Go where your customers are

social media for small business

Your colleagues brag about the number of likes they receive on Facebook posts, the number of retweets on Twitter and the number of shares they get on Linkedin. But this information is uninteresting and irrelevant to you, and all you want to do is move on and discuss where everyone will meet for lunch.

Chances are, you are among the business owners who believe that social media is strictly for recreational use, and it’s a complete waste of time and effort. But if that were the case, why do lucrative companies depend on it?

For many reasons! First, unlike many marketing tools, social media marketing is completely free. Yes, free isn’t always the way to go, but social media has proved it’s gold numerous times. Take computer technology giant, Dell, for example. It combines promotions, engagement and photo sharing that keep followers informed of what Dell is up to. And it pays off. Its Dell Cares and Dell Cares PRO Twitter accounts had a 34% conversion rate for turning ranters into ravers.

Additionally, there is a social media platform suitable for every business and every target market. Facebook is now becoming more popular among seniors, millennials love Instagram, Linkedin is popular among the college educated and women dominate Pinterest. What does this mean? Whether you are a company that targets one or various audiences, if you use social media as a marketing tool, you can choose the platform your audience most frequently uses, and tailor your messages to make your company more favorable.

Now, you may say that traditional media accomplishes the same goals, and it has worked for you so why change it now? Always remember this: go where your customers are. If your customers are using more social media, so should you. One in seven people worldwide uses Facebook, and more than half of all Americans are on it. Twitter reaches 175 million tweets each day, and Instagram has 7.3 million daily users. Imagine how quickly you can spread the word about your business locally, nationwide and globally.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kyle­mccarthy/five­facts­about­social­m_b_6515334

html https://blog.kissmetrics.com/thrive­on­twitter/

Bring Your Brand to Your Website

 

building brand

Building Your Brand on Your Website

Your website is often the “front door” for your business. It can be the first interaction with your brand that your customers have…and maybe their last one. More than half of website visitors will spend less than 15 seconds on your website – barely long enough to register the name of your company. This means communicating your brand quickly and clearly on your website is critical to growing your business.

What goes into a user’s decision to stick around and check out your website? Or, better yet, to make a purchase or ask for a quote? Successful websites deliver a combination of good design, interesting content and the right technology. These three issues create a three-legged stool for the success of your website.

From the technology side, it is very important that the website load quickly. A slow website will frustrate your visitors and they will move on rather than waiting. Slow loading times also can affect your rankings in Google search. The best websites, as ranked by Google positioning, will load in fewer than 14 seconds* and many load in fewer than 10 seconds. You can check your average page loading time in Google Webmaster Tools to see how your site is performing.

Think about how a slowly loading site reflects on your brand, leaving the user with the impression that your company is either not technologically savvy or just doesn’t care. This is doubly true if your company is tech-related in any way, even if you just sell tech.

Pretty vs. Functional

While an artistically gorgeous website can be a thing of beauty to behold, it is not always the ticket to a great user experience. Your website design can either make it easier for users to find what they need, or leave them frustrated. I typically recommend the “less is more” approach when it comes to website design. I believe clean, simple and elegant styling is easier to navigate. Placing menus, search bars, a call to action or your logo in the right spot helps the user find what they are looking for more easily. For example, on virtually every website you will find the logo on the upper left. If you click that logo, it will generally take you to the home page. Users know this and they have come to expect it. Don’t make them work for it, or they’ll leave you.

Your website’s design should reflect your overall brand.Incorporate the colors and fonts of your logo and existing marketing materials and use them throughout the website. From start to finish everything should have a consistent and clean look, from the site to the invoices you send your clients — this will reinforce that image each time your customer encounters the brand. Repetition is good; variation is evil.
When you design your website, be sure to make it very easy for your customer to place an order or contact you for information, depending upon your goals. A well-placed form on every page makes it easier for users and helps to drive more business. Remember, the goal of your website is to sell, not just to look pretty. Driving more business is achieved by making it easy for users to get what they came for, and by making it easy for them to buy.  

