“I tried marketing, it was a waste of money.”
“I tried direct mail, I tried an ad in the local paper, I tried using coupons. None of them worked.”
I was a full time stock trader for 13 years and managed other traders for almost 11 of them. One of the biggest secrets to learn is to “pay for information.” This doesn’t mean pay for research reports, it means you have to put on a trade with a “feeler” share size to get an idea of the order flow for a stock. A feeler position is also called “tier 1.”
If the initial position is profitable you add to the trade, if it isn’t you simply got great information at the lowest possible cost.
Prior to putting on the trade you had a strategy to determine the probability of the idea. This was your edge. The eventual goal for aspiring stock traders I mentored was to get them to place as many of these feeler (high probability) positions on at the same time-add to the winners and dump the losers.
This was the real secret to successful trading, testing an idea with low risk, if it worked you add more shares to an idea that paid for itself.
The problem for most would-be traders is they lived and died by the results of individual trades. What they should be focusing on are allowing the probability of their edge to play itself out over time. That is the whole point of probability.
You are more focused on probability and flawless execution of your strategy than holding yourself responsible for the results. Yes, yes , yes, you want results but results are the outcome, we need to focus on what we can control, the process.
What does this have to do with marketing? Everything!!
As a marketer of your business you need to set up high probability campaigns, test on a small scale, then roll out the ones that bear fruit on a bigger scale.
Too many entrepreneurs do one huge bulk mailing and immediately say “direct mail doesn’t work.” That is similar to saying I bought 10,000 shares of $AAPL, it didn’t work so trading doesn’t work.
Too much on one idea that didn’t prove itself.
As a small business owner it’s very important to not “out trade” your resources. You need to work one media and promotion at a time to discover what your edge is to your market. Then roll it out in bigger numbers.
Work your price points, tweak your headlines, work your offers, work the day of the week, work email, text versus direct mail.
Test, then based on the results, then exploit your edge as often as possible.
This is how to pay for information, send out a “tier 1” direct mail postcard to your best customers (make two offers slightly different) then roll out the best result to your entire list.
Notice I said to your best customers, this is a “high probability idea” because they have already bought from you.
Testing each week or month is fun, takes all the pressure off guessing what your market wants. “Pay” for the right information and then offer it to everyone.