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Break Through Advertising Clutter with the Spear Gun Approach

While the exact number is unknown, it is believed that Americans are bombarded with up to 10,000 ads per day. You wake up, grab your phone, and the games begin.

You just wanted to check the weather for the day, but you’re greeted with an ad for replacement windows, then a local health care provider, and an unbelievable deal on tires.  You are blasted with 3 to 5 ads before your feet even hit the floor. 

Just wait until you check into your social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. And then there’s the drive to work.  Ads are everywhere, all the time. It’s no wonder that 26% of people now use ad-blocking software.

Of the thousands of ads that we encounter every day, how many do we really notice? Ad fatigue and desensitization is a real thing.   

As marketers, how do we break through and grab our customers’ attention!?

Who’s Your Target Audience?

To start, you have to look at your audience and the type of people you’d like to connect with. 

Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

If you are a Business-to-Consumer company (B2C) where your potential prospects are somewhat unknown and everywhere, then the mass forms of advertising (TV, radio, digital, outdoor, and print) are really your best options. 

The consistency and frequency of your approach is key. It is somewhat like trying to find that proverbial needle in a haystack. Marketing to consumers is much like fishing with a net. You cast out a big net and haul it back in, hoping to catch some fish swimming by.

Business-to-Business (B2B)

However, if you are a Business-to-Business company (B2B), and you know who your customers and prospects are, and where they are, there is a more direct option.  It’s like fishing with a spear gun.  We’ll get into this in a bit.

An important fact to remember is that even though we are now talking about B2B marketing, the people you are trying to connect with are also consumers of B2C goods.  This means they are being bombarded with messages for consumer goods and products and services for their B2B world. 

There’s a good chance that this group is being slammed with ads far more than the B2C prospects.  And they are operating with the same 24 hours in a day as the B2C person. This can be downright maddening.

Are You Actually Reaching Them?

So, you know the company you want to pursue. Thanks to Google, LinkedIn, and a few other informational outlets, you may even know the name of the person(s) you hope to meet with. 

You can try the old-fashioned phone call and hope you’ll get through. Chances are slim to none.

You can start emailing the prospect, but there is a good chance you’ll get into one of the groups of 8 to 10 emails that get batched and deleted.

You’ll then be tempted to craft an email that starts off with: 

  • “I know you’re a really busy person,” or…
  • “Hey Bob, I’m hoping to make it to the top of your inbox,” or…
  • “Just wanted to shoot my last email back up to your inbox and see if you had a second to view it…”

Back in the 1980s and ’90s, research said that it took about four calls or interactions to crack into an account. Today it is believed that it takes 14 to 18 touches to “crack” into a prospect and be on their list of providers. This is a combination of phone calls, voicemails, emails, snail mailing sales literature, and so on.

I believe that the reason “cracking-in” jumped from 4 calls to 14 to 18 touches is people’s lack of time. Like I pointed out earlier, we’re getting buried with content, so people are slower to react. There is an old saying that applies to this situation:

“If the pain of change is greater than the pain of staying the same, nothing happens.”

Bottom line, if a person is happy or even reasonably happy with their current provider, chances are they are staying put because they can’t invest the time.

The Spear Gun Approach

Finally, let’s get to that spear gun analogy. To convert a prospect into a customer, the prospect needs to learn a few things first. 

That is what people are trying to do with their phone calls and email touches. But those interactions are an interruption to the prospect’s day and mostly get deflected. Because, again, they are happy or reasonably happy with whom they are currently working.

So, what can you do? Try what I call the Spear Gun approach. 

Hone Your Messaging

Break the information down as to why the prospect should consider you and your company into three bite-size pieces. 

As an example:

  1. Your outstanding service
  2. Your unique product capabilities
  3. The incredible value they will gain

Write or enlist an agency to help you write about these three areas and what makes you different. 

Reinforce the Messaging Through Branded Merchandise

Then find a company (like Strategies) that specializes in curating high-quality branded merchandise. Charge them with the task of sourcing three promotional products that reinforce each of your three messages.

Say, for example, your outstanding service message goes something like this: 

“In today’s world it’s rare to find humans that sincerely are ready, willing, and able to help you. The ACE up our sleeve is our people and commitment to world-class service. We pledge that you will never get lost in the SHUFFLE with us.” 

To accompany the message, a deck of high-quality playing cards is packaged inside a custom box imprinted with your company logo and the message: “We have a FULL HOUSE of experts. Open to learn more.”

Follow Up

Now that you got their attention, you continue this approach for the other two messages. Sprinkling in an email after each mailing further reinforces the message.  At Strategies, we call this our “Dimensional Sales Call Through the Mail Program.”

This approach flat-out works. It is designed to secure a meeting with the prospect. “A swing at the plate,” so to speak.

Avoid Ad Clutter With Strategies

If you are a B2B marketer, forget the madness of fishing with a net. If you know who your prospects are and where they are, this targeted “spear gun” approach should be your new secret weapon. No one deflects an interesting package that shows up at their office. They move from deflecting to engaged!

Interested in seeing how this approach could work for your business? The experts at Strategies are here to help. We’ll help you hone in on your messaging and find just the right products to grab your customers’ attention.

Contact us today to get started. 

Happy fishing!

Doug Dobbe is the President and Founder of Strategies, Ltd. With more than 40 years in the industry, Doug is more excited about branded merchandise and decorated apparel now than at any point in his career.



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