Marketing for Success
“Taking the mystery out of Marketing”
In last month’s article Marketing for Success, what it is and why it is so important to a salon or a school was discussed. In this article specific examples will be given for a successful marketing campaign.
Remember the name of the game on a successful marketing campaign is to get your business name and what you can offer your clients out to a target audience that is effective and within your budget.
1) Target your audience (or prospective clients): Who are they, what do they need or want, demographics, women, men age group. You can do that by looking at your existing clientele or if it is a new business for example a school or kennel, there are experts, trade magazines or petgroomer.com that has loads of information you can research to find your target audience. Why is it so important to find the demographics? They are your target audience and are looking for your product or service and are more likely to buy from you.
Once you determine that audience it’s time to create a marketing plan. This is a general plan and will have to be tweaked or changed a bit for your specific business or location but the principles still will apply.
2) Make a list of all avenues of marketing: Write down everything you can think of then refine the list to what you think would (a) reach your target audience and (b) rank in order of your marketing budget. You don’t need to do everything at one time. You always need to know if a particular market piece worked and how well as discussed in the prior article.
Press releases-This one I love! Free press is the Holy Grail of Marketing. Golden Paws has been in numerous articles including a 3 page Sunday Lifestyle Section. It has also been on morning talk shows and numerous news programs. You always look for an angle the reporter thinks his/her viewers/readers would want to see or learn about. We have a great business for this….. Pets!
One time right before Christmas we had 70 dogs to groom and I called a TV station (we are the 4th largest market) and said you need to come and get pictures of all the puppies getting all spiffed up for Santa and they came and of course I didn’t fail to mention the pet grooming school also.
To write a successful Press Release-Find a specific (local) writer/newsperson. Mention the article they wrote/or you saw and what you liked about it. It doesn’t have to be pet related. The Lifestyle or Business Section are both good places to look. Tell them how their viewers/readers would be interested in learning……… It has to be something of human interest. Also mention the visuals of the pets (who can resist pets or kids pictures?). Include some basic facts pet owners, % of pet owners and money spent on pets. Stats can be found on Petgroomer.com. Be sure to give credit to where you got the information. Include some pictures of well lit cute pictures of the dogs. Include your contact information and try not to go over one page long. Mail the information to the reporter-email them also-follow up and be excited-get them excited! Always remember you have to have them see the value of the story for their readers/viewers!
3. Direct Mail: These companies are all listed in your yellow pages and can get you into any demographics you want. I don’t know how they get their information but it is incredibly detailed. Again, if you go this route test a small market and see what the response is. Always include a well lit visual aid of you and a dog or two being warm, list what makes you special, create a sense of urgency and a call to action for example: “Call for a Career Pak Today” (if you had a school) that goes with all marketing pieces.
a) Warm visual dog pictures catch people’s attention (dogs catch peoples attention)
b) Info on how you can solve their problems-they don’t want to hear what you do-they want to know what you can do for them!
c) Some call for action
d) Sense of urgency Ex. Call today for Free Info Pak on ………., Limited time only. Words that spark someone into action. Make the message and picture the largest. Your business name isn’t the most important. Look at articles that catch your attention and see how they are laid out.
4. Local Ads: The same as Direct Mail in message and content only you have a much smaller space. You really need to research ad space. Sometimes a paper will offer certain sections on a certain day for a better rate. You really need to know the distribution –Look in the paper over weeks and see who constantly advertises and where. I have ads work and not work. Advertise during high season when you know they are buying your type of service. Low season is the low season and your ad is not going to get the results you want because people aren’t buying for a reason. Ex. August, September (back to school)
5. GET A WEBSITE! These days you have to be found on the web. Use tons of pictures- friendly faces and loving pets. Go to someone you trust. Web people can do a lot of damage and charge a lot for a product that’s not very good. This is where I have really been taken over the years. I learned a big lesson. You have to do your homework. Look at other people’s websites- What do you like and what do you not like. Create a lay out and create your own, there are many website hosting companies that are a one stop shop for domain names, web hosting and website design.
Find out about website optimization (this is a method to increase your site on the web pages when someone is doing a search).Again be careful there are a lot out of companies that do this and will promise the moon and not deliver.
O.k. Web Hosting, Search Optimization and Design can be a whole topic on its own and I have gone way over space for this article.
I hope this article has helped to encourage you to look into a successful marketing campaign and test each market piece for success. I judge success if the return paid for the marketing piece.
We will be in Chicago at the All American Grooming Show in August come by and see us at the Golden Paws Booth.
Thanks and look forward to seeing you!