Selling Porridge In A Lion’s Den
Knowing the right places to market.
There are lots of secrets to good marketing. Getting the right message, making sure you’re on brand and, of course, marketing in the right places. Small business owners love a flyer. A flyer can hold lots of information, it can be produced cheaply (if you’re not interested in quality) and distributed relatively easily. But what if your market hangs around in another part of town? What if they aren’t even in your town at all? How can you make sure you’re marketing in the right places? I’ll tell you what I tell my clients: Create a profile of your ideal customer.
Your market is full of real people. People with likes and dislikes. People who frequent different places, use certain websites and who think in a certain way. Create a profile of your ideal customer by asking yourself questions about the kind of people that spend money with you. Who are they? What need are you fulfilling for them? What kind of things might they like? What kind of websites might they use? How might they spend their leisure time? What kind of car might they drive? Do they have kids? The more questions you can answer the better your profile will be. You’ll have an idea of who these people are, how they go about their day to day life and their mindset when they make a purchase. When you know more about them you’ll know how and where you can communicate your message to them most effectively.
Use the profile you create to test marketing ideas before you spend any money. If you’re a yoga instructor selling online video classes to new mums, how are you more likely to increase brand awareness with the right people: Using a billboard on an A road or a guest blog post on a young mums health and wellbeing website?
As the owner of a fruit and veg shop you could take out a few inches in the local advertiser, or would money be better spent posting flyers through local doors showing recipes people can make with your produce? Knowing the people your market will mean you can know before going ahead what methods are more likely to work.
Even with a customer profile the best thing you can do with your marketing is test it. Record what you did, the costs involved and the returns you received. Remember that financial return on investment isn’t the only measure of success. People have to know about you and be in a position to buy before they make a purchase. If your marketing opens the door to have a conversation with new people in your market then you’re on to a winner. Our relationship with a customer has to start somewhere, not everyone (in fact very few people) will buy something without some idea of the people doing the selling.
The real answer is that there is no right place to market. Learn about the people who need your service and talk to them where they are. Use what you learn and try different things, test what you do and tweak your plans to improve them. Remember, marketing creates new touch points so whatever you try make sure you stay on brand.