We get asked all the time at SOS:
“How should I advertise my business?”
“How can I get more customers?”
“What type of advertising should I use?”
There are countless methods of marketing your business ranging from the old school print media options like Yellow Pages book, Newspaper & Magazine Ads, letterbox drops. Then there are the classic TV and Radio channels, Word of Mouth, Referral Networks, and of course the new digital world of Social Media, SEO, Adwords, Online Yellow Pages, Blogging, yadda, yadda, yadda.
You may find that you are asking yourself - Where do I start? Where does it end?
Well, in all my time as a business adviser, I’ve tried to turn marketing upside down. Not only from the type of advertising, but also from the “how” point of view. It is important to use the right language to ensure you get a good bang for your buck!
Why target the section of the market that everyone is targeting? Instead, why don’t you target the section that no one is looking at? How can you use language that is different to your competitors and actually get someone’s attention?
Just like a political campaign attempts to attract the swinging voters, you should too… but make sure you keep your promises!! Forget about the common advertising methods and the language, which has been done and dusted, time and time again. How can you come up with the not so obvious?
To help demonstrate, here is a short story I learnt during my university days, utilising the product “coffee”. So, the product to advertise is coffee, right? Wrong!
Think about this:
Coffee from a McDonalds drive through versus coffee from a local boutique, off the beaten track, coffee shop. The product here is not really coffee! Visualise this….
The consumer driving through McDonald’s is probably a mum, driving her 3 kids to afternoon sport practice after a long day. She is time poor, tired and in desperate need of a coffee hit. Who care’s how it tastes, she needs it now, right now, and from the convenience of her car.
The consumer at the boutique coffee shop is possibly a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur. Someone who enjoys a barista made coffee with the perfect amount of crema. They most likely have more time on their hands and are happy to pay more for their coffee. It is possibly the most important part of their day!
In these two situations the product is very different. Therefore the marketing should be different as the two businesses are targeting two completely different types of people! The language and medium of advertising these business owners deploy would be very different in both instances, even though they are both selling coffee.
So, how do you work out what makes your business stand out amongst the crowd? What makes your business different? Why do your customers come to you? What does your customer look like? What language and medium should you use?
Simple….. Ask your customers! What do they think about your business? In their words, what do they believe you do for them? How did they find you in the first place?
Take the time out to casually ask your customers what makes them utilise your services. Believe it or not, but it is not always about price. It is often about the intangible things that you do which satisfy them to use you again and even refer you on! Capture their language!
So, before you even go about choosing what medium of advertising to use, you need to work out how you are going to promote your services so it resonates with your target customer. You need them to become emotionally attached to your offering from the get go!
What does your customer generally look like? How old are they? Where are they located? Male or female? Do they have families? Are they sport fanatics? Business owners? High, low or average income earners? Looking for something unique? Looking for quality? Looking for a quick solution?
On the flip side, it is just as important to know who not to target as it is to know who to target!
What kind of customer do you NOT want?
For example, at SOS we only want to work with business owners where they genuinely want to improve their business and they will have hands on involvement in the improvement process! We won’t work with customers whom expect us to wave our wand and make them millionaires!
So, thinking about this language is also important when you are creating your marketing material.
So, once you know what your ideal customer looks like, and you know what it is they love about your business, where do you advertise these new found attributes?
Well, again it depends on the customer you are targeting. Let’s say you are a plumbing business, and you are regionally based and your contact point is “stereotypically” a mother with some kids, whom is based at home a couple days a week. What is she looking for? What advertising would work for her?
Maybe she lives on Facebook, not LinkedIn. Maybe she does love reading junk mail. Maybe she does like to validate the business’ credibility via a website. Perhaps she uses Google search and only uses paperback yellow pages to pack glassware when moving house! Maybe she will ask her mothers group for a recommendation, as she doesn’t just want any plumber in the house!
Perhaps she wants a plumber whom is a family man himself, who turns up on time, who can dumb down the problem in her language, who has a professional edge, who cleans up so the place is immaculate!
So, in this instance, the left field idea may be to give some brochures to your female friends to share at a mothers group! And the brochures highlight that you are a family man, with a professional edge, who supports families with their plumbing needs. You guarantee to turn up on time, provide an immaculate clean up and even help to juggle the kids!
In this day and age, Sync or Swim recommends that all businesses ensure that they can be found on Google. Even if your business doesn’t have a website you can still register a business profile. This way if someone is searching for a business like yours, important details such as your business name, services, contact numbers, address and trading hours, will appear. Setting up a Google business profile is relatively straightforward but if you need, we can help you to set one up and teach you to edit it and manage it as needed.
If you need hand with any side of marketing your business, do not hesitate to give us a call or book a meeting via the website.
As easy as that!
Article by: Loren Downing, Director.