Consistent Marketing Will Attract Your Ideal Customer

Your marketing plan must be consistent and monitored on an ongoing basis. Although it is tempting, especially during the busy season, it is important not to turn your marketing efforts on and off. You will not get the results you want and may end up feeling frustrated by the outcome.

Apple, McDonald’s, Samsung, Tim Horton’s, Subway, Ford, GM, Toyota and the list goes on and on and on. They all advertise consistently, whether it’s a slow month or an extremely busy month. They understand the value of awareness. Although a consumer may not be in the position to purchase their product right now, when the consumer is ready to purchase the aforementioned companies want their brand to come to mind.

The best and most profitable businesses understand this very simple recipe for success. Advertising your message 52-weeks a year to the most amount of people for the least amount of money works. And it works really well.

Who Should You Advertise To?
When most people think about bringing in more customers, they think of exposing their advertisements to as many people as possible. This is not the smartest way to go. Suppose you are a high-priced attorney specializing in managing legal affairs for billionaires. Would you rather advertise to 500,000 people from the general public, or would you rather speak to a room of 20 billionaires? You see, it’s not about exposing your ads to as many people as possible.

Out of 500,000 people from the general public, maybe one of them is a billionaire, and you’ll be lucky to get 1 sale. If you speak to a room of 20 billionaires, even though you only expose your services to 20 people, you might get 4 or 5 sales.

You see, you don’t just want to bring in more people. You want to bring in the right kind of people – you want to bring in the people that are the most likely to buy. The quality of the people you advertise to is more important than the number of people you advertise to.

This leads to the question…Who are the best people you can advertise to? You might be able to describe them in terms of their age, income, education level, where they live, gender, marital status, job title…etc. You might also be able to describe them in terms of their interests, what they like to do in their spare time, what their likes and dislikes are, what their hobbies are…so on and so forth.

This is the approach that most marketing consultants will tell you to use. They want you to describe your ideal customer – what they look like, what they drive, how they dress, where they live, what they are looking for online …etc.

While this exercise is helpful, we think there is a much easier way to define your ideal customer. Your ideal customer is someone who has a proven track record of using your services. And who has a proven track record of using your services? Your existing customers! You can define your ideal customer all you want. You can say, “My ideal client is someone who drives a Mercedes and makes $200,000 a year.” But for one reason or another, these people didn’t come to you. The people who came to you are the people who drive Hondas and make $40,000 a year. Let me ask you this…Who is your ideal client? Your existing customer who already has a proven track record of buying your products and services, or someone you’d like to attract but has never managed to show up?

Your ideal clients are your existing customers. Whether you like them or not, these people have taken out their wallets, and given their money to you. If you want to become a more successful business owner, you should stop chasing after your fantasy clients who may or may not come. Start focusing on who your existing customers are. Who are these people that have given their money to you? What are they looking for? How can you serve them better and attract more of them to you? Because these are the people you want to attract more of. These are your ideal customers.

Consistent marketing campaigns will continue to find your ideal customer, when they are ready to make the transition. If you allow your marketing campaigns to lapse, you risk not being found when your ideal customer is looking for you.

Why are we so focused on digital marketing? And why should you focus on digital marketing, too?

Traditional marketing focuses on finding customers. Marketing techniques are interruptive and marketer-centric. Today’s technology has made them less effective and more expensive. Caller ID blocks telemarketers, DVRs and subscription-based streaming devices make television commercials irrelevant, and online news websites have essentially made print ads obsolete.

Instead of telemarketing, we focus on search engine optimization, so customers can find you when they need you.
Instead of television ads, we create videos people can play on-demand.
Instead of buying display ads in print publications, we publish business blogs people look forward to reading.

Traditional advertising is limited to physical space. Magazine ads, print ads, billboards – all are limited to specific size perimeters. Radio and television ads are restricted by time. And none of these methods come with an analytical report to validate their value. And any changes to these campaigns resulted in deadline restrictions, as well as additional production costs to you.

Mid-Ohio Valley businesses can only purchase as many commercials as Suddenlink or WTAP are able to sell. They can only be on the radio when Results Radio or ClearChannel says they can.  The News and Sentinel and Marietta Times, as well as our billboard companies like 84 Outdoor and Lamar have a limited number of space available for your ads.

But now, thanks to the internet, space is basically unlimited, and you can see what is and is not working on a real-time basis, and make changes as often as you want, as you feel necessary.

Our focus in digital marketing is to get your business found by potential customers. We make you part of the conversation, and support the new buying habits of tech-savvy adults.

Traditional marketing is convenient for the marketer, but it is not a great experience for the user – the potential customer. Digital marketing enables businesses to empower potential customers with knowledge.

We love helping Mid-Ohio Valley small businesses effectively market their businesses by offering affordable, smart marketing plans that extend beyond JUST social media.  We find marketing tactics that truly work, increasing your inbound leads, growing your revenue by finding new business, which helps set your business up for success.

What Must Go Right for Advertising to Work

 

Since advertising is one important way to bring customers into the website or store front, InSilico Media Group is focusing this blog on What Must Go Right for Advertising to Work, before we delve into the details of advertising in future posts.

Very simply, you must meet your promises. How many times have you seen the web site or advertising of some company, thought that they must be a big and reputable company, used their service – only to discover that the service they provided was way below your expectations? Did you become a repeat customer? Did you tell anyone not to go there?

You see, successful advertising brings customers in the door, but you must keep your promises. If your ads portray a much better image of your business than it actually is, customers won’t stay. They might begin telling their friends not to come to you, so your advertising has just backfired.  Even worse, now you will have to advertise even more to recover from the damages to your company’s reputation.  Then you risk the never-ending cycle of needing to portray your business better than it actually may be.

