The world is moving at the speed of light, and the greatest need business owners have in marketing is not just about selling products or services anymore. It's about crafting a narrative, fostering relationships, and maneuvering through an ever-evolving community and digital landscape. So where should you focus your efforts?
The greatest need I see that business owners have in marketing is establishing an effective strategy. This involves understanding your WHO, defining their WHY, and then employing the right marketing to the right channels. Then you need to be consistent with your messaging.
Today's consumers are not just passive receivers; they're active participants. So a successful marketing strategy begins with a clear understanding of your target audience. From demographics to psychographics, understanding your customer is key. Do they prefer reading long-form blogs or are they more inclined towards quick video content? Are they more active on Instagram or LinkedIn? These are the questions that need answering. Research is key to each step here. The better your research, the more successful your marketing will be.
Choosing the Right Marketing Channels
There are an overwhelming number of channels at a business owner's disposal. Social media, email marketing, SEO to PPC or SEM advertising, Print, Video, geo-targeted, keyword targeted, the options are many. The challenge lies in picking the right channels that will reach the right target audience effectively.
Creating Compelling Content
We're living in the age of content overload. Cutting through the noise and grabbing the consumer's attention is one of the biggest challenges that businesses face. That's where the importance of creating compelling, engaging, and unique content comes in. It actually starts with your titles or your hooks. The same video was posted to YouTube several years ago. One has currently received 27 million views, while the other is at 7,700 views. The only difference is the title or HOOK on these videos. Here they are to demonstrate the difference. Which one would you click on?
96 Million Black Balls delivered to make LA First Floating Cover
27 million views
LA throws 96 million 'shade balls' at its water shortage — and it's mesmerizing
If you learn how to make great titles or hooks, you can make your business thrive! Compelling content must also follow, but the hook is most important. Think about the title of this article, did it make you want to read it? Titles matter.
Consistency in Messaging
No matter the channel, consistency in messaging is crucial. It's about creating a brand voice that resonates with your audience and sticks in their minds. Consistency leads to familiarity, and familiarity breeds trust. Whatever you advertise and wherever you do it, do it for the long term and be consistent.
The Digital Revolution and Business Marketing
The digital age has transformed how businesses market their products or services. It's no longer enough to simply advertise that you are open for business. The key is to leverage digital platforms to engage with consumers and create memorable experiences. Become part of the content they love to consume. When you become content, it doesn’t seem like ads.
Social media has emerged as a platform for you to publish your content. Instagram stories, Twitter threads, Facebook groups, LinkedIn posts, and more, businesses can interact directly with their consumers like never before. Use these channels to tell your story over and over again.
The Importance of SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital tool in your business's digital marketing. There are people looking for you right now. They might not find you if you aren’t doing SEO. Consumers turn to Google for every little query, businesses that master SEO can ensure they're always in sight and never out of mind.
Email Marketing - A Tried and Tested Strategy
Despite the influx of numerous digital marketing channels, email marketing remains a steadfast strategy. It's a direct line to the customer and when executed correctly, can result in high engagement rates.
Video Marketing - The growing giant
If you are not using video in your marketing you are missing out. Video consumption is up over 250%. People are spending more time on their devices watching videos. To get in front of them, you must do video. Lots of ways to use video, but first you need a content creation plan and then implement video ASAP.
Print - Oldy but a Goody
Print is not dead, it has just changed. Science is still in favor of print. If your WHO reads your ad or sees it on paper, you will have had a greater impact on their ability to remember your brand and know what you do. Print does it better than anything else. The key is to find out if your target audience is reading the print publication you are advertising in.
FAQs: The Greatest Need in Business Marketing
What is the greatest need business owners have in marketing?
Why is understanding your WHO or target audience crucial in marketing?
How can a business create compelling content?
Why is SEO important in digital marketing?
Is email marketing still effective?
How can consistency in messaging benefit a business?
So, in answer to the question, "What is the greatest need business owners have in marketing?" - In a constantly shifting community and digital landscape, business owners must stay abreast of trends, understand their customers, and communicate effectively.
We would love to help you if you need it. Connection Publishing is rebranding to Connection Media Co. Please let us know if you need help with any of these topics. We are the local specialists in Ogden/ Weber, Layton/ Davis, and Brigham City/ Box Elder communities.
