Notes from Jeff York

Small business marketing thoughts from a marketing small business owner

Posts Tagged ‘business owners

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.

Advertisements

Written by Jeff York

April 4, 2009 at 12:11 am

Marketing in a difficult economy

with 8 comments

As a business owner, current economic times provide you with endless challenges and possibly sleepless nights. When you’re worried about dwindling sales and if your bank is going to pull your credit line, it’s hard to think about growth. Ever wonder what the smart business owners are thinking about during these turbulant times?

How do I grow market share?

There it is. The smart businesses around us are thinking about turning these challenges into an opportunity. They are getting the message out there about their goods and services. They are developing top-of-mind awareness in the public at a time when their competitors are pulling marketing dollars off the table. Why? Exactly for that reason. The best time to build market share is when there’s no opposition.

In the past, I’ve written about cutting through the clutter and getting your message heard. Times like these make that task much easier. Fewer messages mean it’s easier to remember yours. Put your message out there. Repeat it over and over. If you do that, what do you think will happen?

In a recovery situation, you will be miles ahead of your competition. You will have built tremendous value in your brand and increased your opportunity to gain market share.

I know it’s hard to think along these lines when it seems like the sky is falling and money is tightest. But this truly is an opportunistic time. If you’re thinking about cutting back on your marketing budget, I would caution you to perhaps examine your strategies and concentrate your efforts to maximize success. If you’re thinking about cutting your marketing budget altogether, I have a message for you from your competitors:

Thank you.

Honey…I’m home.

leave a comment »

The moving truck has left. The boxes are unpacked. And here’s our new home. The blog has the new look and the new address. I’m still using WordPress and all of the old posts seem to have made the move without any left behind.

On the off chance that you didn’t read my last post left at the old address, moving to this new place was a function of me taking my own advice. Since Buzzworthy Media no longer exists as a stand alone entity, my focus has shifted to building the “Jeff York” brand. It may be October, but I still haven’t forgotten my New Year’s resolution of building my own personal brand.

So, here you’ll find all the weekly business and marketing thoughts and discussions you’ve gotten used to seeing at the old location.

I’d love to hear feedback on the move and the new look. This is also the perfect opportunity to open the floor up for a discussion on what you’d like to talk about in the forum. I don’t write this blog for me. Well, mostly not for me. I write it to open discussions about marketing and business in general for you, the business owner or professional, looking for the nugget of information to launch a whole new thought process.

Written by Jeff York

October 12, 2008 at 2:49 am