With Mad Men recently returning to our screens (sadly for the final time), the influential and prominent presence of leading man Don Draper is at the forefront of pop culture’s collective mind. But how would Don effectively market a company today?
Through a thick cloud of cigarette smoke and after drinking Manhattans, Martinis and straight scotch like water, Don would probably deliver a hypnotizing speech stating that the fundamental part of any marketing strategy is to communicate to potential consumers what you do, what you can offer, and why you are better than all the rest. After all, your audience needs to know why they should choose your products or services over the competition.
Don would probably then go on to ask the following questions: Why should someone notice your business over all the others? What does your company offer that your competitors do not? Do you serve a particular niche audience that others fail to address? Asking yourself such tricky questions will better develop your strengths as well as identifying any weaknesses.
Speaking of weaknesses, many businesses fall into the trap of doing certain things that will eventually backfire and only create problems for everyone concerned in the future. A Mashable article entitled The 5 Worst Pieces of Advice for Small Business Owners is worth reading since it offers many useful pieces of advice on this thorny subject, such as the age-old mistake of hiring friends and family members and assuming that this will make things easier instead of wholly complicating matters over time.
Ultimately, you will succeed if you find an audience willing to buy what you offer. Analyzing a business’s niche benefits will help you to recognize your specific advantages within any given industry. For example, if you supply green cleaning services while other cleaning companies in your area do not, take advantage of how unique you are. Give customers an irrefutable reason to choose you.
“Success comes from standing out, not fitting in” – Don Draper
Many businesses survive or perish by both word-of-mouth attention and effective advertising strategies.If you gain “word-of-mouth traction,” this can be successfully amplified over different social media platforms to countless other interested members of your audience. To thrive, a business has to highlight how the products or services it offers are worth the money you want people to spend. A company also has to be fearless in the face of adversity. An Entrepreneur.com post called The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs lists many attributes that a business owner must possess in order to succeed, including tenacity, passion, vision, and self-belief.
With so many different forms of advertising nowadays, the influence of social media marketing reaps many rewards. Not only is social media powerful in that it can open up the eyes of potential customers across different platforms that you may never have thought of using before, but it can also help to cultivate a following that is loyal to your present-day products as well as remaining actively interested in your future endeavors. However, be aware that social media as a whole will require you to engage with many people on a consistent basis, and therefore may become a substantial “time-suck.”
Find the most effective advertising formats to market your business. Whether it’s giving out flyers, placing ads in newspapers or magazines, or using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest, get your name out there, and make sure you are clear about what you can do for your audience. Target your local areas properly and do not offer a particular service to those who have no use for it in the first place; this is obviously a waste of your time and theirs, and you will unintentionally create negative publicity as a result. Work hard to build a reputation that is so indisputable that your audience has no other choice but to take notice.
Finally, now more than ever, great customer service is vital. Due to the economic downturn of the last few years, many businesses still need to think twice about spending more money than they have to. Showing that you care about – and value – your customers is paramount to your success and their long-term custom. Your business needs to emphasize how appreciative it is to those who repeatedly demonstrate their support and loyalty.
Curt Albertson is the owner of Janitorial Business Opportunities for Anago Cleaning Systems. He has helped more than a hundred people achieve their dreams of owning their own business. With a franchise structure, he has coached and advised many who are willing to take their franchising opportunities to the next level.