If you're going to open a small business, it's all about location location location!"
That is what you would have heard if you were to talk to most business owners in the early part of the 20th century. The question is, does excellent geographic location matter anymore or are there elements of this concept that are more relevant?
If you just look at the recent data- a typical consumer in 2016 sees 5,000+ messages a day versus his/her counterpart in 1945 where the number was just over 300 messages. In both of those studies some 80+ years apart, the consumer still considers at least half of those messages not relevant to them. This is to be expected no matter how good your message or your offer is.
How about this statistic, in 1885 there were 1,569 patents issued by the US Patent office, fast forward to 2015 and the number skyrockets to 170,000! This is a potential problem, as the increased number of patents indicates more potential products being marketed, which indicates more products adding their messages to the already overcrowded market.
Think we have a problem with sensory overload and white noise? We are now carrying messages in our pockets on mobile devices spending most of our day looking downward to their screens.
But, back to the original question, do you think we have a problem with white noise and lack of message relevance in the market?
The answer is an obvious yes, but certain fundamental advertising principals still apply, for example BRANDING SHOULD BE TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY.
Another example is that brand messages are not about Location, location, location, but more about Repetition, repetition, repetition. In 1885 there was a book written that stated that a consumer needs 20 exposures to an advertisement before they acted on the ad.
Today you hear many advertising consultant talk of the RULE of 7.
The Rule of 7 means that a consumer must be exposed to your ad at least 7 times before they act on it. The real truth on this is that there is no magic number of exposures that will get your customer to go out and buy your product or service. This is where the advice from a professional comes into place.
One thing is for certain and has remained so since there were 2 products on the market forcing a choice, ONE EXPOSURE to your ad is NOT going to get you a sale, a memory, or a recognition of your product or service.
In today's markets, whether it be the printing or wedding gown market, message #1) RELEVANCE to the customer's needs is essential.
As a small business owner, if you have not at least Googled for information about your customer, you should re-consider being in small business. Remember that customers buy based on THEIR needs and emotions, NOT yours.
Don't know how to use Google for this. Here is an example.
#2-type in the Google search engine: what are top 10 complaints that brides have about their wedding gowns? Presto!!! 5 thousand results that you can use to shape your advertising- be a problem solver
#3) From your Google research, develop at least 2-3 messages where your offering solves a problem that the customer has. Use those messages in every advertisement you put out there: - direct mail,- email, - Social media, -your website and a host of other advertising.
Now the hard part, #4) keep using those same messages until you are bored of them, because I can guarantee your customer is not bored. Avoid the temptation to change them unless you are forced to I.e. they are offensive to some customer group. A general rule of thumb- change your core 3-5 messages every 6 months or so.
#7- don't waste your money in those local coupon magazines unless:
A) YOU control the content and look of the advertisement – some of these magazines will create ads and messages that look like nothing you want to be part of, and they are for your business- keep control
B) you commit to at least 3 times in a row, 6 times in a row is even better. You will increase the likely hood of your ad sticking if the exposures are consistent.
C) -also, 10% off offers don't usually activate consumers-you're basically telling them you will pay their sales tax. Go 15% or more.
In conclusion, the adage of location, location, location, while still important, is not as critical as it once was. BUT repetition, repetition, repetition has taken its place as a critical piece of good business, it is vitally important in getting your advertisement to do its job. Don't short change FREQUENCY of message, say it, and say it again, till your tired of it, it is vital to a good advertising campaign.
Good luck out there and did I mention Frequency of message counts?