Main Street the Business to Business Magazine

Advising - by Jean Loxley-Barnard



WE NEED TO PAUSE AND THINK FOR OURSELVES

Choosing the right advertising doesn't have to be difficult. There are questions to be considered before buying, and those of us in business can answer basic questions ourselves.  

Baby boomers? Home owners? Teens? Everyone within three miles of my place of business?

What am I offering?

RVs? Baby Boomers. Pools? Affluent home owners. Music lessons? Teens. Hair cuts? Everyone.

Where will customers come from?

Barber shops and salons are plentiful, so most clients patronize one close to home. If, however, we install pools, we go to the customer and can advertise in a wider area.

Restaurants draw from near and far if they become famous. Initially, however, it is the "Cheers factor" that works — patrons seek the neighborhood bar "where everyone knows your name."

Why will a customer choose our business?

No one ever researches to find the cheapest
heart surgeon. And Apple demonstrated that price
was not
the deciding factor for technology.
Price buyers are not usually loyal customers.

Expand the "Cheers factor" into doing business with neighbors. We prefer to do business with people we know and trust. Putting the business owner front and center lets people know who takes responsibility. And using testimonials in ads is highly effective — with the full name and location of the person giving the testimonial.

Some people always buy on price. They are the people most likely to buy the same thing twice. Once to get the cheapest price and, in remodeling for instance, once again to get it done correctly.

No one ever researches to find the cheapest heart surgeon. And Apple demonstrated that price was not the deciding factor for technology. Price buyers are not usually loyal customers.

How will you know if an ad works? Ask everyone – everyone who buys from you. A coupon redeemed will indeed tell you where it came from, but it does not tell you it was the deciding factor to try your business. A big informative ad or feature article about you may be why customers come. But, if you are also putting out coupons, seeing them come back may lead you to think discounting was what worked.

Ask customers how they found out about you and what tipped the scale.

Consider news reporters' questions. Whom do I want to reach, What am I offering, Where will my customers come from, Why will they respond and How will I know if this works?

Whom do I want to reach means who is most likely to buy what I offer.



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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