Say What Your Customer Wants to Hear

Good, relevant content is the third leg of the marketing stool for your website. The user is looking for something when he or she comes to your website. If you figure out what that is and make it easy to find on the home page, you will improve your sales or goal conversions. Having a blog on your website helps you provide newsy, interesting information your customers will appreciate and Google will value in its rankings. The key word here is “relevant.” The information should be relevant for the user (not you) and related to what they are searching for.

When you are putting your content together, be sure to continue the tone of voice that you use in your other marketing materials. Be genuine and sincere, don’t try to pretend to be something your customers won’t recognize when they actually do business with your company. For example, don’t write copy filled with hip slang and obscure references if you are a conservative, professional firm. It will not come across as realistic to your customers and could even turn them off. Make your words mirror your business.

Headlines should move the user through the copy and describe what information is contained on the page. This is important not just for the website visitor, but also for Google, which uses headlines to determine what your website is about.

You Get What You Pay For

Above all, make sure your website looks professional and reflects the value of your business and your brand. Since it is your front door in many ways, it should attract customers and invite them in. If you do not have the skills or experience to create your own website, I always recommend making the investment to hire a professional web developer. It will be well worth the money to get an end result that will actually help you grow your business with a website that is attractive, professional, functional and provides a great user experience.
* Data from SEOchat.com

What Makes Your Small Business So Special?

stand out in a crowd

UVP – Unique Value Proposition – is one of the basics of small business marketing. Understanding what sets you apart from competitors is the first step in developing a sustainable and believable brand position and marketing campaign. But here’s a tip – it’s not your high quality and excellent service. 

Sure, you do those things but the truth is that your competitors say the same thing about their businesses, too. Every business owner, president or CEO believes in her heart that the company provides better quality and outstanding service. Why else would they be in business? Of course that is not always the truth, but what is true is that your customers have already assumed you will be giving them great service and a high quality product or service. In fact, it’s the ante that gets you into the game – if you can’t hit that benchmark then customers will leave you. Worse, they’ll tell their friends but they probably won’t tell you.

So, if your UVP is not quality or service, what is it? This is the hard part because most business owners feel very strongly about those two attributes and want to use them in their marketing campaigns. What’s left when you remove them? The real UVP.

Other attributes that describe your company may include convenient locations, competitive pricing, unique or hard-to-find products, locally-made, hand-crafted, environmentally-friendly, etc. When you are developing your UVP, I encourage you to make a list of all the qualities of your business that customers would find valuable. Ask your employees, customers, vendors and friends for their input. Go on social media and ask. You may find that customers see value that you did not!

Understanding what truly makes you special can help your small business marketing plan get off on the right foot and give you that great position that will distinguish your business from the competition.

Starting Fresh – Rebranding Your Company

This week, I am moving into a new office. My company has always been run from a home office, but I decided to take the plunge and move out and expand. I am partnering with another woman business owner to lease an office in Green Cove Springs, FL, and we have been busily creating our new space these last two or three weeks.

All of which made me think about rebranding. Every company or business has a brand. Whether you consciously create it or not, a brand exists. The best definition of a brand I ever heard is that “a brand is a promise.” The promise might be different for you than for your neighbor, because your interaction with the brand is unique. Your customers have an image in their minds of what your brand is. You can try to manage your brand image, but it is impossible to control it. rebranding label says new version

If you have not been managing your brand, or if you haven’t updated your company’s image in a while, it might be time to rebrand. But how do you go about that? Here are a few steps I suggest:

1. Research your existing brand. Find out what your clients or customers think about your business by asking them, either through a survey or in person. By understanding your current position in their minds, you can decide what changes you need to make. For example, do your customers think of you as trustworthy but expensive? You can improve that image either by lowering your prices or by doing a better job of explaining the high quality you provide for those higher prices.

