The Marketing Wisdom of P.T. Barnum

Most people know P.T. Barnum from one of two things: either the circus that bears his name, or a quote incorrectly attributed to him: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” So one of the things he’s most famous for is something he never said, and the other is something he did late in his life. But he was a sharp entrepreneur for his entire career, and the secret I’ll share here is a secret that made him so. It’s one of the greatest secrets to discovering what it takes to succeed in my field, direct mail marketing, and in business in general.

The secret is to study the lives of people who have risen to the top. That’s one of the reasons that I and many of my colleagues like reading business biographies. Studying successful people-including Barnum-is invaluable to your business. It’s one of the reasons we like to coach people at my business, M.O.R.E., Inc., and why we recommend that you have business mentors. The more you can study what other people are doing, the more successful you can be in your business-especially if you study people who have achieved success in the field you’re trying to achieve success in.

P.T. Barnum himself was a brilliant marketer. In the year 1877, which by most accounts was a typical year for him, the cost of advertising and publicity for his circus came to over $100,000-equivalent to about $1.5 million in 2013 dollars. The lesson here is that you need to keep putting more and more of your money back into the marketing that provided your success in the first place. You need to discipline yourself to do this on a regular basis. One of the potential risks of newfound success is that you enjoy the spoils of that success a little too much-something you tend to see most dramatically in athletes.

An athlete might sign a big contract for tens of millions of dollars… and then you find out a few years later that they’re flat broke. They didn’t do anything productive with that money. You can sometimes fall to the same temptation in business; when you have success, you forget to repeat the thing that made you successful in the first place. Don’t let that happen to you. Always plow some of your revenue back into what made you money the first time. Don’t get overexcited by the money flowing in and go splurge, especially if you’re marketing using direct mail. Direct mail is expensive; if you don’t keep feeding the machine, you’ll find yourself without the money you need to keep making more money.

The best strategy is to put a specific percentage of all of the money that comes in back into doing more mailings. Come up with a formula that works best for your model. For example, you might put 20% of gross revenue into an advertising fund. Then every week or every month-whatever your mailing schedule is-take that 20% and spend it on more direct mail. Do that, and your business will consistently grow.

Again, don’t fall for the temptation of blowing all your money as it comes in. It’s a temptation we all face, especially the first time we experience success. The risk is that you’ll want to pay off your car all at once, take a fancy vacation, or build that swimming pool out back with your newfound money. You should take a percentage of it and go have fun with it. You deserve it. You’ve built something successful and are entitled to enjoy it. But invest some of it for the lean times later, and keep a significant percentage aside for continuing and expanding your marketing efforts. That way, you’ll never find yourself without the money you need to continue fueling your business.

Let’s look at a few examples of people who’ve failed to follow that advice. My colleague Russ Von Hoelscher once found himself yielding to the temptation. When he first started to make a lot of money as a young man, in one year he bought a Chrysler Newport, then a Thunderbird, then a Cadillac-one after the other. He also bought a house and a number of other things before he realized he was overdoing it.

Here’s another example: I recently read about a man who played for the Houston Oilers football team and made about $70 million over an eight-year career. In 2012, he was arrested in a 7-11 store in a suburb of Houston, robbing a clerk of $300 at gunpoint. That’s a sad fall. For most people, $70 million would last a lifetime.

Similarly, I had a good friend who got started with the direct response business, hit it big right out of the gate, and soon had thousands of dollars a month pouring in every month. Suddenly, he had more money than he’d ever made in his life. What did he do? He went and rented a huge office, filled it up with office furniture and a phone system, bought all kinds of other stuff-and then didn’t have any money to put back into the business. All of a sudden, he was broke. This is commonplace.

So spend your money, but make it serve you well so you can get more of it. Don’t blow it! Too many of us just don’t know how to handle money when we make a lot of it. If you need help, find a trustworthy financial planner to help you manage it.

