Stop wasting your marketing money on mass-marketing and start using it to find real customers. For small businesses, mass-marketing campaigns like newspaper ads, magazine ads or billboards usually don’t work. That’s because, while you’re paying to reach thousands of people, only a few of those people might be interested in what you are selling.
If you’re small, think small
When you think about your success and plan for your business’s future, think big. But when you plan on how many people your marketing communications should reach, think small. You want to reach only the people who are interested in products or services like yours. Right now, in the Delta Sky magazine, there’s a full-page ad for a synthetic motor oil, whose creator, it is claimed, “Changed lubrication history .” Giggles aside, how many travelers are in need of a synthetic lubricant during their flight?
Don’t waste your money on marketing to people who don’t care. Here are some tips for how small businesses can “think small” about their marketing:
- Online search advertising and Search Engine Optimization. People are actively searching for your products and services. Be there when they are looking and ready to buy.
- Stay in touch with your current customers, to encourage them to buy more frequently and refer you. For example, a resort might send a birthday card to past guests with a complimentary service coupon for the guest’s next stay.
- Ask current customers where and how they first learned about you. If you hear the same answer several times, increase those marketing efforts.
- Instead of advertising in publications, get mentioned in them. Your customers probably do read newspapers and magazines, but they trust the stories more than the advertisements. Do something news-worthy, and many publications will be glad to cover it (especially if you offer to provide the copy!).
- If you are a local business, like a restaurant, go out in your neighborhood and meet your customers. One idea is to host an event that showcases your product, offers free samples or includes a contest. It’s inexpensive but effective.