We’re in a different world than we were two years ago. Have your strategies adapted with the times? Monica Brubaker explains how a well-crafted marketing strategy can evolve while still maintaining the fundamentals.
It would be naïve to think that the marketing and advertising strategies you used prior to 2020 are exactly the same approaches you’re using today. Things are always changing, but so much has changed in such a short time.
The consumer, and especially small- and mid-sized businesses, went from enjoying a robust economy to sudden halting. Where did that leave us? While many businesses struggled to keep the doors open, huge corporations and chain stores seemed to flourish, especially online. Many businesses simply closed their doors.
The result is that, today, consumers feel as though they have fewer choices, and the big-box stores have less competition. Consumers got used to simply going online. Your struggle to compete against the mega-corporation just got harder.
No spin, just facts. The reality of today’s market, in 2021, is that it’s up to all of us, as consumers and business leaders, to determine the future of our towns, cities, states, nation and world. Where you spend your dollars has a critical impact. Sound drastic? Well, it is.
For many of us, our hometown is not only a place to live but also the place we work and raise a family. The prosperity of our community begins with each of us. We are the foundation of the communities we live in, and our habits – as consumers and residents – build the cornerstone to our communities’ prosperity. We want them to succeed, so it’s essential to support our locally owned businesses. That may mean digging a little deeper into our pockets so that we can keep dollars right here at home. Ultimately, you’ll be supporting the livelihoods of your neighbors. Supporting each other with our consumer habits builds a strong local business community. And when we have a strong community of local businesses, the benefactor is YOU.
If you’re a business owner or leader, you’re wondering, “How do we encourage local patrons to stay local for products and services when our margins are so much less and our costs keep rising?”
That’s where educating your target market – through heartfelt marketing and advertising – pays off. ASK for their business with a promise of “Excellence in Customer Service.”
That means your business has real people who answer the phone, have a smile on their face and make each customer feel as though they are important – because THEY ARE.
When they provide excellent customer service, small- and mid-sized businesses can get the upper hand against the Amazons of the world.
Excellent customer service means no automated “Press 1 to infinity,” and then a casual goodbye while the customer is still on hold. No more of the old “Your call is important to us.” If it’s so important, then why doesn’t someone answer the phone? No more endless hours of online correspondence with someone far away who may or may not care whether the issue is resolved. And let’s not forget the old “Leave a message and someone will get back to you within two business days.” Good luck if you miss that callback.
Local businesses stake their reputations in a thousand small ways, and it all adds up to create the best, most sincere, most long-lasting marketing you have. Excellent customer service, performed with a smile and a hint of gratitude, pays dividends.
Back up your reputation and your quality service by advertising through local organizations, community events, direct mail, publications, local radio and outdoor signage. Your message should be simple: We’re back, and we need you now more than ever!”
Then, when your target market walks through the door, make that message their reality.
Monica Brubaker is the principal of Eloquent Media Communications, an advertising and marketing firm. Monica previously was President of New Life Printing & SERVICES.
She spent more than two decades in the printing, advertising, marketing and publishing business. Monica headed up the Business Connector Radio Talk Show, authored thousands of articles for several magazines and for a decade hosted The Business Connector Magazine business symposium and networking events.
A former critical care nurse with vast experience in health care marketing, she has assisted clients in many industries in connecting with their target markets and increasing their bottom line. Contact Monica at [email protected].