A tactic has little value if you don’t know how to USE it.
AIM’s objectivity is a huge advantage when it comes to evaluating and recommending proper tactics. A company marketing a flexible piping system in fire protection called us in for consultation. His competitor was running full-page ads in major trade publications. After product evaluation and competitive study, AIM recommended direct mail. Initially skeptical, we assured the executive that his audience – the fire protection contractor – is easily identifiable and can be given “an offer they couldn’t refuse.” We utilized a direct mail package that offered a free sample. Response was overwhelming – over 250 leads from the first mailing. And when we recommended mailing the same piece to the same audience, the client was dumbfounded. Ultimately convinced, this tactic produced another 200 leads! The use of the proper marketing tactic is dependent not only on experience, but on researched methods. AIM has that knowledge.
AIM studies BOTH pushing (active) and pulling (passive) techniques, and has the discipline to recognize what positioning is truly about. For example, one client wanted to “look like” their competitor and wanted to shape their product offering to mirror the competitive offering. AIM recommended ignoring the competition, re-discovering their own differentiation, and offering that. No company can position itself as anything, after all. We can focus efforts on our message, but our position is a place and someone else puts us there: your customers and prospects. AIM can help you understand where your customers are placing you.
One client hired us to conduct a phone audit on how the phones in its nationwide offices are answered. We structured a beginning-midend of day grid, and called each office six times during the business week. After tabulating the results, the report guided our client to understand the phone communications aspects that were being handled well, and those that were not. The client was well aware that the impression created by the person answering the phone leads to more business and better consulting projects. Yet, how many companies use an automated attendant or no attendant at all? AIM can help you understand the true value of advertising in everything you do.
Another example is how AIM built a mini-CRM platform for lead distribution to rep firms. This system enabled the company to follow rep activity on competitive projects. Our programmers and designers work closely together with our project managers to assure true integration.
One of our clients had a recall to a series of products. AIM immediately went into “crisis management” mode. We built a website so customers could check their products against the failed batch, did mailings to the customer/warranty file, and scripted responses for the phone center to answer customer questions. We moved so quickly, so efficiently, that the client received recognition from the Consumer Product Safety Commission on their handling of the event. But managing the crisis also led to improved phone techniques with the customers, and additional marketing opportunities. The “good will” created in the minds of customers went a long way to building the brand and making the client the leader in that category of products.
For example, one program (ongoing) involves writing letters to key decision makers requesting an interview to discuss specific topics.
This one-page letter is sent with the AIM return address. The letter concludes with, “If you are NOT interested, please do me a favor and Fax this letter back to me indicating ‘Not Interested.'” Would it surprise you to know that 10% of the people take the time to respond to us this way? Furthermore, would it surprise you to know that we re-connect with them, thanking them for their response? And would it surprise you that people actually called us from this letter to be interviewed? The point is: direct response that is well-crafted, works.