Its very obvious that there is a huge shift taking place worldwide where businesses find it very difficult to keep afloat, either because of a rise in cost of goods, increased operational costs and / or stiff competition. There is a lot of talk of the global recession and that its the worst time to do business, but I say, there is never a bad time to do business. In fact, this challenging period is when businesses should take the opportunity to truly shine and focus on only what is necessary to excel; and only the remarkable ones do.
There is one huge mistake that many businesses still make and that is advertising via traditional media. Their mindset is glued to tradition that the more you spend in television and radio ads, the greater the returns and although advertising is an investment, not all methods yield the same results.
The Problem With Traditional Media Ads
Regardless of how clever, unique or inspirational these types of ads may be, consumers are typically immune and the majority ignore them. I personally view television and radio ads as interruptions since they rarely provide any value or tell me something I don’t already know. Just think about it, how many times have you ever bought a product or used a service because of a TV or radio ad? I know you cannot give 5 instances. So why would you invest huge amounts of capital into a practice that does not appeal to you or the mass?
The average consumer today is more informed, empowered and not easily wooed. If your product or service claims to do something spectacular, there will be those who do their own research online to compare prices and check feasibility. So how do you please and attract this tough crowd? How do you appeal to the new age of youngsters who hardly ever watch local television and spend 90% of their free time online? A simple answer is social media.
Consumers now require that you interact on a more personal level, make services and ideas fun and interactive and you will need to go where they are. In our last post we mentioned that the average Facebook user spends up to 421 minutes per month browsing the site and that’s just Facebook. There’s YouTube, Twitter and a host of other distractions with Facebook and Twitter being the most popular. What all this means is that you need to market where the crowd is and where there is a crowd there’s flowing money.
So create social media profiles, start promoting them. Use it as a medium for thanking your customers, offer the best deals, find out what people really think about your company as well as what they don’t like and just be extraordinary. You do not need to pay a market research firm to do this for you, your customers and prospects spend their time online, reach out to them. They will not hesitate to publicly share amazing deals or talk about how much you helped them.
Customers Are Still Emotional
As hard as consumers have become to please, they are still human and as humans we have emotional needs. People buy products and use services that are useful and make them feel good inside and out. Whether it food, clothes or gadgets. Reach out and build loyalty and brand awareness by making each customer feel special by communicating with them directly or even randomly before they ask for your help.
Lose the corporate suit and become a regular person that everyone will feel comfortable approaching. Engage them, build trust, provide value in every conversation and you will never find more loyal fans and customers.
The only thing that remains constant is change and the same strategies that worked 10 or 20 years ago are not guaranteed to work today especially in a completely evolved marketplace. Go back to the drawing board, analyze what customers really want, what they respond to and start interacting and building relationships today.