The Entrepreneur’s Marketing Checklist
Others quote from Field of Dreams—the memorable Kevin Costner film—“Build it and they will come.”
“Build it and they will come is bullshit,” said the late real estate developer Willard Rouse. “Build it, sell the hell out of it and they will come.”
“People love to be sold,” said my first boss in business, children’s publisher Franklin Watts.
The Marketer’s Challenge
Over the past 45 years, I have been called in by entrepreneurs and marketing consultants to create copy and design for new products and services.
Often the product was new magazine that existed only inside the head of the editor. My task was to create a dry test—a mailing that offered subscriptions to this publication that did not exist and would never exist unless a predetermined number of people responded to the dry test and agreed to “take the first issue free and, if they liked it, would pay $9.95 for 11 more issues.” (Or they could write “cancel” on the bill, owe nothing and be under no further obligation.)
My job was to make the thing seem so real, so vibrant, so exciting that the prospects would flood the mails with orders. Whereupon I would write a “delay letter” to the new subscribers and the venture capitalists would pony up cash to start the magazine.
The dry test is a lot cheaper than staffing up to publish a magazine (or create a product) and then—as an afterthought—figuring out how to sell it.
The greatest problem marketing consultants and agencies face is getting complete information out of the client, primarily because they do not know what to ask.
For example, it’s impossible to come up with an offer without knowing the business model of the client and the revenue/cost structure of the product/service.