Have you ever looked for Wally?  Great fun but do you want your business to be a “Wally” and blend into the crowd? Do you want your ideal customer to find you easily or are you aiming to be the best kept secret in whatever it is you do?

Best kept secrets work for spies and birthdays but are not much use when it comes to business.  You want to be known, to be seen and to be found by the right people.  If not, will your clients spend time to find you or will they just move on to the next best thing. Personally, I am too busy to spend hours looking for a supplier and I guess you are too.

It is not just about selling the product, it is about building the relationship

I know of a small company (sadly not a client) who provides a high cost used product (at about £40,000 each).  During lockdown it has had to close its retail premises.   Prior to the pandemic, the company relied on its retail presence and TV programmes about their product to generate demand, these programmes were generic and not specific to the company.

When lockdown hit, they furloughed the retail staff, shut up the store and sorted out their business systems so if there is a another lockdown, they’ll be better prepared so that staff could work from home. Great!

The problem is that now they have re-opened for business on-line they are doing ok, but they are finding it hard to get hold of any new stock as it is all going to their competitors whose sales are rocketing.

The difference?  Their competitors focused on marketing, building relationships and giving useful information about their products/lifestyle around their products and really highlighting their expertise in this area.

Marketing is an investment to buy customers

Traditional marketing has been disrupted like so much else in the last few months.  If you have not been marketing in lockdown, now is the time to start.

Marketing is an investment because it drives future income, if it is not working it becomes an unnecessary cost, so make sure your marketing is working properly. Review your marketing regularly or maybe now is the time to start. Ask if you are getting the results your business needs to decide if you need to do more or less?

With so much going online as we are physically distanced, Digital Marketing is huge and if you are not in this particular game, you will lose out.   Even as we get shops reopening, people are unlikely to want to go to town to browse or window-shop, customers will be looking on-line and then going to the shop with an exact purchase in mind.

Make sure you look good.

Make sure your shop window is looking smart as first impressions count, which means Google page, website, and social media pages. Your customers will be looking you up and checking you out before they buy.

If you don’t think you are getting enough reach on your social media identify why by look at what you have been saying and message are you giving and make sure you are building relationships not just telling clients what they should do. Also think about how you can encourage the reader to ’share’ what you are saying.

Doing your own social media can be hard and very time consuming. Asking someone else to help can give a fresh perspective and new ideas.  How you see yourself and your business can be very different to how others see it!  Get to know your market.  Think about your own lifestyle and what you like, identify the times when you get to sit and read social media posts.  Then put yourself in your customers shoes and consider the same.

Good marketing need not be hard work, you just need a focused plan.

Another story, a business who launched in January has invested time and money in their marketing (not huge amounts but a set amount each month) and is doing really well. People have become aware of the business and what he specialises in.  What he did was align his business goals with both traditional and digital marketing and his message was clear, concise, inviting and thus relationships were built.  The relationships lead to new sales and his business is thriving.  He was consistent and visible in his marketing.

So, are you Wally?

Are you visible to your potential customers and have you given them a reason to buy from you or do you just merge into the crowd?