So many folks ask me to help them with marketing and advertising when I do a consulting assignment. Historically, most recyclers don’t spend enough of their revenue on advertising (I recommend at least 1-2%) because they have had bad results and don’t know what to do. I am always amazed when I see sponsorships of race cars and softball teams touted as effective marketing and advertising.
I am completely self-taught on marketing, and you can be too. It’s not rocket science. If you read a few good books, you will know most of what you need to know. In addition, I used Mike French for my direct mail campaigns; he is a lifesaver, as he understands our business so well. Moreover, he designed, printed and mailed the piece. About every 4th job, I got competitive bids, and I don’t believe he ever lost a job.
In 1994, Inc. Magazine did a nice article on our marketing and advertising at AAA Small Car World. We had a very simple but sophisticated system for tracking results from all forms of advertisements and direct mail, and then tracking and reconciling sales and phone calls; so we knew which mediums delivered the most bang for our buck. Email me for a copy of that story.
A good marketing and advertising campaign has to start with a genuine understanding of your customer, your products and services, so that you can make sure they are all aligned. For too long, recyclers have believed that anyone that drove a used vehicle was a prospect, but that definition is much too broad.
A sustainable, result oriented program must include these factors:
- Direct mail, with measured results
- Print and the Yellow Pages (likely only a small amount of Yellow Pages) advertising
- Internet and web presence, with email capability
- Products and services that match your customer and mediums, with a thorough understanding of the desired retail and wholesale mix
- Press releases and other methods of networking (many are free)
- Focused campaigns for existing customers and prospects.
Next month, I will discuss how to differentiate yourself from the competition to really leverage these tools.
Don’t forget to go the website for my new book, www.greenweenies.com, to learn all the backroom business terms. There are 1,200+ terms in over 300 pages, with hilarious illustrations by world famous Gahan Wilson. You can register there for your free weekly “green weenie.” If you want to know what a three fingered booger is, or what’s in a train wreck envelope, it’s the only place to go!
Remember only you can make business great!
Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can deliver wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies.Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for- performance, and find new customers on the web.
As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.
To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625, ext. 232, rons@MrMissionPossible.com, 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117.