Small Business Advertising Success Secret #1: Be a Broken Record
One of the most essential small business advertising success secrets is consistency. It’s not just small business owners who “tire” of pounding home the same marketing message in their advertising – but its only small business owners who can’t AFFORD not to stay true to their “core” message.
For example – for over two decades – mega big box retailer Wal-Mart stayed true to a common marketing message which was displayed not only in their advertising but was also displayed on associate’s vests and even the tractor trailers which delivered goods to the stores: Always Low Prices – Always. Wal-Mart’s marketing was like a broken record – and that broken record helped to build a retailing giant.
Over the past few years, Wal-Mart’s message has gotten diluted. They decided to dance to a different beat… and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that earnings have taken a tumble.
You’re not a Wal-Mart – yet but the first step in achieving success is to first determine what’s the marketing message you’re going to deliver via a “broken record”? (My apologies to younger readers who may not remember the vinyl records from the last century… when you see “broken record” – think “faulty mp3 file”.)
What marketing message are you going to relentlessly pound into your customer’s minds?
In my work with small business owners – I find that creating this core message is the most difficult task of all. It begins with defining your target audience – a.k.a. your “niche”market.
What problems are these people experiencing and how can your product or services help?
It’s really hard to answer this important question if you have no idea what’s going on inside your customer’s mind and finding the answer is as easy as actually talking to your customers. I don’t mean “interviewing” them or conducting your own “user experience focus group” – but rather TALK to your customers and find out how they’re really using your product.
If talking to your customers isn’t an option – then hold a contest where they can write or record testimonials for your product. It’s been demonstrated that people actually feel a stronger connection with companies that they have recommended to friends which is why there’s no better way to build your brand with your customers than to ask them to write a testimonial.
Once you know WHY people are buying your product or services – then you can create a compelling and selling core marketing message. Make it short, simple and easy to remember – think “always low prices- always”.
Once you’ve got this short, simple easy to remember marketing tag line – make it a part of EVERYTHING you do.
My first advertising mentor – Joan Elias – told me to let my advertising clients know that their marketing and advertising messages were just breaking through to their advertising audience about the time they were SICK of hearing/seeing the ad. If you’re sick of hearing or seeing your advertising – rest assured that your advertising just starting to make an impact on your niche market.
So be a broken record with your advertising message. Pick a winner and stick with it. It’s the first key to small business advertising success.