IS: What is MICRO
MICRO MARKETING is a simple, yet sophisticated, little personal
direct marketing program. It was originally designed for small
businesses and independent professionals to enable them to do
low cost yet very effective marketing and new business prospecting.
IS: What does it involve?
In basic terms, the program involves identifying a seller's
high potential markets, isolating the specific needs of the
buyer within those markets, and then communicating real solutions
the seller can provide to meet those needs.
IS: What's your communications media?
A simple web site, personal business letters and high impact
IS: MICRO MARKETINGís Direct Mail then?
No. If anything, MICRO MARKETING is Direct Mail taken to a higher
IS: How do you mean?
Consider the present evolution of Direct Mail.
As personal sales costs continue to rise, Direct Mail has become
the most popular way to introduce a product or service to a
new buyer. Last year, American business spent more than $3 billion
on Direct Mail.
And, because Direct Mail works, more and more companies are
mailing. To meet demand and to be price competitive, Direct
Mail houses have automated the process by standardizing the
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As a result, nearly all Direct Mail has the same look. It's
so impersonal that, even when an offer might be of real value,
more Direct Mail is tossed in the trash than is opened and read.
In a very real sense, Direct Mail has become junk mail.
Now, the current thinking is to continue standardization, further
cut costs, and just mail more pieces. The logic being that if
one response in a hundred is acceptable, then at half the cost,
one response in two hundred is just as good.
Of course, that's a disastrous cycle. You have to continually
increase the mailing size and frequency to hit the same numbers.
You spend tens of thousands to reach millions. And the millions
become more and more questionable as qualified prospects.
A better solution, we think, is to fine focus the target and
increase the effective reach. And that's MICRO MARKETING.
IS: Doesn't Direct Mail have the same agenda?
Not really. Direct Mail concentrates on the mailing - the
size, frequency, and response rates. With MICRO MARKETING,
we focus on communicating a specific message to a specific
market about a specific issue or problem. Basically, Direct
Mail is context driven. MICRO MARKETING is content driven.
IS: I'm not sure I understand the content difference.
The keys are seller distinction and message alignment.
In reality, a buyer can't totally differentiate the superiority
of one product over another until after the purchase is made
and the product is in use. So, often, the buyer's final choice
becomes subjective. Therefore, there's no pivotal gain for
the seller to key on the technical advantages of his offer.
But, there is a huge gain if the seller can differentiate
his company from the competition.
You see, a buyer actually makes a purchase based on two criteria:
The product (which other sellers could also provide) and the
relationship he (the buyer) establishes with the seller (which
no other seller can match exactly). In short, the buyer doesn't
just buy a product. The buyer buys the product and the person
who represents the product.
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So, we focus on distinguishing the offer and the company from
all others and in aligning the right message to the right
market. If the alignment is on target, a simple proposition
exists: The buyer has a need; the seller can supply a solution.
So, the seller and buyer have a common interest that benefits
both. And, that's the basis for a good, long term business
IS: You use the personal business letter and personalized
postcards as your communications forms. Are they really that
Yes, in a big way.
You see, ultimately, a buyer may not respond to an offer for
a variety of reasons. He may not like the offer. He may like
another offer better. Or, he may not have the money to buy.
These are realities. But, there is another, fundamentally
more important reality that Direct Mail often ignores: A buyer
will never respond to an offer unless the buyer knows what
the seller is selling. Quite simply, if the offer is tossed
in the trash, there is no chance of a sale.
Therefore, the real key to winning new business is through
effective reach...getting each and every potential buyer to
read the offer. Consider your own reading habits. Do you open
all the Direct Mail pieces that cross your desk? On the other
hand, don't you always open and read all personal letters?
And donít you always quick scan postcards?
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IS: But, can you tell the whole sales story in a letter or
on a postcard?
One of the most powerfully written messages in history is
the Gettysburg address. It has 268 words.
Again, the key is alignment. If you deliver the right message
to the right market, the market will respond. And again, we're
not actually trying to make a sale. Our real interest is in
introducing the seller to the buyer and in proposing a single
good idea that may be the basis for on going future business.
IS: How do you establish that interest level in the message?
We focus on three elements: Motivations, implications, and
IS: Walk me through motivations.
In today's market, the greatest motivation for a buyer to
take action in buying a product or service is not for gain
but rather to cure a problem. Therefore, we focus on identifying
what is important to the buyer and then we propose a solution
to deal with the problem or issue.
