When I meet with business owners, I first try to get some specific business goals from them. I ask them to think about their current customer base and how they would like to grow AND shape it. Attracting a greater number of new customers is not specific enough – What type of customers? For which of your products? Where is the greatest market opportunity? The first step is to decide exactly how you want your customer base and business to look like 1 or 2 years from now. The more specific goals you can set, the more targeted and effective your marketing communications will be. When you don’t base your marketing on business goals, your marketing activities are like casting a big net. Nets are big and easy to throw…but they are hard to target and are full of holes! — Darren Ballegeer
No matter how unique and amazing your new business is, there is no guarantee that you will attract enough customers. If you have created something unique and have true confidence in your vision, you will attract customers if you have clearly defined who they are. You understand your business and its unique value, but you need to clearly define who your business is for. Define who and where they are. Define their values, desires, needs and philosophy. The more precisely you can define them, the easier it will be to find and attract them. And you should define your target market before you launch your business. Define it, base your marketing plan on it, open your business, then communicate. Photo here of a waffle truck I saw recently in Bruges, Belgium. -– Darren Ballegeer
Most small business websites are static places that receive few visitors and are filled with content about the business – not about the customers or their stories, issues, benefits, etc. Also, most sites are designed to look good visually instead of being effective at communication – engaging and motivating visitors. And like most marketing tools, websites usually fail to answer the most important question to attract new customers – ‘Why should people do business with you versus your competitors?’ The answer to this question is central to a content program that should be developed before a website is designed. Such strategic content needs to be on your website, in your emails, on Facebook, etc.
Ultimately, a website should be a place that people want to visit and the site should convert a good percentage of visitors into customers.
‘All marketing is local’, and all local marketing deals with the same challenges of attention, clarity, motivation and differentiation.
The process is easier than most people think, yet it is often avoided by small businesses and organizations. Our article this week attempts to simplify strategy with 3 simple questions.
Pleases let us know your answers after reviewing your marketing tools against these questions. Article is on our newspaper website here.
Vision Hispana being printed at Folger Graphics in Hayward, CA. Businesses of all kinds use Spanish-language print to capture their share of the huge Hispanic market.