2. Do a 360-degree look at your business. Assess your business from the parking lot all the way to the restrooms. What do your signs say about you? The colors of the walls, the state of your shrubs? Are your marketing materials up to date and do they all have a consistent look and feel? How about your website – often the “front door” to your business. Is it mobile friendly? Is it cluttered, or easy to navigate?

3. Determine what you want your brand to be, and write it down. This might be a mission statement, a tagline, or just a couple of words, but if you have a clear vision of what you want to communicate it will be easier.

4. Now decide if you need to make changes to your logo, signs, colors, website, etc. Maybe you only need to make changes to the content, or perhaps provide additional training to staff.

5. Make an implementation plan. Many companies, especially non-profits and very small businesses, cannot afford to throw away boxes of printed materials. But I recommend a definite deadline by which everything will be changed over, even if it is a year away. You can phase in your implementation if you need to, but prioritize those steps according to what will have the most impact on your brand.

6. Lastly, communicate with customers, vendors, employees and other stakeholders about your rebranding. Ask for their feedback to make sure you are hitting the mark. If not, make changes. This can, and should, be a continuous process of measuring your brand’s impact.

In a few weeks, I will be speaking to a group of women business owners in Nassau County, FL about rebranding. I’d be interested in hearing your ideas about what I should include, or your feedback about this post. Have a great day!

Do you really know your competition?

knock out competition Deppe

 

Knowing who your competitors are is a basic part of marketing your business. Sometimes that is easy – you can look up and down the streets of your community and figure out who has the same products or services for sale. Other times it is more complicated. There may be online competitors (Amazon, for example) that are not as evident, or there may be out-of-town competitors who are also coming into your market area.

But there are other things that compete for your business, things you may not have thought about. Restaurants, entertainment venues, the arts and similar businesses are especially at risk for some stealth competitors that you may not have considered. Leisure activities are increasingly being done online as the internet offers many more real-time entertainment options. In addition to movies, TV shows and games, you can also participate in hang outs, web chats and other live activities. You can watch a first-run movie, a live symphony performance, or a jazz dance performance on demand while sitting in front of your TV, your desktop computer or your smartphone and tablet. Mobile, handheld entertainment is a growing part of our everyday lives and it is competing with your business.

How does an online movie compete with your retail outlet? Because it takes away the time that your customer might otherwise have spent shopping at your store. Customers obviously have limited free time and the convenience of shopping or consuming entertainment from home is a competitor you cannot afford to ignore.

So how do you compete? Provide an engaging, quality experience for your customers. Knowing that consumers are interested in an experience means that the way you approach and interact with them may have to change. Make sure that your retail space is clean, approachable, modern-looking, and attractive. Encourage staff to be friendly and learn about the customers, so they can better meet their needs. Standing behind a counter and waiting for customers to come to you is the old way of doing business. Today’s consumers want information, choices and advice from others.

If you don’t already have a strong online presence that encourages reviews from customers, I encourage you to develop that. Connect your customers with review sites like Angie’s List, Google + and Facebook to make it easier. Or, you can deploy an a widget on your website that allows them to post right there.

Thinking “outside the box” means getting creative about understanding what you are really competing with. It’s not just the obvious anymore.

Lessons Learned

Last week, I lost my Dad. He had been in the hospital for a couple weeks and in the ICU for the last few days of his life. On Mardi Gras Day, he went to be with my Mom.

Dad with his grandson

Dad & my son in front of a replica of my Dad’s first car

So, you are probably wondering what this has to do with marketing, right? Well, my Dad inspired me in many ways and a lot of my business principals are based on lessons learned from my father. In fact, the red queen I use in my logo is a nod to my dad, who taught me to play chess and always think 3 steps ahead – a lesson I’ve carried all throughout my career.

Some 50 years ago, my dad was in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of his life. He lived much longer than expected and I attribute that to his ability to find humor in just about every situation. In honor of my Dad, I would like to share a few lessons learned from him that I think apply to marketing your business.

