Letter from the Publisher: A media strategy and rationale for your business
What I am about to talk about is a challenging subject. No, this isn’t about politics. It is about making your business successful.
If you own a business, the chances are you need to advertise, to get the word out that you exist and offer a great value to your customers. I want to talk about that, because the choices you make have a big impact.
The main question is, who do you want to get your message to. Is it to your existing customers? Or to your existing customers plus everyone who could be your customer?
I think this question answers itself. You want to remind the customers that love you right now that you are still here, so they should come on back. But there also are the people who would love you if they knew you. If you want to survive and thrive, you’ve got to find a way to reach these people.
Have you ever visited a store and then had that store’s ads follow you around on the web? For example, pretend I bought some shoes, and for weeks I saw shoe ads on my browser. That’s amazing that Google and Facebook and the like can figure out I just bought some shoes and can even know where I got them. But by then it was too late, because I already made the purchase. And this is the problem with a lot of digital marketing—it zeroes in on people after the fact, based on where they have been and what they have done, not where they are going and what they are planning to do.
The fact is, people dip in and out of the marketplace all the time. Some retailers think there is a certain class of customers—say 20% of their customer base—that is buying 80% of their goods. But studies have shown that’s just not true.
Those frequent buyers account for only 50% of their sales. The other 50% of sales come from people who aren’t buyers until the moment they are buyers. We will call them the random frequent buyer.
How do you reach someone like that?
If you are just advertising to the 20 percent you think are your heavy buyers, you will totally miss them. This is why it is important to reach everyone in the marketplace.
Which medium reaches everyone? Is it television? Hmm, people are cutting the cord in favor of Netflix and Hulu, so that won’t work. How about radio? Same deal, streaming music services allow people to listen to music without commercials, so that won’t work. Which leaves….
Community newspapers. Yes, you knew that was coming, since you are reading this… in a community newspaper. But think about that for a moment. You actually are reading this in a community newspaper. Somehow or other this message got through the noise of everyday living to you.
That is what is special about community newspapers. Our local news gets through the noise and delivers a message to people—to everyone in the community, including your current customers, and the people who could be your customers, the people that “if they knew you they would love you.”
So… can we help you?
Patrick J. Wood