Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Category: PPC

What Pop Stars Can Teach About Marketing

Rock Like a Marketing Pop StarIn The Digital Age Getting To Number One is As Much About Marketing As Singing Ability.

Bono understand this and returned to the music his fans loved – he rediscovered his niche.

Taylor Swift understands this and empathises with her audience. She has made her fans believe that she is “Just Like One of Them” with great social media positioning and content written for 15 years olds.


Meet the Marketing Pop Stars


Its the same in the marketing world.


Mike Seddon is one of my “pop heros”.  Mike does play guitar but for me it is his status as the author of  bestselling Simply Adwords that makes him a pop star of the marketing world.  In Creating Business Growth: 21 Successful Marketers Reveal Their Top Business Marketing Secrets Mike has contributed a great chapter on Google Adwords: Unlocking the Secrets of Highly Effective Internet Advertising.

In it he reveals six really important things we all need to know when advertising online.  For example did you know that you can schedule ads to appear when you want them to and this can result in huge improvements in sales.  fro example there is little point in pizza places advertising in the morning .. they get much better sales if the advertise evenings when people buy pizza.



Likewise Matthew Kimberley is another one of my marketing pop heros.  Matthew is author of Get A Grip that has sold ten of thousands of copies and has 166 reviews on Amazon.

In Creating Business Growth Matthew has a chapter entitled How to have more frequent, more effective sales conversations.  One tip he gives is that you need to identify the people that want to buy what you have.  Now that may sound basic but so often I see people trying to sell a product or service that no one wants.  It is a bit like on Dragon’s Den when people have a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. 

Then Matthew goes on to explain a whole series of things about sales that can really boost sales .. but only if you apply them to your business.


So if you want advice on Internet advertising or sales then request a free copy of Creating Business Growth now.

It will be free for just five days .. at all other times this will be a paid for publication as both an ebook and paperback.





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Never say “Our System is Down at the Moment”. 2019 Update

Our system is down is a common reply I hear from banks, utilities and estate agents

All our systems are down, out of order, inactive, broken, bust or inoperable.

What does it say about their business?

It’s certainly not giving a positive image of the business and it could be losing them a lot of business. But what does it really mean and how can we fix it?


Our System is Down Variations

Our System is Currently Down messages fall into three basic types.


Computer or IT Systems ….

that have crashed and haven’t rebooted yet is the most common system failure cause.


Phone Networks …

that become overloaded and can’t physically cope with the number of calls are less common than when there aren’t enough people to answer the calls.  A business will then often talk about higher than normal call volumes.



Website down times are often because the website server crashed. Smart IT people use more than one server and will automatically switch to backup server if one goes down. Less smart IT people don’t even know if their system has gone down.

The second type of website failure is when the website has unprecedented numbers of visitors that it cannot cope with due to technical reasons. It’s analogous to trying to get a million gallons of water down a pipe that can only cope with 50 gallons. It just cannot cope and will fail.

Often unprecedented visitor numbers are due to very successful promotions or advertising campaigns where the marketing people haven’t spoken to the techies to see if the technology can cope.

What “Our systems are down” really means is that the technology is temporarily out of order, broken, inactive or in an inoperative state.


Our System is Down at the Moment is Usually More About People Than Technology

Marketing isn’t difficult, people are! 

I’m looking for a new house and have phoned several estate agents to arrange viewings in the last 24 hours.  3/5 of them have come back with the “our system is down” message.  Usually this is when I speak to someone about arranging a viewing. Of course some times they use different swords such “my computer is on go slow. But whatever they say I’ve waited a while and then I’ve moved on to the next house I want to view on a very long list.  These estate agents have missed a potential sale because their “systems are down”.



The thing is I don’t think this is a technology issue.  It is a people issue.   


When systems repeatedly go down .. and it seems that they do in some businesses … people have to firstly recognise there is an problem, then they need todecide to do something about it.  And if they don’t, the same message keeps going out to prospective customers and business is lost.

The reality is however good your marketing is it will be to no avail unless you can then deliver the goods .. in this case the ability to set up property viewings.  All your marketing efforts are wasted if you fail to deliver when a call to action is answered by your prospects.  


Having poor follow up systems will kill all your website, social media, SEO, PPC and other marketing efforts stone dead. What a waste Our System is Down at the Moment is  


So what system failures are holding back your marketing?   Sort them out NOW. 

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Cut Advertising Costs by Changing Gender!

You may not have noticed but the cost of advertising to men and women is not the same.

  Gender cost

I don't mean in newspapers, magazines or on the cinema screen; I mean where you can really target ads precisely to age groups, location, age, relationships, gender etc.


A Current Facebook Newsfeed Ad Example

Take the Facebook campaign I'm running at present.  The objective is to get them onto a landing page on my website.  I'm running exactly the same advert, with the same image and copy, and the same target criteria in two versions.  The difference between the versions is gender.  


The advert targeting women is getting more than double the number of clicks, in a given time period, than exactly the same advert targeted at men.   Better still, the price cut us roughly cut in half when I target women.


Logic dictates that …..

So you might think that logic dictates I cut my costs and only target women.  

That might be a mistake as the real test is the cost of conversion/acquisition.  If none of the women "buy" then there is no point spending money on any ads .. so don't judge your spend solely on cost per click. 

But it is interesting to see such a marked difference in the raw data.  It should certainly be enough to get us thinking about how cost effective our marketing campaigns are.   

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Year end: Looking back …… and into the future

At this time of year it is traditional to review the past year and look forward in to the future.  I've been doing this in my business and it is proving an useful exercise for both me and my clients. 



