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Basic Marketing Tenets
and Beliefs

Sometimes it is valuable to take a step back and ask ourselves about our core beliefs about marketing and then to see if our actions support those core beliefs. Here are some of my core beliefs applied to a direct response company with a large retail presence:

Importance of Leads
Sales at retail, direct, and internet are a function of lead quantity and lead quality.

Increasing Leads is the Best Way to Increase Sales
Leads provide us with a means of speaking directly to the consumer via phone, brochures, video, internet and at stores. They enable us to communicate our key selling messages completely and to customize them to the customer’s needs.

Advertising for Leads
Advertising that generates leads is more powerful (i.e. creates more sales) than branding or promotional advertising.

All Advertising Must Contain our Complete USP
All advertising must include the entire Unique Selling Proposition although different ads can stress specific USPs over others.

All Ads Must be Direct Ads
All ads must be “direct” ads, even retail and promotional ads. Retail support and promotional ads should be designed around a direct ad template with the promotion or sale announced within that template.

Avoid Advertising in Lead Poor Media
Avoid advertising in media that has poor lead flow potential such as 30 second TV spots unless there are exceptional reasons to do so.

All Ads Must be Trackable
All ads must be tracked, even retail support ads, as that is the only way we can measure effectiveness. CPI is the best measure to use to evaluate short term advertising effectiveness. For the longer term, CPO is the best effectiveness measure.

Ad Allowable Varies by Medium
The CPI and CPO ad allowable should adjust to take into account conversions and average selling price and even average lag time to purchase.

Creative is the Biggest Driver in Increasing Lead Quantity and Quality
More response oriented creative in all mediums will increase lead flow. For example, switching DJ radio from promotion based messaging to product benefit messaging with a CTA of free information kit and to receive special offers, will increase lead flow and generate more sales.

Managing the Media Mix for More Leads
Balancing spending around lead cost, quality, and average selling price is the smartest way to maximize return on advertising investment.

Fast, Quick, Accurate Testing of Creative
Creative testing using core direct marketing principles (including A/B splits) should be done in daily, weekly and monthly publications as well as cable networks and radio. Testing should be on-going every month of the year.

Question Everything
We need to question everything looking especially for things we believe to be true that are actually false.

These tenets provide a compass to help us make decisions and keep us on the right path. With rigorous testing every step of the way, we can confirm or reject any of these things and add others as we get empirical results. After all, the most important marketing tenet of all is “never taking anything on faith, especially if you can use empirical data to find out the truth.”


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