Small business owners, non-profits and government agencies alike are feeling stretched when it comes to marketing.
Small business owners have to focus on operating their business. They are already torn between the needs of their clients, getting and keeping good staff, paper work, and paying the bills. Non-profits are often run by volunteers. God bless volunteers – without them the world would be in a far worse place than it is now. But volunteers are human, with their own family and work priorities, and with their own skill set. Most government agencies have faced serious cut backs in human resources. Many public servants are already doing the work of 2 or 3 employees previously and again, it is unusual for them to be marketing savvy.
Bottom line: we are all open to an elegant solution – a silver bullet to solve our marketing problems – because we all feel stretched and most are confused.
On the other side of the coin, today’s consumer doesn’t trust big business. We don’t want to be sold anything. We want to do our own research, get third party recommendations and find great deals. This is evident by the success of Amazon, Groupon, Expedia, and good old fashioned coupons.
So what does a stretched person do? Set up a web site and a Facebook page and wait for the hoards… only that typically doesn’t work. It isn’t that easy. We learn we are competing with about a billion other web sites for the consumers’ eyeballs. Oh, well, we’ve invested all this time and money – now what? Ok, we’ll relaunch our web site and set up a Twitter account – more time, more money. Ugh, it’s no wonder we feel stretched.
Remember when the fax machine was going to simplify our lives? Then it was email. How many emails do you receive each day now? 50, 100, 200, more?
Yes, we want to embrace the digital world, but we all know that email has evolved from a simple delight to a massive burden. Texting and Skype has been the communication rage for a few years but that is now being replaced by WhatsApp and FaceTime. With the constant evolution of the digital world, about the time you get your Web Site up and running, you Twitter Account to 10,000 Followers, your YouTube Channel populated with 25 good videos, and your Facebook page liked by 1,000 people, you are told that all that is irrelevant – now you need to have a big presence on Pinterest!
What a minute. Who has time for all of this… 12 year old girls and 20 year old college students? Certainly not small business owners, non profits and government agencies. Good grief!
It’s funny, isn’t it? We live in an age where we expect instant results. We realize we live in a global community, but we are all so busy trying to attract the world to our door, that we are forgetting the 2nd part of the old saying:
Think globally, but act locally.
Web traffic and social engagement can’t be forced; it occurs organically. It is the product of outstanding customer satisfaction. Build your brand in your local market, serve your customers well and allow the digital world to find and recommend you. Get back to basics. Focus on your local marketing strategy and execute a print campaign that supports it. Then, pick one digital platform that resonates with your customers and focus on that app or profile. Devote twenty minutes 3 times a week (sounds like an exercise program!) to that one digital platform for a solid year and then evaluate how well it has served you.
In the meantime, look around in your travels at visitor information centres, attractions, and farmers’ markets to see what free publications are being read by locals and tourists. Identify which publications best reach your customers and invest in the creation and placement of an effective print ad to enhance local awareness of your product/service.
Tired of feeling stretched?
Get back to basics and let the youngsters have their fun. The digital world can be a seductive vortex that consumes all the time that you have, and more. You would arguably be further ahead to take a day off each month, pick up a copy of Experience the Mountain Parks and go for a hike in the mountains.
Need help with your local print marketing campaign? Let’s talk.