Looking into the past 


So what can we learn by looking back?  Well firstly we can see what has worked and what hasn't. This may appear obvious and perhaps we think we already know the answers.  But have you really reviewed the figures or is it just a gut feeling? Or are you doing what you do out of habit? 

Einstein said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.



The habits of good and bad marketing people


A common insanity situation I see to frequently is continuing an action out of habit or because an alternative action is not obvious.  For example one of my clients, let's call him Dave, was spending over £500 a month advertising in his local paper.  When we first met I asked him why he did this and he said it was to build his brand.  Then I asked him what evidence he had that it worked and why he kept running the advert. His answer was revealing. 


He didn't actually have evidence that it worked but the advertising rep that kept calling him had explained that lots of his competitors advertised regularly and they wouldn't do it if it didn't work.  Apparently he was also told to get maximum effect you needed to advertise regularly and that bigger ads worked best. 


Sadly none of this is true.  It is a myth put about by advertising sales reps that get commission on the amount of advertising space they sell. There was no evidence that his competitors checked their results anymore than Dave did.  They had probably believed the same story put about by the sales rep.


Secondly, a good advert should give measurable results from week one.  If you don't get any results you can expect nil results the next week .. and every following week. 



Size isn't everything


Likewise size isn't the main criteria.  A good quarter page ad can out perform a poor full page advert every time. 


My answer for Dave was to measure the results of all he did and to ascertain if the results gave a good return on investment. This is a good marketing habit. I also gave him a copy of my book, Advertising Secrets, and he read it is one sitting. 




Best results in 2013


In my own case my best results have been surprising.  They haven't come from the biggest spend or the hardest work.  My best results have come from a free web based platform that I spend just a few minutes on each day.  I refer to LinkedIn. 


In 2013 I picked up several contracts based purely on comments I'd made on LinkedIn groups.  There was no pitching against other businesses and no struggle to find a new customer.  It was simply about demonstrating what I stood for and building relationships with the right people. 


I recommend LinkedIn to many of my clients as a valid way to promote their business.  It could work for your business as well.



Facebook is dying .. or is it?


One thing I read recently was that Facebook was dying? In fact I've read several reports about the demise of Facebook and they were all based on the European Union funded "Global Social Media Impact Study".  This study  canvassed 16 to 18-year olds in eight countries over a 15 month time period.


Reports of Facebook dying surprised me as it isn't my experience.  Facebook has been at the centre of one of my client success stories this year.  The client, a UK based college of further education, had called me in after suffering a decline in student recruitment for five years in succession. 


At the core of the campaign we devised to reverse this trend was Facebook advertising …. and the results were astounding.  Recruitment targets were hit for September 2013 .. for the first time in five years .. and we are already above the monthly targets we set for 2013-14.


Not only did the adverts drive a lot of traffic to the website.  They converted well and we derived a lot of research data as well. 



Facebook for research?


Advertising campaigns were split tested by location, age, gender etc.  So I could, for example, see that female teenagers in a certain town responded to a certain version of an advert about "widget making" as did females aged 30-39.


Bearing in mind we were targeting young people that were apparently deserting Facebook in droves the results were excellent.  But we had a bonus. By split testing other age groups we could see that they were also responding.  Subsequent testing then determined if they were interested for their offspring or for themselves.  What we discovered was that these females were mainly mums looking for a career change as their kids were leaving school.  Effectively we discovered a new group of people interested in "widget making" and had suddenly expanded our market.


Was this a flash in the pan?  Well judge for yourself.



At 40 pence it wasn't expensive


In the 90 days leading up to Christmas we ran no fewer than 3,098 adverts with 488 different images.  This resulted in 17,813 people responding to these Facebook campaigns.  The total cost was just under £7,200 .. or about 40 pence per response.   The main thing is, the spend has resulted in targets being exceeded for the first time in five years, and has given the best return on investment of all the marketing channels used by this client.


Was it a one off?  No, other clients are getting similar results and want us to continue helping them.


So I'm convinced Facebook isn't dead … yet!  Certainly young people are turning to other social media platforms and claim not to use Facebook when asked.  But the evidence says otherwise.  Young people are still using Facebook; although in a different way than they used to.


But none of us can be complacent and we need to be regularly reviewing our marketing and keeping up with new marketing channels.


If you need help with reviewing your marketing or learning new marketing skills contact me now.  



Coaches, mentors and advisors


Another thing we all need to do is get good business and marketing advice.


It is easy to think we are keeping up and don't need outside advice, but this isn't always the case.  In my own case I recognise that I'm too close to my own business to see the wood for the trees and I've recently spent a lot of time reviewing my business with a mentor.  My mentor has a good business brain and a technical background to can "fill in the gaps" where I don't have the required technical background or am too passionately involved in my business to be as objective as I should be. 


None of us should be too proud to look for help from others.  No one individual can be an expert everything and we can all benefit from an external objective view.


If you can't see the wood for the trees then contact me now.  Ten minutes on the phone would let us explore if we might be a good fit to work together on the areas you need to explore and perfect … and my initial advice is free.



Going in to 2014


So my prediction for 2014 is that businesses that are willing to seek help are likely to grow faster than those that stick their head in the sand and keeping doing the same thing year after year.


I also predict that good content on websites, blogs etc as well as good content used offline in magazines and where we get the opportunity to speak to groups will outweigh all else. 


Having said that I firmly believe there is still a role for traditional marketing provided it is done well.  A good, well written letter can still outshine a poor website; and success in 2014 will come from delivering good content using integrated marketing delivered via both online and offline systems.

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