How do you let people know what you do and what you have to offer? Do you have a regular stream of qualified leads?
Do you know how effective your marketing is?
John Wanamaker said: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."
There are so many different ways to do marketing that sometimes businesses can feel like the proverbial deer in the headlights, or a kid in a candy store clutching a hard-earned couple of dollars wondering which lolly is going to give the greatest satisfaction.
I remember my kids visiting Munchkins and looking at all the fudge options paralysed with choice – go with the known option or a new flavour, or a friend's favourite or the pretty one?
Deciding where to invest your time and money to do marketing can often invoke similar feelings of overwhelm. The challenge is that without marketing no one knows what you have to offer.
A great guide is the acronym AIDA:
Attention The challenge today is not time management but attention management. The more focused you are the easier it is to get past step one. You need to get attention – specifically your ideal target clients' attention. Where do they shop, what do they read, listen to, visit? Is it The Plaza, Newstalk ZB, the Manawatū Guardian? Aim there with a message/question/picture that grabs their eyeballs and ears.
Interest Attention is fleeting – ensure you follow through quickly and draw in your prospective client with something of interest. Sub headlines, questions, offers, prizes - all these gain interest. Could you partner with a local business and do a joint offer? Get your potential clients' attention to linger a bit longer.
Desire Stimulating desire is key. It moves a person from "this looks interesting" through to "I'd like to know more about that". Focus your content on the two great drivers of human nature: avoiding pain or pursuing pleasure. Ask your clients for testimonials sharing their experiences - give people something they can relate to and/or aspire to.
Action Have a call to action. So many people miss this vital last step. Look through this newspaper at all the ads and see how many actually ask you to DO something. "Call us", "bring this advert into the store", "test drive today", etc. This step is crucial.
Take some action yourself today - review your website and marketing material and see if it follows the ADIA principle. Are you clear about what you want people to actually DO once they have invested their time and attention in reading your marketing material?
If you are not sure ask a fellow business owner to look through your marketing and give you feedback and do the same for them.
• Mike Clark is director and lead trainer and facilitator at Think Right business training company.