Are you mining the seam?
There has been a flurry of excitement as a series of “brand-chain” restaurants opened in Muswell Hill. As the build-up to the various openings began I asked if they wanted advertise in the Muswell Flyer magazine. The response was “There is no advertising budget; we only have editorial opportunities” – the latter being code for we’ll bung you a free meal during our opening week and in return you write nice things and post them on the internet and social media.
It’s not often I am gobsmacked but I was, quite frankly, amazed. I shared my view with my cats: “WHAT are they doing? WHAT’S going to happen once the frisson of delight has died down? Do they really think that having a high street presence with a food blog by Arabella in Chelsea who schlepped it on the bus to indulge herself on the soft launch night is going to sustain them?” The cats gave me invaluable feedback by raising a collective eyebrow turning over and falling back asleep.
Now, you may think I am ranting because I’ve been spurned. There is a little of that I’ll admit, but before I give you my take on it, let’s have a vote.
Hands up if you keep walking past a new business’ shop cajoling yourself for not actually having set foot over the threshold?
Hands up if you’ve ever had a visitor who says “I fancy going to [insert the name of place in your local vicinity] – what’s it like?” and you embarrassedly mumble that you’ve never been there?
There’re loads of things that we all have very good intentions about doing but other stuff gets in the way. Generally we have to be reminded 7 times or more about something to make that “thing” rise above everything else thus prompting us into taking action.
The lovely new eateries in Muswell Hill may have a good high street position and diners who have far more active grey matter than me and therefore will remember to pay a visit. However, they are missing a huge chunk of their potential market. I know this because once upon a time, there was a builder who I wooed for 8 months about placing an advert. He was really reticent because he felt that as he was local to the area, and had a fairly regular stream of small few jobs there wasn’t any need for him to advertise – “I’m already mining the seam” he told me. Eventually, after much persuasion I finally got him to place an advert. A couple of days after the magazine hit the streets, he emailed me to say “I’m amazed Becky; I underestimated just how much business was on my own doorstep.”
Making your business known in your local area can be achieved in a myriad of ways. For example you could take a stall at the local school fete; give a talk to the local neighbourhood watch, Residents’ Association or networking group; if budget allows sponsor a local school team kit; cross promotion – which sounds like you would be standing there tapping your feet, hands on your hips and shouting straplines in an angry manner but is in fact about working collaboratively with other local businesses e.g. gyms and therapists, beauticians and hair salons; undoubtedly there will be a teenager who wants to earn some pennies and distributing your leaflets whilst blasting their eardrums with music could be manna from heaven for them.
Whatever you do the key is to keep your name out there. As Steuart Henderson Britt said: “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark; YOU know what you are doing but NOBODY else does.”
If you are thinking about marketing locally then your resident neighbourhood magazine is a great place to start. Get in touch on 07976 869435 or email [email protected] for more information about how I can help.
For other marketing tips take a look here: