Winning the Recognition War
3 tactics to help small businesses get noticed
One of the keys to success in business, be it on line or off line, is getting noticed. With consumers being bombarded with hundreds of advertising messages each day from large companies, a few small ads put together on a small business budget aren’t likely to make much of an impact. To win the recognition war, you need to attack where your larger competition is weak. Here are 3 tactics that small businesses can use to gain recognition over their larger counterparts:
Be involved: If you sell a service to small businesses, then go where your customers go by joining local small businesses clubs or moderating an online business discussion group. If you own a retail store or on-line outlet for NASCAR collectibles, then join your local chapter of the NASCAR fan club. Through direct involvement with your potential customers you will gain respect amongst your target customer group and you will establish yourself as an expert in their eyes. Large corporations are notoriously poor at community/customer involvement activities. By having a more personal relationship with your clients you can gain free recognition for your business.
Sell Yourself: The late Dave Thomas of Wendy’s Restaurants was a fixture on TV commercials for years. Although Dave was the pitchman for Wendy’s, customers knew that they would not meet Dave down at their local fast food outlet. Small businesses are different. You can answer your e-mail personally, or meet with potential clients one-on-one in your retail store. In your advertising and publicity efforts, you should sell this as a feature of your business. You are an expert in your field, and customers can communicate directly with you to learn more about your products or services. The personal touch is often lost in today’s world of mega-corporations and e-commerce. Use your small size to your advantage by making “you” a key selling feature of your business.
Publicize: Advertising is expensive, and larger companies can afford it. That puts your small business at a disadvantage. However, the world of publicity (sometimes called “PR” or “Public Relations”) is a more level playing field. If your business is doing something interesting or has recently achieved a newsworthy milestone (i.e. 10 years in business, 1st local company to sell a particular product), let the media know through a news release. The media likes to tell stories about smaller companies that are achieving success, as opposed to large corporations. Use this to your advantage and get the media on your side by providing them with an interesting news item or story idea about your business. A news story about your business is worth 10 of your competitor’s full-page ads, since articles and news items carry much more credibility with consumers than advertising does.
The war for recognition can be won, but it’s up to you to get your small business involved in the tactics that will lead to victory. Through direct involvement, a focus on yourself as the “star” of your business, and attention to the power of the media, your small business can topple your larger competitors.ABOUT THE AUTHOR Article contents © 2007 by marketingyoursmallbusiness.com
Will Dylan is the Author of “Small Business Big Marketing” a powerful e-book for small businesses available through his website www.marketingyoursmallbusiness.com. You can contact Will at email@example.com.