IS: And what about implications?
I'll give you an example. Pretend that you're trying to sell
a car. It features a powerful engine which means the car can
go very fast. If your target market were accountants, the
implications regarding the car's speed would have no bearing.
But, suppose your target market was bank robbers. The car's
ability to go fast would have significant implications regarding
a get-away. See, it's not just proposing a solution to a problem.
It's understanding and communicating the implications.
IS: And what about action prompts.
Crudely said, nobody does nothing for nothing. If a seller
wants the buyer to take the next step toward a purchase, then
the seller must offer something that prompts the buyer to
act. Without offering a strong action prompt, the seller is
dependent upon the buyer to take the initiative. And that
is reactive rather than proactive.
IS: So, MICRO MARKETING is different from Direct Mail in how
you target the market and the message. Is there any difference
in the actual mailings?
Yes. Our offer is a personal offer rather than a standardized
offer. And, our mailing rate is different.
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For the small business, it makes no sense to mail a hundred
thousand pieces, get a thousand responses, and not be able
to follow up. So, we mail small batches of new letters or
postcards to new prospects every day.
By daily small batch mailings, we're controlling the follow
up. Our feedback is more timely. And, we can respond to market
conditions better and more quickly.
Further, since we don't preprint in large quantities, we can
change or adjust our offer at any time without losing money
by having to dump preprints.
In total, with small batch mailings, we have continual market
presence, good continuity, flexibility, the opportunity for
good follow up, plus good cost control.
IS: Tell me more about cost control and risk management.
Our program economics are very different.
In Direct Mail, if you hit two and a half per cent, you'd
have a great campaign. But, we think if one professional sends
a personal letter to another professional about a common interest
or a good idea, then the two will make further contact. And
that's the real name of the game...further contact.
By mailing as few as twenty new letters a week, over a twelve month span, we're making personal contact with more than 1,000
prospects. And remember, they're pre-qualified.
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Even if we reached only half the people we wrote to and called,
we would still achieve a new business base of 500 potential
customers. In Direct Mail, at one and a half per cent, we'd
have to mail over 33,000 pieces to reach the same number. With
MICRO MARKETING, we're mailing 1,000. You tell me which is
more effective and efficient.
Also, with Direct Mail, you don't get any input until the
whole mailing is out. With MICRO MARKETING, our input is continuous,
IS: And the numbers work in your favor in developing a prospect
mailing list as well, I suppose?
Yes, absolutely. Flip the numbers we just talked about.
Let's say you need to generate 500 potential new accounts
in a limited geographic area. At a one and a half per cent
response rate in a Direct Mail program, you'd have to mail
to over 33,000 prospects. There may not be that many prospects
in your trading zone. What do you do? Mail to less qualified
prospects? Increase your trading radius? With MICRO MARKETING,
even if one out of two prospects did not respond to a personal
letter and a personal call, we'd still only need to mail to
1,000 prospects to reach our goal.
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IS: So, your target prospect mailing lists are much smaller.
Yes. Smaller and they cost far less. But, more importantly,
since we don't need a large potential universe, we can qualify
our prospects in more detail and be highly selective in our
IS: MICRO MARKETING is a system. Why is the system approach
Small business people work very hard doing what they do best.
And that's as it should be. But, at the same time, they must
have a system in place that keeps the growth process going.
So, while they are working on present assignments, someone
(or some thing) is working just as hard toward getting the
You see, we all know New Business Prospecting is the most
difficult aspect of marketing. It takes the most amount of
time and offers the least encouragement and initial reward.
In basic terms, MICRO MARKETING handles new business prospecting
better than any other system we know of.
IS: And the MICRO MARKETING system makes it all happen?
Yes, but not necessarily in the way you think.
If you want to get intellectual about it, MICRO MARKETING
contributes to a behavioral discipline that makes it happen.
Simply said, MICRO MARKETING is a catalyst. In truth, if you
develop any approach, follow that approach, and take a positive
action toward a particular goal, something will result from
By sending out new letters to new prospects each and every
day, MICRO MARKETING puts the small business person automatically
in position to make a personal follow up call to the prospect.
And, when a seller makes personal contact with a buyer, there
is the potential for something to happen.
In short, if you do nothing, nothing will happen. If you do
something, something else can happen. MICRO MARKETING can
make things happen.