If you want to learn how to make a lot of money in the first place, look at people like P.T. Barnum, people who have made careers of promoting big events. These people really have to know what they’re doing to get people to flock in. You can also learn a great deal from evangelists. Recently, I was flipping through channels on the TV when I came across an old Billy Graham Crusade on a show called Billy Graham Classics. Graham was an excellent motivational speaker, and I was struck by just how effective he was when speaking for the glory of Christ. He was at Madison Square Garden, and held 10,000-plus people in the palm of his hand. He was such a great messenger.

Pay attention to those people who know how to motivate, no matter their field, put their methods into action, and you will make lots of money. But again, be sure to set aside seed money for your next campaign before you start spending! It takes self discipline, but you have to do this. Put some of your money back into what made that money in the first place.

4 Affiliate Marketing Techniques Every Marketer Should Know

Various affiliate advertising marketing techniques are available. They help you increase your sales and profits using a variety of ways. You have to just invest some time and energy into this and surely the profits of your business will increase. Choose a marketing strategy that suits your objectives and requirements and you are off to a flying start.

The strategies employed are as follows:
1) Posting links on other people’s sites.
2) Posting banners on the web.
3) The use of forums and discussion boards.
4) The use of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.

1) Posting links on other people’s web sites- this is an excellent way to advertise your websites or blogs. What you have to do is approach another web site owner and exchange your links with him. You post the link to your web site on his/her web site or blog. And they do the same on yours. As long as the page and blogs involved are similar and relevant the owners of other web sites usually do not have any problem with this idea. By doing this the traffic to their site also increases as they can reach a wider customer base with their advertisements being posted on other relevant sites.

2) Posting banners on websites-the placing of banners on web sites is a common practice amongst the affiliate marketing community. If the banners are located on web sites that have a lot of traffic then a part of that traffic is directed towards your web site increasing the sales of your products. What is important in this regard is that the banners must placed in strategic locations, where it is clearly visible to the web surfers. The design of the banners is also important, a stylish and creative banner is always best.

3) The use of forums and discussion boards- there are many forums and discussion boards on the internet. Find ones that are relevant to the affiliate products and services you promote on your web site or blog. Join these forums and discussion boards and post comments on them. You are usually required to get a sign in name for these things. On your sign in name write the link to your web site. When you post something, people will click on the link and will be directed to your web site or blog.

4) The use of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace- social networking sites are very popular these days. They have millions of users and one can meet people of similar interests in these places. You can join these networking sites and use them as a platform to advertise your web sites and blogs. Once you make friends with the people there you can tell them about your products and services and direct them to your web site.

Thus you can use one or a combination of the above methods to increase the traffic towards your web site or blog.

Creative Vs Directional Advertising, What First and Why?

 Both Creative and Directional advertising are important to the successful marketing and sales effort of any business or organization. Generally, with creative (TV, Radio, Newspaper, Billboard) you are “creating” the need by selling yourself. You need to have a strong, compelling, time-sensitive offer, and persuade customers to buy now rather than later or not at all. With directional (Search Engine Marketing, Internet Yellow Pages, print and online directories, Pay-per-click, Pay-per-action, direct response) you are “directing” an existing need by helping customers buy. You need to be found, then chosen.

 I am firmly convinced that step one to any successful marketing platform is a strong directional advertising foundation. Before you need to worry about persuading or enticing a prospect to buy, you absolutely need to be able to allow prospects who are ready to buy right now…buy from you now. You need to be found, then chosen. You get found by where you are, you get chosen by what you say. The great part is that the very info you use to describe yourself (your uniqueness, what you do, how you do it and even why you do it) will automatically direct prospects who value and appreciate your approach, who “get you” to respond. It will probably also screen out those who don’t think like you, but that’s OK. You don’t need everyone. The prospects who respond because they appreciate what you do and how you do it will spend more money, more often and be more enjoyable to work with over their lifetime value as a customer. They will also become more then just referral points, they will be advocates for you and your business.

 Once you have that rock-solid foundation of directing ready-to-buy customers, THEN any creative advertising will be more efficient because the prospects whom you can’t incentivize to act now, will hopefully at least, now have your name in their brain. When they have a need, your directional advertising can help convert them into customers

Creative works and can work BIG, especially with a good directional foundation