How to Move Your Marketing Efforts from Helpless to Hopeful to Productive
I recently sat down to eat at a local eatery. Fantastic food, and at the time, my wife and I sat down, we had the privilege of being served by the owner. Super nice guy!
We got to talking about all the pressure he was under with running his business. “I have to be honest, I know a ton about food and serving my customers, but I really struggle with getting seen,” he said.
I’m sure, reading this, you feel his pain.
First-time buyers will look you up
A global survey by Think with Google revealed that 74% of in-store shoppers said they searched online first for something related to the business. Typical searches are for locations, directions, store hours, stock levels, wait times, and contact information. For restaurants, people will look up menus and featured specials.
The survey also cited that 70% of shoppers surveyed say the ability to shop in-person or in a store is essential when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from.
And like me, you probably check reviews, and even what’s being said on social media, about the business before committing your hard-earned money to a first-time purchase.
In this article, we’ll uncover some tips to be more strategic with your marketing.
It’s time to get strategic
“Most people get into business because they have the technical expertise. There’s no real training being given to business owners in the area of sales, marketing, or social media. A lot of that is learned by the ‘seat of the pants,'” says Marketing Coach and President of Spark Communications, David Saxby.
Like all aspects of one’s business, marketing needs to be strategic. The days of flinging messages out into the ether, to see what sticks, is long gone. The information super highway is bumper-to-bumper with messages and brands, and getting noticed is only one of the hurdles.
By being strategic with your marketing, you take a big picture of what you want to achieve, and then focus in on determining your business goals and where your market is. “It goes back to the fundamentals of business, which is, looking at the business and looking at all the areas of business and being strategic,” says Saxby.
Saxby shares some ideas of how businesses can start focussing their efforts.
Show up where your customers are
You wouldn’t advertise your world-class tomato sauce inside a funeral home. Nor would you flog your bodybuilding gym in a seniors’ residence. It would not make sense. Your message and your brand have a time and a place. And that’s “to be” when and where your customers are.
Check out Marc’s Full Interview with David Saxby
Coming up with a plan and determining where your target market is getting their information is one of the first steps. Aside from being an entertainment provider, social media channels have now become the consumer’s go-to research tool. Which channels are they spending time on? Is it through web presence, social media, or traditional media? Are they readers, watchers or doers?
“If you’re in a B2B (Business-to-Business) market, you probably want to spend more time on LinkedIn than Facebook. If you’re in a B2C (Business to Consumer) market, you need to choose Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest over LinkedIn. On the traditional side, why would Google do a billboard? They’re a digital media company. But the billboard creates the presence and builds exposure to their brand,” says Saxby. This makes sense for their business model and good use of marketing dollars.
Having a solid outreach strategy that you test, revamp and adapt can save money and resources.
Know who you are serving and what they want
You might be selling a product or service that is similar to your competitors. That’s ok. Where you have to differentiate yourself is how you talk about your offering. Everyone else may be talking about best quality, lower prices, etc. Get away from speaking the “category language” of your industry and speak to what your target market values.
“Put an idea in the mind of the customer, such that you are the go-to source for what you sell. This means coming up with some things distinctly different from your competition. You look at the banking industry or the legal industry. They’re all blue logos or all in the legal industry; everybody’s got a black and white card. Their message is the same. Look for what and how you can stand out,” explains Saxby.
Once you’ve got your messaging for your target market figured out and your compelling offer, then it’s a matter of figuring out how to generate leads. This means getting the right people to consume your information. And nowadays, a website’s like a business card. If you don’t have a website, people don’t think you’re in business.
“Ultimately, the idea here is every time that we put out a piece (of content), every time we do something; we want to be able to create relationships. But at the end of the day, this is about building leads,” says Saxby.
“So the idea is to drive traffic to wherever you want people to go. Whether it’s your website, or a phone call or a text message or whatever mechanism you want to do to capture the lead,” he adds.
Build trust and rapport with your customers. Give them something of value that will help them decide that you’re the right person to do business with. To build value, you’ve got to make content that addresses the customer’s problems.
Currently, we are in this COVID situation where we see a “buy local” movement. So if you’re using the internet as your marketing arm, how do you capture your audience locally while building relationships?
“It’s finding out where your target market is locally. And then what do they do both online and offline and what channels do they follow? So throwing a bunch of stuff on the internet internationally is not going to help buy local,” concludes Saxby.
“Because a lot of times what I refer to as novice consulting brings up some interesting stories and ideas and thoughts about a business and can help you move your business forward,” says Saxby.
About David Saxby
For over 35 years David has been an entrepreneur, a professional speaker, a business coach and a consultant. As Creative Director and President, of Spark Communications Inc., a marketing communications firm, He helps businesses create a strategic advantage over their competitors by developing innovative marketing strategies.
His goal is straight forward… to help serious business owners generate more clients, close more sales and increase their overall revenue and profits… quickly and inexpensively.
He specializes in sales and marketing for small business owners. Over the years, He’s developed a keen understanding of the complex issues facing small business owners in the type of volatile economy we have today. His experience has helped him develop the skills to quickly and effectively coach business owners on how to successfully apply the right strategies in the right order that allows them to grow their business to its maximum capacity.
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