I’ve had some good chats with clients this week about their marketing efforts. Some were sharing successes, and some were looking for ways to reinvigorate their businesses and sales. The one thing that was clear is that good marketing takes creativity and sustained effort.
Here is a list of opportunities that you might help your business:
Use what you have
- Email marketing has a huge return on investment. If you have a few hundred contacts, sending out an announcement, coupon, some pithy advice, etc., will generate instant business.
- This is also true with mailings. Sending out a postcard, letter or newsletter to your existing base of clients and contacts will generate repeat business.
- Call ten existing clients a week. Ask them how you are or aren’t meeting their needs. Introduce new products/services.
Being Seen More
- Use your vehicles to promote your business. Vehicle magnets are inexpensive, removable and can be made in a day or two. If you have a work truck or van, go with cut vinyl, see-through window materials or partial wraps. Bumper stickers are another idea.
- Put a business card holder on your vehicle. Card Caddie has inexpensive business card holders that affix to your vehicle.
- Get embroidered or screen printed shirts for you and your staff. I have embroidered ones for the office and screen printed ones for the weekend. I am always marketing!
- Use your office or storefront windows to tell your message. I wonder how many customers the dental offices across from Safeway have gotten because of the see-through window treatments seen by everyone exiting Safeway. I see a lot more branding and window displays (many of which we made) in town. They certainly catch my eye.
- Go with some eye-catching vertical flags or banners for special events or promotions. The key to outdoor advertising is attention—what is new in the environment—so keep it dynamic and always changing.
- I say this a lot: get involved with a volunteer, religious, sports, environmental or political group in the community. We are more likely to buy from those we know and trust.
- The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce and some the networking groups like BNI are a good source of events and meetings to make some connections.
- Avoid spending all your time online on social media: you are likely preaching to the choir instead of prospecting new clients. Get out and interact with people in person.
- If you are a business focusing on other businesses, it’s easy to send out a targeted piece of direct mail.
- Depending on your product, it might make sense to send out direct mail to a neighborhood or to a targeted mailing list. It takes a bit of work, but the results can be spectacular.
- Look very carefully at traditional advertising: TV, yellow pages, radio, newspapers and cut any that don’t have a very high return on investment. Habit is a poor reason to do something that is not working. Reallocate funds to online marketing. The costs are lower, and you’ll reach a lot of potential customers.
- Consider sponsoring an Aloha Theater production, one of the local community events, a sports team or a sporting event.
Walking the Walk
- This is one of my pet peeves. If you are a local business and you expect people or other businesses to buy from you, you must do the same: buy locally. I am a potential customer of every business that does business with Kona Impact. In fact, I will go for long periods of time where I only buy from our clients’ restaurants, shops, farms and gas stations. I know the same is true with many business owners I know: they only support those who support them.
My goal is to get your creativity flowing. One thing I love to do is to spend some time each week looking at how other businesses are doing their marketing. What has caught my eye? What was compelling? What seemed off-message or a waste of time? There is not a lot that hasn’t been done; a clever marketer is a master observer and “repurposer”!