On the other hand, there is a philosophy of “under-promise, and over deliver”. Is this a good idea? In our opinion, over-delivering is a good idea, but under-promising is not. Simply put, the business environment is getting a lot more competitive today. Customers won’t come to you if you under promise. If you can provide a service better than your competitors can, what’s the point of being humble and under-promising? Tell customers proudly that you can do this, and amaze them when they come!  Again, “keep your promises.”

Think about your advertisements right now. What are some places you’ve promised too much? What are some places you haven’t promised enough?

If you simply haven’t promised anything in your current advertisements, ask yourself why. Are you getting the return you need from the money you spend by just having a commercial that says who you are and where you are, forgetting the “why” for customers to pick you, the “how” you are different from your competitors, the “when” to visit, shop, return…?

If you think your advertisements have not been effective, chances are you’ve forgotten to make a promise to your customers — a promise that you’re open on Saturday, or that you offer the highest quality experience, or that you’ll beat your competition in price, speed, etc.

Also ask yourself – Do you have systems in place to ensure that your promises are met every time – no matter how busy you are or who is working that day?

If you need help figuring out if your advertising is effective in the Mid-Ohio Valley, contact us.  We offer free consultations, and our team will help advise you on what you need to make your advertising more effective.  If we can’t help you, we’ll tell you honestly.  If we can, we hope to build a long-term partnership with you for many years to come.

Common Mistakes in Marketing

There are many mistakes Mid-Ohio Valley small businesses make in marketing.  Don’t worry – they’re easy to fix.

 

Confusing advertising with marketing. Advertising and marketing are very different things.

Advertising: The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.

The best way to distinguish between advertising and marketing is to think of marketing as a pie, inside that pie you have slices of advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy, and community involvement.

There are many ways to market your business, and advertising is only one way to do it. In fact, advertising is often the most expensive way to market your business. If you think advertising is the same thing as marketing, you have just limited yourself to only using the most expensive way to market your business. There are lots of ways to market your business that are cheaper than advertising, and often times more effective. I will be talking about these methods throughout this article.

In fact, let me give you one method right now: talk to 3 of your customers and ask them about their overall experience. What is the most dissatisfying thing about your service? Their answers will tell you exactly what you need to do to improve.

 

Throwing money at advertising without understanding the big picture of marketing. Most people think that if they spend a certain amount of dollars on their website and online marketing campaign, they will get a certain amount of business. If you want to get more business, you just need to spend more money in advertising, right?

This is absolutely wrong. Spending more money on advertising does not necessarily mean more business. More often than not, it just means you’ve spent more money, and you now have less money in the bank account. Spending more on advertising may or may not be the key to bringing in more business.

As you’ll learn throughout our spring blog series highlighting “Effective Advertising Methods in the Mid-Ohio Valley”, effective advertising requires you to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time in the right way.

Simply having more website ads, or a bigger Pay Per Click budget is often not the way to bring in more business. How effective are your PPC ads? Are you advertising in the right place? Who is seeing your ads? Are these people the best customers for you?

 

Thinking that effective marketing must be expensive. If all you do is listen to the sales pitch of a Mid-Ohio Valley media sales rep (think: WTAP, Suddenlink, Marietta Times, Parkersburg News & Sentinel, Ogden Directors) and sign up with them, you might be misled to believe that effective advertising means spending a lot of money.

These sales reps want to make you think this way, because the more money you spend with them, the more commission they make. If you become emotional and start thinking how this one advertising will bring in all the business in the world for you, you become an easy prey for these sales reps to take your money. The truth is – effective web marketing does not have to be as expensive as traditional print advertising that barely works. If your marketing is done right and done methodically (rather than emotionally), it’s not as expensive as you might think.

I cannot emphasize enough that marketing is a lot more than advertising or selling. It’s about providing an excellent customer experience, which involves putting systems in place so that customers get a consistent, high quality experience no matter which employee is working that day.

Remember your last experience at a fast food restaurant? No matter who is working there that day, you will always get the same product experience. They always put X amount of salt into the fries, you always get your food within X number of minutes, and the employees always greet you the same way.

That’s how you want your business to be. The key to marketing is offering an excellent customer experience. You can’t just offer excellent service one day and crappy service another day. No matter how busy you are, no matter who is working that day – every customer must get the same customer experience every single time. How do you do that? You must implement systems and procedures, and make every employee follow them. This is how we do things around here. They either follow it, or they are out the door.

You see, since marketing is how customers perceive you, there are lots of ways to improve how you are perceived. Buying a bigger ad might increase your visibility when people open up the Yellow Pages, but do you see how there are a lot cheaper and more effective ways to improve how you are perceived? It might be as simple as training your employees on how to answer the phone. This is what you say when you pick up the phone, this is what you say when a customer asks for this, this is what you say when a customer shouts at you…so on and so forth.

You begin to set rules that your employees must follow. For example, answering each online visitor questions in a courteous and efficient manner. The exact rules and procedures will depend on your business, but you must have some kind of rules that everybody follows. And guess how much it costs to write down a couple of rules and make every employee follow them? It costs nothing. And guess how much better you’ll be perceived in the eyes of your customers? A lot. Is this effective marketing? You bet it is.

I am not saying advertising is not important. Advertising is one important way to attract new customers throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley. In fact, we will be dedicating a large portion of our blogs this spring on subject of advertising. But you should always remember that marketing is how you’re perceived by your customers, and advertising is only one way (and often the most expensive way) to improve that perception.