In the 1990s I was working as a consultant for a growing technical recruitment company, one of my many responsibilities was managing advertising for our clients. A client in the Formula One motor racing industry wanted to recruit 3 senior engineering managers. I called in our advertising agency for advice, as we always did. They designed beautiful a beautiful advert, and recommended buying top slots in prestigious UK newspapers*.

I was young, introverted, and easily manipulated into spending other people’s money. I admit, it was quite exciting.

We ran the ads.

We got 5 responses.

None of them were suitable.

It cost my client over $70,000 – on one useless advert.

To make amends, I then went and found the three managers through precision, ‘intelligence’, and dedication. It took me a week.

I made a mistake. I learnt my lesson.

A year later I set up a marketing company with the idea of Lean Marketing – doing and spending less, to get bigger and better results. Then we wrote a book about it (The Gorillas Want Bananas). The main concept was that your marketing should be specific and focused, not shotgun, billboard, racing around shouting at anybody who stood still long enough.

Lean Marketing, or Precision Marketing (specifically for B2B) is:

  • Not mass
  • Not ‘social’
  • Not noise generating
  • Not scammelly
  • Not scary, in your face
  • Not loud and shouty

Precision marketing is about adding value.

All marketing is about adding value.

Precision marketing is more niche than niche marketing.

Why? Because I’m bloody special, and so are you.

I advise all my clients to write their books, build their models, develop their apps for just one – real – person.

If you assume an engineering manager will be 42-48 years old, read The Telegraph, be male, be looking for a job, and be attracted to pretty pictures then you might just miss out on the French woman who has always wanted to work in the UK, but wasn’t actively looking for a new job, and wasn’t attracted to fast cars, but loves engineering puzzles.

You can’t write well to imaginary avatars, with their imaginary problems, and their imaginary 2.4 kids, and their imaginary wallets and imaginary money.

But you can write a book for me, Debs Jenkins. You can write a marketing message to me, Debs ‘very bloody special’ Jenkins. You can build a program for your lovely, incredibly special, Debs Jenkins.

You can build your business, outline your assets and do all your marketing in the same way.

Every article I write I write with one, very special person in mind (you know that’s you, don’t you ?)

Most of my clients have a very clear idea of who they’d love to work with, so I encourage them to create just for that person.

Writing a newsletter? Writing a book? Writing a sales message? Then think precision not avatar, not generic. Write it for one real person.

How do you do precision marketing as a consultant, coach, trainer, or expert?

  1. You create a relatable metaphor that’s shareable – people don’t share your message unless it becomes theirs.
  2. You add a big dose of your personality. If they like you you’re on to a winner. If they can’t tell you apart from the rest of the noise… then just don’t send/say it.
  3. You drop credibility clues – for example, very short quotes from senior people – just 1 or 2. Select the most appropriate for each email, communication or message.
  4. You create solid, short, simple case stories (written or video):
    Jim was feeling overwhelmed, we did XYZ, now he’s leading with confidence…
    Jim said: “XXX”
    You need a few that you can select one from, that demonstrate the VALUE of your work.
  5. You create a simple explanation of your special process – take away any confusion or fear:
    The first step is a short call where we…, then we’ll work out a personalised menu of XXX…, finally you’ll be confident…
  6. Then add some urgency – why you and why now.
  7. Finally, a call to the next Most Wanted Response – your next step (just one):
    Call me on 123.
    Watch a short video.
    Do XXX to get started…

Think precision marketing: create a few relatable stories and case stories, describe your processes, and then mix and match for each send out. It’s plug and play, not smash and burn, nor one size fits all.

When you have a library of plug and play elements that you can just drop in to create personalised messages, calls, and follow-up emails you can quickly respond to opportunities – these are your business framework assets.

I use an equation when creating all my written (and video or audio) assets:
E2 = (SCQA x SCARF) + U2 + CC + MWR

Do you want to know more about how it works? Let me know!

Ciao for now,

I know ‘prestigious newspapers’ is a bit of an oxymoron, maybe I should just say ‘expensive’ 😉

PPS: I know you know I use magic tags to put your name in this email, and that the message is going out to hundreds of people… but each of those people joined because I wrote a message especially for them. You’re very bloody special


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