When advertising, you need to use the right words to capture attention. People's attention spans are shrinking and currently it is estimated that we only have 3 seconds to grab someones attention in ads. That means if you are advertising, you better use words that trigger emotion in your title. In internet terms, it is called your hook. Here are some words you can use to drive attention in your advertising. Remember this formula;
Emotion + Relevancy = Attention
Here are some words you can use and the different emotions they trigger. Let me know if I am missing any great emotion triggering words. When you use emotion, make sure it is relevant to your WHO, and your ads will get attention.
When I started selling advertising, I pretty much left it up to the client to decide what they wanted to advertise. Most of that advertising was very much along the conformity end of the marketing continuum. There was not much creativity and often the advertiser wouldn’t decide what they wanted to put in their ads until I asked them what the plan was. There was little forethought or planning. This post will help you change that, if that is how you handle your advertising.
Firstly, understand that you must move away from conformity to get attention. Greatness happens at the edge of controversy. To help you understand what I mean, think of this example: Conformity is a plumber stating that he or she clears clogged drains (we sure hope so when we need them! But we can also assume that they do). Controversy would be a real estate agent losing their license or getting fined by publishing private info that is not allowed in their marketing by their governing body. Controversy might also be taking a social stand that is unpopular with your target audience. You do not want to advertise at either end of this spectrum. However, at the edge of controversy is where advertising stands out the most. It doesn’t break any laws, but it might break a few unwritten rules or simply stand out from the typical.
In order to achieve this, you must have a plan and then analyze and adjust that plan as you go. I have had clients who have had plans and some that didn't. One of my favorite examples was the owner of Timeless Medical Spa. She put together an annual calendar with a chosen theme for each month, and a listing of her specials. She aligned most of her specials with discounts that came from her product manufacturers because she would pass those savings on to her customers.
I loved her approach because she didn’t have to think about her advertising for the month each time I came in—she would just pull out the plan. It was already done.
This advanced planning was a big inspiration for me when I put together and wrote the Marketing Playbook. You can get a free copy here if you would like. I grabbed theme ideas for each month and included them in the book. This gives you an easy approach to coming up with themes. You can also apply multiple themes if you are posting to social media or something more frequently. Use this tool to give you a foundation for your annual marketing plan. You can use the free Annual Marketing Theme Planner I created here.
I also put together this full-month planner for your organic social media. There are 12 types of social media posts that you can spread out to get the most variety. Find it here as well.
You can make Promotional Posts, Educational Posts, Engagement Posts, UGC or User Generated Content/Testimonials, Behind the Scenes, Company News or Updates, Industry News, Motivational or Inspirational, Success Stories or Customer Satisfaction stories, Special Occasions, Live Stream/ Videos, and Infographics. Spread them out and use this sheet to organize your plan, then rinse and repeat.
Marketing Plan Tools
Here are some key points to making your content plan. First of all, as I always say, KNOW YOUR WHO! Who are you talking to? What is important to them? What things do they like that you can make associations with to inspire curiosity or emotion? I am a fly fisherman, I love to spend time on the water. When I get marketing about my fly fishing addiction, it is always a picture of a trout being drawn out of the water at the end of a line or the picture of a guy standing knee deep in a river in a very picturesque scene. These images are exactly why I love fly fishing and they always pull me in, just like my fly hopefully pulls in a monster trout!
Use this formula to help come up with ad ideas that capture attention.
Emotion + Relevancy = Attention.
Using the right tools, channels, words, and images to engage your potential customer is key to advertising that works. For example, if you sell fishing gear, your clients will also likely be interested in camping and outdoor activities or outdoor scenes, they will also like the visual concept of your product in action, catching a fish. Your imagery should speak to your audience to capture their attention.
Find some time to sit down and brainstorm content ideas in advance. Use the research you did in Step 3 about keywords, questions customers ask, and your understanding of your WHO and their WHY to make decisions. In my book there is a list of emotion triggering words, but I have published it here for easy access. Bookmark it and use these words to capture attention.
Also, think of the marketing channels you plan to use. If you are going to put it in a magazine, make sure the imagery is eye-catching and that you have a powerful hook or title. If you’re posting on social media, what image will capture attention quickly and get people to pause? Social media is much faster moving than a print ad. If you are going to use a billboard, it needs to be super, super simple, and generate enough curiosity so people will remember you and look you up later. Customize your imagery and your hook according to the marketing channel you are using.
If you are going to make videos for your content plan, what will the messaging be? In the video world, you have about 3 seconds to grab someones attention, so what will be the very first line of your video? How can you keep people listening? People don’t want to watch 30 seconds of boring! If your videos can infotain, they will be much more effective.
