The following blog was written by Heidi O’Leska, Vintage Juice Brand marketing, who presented a workshop on this subject for the Alexandria SBDC last week.
More than likely, it’s not the marketing, it’s the message.
I often hear from clients, we spend tons of money on direct mail (or print advertising or social media) and results are less than 1% ROI. No bueno.
So, what’s the answer?
- What’s your Why? People don’t buy what you do, but instead, why you do it. They want to be inspired, appeal to their gut feeling/intuition.
- Pinpoint what your business does differently and better than competition (based on your why).
- Define what audience is eager for that offering, and within that audience, which is the most profitable
- Create messaging around that offering that is bold, creative – a true stop them in their tracks and make them think, want to learn more
- Research and develop a marketing plan to deliver that message or series of messages to your most profitable target audience using the communication tools they are most likely to use.
Differentiators – Best Quality, Best Service, Lowest Prices are NOT differentiators, most people say that, most customers don’t believe it until they experience your product or service, don’t waste time saying it, especially in the 8-10 seconds you have to first catch their attention. What’s the true differentiator? The intersection between what competitors are NOT saying and the true, genuine WHY you started your business. I facilitate messaging workshops with business owners and executives that includes taking an objective look at what competitors are saying and compare that to the true WHY of the organization, as well as its weaknesses. The methodology always results in a differentiator resonates – as well as creative ideas to communicate it.
Most Profitable Target Audience – Your business cannot be all things to all people, unless you have a boatload of money to spend (throw away). The most successful businesses start with one very specific target audience and offering. Reaching 10,000 high-income residents within 1-2 miles of your business with a message that appeals to their lifestyle has resulted in 30% response rates vs. a generic message to the entire population with less than 1% return. Even if 1% of a larger population nets the same number of individuals reached as the 30% of 10,000 (3,000) a generic message to all falls flat, resulting in:
- Lower sales per person
- One-time customers, never to return
- Often, bad online reviews. Why? They don’t understand your WHY, they aren’t your audience
As part of our methodology we conduct focus groups and one-on-one interviews with our clients’ various audiences. With data in hand, we narrow down the most profitable audiences and develop personas for each, as the go-to for all new marketing initiatives.
Bold Messaging – Don’t wimp out. And, don’t try to develop it yourself. Shameless plug, but, creative agencies are objective and well, creative!
Targeted Marketing – With your most profitable target audience in mind…
- Millennials? – Facebook and even your website is a thing of the past to Millennials, concentrate on Instagram and getting great Yelp and Google reviews. Don’t even consider print advertising.
- Baby Boomers? – Facebook, Facebook, Facebook – the MOST targeted advertising available. Print in a local magazine that is well respected by residents, with your BOLD message, remember, don’t wimp out.
- Generation X or Y – A combination of the above, dependent on your product and what is available in your region.
Interested in a 30 minute, complimentary assessment of your brand? Call me (Heidi O’Leska, President, Marketing Strategist, Vintage Juice Brand Marketing), (703) 922-2442.
Branding & Marketing Agency based in Alexandria VA.