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Wed, Nov 19th - 10:41AM

Target Marketing for Small Businesses

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog then you already know how important it is to know your target market.  Now we will discuss an example of indicative target marketing.  This post will help you identify what facts are vital when researching details of your target audience. 

Let me begin by sharing a portion of a different blog post that I read the other day.  It’s on the topic of small business advertising spending during a recession.  A piece of the article touched on target marketing and it said “If your current advertising is out of synch with where people are searching then clearly you need to address this immediately. For example, if you're a local hairdresser who knows that 80% of your customers come from within 10 miles of your salon and 50% of these customers are under the age of 40 then a color advertisement in your local Yellow Pages directory isn't going to be a great investment if most of these under 40's are searching online for local hairdressers.” 

Now wait . . . go back!  Read that again please.  Did you catch the statistics regarding people under the age of 40 searching online for local hairdressers?  Or any concrete evidence that those under 40 within 10 miles of the salon don’t use the Yellow Pages directory or don’t have one?  That was a huge IF in the last sentence of their paragraph.  The statement “. . . most of these under 40’s are searching online for local hairdressers,” isn’t necessarily wrong or misleading.  It may even be fact.  But, if it is a fact, there is no research evidencing the statement as fact.  Therefore, it is merely an assumption.   

Maybe the under 40 customers within 10 miles of the salon use the Penny Saver, the local newspaper or even the Val Pak mailers to find fulfillment for their hair care service needs?  Maybe the percentage of those under 40 within 10 miles of the salon who use online searches is only 36%, those who frequent the weekly Penny Saver to look for and use salon coupons is 11% and 53% prefer word of mouth referrals from friends, family and co-workers when choosing a salon?  It is key to know.  Thus, working on a marketing strategy encompassing the referral process would be most beneficial to your salon. 

Be attentive when presented with research and documentation from media companies, advertising agencies, search engine optimization specialists and marketing firms alike.  Make sure that all the pieces of the puzzle are presented.  Just one missing piece leaves the puzzle incomplete.  And filling in the gap with other puzzle pieces (like assumptions about the target market) can leave you in the same predicament you were before: unwise advertising spenditures with little or no results.

On and off line marketing work together in synergy to reach potential customers.  By no means, does that mean you need to do it all.  It simply means start with an Integrated Marketing Plan from Vertical Insight.  Let’s work together to achieve maximum ROI for your advertising budget.  The plan will encompass critical details such as:

  • Target market (who, how, when and where)
  • Product(s) and/or service(s) (demand, off-season marketing strategies and seasonal strategies)
  • Where and when promotional spending should take place to reach the target audience

Execute the marketing plan and start grabbing the customers you’ve been missing out on.


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Wed, Nov 19th - 10:40AM

Just a Little Personal Story to Share

Last week, it was the afternoon and my children were home from school.  Of course, I was still working, but being the SUPERMOM that I am . . . I multi-task and help them while I work. (As I’m doing now).  

So my little one is sitting down working and he turns to me and says something just completely out of the blue and not on topic.  I wish I could remember his exact words, but I don’t have those kind of SuperMom powers.  Alas, he cracked me up and although what he said didn’t warrant a response of laughter, I just couldn’t help it.  He looks up at me with those big beautiful chocolate puppy dog eyes and I just knew SuperMom had to save the day. I look back at him with as much love as I can muster in my eyes (because remember he really had me going…the laughing was somewhat uncontrollable).  Then I say as sweetly as any SuperMom could ever say, “I’m not laughing at you, honey.  I just love you soooooo much that you make me smile.” With that, he returned the look of love in his eyes, gently smiled and continued his homework.  Never fear because SuperMom will always save the day! 

Bringing this occurrence into a small business perspective, sometimes through the course of our working days our reactions to people and situations are natural.  While they could sometimes be taken as offensive it’s just a part of our humanity.  So share the love with your customers and your vendors.  Build those relationships and bring as many as you can into your business family.  If they aren’t the right fit for your family, then seek out the customers and vendors who are.  Those are the people who are going to refer your company to others.


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Wed, Nov 19th - 10:39AM

More About Non-Traditional Targeted Media

So now that we know that the rise in use of non-traditional media is upon us, let’s discuss a new form of said target marketing, shall we?  There are a few very interesting advertising opportunities out there so I will bring to light one specific innovative technology that isn’t so well known . . . yet. 

First off, knowing your target market is essential!  If you haven’t thought about the who you are trying to reach, you’re most likely spending your advertising budget for minimal results.  Why reinvest in advertising for your business without a clear picture as to who you need to reach and how to reach them?   