Once you have a plan, schedule when each piece of media will run, and make a detailed plan for what the ads will look like. Here is an Ad Planner you can use to break down the individual parts of your ad so it is highly effective. Keep track of how different visuals, titles, and plans work out, so you can make more educated decisions on future advertising campaigns.
If your budget is limited, and you need to be wise with your marketing spend, this step will be highly valuable to you. Use the tools we have provided for free but keep track and make adjustments as you go.
Know that Connection Media Co—our new name, which will be fully legal by the end of July—offers done-for-you options as well. We are currently building out our new website, but here is a preview of what we will be offering in the done for you category. We will continue to give you the tools so you can do it yourself, but if you want help, our team is here for you too. More details will soon follow, stay-tuned.
Next week we will talk about Analyzing and Adjusting your advertising plan and your ads.
The next step in a Game Changing Strategic Marketing Plan is to choose your channels and set a budget. There are so many channels to choose from and what works for one business might not work for another. Deciding how much to spend is another key point. You need to spend enough to get traction but you don’t want to spend all the profit you would have made. Remember, layers are important too. Gone is the day when you could choose one marketing channel and find the success you want. You need more than one. A mature marketing plan will have at least 5 layers..
The first step in choosing your channels might trigger middle school math class flashbacks: data analysis. Now, don't let your eyes glaze over just yet. Data analysis doesn't mean you need to don a lab coat or understand complex equations. Instead, think of it as a detective’s job. Now is the time to take the research you've conducted about your WHO (target market), WHY (unique selling proposition or differentiator), and existing marketing strategy, and use it to decide which channels will give your business the most bang for its buck.
There are multitudes of channels available, each with its unique attributes: social media, search engine marketing, email marketing, radio, TV, print, outdoor advertising—the list goes on. But remember, not all channels will be effective for every business. A local restaurant might thrive on Instagram marketing and local magazine ads, while an e-commerce store could find more success using search engine optimization and email marketing.
How do I research what channels will be best for my companies? Google it. Yes, you read that right. Take your company type (Keep it general) and your target market and ask Google where your target tends to spend the most time. Even better, ask Chat GPT. A.I. takes info from the world of information and can provide answers to questions using regular language. Here is an example of a business search I just did.
I have included the screen shot of the results. You will see I asked it to provide me with three recommendations of how to hit my local market if I were a tire and auto repair shop. It recommended Digital Advertising with Paid Google and Paid Facebook ads. Direct mail was second. Our magazines are direct mail but you could also send post cards or other mailers. The third recommendation is Local Radio. In some markets, radio can still be great. But this is also an example of when the A.I. powered database doesn’t have all the information. For example, Ogden, UT is not a great radio town. Not because we don’t listen to the Radio, but because we are primarily served by radio stations that broadcast out of Salt Lake City and go across the entire Wasatch Front. Unless your business spans that entire area, you will waste much of your ad spend delivering your message to people who are too far away to do business with you.
Chat GPT did say it’s wise to meet with a marketing specialist in your area to determine where best to spend your money. In our area, we work hard to know and understand our market so we can best guide our clients. We also have the Recommendation Engine which gives us access to nationwide data pool to know what similar businesses are spending money on nationwide. This gives you some interesting information, but you still have to make decision. The answer isn’t always black and white. Gather the best information you can, make your decisions and write them down.
Now, with your shortlist of channels in hand, it’s time for a test run. Run some advertising on your selected channels. Some of it will likely work better than others. Look for metrics such as engagement rate, conversion rate, or ROI (return on investment). Are your Instagram posts generating interest and prompting customers to visit your website? Is your email newsletter converting subscribers into paying customers? This feedback loop will guide your final decision on channel selection.
In Step 5, two weeks from now we will talk about how to analyze and adjust based on your results. Don’t be in a hurry with any of this. Take your time and make small adjustments as you go. Test two or three different ad styles and headlines to get the results you want. I have a friend who has been teaching himself Facebook advertising for his local business and he has really dug into the stats and analytics. He didn’t want to spend extra money having it managed so he is teaching himself. He has tested which ads are best and he has even had a few ads pulled by Facebook because he pushed the envelope too much, but he learned in each scenario. He told me in the last 3 weeks, he has earned $25k from his advertising on Facebook. That is awesome!
