It never ceases to amaze me how The Money Shop in Muswell Hill stays in business. Every time I walk past it there is no-one in there apart from staff. Everyone I ask says they never see anyone go in there. It makes me wonder whether it sprung up to answer a real need or because the person in charge of the marketing was a megalomaniac.
Knowing where to market your business is a tricky thing to do. You need to work out who your customers are, establish the demographics, create targeted marketing campaigns using press releases, social media, websites blogs, email marketing……. “ARGH!” I hear you scream as you run off to the local employment centre to find a 9-5 job.
Well yes you should know your market.
But, sometimes the pudding doesn’t need to be overegged.
Sometimes there are easy solutions starting you in the face.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
I am married to a biking fanatic. Al used to road-race as a teenager and won prizes in a number of youth tours so it stands to reason that Le Tour de France rules for 3 weeks each year. This year, as the start was taking place in Al’s home county of Yorkshire we trundled up north to see it.
Obviously, I watch it because from a marketing perspective this is a dream gig (the fact that it features very-fit-men-dressed-in-lycra is merely a bonus). People get into position well in advance of the race giving sponsors and partners of Le Tour de France a captive audience. They send out floats featuring Moo-Hoosive cows or soft drinks bottles and have exciting young things trotting alongside in time to the blaring music handing out freebies. Then the team cars parade through the route, horns beeping and high-fiving out of the windows. All the time the names of sponsors are being imprinted on retinas, in brains and the reminder continues each time the freebie hat or bag is reused.
Having done a couple of these stints before I know it’s a long wait between the initial fanfare of floats and team cars to when the race actually comes through. The trick I’ve learnt is to make sure we have plenty to eat/drink whilst waiting for the very-fit-men-dressed-in-lycra to whizz past us.
Unfortunately, there are always families/individuals that misjudge the length of time and don’t come equipped. But where we stood, there was help at hand, because a local church had spotted the gap in the market. Based just 30 feet away from the crowds that had congregated on a Sunday to watch very-fit-men-etc whizz past, members of the congregation went around handing out small bottles of water with this message on it (see photo above).
It was a very clever piece of marketing for two main reasons – water bottles are synonymous with cycling; it answered a need by giving people a drink. The payback was that a significant number people read the information on the bottle (I know – I watched, so much so I almost missed the very-fit-men speeding by!). After the race ended, I saw several bottle-holding people wander into the church; I saw a number of others putting the bottles in their bag which meant the church had another potential crack at the whip when it was taken out at home.
Back home, I came across another fab bit of simple marketing. A sudden rash of banners and A-boards around the area announced the arrival of a property developer. I chatted to the owner and established this wasn’t a new business but one that had been around for almost a decade. The owner told me that a friend had suggested he put up the banners and boards to let people know they were on their doorstep; the net result was a 300% increase in enquiries!
Remember that ‘Anyone who is breathing’ is not a target market. However, marketing can be far simpler than you realise!
OVER TO YOU
If your marketing hasn’t worked in the way you’d hoped, have a look around and see if there are opportunities you may be missing. If you’ve had an ephipanic marketing moment, then let me know so I can share with others. Alternatively, if you’re struggling, email your issue to [email protected] and I’ll see how I can help.