1. Bad things can happen to you, so be sure you have insurance. In marketing terms, this means more than just insuring your business – it means building a great relationship with your customers and audiences so that IF something goes wrong, you have a nest egg of good PR to draw on. If you are old enough to remember the Tylenol scare, you will recall that J&J weathered that storm in no small part because it had a solid reputation in the marketplace.

2. Think ahead and think through the alternatives. Just as in chess, there are a number of moves you can make with your business. Each option has potential reactions from your competitors, customers and/or vendors. Being strategic in your marketing requires that you think through the possible risks and rewards of your actions.

3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Dad never let his situation get in the way of having fun with friends and family. He found ways to laugh at himself even up to the very last day of his life. I always admired how his sense of humor drove him through the tough times. When things get difficult in your business, remember that this, too, shall pass. Keep in mind that there are people with bigger problems than you, and that the light at the end of the tunnel is NOT ALWAYS a train!

4. Don’t listen to what other people tell you about your destiny, your path, or your future. Many doctors told my dad he would not live past the age of 45 or 50, yet he was 78 when he died. When my Mom died 8 years ago, many people thought he would have to go into a nursing home because she had been his caregiver. But he didn’t. He persevered, adapted, found resources to help him remain at home and outlived every single prognostication made for him. There will always be naysayers or people who want to tell you to give up or that you can’t accomplish your goals. It’s best to ignore them and find some people who support you and will help you do more than you ever imagined possible.

5. And finally, stay close to family and friends. There is no substitute for that kind of support in your business or your life. My dad always encouraged me in my business and gave me sound advice along the way. His faith in me sustained me when I was feeling unsure about my plans. My dad had friends and family throughout the country that he stayed in touch with, and who reached out to me and my brother after his death. Dad would have been humbled by the number of people who said they were inspired by him, respected him and cared deeply for him. You can’t buy that kind of support, but you can let it slip away if you don’t tend to your relationships. The same is true for your customers, too.

At the Oscars, J.K. Simmons wrapped up his acceptance speech for Supporting Actor with these words: “Call your mom, call your dad…Don’t text, don’t email. Call them on the phone and tell them you love them.”

Using Color to Improve Your Website Design

How does the color blue or green make you feel? Safe, calm, peaceful? It might if it were the color scheme of the website you just visited.

As website design goals attempt to influence customer behavior, more and more designers are looking to the psychology of color to help them create websites.

There’s no shortage of studies touting the effects color plays on our moods and behavior. Similar principles of color psychology are being deployed by marketing strategists with regard to website planning and marketing, with the potential to influence customer buying and decision-making habits.

So is it actually true? Can you really use particular colors to enhance your customers’ moods, influence clicks, establish brand recognition or sway purchasing habits? shutterstock_92900206 (1)

According to Entrepreneur.com, a study by Satyendra Singh determined that a customer forms an opinion about a product in just 90 seconds, and as much as 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone.

Of course, there is no right color for a button or conversion text, but testing has revealed that bright primary and secondary call to action colors (red, green, orange, yellow) have higher conversion rates, while darker colors like black, dark gray, brown, and purple have lower conversion rates.

If your business’ market reach is primarily of one gender, then you might have a leading edge in your web and campaign designs. According to Entrepreneur.com, women don’t like gray, orange or brown, but they do like blue, purple and green. And men don’t like purple, orange or brown, but they do like blue, green and black.

Jared Christopherson, in a Mashable.com article, suggests companies use the 60-30-10 rule when designing a website. By choosing three different colors and using them in the ratio of 60, 30 and 10 percent, a professional color scheme for your brand can be achieved.

With the 60-30-10 rule, (background, base and accent colors, respectively), make the accent color your boldest color and use it to guide customers to take a particular action. Use it in your call-to-action button, on your hyperlinks or in other places where you want your customer to do something specific. Don’t overuse the accent color,  however, or you will defeat its purpose of drawing attention to a specific action. Decide what your most desired action is, and use your accent colors to accentuate that action.