With the right channels chosen, we shift gears to discuss another pivotal aspect of marketing strategy: setting a budget. The magic number will be unique for every business, but a good starting point is typically between 5% and 10% of your total revenue. However, this isn't set in stone. New businesses seeking rapid growth might invest more, while established entities might spend less. Your budget should reflect your goals. Are you looking for aggressive expansion or steady growth? I believe a rapid growth business should invest 20% in paid advertising, with the hope that they will increase revenue while maintaining the same ad spend. Their percentage will decrease as they grow.
As with channel selection, your budget allocation isn’t a one-and-done decision. It requires consistent monitoring and adjustments. For instance, if your radio ads aren't generating as much traction as your social media campaigns, it might be time to re-allocate some funds. Flexibility is key here.
Budgeting isn't just about how much you spend, but where you spend it. Look back at your channel testing data. Are there areas where you're seeing high ROI? Those might deserve a larger slice of the budget pie. Alternatively, lower-performing channels might still be important for maintaining brand presence, but could make do with a smaller portion of funds.
Additionally, remember to allocate a portion of your budget to continue market research and data analysis. The market is a living, breathing entity, changing as consumer trends evolve. Think about the rise of TikTok. No one saw that coming, but it is now one of the most powerful product marketing tools in the world. You’ll want to stay ahead of these changes and adjust your strategy accordingly.
We've established that your channel selection should hinge on where your target audience spends their time, and your budget should align with your business goals and the channels that offer the best ROI. Through it all, ongoing data analysis is key to keep your strategy sharp and effective.
By now, you should have a roadmap to guide you through the sometimes overwhelming task of marketing channel selection and budget setting. If you need help, let us know. We are here to help you succeed.
This week, I’m sharing how to do top level market research so you can win with your advertising. This can affect your website and SEO too, so tune in for real world, usable tools that will make an impact.
First, I want you to learn your keywords. These are the words that people use when they google your company or your services. When someone looks for you it’s called Active Search. When someone isn’t searching for you but learns about you through advertising, it’s called Passive Discovery. Research and develop your keywords and use them across your business and in your marketing. Whether someone actively searches for you or discovers you passively, the right keywords will draw them in. Keywords create advertising that converts.
As I mentioned last week, sometimes the first word that comes to mind isn’t the best keyword for your business. Think, mechanic vs. auto-repair vs. broken down. Don’t assume your customers are using the same search terms that you would. What are people asking for most in regards to your business?
There are two types of keywords. Short-tail, which is usually one word that describes what you do. For example a travel agent would use the word “travel.” These words have high competition because everything to do with travel is going to contain that keyword.
The second type of key words are called Long-tail. These are more specific and can be highly targeted. Instead of just “travel”, if someone searched for “family friendly resorts in Bali” and you happened to write a blog post about that, they have a much higher likelihood of finding your website. Both kinds of keywords are important for SEO but also in your advertising. If your travel agency specializes in family vacations, you can create advertisements detailing that expertise so families will want to work with you.
How do you find out the best keywords for your business? I am glad you asked. First, google one of your primary products or services. Scroll through the results, and about a quarter of the way down the page, among the results is a section called, “People Also Ask”. Listed are questions that have been asked often enough that google displays them in case you have the same question. Here is a screenshot of what this looks like.
Chances are, if people who google things ask that question, and it applies to your business, then you should answer it. Use it as a topic in your advertising, on your website, or in the form of a blog post where you detail the answer and establish yourself as the authority on the subject.
I use this because the more I know what people might be asking in my community and the better I am at answering these questions, the more likely I am to earn their attention. You can do the same thing. Find out what questions people looking at your company might be asking and use the answer to speak to them.
Another tool I find incredibly useful is Answerthepublic.com. You can use this tool on a limited basis for free and for a reasonable price, you can make more searches and utilize it more. I use the $100 a year version and I find it well worth the cost. It analyzes the subject you enter and gives you information regarding what people are searching for and what questions they ask, and how many people search for that question. I typed “Local Marketing” into the search bar and this is some of the information it spit out.
This data tells me that people ask for “local marketing examples” and “marketing locally” quite often, whereas the term “why is local marketing important” is searched very rarely. I can use this information to make decisions on what I publish on my blog as well as what to teach my sales team to focus on when they visit prospective customers.
