The majority of offline marketing must by necessity be done in the local area to be efficient. In this respect, it is beneficial to make yourself as much of a local face as it is possible to be without everyone getting sick of you. Getting your picture in the paper on a regular basis is good. Getting your face in the paper with a headline above it saying “Local Blowhard Puts Nose In Other People’s Business Again” might not be so positive.
Being a community face is something that need not be hard to achieve. People will be more likely to think of your company when they need it if they see your name and face on a regular basis. Of course it is important that they associate your name, face and identity with positive things, but as long as you are not that pompous blowhard this need not be difficult to achieve.
Getting involved at a local level means doing things like raising awareness of public safety and health issues – if you are always writing to the local newspaper to complain about the scruffiness of local children, then you’re verging on blowhard territory.
Taking the role of a helpful, interested citizen will pay off in the long run. Without even thinking about it much, people will gravitate towards businesses that they can make a positive association with. Getting involved at a local level need not cost you anything at all – but if you are prepared to contribute to a local charity then that’s always good.
The term “mailing list” and indeed many variations on the word “mail” have become more or less synonymous in recent years with e-mail. This is an interesting development, because companies have been using mailing lists since long before the advent of the Internet. In this day and age there is no reason for that to change, when in actual fact there is still a benefit to sending things out in the actual mail – the one that requires no computer.
Building a contact list is something that every company should be looking to do. With the right contacts it is possible to reach a market and get information across to them in a considered way which lets them come to the decision you want them to make. How you go about getting those contacts is a matter for you, but many companies will do it by providing a comments slip with every product they sell. When the customer fills it in and sends it back, you have their details.
If you operate a mail order service, then you have the addresses of past customers. This makes it easy to send them information on more services and products that they might be interested in, and clue them in on special offers. You can do this by sending a flyer, or by writing a more personal letter which speaks directly to the customer as a person. In doing this, you retain an element of trust and straight-talking which can persuade a lot of people to do business with you.
One of the most depressing sights in all of marketing is that of a company trying to appear to be “just like you”. There has been a rise in recent years in the number of companies who make advertisements that try too hard to position the company as “the customer’s friend” and perhaps the most galling example of this is when companies resort to “txt spk” – the abbreviated form of language which is commonly used in text messages to fit into a character limit.
In advertising there are no character limits. You don’t need to misspell words to convince people that your product is something they might like to buy. You don’t need to pretend that you are “just the same” as the customer. And if you do that by dumbing down, you end up insulting their intelligence, which is worse. Clarity is more important than identifying with the customer. In the nicest possible way, you are not their friend. They have enough friends anyway. What they need is a DVD player that works, or a sandwich that sates their hunger and tastes great.
By speaking clearly and literately, you position yourself as a company the customer can respect and who they will be willing to buy from. There is no benefit to pretending that you are something you’re not. At the end of the day you are asking them to hand money over – would a friend do that? Surely they’d give them the items for free?