All business owners know that marketing is an essential part of increasing customer base, as well as retaining loyal ones for years to come. Thanks to technology, marketing has become easier; but it’s also become more difficult to set yourself apart from your competition. You can’t watch a YouTube video or visit your favorite website without first seeing an ad (or two). Between social media, banner ads and Youtube videos, we are being bombarded with marketing ads. Do they work? Yes, if they are done correctly. Unfortunately, many people have learned to ‘tune out’ and only businesses that get truly creative are the ones who come out ahead.
That’s why it’s so important to create a comprehensive marketing plan that encompasses several different methods: online, offline and everything in between! Being different means thinking outside the box of traditional marketing. From POP displays to trade show ideas and beyond, here are a few ideas on how you can set your business apart and get the attention of your target market:
Digital marketing has become the preferred method of advertising for many companies because it’s more economical than traditional methods, and in some ways, easier to put together. Perhaps it’s that simplicity that has caused the influx of ads to be displayed across every screen on the planet several times each day – each hour, even? Who can resist the thought of marketing to millions of people across the globe and hope that at least some of them will want what you’re offering?
That method of ‘blast the ad and hope for the best’ mentality may have worked 15 years ago, but today, advertising needs to be much more sophisticated and targeted. Whatever your product or service, you can’t be all things to all people. Narrow your focus, increase your customer base – that may sound counter-intuitive, but it definitely works.
Whether you choose Youtube, websites, blogs or other digital marketing avenues, your message must be clear and succinct. You have to speak to your audience in a way that gets through to them – whether it’s heartfelt or humorous, real or cartoon, your message must always be one step ahead of your competition.
Traditionally, offline marketing has consisted of radio spots, TV ads, and newsprint ads. For many businesses and in particular, startups, offline methods are too expensive to justify the ROI. That is even truer today, as people are spending more time online than looking through a newspaper over their morning coffee. Have you watched TV lately? What do you do during commercials? Get up and go for a snack? Go to the washroom? Make a call? How about the radio? Do you switch stations when commercials come on? Yup, most people do.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use offline marketing methods – it means you’ll have to get more creative when it comes to getting your message across.
Beyond the Norm:
Do you have a retail store, or participate in trade shows? How about a POP display to give your audience/customers a chance to see, feel, touch, smell your product for themselves. Sure, brochures are great, but when people can actually see the product and hold it in their hands, they’re much likelier to purchase it (even if they don’t necessarily need it). You can make them as simple or as elaborate as you want and they are sure to increase your customer base quickly.
Have you ever seen those banners fly behind planes? They can be a great way to let large groups of people know about your business and product!
Although technology and the internet have made our lives easier, it’s actually made marketing and advertising more complex. Businesses today have much more to consider when putting together their marketing plan. With so much competition out there, it’s easy to see why many businesses fail in their first five years. Of course, the most important aspect of staying in business is to build your good reputation – especially considering that most consumers, millennials in particular, do their research before making a purchase.
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