Marketing your business is a challenge, I know. But believe it or not there are tips and lessons to learn almost every where you turn.
If you have children (or nieces and nephews, as I have) you will probably recognise the phase ‘I would like one of those’ as an accompaniment to the TV adverts for kids’ toys, which bombard us around Christmas. It seems toy manufacturers know just what to do to create a frenzy of desire for their products. So, what can you learn from this?
Readers of this blog don’t tend to sell toys to children, most of you have the far more difficult task of selling to businesses – who are certainly more discerning than most 2-15 year old when it comes to buying decisions.
However, I think there are some pointer businesses can take from the toy manufacturer and their indoctrination, oh sorry, I mean sales strategy with children,
Timing and repetition
As we all know TV advertising for Christmas products starts well before we are ready to contemplate the festive season. This means that by the end of November all youngsters exposed to commercial TV, store front displays or even the web will have seen the product they want, will be familiar with what it does, and the older ones will even have established how much it costs and how to go about asking for it.
In business, there’s a lot to be said for communication activity that makes your target audience aware of your product or service, or indeed your company – even before they are ready to buy.
That might mean advertising in your relevant trade press, it might mean attending networking events where potential clients will gather, or writing comment articles on relevant websites.
Having a consistent basic message – your business USP or key benefits – will help with the repetition effect. All your literature or adverts should carry the same slogan or strap line. The same colour or design elements should be repeated on your website and marketing materials and even in your elevator pitch or networking speech. And then timing is critical to help you decide when to make your ultimate, best offer to the prospect base you’ve been communicating with.
It never ceases to amaze me how kids pick up tunes, catch phrases and design. It’s rare to find a three-year-old who doesn’t recognise the big yellow Macdonald’s ‘M’. And believe it or not as adults we are just as susceptible. We might be more conscious about our recognition – and bring with it some views formed by our experience of a product or news reporting about the organisation. But we still respond to recognisable and memorable images, sounds and words.
So – make your communications memorable for your target audience. Of course, that does mean you need to have a clear idea of what interests them and what will ‘turn them on’.
Finally, and linked to the memorability factor is getting people to talk about your product, service or message. In the case of kids, it’s great to sit and listen to them talk to each other as they watch or listen to the TV ads for toys. My 4-year-old nephew was obsessed with Spiderman and Power Rangers. His ears immediately pricked up if he heard a theme tune or music accompanying an ad for these products. He stopped what he was doing and gave the TV his full attention. He would then engage in a dialogue with anyone around about which figures he already had or wanted in the Spiderman collection. Once, I noticed him invite his friend and his 2-year old sister to look at things they might be interested in – the pink Power Ranger for example, for his sister.
Isn’t this what you want? An advocate for your product – who will sell on your behalf?
Your clients may need a bit more of a push than a 4-year old. If you get it right however you can get them saying ‘I would like on of those’ about whatever it is that you are trying to sell and becoming an advocate for you too.