Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Mike Johnson.
About the interviewee
Mike Johnson, Sales Leader
Mike has a hybrid background that includes deep experience in sales, marketing, copywriting, and design; giving him a big toolbox for business development and customer conversions. Before leaving corporate America, he was leading the charge in online marketing, e-commerce and information design. While that was a critical development period for him, it helped underscore what fundamental sales and marketing tactics were overlooked in enterprise environments. Now Mike excels at helping sales and marketing departments generate new streams of better targeted prospects and increase conversions by combining direct response marketing tactics with traditional branding.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
iPadcleaningcloth.com (Morrison Innovations) is a promotional products company in name, but we have overcome the “commotized” product label by focusing on complete done-for-you marketing. There are 3 employees, all located in the Rochester, NY area. (FYI – that’s much closer to Buffalo than NYC). We work with a good mix of small, medium and larger companies. In a nutshell, we show up differently than a traditional promotional products company by:Using good ole’ direct mail in tandem with online marketing. Sometimes showing up outside of email/online ads is enough to get your message read.
Redefining how we are seen – to beat the commodity product designation and to show value for the client with complete done-for-you campaigns.Planning a contact strategy with a lot of touch points. There is no one-and-done email blast for any prospect. Showing how to track ROI, not just promising some pie in the sky return.
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
Enterprise level clients like Adobe, Marriot and GlaxoSmithKline down to small real estate firms and industrial manufacturers
What comes to mind when you see this topic?
You cannot appear as a commodity. You have to figure out what gets through the clutter. For example, we use a lot of “lumpy” direct mail to entice opens. This goes back to not showing up as a commodity. Everyone can send a cold email or postcard, but by differentiating ourselves we are increasing our odds of communication at the very beginning. And surprisingly (or not), people still read mail more than email these days. Even if you are selling online, you can drive incredible traffic using offline methods.
What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?
Methodical follow up is key. You cannot just try one tactic and give up. Ideally, we will send three different letters or packages to each prospect. That doesn’t include any emails or phone calls, etc. that are part of the process. We build a multistep campaign for ourselves and clients that provides the best chance for conversion, and ultimately a positive return. Also, you have to track everything. For example, we use unique phone numbers and website addresses that are tied to a specific campaign so that we can tell instantly where each prospect is coming from and what the ROI is tied to.