The $1M Secret

I am going to tell you one of the best kept secrets in marketing. This secret is so powerful, and so effective, that it has literally been the only difference between a $1 Million loss and $1 Million profit for some companies’ marketing campaigns.

Meet the call to action. This is the MOST important ingredient of a marketing message. You may spend hundreds of thousands on a trifecta of crisp, clean photography, clever branding, and meticulous segment targeting. You may spend weeks, even months planning a genius multimedia rollout campaign. But it will all be for nothing if you do not include a strong call to action.

In a recent campaign one of my clients insisted on testing a version with a ‘more subtle’ call to action. When the bleak test results came in, the outcome was a staggering $50,000 loss on the test piece, contrasted by a $95,000 lifetime net profit on the control piece. Even in this fairly small marketing campaign, that amounts to a $145,000 loss on the test piece. And that is only counting actual losses, not to mention the opportunity value of the cash wasted on the campaign.

You may be responsible for marketing at your company – perhaps you even own the company. On the other hand, maybe you’re just trying to market yourself to employers. Whatever the case, when it comes to crafting your marketing message you need to be aware of this truth more than any other: people want to be told what to do.

Let’s say you’re a doctor, and a patient comes to you with chronic migraines. After hearing about their pain you wouldn’t say, “Oh yes, I’ve had that before, it really sucks. Get well soon!” Any normal friend or co-worker may say that, but you’re a doctor, which means you’re expected to have the cure. After hearing their pain you will identify the solution, tell them about the solution, and send them to the pharmacy!

There’s a reason we call it point of pain in marketing: there is a cure. In your next marketing message don’t just focus on the pain, but also focus on the cure. Equip your prospects with knowledge of the cure, where to get it, and how to use it. Do not hide it, do not be ashamed of it. After all, as the doctor you are expected to make the solution easy and painless!