It is not about selling – It’s about creating value for your audience.- Jerry Allocca
This is the beginning of a two-part blog about marketing; in particular why we advertise.
Congratulations, your research has been done and you discovered a need; you diligently sourced the components or equipment to offer the perfect value for money. Now you have the most wonderful product or service ever invented and you are ready to launch yourself on an unsuspecting public.
A big expensive splash in a national Sunday paper should do the trick. It will certainly get your name out into the wider world and will cost a small fortune which you will hope to get back tenfold with such a promotion.
What if it doesn’t go that way?
As Jerry Allocca stated, it is about creating value for your audience who in this case would be your customer. In order to offer value and know how to create it you need to define your customer.
Define your Customer
If you have researched the need for your product you already know a bit about your customer, but you need to know more about them to target the right people.
Where do they live? – if you are based in North Dorset and your product, service or shop is a local one, then focus your advertising in North Dorset rather than a national or even a county wide publication.
Where do they Work? – If your business is a physical premises, do they pass you at lunchtime when they are looking for somewhere to escape their desks? Are they popping past your shop window to get their coffee on their way to work? These may be the people with disposable income you want to entice in.
What age are they? If you supply things for children is your customer the child or the mother who pays over the money? Way out and extreme style shoes may appeal to the wearer but the parent looking for school shoes is the person you need to draw in.
What Gender are they? The customer may not be the same person who does the actual buying of flowers or a treatment. A romantic husband may be easily swayed by a happy wife if she feels she is being spoilt.
What do they need? – Nurture their requirements, sometimes it is about offering a bit more for the same price.
What do they read? Do they go out and buy a paper, a magazine or an advertising guide and if so are they buying it for the articles or news? A reader’s attention span is short and so your advert needs to be opposite where your customers’ eyes may linger on a page. Is the publication free to the reader, and delivered to their home? Are there already advertisements for similar or competing products or services, which may give you a clue as to whether this is a worthwhile place to advertise?
Let’s face it advertising costs money and sometimes when we are on a tight budget, we feel it is wasted money. Stop that thought and wonder why companies such as John Lewis, Coca Cola and Tesco’s to name a few, spend so much on their Christmas advertising. Apparently Barbour spent £9 million on its Christmas advertising last year. It is one of the reasons why they are successful: they do advertise, and they know the benefit of using their budget on promoting themselves. We would not propose spending that kind of money until you have a national or international product that will be sold to everyone in the country. Budget for your marketing and spend that budget wisely. In your set up costs allocate some funds for marketing for the first six months to a year until you are making enough to cover this expenditure.
Be realistic, how much can you afford? Marketing is essential but if you pre plan your marketing strategy it can be cheaper than you expect. Use small local firms for your branding, logo, business cards and web design. Larger national companies have more overheads and are likely to charge more for their services.
Many advertising media will give better terms for a package or series of adverts. It does mean you are committed to the package for the duration but you need to get your name out there so a package will serve you far better than a one-off.
It has been proven that advertising works in a subliminal way on our brains. Repetition builds trust and with trust comes the confidence to buy. If you advertise regularly, your branding and logo are implanting themselves on a future customer’s memory, building a feeling of trust.
If you can afford it advertise in as many different media as you can using the same style advert, colour blocks and logo. If funds are tight then target one publication and stick with it during the term of your package. Advertise each time they produce an issue. If you have an advert in a weekly publication but only once a month you could almost put money on people missing it because they, like you, only buy it once a month and not the same week.
Drip feed your presence so the client knows where to find you when they need you. Just because you are a heating engineer don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need to advertise in the summer. It is precisely then that your client is seeing your advert and building up trust in you to invite you into their home to mend or service a faulty system.
If we can help in your marketing plans or guide you towards local advertising, please get in contact.