Your Marketing Doesn't Have to be Everywhere
Targetting Your Marketing
As a small business planning your next marketing campaign your focus should be on two things: where your target audience is located and how best to reach them with your brand or offering (marketing medium).
So, you need to select the right 'tools' for your marketing campaign and you need to aim them at the people most likely to buy from you. And that's it.
Keep Your Marketing Targetted
As a business owner you know you need to be marketing . . . constantly. But what does this mean exactly? And what form(s) should your marketing take?
Some businesses will adopt a scattergun approach:
"Last month we tried direct mail - didn't get much of a response, so this month we are going to focus on telesales." And next month it could be social media - or video marketing.
This 'scattergun' approach can almost be worse than doing no marketing at all. Marketing activities carried out 'in isolation' rarely produce the kind of worthwhile results that will justify the time and money spent on them.
As a business owner, you need to select the right 'tools' for your marketing campaign especially small business marketing and you need to aim them at the people most likely to buy from you. And that's it.
Here's an example:
You've almost certainly heard of Innocent Smoothies. Three friends from Cambridge University: Richard Reed, Adam Balon and Jon Wright, had a dream to create a company selling 'additive-free' real fruit smoothies. As you may also be aware, initially they struggled to find funding for their concept, until they managed to persuade American businessman Maurice Pinto to invest Â£250,000 to help them launch the business.
So Innocent Smoothies began to gain momentum with distribution deals agreed with many provincial independent shops, delis and cafes. But still the entrepreneurs didn't have the one key 'ingredient' they needed to really make their brand take off - namely - a major supermarket on board.
So what did they do?
They researched the key buyers from the four major supermarkets they wanted to target. They knew where each of the buyers lived and where they worked. They also plotted their likely route from home to office. They then ran a billboard campaign featuring Innocent Smoothies in those specific geographical locations. Smart thinking, eh?
Adam Balon recalls: "To them it must have looked like we were everywhere, but in truth, we were just everywhere for them."
The upshot of the campaign which began in June, was that by December of that year, Innocent had completed distribution deals with all four supermarkets.
Their marketing campaign was specific, highly targeted, well thought out - and it worked spectacularly. Innocent Smoothies now sells over 2 million smoothies a week, as well as juices and veg pots.
So as you can see, your marketing doesn't have to be everywhere. It only has to be concentrated in areas where your target audience is located - and be presented to them in a format they will respond to.
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Some Easy Ways To Promote Your Local Business
Marketing a small local business requires a different set of strategies to the ones global players might employ. Often the more traditional advertising techniques are more appropriate to reaching out to customers on a local level, although you should still be employing more up-to-date methods such as online marketing. There are plenty of simple things you can do, and many of them won’t cost you much at all, if anything.
Local Media: Advertising in your local newspaper or magazine is a great way to create awareness of your business. If you have a special event coming up such as an anniversary or in-store promotion you could even try to arrange an interview to coincide with this. Local radio stations will often advertise businesses as well so it’s worth considering if your budget will stretch to it.
Online Directories: There are plenty of directories, both on- and offline, where you can advertise your business for free. To give just a few examples, check out Google+, Bing Local, Yell.com or ThomsonLocal. All of these will make your business easily searchable online. Every company, however small, needs some kind of online presence these days, so make sure you have a well-designed website for clients to visit once they have searched for you.
Outdoor Promotions: A high-impact sign or billboard, either outside your business or in a well thought-out location in the local area, can really make a difference to the amount of customers brought in. A strategically placed sign will probably cost as much as an advert in a newspaper or magazine but may well be seen by more people.
Printed Materials:Sometimes printing out a good old-fashioned flyer is the most effective form of advertising if you have a one-off promotional day or business has simply been a bit slow. It's a good idea to get somebody to create a strong design for the carrier bags you hand out to customers with their purchases as well. Remember that these carrier bags will act as an advertisement for your shop wherever the customer takes them after their purchase, so they should clearly display the name of your shop.
Special Offers: Promotional offers or giveaways are great for bringing in new customers if you want to expand your client base. Then, once you have your clients you can keep them by offering reward cards or loyalty schemes.
Team Up: Try working with other local businesses that complement your own offering in order to give special deals to customers. Not only does this mean you can save money on promotional costs, it also means you are guaranteed some valuable referrals.