In my presentation "Five in 24" there is a section about the three reasons people are not buying what you are selling. Yes, there are only three.
One of those reasons is that you are using the wrong messenger to communicate with your customer. It may be that your core customer is not in that communication channel or it might be that the channel is antiquated yet still around soaking money from the unsuspecting advertiser.
We see both of those issues all the time. A trendy new restaurant with a focus on young professionals advertising in a regional newspaper or a high-end jewelry store advertising on a cable channel where the viewers simply are not in their demographic.
So, how do you fix it. Better yet, how do you stop the outflow of marketing dollars that's not returning on your investment?
Well, you could ask a professional...somebody that is a trusted source of information. But, you can also do it yourself. Here are some ideas to get you pointed in the right direction:
- Know Your Customer - Seems pretty simple but not every human out there is your target customer, unless you are selling a commodity. Then you've got other issues. So learn as much as you can about your current customer. What they like, don't like. What they are buying or not buying. This takes some time and some interaction but it can be done;
- Understand Trends - The newest, hottest social media channel may not fit your current or future core customer. I've seen people spend loads of time and money chasing a trend only to, finally, learn it didn't work;
- Watch & Read - What are other successful businesses doing that are in your space? What do your association magazines and communications say about how to best reach core customers? Spend some time thinking, really thinking and learning more about how to market successfully;
- Trust but Verify - Every media sales person who comes through your door has "the answer". But, remember, what works for one may not work for you. I once had a broadcast outlet tell me their audience was made up of thousands of people but when we went digging learned it was more like several hundred in our client's prime demographic.
Let me offer one other piece of advice, and this came from a conversation just this week. If you are a small business seeking to do business with another small business wouldn't it make sense to market in something that is directed toward small business owners?
Let's say you have an accounting firm or a office cleaning firm or a business law firm and your prime customer group is made up of other small businesses. What the heck are you doing in an advertising channel that is marketing to the masses? Doesn't make an ounce of sense.
It doesn't but, man, that sales person had a good story.
Thanks for reading...