Main Street the Business to Business Magazine

Advising - by Jean Loxley-Barnard



ADVISING: TRACKING WHERE BUSINESS COMES FROM

Knowing where our business comes from is crucial for everyone advertising to reach and entice both new and repeat customers/clients. We need new people to keep growing and regulars to be our foundation.

Coke and Pepsi are good examples of keeping a product at top-of-mind awareness. Is there anyone who doesn't know about either drink? But what would happen if one or the other stopped advertising? One would soon outsell the other and eventually corner the market. Continuing to advertise keeps regulars while enticing new customers.

Like those who believe Build it and they will come there are those who think Once a customer, always a customer. Wrong. Far too many new businesses go under by putting every last cent into the building of the business while leaving nothing for the developing of clientele. And customers are constantly bombarded to jump ship for a shiny new lighthouse.

So how do we find out how our customers came to us? There are many ways. Informal information gathering right from the customer is my favorite. Ask them.

Many personal service businesses have forms that say, "Check how you found out about us." Be specific and encourage clients to check all that apply. We always ask our clients to list Main Street and The Shopper, not just a generic "paper." Just as we need to know where our clients come from, so do our clients.

Be careful when counting internet responses. It is important because it can be very misleading. I noticed that an insurance ad kept popping up as I was writing. I stopped to find out why. It was tucked alongside what I was doing and my finger evidently brushed up against it. It might have been helpful if I was searching for insurance but, since I was not, it was just annoying. But an insurance business counted me five times.

It is astounding how many businesses
do not take the time to find out where their
business comes from.
It is their money at stake.
We want our advertisers to take time to track
where their customers
found out about them.
We believe it will benefit both of us.

With our magazines, we find that readers often become interested in a business after reading their stories in our publication. We include the client's website at the end of the story, which entices our readers to go online and read more. If the website is a good one, together the story and website make a strong connection. Without knowing what enticed the reader to check out the website, however, the website can seem to be the primary attraction, when it was actually prompted by the story.

It is astounding how many businesses do not take the time to find out where their business comes from. It is their money at stake. We want our advertisers to take time to track where their customers found out about them. We believe it will benefit both of us.

We have been fortunate over 34 years to have our readers tell businesses they saw them in The Shopper and they are now doing the same with Main Street. They have made all the difference for us.



Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications 11 Shopper Magazines, Doctor to Doctor Magazine and Main Street The Business to Business Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 35 years.



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