How to 'Blitzkrieg' the competition and emerge victorious from the 'Battle of Lockdown'....
 
One of the highlights of lockdown was seeing Captain (Now Major) Tom complete his 100 laps of the garden to raise money for the NHS.
 
What started out as a little idea to raise £1000 before his 100th birthday turned into a £35,000,000 boost for the NHS.

Incredible.

Another personal highlight for me was the VE day celebrations (muted as they were due to Covid-19).

Locally, we had some social distancing street parties, some people dressed up for the occasion, and my way of celebrating was... to buy a magazine.

Don't laugh.

I often buy a 'different' kind of magazine to get some fresh ideas for content (as an aside if you are regularly creating content you should try to diversify your input.

Investing and consuming different sources of material will give you more original ideas and boost your output).

Anyway, my May edition of BBC History certainly didn't disappoint.

One of the articles tackled the topic of why the allies won in Europe.

Exactly what was the defining 'action' that tipped the balance in our favour and caused Hitler's downfall?

The magazine invited eight much revered historical professors, authors and experts who each put forward their case for what they thought was the definitive reason why we won.

These ranged from the ships that made up the allied sea power , and led to the dominance of the oceans which made the evacuation of Dunkirk possible, to the T-34 tank (of which the Russians produced 58,682 from 1941-1945) or the codebreakers of Bletchley park who on a daily basis broke secret enemy codes which helped with tactical decisions.

 
One former Bletchley man, Sir Harry Hinsley said, without ULTRA 'The war would have been something like two or possibly three years longer than it was'.

For my money, none of the history experts scored a significant 'knockout' blow, so we can safely assume that 'individually' each activity contributed to the 'collective' allied victory.

When it comes to marketing a pet business, I often feel like I'm expected to provide one 'silver bullet' that will transform a business and bring 'instant' success.

You should know by now that such a thing doesn't exist. Creating a successful and sustainable pet business is about following a number of 'pillars', like premium pricing, expert positioning, effective follow up, and upsells leading to continuity.

A lot of these go hand in hand, like premium pricing and positioning.

However, if I had to pick one game-changer that I think will give your business an instant lift AND long lasting success it would be to adopt and embrace the power of paper and ink promotions in your business.

There are a million reasons, nay excuses, why you can't do paper and ink.

Too expensive, too time consuming, too wasteful. However, as you'll see they are falsehoods spoken by lazy, safe-space seeking, boring pet business owners.

I practise what I preech, sending newsletters to my prospects...

So, let's look at five reasons why you might want to think about adding paper and ink into your marketing arsenal;

  • Paper and ink is more personal. Yes, you can (and you should) personalise the automation of your emails. But, quite simply nothing 'online' is going to be as powerful as a well thought out and crafted paper and ink marketing piece. Nothing is more personal either. From a handwritten note (more on that later) to a typed-out letter that is personally signed, or a newsletter that arrives in a handwritten envelope. Personalising a mailing virtually guarantees it goes to the 'A' pile (Attention – You NEED to read this) instead of the 'B' pile. A.K.A. The bin!
  • Paper and ink is emotional.  Therefore you can 'feel' it. According to a report by True Impact a Canadian neuromarketing firm. Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media (5.15 vs. 6.37), suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable. Post-exposure memory tests validated what the cognitive load test revealed about direct mail's memory encoding capabilities. When asked to cite the brand (company name) of an advertisement they had just seen, recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to a direct mail piece (75%) than a digital ad (44%).
  • Paper and ink is more memorable.  Part of this is due to the 'sticky' nature of a paper and ink mailing piece, which can 'hang around' for a long time. Your mailing may spend time in the prospects hallway, magazine rack, be stuck on the fridge, and even be taken into the more personal space of the prospects home. It's scientifically proven to be more memorable too.
Diamond PBIC member, Allison Pearson's Chronicle, she puts together for her clients and prospects.

Physical material is more "real" to the brain. It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with its spatial memory networks.

Physical material involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations.

Physical materials produced more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater "internalization" of the ads.

Diamond PBIC member, Natasja Lewis' postcard, she puts into the hands of all of her prospects.
  • Paper and ink is simply different to digital.  If there is one 'no-brainer' reason why you should do some paper and ink marketing (even if that is simply a newsletter just for your clients ((yes, even if you just have 10 of them)) is because your competition WON'T. The majority are always wrong, so if the majority are pissing around on FB and IG then you need to do something else.

Something different and better.

The concept of always presenting yourself as being 'different and better' should run through the very fibre of your business like a 'kiss me quick' quote runs through a stick of rock. This applies to your service AND how you market it.

Basically, if you want to make an IMPACT, and show up differently to your competition (and instantly leapfrog them) then make an entrance with paper and ink.

Paper and ink is easy, and can be relatively cheap to do.

Serial multi-millionaire, entrepreneur, highly paid and sought after marketing and business strategist, Dan Kennedy, says if you can't afford advertising then you need to use diesel and shoe leather to get the word out about your business, meaning 'Get off your ass and stop making excuses'.

Can't afford to get a newsletter printed?

Then how about typing or even handwriting (and duplicating) a letter to prospective dog owners in your town. Then stick it in a handwritten envelope and post it through the letterbox of potential clients.

Diamond PBIC member, Sara Lamont's quarterly newsletter.

This year alone I've handwritten over 100 pieces of correspondence and thankyou notes to clients, and prospects.

'But my handwriting isn't very neat, and I don't have time' so say the whinge bag lazy business owners. I, of course have loads of time...NOT. But guess what, I do it anyway.

Smart, successful people know the value of a handwritten note. Silly, skin-deep people think a tweet or a blog is the same a newsletter or handwritten note.

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Author: Dominic Hodgson
In 2011 Dom Hodgson revolutionised the pet service industry with his first business Pack Leader Dog Adventures, the UK's first, award winning 'dog adventure' company.
 
Now a respected dog trainer, author, speaker and mentor to pet business owners, Doms calling is to help dog walkers, trainers and groomers to excel with their marketing, so they can help change the lives of more dog owners with their amazing skills.
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