If You Target, They Will Come
Word of mouth is the best advertiser, right? Yes, of course. But not only yes. Yesterday, I met Larry Wilcox, a web developer who wants to grow his business. Larry said word of mouth has been his best advertiser so far. Larry works with not for profits and churches mostly, creating WordPress and Joomla web sites. He has a great idea for a simple template that gets organizations started at a relatively low cost, then lets them customize as their budget allows. Simple.
Then I asked Larry how he targets new customers. His face glazed-over.
Small business owners rely on former customers to keep their business going. But new customers have to be found. Targeting a niche audience (do you say 'nitch' or do you say 'neesh'?) to market to keeps the revenue river flowing. It doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. In Larry's case, we talked about a simple postcard campaign. Something like this -
1. Choose a geographic area. 2. Create a list of 50-150 organizations you'd like to do business with. Find them on the web. 3. Create a card with a friendly introductory message and offer. 4. Print and mail the card. 5. Make follow up phone calls to encourage action.
It's pretty simple. But doing things differently isn't always easy to see.
"I hadn't thought of that," replied Larry. "Great idea. I think I'll try it."
Very little cost is involved, and just a bit of effort make this a standard part of marketing plans for any small business owner. If you're a B2C business, you might have to seek out a neighborhood or community based mailing list. Just do something. You'll be glad you did.