Below is a list of website colors and the emotions and feelings each is thought to elicit. The trick is to think about your customer and what type of feeling they would like to be experiencing when surfing your site or after purchasing your product or service. With a specific feeling in mind, match it to any of the colors in the chart below, and make those colors either your background, base, or accent color of your site.

Color Mood or emotion evoked
Yellow Fun and friendly. Cheerful, attention-getter, associated with liveliness and energy.
Orange Energetic warmth and ambition. New beginnings, enthusiasm, creativity. Can create a sense of haste or impulse. Sometimes, orange is interpreted as cheap.
Red The most emotionally intense of all colors. Boldness, love, life. Don’t overuse as it can portray warning.
Green Most intuitive color. Nature and organic. Easy on the eye. Associated with safety, optimism, growth, harmony, wealth, luck, and stress relief. The color of outdoors, eco-friendly, the environment. If the focus of your website has anything to do with nature, environment, organic, or outdoors, green should be your color of choice.
Blue Most commonly used. Trust and loyalty. Tranquility, depth, honor, productivity. Decreases one’s appetite. Calls to mind feelings of calmness and serenity. It often is described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly.
Purple Royalty, nobility, power, wealth, spirituality
Pink Femininity, love, tenderness, romance. Produces a calming effect.
Brown Solid, dependable, confident, conventional and sophisticated
Grey Conservative, traditional, serious
Black Authority, sophistication and elegance. Mysterious. Gives a sense of luxury, value, elegance, sophistication, and power. If you are selling high-value luxury consumer items on your website, black probably would be a good choice.
White Purity, cleanliness, sterility, youth. Used for negative space in design.

In the end, the main thing is that when beginning a new website or branding project, think about who your target audience is. Take time to consider the color meanings and how colors might affect your viewers. What kind of emotion do you want your visitors or customers to feel, and look for colors that might evoke that feeling.

Finally, color is powerful. It influences not only how people feel, but also what they do. The psychology of color can help strengthen your brand, encourage actions, soothe and calm emotions and even guide visitors toward specific pages or actions on your website.

If used properly, color can be extremely beneficial to your marketing success.

Is it time to update your website? Deppe Communications can help. Contact us today for information and an estimate.

10 Tips to Improve Search Engine Optimization for Your Business Website

Five years ago, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was completely different. Webmasters added meta tags to the website to give Google and other search engines clues to what the website was about. In addition, it was not uncommon to throw in a laundry list of keywords that may or may not have anything to do with your website. That often included the name of your competitors as a way to try to get their search results sent your way.

But today, SEO is another story. Search engines have changed and are more focused on delivering better results to searchers based on what is actually on a website and not a list of words stuck in a meta tag. That isn’t to say there aren’t a few tricks you can use to enhance your SEO efforts, though. But the real bottom line is that great content is key to getting good search engine results. Without that as your starting point, all the rest of these tips will be useless.

So, with that in mind, here are 10 things you should include in your SEO efforts.

Page Descriptions.

This is a short paragraph that summarizes the content of the page. It somewhat replaces the meta tag, but should be specific to that particular page. Page descriptions are very important in helping search engines figure out what your website is about. Do not use the same description on every page. You will have to go to the Admin section of your website to add these in. CSEOgraph

Page URLs.

Each page should have its own unique URL that is related to the content on that specific page. This is what will show up in the address bar when someone clicks on the page. An example is www.mywebsite.com/SEO-basics. You can see that the page URL immediately describes to users what they will find on the page. Again, do not use the same one over and over. You can include the name of your company in the page title.

Page Titles.

These also appear in the Admin section and is a brief few words that describe what is on the page. Each page should have a different title.

XML Sitemap.

If you do not have an XML Sitemap on your page, go to the Google Webmaster Tools and create one. This makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site.

Alt tags.

