I was chatting with a friend this morning and he asked me a fundamental, yet deep marketing question: If I were to start a business that was in competition to his, what marketing method would I use? I told him in this order: market to my existing clients (requires their information) get my website on page one of Google, networking with other professionals, and postcards (very unused and while pricey, made sense in the case of my friends business)
My friend tried to get me to pick only one which I replied, “Can’t do it and be effective- A client may see an ad in a local medium, then decide to go to the next step when they sees my website, or vice versa”. This concept of having a client see you at one place then it knocks them into the appointment chair/into buying just doesn’t work as much as you would want it too. I call this a “Knock out punch”- Marketing that pushes the client into the action that you want them to do on the first view.
What typically happens in business world is that the client see’s you in a few different places and it starts to build on her subconscious (it is my firm conviction that a client has a short attention span because of the overwhelming nature of buying in today’s economy).
I further recommended to my friend that he spend 3 hours per day marketing his business. This comes from the fact that until your prospective customers hear about you, they cannot even consider doing business with you. By trying for the “Knock Out” punch, you hope that in the moment of time that client comes across your Marketing, they are in the proper mindset and/or is currently looking for what you do/sell which is a hard combination to attain.
Let me also address another similar topic. There is a phrase in marketing called “Top of Mind Awareness”. This phrase refers to keeping your prospect on the “top of their mind”. While this is a warm and fuzzy thought (that clients are actually out there thinking about us) they are just busy living life, so we need to be in front of them often as they do not think about us. This is why we need to be constantly consistent on our marketing
When you place an ad in a magazine, you participate in a trade show or networking group, you put your website up or you send out a bunch of postcards and those singular acts are all you do, many times, it doesn’t work to the degree that you expect it to. We gain the result we are looking for by constant action which keeps the marketing stream flowing.
Here is the final scoop: Keep your marketing out there consistently in different mediums but measure effectively. When I speak about measuring effectively, I am speaking of something better than “how’d you hear about us (though that is better than nothing). I recommend that you pick at least 4 mediums that your target audience frequents, uses, etc… and keep them going. When you are consistently working your marketing, your marketing starts to work for you. That said, there are correct and incorrect actions that you should be taking with your marketing. If you follow the best practices in marketing your results will show.