October 11, 2013

Marketing: First impressions count

Marketing is all about communication. It is about creating effective channels of communication with existing and new customers to allow you to tell them all about your business!

Simple?

Actually yes it is. I’m going to show you exactly how easy it is!

 

First impressions

But before you even start to think about spending money on advertising there are many things you can to do in advance.

I know a painter and decorator in my area, Leo, his van is pristine, cleaned inside and out after work every day, his paint cans are dribble free, his paint brushes spotless and hung up in order of size, his dust sheets washed every night. He turns up to work with clean fresh smelling ironed overalls every morning. His presentation is definitely a cut above your average painter and decorator. He gets a lot of exclusive contracts to nice big expensive houses. It’s the market he wanted, it’s the market he went after and it’s the market he got… in fact he has built such a reputation that prospective customers now even ask to see his famously tidy van’! They know he will do a good job of their house…. yes?

What can we learn from Leo?

 

The way you present your business indicates to the customer what service/product they are going to get.

So, take a look at how you present your business. Are your premises clean, welcoming and well presented? Check your paint-work, are your flower pots bright and friendly or in need of some love and care? Are your beds well made, are your tables well set, cutlery polished and shelves well presented?  Take a fresh look at your window display or even better, asks a good friend to look at it for you, or even better still ask your customers!

 

Your presentation is like a cold call.

I had a lovely experience last year, I decided to ‘shop local’ for Christmas and spent a great few days exploring all the shops in my local town. As I chatted happily to the shop keepers I developed an unexpected warm feeling and soon I was glowing with pride that I was actively supporting real people in my community rather than big corporations. However,  I also became a bit discerning… if I walked into a shop and the owner didn’t acknowledge me with a smile and hello I knew straight away that I wasn’t going to spend my cash there! Although I understand that shop owners are busy and must get fed up of people leaving the door open, putting chewing gum on their shelves and dripping ice cream on their floors, I am busy too and my money is precious.  Now I am just as discerning in restaurants, hotels and car dealerships! And you know what? I am not alone!

 

It’s a competitive world out there and attracting and retaining customers is becoming increasingly difficult.

Check what first impressions you give! A smile is free! A planter of flowers at the door is inexpensive! A welcoming sign saying ‘Come In for a Browse’ tells people what to do!

So there we have it… your job for this week. Don’t spend any money just do the following:

Make the most of what you have and look after what you have already invested in.

 

by Erica Cromar

Sales and Marketing Director of ADS Interactive

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