Every so often, we come across a business owner that insists on word-of-mouth advertising, exclusively. We think every small business owner would prefer this free means of promotion – that is, if this way of marketing was good enough to retire on. But, it’s not. After a little questioning, we usually discover that these folks have once been burned by exploring some sort of expensive marketing endeavor. It is quite easy to feel at home with not spending money on marketing when this has been your experience. It's the old, "I've tried that before. It doesn't work."
Having said all of this, we’d like you to go back and reassess your marketing-failures. Chances are, you were on to something, but simply executed it poorly. Below is a short list of simple tips we’ve learned over the years that may revive the hope of creating marketing pieces that work.
1) Your ads should aim for the heart - not the mind.
2) Repeated punch-lines are subject to the laws of diminishing returns – update your ads regularly.
3) Seek objectivity. It's OK to get your marketing reviewed by an outsider (or professional).
4) Market to the right audience - everyone is NOT a potential customer.
5) Increase the frequency of your ad placement. "One-off" rarely works.
6) Be consistent in your brand messaging - a unified front in all places you advertise.
7) Do not place too much content in your marketing.
8) Develop a branding strategy - a consistent mood/theme for all marketing efforts.
9) Do not use self-aware ads, e.g., "We’re number one in service."
10) Update your website/blog frequently. Valuable content grows potential customers.
11) If you have no charisma, resign as company spokesperson.
12) Get to the point – arrest my attention in 5-seconds.