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Trial and Error + Persistence = Successful Marketing

By Diane Hughes
Posted Thursday, October 7, 2004

A few honest and successful Internet business owners will attest to the fact that they have made countless marketing mistakes. Many of them will admit that they didn't get it exactly right on the first try. However, practically all will tell you that - without the gumption to take calculated risks and the persistence to follow through - they would have never developed a truly successful online marketing campaign.

Let me encourage you to take a few calculated risks with your marketing. Extend your comfort zone, so to speak. Step out of the norm and take a leap of faith every now and then.

What am I talking about? Mainly, that most small business owners are very, VERY conservative with their marketing programs. They decide to spend a little money on ezine ads, purchase the least priced classified they can find, run it one time, get no response and quit. It doesn't work that way. Not only will that strategy fail almost every time online, it will fail offline, too.

One proven principle of marketing is: repetition breeds remembrance and remembrance breeds sales.

You may not realize this, but it takes an average of 7 times of being exposed to your product or service before the average consumer even notices that you exist. Not before they buy... before they even recognize you at all. Running one classified ad simply isn't going to help.

Because the cost of advertising can get to be a bit expensive, many small business owners cringe at the thought of spending more than they *think* they can afford. However, if your current strategy isn't giving you an acceptable ROI, it's time to change.

What's the smart and profitable thing to do? Create a campaign and be persistent with it. Strategically search out and place multiple ad runs with the same ezines. (I use ezine advertising as my example, but the same applies to offline ads, banner ads, joint venture projects, affiliate campaigns, etc.) Yes, it costs more, but consider this... would you rather continue wasting money on small one-shot ads that never produce, or save your funds and run 3 sub sponsor or top sponsor ads that bring in sales? I think the answer is obvious.

People can't buy from you if they can't find you. Advertising (in one form or another) is a must.

Run a few ads on a trial basis. Ask for recommendations from business associates and select some new ezines to purchase ad space from. Change your headline or your copy to see if one pulls better than the other.

It is only by trial and error that we learn and progress. Why? Because what works for one company, may not work for you. What works "so-so" for one company might work better for you! But in order to find out where your customers are and reach them, you have to stick your neck out once in awhile.

Will you make some mistakes along the way? Yes. Will you "lose" a little money on advertising? Probably. Will you discover a new and successful way of advertising that brings in stronger results? Almost definitely!

Diane C. Hughes *

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