business, customers, Design, Marketing, Social Media

Small Business Marketing

Inc Magazine published a great infographic today.

20140214_MarketinTools_N_27183

It confirms what we all feared….drum roll….the old rules of marketing still apply.
*sigh

What?  No Facebook?  No Twitter?

Well, yes, but take a moment to remember the old rules.

Word of Mouth, Customer Remarks 86%
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Of course, in today’s tech world, word of mouth might be on Facebook or Yelp, but it is the review of a person who has experienced your product or service.  I meet people all of the time who have never heard of Yelp, or they say “I am not a restaurant so why should I bother?”  Well that doesn’t cut it anymore.  Dentists, Malls, Gas Stations, Graphic Design Studios, and even Restaurants, get reviewed through social media on Yelp.  I use Yelp to help me get addresses and directions…it is much faster than google by a long shot!  It matters.  Pay attention and respond to what your customers are saying.  Make it part of your business and  the happy customers will review you too.

Networking with Other Businesses 53%
Networking

I know, we all hate new situations.  Sweat and discomfort.  We gotta do it.  Just remember to do it regularly and correctly.  I just love it when a business owner goes out without business cards.  I have mentioned before why I think business cards are so important, but if you are going to meet other business owners, this would be networking 101.  But, even before you stuff that card in your bag, you need to make it a habit to go out and network, and not just with groups of people you like!  There are so many networking groups that it would take a full eight hours a day to get through them all.  LinkedIn Groups, Meetups, Local Chambers, local everything for that matter.  Just get a newspaper (yes the kind with black and white ink) and you will find several groups in your neighborhood that meet regularly.  Just attend.  Then attend again.  Smile, listen, shake hands, and hand out your business card.  It is human contact in a very non-contact world. You just need one new customer a month to make a difference.

Advertising – print, booklet, radio, etc. 52%

printed_brochure_not_dead_yet

Despite what the makers of Kindle want us to think, Print is NOT DEAD.  In fact, there are tons of studies in the tourism industry that highlight how important that take home tri-fold brochure is to the plans we make, or don’t make.  Plans are created and changed by good print pieces.  Once that brochure is made, you can follow it up with an interesting booklet–your story perhaps, and then if its possible, talk with the radio people and get some exposure.  Reading off the side of the cereal box is still accepted practice at breakfast.  We think with our eyes first, so have something to give out.  We all get stuck at the dentist, the train is delayed, the cab ride is stuck in traffic.  Our phones are not the only thing people read.  Place a nice ad once in awhile.  Consult a graphic person of course, and then do it.  It works.

Direct Mail or Email 45%
direct-mail

Most people hate writing.  It is a lost art really.  But nothing resonates more with people than something written.  Think out of the box too.  What would you like to read?  What gets you to open your mail?  Which things do you open first? Pay attention to things that work, and the things that don’t.  Model yourself after those.  But remember, writing can only capture us for so long.  You need a compelling beginning to keep us occupied for 2 minutes.  Throw in an image or two.  Make us laugh.  Have white space to guide us through your piece.  And of course, use good typography!  Apple knew the secrets.  One main font, maybe two colors, readable and legible.  Fancy does not keep our interest.  Learn the basics if you are doing it yourself.

Social Media 41%
Digital-marketing-services

Of course everything comes back to social media.  It is the core of the business world today.  But behind it are people.  People writing, people responding, people serving, people expressing their views.  If you are not using one or two social media sites to promote yourself, you are missing business.  For every person who says they found you there, I am sure there are several more who just didn’t tell you.  That is how social media works.  Its why “check in” offers are so successful.  Its the coupon of the new millennium.

The last is for all the old veterans who are determined NOT to accept Social Media Marketing.  Its fun if you would just stop being right and move on.  But hey, that is a whole other topic all together.

Design Bear
http://www.designbsquared.com

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