A guest post by Drew Williams, managing partner at nuRevenue Partners.Feed the Startup Beast, 0071809058, 9780071809054, Jonathan Verney, Drew Williams

What entrepreneurs can do so the marketing wool isn’t pulled over their eyes

Marketing has a bit of an image problem. Many people don’t believe it works. The truth is, marketing has gone to some length to earn that reputation over the years. The problem is, the barriers to entry on marketing jobs are pretty low, and the knowledge around “what works” in marketing is pretty thinly traded. For many marketers, marketing is a transitional job to other things; kind of like what cab drivers are to law, theater, and architecture.

The result of all this is that fewer than 5% of all startups ever achieve the growth they dream of. So what are you, a small business owner, to do? To achieve the growth that you dream of, you have to make sure that you know what works in marketing. And here it is: we call it mOS.

The 80-20 rule may well have been written with marketing in mind. There are few areas of business where so many options have such little effect. A “mOS” is a Marketing Operating System – a stripped-down marketing process that has been proven to deliver results. At its most basic, it can be represented as 4 ideas:

  1. Promise & Proof: What prospect pain are you promising to alleviate in such a way that your prospects will be willing to pay you for it? What’s your proof that you can deliver on your promise?
  2. Validated Targeting: Do you know who your best prospects are, or are you kind of guessing? Do you know who your best, most profitable customers are? Might it make sense to go after more customers like your best customers? Can your best customers help you do that? They usually can. All you have to do is ask.
  3. Breakthrough Approach: If you have #1 and #2 bang-on, but you don’t get the attention of your prospects, you’re no further ahead. Did you know that text email from your CEO can pull as much as a 150 times more response than a regular HTML marketing email? And a billboard email (big graphic, almost no text) can produce response rates 400 times greater than a text email from your CEO? Oh. And direct mail can generate response rates 1,000 times greater than billboard email.
  4. Meaningful Incentive to Engage: Once you have your prospects’ attention, you need to engage them by offering them something that can make their lives easier. How do you do that? You need to understand their purchase decision cycle, and what information they need at each stage of that cycle. Then you need to have that information packaged-up and ready for them. If you pull the thorn out of their paw, they’ll be inclined to be grateful. Needless to say, that’s a great beginning to a relationship.

That’s it. These four elements in combination will account for 100% of your marketing success. To make sure your business doesn’t take a long, winding detour to some dark, dead-end alleyway, you need to know the marketing city streets at least well enough to be sure your cab driver is on the right route.

A proven mOS will get you there.