Sunday, February 28, 2010

Has Your Marketing Seen The Light

My brother was in town last weekend and asked if I wanted to go for an after-dark bike ride. Normally, though I might make an occasional run to the store after dark, my bike riding is most often confined to daylight hours, essentially for reasons of safety and timing. Tonight however, since I don't often have a chance to ride with my bro, I accepted and off we went.

We didn't ride that far and stayed in and around the neighborhood, riding the roads I've ridden for years. And, though I knew the location of just about every bump and pothole along the way, and had the benefit of a small headlight, street lights, and full moon overhead, I still managed to discover things along the way I've never noticed. Whether it was a house's nighttime accent light shining on a certain element of a home I'd never noticed before, the way moonlight filtering through the trees danced over roofs, yards, and streets, or just the way different sounds filtered in through the calm evening air, it seemed that, in the darkness, I noticed something new around every corner of the roads I've literally ridden hundreds of times in the daylight.

So, what does my exercising enlightenment have to do with advertising? Well, consider how you market your business and how people view your business. You may have made hundreds or even thousands of impressions with your advertising but, if you want to grow your business, you still need to reach those customers with whom you haven't made an impression. Further, unless you blanket all forms of media with your ads for years on end, there are still plenty of customers who may not be fully or even partially familiar with your business.

So, how can you show your business in a different light? It's by doing just that; use a different light to highlight your goods or services. Work within your budget and spread out your radio buys to different stations and formats. Buy TV in a different day part. Run newspaper (if you actually still believe in newspaper) in a different section. Do something new with your website, like adding a blog (which will engage your visitors and allow you to show a side of your company an ad won't) or changing the homepage layout. Buy an outdoor board. Update your trade show displays. Use your brochures to not only sell your goods or services, but to also tell the story of your company. Put out a press release highlighting new hires, company news, or participation or sponsorship of events. In other words, do whatever you can to shine a light on every facet of your business so that new and existing customers can always discover something new and different about your products or services. Embrace social media.

It's said that everything looks different by the light of day. That may be true but, just as my nocturnal bike ride showed me things I'd never noticed, to find new customers and retain existing ones, you might need to take a shot in the dark with your marketing to shine a brighter light on your business.

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