October 11, 2018

IF NOT ADVERTISING, WHAT WORKS?

Let’s just admit, advertising doesn’t work in today’s hectic schedule, not because people don’t see it, it’s because it doesn’t pop up at the right time. Of course it clicks sometimes, but problem is SOMETIMES!

Every business looks for a concrete strategy for the overall business and that’s not something every chef can cook.

The whole idea of advertising came from a prayer book for sale. Two hundred years later, the first newspaper ad appeared offering a reward for finding 12 stolen horses. People started believing in the idea of communication among themselves more than anything and the concept of leaving the best impact came into play.

Marketing today and then has a GAP, an appreciable one. Marketing meant spreading of information few decades ago, but now it has become one hell of a challenging task. Creating a strategy around the objectives that fulfills the real deal for a business is something everyone must be looking for. Here are a few things that can help you:

1. WHAT’S YOUR MARKETPLACE?

The 3rd P of marketing, i.e., PLACE is not just a word, in fact it’s the first thing you look into while in the inception of a business. ‘Who are the people who would want or are in grave need to purchase your product/services’.

Your business really have to define an audience, be it broad or a narrow one. The exact audience can be figured out once your segregate your audience but before that, there have to be an audience to experiment on. Businesses who never tried advertising of any sort can keep a broader audience size to recognize the real potential of the product/service.

A business can have multiple category of audience to serve for but once you have sorted out the category of audience you want, 90% job is done. Let’s take an example of a business who have a traditional laundry business verses a business who just have a food delivery app.

All the traditional laundry business needs is the nearby people to drop in or maybe call them to pick the laundry and deliver washed clothes, whether the food deliver app might just want people to install the app and use on a regular basis. Both have a very different market they are targeting. It’s like selling fish on the right market, you could end up being a millionaire.

The business 1, has an audience (around 1000) that do not have a maid, or washing machine and is ready to pay some money to let the laundry done, these are mainly the students, working class single people or even some housewives (PRICE SENSITIVE). Business 2 would want an audience that is more internet savvy and would love a service that lets them sit in their rooms and get the food delivered, they don’t care if it’s costing a bit high than the usual market price(price insensitive). Also, if you look into their operational model, business 1 has a production cost that’s recurring, whether business 2 is just based on someone else’s production, it’s just acting as a platform, so it basically has no cost of production apart from some initial fixed costs. Which reflects that business 1 is less likely to invest in advertising since it has too many cost to bear, than business 2, which has a larger profit margin.

As a marketing agency, you would want to work with a business that has potential, even a layman can predict the business potential between the two given business, that business 2 would be more beneficial in terms of revenue. Of course, it’s not always about the revenue, but more about the scope of work. Select a marketplace where you have more scope of work, eventually letting clients hang on to your products/services.

Segment your customers and then focus on the right segment is the drill.

2. WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS?

Anyone random person might buy your product/service, but you can’t just rely on that. If it had to be just relying on coincidences, advertising would not be a thing!

Having the correct knowledge of the customers can lead your business to heights of success where your demand meets the right supply, so that you can eventually control the market. Not much people understand this, and I am not just talking about the age and demography of the audience. Its understanding their requirements, being specific, like time and location. A business like the Offline Laundry store can never predict their customers, because they do not have any pattern of their customer behavior that they tracked. Whether business two can track the customer behavior to the extent of their buying behavior and their monthly income, even the time and language that they prefer being online, it’s just all the minute detail you could really help you understand your customer.

Once you realized the right segment of the market you need to focus, and the details of behavior of that particular group, it’s just a fun ride next!

3. WHAT ARE YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE & THEIR FEATURES?

Both the businesses, 1 & 2, have features that has the most demand and has features that never came into existence. It happens with almost all business. It’s important to recognize the real demand in the market, even being in your perfect segment.

Business 1 might need a faster and home delivery service, building more trust and comfort but since the business is closed to a group that is price sensitive, the rates cannot be raised so quickly, the only way to grow the business quickly is to grow the customer base.  Whether business 2 will only need to focus on two things, quality of food and delivery time, they can tie up with better restaurants for quality of food and can easily create price segments for the consumers, serving food to all the categories.

Understand what your segment really needs, and modify the features that suit them. One after another. Experiment till you really find a suitable position for your services and the market demands. Once you do that, your supply will have to be looked into next.

4. VALUE PROPOSITION:

You cannot overlook the fact that any business cannot run longer without quality of product/service. If you are looking for a long term sustaining business, a quality check might help!

Look around the globe, there would be businesses like yours, at least someone close to you, since it’s the age of information, you can get an idea of how well they are serving their clients. Specially look into the dark spots of your products/service.  Figure out before your customers do, or your whole plan might crash even after having a good marketing strategy.

Business 1 here has the advantage as it has more control over the quality of service than business 2, which rely on production centers. Controlling the quality and time would be a crucial case for business 2.

5. CHOOSING THE RIGHT ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS:

Of course you can wait until the overwhelmed customers brag about you and you are suddenly a sensation in the market, that’s just as unrealistic as it sounds. It just doesn’t work like that.

Of course, creating a sensation among the customers is what we look for, but it never happens by just an ad. It’s a series of work you do.

Let’s take a customer from each business, a student who uses the laundry service thrice a month vs a single working professional who orders dinner every alternate day.

Customer 1 would be looking for a cheaper, faster deal. The student doesn’t earn, but has a reference power. The advertising campaign in this business must play on money and referencing and in order to do that, you need a proper strategy to acquire all the potential students in that area, probably a college promotion.

Customer 2 is tech savvy, nothing will satisfy him unless Google says it’s the best!

All you need to do is some digital marketing with custom tailored re marketing ads. It’s done!

6. FEEDBACK AND MODIFICATIONS:

Each customer feedback is a clue. Work on it until your customers really brag about you. Once you can convert the business into an inbound sales model, your margins will raise, and you will be willing to invest more on the segmented group, inviting them to participate and really get the value out of their money.

This also gives the customers to reach up to you with the problems they are facing.

7. Retainer benefits:

Every customer wants some retainer benefits, you either have to give a higher value proposition or a lower profit margin to fulfill that. A higher value proposition is always better in such cases. To retain your customers, not just some offers, but really making an interactive activity revolving around them is really a good thought. Think about it, these are the people who have used your product/service and are most likely to make further purchase, why put a higher profit margin for them? Eventually they will pay you more than a one-timer!

Although every business is unique and has different set of objectives, but the basics are all here. Putting an ad and showing it to everybody will cost you more than you can make from those customers, For a business to be really looking for long term profits, must be looking for a tailor made strategy for the overall business, not just for the advertisements, but for the whole marketing, like the idea of why it’s there on the first place!

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