Billboards, radio, television, magazines, newspaper, websites, restaurant place mats, sponsoring teams, mall kiosks…no this is not just another run on sentence, but a brief listing of the numerous advertising options available to you. However, with all of these choices, it can be hard deciding on the best strategy, especially if your business is “seasonal.”
Determine the Best Fit for Your Company.
First and foremost, think consistency. All too often, business owners will piecemeal their efforts. They will try radio for a few months. When that is not working, they will switch over to TV, and then end up going the billboard route. This “musical chairs” of media and inconsistency usually gets the same result every time: wasted money with minimal return.
Inconsistency is often common among “seasonal” businesses, which an example of this type of business is landscaping. For instance, when do you typically hear or see landscape companies advertise? Typically, it’ll start in March-June and possibly again in September-October to promote a fall clean-up for your lawn. The most important advice we give to our clients is to make sure your potential customers know you before they need you, and in order to do that effectively you need to be consistent in your advertising.
Worried About the Budget? Try a Sponsorship.
A sponsorship can give your business the upper-hand over your competitors that just dabble in advertising a couple times a year. Let’s say your favorite radio station has one consistent landscaping company, and they advertise on that station all year long. If you hear about that specific landscaping company on a weekly basis and then ten additional “seasonal” advertisers jump on board in April, who is going to own that top-of-the-mind awareness? The company that was consistent and heard the most will do the most businesses out of all the other “seasonal” advertisers if the message is done effectively!
Your Brand’s Message is Key to Consistency!
It’s vital to keep a consistent message across all of your marketing mediums. Your logo, color scheme, and tag line are all components of your message that need to be followed in everything you do. With the average consumer being bombarded with well over 5,000 advertising messages per day and growing daily, it is imperative that your business’s message doesn’t confuse the consumer on what you stand for.
Stay true to who you are and what you do best. Don’t do value coupons to compromise your company’s brand if you are not a “discount” store or in an industry where coupons are regularly used and expected, such as a pizza delivery restaurant. When you are a higher end brand that caters to people with more disposable income, stay true to that.
Don’t Forget Your Internal Marketing.
In addition, be consistent with your internal marketing. You hear and see it all the time: “We’ve got the best customer service in town” or “We’ve got the best products or services in the area” or “Nobody can beat our prices.” Well, the fact of the matter is, it’s almost guaranteed that you will have competitors that do and don’t have similar customer service, similar prices, or similar products and services. Where you can set your business apart is by following through. If you’re going to ‘talk the talk’ then make sure you can ‘walk the walk.’ This is most likely common sense to a lot of people, but it actually happens quite often where businesses boast certain aspects of their business and don’t follow through with it.
In summary, figure out who your business truly is and who you want your target market to be and stay true to that. Whether your business model aims for discount shoppers, late night eaters, or luxury consumers, develop your marketing plan and focus on it. In most instances, if you try to appeal to consumers all over the board, you will most likely only reach a small portion of the consumers that are actually in the market for your product or service. Lastly, budgets can be fluid throughout the year but to gain long term benefits, work within your budget and be consistent!
If you’re having trouble identifying and following through with a marketing strategy, contact us to develop a consistent marketing approach.