This will give you a very powerful tool for creating effective advertisements. For example, for a local bakery, the most common Google search is “Best Local Bakery”. You could then create an ad titled “Why _____ Bakery is the best in Ogden (Or your community)!” You could also include this in a blog post talking about why you are the best bakery in town and give examples. Share recommendations from customers who love your business. This information is vital to your marketing and will help you be found more often when people search for your service or product.
As I mentioned in last week’s post, I used to walk through the Kmart in Henderson Nevada and think, you would think these guys have been in a Walmart, right? Walmarts have an air of energy, and shopping happening. There are signs all over and tight isles filled with products. There are people on the floor nearly 24/7 restocking shelves showing you that the products are moving so quickly that they have to restock as you shop. People follow trends and like to do what others are doing.
I worked for a direct sales company for many years. We sold DVD packages to people and had an offering of monthly plans. In order to get people to talk to us we would give out a free DVD to anyone who would listen to our pitch. It was a great tool to get potential customers to listen. Sometimes we would sit at a home show or county fair and hundreds of people would walk by and we would call out, “FREE DVD!” over and over but no one would stop. Sometimes you could sit there for 30-40 minutes without a taker. Then one person would come over and say, “I want a free dvd.” We would start telling them about our plans and then suddenly 4-6 people would line up behind them waiting their turn to hear our spiel and get their DVD. We would go from no one interested to suddenly several people interested and many others looking over at us a bit longingly wishing they were getting in on the action. It is a classic human behavior to want what others have.
Kmart stores were the opposite of Walmart. The store was in a nice new shopping center and was a Super Kmart so it was supposed to be special. When you walked through the store, however, it felt like you were the only one there. It felt like you might hear birds chirping up in the cavernous warehouse feel of the store and the isles were wide and spacious. It was easier to move your cart around for sure, but it didn't give a sense of urgency or make me feel like I should be buying stuff.
You have competition. They have websites, google reviews, and maybe even a store. All you need to do is go to their website and see what they are doing. What are they offering? What do people like about them and what do they dislike? What do you notice they do well and what can you improve on? Do google searches about your industry and how you can offer the best service. Take your time to find out what successful companies do so you can do that too, but also look for ways to do even better. Or even offer something that isn’t being offered by your competitors. As they say, sometimes there are riches in niches.
Every plumber probably knows how to clear a drain. What if you were to say “I am the plumber who wears shoe booties and overalls so you don’t get plumber’s tracks or cracks in your home!” That may be something people will remember. Even better if it pertains to searches people are already making in your community it will speak to them and capture their attention.
Do not sit across town thinking your competitors are the enemy. Don’t take the word of one of their disgruntled customers who came to you after a bad experience. Look at all of their customer reviews and think bigger. They obviously do some things well or they wouldn’t be where they are. Learn from them, be like them where they are good and be better than them where they fall short. After this research, you may need to adjust your WHY to fit the market.
This is step two in crafting a marketing strategy that converts. Know your keywords and your Competition. Once you have completed your analysis, it is time to move on to step 3. Tune in next week for…Choose your Channels and Set a Budget.
Running a small business is challenging by itself. Figuring out how to market that business on top of everything else you are doing can be rough! Should you do digital marketing, print marketing, TV, radio, billboards, or email? How about SEO and Pay Per Click? How do I build my brand and generate leads? Will my website convert? How much should I put into organic social media versus paid social media advertising or boosting? And then what are you going to do next month? Dadadadada…
It is a complete mess. Many business owners I talk to say they hate it so they just, buy ads here and there, hire an SEO person who charges them monthly for techno babble stuff that they hope works, and have one of their employees post to social media every week. Does this sound familiar?
In this article, I am going to take the mystery out of the whole process and give you the tools to make a plan and execute it simply and effectively. This simple 5-step strategic marketing plan will make your life easier and more efficient.
First I want to share with you one of my favorite new things that we have now at Connection Media Group. What if you could use technology to find out what type of advertising your competitors and similar businesses to yours are using nationwide? Not only what they are buying but also what they continue to buy in renewals. Then it could analyze the costs of those types of ads and recommend where you could focus your ad spend most efficiently—would that type of information be useful to you?
This technology exists. Right here at Connection Pub. In the last year, we’ve grown from a local magazine company to a full-service digital marketing company that helps businesses in Ogden, Layton, Brigham City, UT, and surrounding areas fulfill the multiple layers of marketing that are essential for getting noticed in today’s busy, noisy world. We also had an advertising technology company build us the exact program I was just talking about and it is called the Recommendation Engine. It is a powerful tool that we can use to understand where best to recommend our customers spend their marketing budget.
