This is the beginning of a new chapter. Since my inception into the advertising industry, I have learned one hard truth about it. NOBODY FUCKING CARES. The biggest brands in the world aim to surround their target audiences with millions of dollars of paid media that interfere with the entertainment experience of their target. Whether it on social or digital media, on mobile, TV or print - they're after you - after that impression, after that click - taking you away from the article you wanted to read, away from that song you wanted to listen to, or the overpriced cable TV station that turns a 2 hour movie into 4.
The pendulum has begun to swing. Customers are fighting back - they're streaming content on Netflix and Hulu, one-stop-shopping on Amazon, downloading ad blockers on Chrome, and making buying decisions on Instagram and Facebook after extensive research. They're making decisions about brands not by how many times they see their ads, but rather the quality of their message. How does the business enhance people's lives? How good do they treat their existing customers? How active are they in their community? How eco-friendly are they? How human is the business? There's a reason some of the best new businesses in 2017 have started as Instagram pages. And that's because they started by curating an uninterrupted, free experience to their audience. The brands who understand this best, are pulling back their dollars from these outbound strategies and are becoming the "brought to you by" generation. They're focusing on creating content, not disrupting it.
If I've kept you this far, let's scale it back to the small business owners like you and I. The reason I'm saying this, is because like you I'm sick of being disrupted by big advertising - and to hopefully, convince you as a business owner to think differently about how to display your business online. I read a very powerful book years ago that elaborated a concept called the 3 P's of marketing. People, Process, Product. They are the fundamental pillars of any business - and are the most important equation for any successful marketing strategy. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need the "big idea" to sell cars, insurance, jewelry, or your law services. You don't need a gecko, a most interesting man, or a kitschy jingle.
Ask yourself, who are the people that make up your business' community? Analyze the people who helped you start & maintain your business? Your friends, family, employees and your satisfied customers. Would they help you jump start your business? Would they refer you? Would they send testimonials? Remember, WOM has the highest conversion rate of any other form of marketing. Faces tell the story of a million words. There's a reason the selfie is the most engaged piece of content on social media. Make your business human and open the door for a conversation with potential customers. Are you incentivizing people to interact with your business? Offer opportunities to create value for your potential customers outside of your product/service alone.
What is your process? How/where/why do you source? What are your methodologies that make you unique? How much pride do you take in how you get the job done? How good is your customer service?
What is your product really? How does it enhance the lives of your customers/potential customers? What makes it different from all your competitor's? How does it look online? Is it professionally photographed? Would you buy your product over another competitor? If not, what are they doing that you aren't? Are you offering them something they can't get anywhere else? These are all questions that go into re-engaging with your business, and creating a platform that attracts customers.
My goal is to help small businesses all over the US understand these simple concepts and get engaged with their communities. Helping them expand their business by utilizing the appropriate channels, and create an experience their customers can't get anywhere else.