Small business marketing, especially in a down economy, requires a psychological aspect, as Vitaly Grinblat explains. At Welcome Express we offer an arsenal of advertising products designed for Orange County small businesses to attract new customers who are newcomers themselves. The psychology is clear – newcomers are seeking a higher percentage of solutions than those who are settled into established behavior patterns of commerce.
*What is your real goal in marketing and advertising your business?
Let’s look at relationships as an example. When you first meet a member of the opposite sex and you feel attracted to them, you don’t come up and after introducing yourself propose marriage, do you? There’s a process involved in creating a relationship. You first usually go on a date and get to know someone before even considering marriage. If you actually did walk up to someone you didn’t know, introduced yourself and told them that you want to skip all the steps and get married, you’ll probably never see that person again, and ruin what potentially could have been a great relationship.
It’s the same in business. Not all your prospects are ready to buy right away. Depending on what your products or services are, it may take several steps before your prospect feels comfortable enough to go ahead and do business with you. On the other hand, there are some business that all they do is advertise to get people to know who they are and there’s no tracking mechanism for any follow up to continue the relationship building process.
That’s why direct marketing solves this problem. Using the direct marketing approach allows you to build a relationship with your prospect and give them a chance to get to see what you offer before asking them to buy. Which takes all the pressure off of you and them.
Here are the steps to successful direct marketing rollout:
1. You need to pick a specific target market. Not everyone is your prospect. In fact, the more narrow your target market is, the more likelihood of success, because you can tailor make your message to their particular needs. Dan Kennedy, of the greatest marketers in the world, calls it a perfect message to market match. [ Editor's note: Welcome Express targets the newcomer to Orange County who hasn't yet selected and made habit his or her 'chosen' merchants for doing business.]
2. Create something that you can include for free in your direct response offer. Notice I said free. Because we want the prospect to act (or respond) to your offer by calling, or going to your website, or faxing you, or walking into your store, whatever it happens to be.
This step is important, because this separates the interested prospects (leads) from the ones who have no interest. You now can continue sending information via mail or email to these people, because they’re the ones that raised their hands. Why waste your advertising dollars on people who don’t even show any interest in what you have.
3. Have a great offer with your give away. There must be a compelling reason for your prospects to act now. It must be emotionally captivating and have social proof, (testimonials). Make sure you have a strong guarantee, people love guarantees, and although if your product is good, they will not ask for a refund, but it does make them more comfortable to make the decision to buy.
The ones that don’t respond, you keep communicating with. You see the timing has to be right. They may not be ready. Money could be an issue at this moment. They may have marital problems or something else that keeps them occupied at this moment, and your offer is the last thing they’re interested, for now. So you follow up with emails, mail, send them reminders, tips, ideas, etc… Depending on your business, this would vary, but the idea is to keep the sequence of follow up going.
4. When the prospect buys and turns into a customer, keep communicating with them, and have a back end sales strategy. In other words, have additional products and services that you could sell them later. If you don’t, your competition most definitely will.
Again depending on your product this will be different for everyone, but think of what can complement the product they purchased. If they bought carpet, they might be interested in a carpet cleaning solution, to keep it clean. They may also be in the market for furniture, drapery, and other items.
The psychology of a direct response model for small business marketing is simple, if you keep your customers’ best interests at heart and do whatever it takes to nurture those relationships, which later turn into profit centers.
*Source: Vitaly Grinblat http://www.squidoo.com/law_of_attraction-for-abundance