For organizations in the health industry such as Juice Plus+ (www.myjp.info) and Kangen Water (www.OrganicpHwater.com), reaching those who are interested in becoming healthier is key.  So if you can connect with your target market when they are not distracted by other advertisements, friends, family, or life in general, wouldn’t you exploit that opportunity to its fullest potential?  You may ask, “When does that EVER happen?”  Cue dream sequence sound effects . . . It’s that time of year and I’m waiting impatiently at the dentist’s office (or doctor’s office) for my annual check up.  Sheesh, the last time I was here I waited for almost an hour in the stupid waiting room!  Cell service isn’t the best in this God-forsaken building so I’m stuck with only the tattered outdated magazines in front of me to generically peer through so I don’t accidentally fall asleep in my chair. 

Hmmm, that sounds like at least a good half-hour to communicate with a new prospect.  Your target market takes care of their health (or at least frequents the physician when ill).  So why not take advantage of this uninterrupted time they have?  Engage your target market with WiSpots.  WiSpots is the newest “on-demand wireless connectivity, putting a world of information within arms reach of patients.” 

How does WiSpots accomplish this?  WiSpots provides the public with the WiPad, a wireless internet access device placed in waiting areas, so that anyone who wishes to have internet access can do so any time, free of charge!  Now that your target audience has something to read, review, learn about, etc. . . . products like Juice Plus+ and Kangen Water can share such things like health research and testimonials on the ad screen. 

It’s time to reinvest in your company wisely.  There are various other strategies to target your audience, but if you don’t have the time or experience to revamp your Marketing Plan, get with Vertical Insight.  Having a Marketing Director dedicated to growing your business, increasing you customer base and raising your sales is not only affordable . . . it’s a must have for your business to not only survive, but to become successful. 

For more information about WiSpots, visit their website at www.wispots.com. 


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Wed, Nov 19th - 10:38AM

Increase in Use of Non-Traditional Media
If you haven’t seen a dinner suggestion via e-mail from Kraft foods or a mobile coupon message from Kellogg’s yet, don’t think you’ve missed out.  Many major food companies have pulled away from mass media advertising to what is still considered non-traditional media.  This includes website marketing, mobile marketing, online coupons, viral marketing and more.  Soon enough our e-mail and cell phone inboxes may even become overloaded with such advertising from the food industry.  But, consumer opt-in programs make some of these promotions possible. 

Fortunately because of opt-in programs we won’t get bombarded with intrusive advertisements.  Rather, we have the ability to pick and choose which promotional materials we want.  Thus, non-traditional media becomes a win-win situation.  Businesses win because their advertising is targeted instead of broadcast to an audience uninterested and unsuitable for the product or service.  Consumers win because they get the latest on new products and services from their favorite brands and they receive discounts on items they may already intend to purchase or want to purchase.  Hooooahhhh!  By Joe, I think they’ve got it. 

Where does that leave your small business?  I don’t know.  Are you currently on the side lines?  Competition could be passing you up or maybe your SME has never really put proper effort into marketing to your target audience.  With the newest advertising wave on the rise, grab your board and let’s go.


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Wed, Nov 19th - 10:38AM

Invitation for Small Businesses in Otsego County, NY
The Telecenter in Oneonta is no more. However, Xtended Office has opened and is ready to fulfill the needs of area small businesses. Xtended Office is designed for local small business owners and entrepreneurs by providing convenient short and long-term access to necessary hardware and software at reasonable pricing. Use their space and technology to fully operate your business. SME’s can take advantage of our efficient environment and use it as incubator space to grow the company, bring in new clientele and increase profits.                                                                          

Central and Upstate New York are prime locations for entrepreneurs and small businesses. And minimizing expenses to increase the overall efficiency and productivity of an organization is an important aspect of running a business. Xtended Office can help reach these goals. Whether needs are periodic internet access for e-mailing and purchase orders, an affordable conference room, software training for your staff, or even payroll processing . . . Xtended Office has small businesses covered. The path to success has been mowed, raked and illuminated.

There are no more excuses for small business failure. Yes, the current economy is in a struggle. And yes, it is utterly critical to maintain or even cut expense. Xtended Office will help with that. It’s the premiere local spot for small businesses to strap on their wings and fly towards their dreams.

Conveniently located at 395 County Highway 26 in Toddsville, Xtended Office is available for the local community including Cooperstown, Oneonta, and all of Otsego County. Off-street parking is plentiful. So, for more information please feel free to visit www.xtendedoffice.net. And questions may be submitted via e-mail to info@xtendedoffice.net.


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