In the past you told the customer, now they tell you. They want choices and they want to make the decisions. No longer can you “tell them what to buy”. Customers are much more informed than in the past. Thanks to the internet, access to unlimited information is a given. It is easy, quick and very effective.
I had a discussion with a car salesman the other day. He informed me that most of his potential buyers are already completely informed of the features of the car and its opposition, so you cannot “sell” that any more. The point is you are probably dealing with a much more informed market today.
Traditional methods of marketing should also be questioned. Placing another advertisement or handing out leaflets at a robot may be ineffective and a waste of time and effort. Large companies use specialist agencies to research and develop a comprehensive marketing strategy, but the SME has limited resources and cannot afford this “luxury”. This means even more pressure to get it right.
The consumer today has choices and you hardly ever find yourself in a position where you can dictate. You need to make your money spent on marketing work for you. Consider the scenario of an advertisement: you open a newspaper or a magazine and you are exposed to so much information, including advertisements. If you place an advert, you probably have less than a second to catch the eye of the reader, let alone converting their attention to the advert into a sell. Tough call.
Good advice on preparing a marketing strategy is to start with your market. Who is your market, what do they do, read, visit, act, etc.? Surely the youth market thinks and keeps them busy with issues that adults ignore. A typical example is the use of the internet. Then we get to social media: Facebook, Twitter to mention a few.
The point is, marketing your business is a science and getting it right may need some thinking, research and some money thrown at it.
Article written by Gerrie van Biljon – Executive Director Business Partners Limited.