IS: I get the impression you're saying MICRO MARKETING is
a basic system that can work for every company.
Yes, in one way or another.
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For a large company, MICRO MARKETING is extremely effective
in getting sales personnel or reps or resellers to buy into
a sales strategy since they are involved at the outset. At
the same time, they are accountable for results and feedback.
For a small company or independent, a MICRO MARKETING program
may be all the marketing they need. It's small, controllable,
affordable, and offers direct one-to-one communications with
a pre-qualified prospect.
In total, MICRO MARKETING is a tested and proven program.
And, it's based on a very simple truism: If you create a logical
plan and consistently follow that plan, the plan will achieve
IS: So, the key is?
The key is patience.
Generally speaking, Small Business people are impatient. They
are quick to change, which is a great advantage in crisis
but a real disadvantage in a growth process like marketing
where consistency and continuity count.
Simple advise: When prospecting for new business, be patient
and stay with the program.
IS: But, you do make program changes?
Absolutely. We make adjustments to reflect changing conditions.
But, at the same time, we try to hold to another simple rule:
If it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.
IS: What can a small company expect for a rate of return with
Rate of return...sounds like Direct Mail again.
MICRO MARKETING, like any good marketing program, is not a
gamble. It is an investment. It's really this simple - If
the buyer has a need and the seller has a solution, then any
marketing program that aligns both will work.
On the other hand, if an industry or market is dead, or the
market and message are misaligned, it doesn't matter how good
or bad the offer is. For example, you can't do much with a
skate sharpening franchise in Orlando or a swimming pool cleaning
service in Siberia.
But, for comparison sake only, I can tell you that a simple
MICRO MARKETING program can and will out-perform any other
marketing program in any given industry. And, that's a tested
and proven fact.
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IS: Do you ever quit a program?
We try not to. When you quit a program, all the money invested
is lost and all the previous efforts become increasingly worth
less as market awareness fades.
Therefore, if a program generates (or contributes to generating)
more revenue than its cost, the program is worth continuing.
Our focus is usually on ways to enhance the effort...to expand
what works well and to adjust what needs improvement. The
key is in finding better and smarter ways to continually improve
the alignment between need/solution and buyer/seller.
IS: I think I follow.
Perhaps, MICRO MARKETING is just a completely different mind
To us, it's basic enough: To win new business, you must approach
new business. To consistently grow, you need a simple system
that automatically fosters the growth process. MICRO MARKETING
is a proven program that handles the front end of the job
better than any program we know of.
IS: In a way, MICRO MARKETING sounds like a program anyone
could create. What makes your personal contribution unique?
We've created marketing presentation materials for some of
the most sophisticated companies in the country...Aetna, Braun,
Rockwell International, The Boston Globe, Xerox. So, our communications
tools are pretty sharp.
At the same time, through five years experience with MICRO
MARKETING, we've worked with hundreds of companies in dozens
of industries. Quite simply, we know, through broad band experience,
how to develop, write and effectively align the sales message
to the needs of the market.
On the execution level, we have the software and the procedures
to keep a system operating each week, every week. It would
cost a company 25 percent more per piece to execute the same
Simple enough, we can build the program and run the program.
So, while a small business is taking care of business, we're
working on the business of developing more business for the
IS: Certainly, MICRO MARKETING is a novel idea. The thought
of down sizing a marketing program just seems to go against
the grain. But, I guess the key question is: Does it work?
Yes, even better than we had originally planned.
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Our work up sheets are comprehensive. Our prospect qualification
and list purchasing is accurate and low cost. Our market and
message alignment strategy has proven to be a very effective.
The small batch continual mailing is efficient and economical.
And we have experience with companies in industries across
the country. It's all synergistic. The whole program works.
IS: Is MICRO MARKETING the ultimate marketing weapon?
More to the point, for an independent professional or small
company, a simple, personal, new business presentation letter
program like MICRO MARKETING is one of the most effective,
easy, low cost ways to market a product or service to a new
prospect. For some, it may be all the help they need.
IIS: Final thought?
Simply said, if a company has ever had trouble finding new
markets, reaching qualified new prospects, or in just establishing
an on-going system to win new business, MICRO MARKETING may
be just the right program to help them reach their goals.
The fact is there isn't another personal direct marketing
program that offers as much as MICRO MARKETING. And, there
isn't another complete program that's as cost effective or
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