Notes from Jeff York

Small business marketing thoughts from a marketing small business owner

Speaking to your audience

with 5 comments

home_page_image1It’s been my experience that business owners that are new to marketing often make the mistake of emulating messaging or techniques that they were exposed to in mass media. Maybe it was a commercial that they liked on TV or a catchy radio spot. So, it’s their business and their marketing dollar. That’s what they want to do.

As you may remember from your English classes, when writing you need to consider your audience. In this case, it’s the business owner’s core customer base. If the business owner fails to speak to that core base, they will not be effective in their marketing efforts.

This makes the first step obvious. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER. If you don’t really know your customer, then you have a fundamental issue within your business structure. If you think you know your customer, make sure you really do. Talk to them. Spend time at your store with some of them. Make sure that what you perceive about your customer is really true. Once you know that, then you can start to craft messaging that speaks to that group.

Just because you like the messaging doesn’t mean that it’s the correct message. Test it. Ask people about what you’re doing. Check the metrics. Make sure that what you’re doing is moving the needle in some way. You might not see an immediate increase in customers, but you might be moving the needle in other ways. For example, are your customers even more satisfied? If they are, you might not be seeing an immediate influx of new customers, but you might be seeing current customers buying more. That will eventually lead to exactly the type of advertising that you can’t buy directly: word-of-mouth.

What are you doing for marketing today? Did you throughly research your customer first? Do you know what they want or do you only think you know what they want? If you researched them, know them, are you speaking directly to them? Lastly, I hate to say it, but customers are fickle. What appeals to them today doesn’t necessarily work tomorrow. You have to keep taking their temperature.

If you haven’t walked a mile in their shoes since yesterday, it’s time.

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Written by Jeff York

April 4, 2009 at 12:11 am

5 Responses

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  1. […] the past, you’ve heard me suggest that you should talk to your customers. It’s vital to know what they think of you. If you’re doing your job […]

  2. […] or a business’s ad agency that wants to explore the idea of a pitchman or spokesman. They see others doing it in their advertising and they think it must be a great […]

  3. […] a successful marketing campaign. What good is a solid, well-crafted message if no one hears it? Putting it into the right channels (tv, radio, etc.) to reach the right demographic is crucial. But if you […]

  4. […] yourself, if you were in your customer’s shoes, would you buy from you?  Is there a compelling reason for someone to buy from you rather […]

  5. […] about your ideal new customer for a minute? Would they mind if you shook them out of their daily routine to experience you? Would […]


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