by Owner Steph Mazanowski
Putting the Hammer Down about Marketing
Today, the consumer expects to be able to spend time doing research, get feedback, read reviews, and compare multiple options while they decide to buy...eventually.
It’s 6am Monday morning, coffee is hot and I am mass-deleting ‘junk emails’ and sifting through what’s ‘important’ in my inbox getting ready for a clean slate for the week. I think it’s safe to say that any attempt to market to me via email is a lost cause as I truly couldn’t even tell you who these emails are from, I just know they are not ‘important.’ I am sure there are a few of you out there that take the time to open and read every single detail of every single email, but I am fairly certain I am not alone in my Monday morning email rituals.
Next up, gotta get my daily dose of social media drama and see what’s happening with friends and family near and far as I quickly scan to see if there’s anyone who got engaged, married, had a baby, lost a job, got a new job, or has a kiddo doing big things on the basketball court. I’m pretty sure every 5th post was a Sponsored Ad and I’m pretty sure subliminally, I registered a little something and if I see it again, I might recognize it, but there were so many, I’m just numb to it and again, truly couldn’t tell ya any ONE in particular that I saw… I actually do kinda remember a hammer or something.
It’s 7am and the Today Show just started, I catch up on the highlights and make sure the world isn’t coming to an end… even though I think maybe it is. I’m only half listening because it’s all so dang negative and I really don’t have time to listen to negative. Oh good, a commercial, I’ll hop up and feed the animals and get another cup of coffee. It’s time for Hoda and Jenna’s Morning Boost, those always make me smile. Another commercial, I’ll go make sure the kiddo is up and moving. Clearly if you bought a TV commercial and wanted to reach me that way, it’s safe to say, you missed me.
On with the day with a couple morning conference calls, then on to a few in-person meetings. On my way to the first meeting, I know I passed about 27 billboards, but I couldn’t tell ya what 25 of them were even for. I remember one because it was my friend’s face and I took the picture, so it was familiar and caught my eye. The second one had a hammer on it, but I couldn’t even tell you what the company was because it flipped so fast to the next ad and by that time the stoplight had turned green and I had to drive….but it was sorta familiar so it caught my eye.
Would you believe that here I am between meetings, and I'm stopped at a stoplight next to a logo’ed work truck and coincidentally it has a hammer on it?! That’s the third time today I have seen that same hammer. It has me thinking about maybe some sort of deck around my hot tub this spring… Green light, carry on.
Lunch, and more meetings, and kiddo, and gym, and dinner and however many hours later, ahhhhhh I’m curled up on the couch with a glass of wine sifting through the day’s mail. Bill, bill, bill, junk, junk, bill, oooh early Christmas card, junk, magazine, bill, junk. The Christmas card is from an old co-worker, no way his kiddo is that big already! Time flies. Junk pile, straight to the trash. Oh hey, I know the person on the cover of this magazine…what are they doing on the cover? I read about them, flip through and see a few other things that interest me, may have to hang that calendar of events on my fridge or at least leave it here on the coffee table to reference later. And hey, check it out! There’s that stinkin’ hammer again! ABC Hammer Company. What do you know!? It says they do decks!! OMG, I’m totally calling them tomorrow. How crazy! And what's this? An article about different types of deck materials. Well that's handy.
I toss the magazine aside and start looking at deck ideas on Pinterest and start doing a little research of my own about decks and trying to decide what I might want. I pin a few photos of decks I like onto a virtual vision board and find a couple more articles about decks, and what I need to know before building one. There's another article on a blog by ABC Hammer Company. Wow, I didn’t even think of having the access panel handy. They truly seem to be experts at what they do.
It’s Tuesday morning, I do a google search for ABC Hammer Company, I find them right away and peruse their website, read some reviews about them, see how involved they are in the community and that they help out every year with a Habitat for Humanity Project and donate to various other charities around town. They also sponsor a local youth baseball team and it looks like one of the employees is a coach. I now have total warm and fuzzies that they are a good company to work with and feel good about supporting a business that is doing good in the community. It's winter and I'm not ready to buy yet, but I go ahead and call the number that came up in my search as a preliminary inquiry so I can wrap my brain around how many pennies I might need to save over the next few months. The number I call unknowingly happens to be a number specifically associated with their Google ad, so they can track what method of advertising sent me...
HOLD UP… what method of advertising sent me? You see, it was all of them! All of them working in conjunction with each other, splashing me with their brand in multiple directions, educating me along the way, and creating a familiarity and trust in doing business with them. They took me from not even knowing I had a problem to thinking about a problem to researching a problem to actually inquiring about the problem. But, I'm still not ready to act on the problem. They collect my info and now can splash me with personalized marketing offers over the next couple of months while I continue to decide for sure what I want to do. Meanwhile I continue to see their brand and their employees being good humans, aligning with good causes around the community and reading more expert articles from them and seeing them every month in my neighborhood magazine which brings this project back to the top of my mind every month until I'm finally ready to pull the trigger.
You see, marketing is not a simple thing. It used to be, but not anymore. It used to be that consumers were expected to respond quickly to an advertisement with a purchase. However, today, the consumer expects to be able to spend time doing research, get feedback, read reviews, and compare multiple options as they ultimately decide to be buyers...eventually...when they are ready.
Marketing your business involves casting a net of awareness out there and putting your brand in front of a target market of individuals LIKELY to buy your product or service, draw them in further with some educational content such as magazine articles, blog posts, videos, etc., and then further move them through the funnel to ultimately become buyers. This is a long-game.
The traditional one-way approach is no longer as successful as those who invest in branding their business through multiple channels over the long-term. Constant repetition in front of the right audience over time while providing educational content and being seen as the expert in your industry is the key to a successful campaign. Pair that with simultaneously supporting your community and giving back to charities or local sports, your prospective clients will choose to reciprocate your good deeds and feel good about patronizing your business.
The best way to brand your business is through an All-Encompassing Community Sponsorship that is targeted to a specific audience, reaches them through multiple channels, and supports all things 'community' at the same time. It is key to keeping your brand top of mind through the constant repetition and an opportunity to take advantage of the platform available to provide meaningful, educational content which further solidifies you are an expert in your industry. If you are tired of throwing spaghetti at the walls with your marketing dollars, look no further!