The Importance of Marketing to Your Customers Where They Are

retail marketing

With 7 Mini Marketing Case Studies

One of the most common marketing strategies we always encourage our clients to undertake is making sure that they market to their customers and prospects where they already are.

This is actually the very basis of “guerilla marketing” (not to be confused with gorilla marketing), a term coined by Jay Levinson in some of his books relating to the topic, in which companies use inventive ways to present a message. This strategy has actually continued to change and evolve with the addition of digital marketing.

guer·ril·la /ɡəˈrilə/ noun: a member of a small independent group taking part in irregular fighting, typically against larger regular forces.

The benefit of enacting marketing strategies that get you in front of your customers and prospects where they already are means that you are making your marketing work more efficiently. The resources you put into the marketing message should result in better recall of your brand and therefore better return on investment.

You don’t have to think up big, elaborate tactics to get your marketing message in front of your prospects wherever they already are.

Here are a few of our favorite ways we have helped clients effectively implement this strategy:

Mini Marketing Case Study 1: Video Series Marketing

video marketing

The television series we are working with, they are building their own platform and are not part of a big existing studio like CBS or ABC or Netflix. One of the most obvious places they want to be is where people in the demographic group they want to reach are already watching videos … and this is YouTube.

YouTube is the second largest search engine, only after Google, so it is always where a business related to video in any way needs to be.

While they aren’t releasing full episodes on YouTube, they are releasing trailers, cameos, behind the scenes, outtakes, and ads on the YouTube platform. People who already like watching videos are likely to find them there.

Mini Marketing Case Study 2: Home Inspector Marketing

Our client who performs home inspections has staff responsible for visiting the local real estate offices, usually during their office meetings. Real estate agents have the homebuyer clients who are the people most often scheduling a home inspection.

While we don’t assist with that piece, we focus on their online presence where their customers are most likely to be searching for a home inspector – Google, obviously the largest search engine and also powers the search results for Android phones, and Yelp, which is not only where prospects go to find ratings and reviews of a business but also is what powers search on Apple phones through Siri.

One of the basic strategies we are working on is making sure the business profiles are optimized and updated in both spots.

Mini Marketing Case Study 3: Real Estate For Sale Signs

Speaking of real estate, when I worked with one of the largest real estate brokers in the US, one of the strategies we implemented was reflective “for sale” signs.

Why? In some of the hottest real estate markets in the area, you would see several different for sale signs from several different real estate companies dotting the neighborhood. These signs are the very essence of marketing to your customers where they already are. If a home buyer is interested in buying a house in a particular neighborhood, they are likely driving around that neighborhood looking at the area and the houses, and that for sale sign tells them very quickly which houses are available. It’s still just as important for a real estate agent’s marketing as anything online.

What you don’t see is any of these signs at night. Even with good street lighting, the signs tend to disappear. So what we did – at a rather large cost to a company with over 1,000 real estate agents, 20 offices, and spanning something like 18,000 square miles, was replace all of the existing for sale signs with reflective signs.

Now, for the hours at night – especially during fall and winter months when it may start getting dark at 6pm and not lighten up until 6am – these prospects could see our signs, at night, in the dark. Their car headlights would light up the sign as if it was a lighted sign. Even the ambient light from street lights and other sources helped the sign be seen better than the competitors.

Some of the competitors also has reflective signs, but we did some testing and chose a material that the sign company did not regularly carry that offered an even brighter sign. So even when our competitors had a reflective sign at night, ours was brighter.

Mini Marketing Case Study 4: Mall Marketing

retail marketing

Early in my career, I was in charge of marketing for a mall. Besides the big signs throughout malls, those can get lost among all of the signs the stores have, plus at some point they become part of the background chatter and your brain stops even registering them.

This may sound funny but one of the places that you do have a captive audience for a minute or two, and without competing signs and messages and other visual clutter happening, is the restroom. We put sign holders on the stall doors for the very purpose of capturing this captive audience.

Mini Marketing Case Study 5: Coffee Shop Marketing

One of the strategies we implemented for a coffee shop that had a mobile app was some geofencing marketing. Basically, they targeted customers who were doing some shopping and a shopping center near a nearby competitor, and would push an ad for a special at their own coffee shop through their mobile app, which would pop up on their phone.

Coffee drinkers tend to like their regular spot, and this would get them thinking about grabbing a cappuccino from their nearby favorite spot rather than looking for something just slightly closer, which would be their competition.

emerging marketing strategies

This is a similar concept to the proximity marketing that you can do with geofence beacons, which is one of the newer marketing strategies some retail stores are adopting.

Mini Marketing Case Study 6: Donut Shop Marketing

What goes great with coffee? Donuts! It’s very cliche when you hear that police officers like donuts. But you know what? Some of them really do. And those that do also know the BEST donut shops in the area.

So what did we recommend for the local donut shop? Free donuts for police officers. There were a couple of rules they put around this: one per person, not available through the drive-thru. What this meant was a police cruiser parked in front of the donut store, even if only for a couple of minutes.

Admit it, you have driven past a donut shop, seen the car parked in front, and thought to yourself that they must have the GOOD donuts. They eventually expanded to all first responders. The cost to the business was a few donuts a day, and they were also able to show some support to their local first responders and give back to the community.

Mini Marketing Case Study 7: Dance Shoe Store Marketing

I teach ballroom dance, and one of the ancillary businesses I own is an online dance shoe store. One of the easiest ways to market these shoes was to my own dance students when I had my studio. There was a small area with a display of some of the shoes, so that some of the very people who would be interested in those very niche shoes had them right in front of them.

If you have ancillary businesses, products or services as an additional income stream, you definitely want to consider all of the ways that you can cross-promote to the existing customers of all of the businesses.

These are just a few examples of ways that you can implement some marketing strategies that are designed to strategically market to your prospects and customers where they already are.

Have you tried a similar marketing strategy? How did it work for you?

Want to discuss some ways you can implement similar marketing strategies for your own business? Book a complimentary marketing strategy call.

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