We also have creative teams that will help you create messaging and imagery that will get your target audience’s attention. The whole point of marketing is to get and keep attention. Bring in more clients and money.
This simple 5-step strategic marketing plan will give you the edge and make your life much easier. Do this once per year and you will be extremely happy with the results.
That is ok. If you are a business owner, I would prefer to see you make the best widget or provide the best service possible! That may mean you need to have someone else help you with marketing. This doesn’t mean you should hire someone and just forget about it.
You should gain a basic understanding so that you can ask the right questions about what you are doing and if you are getting a return on investment for your marketing dollars and have your team handle the rest. This simple 5-step system for making a Strategic Marketing Plan is the best way for a small business to start and succeed in its marketing. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or shoot me an email. Also please share this with someone you think would benefit from this plan.
In last week's article, we talked about defining your WHO.. The ideal and most likely customer you work with. Once you know your WHO, it’s time to determine their WHY.
Most business people know their personal WHY. That’s the “why” you got into the business you are in, or “why” you work for your company. That’s not what we are talking about when we talk about determining your customer’s WHY.
Your WHO’s WHY will be the reasons they like doing business with you.
A restaurant owner might say, we made an open, modern, inviting atmosphere at our restaurant, but your customers might say, I go there because the view at night is so perfect, and their rolls are my favorite. You might not know this unless you ask, but you need to know their WHY so you can market directly to them.
I saw a Unique Selling Proposition yesterday at Walgreens. It read, “On The Corner of Healthy and Happy.” This is an excellent example of thinking about what people who shop at Walgreens value. Walgreens are always located on very busy and convenient corners.
Walgreens is a store with a focus on health, which is why they put “Healthy” first in their statement. The more common language would be happy and healthy. By reversing it, they identify their primary focus while implying that by shopping there for your healthcare needs, you will also be happy.
In the Roof Maxx dealership I own with my son, I recently asked him what percentage of homes he inspects are too worn out for a RoofMaxx treatment. He told me about 20% of the roofs he gets on are too far gone. We made the ad you see pictured here to speak directly to our audience. “8 out of 10 roofs can be saved!”
This is why its a great ad. Our WHO are men, 55+ who are maintenance-minded. They also like keeping things nice for as long as possible. They enjoy classic cars and saving money.
With that in mind, it’s likely this group might be thinking about their roofs after a recent wind storm, saying to themselves, I wonder how much longer I have with this roof?
To pique their curiosity, we say 8 out of 10 roofs can be saved. The ad is meant to trigger the thought, “I wonder if my roof could be saved?” Then, we say, a Roof Maxx treatment is a fraction of the cost of a new roof. This drives the action to learn more and call us to see if it’s possible for their roof to be saved, and 80% of the time it is.
When creating ads, you should think about your WHO, and then craft your message with their WHY in mind. To make this easier, we have put together a WHY worksheet. It gives you a framework for determining your customers’ WHY, and to help you write a successful Unique Selling Proposition (USP). You can find it here.
Getting noticed as a small business with a limited budget is one of the biggest challenges you probably face. My guess is that you need more money and more time. The goal of this newsletter is to provide you with some cheat codes that will save you time and money while making your advertising efforts more effective.
If you are in a business that has many competitors, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. I often hear from businesses like this who simply just want to get noticed. On the other hand, if you are in a business with no competitors, you probably face the difficulty of educating people on what you actually do. Your customers might not even know they need you, or what to search for to find you. Both of these scenarios will be greatly benefited by the activity of defining your WHO.
The first step in being an effective marketer, is to define your WHO. My guess is you have at least a vague idea of your WHO, however, you are probably way too broad on who you would add to that list. The more narrowly you can define this list, the more effectively you can speak to them in their language about things they like.
When I talk about defining your WHO, it is not merely about identity or superficial demographics, it is specific and detailed. It is about understanding what drives your best customer to like and pay for something. Your WHO has an identity and the closer you can get to knowing exactly who they are the better your advertising and messaging will work. It will also determine where you advertise.
Let's say you are one of many mortgage brokers in that profession. You could say your WHO is anyone who has or needs a mortgage. This is way too wide. You could narrow it down to one segment of the population, for example, maybe it’s first time home buyers. Much better, but still not narrow enough.
