The Value in Letting Return on Investment Drive Your Marketing Decisions

Based on the topics I write about, it could be easy to assume that I am against all forms of traditional marketing. This is not true. I am against marketing that requires a heavy investment on the front-end and that has a high or unknown cost per lead. In other words, in many cases I think companies take a great risk by using mass media such as television and newspapers to promote their business. A more prudent course in many cases is to use marketing strategies that place your message in front of a well defined group of people (your target market) and that has a lower cost per lead than mass media.

That is why my company still uses direct mail even though we are an Internet marketing company. Our sales letters go to a specific group of people whom we have determined would benefit from our services and are in a position to purchase them. Each letter costs us about fifty cents, which is way less that would cost as with mass media to reach those specific people.

That is also why I love search engine marketing and social media marketing. These marketing techniques get our message in front of exactly the people who need our services or who are potential referral sources. And we accomplish this not with a large cash outlay but by simply talking about and writing about the things we do (which we like to do anyway).

Also, we’re discovering that search engine optimization and social media and direct mail are not mutually exclusive. For instance, when we update one of our blogs, there is a search engine optimization effect because we are creating keyword rich content that links to our main web sites. Our blog posts then become the source of group discussion material in social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. When we send out a sales letter out, we always reference our web site.

All of this marketing is very low cost and highly targeted. It is also ROI (return on investment) driven. ROI is a wonderful gauge for comparison. I don’t think you can say the same thing about a TV ad. However, if you’ve got the cash to burn and are looking to generate a branding effect, then mass media is invaluable.