Use alt tags for every photograph on your website. Since search engines cannot “see” photos, they rely on alt tags to tell them what is in the photograph. Also, alt tags are used by disabled individuals who cannot see the screen. Keep the tag brief, but descriptive of what is in the photo.

Heading tags.

H1, H2, H3, etc. are all heading tags. Typically the H1 tag is used for the headline at the top of the page. It should be a brief summary of what is on the page. Subheads or section heads can be smaller – H2 is smaller than H1, H3 is smaller than H2, etc. These tags are picked up by search engine crawlers and provide more clues about the content of the site.

Simple Navigation.

Try to keep your menu as simple as possible and make sure that it does not include industry jargon in the navigation. There is a reason that most websites use “About Us” and “Contact Us” – users know what those mean and what to expect when they click on them. Getting too fancy or clever with navigation menus can actually confuse users, so use the KISS (Keep It Simple Sunshine) principle.

Text Links.

The content on one page of your site is most likely connected to other pages. Help your readers by adding text links to let them jump to that content quickly. If you are writing about SEO and you have a whole article on “SEO definitions” on another page, then create a link that will take the user to the article. These connections are crawled by the search engines and will improve your SEO results.

Anchor text.

This is related to text links. The anchor is the word used to create the link – in the above example, it would be “SEO.” Use these more descriptive keywords instead of things like “click here” or “learn more.” A short keyword gives the search engine a better clue.

Keywords.

While this is listed last, it may be the most important of these 10 tips. Having the right keywords identified before you start writing for your website is very important. There are many keyword tools, including Google’s, to get help with building a list of appropriate keywords. Keywords and phrases should represent the things that your users/customers are most likely to type into a search engine to find you. Do you sell carpet? Then “carpet” and “flooring” are obvious keywords. “Floor coverings” and “shag carpet” and “rugs” should also be on your list.

Once you have a list, use your keyword planning tool to learn which of these words are searched for the most. Look for niche phrases that might not have a lot of traffic, but represent an opportunity to garner visits. For example, “pine wood flooring” might not have a lot of searches but if you carry a lot of it, you might want to choose that keyword anyway. Try to narrow down your keyword list to a dozen or so really important ones, then focus on one or two of them on each page of your website. If you have a page but no matching keywords for it, then consider whether you should revise either the keywords or eliminate the page.

Do NOT throw keywords into your content willy-nilly. First, it makes your content sound like gibberish to the reader. More importantly, keyword stuffing will get you penalized by Google and they might just remove you completely from their search engine. Your content should read naturally and keywords should be incorporated where they make sense. That’s why you should select the keywords before you write your content. Trying to add them in later could make your copy sound unnatural.

Understanding SEO and using it properly can help your website show up better in search engine results. Make sure you are showing up for the right results, though, and are focusing on things that will drive business not just traffic. As always, set up a tracking mechanism for leads that are generated by your search results, such as a contact form. Be sure to check your Google Analytics regularly to understand which keywords are working for you, and which you should think about changing.

There are other things, of course, that you can do to improve your SEO…great content, link building, website design, etc. But these 10 things will definitely get you on the right path. If you need help with SEO for your company website, call Deppe Communications at 904.524.0170 or E-mail Kim@DeppeCommunications.com.

Top 10 Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for Your Small Business

Starting the new year with a new marketing plan for your small business is a great idea. Small business marketing does not have to be expensive, but it should be just as well thought out as if you were marketing a large corporation. Deppe Communications has helped many local and small businesses create a complete marketing plan to ensure that their marketing dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively. Top 10

In honor of the start of our new year, here is our “Top 10 List” of resolutions for marketing your small business.