If you are a veteran and you love working with veterans, maybe your target WHO is active military members who work at a nearby base who are also first time home buyers. Now, you have a specific target that is narrow, and more importantly, who you can speak to authentically. Once you have narrowed this down, do it again, and then, go narrower.
This is easier to do if your audience matches you in some ways. Like-minded people who resonate with your values and ideas. You want to make a community of these people. Seth Godin defines this as your tribe. The closer you are to this group the more your messages will reach and influence them. This becomes even easier by defining your WHY. We will talk about that next week.
I own a RoofMaxx Dealership with my son and we have defined our WHO like this. Men, Age 55+, who own a home and are maintenance-minded. They tend to like classic cars and believe in keeping their home and yard in tip-top shape. They also tend to like sports and politics. This is our primary audience. Our WHO.
Does that mean we don’t have women or younger people calling us? No. We have them too, but our marketing is targeted towards our WHO. We also have a 1972 Chevy that we drive around and use in our advertising. We focus on the benefits of rejuvenating a roof rather than replacing it.
We also put ads in places where our WHO audience spends time. We even enter the truck in car shows with our logo on its door to increase brand awareness in addition to playing advertisements during sporting events.
This is step one. You will hear me repeat this over and over. Once you have defined and narrowed down your “Tribe”, you can start to decipher what would attract that person to listen to you. Use the WHO worksheet to define your WHO. Why would they want to do business with you? That will be next week.
The biggest mistake I see business owners make is starting with What and Where when advertising. They see an advertising source, or a sales person walks into their business and they like what they hear, so they buy advertising. It’s ok to buy advertising, in fact that’s what we sell at Connection Publishing, but you shouldn’t start there!
So where do you start? You must start with WHO! It’s vital to clearly define your primary target audience. Seth Godin calls it your “minimum viable audience”. Most businesses assume their audience is wide and broad when, in fact, they should get way more narrow. Not only are their riches in niches, but the narrower your target, the more effective you can be in speaking to them with your marketing. This is the key.
If you haven’t done this yet, you should start here. We created this form to help you get super-narrow and define your WHO. When you do this first, it will change everything. Instead of a wide net that catches very little, you can cast a stronger, narrow net that catches your best prospect. You do this by speaking to them clearly and concisely.
Determining your WHO is crucial to effective marketing. Defining your potential customer as "everyone" or "anyone who likes _____" is too broad. While everyone might possibly be your customer, hone your messaging to those who are most likely to love you and your product. Lacking a specific definition of your WHO will cost you time, money, and effectiveness. This worksheet will help you determine your WHO.
The Second Step before deciding WHERE to advertise and WHAT to put in your ads, is to define your WHY.
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is WHY people do business with you. It should be short and real; don't claim something you can't back up. It should highlight your strengths, touch on what your customers like about you, and use powerful wording to say it concisely. This is much more than a slogan and much more specific than “We Create High-Quality Products,” which is so vague it means almost nothing. It can also easily be used by a competitor. Your USP needs to be uniquely yours. If you have multiple focuses, you may want to have one USP for each area and one for your company as a whole.
Simon Sinek says to “start with WHY”. I agree with him as long as you have defined your WHO, then yes, start with WHY. One of my favorite whys comes from the Saddleback Leather Company. Their statement is “They’ll fight over it when you’re dead!” They make extremely high-quality leather goods that last beyond a lifetime. Your WHY should be something similar. Something that captures the spirit of what you do and why people love you. Use this worksheet to define your WHY.
If you define these two things, your WHO and your WHY, you have just taken your marketing game to a whole new level! Your messaging and targeting are now much better and more effective. If you need help with this, we are happy to help click here. If you want to do it on your own, find the WHO and WHY worksheets here.
Marketing is all about attention and sometimes getting attention in your local community is challenging. The basic principles of the decision-making process for any prospect are, they must 1st KNOW you, 2nd LIKE you or have a positive opinion of you or your business, and 3rd TRUST that you will do what you say you will do. I put together some ideas for you to be able to get more attention in your local market.
1. Build brand recognition:
Being a local business is sometimes challenging, having a plan and engaging your local market is crucial to your survival. Connection Publishing has established itself as the local marketing experts for Weber County, Davis County, and Box Elder County. We work hard to know about all the tools that can help you get noticed in your community and it is our approach to be trusted advisors not sales people, so that means if there is a solution that would be good for your business but we don't offer it, we will refer you to someone who does. Our goal is to help you get what you need. We are happy to help brainstorm with you so you can find success.