generating Leads section of the Academy.