  1. Understand what part of your business generates the most profit for your business. And, alternatively, figure out if there are any products/services that are costing you money. You may want to keep that as a “loss leader” if it is something that typically generates future business, but you absolutely should be able to quantify it. Don’t just use your gut, but actually analyze your costs vs. your profits. Sound like finance instead of marketing? Yes, but it usually won’t help you to spend money advertising a losing product or service. That’s a poor marketing investment.
  2. Figure out who your customers are today – then go find more like them. This sounds so simple, and it is a basic marketing rule of thumb. But truly knowing your customers requires data and making a concerted effort to learn more about them.
  3. Write at least 2 or 3 “SMART” goals for your business in 2015. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. An example of a good SMART goal is “Increase sales of 20-foot garden hoses by 25% before September 1, 2015.” Having specific goals should come before you start figuring out how to market or advertise your business. Otherwise, how will you know what to invest your marketing dollars in?
  4. Don’t confuse action for strategy.  Buying a bunch of ads might get your name out, but it is not a marketing strategy. If your advertising is not targeting the right people, at the right time, with the right message and using the right medium, then you have wasted your investment.
  5. If you are not familiar with marketing basics, then DIY (Do-It-Yourself) is not a good idea. No matter if you have a little money to spend or a lot, a good marketing or advertising consultant can make your investment go farther.
  6. Stop spending money on advertising randomly. If you are responding to the last sales pitch that walked in your door, you are probably wasting your money. Media sales people are nice people, but they don’t have your best interests at heart – they just want to sell ads. Ask for proof that their product is reaching your target audience. Then figure out how much you are paying for each person reached.
  7. Know what your UVP is – Unique Value Proposition. What makes you different from your competitors? Why should customers choose your business over brand X? Consider things like location, service, quality and price.
  8. Know your competitors. Today, when your website is often the first contact with a customer, your competitor is not necessarily the company across the street. By going online and doing a search (be sure to sign out of your Google account first to get better results), you will find out which other companies are in your space.
  9. Be creative. Come up with new and interesting ways to entice customers to choose you. In this very competitive global marketplace, finding a way to stand out from the crowd is more important than ever.
  10. Set aside money in your budget for marketing. Whether it is to send employees to networking events and trade shows, or a full-fledged advertising campaign on TV, radio and billboards, marketing requires an investment. It is typical to budget between 1% and 3% of gross revenues for marketing.   

 

Want help creating your new marketing plan? Contact Deppe Communications now.

Taking the Personal Approach With Your Marketing

I had a pleasant surprise some time back when I logged onto my computer and headed for my Gmail – a personal birthday greeting from Google. My first thought was “wow, Google knows everything about me!” This was followed quickly by a realization that (a) that’s because I told them all about myself in sundry ways; and (b) that makes my user experience unique to me. Oh, and (c) – they have some very smart marketers over there at Google.  happy birthday message from google

Any marketer worth her salt knows that mass marketing is, if not dead, then certainly wobbling around on its last legs. Bringing a custom message to your target audiences is not only a more effective approach, it is more cost efficient, too. This blog, for example, is for those who follow me and are interested in what I have to say about marketing. I don’t publish it as an ad in the newspaper for the whole world to see because, frankly, most folks don’t care about marketing. I would be wasting a ton of money to buy newspaper ads for that purpose.

Likewise, your business’ marketing efforts can and should be targeted. That requires some work on the back end – creating segmented marketing lists and custom messages, for example. It can be more time consuming than just developing a TV spot and buying time on the SuperBowl so the whole world can hear what you have to say. But in the end, you will save money and get better results.

Segmenting is more than just dividing up your customers by gender or age. It can include geographic locations, product choice, buying history, brand preference or even birthdays. Wouldn’t you rather get an Email telling you when your favorite brand of shoes is on sale than a blast notice that everything in the store is 10% off? How about a notice from the grocery store telling you that your usual brand of laundry soap is on special this week – would that be worth something to you as a customer?

You can take those same ideas and use them in your own business, no matter what kind of business you have. It takes effort to understand your customers first, though, and know a little bit about them and their preferences and buying history. You might have to do a little more record-keeping, but in the end you will be establishing a closer, more personal relationship with your customer.

Interested in knowing more about small business marketing? Call me to discuss your needs at 904.524-0170 or fill out the form below.

 

 

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